Survivor NZ is starting next week and it’s sweet as, bruh! I won’t even attempt to make Kiwi jokes as my friend Simon and fellow Survivor Superfan will be joining me in assessing this new Survivor cast!
The 16 castaways were revealed by TVNZ this week and there seems to be a real diverse and eclectic mix. Overall I’m pretty happy with what I’ve seen and hope that these Kiwis bring the fire! Obviously, this assessment is only based on first impressions and what’s been presented to us through the cast interviews and bios. I don’t know any of the people personally.

LYNDZ

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Honestly, I was pretty surprised when New Zealand announced they were making their own Survivor, and so close to when Australian Survivor was announced too! The fact Survivor NZ only has a $100k grand prize makes me think, what other facets of the show were reduced? Nevertheless, the Kiwis did it and I am very pleased this season is 40 days with 16 contestants. Seriously, that’s enough!
The commercials to promote the show have been… tacky at best; which I personally don’t mind. And the cast videos look like my niece and nephew threw something together in Paint. I’m not sure whose idea it was to use these interviews as you can hear the producers in the background, it just seems unprofessional. BUT, maybe this is what they were going for! It has a very old school, pre-2000 feel, ha! I can’t wait to see what the castaways bring to the table, and most importantly, how Matt Chisholm handles being Kiwi Probst!

SIMON

Simon

Disclaimer: From the announcement of New Zealand Survivor I was incredibly excited to have our very own version of my favourite TV “Social Experiment”. I’ve had mixed reactions as more came out, extreme elation to incredible apprehension. I have been able to make my own failed audition video and 16 Survivor contestants (woohoo). The lows have become increasingly clear seeing how low budget New Zealand Survivor will be. Contestants would compete for 100,000 dollars, while the recent publicity has taken a tacky turn. In a wise decision I will not judge until I have seen it. After all YouTube’s Survivor: Brooklyn isn’t even that bad right? This will not effect this cast assessment though as I am ready to unleash on these contestants who took my spot…
Please take with as much grains of salt as possible, because all I am working with is the video from TVNZ. If you can’t take with a grain of salt keep your sunny side up, and suck eggs.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: It’s the Kiwi Bazza! Also, he showed us his stomach and we don’t need to see that yet…

This guy seems super nice and sweet and someone you’d want to hang out with in daily life, but I don’t see him being a strategist or a deceiver. He’ll definitely be an asset in challenges. Sala will be that guy who makes people laugh, but will need someone to guide him in the game. He also pretty much tells us he needs food to keep him in good spirits, so when he only starts eating one bowl of rice a day, will he be the cheery guy he comes across as? I guess we’ll see! Honestly, I don’t see him going very far unless he can find a tight alliance to bring him to the end.

Prediction: Pre-jury, because he might just pull a Barry and not want to play the game.

SIMON

Initial reaction: Wait what?! How did Barry get on Survivor NZ?

Looks like Survivor is dipping into the Australian Survivor school of thought with the casting of Sala. He even speaks similarly of his game intentions to play with honesty and integrity. Unfortunately, Barry… I mean Sala you have to lie and deceive at some stage in this game otherwise you get got. On the plus side for Sala he is rather entertaining. If he keeps up the cheeky exterior, he will have no problem getting along with others on the island. Unfortunately, the island can sometimes sap that kind of infectious energy from someone. Since we are very multicultural in New Zealand it is great to see someone from Barry’s background being cast.

Prediction: I’m going to predict the best of Sala and say final 5 but if it gets too much for him he’ll finish in a similar spot to Barry.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: I highly doubt you’re the biggest Survivor Super Fan in New Zealand, but show us what you’ve got!

The last person I knew called Dee was on Neighbours, and she wasn’t even real. But I digress… I really hope the producers made Dee talk up her game. Being cast as a super Survivor fan would be tough as you really do have to play that character of knowing the ins and outs of the game, and I really hope Dee is that person. Coming off quite obnoxious however isn’t a good start and I hope she does take a step back on the island, and not necessarily play dumb, but be conscious of how she’s acting. She definitely reminds me of a mix between Courtney Marit and Kelly Wiglesworth, hopefully without the yoga. Dee throwing shade at Boston Rob was also hilarious. And from her bio “I know Doritos work great as firestarter..” – I hear Pizza Hut is an official sponsor of Survivor NZ, so maybe she can make do with pizza products instead?!

Prediction: I think Dee is a little too confident and will be pre-merge.

SIMON

Initial reaction: Survivor Nerd or Survivor Turd

I was looking forward to seeing how New Zealand Survivor would represent us on the super duper fan front. Now I am not so sure. Dee strikes me as someone a little bit obnoxious who speaks in too much hyperbole. What triggers me is her claim that she is the biggest Survivor fan in New Zealand. That is one way to make me slightly indignant. A little advice Dee if you want to play dumb about not knowing Survivor maybe just don’t mention B-Rob and when someone does say “who?!”. It sounds like she wants to play a Fabio game but she has too much of an ego (don’t we all). She speaks about being charming but if I am honest she strikes me more as Flicka/Courtney Marit type not exactly known for oozing charm. Let’s just put it this way if she is who she is in the video I would not share my secrets with her. I hope she turns on the charm otherwise I see this going a similar direction to Drama teacher Evan’s time in Australian Survivor.

Prediction: If she is more like Shirin, Aubry and Hannah she’s in the finals, otherwise she’s gone in her first two tribals.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: Totally looks like a Cleo Bachelor of the Year!

This guy seems like a low key Survivor super fan. He says he’s played a Survivor-type game at home with his family, so I’d like to hear more about that. But considering he does play these games, Mike must have a good grasp on how Survivor works, albeit the starving and 39 days part! In his video he threw all models under the bus which is very strange as most models try and back their profession. Even Rohan on Australian Survivor tried to talk modelling up (also failing).
If Mike’s smart he won’t align with the other alpha males and put a bigger target on himself. The Malcolm-Denise route seems like his best bet, and I think he could pull that off. I don’t see Michael pissing too many people off and he could possibly make it very far being a very social person. Expect the girls fawning over him.

Prediction: Jury member for sure! Unless he’s cursed with a crazy twist.

SIMON

Initial reaction: Oooo someone from my hometown

Okay so I did some scouting and found out Mike is Michael Sparrow (brother of a friend’s friend). So I probably can’t let loose too much here. Some things I took from the video are I wonder how the whole modelling industry will take his comments (great way to throw yourself under the bus). If he does that in the game he could be in trouble. As it stands however I think Mike is set to be the New Zealand Survivor hero who meets his downfall. I think he will generally get on with anyone from Barb (think Malcolm and Denise), to the young girls to Lee and Tom. I am a curious as to how big of a super fan he is. He is known to play his own Survivors among friends (I can confirm this, however I wonder how many hours he spends listening to podcast and other trivial things). To me he seems a fairly middle of the road kind of guy, similar to Malcolm. I cannot see him being a challenge dominator like Ozzy or Joey Amazing (of Mana fame). All though he talks big I can imagine he is too much of a Beta male to play the Boston Rob game he says he wants to play. I would be very surprised if he did not make the merge.

Prediction: If it plays like a USA season he’s a merge boot.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: This lady seems like a hoot! We need to meet.

One of my favourites going in, I love a good ol’ Survivor Mom! She seems pretty light-hearted and I love someone who can laugh at herself. I truly hope she brings this into the game and doesn’t allow the craziness overcome her. Barb will definitely be the Jungle Mama, as Simon referred her as, but I see as a more jovial Tina Wesson! As an older woman, Barb will have to show she’s strong and make a good impression on her tribe from Day 1. I think she will be underestimated and make it deep into the game; or at least I’m hoping! She seems to be bit gutsier than Aussie Sue was too; man I have high hopes for you Barbara!!

Prediction: I have to go jury. She needs to find a young lad, who’s not too Alpha, maybe Michael or Tom to stick with and oust them at the end. 😉

SIMON

Initial reaction: Jungle Mama or #SurvivorBreakdown

Ahhh the Survivor mum, and New Zealand’s first one of that. Barb is a quintessential Kiwi mum. From the way she annunciates her words, to her sense of humour. In Survivor we see two distinguishable types of mums. The strong willed Sue (Australian Survivor) Denise Stapley’s and Tina Wesson’s. Then those who struggle at some stage with game elements but also show strength, the Holly Hoffman’s, Dawn Meehan’s, Lisa Welchel’s and Kathy Vavrick O’Brien’s (My favourite btw). Unfortunately, I think Barb will fall into the latter. While I think she will be able to build social bonds with the younger and older people, she will struggle more with the cutthroat element to Survivor. This could be perfect in a game that is just starting up in New Zealand though. If there is a “Let the good guys win’’ mentality out there she could very much go well. I think Barb will make a fantastic addition though dare I say I think she has “zero percent chance at winning this game.” Now it is on her to prove me wrong. I hope as she says she has those cogs turning and we’ll see how she goes.

Prediction: If she does okay in challenges mid jury, if not early boot.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: The ladies are going to love him!

The outdoorsy, yoga guy! A mix between Ozzy and Joe Anglim, this guy is going to be a force in challenges. Lee also seems like a very likeable guy and he even admits establishing relationships is a strong point. Because of this, I think Lee will make it very far. And if he can make it to the end, with the bonds he makes I think he actually could win, especially with a bitter jury.
The only thing is that in his bio he mentions being a laidback dude wanting to ride the waves. And we know what happened to Jenn and Hali who only wanted to surf! This could definitely mean he gets caught out and ends up going home in a blindside!

Prediction: Blindsided early, or jury.

SIMON

Initial reaction: And here’s our Ozzy

Lee looks like Stephen Fishbach’s worst nightmare. The Golden Boy. I can imagine he will definitely be around for merge time and he will be New Zealand’s challenge beast through swimming, endurance and balance. Lee seems to have an interesting back-story also talking about the differences between himself and his family. Like Ozzy, however, I do not see anybody wanting Lee at the end if they want to win. Even though he seems more than likeable I do not see him having the strategic chops to get off the chopping block and will only rely on challenge prowess.

Prediction: After a challenge run he is a mid jury boot.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: Man, so to get cast on Survivor I need to rant about my love for food; got it!

Shay’s interview was pretty bland, and she kept rambling on about really random stuff! I’m all for a good ramble, but nothing about her strategy going into the game was explained and we only heard her talk about food. Maybe Sala and Shay will start up a Survivor cooking class on the island!
Then Shay goes into Auckland rent prices and Fish Survivor being her life. I am so confused! At least she has basic fishing skills, right?!
She seems like a fun, lovely girl, but I’m worried about how she’ll go in a cut-throat game. She says she will be open and not keep anything from anyone. Eek! Someone might use this to their advantage. Shay could easily be used as a goat for some of the more competitive/strategic players. Who knows, she might just surprise us!!

Prediction: Jury, or final 3.

SIMON

Initial reaction: “My hobbies are eating…” ummmm

Shay to me seems a little bit uninteresting. In the video they have not shown much whatsoever as a reason why she has been cast. She’s from Auckland and she talks about the traffic and how she can’t afford a house (all pretty regular Auckland problems by the way, world). She laughs a lot (RC anyone… okay so she’s probably a lot friendlier than Roberta Christine St Amour). Okay so is she saying she was inspired to go on Survivor because she had lots of goldfish and only one survived (dear lord this girl is all over the place). This girl seems to me not to offer much in terms of strategy but I am sure she’ll make someone a nice shiny pawn. And who knows what happens if a pawn gets to the end of Survivor NZ… They could be crowned the winner.

Prediction:
She’s fairly meh but will probably make final 3.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: This guy thinks he’s funny and I’m confused.

Honestly, I didn’t get the 141 nickname either. And I think I laughed more at him than with him! Sorry Jak. This guy is a total joker and prankster and I think he’ll either make friends or piss people off. Depending on what kind of humour they’re into.
I’d like to see Jak kept around for his strength, and he mentions that he is a team player and getting the job done, so he may be seen as an asset around camp. Like he says, if he can keep his mouth shut I think he can make it far. Jak doesn’t want to be pinned for big moves which is so different to what most castaways say; they want to make the big moves. I just hope he doesn’t come across as the big goofy guy who doesn’t know anything!

Prediction: Early boot, or pre-merge.

SIMON

Initial reaction: Is this guy really 141 kgs

Okay so this guy is more of the Super fan (I’m guessing) I can relate to. He seems to have a sense of humour, but I am unsure whether it would annoy people or not. The guy says he is from Wellington and then proceeds to say people don’t like Wellington. This is a view I have not actually heard of so I don’t know how aware he is. On that note I wonder if he has a job now he has publicly stated on a TVNZ video he doesn’t like working there. I can see this guy being a character in the season. I can also see him working with alpha males by greasing up their egos. I can also see him as a potential Cochran type who annoys those egos. I also see him being off putting to some of the girls on the season with his self-deprecating humour.

Prediction: He is a hard man to pin down I will say pre merge for now.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: Izzy is a cutie, but how far will that get her?

Ahh Izzy! I like her, but I’m worried she’ll be treated like an Ashley (Acaro) Trainer to begin with. Thank goodness Russell Hantz isn’t playing this game otherwise he’d be all over her from day dot.
Hopefully Izzy stays around long enough to show off her skills she mentions in her bio.
I have to say Izzy’s video impressed me a lot more than I thought and I think she will be fine socialising and making bonds with anyone on her tribe. And seeing she’s quite worldly and doesn’t mind getting down and dirty, she shouldn’t be perceived as a weak around camp or in challenges. I would love to see Izzy make some moves; she seems the subtler type and they work just fine.

Prediction: Watch Izzy coast to the merge.

SIMON

Initial reaction: Token hot girl 1

Okay so more meets the eye after watching her video. This girl sounds like she will be an asset in challenges in whichever tribe she is put in. While initially coming off as high maintenance listing off hobbies such as shopping she actually comes off as ready for the physical demands of Survivor. I think she seems like she will play level headed and be able to handle the elements. The main thing will be to see if this girl can strategise. I have no doubt she’ll be fine with the two other elements of the game. She doesn’t really have any detail on strategy, but I can see her joining up with a more alpha alliance member and riding their coat tails or controlling them behind the scenes.

Prediction: If she can cut her strong alliance member loose before the end she is a winner contender.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: Legit thought he and Mike were the same person. Oops!

There seem to be a few people cast for their travels and who’ve had experience camping and Tom is another one of them. It’s interesting Tom brings up having mental fitness, and not having it, but it truly is a skill contestants need to think about. So kudos to him for bringing it up.
Tom is a chilled out surfer dude teacher and I see him getting along with people fine… and he doesn’t seem like someone who would stir up any drama making him potentially a boring player to watch.
Nevertheless he mentions being competitive so he has the potential for making it deep in the game. I honestly didn’t get the best read from his interview as I almost fell asleep at the beginning when he talks about his parents telling him to become a man…

Prediction: Late jury member, though I’m not too keen on him yet!

SIMON

Initial reaction: Tom the twenty-year-old teacher from Tauranga . . . Alliteration right there

First of all Tom’s video has been one of the shortest of them all so far. However, I think there is some great skills a secondary school teacher like himself can bring to the game. He will certainly be empathetic of others and as he says he’ll be able to put himself in another’s shoes. These are core to the social game of Survivor.
I can see Tom being a bond maker and working really well with someone like Mike or Lee. I’m guessing however he will definitely be on the opposite tribe of at least one if not both of these two to start with. I can almost see him being a bit like Nick Iadanza in some ways but not being seen as such a snake.

Prediction: While I can see him being close to a Mike I see different fates for the two of them – winners pick.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: Glamourzon Model for sure!!

Hannah is that alternative chick I don’t personally relate to, since I am not alternative at all! BUT, I do love that she is cast as she brings some diversity; how often do you see plus-size models on Survivor? Or plus-size women at all?! The last alternative-looking chick I can remember is Angie Jakusz from Palau!
In her bio Hannah mentions disliking people who body shame, and I don’t think she will have too much of a problem on the island, maybe more outside the game. Social media can be a bitch! Nevertheless, Hannah seems like a strong woman, physically, mentally and emotionally and is at one with her body which will help her in the game. Going by her motto, she is fit, healthy and strong, and I truly hope she is able to prove to her tribe from the start that she should be kept around.

Prediction: I hate to say it, but first boot. And I hope I’m wrong! If not, pre-jury.

SIMON

Initial reaction: Yea this won’t go so well

Okay okay, so I may be accused of profiling on a few accounts here. So she has pink hair, a nose ring and does roller derby. I know she seems to have a fun personality, but I’m sure Ashley Massaro did too. She’s a preschool teacher… well unfortunately you ain’t working with kids here. I think the elder people on the tribe will grow sick of Hannah fast and those the same age will struggle to find a connection. The only relationship I can see Hannah having is Dee who will be either getting along with her and only her, or her and everyone else. Her greatest asset is that she may be strong in challenges if physical; thankfully for her she won’t be seeing too many clowns during these challenges. On the plus side I cannot really remember too many plus size woman featuring on Survivor, which is a positive difference from other additions. Her network of friends is with likeminded people, I would love to see her work with say a Tony (who we will get to later).

Prediction: Okay so my initial reaction was actually first boot and my prediction remains first boot.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: Musical theatre performer – Love, love, love!!!

Along with Barb, Georgia is one of my favourites going into the season and the musicals aspect definitely helps! She may be considered a ‘weaker’ person in her tribe because of her small stature, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be an asset. It really is hard to judge sometimes. Take Aubry for example, just by looking at her you wouldn’t think she’s a challenge beast!
Being a stage performer, I think Georgia will be capable of pulling off some Kelley Wentworth type acting skills on the island, if necessary, and I look forward to those moments! (Less snarky of course)
It’s great to hear that she’s been preparing herself for the game with knot tying, leaf weaving and eating less.
Georgia seems to want to play the game as it come, along with forming strong alliances. I also think she’d be open to working with the enemy as well. Her social game will be key.

Prediction: Despite everything I’ve said, I see her being too much of a threat and going home at the merge, or early jury.

SIMON

Initial reaction: Very likeable, Laura Alexander vibes…

Okay let’s just say this girl is awesome. Musical theatre, done a little bit of travelling, it is such a waste she is from Palmerston North. For those ill-informed here’s what Monty Python’s John Cleese said about Palmerston North “If you wish to kill yourself but lack the courage to, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick.” This girl has an amazing story to tell that is for sure. I’m not sure how this translates to gameplay. Where the Laura Alexander vibes come in is I see this girl as not being incredible in challenges despite her likability and despite her “fitness”. I’ll be happy if she proves me wrong. Her training in doing some knots should give her some strength in challenges at least unless she feels J’Tia-like pressure. Not sure how her honesty will go down in these situations as hunger may determine them to be more blunt. This girl does however seem smiley and looks like she will attract a social game.

Prediction: Despite me thinking she will be weak in challenges I think she will make a tight bond with an alliance to get her to the merge – early merge boot.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: Why does he look so angry?!

OMG, so I just thought of Des the whole time during Tony’s interview. I think it’s the way he talks. Too funny… Except I don’t think Tony will be first boot. I think he’ll be able to do enough to keep around at least a few votes. In saying that, and not to take away his military skills, he is an older man in Survivor years. Tony will have to get lucky if he is on a losing tribe, otherwise he’s a goner!
Tony may come across as a Rodger Bingham type character and have the young girls who are similar to his daughter under his wing. I think Tony’s game will depend on who he starts with. Having another ‘older’ person on his tribe should help him.
Also, the fact that the thing that makes him mad is ‘blatant back-stabbing’ is pretty much saying he’s never watched Survivor before and this worries me.

Prediction: Sorry Tony, you’re an early boot for me.

SIMON

Initial reaction: Please be Tony Vlachos… please be Tony Vlachos

So he is not Tony Vlachos (the man, the myth the legend) however Tony is going to be a character of pristine order. It is becoming a bit of a trope at this stage but I can again see this going two ways (neither bodes well for him being a Boston Rob type). NZ’s Tony is more heading towards being a Zane Knight, Chicken Morris and Des (insert last name here) type of character or along the to Keith Nale, Big Tom, Keith Nale 2.0 and Big Tom 2.0 lineage of success. I can only hope for the latter so we get more of him. Either way it will be a fantastic ride. He has so many quirks that is going to make a top tier Survivor character or a top tier early boot either way. What’s not to like …allrite! I have a feeling he will be quite clueless in terms of gameplay, but he’ll entertain for sure. Oh and he says he has weapons in his arsenal … maybe he is like OG Tony and his bag of tricks.

Prediction: While hoping for Tony I am sure he will do the trick as New Zealand’s Keith Nale.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: When I first heard there was a teenage farmer on this season I thought of Dolly Neely and I was totally wrong.

Lou isn’t your typical teenager. She’s outdoorsy, adventurous and unlike other teenagers I’m sure, she didn’t mention anything about bringing her mobile phone to the island! She will no doubt have a ball on Survivor as it seems to be in her element, BUT all she spoke about was the environment and having outdoor skills. Which would be great if she wants to play like Ozzy (and not win). I can definitely see Lou aligning with other like-minded folk, the hardworking, outdoorsy guys and maybe even Tony would take her under his wing.
The only think I’m unsure about is the game strategy she will bring, nothing was said!

Prediction: Being so young, someone will take her under their wing. Jury.

SIMON

Initial reaction: Farmgirl 69 (calling Dale Wentworth aka farmguy 69)

Crass jokes aside this girl seems an interesting casting choice. A lot of those cast on US Survivor who are this young are the Student types of those who have toured the world. This girl seems fairly homebound with her job on the farm. At 19 years old she has quite a big responsibility by the sounds working on the family farm. She’s very outdoorsy which seems to have been a common thing for most on New Zealand Survivor. While she says she is loud I don’t see her as naturally loud like Shannon. I also think being the young girl out there she will be taken under the wing of those close to her in age as well as those parental figures. Being a small town girl she may be a bit of a deer in the headlights. I think she will be strong in challenges and strong socially though, her strategic side I am concerned about.

Prediction: Final 2

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: Another policeman giving Survivor a shot.

Same old bio and interview that every other cop has given. Being able to read people well is a strong point, etc, etc. I have no doubt Nate is mentally strong and he will also be a physical asset in challenges. He actually reminds me of Lea “Sarge” Master in Survivor Vanuatu, and they may be similar in personality as well. Nate better not rub people up the wrong way!
I also find it interesting how he’s done some theatre shows, so maybe a lighter side will be shown of him as well. I unfortunately don’t have high hopes for Nate and see him being used as a number until he gets kicked off.

Prediction: Early boot.

SIMON

Initial impression: Eh I prefer Tony

So this is our version of a cop in New Zealand for all those internationals out there. I work with them a lot in my job. There does have to be a certain amount of bravado to be a NZ Cop. Although this guy seems pretty centred I think they all have that. Survivor will more than likely bring him down a peg. Then there is the history of police officers on Survivor. Let us just say cops have had a checkered past on the show. Until Tony Vlachos appeared in season 28 we had Cristina Coria, Amy O’Hara, Papa Bear, Jessie Camacho and Betsy Bolan who were all pre mergers and those like Ken Stafford with little impact. Since then we haven’t had many successful either although Sarah is looking good in Survivor Game Changers. I think Nate will join the pre-merge players. That’s not to say he won’t be a character. I mean the theatre cop come on. He seems more than amicable enough. He does seem aware enough of how the skills from his job will help so that’s good enough. However he does also say he is going to be honest when giving answers this will land him in hot water in this game.

Prediction: Nate will be taken out just before the merge

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: Hot chick of the Survivor NZ coming through!

Going by her photo, I didn’t think Shannon would be so… Animated! Haha. As she says, she’s loud and it’s humorous how she admits to being somewhat obnoxious. I’m not sure what to think right now! If anything, I think she will be entertaining!
It’s pretty cool that Shannon is zookeeper and working with animals I’m concerned she’s going to be one of those castaways who won’t want to ‘eat the chicken’, and those people drive me nuts!
I think she’ll be fine living in the elements and in challenges. She’s definitely more of a dork than I expected and I like it! I wonder how her and Dee will get along, and I’d like to see if they clash or become besties. I’d like to say she makes it far, but her loud mouth might just cost her!

Prediction: Ahh, I’ll say pre-merge. Kinda like a Michaela surprise boot. Sad, I know.

SIMON

Initial reaction: So this is the girl everybody has been raving about

Before I sat down to read about Shannon and watch her videos all I hear about was people raving about her. Was she NZ’s Kim Spradlin? I am going to say no. Kim was “Cool calm and collective” like no other and almost soothing to her tribe whereas this girl seems to yell. She’s nice enough. And I suppose she does look enough like the blend of Candice and Kim. If she comes across dumb and obnoxious to her friends and family imagine what those agitated on an island with no food will feel about this girl they don’t know. I think about Liz Markham in this aspect. I thought she had all the tools to be a great Survivor. In actuality she came across as a know it all and was first off her tribe. That’s not to think I don’t think she will go well. I think she will be someone who benefits from having young people in the game. She also may be a bit of a challenge beast; while she’s the only one who directly says she is a good liar, which can only be a good thing.

Prediction: Strong pregame favourite who goes early, think Mari, So and Liz.

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LYNDZ

Initial reaction: OK, forget Lee, the ladies (and gents) are going to love Avi 😉

OK, I see things a little different to Simon. I like Avi and he seems very cool, calm and collected. He’s travelled all around the world and met people across a broad spectrum of society. I think Avi will be crafty and be able to manipulate people subtly. I can see why people might think Avi is a little boring, but he’s just softly spoken. Or maybe I’m just smitten! He does give off a certain Ace Gordon (Gabon) vibe though which scares me a little. I see Avi being a snake, waiting to strike. He’ll lay low at first, then pull out the big guns.

Prediction: Jury, but if he’s not careful, he’ll be gone before the merge!

SIMON

Initial reaction: This dude just looks like a villain

After watching his video and reading his bio and everything I have got to say I was very disappointed in Avi. Again with the profiling I had made this guy out to be Survivor NZ’s villain when all he seems to be is backpacking bore. The way he is going to play Survivor by being middle of the road is actually good strategy. But he describes it in such a dull way. His group and facilitation work may actually come in handy, that doesn’t mean he’ll be a great character. The best character moment from his interview is the fact he is willing to lie about his profession. Now that has brought up some great past moments including Tony, Gary Hogeboom and most recently a host of Millennials and Gen X players. Otherwise I think this guy seems like the kind of guy who previously had dread locks and wore fisherman pants while walking shoeless in Thailand.

Prediction: Mid merge boot

Watch Survivor NZ on TVNZ from Sunday May 7 @ 7:30pm.


Blog by Lynda Olson & Simon Knyvett

ALL IMAGES USED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE COPYRIGHT TVNZ AND SCOTT MCAULAY. THIS IS A PERSONAL BLOG AND ALL VIEWS ARE MY OWN.