The finale of Survivor 44 is just around the corner, and only six castaways remain as we head into next week’s penultimate episode. Looking back at my post-merge rankings, four of my top-six picks are still around (Carson, Heidi, Yam Yam, and Carolyn), while Jaime and Lauren (my lower-ranked players) are still hanging in there.
But who is in the best position to take the Sole Survivor title? That’s what I will be looking at today in these updated power rankings of the six remaining players, organized from most likely to least likely to win. You can check out the previous post-merge rankings here and premiere power rankings here.
1. Carolyn (⬆️ from 5)
I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a castaway as unabashedly themselves as Carolyn. Her approach to the game is raw and unfiltered; she isn’t afraid to show emotion or vulnerability. Those things can often be detrimental in Survivor, but Carolyn has made it work. Her brutal honesty and oddball quirks are part of her charm and have even drawn admiration from her fellow players. On top of that, she’s savvier than she lets on, and others are starting to realize (and even appreciate) that, which could result in a winning game if she makes it to the final tribal council.
2. Yam Yam (⬆️ from 3)
If it’s not Carolyn, it must be one of the other former Tika members. This entire season has been the story of the Tika Three and how they came into the merge outnumbered but maneuvered themselves into a power position. Yam Yam himself went from an early merge target to a player loaded with social capital. His humor and warm personality have won him friends across tribal lines. Put this man in front of the jury; he’ll have them eating out of his hands. The question is whether the other five will let him get there.
3. Carson (⬇️ from 1)
Perhaps the more levelheaded member of the Tika Three, Carson has played an excellent game from the middle position, operating behind the scenes and telling the right kind of lies to advance himself. The issue is others are starting to catch onto his strategy, which will make his path to the end much more difficult than his two closest allies.
4. Heidi (⬇️ from 2)
I was pretty high on Heidi earlier in the season, even with her limited edit. She had strong allies and a solid read on the dynamics. But these past couple of weeks haven’t been her best. Even though she found an idol, she wound up on the wrong side of the Frannie vote last week and the Danny vote this week. It seems her tribemates don’t trust her or particularly respect her game. Still, if she can make a splash with that idol soon, there is still hope.
5. Lauren (⬆️ from 10)
With one of the quieter edits of the season, it’s hard to see how Lauren is winning this game. She’s had a couple of sweet moments, in particular, her immunity challenge win and the heartfelt letter from home from her dad. But we’ve never been given a true sense of her strategy or her path to the end.
6. Jaime (⬆️ from 8)
Jaime is a fun character, always upbeat and soaking in the experience. But her entire story arc has been about her terrible reads on the game, especially with her fake idol (which she believed was real). Every time Jaime thinks she’s moved one step ahead, the rug is pulled from under her. Don’t get me wrong; she’d be an entertaining winner! But unless she has some strong juju in that magic wand of hers, I don’t see it happening.
Eliminated Survivors and their previous rankings: Matt (9), Brandon (7), Kane (6), Frannie (4), and Danny (11).