Let's get the GIANT, MAJOR, NUMBER 1 BUMMER out of the way: no JT. THANKS, I HATE IT. What even is the point of an all-winners season without him!! Unless and until I hear that he turned it down, I am RAGE. On a possibly related note, I gotta put up with Fucking Tyson AGAIN and unless he is shredded as early cannon fodder like Tony in Game Changers, I will be more displeased with this development by the episode.
HOWEVER: I lucked out a lot. Like a LOT. Fully eleven of the twenty were in my "HECK YEAH LET'S GO" tier, including all but 1 of the women (I am okay without Tina, I suppose, if she's of Survivor Retirement age), and I'm gonna go ahead and upgrade Danni into that category, making it 12, because I can't remember if I saw her play at all, but she has an interesting face and is such a total unknown to me that I was really hoping I'd get to find out what she's like.
Plus Tyson is the only one from my S**t List tier, and I had real reason to fear that Mike and/or Todd would join him, so...hallelujah!
We got ETHAN of all people!! And THE FOUR TWENTIES QUEENS: Sophie / Kim / Denise / Natalie. We got YUL; I don't even know how to handle that because I'm terrified I won't be as impressed with him this time around when I've got people like SIR FIREFIGHTER JEREMY COLLINS to cheer for, not to mention EMOTIONAL PRINCE CHAMPION OF MY HEART Adam Klein, GOOD OL' KENTUCKY NICK WILSON, and SMILEY DELIGHT WENDELL (thank god Dom did not win, part 54/?). Also Sandra "Queen Stays Queen" Diaz, which I was more excited about before S39, but I'm still gonna hope she does something magnificent!
On the downside: weeeee've got Basic Bitch Sarah (I immediately feel horrible writing that because she's so nice, but I can't think of an equivalent term because as a player and TV personality she is so beige and I am still sour grapes about Game Changers). We've got friggin' Parvati again, of course (I'm so tired. why couldn't amanda have beaten her the first time around). I gotta deal with Tony hootin' and hollerin' again in a way I probably won't hate but am also So Tired about right now. I gotta put up with Ben, about whom I have never felt more #ROBBED QUEEN CHRISSY than I do right now and who feels like he might soon join Tyson in the bottom tier for lack of other company, and we've got the thing I have resisted accepting until right this very second: The Rob And Amber Show, Part II.
EXPLAIN TO ME REAL SLOW WHY I AM HAVING THE ROB AND AMBER SHOW, WHERE ROB IS PLAYING FOR A FIFTH FRIGGIN' TIME, INSTEAD OF JT FOR A FOURTH. I am so against The Rob and Amber Show that when I finally saw a Survivor DVD in the wild, only $12 at Half Price Books, because it was All Stars I had no interest in it, even though I've never seen that season. The taint is that strong.
And the thing is, you know if I had LOVED them as a couple, this would be my dream come true -- look at me and my current favorite web series, "Joe and Sierra Livestream Their Lives on Instagram" -- but the fact is that she was your typical basic skinny popular girl, and he was your basic alpha male, and I don't think either of them are dumb but that is sure the kind of personality they project. There was nothing there for me to ship, and not even their ensuing life of general Marriage And Family Goalz can change my mind.
I would have been willing to give Amber a second look on her own merit, maybe even excited since I don't remember her much -- certainly I would rather see her than Parvati again -- but Imma need Rob to get Kapowed out early, Heroes vs. Villains style. There are uglier fish I want fried first, but yeah, gonna need him out pre-merge.
That said, I went through the list "dream style," eliminating the winners I like who were asked but declined or could not have done it anyway -- Earl with a new baby, Tom & Chris for health reasons, Bob and maybe Tina due to age, Cochran likely because of conflict of interest, Hatch because sexual assault comes back to rub its genitalia on you sometimes, and Natalie White I think just doesn't want to play again -- and honestly, at BEST I could only have improved on 3 guys and 2 women. (bring me Vecepia!!! Better the unknown than the played-out. And like I said, OBVIOUSLY we should have had JT, while my other dream replacements for the big names -- which I know the show would never have gone for, but IDC -- would have been Fabio/Judd and, with a deep and heaving sigh, Aras. (probably would have lived to regret that last one)
IN SUM: THE OFFICIAL LIST, DIVIDED BY MY PRE-ESTABLISHED TIERS
HECK YEAH LET'S GO
(currently I cannot choose a desired order, except that Danni is probably last in this set)
- Ethan Zohn (S3)
- Sandra Diaz-Twine (S7 & 20)
- Danni Boatwright (S11)
- Yul Kwon (S13)
- Sophie Clarke (S23)
- Kim Spradlin (S24)
- Denise Stapley (S25)
- Natalie Anderson (S29)
- Jeremy Collins (S31)
- Adam Klein (S33)
- Wendell Holland (S36)
- Nick Wilson (S37)
I Will Tolerate You Because I Have To
(currently I cannot choose a desired order here either, except that Amber is probably the best in this set and...ugh, Tony is probably second, just for entertainment. Watch the final 6 be Parvati, Rob, Michele, Sarah, Ben and Tyson)
- Amber Brkich (S8)
- Parvati Shallow (S16)
- Rob Mariano (S22)
- Tony Vlachos (S28)
- Michele Fitzgerald (S32)
- Sarah Lacina (S34)
- Ben Driebergen (S35)
- Tyson Apostol (S27)