Welcome to the first ever Inside Survivor Power Rankings! Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance promises to be one of the most competitive seasons of all time, and we hope to capture that competitive spirit here in our Power Rankings, as three of Inside Survivor’s contributors battle it out for glory and bragging rights. While we would have loved to have included a former Survivor player in the competition, unfortunately with this season being all returning players, it was too difficult to find someone completely unspoiled. We value our readers and the Survivor fans, and therefore didn’t want to risk including someone that was spoiled – no matter how minor.
Each week our three Inside Survivor contributors will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the player who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the three contributors will earn. For example, if Jeff Varner was voted out in Episode 1, Rob would receive one point, Shawn would receive two points, and Jacob would receive ten points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the Survivor Second Chance Power Rankings Champion.
Note: Round 1 is a pre-season demo round and no points will be added to the overall totals. Points will be awarded starting from Round 2 onwards.
|1. Jeff is probably the most prepared person going into Second Chance. He’s been studying his fellow castaways, reading books on body language, and pre-gaming like there’s no tomorrow. If he’s able to not overplay, and keep a good alliance, I could see him flying to the finals.
|1. I think Kelly Wiglesworth enters the season in one of the best positions. Kelly, so far removed from her original season and the Survivor world, has the luxury of being mostly anonymous. While she’s older now, she doesn’t look like she’s any bit out of shape.
|1. By no means do I believe this will be a season that favors physicality over loyalty, but I would be surprised if the first elimination was someone so strong and likable. On top of that, no one seems to be talking about Woo in his or her pre-game interviews.
|2. Kelley is going into this season with the least amount of experience, and a VERY small target on her back. In the brief glimpses we got of her in SJDS, she has shown that she’s very strategic, and she’s got something to prove. She’s got the personality and game knowledge to go far.
|2. Out of all the people that are trying to make the most of their second chance, Jeff takes the cake. The game has evolved, but Jeff is embracing it and taking it on head-first. He seems to be in good with just about everyone on the cast and has set himself up very well in terms of strategy.
|2. If Kelly is the challenge beast she was 15 years ago, and continues to play the no-plan plan like she did in Borneo, there is no reason to get rid of her so early. She should be an asset both in challenges and numbers. Plus, I don’t think any of the cast, even the most soulless of the bunch, would feel good about sending a Survivor icon home first.
|3. I see Monica in the same type of position as Kelley. Small, pretty, unassuming, overshadowed in the edit on her season. The only reason she’s lower than Kelley is because Monica did make it further on Samoa, and she stood up to Russell Hantz. People might see that as a problem, but other than that it should be smooth sailing.
|3. Jeremy is one of those people that others are drawn to. Shane Powers has said how Jeremy just exudes genuineness and is someone you want to be around. This quality alone will help Jeremy in the early stages of the game. He’ll likely fall into a majority alliance and ride his personality and strength through the first tribal.
|3. As with Woo, there are some contestants who don’t appear to be bothering any of their peers (with the exception of Probst). Several of the same names get tossed around in every pre-game interview, but I don’t hear anyone really talking about Peih-Gee as a threat. If she can keep the scheming to a minimum the first few days, she should be fine.
|4. “Fish” is in a really good position, at least at the start. He’s from a middle season, so he won’t be involved too much in the inevitable “old school vs. new school” battle. He has a good relationship with pretty much everyone due to his work on RHAP. This could work to his benefit, but it could also be seen as a liability to the others.
|4. While Peih-Gee played with this “never say die” attitude in China, she often came off as annoying to me. But if she enters the game with a more reserved and subtle personality, I can see her going far. Just like in China, Peih-Gee will likely ride out the tribal alliance stage, but could really do well to cut a few ties and prove herself as a viable strategist.
|4. Jeremy is a strong competitor and seemingly, a very savvy social player. As is the case with everyone else above him on these rankings, no one really seems to be focused on getting rid of Jeremy early in the game.
|5. Weasel Woo is starting off in the best position of all the Cagayan people. His laid back attitude and challenge prowess will keep him around for a while. He’s also not the most strategic person ever, so he won’t be seen as threatening as Kass or Spencer. He’s going to have to watch out when the merge comes.
|5. Ciera is a great social player that has the ability to adapt to the younger or the older crowd. Playing on a Blood vs. Water returnee season, Ciera has a lot of ties in the Survivor world. If she can dodge the initial “she’s a sleeper threat” bullet, she has the chance to make it very deep.
|5. Monica is my pick to win this season, and has been since the cast was announced. I think she is excited to go hard and really play this season the way she wanted to play Samoa. She just needs to remain subtle and she’ll be around for a while.
|6. Kelly claims to have not watched Survivor or talked to any people pre-game, but Jeff insists that he’s aligned with her. Is she starting her lies off early, or does she really not have a clue what she’s doing? Either way, it’s exciting to see someone from Borneo play the game again, even if she’s already putting her rat costume back on before the game even starts.
|6. The problem with Monica is that she got very little screentime in the Russell Hantz hype season that was Survivor: Samoa. We never really got to see additional layers to her game, but it’s clear that she was set up well within her alliance. While this is often such a loaded statement in Survivor, Monica has the potential to have a Parvati in Mirconesia style game.
|6. I think Shirin is in good company on Ta Keo. With the exceptions of Wiglesworth and maybe Abi-Maria, Shirin is surrounded by players who share her enthusiasm. Shirin knows she needs to tone herself down a bit this time around, and I think she will. How awesome would it be if Peih-Gee and Shirin teamed up and just wrecked everybody? Little bit of personal fan fiction!
|7. Shanini’s biggest issue on her first season is that she was seen as the annoying superfan. This cast however, she will be amongst lots of other superfans. She knows what she needs to do in order to get her footing early in the game. I can see her getting into a tight alliance early on, and riding it all the way to the end.
|7. Keith making it onto the cast probably benefitted from being in a recent season. A proven challenge competitor and genuinely likable person, Keith has the makings to go far again. His social game will determine his chances, and being on the same tribe as Jeremy will likely bode well for Keith.
|7. I was worried about Terry potentially berating his tribe after a loss or attempting to act a certain way to fit in, but after reading Josh Wigler’s article on the pilot, I’ve got a reasonable amount of faith in Terry. I don’t know if he’s still the challenge beast he was way back when, but he definitely knows he can’t rely on challenge wins this time.
|8. I’m giving Terry the slight edge over Savage mainly due to the tribe that Terry is starting on. He’s going to be an asset in challenges, but I could see him backing off a bit and letting others take charge. Once Terry hits the merge though, I could see him being in loads of trouble.
|8. Kelley falls into the same boat as Monica by probably being on the ballot more for her looks than for her strategic prowess. What sets Kelley apart, however, is that she has the storyline that fits so well into the theme. She needs to establish herself as an individual in Cambodia. She has all the makings to go very far, but could also be cut early.
|8. Tasha is damn good at challenges and has proven to be able to work her way out of difficult situations. Whether she can maintain her composure with Kass on her tribe is yet to be seen, but it certainly raises some cause for concern. I can’t imagine her going home first though.
|9. Savage is probably the first person people think of when you say “screwed by a twist”. While this is true, he didn’t really do himself any favors by ostracizing the one person that he shouldn’t have, Cryin’ Lil Morris. Hopefully he’s got his social game in check, or he’s going to run into the same kinds of issues he did the first time.
|9. I keep going back to one small segment in Australia where Kimmi talks about how she is constantly working and getting water. If Kimmi uses this same attitude and works hard around camp early in the game, she could possibly go far. People will not view her as a strategic threat, but she also is opinionated enough to not fall into the background.
|9. Kelley is a wild-card for me. She’s on the younger side of the cast and doesn’t have a lot of the game experience. That said, she’s likable and there are far bigger targets to gun for in the early game. She would have to really suck in the first challenge or be blatantly deceptive in the first day to be on anybody’s radar.
|10. Starting on Bayon is probably a great thing for Jeremy. There are a few other alpha males on his tribe that he’s going to be able to hide behind for the short-term. Of everyone on the cast, I feel like he’s most likely to end up in the same placing as his first time around, because he’s not going to be able to hide for as long as he wants.
|10. Papa Dietz is a freak of nature. Despite there being 18 seasons in between his first and second season, he looks like the same person that could win his way to the finals. While that similarity is a good thing, I don’t see Terry drastically changing his social game. Terry has all the makings to do really well or leave early.
|10. Based on his pregame interviews, Jeff is coming into Second Chance more than prepared to play. I would say his potential success rate is about equal to his potential to overplay right out of the gate and self-destruct. But with that said, I’m rooting for him.
|11. “Phoebe” is a big unknown going into the season. The China cast was so strong, that she was pigeonholed into the “annoying weakling” role and overshadowed by Todd and co. But Peih-Gee had a very good shot at winning. She called Todd as the winner very early, and could have done very well if she had the numbers on her side.
|11. The irony behind Savage’s second chance is that his first chance was probably cut short by someone else’s second chance. While I love the idea of Savage being back, I find it very hard to place how he will do. I envision Savage trying to bond with everyone and taking a step away from strategy, which will probably be his demise.
|11. I don’t think a lot of people want to work with Keith. It’s fair to assume most of his tribe-mates are aware of the reputation he made for himself in SJDS and they might decide to dispose of him before he screws over any of their games by accident. That said, he could also be a harmless ally for the first couple days.
|12. Tasha Fierce is going to have a few hurdles to overcome if she wants to make it far in Cambodia. She’s one of four Cagayan people on this cast, and she’s an individual challenge threat. Thankfully, she’s on a tribe with Kass, who is most likely going to be a shield for Tasha. Once Kass is gone, Tasha might be in trouble.
|12. While we now know why Woo was nicknamed “Weasel Woo”, the players most likely did not know in Cambodia. The only thing standing in the way of that anonymity are three former Luzon members trying to gain a social edge. I selfishly hope that Woo goes early, but he will probably be kept longer to keep a tribe strong.
|12. Vytas is a crafty man and everyone knows it. Whether that puts him in a good position or an awful one is what I’m interested in finding out.
|13. Joey Amazing has one of the biggest targets on his back out of the entire cast. Fan favorite, challenge beast, fake idol maker, and all around good guy, he has a lot going against him. There will be bigger fish to fry at the very start, but he’s got an uphill battle if he wants to make it deep.
|13. The two World Apart castaways are at a strict disadvantage solely because of their lack of time to bond with previous castaways. Joe runs the special risk of having his game be fresh in everyone’s mind. He needs to be able to quickly adapt to what will be a strategy heavy season.
|13. I expect Savage to take a leadership role rather quickly. This tends to go sour, as shooting the leader down early happens rather often, and the fact that Stephen Fishbach wants him out early doesn’t help either. But if he surrounds himself with the right people then he should be able to avoid early elimination.
|14. Kimmi is a pre-merge boot from an early season. She was annoying, brash, and confrontational, and it got her booted. She’s older and wiser now, but she still seems to have that old Krazy Kimmi spirit. She could be in trouble if she gets under people’s skin like she did the first time.
|14. Spencer’s game is not only recent, but memorable. Entering into an all returnee season, Spencer is very likely to be a big target. He needs to separate his previous game from his current one. I personally think that despite their personalities clashing a bit, Terry, Spencer, Shirin, and Peih Gee would make a formidable alliance.
|14. Stephen is incredibly well versed in Survivor strategy and a lot physically stronger than he lets on. I fear the image he’s built up for himself throughout the years as the nerdy know-it-all could come back to haunt him fairly early on with tribe-mates like Andrew Savage who want him out.
|15. Abi is going to bring her #spectacle to Second Chance, and while it will be highly entertaining to watch, I have a feeling she’s going to rub a lot of people the wrong way. She claims to have learned from her first experience, but I think she’s still got that fiery personality that might create issues.
|15. Vytas is one of those players that could have fallen just about anywhere on this list. He has a good mix of physical and social strength, but also has a lot of ties to other players. While I can easily see Vytas succeeding and going far, I feel like he is going to try and make alliances with everyone and eventually get burned for it.
|15. A lot of contestants want Joe out immediately. I expect his tribe to want to keep him around at least for the first few days… but I’m putting him down at 15 because I wouldn’t be surprised if a combination of the recency bias and over playing put him in hot water.
|16. He’s doomed. He’s got a similar resume to Joe, but unlike Joe, Spencer has 3 other people from his season competing with him. Even if they aren’t together, they’re still going to be seen as a foursome. Spencer is a good competitor, and a strategic mind, but I don’t see him reaching the merge in a season with so many competitive people.
|16. I want nothing more than Shirin to succeed, but being from the most recent season does not help her cause. She needs to embrace her second chance by being incredibly outgoing and making fast friends. If Shirin can manage to avoid the first few votes, she has the potential to sneak into the merge and quietly make her move.
|16. Ciera can go one of two ways: either she will blend in and remain innocuous for a good chunk of the season and slowly work her magic, or she’ll be targeted immediately. I don’t feel she’ll be able to lead any charges with the personalities surrounding her.
|17. What’s the first thing that everyone thinks of when they think of Ciera? She voted off her mom. They don’t think of her forcing the rock draw tie, or her masterful deception when it came to finding out if Katie had the hidden idol. She voted off her mom, and that means she cannot be trusted. She has a big target coming into this season.
|17. My recent rewatch of Cagayan opened my eyes to a different side of Tasha. Tasha was often overbearing and insistent on getting her way. In an individual setting, she relied on winning challenges in order to remain safe. Tasha needs to drastically change her game if she has any chance of succeeding in Cambodia.
|17. Spencer must be aware of the target on his back, but I’m not sure if Spencer realizes how big the target is. He is the youngest person in the game, his Cagayan showing was both memorable and impressive and, according to Jeff Varner, he holds himself very confidently (#crotchframing). If Spencer were blindsided at the first vote, I would not be surprised.
|18. Strategic mastermind Keith Nale… is something you will definitely not hear going into Survivor Second Chance. In his first time around he was completely lost in the game of Survivor, and I don’t think this time around is going to be much different. He could be out VERY early if he’s not willing to play the game like the others.
|18. Fishbach’s target is due to his status as a strategy blogger. He has never been removed from the Survivor spotlight. I truly wish that Stephen can move past that initial hurdle and succeed in Cambodia. He has an unexpected strength and obvious strategic prowess that make him a huge candidate to go the whole way.
|18. Abi-Maria is far too volatile and shortsighted to really succeed in her second chance. Spencer may be the better strategist and bigger threat in the long run, but as a player you know that. What you don’t know is what Abi is going to do when you trust her with information. If Ta Keo goes to Tribal first, my bet is on Abi being the first boot.
|19. He’s been labeled as a first boot candidate by many of his fellow cast members. It’s no surprise as to why they think this, as Vytas was seen as schmoozy, strategic, and a schemer. Combine that with his many possible connections to others on the cast, and his second chance might be cut VERY short.
|19. I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if Kass isn’t first boot on the Bayon tribe. She was the most overt pregamer and everyone knows that she is unpredictable. If the cards fall as they should, Kass will be walking out of Cambodia early.
|19. I get the feeling Bayon is going to Tribal first. This is based off nothing more than an estimation of challenge strength, but if Bayon goes to tribal, I can see them getting rid of Kimmi simply because she isn’t as fit as her tribe-mates.
|20. Going into Second Chance, Kass is going to be seen as untrustworthy, devious, and sneaky. Nobody wants to work with her, as evidenced by her being at the top of everyone’s first boot list. I think she’s going in knowing she’s screwed and she’s just going to enjoy the experience and cause chaos while she can, like Richard Hatch in All-Stars.
|20. Abi will likely rustle some feathers on her tribe. Ta Keo seems to possess a bit of the older, mature mentality that won’t receive Abi well. I see her clashing with people, trying to find a guy (probably Spencer) to latch on to, will befriend Vytas and then get voted out. I really want nothing more than to be wrong about Abi as first boot.
|20. Everyone – every single player – knows about “Chaos” Kass’ reputation by now. And unfortunately, Kass isn’t exactly an asset in physical challenges. Bluntly, Kass is an easy first boot for the tribe majority to agree on in nearly any arrangement of these players, and I don’t know if any amount of chaos can save her.
Agree? Disagree? Let Rob, Shawn, and Jacob know on Twitter. Also, let us know your own Power Rankings in the comments below.