Jeff Pitman's Survivor 36: Ghost Island recaps

The TDT DvG contestant draft

 

It's time to draft the players of Survivor, Season 37! Champions vs. Contend... er, whoops, David vs. Goliath! Just as we did last season for Ghost Island, and two seasons ago for Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers. This time, Andy Baker and Dan Otsuki have taken a bye to get actual work done, leaving four TDT writers—Ben Martell, Pat Ferrucci, Ryan Kaiser, and two-time draft champion Jeff Pitman—to divide and conquer David vs. Goliath's 20 contestants. (Ed. note: Conquer? [Ed. ed. note: Um, you wrote this part, Pitman.])

 

Working in Ben, Pat, and Ryan's favor this season: More variance! With just Josh Wigler on set prior to the start of this season, and no official CBS interview videos, it's "First One Out" or bust for info on the current cast. A small sample size of info = more room for completely inaccurate reads. Yes! Also, with five-person teams instead oflast season's three: 67% more chances to pick the winner (although those fifth picks may have a lower payoff rate). Could someone finally take Pitman down? Probably!

 

As before, we ran a snake draft, with the randomly determined order: Ryan, Pat, Ben, Jeff (Jeff, Ben, Pat, Ryan, Ryan... etc.). As you'll see, picks were pretty variable, and everyone was able to draft their #1 pick. So poor judgment will most likely take precedence over bad luck this season. Yay!

 

So without further ado, here’s the draft:

 

Pick #1: Ryan picks NATALIE

Natalie Cole

 

Ryan Kaiser

Ryan ranked Natalie: #1

Ryan says: Everything about this pick speaks delusion power.  I realize this is bold, but I’m going to go ahead and put the “fantasy” in Fantasy Draft with my #1.  As I said in my cast assessment, I’d never forgive myself if I was too afraid to draft Natalie and she proceeded to defy all odds and win.  I also enjoy having players on my team that I’m personally vested in beyond just the scope of our draft, so I’m giving myself double the reason to root for her.  Team Ryan is now officially Team Natalie.

Natalie's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
1 20 8 18 11.75 tie-13th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

Perhaps a slight reach from Ryan taking Natalie first overall, but I actually like the pick. I suspect she has it in her to make the swap even if it’s at 15 or 16, and provided she isn’t swap screwed she could go deep. I also wouldn’t be surprised if she won if she made it to the end. This pick could make Ryan look like a genius or a fool... only time will tell.


Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

I mean, look, I have nothing against Natalie; heck, her career was, at times, on the boundaries of journalism. That makes me happy. I just find it odd Ryan put her No. 1 and I put her 20, but that’s more on Ryan than Natalie. Here’s the thing: I will never rank a 57-year-old human very highly in Survivor. Not happening.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

I love that Natalie is an actual superfan with deep knowledge of the game to characterize Elizabeth as "a young Twila [Tanner, from Vanuatu]," and someone else (Natalia? Bi?) as "a serious Becky [Lee, from Cook Islands]." These are some pretty deep cuts at this point in the show's history (28 and 25 seasons ago, respectively). Natalie also knows her personal demographics mean the deck is stacked firmly against her. Can she avoid an early boot? Maybe. Even so, I still doubt that she can win the jury vote, though, simply because juries almost never vote for women over 40. It would be cool if she pulled this off, though. Except, obviously, that would mean Ryan would win here.

 

 

Pick #2: Pat picks DAVIE

Davie Rickenbacker

 

Pat Ferrucci

Pat ranked Davie: #1

Pat says: Pat says: This dude’s name is Davie, not Dave or David. How can you not root for him? Oh, and his claim to fame is, basically, figuring out ways for women to ‘slide into his DMs.’ I know it’s always a risk choosing workout warriors in Survivor, but I’m going against all my instincts this year so I can finally win this thing… or at least be competitive. I’m so happy to have Davie. Woo hoo.

Davie's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
8 1 9 6 6.0 tie-4th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

There’s a lot to like about Davie, but I think he has two things working against him. The first is that he arrived late, and so people haven’t formed first impressions - it would be easy for him to become a consensus early target for that alone. The second is the spectre of Jeremy Collins and to a lesser extent Wendell (who hadn’t won yet, but was the preseason favourite and playing well at the point these players started). Davie might have been luckier if he’d been able to play season 38 as originally planned. Then again...


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

Blerd is the word.  Davie’s a fun, unique individual that I think will bring an entirely new character to the show.  His personality is definitely a 10 for me and I think his social/strategic game will be up there as well.  If Davie’s anything like his hero Rick Grimes, he’ll be one wanting to call the shots, making him a contender to win but for the same reason someone that could just as easily be killed off at any second.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

Davie is one of several likely confessional superstars from the David tribe, and he's sufficiently disarming and funny that he can both help them physically AND not come across as a threat. Definitely a solid first-round pick.

 

 

Pick #3: Ben picks GABBY

Gabby Pascuzzi

 

Ben Martell

Ben ranked Gabby: #1

Ben says: I love Gabby. I already think she’s going to be one of my favourite players of all time, and I couldn’t look past her as my winner pick. I get the sense that she just won’t give up no matter how bad things get, and I think she’s likely to perform better as an underdog, which the David label gives her out of the gate. People will know they shouldn’t underestimate her but she’ll charm them into underestimation anyway, and if she makes the end I think she’ll have the goods to get over that line that Aubrey and Hannah couldn’t figure out how to cross - she’ll convince the jury her archetype deserves to win.

Gabby's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
2 6 1 2 2.75 1st

The competition responds:

Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

So I’m the only person not to put Gabby 1 or 2, huh? I almost did. You know I have to root for people located near me geographically. But there are reasons to downgrade Gabby: I couldn’t get past those glasses; anyone from Florida troubles me until I meet them; and her thing about hiking 14ers (the mountains)? Let’s just say 90% of people living in the Front Range of Colorado do that …


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

You’re welcome, Ben.  If you win, then I’m taking some credit for having willed this fantasy draft advantage to you.  I, of course, called Gabby my more, I suppose, “conservative” winner pick, so I’m not surprised to see her so high up on everyone’s lists.  The perfect mix of attributes with enough skills across the board to be competitive without looking like an obvious threat.  I hope we’re not all jinxing Gabby by almost unanimously calling her out as a finalist.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

It still seems weird that the player with the highest average ranking (by far) dropped all the way down to the third overall pick. Gabby seems like an obvious pick for someone who'll either be a finalist or the last boot before the finals. Hopefully with this pick, Ben will finally not have the first team eliminated this season.

 

 

Pick #4: Jeff picks ANGELINA

Angelina Keeley

 

Jeff Pitman

Jeff ranked Angelina: #1

Jeff says: Angelina's strengths are her positive outlook, which will be highly valuable during the many storms, and her combination of intelligence and non-superfan fandom. She's smart enough to grasp how the game works, but she won't be weighed down by overthinking every past scenario for a reason why something won't work. Like a Tocantins Stephen, but with slightly more pre-existing game knowledge. That her entry point into fandom was watching her friend Adam Klein win MvGX is also a plus, because he didn't coast along in a power position the entire game, he had to hustle in multiple spots. She has all the tools, but people won't see her coming until it's too late.

Angelina's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
5 2 13 1 5.25 tie-2nd

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

Remember last season when Dan picked Gonzalez with his first pick? Jeff’s giving me flashbacks here. People are noticing she’s high maintenance for the crew, and that’s going to mean she’s high maintenance for her tribe once the game starts. Combine that with clearly obvious intelligence and she feels like Gonzalez 2.0... a candidate for first boot and unlikely to make it much further. If she can hang in she could do some damage, but that’s a big if.


Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

Damn, Jeff is ruining my perfect draft. I really wanted Angelina. What’s not to love: She started a charity revolving around fitness, went to Stanford, loves dogs, works in the analytical world of finance and name checks Maya Angelou. I’m now mad at Jeff.


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

Three of our first four winner picks are women?  This surely wouldn’t match Probst’s draft list, but we’re due, right?  Angelina reminds me a bit of Gabby with having I think enough of all the skills necessary to win the game.  I only ranked her slightly lower on my own list because I think you can see that more in Angelina.  She could absolutely be a strategic powerhouse in this game given her background.

 

 

Pick #5: Jeff picks MIKE

Mike White

 

Jeff Pitman

Jeff ranked Mike: #3

Jeff says: People who were two-time Amazing Race-rs before becoming Survivor players have a pretty divergent track record on this show, with a first boot and a win between them. But Ben's correct, I'm guessing Mike at least makes the swap simply because Goliath looks close to unbeatable early on. All Mike needs is a decent swap draw, and then he can coast to the merge. And once he hits the merge, nobody's targeting Mike White. But here's the key reason for drafting Mike: If a guy can talk Probst out of using Redemption Island, even if just for a few seasons, he deserves to win Survivor, obviously. Those are just facts.

Mike's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
9 14 12 3 9.5 7th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

Boy, Jeff is taking some big gambles here. Mike is another with all the hallmarks of an early boot - I guess Jeff is gambling on Goliath being dominant? Jeff is right that Mike is Cochran 2.0, but that’s a threatening archetype at the best of times, let alone when you’re coming in with people knowing who you are. I’ll be rooting for Mike to make it through episode by episode and give us great TV. But if he makes the merge it will be a Fishbach-in-second-chances kind of victory. Mike has to do more than play a great game to win. He needs soooo many things to fall his way as well.


Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

So this one, well, I’m not mad at Jeff. I just don’t understand. Look, I literally own physical copies of both Chuck & Buck and The Good Girl. I love those movies. And Mike even wrote a couple episodes of Freaks and Geeks, which is, of course, one of the greatest TV shows ever. But Mike White on Survivor?


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

I’m pretty confident Mike will be getting a lot of confessionals, and while I could see him landing anywhere on the spectrum from first out to first place, I’m going into the season expecting him closer to the latter.  Mike seems like a very likable guy and even though some may recognize him from the TV/film industry, Survivor’s evolved past the point of people getting voted out just for their money.  After two losses on The Amazing Race, Mike is looking for a win here.  Here’s hoping he at least can avoid getting eaten by zombies while his pants are down.

 

 

Pick #6: Ben picks CARL

Carl Boudreaux

 

Ben Martell

Ben ranked Carl: #2

Ben says: I think Carl is going to escape any comparison to Jeremy and Wendell by being a laid back Southern everyman. In fact, I can’t really see any reason he’ll be targeted... early, or mid game. Why does anyone want Carl out? Carl could easily be a Ken McNickle type who does little and isn’t respected at the end. But if he has game, I think people are going to sleep on it far too long. Nick is the guy who says he wants to be like JT, but the comparison is too obvious. A JT-like victory seems quite feasible for Carl to me.

Carl's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
16 11 2 11 10.0 tie-9th

The competition responds:

Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

I like long-time fans, and wanted to rank Carl higher, but I just can’t recall seeing many bios more boring. Sorry, Carl, but I need some personality.


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

You do you, Ben.  I don’t see a winner in Carl, but rather at best a 0-vote-getter at final tribal council.  Carl has a good personality to go relatively far in the game by not rocking the boat much, but that’s why I also don’t believe he’ll pull out a win.  CAAAAAAAAAAARL!


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

It's been 34 seasons since there was another Survivor contestant named Carl, and he was also a Carl B. He didn't do very well. This season's Carl seems much more charming and funny, and should be one the few people keeping the Davids from being completely annihilated in challenges. Seems like he should easily last beyond Ep3, and become the best Survivor Carl. Will he win? Eh, probably not.

 

 

Pick #7: Pat picks BI

Bi Nguyen

 

Pat Ferrucci

Pat ranked Bi: #3

Pat says: Jeff and Ryan are dumb. Not only does Bi have all the physical attributes, but I’ll be able to remember her name all season. I don’t think MMA should be legal, but, again, I’m picking opposites this year.

Bi's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
17 3 4 16 10.0 tie-9th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

So, I already got burned with one Nguyen a couple of seasons back. But now I’m high on another. What Bi has that Simone didn’t is that she’s a clear challenge asset, something  the David tribe needs. I like that she’s thinking about the characteristics of what makes a winner. It means that she’s aware she has to do something, but not too much. It could mean that when she hits the end she has a Natalie Anderson-esque game behind her, and that’s something I’m hoping for.


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

Another pick that Ben (and Pat too) is high on while I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum.  I’m expecting Bi to be KO’d quickly in this which is probably for the best before I make too many puns out of her name.  That would just Bi nauseating.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

I think Bi has the makings of a good Survivor player, I just don't think she's drawn a good tribe/theme. If the Davids struggle early, she'll be the obvious target for the Goliaths to pick off post-swap and/or post-merge, as one of their few challenge assets. Apart from her obvious physicality, though, she seems astute and observant, so I hope I'm wrong, and she's surprisingly successful. She's also new to the show, and I don't think her binge-watch preparation has fully alerted her to the phases in the game she most needs to worry about.

 

 

Pick #8: Ryan picks ALISON

Alison Raybould

 

Ryan Kaiser

Ryan ranked Alison: #3

Ryan says: I hope getting my #3 pick in the #8 slot of this is a good thing and not a sign about how horribly wrong I am about everything.  I can’t exactly pinpoint what makes me so high on Alison but it’s just my gut telling me that she can’t do poorly in this game.  I also feel she’s the opposite of what Probst would want in a winner – a seemingly normal woman who’s a Goliath, as opposed to a David, and I heard she talked about a women’s alliance.  If Probst is unhappy, then I’m probably happy, so go Alison!

Alison's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
3 9 10 5 6.75 6th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

Ryan has a decent pick down here at 8. I think Alison is too obvious and will be seen as a threat from the outset. I think it’s going to be hard for her to navigate that long term, but if she gets herself into a dominant Goliath alliance that takes her deep, she could manage to manoeuvre the last few votes. High chance of winning if she makes the end, low chance of getting there.


Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

I think doctors probably do well on Survivor, but Olive Garden and spelling bee jokes don’t do it for me. I imagine Alison might sit around camp making too many ‘dad’ jokes. Folks might not want to keep her around.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

Alison's one of several people this season who has the necessary combination of game knowledge and social skills to go far, and she's also an athlete. I still think being a physician initially placed on the Goliath tribe will be a huge hindrance to her chances of winning, though. But I hope not.

 

 

Pick #9: Ryan picks NICK

Nick Wilson

 

Ryan Kaiser

Ryan ranked Nick: #4

Ryan says: I definitely done goofed if I managed to get my 1st, 3rd, and 4th choices having just the 1st, 8th, and 9th picks for the draft.  Oh well.  I still believe in me.  Nick will probably be the most popular guy among the cast, and a mix of JT and Adam Klein sounds like a deadly combo.  Those players are known, though, so people may know to watch out for Nick.  Still, I’d rank him as the top male contender in the cast.  That’s redundant to say.  Obviously, I did.

Nick's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
4 5 6 9 6.0 tie-4th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

I’m loving the way team Ryan is shaping up - high risk, high reward picks. Nick is another who everyone should see coming... but I expect him to make the merge nonetheless. If people are wise, he’ll be gone in the 7-9 range. If people aren’t wise and let him to the end, he’s another who’ll probably win. Nick is my pick for the player who’ll be the most ruthless with strategic decisions. Maybe Ryan is team ruthless this year?


Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

I guess I put this dude high on my list, but now looking back on his bio, I’m not sure why. I don’t know what a Keeneland horse race is and I’m not sure that complimenting yourself by using the term redneck is all that great.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

I don't know what you're complaining about, Ryan. I had him ranked 9th. You drafted him in the right spot. Nick's chances of success seem pretty dependent on the David tribe's success. He comes across as a potential leader (in the preview from last season), which could hurt him at the merge if the Davids are down in numbers. But he's an RHAP patron-ing superfan and a lawyer, so he might be able to talk people into a blindside or two. Probably won't win, but it's not implausible.

 

 

Pick #10: Pat picks DAN

Dan Rengering

 

Pat Ferrucci

Pat ranked Dan: #4

Pat says: I know, you’re saying, ‘Pat, why would you put someone who quotes Brad Paisley so high on your list?’ And I agree with you. Remember, do the opposite.

 

Dan's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
6 4 3 8 5.25 tie-2nd

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

Pat's getting huge value down here at 10. Dan seems like he can bond with the Johns of this world with his muscles and the Gabbys with his geekiness. He’ll be pegged as a physical threat but if he’s also pegged as a swing vote it could help him survive the early merge. Dan could be out around 10-12 but I could see him being the guy who people put off until it’s too late. Dan doesn’t easily map to any recent big threats and that will help him. I wish I had him on my team instead of my next pick.


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

Dan, Dan…the ladies’ man.  Did I really rank him 6th?  That seems daring for someone who seems like he’d be one of the biggest targets at the merge.  Then again, I drafted Natalie 1st so I shouldn’t talk.  Dan should be the brother to the boys and the one that makes the girls goo-goo-eyed.  Like Nick, he could work that JT angle of being just a naturally charming and charismatic guy.  I’d be surprised if Dan is done before the merge.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

As a charming cop instead of cop-playing-as-criminal, Dan might have the same upside as Bret LaBelle, who made it all the way to finale. Or he might just be Ken Stafford from Thailand. How well he does really depends on how much people like him, and whether or not he can avoid the semi-annual post-merge physical threat purge. Pretty good sleeper potential from the #10 draft slot.

 

 

Pick #11: Ben picks PAT

Pat Cusack

 

Ben Martell

Ben ranked Pat: #5

Ben says: I’ll be honest, I didn’t really want Pat on my team. Everyone should see him coming from a mile off... he is Ben Driebergen Mark II in virtually every way. But, like Ben, if this season is going to be stacked to favour anyone, it’s Pat. This is the guy Probst built the season around. There’s only so far down I’m willing to let a guy like that drop.

Pat's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
12 12 5 12 10.25 11th

The competition responds:

Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

It’s kind of amazing that  three of us ranked this person the same. I don’t know if that’s good or bad for Pat. I just have this old-fashioned idea about neck tattoos. Sorry, namesake.


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

I only put Pat away from the bottom because if he somehow makes it to the end, I can fathom him winning, whereas most below him I couldn’t see pulling out a W at FTC.  I expect Pat to be a big ball of fire that burns out either just before or after the merge.  I am a big fan of the catchphrase “fucker faces,” however, and hope that’s a flame that never goes out.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

I really don't see the similarity to Ben Driebergen, but hey, if Pat's not going to draft his actual namesake, at least Ben drafted pseudo-Ben, right? Pat Cusack has a great story coming in, but it's hard to see this group letting him reach the finals to tell it to the jury. Instead of Driebergen, I think his real closest parallel might be Jane Bright from Nicaragua.

 

 

Pick #12: Jeff picks CHRISTIAN

Christian Hubicki

 

Jeff Pitman

Jeff ranked Christian: #4

Jeff says: I'll admit it, Christian is clearly a high-variance player. He could go very early; he could go very deep. Still, as a STEM Ph.D. myself, I have to put my faith in Christian, my fellow doctorate-toting superfan science nerd. Yeah, sure, the Davids look screwed by the initial tribe set-up, but he'll figure something out. I hope. (Wayyyy more than you guys do, it seems.)

Christian's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
11 17 18 4 12.5 15th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

Christian is the closest thing we’ve ever had to reproducing Cochran 1.0... in fact, if it’s possible, he seems to be more like Cochran 1.0 than Cochran himself. I’ve no idea how Jeff has him at 4. There’s no chance a jury ever votes to give Christian the money. But I really hope he’s great TV (starting with asking Jeff to call him Hubicki).


Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

I think Jeff loves that Christian is a ‘rocket scientist’ (which could mean a whole of things). But, you know, I only read the CBS bios for these drafts and, to me, Christian looks high. He can’t open his eyes. Also, remember when I talked about Florida above?


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

Jeff (Pitman) must REALLY like Christian as evidenced by a #4 pick and also him quickly coming to Christian’s defense when I was making mean cracks in my cast assessment.  The thought fries my brain, but I can see the robotics nerd winning if he gets to Day 39.  I don’t think there’d be a more visual representation of a David vs. Goliath story if he does, so it’d almost be too perfect if Christian were to win, which makes me think he won’t.

 

 

Pick #13: Jeff picks ELIZABETH

Elizabeth Olsen

 

Jeff Pitman

Jeff ranked Elizabeth: #7

Jeff says: Two seasons ago, I scored the steal of the draft, grabbing Lauren Rimmer with the 12th pick (I had her ranked #4) when everyone else had her near the bottom of their rankings. Today, I hope to make the same bargain pick with Elizabeth. She won me over with the intensity of her fandom in "First One Out." I can't not root for that. So I'm stoked she's on my team.

Elizabeth's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
10 13 15 7 11.25 12th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

I think Elizabeth’s upside is to be Tom Buchanan - loved for her demographic but not truly taken seriously as a winner contender by her fellow players. I just can’t see her beating out others or being given credit as a mastermind in such a stacked crew - she’ll either hit the end with a bunch of Davids that are all seen as smart or with some Goliaths being seen as a goat. Her downside is much worse... she’s a prime candidate for first out if David loses.


Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

So it’s Elizabeth Olson, not Elizabeth Olsen, who I totally would have picked No. 1. Cowboy hats are not for me.


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

As much as my heart told me to rank Natalie and Elizabeth as #1 and #2, my head laid down the hammer on that and only let me choose one.  What I love most about Elizabeth is still how she called herself a mix of the Survivor G.O.A.T. and goat farmer.  Imagine Sandra’s iconic lines, “as long as it ain’t me” and “the queen stays queen” but in Big Tom’s voice.  It’s quite funny as I have no doubt Elizabeth will be too.  Elizabeth winning would make a great story, but I think by the late game, others will be sure to throw a twist in that ending…if Production doesn’t do so first.

 

 

Pick #14: Ben picks NATALIA

Natalia Azoqa

 

Ben Martell

Ben ranked Natalia: #7

Ben says: Angelina wishes she was like Sandra, but I think Natalia has a chance to actually be like Sandra. If she understands how to channel her bluntness into popular opinion and coming across as generally very honest, it’s a trait that could serve her well. I don’t see her being an early target even if the Goliaths lose a few. Her hardest challenge might be turning it on at the end and earning a win, but if the winner is a Michele Fitzgerald type this season, my money is on Natalia.

Natalia's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
15 8 7 17 11.75 tie-13th

The competition responds:

Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

I guess only Ben and I see the wisdom in choosing Natalia. Well, she’s another engineer, but she can open her eyes. That makes her better, to me.  


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

Natalia’s not bad on paper.  She just seems the “type” that will get into the game and rub some people the wrong way with perhaps a little too much aggression.  Once again, we’re 50/50 split here, but no one put Natalia in their Top 5 (baby) which should be saying something.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

Everything I said about Angelina could be said about Natalia, too: smart, fan-but-not-superfan. Except perhaps that where Angelina seems warm and positive, Natalia gets described as "focused" and "serious." She's also possibly the most physical Goliath woman. Seems more likely to be a circa-merge boot than the winner.

 

 

Pick #15: Pat picks JEREMY

Jeremy Crawford

 

Pat Ferrucci

Pat ranked Jeremy: #7

Pat says: Look, Jeremy is attorney, so he’s smart. He also looks physically solid. But, to top it off, the dude listed hobbies of dancing AND genealogy. How can you not choose him?

 

Jeremy's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
7 7 11 14 9.75 8th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

In a vacuum, Jeremy would be a big threat in this game. But given even his name is Jeremy, the comparisons with Jeremy Collins seem unavoidable. Everyone is going to be on red alert with Jeremy, just waiting for the moment to strike. I’m not sure he is going to have the game to back up or escape his threat level.


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

Jeremy landing this low surprises me since I had him at #7 (and damn, I almost had him!) but that’s how a snake draft goes sometimes.  Of all the drafters, I think I’m on average closest to Jeff with my picks – maybe he could whip up some standard deviation tables to support that.  Jeremy has a lot of similar qualities as the last Jeremy to play (and win) Survivor.  He’s likable, sociable, intellectual, and athletic.  Aside from sporting different blue vs. white collars in life, their likeness is easy to see.  I wager Jeremy will have similar success, but closer to Jeremy 1.0 than the second chancer.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

Jeremy had some solid pre-game reads on his castmates in "First One Out," but overall, I was left wondering what Jeremy's real approach was going to be. Is he a strategist? A physical beast? A social charmer? Some combination? His interview seemed pretty vague as to how he was going to play. He's certainly smart enough to work it out on the fly, but again, being from the Goliath tribe won't do him any favors. Too many question marks for me.

 

 

Pick #16: Ryan picks JESSICA

Jessica Peet

 

Ryan Kaiser

Ryan ranked Jessica: #13

Ryan says: I think I said that I’d likely find the least personal enjoyment watching Jessica, so in the spirit of Ghost Island curses, I pick her up on my team.  I don’t think she’ll do that poorly, but I see her drowning in this big sea of personalities and neither make a strong contender for Sole Survivor nor Fan Favorite.

Jessica's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
13 18 19 13 15.75 17th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

Lying about age might have worked for some, but by this point everyone is on red alert for the 18/19 year old in the cast. Jessica should have leaned in à la Will, but I think her decision to lie about it will be the thing that causes people not to trust her. I don’t think she’ll be around for the long haul.


Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

I have this thing of picking against people not old enough to drink legally. She can’t win. Nobody can win until they’ve legally ordered a cold beverage from a wonderful pub, or an Applebee’s.  


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

As the token under-21 player this season, Jessica has to follow in Michael Yerger's footsteps, which can't be easy. It sounds like she plans to play hard, which is great, but what happens if the straight-up, hard-working Davids aren't interested? If a blindside plan drops in the forest and nobody is around to listen to it, does it make the edit? I worry that Jessica will end up with fewer confessionals than episodes.

 

 

Pick #17: Ryan picks JOHN

John Hennigan

 

Ryan Kaiser

Ryan ranked John: #14

Ryan says: Between starting Team Ryan out with Natalie and ending with John, maybe I should call this team of soon-to-be Survivor Goliaths (minus Jessica) Team Slamtown.  After the massive hit that Alan Ball was for me, I’m actually excited to see the latest pro athlete take the Survivor stage.  I mean, if anyone in this cast knows how to stage, it’s John.  There has to be no way in hell John will wrestle his way to winning which is mainly why I ranked him so low.  He could be anywhere from 2nd to 20th but not 1st.  As I said with Natalie, when I draft a Survivor fantasy team, I like it to be as full as possible with players I’m vested in for reasons other than the draft, and with John being near the top of the list for personality, I’m satisfied with how this worked out for me.

John's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
14 19 14 10 14.25 16th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

There’s nothing about John to indicate he’s got the goods to win the game, but I think there’s enough to suggest he could make it further than most of his archetype. He has a lightness and fun theatricality about him that, if he can keep it while starving, will serve him well (and make him good TV). Then again, he could just be the next grumpy, bossy old man archetype.


Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

No. I refuse to pick a wrestler. It ain’t happening. Sorry, Ryan. The only award this dude is winning is whatever his mom gave him for writing ‘the award-winning action comedy Boone: The Bounty Hunter.’


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

It's hard to imagine John going out early, but it's also difficult to envision a scenario in which anyone allows him to get more than a few votes past the merge. Survivor favors subtlety and deception, and there's nothing remotely subtle about this guy. Still, he's entertaining and surprisingly smart, so he should be fun while he lasts. Wait, how did I rank him higher than everyone else?

 

 

Pick #18: Pat picks ALEC

Alec Merlino

 

Pat Ferrucci

Pat ranked Alec: #10

Pat says: Wow. Maybe I should have watched the videos? How come everybody put this dude last? I mean, I get that he has a horrible haircut and wants to play his guitar on the island, but No. 20 from everyone?  

Alec's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
20 10 20 20 17.5 20th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

You don’t breach contract with a potential million on the line. 0.0% chance of winning the game.

 


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

Pat, no.  Just…no.  10?  Really?

 


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

I would say "poor Pat" for apparently not knowing about the big TMZ Survivor story of the summer, but this is for pick #18 of a 20-player draft, so f*** it.

 

 

Pick #19: Ben picks LYRSA

Lyrsa Torres

 

Ben Martell

Ben ranked Lyrsa: #16

Ben says: Lyrsa would be the most left field winner Survivor has ever seen. She’ll have an extremely uphill battle. But I think people will be surprised at her physicality and she may find herself valued early, and if she can get that in she has to make every post a winner. I have my fingers crossed that Lyrsa is funny - I think she could be confessional gold. Not high on my chances of getting a winner here, but easily my preference of the two remaining. Thanks Pat for preventing me having to choose Kara.

Lyrsa's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
19 16 16 15 16.5 18th

The competition responds:

Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

Never choose someone with purple hair. Although, Ben, the one thing you got going for you is that Lyrsa lives in Boston. She clearly has good taste … except in hair colors.


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

No love for Lyrsa when it comes to winning the game.  Our numbers make it pretty clear we all think Lyrsa will be the first David demolished.  Maybe she’ll find a better fit as the Ponderosa chef.


Jeff Pitman

Jeff says:

I really hope we're all wrong and Lyrsa lasts a while, because her "First One Out" interview is really fun. I'd even be okay with Ben winning the draft, if it's because Lyrsa does. I also hope she lasts long enough to be able to publish a Survivor cookbook, and that it outsells The Boston Rob Rulebook, because why not?

 

 

Pick #20: Jeff 'picks' KARA

Kara Kay

 

Jeff Pitman

Jeff ranked Kara: #19

Jeff says: If I had to end up with the last person available, at least I have the one from San Diego, where all good people are from (Hunter Ellis, Mike Chiesl, Monica Padilla, and... ?). She also knows who Parvati is, and Parvati last played 17 seasons ago. So maybe that's a good sign? Um. Help me out here.

Kara's draft results
Ryan Pat Ben Jeff Avg. pick # Overall rank
18 15 17 19 17.25 19th

The competition responds:

Ben Martell

Ben says:

Marginally better odds than Alec because she wasn’t the one breaching contract, but she was probably a willing participant. I fully expect her relationship with Alec developed primarily on a pre-jury trip.

 

Overall thoughts on my team: I’ve made the same mistake as last year, leaning heavily on the success of one tribe. But what’s the circumstance in which Alec goes pre-merge? I think it’s likely to be that Goliath is the team that comes off worse in the early going. If the David tribe ends up running the game I’m in great shape. But I love the look of Ryan and Pat’s teams too... it’s only Jeff that I think is dunk from the outset this year. Let a new champion be crowned!


Pat Ferrucci

Pat says:

They sure found the biggest cliché ever with Kara. Young, attractive, a realtor in San Diego, says she’s like Parvati, talks about horrible self-help books … I could go on. Sorry, Jeff.  


Ryan Kaiser

Ryan says:

To be completely honest, Alec is most of the reason why I ranked Kara so low.  On her own, I’d have a little more stock in her.  Wouldn’t it be hysterical though if everyone was wrong about Kara and she actually won?  Best of all, with his reunion ban, Alec would be barred from being there when it happens.  T’would be the Romeo and Juliet story of our generation.

 

 

So that's it for the draft. The final teams are as listed below. Who picked the best? Which TDT writer will win? Or will Team Ghost take it all? Feel free to weigh in, in the comments below:

 

draft results

 

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