This will be the first time that I have posted a Survivor cast assessment for TVFishbowl, so I will give you a quick rundown of what you should expect from me. Basically, I watched the minute and a half long cast interview of each contestant. I only had that small amount of time to analyze each person in order to determine what kind of game he or she will play, how far the castaway will go in the game, as well as who I believe has the potential to align with whom. I am not always right, but back during the One World season, I did accurately predict that Kim and Chelsea would be in a final two alliance resulting in one of them becoming the sole survivor. I also would like to preface this with the fact that I do not scan spoiler websites beforehand in order to make myself look good when I am right.
Andrea, as well as the other “favorites” of the game, is on the purple tribe called Bikal. She first appeared on Redemption Island. Originally, I really was not impressed with her strategic game. She was deemed a threat early on because of her friendship with Matt, so she decided to stray away from the friendship in order to protect herself in the game. She tried to play the game a little too late by trying to get an all-female alliance going when she realized that Boston Rob was going to win the game if she did not get rid of him. It was too little too late. She eventually became the 13th person voted out and the eighth jury member.
This time around, Andrea is “ten times more excited” about playing the game. She knows that she will be a physical asset to her tribe. She will continue to be as hardworking as she originally was. The only thing she plans on changing this time is that she will be more aggressive, not afraid to make the big moves, remain calm, and play a million dollar winning game. Honestly, she has the potential to win this game as long as she sticks to her plans. She could have won it the first time around if she would have made big moves early on in the game. I’m actually excited to watch her play this time.
Brandon is without a doubt one of the whiniest Survivor contestants we have ever seen. During his time in the South Pacific, we often found him questioning his relationship with God. If there was one positive attribute that he had, however, it was his loyalty. He stuck with his original alliance until the bitter end. He was so loyal that he made the always ignorant move of giving up his immunity necklace and was ultimately blindsided from the game. He claims that he played a nearly perfect game last time. So clearly Brandon is still as delusional this time around. I see him being a strong physical competitor for his tribe, but I really don’t see him making it to the end. Maybe another final six appearance? Or an early post-merge boot? I’m anxious to see if he is going to play the religious fanatic card like he did the last time. If any of you have paid attention to his personal life, you know that he has no right to do so.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a castaway returning than I am about Brenda Lowe (except with Stephenie Lagrossa). I definitely believe that she got the shaft during her time in Nicaragua. She was the early leader of her tribe of young people, made strong alliances, and even helped find a hidden immunity idol. Her downfall was that she was too big of a threat and was too prideful to “scramble” to stay on the island. This was the dumbest part of her game. She did not make the necessary last minute moves in order to secure her place in the game.
Unlike Brandon, Brenda actually knows what mistakes she made out there. She understands the importance of making more than one alliance, having a dual personality, and having a strong mental game. I know that Brenda will go far in the game. She is a very smooth talker, so it would not surprise me to see her align with one of the younger men. In addition, I see the likelihood of her working well with Andrea. On the other hand, she did align herself with NaOnka (her season’s villain) the first time. We may see her do the same thing this time around by aligning with someone like Corinne or Phillip, although I don’t expect it to happen.
Cochran was also featured on South Pacific. He was someone who you couldn’t help but root for, even though you really didn’t want to. At least I know I didn’t want to. I was strongly opposed to his decision to stab his original tribe in the back. There really was not any logic behind it. The reason he made this choice was because the two tribes would have tied and would have been forced to draw rocks. Cochran did not like that he wouldn’t have control over his own fate. He ended up becoming the fifth jury member on his season.
During every episode of South Pacific, Cochran would talk about how he needed to be more aggressive, less nerdy, less annoying, and more beneficial in challenges and around camp. However, he never really changed anything. He admits that he will try even harder this time around. He reminded us that he really was not in an alliance the entire time he was on the island. He plans on making more than one alliance within the first three days. As we all know, it is crucial to make those bonds on your first day. I don’t want to see Cochran make it to the end. Fortunately for him, he does have the knowledge and eagerness to do so. Due to his Charlie Brown-esque personality, he is and always will be viewed as an underdog. I really hope I don’t find myself rooting for him this season, but I’m not going to rule that out quite yet.
It has been a hot minute since Corinne has played the game of Survivor. As a matter of fact, it has been five years since her season aired. She had a strong alliance and was loyal. Her ultimately downfall was her piss poor attitude. She said that she doesn’t think that she will change anything. I cringed when I heard her say this. Lady, you didn’t win the first time, clearly something didn’t work. This statement goes to show that she won’t last long in this game. Furthermore, it may be hard for her to make alliances since it has been so long since she played. Corinne’s pre-game training is the only thing that could possibly get her far in the game (highly unlikely). There is always that chance that someone will want to align with a villain in order to make him/herself look better to a jury.
Dawn is the third of member of the cast whose previous season was South Pacific. I absolutely adore her. She was the mother figure of her Savaii tribe. In addition, she was a hell of a physical competitor. Even though she did not take home the win like I wanted her to, she did get a lot further than I originally predicted. Dawn did everything she possibly could to catapult herself further into the game. It was Cochran’s poor decision making that ultimately got her (and the other members of her original tribe) booted from the game. Dawn admits that she knows that she will have to play more cutthroat the second time. She will not worry as much about hurting people’s feelings. She could have made it to the end the first time if she wasn’t the victim of circumstance, so I know that she can make it to the end this time, as well. Dawn looks better than she did on her original season, too. I’m excited to see her make it to the end.
Erik is best known for making one of the stupidest moves in Survivor history. In Micronesia, Amanda convinced him to give u his individual immunity so the Black Widow Brigade could blindside him. It seemed to me that he really did not have much of a strategy going in. He kind of just did what other people wanted him to do. Much like last time, Erik has no chance in winning this time. He did not clue us in on what kind of game he intends on playing. The one thing that stuck out to me the most is that he said that he isn’t exactly sure if he could win or not. The sheer lack of confidence in his game proves to me that he will be lucky to make it as far as he did last time. The only thing Erik has going for him is his physicality.
I have no idea why Francesca is making a return to the game. She was the first person voted out of her tribe on Redemption Island. She was even on the same tribe as Andrea and Phillip. There is no way that she could possibly e viewed as a “favorite.” There are so many other first boots I would prefer to see play the game again. This is basically a “what if” kind of situation. We really don’t know what kind of game Francesca would have played if she would have stayed longer. There were two things that prevented Francesca from experiencing more than three days on the island. The first is that she was disposable. She really did not bring much to the table around camp or in challenges. Secondly, she was not in the majority alliance. She got close with one other person and that was all. She will definitely need to play a more aggressive game right out of the game. She will need to try to make a large alliance on the first day. She will be an early boot if she didn’t learn anything from the first time she played.
I absolutely loved Malcolm from the very first episode of Philippines. He became a fan favorite due to the fact that he was an underdog. His tribe was almost completely annihilated, but he and Denise were able to fight back and make it to the final four together. He was a fan of the game which is why he was able to get so far. The only reason why he did not make it to the final three is because his tribe knew that he could have won it all. Malcolm is a strong competitor physically and mentally, and he has charm for days. Malcolm is one of very few people who is playing back-to-back seasons. We saw that this could work wonders for some people, like it did for Amanda. The reason why it worked so well for her is because she played such a threatening, low-key game the first time around and no one was able to see her season before she came back. They didn’t get a chance to see how huge of a threat she was capable of being. The thing that will negatively effect Malcolm is that he played the game so upfront. He wore his game on his sleeve. I would love to see Malcolm play his attributes down a bit more. He should be just as charming as before but needs to work harder on making stronger alliances early on. I would love to see Malcolm make it to the end. Hopefully, he will be able to get in with the other favorites in order to secure this.
Phillip is one of the most maniacal players of the game ever! The kicker is that we never actually learned whether or not his over-the-top showmanship was actually part of his strategy or if this is actually who he is. This lunatic actually made it to the final three, but had no chance in hell at actually winning. He could make it to the end if he plays exactly the same way – - unless we get a bunch of people who only want to take the noble and worthy to the end (like last season). Phillip stated that he was the first runner-up on Redemption Island and plans on winning this time, but he did not say how he plans on accomplishing this. As aforementioned, I expect Phillip to play a similar game, but my gut tells me that he won’t make it as far as he did last time.
Allie is aligned with other fresh meat on the orange, Gota tribe. So, I’m pretty sure that Allie saw one of my audition tapes at some point. She said so many different things that I have said on my two previous audition tapes, as well as some of the things I said in my live audition. Maybe it’s because she is a hardcore, die-hard fan just like me. She knows what it takes to play this game. Heck, she’s even a bartender! If one of the favorites does not win the game then obviously I’m rooting for Allie, as biased as that may sound. She is a bartender, so she knows how to read and relate to people. She plans on being a villain behind the scenes by being an instigator, but does not want to be viewed as an immediate threat or as annoying. Allie has worked for everything she’s had in her life, so I definitely see her as the worker bee around camp. The only thing that could possibly work against her is that she may be too beautiful. The other women may be jealous of her and might try to get her booted early on. Another thing that could bite Allie in the ass is that she neglected to talk about alliances. I’m sure she understands the importance of this, though.
Eddie is one of the male hotties of the season. He is a firefighter back home, so he will be the muscle of his tribe. He wants to be the funny guy, but not the class clown, whatever that means. I couldn’t help but notice the cross that he was wearing around his neck. It will be interesting to see if his morals get in the way of him making the tough decisions out there. He admits that he is hard-headed, which will also be a strike against him. Eddie informs us that he really doesn’t have a plan. If we have learned anything about watching the show, you should know that you have to have multiple plans while not being afraid to stray from them when you need to. He is on a fans versus favorites season, but he really hasn’t shown me much in this regard. I see Eddie as being one of the first post-merge boots.
Hope is a former Miss Missouri. I instantly fell in love as soon as she said that. Not only is she from my state, but she is also from my part of the state. As soon as I saw her, she automatically reminded me of Parvati Shallow. I read in her bio that she intends on playing a similar game, as well. Hope, much like Allie, is one of the hottest females to ever play this beloved game. Hope seems confident, outgoing, and physically tough enough to make it far in this game; you have to be tough if you grow up in the sticks of southeast Missouri. I would not be surprised to see her align with Allie. She really did not state what kind of game she plans on playing, but I definitely see her going far. . . at least Missourians have “hope” that she goes far.
Julia is a Stanford student and a race car driver. Say what?! Those are two very different personality quirks. Honestly, there really wasn’t anything specific that stood out to me about Julia. She seemed a bit awkward. It would really surprise me if she makes it very far in the game. She does not seem to have that sort of magnetism that propels people deep into the game. I could be wrong about her, but I doubt that I am.
Laura actually took the words straight out of my mouth. She is a self-proclaimed “total package,” without the physical strength, of course. This, and her ego, are the only two things she has working against her. As long as she is able to make it past the first couple tribal councils then I see her making it extremely far in this game. Laura does not trust other people, which probably can be attributed to the fact that she works in Washington D.C.; politics are an every day way of life for her. Much like Julia, however, Laura does not seem to have that magnetic personality that will make people want to work with her. It is likely that her calm demeanor will allow her to be seen as a sleeper when in reality she is making big moves behind the scenes.
Matt looks like a ginger Charles Manson. Seriously, though, he will definitely be the outcast of the season. He does own a BMX company, so maybe he and Julia will have something to talk about. The one thing that I noticed is that Matt is the type of person who always has good things happen to him. I know people like this, so he may surprise us all, considering luck does play a major role in the game of Survivor. A negative aspect is that he didn’t seem to prepare too much beforehand. He mentioned that his wife put him on a diet before he came to the island. Honestly, I think it takes more than three or four months to prepare for something as unique as this game. I’d be surprised to see him make it past the first couple votes.
Michael is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) member of his tribe of fans. He claims that he has a well-balanced strategy, but did not clue us in on what this strategy actually is. He does work with people all day, so his social game may be top notch if he is able to make an alliance at the very beginning. He mentioned that he is going to be chill until it is time to make a big move. The major flaw with this is the fact that there are time in the early stages of the game that require big moves (such as making an alliance on the first day). Regardless, I don’t expect Michael to make it to the end.
Reynold and Eddie look so much alike. I had to do a double take when I watched his interview. I was immediately drawn to Reynold. He has such an inviting, warm, lovable personality that could get him deep into the game. He may have such an amazing persnality that he probably won’t make it to the end. I wuold love to see him make it far, though. The one thing that could hurt him is that he doesn’t seem to have that character trait that will force him to stab someone in the back when the time comes. Reynold will be the guy that everyone will be rooting for. I truly hope that he isn’t an early boot because I will want to watch him every week. He is definitely the Malcolm of the season. . . ummm, you know what I mean.
Shamar is coming to us with a military background, so his physical game should be superb. However, he claims that he is used to being alone and independent. This may hinder his social game. He may have a wall up that will not allow him to make the social ties that need to be made. The thing that may help him is the fact that he does seem to have a jolly personality. In addition, he may be able to align with some of the older people of his tribe like Matt, Michael, and Sherrie in order to stay longer in the game.
There were several statements that Sherrie made that makes me think she will be one of the first people kicked off. All of these statements basically have the same underlying meaning. As soon as I saw her, she just came off as being very distant and cold. Then, she mentioned that she is not going out there to make friends or to play nice. There really is nothing about the woman that screams “long-term.” She doesn’t seem to be a physical competitor. She said that she is going to “try” to make it far in the game, which tells me that her mental game will not be impressive, either. Maybe I am being a tad harsh and will be wrong about her. I guess we only have two weeks to find out.
Survivor: Caramoan is the second season to feature this fans versus favorites format. The first one, Micronesia, is regarded as one of the best seasons of all time. Needless to say, Caramoan has a lot to live up to. We will be blessed with a two-hour season premiere on Wednesday, February 13, at 8/7 central only on CBS. I will have a weekly episode recap right here immediately following each episode. I hope to see you here.
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