NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.
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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 two players will earn. For example, if Keith is voted out this week, Spencer will receive 13 points and Gordon will receive 6 points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.
Spencer’s Score = 0
Any questions for Spencer? Drop him a line on Twitter: @SpencerBGM
Gordon’s Score = 0
Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
| 1. Josh – Josh not only found himself in the majority, but decided which faction of the Coyopa tribe would constitute the majority in the first vote. He recovered from a poisonous plant run-in that made his eyes water and navigated the swing vote with grace that would make Sarah Lacina’s mouth water. His position, on the other hand, is fairly cut and dry – he’s the president right now. Josh’s approachability has put him in a great spot, so let’s just hope Baylor isn’t on the warpath after he voted for her (why, Josh? WHY?!).
|| 1. Jeremy – Who had a better first episode than Jeremy? He won fire and whatnot for his tribe. He sent his wife to Exile in a manner that set himself up with a potential alliance member. And, he’s holding the numbers in a tribe that currently holds the numbers. He’s on fire, man. (Boy, I hate myself for that one.)
|2. Jon – Our quintessential “Survivor” bro has more depth than we thought, and although no one labeled Jon a slouch physically, he’s surpassed already high expectations. Next stop: a Jon vs. John immunity challenge in episode two. Hope stays strong for a Rocker meltdown after getting trounced in a physical challenge, as the two go at it next week like bona-fide sumo wrestlers. In the meantime, Jon should try and get in good with…||2. Natalie – OK, so your Twinnie is gone. That’s sucks. But, the good news is that losing your loved one worked out for people the last time they did the Blood vs. Water twist. Now people see you as a potential partner for a final three. Add that to how well Natalie did in the challenge and her place in the dominant alliance and you have a twin that’s set to win.|
| 3. Jeremy – …The power broker of Hunahpu. Prediction: Jeremy’s going to be the first person in a while to make this aggressive role work. Normally there’s no surer sign of doom than a player making alliances with everything that moves and breathes (see Knight, Zane). However, I think Jeremy has actually set himself up well with Kelley, Natalie, Missy, and Keith. He may just have made enough sparks to form a dominant alliance, but not so many that he’ll have fires to put out when people talk.
|| 3. John – Yeah, yeah…I’m not happy about this either. So, Mr. Rocker was awesome in the last challenge. He was a force to be reckoned with when it came to getting his tribe up that tower. And, he’s a solid member of the bro-liance. He isn’t going anywhere anytime soon unless he says something really stupid. Oh…wait…is it too late to change this ranking?
| 4. Kelley – Kelley remains as steady as they come. The daughter of legendary fire-starter Dale has aligned with savvy fire-stopper Jeremy, and should remain inconspicuous. Her tribe just has bigger personalities, bigger fish to fry, and absolutely no reason to vote Kelley out this early. Keith could pulverize the flint. Natalie could panic upon seeing her twinnie eliminated. Drew could get an urgent modeling contract. The possibilities are endless, and few of them entail Kelley going home.
|| 4. Missy – I…uh…don’t have a ton to say about you, Missy. You are a person. You are playing the game of “Survivor.” You didn’t do much this episode, but you’re in the big Hunahpu alliance, so I’m thinking you’re safe.
| 5. Alec – If Kelley is the head of the ‘under the radar’ club, Alec is senior vice president. While that may not give him the legs he needs to win, he’s a safe bet to stick around another week. He’s fit to contribute in both challenges and camp life, he voted in the majority last week and he seems approachable. When Wes realized who John Rocker was last week, he went to Alec as his first sanity check. Alec might just be a better-disguised Josh – someone people want to approach.
||5. Kelley – See Missy.|
| 6. John – He still isn’t winning, but this is about risk of going home, and John is a hulking behemoth who isn’t going anywhere. So far he’s miraculously remained inoffensive, and predictably been helpful physically. Having proven his ability as a human ladder/mountain to be climbed, Coyopa has every reason to keep him. Best of all, the only person who has recognized him (Wes) also happens to be the only person with a positive view of him, idolizing Rocker as “the man.”
||6. Keith – You and Val certainly wasted a lot of time on Exile Island. Why weren’t you setting up some kind of alliance? Why else would they have Jeremy send someone from his own tribe? It really feels like that whole outing was a wasted opportunity. Anywho, I wouldn’t be too upset about it, you ended up on Jeremy’s side anyways.|
| 7. Drew – Don’t be too quick to judge the second coming of J’Tia Taylor – shelter-builder extraordinaire Drew. Yes, Julie calls him a “young, dumb guy” and no, I don’t think he has a shot to win. Even so, he’s the prototype of someone a tribe wants around – strategically unintimidating and physically valuable. And if you look closely, there really isn’t that much evidence of him being this supposed young, dumb guy either; all he really did was make a few goofy comments while building a shelter. Time will tell for Drew, but I think he still has way more going for him than against him.
||7. Josh – You did one thing right and one thing weird. The right thing was the way you weren’t too wishy-washy when you were the swing vote. You picked your side and stuck with it. You didn’t give anyone a chance to doubt your loyalty. But, for some reason you voted for poor Baylor. What was the point of that? She’s dying to be your Edna Ma.|
| 8. Natalie – As tragic as the twinnies’ split may be, the sad truth is that Nadiya’s departure probably bodes well for Natalie. In the first Blood vs. Water, those whose loved ones went home early excelled into the endgame, likely because they were no longer a threat to join an inseparable alliance of two. Natalie is now an unintimidating free agent, and it also only helps that she’s in the mix of early Hunahpu alliance formation.
||8. Dale – Thumbs up for Dale this week. It looked like he was going to be the odd man out on a young tribe. (Old man out?) He managed to turn things around with his clever fire trick and by manufacturing a reason to get rid of Nadiya. Now that he has the numbers and isn’t a threat, he should be able to coast for a while. However, if Coyopond starts dropping too many challenges, he’s going to have to watch himself.|
| 9. Julie – Julie’s stock may not have gone up much, but it can’t have gone down. She completed the premiere’s immunity challenge puzzle impressively fast, and has come off nothing but competent and sharp in confessionals.
||9. Alec – According to Nadiya, you’re the one who blew the puzzle for your tribe. I wouldn’t sweat it too much though, you were on the right side of the vote and can probably rest comfortably for a while.|
| 10. Missy – Missy says that after three divorces she’s learned to trust her gut, and so far it’s lead her straight into the fold of Hunahpu’s majority. She gets all the benefits of being theoretically “in” right off the bat, but hasn’t had to put her neck on the line to make that happen; she’s let alliances come to her. As long as she maintains solid challenge performance, there’s no good reason for anyone to target her.
||10. Baylor – Kudos to Baylor for not letting herself get sucked into a men vs. women battle where the women were already outnumbered. But, I’m still wondering about Josh voting for her. She should try to get to the bottom of that.|
| 11. Baylor – So far, Baylor has proven herself socially adaptable and well integrated. She successfully floated between alliances to land herself in the majority, but I am concerned that more could be at play in Coyopa social politics. I’m still bewildered as to why Josh voted for her, and given she swung between groups last week, I worry that while Baylor has a lot of allies on her tribe, few of those allies are close ones.
||11. Wes – So, Rocker knows you know who he is. Hooray, you figured it out. Now a guy who doesn’t have a great track record of thinking out his decisions has a reason to target you. You’re probably safe for a bit while the guys target the women, but you’d better hope for a tribe swap.|
| 12. Dale – I love Dale. Here’s a guy who knows his weaknesses – he lives on a farm and isn’t comfortable in big groups – but is so passionate about playing “Survivor” that he’ll sacrifice his vision to start a fire and win his tribe’s admiration. I’m rooting for him to keep scraping by, but I worry for him for the same reasons as before. The age disconnect is just so vast, and worse, the tribe has flint now. As others improve their survival and fire-making skills, Dale becomes more expendable by the day.
||12. Reed – Spider-Man, Spider-Man, swings under the radar like a spider can… What were you up to last week? I mean, besides not working your way into the dominant alliance? The game is already off and running and you’re hanging out at the starter’s line.|
| 13. Keith – Curiosity may have killed the cat, but lack of curiosity certainly did Keith no favors. Dude, didn’t you wonder a little bit what Val’s note said at exile? Keith is an absolute sound bite machine, from breaking the flint to John Rocker being an ass to Wes having the mental strength of a Rock. He just doesn’t seem that game-savvy, though, and all his eggs are in one basket – the whims of Jeremy bringing him into the fold.
||13. Jon – Jon and Reed are in the same boat. They aren’t in the main alliance, but they’re harmless. They’ll be here next week.|
| 14. Reed – Reed has begun “Survivor” brimming with enthusiasm, and while he seems to have all the tools to succeed, we haven’t seen him putting them to use. If he does turn out to be on the outside of Jeremy’s newly formed power alliance, those tools for success could appear threatening and be his undoing.
||14. Drew – Was anybody surprised when Drew was rubbing people the wrong way? The man whose claim to fame is his ability to “pull off the unthinkable with ease” doesn’t seem to have a ton of humility. And unfortunately for him, the thought of him being the first Hunahputian to go home isn’t unthinkable.|
| 15. Wes – Wes has been relatively quiet thus far, and aside from struggling to spell “Rocker” there isn’t much to criticize. Sometimes it only takes one thing, though: There was no good reason for Wes to approach Rocker the way he did about his baseball stardom. He could have at least chatted up the tribe’s resident hulk for a longer time and connected over baseball. Yet all Wes did was give up the exclusive information he had and foster distrust. He did vote in the majority in week one, but if the tide turns on Coyopa, it could result in Wes drowning pretty quickly.
||15. Val – Oh, Val…I really don’t think anyone had a worse episode than you. You lost the first challenge which wasn’t a big deal, but then you didn’t share the Exile clue with potential alliance-mate Keith. Keith and your husband had already kind of bonded. He could’ve found the idol with Jeremy. And, it would have set you up to have Wes as your buddy when you finally got to camp. Once you did get to camp, you partnered with the side that was down in the numbers. And you’re hinting at an idol that you don’t have. You’re in bad shape.|
| 16. Val – While a lot went right for her husband in the premiere, everything went wrong for Val. She missed two critical days of forming relationships while stuck at Exile Island, failed to spearhead an all-girls alliance and spent tribal bluffing about having an idol for no apparent reason. Now she’s in the minority alliance of a losing tribe, and is dangerously close to ending the blue blood hot streak on CBS reality TV.
||16. Julie – You’re getting credit for completing last week’s puzzle which is good. But missing out on joining the main alliance hurts you. Keith knows who John Rocker is, and I’m sure he’s been talking. Everybody saw him dominate the challenge and they probably don’t like the idea of him having a partner around.|
|17. Jaclyn – Jaclyn is in the same boat as Val, and she doesn’t even have an idol clue to show for it. With Nadiya’s boot, “one of the girls” may be a thing of the past not only for Josh, but for the actual females as well. There’s a real risk here that Nadiya’s friends meet the same fate she did, and former Miss Michigan is in as precarious a position as anyone.||17. Jaclyn – Here’s how I see Jaclyn going home this week. If Coyopa loses, the men will continue to target the women. Baylor will be safe due to her affiliation with Josh. Val will be safe because they’re worried she might have an idol. And, poor Jaclyn will be sent pack-lyn.|