Not only has Sierra Thomas been near the top of our weekly power rankings since the start of “Survivor: Game Changers,” but she also became the self-anointed “new sheriff in town” two weeks ago at the start of the merge. However, last week her fortunes changed after Sarah Lacina blindsided Sierra’s alliance of six and sent Debbie Wanner to the jury, leaving Sierra in a new minority alliance with overwhelming 5/4 odds of being eliminated next. How did Sierra go so quickly from the top to the bottom and can she work her way back up before being voted out? Below is my analysis of Sierra’s game as well as those of a few other players at the bottom, so be sure to update your “Survivor 34” predictions in our weekly event after reading my take on their strategies.
Since the merge, Sierra has been pegged by the other players as the most powerful person in the game — both Cirie Fields and Andrea Boehlke made note of it to Sarah in hopes that she’d turn against the alliance of six. Their argument to Sarah was that Sierra and Brad Culpepper were at the top of the food chain in that alliance, having the most control over other members Troyzan Robertson, Tai Trang and Debbie, leaving Sarah on the bottom with no room to maneuver should they all last to the final six. Sarah’s betrayal last week leaves the remaining four members of the alliance in a new minority among the group, but because Sierra had already been labeled as a leader of that group, her head will come to the chopping block first.
Knowing that Brad was closer to Tai and Troyzan than she was, Sierra’s long term plan was to side with Sarah and Debbie, but now Debbie is gone and Sarah has (seemingly) cut ties, leaving Sierra with few avenues of escape. Her best chance going forward will be to reach out to Zeke Smith who came to her a few weeks ago proposing to take out Andrea, but he, too, lacks options and should be wary of jumping ship just to create a 5-5 tie.
Zeke betraying the group he worked with last week (Sarah, Andrea and company) wouldn’t come as that much of a surprise though. Zeke’s desperation to make a big move and become a decision-maker rather than a follower has strained his relationships with almost everyone in the game. He’s been vulnerable to elimination since he threw Andrea under the bus, this week he comes in just behind Sierra with 3/1 odds of being voted out.
Andrea is also on the chopping block (9/1 odds of elimination) as one of the remaining immunity challenge threats left. But if Andrea can maintain her relationships with Sarah, Cirie and Aubry Bracco (and Michaela Bradshaw by way of Cirie) then she should be safe. Her weak spot is if this week’s vote does in fact come down to a tie — if that happens the other side of things is loaded with hidden idols (Tai has two, Troyzan has one) that could be used to nullify the tie and send Andrea home. Sarah has a newly acquired advantage of her own, an extra vote, which if she knows there will be a tie she could use to protect her side of things, but I doubt she’d be willing to use it so soon to protect someone other than herself.
Get a closer look at the Season 34 contestants by clicking through our cast photo gallery. In our “Survivor” predictions center, you get to answer the following questions before each episode airs on CBS every Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET.:
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