We have now arrived at our final category in the Survivor Second Chance Most Likely Awards. The Rob Cesternino Award for Most Likely to Place Lower Than Before.
In the previous category, we talked about all returnee seasons and how reputations can either hurt or hinder you. The general consensus is that those coming into the season with a relatively unknown reputation tend to fair better than those with well known reputations. This was most prominent in the first returnee season, Survivor: All-Stars. Each of the previous winners came into the game with a huge bullseye on their back and were immediately targetted by their fellow players. But it wasn’t just the winners that took the heat. Rob Cesternino may not have won the game, but he came extremely close. He revolutionized Survivor strategy and was considered at the time to be the best player to never win. That reputation made him an obvious target and he was voted out the first time his tribe went to Tribal Council, in 15th place (out of 18), a far cry from the 3rd place finish he took in Survivor: The Amazon. There was nothing Rob could do, he was doomed from the moment his feet hit the beach.
Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance has a group of players just like Rob Cesterino. Players that came very close to winning the first time or are known for being big strategists. These individuals will have an uphill battle trying to out-do their previous performance. I have nominated the top two men and women I believe are most likely to place lower than before.
And the nominees are…
Stephen Fishbach – how could I not nominate Stephen? The award is named after his RHAP Know It Alls co-host! It almost seems destined for Stephen to become the Rob Cesternino of Survivor: Second Chance. He made it all the way to Final Tribal Council in Survivor: Tocantins and was in strategic control, along with his partner in crime J.T, for the majority of the season. Even though Stephen remained loyal to his alliance, he is perceived as a shifty strategist, perhaps due to his closeness to Rob. Stephen is capable of pulling off something special, but I believe his chances of making Final Tribal Council again are slim.
Woo Hwang – like Stephen, Woo finished in second place, after making it all the way to the Final Tribal Council in Survivor: Cagayan. His choice to take Tony to the end rather than Kass is deemed his biggest mistake. Unfortunately for Woo, I don’t think Cambodia is going to be the place where he rectifies that mistake. This season is going to be cut-throat, and Woo never showed that much strategic or social skill. He isn’t in any pre-game alliances that we know of, he is from the season with the most representatives, and he’s a physical threat. To place higher than before he would have to win, and that would take a miracle.
Kass McQuillen – you can say what you want about Kass, and most people do, but she did whatever she had to to make it one step further in Survivor: Cagayan. She was willing to flip on allies, expose secrets, and cause lots of chaos. However, this is a terrible reputation to have coming into an all returnee season. Kass will likely be viewed as an unpredictable wildcard, and that is a dangerous player to keep around. She made it to that Cesternino third place spot last time, but to repeat that success in Cambodia would require some serious chaos.
Ciera Eastin – unfortunately for Ciera, she is a victim of the Survivor edit. When you watch her original season, Survivor: Blood vs Water, you can see that she did in fact remain relatively loyal to her allies. But the story that is told of Ciera is that she voted out her own mother, and caused everyone to draw rocks. These moves were logical at the time, but on paper they sound hardcore and scary. Much like Kass, Ciera will be viewed as unpredictable and if you couple that with her challenge weaknesses she could become a prime candidate for an early boot. Like with Stephen, I believe Ciera is capable of pulling off something special, but getting to fifth place again will be a struggle.
Vote below for which of these four nominees you think is Most Likely to Place Lower Than Before in Survivor: Cambodia. Results will be announced in September.