After recapping the adventures of 19 Island of the Idols castaways, our straw poll results are in; here are those you want to see return to Survivor.
Despite having a fairly substantive time producing newcomer-only seasons, Survivor has been going back to the well of returning players lately. We saw four captains appear in a season for the first time in Edge of Extinction, and any day now, we will get the official cast photos for the 20 winners set to compete for $2 million in Winners at War, premiering on February 12.
That makes the seasons with brand-new players a festering ground for speculation about who will return in the future, as many players’ Survivor journeys would benefit from getting some sort of conclusion. Imagine Jerri and Colby’s storylines from Australian Outback not getting closure in Heroes vs. Villains? Imagine if Rupert’s last appearance wasn’t a 20th-place finish, effectively guaranteeing he won’t come back to the game?
We submitted 19 polls over the past few weeks. After collecting the votes, these are the Survivor: Island of the Idols castaways you wanted to see make a return to the show in a future season:
- Ronnie Bardah: 56% no (294 votes)
- Molly Byman: 57% yes (346 votes)
- Vince Moua: 73% no (171 votes)
- Chelsea Walker: 69% yes (257 votes)
- Tom Laidlaw: 77% no (126 votes)
- Jason Linden: 67% yes (200 votes)
Jack Nichting: 63% no (143 votes)
- Kellee Kim: 74% yes (223 votes)
- Jamal Shipman: 71% yes (179 votes)
- Aaron Meredith: 63% no (172 votes)
- Missy Byrd: 51% yes (270 votes)
- Elizabeth Beisel: 81% no (210 votes)
- Karishma Patel: 63% no (229 votes)
- Elaine Stott: 63% yes (600 votes)
- Janet Carbin: 90% yes (232 votes)
- Lauren Beck: 50.3% yes (159 votes)
- Noura Salman: 56% yes (351 votes)
- Dean Kowalski: 74% yes (260 votes)
- Tommy Sheehan: 59% yes (274 votes)
Compared to results from Edge of Extinction, there are a lot more definitive feelings regarding the Island of the Idols players. I haven’t seen a 90%-plus agreement on a player to return since the David vs. Goliath season, which produced that favorable feedback for Davie and Christian. Janet seems to be a top favorite to return, as are Kellee and Dean.
Hopefully, it’s not a case like Survivor Guatemala where it takes bringing back the winner close to 30 seasons later until we see the first returnee from Island of the Idols. We still have a full returning player season ahead of us, so hopefully, the first few 40s seasons afterward will only feature brand new players. It’s good to get a healthy reset first (although the mid-to-late 30s are beginning for some returning players, too).