Survivor “Worlds Apart” starts this Wednesday, February 25th, with a 90 minute premiere and I am as giddy as a school boy! Maybe I should start by telling you about my love for this television show. I have been watching Survivor since the beginning, and 15 years later I still love it! You might say I have an unhealthy obsession with the show. I over-analyze every move the players make. I will actually picture myself in the player’s position and try to decide which direction I would have approached a certain situation.
Now that we have moved into the 30th season I am anxious to see how a new group of players will tackle the game. I never take stock in the gimmicky themes they apply to the seasons, but from what I can tell, CBS has delivered a very interesting and exciting group of players this time.
The question every Survivor fan wants to know is, who will win this season? Trying to decide who will win without seeing one episode is extremely hard. I have not been very successful in doing so myself, but I always try. The last time I picked the correct person from the start was Tyson Apostol in the 27th season, and before that it was Yul Kwon in season 13. It takes a very special kind of person to win this game and in every season almost half of the cast has no chance to win. But that’s why I really like this cast; I only see about 4 or 5 people who I have on my “no chance to win” list at the start of the game. Before I tell you who I picked to be the winner this season, I want to quickly mention my favorites! Here is my list, in no particular order.
Max Dawson: As someone who is heavily involved in the Survivor community, I am very familiar with Max. He is the Survivor professor! Max used to teach a class on Survivor at Northwestern University, so he clearly knows the game. But to know the game too well could hurt him, though he definitely has what it takes to be a winner.
Shirin Oskooi: I will always root for any player who says they plan to play like Rob Cesternino! I feel she has the right makeup to be a very good player. She is obviously a fan of the game and knows her stuff and I look forward to watching her play.
Joe Anglim: From what I can tell from his bio, he seems to be a fan of the show too. I think casting is hoping for another Malcolm Freberg. He certainly has the tools to win and I would not be surprised to see him make it far. His biggest hurdle will be after the merge the when he will become a big target.
Mike Holloway: I am not sure how much Mike knows about the game, but I definitely believe that he has the right personality to do well. He strikes me as a likable person who is willing to work hard. Like Joe, he will become a large target late in the game, so he will need a good alliance to help back him up.
Hali Ford: Hali is young, intelligent and gorgeous! This combination will most likely help her to prevail in the end. She claims to be a very driven person and that will serve her well too. If she can align with the right people, she could be our winner.
Sierra Dawn Thomas: I really get annoyed by female contestants who always compare themselves to Parvati Shallow, but Sierra does have the character type that can win. She is beautiful, athletic and very complete. She may not be Parvati, but if things go well for her, she could accomplish something Miss Shallow could not do, and that’s win the game her first time out.
Dan Foley: Even though I have some concerns about Dan going far in this game, I cannot help but root for this guy. There are not too many people who have done more to get on this show. As a super fan, I would hope that he has the knowledge to help get him to the finals.
Jenn Brown: Originally I was going to round off my elite 8 with So Kim, but I am liking Jenn Brown more and more. I feel she has the right personality to go far and I think she will get along with Joe and Hali on her tribe. By reading her bio I think I am going to like her, but I have been wrong before.
That’s my list of potential winners and at this point I am picking Max to be our winner. I still think So Kim has a shot, but I have a feeling that her personality might rub people the wrong way. I feel terrible for not selecting super fan Nina, but I do believe she will have a rough time. Hopefully I am wrong.
My wild cards are Carolyn, Kelly and Tyler. Any one of them could do well, if things go their way. The bottom of the list would be the players who have no chance to win. They are Joaquin, Lindsey, Rodney, Will and Vince. They all have a chance to go far because the good players will most likely align with them. In the past I have been completely wrong with my “bottom list” players. In season 28 I thought Tony Vlachos had no chance to win. Not only did he win, but he is one of my favorite contestants of all time!
I plan on returning shortly with my thoughts on the first couple of episodes and at that point I will share my personal power rankings.