We emailed, we argued, we used spreadsheets and formulas, and we finally arrived at this: the definitive Purple Rock Podcast endorsements for Survivor: Second Chance. This endorsement list is the collective wisdom of six of our writers, each of whom (except Mark, who wrote everything after the jump) provided an endorsement for a single player.
You know where to go to vote for these people by now, right? But if you’re lazy, here’s the link.
The ten men:
Proof that cryogenic chambers are ready for public consumption, Andrew Savage has been stewing his pretty little head off over his elimination over a decade ago. He got screwed by an Outcast twist that caused him to be voted out by an animated Scout uniform. Vote for Savage because if you don’t, he and Probst will appear naked on some CBS sitcom so Wes Nale can make fun of it in Survivor 38: Scraping The Barrel.
The third-most famous person to lose a reality show challenge because of a craving for peanut butter, Jeff Varner is a chief example of the type of person that should be on this list. Voted out after a tiebreaker under the original “most votes against” rule, he needs redemption, and we need his snark on our screens. Especially if “llama girl” will be there.
Surround the CBS website and drown their servers with enough votes to get this firefighter back on the island. Sure, he spent most of the time on San Juan Del Sur complaining about everything, but maybe with a more knowledgable group of players we can see if he plays as well as he says he does. And maybe, just maybe, he and Keith can get a sub-alliance going.
Joey Amazing. Malcom 2.0. The Best Fake Idol Designer In The Western Hemisphere (Editor’s note: Peih Gee is also a jewelry designer, though…). Whatever you call him, Joe is a lock for next season. (Still vote for him! As one of the few genuinely nice people from Worlds Apart, he deserves a second shot.) He’s a diamond necklace in the rough, but will his triple-threat qualities allow him to go further than last time?
Vote for this guy and get 13 more weeks of John’s “Max and Shirin Fight For My Love” columns. A much better narrator and off-camera snarker than player in season 30, I’m curious how Max will do a second time around when his super-fandom and egocentrism isn’t as glaring amongst a cast chock full of both traits. (Is it too early to start the Zero Percent Club for next fall?)
A vote for Shane is a vote for entertainment, in the best way possible. He didn’t get screwed by the game as much as by his “Survivor: My Anti-Drug” strategy. A near-miss for several returnee seasons, Shane deserves to finally play again and prove if he’s as coconuts as his island Blackberry or crazy like a fox. Not to mention, I’m awaiting the inevitable Apple Watch made of vines and bark, with an assist in craftsmanship from Joe.
I maintain that Spencer played a better Cagayan game than some give him credit for. He had all the right ideas, but just couldn’t pull it off in the face of Tony Vlachos’ craziness. One (or two) immunity challenge(s) away from the finals, Spencer is another guaranteed returnee. The youngest guy in our picks, will he have matured and learned from his mistakes, or will his new economics degree cause a “Trader Jeff’s” stock crash?
You know what they say about guys with big brains…This Survivor know-it-all (sorry, Max) is ready to redeem himself for giving his idol in Heroes vs. Villains over to—wait, that was the other guy? Who won 9-0? If there is justice in the world, Fishbach will be bach again to hopefully beat JT’s HvV performance and prove who should have won Tocantins. Besides, he deserves somebody’s vote after all this time. Why not make it yours?
He won a lot of immunities, sure, but can he win your vote? This guy is from the Tom Westman school of Survivor, but I think that time has passed. (Sorry, Mr. Pelican.)
This yogi made a boo-boo last time by trusting his brother, but we’re all excited to see Vytas play again. He’s got the brains (math degree!), and the flexibility (both physically and strategically) to play hard, so hopefully he can he stretch his days on the island past the last time he played. Plus if he makes it to the end, he will have finally beat Aras at something! (Editor’s note: I know, but I’m not going to correct him.)
Honorable mention: Mike Holloway (whom we all think will be ineligible)
The ten women:
If you’re going to bring on big characters, you can do far worse than this Brazilian bombshell. No, I’m not talking about physical features. I’m talking about the scattered embers that still lie in the Philippine sands from her numerous confrontations in that eponymous season. Knee injury or not, Abi was a Jersey Shore character on the Pacific shores (much like a lot of the Worlds Apart cast). She seems very repentant over her portrayal, and promises a more level-headed game this time, but the only way to find out is to vote her on.
Like a Padawan learning from her returnee masters, Ciera took some time to grow into her role as one of Blood vs. Water‘s biggest players. She had a rocky road to that point, watching her numbers erode, gathering no moss as she slid between alliances and sent tremors through the game with one vote. She was only the second player dumb/brave enough to draw inconsistently-colored rocks, which shows not only that she’s got the stones for interesting gameplay, but also that she will play a little, well, boulder in her second try. Don’t take her place for granite, vote Ciera. (Editor’s note: *groan*)
If Ciera was the Padawan, Kass was the Sith. She didn’t give a what, and made sure you knew about it, too. A Tribal Council anarchist with thinner skin than a molting Richard Hatch, Kass was nothing if not good TV. When she ships out for season 31, we can stamp her passport with a Spencer-approved Zero Percent Club logo, but we sure can’t make it an entertaining season without the chaotic llama lawyer herself. Any objections?
One of the original—wait, sorry. A Nicaragua quit—huh? On the receiving end of a wood pl—there are too many Kellys in Survivor! But we can live with this fact for one more season, because this superfan with the eerily-similar name to someone else going to Cambodia deserves a second shot. Whether being talked down to by a Drewchebag or the victim of a degree of fatherly embarrassment not seen since that first high school date, Miss Wentworth will be a worthy player to prove if she’s the real badass of Nicaragua.
There we go. Ahem…One of the original jungle badasses and pioneers of this game we love, Miss Wigles is worth your vote not only to see if she can extend her immunity run, but also to see if she can adapt to the massive changes that have occurred since 2000. Initial signs point to “ehhh” but perhaps being in Southeast Asia again will bring the best out in her.
Yeah ok, I just voted for her as eye candy. We can’t have all the good ones going early! In all seriousness, she stood up to Hantz and seems to have a good head on her shoulders, along with a strong competitive streak. If she gets on, I’m hoping for another Parvati.
She may have thrown immunity, but a vote for her would throw her back into the game after 15 seasons away. She was a strong player, but also a strong personality who was unfortunately overshadowed by the dumb (Jean-Robert) and the brilliant (Courtney). Consult the MPAA, because this PG is about to get an R rating. For ready to play.
No wait, Shirin, you can’t go! Here, have a spot on next season!
In fact, can we just vote for “Shirin and 17 of her friends hang out on a field trip to Cambodia with Jeff Probst as chaperone”? I would watch this for 43 minutes for three months straight.
She came close to tying Kelly Wiglesworth in challenges, and I would love to see these two compete against each other after the merge. (Just be sure to include her in your talks, guys.) The real trifecta of brains, brawn, and beauty, Tasha was a victim of the numbers, so give her some with your vote. Terry may be remembered as an immunity beast, but Tasha will be far more fun to watch in that respect.
Teresa “T-Bird” Cooper
Is she a vulture or a dove? Repping my home state of Georgia, T-Bird may be the oldest person on our list, but she’s still just as sharp as in Africa. Another deep pull, I’m hoping her staying current on the game (unlike some others on this list) will allow her to go far and pull a Tina or Carolyn upon returning. And besides, if she could survive the most dangerous camp site in the game’s history, she can withstand Cambodian camp life where the most dangerous animal is an engraving on a hidden immunity idol.
Andy’s endorsement: Kass McQuillen
You may not want to have Kass McQuillen on your TV, but believe me, you need her on your TV. The past two seasons have only emphasized the greatness that was Cagayan, and Kass was the second biggest reason for that greatness (second to Tony, of course). Her thin-skinned need to be the center of attention resulted in the game turning on its head at least twice, while threatening to do so again throughout. The most frustrating thing as a viewer is when players refuse to do anything, either due to being ineffectual, being wrong about their place in the game, or being right. Not Chaos Kass. She’s gonna do things, even if it makes situations actively worse for her. You don’t need to like Kass to vote for her. You just have to like it when stuff happens on Survivor. Because stuff is gonna happen as long as she’s out there.
XL Pelican’s endorsement: Terry Deitz
Terry Deitz, of Survivor: Panama fame, hates to lose. But it doesn’t happen to him often. The guy won five consecutive individual immunity challenges, and when he finally lost, he threw a fit and Aras called the Whaaambulance. So this is a man who’s been stewing over his loss since Panama aired in 2006. He’s going to be wanting this harder than anybody else. We may get to watch him play with one of his old antagonists, Shane Powers, as well as Vytas, the brother of his archnemesis. There’s a lot of potential for great television coming out of that bunch, and it’d be a mistake to let it pass by.
John’s endorsement: Shane Powers
Shane Powers gave up smoking a day before he started playing Survivor. He may have been a crazy person before giving up smoking, but he was definitely one afterwards. Over the course of the next month, he began talking with people on a coconut Blackberry and told a fellow player he was going to kill her in her shitty apartment. He’s also insanely loyal, and possibly a terrible Survivor player. But what he isn’t is boring. Shane Powers is going to give you good TV.
Emma’s endorsement: Vytas Baskauskas
A preseason favorite, Vytas made a strong early impression during Blood Vs. Water. The reformed bad boy charmed viewers and castaways alike by using his past as a way to gain trust. Without his baby brother to worry about (or his baby brother’s pregame alliances to get betrayed by/stuck with), will Vytas be able to wrap everyone around his little finger as he drags them to the end? Or will his stories of overcoming heroin and prison no longer work, now that the players have seen him in action. I know there are a lot of superfan options to vote for, but don’t sleep on Vytas! He’s been a fan long before his brother was a fire challenge away from handing Cirie a million dollars.
Matt’s endorsement: Andrew Savage
Savage was one of the best characters on one of the best seasons the show has ever done. An early example of the now common alpha-male leader, what set Savage apart from the Brad Culpeppers of latter years is honest-to-god charisma. It is this palpable charisma that makes him so welcoming on our TVs. Plus, if Savage graces us with his presence again, perhaps we can find out if he has that portrait in his attic that is aging instead of him. And if Jeff Probst has to have a man-crush on this season, wouldn’t you rather it be someone you actually like? VOTE SAVAGE (if you were running he’d vote for you).
Mark voted for most of the people on this list, plus Woo Hwang, Mike Holloway, and Barack Obama. A Survivor fan since Kelly Wiglesworth was called a rat, he still hasn’t seen One World and thought Sabrina was a teenage witch. If you’d like to see what he thinks of seasons he’s actually seen or other random musings, follow him at @sylvisual on Twitter.
Top 5, Baby: Cambodia, Cagayan, Heroes vs. Villains, Pearl Islands, and Palau.