Oh my goodness. This cast BLOWS! Okay it’s not that bad. But, given the pool of players that they were choosing from there are some huge missed opportunities in favour of some ridiculous choices. An important thing to note before I begin is that in this cast, there are two Season 33 contestants, one male and one female, who I will give you a warning before revealing. So if you do not want to know who they are, feel free to skip to the conclusion at that point in the article. The identities of the other eighteen castaways are all widely known however and here they are.
Andrea Boehlke – Redemption Island (5th), Caramoan (7th)
Thoughts: YES! She is amazing. An incredible strategist and so incredibly good looking too. She is one that could seriously make a humongous mark on this season and is one of just a few that actually has a chance to win. Andrea is a producer favourite. Let’s be honest with ourselves. However, she actually is a very good strategic and social player and there’s virtually no reason to ever get rid of her before the merge. I am definitely excited to see her back again and think that she is guaranteed to do well.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 2nd place.
Aubry Bracco – Kaoh Rong (2nd)
Thoughts: Absolutely love her. But with her season being so recent, will she have too much of a target on her back? She’s a known Survivor strategist and although there are bigger fish to fry at the start of the game, she could be in serious trouble come swap/merge time. Aubry Bracco for me is one of the greatest social players of all time and her strategic game is almost equally as excellent. Although certain circumstances caused her to lose Survivor Kaoh Rong, the way she played the game certainly warranted a return to the show. I am very excited to see Aubry Bracco back but am seriously worried for her chances going forward in this season.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 13th place.
Brad Culpepper – Blood vs. Water (15th)
Thoughts: Okay, we know CBS loves him, but do the fans? My personal opinion on Brad is that he’s alright and tolerable but not amazing. He was incredibly fun TV for four episodes and had a pretty epic boot episode but is that really enough to warrant a return? Hopefully he’s learned from his mistakes and can play a much cleaner game this time. Side note, if they were looking for Blood vs. Water players, why not Hayden Moss instead?
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 16th place.
Caleb Reynolds – Kaoh Rong (15th)
Thoughts: It’ll be good to have him back again. If him and Tai could reform their partnership it would be wonderful. At the same time, although Caleb is certainly entertaining, he’s not exactly cut out for the game from a strategic standpoint. It’ll be interesting to see how he does, I just hope he doesn’t hurt himself again! Judging by post-game interviews of Survivor Kaoh Rong, Caleb wasn’t willing to talk strategy in the first couple of days and in a returnee season, that just doesn’t fly. This is why I think he goes out early. I think Caleb doesn’t try hard enough to make bonds and is targeted as a result. If he can get the numbers on his side he’ll easily go to the merge but I just don’t see that happening.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 17th place.
Ciera Eastin – Blood vs. Water (5th), Cambodia (10th)
Thoughts: I love Ciera, but I just wonder if it’s too soon for her return. She just played in 2015 and she didn’t do amazingly well. Yes, she avoided tribal council until Day 16 and made a good move to eliminate Woo when she got there, but she was always on the bottom and didn’t really have that much wiggle room. The other players in the game just never seemed to fully trust Ciera and it was probably down to that massive past reputation she came into the game with. I have a feeling Ciera might suffer the same fate as she did in Survivor Cambodia and do even worse this time, particularly because I think she is a very easy person for others to get behind on an easy vote early on. That being said, she is highly entertaining, definitely fits the bill as a Game Changer and will certainly be fun to see back if she can stick around long enough to make an impact on the season.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 19th place.
Cirie Fields – Panama (4th), Micronesia (3rd), Heroes vs. Villains (17th)
Thoughts: I hope Cirie does well, I just don’t know if she’ll be able to. I have a feeling she’ll be targeted instantly like she was in Heroes vs. Villains. Cirie is a one of a kind mastermind strategist and there are a lot of other threats to get rid of early on this season, but I just really don’t know if she has what it takes to make it to the end again. I think she is another one that CBS and Survivor want back because they want her to win, but I just don’t ever see her winning. Even if she can make it far, she will always get taken out at final four or final three when she doesn’t win that last immunity challenge.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 14th place.
Debbie Wanner – Kaoh Rong (9th)
Thoughts: Debbie is awesome. She gives killer/ hilarious confessionals, and she has a pretty decent strategic awareness as well. I virtually see no way that Debbie doesn’t make it to at least the merge. I think she’ll always be used as a piece to the puzzle for other players and kind of get dragged along, maybe even all the way to the end. She’ll be really fun to see back again and her return comes as a pleasant surprise given how she said in every exit interview that she gave after Kaoh Rong that she would not return. Debbie will be a lot of fun to have back and I am excited to see how she plays a second time. In terms of her chances, I don’t think the mom of two has winner’s upside. She likely won’t be targeted early but her erratic behaviour will likely cause people to feel like she is too untrustworthy and vote her off the island sooner than she should be able to go.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 7th place.
Hali Ford – Worlds Apart (11th)
Thoughts: The majority of fans seem to love her but besides her being pretty is there any real reason why? Jeff Probst has certainly been one to objectify her in the past and I kind of have to wonder, as harsh as this sounds, if her looks are a central reason as to why she was brought back. Hali didn’t show much from a strategic standpoint in Worlds Apart at all and although she is very smart and oddly enough a dark horse to win, I really dont know why she should be given a chance to return instead of Natalie Bolton, Natalie Anderson, Danni Boatwright or Carolyn Rivera. Its kind of ridiculous to me if I’m honest, but at least she isn’t the most ridiculous returnee on this cast…so that’s something! She’s fine and she’ll either do well or extremely well. I am actually quite optimistic about her chances in the game and decently interested to see how well she can do, I just don’t know if I would have ever chosen her to return and I certainly don’t think she deserves to be on the season instead of her fellow Worlds Apart castaway Carolyn Rivera.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 4th place.
James “JT” Thomas – Tocantins (Winner), Heroes vs. Villains (10th)
Thoughts: I am seriously debating about whether to make him my early winner pick or not. JT won the game in such incredible fashion the first time and then in his second time he played a very good game right up until the point when he made that infamous bonehead of a move to give Russell his idol. I have a feeling he will be able to play exactly the same way that he did in Tocantins this time around and I don’t see him ever being targeted early on. If he is going to win it all comes down to whether or not he can go on an immunity run. Even if it is just winning the last two challenges, he has to do it to get to the end and win. I honestly think he can do it. Although I personally would have preferred Earl or Mike to get a second chance before JT was given his third, I am actually very excited about his return and have high hopes for him going into this season.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: Winner.
Jeff Varner – Australian Outback (10th), Cambodia (17th)
Thoughts: I love Jeff Varner but the only way I see him doing well is if the other players fall asleep for 39 days, which they certainly won’t. Jeff is probably going to be painted as a smarmy strategist and a liability in challenges right away and will likely be a pre-merge boot yet again. However, he is such fun TV and it really will be so enjoyable to see him back again. I just don’t know if he has what it takes to make it to the merge, let alone win the game.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 18th place.
Malcolm Freberg – Philippines (4th), Caramoan (9th)
Thoughts: Let’s face it Malcolm is a legend of this game and it will be so interesting to see how he does when he comes back and plays for a third time. Will he be able to pull out a win this time? I honestly don’t think so. I think he’ll be targeted right at the merge and that he’ll need to pull out some nifty idol moves, which we all know Malcolm is capable of, in order to survive. I also think that Malcolm is one of these players that is going to return to Survivor a handful of times before the show goes off air. He’s young, smart, entertaining and a real fan favourite. So, maybe this spot could have gone to a Natalie Bolton or an Earl Cole; someone who we’d never ever see back again. However, I am really excited to see Malcolm play this game again and even more excited to see how he changes his game this time.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 11th place.
Ozzy Lusth – Cook Islands (2nd), Micronesia (9th), South Pacific (4th)
Thoughts: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Ozzy Lusth is far too arrogant to ever win Survivor. I can’t understand why he deserves a fourth shot at the game when people like Natalie B and Natalie A, who have only played once and are amazing strategists and are amazing TV have been cut from the list. Judging from what I’ve seen, nobody even seems to be particularly happy about his return – that is among the online community. The casual fans will probably freak when they hear his name come out as being a cast member in eight months time. But the casual fan base only makes up a small percentage of people who watch this show. So why does CBS keep bringing him back? Cause they want him to win, which is ridiculous because no matter how many times he plays, he will never win. I really hope this is the last time he plays.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 8th place.
Sandra Diaz-Twine – Pearl Islands (Winner), Heroes vs. Villains (Winner)
Thoughts: For both Sandra and Tony, this season will either be a real test to their abilities as players, or will be one to forget as they become early boots due to their historic reputation. As the only ever two-time winner of the game, Sandra is bound to be instantly targeted and might be the most obvious choice to go home first if her team loses immunity. However, who wouldn’t want to take a multi-millionaire to the end? Sandra certainly has some game left in her and if she isn’t one of the first voted out it will be incredibly fun to see her back on the show again! I just really do not have high hopes for her going into this season but I am really excited to see a Sandra and Tony alliance and am crossing my fingers that one happens.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 20th place.
Sarah Lacina – Cagayan (11th)
Thoughts: I really don’t think Sarah Lacina has what it takes to be a good Survivor player. She didn’t really do anything from a strategic standpoint in Cagayan and it isn’t like she was really that entertaining either. Her return is a bit puzzling, perhaps even baffling, given how many solid players were cut in her place. Perhaps the reason she has been given a chance to return was because of all the drama that occurred with her and fellow Game Changer Tony Vlachos during and after Survivor Cagayan. I am really not excited to see her play again but I am certainly ready to be proven wrong! Maybe she does have what it takes! I don’t think so though and I see her being a boring early boot.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 12th place.
Sierra Thomas – Worlds Apart (5th)
Thoughts: What the bleep? Where did this come from? Sierra wasn’t even on the casting shortlist! So how did she get cast? What on earth did Sierra do to deserve a return and why is she returning instead of Carolyn Rivera? Seriously, why is Carolyn not returning and why has Sierra taken her place? Carolyn was one of a few older women in Survivor history to actually do well and might just be one of the best contestants from recent seasons. Sierra on the other hand did absolutely nothing in Worlds Apart and despite her 5th place finish, she was nowhere near winning that game. The bad part is that she’ll probably do equally well or possibly even better in her second time because who is going to come after her? She is probably the one person on this cast who absolutely did not change the game. Even with Caleb you can say at the very least that his medical evacuation in Kaoh Rong changed quite a bit for the Beauty tribe. But Sierra did nothing. On the bright side, the moment I saw the name Sierra, I thought it was Sierra Reid from Tocantins and nearly lost my mind. Thankfully, it was Sierra Thomas (which isn’t even that big of a step up). But UGH! I can’t believe she got cast over Carolyn and I’ll be annoyed when she goes farther than several savvier players.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 3rd place.
Tai Trang – Kaoh Rong (3rd)
Thoughts: Tai is a very unique player because nobody ever wants to take him out despite him being decently threatening. If Tai can make it to the merge he can go all the way to the end again. However, I do see two possible ways that he is targeted early. The first is if him and Aubry are on the same tribe. That could be devastating to both of their games due to the fact that they worked so closely together in Kaoh Rong. The other way he gets targeted early is if he starts looking for that immunity idol early on again and the other contestants turn that into a reason to vote him out. Tai just needs to sit back, not make any waves and remain likable if he is going to win. However, I think he is unlikely to do that and as a result I see him ending up worse off than he did the first time around despite being an incredibly likable figure. He will be immensely entertaining to see again.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 5th place.
Troy “Troyzan” Robertson – One World (8th)
Thoughts: I have a really good feeling about Troyzan doing well, I just don’t know how well and I don’t think he could win. He is a super smart guy and he definitely deserved his chance to return, I just don’t think he is anyone’s favourite player and I seriously wonder if Marty Piombo would have been a better choice in this slot. Nonetheless, Troyzan will be interesting to see back and with no real standout Kim Spradlin type player on this cast to get in his way, he could do seriously well. But, the most likely scenario I see for him is getting voted out right around where he did the last time.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 9th place.
Tony Vlachos – Cagayan (Winner)
Thoughts: Oh man. I love Tony and think he is a “top five baby” all time player. But I always said that if Tony were to return to Survivor that he would be the first one out. Now that his return is imminent, I am seriously interested to see how he does and actually don’t think he will be first one out. Although I think that Tony has no shot at winning, I can’t wait to see him try and I know he’ll do everything in his power to make it happen. I’m going to make a bold prediction here and say that Tony finds the idol on the very first day and possibly uses it to avoid being the first one voted off. I really think that the target on Tony’s back is going to be far too big for him to get around and that he will be in trouble very early on but for some reason I am slightly more optimistic over his chances than others. He will be amazing to see back and hopefully this isn’t the last we see of Tony.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 11th place.
Season 33 Male and Female: Only Scroll Down If Willing To See Names
Michaela Bradshaw – Millennials vs. Gen X (14th)
Thoughts: The explosive Michaela Bradshaw is back for her second season in a row. She was obviously highly entertaining her first time around but now in a returnee season, with no one having seen her play it will be amazing to watch how the others will cope with her explosive personality as no one will know what to make of her. Two of Michaela’s biggest problems in Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X were that she couldn’t keep her mouth shut and she was thinking too far ahead in the grand scheme of the game. One would like to hope that Michaela would learn from her mistakes in Millennials vs. Gen X but I think that these traits are just far too rooted within her personality and are things that she just cannot change. Coming into this season as a Game Changer might actually be a bad thing for Michaela as she is immediately going to come across as rash and uncontrollable if her erratic behaviour in challenges continues. I do worry that she could be an early boot but in terms of her being cast on this season of Survivor, it was an excellent decision for her to be cast on Millennials vs. Gen X and she will certainly be a very interesting character to keep an eye on in Survivor 34. However, I really worry about her chances and feel as though she could be a very early boot.The one thing that she definitely has going for her in the pre-merge part of the game is how good she is at challenges. Hopefully that can propell her to the merge at the very least.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 15th place.
Zeke Smith – Millennials vs. Gen X (Ongoing)
Thoughts: Although I probably would have liked to see other castaways back for a second time from Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X such as David Wright or Adam Klein, Zeke Smith was a very entertaining figure from the latest season of Survivor. But here’s what I want to know. Is Zeke on Survivor 34 because he is a Game Changer or is Zeke on this season because he will be a recognizable face to fans that only came to the show recently? I think that the latter is the likelier reason and even though I am happy that Zeke is back, there are probably fifty or sixty other contestants from seasons past that I would rather see again. However I do believe that Zeke has tremendous potential to go far on a returning season. He was an incredibly savvy social player and had he not made that one mistake in voting out Chris he might have been on a path to victory. Although Zeke might not be your typical Game Changer, his ability to win allies, connect with people from all walks off life instantaneously and immediately earn their trust is a Game Changer in itself. Zeke is very likable, adaptable and can fit in regardless of the situation he finds himself in. I definitely think he will go far in Survivor 34, especially with no one having seen the way he’s played in Survivor 33. Zeke will just lay back, fit in and not make any waves until necessary. His return to Survivor despite only one season after appearing on the show for the first time is certainly a welcomed one and I think he will be a massive character in this upcoming season.
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 6th place.
Early Bird Predictions
1st JT Thomas
2nd Andrea Boehlke
3rd Sierra Dawn Thomas
4th Hali Ford
5th Tai Trang
6th Zeke Smith
7th Debbie Wanner
8th Ozzy Lusth
9th Troyzan Robertson
10th Malcolm Freberg
11th Tony Vlachos
12th Sarah Lacina
13th Aubry Bracco
14th Cirie Fields
15th Michaela Bradshaw
16th Brad Culpepper
17th Caleb Reynolds
18th Jeff Varner
19th Ciera Eastin
20th Sandra Diaz-Twine
My overall assessment of this cast is that after analyzing it, I like it a lot more. I’m still disappointed about Ozzy, Sarah and Sierra getting cast instead of people like Natalie B., Natalie A., Mike, Danni, Earl, and Marty, but I’ll live. Natalie Anderson was the one I most wanted to get on and she’ll be back some day for sure. According to Inside Survivor, Natalie Anderson was supposed to be on the season but was cut/dropped out last-minute and was replaced by Sierra. It still baffles me that Sierra was the woman they chose out of all the possible choices out there (check out Survivor 34 Missed Opportunities), but hey, what can you do? One thing that really excites me about this cast is that I see no standout person that could win. Natalie Anderson would have been the one I would have gone with had she made the final cast but now that she hasn’t I really have no idea who is going to win this season and the boot order I have written down right now could be wrong on so many different levels. I think overall what disappoints me most about this cast is that besides Tony, Aubry, Jeff and Andrea, the people I most wanted to see back again didn’t get on the season while too many players that did not deserve to get another shot made the final cut. Overall, I’ll be excited for this season but nowhere near as much as I was for Season 31, Second Chance, and I have a feeling that this could end up being a sub-par season.
So there it is! The cast for Survivor Season 34 with my thoughts attached. What do you think? Don’t be hesitant to let me know below!