Hello, good people, and welcome back to the first in a three-part series previewing the 30th season of the reality juggernaut known as Survivor! My name is Jim Van Nest and after taking a season off, I'm back and better than ever; getting ready to break down every moment of Survivor 30: Worlds Apart with you!
Survivor Worlds Apart - Season Preview
White Collar Tribe Preview
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
February 23, 2015
I have to say I'm thrilled to be back. I've been checking out this cast and I'm super excited about what I'm seeing and reading. I did not care for last season or last season's cast. I think it was a lackluster season, with little to no strategy. It was only saved by having a solid last few episodes and a quality winner. But when you think of how close we were to having Muffin and Baylor in the final Tribal together, I mean, we were THIS close to absolute disaster.
As I said, I have high hopes for Season 30, even though the White Collar, Blue Collar, No Collar setup is kinda dorky...the cast itself looks stellar. And after last season's dud, they need it. Also, our good buddy Jeff Probst is telling everyone that will listen what a great season this is. Last season, you would never have heard such high praise. Part of the success is that they cast people this season, instead of casting a theme. You could tell in Blood vs Water 2, that they probably liked one person in each pair and just settled for the other one. That was because they made the decision to retread Blood vs Water before they selected any of the cast. THIS time around, they picked the cast and then came up with a way to divide them.
It's for this reason that you'll see an unemployed ex-secretary on the White Collar Tribe and a silver-spoon law student on the No Collar tribe. Just like Cagayan, they did their best to group the Brains, Beauty and Brawn and mostly got it right. Though, whoever thought Garrett the poker player was a Brain might want to rethink that one.
So, with all of this in mind, I'll be breaking down all three tribes over the next couple days to get us all ready for the big 90-minute premiere on Wednesday night! Today's tribe: the White Collar Tribe, aka Masaya. They'll be wearing yellow buffs to start the season. And right off the bat, I think producers missed a golden opportunity to use the first ever white buff. Sure it'd be dirty and grey within minutes... but not on the CBS Store shelves, it wouldn't be. It'd be sparkling white and the first of its kind. I might also suggest that this would have given them the opportunity to do a tie-dye buff for the No Collars, but I digress.
I'm going to talk about each member of each tribe in the order I think they'll finish in the game. So, let's get to it!
1) I'm starting the White Collar preview with one of my favorites in the cast: Shirin Oskooi. Shirin (pronounced Sher een') is a lifelong Survivor fan. At 31 years old, she says she's dreamed of being on Survivor since she was 16. She's currently a Yahoo! exec, but her claim to fame is helping to create the Google Calendar. She says she's goofy and quirky and I can definitely see this. She seems like a very fun person who could go very far in this game. On a personal note, I love that she's really looking forward to the gross food challenge. She has basically dared producers to disgust her. She claims to be able to suppress her emotions and she is counting on being underestimated. In this cast, I think that's a very solid possibility. She says her biggest concern is how she'll do on little to no sleep. She is ready for the lack of food, but the lack of sleep has her a little worried. She seems like a very peppy person, which is probably great working at Google and/or Yahoo!, but can become annoying on Survivor. Another concern with Shirin is her abilities in challenges. This is a pretty fit group and she could potentially end up the weak link. But, if she makes it past that first vote, I think she's the White Collar most likely to make the finals. She'll definitely meet Survivor Kat's definition of "datable" and make the merge!
2) My second favorite White Collar is Survivor Professor Max Dawson. Known very well within the Survivor community, Max is the first one of "us" to break the barrier and get cast on the show. Currently, he's a media consultant in LA, but he spent several years as a professor at Northwestern University. One of his most popular classes was all about Survivor and how the show helped change the landscape of television. He is well versed in all things Survivor. He knows a lot of the players and they know him. Prior to starting the game, he was recognized by at least one other person on the cast. How this will affect him, I'm uncertain. But I like to think that if I ever got on this show, I'd have a cake walk to the finale...so I'm gonna suggest Max will do pretty well. I wonder, though, if he'll be able to keep his concentration or if he'll completely geek out every time Probst uses one of his many patented lines, starting with, "Come on in, guys!" One of the things motivating Max is that he knows there are plenty of jealous Survivor nerds out there hoping for him to fail. (It's a good bet they're all posting on Survivor Sucks right now, too.) I'm just excited to know that I've reviewed two people so far and both of them are top tier Survivor fans. That might be more than were in the entire cast of San Juan Del Sur. The concern with Max is that he does know the game so well and he's studied the ins and outs of strategy for a long time. Unless I can get this guy to align with me, he might be an early target. I'm betting that he'll find a way around that and make a deep run into the game. Definitely datable.
3) I'm on the fence with my third pick in this tribe, Carolyn Rivera. But given the others, I think I'm safe putting her here. Carolyn is a 52-year-old police investigator from New York. And everything about her screams New York. She has the potential to be a fan favorite if she can last long enough to do it. She seems brash and funny and at least a little bossy. She's a mother and a cop - would you expect anything else? She cites Sandra and Philippines winner Denise Stapley among the players she's most like. I worry that she could turn out to be more like Muffin from last season (or Missy, whatever you choose to call her). If she tries to be a mama bear to this tribe, she'll be done before her dress gets dirty. If she tries to be one of them, digs in and busts her ass, like you know she can...she has some potential. She claims to have the athletic game for this and from everything I've seen she is in fantastic shape. That being said, Survivor challenges are a young player's game and at 52, even as fit as she is, she might just find herself outmatched. She's is most concerned about the cold and keeping her opinions in. Her hope is to keep everything in until her next confessional. If she can do that, she'll be all right. My thought is, she won't be able to do that and she'll end up alienating her tribe early on. She has a chance to make the merge, but I'm going to say she'll fall just shy and be un-datable.
4) Scheduled to be on last season with her sister, So Kim was forced out of the season when her sister didn't pass the final physical. But casting liked her so much; they brought her back the very next season. That says something to me. However, there are a ton of red flags in her bio and introduction video. She's obsessed with making big moves and not riding coat tails. The worry here is that she'll make stupid moves in an attempt to make a big move. She considers herself a combo of Ozzy, Parvati and Cochran. ANYtime someone compares herself to Parvati, they're in for an early exit. She says she has a hard time trusting people and is worried about the lack of food. She plans to "kill it" in challenges and has no trouble manipulating people. All of this screams early boot to me. By what I'm reading, she's giving very little respect to the game. We've seen this game take much stronger, tougher people and chew them up and spit them out. She's going into this too hot and that's gonna cause a quick cool down. She might make a tribe swap, but she's definitely not datable.
5) I went back and forth on the last two, but decided to put Joaquin Souberbielle in the five hole because I think he'll be a challenge horse and the tribe will put up with him for a little while to have that help in challenges. But this guy is WAY full of himself. And he knows it. His plan is to come in and be the alpha male. Um, dude, the alpha male is one of the first people targeted. His bio is tiny claiming he's not like ANY other player. We've never seen anyone like him. Actually, we probably have. We just won't remember him because there's a muscle bound meat-head dumped early in every season. He says he likes to be in charge and is very erratic. Also, he's a Leo, so there's that! Basically, everything he says screams early boot to me. He'll stick around for a minute because I think it might take a bit for this tribe to go to Tribal. But once there, he'll be a name thrown out as a first boot off his tribe. He won't be the first, but he definitely will not be datable.
6) Joaquin won't be first off this tribe because that honor will go to Tyler Fredrickson. Tyler is a former college football player, who spent some time in a couple NFL training camps as a kicker. His most recent gig was as a Talent Agent Assistant at CAA, which he will name drop at every opportunity. But, honestly, he's a secretary. He's not a high powered exec like some of these other people. He's much more of a "yes sir" type that someone who will jump up and try to run things. He screams coat tails; until he starts talking about...you guessed it, "making big moves." Also, the Survivor player he's most like is Boston Rob Mariano. That is almost a guaranteed first boot. Note to future Survivor players: you're not like Boston Rob. You're not like Parvati. You're not like Hatch or Sandra either. Or Yul or JT or Kim Spradlin. So stop it now! Okay, moving on. Tyler lists his time spent with seven NFL teams as a reason he'll outlast. Um dude, you didn't last until the regular season. Not the example I'd have gone with. He does have two Masters degrees, but we have no idea in what. I think when all is said and done; Tyler will be the first one taking the walk of shame from the White Collar tribe. Imminently un-datable!
And there you have it, folks. One tribe down and two more to go. I'd love to hear what you all think of my assessment. You can hit me here at BOP or on Twitter: @vannestjc! Follow me and stay up to date with all of the Box Office Prophets Survivor coverage as well as Amazing Race coverage and all of the other amazing content here. Check back tomorrow as we tackle the Blue Collar Tribe. Until then...take care!