‘Survivor’ 35 power rankings after tribe switch: Soko holds the most power, despite having less physical strength

Wednesday’s fourth episode of “Survivor” featured a tribe switch that randomly shifted the power around between the former Heroes, Healers and Hustlers. From here on out we can drop those personality defining monikers and instead think of the players as members of Levu (blue), Soko (yellow) and Yawa (red). On their new tribes the castaways are making new alliances and recalibrating the ties they had built at their old camps. With 14 players left in the game, the tribes are likely to remain where they are until the merge (usually at 10 or 11) so the bonds they build now will lay the groundwork for each of their roads to the finals.

With that in mind, it’s time we take a look at each of the new tribes and evaluate how strong they are in terms of survival in the game. Below, I’ve ranked each of the new tribes from most powerful to least. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my power rankings and let’s fight it out in the comments!

1. Soko Tribe (yellow):
former Hustlers Ryan Ulrich, Ali Elliott; former Heroes JP Hilsabeck, Chrissy Hofbeck; former Healer Roark Luskin

Ryan and Ali currently hold the top spots in our exclusive odds to win and based on what we’ve seen of their play so far I think there’s a lot of teeth to those predictions. Ryan has been top-notch in terms of strategy, first by building a close bond with Devon and then by extending it to Ali through two shaky tribal councils while Hustlers. Ryan lucked out big time by having Chrissy teamed up with him in the switch because he got to put into action his other smart plan by confessing to her that he was the one to bequeath the special advantage to her in the first episode. Chrissy was blown away by this bit of news from Ryan and now feels like she can trust him. I think we can now assume that a Ryan/Ali/Chrissy alliance will dominate at Soko until the merge, leaving JP and Roark vulnerable if they lose an upcoming immunity. If the topic of former bonds comes up, Roark is probably in the most hot water because the former Hustlers and Heroes will see eliminating her as a chance to neutralize the growing threat of six former Healers remaining in the game.

SEE Alan Ball (‘Survivor’ 35) chats about Joe’s immunity idol, JP & Ashley’s #IdolStripSearch, and more [PODCAST INTERVIEW]

2. Yawa Tribe (red):
former Hero Ben Driebergen; former Healers Jessica Johnston, Cole Medders, Mike Zahalsky; former Hustler Lauren Rimmer

Yawa got off to a great start by winning the first reward challenge and following it up with an easy first place finish at the immunity challenge. Even though he’s the only former Hero on his tribe, Ben is a powerhouse of strength for the tribe at challenges and is likely safe because of it. The other four on his tribe won’t know it, but allowing Ben to make the merge is highly dangerous because the chances that his closest ally, Chrissy, also makes the merge is almost 100%. If/when that happens, Chrissy will bring Ben into the fold I think she’ll form with Ryan and Ali to form a dominant, and probably secret, super alliance. If Lauren can make it to the merge with Ben, I imagine she’ll have built a bond with Ben and rejoin Ryan and Ali to make this group a solid a five. On the flip side, Jessica, Cole and Mike are coming from a Healers camp that has yet to see a member eliminated. Jessica and Cole are extremely tight together and will try to string Mike along as long as possible, but Cole’s loose lips with secrets have already become a huge liability for Jessica’s more level-headed strategy. It’s hard to say how the tribe will divide if they’re sent to tribal council as-is, but my best guess is that Jessica and Cole will protect Mike and want to keep Ben’s strength, leaving Lauren with the short end of the stick.

3. Levu Tribe (blue):
former Healers Joe Mena, Desi Williams; former Hero Ashley Nolan; former Hustler Devon Pinto

Levu had the unfortunate opportunity of being the first new tribe to vote a player out and while it could have been very easy for the two former Healers to join with the two former Heroes to eliminate Devon, they instead fought to bring Devon into each of their sides and eliminated Alan Ball. In that battle, the Heroes won, but the one-two punch of Jessica silencing Devon’s vote and Joe’s perfect use of his hidden immunity idol meant it didn’t matter. Joe stuck his neck out big time at that tribal council and while it paid off in the short term, it could leave him vulnerable going forward. Desi was frustrated by Joe’s dangerous game play and could be swayed to vote against with Ashley and Devon in order to save her own skin from possibly drawing rocks in a tie. Additionally, Joe is coming from a former Healers tribe that already didn’t trust him — Cole had already been hatching a plan to blindside him if given the chance. Needless to say, power at the Levu tribe is up for grabs and without a core alliance holding the group together they’re unlikely to perform well at challenges in order to avoid returning to tribal council in the next few episodes.

SEE exclusive odds: Who will win ‘Survivor’?

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Wednesday on CBS. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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