‘Survivor: Philippines’ rankings: Can a twist save Matsing?

Is “Survivor: Philippines” really going to let the Matsing tribe completely and totally fall apart? That is really the question that every diehard fan wants to know at the moment, since this is really the producers’ last opportunity to swap up the tribes before subjecting us to the first one-person tribe since Stephenie LaGrossa ran Ulong by herself during the “Palau” season so many years ago.

Luckily, we are still feeling good about the prospects of some sort of swap where either Malcolm and Denise will each go to different tribes, or the entire teams will be swapped out to make things even more exciting. If this happens, we’ll have some more relevant rankings next week. For now, though, we have to rank based on the current tribe structures … even if we are considering viability in the event of a swap for the first time all season.

Matsing tribe

2. Malcolm Freberg (last week: 1) – Is Malcolm a stronger physical player and provider than Denise? Sure, but you also have to remember that we are only two episodes away from where the show has merged into one tribe as of late. When this happens, he’s a huge threat, and thus the only real reason to keep him around is if you need him for an alliance to get yourself further.

1. Denise Shipley (2) – Denise really has a great shot at winning this game. She’s not only capable physically, but we are not sure there has been a stronger social player / strategist on the show in some times. She reminds us a little bit of a female Stephen Fishbach, but we think she would hold her own much better in a final tribal council.

Kalabaw Tribe

6. Sarah Dawson (1) – In keeping the secret about Jeff Kent for so long, Sarah is now making a mistake. Why? Jeff has formed an alliance with Penner and Carter, and we really don’t think they will care that he lied about his job. Now, all she will get in exposing it for the time being is get a target on her back.

5. Dana Lambert (2) – The biggest thing working against Lambert is that Penner has the idol; with that, he has the power in the event of a vote. She’s a strong-willed woman, and this could cause her to be a threat to the group.

4. Katie Hanson (6) – The one thing working for Katie is that we’ve barely seen her thus far. With that, she could be someone who Penner or Jeff could influence down the line in a tribal swap, and would probably not do anything to betray them. She may not be the best player, but she’s not bad to have around.

3. Carter Williams (4)  – He’s the third person on a three-man alliance, but for now there’s no reason for Carter to consider doing anything else until he possibly gets another person or two out of the game.

2. Jeff Kent (5) – Jeff’s done a very smart thing in teaming up with Penner: even though he does not have the idol, he has managed to find a partner in this game who will constantly remain a bigger threat than he is thanks to him being a returning player. This may be the first time that an alpha male has been in this sort of position since Yul in “Cook Islands.”

1. Jonathan Penner (3) – The man has not only the idol, but a three-person alliance that will control the vote. Thanks to all of this, they really also have all the power in this game so long as a swap does not tear them apart.

Tandang tribe 

6. RC Saint-Amour (6) – As we’ve said for weeks, it’s not RC’s fault that Abi-Maria is crazy. She just tried to make a good alliance and it ended up falling apart on her thanks to someone else’s paranoia. Sadly, this will probably cause her to leave the game before what we consider her to be her time.

5. Artis Silvester (2) – For what we can figure out, the group in power right now is Skupin, Abi, Lisa, and Pete. We don’t know what Artis is up to since he’s barely shown, but we have to assume he will stick around for a while.

4. Michael Skupin (5) – By the virtue of being the returning player, we know that he has the biggest target on him within his new alliance. His only real hope at the moment? That Lisa could end up being more loyal to him at the end of the day than she is to Pete.

3. Abi-Maria Gomes (3) – Yes, she has the idol; but what we are a little bit more worried about at the moment is her ability to keep it together in the game. She’s not really thinking strategically the same way that Penner is with his, and this could cause some serious problems down the road.

2. Lisa Whelchel (4) – My, how the fallen have become mighty! The biggest thing going for Lisa is that she’s such a non-threat. She causes zero problems, is a decent challenge player, and has some friends. This may sound silly, but she now seems like a lock for at least the top six.

1. Pete Yurkowski (1) – Next to Penner, Pete probably has himself in the best position in this game. Not only does he have a good alliance, but he has the next-best thing to an idol: someone with an idol he can influence. Really, the only thing that could hold Pete back is what we saw from him with RC and the clue last week: his own arrogance and desire to stir things up when he doesn’t need to.

Who are your current favorites in this game?

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