Recasting Survivor: Cagayan

S28RecastGraphic As the countdown to Survivor: Cagayan begins, we thought we have some fun on Survivor Oz and call this ‘Cagayan week!’ And what better way to kick it off than giving you a Feature Article comprising a hypothetical cast list for Cagayan had it been a returning players season, put together by Ozlet Aaron Robertson! Join Aaron as he discuss his choices for the Brawn, Brains and Beauty tribes if the concept had of been used for an All Stars season! Plus, we want to here who you would have cast for the season! You can do so by commenting your dream Cagayan cast below!

As the upcoming season Survivor: Cagayan – Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty comes upon the horizon, I noticed that this season will be the first since One World to be completely made up of new castaways. So I thought, I wonder if they had just brought returnees back, who would they turn to and I got this genius idea. Why not take a look back at previous castaways who might fit these categories? Thus this cast list was born! Disregarding winners, I tried to find as many interesting one-time players that fit each category then went through the two-time players, then the three-time players and so on.


First up, we’ll create the Brawn tribe. I have to say out of the three categories this was the toughest to create just because of the nature of the definition of brawn. When I looked up the word ‘brawn’ online, it is defined as muscular strength but also as a comparison word for brains, as in “what they don’t have in brains, they have in brawn”. So I combined the two. Looking through the lists of past castaways, I tried to find people that had a lot of brute strength, even better if they were a pillar to their tribe in challenges but lacked intelligence in certain aspects of the game. People like Christa Hastie or a winner like Tom Westman were close to making it, but were scrapped because either they weren’t necessarily a physical pillar, (Christa’s case), or they had intelligence as well as strength, (Tom’s case). This isn’t to say that these castaways are dumb, (some are quite intelligent), but they did lack something. So without further ado, let’s take a look in the past!

Joel Anderson – Micronesia


First up we have Mr. Joel Anderson from Survivor Micronesia. Throughout the season he was always compared to James in terms of muscle and strength, which he definitely had; remember Joel dragging Chet in that challenge? However, that “dragging” was a result of Joel’s biggest weakness in the game, Chet. He never really liked Chet and really wanted him gone. Instead, Joel took out Mary for pretty much no reason other than because she was close to Mikey B and then took out Mikey B after he was convinced he should do so by the minority alliance. Then what happened? After the Tribe Switch he ended up on a tribe with Chet and had a bad attitude about it and pretty much sealed the Fans fate when he sold Chet up the river, which led to Cirie turning the tables on Joel knowing that she would be a future target if Chet was taken out. I think he would definitely fit into this tribe and he would only become a two-time player.

Crystal Cox – Gabon


Crystal Cox is another castaway I would put on this tribe. Now I realise that on her season, she was horrid at challenges but what she lacked in challenge prowess she made up for with strength, which did come in handy a few times; like when she dragged Paloma in a challenge across the finish line like a rag doll. Not to mention that she was in a power position until she and Kenny over thought things and tried to flush a Fake Idol. Also, if brought back, I’m sure she would give some great confessionals and provide some great Tribal Council moments.

Tom Buchanan – Africa, All-Stars


Woohoo! Just thinking about the idea of him gracing our screens again gets me excited. He certainly was a guy that had a lot of strength and was a pillar of his tribe in challenges. I think he is good at the game, he’s always been right there at the end but I do feel he needs that extra oomph and instinct to make key moves at the right time if he wants to make that Final Tribal Council, let alone win. In addition I think it’s pretty realistic for him to be offered another chance at the game because people love Big Tom and he’s a great character to have on the show.

Stephenie LaGrossa – Palau, Guatemala, Heroes vs. Villains


She probably has one of the most memorable journeys in Survivor history. Even though she couldn’t win challenges with her tribes, she was able to reign it in and stay alive as long as she could to be the last standing Ulong member. In Guatemala, she had a much better run and was able to win challenges. She’s definitely one of the stronger female athletes in Survivor history and would likely be considered one of the main women that would return on a Brawn tribe.

Burton Roberts – Pearl Islands


He dominated Pearl Islands physically and was a big part of Drake’s winning streak that saw him never lose a pre-merge challenge, (he sat out the one that resulted in his boot), before he was raking in the wins post-merge for a while. I think his strategic turnaround post-merge and physical prowess could be enough to warrant a return for Burton.

Alicia Calaway – Australian Outback, All-Stars


Callaway was once described by Probst as “one of the most fit castaways Survivor has ever had”. I think Alicia would be interesting to bring back for multiple reasons. First, she could easily bring the drama under the right circumstances and I firmly believe All-Stars jilted people’s strategic play in part because not a lot of people that season really took risks. However, some of them that have come back have shown even more growth in the game, (Rob, Jerri, Rupert to an extent), and it would be wonderful to add yet another person to that list.


Next, we go to the Brains tribe!! How fun! A tribe of Brains is a much easier concept to find people for. I looked on the two sides of “Brains”, either they’re here because outside the game they are very smart, (like being a rocket scientist), or they were big strategic players in their seasons.

Stephen Fishbach – Tocantins


How have they not brought this guy back? He looks like your stereotypical nerd and I think if he came back now he’d be a lot wiser and more in-tune with himself. I think he could easily weasel his way to the final again and win this time.

Eliza Orlins – Vanuatu, Micronesia


Who doesn’t want to see more of her Jury faces?

John Fincher – Samoa


He’s a rocket scientist by day and a ladies’ man by night. Well, who knows if he is a ladies man, but out of all the people they haven’t brought back from Samoa, I think John would be high on that list to return. To balance out Stephen and Jim Rice who I have below, I think John would be the perfect guy to add to this tribe.

Deena Bennett – Amazon


Perhaps my favorite stereotype in Survivor is the ‘kick-butt older woman’ and in Survivor: Amazon, Deena certainly delivered in her confessionals and game play for that era of Survivor. Not to mention she was recently ranked as one of Survivor Oz’s Top 25 One-Time Players. I’m sure if she came back she could have the chance to “do a Denise”, giving us great sound bytes along the way.

Jim Rice – South Pacific


Now in South Pacific, I was not a huge fan of Jim but I could definitely see casting bringing him back for another shot. I think on a new season like this he would have great potential to do well. Losing majority after the Merge didn’t really help his longevity the first time he played.

Becky Lee – Cook Islands


I’m sure a lot of you are going, “what?” However, I’m actually really curious to see how she would do on her own. Would we get to know her a little bit better and possibly see a brilliant turnaround from the girl that couldn’t even make fire?


Last but not least, the Beauty tribe! For this, I selected people that are aesthetically pleasing to look at, entranced people with their looks, or are dangerous socially because they naturally draw people in with their charm. Oddly enough, I went old school with the women and drew guys from very recent seasons.

Jay Byars – One World


I’m sure there are people that still Google his name to gawk at his photos. He was definitely a looker and one of the many unsuspecting men that were manipulated and outplayed by the women. I think he would be interesting to see in a season like this to find out if he would use his looks and charm to sway people into doing his bidding.

Gina Crews – Marquesas


The watermelon queen herself. They have been drawing people from earlier seasons now and Gina is another person I would be curious to see what they would do if they came back. Once the Tribes Switched in Marquesas, she was doomed and unfortunately Maaramu lost that last challenge, sending her home. However, if she returned, I think she would be great to watch in both senses.

Reynold Toepfer – Caramoan


I would definitely expect to see this amigo back in the game pretty soon and a season like this would be perfect for him. Though he may have lacked composure in the strategic department, there is no denying that he belongs on the Beauty tribe.

Michelle Yi – Fiji


She is naturally very beautiful and had some pretty neat moments in Fiji; like when she started a fire with glasses, or when she fell off the platform in one of the challenges. Perhaps one of the biggest things people remember about Michelle is the unfortunate way she went out and I think it would be cool to see some more people from Fiji come back to redeem the legacy of that season.

Hayden Moss – Blood vs. Water


I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Hayden showed up on a future Survivor season. Hayden’s biggest asset is definitely his charm, it covers his brawn and brains just enough to not see him as an immediate threat and a guy like that is very dangerous in Survivor. Plus, he’s already won Big Brother and made it pretty far in Blood vs. Water and I’m certain he is chomping at the bit to have another go at the title.

Colleen Haskell – Borneo

Colleen 2

Ah Colleen, the original beloved beauty of Survivor. If she wanted to come back and hack it in the outdoors one more time, I’m sure hands down they would take her and we would all be bursting with excitement to see her on our televisions screens again.

And that’s my list folks! Looking at this list I must say that I’m surprised at the amount of seasons I drew players from. Twenty out of twenty-eight seasons are represented which is something we haven’t really seen in recent All Star or half returnees, half new players season.


What do you think of Aaron’s cast list? Who are you happy to see included? Who missed out? Comment below to let us know your list!

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17 Comments on Recasting Survivor: Cagayan

  1. I really like the idea of the article and love the inclusion of players like Becky Lee! I think she would definitely play a much more strategic game the second time around.

  2. Brain tribe:
    Robb Zbacnik (Thailand)
    Dreamz Herd (Fiji)
    Shambo Waters (Samoa)
    Ben Browning (Samoa)
    NaOnka Mixon (Nicaragua)
    Abi-Maria Gomes (Philippines)

    Brawn tribe:
    Brandon Quinton (Africa)
    Ryan Shoulders (Pearl Islands)
    Sandra Diaz-Twine (Pearl Islands, HvV)
    Courtney Yates (China, HvV)
    Chet Welch (Micronesia)
    Sherri Biethman (Caramoan)

    Beauty Tribe:
    Patricia Jackson (Marquesas)
    Clay Jordan (Thailand)
    Travis Sampson (Vanuatu)
    Cassandra Franklin (Fiji)
    Randy Bailey (Gabon, HvV)
    Laura Boneham (BvW)

  3. Brawn:
    Joel- I liked him from what I can remember. It would be interesting to see him play again.
    Crystal- Doesn’t really fit the “brawn” title given that a big part of her story in Gabon centered around how crappy she performed in challenges. The steroid scandal would also make her a bad choice for a season like this. I do want to see her play again, though.
    Big Tom- Depends on how well he’s kept himself in shape over the years. He’s almost 60. Would likely be a very early exit.
    Stephenie- Good choice, although she would be a huge target and likely another early exit.
    Burton- Another good choice….major eye candy as well!
    Alicia- It would be interesting to see her play again now that she is almost 50.

    Stephen- YES! Needs to be brought back ASAP.
    Eliza- Ditto
    John- It seems like he really knows the game and what he did wrong the first time around. Another good choice,
    Deena- A bit of a “WTF” choice, but I did like her.
    Jim- Yes- he was playing an amazing game and was completely screwed by Cochran’s stupidity.
    Becky- Nope. Sorry. She may be very intelligent in real life, but was the most boring person on a very boring season.

    Jay- Nice to look at, but otherwise boring.
    Gina- I liked her a lot back in the day, but she would be too much of a “WTF?” at this point to bring back.
    Reynold- Good choice.
    Michelle- Was screwed over the first time by no fault of her own. Deserves another shot.
    Hayden- Another good choice.
    Colleen- Don’t we all wish? It will never happen, though.

    My cast (trying to be as realistic as possible based off of age, popularity, and whether or not they would play again)
    Brawn: Brett Clouser/Matt Elrod/Burton Roberts/Stephenie LaGrossa/Kelly Wigglesworth/R.C. St. Amour
    Brains: Stephen Fishbach/Jim Rice/Rob Cesternino/Eliza Orlins/Denise Stapley/
    Beauty: Fabio/Reynold Toepher/Hayden Moss/Michelle Yi/Jenna Morasca/Ciera Eastin

    • This was an awesome list! I would maybe put Julie Berry from Vanuatu on the beauty tribe, and maybe one of the “Four Horsemen” from Figi on the brawn tribe. I know Edgardo wasn’t the biggest dude, but he was really cool, same with Alex, he was a great guy who still had a knack for strategy. I think either of them would make great returnees.
      Can’t wait to see what else comes on Cagayan week! Can’t wait for the premiere, wooo!!!!

  4. I’m just wondering how the heck Rob Cesternino wasn’t picked to be in the brains category!

  5. Brains/ Shii Ann, Eliza, Ciera, Stephen, Penner, Yul
    Brawn/ Crystal, Malcolm, NaOnka, Keith, Joel, Parvati
    Beauty/ Colleen, Abi Maria, Angie, Jay, Reynold, Hayden

  6. Wow! Perfect cast!
    really want to see this ><" (especially Deena and Colleen <3)

  7. I think casting Stephenie on brawn is ridiculous, she gets way too much credit as a competitor. Survivor has had dozens of strong female competitors, some of which have kicked Steph’s ass. Rob’s podcast did the same thing. Smh.

  8. Michelle <33333333

  9. Nice list but for me:
    BRAWN-Burton, Crystal, Reynold, Monica C., Ben, Danielle
    BRAINS-Rob C., Cirie, Fincher, Eliza, Hayden, Brenda
    BEAUTY-Adam, Chelsea, Eddie, Sierra, Albert, RC

  10. My set:

    BRAWN:Burton R., Rob M., James C., Stephanie L., Alicia C., Monica C.
    Alternates: Grant Mattos, Terry Deitz, Ozzy Lusth, Crystal C., Joel A.

    As much as I don’t want to see Rob M. come back it’s hard to deny he’s one of the fiercest challenge competitors in the show’s history. Monica proved herself as a force to be reckoned with in the challenges last season and I think earned her spot as a women Brawn.

    BEAUTY: Jay Byars, Eddie Fox, Aras B., Julie B., Amanda K., Heidi S.
    Alternates: Matt E., Malcolm F., Candice C., Chelsea M, Elisabeth F., Brenda L.

    Putting Aras on this tribe is kinda a jab at him but I actually think he’d do well with people who aren’t thinking to strategically. Likewise I have Malcolm as an alternate as a jab since I think he’s a wee-bit overrated and I think it would drive him crazy not to be on Brawn on Brains. The others speak for themselves.

    BRAINS: Richard H., Rob C., Todd H., Cirie F., Vecepia T., Kim S.
    Alternates: Deena B., Russell H., Brain H., Andrea B., Corrine C., Stephen F.

    Gotta give the Hatch man a chance to live up to his legacy. Same with Rob C. I wasn’t willing to put Fishback and Cesternino on the same tribe so if it had to be one or the other I have to go with Rob.

  11. Sean Rector for Brawn!
    I don’t remember who but my favourite quote “his body goes in and is cut in places i didn’t even think were possible”

  12. Jsjdifjdjeisiskzjssudidjsj // February 27, 2014 at 8:38 pm // Reply

    Some women who should have been cast as brawn: Tammy Leitner, Kelly Wiglesworth, Candice Cody, Danielle DiLorenzo, Candace Smith, Danni Boatwright, Kim Spradlin, Chelsea, Monica Culpepper, Jolanda Jones, Andrea Boehlke, Jane Bright, Cindy Hall, Mikayla Wingle, Laura Morett, Twila Tanner, Marisa Calihan, Sally Schumann.

  13. What about Yau Man for brains?

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