Of the nine players left in “Survivor: Island of the Idols,” we think only FIVE have an actual shot at joining the winner’s list. This handful of castaways have been adept at playing the game from a social standpoint, which means they all have a great shot at winning over the eventual jury. Below we break down our thoughts on those five players in our latest “Survivor” power rankings. In another article we discuss the four we think have no shot at winning Season 39. Do you agree or disagree?
1. Tommy Sheehan – 9/2 odds
In talking with friends throughout the season I’ve found that “Tommy is going to win” is the most polarizing conversation to have. On one hand, the edit has rarely focused on him and his personal journey and hasn’t always cared about showing him in a positive light. On the other hand, out of everyone left in the game–one I’d still characterize as a season of overplayers–he has the least amount of barriers blocking his way to getting to the end and/or the jury voting for him. In his favor is his closeness with Lauren, a pair other players have tried unsuccessfully to separate, and with Janet. He was also able to be in the group that convinced Elaine to switch sides and oust Missy Byrd last week so it would seem his social connections run deep and have formed a strong alliance heading in to the final stretch.
2. Janet Carbin – 4/1 odds
3. Elaine Stott – 4/1 odds
Janet and Elaine, though very different as people, have remarkably similar pros and cons in their chances of winning. On the pro side, they’re both jumping alliances at the right time and with the right people, leaving them in a secure spot now with Tommy, Dan and I think Lauren. They’re also extremely likable and it will be easy for anyone on the jury to want to reward either of them. But that is also their con because getting to the end is always difficult when people think they can’t beat your social game. Elaine is most at risk in that department because she was singled out as a threat to win because of her personality in the first episode. Janet’s a little more safe there, but not by much and I think at the end of the day she will have earned some good will through the Dan misconduct topic, especially with jurors like Kellee Kim and Jamal Shipman.
4. Karishma Patel – 14/1 odds
When Karishma was the easy vote everyone agreed on, but Missy went home instead one of the most important revelations was Missy telling Karishma she wanted to go to the end with her as she walked out of tribal council. I had already been speculating to what extent Karishma was everyone’s ideal goat, but there it was basically confirmed. As the player that everyone sees as undeserving of even being in the game still, Karishma is going to have a hard time getting this particular jury to vote for her to win, but the fact that everyone is willing to “drag her” to the finals means that she is going to have a fighting chance at it. And now that she’s the only player in the game currently in possession of a secret idol she has the opportunity to prove that she can make smart, strategic moves deserving of the win. In fact, that most players have either wasted or misused their own idols gives Karishma the added bonus of being one of very few players this season that could use one correctly.
5. Lauren Beck – 11/2 odds
Lauren is an interesting case because I think in any other season she might be one of the strongest players and candidates for a win–she made a big move early in the game, has maintained a steady two-person alliance with Tommy without being to showy about it, and has also remained low key enough to not have a big target on her back. But even with all of that her arc as a good player is canceled out by the dominance of overplaying this season and by the big personalities and social conversations that have been a focus of the season. In the end, I think Lauren really only gets to the end if she does it with Tommy and I can’t see her beating him there since even Missy, who tried desperately to get Lauren on her side, sees Tommy as the decision-maker in that pair. Put her up against two other players without Tommy in the mix and she has a fighting chance.
SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘Survivor’?
Be sure to make your predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs on CBS. You’ll compete to win a spot on our Season 39 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.