‘Survivor’ 35 predictions: Cole Medders early pick to win, Olympian Katrina Radke leads odds to go home first

On Wednesday, September 27 “Survivor” will premiere its 35th season on CBS. This Fall 2017 cycle, titled “Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers,” will pit three tribes against each other based on those perceived traits: courage (heroes), helping others (healers) and tenacity (hustlers). Last season for “Game Changers,” our combined odds tapped into the pulse of the game early on — eventual winner Sarah Lacina was our third likeliest pick to win with 6/1 odds and Ciera Eastin and Tony Vlachos were two of our top three predictions to be sent home in the first episode. So how will our collective predictions fair this season with a cast of 18 NEW castaways in the running for the $1 million prize?

Considering we have not much to go on besides a gut feeling, one of the hardest pre-season predictions to make is “Who will win?” Most predictors are placing their bets on a member of the Soko tribe, the “Healers.” Two of its six members lead our early odds to win: Cole Medders, the 24-year old wilderness therapy guide from Arkansas, is out front with 9/4 odds, followed by Jessica Johnston, a 29-year old nurse practitioner from Kentucky, with 11/2 odds. Next in line is Ryan Ulrich, the 23-year old bellhop from New Jersey, with 8/1 odds. Ryan represents the “Hustlers” of the Yawa tribe. As for the “Heroes,” it’s JP Hilsabeck, Ben Driebergen and Chrissy Hofbeck who serve as their best hope for a winner, each with 14/1 odds at this early stage.

Though early expectations say a “Healer” will win the game, current odds say that their tribe will be the first to enter tribal council. The Soko tribe is the least likely to win either reward (9/1 odds) or immunity (9/2 odds) in the first episode. Instead, as is usual when their are three tribes, those wins will go most likely to the “Heroes” of Levu with overwhelming 10/11 odds followed by the “Hustlers” of Yawa with 3/1 odds in both races.

If Soko loses immunity as predicted, its member most likely to feel the pressure of elimination is Mike Zahalsky, a 43-year old urologist from Florida, who has 4/1 odds of having his torch snuffed. Interestingly, he doesn’t lead the predictions to go home. That unfortunate top spot goes to Katrina Radke, the 46-year old Olympian from Minnesota, playing for the “Heroes” of Levu, with 15/8 odds of elimination. If the Yawa “Hustlers” lose, Lauren Rimmer, a 35-year old fisherman from North Carolina, has 6/1 odds of going home. Mike, Katrina and Lauren are three of the four oldest competitors this season — the fourth, Chrissy Hofbeck, also 46 years old, is one of the top six most likely to win and has longshot 100/1 odds of being eliminated first.

The other questions we’re asking you to predict each week this season are “Will a hidden idol be played?” and “Will anybody quit or be medevaced?” For the first episode, both are highly unlikely so as expected we’re giving far out odds that the answer to either is Yes. Currently, we have 2/7 odds that a hidden idol will NOT be played and 2/13 odds that NOBODY will quit or be medevaced.

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Wednesday on CBS. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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