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Survivor: Caramoan - Preview, Part 2

Meet the Favorites

By Ben Willoughby

February 12, 2013

Yeah, look at all those 'favorites'.

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The whole point of bringing back returnees is to give audiences a chance to see favorite past contestants that they liked in their first season and would like to see have another shot at winning.

But how many of them really be classified as a favorite? You’ve either forgotten or repressed the memories of half the returnees, and the ones you haven’t, you probably remember for making some of the stupidest Survivor decisions of all time. Two of them gave up immunity only to be voted out. One of them was voted out first, and another was taken to the final Tribal Council as an obvious goat.

Some of the contestants have cottoned onto this and are probably having existential crises along the lines of “This is where I fit on the Survivor hierarchy?” Probst was even reduced to giving an interview about how everyone has it wrong and the casting is actually awesome and players like Andrea and Cochran were good players who learned a lot from their first time out and will come back stronger. I’m sure each night he cries himself to sleep on his mattress stuffed with $100 bills.

The only one you could call a “favorite” is Malcolm, who was brought in as a late addition. I’m positive that if he hadn’t been such a hit, they would have brought back Colton and we’d be watching Survivor: Dumbass Island.

Anyway, here is what I think of the “favorites” based on their past seasons, their CBS promos and the interviews EW deigned to give them.




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Brenda

Brenda, who is from Miami and owns her own paddleboard company, is the castaway I am most likely to be guiltily attracted to. I probably need to remind everyone that Brenda was in the woeful Nicaragua season, where the other finalists were so mediocre that Fabio/Jud winning was considered the best possible outcome. And no-one spoke of that season again.

Brenda believes she is a fan favorite because “I had my own strategies and plans in the game and I did it myself and didn’t ride any coattails.” This would be a fair assessment if it also included the word “bikini”. You probably won’t remember, but Brenda established herself as a mastermind-type player who put together an alliance that ended up fractured by NaOnka, probably the most difficult Survivor player of all time. She wasn’t a great mastermind. After the merge, she quickly became a target, and made the mistake of deciding not to scramble and instead trusting her alliance. This was interpreted as “not caring."

Brenda says that her preparation for this season has focused on the mental and emotional sides, and in particular remembering the mistakes she made in her first season. She says she has to show a “new version of Brenda because the old one didn’t work. I have to put bad Brenda to the side, show people good Brenda and then do bad things.”

Assessment: Brenda formed an alliance last game without having to do much beyond being the pretty girl. Expect more of the same this time.


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