WARNING: This podcast and article discusses recent casting rumors for an upcoming season of Survivor. These rumors are from a respected source, but are not yet confirmed and are just about concept, not actual casting (and definitely not any game results). But if you don’t like to follow any of those rumors, leave now.
WARNING #2: John’s audio is awful on this one. We apologize profusely.
According to casting spoiler extraordinaire @RedmondSurvivor, the current plan for the next returnee season of Survivor (which will be the 32nd one filmed, but may or may not air as season 31) is to bring back players who have never returned previously and have never won. In addition, this season will have a twist: America will get to vote which players they’d like to see come back. It’s being called several names online, including America Votes, Survivor: Second Chances, and several even less creative iterations.
Here at the Purple Rock Podcast, we don’t need to be asked to vote to express our opinions on who should be brought back. You hint at a theme, and we’ll fancast it. So rather than wait for anything resembling official news, we went ahead and fancast this idea now. In the above podcast, John and I both assembled 10 person tribes divided evenly by gender, using a snake-style draft to determine picks. And we want you to tell us who picked the better tribe. So, please, listen to the podcast, review the tribes below, and cast your votes.
Blood vs Water
A multi-tool player, Vytas is a strategist, athlete, and social schemer who stood out on a season half-filled with stars (and Monica Culpepper). He’s exactly the kind of player you know they’re thinking of bringing back, because they should. He played a pretty good game, only to be undone by deference to his former-winner brother and outwitted by a player on his third attempt at the game. Let’s see what Vytas can do on an even playing field.
The recent strategic challenge throw had to make you think of Survivor: China and what happened when Zhan Hu threw a challenge to get rid of the threats hand-delivered to them by the show (Aaron and James). And when I think of that, I think of how Peih-Gee and Jaime got screwed by the editors, who had it in their best interests to make the right strategic play look stupid (Jaime then compounded it by playing a non-idol, which… is it really that dumb to throw a Hail Mary pass if you’re going anyway?) I like to think we’re in a different place now, and we can bring back Peih-Gee to see what kind of player she really is. Also putting her top of mind? She’s stepped up her Twitter presence of late. Hmmmm…
Hey, if John is going to let me have all the star power, I’ll take it. We weren’t even all that pro-Spencer during Cagayan, but I think he’s a necessary element for a season with these qualifications. If you don’t cast Spencer, you need to answer too many questions about why you haven’t. Plus, I’ve become more of a Spencer fan since the season, as he’s proven himself a pretty reliable narrator on the game. Let’s get more of that.
Blood vs Water
When we started the podcast, Ciera was my Shirin, minus about 90% of the obnoxiousness. I drafted her in fantasy, and thus spent much of my time defending her against John’s (incorrect) accusations. And even when I was making my defense, I didn’t expect her to actually turn things around and become as active a player she became. She was typically a move too late, but at least she was trying, which is a lot more than the young, skinny woman usually gets.
Tocantins — The Brazilian Highlands
At this point, John was clearly trying to monopolize the eye candy, so I had to grab some for my tribe. The difference is that my eye candy is also smart and funny. And has actually watched episodes of Survivor she wasn’t featured in.
Ian shouldn’t be as forgotten as he’s become (among casuals, not those of us who visit fan-made podcast websites). He “gave up” the most difficult final three challenge the show has ever done after half a fucking day. But people can be forgiven if Ian is not top of mind: he (reportedly) turned down an invite to Micronesia and has moved on with his life. If you want people to remember you, you need to feed your fame (which I’m guessing he doesn’t care about). This season would be the perfect opportunity for that. Let’s not just make this the season of former Survivors who won’t shut up on Twitter.
Needed an older lady (note: for me, being in your 50s makes you old for this show. The days of trotting out seniors — that aren’t Yau Man — are over) and Trish is a kick-ass older lady. As long she’s not dealing with an insufferable quitter and a chaotic crazy person, she proved to be a pretty skilled social player. I just hope she doesn’t starve to death.
San Juan del Sur — Blood vs Water
Jeremy was horribly overrated while he was in the game on San Juan del Sur. But the pendulum may have already swung too far the other way since. He wasn’t great. He obviously didn’t get a “winner’s edit”. But the tools are all there. Let’s see what he can do when he isn’t playing with a bunch of tools.
PS – I love that John would try to argue the validity of this casting AFTER he had cast Pete Bro. (Editor’s note: At least Pete Bro was on a decent season). (Writer’s note: As if Pete Bro had anything to do with it).
Neleh Nielson (née Davis)
I wanted to reach into the early stage of the game, but feel like the first two seasons have been pretty well picked over (especially when you factor that Colleen and Greg are not options) and we’ve already had the three people worth seeing in Africa. So why not Marquesas? Why not Neleh? She started out as the sweet, young girl, was forced to start playing the game when her place in it was made obvious, then was raked over the coals for doing so. I’m interested in seeing what she’s like a decade later. She could be an interesting element thrown into the mix.
Panama — Exile Island
We’ve been circling the Shane Powers return for too long. Bring back the crazy and watch the sparks fly.
Blood vs Water
I think he may have been taking the “Team John” concept a little too literally. John wanted to do his part to help the Codys tie the Bonehams in appearances, and take one step closer to the Marianos. If this is what his first pick was going to be, I’m not sure we needed to bother with the draft.
You know, I’m trying to avoid being gross here and devolving into a series of juvenile double entrendres. But, really, when it comes to Morgan, what else is there? John’s entire strategy here is to distract you with pictures and hope that it’s enough to get you to vote Team John in the pool. So, here we go.
See above. Although one thing John didn’t count on: the Survivor profile photographer aren’t often all that good at their jobs. Hey, Chelsea is at least as qualified to be brought back as was Danielle DiLorenzo. You could say she’s exactly as qualified.
Because being around Russell Hantz for that long should come with a reward. John likes how Jaison defied stereotypes as an erudite African-American that might be the best (non-Ozzy) swimmer in the history of the show. Jaison should get the chance to play a season with his socks intact.
Savage! Finally! Savage has spent every subsequent returnee season since Pearl Islands being “alpha male alternate”, a player people think about and mention as a potential returnee, but ultimately he’s not as accomplished as the alphas ahead of him. But now that a lot of them have either A) already returned to the show or B) won the show, he gets to move closer to the front of the line. Especially because he also now gets to fit the “old guy” slot. When we weren’t looking, he went and turned 51. But he did so while still looking like this. (Seriously, how the hell does he remain so handsome?)
College-aged John had a crush on her. And she was screwed by a young Boston Rob (phrasing!) in Marquesas. John also assures all of you that in doing research for this draft, she has aged like a fine wine.
Hey, when you have the chance to bring the fourth most interesting member of the Aitu Four back nine years later, you gotta do it. As long as she’s not too busy reprising her role as “Additional Voice” in a Big Hero 6 sequel, that is.
Panama — Exile Island
Screw it, I’m just going to paste in the write-up I did of Bob Dawg when John fan-casted him a couple months ago: “Not just the guy who insisted on using an outhouse for its intended purpose! Bob Dawg had personality to spare, it just wasn’t featured in Panama due to his poor placement. Let’s give him another chance to see if he can do better (and thus give us more). Also, why isn’t he on Twitter?!?”
John is not above thinking our female and/or gay listeners are also shallow. So, sure, Pete Bro. Since he couldn’t get on The Price is Right, I’m guessing he’s available. (Editor’s note: Reminder, ladies and/or gentlemen of a certain persuasion: I’ve given you John Cody, Jaison, Savage, and Pete. Shirtless.)
And here’s what I wrote about Michelle a couple of months ago, “Super cute and should never have gone home at the merge in Fiji. Sure, on the list of bad ideas in Fiji, having a random team immunity challenge where only half of the players go to Tribal Council doesn’t make the top three, but it’s still a really stupid idea. Make good on this one, Survivor.”
Now it’s up to you to decide which tribe you prefer? Actually, no. Let’s give you one final visual reminder of our teams:
Which of us constructed a tribe that you’d rather see? And be sure to read on after the poll to find out John’s list of people who should definitely not be cast for this season.
The “Thanks, but no thanks” options
No. Even the suggestion offends me (although thankfully I haven’t heard many people suggesting her this time around). She’s the worst.
I mentioned this in the podcast, but there is a surprising amount of people who suggest that “Troyzan” should come back. Here’s the case against that: One World was defined by two things- Kim and a bunch of hot young people. Troy is neither of those things. He wasn’t very good at Survivor. (And don’t give me “He had great plans but everybody was too dumb to help him”, because part of Survivor is convincing people to agree to your plans. Nobody liked Troy enough to do that.) He also wasn’t very entertaining- yelling things about island ownership and winning a single challenge aren’t enough to merit a return. And I have a low standard for returnees- I’m the one that repeatedly tried to cast Francesca and Kourtney Moon.
San Juan del Sur
He was mildly amusing in a mediocre season.
Anyone from Nicaragua
Sometimes even great shows have bad seasons. We already tried bringing back Brenda just to see if we were wrong about that season. We weren’t. Let’s just all agree to move on from Nicaragua.
Andy should know by now to stop expecting John to take these things seriously. Follow him on Twitter at @andy_sayers to express your sympathies over what it’s like to podcast with someone like John.