It’s a star-studded cast that includes previous winners like Tony, JT and Sandra; eye-catching finalists like Aubry and Tai; villains like Brad and Ciera and heroes like Ozzy and Cirie. But who are the favourites to win this highly-anticipated 34th season of Survivor? Below are six names who have every shot.
Sandra likely has the greatest odds out of the entire cast to be voted out first, but she also has tremendous odds to win it all for a third time. What impressed me most about Sandra’s pre-game video was a reminder of just how persuasive she is when she speaks. The winner of Survivor Pearl Islands and Survivor Heroes vs. Villains can easily have anyone she wants wrapped around her finger and her “anybody but me” strategy should work to perfection in an All Star season where everyone is usually so gung-ho about eliminating big threats early on.
In her video she also outlines a plan that would suit her game well: aligning with the alpha males, who may need extra protection, and helping them get to day 39. Maybe no one would vote for her to win a third time but knowing Sandra, she could probably make it happen. If Sandra can survive the first couple of votes and especially if she make it to the merge, she will easily wreak havoc, fly under the radar and have an amazing shot at winning the million dollars for a third time.
In her pregame video, Sierra claimed that this time around she’s not afraid to make big moves and take risks. However, Sierra is so subtle in her gameplay that it is very likely that she will be able to go under the radar regardless of the moves that she makes. This makes her a very intriguing option for a pre-season winner pick.
I do however have two major worries for Sierra: a) Is she savvy enough to make it past the final five/final six when everyone around her is fighting for control? and b) can she get enough votes to win the game if she makes it there. Regarding the first point, she’ll probably have to hide how good of a game she is playing at that point to make it past the final five/final six. When it became apparent how many connections she had in Worlds Apart, she was instantly eliminated in 5th place. But meanwhile a problem will arise if she does indeed hide how good of a game she is playing which will become her inability to collect the votes. If she can negotiate those two things, Sierra will definitely be a dangerous person to watch out for in this game.
Ozzy is obviously egotistical and in his previous seasons often lacked in the social department, but he still came so desperately close to winning the game on two ocassions that you can’t discount his efforts. He did in fact have a much improved social game in Survivor South Pacific and due to the sheer amount of times that he’s played this game now he must have figured out one or two tricks to use to his advantage this time around.
Beyond that, he’s coming into this game now without being perceived as too much of a threat while also coming into it with a reputation as being a loyal, standup guy who people are probably going to want to work with. Should people understimate Ozzy he will easily go far, especially with his ability in challenges. The hardest part for him will be similar to Joe Anglim in Survivor Cambodia, where if he loses a challenge, how is he going to survive? If he can make enough friends and win over enough allies in the beginning that might not actually be too much of an issue. Ozzy might be a longshot to win Survivor 34 but you can’t possibly count him out.
A talented Survivor player of the highest order, Malcolm comes into this season as one of the most capable strategists without being one of the biggest initial targets. Malcolm is incredibly intelligent and knows how to navigate this game in a way that works for him. There’s almost no chance he goes home before the merge and on top of that as he outlines in his video he’s ‘charming as hell’ and can easily persuade people on to his side.
In his pre-game video, Malcolm claimed that he would like to team-up with a similar sort of person to Denise again and noted Debbie as that possible person. They are on different tribes to start so this might be a long-shot but it does highlight Malcolm’s knowledge of the game and his self-awareness, knowing exactly what worked so well for him the first time around. If he can just avoid being targeted between the final eight and final six and assume a relatively high amount of control of the game, Malcolm will definitely have a high chance of winning this game.
Andrea hasn’t been able to see when her blindside was coming either time she played but she’s still a very capable player. Andrea has the luxury of being one of the smartest female players on the island without being perceived to be overly strategic or too much of a threat by any single person on the cast.
Moreover, being one of the hosts of People Now may also give her an advantage as she has had a variety of experiences communicating with a variety of different people. It’s also the type of job where you have to think quickly on your feet and try and connect with the person you are interviewing, something that will definitely come in handy for her in her everyday conversations on the island. Andrea will have to find some way to be in the know at all times so she can avoid being blindsided for a third time but she may have Sandra-upside as there’s every chance she’ll make it far and there’s every chance that there’s always going to be a bigger target than her.
James ‘JT’ Thomas
I spoke about how Ozzy might be able to fly under the radar a little bit more than others this season and JT might be able to do so to an even greater extent. People still perceive JT as a really likable guy who won’t stab them in the back even though in reality, he lied and backstabbed as much as anyone in both of his two seasons (minus Russell in Heroes vs. Villains of course).
JT is also very fortunate that the extremely inglorious circumstance that he went out the last time in Heroes vs. Villains has led people to forget about how incredible of a game he played in Survivor Tocantins. JT might be able to fly under the radar and even though the last time he played was fourteen seasons ago, he probably will still have the strategic chops to make it all the way to the end.
So there it is! Six of the favourites to win Survivor 34: Game Changers. Do you agree or disagree? Comment below to share your thoughts or vote in our poll to the right to share your winner pick. Also check out more great articles like a full cast assessment -> SPOILER ALERT: Survivor Season 34 Cast, and some castaways that the Survivor gods missed out on for this season – Survivor 34 Game Changers Missed Opportunities.
Hope you enjoyed it, don’t forget to vote in our poll to the right and we’ll see you next time!