Coming into “Survivor: Game Changers,” Andrea Boehlke is absolutely one of the players worth being curious about. It’s been a minute since she last placed, and while we know that she’s smart and has some good skills for the game, anyone who studies the game probably knows that, as well. She’s in the camp of known threats like a Cirie or a Ciera where the whole notion of being underestimated is completely out the window.
So can she mitigate that target, or thrive amidst the other threats that are out there? In this edition of our castaway spotlight series, we’ll do our best to figure that out. (Don’t worry, these articles are spoiler-free and are mostly for the purpose of fun / laughing at ourselves in the event we are terribly wrong.)
Past performance – 5th place (“Redemption Island”), 7th place (“Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites”)
Historical perspective – What’s interesting is that Andrea feasibly could’ve won either of her first two seasons. If she gets rid of Boston Rob or even gets to the end with Boston Rob, she could have been an appealing option to give the money to, especially over someone like Phillip. Provided Cochran wasn’t there in “Caramoan,” she’d played a hard game and was widely regarded as the real head of the Stealth R Us alliance cultivated by The Specialist. (Yes, we did just reference Phillip twice in the same paragraph.) She entered the game as a self-described farm girl from a small town; now, she lives in New York and works as a co-host for “People Now.” In terms of transformations over the years, she’s certainly made one of the biggest ones career-wise, and she’s had a great opportunity to learn about herself since her first appearance.
Strengths – The biggest one for Andrea is that she’s very good at being manipulative without at being known that she’s being manipulative. For example, in her first two seasons she was able to get people like Matt and Eddie under her thumb and doing her bidding. She’s good at appealing herself to people who are less familiar with the game, or have an outlook of more of a physical threat. We could see her working well with someone like an Ozzy, a capable physical threat that she could hide behind.
We know that Andrea is great at finding idols, and she’s coming into the game at the right time. It’s been long enough since her last appearance on the show that she doesn’t necessarily stick out like a sore thumb over anyone else.
Weaknesses – Paranoia is the big one; it can be an asset at times, since it’s good to realize that people want to vote you out. The flip side of that is that if you’re too paranoid, all of a sudden there are throngs of people out there who think you’re being shifty and you’re not really with them. Paranoia doesn’t make your allies feel comfortable, and they’re more inclined to turn on you. She’s been blindsided twice on two different seasons, and that speaks to a need that some players out there have to get rid of her out of fear that she is “up to something” and will cause some problems. Either they view her as too big of a threat to win at the end of the game, or they don’t trust her enough to keep them around.
Prediction – We do think that this could be Andrea’s season to make it to the end. While she may be a threat, just look across the board at ALL the threats this time around. When it comes to strategists, she doesn’t have the resume of someone like Cirie, and won’t suffer the recency bias of someone like Ciera. She’s a good-enough challenge performer that she won’t give you a reason to get rid of her at any point before the merge. If she can find an idol or people to work with (we could see her teaming up with the “Worlds Apart” duo of Hali and Sierra rather nicely, if they opt to work together, to go along with Ozzy), she could run an alliance for a little while without it being too apparent what she’s doing. If she makes it to the end, you know that she’s a good-enough speaker to present a good argument for herself to win.
As for whether or not Andrea’s our winner pick … you’ll have to wait on that, since we’ve still got 19 other players to still profile!
How are you feeling about Andrea entering this season of “Survivor”? Share in the comments, and head over here to get some further news when it comes to the show, including more spotlights! (Photo: CBS.)