**This was typed out a few hours before Opening Day.**
SCWL 4 CAST ASSESSMENT
Is it time already for me to do another one of these things? In about six hours this game will kick off with Opening Day.
Before I head into specific contestants, I’ll say generally that there is one way to sum up this cast: Awesome. Thanks to much recruiting from the past winners of this series, I think this is the strongest and most active cast we have assembled.
This is a complete 180 from last season. Last season we had two quitters, one grounded, one ejected, one playing in two out of the last ten challenges, and end-game players who only sent in one or two confessionals the whole game.
If I had to predict I will say none of the above will occur in this game. In less than two days the number of players to send in confessionals already exceeds the number of people who sent in confessionals last season in the post-merge phase. Truly phenomenal. Plus I’m at school rather than work, which means I can check in on things more frequently despite being far busier. When I was working during season 3, I had more availability, but it was all in a streak rather than mini spurts over a 24 hour period. So quick responses will be easier this season.
Another big thing to notice is that there are virtually zero newbies. However, not too many of these players are major veterans. So it probably regresses between seasons 1 and 3 in terms of player experience. It won’t be like season 2 where newbies finish in six of the top eight positions. Sorry.
He expressed interest in season 3, but came to me too late. This season he was the first applicant. However, he withdrew that application in hopes of making himself available for SurviveWar All Stars. About one week before the game he changed his mind and re-instated his application.
My hope for Vincent is that he has both feet firmly planted into this game. I think they are, but Vincent could be indecisive and not be really sure what he wants to do in this game. I could see it backfiring in terms of alliances. Something tells me Vincent won’t excel in this group. It’s too competitive. Too high of calibur. Look for Vincent to be a late pre-merge boot.
Anne. . .I’m a bit surprised she signed up, to be completely honest. She is perhaps one of the more complicated people in this game. I know Anne is a religious person and stands by it firmly. I’m curious if she strictly aligns herself with those who share the same beliefs as her, or if she will go above and beyond and develop a working relationship with each person in this game.
I haven’t observed Anne too much in ORGs, but my impression is that she follows someone in a very loyal manner. That person likely has stronger allies, and when it comes to Final Four or five, I see Anne being cut loose. I personally don’t see Anne winning this game, but I’m hoping she proves me wrong.
Much like David Racine, Heeral won her first ORG that she played. She led a newbies alliance much in the same manner that David did sans Noah.
In these past few months, Heeral’s activity in the ORG world probably exceeds that of KJ. Her name is everywhere, and she has done so well that she is stuck being voted out first many times. All simply due to reputation and how much she stands out.
I don’t think Heeral will be first out. The field is too competitive to have anyone specifically be branded as the biggest threat. It’s a similar mood to Heroes vs. Villains where there is a sea of threats. As Helio Gracie said in the early days of MMA, everyone is the same size in the swimming pool. Terrible expression, but I think this can be applied to Heeral. The only way Heeral goes home first is if she fails to adapt. Plain and simple.
If memory serves me correct, he was the last one to finish qualifying to make it into the cast. Those who are last to do qualifying don’t typically do too well in this game. With very little information to go on, I’ll say Luke is the first one I predict who will not win. On the flip side, I think he will be like Ryan Flynn or Marcelo where he can fly under the radar to be the Last of the Mohicans in an alliance that goes into the merge in the minority. In the majority, there is a strong possibility he finishes third.
One of the names that isn’t really associated with many of the people in this cast. Yet I believe Jason has more Survivor wins than anybody in this cast. Believe it or not, I’ve been hunting down Jason to play since season two. I finally picked him up for this season with the help of Kim. So here he sits.
I’m not sure how Jason will fare with this group. He’s a big question mark for me. Jason is a quiet strategist. That leads people to keep their eye on him due to pure suspicion that he must be up to something. In the past, I usually see Jason go within the first few rounds because he spearheads an alliance and an alliance on the opposing side targets him. I know so because I allied with him and the same situation occurred. Luckily I fended for myself and let Jason be the sacrifical lamb.
What am I blabberin’ about? Oh yeah. Jason is mysterious. From my perspective, he should try to stick with an alliance, be brutally honest to the opposite side, and let himself be a prime person take to the Final Two. At the end he can talk his game up a bit more, and a jury will respect a sneaky brutal game played by Jason as opposed to if others pulled it off. For instance, if a bright and bubly person like Neleh Dennis plays a sneaky game, nobody votes for her because they’ll assume she is fake. But if it’s Vecepia, everyone will feel it is the true you and that the jury themselves feel like they should have known better because it’s been your modus operandi all along.
Jason will be either in the bottom four or the top four. I don’t sense middle ground from him.
I could be thinking about somebody else, but for some reason I thought he is known for a relatively off the wall personality. Maybe he’ll be eighth or ninth? Out near the beginning? Something tells me Brian won’t be as immersed as others, or catch on to all the various relationships within this game that it will be impossible for him to advance to that crucial end-game. I will not be surprised if Brian is first out like Jim Read, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he scrapes his way into the jury.
Umut was the replacement player who should have replaced Nick last season. He applied the day applications closed, and since eighteen qualified, he was on the waiting list. Nick quit so early that I almost wanted to bring in Umut as a replacement to salvage the incident. Unfortunately, you can’t do that on Survivor. It’s why we have Melissa McNulty in Survivor history.
I’m stoked we have Umut now. He was likely the only person who could have fully put a stop to Kim last season. That showdown didn’t happen, but luckily we have him here. He will have more fun regardless because this is a more competitve group, granted far more familiar faces for him. I see Umut being his usual aggressive self. Perhaps the biggest villain of the season. The guy never plays a quiet game until the end when the jury disregards him half the time. However, his strategy does earn him the odd win.
The fact this series will ALWAYS (ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS) have a Final Two will help Umut. He only needs to find one person who will be more hated than him rather than two. It’s what destroyed him in a game where I won immunity for the last three rounds in a row and Umut was stuck with me at Final Three. Umut will never live that one down. 🙂
I won’t say Umut has the highest odds of anyone to win this game, but I think he has the highest odds of anyone to be in the Final Two. I’m curious to see how Umut plays from a hosting perspective rather than as a fellow competitor. He has a tendency to make some unorthodox aggressive moves in a Shyam sense.
She likes cookies.
At least that joke will still be fresh when these blogs are posted (the Cookies TC was in the most recent episode of Survivor: Philippines).
Angie. . .I don’t know. She seems to be fairly sharp with the game and will be active. Much of this game will rely being picked to be on the stronger tribe, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Angie is a beneficiary of that. However, if she’s picked to be on the losing tribe, she’ll be gone quickly. I don’t think she is the type who can rally being down 8-3 or 7-4 to take back the game and earn the W.
If her tribe wins more challenges than the other, she’ll be Final Four. If her tribe loses more challenges than the other, I guarantee she’ll be booted pre-merge.
I’ve only played one ORG since September of 2011. In that ORG my closest ally was Renee. We blindsided a bunch of people. How did we do it? Renee had a ton of working relationships. She’ll talk to anyone and everyone to get what she wants. Where Renee needs to improve and why she lost that game is because she trusted her day 1 partner too much. I didn’t make an alliance with her until after the merge, and the only thing stopping us from being Final Two is because she was too loyal to her original ally who displayed many signs that he would not stay intact.
If Renee gets caught with her hand in Angie Layton’s cookie jar, she won’t be able to squirm out of it. On the other hand, if Renee positions herself between the most oblivious sides, I sense her being very powerful in this game. She could have what it takes to win this game and have a dominant performance. I’d be stoked for a Renee victory because I sense how it will be done, but I won’t be surprised if she overplays her hand.
She won’t be first out. Wherever she finishes will be on her own terms like Matt Stairs going down swinging in baseball.
He won his first three ORGs in a row on Facebook. Let that sink in. Three consecutive victories. Like Bob Dawg, he was first in everything he did. The thing is that his strategy didn’t seem too elaborate. Stick to a loyal group, do well in challenges, keep ’em loyal, maintain your initial Final Two deal, win the game. That’s how we do it up in the Hood.
As you can likely guess, by around ORG 4 or 5, Matt Hood was on everyone’s radar. Nobody was going to let him touch victory. I have a feeling we could see the same thing here.
However, Matt sent me an interesting confessional. He tells me he intends to have a game that incorporates a lot more deception than what he is accustomed to implementing. I’m curious if that will send Matt home quicker because everyone will be talking to each other and keep tabs on this ORG champion, or if everyone assumes he is trustworthy and think they are free to dump him at 5 or 6 only to find out Matt has contingency plans like he’s Stephen Saunders or Victor Drazen.
Strong candidate to be out early, though.
If I had 100 points to distribute who I thought would be first voted out, Ryan would receive about 75 of those points from me. He talked about backstabbing everyone in his application and proclaiming they will be his puppets. What this tells me is that Ryan will be caught very early in this group of highly skilled players. The guy needs to fade into the background as the titans battle it out. Unfortunately, I’m afraid Huckla will set himself up to be someone who the titans can’t invest any faith in him and send him packing. Right out of the gate.
Again, if I had 100 points to distribute who I thought would not win this game, Mark would receive 99 of those points from me. He was the absolute first to apply, but one of the last to do the questionnaire. That is a big gap from when you were in a Survivor mood to when the game commences. As Opening Day is hours away, Mark has sent me messages over the past couple days and posted in the main group that will come off pessimistic to the other contestants. I have not observed him syncing well with this group. In fact multiple players have already sent in confessionals that detail Mark not being the easiest to talk to. If there is anyone who I would guess finishes 12th, 13th, or 14thish range, this is the most probable area for Mark to finish.
He rallied to win SurviveWar. An ORG hero. I talked to Gerome pre-game, and he comes off very likeable. Gerome will go far into this game. My Spider senses indicate he will be targeted once we are down to five or six, but luckily he is capable of winning immunity to get himself into the Final Two. He is friendly, personable, and active. I doubt he could falter socially which is crucial pre-merge. If villains like you on a personal level, they are willing to grant you a reprieve over their despised enemies. Gerome will make top seven without many bumps, but after that he needs to start scrambling. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if the knives will be thrusted into his ribs unconditionally at that point.
I was just researching Andrew’s age because I could’ve sworn he was sixteen. I was going to write about he is the youngest contestant this season, blah blah blah, young people never do well in this series, blah blah blah. Turns out Andrew is 25. In most seasons being 25 would place you as the top six contestants for highest age, but this season it easily puts you in bottom nine. If I recall, we have three 19 year olds, a couple 20 year olds, one 21 year old, and then maybe the odd one or two who are 23. There goes what I was going to say for this write-up.
I’ll be honest. I know zilch regarding Andrew. I’m re-reading his app to get a read from him. He’s a friend of Lister’s it says here. Andrew appears to be very picky with his ORGs like I am. Hmmmm. Upon reading it, I feel like we could see a very Earl Cole-like game from him. He seems very straightforward in his answers, does well at elaborating, and therefore will be able to create relationships. I think he gets it. Andrew is a strong contender for the end-game.
Of course this is off of little information.
Super duper talkative. Nobody else in this game talked to me more pre-season than Angie. In fact, Angie was very close to applying for my game, but if I read between the lines, she was committed to one of Brett Bower’s games. I assumed so anyway because I nearly played in that myself. She kept teasing me that she may or may not apply. A few days before this game started, she sent in her app.
She was nominated for Best Confessionalist alongside Lister for season 2 of my series, and I can understand why she was nominated. Three confessionals sent in before Opening Day has occurred. It will be a travesty if she does not make the merge. Her tribe will need to be Ulong’d or Supa’d for her not to make merge.
Will she win? Nah. Her threat level will be too high once we are at the nitty gritty of the game. However, Macneil will be virtually unopposed to making the jury phase. She’s going to need a heck of a game to advance beyond that point.
She signed up with Clayton Spivey. Something tells me her and Anne could easily follow around Clayton to the end of the game. However, I don’t think Clayton will have that easy of a time. If I were any of the others who are apart of the PoS group, I’d sniff out that Clayton will have a couple of his fans in this game. If this is discovered, a tribe may find Clayton too valuable to eliminate and will settle for ousting Jessica. I could be wrong and Jessica may not associate with Clayton whatsoever, but I’d bet she does. She’ll either sink with the ship or swim with it. Her and Clayton need to start spinning people’s in circles to cover up this coalition. They need to be proactive because my guess is that people will have their eyes on Clayton and Co. from day one. The option of fading and letting conflict arise cannot occur because Clayton will be viewed as a titan.
Wherever Jessica finishes, it will be within two rounds of where Clayton finishes. That’s my prediction.
In terms of offbeat ORG Survivor series, the triad would likely be myself, Mervin and Karl, then Clayton to round out the list. I don’t know why Clayton’s series couldn’t get applications in the past, but eh, it happens.
My first interaction with Clayton was when season one alumni Scott Grensted and Survivor: Nicaragua contestant Shannon Elkins held a trivia contest to win an Elkins autograph in the weeks leading up to Nicaragua’s airing. I aced the trivia quiz and Clayton finished a few points behind me. So Clayton is fairly high up there in terms of his Survivor fandom. Not as much as me though. 😛
But seriously, Clayton and I are on different ends of the spectrum for how we view Survivor, I believe. I think politically we’re pretty far apart too. Luckily American political beliefs don’t (and shouldn’t) enter Survivor, and the only politics that matter are the types that let you foster relationships with other ORG players and allow yourself to do what is necessary to be in the winner’s circle. I think Clayton must have a gameplan otherwise he wouldn’t have applied. I believe I tried rounding up Clayton for seasons two and three, but he was too busy. Hopefully his schedule is indeed freed up. If that’s the case, Clayton will be playing this game very hard. Much like Renee, I wouldn’t be shocked if Clayton is booted for overplaying his hand. I’m curious how long Clayton will be dormant before he starts making his moves. Because it will happen. It’s only a matter of when.
RAZ VAN DAN
**I should note that this was done before I knew there were multiple Dragus. I essentially mixed up Raz with Andrei. So pretty much what you see below is what I would’ve put for Andrei. And I should also note that I was a fringe observer of what happened in the situation, so I didn’t have all of the facts at the time.**
I don’t know what to make of this guy. He fights with others, people like him, people hate him, he has been ejected for disorderly conduct, but he has also won for his own efforts.
So how do I predict someone like that? He’s only been announced as a cast member for a little over 24 hours and he’s already on my case. I have a feeling it will be a long road with Raz from a hosting perspective this season. I imagine he is going to squeeze me for every advantage possible. Too bad that ain’t gonna happen.
15: ANGIE HANCOCK