‘Survivor Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites’ rankings: Who’s the top returning player?

SurvivorAs promised, today we’re kicking off our first “Survivor Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites” rankings of the entire season … but we’re doing things a little bit differently this year. Why? We found that trying to list out 18-20 in a single article was a little unwieldy, so instead we’re dividing up the two tribes by day until the merge. For the next several weeks, we will be ranking the Favorites tribe on Sundays, and then doing the same thing with the Fans the very next day.

When it comes to the Favorites, there are a lot of things that you can pretty easily about them: some are wacky, some weren’t great players the first time around, and some may already be destined to repeat some old mistakes. However, there are still a few names in here rises to the top (not named Brandon Hantz, mind you), and we’re basing this on perceived strategy, airtime, and whether or not they actually have a chance at winning the game at the end.

9. Brandon Hantz – For one, no one will ever vote for Brandon to win the game. We said before the season that he is the only person with a 0% shot, and we stand by that. Add to this the fact that he’s in a minority alliance and he seems to lose his mind next week, and the guy has either “toast” or “goat” written all over him.

8. Phillip Sheppard – Speaking of goats, here is someone who was known for that the first time around, and his trying to change the game. Yes, Phillip does have an alliance of six people … but they can get rid of him and still have a 5-3 edge. Most of the castaways left are stronger players than him physically (save for Cohcran), and we have a feeling that some may actually want him gone just to ensure more airtime for themselves.

7. Brenda Lowe – She was our pre-season pick to win it all … so what has happened since then? Really, we just chalk it up to not being a player that had as many friends going into the game, and being on the wrong end of an alliance. Brenda is a crafty player, though, and she still has time to figure this out.

6. Erik Reichenbach – Erik, on the other hand, may have his lack of craftiness be an asset. He’s not in the primary alliance, but why get rid of the guy until at least the merge? You can use him in the challenges for a while before casting him astray.

5. Andrea Boehlke – During tribal council, it was quickly exposed that not everyone trusts Andrea, and based on some contestant reaction to her online after the show, there are even less people that like Andrea. We don’t really know what it is within the game, but there is something about her that is rubbing people the wrong way.

4. John Cochran – Do we really see Cochran going home anytime soon? Given his place in the tribe, no … but if we see the Favorites continue to lose challenges, they may need to get rid of someone who will probably not help them halt the streak. We haven’t really seen much strategy from Cochran yet this season, at least save for being endearing to his tribemates.

3. Corinne Kaplan – For now, Corinne seems to be showing everyone the nice side that she displayed often early on in “Survivor: Gabon,” and not the nasty side she showed after the merge. We saw almost none of her in the premiere, but she seemed to do a good job making friends and getting into the right alliance for now. Who knows? Maybe not being on an island with Sugar has made her into a kinder, gentler human being.

2. Malcolm Freberg – Despite concerns about him being the wild card on the tribe, Francesca Hogi confirmed to us Thursday that no one even considered voting Malcolm out the first week. Now that he’s in an alliance, his physical abilities will keep him safe for a good while; and after the merge, his charm could take over.

1. Dawn Meehan – It’s not very often that we have an older woman (usually targets early in the game) #1, but Dawn is no ordinary contestant. She is in great shape physically, and more important than that, she seems to be controlling the tribe right now without anyone knowing it. She is ultimately the reason why Fran went home (as she told Cochran what to do), and she’s so likable no one will want to send her home. We wonder if anyone even realizes how dangerous Dawn is.

Who do you think is the most threatening player on the Favorites tribe? Be sure to share some of your thoughts below, and you can catch a preview for Wednesday’s new “Survivor” over at the link here.

Photo: CBS

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