It’s my favorite time of the year. Time for baseball caps, new players and another chance for the Miami Marlins to embarrass themselves. No, I’m not talking about spring training, I’m talking about Survivor! Yes Jeff Probst, and his baseball cap, is coming back to your televisions for the 28th season of Survivor that features 18 brand new players including the president of the Miami Marlins. So my second sentence totally works alright?
I have spent a lot of time watching, reading and listening about this new upcoming season so I figure I will give you some of my bold predictions. But first, let me give you some background to the new twists this season.
The most obvious first twist is that there are no returning players this season! What? How is that a twist you ask? Well since Survivor introduced the twist of returning players way back in season 8 they have done it so many times that a season with completely new players is now unique. This is like the M. Night Shyamalan of twists. Speaking of horrible director/writer combos, let’s go to our next twist!
I’m not sure I even want to talk about this twist. I really hope Jesse is not reading this because any chance of him ever watching Survivor might go out the window here. Sadly, Tyler Perry has officially impacted the game of Survivor. No, Madea is not going on Survivor thank goodness. But apparently Perry texted Probst and begged him to include an idol that can be played AFTER the votes have been read. Essentially a completely free pass for whoever holds it. Now before I go into why this twist is the best and worst thing let me provide some history for you.
Back when the Hidden Immunity Idol was introduced as a twist it had this same power. Whoever held the idol could use after they have been voted out. At the time the concept was pretty cool and two Survivors (Terry and Yul) used it to gain a ton of power in the game. In fact, Yul went on to win. Eventually it was seen as an unfair advantage. It was too powerful because they could just threaten the use of the idol and everyone would be scared away. So the producers changed the rules and you could only use your idol BEFORE the votes are read. That makes it a risk to play it or to not play it. Thanks to that rule change we have had numerous blindsides that have people go home with an idol in their pocket. We have also had numerous people use it at the wrong time and waste the idol and we have had people using it at the right moment and crushing the hopes of many players. It truly is a wildcard for the game of Survivor.
This means that our first two twists of the season are rehashes of previous seasons. And one of them involves Tyler Perry. Hmm, Tyler Perry getting credit for coming up with a “new” idea when that idea has already been used before? That basically sums up his career right?
Thankfully Blood Vs Water was so damn good. Otherwise every Survivor fan might be ready to jump ship right about now.
Honestly there is a sliver of hope for the Tyler Perry Idol. There is only one hypothetical circumstance that I see myself enjoying the presence of this damn thing. If someone finds it and tells NO ONE about it and then uses it to save themselves without anyone being aware they have it. It would be the ultimate reverse blindside. The problem is, why would you do that when you could tell everyone and you would be automatically safe until the final five? The other problem, if that happens, then the Tyler Perry Idol will surely be brought back in the future. And we don’t want that.
Okay and finally for the last twist. Which is actually unique! The tribes have been split into beauty, brawn and brains. Alright I know that sounds cheesy. And yes I know that they had some questionable choices with their placement of people. But I think it will be pretty fascinating to watch. What will happen when the Brains get beat in a puzzle? Or when the Brawns lose a strength challenge? Or when the Beauties realize they aren’t the most beautiful people on the island (Jeff Probst, people). It is a fascinating twist in the social dynamics of this game.
Oh and I nearly forgot. There are two other minor twists to the game that could have a big impact. Once the tribes arrive they must elect a leader (you NEVER want to be the leader in Survivor. NEVER! Especially in the first few days) and that leader must designate who they believe to be the weakest on their respective tribes. Oh yeah, judging people on their looks! Classic Survivor.
So whoever is elected the weakest will get a free ride to their camp (while the rest of the tribe walks/hikes/swims/whatever) and once they arrive they must choose between getting a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol (the old kind, yes both exist this time) or an extra bag of rice for their tribe. Oh man I love this game. They did a similar thing back in Tocantins and it was fascinating. The poor sucker who has to go alone is already viewed as the weakest, has to make a game changing choice and loses the most essential time to bond with their tribemates. Oh and they are the envy of the rest of their tribe. Survivor is a bitch.
With that, I am ready to make some bold predictions. To make these predictions I watched all of the CBS previews and interviews with the players. Plus Jeff Probst’s cast assessment and the TVGN preview. I avoided the rumored spoilers of the first couple of boots so take these predictions with a grain of salt. And don’t spoil anything for me. I will cut you if you do. I’m serious.
Leader of the Brawn: Tony- I assume he enjoys leading people since he is a cop. And he might be thrilled that the tribe would put him in this role. Even though it is a death sentence.
Weakest of the Brawn: Trish- I wouldn’t want to mess with Trish but this is Tony’s decision. I think he will see an older woman and assume she is weak. If not her then definitely Lindsey.
Leader of the Brains: David- I don’t think anyone on the brains tribe will want to be the leader. They are all too smart for that. I think they will force this upon David. They better be careful though. He might just trade his entire team away for half of a clue to an idol…
Weakest of the Brains: Kass- Again I picked the older woman. But this is how it works in Survivor. I apologize on the behalf of Survivor to equal rights.
Leader of the Beautiful: LJ- The man looks like a leader. Soon he will look like a target too.
Weakest of the Beautiful: Morgan- There is no older female on this tribe. But there certainly are a lot of weaker looking women to choose from. Really this could be anyone. I went with Morgan because she looks the youngest.
Who finds the first (normal) idol on each tribe:
Brains, Spencer- He is a Survivor fanatic and he wants to be the season’s villain. He knows the importance of an idol.
Brawn, Woo- I just don’t think anyone will notice him if he wanders off to search for an idol.
Beauty, Jefra- She seems sneaky.
How many normal idols will be used: 2
Who finds the Tyler Perry (ugh) idol: LJ- I don’t know why. Just a gut feeling.
Will the Tyler Perry (ugh) idol be used: No, the threat of it is enough.
First boot: Brains: Kass; Brawn: Lindsey; Beauty: Morgan. I think Brawn will shockingly lose the first challenge so Lindsey will be the official first boot.
Chances that David Samson (Marlins president) convinces the tribe to build a brand new, state of the art shelter that no one will ever use or go to: 32%
Tribe with most members at the merge: Beauty
Episodes until Jeff Probst says, “You have to dig deep!”: 3
Castaway with the most confessionals: Man all of these Survivors seem pretty quiet and pretty serious about winning this season. None of them seem like an obvious narrator. I will go with J’Tia because she is a natural talker and I think she will be around for most of the game.
Castaway with the least confessionals: Generally speaking this equates to the first boot. Unless your name is Carter or Caleb. I will go with Woo. He might stick around awhile but I think he is pretty quiet.
Who would win the Sprint Fan Favorite if Sprint was still sponsoring Survivor: This is a tough cast to read. LJ or Jeremiah. I will say Jeremiah.
Token third place finisher with 0 votes: Jefra
Runner Up: Jeremiah
Wow so apparently I see the Beauty tribe dominating this game. Probably because they have a big advantage in not being labeled a threat. No one thinks they are smart or strong. But they seem that way to me. I picture them forming a strong alliance and not losing many challenges. Once they merge, the strong and smart people will be worried about each other and will take each other out. Leaving a pretty easy path for the beauties to win. Sorry ugly people but sometimes being pretty is important.