Survivor: Kaôh Rōng Power Rankings Round 1

Last season, Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance, was one of the most competitive editions of Survivor in the show’s 16 year history, and that competitive spirit crossed over into our Power Rankings here at Inside Survivor, as three of our contributors went head to head each week, with Rob Brodeur ultimately coming out on top.

This season, for Survivor: Kaôh Rōng – Brains vs Beauty vs Brawn, things are set to get even more competitive as we welcome a brand new line-up of power rankers to Inside Survivor, including two of the players that made Survivor: Cambodia such a hotly contested season.

First up we have the old schooler with the new school mentality, two-time Survivor player and hater of peanut butter, Jeff Varner. Next up is the sneaky-sneaky fourth place finisher and queen of idols herself, Kelley Wentworth. Last, and let’s face it, least, is me, Martin “Redmond” Holmes, as I try to see if my knowledge as a Survivor superfan can compete with two experienced Survivor veterans.

The Rules

Each week the three power rankers will create separate rankings based on least likely to most likely to be eliminated. The ranking of the player who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the three rankers will earn. For example, if Anna was voted out in Episode 1, Jeff would receive one point, Kelley would receive two points, and Martin would receive nine points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the Survivor: Kaôh Rōng Power Rankings Champion.


If the player ranked in 1st place finds an idol you gain 10 points.
If the player ranked in last place isn’t eliminated but receives a vote(s) against them you gain 5 points.
If the player ranked in 1st place wins individual immunity you gain 10 points (post-merge).

Disclaimer: Round 1 is a practice round and points earned will not be added to the overall scores.

Survivor: Kaôh Rōng Power Rankings Round 1

JeffPic KelleyPic MartinPic
Score: 0
Score: 0
Score: 0
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1. She has all the skills and she seems very nice and unassumingly smart. She must be calm and cool and able to think quickly on her feet, then act on it. She says all the right things and just feels like a winner to me. 1. He claims he’s most like Russell Hantz, but will he emerge as a disliked villain or will he instead come off as the charming guy who controlled his way to the Final Tribal Council? 1. Unless it rains Day 1 and she melts because she doesn’t like getting wet, then I see no reason why she shouldn’t be a major contributor to her tribe. She’s a grafter, she’ll get stuck into camp life and challenges and will probably bond well with everyone on her tribe apart from perhaps Alecia.
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2. Quirkiness is very attractive. She seems warm and fun and carefree, which is important out there. She could be an early boot, but I’ve evolved on her a bit. I think her energy and irreverence could serve her well. 2. As long as she plays her cards right (ahhh see what I did there?)… 2. She looks like she could beat up her entire tribe if she wanted to… and me if I say anything mean about her. Her strict health and fitness regime for her bodybuilding career isn’t going to like the coconut and clams diet. But that’s a later game problem, the first three days she should be fine.
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3. There’s a coolness to him I like. He’s like weird groovy. I dig that in a person. He and Aubry should mesh. I feel like he has all the tools necessary to fit in quickly and exist for a while without threatening people. 3. Despite the fact I’m not usually a fan of sorority girls, pageant girls, cheerleaders, blah blah, you get the idea… I like Julia, and am really hoping she emerges as a power player, rather than the dreaded coattail rider. 3. Neal has the sort of job that a five year old would dream up and for that he’s ultimately a winner in life. Whether he can scoop up allies like he scoops up ice cream remains to be seen. But I think he knows not to come on too strong in the beginning and that’ll allow him to fit into an early majority.
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4. My initial instinct was he would be mean. But the more I’ve read on him, the more I feel he might be America’s new sweetheart. Probst seems to really like him and references his family in that description. So I think he’ll be that guy everyone loves. 4. Did he mention being sneaky in his bio?! SOLD. Go Darnell! Unleash those Sneaky Sneaky ways! 4. The rugged bounty hunter/devoted family man. He’s essentially a big teddy bear… if that teddy bear was Lotso from Toy Story 3. There’s definitely an evil side to him. But is it evil genius like Tony or evil stupidity like Russell? Either way I don’t see him being targeted off the bat.
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5. I really like her. Probst says she has an energy that attracts you to her and I feel that. I feel like she’ll do really well and maybe become that nice girl people are afraid will ultimately win, so they vote her out. 5. This woman is as alpha as they come. So long as she doesn’t treat the camp like a construction site, I have high hopes for her. 5. She has a natural likeability that radiates from her in her CBS video. She doesn’t come across immediately threatening either. Looking at the Beauty tribe I don’t see why anyone would target her first unless one of them is secretly Lord Voldemort.
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6. He’s been one of my wildcards. It’s clear he’s super funny. And I know how humor helps you through that experience so I think he’ll be around awhile just because people really like him. 6. Dear lord please don’t let all of her confessionals revolve around how smart she is. 6. Doctor Peter might spend more time handing out medical care (ObamaCare? Too easy) on this season than he does playing the game. He looks like the most “normal” (boring?) member of the Brains tribe and that’ll probably bode well early on until eventually people start to see him as a threat.
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7. While he risks being super annoying, he’s very entertaining and could end up being their television — somebody fun to watch. He performs. I think he might grate on a few nerves because he is a lot, so they may cut him loose to get a little silence. 7. I’m rooting for Tai, and hope to be invited to a dinner party in the future, therefore I refuse to put him any lower down in the rankings. 7. Remember how Rudy used to threaten his allies that if they back-stabbed him they’d be in trouble because he had “friends back home”? Joe is one of Rudy’s friends. Let that sink in. If I were the Brains tribe I’d be scared to vote him. Also, Joe isn’t a stereotypical Survivor “old guy”, he’s rocking a James Clement body with a Tom Westman haircut (photoshop it!).
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8. She may be an early boot for being so young. But she also possesses an intellect and toughness, plus she feels fun and likeable. So though the risk is there in my gut for her to be out first or second, I think people will like her and keep her around. 8. JOE?! OMG, it’s Joe! He’s back for a third… Oh wait. Pardon the excitement, for a second I was trying to imagine what it feels like to be a tween on social media when you hear the words “Survivor” and “Joe” in the same sentence. 8. Nick’s about as authentic as a Dolce and Gabbana purse on a flea market stall. The thing is, people buy those purses, and my fear is people will buy into Nick’s bulls**t. Plus he’s young, strong and fit, so unless he’s Garrett’d (not garrotted, although who knows on this season of death), he’ll probably be safe for a while.
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9. See Julia. He could be annoying and seen as a threat because of his Big Brother success. He’ll stick around for the challenges, but I don’t think they’ll leave him in place long enough to do any significant damage. 9. Is she a leader or a follower? No idea. What I do know is that we both have names that 90% of people will spell wrong. I understand the struggle, girl. 9. She has a ton of pre-season hype and we all know that often leads to disappointment (*cough* Worlds Apart). Most of the hype is because she’s a poker player. Jean-Robert Bellande is a poker player, and a 22 year old flight attendant ran rings around him on Survivor. There’s potential for her to break the poker-pro on Survivor curse but she could also be the new So Kim.
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10. She will be very valuable in challenges. And you can tell she’s full of personality. So I think we will like her. I think she could fall into that early-jury physical threat person and be a target because of her strength. 10. While he was in his condo watching YouTube videos and going on and on about Obama, the other people were actually preparing for the show. 10. I wonder if Aubry’s luxury item is a box of crayons so she can write her votes in different colours every tribal council? She’s a little quirky which could be a problem but on this Brains tribe it shouldn’t be a big deal. Unless she’s the sole reason the Brains lose the first challenge then I don’t think she’ll be in much danger.
LizPic AubryPic LizPic
11. She’s still my wildcard. She’s certainly beautiful. And she’s super smart. But smart people like you to know they’re smart and I sense a little of that from her. I like her, but I think she might rub a few the wrong way. 11. She has a crayon fetish. She wrote a children’s story about a manatee. If I didn’t know otherwise I would assume she’s a 1st grade teacher. I’m starting her out in the middle of the pack because I need to see how she interacts with her tribe in Episode 1. 11. On paper Liz ticks all the right boxes – much like every test she has ever taken in her life. But I wonder if her superior smarts and slightly robotic way of talking will make it hard for people to relate on a human level. Actually, are we sure Liz isn’t the voice of Siri? “Siri, will Liz be good at Survivor?” “Sorry, I cannot compute Survivor.”
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12. I hope he connects with a good group early and is instrumental in the challenges because his age will be an issue for some. While I think he’ll hang out a little while, I don’t see him as someone they’ll allow to get too far as his mere age will make him a sentimental favorite. 12. I couldn’t even get through his entire bio. I can just see him rattling on around the campfire while everyone else rolls their eyes and waits for him to stop discussing how successful his ice cream business is. *Yawn* 12. She might only be 18 but Julia’s one of the most articulate young people Survivor has ever cast. If Beauty loses, her age could be an easy excuse for a first boot but I think the way she carries herself isn’t going to make people view her as a “child” – especially if Caleb is in the jungle “judy-chopping” trees.
PeterPic CydneyPic ScotPic
13. See Liz. You can tell he’s smart and he knows it. Probst calls him cocky. So they’ll keep him around long enough to win some challenges and then get rid of him to likely teach him a lesson. 13. Girl has a rocking body. A rocking body needs a lot of fuel to keep it going. She’s basically going to face the same issues as Caleb. 13. Much like the NBA, the cameras are always rolling on Survivor, so Scot should realise that any embarrassing thing he does will be seen by millions at home, including kids. He’s definitely more Gary Hogeboom than John Rocker, but he could also be a Jimmy Johnson if people bring wealth into it as an easy first boot option.
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14. She’s gonna fight. I just feel it. Some people are nice and can play mean. Some people are mean and play nice. While I appreciate her beauty, and hope she does well, she feels to me like she could be the latter. I’m going to say she’s on the early boot side. 14. Remember all those times the Big Brother houseguests complained about being on slop? Yeah, Caleb, you have NO IDEA. Living off 1/4 cup of rice per day is going to be tough for this muscle bro. On another note, can we discuss that BMC belt? 14. Hello, Darnell. The last postal worker to play Survivor was Dan Foley and we all know how that turned out. However, Darnell seems more personable and easy-going than Dan ever did, but that doesn’t mean he’ll make it as far. I worry that Darnell isn’t alpha enough for this Brawn tribemates and it could put him on the outs.
JenniferPic ScotPic TaiPic
15. I feel like she might try and take control, order people around and push some buttons. While that will be fun to watch, her safety will determine on who she works with. I think the guys will like her, but I think this is a woman’s season to win. So the girls may get rid of her and I feel like quickly. 15. Once upon a time a wealthy professional athlete won the title of Sole Survivor. Oh, actually, nope. I hope he has as much fun on the pre-jury trip as John Rocker did. 15. I want Tai to rule over this season and become the Tai-minister of Kaoh Rong, and if he has time to integrate I’m sure he can. My worry is an early challenge loss resulting in him being made a scapegoat due to his age and stature. Maybe he can just hide up a tree if Beauty loses? You can’t vote him out if you can’t find him, right?
ScotPic AleciaPic CalebPic
16. He should be good in challenges, but he’ll also be a target for his success. It’s sad, but true. They’ll know he won’t need the money, so if he rubs them wrong at all (and I absolutely think he will), he’ll be gone. 16. This “Daddy’s Girl” is going to be her own worst enemy in this game. That big ol’ mouth is gonna get her booted early. 16. I think Caleb’s gonna make a coconut phone, not in a tribute to Greg Buis, but in an attempt to keep updated with his 300k Twitter followers. He isn’t there for the game. He could be kept for challenge strength, but most challenges end with a puzzle and I can’t see him being a huge help in that area unless the puzzle is “Guess the Instagram filter”.
DebbiePic DebbiePic AleciaPic
17. I’m sure a lovely woman and I hope she does well. She’s done so much in her life that she’ll be interesting, but likely more irritating. In that early phase where people don’t truly know you yet, I feel like she’s that one who won’t fit in being an easy early target. 17. One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong… 17. Alecia is a world traveller, which could be good experience for Survivor, or it could mean Cambodia is just another stamp in her passport. I don’t get the impression that she’s here for the game – does she even realise it’s a game? She seems the obvious odd one out on the Brawn tribe and easy first boot fodder.
NickPic NickPic AbiPic
18. If this guy is a nice man, he certainly doesn’t care to show that to you. In all I’ve seen, I just see smug, arrogant and unable to hide it. I hope it’s editing. He just seems insincere to me, and as Vytas found out, that’s never serves you in the first three days. 18. Many years ago I went on a date with a dude who could have been Nick’s clone – ego and all. That didn’t last long, and neither will Nick’s time on the island. Best case for this guy is the Beauty tribe winning, because I can’t imagine a scenario where the three Beauty ladies tolerate his “You should feel blessed to be in my presence” attitude for more than a couple days. 18. There’s nothing I want more than for Debbie to maul the competition, smearing her enemies blood across her tiger-faced swimsuit as she ascends to the ranks of the Survivor elite. But if the Brains lose first, and I think they will, I’m not sure she has time to integrate herself. She’s the safe option. Then again, if this Brains tribe is anything like the last one, all bets are off.

Agree? Disagree? Let Jeff, Kelley, and Martin know on Twitter.

Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

One response to “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng Power Rankings Round 1”

  1. I enjoyed reading this last season so I thought i’d get in on the action. This is more like how Safe I think they are after the first episode not how I think they will do in the end. So Kyle is most safe and Aubry least

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