Casting Survivor 40: All Winners

According to Inside Survivor and Martin Holmes, season 40 of CBS’ greatest reality television show, Survivor, is set to be an all-winners season. An all-winners season has been something that Jeff Probst and the producers have wanted to do for a while, but they’ve never felt like they had enough entertaining/good, winners who would want to come back and play again. That is, until now. According to Holmes, the casting process for this season is currently underway and Inside Survivor expects to be able to break the news on the final cast later this summer. So in the meantime, here is The Mastermind Site‘s predicted/dream cast for Survivor 40: All Winners.



The most recent Survivor winner – Nick Wilson, is a shoe-in for an all-winners season if he decides to come back. Nick remained in the good graces of everyone throughout his game and isn’t exactly known as one of the very best winners. This means he should be set up to do well if a season like this occurred. Another key element to his game was in hiding behind bigger targets, which should be easy for him to do in a season like this. He’s very well-spoken and a great strategist, yet he’d probably still be underestimated which is exactly why Nick should come back and play a second time.


Natalie Anderson was supposed to be on Survivor Game Changers and was even my winner pick when Inside Survivor released the initial cast. However, after suffering a concussion, she missed her chance to play. The former Amazing Race star will now be itching at the chance to get back on the island and play a second time. Natalie is one of the best social and strategic players of all time and won Survivor San Juan del Sur in a flashy, exciting fashion. She changed the dynamics of the game on several occasions during SJDS and it’s no wonder why she was almost cast on a season all about game changers. I would love Natalie to have a good shot again and she’d likely make it at least to the later stages of the merge. In terms of her win equity, it is very high, but I don’t know how she doesn’t become a massive target once things get down to the wire. Nonetheless, my love for Natalie means that I can’t do anything else other than declare her to be my early winner pick for this all-winners season.


I always said that if Tony were to return to Survivor that he would be the first one out. When he returned for Survivor Game Changers he did one better and was the second one out. Tony just can’t help himself but play a certain way. It’s the only way he knows how and he quite simply would not be able to adapt his game like most of the other winners would be able to. No matter what, Tony is going to be the biggest target on any season of Survivor he plays on, so he might as well play the exact same, crazy, entertaining way that he knows how to play. In terms of first boots, Tony has to be at the top of the list. But if he isn’t the first boot, I can’t wait to see Tony play Survivor again.


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I absolutely loved Mike Holloway’s heroic sprint to the end of Survivor Worlds Apart, where he won challenge after challenge to keep himself alive. Most people consider Mike to be one of the less-impressive Survivor winners, but he would be so dangerous on a second time out. So strategic, so sociable and so good in challenges, Mike really does have the potential to be a modern day Tom Westman. If he can just tone down his win-at-all-costs attitude and hide that underneath the curtain, Mike Holloway could be one of the favourites to win an all-winners season.


That image is still iconic and Sophie Clarke has become somewhat of an iconic Survivor winner since Survivor South Pacific. One of the smartest players to ever play the game, very few actually consider her a top tier winner. We saw so little of her game in favour of seeing all of what Coach was doing and that could be a major advantage to her in a repeat season. That being said, she also may be an easy target due to maybe being perceived as a weaker female challenge competitor, who is also very, very smart. But if Sophie does return she will definitely be a fun player to watch, especially because she was slightly under-edited in the season she actually won.


CBS and Survivor must be dying for a Sarah Lacina-Tony Vlachos reunion and they might get it if Survivor 40 is an all-winners season. Sarah came into Survivor Game Changers with a reputation as anything but a game changer, but when the season finished, she became one of the prime examples for the theme. The way she maneuvered through the game, swinging back and forth yet still maintaining positive relationships with everyone in the game was incredible to watch. Receiving 7 of the 10 jury votes was also an impressive feat and now with her season becoming more of a distant memory, Sarah Lacina would be set up to do very well all over again. If she can create solid relationships with people, Sarah will undoubtedly have a strong showing whenever she returns to the game.


Survivor and Jeff Probst love Cochran, but would they ever bring him back? Well if Cochran wants to come back, who are Survivor and CBS to stop him? Cochran played a stealthy game in Survivor Caramoan and led a string of impressive blindsides before winning 8-0-0 in the final jury vote. At the time, he was only the second player to sweep every single jury vote. What many people forget about Cochran is that he also never had a vote cast against him, won 3 immunity challenges and was always on the right side of the vote. Many people underestimate Cochran and that could continue if he came back in an all winners season.


I don’t know if Jeremy would come back again after playing such a perfect game in Survivor Second Chance. But I would personally hate it if an all-winners season happened and Jeremy Collins was not on the cast. The best part is, Jeremy’s meat-shield strategy could work to perfection all over again as this time he can surround himself with even bigger targets. Through daily check-ins, Jeremy managed to remain the closest ally of several different players in Cambodia and despite always being the biggest threat to win, no one wanted to get him out until the final six. By then it was too late and Jeremy played his immunity idol, won immunity at final four and swept every single jury vote, winning by the largest margin ever: 10-0-0. If Jeremy comes back that would be absolutely amazing and it would be so interesting to see how he adapts his game when surrounded by even better players this time.


Whoever wins Survivor 39 could be screwed when it comes to this season of all-winners, especially if none of the other players are given the opportunity to see their season. Perhaps the turn-over would also be too quick so even if Survivor and CBS wanted them back, this could be too quick for the castaway themselves. Whoever wins season 39 will definitely have an interesting decision to make if Survivor 40 is an all-winners season.



Wendell has been careful not to share his strategies since winning Survivor Ghost Island, and perhaps it is because he expected an all-winners season to be on the cards. One of the greatest social players in recent memory, Wendell Holland had everyone he encountered wrapped around his finger. Wendell played Ghost Island perfectly. He let Domenick stand out just a touch more so that he would be more likely to have people bitter against him, but also never hid behind Domenick so that he was very much at the forefront of everything and would earn the jury’s respect. He won by the shortest margin we’ve ever seen in Survivor but that is more out of credit to Domenick’s game rather than a knock against his. With his sociability and natural charm, Wendell would likely do very well on a return.


I can’t help but want Kim Spradlin back on my television screen. She’s known for being one of the best Survivor players of all time and as a result, might be a massive target in this season. That is, if anyone remembers her season! Unfortunately for Kim, the only thing that people remember about Survivor One World is just how utterly dominant she was. If she came back, hopefully she could find a way to minimize her threat level. Kim is not the most exciting player and so CBS might not put her through the final cast, while it would also be unlikely that the One World winner would actually want to return to the game. However, this cast is in part a dream-cast and Kim, one of the greatest winners of all time, has to come back.


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Like a few winners on this list, I’m not sure if Tyson wants to return to Survivor. But we can all hope that he does want to return because he is so entertaining to watch. He probably wouldn’t even be targeted just from being such a goofy guy that everyone wants to be around. I don’t think Tyson could ever come back and be the leader of an alliance again, but that would probably be a necessary requirement if he wanted a chance at winning again. Tyson is a great winner of Survivor, nearly swept every jury vote in Blood vs. Water and should be a dangerous one to watch if Season 40 is an all-winners season.


I love Michele and I love her game, but just like Jeff Probst, I am very much in the Aubry should have won camp. Jeff Probst has never seemed to really love Michele Fitzgerald so I really hope that doesn’t come into play when casting for this season gets underway. She’s such a good Survivor player, even if just for her natural likability and social skills. Her win in Kaoh Rong saw so much controversy and I would love for Michele to come back and prove everyone who doubted her wrong. She could be an easy target, but she really shouldn’t be, given how many proven top-level players should also be on this cast. I would absolutely love for Michele Fitzgerald to get a second shot at Survivor and prove to everyone why she is in fact a very good Survivor player.


It was absolutely amazing that Adam Klein even went out to play Survivor in Millennials vs. Gen X. His mom was suffering from cancer at the time and sadly passed away shortly after Adam’s return from the game. What was even more amazing was despite all of that, Adam Klein won the game and won by a 10-0-0 margin. Adam is the type of player always edging to make a big move and change up the game, but he’s so meticulous and careful about when he actually makes those moves. If Adam comes back for a return he might not be the most likely to win, but he also would be very unlikely to be one of the first out. Hopefully Adam wants to come back to play the game again. He would be absolutely fantastic on an all-winners season.


Sandra Diaz-Twine is one of the all-time Survivor legends. Even despite going out in Game Changers in 15th place, Sandra remains one of the most legendary Survivor players of all time and her performance in Game Changers only enhanced her reputation. She is the only two-time winner and she’d love to be the only three-time winner. Everyone knows that Sandra is not shy about playing the game over and over again and she does not care about denting her reputation at all. She has such an affection for this game and Survivor and CBS share the same sentiment about her, so it would be very unlikely that she wouldn’t get cast on an all-winners season.


Denise Stapely is the only person in Survivor history to go to every single tribal council and still win the game. That is how impressive her game is. She put on a social master-class in Survivor Philippines, yet very few really remember all that she did to win her season. This could be a massive advantage for Denise heading into a second run at the money and I have to think she’s destined to go far if she gets cast on this season. Denise is one of the greatest players we’ve seen and it would be awesome to see if she can back that up on a return visit.


Survivor is a little short on female winners who would want to come back and so if this season is truly an all-winners season they will be hoping that a female wins the game. In terms of female players, Julie Rosenberg and Victoria Baamonde are probably set up in the best positions right now to win the game, but whoever comes back from Edge of Extinction could also claim the prize as well. Meanwhile in terms of other players with winner potential Ron Clarke, Gavin Whitson and perhaps even Rick Devens or ‘The Wardog’ could claim victory. The winner of this season will almost certainly be back if Survivor 40 is an all-winners season.


Out of all the early winners of the show, Richard Hatch is probably the likeliest one to come back. Hatch was the first person to win Survivor and certainly had an influence on strategy moving forward. When he came back for All Stars he tired to play the role of the lovable goofball in order to minimize his target. That worked for a certain amount of time and if he came back again, Hatch would likely have to play the same way he did in All Stars. He would also have to get back in shape, having competed more recently on The Biggest Loser. But if Survivor is having an all-winners season, as the first ever winner of the show, Richard Hatch has to be on the cast.

So there it is! The 18-player dream/predicted cast for season 40 of Survivor. Obviously if it were truly just a dream cast I would love to see more winners from the early days of this game. Earl Cole and Danni Boatwright would be two in particular that I would want to see again, but I would also cherish a return for Yul Kwon, Natalie White, Chris Daugherty or Amber Brkich. That being said, all of those former castaways are very unlikely to return, especially with Survivor now entering its fortieth iteration.

So what do you think of this cast? Let me know below and follow The Mastermind Reality on Twitter @realitytvtms. See you soon!

2 thoughts on “Casting Survivor 40: All Winners

  1. Great cast assessment! I agree with many of your picks, though I feel some others may be in the mix too. In particular, Tina’s one to always defy expectations and could steal a spot! However, I’ll call it now, Sophie’s my pick for the 2nd 2-time winner.


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