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“Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites”
10 of the show’s recent memorable faces
10 of the show’s biggest fans
1. Place on the piping hot Caramoan Islands
2. Sprinkle liberally with hidden immunity idols
3. Let sit for 39 days
The last time this recipe was served up it resulted in one of the most entertaining “Survivor” seasons ever. This time? Who knows. (But, we have been hearing good things.) So, before we sit down to tonight’s generous 90-minute helping, I thought I’d take a minute to run down the contestants and give my thoughts on how I think they will do.
Alright, I want to start off this ranking by saying that the days of pretending that returning players are at a disadvantage are over. Let’s look at the facts…
• “Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites” – Your final three is made up of future “Survivor” Hall of Famers Cirie Fields, Amanda Kimmel, and Parvati Shallow.
• “Survivor: Redemption Island” – “Boston” Rob destroys everything in his path.
• “Survivor: South Pacific” – Ozzy Lusth and Benjamin “Coach” Wade are two of the final four.
• “Survivor: Philippines” – Michael Skupin gets to the final three. And, Jonathan Penner would’ve probably won the whole thing if it weren’t for a single fatal mistake.
So, you’re going to notice that this listing is very Favorite heavy at the top…
|Read Erik’s Pre-Game Interview||Read Andrea’s Pre-Game Interview|
|1. Erik: Quick, what’s the first thing you remember about Erik? I’m betting it’s when he foolishly gave up his immunity idol to Natalie Bolton and was promptly voted out of the game. Don’t feel bad, that’s what everyone remembers. It’s probably safe to assume people are going to underestimate the former ice cream scooper. But, do you remember how well Erik was doing in immunity challenges up until that point? Do you remember how everyone around camp seemed to love him? I think an older, wiser, underestimated Erik is going to be very dangerous.||2. Andrea: I think Andrea is the perfect type of person to go far in “Survivor.” She helps around camp but isn’t a crazed workhorse. She’s useful in challenges but isn’t a dominant threat. Her personality doesn’t alienate tribe mates, but she isn’t tagged as “too nice” to take to the end. Add to that the fact that she’s prepared to shake the “Boston Rob Follower” tag and you have a very serious competitor.|
|Read Cochran’s Pre-Game Interview||Read Corinne’s Pre-Game Interview|
| 3. Cochran: Cochran did a fantastic job of laying out the reasons why he should be the first to go home. He stabbed Savaii in the back, he isn’t good in challenges, and his skin is very prone to sunburn. (I call dibs on the term “Coch Lobster.”) However, everybody I talked to was trying to figure out a way to get Cochran into their alliance. Right now the only thing that could keep him from going deep into the game is if the Favorites have some kind of Matsing-esque losing streak.
|| 4. Corinne: If “Survivor” is “Mean Girls,” then Corinne Kaplan is its Regina George. Everybody who mentioned Corinne in the interviews was a little intimidated by her. Sounds like a recipe for a first boot, right? I disagree. More than anyone, the Favorites know how the show’s editing can make someone look. She’ll definitely have a second chance to make a first impression. Another thing working in her favor is how loyal she was to her alliance in Gabon.
|Read Allie’s Pre-Game Interview
|| Read Sherri’s Pre-Game Interview
| 5. Allie: If you’re having problems telling the three hot, blonde fans apart, here’s a trick; just remember that Allie is All-in. The New York-based bartender spent the days before the game learning as much as she could about her competition. The CBS reps that had been trained to keep information away from her couldn’t do it. Her observation skills could take her far.
||6. Sherri: There’s one player every season who tries to sneak information out of the pre-game interviewers. This season it was Sherri. After her session was completed and I’d turned off my recorder, she tried to get my opinions on Matt. Granted, she wasn’t successful, but you’ve got to give her credit for thinking outside of the box. She’s definitely someone to keep an eye on.|
|Read Michael’s Pre-Game Interview||Read Dawn’s Pre-Game Interview
| 7. Michael: Michael is going to have a lot of chances in this game. He isn’t going to be a first target when the fans eventually lose immunity. And, he isn’t going to be an obvious challenge threat at the merge if his alliance is down numbers. His best bet is to let the game happen and pick and choose his spots.
|| 8. Dawn: I love Dawn. J’adore Dawn. (That’s how you know I mean it, I dug into my terrible seventh-grade French and I italicized it.) That being said, the last person I want to see sitting next to me at the end is the uber-nice, mother of forty, who sends bread to people for fun. Not to mention that she is a formidable challenge force. Red flags are popping up everywhere. She might end up in the majority alliance because it’s easy to trust her, but the more devious members of that alliance are going to want to send her packing before it gets to the final five.
|Read Brenda’s Pre-Game Interview||Read Malcolm’s Pre-Game Interview
|9. Brenda: Remember during “Heroes vs. Villains” when everyone was scared to death of Parvati? That’s how the Favorites feel about Brenda Lowe. She has a reputation for being a shrewd strategist and a cool customer. If she can get into the right alliance quickly, she should have room to maneuver, but she’s someone who could end up getting a fast exit if people are to afraid of her.||10. Malcolm: I’m not happy about this. Malcolm should be on the top of every ranking ever. But, the fact remains that Malcolm is facing two problems he didn’t have to worry about last time. First, competing in back-to-back seasons is no joke. Russell Hantz, who isn’t one to admit to any kind of weakness, readily admits that going from “Samoa” to “Heroes vs. Villains” left him “mentally exhausted” and “whipped.” And second, everyone out there has to be wondering what Malcolm did to be invited back so quickly. Malcolm’s second journey could be a short one if people are worried that he’s the second coming of Russell.|
|Read Laura’s Pre-Game Interview
||Read Francesca’s Pre-Game Interview|
| 11. Laura: Laura is another one like Michael who is going to have some wiggle room if she isn’t a part of the dominant alliance. But, she shouldn’t have to worry about that. I’m betting the twenty somethings dominate the Favorites tribe. The question is; if she does make a run after the merge, how will she differentiate herself from the other youngsters?
||12. Francesca: Francesca was the hardest person to rank this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if she won the whole thing and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was the first one sent home. So, I’m placing her safely in the middle. I just wish her name was a little bit shorter so it wouldn’t cover up her face in the Power Rankings graphic.|
|Read Reynold’s Pre-Game Interview||Read Julia’s Pre-Game Interview|
|13. Reynold: Reynold is a great guy. He’s smart, he’s charismatic, and he has lived life. However, in the game of “Survivor” I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. (“Well, with your bad knee, Ed, you shouldn’t throw anybody.”) There’s something about his salesman background and winning smile that would have me constantly questioning his motives.||14. Julia: Everybody wants to compare Julia to Sophie Clarke. That doesn’t feel right to me. Sophie is like a grumpy 70-year-old spirit stuffed into a young body. (Note: As the world’s youngest curmudgeon, that’s the highest compliment I can pay someone.) While on the other hand, Julia is super smart, but still feels super young. If the Fans are a youth-heavy group, this won’t be a problem. If Julia has to mix with her elders, it might be.|
|Read Eddie’s Pre-Game Interview||Read Shamar’s Pre-Game Interview|
|15. Eddie: I’d love Eddie to win just so I could visit his bar/veterinary clinic in New Jersey. However, he’s going to have a huge target on his back. Not only will he be the first person people are targeting after the merge because of his physique, but…||16. Shamar: OK, stick with me on this one. The “Fans vs. Favorites” concept screams for tribe swaps at some point. That’s bad news for the dominant challenge forces on the tribe that is down numbers. If you end up on a new tribe and are outnumbered, you’re going to be the first target. Eddie and Shamar should ask Tyrone Davis and Aaron Reisberger how that worked out for them.|
|Read Phillip’s Pre-Game Interview||Read Matt’s Pre-Game Interview|
|17. Phillip: It’s easy to write Phillip off as “That Wacky Phillip.” Anyone who does that is leaving themselves open for a big blindside. Everything Phillip is doing from his pink undies to his ridiculous sneakers to his trademark feather is a calculated maneuver. My problem with this strategy is; he’s making it way harder than he needs to. Just because you were annoying for 39 days on purpose doesn’t change the fact that people had to put up with that annoyance.||18. Matt: Matt’s reason for being this low in the ranking has little to do with him as a person. He’s a super nice guy who seems to have a great life doing something he’s passionate about. However, sometimes people who stand out for physical reasons are early targets. Wendy Jo from “Survivor: Nicaragua” is a prime example of this. She hadn’t said a word to anyone before the game started and yet people were ready to send her packing because of her cowboy hat and boots.|
|Read Hope’s Pre-Game Interview||Read Brandon’s Pre-Game Interview|
|19. Hope: It kills me, KILLS me to put a sweet Missouri girl this low on the list, but she just doesn’t strike me as someone who’s going to make any waves this season. Don’t get me wrong, she could still get to the end in the same way Natalie Tenerelli got to the end, but I don’t expect much from her when it comes to gameplay.||20. Brandon: My pre-game interview with Brandon was easily the most uncomfortable moment in my “Survivor” career. He was a just a ball of unbridled energy who would say the first thing that popped into his head. At different moments I wasn’t sure if he was going to hug me or punch me in the face. Add that to his history of breaking down at Tribal Council, and the fact that women will be nervous about aligning with him, and you have my pick for this season’s long shot.|