Well, in theory... Pat Ferrucci's S34 recaps

Who's still got a chance to actually win?


Well, fellow Survivor fans, we’ve finally reached the end of this absolute slog of a season.


I don’t think I’m going out a limb or anything when I say this was simply not a good season. I did a perusal of Dalton Ross’ seasonal rankings and was absolutely floored he put Ghost Island right in the middle, at 18. I mean, Dalton ranked this go ’round higher than last season, higher than The Australian Outback, higher than Tocantins… and more. Heck, he’s got it way ahead of All-Stars and Exile Island. I think not.


Hell, to me, this season outranks only a handful of prior ones: Fiji (of course), Nicaragua (the absolute worst),  Vanuatu, Thailand and San Juan Del Sur. I even liked Redemption Island and One World better. I just did not enjoy this one.


But, in one piece of good news, I don’t remember ever having my Winner Pick™ make the finale. On the other hand, my Winner Pick™ currently owns the same odds of winning as I do. And, my friends, that would be 0%.


And, of course, that’s the problem with this season: Too many castaways with virtually no chance of winning, too many castaways refusing to actually play to win, the horrific decision that was Ghost Island, and finally, editing’s baffling decision to make us learn about maybe five castaways. Even some of the ones that received tons of screen time, like Michael or Laurel, were about as boring as humanly possible. I never thought I would write this 10 weeks ago, but I wish Chris had remained in the game.


I could complain and complain, but, you know, that’s Survivor. One of the amazing parts of this show is that some seasons just don’t cut it for a variety of reasons. This is one. But we all still watched and we’ll watch in September. Because even a bad season of Survivor is a good season of television.


Keeping with tradition, we won’t do any theory this week. We’ll just take a look at where I see the remaining players and their chances of winning. Usually, I rank castaways in three categories: No Way in Hell; Could Win the Game; and The Frontrunner. I’ve kept those categories for pretty much every column moving into the finale, but this season I’m changing things up. There is no need for the middle category.


So with that said, let’s get to my thoughts. And, on a programming note, I won’t be back with a column next week since I’m heading overseas for a work conference. We’ll talk again next season. Here we go:    


No Way In Hell

No way in hell


  • Angela: I honestly can’t remember the last time such a bad player made the finale. I mean, Sebastian is a waste of a spot and we’ll get to him in a second, but I don’t think he even thinks he’s playing hard. He’s an early-season throwback, the kind of dude on the island for adventure, not necessarily to win. Angela seems to think she’s actually playing… and it’s not pretty. I truly admire her as a human being, but if you’re going to cast only one over-40 woman, why not make that demographic look as good as last year with Chrissy?

  • Sebastian: Like I just wrote, I don’t think Sebastian is even playing the game. He just wants to be called a pirate. I mean, who am I to judge? Nobody’s ever called me a pirate, so maybe it feels amazing? That would be cool. But this pirate isn’t winning.

  • Donathan: I still have mixed feelings about Donathan. On one hand, I feel bad for him. He’s clearly wanted to make a move against Dom and Wendell for a while, but Laurel basically keeps blocking him. On the other hand, he should have ditched Laurel as an alliance member last week, when he realized she was never flipping. He knew he’d be in this predicament and he basically let it happen. You can throw as many “truth bombs” as you’d like, but unless you actually, you know, do something they won’t matter.

  • Laurel: Ah, I had such high hopes. I feel like there was a moment this episode where even the editors were like, “F*** it. We can’t make it look like she’s flipping anymore.” The way they just used that confessional where Laurel basically said she would never flip? I think that came from a place of frustration. Or maybe I’m pushing my feelings onto the editors? Who knows? Either way, I can’t remember a player explicitly discussing what she needed to do to win as much as Laurel… but then never doing it.


The Frontrunner(s)

The frontrunners


  • Domenick: So normally I would have a potential Could Win the Game category because there is always a chance, at this point, that a mediocre player could, somehow, still get to the end with goats. I mean, there is a chance that both Dom and Wendell could be eliminated before the final tribal. But, let’s be honest: One of these dudes, and more than likely both, will be making their case to the jury. We’ve just seen literally no player capable of pulling off a Big Move™. And without Kellyn, well, it ain’t happening. So here we stand: Dom vs. Wendell. I think Dom is going to win and I think that because of the edit, no other reason. Dom’s intuition is, frankly, one of the best ever on the show. I think he’ll talk a better game at final.

  • Wendell: Wendell could very easily still win this game. There’s a chance he could ditch Dom on the way to final tribal. We also know he’s more than likely made the better connections with more people on the jury. He’s played a really good game. In any other season, I would say he’d be a clear frontrunner, but in this dismal season, we’ve seen two frontrunners all game. So it makes sense to rank them both here. Again, I think Wendell loses, but I wouldn’t bet any money on it.


Enjoy the finale, folks. I don’t think I’ll actually get to watch till a week after. Let’s hope the season at least ends well.


Pat Ferrucci Survivor 36 recapsPat Ferrucci started watching Survivor when episode two of Borneo first aired. He's seen every episode since. Besides recapping here, he'll be live-tweeting this season from the Mountain Time Zone. Why? Because nobody cares about the Mountain Time Zone except when they want to ski. Follow him @PatFerrucci for Survivor stuff and tweets about anything and everything that enters his feeble mind.