handicapping the final 6 on Survivor

Survivor Season 24 is winding down and as always the show has not disappointed.  By the end of the week, there will be yet another Survivor champion crowned and there’s a 83.3% chance it’s going to be a woman.  With the final 6 being trimmed to the final 5 tonight and the finale set for Sunday, who has the best chance to win it all?

Kim – 2:1

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Is Kim playing a perfect game?  We’ve seen attempts at Survivor perfect games before with the likes of JT and Boston Rob.  Even Russel was playing a perfect game twice before it was broken up in the 9th both times as he lost out to his closest allies, Parvati and Natalie.  All of them manipulated their tribemates to do exactly what they wanted – but I have never seen anyone do it quite like Kim.  She’s controlling the game and everyone adores her.  She will have to make some tough decisions (including the one she made last week in voting off Kat, who she was tight with), which could lead to some backlash against her.  As of now though, not only is she pitching a perfect game, but it feels like she’s doing it by striking out every batter.  On top of that, she still has a hidden immunity idol that she hasn’t even needed up to this point.  She is extremely athletic and a threat to win every challenge (In fact, she even admitted to holding back on some challenges so to avoid being labeled as a threat) and she is a master strategist as evidenced by the previous parenthetical note.  Finally, she is perfectly positioned to receive jury votes because although she was the mastermind behind the women’s alliance, she didn’t make that apparent to the guys before voting them off.  Unless someone realizes that she is the driver’s seat and tries to make a power move behind her back, I think this goes down as the most perfect game of Survivor ever played.

Sabrina – 7:2

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Sabrina has played a good game thus far.  She is extremely well-spoken and is one of the physically strongest players left in the game.  She didn’t have a good showing in last weeks immunity challenge which was an endurance based challenge (as most of them are towards the end of the season) but I would still take her in a physical challenge over everyone except Kim.  Although she has all of that going for her, Kim is beginning to feel threatened by Sabrina and recognizes all of these positive traits which would do her well in a final three situation.  Sabrina definitely seems capable of going toe-to-toe with Kim if need be but right now they are aligned and it seems as if Kim is thinking one step ahead of Sabrina right now.

Chelsea- 8:1

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Chelseahas been Kim’s right hand woman since Day 1.  They formed an alliance from the beginning and were instrumental in setting up the girls alliance of 6 that would decimate the guys and put them in the position they are in now.  She’s strong and can be a threat in these final immunity challenges.  On top of that she has pulled her weight around camp all season and she hasn’t burned any bridges with anyone on the jury.  Chelseahas a big heart and felt extremely guilty about lying to Troyzan in order to advance herself in the game which can come back to bite her.  When it’s down to the wire like it is, you are going to have to mislead some people to ensure that you move further.  She might realize this and be capable of making a big move to secure her place in the bottom 3 but there’s no guarantee.

Alicia – 8:1

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Alicia thinks she’s running the show, which in Survivor is always a dangerous thing.  Interestingly, she is aligned with the strongest people left in the game and seems to be interested in keeping the weakest around (people that she thinks she can beat in immunity challenges).  This makes her a candidate to make a big move sometime in the next 2 episodes and possibly overthrow Kim.  She deserves to be there based on how she has played so far but she needs to make at least one more big move if she wants the ultimate prize.  It’s interesting to think about how the game would have played out ifColtonhad not had to leave the game with appendicitis because Alicia was tightly aligned with him.  To her credit, when that happened she had to drastically change her game and adjust and she did just that.

Tarzan – 60:1

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Tarzan is one of the most eccentric contestants in Survivor history.  He’s a plastic surgeon with an impressive vocabulary and a unique perspective on the world.  As the oldest player in the game, the ladies do not view him as a physical threat (rightfully so) which explains why he is the last guy the girls decided to get rid of.  He can become an interesting swing vote when the alliance of 6 needs to break up and decide who is going to the final 3.  It seems as if he might play the card where he pretends he has mentally checked out but continues to fight hard to stay alive.  A very different, likable side of Tarzan was shown during last week’s episode when his wife came to visit and I think he is well-liked by the those on the jury.  I don’t see him winning any individual immunities but if he can start talking to some girls about using his vote to further themselves in the game, he might surprise some people with how far he advances.

Christina – 500:1

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Christina is a long shot to win it all.  A lot of people are wondering what she is still doing there and she hasn’t exactly helped herself out at some tribal councils.  She also didn’t come off as a strong competitor when she agreed to have some votes thrown her way when they were going after Troyzan.  Did she not realize that if Troyzan had an idol she’s going home?  I would have fought like crazy not have any votes thrown my way in that situation.   Even if she wins every immunity challenge left and gets to the finals (highly unlikely as she hasn’t won an individual challenge to date), I can’t see the jury giving her a million dollars. Everyone on the jury is already mad that she made it longer than they did and she doesn’t have much of an argument for how she played the game except that she rode some coattails, avoided being a target and took advantage of the fact that the girls needed a 6th to secure the numbers.

Some might argue that this season has been kind of boring because there have been no major shake-ups.  A female alliance has carried itself to the end without many betrayals or allies jumping ship.  When the female alliance of 6 was knocking off the guys one by one, the guys knew it and fought for their lives to win immunity.  If they didn’t win, tribal council was a formality.  But this season has also produced some memorable blindsides including Jay (who was a little naive in thinking the girls were with him) and Kim last week (who thought she was safely in the final 3 at the reward challenge).  I have really enjoyed this season and that is a testament to the game and how after 24 seasons, there is still a uniqueness each time that requires the well-casted players to adjust and decide what they’re best strategy is to reach the end. Season after season, the original reality show continues to be the best one on TV

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