Survivor Season 41: Who is the top player left in the game?

With last week’s events bringing a renewed energy and excitement into the game of Survivor season 41, I can’t think of a better time to analyze the remaining season 41 players who have kept themselves in the game thus far, either through great social game playing, well-executed strategy or through no input on their part at all.

This is purely my own observations and opinions, which I feel as an avid Survivor fan is my right, to add my two cents worth, after all, isn’t that why we watch? We watch with great attention and play our own game of strategy along with insight to figure out who will outplay who and who will be voted off each week.

Who is playing the best game on Survivor 41 through episode 7?

Let’s start with Heather Aldret. You might be saying, Who? I know right, I believe she’s the most invisible player of Survivor to date. If it wasn’t for her pathetic and poor physical display during the food challenge in episode 4 we wouldn’t yet be introduced. I suppose her ability to stay under the radar all this time, even without planning to do so, has been a help to her since she made it to the merge, and her inability to win any challenge will likely keep her around a little longer.

Let’s move on to Ricard Foye. Even though he made it to the final two of his UA Tribe I’m not really sure if that was more of Shantel Smith’s doing or if he was playing the game well. The fact that he made a huge blunder in giving Shan back an Idol tells me he’s kind of weak and maybe not capable of pulling off any big strategic moves. Maybe he was trying to test the whole “trust” strategy, but the shade he threw Shantel in a confessional tells me not. If he shows us later that he’s not afraid of stepping on some toes, his cool calm demeanor may get him farther.

The once exiled Erika Casupanan seems to have had her moment in the game and time will tell if she is ever afforded another chance for a move like the one she took with her historic power advantage. She seems tough and very smart, but she also appears meek and humble. I don’t see her making her way into the power alliances anytime soon unless she really puts herself out there.  Sadly, after the reveal of her decision to reverse the results of the merge immunity challenge she has just faded into the background.  Maybe if she hooks up with Xander, Tiffany and Evvie she may have a chance to stick around a lot longer.

Liana Wallace, to me, started off as a little garter snake slithering around in the garden just going about her business until she happened upon a power advantage. This completely went to her head and turned her into a full-blown cobra. Playing the game hard, but not necessarily smart. She blew her advantage and chance to gain an idol when she misread the obvious gameplay from Xander, Evvie and Tiffany. Liana has positioned herself well among top contenders, but her smugness and daftness will cut her time short.

DeShawn Radden hasn’t really made too much of an impression on me to this point in the game.  Deshawn and Danny hatched a plan to throw an immunity challenge back in episode 4 and I don’t know what was lamer, the idea itself or the fact that they didn’t let the other tribe members in on their plan.  He did find an extra vote advantage, but it was flushed out by Xander’s great strategic move. DeShawn is in a pretty good place right now with the “people of color” alliance so hopefully, he can take some notes from the more powerful and more strategic players to up his game.

Danny McCray, the ex-football player has pretty much been laying low for most of the season. His strength got him this far, but it may be a target on his back going further. However, with that being said he is situated nicely, as is DeShawn, in the “people of color” alliance and that could get him to the final four if it’s strength that’s needed at the immunity challenges.  We really haven’t been privy to his strategic ability since he came into the merge from the intact LUVU Tribe with little air time.

Naseer Muttalif, what can I say, I like this guy!  He’s smart, strong, strategic, and personable.  From what I can tell it seems his social game is going well. He knows the do’s and don’ts of the game, he finds an advantage and keeps it to himself as you should. He pulled on our heartstrings when we found out his little girl successfully helped him prep for Survivor season 41 by hiding fake idols for him to search for and find.  Naseer has what it takes to position himself for the top spot barring any mistakes or blindsides.

Shantel Smith has been a fierce contender from the get-go, from the early days of the UA Tribe.  She’s made so many moves I can’t keep them all straight.  Trust went out the window early on in the UA Tribe mostly due to her moves.  Shan was instrumental in who was voted off, but it won’t affect her now, as all but one of her prior tribemates were voted out before the merge.  She’s not making herself any real friends as she loves to spill the beans as to what idols or advantages people hold.  I think her worst move was to alienate Ricard who knows all her secrets and that could come back to bite her in the end.

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Tiffany Seely, what can I say about Tiffany. I find myself liking her one minute and then not so much the next. But I do think she’s fun and I do like how she can read her fellow Tribemates and how she’s not timid or afraid to get in confrontations. She keeps her eyes and ears open and knows everything that’s going on, if she had more physical prowess she’d be a force with which to reckon.

I’m kind of on the fence with Evvie Jagoda. Yeah,  she’s a Ph.D. smarty, but I don’t know if all that professional schooling will get you far in this game or if true grit street smarts might just be the better bit of experience to take you all the way to the end. Evvie would have bid farewell last week if it wasn’t for the cunning gameplay from Xander.  Better take some lessons from your superiorly equipped tribemates if you want to stick around longer Evvie.

Last but not least there’s Xander Hastings.  The young, strong, Ab developer, Uhmmm I mean App Developer, my bad!  This guy’s been used and abused throughout the season so far. He’s the worker bee in the camp and the young strong contender in the challenges which means you have to play harder. His body and ego have been bruised many times, but he managed to pull out the best play ever at last week’s Tribal Council! He thinks fast on his feet when push comes to shove so if he keeps this up I foresee a much longer stint going forward, but he will have to watch his back as I’m pretty sure he’s placed a target there.

Well, that’s about it for my analysis of each player remaining through Survivor season 41, episode 7. Just my humble opinions and observations and I will be right back at it Wednesday night to see the excitement continue as they all try to Out Wit, Out Play, Out Last each other. Until then, the scribe has spoken.