Another week of Survivor down and another rough week for me work wise. That said, this season has been consistently fun to watch and week 11 was no different. As I’m sure you’re aware, Julia was sent to jury this week in a somewhat surprising vote. Do I think this move was a smart one for all involved? And where do I see Jason sitting now that all of his allies are out of the game? Read on for that and more in this week’s version of my Kaoh Rong Power Rankings.
7) Julia Sokolowski (-3)
Strategy: 4 Challenge: 7 Entertainment: 5 Total: 16
Julia has been really impressive all season, but I think her immaturity finally caught up to her. Coming back from the previous week’s vote, Julia was absolutely irate because she wasn’t included in the vote to get out Scot. It was a case of extreme saltiness that really hurt her game, especially as it relates to her relationship with Aubry. Michele and Jason were quick to say “they understood” and knew it “was just a game move”.
Julia, on the other hand, didn’t “want to hear it”. Being that angry at someone just solidifies to them that you never really had their back. How is Aubry supposed to react when you express so explicitly that Scot (one of Aubry’s main enemies) was someone you wanted to move forward with? That just proves to her that you were never on her side. Considering that, outside of maybe Cydney, Aubry has the most power in this game, I think it’s easy to conclude that you’d want to do everything you can to pacify her and try to reaffirm you’re on her side. Julia didn’t do that and now she’s out of the game. That said, I would feel bad if I didn’t quickly say that I was really impressed with Julia this season. I would not have been able to function nearly as well on Survivor when I was 18.
6)Joseph Del Campo (+1)
Strategy: 5 Challenge: 6 Entertainment: 6 Total: 17
Joseph is slowly and steadily moving up these power rankings. Will his march continue until he is crowned the Sole Survivor? I sure hope not.
5) Tai Trang (-3)
Strategy: 5 Challenge: 5 Entertainment: 8 Total: 18
Tai continues to be entertaining television and has probably already earned a second chance at Survivor if he loses this season. That said, he’s made a ton of strategical missteps and will only win this season on the merits of his personality. I mean, I know I talked about how Julia poorly mishandled the tribe after Scot’s boot, but I think Tai might’ve done an even worse job of talking to Jason afterward. I don’t know if it’s the language barrier or what, but he did not seem sincere at all and Jason didn’t buy what Tai was selling for a single second.
The one thing I think you take out of the episode if you’re a Tai fan, is that he still has an idol and an advantage. Now, will Tai correctly play those? I would guess not, unless Aubry tells him exactly what to do. Tai gets how to play the game enough to be dangerous, but not enough to actually win the season. I think Tai is firmly on the bubble this week and would not be surprised to see him go home with an idol in his pocket.
4) Michele Fitzgerald (+2)
Strategy: 5 Challenge: 9 Entertainment: 5 Total: 19
Michele’s case for a winner’s edit got stronger this week. She performed very well at both challenges, winning them both, and continued to get prime confessional time. She continues to appear involved in the strategy of the season through her confessionals, while never actually doing much in the gameplay. It’s a really weird edit and either means she’s going to win the game or be booted out next week. At this point, I still firmly believe she’s winning this season against Jason in a very unsatisfying end to a great season. Nothing against Michele, she’s just one of the least interesting players left in the game (though she is better than Joseph!)
3) Cydney Gillon (+2)
Strategy: 7 Challenge: 7 Entertainment: 6 Total: 20
Cydney was in an interesting spot this week. She had an opportunity to side with Jason, Julia, and Michele and vote Tai out, which would, one way or the other, get the last idol out of the game. She elected to stick with Tai, Aubry, and Joseph to vote out Julia and I’m not certain that was the best move for her game.
If she votes Tai and he doesn’t play his idol, she could easily spin it as just trying to flush the idol. I don’t think, in that scenario, Aubry and Joseph have anywhere to go. Thus, Cydney would be able to choose who she wanted to side with at Final Six. If Tai does play his idol, then she still gets Julia out and should be able to spin a similar tale to both Tai and Aubry. Instead of playing the middle and having her choice of alliances, Cydney let Tai keep his idol and sent Julia home.
That’s giving a lot of power to a player with an idol, an advantage, and a track record of screwing over his allies. Plus, you now leave Jason as a player with no prospects, meaning people won’t be gunning for him anymore. If they’re not gunning for him, it’s within the realm of possibility that they might start gunning for you. I’m not saying Cydney made a terrible move (in fact, I think it was a solid move); I just think she could’ve made the same move differently and put herself in a much more powerful position.
2) Kyle Jason (+1)
Strategy: 6 Challenge: 6 Entertainment: 9 Total: 21
I love Jason’s spot in the current makeup of this tribe. He has no allies and no idols, making him the smallest target in the game. Plus, most of the jury doesn’t like him, giving him goat potential. And Jason’s smart enough to be able to work from this position. I fully expect him to work two of the girls against each other in Week 12 and gain himself a few more days. The only scenario I see Jason going home is if Tai plays his idol to knock Jason out. Otherwise, I don’t see why anyone would be driven to go against Jason at this point. He’s completely cut off from everyone and has managed the jury terribly. If anything, people are going to want to keep him around to drag him to the end. And, if he makes FTC, anything can happen.
1) Aubry Bracco (0)
Strategy: 7 Challenge: 6 Entertainment: 9 Total: 22
Aubry’s playing the best game of the season, and I don’t really see how you can argue it. She’s driving almost all of the strategy this season and has continuously steered the vote to a position where it benefits her the most. That said, I think she’s in a very, very dangerous spot this week. People are realizing that she is the power broker this season. Now is the time for someone like Cydney to test the waters on going after either Aubry or Joseph and cutting Aubry down a few pegs. In fact, Aubry and Joseph both sticking around in Week 12 will be as surprising as if Jason goes to jury. The only scenario where I see both of them staying is if Aubry is able to convince everyone that Tai and his idol are a bigger threat. Considering she’s the reason Tai still has his idol, I think this is exactly what Aubry plans to do; I just wonder if it will actually work.
As mentioned, I think it’s either going to be Aubry, Joseph, or Tai. My guy leans to Aubry because of how strong she’s been since the merge started. You have to assume that the other players know she’s playing a winning game right and will be looking to knock her off the pedestal. If Aubry wins immunity, I think Joseph is gone. However, I would not surprised if Tai was targeted because of his extra toys. This episode is a little up in the air, but I think Aubry and Tai are the easy front-runners for the next boot.