As the season approaches and the inevitability of a Legends season becomes more and more fact and less speculation, I find myself thinking about what will eventually come to pass. The term “Legends” might mean different things to different people and if you poll 100 different Survivor “experts” the likelihood of any list being identical is basically null. Different people appreciate different approaches to the game, and the style of gameplay that comes along with them. This blog is not meant to be a definitive list–just my opinion on the subject.
I decided to break this into three parts:
- Those who will say no – the people who will be asked who will say no
- Those who will be there – not my opinion on who should be there, but people who will be asked and will say yes
- Those who should be there – people I think should be there
These are three very different lists. There will certainly be a fair amount of crossover between parts 2 and 3, and some from parts 1 and 3, but remember that this is conjecture based on my opinion— take it with as many grains of salt as you would a promise from Tony.
Obviously these must be players from seasons 1-28. There will be a total of 20 for the will and should lists. Those 20 will be split amongst gender lines, comprised of 10 males and 20 females. Other than this factor, there are no criteria regarding the number of times someone has played, if he/she won, if he/she made the merge, etc. To be fair, there will be at least one person on the should list that I don’t care for Survivor-wise, but they deserve to be there nevertheless.
Those Who Will Say NoElisabeth Hasselbeck[/caption]
These are people that will definitely be asked, but will decline to return to Survivor.
Colleen – No one really knows if she’s still alive. Well, actually I’m sure someone does, but she has proven that she has absolutely no desire nor inclination to be associated with Survivor anymore, much less further scar her legs by playing the game. I never saw the fascination, but it still exists today.
Elisabeth – While not the publicity-shy person Colleen is, Elisabeth is now in a place where going back to Survivor wouldn’t make sense.
Amber – More likely than not, she’s pregnant. More than anyone else, she could only raise her Survivor reputation by going back, but it’s not gonna happen. She also shouldn’t be asked, but will be since they’re already on the phone with…
Boston Rob – Personally, I think he is very overrated, and if he went back he would be a huge prize for people to bag. He kept going back until they put him on a season with idiots and he now has nothing to gain by going back.
Parv – Sadly, her days of conniving in a tiny bikini appear to be over.
Colby – The fat man in a Superman suit will opt not to wear the tights for a 4th time. The guy who wowed us in Australia just didn’t show up in “All-Stars” or “Heroes vs. Villains.” He doesn’t need to further tarnish his legacy.
Sue – She will have one condition to come back. They will not agree to that condition. She will not be back.
Kelly Wiglesworth – She wouldn’t have even been on the radar if she hadn’t been name-checked by Probst. She probably shouldn’t be asked back, but she will be.
Those Who Will Be There
These are people that will definitely be there in my opinion. I will list all 20. Since I am a gentleman, ladies first:
Jerri – She is someone who has an incomplete story: a fascinating story arc from the black widow, to the person who can’t get out of her own way, to someone who has been redeemed. She is just missing a solid end-game run. She is the only player whom I went from hating to liking over the course of multiple seasons.
- Sandra – It’s a no-brainer. She’s the only two-time winner. She honestly shouldn’t go back because there is no way in hell she will make the merge this time around unless her tribe sweeps the challenges until that point. If that happens, cut her a third check.
- Andrea – This is the one that is most perplexing to me. She showed no game either time she played. She was a little less out of her depth in her second go ‘round, but she still doesn’t have the chops to be in the big leagues. She is seen as a strategic threat, but I can’t figure out why.
- Ciera Eastin – She is another one that I think gets more credit than she deserves. She figured out the moves she had to make a week after she needed to make them. She had some good moves, but much too little, too late.
- Sophie – Sophie is interesting in that she is obviously of genius-level intelligence, but lacks the social graces to be able to be a great social player. Despite that, she won her season. Of all people, Ozzy had her pegged regarding people’s perceptions of her. It may not have come up in the edit, but her standoffish, better-than-you attitude comes across in her podcast appearances.
- Kim Spradlin – The first one to need a last name is probably the best game player of those mentioned so far. She played a nearly flawless game, mastering all facets of the game. The only knock on her is that she played against people who…how can I put this nicely…weren’t exactly masters of the game.
- Cirie – I like Cirie. I really do. I don’t think she is as much of a social wizard as people think, but she has come so far from being the lady who was scared of leaves. I don’t think a 4th outing will really be that great for her.
- Jenna Morasca – I understand why she’ll be back; however, she quit the game. The reason she did quit is immaterial. You also have to remember that she very nearly quit her first season.
- Kat Edorsson – I can think of two reasons why Kat will be back. Look her up on Twitter; you’ll see what I’m saying because she’s putting it out there much like she did at the reunion. I can think of several reasons why she shouldn’t be there. The pool is too shallow when she is swimming in it.
- Amanda – The queen of blur will probably make a 4th appearance. She is the only player (in my opinion) who lost the game due to her performance at the final tribal council. Oddly enough, she did it twice.
Rob Cesternino – He will apparently be unable to hold out for the eventual Survivor: Robs vs. Johns. He will throw his Mets hat in the ring for a third time. I hope he doesn’t come back, but he will. He’s probably one of my top 5 favorite players, and I’d say one of the top 5 of all time, but he’s one of the five people that can’t win based on the size of the target they come in with (1 no, 3 will, 5 should).
- Richard – The second male with a target on his back that is too big to overcome. Honestly, I’d love to see what Richard would do if given the chance. I think his ego is beyond what his capability is at this point, but he’s still brilliant at the game. When he gets booted, he will have an excuse and will continue thinking he’s one of the best ever…which he is.
- Rupert – There are four things I can’t imagine: them not asking, him not saying yes, him changing his game, him winning. The shine has long since been off this rose.
- Cochran – I liked Cochran in his first season. I was alright with him winning in his second. There’s no more of his story to tell. *He might not be eligible since he works for a CBS show.
- Coach – As much as he says he won’t be back, he will. He will not do poorly, but I think he’s someone else whose story has been told.
- Tyson – He played brilliantly his third time out. He’s still not a top 20 player of all-time. I can’t stand him, but he’ll be there.
- Tony – I think he might actually be alright here. With Richard, Rob, Sandra, and a few others out there, he might stick around long enough to make some lasting alliances. Plus, the fact that many older players discount newer ones might work to his advantage.
- Malcolm – It will be interesting to see how time and distance have allowed him to adapt his game. He played from a disadvantage his second time, but now he will be a force to be reckoned with.
- Phillip – The Specialist actually has a good chance of going deep here. His biggest obstacle is himself. If he can get out of his own way, he could make it to the finals again…to lose for a second time.
- Hayden – The only thing preventing this is if he is filming Big Brother 16 when this season is supposed to film. He would not have been on this list if not for his Big Brother Pedigree and the fact that Probst loves him.
Just missed the cut: Ozzy, James
Those Who Should Be There
These are people that should be there in my opinion. I will list all 20. Since I am still a gentleman, ladies first:
Jerri – There’s no doubt she deserves a spot, whether it be her 2nd or 10th time on the island.
- Sue – Her demand of not having Richard there will preclude her from participating. She is one of the most colorful characters in Survivor history and still holds one of the top spots for final tribal speeches.
- Sandra – She won twice. You can argue about whether she deserved to win, but you can’t deny that she did.
- Denise – She played a brilliant game; however, brilliance is not always flashy or great to see, which is her problem. She would be a huge threat if she were there.
- Kim Spradlin – Let’s see how she does in the big leagues, but she has a head for the game.
- Kass – She is not a good player but someone who makes the game interesting. She did more with less and showed that crazy and unpredictable is somehow now a viable strategy.
- Kathy – We might be a little far removed from “Marquesas”, but she was a legend and deserves a spot. I think time and years may have slowed her step, but if she’s kept up with the show she’s unknown enough to do damage.
- Parv – She is gorgeous and cunning. She’s dangerous in this game and everyone knows it. I don’t think she would do well, but I’d love to see her try.
- Tina – I know it’s not that far removed from “Blood vs. Water,” but she showed in that season that Australia wasn’t a fluke. The fact that she can turn off her motherly instinct and beat her daughter to stay in the game shows that her first edit and her second early boot don’t reflect the player that she is.
- Eliza – This final slot was between her and Corinne. I like Corinne more, but Eliza is the better player of the two who maintain the snarkiness. I’d love to see her come back and do well.
Rob Cesternino – Jeff wants him back. Rob wants to go back. He’s one of the best. He deserves a spot.
- Richard – He almost should get two slots–one for him and one for his ego– but damned if he doesn’t deserve one.
- Rupert – There are few people more closely associated with Survivor than Rupert. It doesn’t matter whether he’s good or not; it matters if he wears tie-dye and roars.
- Porno Brian – This will never happen. Probst and the rest of the Survivor staff hate him and are appalled by some of the things he has done. In my opinion, he is the best player ever. No one has controlled a game with as little help as he did. Boston Rob had an idiot cast and Tyson had lots of help.
- Ozzy – Being the second of the softcore Survivor set, Ozzy is probably the best physical competitor ever. He sucks at the game, but he kills at challenges. He also makes for good TV (YOU WANT GOOD TV) whenever he pouts when things don’t go his way.
- Malcolm – He is as close to the perfect Survivor player as you can get (not by results). The ladies swoon over him. He is good in challenges. He is well-liked. He has a good social game. He is good at strategy. He just needs to be on a tribe that isn’t awful.
- Tony – He is Russell with a social game. He is not trustworthy, not good in challenges, and subject to blowing up at people, yet he still had a dominant final vote. He’s almost someone who is good in spite of himself.
- Boston Rob – He’s a legend. I don’t particularly think he’s that great, but everyone else does. He’s good at challenges, and can use Jedi mind tricks on the weak-minded.
- Fairplay – After “Fans vs. Favorites,” I figured he was done with Survivor and I didn’t see any point in bringing him back. Hearing that he was on pain meds and was days removed from a major medical incident made me change my tune. He’s a great thinker, but I don’t know if he can overcome who he is to do well.
- Russell – He won’t be asked back. He should be. He shouldn’t go. He can’t do well in the game. He burned bridges to light his way on his first two outings (at least one of which he should have won), and the still smoldering embers will cause him to be someone who is booted very quickly, which is a mistake. Unlike many others, he is loyal to a fault, but no one seems to recognize this.
In closing, it was not easy to come up with this list. There are some people who were left out and some who were added to either narrow a list or complete it. Please leave your comments below.