Official ‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ Pre-Season Rankings

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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The first “Blood vs. Water” season was like nothing we’d ever seen before. The crazytown rules made for some impossible to anticipate results. Who ever thought they’d vote out someone in an attempt to make their loved one take their place at Redemption Island? Who ever thought having a loved one would be a liability? Who ever thought someone would quit in an effort to stop their loved one from taking their place?

The mind boggles.

And here we are, preparing for a second “Blood vs. Water” that has no Redemption Island, no returnees, and more men than women due to a last-second medical evacuation.

Fortunately, as last season’s 17th place finisher Spencer Bledsoe and 18th place finisher Tony Vlachos will tell you, I don’t have a high standards to live up to with my pre-game rankings. So by all means, take the following statements with a truckload of salt.

Note: Betting on XFINITY “Survivor” Pre-Game Rankings is frowned upon.

  1. Jeremy – Firemen are the new beauty queens! We’ve got a team on “The Amazing Race” and three (count ’em!) on this season. Hook and ladder alliance for the win! Seriously though, Jeremy gets my pre-season jinx this year because he’s old enough to hang with the oldies, but young enough to get along with the kids. He’s deceptively athletic. He’s laid back. And best of all, I loved the way he deferred to his wife during his TVGN interview. That’s the kind of person who can blend and go far.
  2. Val – The Foxboro duo are probably the most formidable Blood vs. Water pair ever. They both bring a ton of good qualities to the table. Val’s fit, she’s smart, and she’s got that special cop sixth-sense. She can read when people are lying. And, as a mother, she has to be patient. I expect good things from these two.
 3. Reed – Listen up, Reed. I saw “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” on Broadway. I saw the Green Goblin and the rest of the Sinister Six sing “A Freak Like Me Needs Company.” I’m not happy about it. But, I’m not going to hold it against you. I know you just swung over my head, you didn’t produce, write, or direct it. So, why are you so high on this list? Well, as an aerialist, I’m thinking you perform well under pressure. You clearly know a thing or two about the game. And, I think your tribe is going to do well in challenges before the swap. You should have tons of options.
  4. Kelley – Oh man, if you were to feed every “Survivor” bio since the beginning of time into a machine and had it pick out the perfect average one, it’d probably be Kelley’s. Pretty, blonde, athletic, in her 20s, hates lazy people, thinks she’s the next Parvati, claims to be “competitive” on three separate occasions. Don’t get me wrong, she not a bad pick to win this thing because she doesn’t have any obvious flaws, but…zzz…
 5. Missy – I actually like Missy a lot. She’s going to be on a young tribe, but she deals with young people all the time. If she can turn off the coach part of her personality and relate to her tribemates as a peer, she should do well.   6. Dale – So, Dale is a hard worker who spends most of his time by himself. Sounds like a “Survivor” social disaster waiting to happen, right? Not necessarily. He isn’t going to be leading any alliances, but if he can keep his head down and get in with some movers and shakers he could be sticking around to the end.
 7. Nadiya – Were Jet and Cord busy? Were the Globetrotters on tour? I kid, I kid…the Twinnies are fine, they just wouldn’t have been my “Amazing Race” first choices. OK, one of the things I don’t think anyone is talking about is the fact that their “Race” experience could serve them well in Nicaragua. They won’t be stressed out or overwhelmed by all the cameras surrounding them at all times. They’ll be used it. And, they’ve been competing in stressful competitions for years.
  8. Natalie – I just thought of this; what if both of the Twinnies make it to the merge and then pull off some challenge switcharoo stuff like the twins in the movie “Moving”? What if they end up on opposite alliances, and then pretend to be the other twin to get intel? That’s it. Next time, cast an all-twin “Blood vs. Water.”

 9. Julie – Johnny Rocker is a big dude with some big opinions. I’d imagine the woman who spends her life with him must know a thing or two about dealing with egos. I think a lot of people are going to underestimate Julie, and that makes her dangerous.
  10. WesOh…where do I start with you? You say you’re going to have women under your wing like Russell Hantz. Well, there’s only one Russell Hantz, kid, and it ain’t you. You seem like a nice guy and Russell’s strategy depended on him being a not-nice guy. Russell’s a cult leader. That requires a certain level of gravitas. You’re a little young for that. Your best bet is to play second fiddle to someone with a little more charisma.
 11. Josh – Hmmm…Reed doesn’t think Josh has a very good poker face. That might not be a big deal, seeing as they spend so much time together and Reed has had time to learn the intricacies of Josh’s face. But it is troublesome. He’s also on a tribe with John Rocker and some other people who don’t strike me as Broadway fans. That’s equally troublesome.
 12. Jon – Jon seems like a nice, athletic guy who will do well in challenges and make some friends and probably be the first one gone after the merge. Especially if Jaclyn starts pushing the “We need to win so we can start a family” narrative. Nobody wants to stand up against that at the final Tribal, so they’ll be gone long before then.
  13. Alec – Just having Drew around is going to be good for Alec’s game. Alec seems like a less-threatening, less-arrogant version of his brother. So, as long as Drew is around, Alec should be safe. I don’t think he has the killer instinct to take this whole thing, but this Mini Me should do better than his Doctor Evil.
 14. John – It’s easy to write John Rocker off because of his controversial comments. But honestly, most of the players will probably judge him based on how he presents himself in the game. Now, if he hasn’t grown a filter over the years and spews the same garbage, he might not last long. But, like him or not, the guy’s a world-class athlete and has experience performing in stressful situations. Does that mean I think he has a chance of winning? Well…honestly, I don’t. He doesn’t seem that psyched about being on the show. He doesn’t seem to give himself much of a chance of winning. So, why should I?
  15. Drew – I can’t quite figure out who’s going to lead Drew’s tribe. I see Keith on the outs early, Reed, Kelley, Jeremy, and Missy are too smart to be the leader, Jon and Natalie are a little too goofy, and Julie is going to overcompensate for being John Rocker’s girlfriend by being super nice. So does Drew, the man who can “pull off the unthinkable with ease” step up? And does it drive everyone crazy? I’m thinking yes.
 16. Baylor – I think the only young person I’ve ever picked to do well in this game was Sophie Clarke, and that’s because she’s an old soul. I think Baylor clearly has the athletic chops to do well in this game, but I don’t think she has enough life experience to top her older competition in the social game.
  17. Jaclyn – The “Survivor” contestant Jaclyn thinks she’s most like is Jefra from “Survivor: Cagayan.” Let that one sink in for a minute. There have been over 400 Survivors to play this game, and she chose the one who had next to no impact on her season. That’s like saying the holiday you’re most like is Arbor Day. Or the Peanuts character you’re most like is Frieda. Or the pizza topping you’re most like is extra sauce.
 18. Keith – Lookit that mustache! That’s a beaut! Not since the days of Rick Nelson have we seen something like that saunter into the game. Seriously though, I like him a lot more than I like Wes, but I worry that he’s only here because his son wanted to be on “Survivor.” Add that to the fact that’s he’s the oldest member of a young tribe and you have a recipe for an early dismissal. Of course, with my track record, Keith will probably win the whole thing.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

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