Hello, good people, and welcome to a super special edition of our Survivor coverage. The Survivor world was shaken to its core last week with the announcement that the cast of the very next season of Survivor, Season 31, will be chosen by us, the fans! They're calling this little experiment Survivor Second Chance! The producers of the show have come up with 32 previous players and are giving us a voice in which 20 of them will return for Season 31 of the reality giant. Voting is going on right now and the cast will be officially announced at the Worlds Apart Live Reunion Special on Wednesday, May 20th. Of course, the Survivor writers here at BOP have something to say about this, so we've decided to publish our official Survivor Second Chance ballots.
Survivor Second Chance
The BOP Ballots
By the BOP Survivor Experts
May 18, 2015
Before we get to the ballots, some housekeeping on how this whole Second Chance thing will work. You log into CBS.com/SurvivorSecondChance and you'll have to vote for 10 men and 10 women to return. You cannot vote for fewer than 10, which one of us wanted to do. While being hyped as a list of non-winners who have only played once, it should be noted that two people still in the game in Worlds Apart are on the list. Carolyn Rivera and Mike Holloway are on the list, even though they're still possible winners. The official rule on this is that if either of them wins Worlds Apart, they will be taken out of the cast of Season 31 and the next highest vote-getter will take their spot.
Also, the entire group of 32 will be in attendance at the big Cast Reveal. The 20 people chosen will immediately be locked down and will leave for filming within gso days. On the flip side of this, we'll get to watch 10 people have their Survivor dream crushed on live TV, so there's that as well.
Ok, enough build up, let's talk Ballots. The lists are in no particular order.
Jim Van Nest
1) Jeff Varner - Season 2: Australian Outback - A lot of people won't remember Jeff, but other than Mike Skupin himself, Varner was easily the most affected by Mike's fire-dive. He was also the only person ever voted out of the game by the antiquated "previous votes" tie-breaker rule. Jeff was a hard player and I'd love to see if this old-school player could survive in the new-school game.
2) Andrew Savage - Season 7: Pearl Islands - I'm not a huge Savage fan, but I HATED the Outcast twist. And he was screwed by the Outcasts, so he gets my vote for a second chance.
3) Shane Powers - Season 12: Panama - Shane is a lunatic. He was a lunatic in Panama and he hasn't changed much. Oddly enough, as crazy as he was, he left the game because he refused to break a promise on his son. He's nuts, not stupid and I'd love to see him get a second shot at this.
4) Terry Dietz- Season 12: Panama - Terry was a challenge beast. But that was almost 10 years ago. Can he still do it? I don't know, but I sure want to find out.
5) Stephen Fishbach - Season 18: Tocantins - Overshadowed by HUGE personalities like Coach, Tyson and JT, Stephen was really the brains of the operation in Tocantins. He also holds the distinction of being the only Final Two player to get zero votes. He blogs and podcasts about Survivor now and I want to see what he's learned!
6) Jim Rice - Season 23: South Pacific - I don't think Jim has a chance of getting on this season. People simply don't remember him. He's wicked smart and he can read people. He was just on the wrong side of the Cochran bullying and his game was screwed the second Cochran flipped. C'mon people, give him a second chance!
7) Vytas Baskauskas - Season 27: Blood vs. Water - Vytas is an interesting guy and he suffered in the B v W format. He was too tied to his brother and that cost him in the end. But he has game - both physical and strategic - and I think he can make a deep run.
8) Spencer Bledsoe - Season 28: Cagayan - The "Young lad" had everyone rooting for him against llama-speaking Tony in Cagayan. Spencer is a virtual lock to be back and I think he'll have a good showing. The interesting thing about him is that he has the mentality of a villain, but circumstances turned him into a hero. Wonder how he'll go into Season 31.
9) Joe Anglim - Season 30: Worlds Apart - C'mon, how can you not want Joe back? Dude can do everything. Let's see if watching his game on TV can help him learn some Survivor strategy to go along with his amazing physical and social game.
10) Mike Holloway - Season 30: Worlds Apart - The best TV and the best player in Worlds Apart should definitely get another shot. I still think he wins Season 30, so my vote may be wasted here. But in case he doesn't, I'm 150,000% sure I want to see Mike back.
Didn't Get Votes
Troy-zan Robertson from Season 24 One World - I didn't like him on One World, so why would I like him now?
Brad Culpepper from Season 27 Blood vs Water - See Troy-zan.
Woo Hwang from Season 28 Cagayan - Ninja Stealth Mode was fun the first time, but giving the game away to Tony does not get you an invite back.
Jeremy Collins and Keith Nale from Season 29 San Juan Del Sur - Jeremy knew the game and played hard. If I could vote for 11, I'd vote for Jeremy. Keith didn't know the game at all and was a great confessional. If I could vote for 12, I'd throw one Keith's way.
Max Dawson from Season 30 Worlds Apart - Why in the blue hell would I bring Max back? He brought nothing to the table but past season quotes and a plantar's wart. No thanks.
1) Kelly Wiglesworth - Season 1: Borneo - You have to go with a first season player, right? She crushed challenges and hated alliances. It's 15 years later, has she changed on the whole alliance thing? Can she still kill challenges? Can't wait to see.
2) Natalie Tennerelli - Season 22: Redemption Island - She played with and learned from one of the best, Boston Rob Mariano. I want to see what she learned.
3) Ciera Eastin - Season 27: Blood vs Water - She voted out her mom. Do I need to say anything else? Let's see what she can do when she doesn't have that anchor slowing her down.
4) Tasha Fox - Season 28: Cagayan - First off, St. Louis WILL represent. Second off, I though Tasha had a great mix of Survivor skills and a crappy tribe to work with. I'd like to see her among some players.
5) Kass McQuillen - Season 28: Cagayan - "Chaos Kass" is a lock to be back and I'm kinda looking forward to it. I don't really care for her and I'm not sure she has a good game, but she will make it interesting and this season will need someone like that.
6) Kelly Wentworth - Season 29: San Juan Del Sur - She was VERY weighed down by her dad in her season. She did her best with what she had, but she couldn't escape her dad or her Survivor fandom. That won't be an issue here. I'll say it now, potential winner of Season 31.
7) Shirin Oskooi - Season 30: Worlds Apart - Maybe it's a recency thing, but I want to see Shirin get another shot. She has game and I hope that she goes a little less talky, little more gamey in her second chance.
8) Carolyn "Mama C" Rivera - Season 30: Worlds Apart - Carolyn has played a REALLY good game and I'm not 100% sure she doesn't win this season. If she doesn't, I want to see if she can do it again.
Here is where I pretty much ran out of women I wanted to vote for, but the voting site forces you to vote for 10, so here are my final two:
9) Kimmi Kappenberg - Season 2: Austalian Outback - I don't have a lot of love for Kimmi, but she provided some drama and she's old-school and I kinda lean that way. Plus, she's the one who let the other tribe know Varner had a vote cast against him. Can you say, "Rivalry"?
10) Mikayla Wingle - Season 23: South Pacific - The object of Brandon Hantz's lust, Mikayla didn't do anything special on her season. He was just so damn creepy that with a lack of other choices I like, I figured I'd throw her a vote as my way of saying, "Sorry you had to deal with that."
Didn't Get Votes
Teresa "T-Bird" Cooper from Season 3 Africa - People love her but I can't remember anything about her. Nothing.
Peih Gee Law from Season 15 China - See T-Bird.
Monica Padilla from Season 19 Samoa - Supposedly she stood up to Russell, but I don't remember that, so see T-Bird and Peih Gee.
Stephanie Valencia from Season 22 Redemption Island - After watching him for two seasons, she CHOSE to align with the Russell sinking ship in RI. You don't get rewarded for that. You just don't.
Sabrina Thompson from Season 24 One World - Kim Spradlin owned One World. So much that I forgot Sabrina took second place. A finalist should be more memorable.
Abi-Maria Gomes from Season 25 Philippines - While she seems like a lovely person in social media, I can't forget what Abi-Maria was in the game. And that was hateful and petty. Worlds Apart has been filled with ugliness and hateful people. Why would I CHOOSE to continue that in Season 31?
1) Shane Powers - Season 12: Panama - Out of the men, Shane is my number one pick to come back, and it’s purely because it’s insane and would drive everyone nuts. In his first season, he went cold turkey from cigarettes, from the moment he stepped on the beach. Nicotine-withdrawal rants FTW!
2) Terry Dietz- Season 12: Panama - Terry Dietz was one of those Survivor players who felt that he should get to win Survivor because he was the best at winning challenges. Obviously he doesn’t understand the game, because you win by winning votes at the end of the game. It will be 20 seasons since Terry’s season, which is two seasons more than the gap between Colby’s first season and Heroes vs. Villains. He’s 55 now, and is not going to be the challenge monster he was, so why vote to bring him back? In my case, it’s a lack of other viable options.
3) Stephen Fishbach - Season 18: Tocantins - An under-rated player, Stephen was the reason that J.T. got as far as he did and won his season. Look at how badly J.T. failed in his follow-up season, giving up his immunity idol and writing mash notes to Russell Hantz. That wouldn’t have happened if Stephen was there. Stephen was a Cochran before there was a Cochran, and he’s smarter than Cochran, and I’m glad that now he’s living the life of Cochran with a Survivor blog and podcasts that he has the fan-base to be voted back in.
4) Jim Rice - Season 23: South Pacific - I missed this season. Jim was the guy willing to draw a purple rock, and later was the one who got angry at Cochran and called him a coward. That’s good enough for me to throw him a vote
5) Troy-zan Robertson - Season 24: One World - Remember there was a season where two players had Tarzan-themed nicknames? Troyzan was a competitor, and kind of a nut-bar. Troyzan is still under the impression that he has “jungle instincts”.
6) Brad Culpepper - Season 27: Blood vs. Water - F* you, Brad Culpepper, that’s why! Brad was a terrible leader who got everyone angry at him for voting out their loved ones. None of the women in the game – except his wife – liked him, but after this past season I am nostalgic for his relatively benign views on gender relations.
7) Vytas Baskauskas - Season 27: Blood vs. Water - Vytas is a schemer, and Survivor needs as many schemers as it can get. Remember that chip on his shoulder about that his golden-boy younger brother Aras? Though according to Vytas’ revisionist take of that season, the reason he was eliminated from the game was that he was always protective of Aras! The powers of denial are strong in this one.
8) Spencer Bledsoe - Season 28: Cagayan - I skipped this season, but according to his bio, Spencer’s idol in life is Mitt Romney because he is “the perfect embodiment of capitalism.” He also dislikes “people who are stupid but still voice their opinions” and “incompetent leaders.” He thinks that being pompous is a sign of leadership. I want him back, because I want to see this kind of idiocy.
9) Woo Hwang - Season 28: Cagayan - Woo stuck by his code and lost like a sucker. Every season needs its dupes.
10) Jeremy Collins - Season 29: San Juan Del Sur - I wouldn’t mind if Jeremy played Survivor again, but I wouldn’t vote for him. Though due to a lack of options, I guess I am.
Didn't Get Votes
Jeff Varner from Season 2 Australian Outback - I don’t remember him at all. Pass.
Andrew Savage from Season 7 Pearl Islands - Andrew Savage was Russell Swann before there was a Russell Swann. He organized himself into being the leader of the loser Morgan tribe. As the gimmick for that season was “:the winning tribe gets to loot something from the losing tribe’s camp”, Morgan was quickly left with nothing but a cooking pot and their pants. I don’t want to see Andrew – I refuse to call him “Savage” – back. He picked a lot on Little Ryan, saying that he didn’t try hard enough in challenges when really Little Ryan tried as hard as he could, he was just a weedy little guy who didn’t fit in and wasn’t up to Andrew. And then he was voted out simply because resented Lillian coming back into the game and didn’t play nicey-nice with her, so when the merge came she flipped and he was targeted. No redemption for you!
Keith Nale from Season 29 San Juan Del Sur - I like Keith as a person, but I don’t need to see any more of his game.
Joe Anglim, Mike Holloway, Max Dawson from Season 30 Worlds Apart - I’m really not ready to see any of these people again. Not third-rate golden-boy Joe, not Merica Mike and certainly not “I’ll take Kramer’s hairstyle and wear it as a beard” Max. Ew!
1) Kelly Wiglesworth - Season 1: Borneo - Kelly was an uninteresting contestant who happened to make it to the final Tribal Council in the first season, and the first person to lose out to a more devious, underhanded player who understood the game. I suppose we have to respect Survivor history and give her another chance.
2) Teresa "T-Bird" Cooper - Season 3: Africa - I don’t remember Teresa, but her biggest moment was secretly voting for Lex, sending him on a paranoid rampage in which he threatened to rip off the backstabber’s head and spit down their neck. Or something. Really, I’d have liked to see Lex back, but I suppose I’ll take someone who made him that mad.
3) Monica Padilla - Season 19: Samoa - I barely remember Monica from her season, but she was a scrambler and even though she was strategically out-matched, she did at least try to vote out Russell. Good enough.
4) Stephanie Valencia - Season 22: Redemption Island - Stephanie is one of those women who describes herself as “feisty” In the Rob vs Russell season, she was the one who really wanted to ally with Russell Hantz and learn from his wisdom. Hopefully she’s less impressionable now. But if she isn’t, the crazy should be fun to watch.
5) Mikayla Wingo - Season 23: South Pacific - She was the one whose body drove Brandon Hantz crazy with lust. That temptress! Nowadays she’s a pro-body builder. I didn’t see her season, but if it angers Brandon Hantz, that’s good enough for me.
6) Sabrina Thompson - Season 24: One World - Sabrina was basically Kim Spradlin’s lieutenant that season. I wasn’t going to vote for her but I was won over by a comment from Probst – “what if someone toiled away for a master of the game? What did they learn and will they be able to apply it?” So it came down to Sabrina and Natalie Tenerelli.
7) Abi-Maria Gomes - Season 25: Philippines - Of the women, Abi-Maria is my top choice. She was awesome. She was so selfish that she sat out of every challenge (though I think it was later revealed that she tore her ACL or something), and she went from having RC as her closest ally to being her nemesis in about 30 seconds. We need crazy players like Abi-Maria.
8) Ciera Eastin - Season 27: Blood vs Water - Ciera gets a rare “Hell yeah!” from me. Ciera voted for her own mother! That’s cold. So obviously we need some Ciera this season.
9) Tasha Fox - Season 28: Cagayan - Tasha won three immunity idols in a row, which is no easy thing for a woman to do. She’s in.
10) Kass McQuillen - Season 28: Cagayan - Apparently Kass has a sarcastic personality. She’s in!
Didn't Get Votes
Kimmi Kappenberg from Season 2 Australian Outback - Kimmi was the recipient of the “I will shake my finger in your face” incident. Otherwise I don’t remember her. Pass.
Peih Gee Law from Season 15 China - I can’t remember anything about her game.
Natalie Tennerelli from Season 22 Redemption Island - I don’t really need to see any of Rob’s disciples back in the game, or any members of Stealth R Us (codename Sunshine, one of the Three Degrees). If Grant Mattos had been available, it would have been a different story.
Kelley Wentworth from Season 29 San Juan Del Sur - I wrote the Power rankings for this season and still had to look her up. No.
Carolyn "Mama C" Rivera and Shirin Oskooi from Season 30 Worlds Apart - Weren’t you listening before? I’m really not ready to see any of these people again.
1) Jeff Varner - Season 2: Australian Outback - Season 2 returnee? 'Nuff said.
2) Terry Deitz - Season 12: Palau - Beast!!
3) Andrew Savage - Season 7: Pearl Islands - Beast 2.0!! He also got screwed by a bad twist his season.
4) Shane Powers - Season 12: Palau - Crazy! Literally crazy town Shane. I will be very annoyed if he doesn’t make the cut. He and Wiglesworth are probably the two people I want back more than anyone.
5) Stephen Fishbach - Season 18: Tocantins - Another strategic mind. Has been in the Survivor loop for a long time. It's time for him to return.
6) Jim Rice - Season 23: South Pacific - Went way too soon his season. Very strategic mind. Always on my list of people to see again.
7) Spencer Bledsoe - Season 28: Cagayan - A lot of people thought he was kind of a dick. But very smart and very cunning. He is essentially the Tywin Lannister of Survivor.
8) Jeremy Collins - Season 29: San Juan Del Sur - Also played a good game even if I never rooted for him. He deserves another go.
9) Joe Anglim - Season 30: Worlds Apart - Strong competitor. Very likable. Shares my name. He gets my vote for sure.
10) Mike Holloway - Season 30: Worlds Apart - Still hoping he can pull off the win this season. But if not, let's bring him back.
1) Kelly Wiglesworth - Season 1: Borneo - Season one runner-up? I have been wanting Kelly Wiglesworth back forever.
2) Kimmi Kappenberg - Season 2: Austalian Outback - Hilarious and crazy.
3) Teresa "T-Bird" Cooper - Season 3: Africa - Season 3 returnee? Literally any contestant on that long ago gets my vote.
4) Peih-Gee Law - Season 15: China - Underrated player her season.
5) Monica Padilla - Season 19: Samoa - Hot!!
6) Natalie Tennerelli - Season 22: Redemption Island - Hotter. But also she was quite young her first time out. I’d like to see if she learned anything.
7) Abi Maria Gomes - Season 25: Philippines - Sexy, savvy and that ass.
8) Ciera Eastin - Season 27: Blood vs Water - Was an enjoyable presence her original season.
9) Tasha Fox - Season 28: Cagayan - Possibly the strongest female contestant her season. Definitely earned a second go.
10) Carolyn "Mama C" Rivera - Season 30: Worlds Apart - Just bumped Mikayla off my list of 10. She deserves another go if she doesn't win this season.
Didn't Get Votes
The only comment to be made here: You couldn't pay me enough money to vote for Kass to return!