The last time I blogged about an upcoming season of Survivor that was all returning players, I did a sort of cast assessment on them. I’m going to do that again this time starting out my various predictions with how that cast will meld and then going into each player’s potential chances of winning. I am going to predict how far I think that they will make it based on various factors. We’ll see if existing patterns continue into this season or not. So let’s start with each player and how I think that they will do in this upcoming season.
Jeff Varner is from Australia and Cambodia. He made the merge but not the jury then was voted out before the merge. Contestants from Australia have done quite well as returning players. To date, every season with a player from Australia has had one of those players reach the finale. I don’t know if this will happen again or not. Another pattern to look for is the fact that, so far, every three time player has made the merge twice. Since Jeff has made the merge once and not the other time, I think that he might actually make the merge again. I think that he’ll be on the jury.
Sandra played Pearl Islands and Heroes versus Villains. She won both seasons. Could she win a third? I doubt it, actually. If the other players are smart, they’d get rid of her fast. But I don’t know if they would want to get rid of her. They could see her as weak in competitions. Of course, some might be foolish enough to think that they could beat her. I still think that ultimately, the players will get rid of her early into the game. If that doesn't happen, then they aren't as good players as the title for this season suggests.
Cirie was in Panama, Micronesia, and Heroes versus Villains. She has made the jury twice and was voted out before the merge a second time. To date there have been only two four time players. They have made the merge three times and were voted out premerge once. Does this mean that she’ll make the merge this time around? But could she make it all the way to the end? We'll find out for sure later. I would say that she might be a finalist this season.
Ozzy played in Cook Islands, Micronesia, and South Pacific. He made the merge three different times. One of those times, he was a finalist. The other two times, he was on the jury. Now he seems to have a worse and worse edit each time he plays, going first from a strong player who almost won the game, to a bitter jury member, and then to an egotistical maniac. This could wind up being his worst season yet. While he will certainly help his tribe win before the merge, the moment they suspect that the merge is coming, he could wind up out of the game faster than you can say Double Redemption Island. I say that this will be the first time that he won’t make the merge.
JT played in Tocantins and Heroes versus Villains. He won the first time and made the jury the second time, being the first former winner to be on the jury in another season. His dumb move that destroyed the heroes tribe in his second season is the reason that he has a lot of redemption to go after. Will he be more of the player he was the first time around or the player he was the second time around? Knowing that this is his third time playing, he’ll probably be a totally different player. I see him making the jury again as I just don’t see him being taken out before the merge just yet.
Andrea was in Redemption Island and Caramoan. She made the jury both times. For some reason, I just don’t think that she will be relevant to the final game this time around as I think that she will be gone before the merge.
Troyzan played in One World. He made the jury. He was a candidate for Cambodia, but the fans didn’t vote him in. I’d say that his main obstacle to overcome is the fact that he can be annoying. If he can get over that and be a better player, then he’ll do well. But I don’t think that he’ll make the merge.
Malcolm played in Philippines and Caramoan. He made the jury both times. He had an advantage the last time he played since others hadn’t seen his season yet. (This will be important this season regarding two other players that I’ll get to.) I see no reason why he would do poorly. In fact, I see him becoming a finalist this time around. He may also be my favorite going into this.
Brad played Blood versus Water. He was voted out before the merge. He was considered for Cambodia, but the fans didn’t vote him to the cast. If he could actually get over his careless mistakes, he could be a better player this time around. But I’m not sure if he can or not. I won't say once a failure, always a failure as I know that the rule doesn't always work. But it is something to be worried about, the original placement. I’ll say that he’ll be out before the merge again.
Ciera played in Blood versus Water and Cambodia. She made the merge and jury both time. She has a villainous way of playing the game and it could get her far into the game again. I say that she will make the jury again.
Sarah played Cagayan. She made the jury and was the first person voted out after the merge. It is hard to track players like that in future seasons. But I’m willing to believe in her chances this time around. I say that she will make the merge and jury again.
Tony played in Cagayan. He won the game due to a very bull headed way of playing the game. I’m not sure how someone can be that aggressive and win. (Maybe he took the advice of cheerleaders?) Since these people will know his type of game play going into this season, I have the feeling that he won’t make the merge this time around.
Hali played Worlds Apart. She made the jury that time around. I do not have high hopes for her. While she might do well this time around, I just don’t think that she will. I see her as one of the game’s early boots and she’ll be gone long before the merge.
Sierra played Worlds Apart. She made the finale and wound up on the jury. I think that she will make it to the jury again, although I’m not sure if she’ll make it as far as the finale again. I just hope that we see more of her this time around if she does make it far.
Caleb played Kaoh Rong. He didn’t make the merge as he was medically evacuated long before he even attended tribal council while trying to compete in a challenge. I’m not sure if he can make it far into the game this time around, but I think that he’ll be on the jury.
Debbie played Kaoh Rong. She made the jury after being blindsided by such a crazy tribal council and episode that you might not even have known that she was the target going into it. I see no reason why she would fail this time around, unless she becomes like Sugar did the second time around and wind up annoying her tribemates and be voted out really early. Regardless, I still see her as making the jury again this time around since she actually knows how to play.
Tai played Kaoh Rong. He became a finalist but got no jury votes. He betrayed the wrong people and was aligned with the wrong people in the first place. I’m not sure how he’ll do the second time around, but I think that he’ll make the jury this time.
Aubry played Koah Rong. She was a finalist but lost to the jury because her game play was mostly kept hidden from the other players. It seems that a lot of fans were excessively butt hurt by her loss which I find weird still as I don’t understand why people like her. I don’t want her to last long this time around and I don’t think that she will. If people know that she’s playing a good game, they’re likely to vote her out because of it. I don’t think that she’ll make the merge this time around.
Michaela played the most recent season before this, namely Millennials versus Gen X. She did not make the merge, but was one vote away from doing so (if I’m remembering right). She and Zeke have the advantage of being unknown to the other contestants this season. That is partly why I feel that she will make the jury this time around.
Zeke also played the most recent season with Michaela. He made the jury and could have made it farther had his alliance not turned on him. I feel that he could do quite well this time around as the other players wouldn’t know who he is. I say that he will be a finalist this time around.
Predictions: Premerge boots- Sandra, Ozzy, Andrea, Troyzan, Brad, Tony, Hali, Aubry; Jury members- Jeff Varner, JT, Ciera, Sarah, Sierra, Caleb, Debbie, Tai, Michaela; Finalists- Cirie, Malcolm, Zeke.
There are different things to look out for going into this season: Jeff could be the first three time player to never make it to the jury phrase of the game if he gets voted out early again. Sandra would be one of only three people to play three or more seasons and never be on a jury if she defies the odds and becomes a finalist again or if she is voted out before the jury starts forming. Cirie, Ozzy, Andrea, Malcolm, and Ciera could all potentially serve on their third jury this season, something that only one other contestant has done those far.
More things: Ozzy is the first contestant to ever play as a new player, a half newbie and returning player season, a one returnee per tribe season, and now an all returning player season. If Ozzy is voted out, he’ll break his own record for most times voted out. Andrea and Cirie could potentially tie his record if they are voted out and he is not. If JT is voted out before the jury, he’ll join four other players in the club of finalist, jury member, and premerge boot. The same can be said for Ozzy if he is voted out before the jury or Cirie if she becomes a finalist. Sandra, Tony, Caleb, Tai, and Aubry have not been voted out in previous seasons, so that’s something to look out for.
I’m not sure that there’s anything else for me to say in this blog post. I hope that you like my potential predictions of how the cast will do this season. Will I be right? Wrong? Both? We’ll see what, if anything, ends up happening this time around. Whatever one predicts might be accurate or far off. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.