Friday, December 13, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water Pre-Finale Power Rankings

7. Gervase

On the latest Survivor Know-It-Alls, Stephen Fischbach attempted to figure out what was the path that would lead to Gervase winning the game. Rob Cesternino came up with the one thing he has to do - vote out Tyson. This is true, but it's not enough.

The problem for Gervase (and the reason why he's a lock solid pick to make final tribal) is that he's pissed off too many people. His celebrations and arrogance have been comical for the lack of self-awareness, and the single worst thing that has ever happened to Gervase's chances to winning. People are angry that he beat them, and then view his celebrations as undeserved since his actions had very little to do with their ouster. Nobody is going to want to vote for him, even if he makes the big move and engineers Tyson's destruction.

What else can he do? I have no clue. He'd have to become really humble very quickly, have a Sophie Clarke-esque breakdown at a tribal council and own all of his actions. And that isn't going to help.

6. Tina

I don't have much to say about Tina's chances here. She can beat Gervase simply by not being Gervase. But her story that she's going to tell the jury is not strong - she can only say that she survived on Redemption Island and won when she needed to. It's not going to be enough, and unless she can take claim to coming back from Redemption Island and then getting rid of Tyson, she can't win.

5. Ciera

Ciera's problem is that she made her move a step too late; if she jumps to get rid of Tyson at the final 7 she has a strong story to tell and can suck up to the jury by being the one to get rid of Tyson. But now? The jury is going to say "ballsy play kid, but too little, too late." She can't beat Tyson either, so her best chance is to go with Tina and Gervase and have the stronger story. If she faces her mom, Hayden or Tyson, she has no chance of winning.

4. Laura M

Now we're getting to the people who stand a chance. Laura M can tell an amazing story of dominating at Redemption Island, of survival when others attempted to get rid of her. She probably can beat Monica as well, and has an okay chance to beat Tyson as well (rallying the anti-Tyson vote if it exists.)

Why is she so low? Because she has to win out. I feel that she has the best chance to win at Redemption Island. But in immunity challenges I am not as confident. The Redemption Island challenges seem to have been over compensated to ensure that the women have a chance to win, and bigger men end up getting the short shrift. But the immunity challenges seem to be bette balanced with the athletic side, but also the puzzle side to them. This helps to give anybody a good chance to win, and basically makes it a 1 in 5, then 1 in 4 chance to win immunity. Her chances of winning both immunities: 1 in 20. I wouldn't take those odds myself, so I had to put her at this point.

3. Hayden

So after I give Laura the "most likely to return from Redemption Island" title, how does Hayden end up ranked higher? Simple - I think he still has room to work if he doesn't win immunity.

Let's be honest: Hayden might have played the best game ever when somebody had their back against the wall with the knowledge that he had no immunity available to him. He somehow forced a tie vote which made him immune and had the chance to flip the game in his favour, and his impassioned play to Monica to stay in the game even though she had no reason to even consider it was very effective, even if it didn't work. If he comes back? If he gets to the final 4, he can try to force another tie and rock draw, especially if Tyson is the one who would not be immune. He can sell to Monica or Gervase that this would be viewed as a big move; and that he could never win being the person saved by Redemption Island. And his story should he make Final Tribal? It's probably the one best suited to beating Tyson.

Hayden is in a surprisingly good spot for somebody who is on Redemption Island. Not like Ozzie's spot in South Pacific, but good just the same.

2. Monica

The most intriguing person on the list. She's got a very good chance to make it to the final; if she does and she's facing Tyson and Gervase, she's going to pick up the pissed off at Tyson vote.

If she makes it with somebody who's not Tyson, she can play the loyal card, the immunity challenge beast card, the mom card and the survival card. That's a pretty strong story. While I think her chances are based on how upset people are at Tyson (since I think Tyson is cruising to Final Tribal), she is in, surprisingly, a very good spot.

1. Tyson

If Tyson makes final tribal, I will be shocked if he doesn't win. Maybe he kills a puppy in front of the jury or something similarly preposterous, but given normal circumstances I think he's set up incredibly well. He's going to beat the two people he expects to be in the final with (Gervase and Monica), and still has a strong story against the other players remaining. Unless the jury is very bitter, or he gets blindsided at the final 4, Tyson is going to win this game.

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