Survivor: Heroes, Healers and Hustlers - Season Preview 3
Part 3 - The Hustlers and Season Predictions
By Jim Van Nest
September 27, 2017

They got nothin' on Paul Newman.

Hello, good people and welcome back to Part 3 of the Box Office Prophets Preview series of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers. If you're just finding these now and have missed the other parts, you should check them out: Part 1 - Heroes and Part 2 - Healers. Go ahead...we'll wait.

All righty - now that everyone is back with us, it's time to check in with the 3rd and final tribe this season, The Hustlers. The Hustlers will be called Yawa and will wear the red buffs to start the season. Before we talk about the 6 people on this tribe, let's discuss the meaning of the word "Hustler" as Survivor defines it. They are using this as a positive. As in, "That girl really hustles." These people apparently work their butts off and are always out there to get the job done, no matter how much it takes. No one will ever accuse these people of laziness or not being willing to do what it takes to complete a task. With that in mind, let's get to the 6 people that Survivor is labeling "Hustlers". After we discuss all the players, I'm going to give you my "sure to be wrong" predictions for this season, including who makes the Merge, the Final 4, the Final Tribal and who will ultimately be crowned the Ultimate Survivor for Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers.

Alexandrea "Ali" Elliott (24 - "Celebrity" Assistant) - First up on the Hustler tribe is personal assistant, Ali. She works as an assistant to a YouTube star. Someone called Glozell Green. It would seem I can now pinpoint when I got old. It's this moment right here - when I learn that YouTube "sensation" needs a personal assistant. Anyway, I like Ali and I think she has some real potential here. She's a go-getter and used to being told what to do all the time, as an assistant. I don't think she'll have an issue with people telling her what to do. To a person, the other players all want to work with her. Healer Joe has even said that she's in his "alliance in my head". So, whatever she's putting out there, everyone else is picking it up. There's one kink in her game, however. She actually knows one of the other tribemates. She and Patrick Bolton attended Auburn University and were neighbors. They weren't tight, but they ran in the same circles and definitely know each other. This is the biggest concern for her going into the game. What does that mean? Will he tell people? Will they work together? Or go after each other to keep their past lives out of the mix altogether? Honestly, I don't think this will affect Ali. I do, however, worry about it for Patrick. Ali makes the merge no question, but my prediction of a weak Hustlers tribe has me worried that she'll find herself on the wrong side of the numbers once everyone gets together. But, if she hustles, she might find herself in an ok spot overall.

Devon Pinto (23 - Surf Instructor) - Our next Hustler is surf instructor, Devon. When you hear him talk, he reminds you of Millennials vs Gen X lover, Taylor. But when you listen to what he actually says, he sounds much more like Jay from the same season. While he's just fine to play the "dumb surfer", he's anything but. He knows the game and he's come to play. Devon strikes me as a guy who will easily go with the flow of the tribe and the game itself. I think he'll be a beast in the challenges which will make him increasingly more important as I expect the Hustlers to struggle overall in that department. Devon plans to be out hunting for idols and he thinks anyone not doing the same is pretty dumb. He knows it can put a target on his back, so he plans to be stealth about it, but he will be looking. Overall, Devon just seems like a guy who will excel in all facets of the game. I see a deep run in store for Devon this time out.

Lauren Rimmer (35 - Fisherman) - I don't have a very good read on Lauren, despite hearing a few interviews and reading her bio. She's a commercial fisherman (fisherwoman?) so I have no doubts that she's a tough lady. Tough enough to handle the survival aspect of the game. I worry, though, that she could possibly have social issues when dealing with her millennial cast-mates. If anyone will find themselves on the outside of the tribal alliance, I fear it could be Lauren. The other players aren't sure what to think about her either. They say she sleeps a lot and doesn't have a lot of personality throughout the pre-game. As I keep saying, I think the Hustler tribe is primed to be a hot mess, which could put them behind the eight ball, early and often. I don't think she'll be the first one out, but I could see her being the second boot with first boot potential. Definitely not making the merge.

Patrick Bolton (24 - Small Business Owner) - And now we've come to the guy that Ali knows from college. To his credit, he never mentions knowing her in any of his pregame press. In fact, he does talk about her, but no different than anyone else. Does that mean he's already playing the game? Or does he simply not remember her? I suppose either is possible. One thing I have learned about him, he burns easily. He doesn't like the heat and has no problem letting you know about it. I worry that he might actually burn to death out there, he's THAT fair complected. It's feast or famine with the other players. They either think he's really funny and want to hang with him, or think he's annoying and want him to be the first out. There doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground here. I think Patrick has definite first boot potential here. Especially since he's already landed on Ali's radar. When a tribe loses that first challenge and is faced with the looming Tribal Council - they will latch onto anything that keeps them in the game. So if Ali really wants him gone, I can see the Ryan's and Devon's of the Tribe being just fine to roll with that and send Patrick home. Another Hustler non-merge maker, in my humble opinion.

Ryan Ulrich (23 - Bellhop) - Next up is Ryan. He's a Survivor Superfan. He's skinny, he's self-deprecating and it's really hard not to make the John Cochran comparison. He plans to trade in Cochran's sweater vest for a red turtleneck. Why wear a turtleneck in 100 degree heat? Why not, I guess? Ryan has a handle on the game and I think he has the potential to do well. However, if the Hustlers lose challenges like I think they will, he could be in trouble as the weakest guy on the tribe. I think what will save him, though, is that he'll make the relationships needed to stay in the game. I think Lauren, Patrick and the yet-to-be-discussed Simone will be more likely to go before Ryan. Before the game even starts, people are getting a good vibe from Ryan and want to work with him. I think that's going to end up working in his favor. Overall, I see Ryan making the merge. Once that happens, the little skinny guy who won't win challenges might easily slip through the cracks. He definitely has David Wright upside here, but as the numbers dwindle, he'll start to be seen as a threat to get votes at the end and that could spell the end of Ryan's game.

Simone Nguyen (25 - Diversity Advocate) - The last of our 18 players, is diversity advocate, Simone. All through the interviews and articles I've read, Simone comes off very snarky and borderline "mean-girl". She's very judgey about the appearance of all the other players. And I get that right now appearance is all they have, but none of the other people are taking shots at how the other players look. Some of the other players look at her and think that she's already playing the game hard - too hard to some of them. And that's never a good thing. Personally, I don't think she'll be able to keep her thoughts in check. At the end of the day, when the Hustlers lose a challenge, whether it's the first one or later - I feel Simone will be the first one off this tribe. And as you've already heard me say, I think the Hustler tribe is in trouble. So, my pick for first one out is Simone. For her sake, I hope she proves me wrong. But ultimately, if she's anything like she's been in her interviews, I'll be fine to only get 1 episode of her.

All righty, kids, there you have it. All 18 players and all 3 tribes are now accounted for. So, with all of that in the books, it's time to make some predictions!

First up, let's talk merge. In this 18 person season, I'm expecting a 12 person merge. So, with that being said, I have 6 people that I do not think will make the merge. They are Heroes Ashley and Katrina. I think both ladies will have trouble gaining traction. For the Healers, I'm only thinking Roark will have trouble making the merge this season. That leaves 3 of the Hustlers to not make the merge, in my predictions. Patrick, Simone and Lauren I think will have some issues on this tribe. And honestly, I could see more of them out early if they're as dysfunctional as I think they're going to be.

So, of the 12 people that are left, my pick for the Final Four will be (oddly enough) Hustler Devon, Healers Desi and Cole, and Hero Alan. I think Devon will be seen as a major threat at Final 4 and when he doesn't win the challenge, he'll be sent out of the game. That will put Alan, Desi and Cole in the final 3, vying for the votes and the title. And when the dust settles, no one is going to be able to deny the credentials of Healer Desi Williams. That's right everyone - put your money down now. Desi Williams will be the winner of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers. Maybe.

And there you have it, kids! Thanks so much for hanging with me through the 3 part season preview. Please be sure to check out the premiere of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers Wednesday Night at 7pm central time on CBS and then check back tomorrow for the recap of episode #1 and see if my Simone first boot prediction comes true. Until then, take care!

Like the Preview? Hate it? Just wanna get in touch? Hit me up on the Tweet Box: @vannestjc