Heroes vs. Villains is widely considered to be one of the best seasons in Survivor history. Many people, myself included, would put it at the top of the list. The show wanted to do something big for the twentieth season, and they certainly delivered. There has long been speculation that they'll return the theme for another season. Some thought it could be back for Season 40, but we thankfully got the gem that was Winners At War instead.
There's rumors that the next returnee season will be a "Legends" season of sorts, but obviously everything is subject to change. I already cast a dream Legends season with the best of the best, but today I want to focus on a Heroes vs. Villains sequel season.
For casting, I decided to strictly cast players that first appeared after the first Heroes vs. Villains season (season 20). I also did not cast anyone that has won. We just saw Winners At War, and there are rumors that almost all of them don't want to play again. I don't really buy that, but I still think it'd be unlikely for someone to come back after just playing in such an intense season. I could have cast a winner who wasn't on Season 40, but decided to just make this season a Second (or third or fourth) Chance type season and have no winners.
I tried to mostly pick players who we haven't seen again and again. With a few exceptions, I tried to only pick players we've seen play once. Like I said, there are some players who have played multiple times that are just too good to pass up. But for the most part, I tried to think of some unique choices who i want to see play again.
10 heroes. 10 Villains. 10 Men. 10 Women. Let's get into it.
(Spoilers for their placement in previous seasons)
4th place in Philippines, 9th place in Caramoan, 17th place in Game Changers
Malcolm has played three times already. He's going to go against everything I'm about to write in this blog about wanting to give newer players a shot, but he's just too good to pass up. I think he's a lock to return in some future season, so why not Heroes vs. Villains? He's one of the most popular players ever, and for good reason. He's entertaining to watch and a really solid, well-rounded player. Likable and easy to root for, he's an obvious choice for the Heroes. You need some people that will draw an audience, and Malcolm will surely do that.
4th place in Edge Of Extinction
An absolute lock to return. Devens was a favorite of both Jeff and fans everywhere in Season 38. He returned from the Edge, found advantages, came up with clever innovations, and just gave 110% for the entire game. He may have rubbed some people the wrong way and got a little cocky, but I still think he's definitely a fit for the Heroes tribe. This is an easy choice.
7th place in David vs. Goliath
Speaking of mortal locks to return, Christian will certainly be back some day. Nobody better embodied the "David" mentality than Christian did in Season 37 David vs. Goliath. He's one of the most popular players in recent memory. His immunity challenge showdown against Alec is one of the most memorable moments we've had recently. He will definitely be back, and he's a clear choice for the Heroes.
6th place on David vs. Goliath
Like Christian, he's going from the Davids to the Heroes, a fitting transition. I loved watching Davie play in Season 37. He was a scrappy, easy-to-root-for underdog. Going into the finale episode, I actually thought he was going to win over Nick. He was an engaging character and super entertaining. He's someone I think we'll definitely see back one day.
Devon is near the top of the list of those who I really want to see play again. His game was extremely underrated. He became a true triple threat. If there's no fire-making twist, he is very likely a millionaire. I think he would fare very well in a returnee season. I was a little hesitant to include him as a "hero." He did play a little devious. But the villain men were easier to fill, and I think him being so laid-back and likable can make him qualify him as a Hero.
Other Hero Men Considered:
-Jon Misch: He is someone I still want to see play again. He would've been on the Second Chance ballot if he checked his voicemail. He probably would be my first choice if someone I picked didn't play.
-Spencer: He's one of my all-time favorites, but I just don't think he's very interested in playing Survivor again.
-Keith: A fun character, but I think we pretty know how Keith's game is always going to go.
-Mike Holloway: I actually originally had him on here, but then realized he was the only winner on the list. I wasn't a huge fan of his, but I was surprised he wasn't asked back for Winners At War, and he'd fit as a hero. Decided to make it no winners though.
-Woo: If Woo has reinvented himself after his million dollar mistake, I'd be intrigued to see that. But I worry we'll just see the same old Woo, which I don't think we need to see again.
-David Wright: We've seen him twice and I feel like the David Wright story arc is mostly written.
-Fabio: The goofball that somehow won this game. An older, more mature Fabio would be an interesting character.
-Tai: Same as David. We've seen him twice. I'm not sure what else there is to see.
7th place in Island Of The Idols
A super popular player from Season 39, Elaine has a good shot of returning. She was extremely likable and a bright spot in an otherwise pretty grim season. I don't think she's the most strategic player there is, but her spunk and underdog mentality make her a good choice for the Heroes tribe.
5th place in Island Of The Idols
Let's stick with another woman from Season 39. Janet was a legitimate hero for the way she stood up to Dan after his inappropriate touching of female castaways. She also proved to be a solid player and exceeded many people's expectations. Part of me thinks Survivor really wants to bury Island Of The Idols from memory, so would they really bring back two female contestants from it and put them on the same tribe? I think it's possible. The hero women were the hardest to cast for this.
T-2nd place in Worlds Apart
I was a big fan of Carolyn in Worlds Apart. I honestly think she played a better overall game than Mike and deserved to win. She was a very strategic and social player. She was on the ballot to return for Second Chances and was rumored to be in the mix for Game Changers. I think Survivor definitely wants to see her back. She played like a villain at times, but I think she's a fit for the Heroes tribe. She was likable and known as "Mama C." The older mom getting off the couch to go play and perform well in Survivor is usually a recipe for a Hero, see Cirie.
2nd place on One World
Sabrina gets forgotten because of how dominant Kim was in her season, but she was a solid player in her own right. Casting did not forget about her, as they included her on the Second Chance ballot, but she ultimately didn't get enough votes to be cast. Let's see what she can do with another chance.
5th place on Edge Of Extinction
Perhaps a random pick, but I told you the hero women were the toughest group to pick. I don't think there's another obvious choice that I'm missing. She showed a lot of promise in her season at just 21-years-old and was easy to root for. She's older now (that's how time works), and I'd like to see what Lauren 2.0 looks like. She also provides some necessary eye candy which casting does always look for.
Other Hero Women Considered:
Jaclyn: From San Juan del Sur, she came very close to making the list. But I think the above women are more dynamic characters.
Tasha: We've seen her play twice already though, and I feel like we know her game.
Aubry: A three-time player, I don't think we need to see her play again.
Wentworth: Same as Aubrey, I just wanted to give newer players a chance.
2nd place on Ghost Island
Domenick is a guy I'm almost 100% confident we'll see back on another season. He came closer to winning than any non-winner ever, tying Wendell before losing Laurel's tie-breaker vote in Ghost Island. Domenick played extremely aggressive and was both a social and strategic threat. He's a little bit like Tony in some regards. He's perfect for the villains tribe.
4th place in Worlds Apart
I could just be a bigger Rodney fan than most people, but he's someone I'd absolutely love to see back. He played a very underrated game in Worlds Apart. He got edited as sort of the funny guy always whining and complaining (they made him do dishes on his birthday!), but he headed up a strong alliance and was very close to winning the game. I think him coming back older and more mature could be great for him. I'd be excited to see the player he is now.
8th place in Caramoan
I recently rewatched Caramoan, and one of my biggest takeaways was that I'm surprised we haven't seen Reynold back. He was an entertaining character and an absolute challenge beast. He was extremely cocky, sometimes bordering on chauvinistic as Dawn pointed out at FTC, and would fit perfectly with the Villains tribe. He's a bit of an off-the-wall pick, but he's another person I think could really improve their game a lot with a second chance.
6th place in Millennials vs. Gen X
Jay is someone I'd really like to see play again. He was fun to watch in Season 33, and I think he has a lot of promise as a player. He's not a total villain, the moment with Adam bonding over their moms was extremely emotional and heartwarming. But he was vicious on the Michaela blindside and had a bit of arrogance to him all season, so we can throw him on the Villains tribe.
8th place in Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers
Joe is another Tony knock-off to some degree, but way less better at the game. He wasn't a bad player by any stretch though. He played hard and provided some entertainment. His strategy was just to "annoy" people. Casting might consider him and Domenick to be too similar of an archetype, but I'm the casting director here and I'd like to see Joe play again. A good character and a decent player, that's a recipe for entertainment.
Other Villain Men Considered:
-Brad Culpepper: He definitely qualifies as a villain, and Jeff loves him, but I don't think we need to see him again. I think getting to the end and losing in Game Changers was a fitting end to the Brad Culpepper story arc.
-Jim Rice: Kind of a legit asshole in South Pacific. He was on the Second Chance ballot but wasn't cast. I just don't think he's a better character than anyone listed above.
-Wardog: Kind of similar to Joe in some regards. I chose Joe over him because I think Joe is a more promising player.
3rd place in Cagayan, 13th in Cambodia
I mean duh. We've seen Chaos Kass play twice already, but she's arguably the most notorious female villain in recent memory/ever. You either love her or you love to hate her. Either way, we're guaranteed some entertainment with Kass playing. This is an easy choice. Like Malcolm, she's just too good to pass up.
3rd place in David vs. Goliath
Angelina was so incredibly unlikable that I actually started to like her. She was just great entertainment all season long. Her begging for Natalie's jacket after she was voted out was laugh out loud funny. I think she'd provide us with a lot more laughs (albeit unintentional) this season.
2nd place on Heroes vs. Healers. vs. Hustlers
From a hero in her first season to a villain this time around. That's a great story arc. Chrissy shed the "mom" stereotype and proved to be a vicious, cunning player. Never forget her depriving Ben of the family visit because he crossed her. I relate her game a lot to Carolyn's. Like Carolyn, I think Chrissy should have won her season. But both lost out to challenge/idol beast guys in Mike and Ben. If anyone wants to argue that Survivor has a gender bias, Chrissy would be a prime example of that. I'd love to see her back as a villain.
14th place in Millennials vs. Gen X, 7th place in Game Changers
This spot came down to Michaela or Abi-Maria. We've seen both play twice already. Both are known for their attitude and rubbing people the wrong way. I ultimately am going with Michaela. I think we've seen the full Abi-Maria story. I'd be more intrigued to see Michaela play again. I think there could be more to her game that what we've seen. I also love the idea of her and Jay on the same tribe again. Let's make it happen.
6th place in Edge of Extinction
This is possibly my most surprising pick, but remember that Candace somehow made the Heroes tribe in Season 20, so anything is possible. I really loved Victoria's game in Season 38. She was under-the-radar, but quietly executed some key blindsides and was on the right side of every single vote until her demise. If Chris didn't come back from The Edge and expose her as a jury threat, she might have won. She definitely had a villainous side to her gameplay. I'd love to see what she could do with the chance to play again.
Other Female Villains Considered:
-Abi-Maria: Explained above in the Michaela section. I just think we've seen the full Abi-Maria story arc.
-Ciera: I know SHE VOTED OUT HER MOM, but we've seen her play three times already. I'd rather see someone new like Victoria take that spot.
-Debbie: I have no idea if she's really a villain, but Coach was a villain and she's basically the female Coach. I think we've seen enough of her though.
So that's my full cast. Here it is in collage form.
What do you think? I know I picked it myself, but I'd be extremely excited for a season like this. It doesn't feature as many legendary players as the first Heroes vs. Villains, but that's partly why I like it. It's a lot of people I'm intrigued to see play again that could become legends in their own right with a strong performance.
If Jeff Probst won't cast me, then he should at least listen to my casting advice. My DMs are open.