Survivor: Cagayan Preview

Brains, Beauty and Brawn

By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst

February 25, 2014

Pick the ex-NBA player and win a prize. Hint: he's the tall one.

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Jefra Bland (22, Campbellsville, KY) - Meet this season's pageant queen, Jefra. She was Miss Kentucky Teen USA in 2009 and is now a college student. Jefra claims to be a tough southern girl and judging by some of the things in her family's past (a father's struggle with addiction, as an example) she seems like she is mentally tough enough for this game. I worry that Jefra's game could mirror the last beauty queen on Survivor, Angie Layton. She got close to Malcolm and all of a sudden, they were a pair and she had to go. Jefra needs to play her own game and avoid any perceived hook-ups. I think she can do it. A lot of her game may come down to how well she performs in challenges. This is going to be a very social and very good-looking tribe. Should they lose, they may vote along the "what makes our tribe stronger" lines. As a good southern girl, I expect Jefra to hold her own.

Brice Johnston (27, Philadelphia, PA) - I think I'm going to like Brice and I think the other players will, too. Brice strikes me as someone who can go far. He seems like he'll make life on the island fun and when all things are equal going into a may as well keep the person you like. Brice is going to be a big personality, of that I'm confident. For his sake, I hope his positive attitude can withstand the elements. If it can, he is not only a threat to go far, but to win this game.

Alexis Maxwell (21, Addison, IL) - College student Alexis may be one of the more likable players this season. She also seems the least equipped to play this game. She comes across like she's going to be blindsided by how hard the game is. In fairness, had I been doing this last season, this is exactly how I would have described Ciera based on bio and video. Obviously, I would have been dead wrong, so I could be here as well. I just worry about any girl who comes into the game thinking she's the next Parvati and that she'll flirt her way to the end. That game hasn't worked since Parvati won. Actually, it didn't work until Parvati won and now people are looking for it. I don't expect Alexis to be the first off her tribe, but I don't expect her to last long. I think she'll be a fish out of water and when she ends up on a tribe with Jefra and Morgan and realizes that her looks won't get her far at the beginning, I think she'll struggle for a foot hold in the game and she'll be a pre-merge casualty of "keep the tribe strong."

LJ McKanas (34, Boston, MA) - LJ has a plan to win Survivor. Use strength to win challenges in the early game, charm to make it through the middle game and his brain for the end game. LJ sees himself more as a Brawn, someone not afraid to get his hands dirty. I have a feeling this tribe will be lacking in leadership, which may cause LJ to jump out and take over the setting up of camp, and challenge assignments - the stuff that will make him a leader and an early target as such. He thinks he has the charm to get past this part of the game and I guess that remains to be seen. If LJ can manage to not be branded the "leader" he may have a chance to go far. If not, he'll be kept around until the rest of tribe tires of him and organizes his ouster.


Morgan McLeod (21, San Jose, CA) - Another wannabe Parvati, Morgan has the makeup of the first person off her tribe. She reminds me of Sarah Jones from all the way back in Marquesas, the one who came riding into camp like Cleopatra while everyone else did the work. Morgan figures to use her ample bosom and pretty face to get whatever she wants. Little does she know the other girls on her tribe are also hot, Brice will not be interested and the other guys are good looking as well and I'm sure they've had their share of girls just like Morgan. She claims to have knowledge of construction to help build a shelter and to be adaptive. For her sake, I hope she can adapt because I don't think she'll be able to use her boobs to win on this tribe, so she’d better be able to bring something else to the table or she'll be the dead weight cut loose the first time the tribe loses a challenge.

Jeremiah Wood (34, Dobson, NC) - I didn't have to look at Jeremiah's profile to figure that his best comparison is JT Thomas. You get that when you see him and hear him talk. He’s a good-looking southern boy who has all the outdoorsy skills needed for Survivor. My guess is he'll make himself very valuable to a tribe that may skew a tad lazy. I don't see him jumping up to lead; I just see him jumping up to work. If Jeremiah can find himself a smart player to work with, like JT did in Fishbach, he could go all the way to the end. I could very easily see Jeremiah as the last Beauty standing. Will he do enough to win? I don't know, but I think he'll go very deep into this game.

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