Tonight, CBS takes us back to the game, back to the island, and back to a cast of characters we’ve come to love and hate over 19 cycles of TV’s best reality show. Survivor 20 – Heroes vs. Villains (HvV) – has all the makings of a classic.
Unlike other seasons of Survivor, we go into this one knowing the players, their personalities and their tendencies. More importantly, the players all know each other and what they are each capable of doing. All except for one – last season’s dirtiest player and perhaps the best there is/was/ever will be (to borrow a phrase) – Russell. Because season 20 was filmed before season 19 aired we have to believe that nobody knows Russell’s game and how he can masterfully manipulate every situation and find idols at will.
That said, this isn’t a band of nobody’s that Russell is up against this time. With the exception of the original ‘Survivor’ Richard Hatch, HvV is a venerable ‘who’s who’ of Survivor veterans, so it won’t be easy for Russell, or anyone else, to come away with the title and million bucks.
Perhaps even more difficult than participating in Survivor 20 is predicting the eventual outcome. While I’m usually pretty good and weeding out the long-shots and identifying at the very least someone who goes pretty far in the game, this one is up for grabs.
Off the top I don’t see one of the past winners winning it all again – they will have the largest targets on their backs, so at some point we will be saying goodbye to Sandra (how did she win Pearl Islands again?), JT, Parvati and Tom.
I also don’t see any of the infamous Survivors of years past lasting to the end. With that we can eliminate Boston Rob, Rupert, Colby, Coach, Cirie, James and Jerry from the mix.
That leaves us with two-time runner-up Amanda, Candice, Courtney, Danielle, Randy, Danielle, Tyson, Russell, Sugar and Stephanie as potential winners. I doubt either Randy or Tyson will be able to keep their mouths shut long enough to make it to the jury and I honestly can’t remember a thing about Candice or Danielle so they’re out. Courtney is too whiny to last and Sugar doesn’t have Bob to rely on for cover any longer.
I see it coming down to one of three players: Amanda – the Buffalo Bills of Survivor (she’s due for a win). Stephanie – hard worker, likeable and determined…she could be very dangerous. And Russell – I will never underestimate what this man is capable of doing so he must remain a favourite again.
Ultimately, I pick mid-carder Stephanie to fly under the radar and play a social game to win.
The Scribe Has Spoken…