Survivor: David vs. Goliath cast assessment: Davie Rickenbacker hits the ground running

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

The self-described “blerd” enters Survivor: David vs. Goliath under tenuous circumstances, as Davie Rickenbacker arrived in Fiji at the last minute.

One of the most underrated aspects of Survivor gameplay is how you handle yourself in the five or so days before the game starts. Everyone flies over on the same plane, arrive at Ponderosa and hang out for five days, unable to speak to each other but often get away with a wink or two. Davie Rickenbacker does not have that same rapport with anybody in David vs. Goliath, as he rolled up on one of the final days of the pre-game phase.

As revealed in his First One Out interview with Josh Wigler, nobody else really has a beat on Davie, given the fact that Probst had planned on bringing him in for the rumored season 38 Edge of Extinction, but needed to bring him on a season early. Just like Mellisa McNulty in Survivor: Fiji, someone pulled out at the last second, and Davie dropped everything in his life to compete in David vs. Goliath.

If you want to talk about an underdog route to the show, look no further than that whirlwind story of Davie. Thankfully, his CBS bio has more words than some college essays, speaking truth to the lively character that will certainly be enthusiastic to compete.

If Dan Rengering is able to get on a tribe with Davie, there’s no telling what damage they can do. He describes himself as a “blerd” (black nerd), down to the point where The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes is his inspiration in life. He even points to his claim to fame as his online presence, name-dropping his @iHateDavie Instagram account in a bio. The guy is angling to run a corporate brand off the island.

Davie has a great energy to him, and he seems to hope that his good time vibes will help solidify relationships and build alliances with others. He’s one of the stronger David players, too, meaning he might stick around to the tribe swap stage just out of necessity. My hopes are that he gets to stick around for a while, considering how he might bring lively discussions at Tribal Council or in confessionals.

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What does alarm me is how he’s always “on.” Not only that but as noted in his introduction video above, he’s known as “Devilish Davie,” he builds his brand on people hating him and notes “when I throw punches at people, I want to see how they react.” In Survivor, being the guy to start testing people’s limits early is a recipe for an early boot.

If Jeff Probst thinks he’s a likable guy, as indicated in his cast assessment video, then perhaps Davie has enough charm to work his tribe over. The separation from everyone else early on is going to be his biggest challenge heading into David vs. Goliath, as I fear his lack of a pre-game bond with anyone else might be too much to get over early.

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When everyone is huddled up in shelters and can’t strategize much due to early-game cyclones, he might be the easy boot out of necessity for everyone not getting blood on their hands early. That would be a shame, as Davie Rickenbacker looks to bring an electric feel to a season filled with eccentric characters.