Quick Note: XFINITY TV will be sending me deep into the wilderness to bring you all kinds of “Survivor: Second Chance” goodness. Before the season airs, I’ll have all manner of behind-the-scenes interviews, images, and more to share. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.
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I’ve been asking myself about a million questions about the “Second Chance” vote, here are five of them…
1. Will fans vote for villains? Do I want to see “Chaos” Kass and Abi-Maria stirring the pot? You bet I do. Will others voters be wary of rewarding their bad behavior? Possibly. I hope not.
2. How powerful is the casual vote? I tend to break fans into two groups; the hardcore fans who can remember every challenge from every season and the casuals who just think of the show as a welcome diversion. Odds are if you’re reading this article, you’re probably a hardcore fan. And if you are, I’ve got bad news for you; the casuals outnumber the hardcores…by a lot. Need some proof? Who do you think was the “Player of the Season” in “Survivor: Philippines”? Penner? Malcolm? Denise? No offense to my favorite “Facts of Life” cast member, but the casual fans said it was Lisa Whelchel.
3. How strong will the recency bias be? Preeeeeeetty strong. I assume recency bias is the reason why Colby Donaldson and Rudy Boesch aren’t in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame. There are “Survivor” fans who are old enough to drive who were one year old when Kelly was the victim of Sue’s legendary speech.
4. How many people from each season should return? It seems like the Worlds Aparters would have an advantage if all five of them were voted on, but I disagree. Odds are if you have Shirin and Mike on one tribe and Joe, Carolyn, and Max on the other, it’s going to cause serious problems. The game doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The other fifteen people know that the #Dirty30 are close. They’d all be immediate targets for fear of them getting to the merge together. For this reason, I’m limiting my votes to two people per season.
5. Have they ever participated in the XFINITY “Survivor” Power Rankings? Hey, you have your criteria, I have mine.
|Kelly Wiglesworth – “Survivor: Borneo”: Thirty two names stand before us with the chance to return to “Survivor.” Of them, if CBS were to give me one Golden Ticket to hand out to ensure someone makes the final cut (and believe me, I asked for one), I wouldn’t think twice before handing it to Kelly Wiglesworth. Bring her back!|
|Jeff Varner – “Survivor: The Australian Outback”: I’m sorry, Kimmi. Of the sixteen people who participated in “Survivor: The Australian Outback,” six (six!) have already been invited back. So, I’m only voting for one person from that season. And since you spilled the beans to Tina back in the day, it only seems fair that Jeff gets the nod.|
|Andrew Savage – “Survivor: Pearl Islands”: As a victim of the notorious “Outwit Outplay Outcast” twist, Andrew definitely falls into the “deserves a second chance” category.|
|Shane Powers – “Survivor: Panama”: Do you really need me to explain this vote? It’s a crime that it’s taken this long to bring this man back. Shane is smart, charismatic, and funny. Go vote for him now…and everyday…several times a day.|
|Terry Dietz – “Survivor: Panama”: People have been dying to have Terry back ever since he won 37 consecutive immunity challenges in Panama, and I’m all for it. Add to that a possible showdown with Aras’s brother Vytas and the storyline can write itself.|
|Peih-Gee Law – “Survivor: China”: She giggled as she gleefully threw a challenge, she had no problem going toe-to-toe with human “Masters of the Universe” action figure James, and she put up with the horrible Chinese weather. Give this woman a second chance. And while we’re at it; why no Frosti?!
|Stephen Fishbach – “Survivor: Tocantins”: You know why I’m excited to have Stephen back on the show? Because of the challenge where you had to memorize the math symbols. Stephen did it in one pass! “Survivor” needs more of that kind of outside-the-box thinking. That, and I have this thing about finalists…
|Natalie Tenerelli – “Survivor: Redemption Island”: Some of you out there are going to disagree with me on this one, but I love the idea of someone who has never had their torch snuffed coming back. I’m talking about your Jenna Morascas, your Michael Skupins, and your Natalie Tenerellis.|
|Stephanie Valencia – “Survivor: Redemption Island”: I’ve always liked Stephanie. But don’t take my word for it…
“I think Stephanie could have been ten times better than Parvati.” – Russell Hantz – 2011 “Survivor” Hall of Fame Ballot
|Jim Rice – “Survivor: South Pacific”: I’ve been beating the Jim Rice drum for years now. The man is smart, he’s creative, and he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He has the highest possible ceiling and the lowest possible floor. He could be out first or win the whole thing.|
|Mikayla Wingle – “Survivor: South Pacific”: It’s a shame that Mikayla’s “South Pacific” edit basically consisted of Brandon Hantz’s creepy comments about her. Mikayla is genuinely hilarious, personable, and has the potential to be a real individual immunity threat.|
|Sabrina Thompson – “Survivor: One World”: Another finalist insta-vote. Also of note, Sabrina could have won the whole thing if she wasn’t partnered with one of the most dominant players ever.|
|Abi-Maria Gomes – “Survivor: Philippines”: Abi-Maria is the best kind of villain; an unpredictable tornado inside the game and a pretty cool person outside of it. And maybe if I vote for her she’ll send some Xi Cocktails my way.|
|Vytas Baskauskas – “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”: Ah…poor Vytas. He had all the potential in the world until I picked him to win his rookie season. That endorsement was enough to jinx what should have been a promising contender. As a way to make amends, Vytas has my full support. (And, I’ll be sure to pick someone else to win this season.)|
|Ciera Eastin – “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”: Ciera voted out her mom. Need me to repeat that? She voted out her mom. My sister is still mad about something dumb my mom said on Facebook. And she had the guts to pull rocks. I won’t even confront my neighbor whose dog keeps pooping in my yard.
|Spencer Bledsoe – “Survivor: Cagayan”: Why must we continue this dance? I want Spencer back in the game. You want Spencer back in the game. Put Spencer back in the game immediately. Imagine how much better he’ll be now that he knows not leave idol clues laying around for the Woos of the world to find them?|
|“Chaos” Kass McQuillen – “Survivor: Cagayan”: Why do we need the chaotic one on this season? Because she’s our greatest villain in a post-Russell Hantz world. Vote for Kass.|
|Jeremy Collins – “Survivor: San Juan del Sur”: See Vytas.
|Max Dawson – “Survivor: Worlds Apart”: Joe’s a shoo-in, Mike (if he doesn’t win “Worlds Apart”) is a shoo-in. But Max? Where Max ends up is going to tell us a lot about the vote. He didn’t last long, he made a rookie mistake, and casual fans weren’t given much of a reason to like him. That being said, Max is a cool guy. He knows the game. And given a second chance, he can probably squeeze in twice as many Keith Famie references.
|Shirin Oskooi – “Survivor: Worlds Apart”: Admit it, you want to see Shirin geek out when she meets Kelly Wiglesworth as much as I do. Also, we never really got to see Shirin moving and shaking. From the So elimination on, she was on the bottom of the game. Let’s see what she can do when she has some room to maneuver.|
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes