Here we are again, two days before the season finale of another Survivor season, this time Millennials vs. Gen X. As we did during Kaoh Rong, we are pitting our prognosticatory powers against those of our fellow scribes at (alphabetically):
The game? Which finalist will each juror vote for, and thus, who will win Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X?
This time, we're taking Martin Holmes's suggestion and ranking juror preference order for the Final 6, rather than taking a stab in the dark when there's a 3-in-6 chance any particular remaining player won't even reach the finals. So let's get to it.
Update: Added consensus picks for the site, done by averaging placement for all three voters, and sorting by mean score.
Juror #1: Michelle
The further removed one is from the game, the more likely a player is to be “objective.” Add in how logical Michelle was throughout the game (at least as far as Survivor strategy, and not dragons and dinosaurs, is concerned), and she’s going to go with what she perceives as “the best game.” That’s why Hannah is placed over Bret and Ken: Hannah will argue that she was making moves, and Michelle will believe that Bret and Ken coasted.
Michelle: Jay > David > Adam > Hannah > Bret > Ken
Michelle made some big moves during her time in the game, but, really, she seemed to only bond with other millennials. I think she stays true to her original tribe. And she worked with Jay the most of all those left, so I think she’ll go for Jay above everyone. Unless she realized by now that Jay’s “Triforce” alliance name didn’t make any sense.
Michelle: Jay >>> Hannah > David
Michelle was originally in the Triforce with Jay. They collaborated to swing the Mari vote on Day 6. They were both blindsided by the first post-merge vote that sent Michelle to the jury. Michelle seems to be a solid Jay voter. After that... who? She had a hidden friendship with Hannah. She probably respects strategists like David and Adam, maybe? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Michelle: Jay >>> David > Hannah > Adam
Consensus: JAY > David > Hannah > Adam > Bret > Ken
Juror #2: Taylor
He’s going to vote for his boy, followed by the consensus “most aggressive game.” After that, he’ll peer through his egocentric lens and vote for Ken (because of the challenge wins; an guy like Taylor will privilege athletes over gameplay geeks just like every bro ever) over Bret (nice guy) over Hannah (she’s annoying and a girl and not a hot one like Figgy) over Adam (ongoing Figgy petulance).
Taylor: Jay > David > Ken > Bret > Hannah > Adam
Oh, the big question: Who played the most sicky sicky nar nar game? (Did I use that correctly? God, I hope not, actually.) You know how Tails rolls at this point. He's going for his millennial pals. Then he's going to go back to dreaming about some fresh pow to snowboard on.
Taylor: Jay >>> Ken
There is one and only one person left that Taylor could vote for: Jay. Well, he did pledge to not write Ken's name back in post-swap Takali, but that's pretty much the same thing. He hates Adam. It's not clear he ever even talked to Hannah. No interaction with Bret or David, even. Apart from that time at the #SurvivorSummit when David promised to flip on Gen X and work with Taylor. Remember that? Neither does Taylor, probably.
Taylor: Jay >>> Ken
Consensus: JAY > Ken > David > Bret > Hannah > Adam
Juror #3: Chris
He will begrudgingly respect David’s moves over Jay’s post-merge passivity and challenge beasting. After that, he’ll focus on gameplay (Adam) and friendship (Bret) over challenge wins (Ken) and perceived goatishness (Hannah).
Chris: David > Jay > Adam > Bret > Ken > Hannah
You know, I'm sort of confused about this one. I don't really know which way Chris could go … and I think he's going to be the Bitter Betty on the jury. But, I still think he goes Gen X.
Chris: David >>>> Bret
Chris is a strategist, and in his Ponderosa video tipped his cap to David, because he expected David to turn on him. But he was also super-tight with Bret, so if Bret makes the finals, he could get a stray vote from Chris. Otherwise, no real relationship with Adam, Hannah, or Jay.
Chris: Bret > David > Adam >> Ken
Consensus: DAVID > Bret > Adam > Jay > Ken > Hannah
Juror #4: Jessica
If David needs her vote – and he would if he was sitting next to Jay – then she’d vote for him. Barring that, though, she’ll throw a vote to Ken. That is, unless Jay is in the Final 3 against Ken but not David; under those circumstances, she’d vote for Jay. Bottom line: She’s voting for the best available player if they need her vote; if they don’t, then she votes for Ken.
Jessica: Ken > David > Jay > Bret > Adam > Hannah
I feel like this one's pretty easy also. The only question is whether Jessica favors David or Ken. I think she votes for the better player.
Jessica: David > Ken > Adam
Jessica's one true alliance was with Ken. Although she was also saved by and working with David, and based on her exit interviews, was quite close with Adam, her post-swap alliance-mate. After that... no real interactions with Hannah or Jay to gauge, but at least working with Hannah, even if indirectly. Oh, and definitely not Bret.
Jessica: Ken > David > Adam >> Hannah
Consensus: KEN > David > Adam > Jay > Bret > Hannah
Juror #5: Zeke
Zeke will be all about the strategic gameplay (it’s the reverse side of the Taylor coin; strategists look for moves and jury management from their finalists). To him, David has played the best game (as he told us repeatedly before his departure). Jay didn’t do much other than survive after the merge (although there is obviously value in that); Zeke is going to reward active gameplay over the wait and watch method. The back end of the order is murky – does he respect Adam more than Hannah? Does he believe that Bret was making meaningful moves (or is the Rainbow Connection enough to vault him past Adam and Hannah)? – but safe to say that Ken is at the back of the pack.
Zeke: David > Jay > Adam > Hannah > Bret > Ken
Zeke played this game to win and will reward people who played like him. This one's easy, I think.
Zeke: David >>> Adam > Jay
Zeke saw David as his #1 rival, and paid the price for trying to take him out. He worked extensively with Hannah and Adam, especially at the merge, but saw them as the lieutenants to his general. And he bonded with Bret over Bret's generationally more difficult coming out. No read on his views on Jay or Ken.
Zeke: David > Adam > Hannah > Bret
Consensus: DAVID > Adam > Jay > Hannah > Bret > Ken
Juror #6: Will
Like a kid playing in a fantasy baseball league for the first time, his decision is going to be a mix of “best player available” and “whatever the older kids tell me to do.” We will undoubtedly be graced with a long-winded, overly-pontifical jury question from this kid – actually, he’s the odds-on favorite to make a grandstanding statement rather than ask anyone anything – but in the end, he’ll do what almost everyone does: Vote for the person who you’re okay having front and center on your season’s DVD cover.
Will: Jay > David > Adam > Bret > Hannah > Ken
Here's another guy I'm a little confused about. On one hand, we know Will is a student of the game. On the other hand, besides Jay, did he have a very close relationship with anybody? With that said, I think Will has three options.
Will: Jay >>> Adam > David
Will's obvious closest relationship was with Jay. They found an idol together, which Jay kept and used for himself. Jay had Will's back, until Will flipped and left a dagger in Jay's. Okay, maybe not that close. Will also worked with Hannah at the end, and knew David was a threat. And was working with Sunday, which brought in Bret, peripherally. Not a chance for Ken.
Will: Jay > David > Hannah > Adam > Bret
Consensus: JAY > David > Adam > Hannah > Bret > Ken
Juror #7: Sunday
She’s going to go with her heart, and that means Bret if he’s there, her surrogate son if Bret’s out and Jay is in the F3. After that, it’ll be gameplay: David then Adam. And the other two just won’t get a vote from her.
Sunday: Bret > Jay > David > Adam > Hannah > Ken
Well, I think we know Sunday's main alliance, but who she might vote for if Bret isn't sitting at the end? Your guess is as good as mine. I'm going to say that Sunday sticks with Gen X unless one of the millennials' stories about their mother sways.
Sunday: Bret >>> David > Jay > Adam
There are few books as open as Sunday. Every page says Bret, with whom she spent the entire game. In the (likely) event he's not a finalist, then Jay. Then a whole bunch of people we have no idea about. She got along with everyone, it just was not shown. So take your pick of the others.
Sunday: Bret > Jay >>> David?
Consensus: BRET > Jay > David > Adam > Hannah > Ken
So there you have it. Our predictions for the jury of Millennials vs. Gen X.
But wait! There's more!
Double Jeopardy: The not-yet jurors
Since we're still at the final six, and have three more jurors-in-waiting, we also have to project the preferences of everyone still playing. Yay! So... here we go. Alphabetically:
Potential juror #1: Adam
When two grown men cry together, they vote for each other, that’s just how the bro bond works. David is an easy second choice – the narrative of “I was beaten by the best” is easy to swallow – followed by three players he wouldn’t want to vote for (although he’d likely give Hannah the win in that nigh impossible Final 3).
Adam: Jay > David > Hannah > Bret > Ken
I think Adam is a lot like Zeke and he votes for the best strategist remaining. That means no way on Ken or Bret and maybe on the others.
Adam: David > Jay >>> Hannah
Adam has been working with David, but knows he's a huge threat. He's been butting heads with Jay, but has grown to respect him as a person. It really could go either way, especially if David gets Adam out before Adam can turn on David. Adam's also close to Hannah. From there, it's a bit of a drop-off, but not out of the question he'd vote for someone else. He's been working with Ken, but seems more in tune with David and Hannah. He sort of worked with Bret last episode.
Adam: David > Jay > Hannah >> Ken > Bret
Consensus: DAVID > Jay > Hannah > Bret > Ken
Potential juror #2: Bret
Jay beats out David because the L.A. writer betrayed the Boston cop too many times. He won’t like voting for David, but he will over the rest of the crowd, both because David is a Gen-Xer, and because of the improbability of it all (although he’ll toy with voting for Adam; Sunday might have to talk some sense into him). He has no use for Hannah or Ken, though, so he’ll be happy it’s a Final 3.
Bret: Jay > David > Adam > Hannah > Ken
Bret's a little like Sunday to me in that I'm not sure which way he'll go. And unlike Sunday, he doesn't have an obvious first choice in my mind. Therefore, I'm thinking Bret goes with Jay and then it gets a bit dicey.
Bret: Jay >>> David > Ken
Of the six remaining players, Bret is the most enigmatic. We rarely hear about his long-term strategy or plans, just his reactions to specific events. His closest ties were to Chris and Sunday, neither of whom he can vote for. He likes Jay, we guess? He sees David as a threat, so maybe some respect there? Maybe Adam? Doesn't seem to much care for Ken or Hannah.
Bret: Jay >>> David > Adam?
Consensus: JAY > David > Adam > Hannah > Ken
Potential juror #3: David
He’ll tip his cap to Jay, reward his friend, and acknowledge the player who would have to betray him for David to be on the jury – in that order. I think David likes Hannah, but doesn’t really respect her game (because it’s been in his hands for a long time now; it’s human nature to appreciate those with individual agency over someone who allowed herself to be led), and I suspect that he and Bret haven’t seen eye to eye since the Paul blindside.
David: Jay > Ken > Adam > Hannah > Bret
I believe David will be a level-headed jury member, someone who will vote for who he thinks played the best game. Now, his definition of the best game might be a wee bit different than what we think.
David: Adam > Hannah > Ken > Jay
First off, if David is a juror, then this entire season has been for naught. Second off, everyone left is probably hoping they can make exactly that happen. As they should. Ken is David's closest ally, his confidante. He's also recently close to Hannah, and at least should be warily approaching Jay and Adam. Bret is also a contestant on the same season.
David: Ken > Hannah > Adam > Jay
Consensus: KEN > Adam > Hannah > Jay > Bret
Potential juror #4: Hannah
Despite her Ken crush, Hannah, like Zeke, will vote for strategists over dashing good looks because it validates her own view of the world and the game. Adam could possibly beat out Jay here – Hannah worked with him at various points in the journey to the end – but I’m guessing she would cave to the collective pressure (including from Probst and production) to reward Jay for navigating his way to the Final 3.
Hannah: David > Jay > Adam > Ken > Bret
I think Hannah's vote could go in four directions, for two players she thinks played a stellar game or for two players she'd like to marry. My gut says the former win out, but who knows?
Hannah: David >>> Adam > Jay > Ken
While Hannah has received a lot of votes recently (some of which were idoled away), it's hard to imagine her being voted against again this season, except as a decoy. Still, we're supposed to list everyone, so probably David and Adam are the two people with whom she's closest. Then maybe Jay? They had a nice scene together a couple of episodes ago. Then dreamboat early riser Ken? Sure, why not.
Hannah: David > Adam > Jay > Ken
Consensus: DAVID > Adam > Jay > Ken > Bret
Potential juror #5: Jay
We weren’t given that hammock scene for Jay to side with David; Adam gets his vote (and it’s an easy one). After that, it’s about respect; he knows David played a great game, and he got to see Bret at his best on Ikabula (Bret’s social game while on that tribe is the great untold story of this season). The other two? No way.
Jay: Adam > David > Bret > Ken > Hannah
One of the main reasons Adam should be focused more strongly on Jay than David, in my opinion, is that Jay will vote for Adam first. Besides Adam, I'm not sure. But I'm thinking maybe Hannah.
Jay: Adam >>> Hannah > David
A three-way showdown between Adam and Jay and David could make for a razor-thin win for someone at the Final Tribal Council. But alas, Jay's idol is no more, and he has to be target #1 (or 2) for everyone left. If they're successful, he'll have to vote for someone... Adam seems like a good first guess. Jay's also been close to Hannah, and worked with Bret off and on since Ikabula. Jay might respect Ken's challenge prowess, or David's strategic acumen. So basically, anyone could receive his vote. Perhaps the toughest set to put in order.
Jay: Adam > Ken > David > Bret > Hannah
Consensus: ADAM > David > Ken > Bret > Hannah
Potential juror #6: Ken
This one is really tricky: If David betrays Ken, then Ken won’t vote for him because of Respect and Honor and Integrity and Morals and Ethics and all of those other big ideas that poets and writers used to capitalize for emphasis. But David knows this, so he won’t turn on his most loyal ally unless it’s a him-or-me scenario, which seems unlikely. Even if the group decides that Ken has got to go, David will refuse to write Ken’s name down (because he knows that a move like that would poison the jury). Should the Jay/Adam tandem somehow take over the game (would Bret and Hannah make so bold a move, or go along with it to take out David?), Ken votes for Jay (too much Respect for Jay’s game) over Adam (although he’ll be conflicted because Adam flipped to Jessica and Ken over Taylor and Figgy). And add Ken to the list of players who would rather not vote for Hannah or Bret.
Ken: David > Jay > Adam > Hannah > Bret
Besides clearly voting for David, do you think you know what Ken will do? I sure as heck don't. Maybe he'll test everyone in some weird way that makes no sense? Maybe he'll just talk about how he wants to vote for the best human being remaining, the one closest to being like him, of course? Eh. We'll find out.
Ken: David >>>>>>>> Adam > Jay >>> Hannah
Ken should be the easiest: His closest ally is David. But Ken is also 100% about loyalty and honor, and if David reached the finals without Ken, that bond could be irreparably broken. But even Grant voted for Boston Rob, then never talked to him again. Ken also likes Hannah, and works with Adam. And Jay is good in challenges. Probably not a Bret voter.
Ken: David? > Adam > Hannah > Jay
Consensus: DAVID > Adam > Jay > Hannah > Bret
P.S. A few final words:
** Looks like I’ve talked myself into a Jay win over David. I’m more than a little surprised about this. I guess that has a lot to do with the edit; Jay hasn’t gotten the attention that David has, which makes me a bit biased towards David.
** When Adam, who has been making moves for over a month, is most likely the third option for most of the jury, there’s been a lot of strategic maneuvering going on. Sure, not all of it has been GOOD strategy – one could argue that most of the moves have been questionable at best – but at least they’ve going down swinging.
** Clearly, I don’t think anyone respects the games played by Hannah, Ken, or Bret. I’m a jerk.
OK, that’s all I got. I have to say, I think there are only three people remaining who can win this game, so this should be pretty clear predicting when we see the final three. Now, if we get a Jay, Adam and David final three? Best ever and I have no idea. If we get a Hannah, Bret and Ken final three? Worst ever and, I guess, Hannah? Fun times. Enjoy the finale.
I agree with Pat that the best possible Final Three here would be Adam, David, and Jay. But I'd be happy with any combination that has at least (Jay + Adam) or (Jay + David), just because those pairs have such strongly contrasting styles of play, and either could plausibly win. Although in the last few episodes Adam has left a lot of people hanging with broken promises, so maybe David/Jay is the most balanced matchup. No matter what happens, it should be fun to find out.
So that's it. Disagree with our picks? Think we're close, but no cigar? Leave a comment below, or argue with us on twitter: @SurvivorGenius (Andy), @PatFerrucci (Pat, obviously) and @truedorktimes (Jeff). And don't forget to check out our worthy competitors (below), one or all of whom may have predictions more to your liking.
MvGX jury predictions from other, probably more prophetic sites
Pre-pre-finale columns from this very site