It’s only been episode one in for Survivor Philippines and I am already high in anticipation as to how the rest of the season will go. I know, it’s too early to predict winners, but I already have my sights on who I want to win the title of Sole Survivor. Take note, though, that my list of favorite castaways are only based on impressions from the pre-show interviews and cast assessments, as well as what transpired on episode one.
Mike Skupin (Tandang)
It’s easy to root for Mike because he is one of the old-timers. If you’re a long time fan of the show, like me, you’d even be starstruck to see him again! But he is a legend. And Survivor will not be what it is if not for him. The opportunity to see him play again is a Survivor dream for ultimate fans and I am rooting for him to go far, if not win it all (yeah, I still want a new player to win this season). But he is tremendously athletic for his age and he has shown great approach at the game by playing along with it, instead of being too abrasive and impose his own strategy, so I think if he can keep that alliance intact, he’d be in a good position at least until the merge.
Jeff Kent (Kalabaw)
It is always easy to support competitive players and Jeff Kent is undeniably one. It’s no surprise given his background as an athlete – he likes to win at every game! He sorta reminds me of Gary from Guatemala, which again is not a surprise as they both had athletic background.
The only thing working against him right now is his active campaigning to vote off Jonathan. If Penner does find the idol, that could easily switch up the power position in the tribe. And given his physical strength, he could be easily perceived as a threat and an obvious choice for a vote.
Denise Stapley (Matsing)
Denise is a sex therapist. That alone makes her an interesting pick. But she is not your stereotypical “old woman” in Survivor. She is a strong competitor at challenges (as proven in the first immunity challenge for this season) and she can play a good strategic game, too.
I love how upfront she is on her pre-game cast video that she is here to play the game. And her alliance with Malcolm is a very promising one, indeed. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they can ride it all the way to the end.
Malcolm Freberg (Matsing)
Malcolm is the complete package. On Rob Cesternino’s podcast, wherein he interviewed Yul Kwon, the winner of Survivor: Cook Islands and one of the best players the show has seen, he had some positive feedback about Malcolm’s gameplay so far. He sort of resonated what I thought and had seen of Malcolm’s game, which is why I am putting my money on him to win.
First off, he is a strong physical competitor. He is, after all, an athlete wherein he played college football while attending Dartmouth University. Second, he has survival skills and knows how to survive the jungle and island living. The third major weapon he has under his helm is his charisma and intelligence. He seems to have a good grasp of the game and very easily reads the situation. Even though he’s been described by many as arrogant (even he would describe himself as ‘cocky’), he has done a great job of keeping it low and not trying to step up yet. One clear example of this was during the building of fire. He allowed Russell to take care of it so that the latter can take credit while also taking some of the target off his back.
I am still expecting to add more women into the list as we go along, but aside from Denise there isn’t any other that had stood out for me (and whom I would like to root for). RC seems to be a smart and aggressive player, but I do think she’s coming on too fast that she’s at risk of exposing herself, and putting a target on her back, too soon.
Be sure to come back soon to read more updates, predictions, and insights from this season of Survivor. What about you? Which castaway are you rooting to go all the way to the end?