Sometimes, we think long and hard about who’s going to win a Survivor season. However, for this Survivor: Game Changers prediction piece, we’ll admit that this name came to us in a matter of minutes many months ago when we first heard about the rumored cast.
We’ve already spoiled it in the title, so after writing twenty spotlight articles and a lengthy feature piece about our personal journey with the show, we can now reveal that Sierra Dawn Thomas is, in fact, our pick to win season 34.
Why Sierra? It’s a choice that in some ways is both conventional and unconventional given that she didn’t have the edit in her first game of a potential winner. Yet, when you look at the history of All-Star seasons, the winners typically don’t. Amber didn’t dominate Australia, and while Sandra did win Pearl Islands, few people went into Heroes vs. Villains thinking that she had it. While Fans vs. Favorites wasn’t a full-fledged All-Star season, you could make the case for her as well.
Sure, you can say that Jeremy and Cochran winning invalidates the idea that the quiet, somewhat-surprising castings don’t always win, but a season full of players this aggressive could end up giving someone like Sierra an added edge.
What Sierra brings to the table
In the pre-merge, she is an incredibly hard worker. She’s someone who will put her all into the challenges, and isn’t going to be a slouch around camp. We also saw during Worlds Apart that she is incredibly capable at working with people even when she doesn’t get along with them. She can be a valuable member of an alliance, and the one benefit from being invisible at times last season is that nobody knows about her strategic game right now. She may be able to surprise them by being far more cutthroat than they expect her to be. She could get in a big alliance and then flip on them after the merge.
Also, she seems really well-liked among her fellow players. Think about it this way: Had Mike Holloway not went on a crazy immunity run, there are some situations where we can imagine her getting close to the end with people like Dan Foley, Will Sims II, and Rodney Lavoie Jr. While Rodney may have defeated her in the end (and we think Carolyn Rivera would’ve also had some votes), Sierra stood a good chance just because she was easier to be around. The biggest reason Mike wanted her out was because she was the one player close to the finale he was worried about beating him in the final immunity challenge.
With the players that are on the table this season, there are a ton of threats. It’s easy to see people like Ciera, Cirie, Tony, and Sandra targeted for being huge strategic threats. Meanwhile, people like Ozzy, Brad, and Troyzan will probably be targeted for being alpha males, and Malcolm’s still vulnerable to a blindside along the way. We thought about picking Sierra’s former castmate Hali Ford for a second or two, but she doesn’t have Sierra’s challenge prowess. Her biggest threat to win this season could be someone like JT Thomas (who we could see getting really far again) or one of the two Millennials vs. Gen X players — people should go after them right away, but you know that they won’t!
In the end, we’ll see what happens. We’re coming into this season with a win courtesy of Adam Klein — but for the record, we’ve never been right two seasons in a row. (Photo: CBS.)
Who do you think is going to win this season? Share in the comments below! (Please, no spoilers if there are any out there.)