Survivor Insights 157: Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty – My Pre-show Bets

After three consecutive seasons of returnees, SURVIVOR opens its 28th season with eighteen new people. Yes, that’s eighteen fresh faces divided into three tribes. The Brawn – Tribe Name: Aparri, which is the farthest island in the north, still in the Philippines by the way. The Brains – Tribe Name: Luzon, the biggest of the three major islands in the country. The Beauty – Tribe Name: Solana, I don’t know what this means, sorry!

survivor b-b-b cast photo

Like the previous season, this is the first time the show introduces a B-B-B format. Each tribe will consist of six people, three men and three women. The CBS press release didn’t reveal what specific twist will return. It’s either the producers want to surprise the viewers on February 26th (27th my time) or this season returns to its simple format.

If you’ll ask me, Redemption Island is unnecessary for B-B-B. The RI-twist in Blood vs. Water was already successful. It added an extra layer of unforgettable drama in the story. Ten years from now, I’ll still remember those moments, especially when Aras failed to win his first duel against his brother and Tina.

Though, memorable as it was, Redemption Island should rest. This new season must start fresh without the help of those crazy twists and those overrated returnees. There are three tribes (just like in All-Stars), therefore, the story needs to revolve around these questions, “Will the Brains use their expertise solving puzzles to outsmart the others? Will Brawn dominate all the challenges given their physical attributes? Or will Beauty use their looks to master the social game?” – CBS Press Release

As part of my pre-show routine and in no particular order, I’m going to select six early bets based on first impressions. I based my judgment on what I read and watch in their CBS Bio and Cast Video, respectively. Somehow, whoever I choose, one two three four five or if not impossible, all of them will either:

  • make the merge
  • make the final 4 or,
  • one of them wins!


Yung “Woo” Hwang Survivor CagayanYung “Woo” Hwang – Woo reminds me of Yul. Both are Asians. Both are charming. Yul won in season 13. Can Woo do the same fifteen seasons after?

Maybe or maybe not. That’s always the answer even for a loyal, positive and ambitious 29-year-old martial arts instructor from Newport Beach, California. Woo considers himself as a mix of brain, beauty and brawn. Yet, considering his solid background in martial arts, he’s likely a Brawn. His strength, agility and speed are needed in group challenges – even in course challenges that require balance and focus.

Just like Ozzy in Cook Islands, Woo knows how to swim and to climb coconut trees, therefore, there’s 90% chance his tribe will like him as soon as they arrive at the camp.

Trish Hegarty Survivor CagayanTrish Hegarty – There’s nothing special about pilates. It’s a low impact exercise that requires a special equipment.  Who knows? This is exactly what Trish from Needham Massachussets needs to win the game. Her healthy condition will make her an invincible force in physical challenges even at 48.

Social-wise, Trish knows this game is about going with the flow. She believes she can get along with people. Yet, I wonder how she can survive the game when she can’t deal with liars and manipulators. With no patience with liars, Trish might be an early exit. Deal with them, she’ll be a surprise (just like Monica in BvW).


Garrett Adelstein Survivor CagayanGarret Adelstein – SURVIVOR is a poker game – surely, the 27-year-old Garret (from Santa Monica, California) agrees. He knows it’s his only hope for survival. Garret needs to be proactive even if it means he’ll use the science and art of bluffing.

He knows he’s a threat due to his physical appearance. His tribemates will never hesitate to blindside him the moment they lose an Immunity Challenge. Therefore, bluffing will help. It will change the way others perceive him. If he does that, he’ll go far. Yet, anything that is done late, even a second-late, it’s gameover!

Garrett describes himself as confident, ambitious and competitive. The three qualities that may be his strength (His ambition to excel in any competition results to confidence) or his weakness (…if at any given time he feels too confident about his power, too ambitious about his plans and too competitive at everything).

J’Tia Taylor Survivor CagayanJ’Tia Taylor – The 31-year-old J’Tia believes she’s 1/4 beauty and 3/4 brains. That makes her a dangerous threat or a likable threat?

Like Garrett, J’Tia who lives in Chicago Illinois might be perceived as a highly-intellectual threat once she reveals herself too much. There’s a 60-40 chance she’ll go far if her social strategy focuses on how she can make others feel comfortable around her.

For when others knew they play against a nuclear engineer who is trained to analyze different situations just to solve problems, J’Tia might be in trouble.


Jeremiah Wood Survivor CagayanJeremiah Wood – He talks like JT and he’s likable like JT. Does this mean Jeremiah got what it takes to be the sole survivor? Probably yes. Every one will love Jeremiah just like JT back in Tocantins. With a charm of a model and a fun personality of a country boy, others will never get bored around him. Men will be his friends while women will flirt to get his attention.

Yet to survive the game of social politics, Jeremiah needs to dig deep. He needs to go with the numbers either by creating the numbers or let the numbers bring him far.

Morgan McLeod Survivor CagayanMorgan McLeod – Just 21, Morgan already describes herself as mature, determined and attractive. She believes she can use these three qualities to magnet people on her side. Interestingly, she also admitted that even with her huge boobs and pretty face, Morgan wants to prove something more for herself. She wants to win no matter what it takes.

I salute Morgan who got the determination to achieve success. These days, it’s rare to find successful, driven and beautiful women like her. My only question is – Can Morgan have the right tools to win SURVIVOR?

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Cast Assessment: What Jeff Probst thinks?

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Are you a Filipino? Yes? Oh that’s great! I’m a Filipino too – a Filipino Survivor fan for thirteen years. Here’s the GOOD NEWS: Jack TV already confirmed that it airs the current season starting February 27th, 8 PM (Primetime Telecast).

Photos courtesy of: CBS