It’s almost time for the Survivor David vs. Goliath finale, and that means it’s time for a regular tradition: Jury Jeopardy, in which several of us who cover Survivor have a friendly competition to predict who’s going to win.
I sat out the last two seasons, because I was so meh on both of them. But the opposite is the case with season 37, which I’m sad is ending soon, because it’s been so terrific all around.
One of the reasons why it’s fun to think about how the game will play out on Wednesday is that it really feels like a wide-open field—which makes predictions even harder than before! But I’ll take it.
I think the editing this season has really contributed to the sense that almost anyone could win.
Compare this season’s narrative arc and focus on individual players to Survivor Ghost Island, and it’s completely the opposite. Ghost Island had atrociously imbalanced editing from episode one. If there were arrows on the screen pointing at Dom and Wendell saying THEY MAKE IT TO THE END, it would have been less obvious.
Although the Survivor David vs. Goliath jury bench now includes some strong, strategic players who were outplayed (Christian, Gabby, Carl), with weaker players remaining (Mike, Angelina), it feels like anyone’s game—and it feels like most everyone has been part of the game play action at some point.
I hope/expect that’ll continue into the finale, when some of the people who’ve received comparatively less attention will get more focus, and will do more of the things.
Yes, that’s a good indication of how good I am at predicting what will happen on Survivor: not very! Most of what’s below are wild guesses! That I went back and forth on before just choosing something arbitrary-ish.
Anyway, before we get to my predictions, here are my friendly competitors and colleagues in Survivor recapping and analysis.
Please check out their predictions, too, and also their great writing on the show:
- Sarah Channon & Logan Saunders of RHAP
- Ianic Roy Richard of A Tribe of One
- The True Dork Times writers
- Austin Smith of Inside Survivor
In the event of a potential tie, we go to a prediction of raw vote totals, so here’s mine: 7-3-0.
The potential Survivor David vs. Goliath jury members
I find the still-in-the-game cast members the most difficult to predict for some reason, perhaps because the game has been all over the place, in a good way.
Here’s how I think they’ll vote; it’s a list of names, in order from most-likely to receive that person’s vote to least-likely.
- If Nick ends up on the jury, he votes for Davie to win, then Mike, Alison, Kara, Angelina. I’m assuming he’ll get over his most recent-paranoia about Davie turning on him, intel he got from Mike.
- Mike would vote for Alison, then Nick, Davie, Kara, Angelina. Mike has positioned himself as the swing vote a lot, though he hasn’t always swung the vote, and I’m not sure where that leaves either his loyalties or his preferences.
- Kara would vote for Alison, then Mike, Nick, Davie, Angelina. I assume Kara will be on the jury based on the pre-season Instagram photo with Alec. Other than that: eh?
- Davie votes for Nick, then Alison, Mike, Kara, Angelina. I just don’t know what he might be thinking.
- Alison votes for Mike, then Kara, Nick, Davie, Angelina. Alison has been tightly alighted with Mike, and increasingly with Kara. If she’s faced with voting for either Kara and Mike, I assume she’ll go with her oldest (no ageism intended!) ally.
- If Angelina makes it on the jury, and I don’t think she will because she’s the most obvious goat to take to the finals, I think Angelina will vote for Alison, then Nick, Mike, Davie, Kara.
The actual Survivor David vs. Goliath jury
The jury currently consists of Elizabeth, John, Dan, Alec, Carl, Gabby, and Christian.
One thing that makes this so challenging is that I don’t see any of the jury members as being particularly bitter. Even when they’ve been voted out, quite a few of them seemed to almost be excited to be on the losing side of a blindside. And from the jury bench, they’ve often seemed as entertained as I have been.
As a result, I think that what happens largely depends upon the make-up of the final three, and what happens over the next two Tribal Councils to get us to that final three.
Of course, that’s true any season, but I expect that late game play might have more weight than usual—and definitely more weight than initial tribe loyalty, or alliances, or bitter feelings.
One thing I’m banking heavily on is that Angelina isn’t going to win any votes if she does arrive at the final three. Although I think she was subject to unfair reaction over the rice negotiation, which involved a lot more than we saw, I do think the edit is definitely not developing her as a potential winner.
Christian votes for Nick, then Mike, Davie, Alison, Kara, Angelina. In a moment we didn’t see on TV, Christian gave credit to Nick for being a “genius” behind a vote, so my assumption is that Nick will get his vote, with his respect continuing once he’s on the jury.
Gabby votes for Nick, then Alison, Davie, Mike, Kara, Angelina. I’m assuming that, as a key player and strategist, Gabby will also give credit to Nick in the same way that Christian did.
Carl votes for Davie, then Nick, Alison, Mike, Kara, Angelina. I’m going with Carl’s alliance with Davie as the primary factor here.
Alec votes for Nick, then Kara, Alison, Davie, Mike, Angelina. I’m assuming Kara doesn’t make the final three, which is why she’s not in the lead position, but if she does Alec would vote for her
Dan votes for Nick, then Alison, Davie, Mike, Kara, Angelina. Dan got double votes from Nick and Nick’s stolen vote when Dan was voted out, so I assume he’ll read that as a badge of honor.
John votes for Alison, then Nick, Davie, Kara, Mike, Angelina. I’m assuming whoever commits to moving to Slamtown and creating jobs there will get John’s votes.
Elizabeth votes for Davie, then Nick, Mike, Alison, Angelina, and Kara. <shrug emoji> Which is really just what I should have written for most of these. Predictions are not my thing. Judgement after the fact? I am much better at that!