We’ve decided to commemorate this upcoming season of GAME CHANGERS by… playing the same game we always have in the exact same way.
Before we get this underway, I think it’s a good idea to remind you all that Matt blew a seemingly insurmountable lead at the finale last season to lose to John. It was a year of unexpected losses, from the OKC Thunder to the Warriors to the Indians to Hillary to Matt to the Falcons to La La Land. So my word of warning when making your choices this year: DON’T. GET. COCKY.
First Boot Predictions
Apparently, the premiere will feature the first two boots of the season. I don’t know a better way to handle that other than to do what we usually do: pick a boot from each tribe. If each tribe goes to TC, then we’re good. If the same tribe goes twice, points will be granted to anyone whose predicted boot goes home, even if that person was the second boot of the episode.
Andy: I think the Mana tribe is the strategy-tribe, so they will want to take out a credible threat. But I think they’ll want to get their sea legs under them and prove loyalty in the testing grounds of Tribal Council before they go big game hunting by targeting Tony, Sandra, or Malcolm. So the move instead will be to look for a second-tier target. Of those, Aubry and Ciera present the two best opportunities. Now, if you’re Sandra and/or Tony and you’re looking at moving the target off of you, which is a more convincing argument? The woman they JUST saw almost win the game who has three other potential allies in the game, or the woman who voted out her mom. I say Aubry provides a much better target. Also, and this is just pure speculation that could just as easily mean absolutely nothing, but is Ciera really a big enough name to bring out for the MvGX finale to promote the season if she was the first boot of the next? Sandra, Tony, Cirie? Sure. You hype them even if they were the first boot. Ciera? I’m not so sure.
For Nuku, I just don’t see a tribe of Ozzy, JT, Cirie, and Brad putting up with Debbie‘s weirdo bullshit. Either that, or she makes a play for Andrea and loses. Maybe both of those things put together.
John: On the Mana tribe, I see Ciera as the most likely first target. She seems like the most likely outsider of the group, and despite all the pre-game press suggesting everyone wants to target Sandra or Tony, I think those two will be able to survive at least the first vote. There may be several names that come up as a potential first target, but when Ciera’s name draws the least protest from potential alliance-mates, I think she’ll be the easy vote.
For the Nuku tribe, it’s gotta be Debbie. There’s simply no reason to keep Debbie around for very long unless she’s your only alliance option- she’s weird, she’s stubborn, and her loose lips will sink your ship (Phrasing!).
Matt: On Mana, I think Ciera is the first boot. Yeah, yeah, I am the resident Ciera-hater, but I think she presents the right amount of perceived challenge liability, perceived sneakiness and perceived untrustworthiness to garner early boot attention. In addition, I think someone like Sandra or Tony is good enough to wriggle out of the attention that would be on them for a first boot and use Ciera’s reputation against her.
Nuku is hard and I was gonna say Zeke or maybe even Debbie (the former because of the Russell factor and the latter because getting rid of Debbie early is always the best time to do so). But screw that, I’m saying it is GCFFSDT. No one knows her, no one pregamed with her, and she is an easy first boot. Sometimes you want an easy vote early on and she is that. I mean sure you can’t teach height, but these are also a bunch of game players and who among them wants to look at each and say “I went out before GCFFSDT did”? None of them. They’ll boot her to salve their own pride.
Mark: If I had to take a guess who is in danger here, I’d probably say Ciera and Sandra for the same reason: they’re shit starters, and threats. But the key to the game in the early days is trust, and Ciera is one big move away from being banished to the jungle. If you don’t want to vote out your strong members and already have wild cards named Tony and Varner, why keep a third?
I really just want Cirie and Andrea to be the brains of this whole tribe. For the same “trust” reason, I can see Zeke being an early casualty because of his being an unknown factor. But will this group of people really put up with crazy Debbie for three days? Time to add “first boot” to her evolving chyron…
Emma: Ciera seems like she wants to gun for Caleb, who everyone else wants to partner with as a loyal, dumb, athletic dude. This reminds everyone that she’s kind of a trouble maker, so they just vote her off instead.
For Nuku, this is basically just wishful thinking: Debbie.
|Mana First Out
|Nuku First Out
Preseason Winner Picks
Andy: I think the days are gone where all-star seasons are won by the mediocrity who snuck up on everyone. Perhaps BECAUSE of past mediocrities winning, people are now worried about letting that type go to far. They’re also worried about former winners. And big challenge threats. And sneaky strategists. The key is to be somewhere below all of those types, but still stellar enough that returnees with big egos are comfortable losing to you. Somehow, due to crazily off-base comparisons to Ozzy and Joe, Malcolm has become that person. He has all the tools to win, and will be given the space to do it while everyone worries about the people that meet those qualifications more obviously than he does.
John: Look, this probably isn’t a very realistic pick. But I’ve somehow managed to pick the winner for two seasons in a row, and if it’s because of some witchcraft I wasn’t aware I was practicing, I want that black magic to be put to good use by securing a second win for Tony. Even if he’s not the winner, I want him to go far, because we could all use a little more Tony in our Survivor viewing experiences.
Matt: I just think that Andrea hits a lot of sweet spots for this cast. I think she fits in with almost any group and I think when she came back in Caramoan, she added elements to her game that weren’t there before and can continue to do so. In addition, she is athletic but not in a threatening way. She is strategic but not the most strategic. Her biggest worry is that she was overly paranoid in Caramoan and everyone knew it. It’s fine to be overly paranoid, but you can’t let it show if you are playing Andrea’s game. However, I think she can improve on her Caramoan game and her status as a jack-of-all-trades could lead to a similar Jeremy-type path to the end. Also she is really pretty, which has nothing to do with whether she can win, but has a lot to do with my perception of her.
Mark: I know the backlash to “middle of the road player” is coming faster than anti-La La Land takes, but I still think that this season will see a lot of big names fall early. From the smoldering ashes will rise someone you may not expect. Think about it… Did you call Jeremy the winner going into Cambodia? How about Sandra during Heroes vs Villains? Having already seen a milquetoast winner in Michele, I think we need to prepare ourselves for someone like Sarah or Andrea to win. Someone with enough game to own, but whose past performance only hinted at potential. Congratulations, Andrea.
Emma: I didn’t get to have him on my fantasy league, so I’m going all in on Malcolm. He’s got Jeremy upside by being good, not great, at most aspects of the game with a cast full of duds and threats.
|Preseason Winner Pick||Malcolm||Tony||Andrea||Andrea||Malcolm|
Time to make your picks. And feel free to track how your personal picks do throughout the year. I won’t make mention of it or anything, but you can still feel good about it.
- Ciera (33% Votes)
- Sandra (19% Votes)
- Jeff Varner (12% Votes)
- Aubry (11% Votes)
- Tony (11% Votes)
- Troy (6% Votes)
- Caleb (4% Votes)
- Hali (2% Votes)
- Michaela (1% Votes)
- Malcolm (1% Votes)
Total Voters: 106
- Debbie (39% Votes)
- Zeke (24% Votes)
- Cirie (14% Votes)
- Tai (6% Votes)
- Sierra Dawn Thomas (6% Votes)
- JT (4% Votes)
- Sarah (2% Votes)
- Ozzy (2% Votes)
- Brad Culpepper (2% Votes)
- Andrea (1% Votes)
Total Voters: 104
- Malcolm (26% Votes)
- Andrea (12% Votes)
- Sarah (9% Votes)
- Sandra (9% Votes)
- JT (9% Votes)
- Hali (6% Votes)
- Tony (5% Votes)
- Brad Culpepper (4% Votes)
- Sierra Dawn Thomas (4% Votes)
- Aubry (4% Votes)
- Michaela (3% Votes)
- Ciera (2% Votes)
- Jeff Varner (1% Votes)
- Ozzy (1% Votes)
- Debbie (1% Votes)
- Tai (1% Votes)
- Caleb (1% Votes)
- Troy (1% Votes)
- Zeke (1% Votes)
- Cirie (0% Votes)
Total Voters: 106
Reminder: FUCK. YO. SPOILERS.
Favourite seasons: Heroes vs Villains, Cook Islands, Palau, The Amazon, Cagayan
Favourite players: Boston Rob, Kim Spradlin, Tony Vlachos, Cirie Fields, Yul Kwon, Rob Cesternino