Australian Survivor Season 2 (on Channel Ten, or 4 overall in Oz, or 3 if you don’t count the Celebrity version, ARGH!) begins Sunday July 30, with not one, not two, but THREE episodes in the first week! They are trying to kill us… Less is more, people! Nevertheless it is VERY exciting and I cannot wait for this season to start. We have another 24 contestants vying for the title of Sole Survivor and $500,000, and going off face value it is a much more diverse bunch of peeps! Also, if anyone has seen the ads, the challenges look set to be epic!! Like Gladiator proportions :O
In this blog I give my thoughts on each castaway based on first impressions, their Channel Ten bios and the few who’ve been lucky enough to feature in promos. Also joining me is the Queen B herself from the Final 3 of Survivor New Zealand, Barb Raos! Don’t mind her blunt comments, it’s just the way the lady rolls! Let’s get to it…
LYNDZ: THIS GUY!! Hey AK 😉 Knowing he’s a mad reality TV fan, this guy will stop at nothing to win. We haven’t seen any promos on AK yet, but that just shows he’s probably made some sneaky-sneaky moves they can’t give away. I’m expecting big things from AK, and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t trust a guy wearing an Adelaide Crows cap? 😉 In his bio AK says he rooted for Nick and Phoebe last season, so we know his head is in the right place going into Survivor; let’s just hope he can make it further than those two. The only thing that could be his downfall is playing too hard at the start, but after watching last year’s season I think AK knows what he needs to do. Watch out guys, he’ll smile and shake your hand, then stab you in the back! I think AK will have enough strength to be an asset in challenges, but not seen as a threat; have a good social game (I mean you have to be as a wedding DJ, right?!); the wit to maneuver himself amongst the tribes, and make it to at least the jury. #TeamAK
BARB: I think Aaron’s got the goods. I like his look and he seems like he’ll get on with people and is aware of the game. He also seems to have the confidence to back up his plays and won’t mind spinning the blarney to convince and manipulate people. Physically, he should be great in some challenges. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and knows it’s not a sprint, but a marathon so will pick his fights.
LYNDZ: Oh gosh, Aimee. She says in her bio people normally see her as the ‘average dumb blonde’. I don’t; all I see is BOGAN! And it drives me nuts! Funny though, because Aimee mentions wanting to run seminars for young adults on how to be financially smart. This is a pretty random thing to throw in without knowing too much about her own background other than being a plumber. The fact it IS is in her bio makes her a tad more appealing to me (I can’t deal with stupid), and something like the simple art of saving money is important! So kudos, Aimee. She admits she doesn’t have a game plan, but this is not the worst thing. Many fans on the show who do seem to crumble when things don’t go to plan (sorry Andy!), and I think Aimee knows enough of the game and won’t be afraid to make moves at the right time. On the flip side she seems pretty proud that she walked over 500km from Melbourne to Canberra, for nothing! I don’t understand this logic at all. As a character, Aimee should be very entertaining and I think the audience will either love or hate her. I’m not sure if I will be able to handle the ocker Aussie Sheila accent, and I’m going to guess she lasts until the merge.
BARB: Oh, I should like Aimee, because on paper she says the right thing! She’s going to try too hard. Also, I could have told them I was a stone mason, but I don’t think a job itself defines you, it’s what you take from it. She sounds gutsy but… nah! I don’t like how she paints her own target with being blonde, but then sets out to disprove it by listing her accomplishments.
LYNDZ: Our first Survivor dad and superfan of the season, Adam seems like a really intelligent and cool guy! Who doesn’t love a Survivor dad? And I’m talking way cooler than the dreamy Ken McKnickle! A poker player and an award-winning salesman… A Survivor fan who wants to do us other fans super proud?! I will be devastated if Adam doesn’t make it to the end. DOWN WITH MATE-SHIP. His bio says all the right things and I think his strategic mind and knowledge of the game will be his strongest assets and I’m expecting some manipulative moves. I just hope he’s not one of those douchey ‘listen to me’ kinda guys who rubs everyone up the wrong way on day one. If he is I’m guessing he’s gone pre-merge, if not I’d like to think he makes the jury, but damn he’s a huge threat!
BARB: I really like Adam, he has a great approachable face. As a dad he’s got empathy, but he looks like he knows it’s a game. I love the comment that he’s not there to play for Most Honourable Aussie Player. I think Adam’s going to be a great asset on his tribe and a real driving force of recognising how to tweak people and manipulate them. Adam won’t take it personally and has life experience which will serve him well.
LYNDZ: “I hope that everyone is aware that Survivor is just a game. I believe I draw the line at being malicious or causing harm to people outside of the confines of the game.” So, we won’t be seeing Anneliese out anyone like on Game Changers… Phew! For someone who is 23 Anneliese seems to have achieved a lot. Barb below saying she may be entitled might be true, but we’ll find out if she is humble or not soon! And good on ya girl for getting into shape for Survivor; not an easy thing to do. As someone who also has had a crush on Jeff Probst since 2000, I even think Anneliese assigning him as her ‘hall pass’ is kinda weird. HAHA! HANDS OFF MY MAN! Kidding. There’s a lot of Probst to go around… Having knowledge of the game I think Anneliese should do okay, although there’s not really anything in her bio saying she will. No promos either, so I’ll go with either middle of the road player, or make it to the end. She won’t go home early. Anneliese, just don’t get too excited out on the island and tell everyone you’re a superfan!
BARB: Anneliese… Open face, tick! A negative though is saying she bases her men on Jeff Probst, ugh. It’s a bit of a worry for prospective men if they’ve gotta have a reality host as their benchmark; no offence to Jeff. Also, she just comes off as a bit entitled. I found she self promoted herself so who’s she trying to convince?
LYNDZ: I have nothing against Ben working in fast food, but do we have to be told he’s single? Like being 20 and single is the worst thing about your Survivor profile? FFS! Maybe curls don’t get the girls for you, Ben? And thank God he’s not 18 and a Will Wahl still in school. I see Ben latching on to the alpha guys… He could also use them as meat shields and play up the “I’m young, help me bro” thing because of his age. Ben admits he’s a superfan of the game, but I’m not quite sure if he’ll have the mental capacity or strategic chops to pull off anything big on his own (only because of his lack of life experiences). But hey, I’ll be happy to be proved wrong! I see Ben either having a failed bromance and going home pre-merge, or making it to the merge and being totally blindsided. Wouldn’t that be fun!
BARB: Ugh, ugh, ugh… I don’t even like looking at all the hair! He’s going to be annoying. He’s got no life experience and will be easily led. Ben will think he’s being clever, but others will run rings round him. He lives through others watching Reality TV and not astute to recognise his own weaknesses. He’d just annoy the shit out of me!
LYNDZ: “I don’t think I’m annoying but in saying that I do have a strong presence. Game strategy-wise, I would try to curtail this and go a little under the radar.” This means other people think she’s annoying and she will most likely go to the end as a goat. Yikes, and people thought Barb was annoying! I don’t have high hopes for Jacqui in this game and if anything she will have to rely on her physical strength early on. Unfortunately she has the ‘older woman’ stigma in Survivor and will most likely be an early target if her tribe lose the first challenge. Just going off her bio she may rub up the young people up the wrong way with her ‘strong presence’. I’m also not sure I understand her “I think I’ll have a bit of Kylie’s ‘get out of my way’ attitude” quote, as I didn’t think Kylie had such an aggressive demeanor. Jacqui actually reminds me of Monica Culpepper, so who knows, she may get to the end! But will she receive votes?? Hmm.
BARB: I don’t like these women, all exercise and rah-rah “we own the world”, thinking it’s them that shows the ladies who have let themselves go that she looks down her nose at them. She’s going to try too hard and yeah, I think she’s a fair weather achiever; when it’s going her way and conditions are good she will be confident. I think she will be annoying to the younger contestants as she’ll try too hard to fit in as she thinks she is still their age.
LYNDZ: Hi Henry! 😉 Ahh the whole faking your job strategy… But why? Henry is a labourer and has a marketing and accounting degree… Whoopdeedoo. It’s like how Evan pretended he wasn’t a teacher last season. SO WEIRD. I’m not interested in the whole fake yoga facade, so moving on. I think strategically Henry will be underestimated by his tribe mates and they should watch their backs. He seems to have a lot of plans up his sleeve and I actually think he’ll be able to pull some off. Henry will be able to charm the pants off anyone and with those pretty boy, Malcolm Freberg/Joe Anglim -esque looks, go for it! Socially he should do well, but with so many other game players this seasons he’ll need to watch his back. I could definitely see him going home in a blindside! You better find those idols, boy!
BARB: Henry looks like he talks the talk, but I don’t think he has the goods. He may turn out to believe his own hype and I don’t think it bodes well for him to last long in the game. I don’t find him attractive either, sorry, anyone with that length of hair you know loves themselves and will have more product battling for vanity space than your own.
LYNDZ: Ahhh, I already love Joan because I’m a HUGE Escape Room fan! Noted that I will have to try out the escape room she owns… I’ve run out of rooms in Adelaide so have to look interstate. But I digress. Joan seems like a real loud mouth on her promo and jeez, will she even last the first episode?? Joan is a bigger lady too and we saw how Hana was treated on Survivor NZ… Human beings can be pricks. We’d like to think people would look past this, but if her tribe loses first… I’m already devastated at the thought! Her strategy of wanting to fly under the radar is probably for the best. So, I’m thinking early boot, but I’m sooooo hoping she makes it far. We need some Aussie Survivor sass on our screens. About fucking time!
BARB: Oh dear – Joan’s got that sassy Michaela vibe and I think she’s gonna shoot her mouth off and be a female Tony! I reckon she will be an early boot as unlike Hana (Survivor NZ) she will be physically slow and be a hindrance in group challenges. But I think Joan will just be fun to watch and enjoy her play as we all have a bit of Joansie in us.
LYNDZ: I should be happy to see an Asian be cast, and I am. But an already established renowned photographer?! Jarrad seems like such a nice guy and no doubt he will get along well with people. He has also travelled the world from busy cities, to the middle of woop woop in some countries, so I think the elements should be OK for him. Jarrad says he “would hate to cause pain to people I like or have aligned with”… Umm, that’s the whole point of Survivor. He seems like a real adventurous guy and I think the only element of Survivor that may hinder him will be the strategic and potential backstabbing of the game. Will he be able to handle that? Jarrad seems like a real gentle soul and I don’t even want to see him get hurt. Haha! Floater to the merge as a loyal ally for someone… Oh, and I’d like to see him create a fake idol!
BARB: Jarrad seems quirky, and gives me a bit of a Lee (Den Haan, Survivor NZ) vibe. I kind of like him, he’s going to entertain round the campfire as I can just tell he’s OK having his chained pulled and doesn’t take himself too seriously. I think he understands himself well and will be easy to have around. I think he’ll make the merge as he doesn’t seem much of a threat, but he makes a good middle man. Oh, but that hair though.. I just want to get in there and get it plaited or out of his way – mine turned to dreadlocks. I shudder to think what his would be like
LYNDZ: Now this is a woman I can root for! Strong, smart and think she’ll be socially aware enough to not be annoying (sorry Jacqui). Kate admits to being a fan of El last season which scares me a bit, nothing against El but there was NO edit at all. Like others have said who’ve done a cast assessment, Kate totally gives me T-Bird (Survivor Africa) vibes (going by looks) and I see her being respected and well liked by her tribe. I see Kate making the merge, but possibly missing out on the final leg of the game. Maybe Kate will be our version of Denise Stapley, slow and steady wins the race!
BARB: I like Kate’s look and her easy take on herself. She should fit in well with her tribe and not be seen as a threat. I also think she will be active enough to not be a hindrance in challenges. She’s going to be a good mother figure role and used to dealing with people… She will definitely be more tolerant than me! Haha! I think Kate will be strong in challenges and that she’ll make the merge and slip deep into game.
LYNDZ: The other Asian contestant, Jericho is a cutie! Jericho is talking up a big game and wants to take on a risky type of play; pretty much go big or go home. His bio also calls him a “mega-fan”, haha so cute. “There will be people who think they are the alpha male or the strategist of the whole game. My plan is to fuel those egos. I will keep feeding it until they let their guard down, then I will strike” – I really like Jericho’s game plan and I hope he has the strategic chops to pull it off! Let’s hope he doesn’t go home early and misses out on making these BIG MOVES… We all know what happened to Sue! C’mon Jericho!
BARB: Hmm, I think I like Jericho’s take on himself and the game. It’s hard to keep on a persona for a good length of time if it’s a lie. I like that he’s okay NOT being an Alpha male and he’s used to cleaning up after people so doesn’t get as pissy with the lazy messy ones like I did on my season (haha!). Jericho’s got that crafty look to him… I think he’ll be clever. And will be used to being observant from his job and actually have a good read on what’s going on. He’ll make jury.
LYNDZ: Initially I thought I wouldn’t like Aimee, but I think Michelle takes that spot! Michelle’s nickname is “have a chat”, yikes! And she wants to play a ruthless game and make some big moves, but there’s not really anything else in her bio to show that she can back this up. I mean, this could be her strategy…. be totally quiet and then BAM make some crazy move out of nowhere. With so many other game players and having to rough it, I’m not so sure her mental capacity will allow it. Having those flirting abilities may be able to save herself for a while though. Right now Michelle is at the bottom of my totem pole… Sorry Michelle! Prove me wrong!
BARB: Um, yeah okay – whatever, Michelle just seems average and ho hum. I think she’ll struggle with the conditions, but at the same time be able to flirt her way into a better position with her tribe members… And will piss off the other girls! She can go…
LYNDZ: The last of the Adelaide boys, Kent is CFO for Parliament House and also a friend of my work colleagues husband… Good to see we are both SA Government buddies! Because of Kent’s day job, I’d be a bit worried for his safety on the island with his potential overbearing demeanor and treatment of younger castaways. They may listen for the first few days, but he’ll get old quickly! If Kent is not first boot he’ll be able to hang in there for a while, but as I said, I reckon everyone will be over him soon enough and he’ll be booted pre-merge.
BARB: Kent.. Yeah, he’s going to have to hope his tribe wins Immunity as I do think he could very well be the first boot. I like how he realises as an older person that you just have to get to the middle of the game as all the young ones turn on each other. But I’m not seeing him go far, unless as a goat! Damn, it’s hard knowing you have the mental chops to strategise, but your age and looks will be pre-judged from start.
LYNDZ: Odette has to be one of the fittest contestants this season! Go mama! Half of her bio is about her background and the struggles over the years… Not what I personally like, but the general Aussie viewers do, so Channel Ten know their strengths. Survivor shouldn’t be about sympathy, but I also understand and have gone through some of what Odette has too. Odette claims that she will try and play a moral game and keep her integrity intact… I’ll choose to ignore this until we see her play. I can definitely see her aligning with people who she perceives as ‘heroes’ like herself. Maybe Locky, or even Jacqui? Guessing an earlier boot.
BARB: Odette has the right physical attributes to do really well in challenges. It’s just that I can’t handle the people that preach on about “doing it for their kids” in their bios, and in a way she’s trying to paint the hard luck story and a battler against odds. I dislike people that try to get the sympathy vote with their private lives. So yes, she should do well. I believe if you know your own worth you shouldn’t need to sell yourself too hard. You’ve got to back yourself without needing to accessorise yourself with a backstory as everyone has them.
LYNDZ: HOTTIE ALERT. I really liked Locky at first, and then I read his bio. He goes on about wanting to be a hero and to be a provider and not caring about the money… OMG. I don’t understand these people who want to go into the game who think being a hero is important. So he wants to play hard, but in a good way? Even good guys like Yul Kwon realised you can’t play the whole game, and this is for 55 days (!!), without backstabbing anyone. Anyway, Locky will be a huge asset in tribe challenges, but definitely not someone you’d want to take to the end. He’d be a beast at individuals. I feel that Locky could be played by others in this game being naive and be blindsided… I wonder how bitter he would be. Totally gives me Sam Webb vibes… who I also had initially had a crush on then realised, NO!
BARB: Again, Locky reminds me of a hybrid of Tom and Avi, with a sprinkling of Lee on top (Survivor NZ). He will dance well with people and do well in challenges, but I think he won’t be cunning or observant enough strategy-wise. He’s got all the right attributes of a great challenge beast and will either stay in the game to help his tribe win and then get taken out. He’ll most probably get blindsided as he will be complacent in his alliance.
LYNDZ: Samantha “Gashy” Gash is a pocket rocket, with some badass boots! If you aren’t aware, Gashy is an ultra-marathon runner who trains like crazy and became the first woman AND youngest person ever to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam – four ultra marathons within a year, across Chile, China, Sahara and Antartica. Thanks to my work friend who is also an ultra-marathon runner (and bona fide fan of Sam), he gave me the documentary Desert Runners, which features Sam. HOLY SHIT, this girl is fierce and determined. Sam’s mental and physical strengths will for sure benefit her and she’s definitely one of the castaways I’ll be watching this season. Endurance and physical challenges should not be a problem. BUT, I’m unsure of her ability to think strategically (which she does mention being a pitfall) and overcome the brutal social game especially with this bunch of players. Sam will have to find the right people to work with and I’m sure she will be drawn to the other physical players as well which may not be a bad thing. She also may be that uber loyal person who is disposed of at the end… I’m hoping not!
BARB: I like Samantha’s face – open and friendly! I think she should do well and hopefully will not get voted out for being naive to the game. She seems to have the physical and mental toughness, and I’ll hold on to see how she goes with her street smarts! I think she will easily be a pivotal player for votes and loyal to her alliance. Sam would be a good core person to have on side. I’m hoping she goes deep as she has a good positive aura about her.
LYNDZ: Luke is probably my least favourite contestant of the bunch. He professes that he initially applied as a joke and to be honest his promos also seem to be that way too. But good on him for getting on the show! He’s cast as the fun larrikin. Personally I’m not a fan of these character types, so for me if he goes, no big loss. I think Luke will be likeable and get along well with the boys and probably gals too as he does have that friendly charm. If he does well then good for him, but my care factor is not high at all.
BARB: Not much to say… Luke seems a bit pedestrian to me. He’s the comic relief that wears thin by day five.
LYNDZ: So many youngens this season! Sarah has been on Reality TV before so she knows what’s to expect on these competition shows which works in her favour. Survivor is another ballgame though and she does say in her bio that she will have to play the most intense social game. She’s young, but she seems aware of herself and her personal strengths. Sarah totally reminds me of Brooke (Jowett)… Also, see both their Instagram pages. Model pics galore! I’m not sure if she will go as far as Brooke, but I think we’re going to see promising things from her 🙂 Sarah has been shown a lot in promos, so I look forward to seeing what she brings to the table this season. I see Sarah making the jury/finals or going home the way Phoebe did; devastatingly.
BARB: Hmm, Sarah is young and seems full of herself; she may be her own worst enemy! I just can’t see her being a Brooke in challenges, but she will have the social game and get in with a solid alliance and work her way forward. Not sure if she’s more looks than substance, so I hope she’s got both.
LYNDZ: Oh yes, I DO love the lime farmer, ol’ Mark is a spunk! Have the promos gotten rid of the whole “Tarzan” thing though? Ugh, I did not like Tarzan in One World, so I don’t want Mark associated with him. Haha. His bio says he’s going to treat Survivor as a game, not real life. Yasss I think Mark will! Mark is going to be a riot around camp and I think he’ll gain the respect of many on the island… and then BAM he’ll cut ya! Well, here’s hoping! 😛
BARB: I like him. He’s got a good face, looks smart, has humor and a bit of a character. Mark seems like a great version of a fiftilicious older man. I think he’ll go far and get on well with people. Mark seems like a “what you see is what you get”, a straight shooter and no facade. He’s happy in his own skin, no need to impress as he knows his worth and doesn’t needs to advertise it like the young guns do. He’ll be a central figure of calm whilst chaos and paranoia start to creep in.
LYNDZ: “I want to find someone and be like besties. Do everything together, do each other’s hair and then I will turn on them.” Hello Australia’s version of Sarah Lacina! But way more fun! Also, it’s so great to have our own barrel racer on Australian Survivor; move over Sierra-Dawn Thomas! I really like Tara and I think she’ll be fun to watch. I think Tara will be physical and social enough to stay in the game for a while and I wanna see this girl pull off some blindsides before she gets the boot (guessing merge-ish). No info on whether Tara is a Survivor fan… Hmm.
BARB: I like her sass! I think Tara will be fun to watch and be a bit underestimated by her tribe. Maybe let’s see if she can walk her talk, she does talk up a big game! But if she can ride horses then she’s got the goods to go far in the game – confident and aware, a great combo!
LYNDZ: At first I thought eh, another army kinda guy… yada yada. But reading his bio, I’ve started to like him more! I like how he’s compared himself to Lee, but not so naive. And also like Sue, but is willing to be ruthless. Let’s be honest, both Lee and Sue didn’t really do anything that interesting in the game! Mark also confesses he loves breaking rules so things could get juicy on the island, in a brutal way! 😀 His strength is the ability to read people… I’ll wait until the show airs to make comment because that’s what Matt Tarrant admitted his strength was too last year. You never know what happens once you step foot on Survivor. Unfortunately I don’t see him lasting too long as he’s way too much of a physical threat to take to the end. He’s going to have more strategic smarts than Lee so you DON’T want to sit next to him at Final 2. Pre-merge.
BARB: Mark W, aka Clutch Cargo! Oh jeez, I can’t get over how much he reminds me of Clutch Cargo and it doesn’t fit in with my idea of what a former SAS guy looks like. I want rugged and gnarly, I’m more thinking Jason Statham. I think he will butt heads as he’s used to making decisions and being in control. Mark would be good as a tribe jock though. I think he’ll be really self aware and observant and read situations which will get him further, but I think he’s going to be a tad alpha and that could be his undoing.
FYI – for those who don’t know the 1959 animation (OMG Barb, you’re showing your age), like me, this is Clutch Cargo.
LYNDZ: My winners pick!! Tessa is someone I’d want to align with, but definitely not sit next to at the end. Her bio screams finalist and I have high hopes that she makes it deep into the game. I think she is right that she will be underestimated. She doesn’t look like someone who belongs on an island roughing it for 55 days, and she knows it. Tessa knows her strengths and weaknesses and I am peaking to see if her strategy of an all-girls alliance comes to fruition! We all know how juicy they can be. “I do not think that heroes go far in this game. People who say they are playing with honesty and integrity are infuriating. It is a game, it is not real life.” So you can see Tessa not getting along with Locky! Tessa might be the silent assassin of Australian Survivor we’ve been waiting for.
Also, for the Harry Potter fans, we have a POTHEAD in the cast!! Note her Hogwarts cap!!
BARB: I like Tessa! She seems spunky and up for the challenge. I like how she knows her boiling points and how she’ll react; a bit like me… A slow simmer, then reach full on revenge mode. Yes, I like her a lot! Tessa for final 3!
LYNDZ: Honestly, I just want to hear Peter’s ‘dying walrus’ laugh the most! I think he’s going to make me laugh, and not in an annoying, obnoxious, Luke kinda way… Maybe in a male-version-of-Courtney-Yates way? He seems to be a VERY positive guy and will bring much liveliness to the camp. Hopefully people don’t find it irritating though! I can definitely see Peter rallying together an alliance to take down the top dogs/leaders of the tribe, kind of like a Todd Herzog game. Maybe. All the quirky, underestimated players making the end, hehe. I expect many a great confessions from Peter!! I want sassy man! Hoping he can stay somewhat quiet and make the merge.
BARB: I think Peter could be the annoying one, but have a clever snake-like attitude. He’s only young so I think he’s going to be a bit self-absorbed and maybe believe his own hype. He won’t last to the end.
LYNDZ: There is no doubt Ziggy
was stunt-cast is going to be a real competitor this season. An Olympian medalist, Ziggy will have all the drive to do well on Survivor and she will no doubt be an asset in challenges. I wonder if she will let everyone know she is an Olympian. Her strategy of winning challenges and building multiple relationships is something everyone strives to do, but few have successfully executed. We’ll see how she goes doing this with everyone’s own agendas in play. In saying this I’d love to see Ziggy do well. I feel another middle of the road placing for Ziggy… not the gold medal she’d want! P. S. New hashtag, #GettinZiggyWithIt
BARB: Ziggy is another face I like the look of. She seems very competitive and smart, and I see her going deep into the game. She will know how to play the social side and work well with people. Definite jury.
Blog by Lynda Olson.
ALL IMAGES USED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE COPYRIGHT CHANNEL TEN & ENDEMOL SHINE. THIS IS A PERSONAL BLOG AND ALL VIEWS ARE MY OWN, AND I’M MOST LIKELY VERY WRONG SO PLEASE DON’T TAKE THEM TO HEART.