Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X – Will Assessment

The Inside Survivor team recently came together to give our initial thoughts on each Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X cast member and our predictions on how they will do in the game. These opinions are formed mainly from the CBS cast bios and videos, as well as pre-season press interviews conducted by Gordon Holmes and Josh Wigler. Over the next several days, we will post our thoughts on each Millennials vs. Gen X castaway.

Last time we looked at Gen X tribe member Paul Wachter, today we assess…

18, Long Valley, NJ, High School Student, (Vanua aka Millennials tribe)



First Impression: WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT VOICE. He’s exactly what I wanted to be if I’d gone out at 18. Down to play, wants to use his age to his advantage, wants to make connections with people; he clearly loves this game and wants to leave his mark. I don’t care where he places; I’m cheering for the guy.

Deeper Thoughts: He is going to run into some barriers because of his age. No 40-something is going to take orders or seriously consider ideas coming from a teen. If he plays from the angle of his age, cooperating with older players and making those around him feel comfortable with him, he can last a long time. When the time is right, he can organize whatever coup he needs to after gaining the respect and confidence of his allies. I’ve got faith in the kid.

Potential Allies: I think just about everyone on his starting tribe will want him to work with them because they all believe they can control him. He’ll make his decisions on which way he wants to go. As for later on, I expect the moms on the Gen X tribe to feel a kinship with him.

Prediction: Will’s is in my top 5, baby.


First Impression: A high school student with the voice of Penner.

Deeper Thoughts: First of all, props for going out there to do Survivor at 18 years old. That takes balls. But I get the feeling that Will is talking a big game that he just isn’t going to be able to back up. He’s clearly a superfan and has probably daydreamed in class about the badass game he’d play if he ever made it on the show. I don’t think his fantasy is going to become reality. He talks about how he’ll lie every chance he gets, how he’ll use his Christianity to his advantage, and how he’ll call the shots. But nobody on this cast is going to take direction from a guy that looks like he couldn’t get served for liquor candy- no matter how deep his voice is. Survivor isn’t an ORG.

Potential Allies: Maybe Adam and he will bond over their Survivor fandom. Also, he and Michelle do missionary work, so there is an automatic link there.

Prediction: I could be way off base. And I hope Will proves me wrong. But I just don’t see this game going how he imagines it in his head- the best bet would be for a Spencer style story, where things continue to go wrong but he still makes it deep. But I see him going pre-merge.



First Impression: After Julia’s success last season, how can you not have a über young person on the Millennials tribe?

Deeper Thoughts: He’s super young and a super fan, a combination that I am not a fan of. Someone that young rarely has enough life experience and will expect to compensate with the things that they invest in – in Will’s case – watching Survivor. He talks such a big game, but I don’t know if he can back it up. He’s not in the Long Valley High School gymnasium playing dodgeball anymore, but in a complex, dynamic game with absolutely brutal conditions and competitions. If Will can hold his own for the first two or so challenges, he stands a chance.

Potential Allies: He will seek the strongest, but be denied, eventually finding the outcasts – Hannah and Zeke.

Prediction: Early boot. Maybe right around the merge, if he lands a favorable tribe swap.


First Impression: Get back in your crib and Wooooah that voice.

Deeper Thoughts: I love seeing younger castaways, I really do, but I think it is a very special person who can play an amazing game of Survivor at such a young age. Will is discounting the importance of life experience when playing Survivor and it could end up being his downfall. In his videos he seems to be trying a little too much – he seems to be strutting rather than just walking, although the coconut phone thing was a bit cute (and bonus points if it was a reference to previous Survivor contestants). Will thinks he’ll be underestimated because of his age; I think he could get a bit of the opposite actually. He’s so young surely the others will recognize there’s something special about him for him to be cast at 18? Will wants to use his Christianity to build bonds with others which could work for him. If he can become a kingpin, awesome for him, but I’m not convinced he can do it. He came across as a little cocky in his videos, and I’m worried that could work against him in the game.

Potential Allies: The Christian crew (Michelle, Michaela) or he could bro-down with Jay and Taylor.

Prediction: Hard to say! I’m not feeling great about him, though, I think we’ll see him go in the early merge or just before.


Overall we see Survivor’s latest young lad having an early exit, except for Jacob who has Will reaching the top 5, baby! How do you think Will will do? Let us know in the comments below.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X premieres Wednesday 21 September at 8:00 pm on CBS.


Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

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