‘Survivor: Game Changers’ cast: Will wild card Debbie Wanner find a better balance this time?

One of the players returning to “Survivor: Game Changers” on March 8 is Debbie Wanner, back for her second chance to be the sole survivor, following her first appearance on “Kaoh Rong” (Season 32). In her original season Debbie became a fan favorite for her wild card personality, but will this help or hurt her chances among a season of all-stars? Read my analysis of how her past performance may impact her game and then make your own “Survivor” predictions ahead of the first episode.

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The running joke of the “Kaoh Rong” season was Debbie’s ever-changing careers that production listed under her name during one-on-one’s with the camera. The show did this, I think, because they knew they had a wild card on their hands — someone that was self-aware about her out-of-the-box personality and was willing to use it to advance her game. They also knew that the audience would enjoy watching her balance strategy within the game against the expectations that her competitors put on her because of her personality.

In terms of game play, Debbie was always on the outs, beginning the game on a Brains tribe that pitted four younger players against the two older ones. By the time her tribe was faced with their first tribal council, alliances had shifted because of distrust among the other four, which folded Debbie into an alliance with Aubry Bracco (also playing on the upcoming season) that lasted long enough to get them both to the merge.

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Debbie’s downfall eventually came at the hands of Aubry, who decided that she was too volatile and thought it best to get rid of her before she could do too much damage to the group’s alliance. It will be interesting to see how Debbie and Aubry’s relationship has progressed since their original season and whether or not there is any resentment between the two. They will be joined on “Game Changers” by two other players from “Kaoh Rong,” Tai Trang and Caleb Reynolds.

To avoid being an early boot in “Game Changers,” Debbie will need to reassure her alliance that she can keep her mouth shut and stick to the plan. Once the merge hits, Debbie will be one of the least threatening players in the game, especially if she strikes a good balance between letting others make the big moves and maintaining the wacky aspects of her personality that make the others believe she would be good to against at final tribal council.

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