‘Survivor’ 35 episode 9 predictions: Cole Medders and Joe Mena in danger unless the Heroes and Hustlers blindside one of their own

It still blows my mind that both Cole Medders and Joe Mena were able to escape elimination on last week’s “Survivor.” Granted, Cole won the immunity challenge we said he’d need in order to survive, but that didn’t protect Joe — he was spared by the dominating Heroes-Hustlers super alliance when they chose to oust Desi Williams instead. After the alliance forced a tie between Joe and Desi in order to flush out a possible hidden idol, they chose Desi to become the first player to join the jury. Who will follow her to Ponderosa? Our bets are again on Cole or Joe with 13/10 odds and 21/10 odds, respectively. Will one of the two Healers go home or will the super alliance turn on one of their own?

Read my thoughts on Joe and Cole’s chances of surviving this week and more in our rundown of the current odds in our weekly contest for episode 9, “Fear of the Unknown.”

Last week’s episode didn’t offer us much in the way of explaining why the super alliance chose to vote out Desi over Joe, but because Desi had won the previous week’s immunity challenge and was one of the last contenders for another we can assume that they considered her more of a challenge threat than Joe. With that in mind, we can probably also assume that if both Cole and Joe are available to be voted out this week that the alliance will send Cole packing before Joe. The biggest question is what happens if Cole wins immunity again — would Joe be the easy vote or would it present an opportunity for the Heroes and Hustlers to vote out one of their own? Right now our predictions say that Cole is third in line to win immunity at 11/1 odds, behind Devon Pinto at 4/1 and JP Hilsabeck leading at 5/4.

The idea that a Hero or Hustler could be voted out instead of a Healer is worrisome for the three players our derby has had as frontrunners to win for the last few weeks. Ryan Ulrich currently leads that race with 12/5 odds and as of last week now has a hidden idol that only one of his closest allies Chrissy Hofbeck knows about. Chrissy and fellow Hero Ben Driebergen are also contenders to win with 4/1 odds each, but Ben and Ryan haven’t formed as close of a bond with one another as we expected. Chrissy is close with both guys, but it feels like we’re being set up for a situation where she’ll have to choose between the two. That could happen this week if Ryan and Ben start to lose trust and/or control over the other’s vote.

In addition to Ryan’s hidden idol, Mike Zahalsky, a Healer that has mostly flown under the radar with the Heroes-Hustlers alliance, thanks largely to Ben and Lauren Rimmer‘s influence from their time with him on Yawa, also holds one that (I think) no one else knows about yet. It’s telling of where Mike is putting his trust that he hasn’t offered to use the idol to save one of the Healers yet, a sign that he’s thinking much more long term than short term. With two idols available to be played, we’re still predicting that neither will be used this week (2/3 odds). We have even longer odds that no one will be medevaced (1/100).

Will our combined predictions be on the money this week or are we in for yet another audience-blindside? We’ll see how it all plays out on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. on CBS. Join us for our live blog of the episode as it airs on the East Coast!

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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