Survivor 44 week 1 power rankings: Who could go home next?

Bruce Perreault from SURVIVOR Season 44. -- Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Bruce Perreault from SURVIVOR Season 44. -- Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Survivor 44 kicked off with one of the wildest premieres in recent memory.

The medical team got more screentime than it usually gets in full seasons, and we also got to see four different advantages played at the first tribal council. It’s rare that a season starts with a medivac and barely anyone talks about it.

Let’s check out how all of that impacted my power rankings.

Survivor 44 week 1 power rankings

Out) Bruce Perrault (Last: 13) – You have to feel terrible for Bruce. He essentially injured himself because he was too excited to play the game. Just look at how he dove into that obstacle. Well, maybe don’t if you’re eating, but you could see the adrenaline get the best of him. Hopefully, Jeff Probst’s revelation on the Survivor podcast is true and Bruce will come back at some point.

Out) Maddy Pomilla (Last: 17) – I was pretty low on Maddy in the pre-season because her bio didn’t read like someone who was going to play the game hard. She proved me wrong a bit with how much she went after Brandon, but her move blew up a little too easily with everyone scattering in panic at that tribal. That happening is probably why you want to go with an easier vote than an idol flush attempt at the first tribal of the season.

16) Kane Fritzler (Last: 18) – Like Maddy, I didn’t get much out of Kane’s pre-season bio; however, he did fine in the episode. The problem is that he’s the only person left at Ratu beach that put Brandon’s name on the parchment. If Brandon grabs some momentum after his idol play, Kane could be in trouble.

15) Jaime Lynn Ruiz (Last: 15) – Jaime is the type of player I could never play with. It’s nothing against her, but the way she immediately felt the need to play her Shot in the Dark would spook me even if she was my main ally. She just seems a bit erratic, which is something I couldn’t play with. When you’re looking for someone that can keep a level head, which most players are, Jaime is an easy person to vote out.

14) Claire Rafson (Last: 12) – I could definitely be misreading this, but Claire seemed the least connected on Soka. Obviously, we didn’t see much from that tribe because they kind of dominated the challenge, but what little we did see, she seemed to get the least screentime. That said, this ranking could definitely change if Soka gets more visibility.

13) Sarah Wade (Last: 6) – Sarah drops for me because everyone is worried about her advantage and it doesn’t really have much value yet. It’s obviously very powerful the deeper we get into the game, but currently, it’s nearly worthless. If she makes it a few more votes, she’ll be in a good spot, but she could be targeted early if anyone is worried about her having something.

12) Carolyn Wiger (Last: 16) – Carolyn is the kind of player who probably isn’t winning the game, but could be dragged to the end as a goat. For now, she has to stay a little lower on the rankings because she would make an easy vote if Tika goes to tribal, but her fortunes will change quickly if Tika keeps winning.

11) Lauren Harpe (Last: 14) – I don’t love where Lauren is following that first Ratu vote. Sure, she has an extra vote in her pocket, but people could start questioning whether she has an advantage or not. I still think there are several players more likely to go than her, but a Lauren boot wouldn’t be surprising.

10) Matthew Grimstead-Mayle (Last: 10) – By not voting, it’s tough to know exactly what Matthew, and really the Ratu tribe, is going to do moving forward. If he sides with Brandon after that vote, players like Kane and Lauren might be in trouble. However, if he keeps the heat on Brandon, that could be an easy vote. Either way, Matthew is probably safe, but if his injury holds the team back, they could look to cut him.

9) Yamil Arocho (Last: 9) – Yam Yam is sitting solidly in the middle. He could be targeted as someone who isn’t that strong in challenges, but I think Tika would go after Carolyn first. If Yam Yam can stick around and keep building bonds, he’ll set himself up well for the post-merge game.

8) Matt Blankinship (Last: 5) – I’ve already talked about players who went to Shipwell Island potentially being in trouble, so you might be wondering why Matt is this high. After all, he doesn’t have a vote for two tribals. That said, he was completely straight forward with his tribe about losing his first vote, so I think he’s fine in that regard. I also just don’t think Soka is losing with Josh at the helm.

7) Carson Garrett (Last: 11) – Carson has already proven to be one of the better puzzle masters of the season. Combining his skill with Helen’s brain power makes for a lethal duo, that always has a chance in puzzle-based challenges. Plus, Carson seems to be getting along with everyone early, putting him in a good position for now.

6) Brandon Cottom (Last: 7) – Okay, let’s get the elephant out of the room upfront. Brandon needed an idol to safely get through this vote, which probably doesn’t inspire confidence. That said, his idol is now gone, so there’s really no reason to vote for him at this point. He’s the strongest person in the tribe, making him an excellent person to keep around until the merge. He can help you win some team challenges and then be an easy boot.

5) Frannie Marin (Last: 8) – This is more of a vibes pick than anything. Frannie just has that something I like to see in a Survivor player. She’s smart, a good narrator, and is playing on a team where she probably isn’t seeing too many tribal councils until the merge. Frannie has big dark horse potential.

4) Danny Massa (Last: 2) – Danny might be about as exciting of a pick as vanilla pudding, but this is the kind of Survivor player you bet on to at least make the merge. He’s not giving you Carolyn entertainment or anything, but he’s a steady presence on a good tribe. Unless he does something truly out there, he’ll be fine.

3) Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt (Last: 3) – You’ll note that four of the top five players are from Soka. That’s because I truly don’t see them losing much without something major happening. For her part, Heidi is one of the stronger women in the game and should be able to hold her spot over someone like Frannie if push comes to shove.

2) Helen Li (Last: 4) – I really love Helen’s game thus far. She’s gotten herself into a solid alliance with Carson and Sarah, but also isn’t the likely target if something blows up. She’s proven her worth in challenges as a mental beast, which is important given that she’s going to struggle with some things physically given her size. If she’s able to stick with her crew and get out Yam Yam or Carolyn, she’ll be in a very good place.

1) Josh Wilder (Last: 1) – We didn’t see a ton of Josh this week, but I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t stay on top. He was the dominant physical player throughout the premiere and didn’t make any social blunders that we saw. This is his spot until someone takes it from him.

dark. Next. Will Survivor 44 stream live on Peacock? (Where to watch)

New episodes of Survivor 44 air Tuesdays on CBS. Next day streaming is available on Paramount+.