I’m not sure how I feel about the premise of the next season of Survivor. It’s being billed as "Fans vs. Favorites," but I think what is really going on here is that all the prior players now have huge egos and contract riders, so CBS was only able to scrape together half of the previous Survivors they would need to do another All-Star season. I didn’t especially like the first All-Stars season, though. I discovered that most of the fun for me with watching Survivor is seeing how fast I can get somebody’s number and say "this guy’s a jackass" or "that girl is smarter than she looks." You can’t do that when you already know everybody.
The upshot of Fans vs. Favorites, then, is that I can’t remember who the hell most of the favorites are. Since I’m guessing most of you are in the same boat I am, let’s refresh our memories together.
Yau Man Chan from Fiji
Yau Man should be fresh in most of our memories, since Fiji wasn’t that long ago. He was one of my favorite Survivors ever. I loved his glee as he crafted and hid a fake immunity idol.
James Clement from China
Is anybody surprised that James was the Survivor picked for this edition from the China season? I found a lot of his comments pretty entertaining, but I hope he won’t be too physically dominant, because I think it’s boring when one person wins all the challenges.
Ami Cusack from Vanuatu
Ami was a physically strong player and the leader of an alliance of powerful women, but she got a little cocky about it and was ousted
Jonny Fairplay from the Pearl Islands
Seriously? Jesus. Lists his occupation as "Professional Wrestler/Reality Star." On the plus side, it will be fun to watch Jeff try to be objective, since he so obviously despises the guy.
Cirie Fields from Panama
I really didn’t like Cirie at first. She made me shout at my TV: "If you were afraid of DIRT, why did you go on SURVIVOR?!?!" But she surprised me (and everybody else, including herself) by getting far in the game, getting over her fear of dirt, and even catching some fish.
Amanda Kimmel from China
I thought Amanda played a smart game and was pretty likeable. She really won me over when she participated in an immunity challenge instead of eating a cheeseburger, even though she was pretty safe.
Ozzy Lusth from the Cook Islands
This season is going to have a preponderance of fluffy-haired male players, since we’ve also got Fairplay and this guy. Ozzy is not a big guy, but he was really good at challenges and scaling palm trees.
Eliza Orlins from Vanuatu
Yeah, I had almost no memory of her. Apparently she switched sides a lot and made it to the final four.
Jonathan Penner from Cook Islands
Also switched sides a lot. He accepted the offer to mutiny and left his tribe, where he was aligned with eventual final three-ers Yul and Becky to join the other tribe. He’s an actor with a fairly long list of roles on imdb.
Parvati Shallow, also from Cook Islands
Used flirting as a strategy. Probst’s pronunciation of her name prompted my dad to ask in bewilderment "Why would somebody name their kid Poverty?"
The "Favorites" are joined by a team of 10 "Fans". (You would think that anybody appearing on Survivor would be a fan, but lately CBS has been recruiting contestants rather than just taking applications, so we get players like Jean-Robert, who had actually never seen the show.) You can check out the fan's bios on the Survivor: Micronesia web site.
What do you think of the contestants that were picked? Is there a favorite you would have liked to see that didn’t make it? Apparently Tom Westman (the firefighter from the Palau season) was asked to participate but declined. Personally, I would have liked to see Frosti get another shot. He kind of got screwed by the player swap.
Survivor: Micronesia premieres Thursday, February 7 at 8pm (ET).
* * *
Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.