Thursday, October 17, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water Episode 5 Power Rankings

16. Brad

Brad Culpepper's problem in the game wasn't strategy; his moves taken in a vacuum were actually smart. Creating the all-men's alliance was just a smart read of the numbers. Reading John's actions with the immunity idol clues as untrustworthy, then adding in his loyalty to the then dominant at Redemption Island Candice and you get somebody who it might be better to take out now, rather than wait.

His thoughts on getting rid of Caleb? Also smart. Leaving a player without a loved one in the game is actually more risky, because they can make the best move for them in the game and not worry about how it will reflect on their loved one, or how their loved one will react to the player's plans.

Where Brad Culpepper went wrong is in trying to defend himself to whomever would listen. Everything that he said when combined with his actions just yelled "I am a threat to each and every one of your games. I am only loyal to you until I do not need to be." He started day 1 when he (honestly) said that He wouldn't feel that bad if Monica won a tarp if she had been suffering through a difficult time at her camp. When Marissa questioned him, he did 2 things. The first was to apologize to everybody while justifying the comment and saying "I'm going to give my all in the challenges, I swear. The second was to immediately target Marissa. The second was smart. Target the person who was questioning you. Get them before they get you. The problem is that the apology made it necessary to for Brad to target Marissa. By bringing attention to his comments, he gave Marissa more reason to attack him.

He defended himself at Redemption Island by saying that he outplayed everybody. He denied creating an all male alliance at tribal council, even though it was clear to everybody that this was in place.

When he voted John out, he came back to his camp to defend his move by saying that John shouldn't have trusted him. How exactly is his tribe supposed to feel when he declares that somebody shouldn't have trusted him? And he only compicates matters by throwing Caleb's name out, then giving too much of an honest answer about the dangers of a player without a loved one in the game. That was enough for Caleb to flip.

12. Laura B.

Laura should be held up as a cautionary tale for anybody who thinks that they could play well in a tribe consisting of them and the rest being returning players.

The biggest issue is that her actions are so transparent to these players. They've already been nervous for the first tribal council, so when Laura says that she's excited for it, they all know she is lying. When she brings up the ENTIRELY TRUTHFUL note that Monica and Laura M were not pleased to have been sitting on the bench for the immunity challenge, the other players dismiss it. They know what people do when they know they are on the bottom of the tribe; they try to stir up stuff to get other people targetted. And this is all that seemed to be. At tribal, when Laura says that she is confident she is a big part of the tribe, we get a shot of Kat rolling her eyes as if to say "You're only confident that you are a big part of the tribe because we let you be confident."

Naturally, it doesn't help that Laura can be even more awkward in the social game than her husband. How she approached the discussion about the other women wanting to play the challenge was terrible. Repeating "I just wanted to put it out there" makes it seem like that this story is something you made up. She also has the same issue that Rupert has, in that she thinks that being helpful around camp means that you are integrated with the tribe.

So all you Survivor hopefuls, hope that you end up on a season with very few (if any) returning players. It will be better for your game in the long run.

3. Vytas

We got a great view as to how strong of a player Vytas is in this episode. He is definitely cut from the same cloth as his brother, in knowing who has to be finessed, who can be played a little harder and who to just stay on the right side of.

His read on the Caleb situation is pretty close to being spot on. Caleb is going to be a threat to flip at any point and people aren't going to completely trust him. And Caleb is going to need to be coddled, so he doesn't do another crazy thing. And while his attempts to relate were laughable and/or stereotypical, it was at least a good attempt by Vytas to keep on Caleb's good side.

The only thing that Vytas read wrong? That Caleb's actions will prevent people from aligning with him in the near term. Right now the issue is numbers - if the guys alliance holds up then they have it. But all the women need to do is flip Caleb and all the sudden they have the numbers. So long as Vytas factors that in, all will be good for him. But if he forgets or ignores it, then he could be in a whole lot of trouble.

Overall Rankings

20. Rupert
19. Colton
18. Rachel
17. Marissa
16. Candice

15. Brad
14. Laura M.
13. John
12. Laura B.
11. Kat
10. Monica
9.  Hayden
8.  Katie
7.  Gervasce
6.  Ciera
5.  Caleb
4.  Tyson
3.  Vytas
2.  Tina
1.  Aras

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