‘Survivor: Philippines’ rankings: Is Jonathan Penner now in the driver’s seat?

Before we delve too deep into our “Survivor: Philippines”rankings for the week, we have to start things out with some praise. How good is this season? Very good; as a matter of fact, this may be the strongest season overall featuring some first-time players since the mad clusterf–k known as “Survivor: Gabon.” There are just so many alliances shifting, so many likable players, and also a pair of villains in Abi-Maria and Pete who are at least compelling to root against.

We don’t really know how all of this craziness is going to end up unfolding, but one thing we can say: so long as there are more surprising moves on the way, it’s hard to be upset about what could be coming up.

8. Pete Yurkowski (last week: 7) – See? This is what happens when there is a shift in the alliance. With Skupin flipping to get rid of Artis, Pete, Abi, and possibly Lisa are clearly at the bottom of the totem pole. Unfortunately, Pete is not only the biggest physical threat, but Abi may not be willing to give up her immunity idol for him. It’s either win the necklace or bust for this guy at the moment.

7. Abi-Maria Gomes (5) – If Abi did not have the immunity idol in tow, she would be the perfect person to take to the end of the game. However, she’s dangerous to have around so long as she has the capacity to either play it herself, or give it to one of her allies. Even if she does not go home, the other castaways need to flush this thing out.

6. Jonathan Penner (9) – Sure, Penner was lucky that Skupin was willing to flip … but isn’t he going to still be the target almost every week from here on out? His biggest issue right now is that he still has no real firm ally in this game. Carter tried to get rid of him once, Denise is more with Malcolm, and even Skupin still has Lisa. He’s going to have to work more magic if he wants to stay around.

5. Michael Skupin (6) – It’s still not entirely clear just how good of a move it was for Skupin to flip. Now, Abi and Pete have a vendetta against him, and he really has no allegiance to anyone at all except for maybe Lisa. If the other people on the island are ready to get rid of a swing vote, it would not surprise us at all to see him gone.

4. Carter Williams (8) – By playing no game at all, Carter has quickly developed a game. It’s not as effective of a do-nothing game as Fabio’s was in “Nicaragua,” mostly because we don’t see him making the personal relationships. However, there does not seem to be any tangible reason why he would be anyone’s primary target at the moment unless Tandang gets back together and Penner wins immunity.

3. Lisa Whelchel (1) – Lisa has somehow managed to stay under the radar even after proving herself to be a gamer. Nobody seems to genuinely want her gone from the game for a while, and the only thing possible keeping her out of the final three is if both Skupin and Penner find a way to each leave the game first.

2. Denise Stapley (2) – How ironic is it going to be if two players from the worst tribe since Ulong both make into the final three? Denise has not been a major post-merge player this season, but she’s been in such a good position that she doesn’t need to be. The two alliances around her are so busy picking each other of that she has not really needed to bother.

1. Malcolm Freberg (3) – The funny thing about Malcolm is that he is in a remarkably similar position: no one is really targeting him at all save for Lisa (who seems to have abandoned that for now), but it’s even more incredible since he’s a huge physical threat and has an immunity idol. Is he really this good, or is everyone else so crazy to keep a guy who would probably beat any of them in the end?

Who is at the top of your “Survivor: Philippines” ranking right now?

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