During the pre-season, each contestant is asked several questions in their CBS bio to gather more information for the public to get to know them. The castaways are all primarily asked about their hobbies, pet peeves, accomplishments, why they think they will win Survivor, and which past Survivor players they’re most like. It’s that last question that is the focus of this new weekly feature.
After each player is voted out, I will compare their gameplay to the past Survivor player they mentioned they were most likely to play like. Then, based on that, see if they played like that particular past player, or if they didn’t, could that have helped them improve their overall placement in the game.
This week’s boot, Geo Bustamante, said the Survivor(s) she would play the game most like is John Cochran and Boston Rob Mariano.
Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? It would have to be a combination of Cochran and Boston Rob. I am not as physical as Rob, but I will be strategic like Cochran. I’m hoping that by the end of the season, people will see that I played my own game.
Another one bites the dust in the fifth episode of the season, with the latest voted-out castaway being Geo from the Coco tribe. Though it wasn’t a huge surprise to see Geo get eliminated, it was still fun yet perplexing to see the events leading up to his torch getting snuffed, particularly Ryan’s antics of throwing the immunity challenge that cemented Geo’s fate. Did I mention Ryan was Geo’s closest ally?
During the first few days, Coco was divided between two coalitions: the women’s alliance plus James on one side, with Ryan and Geo on the other. Geo and Karla grew close on the side as they were both on Survivor to represent the Hispanic and LGBTQ+ communities. However, with this, Karla was able to infiltrate both sides and use whatever information she got from both sides accordingly.
As Coco later went on a winning streak, not much was shown of this tribe aside from Karla finding the beware advantage. Although Geo had a good relationship with both Ryan and Karla, it was clear that Karla was pulling the strings at Coco, with Geo’s growing rift with Cassidy placing him on the outs. After Coco’s first immunity loss, Geo was gunning for Cassidy, while the rest regrouped to vote for Geo. Later the target shifted towards Lindsay when her paranoia became too much to handle for her allies, sparing Geo and leaving him as the only one to vote for Cassidy.
After tribal, Cassidy confronted Geo, which prompted her and Karla to decide whether Geo or Ryan would be the next eliminated. Coco once again lost immunity, with Ryan later revealing that he did it on purpose to eliminate Cassidy, without realising that either he or Geo were the actual targets. Geo, Jesse, and Jeanine were chosen to go on a journey, and at the summit, they all decided to risk their votes, and Geo lucked out when he won the Knowledge is Power advantage.
Geo’s final mistake was telling Karla about his advantage, as Karla had the immunity idol. Though Karla and James did discuss the option to vote out Cassidy for her increasing paranoia, they decided it was too risky to leave Geo in the game. At tribal, Ryan and Geo were hilariously blindsided as Geo was voted out in a 3-2 vote, flushing his advantage in the process.
Geo chose John Cochran and Boston Rob as the past Survivor players he would have liked to play the game most like. It’s tricky to name a winner when it comes to moulding one’s game after and coming up a bit short just before the merge. Geo was targeted on day one just for being Coco’s least physical male player. According to his exit interview with Mike Bloom, Geo also stated that Lindsay targeted him from the second the game started due to him being an alternate which made him an easy first vote, as “He wasn’t even supposed to be there.”
This scenario is similar to how Cochran and Boston Rob started out playing South Pacific and Heroes vs, Villains, respectively, as both were immediately targeted. However, both were able to advance themselves further into the game than Geo did, though neither entirely was able to recover and were later voted out.
Cochran was a mess in his first season, as he never found his footing in the game, being on the outs of the main alliance, and though he did pull off a “big move,” it wasn’t favourable to him in the long run. Rob’s stint on Heroes vs. Villains wasn’t much better, as his feud with Russell Hantz caused a civil war within the Villains tribe, with Rob being the second casualty of his side. Rob had to show his cards from the beginning and lost focus on the big picture in dealing with Russell.
With much less screentime, Geo was always on the outs, a clear target from the beginning. Though he had some bonds with other people, it wasn’t with the majority of Coco, leaving him out of the game before he was officially voted out as there wasn’t a tribe switch either.
Perhaps things would’ve changed for Geo had he switched to vote out Ryan with the women plus James, just as Cochran did on his first season when he betrayed his original tribe for the Upolu group. Or maybe Geo could’ve done better to ensure he had the votes to pull off Cassidy’s elimination at either tribal he attended.
The edit, however, showed both Ryan and Geo to be too complacent about their spots in the game, leaving them unaware of the actual dynamics within Coco, especially regarding Karla’s double agent game. Just as Geo said as he left Survivor, you never really can trust anyone in this game.
- Survivor 43
- Original tribe(s): Coco tribe
- Placement: 14/18
- South Pacific, Caramoan
- Original tribe(s): South Pacific (Savaii, Te Tuna); Caramoan (Bikal, Enil Edam)
- Placement(s): 8/18, winner
Similarities and differences: Both were seen as and targeted for being the “weakest,” both were on the outs in their original tribes (Geo in Survivor 43, Cochran in South Pacific); both had a strong bond with a particular player, Geo with Ryan and Cochran with Dawn; Cochran reached the merge on both of his seasons, whereas Geo came up just short of the merge.
“Boston Rob” Mariano
- Marquesas, All Stars, Heroes vs, Villains, Redemption Island, Island of the Idols, Winners at War
- Original tribe(s): Marquesas (Maraamu, Rotu, Soliantu); All Stars (Chapera, Mogo Mogo, Chaboga Mogo); HvV (Villains); RI (Ometepe, Murlonio); WaW (Sele, Yara)
- Placement(s): 10/16, 2/18, 13/20, winner, mentor, 17/20
Similarities and differences: Both received votes at every single tribal council they went to, and neither reached the merge nor jury (Geo in Survivor 43, Rob in HvV); both players attended a Summit just before being voted out (Geo in Survivor 43, Rob on Marquesas).