‘Survivor: Second Chance’ cast: Can Jeff Varner win after 14-year absence?

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Will Jeff Varner win “Survivor: Second Chance“? With the show’s 31st season set to premiere on CBS Sept. 23, keep coming back to Gold Derby for in-depth analyses of all 20 returning players, including pros and cons that may affect their chances this time around. Hurry – make your “Survivor” predictions for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate. It’s fun and easy, so get started by scrolling down to predict which castaway will be kicked off the island first.

Who will win ‘Survivor: Second Chance’? See exclusive predictions

Jeff Varner
Previous Finish: 10th place
Season 2: The Australian Outback

The second season of “Survivor” has provided audiences a wealth of new looks at its contestants — Tina, Colby, Amber, Alicia, Jerri and Michael have all had their second chances in previous seasons and Elisabeth has enjoyed a high-profile career in media. But surprisingly, this is Jeff’s first time back on the island. Jeff’s “Survivor” legacy remains being voted out first after the merge due to a now defunct rule where “past votes against” were used to break deadlocked ties at Tribal Council.

And funny enough, the other “Second Chance” competitor from his season, Kimmi Kappenberg, is the one responsible for letting the opposing tribe know that he had previous votes against him, giving Jeff the opportunity to seek revenge if he wants it. Gold Derby odds to win: 100/1

Jeff played a great social game, connecting with his tribe mates in a way that afforded him influence over them while keeping him just south of being considered a leader. If he can manage to make connections early, he’s likely to build an alliance he can work well with.

It’s been a long time since Jeff played, but he’s never been forgotten. With so many superfans among this season’s cast, players are likely to want to work with Jeff, if for no other reason than to fulfill a dream.

Having been away from the game for so long presents Jeff with a number of hurdles, not least of which is having to adapt his gameplay to include new twists like hidden idols and pre-merge tribal switches.

Jeff isn’t necessarily a physical player. And in the 14 years since he first played, he’ll be at a bigger disadvantage in this regard as the fourth oldest player in the game — and even then, both Terry Deitz and Andrew Savage, though older than Jeff, are known for their physical style of play.

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Remember that coming out on top doesn’t just mean answering that week’s questions correctly. You also have to use your three big bets (500 points and two of 200 points) strategically to score the most game points. If you bet on a longshot who pulls off an upset, you can really rack up the points, so don’t take them for granted.

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 continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save Predictions” when you’ve settled on your choice.

Get started by making your prediction as to which castaway will be voted off the island next. And be sure to sound off on the current season of “Survivor” in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.

Photo Credit: CBS

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