On May 18, 2019, Inside Survivor released the cast for Survivor 40 a season that only includes former winners of the show. Whoever wins Survivor 40, a season of some of the best former winners of the show, could go down as the greatest winner of all time. But who has a chance at winning the million dollar prize? Let’s take a look at each cast member’s chances from low to high and discuss who could end up being the winner of this season. In Part 3, The Mastermind will take a look at those who, from the outside looking in, have the best chance of winning this illustrious all-winners season.
MOST LIKELY TO WIN
Like Amber and Ethan, it has been a long time since Yul Kwon has played Survivor. Fans have been yearning for a Yul Kwon return for the longest time and they are finally going to get their wish now, fourteen years after he won Cook Islands. Yul is one of the greatest Survivor strategists of all time and is credited with one of the best moves in the show’s history. He’s a brilliant Survivor player but not someone who is flashy, overzealous or out in the open like a Tony Vlachos or Ben Driebergen. He may be able to remain under the radar and pounce close to the end of the game. A final-four fire-making challenge may also be in his favour while his season is so far in the distant past that few people are going to remember how incredible he played in Survivor Cook Islands his first time around.
Ten seasons on from Survivor San Juan Del Sur, my first ever Survivor season, Natalie Anderson remains one of my favourite winners and players in the show’s history. The way she maneuvered San Juan Del Sur in being the link between all the pairs in the game and always highlighting her game in front of the jury with flashy idol plays and stellar strategic maneuvering was transformative for the game. She was supposed to return five seasons ago in Survivor Game Changers, but a concussion just weeks before the game kept her from making the trip out. This may be a blessing for Natalie now as her incredible win in San Juan Del Sur has faded into the background in place of more low-key winners like Adam, Nick and Michele who are likely going to be seen as even bigger targets. Her Jeremy connection could be crucial and if the two of them can get the numbers around them, they could run this game. Such a smart strategist, Natalie Anderson is a serious threat to win this game a second time.
Speaking of my favourite winners of all time, Jeremy Collins is pretty much at the top of the list alongside Rob Mariano. The way he navigated Survivor Cambodia was masterful and inspired so much future game-play in both subsequent seasons of Survivor and Big Brother. My one worry is that if him and Natalie team up again, that he would be the bigger target of the two and go home over her. This would be against Jeremy Collins’ meat-shield strategy that led to his victory in Survivor Cambodia. However, Jeremy is such a likable guy and with the way he carries himself, he is guaranteed to at least make the merge. In Cambodia, Jeremy only received 3 votes against him the entire game and they were all nullified by an immunity idol. He later won the game by the largest margin ever: 10-0-0, making his game a nearly perfect performance. He could easily pull off all of the same stunts and tricks all over again and just being a naturally likable guy means the two-time Survivor castaway is likely to have all kinds of allies in all kinds of directions.
Denise Stapley remains one of the most unique Survivor winners of all time. She attended every single tribal council in her season, yet made it all the way to the end and beat Mike Skupin and Lisa Whelchel in the final; both of whom had not received a vote against them the entire game. Denise is very knowledgeable on what makes people tick, social dynamics and in the art of listening; an underestimated skill on Survivor. She could easily use all of that to her advantage on a return and should be set up to be underestimated for a large portion of the game. Hopefully if she makes it to the end this time around, that she isn’t cursed with the same kind of treatment older women have been getting in the final tribal council as of late. If she’s able to make it to the end with friends on the jury and a big enough resume, Denise will have a fantastic shot at winning Survivor 40.
Often one of the first to come in mind when considering winners who could come back and win again, Danni Boatwright is finally going to get the chance to show what she’s made of after fifteen years away from Survivor. Danni’s underdog story in Guatemala was awesome to watch but her game-play was equally stellar. She remained under-the-radar the entire game when she really shouldn’t have been and always had so much control despite never being the most vocal person in any alliance. Virtually no one should see her as a threat on her return and hopefully she doesn’t get the Kelly Wigglesworth treatment and can provide for loads of entertainment on her second time back on the island. In terms of win equity, Danni undoubtedly has one of the highest.
A recent winner of Survivor, Wendell Holland will be helped heading into this season by how much he and Domenick Abbate dominated the game together. People won’t remember necessarily how dominant Wendell was, but how he and Domenick, the flashier of the two, combined together to be one of the most in-control duos we’ve ever seen on the show. Fantastic at keeping his allies on lock, bringing people onto his side and creating genuine relationships, Wendell is a serious threat to win this season. He won’t be the biggest target but he could easily get roped into any majority alliance before taking control of the game later on. If he’s able to make fire again like in Season 36, he might be a shoe-in to make the final three and win the game. We’ve already spoken about how amazing a Parvati-Kim alliance would be, but how incredible would it be if Wendell’s new Domenick was Jeremy Collins? If that ever happened, they would be a force to be reckoned with. Regardless of who he teams up with, Wendell Holland is my winner pick for Survivor 40: All Winners.
So there it is! The castaways who have the best chance to win Survivor 40: All Winners. How do you think the above castaways will fare? What about everyone else? Make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2. Also be sure to check out The Mastermind Reality on Twitter @realitytvtms. Thanks for reading and see you soon!