‘Survivor’ 35 episode 5 predictions: After playing his immunity idol, Joe Mena is next on the chopping block

In a surprising tribal council on last week’s episode of “Survivor,” Joe Mena managed to correctly use his hidden immunity idol in order to protect himself and send Alan Ball home from the new Levu tribe. Now idol-less, on a divided tribe and not fully trusted by his closest ally Desi Williams, Joe has the biggest target on his back at Levu and is our consensus prediction to be eliminated next with overall 5/6 odds. Did Joe play too hard too fast, or can he overcome the odds to play another day? Read my thoughts on Joe’s chances and more in our rundown of the current odds in our weekly contest for episode 5, “The Past Will Eat You Alive.”

Before the tribe switch, Joe was already the target of his fellow Healers after Cole Medders decided his hidden immunity idol made him too powerful. Luckily for Joe the Healers avoided tribal council in the first three episodes and when swapped to Levu with Desi, his risky plan to attract negative attention in order to use his idol worked. Unfortunately, in doing so, Joe painted an even bigger target on his back, specifically with Desi, who worried that he drew unwanted negative attention to her game as well. I suspect that if faced with the potential of going to rocks at a 2-2 tie at Levu, Desi will be inclined to turn on Joe and agree to Devon Pinto and Ashley Nolan that she’ll join them to vote him out. This might not be such a bad idea for Desi, especially since her stronger bonds are with the other former Healers who she can hope to rejoin later in the game.

Three of those Healers hold the majority at the new Yawa camp, leaving Ben Driebergen and Lauren Rimmer on the outs. We’ve predicted Lauren for elimination in the last three episodes, and though she’s survived so far we’ve got her second in the running to go next with 15/2 odds. Alternately, if the new Soko loses immunity, Roark Luskin, someone many predicted pre-season as an eventual winner, could be voted with 16/1 odds. At Soko, Roark is seemingly caught between two former Hustlers and two former Heroes, but Ryan Ulrich was able to bridge that gap last week when he connected with Chrissy Hofbeck with regard to the special advantage he anonymously sent to her in the premiere. This could spell doom for Roark’s hopes of being the swing vote.

Ryan has played a very smart game so far, as has Chrissy, so the beginnings of an alliance between them has propelled most users to predict Ryan as the new frontrunner to win. We’re giving him 5/4 odds there, far ahead of Ali Elliott and Chrissy, his two allies at Soko, who each have 6/1 odds currently. Coming in behind them are Ben, an odd man out at Yawa, with 12/1 odds and Jessica Johnston, his new tribe mate, with 14/1 odds. Not surprisingly, Soko and Yawa are expected to earn safety this week, though they may split wins for reward and immunity. We’re giving Yawa 8/15 odds of winning reward and Soko 1/1 odds of winning immunity while Levu is predicted to lose both.

We’ll see how it all plays out on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.

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.

More News from GoldDerby