No More Teams! Who This Helps & Hurts (Power Rankings)
This is it. The needy greedy.
I missed my Power Rankings last week, it’s been busy! I will gloat a bit and point out that my last Rankings had Leroy/Shaleen and Gus/Jenna as the bottom two teams and...see ya.
The announcement from TJ came last night: teams are done. It’s an individual game now.
From teams to individuals: Who this helps and who it hurts the most - and this isn’t necessarily linear; it could be good for both or a little worse for one than the other.
Who this helps:
Turbo - While he has been the ultimate team player, it has been glaringly obvious from the start that Nany has been holding him back. We need not see anything more than Nany’s face when the news broke.
Turbo goes from a bottom-tier team to one of the top dogs overnight. Nany didn’t face an elim all season. Why? Fear of this guy. I’m very interested in seeing Turbo on his own.
Da’Vonne - Nothing against Bear, I love the dude. But he’s been drama, and has caused her to have to fight to stay in the game multiple weeks because of his antics.
Also, take a realistic look at the female landscape: with Kam gone this week, is Day the strongest female physically in the house? I know Cara fans will scream, and they may be right to, but I think it’s no secret that Cara has been on the wrong side of her peak for a year or so. Can Da’Vonne cement herself as another Big Brother stud in this game?
Mattie & Ninja - The correct answer to the question above (best female) may be right here. While Ninja hasn’t really done much lately individually to impress, we still all know her strengths. And Mattie certainly has the size to be a complete force.
The real story here is that both of these women have been playing their partners game - and more specifically - their partners vengeance. Ninja & Mattie are now able to shed the baggage and move on in this game.
Who This Hurts:
Kyle - A bit of an interesting case in that Kyle has been very solid. That said, just as he pointed out, the entire house of ladies is terrified of Mattie. Without her as a partner, he doesn’t have the protection she’s provided all season.
Dee - This one is pretty obvious. Wes has been running the house, and Dee has been along for the ride. That said, she stepped it up during the swimming challenge and their showdown with Zach & Zahida, but not having Wes orchestrate her moves will start to expose.
Cara Maria - I know I know, she won a couple seasons ago. But Cara just hasn’t been that fierce competitor we saw leading up to Vendettas (and I’m including Vendettas - perhaps the most underwhelming win of all time). Theo is young, likable, and part of a very good Brit alliance. Does the house choose to part ways with the weaker half of what has become an annoying Paulie/Cara roommate situation?
We’ve seen Theo’s long legs and track background help, and his length practically hand the last Tribunal spot to the duo. I predict we see an unsuspecting Cara get knocked out by a very strong group of women still in this game.
TitFC’s 1st Individual Rankings & Odds to Win:
1. Paulie 7/2
Here’s one example of the sum not necessarily being better than the whole. Look, it was almost unfair to have Paulie and Ninja tied together. He’s my top guy, she’s my top girl. That’s almost always a recipe for success, and they handled this game with little stress. As individuals, are they weaker? No. And they might be stronger. As good as Ninja is at almost everything, she really hasn’t shown anything special recently —and I think Paulie wins those dailies with or without her. He’s the real deal - and the only two things going against him are his pride and his threat level.
2. Wes 3/1
So this is a bit awkward. I’ve always been anti-Wes. It all started years and years ago, when you really couldn’t like Kenny and Wes. And since I’m not a total fucking goober, I chose Kenny all day. It rolled into my choosing Bananas over Wes later; and Wes purposely throwing Challenges for his team always rubbed me the wrong way. NOTE: If you’re looking to watch Wes’ smirk slowly fall from his face over the course of 10ish episodes, watch Kenny & Laurel v Wes & Evelyn & the house in Fresh Meat 2. The best season ever.
Oh ya, back to Wes. He’s been good this season. Real good. If you’re a casual watcher, you probably don’t realize how good. He’s dominated socially. He’s got a willing puppy in Hunter, and he’s always down to play with whomever will listen. He has sneakily infiltrated every crack. If Wes wins this, I can’t help but respect the dude - even if I don’t like him.
3. Ninja 6/1
I’m going to be completely transparent here: this spot feels more appropriate for Turbo. I could say that I didn’t want to have the top three be men, and that would be sorta true. But not necessarily because I feel it’s wrong or not “PC.” My reasoning being that, in an individual final (ie Vendettas), the games are a lot more endurance and evened out. Turbo is an all-around competitor, sure, but I don’t think we should omit Ninja from this spot. She can run, jump, hang, etc. And before I get the hate...she gets the nod over Cara because not only do I strongly believe Cara to be strictly physically strong, I also believe her to be wildly un-athletic — and an absolute liability in anything that may have water.
I think exactly no one would be surprised to see Ninja not only make a final, but cross the finish line first.
4. Turbo 6/1
We have pretty much seen Turbo do everything. He’s strong, he’s fast, he’s charming, good with people. He gets a weekly Mortal Kombat fireball edit. I don’t like spoilers but we do see him absolutely physically gassed in this weeks’ challenge...one of the first signs of personal weakness from him. He seems built to run a final, and run it effectively.
5. Theo 7/1
We are starting to get into that area where you say names like Theo and Kyle, and they could be top-five as well. I think it’s a testament to how strong this cast is, especially considering how many stars went home early.
Theo has been the stronger half of his team all season, single-handedly putting them in the Tribunal last week based on his size and reach alone. I don’t see many flaws in his game, other than never playing before. Interesting how the Brit alliance has dominated, yet once alone, this is the lead dog.
6. Cara 9/1
Here we go. I’m going to be honest, I still think I like a few people more than her to win this whole thing (namely, the next three on the list). That said, there has to be a level of respect toward her, whether I want to admit it or not. She has won twice. She’s played this game a ton. She knows how a final works. All of that needs to be taken into consideration.
Back to Cara as a competitor: still overrated IMO. Yes, she’s strong. I’ve been saying this for over a year...CrossFit doesn’t make you an athlete. I’ve been relieved to hear Zach at SaniacPodcast.com (congrats on the new baby boy!) share my sentiment. Everyone talks about Cara being a ‘beast.’ Does she workout? Yeah. A lot. But muscles don’t make you an athlete, and you need to be an athlete to compete in the challenge. Muscles don’t make you coordinated, they sure as hell don’t make you swim better —I think Cara has done a fair job at beating up on a weak women’s pool of Challengers. While this group isn’t perfect, it is much better than in years past. Physically, Ninja sets the standard. And I could be wrong but, has there been one swimming activity in either final she has won? It’d be interesting to see how much that would hold her back, like the beginning of Invasion.
7. Hunter 12/1
Our third defending champion out of the top six (Wes, Cara), Hunter is a bit interesting. His main goal this season was to eliminate Ashley M, and that was accomplished week one. Since, he’s had trouble working with his partner Georgia, while also being a tight ally of Wes.
Wes, however, is much more cunning than Hunter. It will be interesting to see when/if Wes throws Hunter under the bus to extend his game.
8. Da’Vonne 14/1
Oooo baby Mama Day! She’s been very impressive in not only the challenges, but also the eliminations and the social game. She seems to have a strong group of allies, which could be her ticket to a final.
If she can make it that far, I can see Da’Vonne putting a strong finish together. She’s always playing til the final whistle, and competing hard. You won’t see her slack off if she’s got a chance to win...and with top 3 getting paid - she will be fighting til it’s over.
9. Kyle 17/1
Oh Kyle, hath thee redeemed thyself. Or whatever. He went from fan-fave, to hated, to favorite again. His wry remarks to Cara have really been a high-point as far as comedy, and his oddly hot-and-cold feud with Paulie has at least been entertaining.
Kyle has actually been to a final before, and that’s when he was more beer-belly and pretzels than muscles and head-tattoos —I think he’s a bit of a sneaky play.
10. Mattie 20/1
There’s no doubt that Mattie is scary. And considering we are looking at male-male and female/female elims from here on out, I’m not sure I see any woman willingly calling her into the Killing Floor - especially after seeing her in that three-way fight weeks ago. I don’t see her being a strong finale runner, however.
11. Bear 24/1
Here is someone I was way higher on when he was teamed up. I love Bear, and I think he’s been a crafty player so far. I just think that in the landscape of the game, who are you going to pick to face in an elim? Paulie? Turbo? Wes? I can see Bear getting picked on until he falls flat. And that’s unfortunate for all of us.
12. Georgia 28/1
Georgia is another player than benefitted from her teammate. Say what you want about him, no one wants to face Hunter. Georgia has also been impressive but, as I said about Bear, she is likely going to have her name called. Truthfully, I think most girls will want to face her or Nany before Dee. It might be time for the bottom girls to cannibalize.
13. Dee 30/1
I’d be afraid of Dee. She’s big, strong, and when not swimming, she’s intimidating. She’s just not amongst the top girls, and I think she’s beatable.
14. Nany 40/1
I’m sorry I picked on you all season Nany. I’ve called you overrated, weak, skinny...and you’re here. However, seeing your face when TJ told us about teams dissolving was all we needed to know...you’re scared shitless and exposed without the great Turbo protecting you. Killing Floor was never a concern, cause you’d never be called in. Now you are alone, and vulnerable.