‘Survivor: Game Changers’ Power Rankings Round One: Queen’s Greatest Hits Edition


‘Survivor: Game Changers’ (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Game Changers”

The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Michaela is voted out this episode, Adam will receive one point and Gordon will receive twelve points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Game Changers” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank the contestants based on who is the most likely to be voted out in the next episode.

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Adam’s Score = 0

Any questions for Adam? Drop him a line on Twitter: @AdamScottKlein

Gordon’s Score = 0

Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

1. Michaela: This is a tough week for Power Rankings, since we only know one of the tribes from the preview. That tribe is the Nuku tribe, consisting of 5 old Mana members (Sandra, Aubry, Michaela, Varner, and Malcolm) and one old Nuku member (JT). To me, the safest person on this tribe is Michaela, as she is solidly in the majority of the majority and will be needed for her strength in challenges. According to Tony’s exit interviews, Michaela was never really a target on Mana, and so the danger she was in seems to have been artificially inflated by the edit. 1. Sarah: Seriously? A swap right before the first round of Power Rankings? Probst is messing with me. And I just made these graphics! Urgh… Alright, one of the benefits of being an original Nukunian is the fact that you never went to Tribal and thus, never had to show your hand. Someone like Sarah who’s viewed as loyal and a challenge asset should have no problems.
2. Malcolm: Malcolm, like Michaela, will be in a strong position on new Nuku, as he is also in the majority and an asset for challenges. The only thing that I could see going wrong for him right now is if Michaela continues to be frustrated by having to play second fiddle to Malcolm as the challenge closer. 2. Brad: It doesn’t matter if they swap the tribes 40 times. Brad is still this season’s dream final three companion.
3. Brad: Without much else to go on for the other tribes, I am going to assume that old Nuku has the majority on both of the other tribes. At best, if Caleb, Troyzan, and Hali are on the same tribe, they will have a split tribe, but it’s more likely that two of them are on one tribe and one is left alone on the third. So I am looking towards the people who looked most solid on old Nuku to continue to be safe in their new tribes. So far so good for Brad, who has laid low early and started to rack up allies. 3. Sierra: You got a legacy advantage? Awesome. You can only use it when there or 13 or 6 people left in the game? That’s so weirdly specific. Do you have to give it to Probst with your left hand while repeating the alphabet?
4. Sarah: I can’t imagine the ‘silent assassin’ going home in the 3rd episode before we get to see her in action. She should be in a solid position in a majority, and her early quotes in the premiere suggest longevity and maybe a villainous rise for Sarah down the line. 4. Malcolm: After dropping the first two immunity challenges, you can bet the former Manaians are going to have no problem cutting a former Nukuian loose. This might also give Malcolm a chance to fulfill his pregame wish and start a strong alliance with Aubry.
5. Sierra: With the legacy advantage in hand, we have no reason to believe Sierra is in any kind of immediate danger. Like Brad and Sarah, she is laying low and collecting allies (and advantages!). I don’t think anyone is looking at Sierra as someone to take out of the game soon. 5. Andrea: We get to hear about Zeke bathing in blood. We get to hear about Debbie having the tenacity of a squid. But, we barely get to hear from Andrea?! Booooo…
6. Andrea: We didn’t get to see much of Andrea in the premiere. Not sure what that means for her chances long-term, but for now, she seems safe. 6. Ozzy: Ozzy’s still a challenge champ and it looks like he’s getting along with everybody. The only mistake he’s made so far is trusting Tai with anything ever. He should be good till the merge.
7. Zeke: Zeke is an excitable superfan in a game changer candy store, and you have to imagine the others love hearing how much Zeke adores them. He seems well integrated and in no immediate danger. 7. Troyzan: Troyzan’s transformation from loud, arrogant island owner to lovable surf watcher is almost complete. As long as he keeps smiling and being useful around camp, he’ll be fine. Much bigger fish to fry.
8. Ozzy: Ozzy did well in the premiere, trying to let old grudges go and focusing on tribe strength and making good connections. His challenge strength should keep him safe in a small tribe, as long as Cirie doesn’t go after him and create the 2nd iteration of Sandra v. Tony. 8. Zeke: Zeke’s starstruck “Survivor” fan gimmick is gold. The Ciries, Malcolms, Ozzys, and JTs of the world deal with those folks all the time and they’re not intimidated by them. Unfortunately for them, Zeke is a shark in fan’s floral-print clothing.
9. Jeff: Varner got a great tribe draw. He is locked into the majority of the tribe surrounded by bigger threats (Sandra, JT, Aubry). If Varner sits tight he should be just fine, as long as he doesn’t become a significant challenge liability.  9. Hali: Hali went toe-to-toe (fin-to-fin?) with one of the most impressive swimmers in “Survivor” history and did a fantastic job. My only worry about her is Ciera saying that she’s pushy around camp. Lay low and let the big dogs battle it out.
10. Debbie: Debbie got an intro confessional, laid low, and should be in a solid Nuku majority. Her wild antics are sure to come up again, but the Debbie story doesn’t seem to be close to over just yet. 10. Debbie: This feels like a season that is going to slow down a bit. The big players aren’t going to want to end up like Tony. If I were Debbie, I’d hang back and start making friends.
11. Sandra: Sandra got a great draw as well. She has another winner on her tribe to take the heat if people come for more trophies, as well as a solid group of allies that seem to want her on their side, at least for now. (Some, as Troyzan admitted in a secret scene, even want to take her to the final 3!!). #TheQueenStaysQueen at least for another round. 11. Jeff: The Varner we saw in “Second Chance” was destined to burn out quickly. The Varner we saw last week can go a long way. 
12. Troyzan: There is nothing to indicate that we should be worried about Troyzan, but he will most likely be in a minority on his new tribe. So far, he seems to be doing a good job of building a group of allies and no one would have any specific reason to gun for him. 12. Michaela: Michaela is at her best when she’s proving her worth in a challenge. Hopefully this swap will give her the fresh slate she needs and the next challenge will be something she can knock out of the park.
13. Hali: Hali is in the same boat as Troyzan. Nothing in particular that should put her in danger, besides being in a minority. If old tribe loyalties hold, then Hali will be in trouble, but otherwise there is plenty of time for the “cobra” to strike. 13. Cirie: Nobody needed a swap more that Cirie did. And the good news is; all that work she did when she felt like she was on the bottom should help her out when she ends up on her new tribe.
14. Cirie: While Cirie will likely be with majority Nuku, she doesn’t seem to have solidified herself within the core of that group. If she is with Ozzy, the brewing tension could come to a head, and I think Cirie would lose that battle at this point. In a small tribe with a long way to go until the merge, few would get rid of a challenge legend like Ozzy over the strategic mastermind Cirie. I have faith, of course, that Cirie will work her way out of this jam. 14. Aubry: Ooof…it can’t feel good to be the idol alternate. Especially when the person capable of playing that idol is Tony Vlachos. But, tomorrow is a new day and you’re getting a new tribe. Time to mend fences and regroup.
15. JT: JT is in a rough position. He already has a huge target on his back as a winner, and now he is the lone member of his old tribe in post-swap Nuku. It would seem easy for them to pick off JT, but JT isn’t going to make it easy for them. He’ll be idol hunting, maneuvering, and hopefully finding a way out of a really tough spot. 15. JT: Whaaaaat is going on in next week’s trailer? You let your fellow castmates drift off to sea? And we thought Tony had weird strategies. I think you’re in trouble this week if you’re surrounded by former Manaians. Hopefully your challenge prowess or your castaway stratagem will buy you some time.
16. Aubry: Aubry is still in hot water. If the JT focus in the previews is a red herring, as it often is, and Sandra and JT decide to team up as the only winners left in the game, Aubry could take the hit. Sandra has to be worried that Aubry will never trust her after putting two votes on her and playing with her life in the game, and Sandra won’t like to leave any ‘liabilities’ in the game. 16. Caleb: As Tony’s former “right-hand man,” I’m betting you’re the person the former Manaians trust the least.
17. Tai: If anyone from old Nuku is going to go, I think it might be Tai. Patience from his own old tribe members seemed to be wearing thin early, with Tai’s antics with the chickens being heavily criticized (Zeke in a secret scene called it ‘pageantry’), as well as seemingly getting caught up in the Cirie/Ozzy battle. If people consider him a solid ally he could go far, but so far I am nervous about people’s perceptions of Tai. 17. Sandra: Sandra is a legend. She’s a pleasure to watch. She’s the queen. She’s “literally a wizard.” But, she’s also never going to be safe. Tales of her domination of Tony will be spun around all three campfires. And for that reason she will never get too high in my Power Rankings.
18. Caleb: To me, the editing of the premiere did everything it could to set up the downfall of Caleb. He was emphasized to be Tony’s right-hand man, and now without Tony, who is going to (literally) pick him up off the rocks when he falls? He is likely to be in a minority on a new tribe, possibly with someone he was not closely aligned with on Mana (Hali or Troyzan). His challenge strength should get him through on a small tribe, but something about Caleb’s edit in the premiere reeked of impending doom.  18. Tai: Oh man…again with the chickens! It’s one thing to not let me eat a chicken. It’s quite another to take food that I would put in my face and give it to a chicken. And again with the loose lips! Cirie played you like a fiddle. She’s was like Tai-chaikovsky. I love me some Tai as a TV character. But, I’m not sure why anyone would keep him around at this point.

Any Questions?
Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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