Survivor Winners at War: Who are the biggest targets?

In pre-season interviews with the Survivor: Winners at War cast, there are some unexpected trends in the castaways’ biggest targets on day zero.

Dalton Ross with Entertainment Weekly is sharing each winner’s pre-season vote-off on his Instagram (@thedaltonross). The 20 returning winners have cast their just-for-fun votes, and we already see some interesting patterns that could indicate who the biggest targets will be in the early game of Survivor: Winners at War.

I’ll read the votes…

  • Ethan voted for Nick: “old school crushes new school”
  • Amber voted for Sandra: “nothing personal…I just find you way to hard to read!”
  • Danni voted for Tyson: “Troll”
  • Yul voted for Tyson: “He’s close friends with Boston Rob. Not only have they played together in an alliance, they are close friends outside the game.”
  • Parvati voted for Sarah: “B/c you scare me”
  • Sophie voted for Sarah: “Because I don’t know what comes next after cop – criminal but it can’t be good”
  • Kim voted for Sarah: “You try too f-ing hard!”
  • Tyson voted for Tony: “I figure this will be the majority”
  • Tony voted for Boston Rob: “You’re just too much of a nice guy! P.S. And popular”
  • Michele voted for Sarah: “Good cop or bad cop?”
  • Ben voted for Boston Rob: “Got a statue on an island.”
  • Wendell voted for Boston Rob: “Gotta get you out of here before you get any momentum!! Much respect!”
  • Nick voted for Sarah: “b/c your game on Game Changers
  • Sarah voted for Amber: “Between you and Rob you have 6 seasons under your belt. Too big of threat. Sorry”
  • Jeremy voted for Nick: “Because you put on a lot of weight for 3 days!”
  • Denise voted for Sandra: “You’re the Original Queen . . . But the reign needs to end! Sorry Lady Love ya!”
  • Adam voted for Jeremy: “You’re too good! And I’m not good enough to be your meat shield”
  • Natalie voted for Amber: “bc your husband may be on the other tribe”
  • Rob voted for Sandra: “Sorry”
  • Sandra voted for Parvati: “because you look better than me in a bikini”

That’s 5 votes Sarah; 3 votes Boston Rob; 3 votes Sandra; 2 votes Amber; 2 votes Nick; 2 votes Tyson; 1 vote Tony; 1 vote Jeremy; 1 vote Parvati.

The Winners at War cast features some iconic personalities whom we would expect to be targets from the minute the game starts. Boston Rob and Sandra, legendary enough to be the theme of an entire season (Island of the Idols), are the most obvious players we would expect to see on our list of pre-season votes. We do see three votes on both Boston Rob and Sandra. And because of her proximity to Boston Rob, Amber has also received two votes. But more votes are going toward a winner with less notoriety than any of the Survivor legends.

Related Story: Survivor Winners: Ranking the best Sole Survivors by season

Sarah Lacina is the biggest target heading into Survivor: Winners at War.

Survivor: Winners at War

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Sarah received 5 of the 20 votes. That is 25 percent of the cast! While Sarah’s winning game in Game Changers was impressive, it is a little surprising how much heat she’s getting out of the gate in Winners at War.

But it gets worse for Sarah. When you look at how the season 40 tribes are divided, Sarah is the only player to have 3 tribe-mates after her from the get-go (Nick, Kim, and Sophie). For comparison, Boston Rob and Sandra each have just one (Ben and Amber, respectively).

Again, this vote is unofficial and won’t impact the actual game. And there are an infinite number of ways the season (the first episode, even) could shake out, so this isn’t a death sentence for Sarah by any means. However, it is noteworthy that, within an all-winners cast, Sarah might be a more prominent threat than long-time icons of the game.

Besides Sarah’s status as one of the biggest targets going into Winners at War, the next most surprising trend in the pre-season votes is that Parvati has barely been targeted at all (the only person to vote for Parvati is Sandra, who will be starting on the opposite tribe). Parvati is arguably the best Survivor player ever, so there may be an unexpected reason for this trend: the Winners at War castaways want legends in the game (at least at first). There is some credibility to the “meat shield” mentality of keeping the biggest targets around (just ask Jeremy, who won with this strategy in Survivor: Cambodia and plans to do it again).

Iconic players like Boston Rob, Parvati, and Sandra may have some work to do to diminish their reputations. But if there is hope for them to survive the early game while their tribe-mates eliminate players like Sarah, then maybe (just maybe) they can stick around and have a real shot to win again.

Next: How Parvati Shallow can win a second time

We will see who bites the dust in the 2-hour premiere of Winners at War. If the pre-season votes hold any weight, Sarah, Rob, and Sandra will have a tough path through the first few days of the season.

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