As August draws to a close, we draw ever-closer to one of the most highly anticipated seasons of Survivor in history. Join Ozlet Clifton Gibbons as he walks you through the 20 returning castaways competing on Survivor Cambodia and talks through all the new twists! You can then download our FULL preview episode as Ben is joined by his Ozlets for full cast analysis and opinions in what is always one of our craziest episodes each year!
For the first time in the history of Survivor, fans were able to vote for their favourite former players to return for a second chance in the game. The eligible contestants were out of a pool of former players who had only played once and had failed to win on their first attempt. While many avid Survivor fans were worried that the vote would be dominated by causal viewers who would create a lacklustre roster, this season’s cast turned out to be one of the most exciting the game has ever seen, with only a few notable snubs from the voting pool.
Survivor 31 is called Cambodia – Second Chance, and the season will begin with contestants divided into two tribes, Bayon, who will wear magenta, and Takeo, who will wear turquoise. In addition to these two starting tribes, it has been revealed that after two votes, when there are 18 contestants, the tribes will be randomly divided into three tribes of six. Bayon and Takeo will remain, and a new tribe, Angkor, will be introduced. The Angkor tribe will wear yellow. It will be interesting to see how the camps are handled during this never-before-seen twist. Will the new Angkor tribe have to start from scratch while the Bayon and Takeo tribe get to benefit from their existing camps? Will all three tribes have to start from scratch?
The three pre-merge buffs.
In addition to the twist involving two tribes being shuffled into three after two votes, details have been revealed concerning a few other twists this season has to offer. For the first time ever, Hidden Immunity Idols are not hidden at camp. When contestants find an idol clue, it will show them where the Hidden Immunity Idol is hidden at the next challenge. The contestant will know exactly where the idol is and will have to decide if it is worth the risk of trying to retrieve it during the challenge. Do they risk exposing themselves to the rest of their tribe? Do they risk making their tribe lose the challenge?
More than just where the idols are being hidden, the idols themselves are changing this season as well. It has become fairly common practice in the game of Survivor for individuals to make fake idols. Recently, however, this has not been a very beneficial practice due to the fact that idols tend to look the same and even the most immaculately crafted fake idol can be detected as different from a real idol. This season, every Hidden Immunity Idol will look different. One might look like a traditional immunity idol, one might look like an effing stick. It will be interesting to see how much of an impact, if any, this change will make on how people leverage idols in the game.
The last twist we know something about this season concerns how the season begins. At the start of this season the two tribes will be divided and marooned. There will be a supply boat which they can spend time on gathering as much as they can. Much further away is a second small boat containing one bag of rice. The first tribe to retrieve the bag of rice will get to keep it, while the other tribe will be left hungry. As a tribe, do you attempt to collect as many supplies as possible before heading for the rice, or do you forgo the supplies in order to guarantee food? The first Immunity Challenge this season will reintroduce the Quest for Fire, a traditional first Immunity Challenge. Since the challenge will be held late in the day, the losing tribe will have to go straight to Tribal Council without a chance to strategize.
Without further ado, let’s dig into the cast for this season!
The initial Bayon tribe consists of Ciera Eastin (Blood vs Water), Monica Padilla (Samoa), Kimmi Kappenberg (Australian Outback), Tasha Fox (Cagayan), Kass McQuillen (Cagayan), Andrew Savage (Pearl Islands), Keith Nale (San Juan Del Sur), Jeremy Collins (San Juan Del Sur), Stephen Fishbach (Tocantins), and Joe Anglim (Worlds Apart).
42, Woodlands, Texas
Season 2: The Australian Outback
Considering that Kimmi was a pre-merge boot during her time on The Australian Outback, she was one of the most memorable characters of the season. She had a larger-than-life personality, a notable fear of the water which kept her from bathing, and a strong conviction for her vegetarian lifestyle which provoked conflicts at camp and made her experience in the gross food eating challenge particularly dramatic. If Kimmi is a fraction as entertaining as she was the first time around we are in for a treat. Will she be able to work with former tribe mate Jeff Varner, or will they harbour resentments from all those years ago?
30, Queens, New York
Season 19: Samoa
While Monica was a victim of being under-edited, along with her entire Galu tribe, during the infamously edited Russell Hantz season, Samoa, she is remembered by many for the opposition she gave to Russell on her way out. She hopes that she can play hard from the very beginning this time and make the moves she needs to in order to advance her place in the game before it is too late. Will Monica’s small edit contribute to her fellow contestants not perceiving her as a threat and allow her to get far, or will they fear her ability to sneak to the end in such a colourful group of fan-favourites?
26, Salem, Oregon
Season 27: Blood vs Water
The big headline for Ciera is, of course, the fact that she was willing to vote out her mother. She didn’t really have much of a choice in this matter, however, and admits herself that she wasn’t really invested in playing the game until after the merge. Her much more notable gameplay move was being the first person in 23 seasons of the game who was willing to force a rock draw that, unfortunately, did not go in her favour. What will Ciera’s second time out look like without her mother, and will she be playing hard from the start? Too hard? How will others perceive her after her game on Blood vs Water?
39, St. Louis, Missouri
Season 28: Cagayan
Tasha is one of the most dominant female challenge performers in recent years, coming close to matching the record that Kelly Wiglesworth made in the very first season. More than just a challenge beast, Tasha is fiercely intelligent and a strong social player. Will she be able to continue to dominate in challenges with the All-Star cast that she is competing with this season? How will she deal with being on the same tribe as Kass, and will she use the lesson of Kass on Survivor: Cagayan to make a greater effort to ensure everyone in her alliance feels comfortable and no one flips? Will she find herself working with Spencer and against Woo again after a swap, or will the tables turn this season?
42, Tehachapi, California
Season 28: Cagayan
Kass is famously remembered for her snarky personality and her decision to flip on her alliance at the merge to get rid of Sarah Lacina, whom she had been feuding with for power in their alliance. After this move she was perceived negatively by her cast and was seen by many as the ultimate goat. Will Kass be perceived as untrustworthy and swiftly eliminated or will she again seen as a goat to be dragged to the end? Or has Kass upped her social game to match her impenetrable wit this time around and formed new ideas about how to deal with her fellow contestants?
51, San Jose, California
Season 7: Pearl Islands
Savage was the victim of the infamous Outcasts twist in Pearl Islands which saw two contestants who had been voted out return to the game. After losing time and time again in the early game, Savage’s Morgan tribe gained momentum and tied the numbers up going into the merge. Due to the Outcast twist and some of the cold treatment he supposedly gave to Outcast returnee Lil Morris, his comeback was for naught and he was swiftly eliminated by the Drake tribe and Lil at the merge. Will Savage be a leader on his new tribe this second time around or will he try to take a back seat so as not to put a target on himself? What did he learn from his first time on the show and will his social game have evolved in the years since then?
36, New York, New York
Season 18: Tocantins
Many consider Stephen to be the strategic driving force behind J.T.’s victory in Survivor: Tocantins. However, he was unable to oust J.T. before it was too late and was unable to effectively articulate his strategic prowess to the Tocantins jury. In the time since then, he has gained a massive amount of respect in the Survivor community for dissection of the game in his People column as well as his role as a Survivor Know-It-All on RobHasAPodcast. He now has a lot of practice articulating his strategic thoughts. Will his reputation and connections serve him going into his second time in the game, or will he be perceived by his fellow castaways as too much of a threat for those reasons?
37, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Season 29: San Juan Del Sur
Jeremy Collins was quickly thrust into the spotlight of his original Hunahpu tribe when he defeated his wife at Hero Arena on Day 1 of San Juan Del Sur. While his demonstrative nature and physical and social prowess made him someone everyone wanted to align with early on in the game, he was quickly perceived as a threat by his own tribe mates and alliance members, who successfully eliminated him shortly after the merge. With an All-Star cast, will Jeremy be able to deflect the attention off of himself and onto other threats and make it further into this game, or has so little time passed since his first season that he will be quickly targeted just as he was before?
54, Keithville, Louisiana
Season 29: San Juan Del Sur
Keith’s charming personality, hilarious lack of Survivor knowledge, and unusual prowess in challenges involving balls made him a fan favorite in his first time on the show. What has Keith learned from his experience that will aid him in his second time on the show? Will he continue to dominate in challenges with the All-Star cast that he is competing with? Will people perceive him as a threat because of how far he made it in the game last time, or will people consider him to be a goat because of his lack of strategic play?
25, Scottsdale, Arizona
Season 30: Worlds Apart
Joe Anglim was the golden boy of Survivor: Worlds Apart. He could do no wrong. He was a powerhouse in the challenges, proving himself a force to be reckoned with in physical, puzzle, and balance elements of the game. He was also effective at forming relationships early in the game with his social charm. He seems like a legitimately fantastic individual, but he didn’t exhibit the cutthroat mentality that many successful Survivor players have. Will he play a harder game this time around or will he be targeted right away for the threat he poses physically, socially, and as a fan favorite?
The initial Takeo tribe consists of Kelly Wiglesworth (Borneo), Kelley Wentworth (San Juan Del Sur), Abi Maria Gomes (Philippines), Peih-Gee Law (China), Shirin Oskooi (Worlds Apart), Jeff Varner (Australian Outback), Terry Deitz (Panama), Vytas Baskauskas (Blood vs Water), Spencer Bledsoe (Cagayan), and Woo Hwang (Cagayan).
37, Greensboro, North Carolina
Season 1: Borneo
Kelly Wiglesworth is remembered as the first ever runner-up in Survivor history, losing out to Richard Hatch by only one vote. Had that one vote gone to her instead of Richard, it is hard to say how the future of Survivor would have been different, how the game itself would have been different, and if the show would have been as successful and long-running as it is. Having Kelly back, who was a challenge dominator and a part of the original Tagi Four alliance, is one of the most fascinating bits of casting that we have this season. Will she play the same game that she played the first time around? Will she continue to be a physical dominator in the challenges and match or exceed the record which she herself formed? Could she possibly return to the Final Tribal Council and win thirty seasons later? It’s going to fascinating no matter what happens.
37, San Francisco, California
Season 15: China
Peih-Gee Law was a fan favorite on Survivor: China who’s tribe was on the wrong side of the numbers. While her alliance and tribe mates were picked off one by one, Peih-Gee was able to persist all the way until fifth place before she was voted out. She is remembered for winning three individual challenges but also for getting under her fellow contestants skin. How will Peih-Gee’s social game have evolved in the years since she played? Will she land on the right side of the numbers this time around, and will her position as one of few players from the middle seasons allow her to more easily form bonds with both “old school” and “new school” players?
35, Los Angeles, California
Season 25: Philippines
Many people thought that Abi-Mari may have been misunderstood in her first time in the game because of cultural differences. Her tribe mates disagreed. She was seen as bombastic, confrontational, and mean-spirited. Moreover, she was unable to compete in many challenges due to a leg injury that she procured on the very first day, which contributed to people’s negative view of her. Despite this, she was on a powerhouse tribe that did not go to Tribal Council before the merge, and she was able to make it to fifth place. How has Abi grown in the years since she played, and has she learned from her reception by the television audience? Is she going to try and tone down her personality this time and be more gracious, or will hunger and weather cause the old Abi to appear? How will she perform in challenges now that she is coming into the game without an injury?
29, Seattle, Washington
Season 29: San Juan Del Sur
While Kelley Wentworth did not make it far into her first season, San Juan Del Sur, she was considered by many viewers to be a player with a lot of potential. Since that season she attributes some of her failings to being stuck with her father and often remarked that she would love to play again without him. Since her time on the show, she was extremely active in the online fan community, engaging with a number of various sites and podcasts, and she garnered an avid fan base through these actions. Will her early exit on San Juan Del Sur cause her fellow contestants not to think of her as a threat? Will her involvement in the Survivor online community afford her any connections that will help her advance in the game? How will she fare without worrying about her father or being targeted as a fan?
32, San Francisco, California
Season 30: Worlds Apart
Shirin was a definite fan favourite last season on Survivor: Worlds Apart for her quirky personality, occupational affiliations, and super-fan status. Many people in the Survivor community came to her fervent defence when she came under personal attacks on the show. On the show, however, many people did not find her quirky fan persona favourable and she struggled socially. Will she be able to tone down some of the traits that made her a target on the last season, or will this All-Star cast embrace all of her delightful quirks? How will her game have evolved after her first experience, or will it be the same since she is playing back-to-back seasons? Will her admission of being a multi-millionaire at the Worlds Apart Final Tribal Council come back to bite her?
49, Breensboro, North Carolina
Season 2: Australian Outback
Jeff Varner is remembered by many for sparking the infamous fight between Kimmi and Alicia on their Kucha tribe back on Survivor: The Australian Outback. Although he was a strong social player with a delightful wit, Alicia and Jeff were on the outside of the Kucha tribe going into the merge. For years he has claimed that Kimmi revealed to the opposing tribe that he received votes at their first Tribal Council, allowing for Ogakor to win the tie at the merge and take over the game by voting for him. Had Michael Skupin not fallen into the fire, Kucha may have had the numbers at the merge and Jeff may have had a chance to go very far into the game. How has Jeff grown and changed in the years since The Australian Outback and can he adapt to the much more fast-paced game that now exists?
55, Simsbury, Connecticut
Season 12: Panama
Terry Deitz is one of the best challenge performers that the game has ever seen. In his first time on the show he won seven individual challenges and was protected by the first Hidden Immunity Idol that could be played after the votes were read. These two elements in tandem kept Terry safe to the Final 3 despite the fact that he was the main target of the Casaya tribe from the point of the merge and despite the fact that he often had a less than perfect social game, starting heated conflicts with various people throughout the season. Can Terry continue to be a challenge dominator all these years later? Has his social game improved or will he continue to rub people the wrong way? Will Terry rely on hunting for Hidden Immunity Idols so that he has the extra protection that he relied on last time around?
35, Santa Monica, California
Season 27: Blood vs Water
Vytas was a very popular contestant in his time on Blood vs Water, and many people believed that he would go far into the game. While he found himself in a strong position on his starting tribe, he relied too much on the alliances that his brother formed and at the merge they were immediately targeted. Will Vytas perform better now that he is not associated with his brother and not part of a very threatening duo? Will these people, who have seen how he plays, be wise to his interpersonal coercion tactics and silver tongue? Will he seek to form an alliance with Terry who played closely with his brother, Aras, in Panama?
22, Chicago, Illinois
Season 28: Cagayan
Spencer is one of the most popular people to play the game in recent history. Fans of the show loved his super-fan status and rooted for him as the underdog of Cagayan. Since the show, he has continued to build popularity by continuing to be extremely active in all aspects of the Survivor online community and has developed a huge fan base. It is no surprise that Spencer was voted back onto the show, but will his extreme popularity and strategic savvy come with an even bigger target? Can Spencer find himself on the right side of the numbers, or will he be the underdog yet again? Could he be the first boot?
31, Newport Beach, California
Season 28: Cagayan
Woo was beloved by many people who watched the show for his loveable personality and often hilarious confessionals. He did not seem to be an expert at the show, however, and was seen as making many mistakes in the game. The biggest of these mistakes was choosing to take Tony Vlachos to the Final 2 with him instead of Kass McQuillen. How will Woo have grown from his time on the show? Does he understand the intricacies of the game better and does he now have the strategic savvy required for him to go far? Or will his cast mates perceive him as a goat after his first time on the show and could he lose in a Final Tribal Council for a second time? Will he attempt to work with Spencer, Tasha, or Kass or will he make his own way through the game?
So there you have the twenty contestants who will be playing the 31st season of Survivor! The new season will premiere on CBS on the 23rd of September. Let’s hear from Ben and some of the other Ozlets on their thoughts of this season and this cast!
If you’re not excited for this season, then you’re not a Survivor fan.
This is such an exciting time to be a fan of the show as we prepare for our third ever full returning player season and given how great the first two were, this is shaping up to be just as good! Could you ever have imagined seeing Kelly Wiglesworth, Jeff Varner, Kimmi Kappenberg, Andrew Savage, Terry Deitz and Peih-Gee Law coming back to play again after all these years? Mixing them up with some of the biggest names from recent seasons? There is just so much to get excited about, and putting the travesty of not having T-Bird or Shane on this season aside, September can’t come soon enough!
The twists are certainly interesting. I personally like the fact that they haven’t overdone it with super overcomplicated twists and have kept them relatively simple with some great ideas with the idols. Making them look different is a genius idea, and having them at challenges will certainly spice things up. I personally am a fan of the introduction of a third tribe as well, as I think it’s a great way of dividing the tribes up rather than just a generic switch up.
The tribe divides at the moment are interesting as well with some great personality clashes shaping up. It’s now time for me to give my usually extremely wrong predictions for you to laugh at in four months time:
Abi-Maria: My pony! I have money riding on her which makes me nervous. I love Abi, she is a great character and a tad underrated as a player and I personally love having her on the show whenever we have had her on. I just don’t think she can make it far sadly. If Ta Keo lose first I for sure see her as a potential first boot. I don’t think they will lose first, but I don’t think she’ll last too long as much as I hate to say that. I hope I’m wrong. Predicted Finish: 17th
Ciera: Ciera has always been just an average player to me, I don’t see the big deal behind her game in BvW but I do personally like her. I think she’ll be able to float under the radar a bit this season as I can’t really see people targeting her over some of the other players. If she can play a similar game to her first season of staying out of trouble and then trying to align with a power group, she could go deep. Middle of the road I say. Predicted Finish: 10th
Jeremy: Love Jeremy to bits, he was my tip to finish runner-up to his wife Val in SJDS and was devo when he was voted out. I think he is going to come back super strong this season and play a different game, but one that I feel could cause friction along the way. I can see him running the show and going all the way to the end, but sadly I feel as though it might not be a fairy-tale finish and a jury could be against him when it comes to voting for him to win. You’ll hear me say this a lot during these predictions but again, I hope I’m wrong. Predicted Finish: 3rd
Joe: Joe is hot. Yes he is. And I honestly think that’s the only reason he is back. Not to take away from Joe, he seems like a nice dude and I actually started to really warm to him towards when he got voted out in WA. However I just can’t see a scenario where he can win this game. He is too much like an Ozzy who is great at physical challenges but I can see him being ‘clicky’ with a small group of people that will alienate him from the rest. Predicted Finish: 11th
Kass: Oh Kass. Love you to bits. And so happy to see you back as there was no way in hell you were never ever not going to play this game again. But the sad thing is I feel she comes into this game with too much of a stigma against her to really have a shot at winning which is so sad. I think if Bayon can survive a few challenges she has the potential to hang around for a bit just as somebody might use her as a ‘goat’, but I think it won’t happen because Kass wouldn’t let it and I see Bayon losing the first challenge. That will spell doom then for my favourite chaos player. Predicted Finish: 20th
Keith: KEITH IS BACK! Oh so happy to see him! How can you not like Keith? The guy is one of the biggest characters this game has ever seen and one of the funniest and nicest guys you will ever meet. His game didn’t get a whole lot of respect first time around and being on a tribe with Jeremy to start will hurt him to no end as i feel Jeremy will definitely target him early. If Bayon can win a few challenges at the start and he can stick around, I see Keith going very deep as I think nobody will perceive him as a threat at all. However given that I think Bayon will lose a few challenges at the start, I sadly think he will be an early target and won’t make it far. Again, I hope I’m wrong. Predicted Finish: 16th
Kelley: Love me some Kelley, one of the most underrated players and characters from the gem that was SJDS and I am so happy she is back. A lot of people say she is a ‘wtf’ choice to return but I don’t. I think on a non-BvW season she would’ve had every chance to go all the way and right now I think this is her chance to prove it. I see her working in the long run with Jeremy again and I really see her not being a target and being able to control things and get on people’s side throughout the game. Right now I’m calling it, this is your winner of Cambodia. Predicted Finish: 1st
Kelly: Words cannot express the joy and happiness inside of me to see Kelly Wiglesworth back. Can I just say those words again? KELLY WIGLESWORTH IS BACK! Did you ever think that would happen? WILL IT HAS HAPPENED AND SHE IS BACK! Sorry, tad excited! I think that the ‘old school’ factor of her will help her survive into the merge and I really can’t see too many people targeting her at the beginning. I almost think some people will play in awe of her given her status in the game. Having said that, I also don’t see her coming out and being able to pull strings in the way some people will. The game has developed a lot since her time on the show and I will be fascinated to see how she can adapt to those changes. She is the one person I hope I am well and truly wrong about, but I sadly can’t see her going much deeper than early to mid-jury. Predicted Finish: 7th
Kimmi: There is just so much to get excited about this cast and again to see Kimmi back is just so exciting! I love Kimmi, and I never in a million years thought she would be back to play again! I think that a lot of people may forget about her time in AO which could help her but I also feel her personality again may get the better of her and clash with other players. I hope (again) that I’m wrong but I sadly don’t see her making it too far. Predicted Finish: 15th
Monica: One of the main ‘huh’ choices in returning, I actually am I tad excited to see her play given the fun interview I had with her before this season and also how she will go when surely she can actually get an edit this time and not be overshadowed by a certain Hantz. Returning player seasons have a habit of thrusting the ‘huh’ choices into bigger players (Amber, Parvati) and that will be a huge plus for her because ask yourself the question: who the hell is going to target Monica early on? She was my tip to win, but I swapped it last moment and put her as the runner-up. Bring it on Monica! Predicted Finish: 2nd
Peih-Gee: I sound like a broken down record but I LOVE Peih-Gee and given I feel anyone from China could return and I would be happy it makes me happy to see her season getting a bit more love outside the Amanda/James/Courtney click (although Todd still needs to come back pronto). She was a hugely underrated player first time around and if she can not piss people off she can easily go very deep into this game and possibly even win it. However I think she will clash early with some people on her tribe and that will hurt her, so sadly I have to put her as an early boot. Predicted Finish: 18th
Savage: Oh Savage. So great to finally see him make a return and somebody out of the ‘big 3’ from Pearl Islands get another chance. So much has been said about his game first time around and whether or not he was ‘robbed’ of a deeper finish. Now is the time for him to show just how good he can be at the game and I think he will be able to do that. Sadly I don’t see it in his personality to be as cutthroat as some of the other players and I think his loyalty will hurt him. Predicted Finish: 5th
Shirin: I fucking loved Shirin pre-game on WA but have gone off her after her season. She has a huge fan-base and it’s easy to see why she is back, but I think it’s way too soon for her to return after everything that happened and it will hurt her in the game. If Ta Keo lose first, I say she is the first boot. Given I think they won’t lose first, she’ll be second boot. Predicted Finish: 19th
Spencer: Love Spencer, a super nice guy and a very unlucky player. I think he will change up a great deal coming into this season and I feel he is a player who will have a lot of pre-game alliances in place. Having said that, pre-game alliances rarely work and I think he will be on the wrong side of a switch or an alliance flip that will hurt him. I tossed and turned over whether he or Stephen would be the higher finisher, and sadly for Spencer, Stephen won the toss. Predicted Finish: 12th
Stephen: See above for Spencer, but the difference is I think Stephen is a smarter player to be able to ride through some tough times and make it far. Stephen could easily go two ways. I can actually see him being targeted early given his profession basically sees him talking and analysing the show weekly and he for sure has said some negative things about several of his cast members which I’m sure they won’t forget. But Stephen is a smart and nice guy and let me just say again that he is SMART. So I can definitely see him going deep, I could even see him winning potentially as well. This time I don’t think he will. Predicted Finish: 6th
Tasha: Was a massive Tasha fan during the first time I saw Cagayan and have to admit lost a bit of that fandom for her on a re-watch. Having said that, I don’t dislike her and would love to see her go deep into the game. I don’t see it happening though sadly and I think she’ll be perceived as a physical threat heading into the merge which will be her downfall. Predicted Finish: 13th
Terry: FINALLY TERRY IS BACK! How long have we waited and waited and waited for this day to come! So happy for Mr Deitz! One of the biggest physical threats the game has ever seen, it will be interesting to see how he lives up to the stigma he has against him based on his past. Still in great shape, I think he can still be a force in challenges. However I’m not sure if he will be able to click as much with the other players as his social game was a bit of negative for him during Panama. Hope I am wrong with his finishing position because he is one player who would deserve the win. Predicted Finish: 14th
Varner: Oh god, I can’t believe I’m writing a pre-season prediction about Jeff fucking Varner! I have the biggest smile on my face! Jeff is just awesome. Who out there doesn’t like Jeff??! Given AO is the season I have probably seen the most I just love everyone on that season and Varner has always been one of my favourites. I see a lot of people predicting he will win and I can see it. I definitely can see Jeff Varner winning this game. He is an underrated player and played a great game first time out. I just don’t know if his style of game will get him to the end and I can see a blindside taking him out before the game gets to the pointy end. I do see him at least making the jury this time around (and what a great jury speech he will give) but again, I hope I’m wrong because Varner at FTC would be one of the greatest things ever. Predicted Finish: 8th
Vytas: Vytas was my pick to win BvW and I similarly think he can go very deep in this game. He just has something about him that people seem to connect with. He seems like a nice, charming guy and he is very very smart and cunning which can help him. And again, who will target Vytas? I see a possibly Tyson 2.0 with him, but I also think he will get canned right at the death and will just miss out on the FTC. Having said that, wouldn’t surprise me at all if he won. Predicted Finish: 4th
Woo: Woo was on Cagayan. He is back. Joy. Predicted Finish: 9th
There you go! Feel free to message me in four months time to laugh at how wrong I was with my predictions! Right now though you know what I’m going to say don’t you? BRING IT ON!
Well here we go – its game on and you have to think this will be an epic season of the show. Its time to move on from #shanewasrobbed and get to the cast we have. And they are a pretty amazing cast all round. I won’t break them down individually as I think others will do this much better than me, but sits great to see a spread of seasons represented here.
Its so hard to know how this one will go but Ill start up top with who I think could win – for me it came down to three people – ultimately I went with Ciera. Why? Well who is targeting her early? No one, that’s who. She will be a non-threat and the alpha males just can’t help taking each other out early on. By the time Ciera gets on the radar, I reckon she will be in a good position, and if she can negotiate the last couple of votes before the merge, I think she has the kahunas to make the kind of moves that give her a resume to win. Now watch me crash and burn as she is voted out first…
I also like Monica but I think the pre-season cast video had me so torn on her, she literally could go either way. I couldn’t pick her as a winner. She could be the next Parvati, but if she is going to play up a showmance as it seems, I don’t like her chances in the end.
I also have this strange feeling about Jeremy. I can’t put my finger on it, but what I know is he loves strategy and is on a season with a lot of other people that do. I like how he has “lost weight” to be less physically intimidating (wish I looked that physically unintimidating, but that’s another story…) and I think his social skills are probably better than we saw in SJDS.
But quite frankly with the amount of twists and idols in the mix this season, it really is anyone’s game. Hold on tight, make friends and hope for the best – this is going to be a wild ride. I am trying to be OK that many of my favourites may go early – I worry especially for Jeff Varner and Kass who I think are awesome TV. I worry that Spencer has an early target on him.
I can’t say I am a huge fan of either Tasha or Shirin – I think they are both overhyped and think they are a little better than they really are. Although I am interested to see if Shirin was portrayed favourably last season as someone who was picked on unfairly, or if she annoys this group as well. Tasha to me is someone who doesn’t appear to have a great social game – her yelling at people early in Cagayan and then apparently refusing to talk to Kass after she flipped for the rest of the time in her game speaks to this fact pretty well – perhaps things will work out better but I’m not expecting greatness there.
I also can’t wait to see a few of these other players who have been off our screens for so long. We are about to see Terry Deitz play Survivor again! His return is something I have championed for a while, as a player who must have learned a great deal from his first time playing. And Kelly Wigglesworth – who knows how this will go. I’m not as big a fan as the rest of the staff at Survivor Oz HQ, and I just think her plan of wanting to play the game honourably just wont work in the modern era. But she also doesn’t appear to be a threat, so could be around a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if she becomes our new “purple” Kelly – not much to add to the show so we just don’t see much of her.
And the player I want to win teh most is Stephen Fishbach. I really hope he does well, even if I doubt his ability to win based on the target he will have in this group. I’m thinking he may have a late run, and perhaps be the last jury member, falling agonisingly close to the win.
In terms of tribe dynamics, I really don’t even want to go there as I think this season will end up being so crazy that it really won’t matter. Lets hope its more like Heroes vs. Villains and less like All Stars. I think what is exciting this time around is just how open it is – you can make a case for literally everyone on this cast winning or at least doing well, and can see almost all of them going home early for various reasons. That’s not usually the case with any given cast so I think its going to make things incredibly fun to watch. Roll on September – it’s still too far away!
Joe Anglim-To be honest, I knew he was going to be voted back but I didn’t want him back at the same time, just because there were some more entertaining choices, still love you Joe. However since he is on the show I couldn’t be happier because he does deserve a second chance and well he might do well but with a season full of players he might be out early because he is a physical monster so he will have to work his strategic skills like we saw in his last episode last season. Prediction: Pre-Merge Boot
Vytas Baskauskas-In my opinion he is the most overlooked player. He was probably the most persuasive player on his original season and the only reason he got voted out is because he kind of gave up after his brother was voted out. Now without the factor of his brother I believe he will play the game he was always destined to play. He is my early on favorite to win the game. Prediction: Final 3
Spencer Bledsoe-There is no denying Spencer is a great player but I feel his reputation will work against him a bit. I really want him and Stephen to start a super fan alliance and if they do, they will be unstoppable. Saying that I feel strategically he can put himself in a great spot come merge time but he will not win. Prediction: Mid Jury
Jeremy Collins-His blindside was the shocker of his season however this time around I don’t see much difference this time around. I hope he surprises me because I want him to do well, however I think he might be an early merge boot. Prediction: Early Jury
Terry Deitz-I want him to do well because he deserves this second chance however I feel his age might catch up to him. He might do well in challenges, but like Joe people might be afraid of him doing well come merge time and get rid of him early, hopefully he proves me wrong. Prediction: Pre-Merge Boot
Ciera Eastin-Another person who’s past will come to haunt them. Like she said herself, how can you trust someone who voted their mom out? Also, she isn’t that strong at all so come team challenge time I feel she will be a target early on and finding an alliance might be hard for her. Prediction: Early Boot
Stephen Fishbach-One of the people we have been waiting forever to come back. I think he will find alliances early and will be able to use his opportunities to his advantage. This is why he is a lot of people’s favorite to win, however I feel he will get so close but just miss out. Prediction: Final 5
Tasha Fox-She was just at the odds of numbers in her first season and still made it far, mostly because of challenge wins, however I feel the new dynamic she talked about could make her strategic side come out even more, but I feel she will get mid jury again. Prediction: Mid Jury
Abi-Maria Gomes-Her past will haunt her and while she might be a great goat to bring to the end, she will actually have to play in challenges this time. I don’t think her strategic side will be as good as it was before and she might be an early boot. Prediction: Early Boot
Woo Hwang-Such a nice guy and surprisingly was never really a target his first time around. I’m hoping we see more of his strategic side this time because that might be what carries him over the top. His social game got him to the end last time but he needs his strategic side to get him the money, Prediction: Final 3
Kimmi Kappenberg-I hate to say it but this is my first boot prediction. She isn’t the greatest at challenges and her knack for being kind of snarky might hurt her a bit in the game. If she can lay low and do well in challenges she can do well but I don’t see it happening. Prediction: First Boot
Peih-Gee Law-She has to bring that fighting spirit back to have a shot in this game. She could do well but I don’t see her doing well because she might get over strategized by some other people. Not to mention some people have friends from other seasons, she is alone and finding a place might be hard for her, I hope I’m wrong. Prediction: Pre-Merge Boot
Kass McQuillen-I’m hoping that Chaos Kass is back because she will make big moves and bring the entertainment. I also think that her past of being untrustworthy might come back to haunt her, however I feel she will be a great speaker, being a lawyer and all, and can talk her way out of being voted out early but people will not respect her game, unfortunately. Prediction: Final 3
Keith Nale-Another person that age might catch up to them. He doesn’t really have the strategic part of the game down but socially he is one of the best players because he will always have you laughing but he needs to bring something other than that to really become a good player. Prediction: Pre-Merge Boot
Shirin Oskooi-If she plays the game like she did her game after Max was voted out she will do well, however will a tribe of game players and not being the strongest she might not last long. I really liked her the first time around, at least the second part of her game but if she starts to get fan girly with all the returning players, they might get annoyed and vote her out early. Prediction: Early Boot
Monica Padilla-She will be the dark horse of the season. Because her game was so quiet the first time around she will be a person people want to align with, or they can just be scared of what she can do and vote her out. Either way I feel she will be the person to get a lot of votes her way but finding some way to survive, even with being a weaker physical player. Prediction: Mid-Jury
Andrew Savage-His age might catch up to him as well, still looks in great shape though. Hopefully he won’t try to be too bossy and the leader again like he was last time because it made him a huge threat at the merge. Overall I predict he will do decently well. Prediction: Early Jury
Jeff Varner-He was talked about a lot for being sneaky and sly and for being a threat. Hopefully he can use that to his advantage and find a good alliance, however he will be a threat to vote out at some point and his age isn’t the biggest positive either. Prediction: Early Jury
Kelley Wentworth-She is my pony so I have to pray she will do well. I think she will surprise everyone as well. She and Monica have an advantage because they weren’t seen that much and so they don’t have that much about them and they will do well because of it. I think that Kelley will be more under the radar and make it a tiny bit farther. Prediction: Final 5
Kelly Wiglesworth-So glad she is back because she deserves a second chance. However, she can play a great game, the question is will she? I think she will play a fairly good game and make if far but miss out on an opportunity to get to the end and that will be her big mistake. Prediction: Early Jury
Overall I think the cast was well picked out by the fans and it will be a fun season overall and I can’t wait to watch it. The twists will be very interesting as well and adds a new dynamic to the game.
Abi Maria Gomes: With her reputation it’ll be a bit of an uphill battle for her in the early days of the game because she isn’t the most trustworthy player nor is she strong physically. Like in her first season, it’ll do her well to be on a successful tribe and get her through the first third of the game where she’ll have more options. I’m optimistic about Abi. I feel she’ll still be entertaining but she has matured a little more and she’ll be someone more people can root for this season.
Andrew Savage: He’s made it pretty clear how badly he wants to be here. Yes, everyone badly wanted another chance to play this game. But he’s had the 4th longest wait. Much of his success will depend on whether it makes him look desperate or if it motivates him to positively influence his tribe. Mentally I feel he’ll be stuck in the Pearl Islands era which another player could use as a number but hopefully he has evolved a bit in his gameplay otherwise he’ll be a post merge boot.
Ciera Eastin: I can see her working with players like Monica and Stephen on her tribe. Things could go either way for Ciera because she did grab some “Survivor headlines” for voting her mom out and drawing rocks but it depends on if people believe those headlines were merited. Because Laura didn’t need Ciera’s vote to be voted out and Hayden deserves credit for convincing Ciera to flip. Like other young strategic women on their second season such as Amanda, Parvati, and Candice this season will be important for her legacy and to see if she deserves the credit she was given her first time.
Jeff Varner: Jeff is very interesting. I feel he has what it takes to do well. He seems very motivated and I think will be approaching the game appropriately with what it takes to succeed. I feel he’ll be fun to watch as well. Glad he’ll be back after so long ago in Australia.
Jeremy Collins: I think Jeremy expects that he’ll improve this season but I think the best case scenario for him would be if he lasted just as much as he did in San Juan Del Sur. I feel he will overplay again and these guys know what Jeremy can do. That being said, he didn’t really cut anyone’s throat. His only successful votes were Drew who dug his own grave and Josh who was targeting him. He doesn’t have the deceiver/bad blood history that some other players have had, but then again that was because Jeremy didn’t go as far as players such as Abi or Stephen.
Joe Anglim: He’s probably one of the bigger targets in the game to begin with based on his physical game and his popularity. There’s only so much Joe can do and unless he has a long immunity run he likely will be voted out even sooner than his first season.
Kass McQuillen: Speaking of targets, if there’s anything I got from the “Survivor Cambodia contestants share their strategies for the new season” video, it’s that Kass is the biggest target and no one wants to align with her. Yes she’d be a dream for everyone to take to the finals (well, except Woo) but you can’t count on her letting you take her there with you, because she’s Chaos Kass. Parvati was a huge target early on in Heroes vs Villains and managed to turn in around. Could Kass do the same? Well, it’s Survivor. Anything can happen.
Keith Nale: Keith was very interesting in Survivor San Juan Del Sur. Yes he’s not as strategic as Jeremy, but I give him credit where credit is due. Keith did something some higher rated players from the fan base such as Andrea and Ozzy couldn’t do: use the idol at the right time. Sure it sent his son home, but ultimately Keith had some sort of survival instinct that helped him out a few times when he should’ve been voted out much sooner. I think Keith is one of the safer choices to align with in a very cutthroat cast in a season centered around redemption, but I think these guys know better than to underestimate the fireman (this one in particular)
Kimmi Kappenberg: Well, she’s had plenty of time to grow and mature as a person. She seems like she’d have a fighting chance in a modern day season now. As long as no one talks about chickens, she should be fine. In all seriousness though, Kimmi is tough to read because she was an early boot in the 2nd season of Survivor and made no strategic moves. Her lack of a reputation should help her out since she won’t be on many radars early on.
Monica Padilla: Definitely a dangerous player. People who have returned after getting screwed over by Russell have had a decent track record in Survivor. Boston Rob: Winner, Laura Morett: 6th place, Tyson Apostol: 1st place. Of course then you have Rupert and Candice but that’s beside the point. Since Russell took up so much airtime in Samoa, most of these guys probably had to do a little extra digging to learn about her. She was a promising player in Samoa, can she fulfill her promise this season? I think so.
Stephen Fishbach: Well this is where the rubber meets the road. After years of Survivor Know it Alls and analyzing every move of the last 10 or 11 seasons, as well as writing for People Magazine, will all this knowledge stored in his gigantic brain help him or hurt him. I hope he does well, of course he will have 1 or 2 people targeting him. At the same time though, I can see him finding a good alliance and being ignored a bit at least until mid merge. He’s a dark horse to win IMO, but he’ll have to be careful.
Tasha Fox: Mentioned as one of, if not the biggest female physical player this season, Tasha has little room for error in this game. She’s not the biggest target in my opinion but she’s certainly not Kimmi or Monica who can fly under the radar. If Tasha surrounds herself with like minded/similar skillset players, she could do well. After Jeff mentioned Tasha nearly equaling Wiglesworth’s record, it’s good to see them on the same season.
Kelley Wentworth: I know many casual or semi-casual fans were shocked she existed let alone managed to return for another season. She focused a bit on how difficult playing with her Dad was, and now that she’s on her own she may feel more liberated and able to play on her own. As long as it doesn’t go to her head she’ll make a deep run.
Kelly Wiglesworth: A Survivor legend appears on the scene! 30 seasons after Borneo, despite at its core being the same game it was back then, on the surface it’s much much different. I’m not sure how well she will be able to adapt. Fans will be hoping she can make another deep run and win some challenges to add on to her performance in the inaugural season. Perhaps in a “classic players” alliance she’ll prosper.
Peih-Gee Law: We know she has the strength, guts, and spirit to play Survivor and go far, but does she have the skills and social ability to prevent a repeat of China from happening? Considering her main allies were Jaime (good times, made James laugh) and Frosti (inexplicably flipped to the other tribe), that has to be an area of improvement. If she has a better control over her emotions, she’ll be one of the higher contenders to win this season.
Shirin Oskooi: Like Kass, Shirin will likely be looked at as a goat for the finals. Unlike Kass, I think many players would be open to an alliance with her. She had some flashes of brilliance in Survivor Worlds Apart but then she looked like a laughing stock/punching bag in some other parts of that season. Shirin will be one to watch. I like her, she knows what she has to do but can she do it?
Spencer Bledsoe: Well, Charlie Brown is back. I know he definitely considered his mistakes from his previous game (choosing better allies than Garrett, for example), but he’s like Rupert in All Stars or Heroes vs. Villains, he’s likely the most popular player in the cast. Popularity doesn’t always mean good Survivor player but Spencer will have to tread carefully. He’s got some options for long term alliances but he’ll need some key immunity victories as best case scenario would mean another 30 something day run but not quite close enough to Final Tribal
Terry Deitz: A player fans such as myself were praying would return and finally he gets his chance. In Panama his social game was pretty bad. Seeing him talk to Cirie and Shane about flipping was painful to watch. But I think he’ll improve on that front.
Vytas Baskauskas: Vytas could go either way for me. He could be a goner soon or he could channel his connections with winners Aras and Tyson and pull off a few decent moves on the path to victory. I think he and Terry will likely form an alliance due to that Aras connection. I’m just not quite sure how the cast as a whole perceives him because he is a mixed bag: almost equally loyal and untrustworthy.
Woo Hwang: Received a lot of laughs and criticism for his decision to take Tony to the end when he could’ve chosen Kass for an almost guaranteed victory. I think his mistakes is one of the biggest anyone from this cast has made so you would think Woo would have learned from it. I think Woo will be dismissed early on in the game and then either be underestimated and play better than his first season, or he’ll be voted out right before or after the merge because he is very strong and can be likeable.
Our sixth ever preview episode is here, as Ben is joined by a gang of Ozlets to decode everything about the 31st season! From going through the twists, talking through the players and discussing just why Ben will be wrong with all his predictions again, it’s one of the most entertaining episodes in the history of Survivor Oz! We also draw our ‘ponies’ live on air for all to hear about! For those playing at home, here is who has who for the ‘pony draw’, and remember real money is on the line too!
The person who has the pony who wins will win $100, person who gets runner-up will get $50, third place gets $30 while the first boot will get $20! We will update you on the progress of this during our weekly Oztopsy!
In the mean time, stay tuned to Survivor Oz during the season where we will once again be publishing episode recaps, recap interviews with former Survivor’s, Oztopsy’s and Power Rankings all season long! So stock up on popcorn and get ready for what will hopefully be another fantastic season of Survivor!
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