Survivor: Game Changers – Preseason Rankings (15th-11th)

The Adrenalist Writer continues Survivor: Game Changers Pre-Season Ranking, listing the players of Game Changers based on how they changed the game in their previous seasons.

Seventeen years ago, we were introduced to a reality TV show that most would consider a game changer for television. The show unquestionably endured and is still standing, but what made Survivor the show that it is are the wide variety of contestants which come to play for every season.

In every season of Survivor, we see people establish archetypes, factions, and different strategies that would give them the million. From over the top performances to under the radar gameplays, we see players break the mold and it helped the game evolve through the years making Survivor one of the most unpredictable shows on television.

For its 34th season, in honor of all the people who were willing to make big moves and sacrifices to change the game, Survivor brought together the players who changed the game and have potential to change the game to compete for the title of Sole Survivor.

With the cast finally revealed by CBS, I will be ranking the players of Game Changers based on how I think they changed the game in their previous seasons. Last week, the 20th to 16th spots have been filled; this week, I will be picking up where I left off and list the contestants who made it to the 11th to 15th spots.

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Survivor Contestant Debbie Wanner (Courtesy of CBS)
15. Debbie Wanner

Kaoh Rong (9th Place)

I was surprised to see Debbie back for this season, because while it’s understandable that recent players will eventually get the chance to come back, I feel like there were more people from his season who were more deserving to return over her such as Cydney Gillon, Neal Gottlieb, and Michele Fitzgerald. If you look at her moves though, she managed to change some of the votes during her season, especially on their first tribal where she seemed to have been in control of everything. She was immediately blindsided at the merge for her unpredictability. But whatever, her ever-changing job titles are game changing enough. LOL.

Being the person that she is, Game Changers is going to give Debbie a huge chance to use her kooky personality to her advantage. If she doesn’t rub people the wrong way, they’re going to want to take her to the end, because I don’t think nobody would give Debbie the million dollars and the title of Sole Survivor in a season subtitled Game Changers. People will go into this game underestimating Debbie for being “crazy” but she has proven in her previous one that she’s unpredictable. I don’t want to compare her to Secret Agent Phillip, but that guy made it to the end the first time, and made it to the jury the second time he played.

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Survivor Contestant Tai Trang (Courtesy of CBS)
14. Tai Trang

Kaoh Rong (2nd Runner-Up)

Tai was presented with a lot of opportunities in Kaoh Rong where he could have changed the game, and it’s evident that he’s playing really hard when he, a nature-loving guy who talks about taking care of plants and animals, pulled out a small tree from the soil while he was searching for an idol. The super idol could have changed the game entirely had he played it for Scot, but he decided not to, and he was never able to use it after that. He also had an extra vote as ammunition, but he used it irresponsibly when he decided to use it on Michele. A seasoned flipper, Tai managed to work his way to the end when he found an ally in Aubry, changing the game for her, and for the remaining Brawns who boastfully played a flashy game.

The language barrier is going to be a big problem for Tai, and coming into Game Changers, it could either help him or destroy his chances of winning again. Knowing what happened in Kaoh Rong, people are going to want to take Tai to the end for his inability to make a strong argument about the kind of game he played, but if he plays recklessly, that would make people want to get rid of him so he won’t be able to mess up his competitors’ games.

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Survivor Contestant Michaela Bradshaw (Courtesy of CBS)
13. Michaela Bradshaw

Millennials vs. Gen X (14th Place)

Before people would argue that Michaele is too low on this list, I would like to say that, in fact, she’s too high up. Equipped with great physical strength, Michaela played too hard early on, revealing how perceptive and great of a strategist that she is with her rocks and seashells strategy with the thought that telling people what her game plan is would make people trust her. A person who’s not afraid to make big moves, and change a decision really quick, it may have seemed like Michaele would go too far, but her time in the game was cut short.  It was Jay’s move that changed Millennials vs. Gen X when he decided to get rid of a power player like Michaela, but the fact that her elimination changed the game for everyone is reason enough for her to be considered an all-star.

Michaela was in a season where the females were obliterated early on, and she’s going to always put that thought in her head to keep the women alive in this season. I have a feeling that she’s going to stick with women, no matter what, and I think this will really help her make it deep into the game along with other women. With her physical and strategic abilities, Michaela definitely has what it takes, but she needs to soften up and try to improve on her social game so she could dance her way to the end, and make a strong argument to give her the title of Sole Survivor.

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Survivor Contestant Zeke Smith (Courtesy of CBS)
12. Zeke Smith

Millennials vs. Gen X (9th Place)

One of the great strategists of Millennials vs. Gen X, Zeke managed to make it deep into the game with great social bonds with his pleasing personality. Zeke led the Vinaka alliance that consisted of Jay, Will, Sunday, and Bret. He managed to make people go to rocks for him when the votes were tied between him and Hannah. They had their lead after this tribal, but Will reneged from the alliance blindsiding Zeke. His elimination, along with Will’s decision to flip, started the downfall of the alliance changing the outcome of the game where the leading alliance was decimated by those who were initially on the outs.

Being a player that the other competitors haven’t seen play is a double-edged sword, because they could either trust him or cut him off immediately. I have heard rumors that there will be issues with Zeke’s sexuality being brought up this season, and if that’s going to be a big factor in his elimination, it’s going to be really unfortunate. Zeke’s social ability will be put to the test, because there’s a huge difference between forming social bonds with newbies and with veterans. If he’s going to be his awkward, skeptic, uncertain self, and if he’s going to play the way he played in his previous season, his chances of making it to the end are really low.

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Survivor Contestant Troyzan Robertson (Courtesy of CBS)
11. Troyzan Robertson

One World (8th Place)

“THIS IS MY ISLAND!” Those four words immortalized Troyzan’s legacy in Survivor as he attempted to desperately change the game for him in One World. Being unfortunately pitted against an all-female alliance led by Kim Spradlin, he was trying to convince everyone about Kim’s dominance, but failed to get his point across because of the way he communicated. Troyzan was the only person to play a hidden immunity idol during his season, he is undoubtedly the strongest male competitor, and provided entertainment and great moments that made him worthy to return.

Being a strong physical player, there is a huge chance that the game changers will be keeping Troyzan until the merge, but the realization will hit them hard when they find out that he could easily breeze through the post-merge duration of the game. Troyzan can definitely get to the end just by winning individual immunity, and if he learned from his experience in One World, he’s going to have to watch the way he talks and deals to people if he wants to form great social bonds that could give him the title and the million dollars that goes along with it.

NEXT WEEK: The third part of the rankings where I will be revealing the players who make up the 10th to 6th spot.


Every Tuesday, I’ll be posting Top Lists about a wide variety of topics. Got any suggestions? Click here.

Header Image: CBS

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