“Survivor: Second Chance” is an exciting twist on what has become a “Survivor” mainstay: bringing back former contestants to compete again. Only this time, it’s entirely in America’s hands. Scroll down to see which castaways are 100% in and which four longshots I believe are deserving of your attention. Hurry — make your predictions before the announcement is made live on CBS during Wednesday’s Season 30 finale and you could win our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate. It’s fun and easy, so start now by scrolling down and predicting who’ll make the cut.
While most returning players have been labeled all-stars, the 32 offered up to fans for the “Second Chance” season are being marketed as the opposite, a group of players who have only played once and did not, for a myriad circumstances and mistakes, win.
How far each of the castaways got in their original season falls within a wide range: Kelly Wiglesworth, Stephen Fishbach and Sabrina Thompson were all second placers with Brad Culpepper bringing up the rear as a 15th place finisher. Aside from their finishes, Kelly is one of three returnees from the first two seasons of the series compared to eight from the two most recent.
But even with such a far-reaching spectrum of “types” of players up for the vote, predicting who will be the 20 to make the cast is not as daunting a task as it might initially seem. I believe there are a handful of contestants that are 100% locks.
Outside of the “recent season, likeable player” narrative are two outliers who I also think are sure bets: Kelly Wiglesworth because she’s been heavily marketed as the reason the Second Chance idea exists in the first place and Stephen Fishbach because he’s highly regarded among die-hard fans and is known online as a “Survivor” expert and commentator in the same vein as all-stars John Cochran and Rob Cesternino.
By my guess, those eight should all rest comfortably at the top of your predictions. Thus, Gold Derby’s prediction contest truly comes down to how you fill out the remaining six slots for each.
Here’s a look at the four longshots I hope will be given a second chance by America:
“Survivor: China” gave us many gems, but why Peih-Gee hasn’t appeared on a season before Second Chance seems inexplicable. Not only was she the last remaining from her original tribe, finishing in a respectable fifth place in the process, but she was instrumental in two major events of her season: blatantly throwing a challenge so that her tribe would lose and the infamous blindside of James Clement, sending him home with two hidden Immunity idols in his pocket. Peih-Gee is one of the more excitingly chaotic options and is well-regarded among fans as well.
Henceforth to be known as “the other Kelly” or “Kelley with a second e” or “blonde Kelley,” exiting “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” in 14th place is Kelley’s biggest hurdle in securing votes. To fans, San Juan del Sur is one of the worst seasons to date and in many ways the overloading of Worlds Apart with “superfans” and great strategic players is a direct answer to its extreme lack of the “outwit” portion of the “Survivor” motto. In her short time, Kelley showed an aptitude for cunning and is not only deserving of a second chance, but belongs in a game amongst her kind. Note: If she makes it in, she’s easily my pick to claim the million.
Like Peih-Gee, Terry comes from a season packed with all-stars, and it’s surprising this Immunity challenge beast (tied for longest streak of individual wins at five) hasn’t competed a second time already. But Terry is remembered for more than just his challenge stats. He is the first contestant to have discovered a hidden Immunity idol on Exile Island and is one of the more complicated players to cheer for in that he was, on one hand, a long-lasting underdog, but on the other, an unlikably whiny and grumpy baby for a majority of the season. I guess you could say he’s the best of both Joe Anglim and Rodney Lavoie. Ha!
The first Blood vs. Water is one of my favorite incarnations of the “Survivor” format, due largely in part to Ciera’s blurring of the lines between family and game. But the battle of the brothers that ensued between Vytas and former winner Aras was another highlight. It was thrilling to watch the two go toe-to-toe in both physical challenges and social strategy back at camp. In many ways, Vytas’ game was hurt by his bloodline to a former winner and for that reason alone is deserving of a second chance free of that chain. Aside from that, I’m arguing that fans will remember him fondly despite his disappointing original finish and will see the value in pitting him against the likes of other physical challenge threats.
Be sure to make/update your forecasts before voting closes Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT. Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can change them later as often as you like.
We are forecasting everything from the results on TV shows like “Survivor,” “The Voice,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Game of Thrones” to the winners of the Emmys and Tonys.
Get started by making your prediction as to which 10 men will make it into Season 31 by using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. You can continue to update and change your predictions throughout the week, just click “Save Predictions” when you’ve settled on your choice. And be sure to sound off on the current season of “Survivor” in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.