The cast of returnees for the next Survivor season will be chosen by fan voting! 16 men and 16 women are nominated, and 10 of each would be chosen. Here’s who I would pick. Let’s start with the men:
COUNT ME IN! (6)
Terry Deitz (Season 12: Panama)
Why: A super challenge competitor who really should have won his season the first time. If he has developed a bit more of a social game he will really be deadly.
Troy “Troyzan” Robertson (Season 24: One World)
Why: The star of what has to be the worst tribe in Survivor history. Could he actually be successful going against good players? I’m eager to find out.
Stephen Fishbach (Season 18: Tocantins)
Why: On the podcast he co-hosts he has been critiquing current players for several years now. Is he going to learn from all of their mistakes?
Joe Anglim (Season 30: Worlds Apart)
Why: He was so good that he became a major target his first time around. With better luck he would surely be a threat to win this time, perhaps even the favorite.
Mike Holloway (Season 30: Worlds Apart)
Why: I hope he becomes ineligible by actually winning Worlds Apart, but if not I would love to follow this season’s best character for another season.
Vytas Baskauskas (Season 27: Blood vs. Water)
Why: Most of his success the first time came from lying, especially to women. Will people who saw his first season fall for his act?
SECOND TIER (4)
Andrew Savage (Season 7: Pearl Islands)
Why: One of the best players on his season. It would be interesting to see if he can still compete the way the game has evolved.
Lukewarm because: It’s been a while.
Jim Rice (Season 23: South Pacific)
Why: Blunt and a villain of sorts. But he’s certainly competitive.
Lukewarm because: I seem to recall he talked a bigger game than he played.
Spencer Bledsoe (Season 28: Cagayan)
Why: He probably would have won his season if not for the force that is Tony. Very smart kid.
Lukewarm because: I didn’t love him as much as Jeff Probst and the producers seemed to.
Brad Culpepper (Season 27: Blood vs. Water)
Why: He got somewhat of a raw deal his first time around because certain people had an axe to grind.
Lukewarm because: He and his wife have certainly gotten their share of Survivor screen time.
NO THANKS (5)
Shane Powers (Season 12: Panama)
Why: Not the type you love to hate, more the type you just hate.
Woo Hwang (Season 28: Cagayan)
Why: Nice guy and fairly entertaining, just not a very shrewd player.
Jeremy Collins (Season 29: San Juan del Sur)
Why: He kept talking about what a strategist he is, but never really did that much and didn’t last that long.
Keith Nale (Season 29: San Juan del Sur)
Why: One season was fun, but he wasn’t a good player, as evidence by his awful “stick to the plan” moment.
Max Dawson (Season 30: Worlds Apart)
Why: The last thing I want to see is someone who does nothing but make lame references to prior seasons. But that is Max’s specialty.
DON’T REMEMBER HIM (1)
Jeff Varner (Season 2: The Australian Outback)
Now we get to the women. Alas, the cupboard is barer here. I was going to provide all sorts of alternate suggestions, but unfortunately my favorite female players have all been on all-star seasons already, and thus are ineligible here.
COUNT ME IN! (3)
Kelley Wentworth (Season 29: San Juan del Sur)
Why: Her father (Keith Nale, above) completely dragged down her game when she played before, but she seemed very bright and perhaps even a bit sneaky. I think she might even go far.
Natalie Tenerelli (Season 22: Redemption Island)
Why: She was nothing but a pawn for Boston Rob the first time around. Did she learn anything from such a master? OK, OK, she is also very good-looking.
Tasha Fox (Season 28: Cagayan)
Why: She would be a threat to win the game. In Cagayan I actually thought Spencer and Tony might knock each other out and Tasha would win. She has a good social game and is good at challenges.
SECOND TIER (7)
Kelly Wiglesworth (Season 1: Borneo)
Why: Barely losing to Richard Hatch is certainly a strong enough resume to earn one another shot.
Lukewarm because: More a good player than a good character, as I recall.
Peih-Gee Law (Season 15: China)
Why: A villain of sorts, from a fondly remembered season.
Lukewarm because: Maybe she didn’t get that far for a reason.
Kass McQuillen (Season 28: Cagayan)
Why: “Chaos Kass” is definitely never afraid to speak her mind or cause trouble.
Lukewarm because: I don’t seriously think she could win.
Ciera Eastin (Season 27: Blood vs. Water)
Why: She’s clever and competitive.
Lukewarm because: I’m not convinced she could do as well on a regular season without the loved-ones angle.
Mikayla Wingle (Season 23: South Pacific)
Why: I had to somehow choose ten, and at least Mikayla has an eye-poppingly fit physique for viewers to enjoy.
Lukewarm because: She wasn’t that great of a player.
Sabrina Thompson (Season 24: One World)
Why: She did well her first time around, though against very weak competition.
Lukewarm because: More a good player than good character.
Abi-Maria Gomes (Season 25: Philippines)
Why: Why indeed. Well, I had to pick ten.
Lukewarm because: More someone to cause conflict than someone who could win.
NO THANKS (2)
Carolyn Rivera (Season 30: Worlds Apart)
Why: Pretty good player, but not likeable.
Shirin Oskooi (Season 30: Worlds Apart)
Why: Very annoying and didn’t do anything of note as a player on her first season.
DON’T REMEMBER THEM (4)
Monica Padilla (Season 19: Samoa)
Kimmi Kappenberg (Season 2: The Australian Outback)
Teresa “T-Bird” Cooper (Season 3: Africa)
Stephanie Valencia (Season 22: Redemption Island)