Survivor: David vs. Goliath cast assessment: Natalie Cole is a commanding force

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Natalie Cole has the conviction, drive and passion to become a successful CEO. Can she become a champion in Survivor: David vs. Goliath?

The last time Survivor cast a woman at 56 years of age was in Nicaragua with Jane Bright. There have been a few women in their early 50s cast over the past 16 seasons, but they are usually few and far between. Natalie Cole looks to join the ranks of Sandy, Jane, Julie and Ninas from both One World and World’s Apart as the only new players that are women over 50 cast in the past decade.

It’s rare for casting to cast as wide a net as to better represent the accomplishments of people of all ages, genders, creeds and walks of life, but Natalie Cole seemingly commands her spot on the Goliath tribe. Her CBS bio reads like an honor roll, noting her breaking down color barriers for a corporate position at the L.A. Times, launching the largest black-owned newspaper on the west coast, among many others.

She seeks to throw herself out there with the best, comparing herself to Kim Spradlin’s ability to remain “logical, strategic, and calculating,” and throws herself headfirst into challenges others think she can’t accomplish, all while working hard to earn the win. Everything she cares to describe about herself speaks to someone who rose from David status to become one of the more ultimate Goliaths.

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That said, this is a game of Survivor, and any sort of ego that may help drive you to become a success in the real world might work opposite on David vs. Goliath. Her list of pet peeves including negative people, those who talk too much, those who say no before considering a yes, those who are ignorant, those that wear sagging pants, and employees that make mistakes costing her money.

If Natalie finds herself unable to bite her tongue, it’s going to be hard for her not to pass judgment on her peers. Nobody is her employee here, and she’ll need to work with people as opposed to command people under her guise. Everyone is playing the game, and not everybody is going to play the game to her ideals, and that might rub her (and her rub others) the wrong way.

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Based on what Natalie presents herself as, it’s hard to believe that she will lay back in hiding and not want to dictate part of the pace of play, make moves or create an alliance. She’s also the oldest and least athletic players on her tribe. If the Goliaths find some way to lose the first Immunity Challenge, I could see her being the first boot of the season.

The thing is, I very much doubt that will happen. Much like a Cirie Fields in Game Changers scenario, I believe she has the ability to avoid being on the block for a few cycles, talk her way into a core group and work as the leader of a group pulling the strings on votes. That could put her in a position to make it through to the merge, and who knows from there.

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It all depends on the tribe swap scenarios, in my mind. There are a lot of things I think need to break Natalie’s way if she wants to make it far in Survivor: David vs. Goliath, but if there’s anyone in this game who can make a spectacular game out of a bad position, it’s the publishing CEO with a cold, calm, commanding presence.