From Heroes vs. Villains to Micronesia to the original Second Chance season in Survivor Cambodia, some of the most popular Survivor seasons ever have been returning player seasons. The formula for Second Chance worked so well for so many different reasons. Having the fans of the show cast the show through online voting was one of Survivor‘s smartest ever moves and it produces a cast full of players hungry to play not only for themselves and for their families, but for the fans as well. With the incredible success of the 31st season of the show and the plethora of fantastic one-time players since then, Second Chance should be a theme that the show returns to very soon. Here is our dream cast for Survivor Second Chance 2.
*Just a reminder that the theme of Second Chance is players who have played the game once and lost. Contestants placed higher on each tribe represent those that we would most like to see back. The players are organized into tribes based on who we think would gel and who we think would quarrel.
Domenick Abbate has to be the first name on the cast of any upcoming returnee season. No player in the history of the show has come closer to winning the game than Dom, who basically lost to Wendell on penalty kicks. It must be remembered that he would have won had it not been for the stupid final four fire making challenge that I can’t believe still exists in the game. Domenick was the character of the season, the player of the season and in my opinion played the better game and should have won. It must be hard for him to have to watch Survivor Winners at War, when he is someone that really should have been out there. Oh well. He will certainly return for another season and we hope that it’s for Survivor 42 on a second iteration of Survivor Second Chance 2.
Speaking of players that should have won their season and were screwed over by the final four fire making challenge…well…Chrissy Hofbeck. Chrissy has such a great Survivor brain and I genuinely think she would have the best chance at winning. 46-years old when she played the first time, Chrissy won four immunity challenges and had a stranglehold on the dominant alliance of her season. The story of the season, which so many fans are still annoyed by, was essentially: Chrissy puts in all this great work to establish relationships and a plan of who to vote out, meanwhile Ben plays an idol and saves himself. And so on and so on. On a returnee season, she could cause some serious damage and put her immaculate social/strategic game to great use.
Undoubtedly the character of the season on Survivor Edge of Extinction, Rick Devens was one fire-making challenge away from winning the game. Has anyone in the history of the show found more immunity idols than him? Ben, maybe? But it’s just insane how good of a grasp he had on finding hidden immunity idols, planting fake one’s, and then playing the real idols correctly when he needed to. Beyond the idols, Rick was just a great character to watch and it is inevitable that he’ll make a return to the game.
Cydney has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth since her appearance on Survivor Kaoh Rong, but I believe she is one of the very best players to play the game in the Survivor 30’s. Cydney made stellar moves at exactly the right time in Kaoh Rong. From pushing for the elimination of Nick to bringing Michele into the fold and getting her to turn on Julia, Cydney’s role in Survivor Kaoh Rong cannot be understated. Unfortunately, she has gotten so lost in the discourse about the season in all the Aubry vs. Michele debate. She was only 22-years old the first time she played. It would be very interesting to see what she could do on a second time.
For a teacher with literally millions of followers who look up to him as an education god, Ron Clark had no issue playing the role of the villain. He had complete control over both iterations of Kama in the pre-merge stages of the game and had set himself up in a great position to win even after his best bud Eric was dispatched from the game. Ron was willing to do absolutely whatever it took to win the game and that is what made him such a fun character to watch on the show.
So much of the discourse surrounding Survivor Ghost Island is about how Laurel should have flipped on Domenick and Wendell if she wanted any chance at winning the game. But let’s be honest, if Laurel had flipped on Domenick and Wendell, there is no way she would have made it to the final three. Sticking with them, even though they were clearly the best players in the game, was the only viable option for her in order for her to make it to the end of the game. Laurel is probably the 3rd best player of her season, with Kellyn Bechtold being the only player that could even come close in that regard. On a returnee season she could either be an instant target, or someone many people want to work with. We hope it’s the latter.
Rodney Lavoie Jr.
The show presented Rodney to us as more or less a babbling buffon. In reality, Rodney was actually inches away from winning Worlds Apart. Mike’s immunity run certainly got in his way and it’s unclear if he would have beaten Carolyn at the end, but he was certainly one of the bigger players of the season, not just one of the bigger characters. Rodney is a hustler and a very likable guy out on the island. If he is able to get enough ground under him and a deep enough footing in the game, Rodney could make another massive swing at the game on a returnee season.
We all remember Angelina for how much of a fun, crazy character she was in Survivor David vs. Goliath. But although she made some glaring errors in her season, she is actually a very underrated player. Angelina had a lot of control, sway, power and influence over both of her pre-merge tribes and got her way every single vote up until she blew up her game at the merge. From then on she was practically locked in as a zero-vote-finalist, which was unfortunate given the game she had played pre-merge.
Obviously CBS and Survivor are going to ask Christian back to play again. We agree that Christian would be a great player to have on a returnee season. He’s a smart player and a really likable guy, but we feel rather pessimistic on his chances at doing well. He could very well get into a similar situation as Boston Rob on Survivor 40 where everyone who is seen as his right-hand-person is immediately voted out until it’s finally him. Everyone is going to think they can work with Christian, but it might be a situation where no one actually ends up fully working with him, like Aubry in Edge of Extinction. Despite that, it’s inevitable that Christian will return to this show and we genuinely hope he does better than we expect.
We can dream, right? We have to include Natalie Bolton in our dream cast, even if it is far fetched that she will ever be asked back again. Natalie was an incredibly astute player in Survivor Micronesia and had a massive role in getting Erik to give up the immunity necklace at that historic final five vote. She’s amazing in confessional and for entertainment value, Natalie has to be one of the best players to possibly ask back for a returnee season.
There is a very strong argument that if Trish had not been on Survivor Cagayan, Tony Vlachos might have had a very similar fate to what he had on Survivor Game Changers. While Tony was burning bridges all over, Trish was working hard to repair those bridges and keep Tony from spinning out of control. She was essential to convincing Kass to flip at the merge and had an active role in all of the biggest moves of the season. An incredible social and strategic player, Trish might be one of the likeliest people on this cast to win the game should she get a second chance.
Davie was an incredibly fun player in David vs. Goliath, but he was also a great strategist. His move to play the idol on Christian and eliminate John Hennigan was absolutely incredible, especially considering it was the first time in Survivor history that a minority alliance was able to a) split the votes and b) succeed in doing so. We might never see that type of gameplay ever again. Such a fun character and such a great player, Davie absolutely has to come back for a returnee season.
Hannah Shapiro was one of the best players and characters of one of the best seasons over the past five years, Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X. The 2nd place finisher played a smart strategic game and just got absolutely plastered at the final tribal council basically for being a young woman and making moves that were deemed irrational, because she was a young woman. Let’s be honest. Few players know this game better than Hannah and she would be an absolute delight to see play again.
We saw so much wonderfulness from Devon in confessional during Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, but post-season exit interviews indicate that many people simply did not see the stellar game that we all saw. Despite that, with him filling the archetype of the surfer bro, it is very likely Devon would be underestimated yet again on a returnee season. An underrated player, Devon made a killer move at the final five to plant a vote on Mike Zahalsky in case Ben played an idol, which eventually eliminated Mike from the game. Had it not been for the dimwitted fire making challenge at the final four, Devon might have had a shot at winning the game.
I’m just going to call it like I see it, Victoria Baamonde should have and very well would have won Survivor Edge of Extinction had it not been for the dumbest twist in Survivor history with Chris coming back into the game at the final six with an idol and all the information of who the jury wanted to see win the game and information that Lauren had an idol…and…don’t even get me started. Despite being idoled-out of the game at the final six, Victoria has to be the best player of her season. She was a stone-cold silent killer in the game and always knew the direction of the vote. A key part of every Kama alliance imaginable, Victoria received 2 votes the entire game and unfortunately for her, it was the two that eliminated her from the game after production’s sacred Chris idol came into play. Survivor really owes her one and hopefully Victoria gets that deserved chance to play the game again.
In exit interviews post-Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X, both the winner of the season Adam Klein and robbed god David Wright praised Jay for his game. David even called him one of the best to ever play. Although that might by hyperbolic, Jay is absolutely a triple threat. His move to eliminate Michaela was certainly questionable, but Jay was excellent at positioning himself where he knew he could survive. He also put in excellent work to keep his allies Figgy & Taylor safe when they really should have gone home far earlier than they did. Another castaway who is excellent in confessional, Jay would certainly bring a lot of entertainment on a returnee season.
It still surprises me how Carolyn missed out on being voted in for the first season of Second Chance. She played an incredible strategic game and had it not been for Mike’s insane challenge ability, Carolyn very well may have won Survivor Worlds Apart. She’s a player that absolutely everyone gets along with and it is a shame that she hasn’t already made a return to this game.
One could argue that Ian was even more in control of Koror in Survivor Palau then Tom Westman. Ian and Tom made the strategic decisions together all the way throughout the season and Ian’s social and strategic game was pretty much equal to Tom’s. Yet to this day, Tom still gets all the credit as Ian is a forgotten figure in Survivor folklore. Speaking of players that were willing to do whatever it took to win the game, Ian held on to a pole for thirteen hours in the most boring time of Jeff Probst’s life, before mental exhaustion set in and he stepped down out of his own guilt for trying to turn on Tom the vote before. Although he reportedly declined the first iteration of Second Chance, we sincerely hope he’d consider for a second iteration of the theme.
Kellee has to be asked back for a second season of Survivor. Whether or not she would play again is another question. But Kellee is literally a game changer, having helped re-write the rules of Survivor to make it more safe for everyone moving forward. Beyond all the messed up stuff that happened on her season, Kellee was a massive character and game-player and went home earlier than she probably should have, with unfortunate circumstances certainly playing into the vote.
Mike was super bitter on his post-game exit interview on RHAP, but we would still love to see him play again, having come so close to winning the game in David vs. Goliath. Mike played a bit of queit game throughout the first half of the season and then really came alive in the final few episodes with some very smart maneuvering to get himself and his alliance to the end. He was outplayed by Nick Wilson, but if the final three somehow involves himself, Kara and Angelina instead, we think Mike wins the season.
So there it is! Our dream cast for Survivor Second Chance 2, possibly coming your way for Survivor 42(?). Who do you think wins this season? Who would you want to see back and who should be taken off our cast? Be sure to share your thoughts by commenting below or on Twitter @realitytvtms.
Below are some honourable mentions for players we couldn’t find the space to include, in addition to who we think the show would certainly ask back to at least be part of the voting ballot.
Honourable Mentions: Erinn Lobdell, Ken Hoang, Kara Kay, Michael Yerger, Lauren Beck, Hayden Moss, Sabrina Thompson, Reynold Toepfer
Who would the producers likely ask back? -> Donathan Hurley, Gabby Pascuzzi, Reem Daly, Noura Salman, Janet Carbin, Elaine Stott, Karishma Patel, Kellyn Bechtold, Jamal Shipman, Chris Noble, Mike Zahalsky
Don’t get us wrong. We love all of these crazy characters. But we would personally rather see other players on the season for either their strategic aptitude, chance at redemption, or ability to win the game. Thanks for reading and see you soon!