After two weeks (that’s six episodes) of “Australian Survivor: Blood V Water,” the week 1 King Khanh Ong lives to fight another day after Alex Frost quits, saving Khanh from a possible blindside elimination. For all you “Survivor” fans who aren’t able to watch, Gold Derby recapped this week’s episodes — Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6 — and we’ll be covering the show all throughout the season. To help keep you up to speed on what’s going down Down Under, we’ll also be providing weekly power rankings of the players still in the hunt to become Australia’s ninth “sole survivor.”
This season is modeled after the 27th and 29th editions of the main franchise in that it features pairs of players connected by blood, all in the hopes of answering the age-old question: Is blood truly thicker than water? On Day 1, host Jonathan LaPaglia split those pairs up between two tribes: the Red tribe representing blood and the Blue tribe representing water. And after six tribal councils and a tribe-jump for one ousted player, 19 players are left in the game.
Below is our assessment of Khanh’s Blue tribe, which went to tribal council once this week, but did not have to vote anyone out. Instead, Alex left the game voluntarily due to his ongoing back issues. The moment of Alex quitting came right before the Blue tribe was set to put in motion a plan to either flush out Khanh’s idol or blindside eliminate him entirely. Though Khanh gleaned a plan might be in place, it was unclear if he had planned to use his idol that night or if a majority of the tribe was even going to act on their plan. Their other option was to vote out Sophie Cachia who jumped to their tribe from Red in a twist at episode 4’s tribal council.
SEE Everything to know about ‘Australian Survivor: Blood V Water’
Check out our power rankings of the 10 remaining players on the Blue tribe below. (Warning: this article contains spoilers for what has already aired!)
1. Khanh Ong
Even though there was a plan in place to take a strike at King Khanh, all signs point to him remaining the toughest competitor and biggest threat among the Blue tribe. He has not only proven himself time and time again in challenges, but on the day they were set to go to tribal council Khanh was self-aware enough to recognize that there were conversations being held at camp that he wasn’t a part of. That is the first clue that he may be targeted because when you aren’t part of the plan, you are the plan. Khanh knew this and was considering using his idol to save himself, torn between that need to stay in the game, but desire to hold on to the idol out of trust with the people he wants to believe he can trust. With a tribe swap coming, any plan to oust Khanh can’t possibly happen in the same way it was going to so new alliances and plans will have to be built from scratch to dethrone the king.
2. Kate “KJ” Austin
3. Alanna “Nina” Twine
Though everyone was/is tied to a loved one in the game, KJ and Nina find themselves in the unique positions of having pairs that have such huge targets on their backs. KJ has already discovered how much heat that brings to her own table once Sophie came over to Blue, but her handling of Sophie’s abrasiveness was truly expert-level. She knew that she had to delicately manage Sophie’s status in the tribe by downplaying her aggressive style which came easily to KJ who is much more relaxed and natural. This bodes well for KJ’s composure as she progresses through the game and suggested that she might be willing to sacrifice Sophie if she has to in order to further herself in the game. On the same token, Nina is going to fight an uphill battle because of Sandra until Sandra leaves and with a tribe swap on the horizon this could mean disaster for both of their games. Nina has shown a lot of finesse in maneuvering through the game so far and it looks like she may continue that into a swap where she has to reckon more directly with how her mom’s status is impacting her own game.
SEE How to watch ‘Australian Survivor: Blood V Water’
4. Mark Wales
5. Christine “Chrissy” Zaremba
6. Shayelle “Shay” Lajoie
7. Jordie Hansen
8. Melissa “Mel” Chiang
9. Josh Millgate
Across the board, the Blue tribe has acted relatively uniformly through their tribal councils. Mark is clearly at the top of an alliance as the alpha male of the tribe and with the experience of being a veteran player, but Chrissy is managing the social aspect of the game really well. Below them are four players that seem to be going along with the flow and an “as long as it’s not me” attitude that can be successful. Shay had some heat on her when attached to Briana Goodchild, but that has more or less washed away. Further more, because Alex quit Shay didn’t have to use her idol, which she had planned to do just to get rid of the stigma, so she’ll go into the swap with some extra power.
10. Sophie Cachia
Look, there isn’t a lot of positive to say about Sophie’s play so far–she’s been cocky, abrasive, reactionary and delusional, to say the least. After a complete blindside by her original tribe, the jump to Blue wasn’t much of a blessing for Sophie because of how tight the group already was. KJ knew that her sister was a liability to her own game so even she knew there wasn’t much she could do to save her from being an easy vote. But to make a poor situation worse, when faced with the opportunity to be among the tribe that voted her out, Sophie decided to damage all of her prior relationships by demanding loyalty and pledges of retaliation against the people that blindsided her. Her one time ally Jordan Schmidt was really put off by Sophie’s attitude so it will be interesting to see if there’s any room for Sophie to find herself back into the game after a swap shuffles her options around.