, which premieres this Thursday on CBS,
is the eighteenth season of Survivor
. Wrap your face around that, America. Eighteen seasons, nearly a decade in, and Survivor
remains popular, a staple of the CBS line-up, with no end in sight. Last fall's season, Survivor: Gabon,
ranks among the show's best, a monumental feat given how long Survivor
has been on the air, and was the first season to be filmed entirely in High-Definition. Survivor: Tocantins
, set in the Brazilian Highlands, will also be presented in glorious HD, and the excitement is bubbling up deep within my loins. Still the best reality show on TV (save any arguments you might have – if you disagree, you are wrong), Survivor: Tocantins
boasts an intriguing cast of beautiful people, seemingly likable people, along with a few wild cards. We have a Grammy nominee, the wife of a former NFL running back, a couple of models, a multi-millionaire and a bona fide cougar. With mere days before the premiere, it is that time again for I, Oscar Dahl, to make some totally arbitrary pre-season predictions. I've long been in the prognostication business, and though my failures have been miserable and fairly well-documented, I will not give up. I will never surrender. I think Jeff Probst
would approve. Part 1 today, Part 2 tomorrow.
Survivor: Tocantins - Completely Arbitrary Pre-Season Predictions, 8-1
The "Survivor: Toncantins Contestants" Slideshow
#16 – Sandy Brugin – Jalapao Tribe
Sandy is the Token Old Bag this season, a bus driver in her fifties. I don't like to pick on the middle-aged contestants, but Sandy, who doesn't appear to have much in the way of physical prowess, has little chance of making it far. If her tribe loses their first challenge, the tribe will look to kick off the weakest link. The weakest link will certainly be Sandy. Her only chance of survival is if one of her tribe members is remarkably annoying.
#15 – Sierra Reed – Timbira Tribe
After Sugar dominated the airwaves on Survivor: Gabon, the contestants will be wary of keeping an arrogant blonde model in their early twenties around. Sierra is overly confident and, like Sugar, not all that attractive for a model. On a season full of likable contestants, Sierra will be ostracized and voted off early.
#14 – Spencer Duhm - Jalapao Tribe
Survivor loves to bring on the so-called “experts,” those contestants who have been studying the game since season one. Sometimes these people do just fine. Spencer seems like a nice enough guy, though he'll be hurt by the fact that he's the youngest Survivor ever, at the ripe old age of 19. Spencer will be sniffed out early, a threat who's athleticism can be excised without major sacrifice.
#13 - Joe Dowdle - Jalapao Tribe
All it takes is a picture to rub you the wrong way. Looking at Joe, I was immediately annoyed. I suspect his fellow tribe members will feel the same way. He's also in the commercial real estate game, an industry full of swindlers and malcontents (I have a number of friends in commercial real estate, so I should know).
#12 - Debra Beebe – Timbira Tribe
The middle school principal will surely get tagged with the “cougar” title, and it's appropriate. But, she is a principal, and principals like a structured existence. The younger tribes people will not look kindly upon such stringent disciplinary standards, and will work to eliminate Beebe from the game. Middle-aged men everywhere will be disappointed.
#11 – Taj Johnson-George - Jalapao Tribe
Taj is married to former NFL star Eddie George. Eddie was a workman-like running back, a bruiser, and I imagine that Taj is as hard-nosed as they come. Her abrasive personality will eventually grate on everyone, and her elimination will be a mercy killing. I will root for her nonetheless.
#10 – Stephen Fishbach - Jalapao Tribe
This Yale graduate strikes me as a goofball. I like him already, though this could merely be a result of his unorthodox last name. He has vowed to cover up his Ivy League background, probably a good decision, not wanting to incite a class war. Stephen's downfall will come in a Yale-ish way, Fish unable to hide his high-class roots, casually insulting a vindictive tribe member.
#9 – Brendan Synnott – Timbira Tribe
I don't like when Survivor casts wealthy people. Brendan sold his granola company to Kellog's for over $100 million. That's right, Brendan is a Granola Baron, which makes him nearly impossible to root for. Though he'll attempt to keep this fact private, he'll spill his guts to a bikini-clad tribe member while swilling grog after a Reward Challenge win. This will signal his downfall.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)