‘Survivor’ 37 power rankings: Mason-Dixon allies Christian Hubicki and Nick Wilson on top after first tribe swap

Wednesday night the castaways of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” saw a second player leave the game prematurely due to injury before dropping their buffs and being sorted into three all new tribes. In the random draw, former Goliaths maintained their supposed dominance by lucking into a 3-2 majority on all three tribes. Shockingly, however, Alec Merlino gave power to the former Davids of the Vuku tribe when he flipped on Natalia Azoqa, voting her out and making room for exiled Carl Boudreaux to assume her spot and give the Davids the 3-2 majority at that camp.

How will Alec’s bold stupid move shake up the game going forward? It’s all a matter of how the Goliaths on the other tribes react to the news that one of their own flipped and whether that encourages them to do the same in their own new tribes. Below I take a closer look at Alec’s bone-headed move and how he and the other 14 castaways stack up post-tribe swap.

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Agree or disagree with my power rankings? Comment with your own below and be sure to sound off about what I’m wrong about!

1. Christian Hubicki – Tiva / David
2. Nick Wilson – Jabeni / David

On paper it must seem odd that I’m ranking Christian and Nick, two former Davids swapped on to tribes where they’re now in the minority, as the current most likely winners, but hear me out. If you’re a winner’s edit truther like I am then you’d understand that these two guys are getting incredibly positive edits already. Both get a ton of screen time in every episode, including narrative confessionals, even when they aren’t in the center of a particular episode’s storyline. Take this week for example, editors took time to show both of them develop immediate social bonds with their new tribe mates — in Christian’s case he’s now working closely with Dan and John who find his quirkiness endearing and non-threatening and in Nick’s case he’s already making inroads with Mike (they’re calling themselves The Rockstars). We can expect these budding alliances to play out deeper into the game, most likely to the advantage of Christian and Nick who, I’ll remind you, have a final two alliance with each other (the Mason-Dixon alliance).

3. Mike White – Jabeni / Goliath
4. John Hennigan – Tiva / Goliath

Mike and John are also getting pretty decent edits so far and now that they’re working with Nick and Christian we can expect them to go deep in the game as well. What worries me about them is that overall the Goliaths seem like a more volatile group as a whole — they’ve now voted two members out of the game because of paranoia whereas the Davids have shown themselves to be a tight group determined to remain positive and support each other. In terms of the end game, Davids are looking much stronger because of their solid foundation. When Nick and Christian come back together at the merge, Mike and John could be in trouble. For now, they’re sitting pretty.

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5. Davie Rickenbacker – Vuku / David
6. Dan Rengering – Tiva / Goliath

So far we’ve seen two hidden immunity idols found, belonging to Davie who found his at the original David camp and Dan who found his at the original Goliath camp. The idols give both players a significant amount of power, but Davie’s a quite a bit more powerful because no one but him knows about it. Unlike Dan whose idol is pretty much common knowledge now across the entire cast, Davie managed to keep his own secret even when his back was against the wall with Elizabeth this week. Secrecy will allow Davie to consolidate the power of blindsiding his opposition in the moment he plays it, a situation that could potentially flip him from being on the bottom of the game to the top. Furthermore, Davie now finds himself in control of a David-controlled Vuku tribe so it’d be a surprise to not see him make merge at this point.

7. Elizabeth Olson – Vuku / David
8. Carl Boudreaux – Vuku / David

Due only to Alec’s flip at their tribal, Elizabeth and Carl are now in the majority on their tribe of five and so they should be safe for at least two votes. As I already said, the Davids seem to be the more loyal group so I’d be shocked to see them squander their status by voting with Alec and Kara to take out one of their own. Elizabeth gets the edge over Carl here because she’s had a more positive edit thus far, despite Carl earning (LOL at “earning” because all he did was sift through some floating coconuts!) an advantage (one I don’t find that powerful, to be honest — it takes a lot of guessing in order for it to actually work) during his time in exile.

9. Angelina Keeley – Jabeni / Goliath
10. Alison Raybould – Tiva / Goliath
11. Lyrsa Torres – Jabeni / David
12. Gabby Pascuzzi – Tiva / David
13. Natalie Cole – Jabeni / Goliath

Aside from perhaps Natalie, this entire block of women is mostly irrelevant in terms of power so far. Natalie is at the bottom because of her abrasive personality, putting her only a smidge below Gabby whose insecurity is already getting the best of her (though I will admit she was the ace of Tiva’s immunity challenge win this week). Lyrsa is easy pickings as soon as Jabeni loses an immunity challenge while both Angelina and Alison should be safe in the majority on their respective tribes.

14. Alec Merlino – Vuku / Goliath
15. Kara Kay – Vuku / Goliath

Look, I can’t stress enough how big of a mistake Alec made this week in allowing the former Davids to gain the majority vote on their tribe. What makes it even worse is that before he did it he even told Elizabeth how bad such a move would make him look to the former Goliaths on other tribes. Sadly for Kara, Alec’s move is bound to hurt her first because if they lose another immunity I imagine the Davids will save Alec both for strength and in a sense of solidarity/thanks for voting out Natalia. Furthermore, if he makes it to the merge, they can potentially use him on their side if the Goliaths do in fact shun him completely. Honestly though? I don’t think Alec will make it to the merge!

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