Even though Michaela Bradshaw may have made it to the merge on her season of “Survivor,” we absolutely think that there are many reasons to be worried about her going into “Survivor: Game Changers” — especially when you consider the optics.
Going into this season, one of the things that is the most interesting about Michaela is that she is such an unknown compared to the rest of cast — nobody within the game is going to be all that familiar as to how she fared the first time around, and there is a history of people in her position going far into the game. That’s something that we are going to get into further in the latest edition of our show spotlight below.
Past performance –
Historical perspective – It’s not like Michaela had all that much time in order to assess and recover from her game the first time around. This season filmed in the summer, probably just a handful of weeks after the first season “Millennials vs. Gen X” wrapped in Fiji and well before it aired. As we referenced, though, many past players have been able to take advantage of this — look at Russell on “Heroes vs. Villains,” or Malcolm on “Caramoan.” They didn’t win, but they both did make the merge and the jury.
In the game itself, she probably learned a good deal about her abilities at a competitor and about her determination. Those could play a big role in her second game, though she may need to stay concerned with perception and how the other players could be seeing her.
Strengths – Michael is, on paper, one of the most capable players that you are ever going to get a chance to see on the show. She is exceptional in challenges, and you know that you’re going to get her all any time that she goes out there for your tribe. She’s also fiercely loyal and a good strategist who thinks about the game. Since nobody knew about her before the season, and even Zeke didn’t spend a whole lot of time with her beyond the first several days of last season, she may be underestimated as a strategic force out on the beach. Whether you’re talking about men or women, many strong, physical players typically are perceived as being about that and that only. She can work that perception to her advantage.
Weaknesses – The biggest issue that Michaela is almost surely going to face this season is her ability to lie. She doesn’t really have it. She’s brutally honest, and while that can be an asset, she’s an easy person to target if you know that she is really not on your side. There may be a feeling that other people are more malleable in the game than she is, even if that’s not the case.
Aside from this, Michaela’s challenge prowess becomes a big threat after the merge — she can win doing puzzles, and in more physical tasks. She is going to be a target come a certain point, and with so many other good competitors on this season, it’s hard to know if she will be able to run the table if she’s in that position. She’s a good speaker who can easily win at the end if she gets there.
Prediction – As entertainment, we love Michaela. She’s funny, she’s fearless, and she’s incredibly compelling to watch. We do think that the majority of the people out there will like her, especially since we feel like she’s going to do a better job of downplaying some of her abilities.
If you were to ask us, we’d say that she is the sort of player who nine times out of ten is going to make the merge. What happened to her during “Millennials vs. Gen X” was a perfect storm where there were a lot of different components at play that all went against her at the same time — including a move to get rid of her that is still viewed as questionable. Unless you’re throwing a challenge to get rid of her, she’s incredibly valuable to keep around through the first part of the game.
In the end, we unfortunately don’t know if there was enough time between seasons for Michaela to work on some of the things she’d need to change in the event that she wants to make it all the way to the end — she didn’t even get to watch it back before going out there again. We see her finishing somewhere between tenth and seventh place this time.
How well do you think that Michaela is going to fare this season? Share in the comments, and head over here in the event you want to get some more news when it comes to the show. (Photo: CBS.)