Though she finished a disappointing 14th place on last year’s “Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X” (Season 33), outspoken castaway Michaela Bradshaw is back for more this Wednesday, but with a twist. “The fact that people don’t know anything about me makes me a threat,” Michaela says during her CBS.com interview, taking into account the fact that Season 34 filmed before anyone got to see her season. “Especially considering the name of this season is ‘Survivor: Game Changers.’ So it will probably inflate in people’s minds, ‘What did this girl do to get invited back?'” Read my analysis of how Michaela’s past performance may impact her game and then make your own “Survivor” predictions ahead of the first episode.
Just like former “Millennials vs. Gen X” castaway Zeke Smith on the rival Nuku tribe, Michaela of the Mana tribe must assess how her teammates perceive her without having seen her play before. It’s a unique position to be in, considering that her and Zeke are only the third and fourth players in “Survivor” history to film their second seasons before their first had aired. Russell Hantz was the first to play with the unknown factor when he returned for “Heroes vs. Villains,” while Malcolm Freberg, also on “Game Changers,” was the second when he returned for “Caramoan.”
Michaela was done in last year not by her outspoken nature, but by her brain. When the teams were mixed up, she tried to take control of her new tribe by saying who should be the next to go, and so Jay Starrett decided to oust her. “Jay felt threatened,” Michaela told me after her elimination last season. “He felt like my presence could take away his chance to change his family’s future, and I can respect that.”
It’ll be interesting to see in “Game Changers” whether Michaela plays down the strategy or if she goes full-force, despite what happened to her in “Millennials vs. Gen X.” Also during her brief time in Season 33, Michaela became an instant favorite of host Jeff Probst. He was always calling her out during challenges and even seemed sad when she was voted out in a blindside.
Get a closer look at the Season 34 contestants by clicking through our cast photo gallery. In our “Survivor” predictions center, you get to answer the following questions before each episode airs on CBS every Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET.:
Who will win “Survivor”?
Who will be eliminated?
Who will win Reward?
Who will win Immunity?
Will a hidden idol be played?
Will anybody quit or be medevaced?
Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “Survivor” in our reality TV forum.