Survivor: All Winners – Part 1

All Winners

In the world of Survivor one of the most talked about potential future seasons is an All Winners edition. With 29 different winners currently crowned, such a mouthwatering season seems to become more and more feasible as each year passes. In today's feature article Ozlet Cable Brandon delves into some of the key elements such a season should include, from the all important question of whether the game should end in a final 2 or 3 to small touches like the buff colours for each tribe. Click below to read some thoughts on what Survivor fans deserve from an All Winners season.

When Survivor made it’s debut way back in 2000, who could have possibly imagined this social experiment for a million dollars would outlast many other television shows by having 32 seasons spanning 16 years?

Over the course of those 16 years and 32 seasons (yes, 31 & 32 are in the editing stage) we’ve watched full returning player seasons, and new players mixed with returnees. And we recently had the flattering task of having a say by voting in Second Chance players for the upcoming season.

AW1

For years fans of the show have speculated on potential future returnee seasons with rumours sometimes leaking from former players themselves; ‘Brains vs. Brawn’, ‘Heroes vs. Villains’, ‘Old School vs. New School’, ‘Fans vs. Favourites’, and ‘Second Chances’ but for me I’ve always wanted an ‘All Winners’ season since I first heard it speculated on over 10 years ago.

While ‘All Stars’ was the first returning player season, was it the first conceived by Mark Burnett, Jeff Probst and co.? Well apparently not. Back in late 2002, Australian Survivor winner Robert Dickson mentioned in a radio interview that he had been consulted by producers about possibly returning in the future for an ‘All Winners’ season, which would be an international Survivor event. So at that time that would have been Richard Hatch, Tina Wesson, Ethan Zohn, Vecepia Towery, Robert Dickson and all other winners from all international versions of the show.

AW2

I have no idea how far down the track this season had come to fruition, but I can see why it never went ahead. Whilst the US CBS version was a juggernaut, many of the international versions failed to live up to the hype because they were simply not as good as their CBS counterparts.

With poor results the Australian version only lasted one season and the UK version only 2 seasons, giving us hardly enough winners to support a full 16-player season. Trying to organise several players from different parts of the world to play Survivor would also have been an arduous task for production. Plus winning players from non-English speaking backgrounds would be at a major disadvantage in the game and imagine editing that for a North American audience.

Lastly would a US audience watch their winners take on winners from the international versions they had never seen? That’s hard to answer, but the Castaway Productions contracts between several networks across many countries would made any chance of the season seeing the light of day extremely remote.

Do fans want to see an all winners season?

I know I definitely do (yes, I loved both All Stars & Heroes vs. Villains) and even though it is sure to be epic, I pause, hesitate and think, do I really want to see some of my favourite winners comeback and fail miserably? I’m just not sure I can handle seeing Danni Boatwright or Chris Daugherty be a first or early boot after so long out of the game.

I think back to ‘All Stars’ and on reflection that is one of the main negatives I have for that season, the systematic execution of all the winners early. I get why it happened, if I were on that cast I probably would have done the same thing as well. While it didn’t it tarnish their reputations in my eyes, it does devalue their achievements in a sense when you analyze all the finishing place results.

AW3

I guess the big difference between All Stars, Heroes vs. Villains and an All Winners season is every player equally has a target on their back or effectively a clean slate. All players will start on equal pegging and that has to be a good thing. Actually, maybe Sandra has a slightly bigger target if she plays. But overall everyone starts anew.

The only downside I see for us as an audience is seeing our favourite winner/s going early, but surely the positives outweigh the negatives. Currently we know of 29 winners, with two more to join that illustrious group shortly. The big question is who would come back?

Well that is a question I will answer in the coming weeks. I will give my opinions and thoughts on the potential castaways in a future Top 10 but for now let’s focus on the season itself.

What do we want to or deserve to see?

Location

I feel like, if an ‘All Winners’ season is one of the last seasons they ever make it would be only fitting they go back to where Survivor all began; Borneo!

We have seen several locations used multiple times – Palau, Philippines, Samoa, Panama and Nicaragua but obviously not Borneo. I have absolutely no idea if it is a financially viable option but I just feel this is the way it has to be. Let them use Pagong & Tagi beaches and see how much the location has changed in the 15 plus years.

I can’t think of a more fitting end to Survivors’ story arc then to have an ‘All Winners’ season set in the location that started off this epic journey.

AW4

Personally I would love to see Borneo again, but I’m also not naïve enough to realize that this location may no longer be suitable with the budget constraints of a season. Other factors like environment, seasonal weather or country politics may exclude Borneo as a legitimate option.

If I had a second choice, the Cook Islands were aesthetically amazing on the eye, and the location also allows production the ability to give us lots of water challenges by filming in the Aituaki Lagoon.

Aitutaki Lagoon

Rites of Passage

Bring back ‘Rites of Passage’; I have no idea why it has been dropped and whether they’ve even bothered to film it some seasons, but it’s always been one of my favourite parts of a season and I get the feeling there are many fans like me who feel the same. Rites of Passage while some may think it’s corny, is an important part of the journey for the finalists (and audience) to reflect on the game and the players that were part of that experience. As a fan I always loved seeing this journey, collecting the torches, the music, the confessionals and the ceremonial burning at the completion of the walk. Bring it back Probst!

AW5

Tribe Buffs

Okay, so tribe buffs is a very trivial thing when it comes to a season but as a buff collector I decided to analyse the colours that could be used for an ‘All Winners’ season. So I looked at every winner and what his or her original Day 1 tribe buff colour was. Seven winners started the game with a yellow buff, whilst red and orange buffs covered 5 winners each. Assuming the season is a two-tribe affair, I propose that the tribes start with red and yellow buffs, with orange to be the merge buff, exactly like Survivor Vanuatu. If the game was to start as a three-tribe format, the next most popular winners colour was blue.

TribeBuffs

Tribe Division

While I’m an old school fan of two tribes, I’m not totally opposed to a three-tribe setup. I guess it all depends greatly on who decides to come back and how they split the tribes. One of the reasons I don’t like a three-tribe season is historically one of the tribe’s struggles badly (yes, Worlds Apart was the exception to the rule), but my fear would be that a tribe would struggle from the outset and we don’t want to lose winners that way. We want and crave a close, hard fought, epic competition!

An interesting idea came from Ozlet Colin Hilding, he liked the idea of having one tribe of aggressive players (Mike Holloway & Boston Rob) while the other had the more ‘fly under the radar’ sneaky types (Vecepia Towery & Sandra Diaz Twine), which I also find extremely interesting. But more of this will be explored in the next article.

From a production point of view, I would limit the amount of tribe mix-ups or swaps. Personally I can’t stand a season where there is an overuse of tribe switches. And please please please please bury the draw new buffs tribe switch; it is simply the worst, I can’t think of a fair or decent outcome from this type of switch. I pull my thinning hair out every time Jeff approaches the players with a bag full of buffs. This way of tribe mixing is too random and really invites lopsided uneven tribes that even producers would hate to see. Surely Jeff Probst and production see some of the tribe switch results and think “WTF did we just do that for?” The last season; Worlds Apart had a terrible tribe swap, with the tribes not even remotely in the same league.

AW7

One of my favourite mix-ups was the way they mixed the tribes in Gabon. Have them rank each other as a tribe, then have the most important players pick the tribes. Or just come up with an original way to move the players around like have an individual based challenge where the first finishing male and female become tribe captains and alternate picks like the start of Thailand or Gabon. Viewers want to see equally matched tribes after a switch, not a massacre like we just saw in Worlds Apart.

Final 2 or Final 3?

For years I’ve been a massive advocate of a final two and have bitched and moaned for it to stay as it brings more tension to a finale. A final two places the pressure on the winner of immunity to be the sole decision maker in firstly eliminating one person from the game and secondly choosing the person they sit next to at the final tribal council.

Personally this is why I hate final 3, the immunity winner of a final four has a say and a vote, but there is not as much tension or repercussions of their vote. Perfect example just happened this season when winner Mike Holloway made the perfect move by setting up a fire making challenge between Carolyn & Rodney. Instead of taking Carolyn out, he made them fight it out and effectively put the decision of who moved forward into their hands. Apart from the fire building zzzzzzz there was no tension in that vote.

For me, I just don’t think I’ve seen enough interesting, and close final threes to like it enough.

Having said all that, an All Winners season would be the first time I would ever be open to a final 3 as I think it would be 3 deserving players unlike a normal season where we generally see a goat or dead fish get to the end.

Final3

Challenges

Bring back classic challenges from across the whole catalogue of Survivor seasons and lessen the amount of ‘puzzles’ for the season. I really liked that they brought back classic challenges for Heroes vs. Villains, with Jeff telling us when they were used and who participated.

The auction is a must but with so many savvy players, mix it up by not having any special items like clues for idols, challenge advantages or extra votes. Producers should rewatch the Survivor Guatemala auction with ‘loved ones’ and use that as a template for all future Auctions.

Auction

In recent seasons, I’ve hated reward challenges with randomly drawn teams. Make them all individual with the winner picking one or two players to take. Similar to a Final 2, these decisions bring more tension and drama to the episodes and also can have further consequences moving forward in the game (See Palau when Greg takes Jenn & Katie as one of many examples).

Another challenge that brings out the drama is ‘Touchy Subject’. Why this challenge is not a guarantee for every season is beyond belief. They get so much material from this challenge it’s ridiculous. It’s the easiest way for producers to create fights, divisions, drama, tears, alliance flippers, mistrust and paranoia with very little effort. Imagine Jeff asking the question of who is the most overrated winner or most undeserving? Heads would explode!

TouchySubjects

While very simple and probably not the most exciting, I love the ‘Hands on the Idol’ final immunity challenge (actually any endurance challenge for that matter; see Top 10 Final Immunity Challenges) and what it offers psychologically to the finale.

HandOnIdol

I won’t bore you here on why it’s so great but Hatch stepping down knowing he is going to the finals, Vecepia’s deal with Neleh, and Amber & Rob negotiating for the final necklace are good reasons. Add to that Rob Cesternino bargaining with Jenna and Ian stepping down against Tom in similar challenges, only again emphasizes why Final 2 is better than a Final 3. Final 3 can never be as epic as Final 2 because it simply doesn’t have this element. What made Micronesia even better than it already was? Making it a Final 2 with Amanda cutting Cirie’s throat. Change that to an easy Final 3 and Natalie boot and it’s just not as good. And stop the Cirie was robbed garbage, the biggest nonsense and fan fiction ever created!

Anyone that says Final 3 is better than Final 2 to me will get this Penner response “You know what, that’s bollocks and you know it”

I’ve just realized again that I hate Final 3 soooo much that I take back my earlier statement. I don’t want a Final 3 All Winners. Make it Final 2.

Final2

So there are my thoughts and ideas for ‘All Winners’, what would you like to see? Keep an eye out for my Top 10 list of Winners who should return.

What are your thoughts on an All Winners Season? Do you like the idea? Dislike it? What elements would you like to see included in such a season? Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts!

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18 Comments on Survivor: All Winners – Part 1

  1. I think one of the biggest issues with doing an All-Winners now is which winners to cut. I feel like people will say the winner of the season would be the top player, and thats now untrue since 10 or more winners wont get the chance to play.

    • I think there are at least 10 winners who don’t want to play, can’t, or have won twice (I don’t think Sandra should be on, because of the 2 win thing).

      Sandra. Rob and Amber have basically said “no more Survivor”, Cochran doesn’t want to play again, Parvati is too involved with production. believe Brian is on some type of blacklist. That is 6.

      Not sure if Rich is allowed (legal issues), if Ethan would do it (medical), Todd (medical). .

      And then some people have work commitments. And some others haven’t said publicly they would’nt play again, but they actually don;t and haven’t said it. I don’t think it would be a problem, or if it is, cut people who have returned before (Tina has played 3 times, granted was booted first in AS, for example)

      I think its a pretty good list.

  2. Go watch Micronesia again!!
    #ciriewasrobbed

    • Jasion Thomp // August 25, 2015 at 3:25 am // Reply

      No she wasn’t I understand that Cirie Parvati and Amanda thought it was final 3 due to the prior 3 seasons being a final 3 but how none of them realized that they voted of Natalie on day 37 not day 38 is beyond me. Jeff never said the final immunity challenge at final 4 either.

    • I just rewatched it a week ago; and Jeff never says F3, in fact he gives clues away at the final 4 immunity challenge that it’s NOT a final 3, so it was never rigged.

    • Very true

  3. I’d be all for an All-Winners season. While there’s plenty of possibility that it wouldn’t live up to expectations, I’m sure any season full of winners would produce a good result.

    Two tribes is definitely my preference for this one (or most any season, really. Not much of a fan of three tribes). Just look at HvV and how the rivalry between the tribes really upped the tension in that season. Three tribes, followed by an inevitable tribe swap of some kind, just doesn’t offer that kind of rivalry at all.

    (Though I’m not really sure why you keep saying the post-swap Worlds Apart tribes were so unbalanced… I don’t remember noticing that at all)

    Who to cast would be a pretty big issue and I’m sure plenty of fans would be upset if their favorite didn’t (or couldn’t) make it on the season, but there’s no getting around that. Same with early boots.

    Another point which may be covered in another article but came to my mind is number of players. While 20 seems pretty inevitable to bring back as many winners as possible (assuming there are that many willing to play again), I’d almost rather see less, like 18 or 16, to make sure everyone can get an ample amount of screentime with less players to divide it between. While I’m sure even a 20 player season could manage an even an satisfactory edit, I’d imagine its a bit harder to do. Even a season like HvV had several under-edited people (Tyson, Courtney, Danielle, even Sandra for the first half of the season)

  4. I’d love to see this, yet I think there would be an availability problem, even with 30+ winners. I’m not sure Jenna, Parvati, or Cochran are allowed to play again since they’ve worked for CBS. Rich and Brian might still have legal issues. Ethan and Todd may have health clearance troubles. Yul has too many commitments. Rob and Amber have said they are done. Sophie is likely in residency and not free to take time off. That’s almost half the available cast, if all these things are true.

  5. Giovanni Orellana // August 25, 2015 at 10:29 am // Reply

    If there is an All-Winners Season, which there will be, I think this would be the ideal cast:

    *Richard Hatch
    *Todd Herzog
    *Yul Kwon
    *Earl Cole
    *Brian Hedik
    *Mike Holloway
    *Tyson Apostal
    *Ethan Zohn
    *Tony Vlachos
    *Chris Daughtry
    *Denise Stapley
    *Kim Spradlin
    *Sophie Clarke
    *Sandra Diaz-Twine
    *Danni Boatwright
    *Jenna Morasca
    *Vecepia Towery
    *TIna Wesson
    *Natalie Anderson
    *Parvati Shallow

    • SURVIVOR ALL WINNERS:

      Male:
      1 Bob
      2 Tony
      3 JT
      4 Fabio
      5 Brian
      6 Yul
      7 Aras
      8 Chris
      9 Mike
      10 Earl

      Female:
      1 Natalie (Samoa)
      2 Natalie (BvW2)
      3 Jenna
      4 Amber
      5 Kim
      6 Denise
      7 Sophie
      8 Danni
      9 Vecepia
      10 (Winner of Cambodia – Peih Gee!!!!)

      Now, u guys may notice i didnt include Rob, Parvati, Tina, Richard, Cochran, Sandra, Tyson. coz those guys are easy targets. They should be back in an ALL LEGEND season. Whoever makes it to the final 5 of an ALL WINNERS season are qualified for an ALL LEGEND season. They should compete against people who have reputations as great as theirs so that they won’t be voted out easily.

  6. Yep I’d definitely like to see an all winners season, but maybe CBS will wait till they get to S40 (if they do), I’d also like to see an all- early boots season

  7. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who hates team rewards. I like the individual rewards because they get to pick the people that they go with.

  8. I like this idea but I think would take a long time for CBS to do it – an All Winners season seems like a farewell season to me , and since Survivor still does really at ratings, I don’t think it will come soon, perhaps a 40th season maybe – but I sure like the idea and I have tought about it. I would like to have 21 previous winners split into 3 tribes of 7 people: Tribe 1 – Old School Winners (the first seven winners from Survivor, minus Sandra); Tribe 2 – Female Winners (a mix of middle school and modern female winners, including Sandra for her win in HvV); Tribe 3 – Male Winners (a mix of middle school and modern male winners).

    I started to watch Survivor last may so I haven’t finished binge-watching yet (I have to catch up with the early years of the game), but I think this format would continue in my head as the best I can think of. And as for the players, I would love to see Richard, Yul, Earl, Todd, Kim and Natalie A play again and I would even love to watch people who have played a lot to comeback like Parvati, Tina and Rob.

  9. the location they used in Borneo may no longer be suitable as the surrounding areas are not secure for terrorist threats like Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah, and wandering Americans are easy targets for kidnappings by these groups.

  10. Brilliant idea Cable and I love the idea Colin had for Aggressive vs. Passive

  11. A cavity wall is a wall that is constructed of two layers of masonry, often brickwork, that are separated by an empty cavity.
    But you have to be able to breathe in your home, right.
    Metals like steel and vinyl are very good insulator
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  12. I think tribes should just be divided into old school vs new school. But that might be hard as the old school winners are older now.

    Maybe a school yard pick would be better.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 Males To Return for an All Winners Season | Survivor Oz
  2. Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 Females To Return for an All Winners Season | Survivor Oz

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