Survivor Winners at War: How Jeremy Collins can win a second time

Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Jeremy Collins is one of only five players to win a jury vote unanimously. We explain how Jeremy can bring that same level of play to Survivor: Winners at War.

The past ten or so seasons have seen a significant change in Survivor. Older seasons, especially in the 20s like in Nicaragua, Redemption Island and One World featured only a few castaways actually playing the game. From Cagayan onwards, casting has done a much better job of getting a full group of contestants that are determined to win.

As a result, the level of strategy and gameplay has dramatically increased, and it has been much harder for one player to dominate a season nowadays. However, if you’re going to pick one player who had the most dominant winning performance in the past ten seasons, it has to be Jeremy.

Jeremy, now 41 years old, is returning to the game of Survivor for his third time in five years. His first season: San Juan del Sur, saw him play a solid game and develop a strong partnership with Natalie Anderson, but he couldn’t mask his threat level once he hit the merge. Jeremy adapted his game the second time around, finding innovative ways to stay in control without becoming too obvious of a threat.

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In Jeremy’s interview with ET Canada, he had a unique response for how he will adapt his gameplay this season. While most of the castaways gave specific ways they wanted to change their game, Jeremy said he wanted to stay the same. He acknowledged that in the moment he’ll probably have to make adjustments, but Jeremy wants to stick with the two vices that took him to the end in Cambodia: meat shields and voting blocs.

It was Jeremy who essentially popularized the idea of “meat shields”, which meant keeping bigger targets in the game to take the attention off of him. Having players like Savage and Joe around him protected him from another early merge exit. With an entire cast of proven winners, it’s going to be a tougher task this time around, especially since Jeremy is coming in as a massive threat himself.

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In his CBS bio, Jeremy mentioned that in addition to meat shields, he wants to implement mind shields and social shields. He understands that this savvy cast doesn’t just identify athletic players as big threats. So expect Jeremy to try to align with some of the big names this season including Boston Rob, Parvati, Sandra, as well as some of the strong strategic threats like Yul.

A big advantage that Jeremy has is the fact that he has already played in and dominated an all-returnee season. He understands the fast pace and the shifting allegiances better than most returning winners, giving him a leg up as the season begins. That said, this is perhaps the most talented group of Survivor players of all time, so to assume the Jeremy can have another dominant season is being naïve.

The reason I’m worried about Jeremy is that he’s the perfect threat to blindside. He isn’t as huge of a target as Boston Rob, Sandra or Parvati, who all could be allowed passage through the merge as a shield. At the same time, Jeremy played way too strong of a winning season to float under the radar.

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He’ll have to play it perfectly to avoid being viewed as a prime blindside target for someone to put on their resume. Jeremy definitely has a harder task his third time around, but his skillful and balanced gameplay still gives him the potential to win it all. Now Jeremy has two more kids at home to give him even further motivation to capture his second title of Sole Survivor.