After the actual list was leaked weeks ago, CBS has officially announced the cast of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Overall, they did a fairly good job at selecting some of the most likable and hated castaways. Check out the cast below complete with a countdown of the ten villains and ten heroes I’m looking forward to watching this season. Season 20 premieres February 11th.
10. Tyson Apostol
Previous Season(s): Tocantins
All-Star Status: He won a couple of individual immunity challenges, aligned himself with an even more despicable character (Coach), and was mostly just a jerk to others he thought had no power like Sierra
My TV Take: Tyson had himself a strong alliance with JT and Coach, but his physical strength in the challenges cost him the game. While Tyson may not be the best choice for this new all-stars season, his previous blind side may prove interesting if he makes it to the merge against JT. As long as he keeps the rude insults to himself, I’ll be happy…but I highly doubt that will happen.
Sole Survivor Chances: Tyson probably has a decent shot at the merge, but if he continues to do well at challenges and keeps up with the poor attitude, he won’t last much longer than that.
9. Sandra Diaz-Twine
Previous Season(s): Pearl Island
All-Star Status: She was the sole survivor of her season. Not sure exactly how that happened.
My TV Take: Sandra may have been outspoken but she wasn’t exactly much of a villain. Her spy skills and manipulation of others’ paranoia helped her reach the final 4 spot during her season, but the final 2 spot was simply due to the fact that she wasn’t perceived as a threat. Sandra famously told the jury that her strategy was quite simple: as long as it wasn’t here, she didn’t care who left.
Sole Survivor Chances: Either one of two situations will happen. First, Sandra may be on the first eliminated simply because she won before. The other option is that she tones down the attitude and once again slides her way to the merge and possibly even the final 4. Sandra has zero chances of actually winning this season because I don’t see her being a huge power player and these castaways will respect the outwitting over everything else.
8. Randy Bailey
Previous Season(s): Gabon
All-Star Status: Randy’s main strategy was to bully others who wouldn’t join his alliance. He had a few solid alliances and did fairly well in the competitions, but his dramatic nature earned him an all-star spot. He’s also infamous for playing a fake immunity idol which Sugar made Bob give to him. My TV Take: Randy was one of the hardest castaways to watch. It’s one thing to be rude as a strategy but it’s another thing to be rude solely to hurt others. Chances are the bigger personalities will overshadow him and hopefully he’ll prove to be less annoying this season. Perhaps his ongoing feud with Sugar will add some spice to the show if they both make it to the merge.
Sole Survivor Chances: Again, Randy may not be seen as such a threat since his strategy was never his strong suit. This means his chances of making at least the merge are pretty good. He won’t win the game because, like Sandra, his strategy is not strong enough to gain respect from others.
7. Danielle DiLorenzo
Previous Season(s): Panama
All-Star Status: Danielle had a few key moves early on in her season, most notably aligning with her female tribe mates to vote out a few of the stronger men. After the merge, she created a brief alliance with Cirie and Aras. Her alliance was quickly destroyed when she and Cirie were tied for a vote resulting in her defeating Cirie in a fire-making contest. She made it to the finale two and was defeated by Aras. None of these things really deserve all-star status, or villain status for that matter, but she may be an interesting addition.
My TV Take: My first reaction was Danielle who? She’s probably the least deserving player of the 20 to return for the game, but that doesn’t mean she won’t fight hard.
Sole Survivor Chances: Remember the last time an all-star returned and everyone questioned why she was considered an all-star? Yup, that was Amber and she won the million dollars. I’d say Danielle’s chances are completely unpredictable but the underdog just might pull through.
6. Jerri Manthey
Previous Season(s): Australian Outback and All-Stars
All-Star Status: When you think of Survivor villains, Jerri’s name is typically the first one to to come up. Her strategy is sub-par and her strength is not much of an asset, but being Survivor’s reigning bitch gets you a spot in the all-stars.
MY TV Take: Jerri is pretty much considered a villain because of her history of conflicts with fellow cast members. She couldn’t shake the audience hatred in the All-Star season and even walked out of the reunion because of it. Jerri has promised to bring back the bitch from Season 2 so maybe she’ll be more interesting during her third go.
Sole Survivor Chances: Slim to none. Jerri continues to be hated by audience members and fellow cast members alike. I don’t see her making it to the merge.
5. Ben “Coach” Wade
Previous Season(s): Tocantins
All-Star Status: Coach was both a strategic player, a decent competitor, and a huge weirdo. He constantly feuded with others and brought tons of drama. He also knew how to form great alliances, but wasn’t so good at keeping them. One of Coach’s best moves was creating a lie about Sierra’s attempt to form an alliance. While Stephen and JT eventually realized it was a lie, the drama caused focused attention on Sierra and Coach managed to stay in another few days.
My TV Take: Putting Coach as number five was the most painful thing about this blog. I hated Coach with a passion but he will likely make for some good television. Had his alliance with Debbie and Tyler actually lasted, he probably would have won the million.
Sole Survivor Chances: Coach is bound to rub people the wrong way. I truly believe he won’t attempt to make enemies but that’s just his personality. Chances are he will be one of the first to form an alliance and my guess is it will fail again.
4. Rob Mariano
Previous Season(s): Marqueses and All-Stars
All-Star Status: Rob is the epitome of an all-star. His cocky attitude combined with his strategic skills earned him a spot on every single all-star that will ever be made (one can assume). His biggest claim to fame: convincing the opposing team to keep Amber with a simple sentence…seriously, he’s that good.
My TV Take: So excited to see Rob back and without Amber (who is home with their newborn awww). He is the perfect villain to have on this season and he’s guaranteed to make for some good television. I only hope he lasts long enough to make a real impression.
Sole Survivor Chances: Rob might have to do the unthinkable and befriend some castaways this time around. His very public relationship with Amber means he won’t be flirting his way into any alliances this year. Rob’s best bet would be to grab a hold of the new guy and make a final 2 pact (RUSSELL+ROB=AMAZING). If he can cement a strong alliance, Rob will go far, but his attitude will prevent him from winning.
3. Courtney Yates
Previous Season(s): China
All-Star Status: Courtney accomplished a rare task by forming an alliance early on which stuck til the final four. She got into some trouble with her alliance after continuously pleading to oust Jean-Robert due to her own personal distaste for him. Courtney also barely deserves the title of all-star but she was one of the more enjoyable aspects of Survivor: China.
My TV Take: Courtney’s good choice in friendships and excellent choice in enemies gained my respect from day one of Survivor: China. While she didn’t necessarily play the game until a few episodes in, she still was a riot to watch. I predict during her second go around, Courtney will up the game play.
Sole Survivor Chances: She placed second in her season and gained a few votes because of her brutal honesty. If she can find a healthy balance between honesty and manipulation then she might do fairly well. I have a feeling her future in the game might rely on Russel. He may take her in as the new Natalie or they might clash causing her to be sent home. I’d still wager that Courtney makes it pretty far as a low key player.
2. Parvati Shallow
Previous Season(s): Cook Islands and Fans vs. Favorites
All-Star Status: In Cook Islands, Parvati flirted her way to the merge and showed off a few strategic moves. Her game play was enhanced during her second time around, when she formed a powerful alliance with Ozzy, Amanda, and James. Her defining move came when Cirie convinced her to blindside the biggest threat and Ozzy was sent packing. This eventually lead to her winning the title of sole survivor.
My TV Takes: On a strictly personal level, Parvati is probably the person I’m most excited about. I would argue that she has the third best strategic moves out of all of the returning castaways. Parvati manages to form strong alliances yet make gigantic splashes wherever she goes. I suspect this time she’ll be weary of reforming an alliance with Cirie but her and Amanda might get back together. Sole Survivor Chances: Sadly, I doubt Parvati will do well. She won a million already which places a huge target on her back, and shes proven to be completely untrustworthy after turning on Ozzy. Even Amanda would be dumb if she didn’t at least have some reluctance in trusting Parvati. If the players are smart (and I think they are) they will eliminate the largest threat in this game: Parvati.
1. Russell Hantz
Previous Season(s): Samoa
All-Star Status: Russell placed second in his season but earned the title of the best Survivor contestant ever. Whether it was finding multiple immunity idols without clues, forming a plethora of alliances, or evicting every single jury member, Russell always found a way to dominate the game.
My TV Take: Russell is the major wild card this season. Samoa did not air until after Heroes vs. Villains began to shoot so nobody really knows anything about Russell. This is a huge advantage for him because he can essentially play the exact same game. Russell, no matter how powerful, would never have made it to the finals without his core alliance so what I’m even more interested in is seeing who he chooses this time.
Sole Survivor Chances: Russell has a pretty good chance of doing well only because nobody knows who he is. If he tunes down the strategy for a few votes and gains respect from his tribe mates, he can completely repeat last season and take over. With so many players assuming they are the best, Russell will easily fit in and probably do a good job of hiding his plotting.
10. Rupert Boneham
Previous Season(s): Pearl Islands and All-Stars
All-Star Status: While his game play remains forgettable, Rupert is the most loved contestant to date. He won the million dollar award for Survivor: America’s Tribal Council.
My TV Take: The world may love Rupert but I surely do not. More than any other contestant, I find trouble seeing what America sees in this boring man. Sure he looks like a pirate, had some strategy, and is incredibly childish, but what did he really do? Frankly, I can barely remember.
Sole Survivor Chances: Zip. Everyone knows that everyone loves Rupert. Bringing him to the finals would be disastrous. Not to mention he already won a million simply because the audience liked him…undeserving.
9. James Clement
Previous Season(s): China and Fans vs. Favorites
All-Star Status: James was an audience favorite who never did much on the show other. His big claim to fame in China was stupidly refusing to play either of his two immunity idols and being blind sided by Todd’s powerful alliance. When he returned for a second chance at the game, James formed an alliance with Parvati, Ozzy, and Amanda which quickly was torn apart by Parvati’s scheming ways. James was then removed from the game due to medical problems, but still remained a fan favorite.
My TV Take: Like Rupert, James also bored me. Never particularly understood the appeal (other than the visual appeal). He never really did anything to prove his status as a real game player, and I bet he still won’t. James is a bit too easygoing to play this game.
Sole Survivor Chances: Slim. While James doesn’t win many challenges or even use his brain all that much, others always consider him a huge threat. He’ll probably be blindsided at some point.
8. Tom Westman
Previous Season(s): Palau
All-Star Status: Tom won Palau, was a huge fan favorite, and kicked some serious ass in the challenges winning 5 out of 7 individual immunities (and he’s over 40!).
My TV Take: While Tom’s winning streak ties a few other past contestants, his record still seems the most impressive. Partially because he was part of a tribe which dominated the challenges resulting in only one remaining member of the opposing team. Tom’s strategy was just as good as his strength, since he formed an alliance with Ian and Katie on day one and their alliance lasted until the end.
Sole Survivor Chances: Tom’s an incredibly likable guy but his challenge history doesn’t bode well for him. My guess is his personality and strength end up hurting him and he’s voted out early on.
7. Colby Donaldson
Previous Season(s): Australian Outback and All-Stars
All-Star Status: Colby was one of Survivor‘s first fan favorites, dominated challenges, and made it to the final two. His biggest downfall was his kindness when he chose to take the personable Tina to the final two because he would rather lose to someone who he thought warranted the million dollars. His turn in All-Stars was barely memorable since he was voted out early on.
My TV Take: Colby’s always been a pleasure to watch and he will most likely make a bigger splash this time after his poor showing on the all-star season. But as the first player of the game in this bunch, he might not have what it takes to compete against the fresher faces.
Sole Survivor Chances: Somewhere between his first attempt and his second. Colby will likely stick around a bit longer but not final four long. He’s still too likable and too strong so this threat will be eliminated before the final four.
6. Candice Woodcock
Previous Season(s): Cook Islands
All-Star Status: Candice was one of two members to mutiny when the option was given for the first time in Survivor history. She formed an alliance with Jonathon and the two decided to switch tribes when the option was given. Unfortunately, her decision backfired before she really got a chance to play the game.
My TV Blog: I remember my jaw dropping when Candice mutinied. If someone has the balls to do that, chances are she’s willing to make some bigger moves as well. Candice could have succeeded on Cook Islands with her spontaneous attitude but maybe she’ll play a bit more low key.
Sole Survivor Chances: I might go ahead and predict a final four for Candice. I don’t see her making too many enemies early on and my guess is she’ll fade into the background for a while. I can almost her the final tribal council as the bitter jury accuses her of “riding coattails.”
5. Amanda Kimmel
Previous Season(s): China and Fans vs. Favorites
All-Star Status: Amanda made it to the final three in China and the final two in her second season. While she never won, she does hold the records for the only contestant to make the finals twice, the first female to find the hidden immunity idol, and the most days on Survivor (72). Her alliance with Todd, Denise, and Courney paved the way for her first final tribal while her manipulation and game play secured her place in the second final tribal.
My TV Take: Amanda knows how to play this game more than anyone at this point. She’s been backstabbed, done the stabbing, formed alliances, ruined alliances, and played idols. I’m desperate to see if her and Parvati connect again or if Amanda will find a new power alliance. Either way she’s sure to enterain as long as she lasts.
Sole Survivor Chances: Once again, if the others are smart Amanda will leave early on but then again she sucks at the final tribal questions so maybe she’s a good luck charm to bring to the end. It really could go either way but I see Amanda lbeing blindsided early on. Look for Stephanie or Cirie to target this powerhouse.
4. Stephenie LaGrossa
Previous Season(s): Palau and Guatemala
All-Star Status: Stephenie was the only castaway ever to be the sole survivor of her individual tribe. She earned the audience repsect when she survived entirely on her own and even earned herself a surprise spot on the following season. In Guatemala, Stephanie upped her gameplay and finished in second place.
My TV Take: My heart went out to Stephenie in Palau and she was the definition of underdog. I routed for Stephenie to take the win in Guatemale but she was beat out by Danni. Not only can she conquer the strategic aspects of the game, but Stephenie is a powerhouse at competitions. I cannot wait to see what she has to offer.
Sole Survivor Chances: Unlike most of these all-stars, Stephenie isn’t used to competiting with so many previous Survivor’s. Their reaction to Stephenie will determine her fate in the game. While she is a strong player, Stephenie isn’t viewed as a huge schemer so this will probably help her out. I definitely see Stephanie making it near the end and I hope we can see a final four finish!
3. James “JT” Thomas
Previous Season(s): Tocantins
All-Star Status: JT won his season after tightly aligning with fellow schemer Stephen. He turned on several other allies to claim the top prize, but his adorable personality helped him out tremendously.
My TV Take: I’ll never forgive JT for turning on Taj but his personality even won me over. He’s the southern boy next door and what’s not to like? Rumor has it he and Sugar begin flirtations early on this season.
Sole Survivor Chances: Survivor romances don’t always pan out for the best but in the last completely all-stars season it did. Will JT and Sugar be the new (and much better) Rob and Amber? Doubtful. JT will probably have the best chance of the winners to actually win again but his personality will be seen as too much of a threat. He’ll probably take the leader role among the heroes and then be turned loose.
2. Jessica “Sugar” Kiper
Previous Season(s): Gabon
All-Star Status: Sugar was the cute, outspoken pin-up model who feuded with Randy throughout her season. She won runner-up status falling behind Bob for votes. It was Sugar who implemented the fake idol plan to bully Randy back after bullying her. She was adorable, she was strategic, and she was loyal.
My TV Blog: Sugar is one of my favorite contestants to ever play the game. My love for her is purely personal and I doubt that her gameplay is all that great but expect it to be dramatically improved this time. Also, look for her and JT to ruffle some feathers and cause a lot of paranoia among the tribe.
Sole Survivor Chances: Sugar will probably form the first alliance of the game with JT. Lukily for her, JT will be perceived as the bigger threat so I can see her sticking around for a while. Her outspoken nature makes her the perfect person to bring to the final two, so I predict Sugar just may go all the way again this year.
1. Cirie Fields
Previous Season(s): Panama and Fans vs. Favorites.
All-Star Status: Cirie is the best player to ever play this game. I realize that distinction has already been given to Russell, but I strongly believe Cirie’s been overlooked. During her stay in Panama, Cirie was going to be the second voted out from her tribe but she used her social game and private scheming to secure her place in the tribe. Her strong connections with fellow castaways paved the way for a final four finish. Cirie returned to the game for Fans vs. Favorites and quickly became the needed swing vote in the couples alliance (Parvati, Amanda, Ozzy, and James). Cirie used her newfound positition to convince the group to vote the way she wanted as she eliminated threat after threat. Cirie even devised a plot to have Erik give his immunity necklace to Natalie and blindside him (which was, surprisingly, successful). Cirie’s social game allowed her to flip flop alliances until she finally made the final three with Parvati and Amanda.
My TV Take: Hands down the person I’m most excited to see return for a third time. Cirie was robbed of the finale twice and here’s hoping it won’t happen again! My number one pick for favorite castaway this season, hands down.
Sole Survivor Chances: This may just be wishful thinking, but if Cirie continues with her social game and strategic manuveurs she will make the final 3 again. She may not win but she definitely deserves it. My pick for sole survivor!