We aren’t doing a preview podcast for this season, so welcome to your consolation prize: the least informative preview you could imagine.
John is a nerd on the internet who has never been on Survivor, but has been podcasting about Survivor since 2013. This season, in The People’s Survivor blog, he will blog about his experiences as a Survivor viewer. Follow John on Twitter @purplerockjohn.
“39 days, 18 people, hundreds of stupid Reddit comments, 1 Survivor.” – Jeff Probst
I’m not going to lie to you guys: I am woefully unprepared for this season. Normally at this point, I’ve devoured player bios, scoured pregame interviews, suffered through all the “meet the cast” videos, and occasionally hyped the Survivors I’m excited for. At the very least, I’ve got some kind of opinion on every player. Sometimes, those opinions are indisputably correct. Other times, well, we all make mistakes.
But this off-season, my crippling laziness has combined with a steady stream of hurricanes to prevent me from reaching my normal level of pre-game obsession. I have read nothing about any of the players. I’ve seen no videos. I don’t even know everyone’s name. And that, of course, gives me the exact qualifications necessary to provide you with the most uninformed season preview we’ve ever had.
Here’s how this is going to go: I’ve got a picture and a name for each player. That’s it. No age, no job, no idea which tribe a player is on. With only two data points, I’m going to make an assessment of each player. What could possibly go wrong? Let’s do this. (Note: I’ll be going by the order they’re listed on CBS’ Survivor cast page.)
Alan is definitely making the “I’m politely laughing at your joke even though it wasn’t really that funny” face in his bio pic. Trust me, I’ve seen that face a lot. He is also built like a fucking tank. I assume that means he’s on the Heroes tribe, because in Survivor parlance heroes are people who have a gym membership. They’re also generally people that aren’t very great at confessionals or gameplay. I’m not expecting a lot from Alan.
I assume Survivor casting stumbled upon Patrick while he was at a local bar celebrating his new role as Generic Drunken Irishman in some movie. He’s somehow already managed to get sunburned for his official cast photo, but more importantly his sunburn looks like he was wearing a tank top for the 45 seconds it took for the sunlight to help him share a skin tone with a Red Delicious apple- the indisputable worst of all apples.
Patrick is the answer to the question, “What would Cochran look like if he’d become best bros with Eddie after Caramoan and spent all his time hitting the gym and growing mediocre facial hair?”
Did this motherfucker get lost on his way to Winterfell? I bet The North Remembers how Ben got a tattoo on his chest that looks like Bran Stark’s head on a fucking bird. Ben has a beard that looks like it would be more at home at a Brad Paisley concert than some hipster coffee shop, so I’m guessing he’s supposed to be one of the Real Americans that Survivor likes to cast.
The number of tattoos and the Real American vibe make me think that Ben is probably ex-military, so he’ll be contractually required to give a confessional suggesting that the conditions in Fiji aren’t actually that tough because he knows what tough living truly is. This confessional will take place while Survivor‘s editors subtly play patriotic music in the background.
Wow, that is a very seductive look for a cast picture. I think every other player’s picture is smiling, and Ali chose to give a look that says, “I’m going to take your man. Or your woman. Or you, if that’s what I decide I want.” Did Parvati’s pregame pics look like this when Probst called her a flirty sexy flirting sexpot? Because damn.
Also, I’m no expert, but I don’t think that hair is going to hold up in Fiji.
“Hi, I’m JP. You may remember me from such previous roles as ‘Guy who played college sports and never misses an opportunity to remind you about it’, or ‘Guy in the locker room who hangs out in a towel talking on his phone instead of getting dressed.’ I’m very excited to be here on the Jon Misch Scholarship For Handsome Yet Uninteresting People. My strategy will be to convince everyone that we need to vote out the weakest people, until the weakest people realize that they can just band together and vote me out.”
Chrissy looks almost apologetic, like she’s sorry that she’s about to make you watch her play Survivor. She wants you to know that she’s going to try her best, though. And I would bet money that there’s something in her bio or pregame interviews that’s along the lines of, “I came out here to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to.”
I’d also bet money that she’s an actual fan of the show. She’s the odds-on favorite to geek out over something Probst does when it hits her that she’s playing the game instead of watching it.
Oh look, it’s Great Value Andrea Boehlke! Other than looking like a knock-off version of Andrea, there’s not much to come away with here. She looks vaguely muscular in this pic, so I’ll guess that she’s in the Heroes tribe because she has used a Smith machine before.
I assume that name is pronounced as if you added an R in front of the word orc, or like the sound a lion makes followed by a short cough at the end. Although it would be amazing if it was actually pronounced “row ark”, and her parents named her that because they were inspired by the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark and they hoped she’d grow up to love animals and possibly be vegan. But that’s probably too much to hope for.
Roark is probably a barista who intentionally spells your name wrong on your coffee cup to let you know how it feels to have people fuck up your name. That outfit gives off vague hippie vibes, though. Roark might also be someone who tells you about the healing power of crystals.
What’s up with Cole’s eye in that picture? Is it just me or does he have like a pinkeye thing going or something? I kinda hope it is pinkeye, because Cole is definitely the person that my wife will say, “I don’t think any of these guys are that attractive, but I guess I’d say Cole comes the closest” a few weeks before I see “Cole Survivor shirtless” popping up in our computer’s search history.
Cole looks like he might be like Jay from Millennials vs Gen X– someone that I dramatically underestimated before the season started, but grew on me very quickly. But now that I’ve set higher expectations for Cole, I can only assume he’ll completely fail to live up to those expectations.
Hey, it’s Great Value Tony Vlachos! Joe has a smile that lets you know he just did some massive damage in the office toilet and you don’t want to go in there for at least 10-15 more minutes. He also has a tan that makes it look like he regularly wears tank tops. I don’t know if those two things are related, but it feels like they might be.
At least the Fiji beach won’t ruin his hair.
This is the exact face Simone will make when she’s the second or third person voted out and she’s giving her post-boot confessional about how her tribe really underestimated her and they made the wrong decision. I hope she enjoys the pre-jury trip, at least.
Oh hello, Google image search for “Midwestern college student”, I’m glad you get to play Survivor this season. (That necklace is the one thing that throws me off about Ashley’s picture, because it makes me
worry think that she might be a Floridian instead of a Midwesterner.)
Ashley definitely thinks that she’s “fun” and “a little bit wild”, and that other people are going to love her for that, but she’s not and they won’t. Note that this entire theory goes out the window if she’s Floridian, because “a little bit wild” for a Floridian means that you have at least 3 criminal charges pending against you.
Devon is definitely on the Hustlers tribe, and it’s because Survivor is going to pretend it’s because he’s got street smarts and works hard. But he’s going to have some ridiculous job like “boogieboard instructor” or “Rollerblade figure skating trainer”, and we’ll all just shrug and go along with it.
Devon’s picture was taken right in the middle of laughing at a fart joke.
Oh cool, someone that shares a name with a devastating hurricane! Katrina is a yoga instructor, right? I have a theory that when Survivor gets down to the last spot or two in casting and they just want to finish up, they go on Yelp and recruit yoga studio owners with 2-star ratings that leave passive-aggressive responses to people that left them bad ratings- stuff like, “I’m sorry my class was too difficult for your level of fitness. Perhaps the ball pit at Chuck E Cheese is more your speed.”
If Roark isn’t telling everyone about healing crystals, Katrina definitely will. She might even have one around her neck in that picture. I can’t tell what’s going on there.
Whenever you look at a Survivor cast and can’t figure out exactly which slot/stereotype/one-dimensional category someone fits into, that person is the crazy or obnoxious one. About three or four episodes into this season, in Lauren’s boot episode, you’re going to get all kinds of footage showing how she’s driven everyone insane at camp for the past ten days. Maybe she suggested that they should distract the other teams in a challenge by running it naked, or that they could use coconut husks as chamber pots. Then Lauren will give a confessional saying she’s very confident heading into tribal council, and that it’s good that they lost the challenge.
Wow. How long has this guy been a Republican? It looks like he came out of the womb with a life goal to take away your healthcare and cut taxes. He is someone that excitedly looks forward to sharing dank memes on Facebook about how socialism is destroying this country. He looks exactly what I imagine every Survivor redditor looks like. I bet they love him. And I bet Ryan thinks Zeke was too obsessed with big moves.
Oh. Oh, my. In addition to being Female Ken-levels of attractive, Desi looks like she’s done this exact pose for a valedictorian photo or something. She also looks like she’s in good shape (he said, in a Herculean effort of restraint), so maybe she sticks around for a few episodes?
Or maybe she’ll break her wrist in the first challenge and I’ll still talk about her five years later. (What up, Kourtney Moon!)
This picture is relatable, because Mike seems to be expressing my approximate level of confidence and comfort when someone tells me they want to take a picture of me with my shirt off. (Note: That last sentence only applies when I am sober.)
If Mike lasts until the merge, we’re going to get at least one scene along the way with inspiring music playing in the background as Mike tells us that he came out here and was out of his element and didn’t know if he’d fit in, but he’s really growing confident in himself through this experience.
Then he’ll get voted out.
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia