19 May 2015
Survivor is making a bold move by bringing back 20 returning players for their next installment. This time around, each castaway has only played the game once and was not a winner. Even more impressively, they are letting us decide the line-up! I’ve been voting every day, but have to admit that my votes have changed a bit. I’ve finally settled on my top 20 choices. Read on to see my list of those I could care less about and those I want to see come back!
These 6 woman will not be receiving any votes from me:
Monica Padilla- I have to admit that my memory is not the best so when Monica’s name was announced, I had to look her up. Even after doing so, I cannot for the life of me remember this girl. Unmemorable does not bode well for a second chance. Sorry, Monica!
Mikayla Wingle- Mikayla’s most known for being the girl Brandon was attracted to. That’s it. She didn’t really make alliances or do much else than help the tribe realize what an odd person Brandon was. I don’t really need her back.
Peih-Gee Law- Another somewhat unmemorable player for me. Peih-Gee made it far in China, but that season itself was fairly lackluster. I wouldn’t be upset to see her back, but I wouldn’t vote for her.
Stephanie Valencia– Stephanie wisely aligned herself with Russell knowing he was a power player who has a history of taking his right hand woman to the end. Unfortunately, this was the Rob v. Russell season and she was on the wrong side of that bottle. Russell was seen as too much of a threat and his vote off eventually lead to Stephanie’s demise. She was a fighter until the end though, even going as far to tell Rob she would join his tribe’s alliance if she survived until the merge.
Kelley Wentworth- I wanted to put Kelley higher on this list but she really didn’t get enough air time on her season. Kelley was voted out before her father Dale and the reason she left was because she had so much knowledge of the game that she was seen as a threat. Sadly, the viewers never got to see this knowledge but maybe she’ll have a chance to show us?
Natalie Tenerelli- Natalie made it to the final three of her season but had no shot of winning next to ally Boston Rob. In fact, the jury accused her of simply riding his coattails (but hey that worked for Amber!). At the young age of 19, she still made it pretty far on her trust her alone. I’d love to see her come if only to make a name for herself, but ultimately there are more deserving competitors.
So now let’s countdown to my top 10 female picks:
10) Ciera Eastin- I love the idea of seeing someone from Blood v. Water come back and play without their loved one. Ciera and Laura were a strong mother-daughter duo and Ciera’s likely most famous for voting her mom out when they knew their joint game was over. The fact that she went on to win an individual immunity and tried to strategize her way to the end post-mom’s eviction, shows that Ciera has some potential as a player.
9) Teresa T-Bird Cooper- If you can remember all the way back to Africa, T-bird actually played an interesting game. She was on the wrong side of an alliance for her original tribe, but was saved by the surprise twist of a tribe mix-up. At her new tribe, she quickly turned on one of her own and secured a spot for herself for quite some time. Then there was also the big “secret vote” debacle when she cast a vote to Lex and allowed him to think it was, and vote out, someone else. She would be an interesting returning player!
8) Kimmi Kappenburg- Kimmi is most famous for being the outspoken vegetarian who refused to eat the tribe’s chicken. She also had a grating voice and was a bit annoying. That being said, Kimmi is someone I definitely remember and I love the idea of early players coming back. The game has changed so much that I’m dying to see if they can adapt and thrive!
7) Sabrina Thomspon- I know, I know…everybody hated One World. But you know what, I really liked Sabrina! She was completely overshadowed by the dominating Kim post-merge, but pre-merge she actually had some spunk! Remember when she found the hidden immunity idol on like day 2? She couldn’t keep it for herself due to the dumb rule that it had to go to someone on the opposing tribe, but she smartly gave it to Colton sensing that he was the odd man out. It was a wise move that could have helped her in the long-run…and to be fair Colton did eventually convince his idiotic male tribe to give up an immunity…so maybe Sabrina helped bond him even more with the woman? Okay, fine. I’m still stretching here but I just like the gal! Also, part of her strategy was to suck at competitions so let’s bring her back and let the girl compete!
6) Abi-Maria Gomes- Every season needs it’s villain and I suspect Abi isn’t going to be any nicer the second time around. Just picture this: Abi vs. Kass. How amazing? I hated Abi but I loved to hate Abi. She makes for good television so she’ll likely see a return.
5) Kass McQuillen- Chaos Kass was brutal. I’d argue she played the most unpredictable game in Survivor history. Many people, including her Brains team, hated her by the end but Kass made for some great television. I’d love to see her again only to see if she remains the independent, unpredictable player she was or if she’ll up her social game.
4) Tasha Fox- I’m putting Tasha above Kass simply because she is a nice person. Tasha and Spencer could have won their season had they not been in such a terrible tribe early on. They were the underdogs who just couldn’t pull through but they were the Brains! Tasha has it in her to strategize her way to a final two and I hope she makes it further this time around.
3) Carolyn Rivera- Considering Carolyn is only one of the two remaining deserving players who might win Worlds Apart, she should certainly be allowed back. I do suspect if she played ten years ago, she may be farther down on my list but I really think Carolyn will come in 5th place and I really want her to have another shot.
2) Shirin Oskooi- Nobody loves this game as much as Shirin loves this game. She needs to up her social play in order to stick around longer but Shirin is so damn intelligent that I strongly believe she will play a different game the second time around. She’s a threat to win it! [Ed. Note: agreed. Getting her star-struck Survivor jitters out this season, Shirin’s likely to come back smarter than ever. Remember how powerful that exact path was for Cochran].
1) Kelly Wiglesworth- Is there even a question about this? I imagine Probst was conceptualizing what to do this season and someone said, “Let’s get Kelly back” so they went with the Second Chance idea. I mean, this is the ultimate do-over, am I right? I strongly believe if Kelly played the exact same game today as she did back then, she would have won the $1 million. She was a beast at competitions and deserved to beat Richard. To this day, I still think she was robbed.
The 6 men who will not be receiving votes from me are:
Troyzan Robertson– Anyone named Troyzan doesn’t deserve to be on this show once let alone twice.
Woo Hwang- Woo made an incredibly dumb move by bringing Tony to the final two with him. Some want him to come back to see if he’s learned his lesson, but he annoyed the heck out of me. No game, no strategy, no apparent brains in his school…hard pass!
Max Dawson- Max just didn’t leave any real impression on me. Of all the World’s Apart castaways vying for another show, he’s least deserving. I wouldn’t hate to see him back since he is such a fan of the game, but I’m okay if he watches from his couch.
Keith Nale- I struggled with where to put Keith in my rankings. Even though he was completely clueless about the game, Keith was actually good in competitions. I think it would certainly be interesting to see him back but I want a season filled with strategists, not someone being carried to the end.
Jim Rice- Jim’s another one of those guys that I don’t remember too much. There were too many amazing people on his season for him to really shine through. That being said, he was a strategist and showed some savvy. I think if Jim came back he would like go far because he isn’t well known for how he played (ie. not an immediate threat). [Ed. Note: VOTE FOR JIM! Even with very little airtime, in South Pacific he definitely proved he’s got the head and the drive for the game. I’ve always been holding out long-shot hope for a second Jim appearance.]
Stephen Fisbach- Stephen played a pretty solid game but let himself play second fiddle to J.T. I’d like to see him learn from his mistake by coming back, playing an aggressive social game, and owning his own performance.
And my top ten are:
10) Shane Powers- Shane didn’t actually play that great of a game the first time around. He ended up trying to turn on his alliance and got the boot because of it. But he is known for his nicotine addiction and general outbursts. Again, every season needs a villain so we might as well let him back for some good drama.
9) Jeff Varner- Even though many aren’t crazy about the Outback season, I still enjoyed it. I want Jeff back only because he was one of the most memorable guys that season, and it’s been so damn long! I have no reason why I like Jeff but I definitely do and think a return could be fun for him!
8) Mike Holloway- Mike should hopefully win this season and thereby disqualify himself from returning. If he doesn’t, I’d like to see him back! He dominates at challenges but doesn’t come across as much of a physical threat. The downside is, his season is currently airing so all returning castaways will likely target him first since they can see what a threat he is.
7) Terry Deitz- Terry certainly has earned a lot of respect from his season. He was another beast at challenges and just was on the losing alliance. Luckily for Terry, he lasted a lot longer due to his winning streak. I’m generally not a fan of the older-guy-as-hero storyline but Terry fit in pretty well to that mold.
6) Brad Culpepper- Brad was so tremendously disliked, that I cannot help but want him back. He really did play for his wife Monica and I’d be willing to bet he’ll play differently for himself. I’m more just curious to see how he will change (if at all!).
5) Joe Anglim- Joe should probably be #1 on my list but he just seems too cocky. I read some interviews where he basically said he was guaranteed to come back for a future season. That kind of self-assuredness drives me nuts. That being said, he’s generally a likable dude and probably could go far among a group of returning players (meaning he won’t be the only threat!).
4) Vytas Baskauskas- Aras and Vytas were such a powerful and threatening duo that it was inevitable they would both be voted out. It didn’t help that his brother came in with a huge target on his back for winning the first time around. Vytas can certainly outwit, outplay, and outlast if given the opportunity. I would love to see him return. [Ed. Note: CANNOT WAIT to see Vytas back in the game. Easily one of the most captivating castaways in years].
3) Jeremy Collins- I really thought his season would come to the battle between Jeremy and Josh (also, why is Josh not an option to return! [Ed. Note: He and/or Reed MUST have turned them down; no way the producers didn’t ask]). Jeremy was there to play and could have had a successful run, but he was too much of a threat. I would definitely like to see him return.
2) Andrew Savage- This is another player that I just really loved and can’t really recall why. Mainly though, he got screwed over by the Outcast twist resulting in one of the weaker final two (I know Sandra ultimately was a great player but it left me bitter). I think he could do really well this time around.
1) Spencer Bledsoe- Tantrums aside, Spencer was a great player. He didn’t have the numbers to make it far enough in the game but if anyone deserves a second chance it’s him. This guy is both smart about the game and just smart in general. He will likely come back and play much stronger this time around. [Ed. Note: We had to guess Spencer’d be back the SECOND they had returning players. Very few people had a more memorable first-season arc than he did].