‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’ analysis: Are the Final 7 really just past winners in disguise?

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then each of the Final 7 “Survivor: Worlds Apart” castaways can win Season 30 because they’re all essentially copying the strategies of former champions. Scroll down to see my side-by-side comparisons. Hurry– make your predictions for next week’s episode 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 will be eliminated next.

Who will win ‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’? See exclusive predictions

Each castaway thinks they have the right strategy to get them to the final Tribal Council. Whether they can win is another story, but there’s precedent for each of their strategies yielding the title of Sole Survivor.

Mike Holloway & J.T. Thomas (Tocantins)

Just like J.T., most viewers have had Mike pegged as the eventual winner since before the season began. Though the road currently looks tough, he very easily could still pull through, especially after a brilliant bit of strategy at this week’s Tribal Council. Should Mike make it to the finals, he’ll win, and it would feel just as inevitable as J.T.’s did when he won. Gold Derby odds to win: 27/20

Tyler Fredrickson & John Cochran (Caramoan)

Cochran’s journey to the finals is due in large part to a mostly secret alliance with Dawn. Although Tyler and Carolyn are obviously aligned, their competitors may yet be unaware of how close the two actually are and that could easily take them both to the finals. Coincidentally, a Tyler/Carolyn final would probably play out eerily similar to the Cochran/Dawn final, with Carolyn being the more maligned. Gold Derby odds to win: 3/1

Carolyn Rivera & Brian Heidik (Thailand)

Brian won a season where all the truly likable players were eliminated early. At the start of the season I loved Carolyn, but she’s since fallen out of the edit and has become less popular with the audience and the current jury. Like Brian, she could easily become one of the show’s more unlikable winners, but she’ll have to be sitting next to even bigger losers for that to happen. Gold Derby odds to win: 5/1

Rodney Lavoie & Boston Rob (Redemption Island)

It took Rob four times playing the game to finally win, probably because he’s the type of guy that is extremely likable, but sort of rubs you the wrong way, too. It’s hard to tell whether Rodney’s tribe mates like him or loathe him, but I think you can see that they still respect him. Rob won pretty decisively (8-1-0) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rodney pull a similar vote count to win. Gold Derby odds to win: 20/1

Sierra Thomas & Natalie White (Samoa)

Natalie is the winner that everyone forgets because she beat the most notorious “Survivor” of all time, Russell Hantz, and did so mostly because Russell made himself too disliked. There isn’t much to talk about when analyzing Sierra’s strategy — I’m not even sure one exists — and if she wins she’ll have to be sitting next to such hated castaways as Will, Dan and/or Carolyn. Gold Derby odds to win: 33/1

Dan Foley & Richard Hatch (Borneo)

Let’s be honest: Hatch does not stack up against the great winners for any accolade other than being first. He was bad company, egotistical and won because no one else knew what was going on. Dan has no idea what’s going on, but it’s clear he’s playing the Hatch card. He expects to be taken to the finals because he’s disliked, but he’s so out of touch that he doesn’t see that disliked players don’t win anymore. And let’s face it, Dan won’t win … just like Hatch wouldn’t win if he played a third time. Gold Derby odds to win: 100/1

Will Sims & Sandra Diaz-Twine (Pearl Islands)

A lot of fans put Sandra at the top of their Best Survivor Winners lists and I doubt, should he win, anyone would ever put Will near that kind of pedestal. But Sandra’s winning strategy is exactly what Will is trying to employ: “As long as it isn’t me.” Will’s hurdle is that he doesn’t have Sandra’s charm, but a jury of die-hard fans might be able to look past his faults and reward this hands-off strategy. That’s a risky “might,” though. Gold Derby odds to win: 100/1

See our photo gallery of all 29 past winners below.

Whose torch do you think will be snuffed next? Be sure to visit our predictions center and make/update your forecasts before voting closes Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT. The user with the highest prediction accuracy and most points will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate.

‘Survivor’ predictions: Tyler Fredrickson, Mike Holloway battle for the win

Where do you fall on our overall Season 30 leaderboard?

All season long, three users — Smartdude, Benutty, Taloson — have been battling it out for the top spot, and this week Smartdude took the #1 position on our leaderboard with his “smart” predictions of Episode 11. He now has leading 65% prediction accuracy while Benutty is in second place with 63% and Taloson is in third place with 62%. Talk about a true nail-biter!

Rounding out the top five are Sunhound and JasonNolette who are both tied at 57%. Click here to see where you score on our overall season leaderboard.

Can YOU beat these frontrunners to win our prizes? Then be sure to take part in our “Survivor” prediction contest. We’re giving away $100 Amazon gift certificates to our weekly winners plus at season’s end. The deadline for each episode is Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT.

Our current overall leader Smartdude predicted Joe’s elimination back in Episode 9. However, he missed calling the next two back-to-back ousters of Jenn and Shirin (see complete predix), proving that it’s possible to do well in our contests without getting everything right.

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.

To vote for who think will go home next on “Survivor,” drag contestants over from the left to the right and arrange them in your predicted order. For example, if you think Sierra will be eliminated, make sure you put her in first place. You can continue to update and change your predictions throughout the week, just click “Save Predictions” when you’ve settled on your choice.

‘Survivor’ castoff Shirin Oskooi blasts ‘evil’ Will Sims: I’m not a victim (Podcast)

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 “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “American Idol” and “The Amazing Race” to the winners of the Emmys and Tonys.

Get started by making your prediction as to which castaway will be eliminated next using our easy drag-and-drop menu below our exit interview with Shirin. And be sure to sound off on the current season of “Survivor” in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.

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