Survivor 35: Castaway Review

Since our favorite summer show Big Brother has come to an end (and thank heavens for that after this awful season) that can only mean one thing…it’s almost time for Survivor!!


Unlike Big Brother which is more just a trashy thing to watch in the summer, we actually LOVE Survivor and get pretty invested each season. Before you ask the question – YES the show is still on and YES you should watch if you don’t already!!! The 35th (!!) season premieres tonight and it looks like we could (hopefully) be in for a good one this time. Just like with my Big Brother contestants post (which turned out to be a total bust since EVERYONE ON THIS SEASON SUCKED…), I thought it would be fun to go through all of the season’s contestants and share my thoughts.

There’s 18 contestants this year divided into 3 tribes: Heroes, Healers, and Hustlers. Yes, it’s a very dumb theme but usually the themes mean nothing after like 2 episodes anyway. This time I’m going to go in reverse alphabetical order, to make it interesting.


We start off with one of my favorites of the cast – Simone, a 25 year old diversity advocate from NY. To be frank, I am obsessed with Simone. Literally everything she said in all pre-season coverage I watched, I loved. She’s smart, hilarious and snarky and I think she will have great confessionals. I particularly liked the comments she had about how Asian American women typically don’t get far because they are seen as very threatening, and how she plans to get past that. I also like that she honestly answered that one of her hobbies is “complaining”…how relatable. I absolutely LOVE Simone and I hope she goes really far!!


Next up we have one of the many self-proclaimed Survivor super fans on this season, 23 year old Ryan. I like Ryan mostly because he is a MASSIVE nerd, and he owns it. I love that he’s super personable despite his geekiness – he seems to be really self-aware and not as socially awkward as some of the nerd archetypes we’ve seen in the past. Like Simone, I think he will have some great confessionals and will potentially play a good narrator role if he lasts long enough. I also think his comparison to past Survivor winner Todd Herzog is really accurate. Honestly I just really love when Survivor fans get on the show and get to play, so I hope Ryan lasts and doesn’t get voted out first or anything. I think the fact that we’ve had so many nerds on the show recently really helps his chances, so hopefully he will stick around!


Another nerd and another favorite of mine is Roark, 27, from California. She’s a social worker and seems to be an all-around good person. She has a great sense of humor and seems to have the typical laid back west coast personality. She’s also a huge fan of the show and I think she’s another potential narrator for this season. I would be willing to bet she is a frequent reader of Survivor fan sites and the reddit page. I find her really relatable (I too get lost in The Bachelor social media black holes frequently) and I think a LOT of Survivor fans are really going to like her a lot. Finally, I loved her answer to this question:

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I think she knows herself really well, and she has a lot of winner potential.


Next we have the ginger of the season in Patrick, 24. I must say I watched his video before I read his bio and I was NOT expecting his voice to sound like that haha – I don’t know why I didn’t expect him to be so southern, but I’m not mad about it. He didn’t really stick out much to me, but I expect him to serve his tribe well in challenges easily. Patrick seems like a trustworthy dude to me, a trait that will serve him well on the show if other people see him that way as well. I don’t know if I see him winning but I think he will stick around a while.


Here comes another super fan with Mike, a 43 year old urologist from Florida. I honestly love him haha he reminds me a lot of David from season 33, in all the good ways. I’m sure people will underestimate him but hey, people underestimated David too and he almost went all the way. Mike is a little scrawny compared to the rest of this extremely buff cast, but I think he could break through the stereotypes like David did and do fairly well thanks to his love of Survivor. He actually has a child named after Ethan Zohn of Survivor Africa, a fact that I am obsessed with. Mike is another one that I really want to do well, if only because he loves the game so much, but I don’t know if he will be able to make it all the way to the end. We’ll see!


Next up we have Lauren, a 35 year old fisherman from North Carolina. Lauren is the second one on this list that really didn’t stick out to me very much – in a cast where there are so many big personalities, she just wasn’t as memorable for me. She just…seemed to fade into the background a bit. Admittedly this could be good on Survivor, but there’s not much room to hide when each tribe only has 6 people. I could see her easily hiding under the radar if her tribe doesn’t go to tribal council…but I could also see her being booted quickly if she gets on the wrong side of other contestants. Only time will tell!


46 year old Katrina is a former Olympian, which I think is SO cool. She’s one of the oldest (if not the oldest?) contestants on the season. I’m hoping she doesn’t fall into the archetype of the tribe mom, because I feel like when that type of contestant makes moves other people tend to feel more betrayed that a “motherly” figure voted them out. However, I really liked her answer to this question:

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I feel like that’s a really good strategy/trait to have and you can tell that she’s got jury management on her mind already. She also has a really excitable and fun personality – something I find fun to watch, but could easily be seen as annoying or overwhelming to others. It’s a toss up for how she’s going to do but I’m sure she will be entertaining either way.


Next we have JP, a 28 year old firefighter and very obvious choice for the Heroes tribe. JP is very…middle of the road for me? He seems like a super nice guy, but just a little plain, I guess. He’s just very average, and I mean that in the nicest way haha. I am SURE he will do well in challenges for his tribe toward the beginning of the season, and should he make the merge I would bet he will do well at individual challenges as well. I also see him VERY easily taking on a leader-type role…which could get him in trouble quickly. I do like that he mentions his dog in his bio though. Hopefully we’ll get some gratuitous shots of the pupper at some point during the season….


Joe is a 34 year old probation officer from the Bronx, and someone I would not want to mess with haha. He said in a preseason interview that he was going to lie about his job but I don’t think he will be able to fool anyone. He compares himself to Tony from season 28 and I sorta see it – but I don’t really think Tony can ever truly be repeated. Joe says this is a “business trip” for him and he’s here strictly to do what he needs to win. I can see him being very cutthroat which could potentially hurt him should he make it to the end with a bitter jury…I don’t know, I think he could have a great grasp of the game but I’m just not sure if the other contestants are going to like/trust him. I think he’s going to be a fun one to watch though!!


Jessica, a 29 year old nurse, is…nice. That’s what I feel is the best word for her haha. I feel like she is very similar to JP in that she’s just a little cliche. However, I do like that she seems to have a lot of drive and she really wants to play. I don’t really see her comparison to Andrea other than the fact that they’re both blonde women. Jessica seems like she will have a great social game and everyone will like her, but I don’t know if they will really take her seriously. She says she could win Miss Congeniality of Survivor but I just have a hard time believing that she could get the votes at the end to win. However, she’s like… intimidatingly pretty (like a lot of others on this cast!!) and I love rooting for really feminine players to win and dominate all the men so…go Jessica haha


Devon is up next – a 23 year old surf instructor and this season’s “bro” archetype. He points out a few things about himself that I agree with – first, that he has the “surfer dude” voice, and second, that he will be underestimated for it. I think people will probably think he’s dumber than he is and not take him too seriously, but he has to be careful that their underestimating doesn’t lead to him not being seen as a valuable part of the tribe. He also says that he “will have everyone’s vote at the end because they all will love [him] so much”, which made me laugh haha at least he’s confident and straightforward. I really don’t think he will end up winning but I’m betting he will have some good commentary and be fun to watch, at least.


Here comes another one of my favorites – Desi, a 27 year old physical therapist and one of the most beautiful women I think has ever been on this show. Seriously – she is SO STUNNING!!! But not only is she gorgeous, I also found her to be amazingly well-rounded. She’s a physical therapist but also a professor…but also a former pageant queen…but also super buff and extremely social, smart, and perfect??? I love her??? I think she’s also extremely self-aware, and knows her weaknesses and vulnerabilities a lot. She’s confident but not overconfident. I am PRAYING she does well and I don’t have to watch her get voted out first or something because she’s definitely a fav haha


Coming in hot we have Cole, a 24 year old “wilderness therapy guide” from Arkansas. I wasn’t sure exactly what that job title is but he explains it as being a person who travels around on outdoor excursions with troubled youths to provide them with a healthy outlet/activity – which I think is pretty cool, honestly. I think he has the potential to do really well because he’s extremely likable, obviously has great outdoor skills, and I think people will find him trustworthy. I’m not sure if people will take him seriously enough to give him the money, but he could prove me wrong. Also, he’s another one who’s extremely beautiful…why is this cast so attractive???


Chrissy is an actuary from NJ, and I SERIOUSLY could not believe it when I read this woman is 46. There’s no way, right? Chrissy is one that I found to be surprisingly very likable…something about her is just very trustworthy. She’s also VERY smart and I believe she’s even more strategic than she seems or than others will expect her to be. She’s literally a mathematician. She also seems to be super feminist which you guys should know I love. I like that she knows her strengths really well and isn’t afraid to talk about them, but I hope she also knows her weaknesses just as well so she knows how to cover them. I am rooting for you, Chrissy!!


Ben is sure to be a fun character on this season. He’s a 34 year old former Marine from Idaho and I think he has a LOT of personality and character. He seems like someone my mom would like haha. I think the other castaways will really take to him but I don’t know if that will be enough to take him to the end. I also found his “which former contestant are you most like” answer to be very puzzling – Russell Hantz, Boston Rob, and Joe Anglim??? First of all only one of those players has won and it took him four tries to do so…if I was ever on this show I wouldn’t compare myself to anyone who wasn’t a former winner haha. Also not sure why anyone would compare themselves to Russell but ok. Anyway, I really can’t tell how strategic Ben is going to be – but I think he will have a lot of fans by the end of the season.


Ashley is another one from Florida this season, a 26 year old lifeguard. Here’s the thing about Ashley – it just seems like she doesn’t really care to be there? I think it’s probably just her laid back attitude but idk! She talks a lot about how she has so many different passions and inspirations but I don’t know how much I buy it. However, I do think she will be SUPER competitive and her outdoorsy skills are going to help her a lot. I honestly don’t see her going very far, but it remains to be seen I guess!


Getting to the end here – next is Ali, a 24 year old personal assistant from LA. She’s the personal assistant to Glozell, who is actually a pretty famous youtuber. I feel like being a PA to a youtuber is something that is only considered a real job to millennials though. I’m also left wondering who is Glozell’s assistant while Ali is playing Survivor. Nevertheless, I really like Ali. She seems pretty chill and easygoing, and I believe she will have no trouble keeping up with whatever twists and turns go on in the game. She’s on a tribe with Simone and I think they’ll get along well – here’s hoping they form a killer girls alliance haha


Finally, we have Alan, a 31 year old former NFL player who is actually apparently quite well-known? Like, Chris knew who this was before reading his cast bio so he must be relatively famous. I know nothing about sports though so…he may as well be a stranger to me. But anyway, he actually seems like a cool dude! There have been a few professional athletes on the show before and few of them have been able to keep their profession a secret. I don’t think he will be able to either. Alan seems to be very self-aware and knows his weaknesses, which is a great recipe for success on Survivor imo. I am curious to see if he gets recognized and if he does, if it will affect his game at all. I’m excited to see Alan play, more so than I normally am for athletes on the show haha


And there they are! All 18 contestants from this season of Survivor. I really hope that my predictions for this are better than those from Big Brother this year…but I also really hope that this season doesn’t completely SUCK like this season of Big Brother did -_- Regardless – I hope if you watch Survivor that you enjoyed this post of me basically word vomiting about these people, and that if you don’t watch…that you will!! It’s on every Wednesday at 8pm and it’s a TON of fun 🙂

Either way – thank you for reading as always!! Let me know who your favs are if you tune in to this season…I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

<3, Kaela

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