Survivor 41 is less than a month away, and CBS has finally shared some detailed cast bios of the next set of 18 castmates. Previously, we’ve speculated some way-too-early power rankings, but with all of this added information, we can actually do some real speculation. That said, it’s almost impossible to judge what a player is going to do on the beach based just on cast bios and a few short interviews.
Someone that comes off as cocky while trying to hype themselves up before the season might turn out to be a more level-headed player when the game starts. So, take everything below with a hefty grain of salt.
We’ve also included where they ranked last time, but again, that first list was mostly for fun. Don’t read too much into a player jumping around the rankings in this first go. We won’t really know how players are going to react until the first Survivor 41 episode hits our screens.
Survivor 41 pre-season power rankings
18) Genie Chen (Last: 12) – Survivor gods, please don’t let Genie be the first boot! She seems like so much fun. We just worry that she might slow her tribe down in challenges and be voted off for that reason only. We genuinely hope it isn’t the case, but it’s happened so many times before. Survivor 41 is said to be a new “monster,” so we hope that means she doesn’t get the early boot. Consider us very concerned.
17) Heather Aldret (Last: 16) – If Heather makes it past the first few votes, she could go far. It all depends on how her tribe wants to play and how the new changes impact the game. If she’s viewed as physically weaker early on, she might be in trouble. However, if she can survive that initial onslaught, we actually like what she brings to the table in terms of how she’s focused on being observant and playing a social game. That might not win her the money, but it could help her get further than expected.
16) Eric Abraham (Last: 15) – Eric is another older contestant that could irk his younger competitors. His bio doesn’t give much away, which makes him tough to rank. That said, we’re a little worried about his chances depending on how his fellow castmates feel after their first impression.
15) Erika Casupanan (Last: 7) – Erika is the biggest drop from our first list. It’s hard to say exactly why we’re down on her, but a lot of it comes down to a vibe that she might frustrate certain castmates and be an easy out during the initial days. That isn’t to say she can’t surprise us with a great performance, it’s just a bit worrying when someone says they’re “quick-witted and those who get it are pleasantly surprised.” Will her tribemates get it? We’ll know on premier night.
14) David Voce (Last: 11) – David comes off as a bit arrogant in his bio. That could be totally untrue, but it’s hard to shake that feeling. He likely isn’t the first person you vote out because he will bring physical ability. A few votes in though, and it’s easy to see him rubbing someone the wrong way. It’s also usually not a great look to channel Russel Hantz as the Survivor you’re most like, though he does temper that by also mentioning players like Todd Herzog, Natalie Anderson, and Cirie Fields.
13) Xander Hastings (Last: 8/9) – Xander is tough to peg because he’s an obvious physical threat that will get targeted at the merge but also is also very aware of that. Does that mean he’ll overplay trying to set up a big alliance? Or is he just destined to be voted out as soon as he doesn’t have individual immunity? Either way, him talking at length about his diverse interests in his bio has us worried that this young gun will make older players annoyed at some point in the game.
12) Naseer Muttalif (Last: 18) – Naseer is in an interesting spot. He does give off the vibe that he might be a bit overbearing for modern Survivor players; however, his survival skills are pretty hard to ignore. Those have become a lot less important in recent Survivor, but with things changing for Season 41, that could turn back around in his favor. It’s still hard to see him lasting too far into the game, but he’s definitely moved up a bit for us.
11) Jairus Robinson (Last: 8/9) – Jairus has dropped for one reason and that’s because he invoked Fabio as the Survivor player he’s most like. Granted, he also mentioned Parvati Shallow and Jeremy Collins, but someone who wants to fly under the radar like Fabio likely isn’t getting the credit they might deserve in modern Survivor. He’s also young and looks to be in good shape, which could hurt him if he makes the merge.
10) Sara Wilson (Last: 14) – Sara gets a slight bump because one of her hobbies is the trapeze. Seriously though, she definitely talks the talk of someone who can play the game well, but it remains to be seen if she can walk the walk. We have her relatively low because we’ve seen contestants come in looking like great players who overplayed due to their confidence (think: Liza Markham in Kaoh Rong). Sara might not share that same fate, but her comments in her bio have us feeling a bit uneasy.
9) Liana Wallace (Last: 6) – Liana has fallen slightly since the last time we did this, but that’s more because other players have jumped her than anything wrong with her bio. Though, we’d be lying if we said her channeling some weird love child of Tony Vlachos and Elaine Stott as the Survivor she’s most liked didn’t give us pause. Any time someone mentions Tony, you have to be a little concerned. That’s an incredibly tough game to play well and most people don’t have the energy of Mr. Vlachos. She looks to have the tools to stick around for a while, at the very least.
8) Brad Reese (Last: 17) – Brad scared us in our initial assessment because of how much older he is than most of his tribe. That could still see him being an early target, but he looks much fitter than most 50-year-olds. He does give a bit of a vibe that he might get angry if people aren’t working or that he might work himself into exhaustion during the first week. That said, if he gets past the first few votes, he should go far. Plus, how can you deny that smile!
7) Shantel Smith (Last: 5) – Shantel drops slightly, but again, that’s mostly due to other players impressing us than her saying anything too concerning. In fact, her bringing up her past life experiences leads us to believe that she certainly has what it takes to get to the end of the game. We’re just a little more convinced by a few of the players above her.
6) Deshawn Radden (Last: 4) – Deshawn has dropped a bit from our initial assessment largely because he lists his pet as “being told what to do.” This is going to happen in Survivor and he says that he “loathes” people doing this. That’s not the best combo in a game where you want people to like you. However, he does have quite a few positives. He seems like a hard worker who’s going to rely on a social game to make it far. If he’s able to pair that with a few key challenge victories, he could make a run.
5) Evvie Jagoda (Last: 13) – Evvie gets one of the biggest bumps now that we know more about them. Maybe it’s because we’re writers and appreciate someone who can be so verbose in a casting bio, but there are several other factors in this rise. Evvie seems to have a very specific strategy that correlates to their strengths in a thoughtful way. That’s not something you often see from Survivor players trying to hype themselves up. Of course, knowing the game so well could be seen as a threat by the players, so this ranking could turn out to be optimistic.
4) Danny McCray (Last: 10) – Danny is another player who’s made a big jump now that we know more about him. The first thing we noticed is that, while he’s obviously in good shape, he doesn’t look as jacked as you’d expect from a former NFL player. That could lower his threat level slightly, though his athleticism could still shine through. We do worry that he’s looking to play like Ben Driebergen. That kind of bombastic gameplay is entertaining for viewers but can be a recipe for an early exit. If he’s able to hold the need for “big moves” in through at least the pre-merge, he has a chance to go far.
3) Tiffany Seely (Last: 1) – Tiffany has fallen out of our top spot because her bio doesn’t give us much. She does mention that she’s “LOUD”, which is worrying, but otherwise there’s not a lot here. We’re still confident in our initial assessment that she looks like she has a good mix of skills that should translate well to Survivor.
2) Ricard Foye (Last: 2) – The only player to not move from our first list! The biggest positive for us is that you can tell he knows himself very well. His reasons for winning focus solely on his emotional skills. This suggests that he has the chops to roll with the punches and be everyone’s favorite on the beach. That could make him a threat in the game, but it also means he’s unlikely to see his torch snuffed before the merge. He’s definitely one of our favorites to win this whole thing.
1) Sydney Segal (Last: 3) – Sydney gets our top spot with several factors in her favor. As we noted in our first power rankings, she’s sitting right in the middle of most of the cast age-wise. She’s also a former state champion in cross country, which points to good endurance in challenges. However, it’s her channeling Natalie White as the past Survivor she’s most like that’s forced us to take notice.
Most contestants point to strong players who make visible moves in these bios. People want to be like Jeremy Collins, Tony Vlachos, or Parvati Shallow. So, picking someone like Natalie suggests that Sydney is clued into what her archetype will likely be on the show. Knowing that and being able to use it to her advantage is important. Of course, with this set to be a “brand new game”, we could see the dynamics shift. For now, we love Sydney’s chances.