This is our look at people eligible to be included in the voting pool for the upcoming Second Chance season, using solely a quantitative/statistical approach. Do we think these should have been the only people considered? No. But you could make a reasonable case that many of the top finishers deserve to have been in the mix.
Joe Reid at Grantland did an extensively researched version of this, but he made what we see as a fundamental error: he took a perfectly quantitative system (not unlike this one), then hamstrung it by tacking on qualitative assessments (season "popularity," appearances in "Next time on..." previews and "best moments" videos on YouTube). Those measures are dependent on the editing, and including them selects for drama (NaOnka) and "good TV," not necessarily performance. It elevates the people CBS/SEG/Jeff Probst want you to see, over a Sophie or a Denise Stapley who is quietly playing well. So we thought we'd see what the numbers say, just on their own. As it turns out, we already had a statistic that was essentially Joe's rankings minus the non-quantitative stuff: The No Jury stat.
So this is an adaptation of our "No jury" rankings, further restricting the pool to contestants that would be eligible to play in the Second Chance season (one time players, no winners). "No jury" is just good old SurvAv with the jury vote component removed, to put non-finalists on a slightly more even footing with people who made the finals. So it's purely Challenge performance + Tribal Council performance.
One caveat is obvious: As you might suspect from the glut of non-winning finalists, scores tend to increase with longevity, and being a member of a game-controlling alliance helps the Tribal Council component substantially. Normally with SurvAv, jury votes counteract that a bit. Not so here. With that in mind, we're fine with CBS/SEG tossing memorable pre-merge/early jury people into the voting pool, although we'd prefer those be people who were victims of twists, merges, and swaps, not people whose poor play got them voted out of an otherwise long-intact tribe.
Like Second Chance, we have separate pools of men and women, even though the overall number spreads are essentially the same, at least toward the bottom of the pool. (The only two men who scored above woman #24 were Dreamz and Jay Byars. We can live with not including them.). Instead of stopping at 16 men and women eacg, we extended those pools to 24 people, because why not? (Actually, we were going to do 16, but we noticed a large number of actual Second Chance-eligible people were in the 21-24 range. That and #17-24 for the women are all really good choices.)
The results: Surprising. We initially sorted using all non-winners making their first appearance. As it turned out, a huge number of the top finishers (9 of the top 20) had already made return appearances, so they had to be removed. Despite that winnowing of the field, a lot of the people CBS picked for Second Chance still don't show up in the rankings. (We've highlighted those that did.) Even extending the pool to 24 men, only 8 of the 16 men actually in the running for Second Chance made the cut. Same for the women, with only 7 of the actual eligible contestants. Conversely, in both cases there are a lot of players that fans have thought should have been included (Twila, Helen, Holly, Rafe, Ian, Sash).
*Artefact alert: We told you about the problem with Paschal in the Marquesas scoring (that he didn't receive any votes when he was eliminated by the purple rock, which inflates his Tribal Council stats). Without that artificially high wTCR, it's unlikely he'd be anywhere near as high as 2nd overall. A similar caveat applies to Mike Holloway and Carolyn Rivera, since their first seasons are still in progress, and their scores are not yet final. Also, note that both are among the top finishers ever. Hopefully one wins Worlds Apart, and the other makes it onto Second Chance.
**Didact alert: Technically, Burton already had a second chance in Pearl Islands.
So without further ado, here they are: The top Second Chance-eligible people, by the numbers. Click on contestant pics to view their complete contestant page (where available). If you need more numbers.
|Challenge stats||Tribal council stats|
|Rank||Contestant, season||Finish||ChW||ChA||ChW%||VFB||VAP||TC%||wTCR||No Jury|
|Challenge stats||Tribal council stats|
|Rank||Contestant, season||Finish||ChW||ChA||ChW%||VFB||VAP||TC%||wTCR||No jury|