Ask The 8-Ball is a new semi-regular feature here on Inside Survivor where we will be making predictions of things we’ll see over the next 10 seasons of Survivor.
Survivor loves itself some returning players, and there is no doubt that we’ll see another all-star-type edition over the next ten seasons. But who will those returnees be? Who will cement themselves as the new era of Survivor legends?
Here are Inside Survivor’s predictions for 5 Future Survivor All-Stars…
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There is no doubt that J’Tia Taylor is one of the most memorable pre-merge characters of all-time. She was a big part of what made the chaotic Luzon tribe so entertaining, and fans will never forget her rice-pouring antics. But there is a lot more to this Nuclear Engineer than just “the woman who ruined the rice,” and it’s about time we got to see it on the show.
Since Cagayan, J’Tia has gotten married and had two children, which means she would be returning to the game with a new perspective on life. And, over the past year, she has reconnected with the Survivor community, helping launch a petition for more racial diversity across Survivor. She even took part in a couple of Sequester Minis (one of which she won!), showing off her social and strategic skills.
We believe there is a high chance of J’Tia being invited back to Survivor over the next 10 seasons, especially if there is another Second Chance edition. (Remember, she was originally in the mix for season 31 before being cut last minute). She is an iconic character with something to prove and could provide one of the best growth arcs in Survivor history.
David vs. Goliath is a pick ‘n’ mix of potential future all-stars, but Davie Rickenbacker is the one that stands out to us. While he might not have had the same amount of air-time as a Christian Hubicki or an Angelina Keeley, Davie was a consistent presence throughout the season. He brought an infectious positivity and enthusiasm for the game every time he was on the screen.
Davie is someone we can see breaking out even more in his second time out on the island. He has the ability to take the opportunity and run with it, not just in terms of character but as someone capable of winning the entire game. He’s the type of player not afraid to take risks, as he proved in David vs. Goliath when he played his idol for Christian. That kind of ballsy gameplay makes him appealing to fans and producers alike.
We think it’s a near guarantee that Davie will be asked back for another season. And, this time, we don’t think he’ll be playing second fiddle to anyone; Davie will be the star of the show.
In another timeline, one where the Edge of Extinction twist never existed, Victoria Baamonde might well have been a Survivor champion right now. She most certainly would have had a more prominent edit, rather than being pushed aside for Rick Devens or having her gameplay undersold to make Chris Underwood’s return and victory more palatable. Alas, that was not meant to be.
That said, Victoria still had her moments to shine in season 38, namely the way she hoodwinked Survivor veteran Aubry Bracco. For a newbie in a season with returnees, she showed an aptitude for Survivor strategy and clearly had a strong enough social game that took her all the way to the Final 6. There were glimpses of a great Survivor player in Victoria just waiting to break out.
Jeff Probst has talked in the past about how it’s supposedly so hard to find young women who play strategically and aren’t afraid to make big moves. Whether you agree with Probst or not, it’s for that reason we think Victoria stands a high chance of filling that “young strategic woman” spot on a future returnee season. She has the same potential that Parvati Shallow did coming from Cook Islands into Micronesia—someone who will come in guns blazing and make a name for herself.
There are not many Survivor players that can say that one vote could have changed their lives, but Domenick Abbate is definitely in that group. Dom was part of Survivor history in Ghost Island when he tied at the final vote with Wendell Holland—both men receiving five votes apiece and forcing runner-up Laurel Johnson to cast the deciding vote. Ultimately, Wendell won out, and all Dom had left was to wonder what could have been.
The way Ghost Island ended gives Dom a ready-made story heading into a returnee season, and that’s a major reason why we think he is highly likely to be invited back. On top of that, Dom was a prominent character who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind while also been a cunning gameplayer who found idols and made moves. He’s precisely the kind of person Survivor producers love, as you know that he is always going to play hard until the very last moment.
Combining all those elements together, we would be shocked if Dom didn’t appear on Survivor again over the next 10 seasons.
Chrissy Hofbeck is another player with a clear redemption story waiting for her. There will always be that “what if?” hanging over Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers. What if the fire-making twist didn’t pop up out of nowhere? What if Ben Driebergen was voted out at the Final 4 as intended? What if the Final 3 was Chrissy up against Devon Pinto and Ryan Ulrich? Chrissy could very well have walked away with the million dollars and a spot on Winners At War.
Those questions are what make a Chrissy return so appealing. Sometimes people go back on Survivor and lack the passion or drive they once had (looking at you Colby Donaldson). We don’t think that would be an issue with Chrissy at all. In fact, we would expect an even more driven and focused Chrissy, someone wanting to cement their Survivor legacy and prove they should have won the first time.
If Chrissy wants to play Survivor again, we have no doubt that she would be a first-ballot pick for a future returnee season. Let’s just hope for no last-minute surprise twists this time around!
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.