So we’ve been given their bio information and we’ve seen all of the CBS video clips briefly introducing us to the 20 contestants (if you haven’t check them out here.) And last Wednesday, as Survivor: Nicaragua got underway, we got our first look at all 20 of them in the game. Predicting Survivor can be a useless activity, given the shifts, twists, and unexpected events that are typical of the show. But let’s take a look anyways at each Survivor, my preliminary thoughts on each contestant, and my take on how long each one will last (in no particular order.)
Oh yah, by the way, these are not spoilers of any kind…Simply my thoughts and predictions.
Wendy Jo…Voted out. Wendy, we hardly knew ya. Although cowboy hats don’t always lead to early vacations from the game, they almost certainly never help. In case you missed it, click here to read my Exit Interview with Wendy Jo.
Danny. Danny is the “mafioso”-looking guy on the Espada Tribe, and as Episode 1 proved, sometimes 1st impressions can lead to early evictions. Danny already looks like an odd-man-out, and I got the impression that physically he may have a very hard time out there. We didn’t get any glimpses of his gameplay or strategy, so Danny may also be a surprise, since he won’t be a threat physically, he may be a good guy to pull along deep into the game. My Prediction: I lean more towards Danny being a “surprise” and something about him makes me believe he’ll end up being a memorable player…I could see him making the merge.
Holly. Holly showed in Episode 1 that she doesn’t possess the ability to read people too well, forming an early alliance with Wendy almost immediately, before getting to know her at all. Kudos to Holly though, she learned and adapted quickly, and the minute she found out Wendy was a threat, she distanced herself. Adaptability is one of the key elements of a good Survivor player, but Holly’s lack of “game intuition” will put her on the outs of any alliance she may be a part of. My Prediction: I see Holly drifting through to a possible merge, but don’t see her going much farther than that.
Jane. Jane definitely proved an interesting character after 1 episode, and this kind of person can definitely do well in Survivor (think Twila or Sue Hawk). My gut feeling tells me that she will need to be on the right side of the numbers early though, to have a chance to go further into the game. My Prediction: Like Holly, I can see her making the merge, but I think the older players will see themselves on the wrong side of the equation at that point, making them and Jane very vulnerable, early post-merge.
Jill. Not to much was revealed of Jill, but the few clips they did show of her gave me a feeling that she is really perceptive, and may be a strong player. Of all of the castaways, Jill seems to be the biggest enigma. I can’t see her getting voted off by the older players, and if she is in an alliance (as suspected) with the likes of Marty and a few others, she’d probably be the least targeted person in that said alliance. My Prediction: A bold one, but I see Jill going deep into the game, possible Final 4 or better.
Jimmy J. For me, I’m still unsure my thoughts about his inclusion in Survivor. It’s hard not to like the guy (and being a Philadelphia Eagles fan doesn’t make it any easier). But I had feared his presence would overshadow the show, and Episode 1 was definitely Jimmy J overload. Despite his throwing-up and physical struggles, I think Jimmy J had very good points to make when he had his tribe “pep talk.” He is 100% right: He has no chance of winning money, I firmly believe that despite arguments to the contrary. But he could “help someone else win” as he pointed out. And why not? If I’m out there, I’m looking at this guy and I know that he, above anyone else, has a public persona. He’s not going to “lie, cheat, or steal”, he has absolutely no incentive to do so. His self-proclaimed announcement that he’s one of the weakest 2 tribe members furthers to prove his integrity. My Prediction: Sadly, I don’t think anyone will give this serious thought! Why not take Jimmy J with you? When Jimmy J is voted out early (pre-merge), it will be at once a big frustration (much like last year’s “why don’t Russell and Rob work together????”), and a sigh of relief, that the shadow of this NFL legend is lifted from the game.
Jimmy T. He won a contest to be on the show, but he clearly showed in Episode 1 that he doesn’t have the ability to co-exist with other Alphas. My Prediction: His lack of self-awareness and his inability to keep quiet will likely make him an early target.
Marty. Marty to me, was one of the more intriguing players introduced. I loved that others immediately eyeballed him as a threat, and outside of the game, I love that Jeff Probst has already pegged him as “a villain.” The scene that really made me appreciate Marty’s gameplay was when Jimmy T was getting loud, we see Marty’s ability to contain his feelings, and stop talking. This self-control is vital to making it far in Survivor. In his one-on-one interviews, he seemed to also have a great grasp of the game, and good intuition. In my Exit Interview with Wendy, she suggested that she believed Marty was in an alliance with Jimmy J, and this goes against what was shown in the episode, when Marty says he wants nothing to do with him. If it’s true, this also shows that Marty is able to manipulate, and maybe adapt his beliefs to benefit his gameplay. My Prediction: I think Marty has a chance to win the game, and go far…but he will be a much bigger threat to leave post-merge. If Espada doesn’t have the numbers at any point, Marty may end up being one of the early targets of a younger alliance, threatened by his game smarts.
Tyrone. Nobody mentioned Tyrone last week when all the scheming was taking place. This tells me that Tyrone may be on the outside of his tribal alliances. My Prediction: Some of the Espada members will get voted off pre-merge, and Tyrone seems like one of the likely cast-outs.
Yve. Like Tyrone, she seemed to be outside of things. She seems fiesty enough, and I just get the sense that she’s not going to be able to lay low for too long. My Prediction: I see Yve as an early boot.
Alina. Very interesting as well, Alina already has an advantage by finding the Immunity Idol clue, along with Kelly B. This shared bond with Kelly B though (who is looked at as an early threat), may not bode well for her long-term. My Prediction: If the younger tribe wins the majority of challenges (as I predict), that may be enough to put Alina in the merge, although unless she finds the Idol she may be one of the first expendables of La Flor.
“Benry”. Wasn’t shown too much in Ep 1, but “Benry” (Ben Henry) seems a candidate to go far in the game. He seems charismatic enough, and next to mammoth muscle men like Chase and Shannon, he won’t immediately be seen as a threat until it’s too late. My Prediction: Call me crazy, I see Benry going very deep in the game, possible final 4.
Brenda. Brenda to me looked like the “Marty” of her tribe: My early favorite with potential to go very far. My Prediction: Sadly, unless she aligns closely with one of the men (like a Natalie and Russell-type alliance), I can see Brenda as a serious threat. She’ll make the merge, but I can see her as a blind-side candidate…Someone so strong in the game that even her alliance will want her gone before the end.
Chase. Chase doesn’t have much game smarts, as shown in episode 1 when he reveals to Brenda that he has already formed an Alpha-male alliance. My Prediction: Likeable enough, he’ll benefit from being in the majority…and this will carry him deep into the merge.
Jud “Fabio”. Gotta love “Fabio”, the clueless muscle-bound “surfer dude” of La Flor. My Prediction: He’s the kind of guy who will make it far into the game, for no other reason than he is entertaining and doesn’t pose a threat. We’ve seen this in Survivor before, where a “clueless player” goes far into the game, only to be schooled along the way. This guy though, seems like a special breed. I see him going pretty far actually, but will probably just wander off of Tribal Council when he sees a bright light in the distance, never to be heard from again.
Kelly B. My emotional early pull is for Kelly B, who revealed her leg was amputated after a birth defect. Strong, smart, it’s just a cryin’ shame that her tribe immediately viewed her leg as a reason to vote her out. It’s what I hate, but also what makes Survivor fascinating, how people respond differently when they’re playing a game for a million. My Prediction: Sadly, she won’t be able to shake the target off her back, and will be an early boot from La Flor.
“Purple Kelly”. Sadly given little to no screen time in Episode 1, other than to reveal her new nickname: “Purple Kelly” (for the purple highlights in her hair.) My Prediction: She will make the merge, but may not have what it takes to make it to the end.
Sash. Pre-Survivor, Sash was rumored to be a Russell-clone, a Survivor master strategist. This didn’t come out much in Ep 1, but I don’t think those rumors would circulate if there was no truth to them. My Prediction: Can Sash win Survivor? He may be that guy who is smart and crafty enought to go all the way, but could never win based on his cut-throat gameplay.
Na ‘Onka. As seen in Ep 2 preview, she is already letting the emotions fly. My Prediction: I don’t see her going very far based on that preview.
Shannon. Shannon seems smart and strong, two characteristics that make him an instant target. My Prediction: Although a smart player, he had the bad luck of forming an early alliance with Chase, who has proven not to be game smart in revealing the alliance to Brenda. This puts a target on Shannon’s back, not Chase’s who spilled the beans. Although he could have been a promising competitor, I see Shannon as one of the first boots from La Flor.
Agree or disagree with my assessments? Leave your comments, and be sure to tune in Wednesday for Episode 2 of Survivor (entitled: “Fatigue Makes Cowards of us All”.)