Survivor David vs. Goliath: Should John Hennigan return?

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 Mayor of Slamtown had a quiet reign in Survivor: David vs. Goliath, but he was entertaining and thoughtful nonetheless. Should John Hennigan return?

When I learned that a pro wrestling face (heroic character) turned heel (intentionally antagonistic character) was headed to Survivor: David vs. Goliath, I couldn’t be any more pleased. It’s been a long time since the show had someone who could really ham up the villain role without being put in that box by the editing. Instead of getting Johnny Mundo, though, we thankfully got John Hennigan.

In the beginning, he kind of leaned into his wrestling persona before quickly becoming Johnny Survivor. He saw the seams on the Goliath tribe and offered his insight and protection to unlikely allies such as Natalie Cole in telling her that Dan was targeting her, but never got dragged down by her unruly confrontations blowing up his spot.

It’s because John was most of the most likable people in Survivor: David vs. Goliath; he naturally has the charisma part of his life down, and knows from professional experience how to make friends and influence people. It’s how he was able to form the “Brochachos” alliance on the Tiva tribe for so long without animosity, allowing him to secure a partnership with Christian and Dan.

Because he was such a challenge beast early, we rarely had to see John with his back against the wall. In fact, it never even came into focus, as viewers were just as blindsided as he was when he became the vote target. With the Strike Force alliance of Mike, Alison, Alec, Nick, Gabby and Christian falling through after the Elizabeth vote and the plan flipping back to Christian, the Davids needed to come up with a plan.

They knew that Dan had at least one Hidden Immunity Idol, so the Davids came together to collaborate on information and act strategically. Davie used his Hidden Immunity Idol on Christian to negate the Goliath seven votes against him, Dan used an idol on Angelina, and the five Davids split the vote between Angelina and John, thus negating the effect of the Goliath idol.

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In effect, John Hennigan was the victim of the most interesting 3-0-0 vote possibly in Survivor history. He was never a threat to get voted out until it was suddenly too late. Vote here in our straw poll to let us know if he should return in a future season.