We are now only a number of days away from the premiere of “Survivor: One World,” and thus begins a tradition around these parts of taking a look at the series as a whole, and then trying to sort out where all of these random castaways stand without even seeing a second of them playing the actual game. The only thing we have to go on? Information from their CBS bios along with pre-show videos talking about how they want to play the game.
What can we count on this season? Based on the “two tribes, one beach” twist, there is likely going to be a good many cross-tribal alliances, and some of the rules regarding immunity idols this season are going to shake up strategy. If the idol for your tribe has been found, are you really going to go that far out of your way to find one for someone else? Don’t expect as many crazy search parties.
When it comes to our annual fearless predictions, we expect pretty even competition throughout the season with the tribe. The past two times “Survivor” has divided tribes up, Jenna Morasca and Chris Daughtery were the winners. With the score being tied in the battle of a sexes, we ultimately expect a woman to come out on top.
18. Greg “Tarzan” Smith – This game’s only big enough for one Zan. Unlike Troyzan, Greg here is not only the oldest contestant on his season, but he seems to be a little delusional about his skill set in everything. While he may not be the weakest link, we expect him to rub everyone the wrong way immediately. We also think Greg should have went with the nickname “Lapidus” since he looks like the pilot from “Lost.”
17. Monica Culpepper – By similar reasons, this NFL wife is going to be in some serious danger earlier than most. Her videos suggest someone who is incredibly confident in all her abilities, and this could cross the line and become cocky. We’re also always hesitant with people who try to hide some aspect of their personal lives — Monica’s not going to have as easy time hiding her husband’s occupation as she thinks.
16. Christina Cha – The show has done a good job avoiding people this year who are from L.A. and have that Hollywood mindset — and Christina is the only person on her tribe that has that background. Even though she may be fun-loving, we’re not quite sure that she is going to fit in anywhere.
15. Leif Manson– Leif’s going to be a fan favorite no doubt, but “Survivor” is often not a show that embraces the different. Regardless of how he acts out there, the perception is going to be that the show’s first-ever little person will win if he makes it to the end.. With that, the schemers on his tribe are going to unfortunately make sure that doesn’t happen.
14. Matt Quinlan – He may have a different profession than Shannon Waters from “Nicaragua” and may be from a different part of the country, but we get a similar vibe from Matt here as a guy who really should make it farther than he does. He’s going to try to play this game too hard, call people out on their lies, and it’s going to get him in trouble. Expect Matt to be a target early on, but for him to escape a couple of tribal councils.
13. Chelsea Meissner – This is the part of the game where the merge is going to be coming up, and the issue with Chelsea is that she may be too qualified for this game for her own good. She’s got hunting and fishing skills, and she also may be someone capable of flirting with the guys. All of this screams “threat,” and this is the perfect opportunity for her to be sent packing.
12. Alicia Rosa – From a flirtation standpoint, Alicia has already made it clear that her strategy is going to be to hit on just about anyone who will listen — and we expect her (like with Matt) to be a target early on, but for her to manage to survive for a little while longer. If the merge happens at 12, she will be the first boot — however, we’re honestly expecting a marge at 10 since there’s not going to be any need to get people on the same beach too quickly.
11. Jonas Otsuji – As a person, we like Jonas — but we’re not sure he will make the sort of moves that someone needs to make in this game to stick around forever. There’s honestly something about the way he talks about the game that suggests to us that he will leave early — but some of his cooking skills are causing us to give him a little bit more life.
10. Michael Jefferson – Come the merge, the men are going to be in trouble — and Michael is going to be front and center here. He’s a physical threat, and with Boston Rob still fresh in people’s minds, we don’t think any sort of mass manipulation is going to work well for him.
9. Troy “Troyzan” Robertson – While Troyzan may be older (and he may have the most ridiculous name ever), we do think he could fall into a similar trap. He’s experienced in the wilderness, and could feasibly end up being an older version of Ozzy. Of course, Ozzy only got as far as he did this past season thanks to Redemption Island.
8. Kat Edorsson – Kat has a past that could make her sympathetic to the jury (she’s had two open-heart surgeries), but unlike Monica this is easier to hide than having a football player for a husband. We really just think that Kat will end up not making enough big moves in this game, and is simply going to feel comfortable either in an all-female alliance or any other pairing.
7. Sabrina Thompson – We very much expect Sabrina to be one of the stars of this season. She’s smart, outspoken, and we see her orchestrating a number of great moves this season. Unfortunately, this is a game where not all great players make it as far as they should — and eventually, people will turn on her.
6. Kourtney Moon – Like Sabrina, Kourtney is someone that could be rather popular with fans. She’s quirky, has an interesting job as a mechanic, and is going to be more of an underdog in this game than most of the other castaways. Her demise will likely just be a case of thinking she’s safe when she’s not.
5. Colton Cumbie – Now, we introduce the villain of this season — or at least the guy pulling some strings behind the scenes. This players did not see Cochran on the show last fall since this was filmed over the summer, and Colton is similar in that he’s a superfan with a huge knowledge of the game. The difference is that we don’t expect Colton to corner himself with a silly move, and will end up going home out of fear that he could win.
4. Nina Acosta – We already expect Nina to be the bitter jury member of this season in the sense that someone (likely Jay) is going to tell her that she’s in the final three — only that it won’t happen. We see Nina as the kind of person who could get into an alliance early, but we just don’t see her winning the game.
3. Bill Posley – We love Bill. There aren’t too many comedians on the show, and Bill seems perfectly suited to joke to your face and stab you in the back. Unfortunately, we don’t think anyone will end up giving him credit for his moves at the final tribal council — and he should brace for third place. (That’s a rhyme — too bad Semhar isn’t on this season!)
2. Jay Byars – On paper, Jay is an ideal “Survivor” contestant. He’s young, athletic, and has some of that Southern charm that suited J.T. so well in Tocantins. The only problem for Jay is that, unlike J.T., he’s not going to have a partner-in-crime that will help him minimize damage control.
1. Kim Spradlin – With that, we’re proclaiming Kim our pre-show pick to win the season. She’s received some decent promotion (which can suggest a major role), and she seems to posses a good combination of social skills, athletic ability, and game smarts. She’s also capable of appealing perfectly to all demographics on the show — the men and women should like her, and she’s also mature enough to give a great argument at the end.
Who do you think should win the season? Check back all season, as we are going to have continuous coverage throughout the course of the episodes whether it be previews, random observations, 1-on-1 interviews, and so much more.
You can check out “Survivor: One World” Wednesday nights on CBS.