OK guys, here we go. It’s that time again. You know, time for me to provide endless amounts of laughter. How? Well, it’s prediction time. And I suck at predictions.
Let’s be clear, last year, on the surface, it looks like I did well. Heck, I ranked Davie first. Go me. But, you know what else I did? I had Bi third. Yep. And, um, Angelina second. Christian 17th. Seventeenth! Oh, at least I had Nick fifth.
Now, I know, that sounds like I did pretty badly. But, guys, let’s just take a second to remember how badly I usually do. This is from a prior preview:
In Second Chance, I chose Monica, who was voted out fifth and turned mute for a season. For Kaoh Rong, I chose Liz, who annoyed Debbie and lasted nine days. In Millennials vs. Gen X, I chose Mari, who lasted six days and who I honestly don’t remember. And in Game Changers, I tried to hedge my bets and pick a few “likely” winners. Who did I go with? Andrea (voted out 13th), Michaela (voted out 14th) and Hali (voted out 8th). And my main winner pick? That would be poor Malcolm, who lasted a whopping 11 days and was (controversially) voted out fourth.
And, remember, once I also chose JP to win. Such is life.
As you can tell, I’m not so good at this. But it’s fun. So I write.
Now, just a reminder to anyone who might be new around these parts: I make predictions totally based only on the bios released by CBS. I don’t read or watch anything else, literally. Well, I take that back: I don’t listen to, read or watch anything about the castaways; I do, however, know that the rule changes this year seem a little, shall we say, ridiculous. But that’s just one man’s opinion. And this prediction column is also, you know, one man’s opinion.
Anyway, let’s do this. Without further ado, here are my predictably horrid predictions for Survivor: Edge of Extinction. I’ve grouped the castaways into my normal four categories: Likely winners, Possible winners, Unlikely winners, and Impossible winners. I then rank them within each category. Make sense? OK, here we go:
- Eric Hafemann: I like Eric. All his answers worked. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, he understands the value of team, he likes to mediate, he’s a firefighter …. I could go on. I think he’s going to be someone who everyone likes and ends up floating almost under the radar. I’m rooting for him. (Eric's CBS bio | Eric's contestant page)
- Aurora McCreary: A lawyer who looks younger than she is, survived a tumultuous childhood and puts Tyson as the player most like her? Sign me up. Her pet peeves all make sense too. If you can’t tell, I have a bias toward early 30s folks who I think can get along with younger ones. (Aurora's CBS bio | Aurora's contestant page)
- Julia Carter: I like Julia’s bio … and, no, it’s not only because she says hates people documenting everything on social media. I think she’s going to be a tough and smart competitor. I also like that recognizes that being a team player and a great communicator are essential to win Survivor … most of the time. (Julia's CBS bio | Julia's contestant page)
- Rick Devens: I mean, how can I not put a journalist high on the list? I like Rick primarily because he comes across as the strategist type, but he also is an Eagle Scout, so I’m guessing he has some survival skills. I mean, I know nothing about what it takes to be an Eagle Scout, but I assume there are at least some camping trips, right? More people would know about the Boy Scouts if they sold cookies and didn’t discriminate. Or something. (Rick's CBS bio | Rick's contestant page)
- Reem Daly: I’ve never seen the name “Reem” before, but I also don’t remember seeing someone name kickball as one of their hobbies. That’s awesome. She’s also a long-time fan. The only reason I have her in this category and not above is that she’s a little older than most castaways. (Reem's CBS bio | Reem's contestant page)
- David Wright: OK, so here’s who I’m giving the best chance out of the returnees. I think David plays the right type of game for someone who will have a target on him immediately. He seems to connect with people well. He’s not physical. I think David could make it far. (David's CBS bio | David's contestant page)
- Julie Rosenberg: I want to know what toys Julie’s making. I want to be a toymaker. How does one become a toymaker? Do you major in toymaking? Are you a history major and then luck into a career in toymaking? Does Tom Hanks hang around the office and play with the toys? Do you get to help produce the next Toy Story movie? So many questions. But, yeah, I like Julie. (Julie's CBS bio | Julie's contestant page)
- Aubry: I’ve never been one to think too highly of Aubry’s game, but I do think in a season like this, she has a better chance of winning than most of the other returnees. She’s really smart, she’s physical and she’s not overly threatening. Let’s hope she can clean up some of her mistakes from last time. (Aubry's CBS bio | Aubry's contestant page)
- Wendy Diaz: I don’t have actual data to back this up (Jeff, where are you?), but anecdotally, it seems to me that the people who say they hate quitters in their bio tend to be quitters. I’m guessing there is some psychological theory that says we get annoyed the most with people display characteristics we hate about ourselves. I’m babbling. Wendy seems like a hard worker and all, but I’m just not feeling it. Watch her win. (Wendy's CBS bio | Wendy's contestant page)
- Ron Clark: I really want to like Ron. I do. And he seems like a great guy. I mean, who doesn’t love someone who gives their dog belly rubs? I certainly love that. But, I’ve got to say, Ron says his favorite hobby is: surprising people by making really unique moments for them.” That’s creepy. Or something. Seriously, Ron also says he’s a really sore loser. I think he’s going to annoy a young cast. (Ron's CBS bio | Ron's contestant page)
- Gavin Whitson: The dude admits to playing a lot of Fortnite and that to me means we’re dealing with someone without the attention span to win a marathon like Survivor. But, let me point out his claim to fame: “Five years ago I asked a girl to go out with me and she said no. One year later I asked again and she said yes. Now we are engaged and I couldn't be happier. She is also lucky because I am a catch! It's really an accomplishment for both of us.” Yep. That says it all. (Gavin's CBS bio | Gavin's contestant page)
- Lauren O'Connell: I mean, all her hobbies says she’ll be bad at Survivor, but she was a varsity athlete at a Division 1 university. I just don’t think 21-year-old college students can win this game. I like her familiarity with the game, but I just don’t think she can win. (Lauren's CBS bio | Lauren's contestant page)
- Chris Underwood: OK, let’s talk about Chris. So he likes the outdoors. Great. Everything else? Not so great. Anybody who complains about political Facebook posts but still uses Facebook? Nope. How about someone who brags about going from barista to top salesman? This is a dude who thinks he can talk people into anything, but he’s 25 and not nearly as smart as he thinks. That’s my guess. Or I could be all wrong. (Chris's CBS bio | Chris's contestant page)
- Victoria Baamonde: OK, so your hero is your guinea pig. You like to tell people you were the valedictorian at your college … keeping in mind most colleges don’t have valedictorians and many folks end with a perfect GPA. None of this sounds good. I also don’t think a 23-year-old recent college grad will have the life experience necessary to outplay some of the folks here. Her bio makes me think she’s the kind of person who posts a whole lot of selfies. (Victoria's CBS bio | Victoria's contestant page)
- Joe Anglim: Sierra Dawn Thomas is now Joe’s hero? Seriously? Did I miss something? Look, I know in older seasons with returnees, the folks doing things for the second or third time usually win. That’s not happening with Joe. He’s gone early merge. (Joe's CBS bio | Joe's contestant page)
- Keith Sowell: He’s 19. Seriously. (Keith's CBS bio | Keith's contestant page)
- Kelley Wentworth: We all know Kelley. And her immunity play during Second Chance made everyone happy. But I think she’s in the worst kind of position: While she was good on her second season, she wasn’t that good and I think her play was a wee bit overrated. But it was also a very showy game, which means she’s going to have a bullseye directly on her. Not good. (Kelley's CBS bio | Kelley's contestant page)
- Dan 'The Wardog' DaSilva: So where do we start with “the wardog”? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because of all the time I spent in New York in my life, but I always predict stereoptypical New Yorkers to do horrible on this show. I was totally wrong about Domenick, but this dude talks in the third person a lot. He ain’t winning. (The Wardog's CBS bio | The Wardog's contestant page)
So where does that leave us? Who’s my Winner Pick™? Well, I’m going with Eric. Sorry dude.
OK, everyone, I’m excited to talk theory for another season even though I think the rule changes might turn the game into a sh*tshow. Let’s talk in a couple weeks.
Pat Ferrucci started watching Survivor when episode two of Borneo first aired. He's seen every episode since. Besides recapping here, he'll be live-tweeting this season from the Mountain Time Zone. Why? Because nobody cares about the Mountain Time Zone except when they want to ski. Follow him @PatFerrucci for Survivor stuff and tweets about anything and everything that enters his feeble mind.