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 15th to 11th spots have been filled; this week, I will be picking up where I left off and list the contestants who made it to the 10th to 6th spots.
10. Sarah Lacina
Cagayan (11th Place)
Playing in a season where personalities like Chaos Kass and Tony were present, Sarah didn’t really have a lot of time in the spotlight, and because of that, some viewers are confused as to why she is in Game Changers, and curious as to what game changing event she caused in Cagayan. Being a perceptive player, Sarah was the lone brawn member in the post-swap Aparri but she managed to align herself with the right people. She was, however, the victim of one of the craziest tribal councils in Survivor history where two idols were played for the wrong people, and just when we all thought that things would go right for her, Kass flipped. Being presented with the most powerful position in the episode where she was voted out, Sarah let that get into her head making Kass release her chaos magic.
Possibly learning from her previous mistakes, and not having to deal with Chaos Kass, Sarah will potentially get through Game Changers with ease. Being thrown in a game where there are winners, alphas, and great strategists, she could be invisible as the target will never be on her. Pre-merge, she’s strong enough so her tribemates wouldn’t want to vote her out and post-merge, there are other potentially stronger castaways to get rid of. That invisibility, with the use of her social skills, she could formulate a great overall game that would give her the title and the million dollars if she makes it to the end.
9. Malcolm Freberg
Philippines (4th Place); Caramoan (9th Place)
In Philippines, Malcolm was marooned with the Matsing tribe which lost all of the pre-swap immunity. He along with Denise, however, rose from that and both made it to the final four. He was voted the night before the final tribal council, but had he made it to Day 39, he could have won it all because of his likability. In Caramoan, Malcolm managed to be in the numbers helping him get to the merge unscathed. This changed when he formulated a plan to overthrow Phillip. Being one of the Three Amigos who were targeted in every tribal council since Corrine was voted out, Malcolm was responsible for one of the most memorable tribal councils from Caramoan where he played an idol for himself and Eddie. Still being unable to regain control of the game after that memorable tribal council, Malcolm was voted out for being the biggest threat.
With Tony, Brad, Troyzan, Ozzy, and JT in Game Changers, Malcolm is going to want to keep a low-profile if he doesn’t want to be voted out early. If people see how charismatic he is early on, he could be voted out pre-merge as he will be perceived as an unstoppable force once the merge hits. Although there are a lot of meat-shields to choose from, Malcolm should not rely on meat-shielding as a strategy because it may not be as effective as it was in Cambodia due to the number of strategists present in this season. If Malcolm will be able to get into the numbers, find the right partner, and stroke other people’s ego before he let others feed him lies, he could go far – possibly 6th place.
8. Ciera Eastin
Blood vs. Water (5th Place); Cambodia (10th Place)
What I have observed from Ciera is that her main priority in playing is saving herself. In Blood vs. Water, SHE VOTED OUT HER MOM so she would be able to make it deep into the game, only to force a rock draw when she realizes that she’s number four in her alliance with the returnees. With that legacy in her pocket, she returned for a second time in Cambodia with the mantra “play to win.” That season also proved to us how expert she is at making up lies, but most importantly, how hard she is trying to really change the game.
Ciera has a lot of potential with her strategy to keep saving herself, therefore changing the game, but with her weak challenge performance, there is no way that she’s going to survive the pre-merge stage of Game Changers if her tribe loses a challenge. In Cambodia, she was fortunate enough to be placed on a strong tribe giving her time to create bonds, so if she could do that this season early on, she will definitely go deep in the game. The other disadvantage for Ciera is the way she exploited her “play to win” mantra In Cambodia, because in a season like Game Changers, it doesn’t matter how weak your chances are of winning at the end because people would always want to save that spot for their own.
7. Andrea Boehlke
Redemption Island (5th Place); Caramoan (7th Place)
After seeing Andrea play for the first time in Redemption Island, we saw a lot of potential in her to change the game. Andrea faced off against some of the strongest men in that season but still managed to won to re-enter the game. Because of that, she was immediately targeted, but you can’t deny the fact that Andrea tried really hard to convince Ashely and Natalie to turn on Rob. Four seasons later, Andrea is back as a Favorite in Caramoan where she was seen as a strategic threat. One of her highlights would be following Malcolm around so the latter wouldn’t find the re-hidden idol, and with the help of Erik, she got the idol. Later on in the game, Andrea saw how big of a threat Brenda is and she formulated a plan to blindside her. This plan backfired when Cochran and Dawn saw an opportunity to blindside her instead, making her the first female contestant to be voted out with an idol in her pocket.
Coming into this game with the maturity that she acquired through the years that lead up to Game Changers, Andrea will be able to harness that to make wiser, more thought out decisions. Unlike in Caramoan, Andrea will be keener about having an idol, and will be very analytic with the way she’s going to use the advantages she find to actually help her game. Andrea is strong enough, physically and socially that people wouldn’t consider her strategic prowess as the bigger threat in the early stages of the game and the merge. With a huge chance to make it deep in the game, Andrea will be cut short because she has the full package. If she could win all the immunity challenges at the final stretch of the game, she will definitely make it to the end, and with her social ability, there is no doubt that she could win it.
6. Aubry Bracco
Kaoh Rong (1st Runner-Up)
The metamorphosis of Cochran’s dream girl in Kaoh Rong is undoubtedly one of the greatest Survivor evolution stories. I feel like her journey will be an inspiration to many people who want to play Survivor who identify with her archetype. Aubry started as a vulnerable member of the Brains tribe who contemplated quitting at the beginning of the game due to the intense Cambodian heat. She managed to emerge from this, but was unfortunately placed in a switched tribe where she had no control. At the beginning of the merge, they were already clearly on the outs. With Neal’s medevac, it would seem that Aubry would be going next, but because of her emotional intelligence, she once again managed to rise above the ashes. Her close relationship with Tai is the biggest factor that played in getting her to the end, but failed to win because of her lackluster social game.
Coming into Game Changers with four other people from her original season would be her biggest disadvantage, but if she learned from her mistake in her first season, I think Aubry is going to do her best to really socialize with people this season, and that’s going to save her in the early stages of the game. Once merge hits, however, Aubry is in total danger, so she really has to, once again, pull the unexpected and win those immunity challenges. People will see her as the phoenix who risen from the ashes in Kaoh Rong, and they wouldn’t want an underdog like her to make it deep into the game no matter how strong her social game is. Her only chance of making it to the end once again is if she’ll be able to utilize her emotional intelligence, but she has to also remember that these are Game Changers, and most of them will not be playing emotionally.
NEXT WEEK: The final part of the rankings where I will be revealing the top 5 players on my list.
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Header Image: CBS