5th: Matt. I have actually had him super low on my rankings for the majority of the time. Up until the last few episodes. I think he is going down the same route as Sharn did in all stars. Where he has been very silent in the beginning and will make a very deep run into the game but will not win. His conversation with Gerry speaking about the final 2, makes me think he is here for the endgame with George and Gerry. Will he win? No. It's likely, he is very well-liked by the jury, I just feel like his story would be more propped up if he was winning.
4th: George. If he wasn't so overexposed in the edit, I would have him ranked higher. I am of firm belief one of the spice girls is winning. I don't think it's him, however. He gets massive amounts of strategic credit in every episode, but he is also shown to be the target of many others. Whether that be right now, or later on. People are going to come for him eventually. And that's the kind of game he plays, he plays hard and well enough to make it far, but his game will always reach a brick wall with no way around, through or over it. I don't see him winning the FIC and being able to make it to FTC again. I think he will fall victim to his allies rallying together to take him out at the end. The way I see it, I think he is going to turn on one major ally, possibly Shonee, and another ally (i.e Liz) is going to seek revenge. He is going to work his way to take Gerry as far as he can to beat him, but I don't think that's the case. The story is very much again why George loses rather than why he wins. He's played a much better social game than his last appearance, I just do not see a way for him to reach the end and win against someone he wants to take to the end.
3rd: Shaun. He is only higher than George due to his more balanced edit. He isn't over-shown, he gets complex content and he has a narrative that I could see leading to a win. He speaks about how he needs to play a villainous game rather than a heroic one like last time in order to win. Much like Matt, he is employing the theme of the season in his winning strategy as well as the narrative. He is constantly being propped up by other players like Simon especially, and I can see him being very respected by the jury should he make it to the end. He has shown to be in control of his alliance and is overall getting content when he needs it and even gets shown in episodes he's quieter in. The fact he also has an idol that he is willing to play gives me the feeling he is going to make a somewhat decent lengthened run. But, he could just as easily not play it and get voted out with it in his pocket. He keeps talking about how he wants to hold onto it and play it at the right time. A blindside could be foreshadowed. I would rank him higher but, he is a hero, not a villain. And I think the winner of this season is going to be a villain, so Shaun is not my number-one pick despite having a very decent edit.
2nd: Shonee. Realistically she could be number one. She got an incredibly strong premie week as well as the swap week and even got decent content in the merge week that just passed. She got strategic credit for almost every vote up until the Stevie boot. She named Anjali, Michael and Mimi. She has gotten major positive content from Liz and George and is shown to be a threatening player. She has her own theme music which tells me one of two things; she is either the winner or is going to be a big obstacle for the eventual winner to overcome. She isn't overexposed, but what makes me doubt her winning chances is that recently she has not been as present as someone like her should be if she was to win. In All Stars, she was the biggest character who wasn't David. This time, she is shown but not in the incredibly complex way that she was last time. If her edit starts to spike a bit over this week I will consider placing her first. I however can see a path for her that leads to George taking her out once the vigilantes make it to their desired final 7, and it will be Liz IMO who will take out George to avenge her. I would love to see her win though, as I have stated many times she is my favourite Survivor AU player ever, but I don't know how confident I am in her winning.
1st: Liz. A hot take maybe, but I think she is the winner. I have some doubts as she was invisible in the premiere episode which is normally synonymous with presenting the winner to the audience. But, her content in the second episode was a big stick out for me, so I consider any content in the first week to be just as important as any content in the first episode. In episode 2 she gets a confessional of her saying how she is a villain as well as an olympian and how she will use these traits to be the winner. She also says she and Shonee as the "shiz" alliance are ready to dominate the game. For me, that was an extreme example of foreshadowing of the shiz alliance and how they will make a very deep run into the game. I have already mentioned that I think the winner is going to be a villain, and more specifically a spice girl. It is this confessional that makes me think she is the one to win rather than Shonee. Her lack of content early on does make me worry for her chances, I even was tricked into thinking Jordie was going to be the winner during Liz's lack of content for a bit. But now that Jordie is going I am of the opinion that she is going to win the show. I think she is going to be the one that gets in George's way this time. There is constant content alluding us to think that Liz and George are going to disagree and wrestle for control and will at one point turn on each other. I think George will be the one to take out Shonee and Liz will be the one to slay the king. She is George's new Hayley, the one physical threat that will come between him and his much-desired crown. Of all the newbies she is also the only one being shown as her own unique character. Gerry and Matt also do not get a lot of airtime, but Liz is shown to be this stone-cold ice queen with daggers for eyes with an unfazed demeanour. I think this is to elucidate her villainous character and why she will be the one to hold the crown for her fellow villains. But, if she is to lack content for the next week or two, I may place her down again and it might just lead to Shonee emerging as the winning spice girl. Either way, it is between the two of them and I am so excited to see where this leads. However I also admittedly was high when I watched episode 2 and had my epiphany on why I think Liz. So we'll see how credible edibles are when analysing Survivor LMAO.