We haven’t been able to make it through every single castaway spotlight for “Survivor: Philippines,” but we want to make sure that we get through the tradition here of actually trying to call who among the 18 castaways this time around actually has a good chance of making it to the end and capturing the million-dollar prize.
If you just want to read who we actually think is going to win the season as a whole, our advice for you is to scroll down a little bit. We’re going to make our picks in phases before getting to the merge and ultimately the end.
Stage One: Pre-tribal swap
Out of the three tribes, the one that is probably in the most trouble wen it comes to actually losing challenges early is Kalabaw … but we are going to give them some of the benefit of the doubt and say that they win the first one. We have just about zero faith in beauty queens to go far on this show, and we really just have a feeling that Angie Layton is going to rub everyone the wrong way. With that in mind, she’s going to be the first one out. Following that, say goodbye to our first returning player in Jonathan Penner. Like with Russell Hatnz on “Redemption Island,” he’s coming into this season with a reputation as a gamer. Unless you are some sort of physical asset to a team early on in the game, they really have zero incentive to keep you.
We anticipate some of the older people on Michael Skupin’s Tandang tribe to bind together, which is why we’re saying that Pete Yurkowski is the surprising boot here with his New Jersey attitude. The last person before our predicted swap? Jeff Kent, who the members of the Kalabaw tribe are going to decide is not worth the trouble.
Stage Two: Post-tribal swap
We don’t know for sure that a swap is happening, but it makes some sense when you remember that this has happened before the merge every time the show has started with more than two tribes. With this in mind, expect to see the game change in a big way. Lisa Welchel was in a good place back when Skupin and Tandang were together, but now she’s one of the weakest links. Guess that’s just the facts of life.
With the merge likely happening at 12, the next three people to go in Zane Knight is just going to be too likable for his own good. (Thank Matt Elrod with ink.)
Stage Three: The merge and the jury
The merge is when you start to take out some strong players, and this is where we see the next returnee going in Russell Swan. He’s just too big of a threat to win as a strong and a nice guy. Carter Williams and Roxy Morris, two people who are both likable and athletic, will soon follow, followed by Abi-Maria Gomes (who has made it this far based on luck) and R.C. Saint-Amour.
You will notice that there are only two Tandang players left in Skupin and Artis Silvester still around, and we see them getting along. Katie Hanson and Sarah Dawson prove themselves as hard-working young women, and they all join forces in a four-person alliance. Dana Lambert and Denise Stapley are the next two players to fall, and this leaves us with a final five of these four aforementioned players plus Malcolm Freberg. Does Malcolm go out next? No. Instead, he wins immunity and Skupin becomes the last returnee to be booted from the game.
Malcolm will be kicked out at the final four, and thus leaving us with our finalists.
Stage Four: The finalists
3rd place – Sarah Dawson. She’s a big fan of the show, but she has a personality that divides a good many people who are out on the island with her.
2nd place – Katie Hanson. Katie doesn’t make any big proclamations about trying to break the perception of beauty queens, and will do it subtly instead.
Winner – Artis Silvester. There’s just so much to like with Artis it’s hard to see him going out early. He’s strong, smart, funny, and also has a story of recovery that is going to inspire him from within (though we hope he does not make himself too much of a jury threat early on). We see him bonding right away with Skupin from the time he steps foot onto the island, but he will also be smart enough to know when to cut the cord to secure himself a shot at winning this game … and win he well by a 5-2-2 vote.
Who do you think is going to come out on top this season? We want to hear your (spoiler-free) predictions below! To check out some more of our “Survivor” coverage, you can do over at the link here.