‘Survivor: Philippines’ rankings: How valuable is Abi-Maria now?

Abi-Maria GomesDo the remaining castaways on “Survivor: Philippines” want to play smart, or do they want to play risky? These are the questions that we anticipate the remaining six castaways asking themselves in the final days of this game, as there are all sorts of opportunities for everyone to make some big moves.

As much as we hate to say it, it was probably the right move for the alliance of Skupin, Lisa, Malcolm, and Denise to take out Jonathan Penner. After all, he probably would have won had he made it to the end, and his exit now opens up doors for two other characters who could either be sitting ducks, or valuable tools to increase the odds of a select few winning the million-dollar prize.

(For those new to the rankings, we based them on everything from strategy to challenge skill to edit. There are no spoilers, so take a sigh of relief.)

6. Carter Williams (last week: 5) – Considering that Carter has been Casper the Friendly Ghost for most of the season, there’s no way that this guy wins. But couldn’t Carter be a valuable guy to keep around? Nobody’s going to respect his game in the jury, and he could be a less-annoying alternative to Abi-Maria for one of the two-person alliances still in the game if they wanted an easy goat at final tribal council (if it is a final 3).

5. Abi-Maria Gomes (7) – Considering how much Lisa values trust, she may be crazy enough to go to the final four with her alliance. However, we’re giving Abi a bigger chance than Carter of lasting since she is not a big immunity threat to anyone (even with this past win), and no one would ever vote for her in the end. Malcolm and Denise are smart, and the only reason we could see her going at the final five or six is if they are really that confident they could beat anyone else in this game.

4. Lisa Whelchel (1) – A few weeks ago, we were totally loving Lisa’s game. No, we’re hating it. There’s too much whining about the game being “bigger” than here and fears that she is not cut out for it. If this is the case, why stay over someone who is cut out for it? Lisa is a perfect person to make it to the end with, since no one on the jury seems to like her game very much and she will probably be the token person with zero votes.

3. Malcolm Freberg (4) – If Malcolm makes it to the end, he probably wins. This is why he is ranked #3 here: he is not really that likely to make it that far. We would not be stunned to see some sort of blindside pulled off here, even with Denise included. (She’s a smart lady, and smart enough to know who she would lose against.) Malcolm also has not fully shown the strategic acumen as of late necessary to see a big move coming.

2. Michael Skupin (2) – Given that Lisa is perfect jury bait, Skupin has good odds of making it there, as well, given how close they are. You also have to consider the fact that few people out there seem to be taking him seriously as a major threat to win. For the record, he wouldn’t beat Malcolm or Denise; but if he went there with Lisa and anyone else still in the game, he could leave a much richer man.

1. Denise Stapley (3) – Considering that Abi has turned on Denise and could poison a jury if she gets voted out, this is a risky #1 pick. However, what just can’t see some of the jurors ignoring what she brings to the table. She’s proven to be a challenge warrior, she works hard at camp, and you have to be sure that as a therapist, she will be soft-spoken and answer questions well in front of a jury.

Do you think either Carter or Abi-Maria will be used as a swing vote in this game, or are these two in your mind really just easy dump-offs? Be sure to vote for your pick to win in the poll below, and you can read our “Survivor: Philippines” interview with Penner here.

Photo: CBS

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