Survivor Game Changers Week 1 Predictions and Poll

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.

 
Andy John Matt
Mark Emma
Readers
Mana First Out
Aubry Ciera Ciera Ciera Ciera question-mark
Nuku First Out
Debbie Debbie Sierra Debbie Debbie question-mark

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.

Andy John Matt
Mark Emma
Readers
Preseason Winner Pick Malcolm Tony Andrea Andrea Malcolm question-mark

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.

If Mana goes to tribal council, the following player will go home:

  • 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

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If Nuku goes to tribal council, the following player will go home:

  • 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

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Preseason poll: The winner of Survivor: Game Changers will be:

  • 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

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Reminder: FUCK. YO. SPOILERS.

Andy
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Andy

Co-host of the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast and the Canadian of the group, Andy has been watching Survivor continuously since the very beginning and likes to treat that as some kind of virtue to lord over others.

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
Andy
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  • HankScorpio

    Probably wishful thinking but I’m going with this:
    Winner – Malcolm
    1st Boot- Debbie/Ciera.

    Since that seems somewhat close to consensus I’ll call my shot and say that Mana goes 0-for-2 and Debbie and Tai both go on the first episode.

  • gouis

    Does anyone know if there are spoilers out there? NOT WHAT THEY ARE DON’T TELL ME I’LL FIND YOU

    Basically I don’t want to vote and see the polls due to PTSD from Vytas.

    • Maritimer

      Having voted, the results are basically people listening to what’s in this article so I assume you’re safe for now

    • Super duper fan

      I didn’t see any, but I’m not in places where you can find them so take that as you will.

    • purplerockandy

      I mean, there’s ALWAYS spoilers out there. But I haven’t heard of any obvious ones like the Vytas/Terry ones.

      Although, I hadn’t even heard the Vytas one prior to it happening.

      • gouis

        I hadn’t either but I’m pretty sure your poll had him winning in a landslide which was bizarre until after the fact.

        • purplerockandy

          It was a huge red flag.

        • Purplerockmatt

          we almost stopped using the polls at all after that. big debate in the staff chat

      • Mike Hirsch

        I was about to ask about the Vytas spoiler but then remembered he was in Cambodia, and figured out it was probably that he was the first boot.

        • purplerockandy

          He left the pre-game Ponderosa, then posted stuff on social media about being home when he shouldn’t have been.

          • Mike Hirsch

            Ahhhh. What a dink.

          • purplerockandy

            Thus, he was banned from the live finale.

          • gouis

            He’s gonna be real salty on Robs pordcast this week I bet

          • There was also the rumor that he lied in order to go home. This rumor says that he basically begged his way out of Ponderosa because he was missing his son, who was about a year old or so. Production let him and then he promptly turns around and goes on vacation without his son. Once word got out of this rumor, Vytas said that he went on vacation with his son, but that probably didn’t help matters with Production.

          • Mike Hirsch

            So, the plot thickens! Vytas, man.

          • Didn’t he promote that he was teaching a yoga class two days before they were scheduled to be back home?

          • purplerockandy

            Something like that. It may have been even earlier than that.

          • I thought I heard that it was extremely close to the end of the season without it being at the end of the season.

          • purplerockandy

            That might make sense. Would even explain why he did something so dumb: he miscounted the days.

          • Yeap because IIRC their start was delayed anyway due to weather, right? Or did I dream that because it seems like they were always going to film on the 15th anniversary of the Borneo premiere?

          • purplerockandy

            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • Thanks for the shrug emoticon!

          • purplerockandy

            It’s an essential communication medium for the PRP.

    • Sylvisual

      Spoiler: the game is changed.

      • gouis

        HOW DARE YOU

      • Mike Hirsch

        Once again?!?

      • the sky is falling

        you misspelled ‘AFOOT’

    • Always hard for us to know, since none of us seek out spoilers. But I haven’t seen anything saying it’s spoiled, for what it’s worth.

    • Purplerockmatt

      i’ve seen a lot of speculation based on some social media photos and stuff, but no spoilers. i hope it stays that way

      • gouis

        I consider speculation from social media photos spoilers.

        • Purplerockmatt

          fair enough. then there are some minor spoilers of questionable value

    • PurpleTally

      God, that would suck. I spent the last season of Survivor trying to avoid the minefield of spoilers for previous seasons. Now, I FINALLY am free to read whatever I would like, and I have to worry about potential spoilers for THIS season.

      • gouis

        You’ll 99.99% be fine around here. But for returning player seasons reading social media or like reddit is a minefield.

        • Do not go on Reddit. Only the worst people go on Reddit.

          • Super duper fan

            No, that site is Survivor Sucks.

          • It can be two things…or websites.

          • Super duper fan

            I guess , I still think Sucks is 1550,000% worse.

          • I never actively used Sucks, but it seems to be a largely toxic community.

          • Super duper fan

            I also didn’t, but from what I’ve seen….oh boy.

          • Maritimer

            While I would never participate on Reddit, I do lurk Survivor Reddit, because it occasionally turns up interesting info. Though in a returnee season, I won’t be touching a single non-AMA thread

          • Please note that I was being sarcastic about that. I am a casual frequenter over there.

          • Alycia Swift

            And you got me hooked but I have not opened an account so I guess I’m a lurker.

          • No, no I didn’t.

          • Maritimer

            I know, but truthfully the people on reddit are part of why I don’t participate there. That and one community is probably all I can handle and not totally stop doing my job

          • Super duper fan

            They recently had some really great AMAs. And I think the problems that I have personally with Survivor Reddit is based on that a lot of different types fans attend there, and cause of that I disagree with 60% of things they say there while for example this site there are a lot of similar minded people. And cause of how big that site is, there is bound to be some awful people there (only like 5% to 10% but still).

          • Maritimer

            I have no issue with the opinion of diversity, its the getting attacked when one varies from that opinion that keeps me from participating. and the fear of spoilers, which will keep me far away from Edgic posts this season

          • Super duper fan

            Yeah, that was what I was trying to say, but i didn’t articulate that very well. And I probably exagerrated how I disagree with their opinions (probably it’s really only about 40%).

          • I like fucking with them by finding threads where they link to our site (we can see where referral traffic comes from), then logging in as the show account and complaining that Purple Rock is a bunch of awful trolls.

            I also enjoy r/Survivor circlejerk. That place is great- just a bunch of funny, sarcastic assholes.

          • gouis

            Remember back in the day you were so opposed to dealing with them that I went in there and posted a link to like a bracket y’all were doing?

          • I do, but I think it was really just us not knowing if it would be spammy if we posted it. Now, the Survivor media types post their links in there all the time, and I don’t want to recruit more traffic from Reddit.

          • Other Scott

            I’m onto you and your self-depreciation…

    • Mechanical Shark

      there was a bootlist, but I think it’s been debunked? I dunno, I went dark on Survivor stuff mostly after the end of MvGX because I’m never fond of the time in between seasons in the Survivor fan community.

  • BadPlayer91

    Hey, guess what? I chose Michaela to win. Is anyone surprised in any tiny way? Did my optimism and dedication to Michaela catch you off guard? Good, on brand.

    • gouis

      She can do it! My only hesitation with her is that I got a bad vibe from her from pre-season vids. Just a body language thing.

      • BadPlayer91

        Honestly, i don’t think it’s very likely, and i’m pretty sure she won’t, but when you talk about Michaela being your bae constantly, you gotta double down.

        • Maritimer

          I certainly think its possible, I’ve got her as a second tier potential winner. If she can make the right alliance and win a couple timely immunities I think she’s got a great shot

        • I picked Tony to win. So I feel you, boo.

          • StormofCuteness

            So did I. Dreamers gotta dream.

  • Sylvisual

    Hey man, why you gotta kick the Falcons again?

    • purplerockandy

      So I could kick Matt again.

      • Sylvisual

        To be fair, the problem was that the Falcons didn’t kick, so….

        • PurpleTally

          Man, that was brutal. But not as brutal as dealing with 116 4th graders who went to bed when they were up and found out right before school that they lost. That was a long-ass day.

          • Sylvisual

            Between that and the election, these kids are becoming jaded early in life.

    • And the Indians. And Hillary. That first week of November was rough.

  • Maritimer

    On the Malcolm winner train.
    First boot – Ciera/Zeke – I just don’t see a strategic reason to get rid of Debbie, as much as I would like her gone so fear of unknown/the next Russell boots Zeke

    Also, Andrea is not milquetoast and comparing her to Michele and Sarah is insulting

    • Purplerockmatt

      Super insulting. Who the hell would think to compare Andrea with Michele? Ugh.

  • gouis

    Malcolm and Andrea seem SO obvious. But so did Jeremy.

  • turgid_legume

    Wow, zero love for the Water Felon and Cutlass Ciera.

  • Kent McK

    Going with Tony for the win. He is always going to have everyone so paranoid that he has an idol, and especially with the new rule, people are going to be terrified to go after him.

    • I’m certain that rule was put there to help Tony. I don’t know that it’ll be enough, but man I hope it is.

      • Kent McK

        Oh it for sure is to help Tony and I love it. Tony is going to be nonstop: “I dare you to vote for me, I’ll play the idol and you go home, or maybe you split the vote, I don’t play the idol, and I watch you and your lackeys draw rocks, be my guest.” I can’t wait for tomorrow.

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    FFGCSDTQI in third place of the winner’s vote. ZAG ON ‘EM.

    • Super duper fan

      What QI stands for?

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        I leave that as a mystery, much like the strategy of FFGCSDTQI:SVU

        • purplerockandy

          Questionable intelligence.

          Not cool, Spicy.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            If I remember correctly, I argued that HWS&C:WDTK?DTKT?LFOSDT had more going on under the surface in Worlds Apart. The only way it’s questionable if there’s more we didn’t see.

          • gouis

            This is a quality meme

        • Yo Ho

          OMGWTFBBQFFGCSDT FTW!

  • Super duper fan

    My predictions are:
    The first boot of Mana will be (even though it pains me to say it) Ciera. I think people will be immediatly wary of her, she’ll align or/and isolate wrong people and since she’s a liability challenge-wise she’s a easy person to boot cause they won’t be losing anything. I’m REALLY hoping I’m wrong, but I just get that sort of uneasy feeling about her.

    The first boot of Nuku will be Zeke. I just think that cause others and ESPECIALLY himself didn’t see him play it’s unfortunately gonna be a huge disadvantage. Not only they will be afraid of him cause of Russell-factor, I think not being able to see his own mistakes, he will buy into “I’m a Game Changer” narrative, and will do the same mistakes as last time (he will align with Debbie, thinking that he’ll be able to drag her as a goat and Debbie will sense that and turn on him).

    As my winner pick I’m gonna take my girl Hali. I think she’s gonna surprise a lot of people, and is gonna be a new Parvati/Wentworth. She’s smarter and more social than people in the cast are gonna give her credit for (and that she’s in every league that I’m taking part is probably helps in my need of her doing well), and while I understand Andy’s argument, it must be remembered that the “mediocrity” Kelley Wentworth was one Immunity from winning the whole thing, so until I see players legimately targeting UTR players, I’m not gonna believe it.

    I’m gonna also keep track of how well I do this season in terms of predictions, and while there isn’t any league in terms of that, in the words of great Amy O’Hara “I’m gonna BEAT you dowwwn”.

    PS. I think both tribes will go to Tribal.

    PPS.Correction: How Andy and Mark blew the perfect oppurtinity of being the winner, when they knew what picks is Matt probably gonna choose since he said them in a podcast, but still picking the same picks as him, guaranteeing them a sure “not-first place”. Plus Andy telling John that he should pick the other way, that way giving him possibility of being not-first place or first place, so giving him at least a shot of him winning, not not-winning.

    • purplerockandy

      To be fair to me, I was ON the podcast with Matt. I already had my picks ready.

      Mark really blew it though.

      • Super duper fan

        Still doesn’t excuse the John thing.

        • purplerockandy

          Look, sometimes I just gotta fuck with people. Even if the collateral damage is me.

          (Also, I really didn’t think Adam was going to win).

          • I also didn’t think Adam was going to win. My original submission had David winning, I think.

          • Super duper fan

            But you still won, cause you are smart, unlike some people.

          • S-M-R-T.

          • I don’t think anyone thought Adam was winning because that has to be one of the weirdest winner edits we have ever seen.

          • Super duper fan

            How dare you!

          • Purplerockmatt

            OWM

          • I said weirdest, not most obvious.

          • Purplerockmatt

            the edit was weird and obvious. it can be two things

          • But was it weird because it was obvious or was it obvious because it was so weird?

          • purplerockandy

            I thought it in the realm of possibility. But I didn’t think he would.

            My edgics were incorrect.

          • Super duper fan

            Your edgics are always incorrect.

          • Yeah, both David and Adam were positioned as fourth placers.

          • Alycia Swift

            So who did your edgic actually pick

          • purplerockandy

            My edgic denies the science of edgic.

            But going into the finale, I thought David would win.

          • Mechanical Shark

            in a good way, though. It wasn’t terrible like Michele’s.

    • I’ll say it again – I’m going to be really pissed if Hali turns out to be the next Wentworth. I thought she showed potential in Worlds Apart and I was originally excited that she’s coming back, but I just don’t see her going all the way. I’m not in the mood to be wrong about this.

      • Super duper fan

        If for example I had to pick which one I would like to get further, then I’m definetely picking Cirie, Sandra and some others before Hali, but I really like her personality wise and I think she could be really strategically competent (not 100% sure, but definetely 70-80%). In my perfect world, Sandra, Tony, Cirie or Ciera will win, but even then I’m not mad that she’s my winner pick.

  • Mike Hirsch

    Andrea all the way for the win! I guess, when it comes to Andrea, you could call me a FANdre–no, please don’t call me that.

    • Super duper fan

      Too late Fandrea.

      • Mike Hirsch

        Eh, it’s my own doing. I’ll take it.

  • Mike Hirsch

    Posting again to add that I went for Ciera and Debbie, but if Debbie’s tribe wins first immunity, and the other tribe doesn’t vote out Aubry, then if I’m on Debbie’s tribe I would think that the target would shift over to Tai. So my vote is for Debbie but only if they go to tribal first. Otherwise, Tai.

    • purplerockandy

      Interesting call, Fandrea.

  • PurpleTally

    My picks are Ciera and Zeke for first boots. Ciera is going to come out of the gate nearly as hard and as fast as Tony, making herself an early target, and not one as helpful in challenges. Zeke is on a tribe with JT, who I have a feeling is going to be eager to vote out unknown quantities early.

    • Alycia Swift

      I have to agree. Plus maybe that’s why Probst ignored Zeke at the reunion even though he brought out Ciera. And I’m hoping Sandra gets her 3 days to get her claws in.

  • You know, Matt and Mark, you are not really helping the whole “We are not the same person” by picking the exact same winner pick.

    Also, Andy, nice easter egg!

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    For first boots I picked Zeke and Tony (sorry). For the winner I was really split between Malcolm and Andrea, but I went with Andrea because I’m probably rooting for her a bit more than Malc.
    This is such a stacked season with so many potential winners that it’s hard to pick just one scenario and go with it. I’m really excited to see how the first episode goes and see who gravitates to working with each other. Just one more day until the premiere XD

    • Super duper fan

      I can’t believe how quickly this offseason ended.

  • Purplerockmatt

    I’m kinda disappointed no one picked up my first boots joke. Ciera and Sierra! It writes itself!

    • Super duper fan

      I noticed, but I didn’t think it was important enough to comment about.

      • Purplerockmatt

        well my mom thinks i’m cool!

        • Super duper fan

          Are you sure?

          • Purplerockmatt

            no

    • That is a bad joke, sir.

      • DrVanNostrand

        The bad joke was bringing Sierra back.

    • Kemper Boyd

      C(S)ier(r)a

  • purplerockandy

    I just want to say that y’all are a bunch of suckers for listening to us on these predictions. We’re awful at this!

    • Super duper fan

      I absolutely don’t believe that Debbie is gonna be the first boot.

      • StormofCuteness

        I agree. Especially with that team. I can see her be utilized strategicly for votes. She’s pretty loyal. I do think Zeke, as an unknown, will be worrisome unless he immediately forms ties with Tai, JT, Cirie.

    • BadPlayer91

      Listen, okay, CIERA VOTED OUT HER MOM! alright? That’s a BM right there. BIG BM. HUGE! That’s a BM you can’t ignore….

    • *AHEM*

      You are awful at this.

    • prettyboyprobst

      Nobody is listening to you. Except, of course, when you talked about
      these predictions on the podcast and I literally listened to them and
      let you contribute to forming my opinion on these matters, as did many of the other
      voters I guess…uhm…err anyways, on the
      Nuku-side my mind was already made up with Debbie as first boot coming in.
      If I’m wrong or they go to tribal twice I go with mystery man Zeke as the
      second boot. Cirie I also see in danger for obvious reasons.

      On Mana, I was debating between Ciera and Aubry for the first player voted
      off, and you all gave a good account for why that could be the case. I
      was leaning Ciera to begin with and also voted for her.
      My second Mana boot would unsurprisingly be Aubry, but I can see many different
      and only slightly less likely ways things could play out on that side, with
      Sandra, Varner and Troy also at risk in the early days.

      My winner pick is JT, but I also don’t feel bad about Malcolm and Michaela; Ozzy,
      Sierra, Brad (strongly depending on whom they are sitting next to at FTC
      for those three) and even Aubry if she gets through the first couple of
      votes.

      • Other Scott

        I also have JT. JT is a really fantastic player that no one seems to remember is a really fantastic player or someone that people take all that seriously.

        I mean, whatever you think of the Russell letter, it was really strategically creative and shows a willingness to think outside the box, and combine that with his obviously stellar social game. He’s a really good player.

        • prettyboyprobst

          “JT is a really fantastic player that no one seems to remember is a
          really fantastic player or someone that people take all that seriously.”

          That’s why I felt so good about him, in a nutshell.
          And the premiere was alright for him, too, although he might have overdone the putting on some fat reserves part. It helps him to appear as a step below the physically most threatening people, but I wonder if he’ll still be competitive in the individual immunitiy challenges.

        • prettyboyprobst

          To be honest, now that i had a closer look at the NToS-preview, I’m not even sure that I’ll have the balls to keep him on my pick4. Which would be a shame, because I still feel good about his abilities, but he comes with quite a handicap and I’m wondering if it’s worth keeping him on in light of that.

    • Kemper Boyd

      We;ve proved, we the readers also suck.

  • the sky is falling

    My totally correct prediction: Tony is voted out first. But before the tribal council he finds the new ‘Tony Idol’ which allows him to reenter the game at the final 4.

  • Alycia Swift

    “playing the same game we always have in the exact same way.”

    This is a better qualification for GC than thinking about a move and not making it for no reason.

  • pufflehuff

    In wishful thinking, I’m going to go all in for Cirie as a winner pick, with her taking out JT, one of her nemeses, as a first boot in Vytas ‘this season isn’t messing around’ style. And then Hali is booted in a ‘actually maybe it is a bit’ style.

  • Black Dynamite

    I went with Tai and Caleb as my boot picks. Caleb is basically because he’s the one from that tribe I least wanted to see and also had as a Pre Merge Boot. More Sandra and Tony please.

  • As much as I want to see Debbie go home first, I think that both tribes are going to go for the strategically sneaky woman who doesn’t provide much challenge strength, at least for the first boot. I know Cirie and Sandra are the obvious choices, but I’m really not feeling great about where this season could go, so those are my predictions. I’m also concerned that Aubry goes home first, so I might be dropping her from my pick 4 team soon.

    Malcolm is my winner pick, for reasons I (and everyone else) have already discussed. To me, that is the best-case scenario for this season.

  • DrVanNostrand

    Debbie is wishful thinking. I’m betting she does exactly what she did last time. People will try to use her, but end up getting burned, and they’ll finally tire of her around the merge.

  • Head Architect Sylvia

    Oh, no. It has begun. My golden girl Debbie is getting slaughtered here again. My first post here was like a 500 word article about why Debbie is a great character etc. etc. But unfortunately I don’t think the site enjoyed the length and picked it up as spam. But I saw no one else defending the ever delightful Debbie so I had to rush to her aid. Can the other Debbie fans come out of hiding please.

    I agree with a few others below, I don’t think Debbie is out first. I think she’s going to form a majority alliance with Brad on Nuku and everyone on the tribe will complain about her but put up with her. I think she’ll definitely make the merge. Unfortunately, first boot on Nuku I feel could be Cirie. I think either JT or Ozzy or both will rally against her and they’re better in the challenges than her so the rest of the tribe would probably side with those two over her. I feel like she really lucked out with how the tribes worked out.

    • You’re always welcome to post novellas defending Debbie. Sorry if Disqus fucked it up. Disqus is the best commenting system I’ve found, and it still sucks.

      I stand by my pick of Debbie as a first boot, though. Though that may be wishful thinking of me wanting to have my favorites stay safe.

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        Aha, many thanks! It was on the Debbie in depth analysis post a while ago so it’s all good. I’m going to try and keep things shorter from now on.

        Yeah, I still think Debbie as first boot is definitely still a very real possibility, so that’s fair. Clearly almost half of the readers do too. It’s just so impossible to guess though, really. There are so many potential outcomes. I feel like if everyone on the tribe is really passive except Debbie then she’ll get on everyones nerves and she could be the first to go. However, I sort of don’t know if the tribe will be able to handle all the big names/egos, and someone might want to get rid of a J.T/Cirie in an attempt to mark their name down in survivor history or something like that. Some of them have probably bought in to the season title a bit too much and I’m sure their egos are enormous.

    • Fransesqua

      I’m all aboard the Debbie train

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        Haha perfect! You’re my new favourite person. There are dozens of us.. dozens!

    • Max_Jets

      I thought Debbie was wildly entertaining in Kaoh Rong and I think she added a lot to the season. I don’t know if I’m excited for her to return, because I still have no idea what to expect out of her. She would be a very entertaining early boot. Maybe I’m not one of the Debbie fans you’re looking for…

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        I think it’s safe to expect the exact same Debbie in GC as the one from Kaoh Rong. I don’t see her as someone that is going to change at all and if that happens I can see how that may bother a lot of people, because she should have really learnt something from her last time round. Most people here seem to be very anti-Debbie, so if you’re indifferent towards Debbie then I’ll take that as a win.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Debbie may not have changed, but unfortunately (dramatic music) the world around her has.

          I was able to enjoy her brand of kookiness all throughout her time on s32, but now that crazy actually sits in the WH, my appreciation or even just tolerance for off-the-rocker people with a mouth on them has gone way down.

        • DrVanNostrand

          I feel like change requires some small amount of self-awareness… which means Debbie will absolutely never change.

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            Hmm yes, I agree 100%. She’s not particularly intelligent if she’s not willing to adapt and accept that she made mistakes last time. I can see that, and she’s definitely not my winners pick, but I love watching her on my television as a character. I understand why people find her annoying but I think she adds an interesting dynamic to the show.

            She’s too headstrong, often completely oblivious, but I also enjoy her bluntness and unpredictability. She has great quotes and I never know what she’s going to do next. I think she’s hilarious. Personally I much prefer her confessionals to that of game-bot/super nerd players who only talk strategy. I feel like you need a few wildcards every season. You said chaos generator and I guess that’s apt. I love a bit of chaos. I guess we all enjoy the show for different reasons.

    • prettyboyprobst

      I have her as first boot on Nuku because there is a lot that speaks against her as the oldest female on the cast, one that also comes with a reputation for being annoying and strong-headed – but her teaming with the Brads, Sierras and Ozzies of her tribe seems like a real possibility, and then the sky is the limit!

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        Hmm I don’t think her age will be a problem on this season unless she flops completely in the first challenge. I feel like voting out the older players first is something that happens more on newbie seasons where no one knows anything about anyone and they just need an easy first boot. Her reputation/general character though, yeah, that’s going to be a problem for her. I agree, both of these hypotheticals seem like very real possibilities to me as well. I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

      • Mechanical Shark

        I think she’s on a good tribe to go deep. plus, she’s far from the weakest at challenges of those on her tribe, and some might see the appeal of using her as an Annoying Shield (is there a fan term for this?).

        • prettyboyprobst

          She’s not a Sandra-like dud, but who is weaker on her tribe, if the rumors about Cirie being in better shape than ever are true?

          And I can’t come up with a better word right now. She also has Goatential, which I like, but that doesn’t speak to her annoying qualities or usefulness as a shield.

    • DrVanNostrand

      I may not think she’ll be the first boot, but Debbie is definitely one of the most annoying people on the planet. She’s also a water felon. Setting those things aside, as long as people are willing to keep her around she’s a chaos generator, which can be entertaining. Like a 10 car pile-up on the interstate.

    • Kemper Boyd

      Water Felon what?

      • Hornacek

        In 2010 she worked for a lab that did water testing in Pennsylvania. She was charged with falsifying test results of Hurricane Katrina water samples – her company didn’t have the equipment to do the testing but they took the job anyway and she made up the results. She pled guilty and did probation.

        Not sure who came up with the term “water felon” to describe her but I first saw it used on this site.

      • sharculese

        Debbie lied. People died.

        • Hornacek

          Yeah, but we got some laughs out of her chyrons.

  • StormofCuteness

    So does no one think the unknown factor could also make Michaela be 1st boot? Is this because 1. She’s awesome? 2. They need her for challenges? (On her tribe?) 3. All the things?
    Look, I’d hate for it to be her and Zeke, but why are so many more sure with Zeke than Michaela?

    • purplerockandy

      Yes. All of those reasons.

    • BadPlayer91

      Well, you see, Michaela is my Bae, and Zeke is not, so that…

      • Saturday Night Palsy

        I can’t believe that it’s only a day until you start getting crushed in our five person league!

        • prettyboyprobst

          Michaela is BP91’s Bae and we should respect that!
          She(?) can get crushed by losing players that are not in my pick-4, thank you very much.

          • BadPlayer91

            THANK YOU!

            And nope, he.

          • prettyboyprobst

            All your female favorites foold me into thinking that’s a strong possibility.

  • BadPlayer91

    So, i was thinking through staff votes and who i think will get the early boots, and I had the following thought (Sorry for the novel, i can’t help it…):

    We are getting 2 boots in the first episode. This either means we are getting a double boot type twist (like the beginning of BvW or the message in a bottle from Cook Islands) or, we are seeing roughly the first 4-6 days, in which two tribal councils will be held. If it is a twist, like both the winner and loser of a challenge go to tribal, then normal logic should apply about who might get booted.

    BUT, if it is two tribal councils both of which are the result of separate immunity challenges, I think our big names are pretty safe. In my opinion, it seems unlikely that Production will choose to show us the first two boots if they are, say, Sandra & Cirie. You would expect that any big names going out will provide a huge amount of drama and content, enough that smashing those both within the same episode seems unusual. It could be they want to open the season with a bang, but at 34 seasons, I don’t think they would sacrifice the drama of major player boots to create an ‘action packed’ premier, particularly given many of those players were cast not just for their skill in the game, but also for their appeal on screen.

    Given this (kinda) edgic, i feel like our first boot will be very straight forward and likely less dramatic. A lesser player would make sense, someone who isn’t perceived as a main threat and doesn’t have a major fanbase (like Debbie, Hali, Sierra, Caleb).Then the second boot is either another lesser player, or at most, i would hope, someone in the mid-range who naturally yields a bit more screentime to show the full development of their boot (like Zeke, Ciera, Aubry, Varner).

    The reason I say ‘I hope’ is that I think most of our big names (Tony, Sandra, Cirie, Malcolm, Ozzy) definitely deserve a full episode to show their boot. I would assume that if someone like Tony is in threat of a boot, there will be a ton of footage of him trying to avoid that, even if he isn’t successful. So i find it hard to imagine Tony as part of a double boot episode. Same goes for other huge names.

    All that being said, i chose Tony as the first boot earlier today, so I have regrets.

    • purplerockandy

      I like this line of thinking. I’d modify it to think that at least one of the elims is kind’ve dull.

      • BadPlayer91

        I agree. I’d say the first one has to be pretty dull or very quick due to a twist. Otherwise, you would assume that the first few days generate enough content for their own full episode.

        I did think through, it could be a dull first vote getting rid of a big name. Say, everyone is SO concerned about Tony that they all line up and get him out immediately, no drama. But, this kinda assumes that whatever big name is targeted doesn’t put up a fight or is blindsided. And most of our big names would definitely put up a fight (I assume Tony would be searching for an idol non-stop) or are so good at reading people, they wouldn’t be blindsided and thus would be putting up a fight. In either event, I didn’t think it seemed likely the first boot would be any of our big hitters.

        • Super duper fan

          Jeff, kinda said, that only later in a season they will all go after each other, but in the beginning everyone is cautious, so it could mean that the threats aren’t mostly in any serious danger, but then they go crazy at the merge. It’s wishful thinking, but still in a realm of possibility.

          • BadPlayer91

            Here’s hoping!

    • prettyboyprobst

      I chose Tony with my first pick in our draft and feel similiar. Tony has that effect on people, he makes you regret things.

      I like your episode format edgic, btw.

      • BadPlayer91

        Tony definitely does. At this point, i’ll either be disappointed to see him go first, or disappointed I picked him to go first, lol

    • gouis

      A+ theorizing

  • prettyboyprobst

    So after a long day of dividing my attention between so much of the Survivor: Game Changers preseason content for which I couldn’t find time until now and Dirk’s 30k night (anticipation, game and everything, from afar of course), I capped the experience by reading an uncharacteristically well-composed article on espn going through his evolution under the three NBA headcoaches in his career, and even clicked on the comments when I got to the end.
    There in one of the first comments I saw this random commenter, who, unbeknownst to him, brought it all together for me:

    “…he’s a special player who changed the game. One of the top game changers…”

    That is so full circle that I’m moderately hopeful that it’ll work and I can finally take my mind of this, if only for the next 12-16 hours or so.

  • Kemper Boyd

    I find how rarely the listeners are right a comfort that this is a place without spoilers. Have we hit a correct first boot since the polls have started?

    • Super duper fan

      As others said it was Vytas, but that was definetely cause of spoilers.

      • Yup. It had to be. I didn’t have confidence in Vytas winning, but I definitely didn’t see him as a likely first boot.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Less sought out spoilers more the fact he was back in the US doing yoga class and being on twitter like 5 days after the game should have started.

        • Super duper fan

          It was more that if someone is aware of what Survivors are doing in real life, then this person would be spoiled even though he or she wasn’t seeking out spoilers.

    • Alkanarra

      I like Ciera so I’m happy to see her leading the polls. It’s the best way to know that she’s safe.

      However I really hope more people would vote for someone other than Debbie. I’m not sure why we’re protecting her with our reverse voodoo.

      • Super duper fan

        While I don’t dislike Debbie as others on this site, I wouldn’t mind THAT much if she only lasts 2-3 episodes.

      • BadPlayer91

        As the only person with 0% of the votes, Andrea is truly screwed.

        • Alkanarra

          Oh no! Someone vote for her, quick!

          And 1/4th of the winner votes for Malcolm? God did we screw that guy over.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Welp, I was wrong…

        • Alkanarra

          You and me both, sister.

          • Kemper Boyd

            had to change my fantasy team. The all name team is ruined. Hopefully I got in before Roswulf to get Sandra, Cirie, Siera, Sarah.

  • Diego Armando

    How has Sarah gotten more Winner votes than JT?

    • Maritimer

      On a limb speculating here but maybe the same people (i.e. me) who have JT high have Malcolm slightly higher. They’re both the same type of player so if that’s the type you see winning, you can only vote for one. Whereas (arguably) Sarah and Andrea are similar types, but the opinion is more divided between them

    • PurpleTally

      Threat level.

    • Mechanical Shark

      I think that’s fair, though both are top tier winner picks for me. Sarah, I think, will take the right lessons from her first season, but I’m not so sure JT will take the right lessons from HvV.