Let’s face it, with 17 seasons of Survivor behind us, contestants are bound to play similar games as former contestants. This season, even with lop-sided wins, the contestants are displaying strategies and techniques that we’ve seen before. There are archetypes that have been created since the first season that people have followed. Here is an analysis of what their best chances of winning look like.
Kenny: The Tactical Asian and (with Crystal) The Pair Alliance
Previous Seasons: Shii Ann (5), Yul (13); Rob/Amber (8), Aras/Cirie (12)
Analysis: The one thing I hope is that Ken doesn’t let too much power go to his head. If he stays, he needs to play a clean game. A few weeks ago he was probably slated to go, but with a strong partner in Crystal and the power to convince Sugar to vote with him, he’s been doing better. Now that he’s in Kota and has food, he can probably make smarter decisions. When the merge shows up, Ken’s best decision is to stick with Crystal and Susie and hope that Sugar and Matty come back. Ken probably should vote for Charlie or Randy next because they are the best strategists left.
Best Case Scenario: Vote off Charlie, Randy, Corrine, Matty, Bob, Sugar and have a final three consisting of himself, Crystal, and Susie or a final two with either. Hopefully Old Kota will be angry with Susie and the rest will dislike Crystal. He also can note how he helped master a lot of the moves.
Crystal: The Loudmouth/Pair Alliance
Previous Seasons: Alicia (2), Cassandra/Dreamz (14)
Analysis: Crystal has a few things going her way. She has kept her promises to Ken and confided everything to him. They have saved each other before. I really think that Crystal has been throwing challenges so she would be perceived as weak. Other times I think she got lucky being bad. If she showed any of her actual Gold Medal prowess, she’d be voted out immediately.
Best Case Scenario: Align with Ken/Susie/Matty/Sugar. Vote off Randy, Charlie, Corrine, Bob, Matty, Susie, and then have a final three of Sugar/Ken/Crystal. She may be able to split any votes between Sugar and Ken and make the votes 3-2-2 for herself. If it’s final two she probably has no shot though she should take Ken to at least look loyal.
Sugar: The Cute Girl/Hidden Immunity Wielder
Previous Examples: Colleen (1), Elisabeth (2), Neleh (4) ; Yul (13), Erik (15)
Analysis: I thought Sugar was a good player and when Ace went home, she regretted it. I think that she just needs a support partner to work with and unfortunately for her she’s stuck with Matty. If she can hold on to the idol for a week after the merge, she’s golden. If she can stick with Matty/Ken/Crystal/Susie and get rid of and Charlie/Corrine/Randy she can finagle around with Matty and Bob and see if Susie flips at the final six point, she has a chance. She also has the advantage of playing dumb and having everyone else run around her.
Best Case Scenario: Vote off Charlie, Corrine, Bob, Ken, Randy, Matty and have a final three of Herself/Crystal/Susie (or a final two with either). She can say how she played the game by voting off Ace and became her own player. Old Kota may still harbor dislike for Susie and it seems that Randy would never vote for Crystal anyway.
Charlie: The Gay Schemer
Previous Examples: Rich (1), Rafe (11), Todd (15)
Analysis: Next episode will show whether or not Charlie is a good strategist. He’s been a coat-tail rider for a while and with Marcus gone, he probably will be stuck working with Corrine. The best scenario for him is either convince Ken/Crystal to vote with him/Corrine and hope for either Susie or Sugar to be number five.
Best Case Scenario: Have him and Corrine team up with Crystal/Ken/Sugar. Vote off Randy (as a loyalty card), Matty, Bob, try flushing out Sugar’s idol but vote out Susie, then vote out Sugar, Ken and have a final three of Crystal/Corrine/Charlie (or a final two with Crystal). In that scenario Ken will vote Crystal for friendship, and the rest will probably see Charlie’s maneuvers and vote for him.
Matty: The Physical Threat
Previous Examples: Colby (2), Ethan (3)
Analysis: With the merge inevitable, this guy should just stick with his original Fang members. He probably could do an individual immunity run, but will be voted out the first chance the other contestants get. I don’t believe that Matty is a smart player. I find him passionate, but passion will only get him so far. His loyalty will be his downfall.
Best Case Scenario: Align with old Fang. Vote for Charlie, Randy, Corrine. Align with Susie, Bob, and Sugar. Vote out Ken. Convince Crystal and Sugar to vote out Bob. Vote out Sugar or have a two-episode immunity run. Have a final three with Crystal and Susie (or two with either). Convince the jurors that he was strong, loyal, and smart.
Susie: Under The Radar/The Swing Vote
Examples: Amber (2), Vecepia (4), Sandra (7), Cirie (12), Jonathan (13)
Analysis: Susie has finally gotten off the fence and made a vote that would probably help her in the long run. By being number five in an alliance of Ken/Crystal and Matty/Sugar she can fence-sit again and figure out who she can get to final three with. She seems like the only one convinced that the end will be a final three so her goal is to be the third one in.
Best Case Scenario: Stay with Ken and Crystal; hope that either Bob or Sugar/Matty vote with them. Vote out Randy, Charlie and Corrine. Align with Bob, Sugar, and Matty to get rid of Ken and Crystal. Get rid of Bob. Final three of her Sugar and Matty (or a final two with Sugar). Convince the tribe that she was cunning. Somehow split the votes for 3-2-2.
Bob: The Trustworthy Old Person
Examples – Rudy (1), Kim J. (3), Lydia (11), Yau-Man (14)
Analysis: The problem with Bob’s game at the moment is that he was quite loyal to Marcus, although he was already replaced with Randy. He should probably notice that and stay with his newly made tribe until he can make a few moves. He has the plus that he’s not perceived as a threat so he could probably fly under the radar for a little longer.
Best Case Scenario: Align with Crystal/Ken/Susie and, when merged, add Sugar. Vote out Randy, Charlie, Matty, and Corrine. Somehow get Susie and Sugar to blindside Ken. Vote off Sugar. Final three of Crystal/Susie/himself. Convince the tribe that he outwitted everyone. Split the vote as 3-3-1 between him and Susie (with Ken voting for Crystal). Hope that they don’t do anything until the live results. Time can always change perspective. He could win easily with a final two between him and Crystal.
Randy: The Crazy One
Previous Examples: Shane (12), Jonathan (13)
Analysis: Sometimes Randy comes off as a little crazy in his interviews, but it seems like he’s playing the game well enough. He doesn’t overtly say things he dislikes about the other contestants. He does dislike Crystal for some reason and will probably vote for her as soon as he can. He does well with worming his way into an alliance as he did with the onion; he might be able to pull a few more strings.
Best Case Scenario: Align with Charlie, Corrine, Sugar and Bob. Vote out Ken, and Matty. Convince the rest to vote out Charlie. Vote off Bob, Corrine then Sugar. Have a final three of Himself/Crystal/Susie or a final two with either. Hope that people don’t like Crystal or Susie.
Corrine: The Bitch
Previous Examples: Jerri (2)
Analysis: We’ve really only got Corrine complaining about Dan, then complaining about Susie. It seems that she’s decent with challenges and tight with her alliance. She probably has some ability to outwit, but we’ll see how the merge goes. If they do merge and old Fang and Susie stick together, she’s a sitting duck.
Best Case Scenario: Align with Randy, Charlie, Bob, and Matty. Hope that Susie falters in the beginning and votes with them. Flush out the immunity idol and split the votes between Sugar and Ken, the next week vote out whoever is remaining. Vote off Matty, Bob, Charlie, and Randy. Have a final three of Crystal, Susie, and herself (or a final two with Crystal). Convince the tribe that although she’s a bitch, she’s a better person than the other two.
So who has the best chance of winning? In my opinion it's probably Ken. By keeping Crystal around, he has created a backlash shield. If his alliance stays tight and they don't blindside him. He can win. I will say that we haven't seen Charlie or Corrine's game play, but I'm not expecting much from either.