Casting A Realistic Survivor: Legends Season With Russell Hantz

Last night, Survivor legend himself Russell Hantz asked me to hop on his YouTube channel for a live stream/podcast to talk about a future Survivor: Legends season. This is something I've talked about before, and I blogged my dream ultimate legends cast a few months ago. But the season we were imagining for this would work a bit differently. 

Mine was in hopes of a finale Season 50 where they get the 20 most legendary players ever for one last ride. For the purposes of last night, however, it was looking at a more realistic season hopefully happening soon. There's been murmurs about this for awhile. I think Survivor has wanted to do a "legends" type season for awhile. We sort of got that with Winners At War, but in this hypothetical season we focused on no winners. We casted two tribes - old school and new school (starting with Russell's Season 19). 10 guys. 10 girls. 10 old schoolers. 10 new schoolers. 0 winners. We also tried to make it as realistic as possible using knowledge of real life stuff. Russell is obviously plugged into the Survivor community and there's some general knowledge we could use as well. 

The big question is, "How do you define a legend?" It's extremely subjective. I personally think that to be a legend without winning, you need to have played the game more than once. Being able to go deep with different casts is a great testament to a person's ability. I also want memorable people who were either great players or great personalities. You need to have impacted the game in some tangible fashion. And lastly, I personally would like to see people play again who I think we can see something different from. Ozzy, for example, is a definite Survivor legend due to being maybe the best challenge performer ever. But do I really want to see him play again? He's going to make the merge, win some challenges, and then get voted out. We know how that goes. Keith Nale is extremely entertaining and provides comic relief. But we can pretty easily predict the exact game that Keith is going to play. 

So following all those guidelines, here is the dream but also realistic cast that we were able to come up with collectively. 

Old School (Seasons 1 through 18)

-Rob C should be a lock. He's a memorable, witty player who innovated the game. He's now extremely plugged into the Survivor community with RHAP. He was apparently supposed to come back for Game Changers but his wife was pregnant. 

-Cirie is in the conversation for best player who hasn't won. If she wants to come back, a spot is hers. 

-Amanda is probably in that conversation as well. She probably would have won China if Todd didn't give one of the best FTC performances ever. Followed it up with the Black Widow Brigade. Definitely one of the more memorable and legendary female players in show history. 

-James was one of the most likable players ever. He also has a legendary blunder going home with two hidden immunity idols. He apparently wants to play again. 

-Coach is probably the most entertaining, unique character the show has ever seen. I don't think he can ever win. If he didn't win South Pacific, then he never will. But you can't deny seeing Coach on your screen. 

-Stephanie is a legend for being the last castaway left on that awful tribe during Palau. She also had a solid performance in Guatemala. One of the best female challenge competitors ever. 

-Jerri is the original villainess of Survivor. Definite legend. 

-There were a few names mentioned for that last female old-school legend spot, but I think Courtney is the right choice. Her humor and personality would be a welcome addition to what would likely be a strategy-heavy season. 

-Lex is apparently very willing to play again and I'm sure CBS would give him a call. He was my first favorite Survivor player. I'd be really interested to see how his game has evolved. 

-Jonny Fairplay is the most controversial choice on the list. There's rumors he doesn't get along with Jeff and people think he basically quit Season 16. But his performance in Pearl Islands alone gets himself into legend status. He has the most famous lie in Survivor history. 

New School (Season 19 on)

-Russell is the most obvious choice. It was his show, but he'd be my first pick regardless. I think he would do better on a season like this than people think, especially playing with new schoolers. It's the old school players who seem to hate him more. 

-Malcolm is another easy one. One of the most popular players ever. I'm sure he'd love to play again and Survivor would have him back in a second. I think he has all the tools to put it together for a winning season too. 

-Spencer is the lovable underdog. He made it deep in both his tries. I think the Cambodia season really soured him on Survivor after receiving no votes to win. I've heard he would never play again. But then I heard he's reconsidering it. I think he'd be a pretty clear choice to have back if he's willing. 

-Speaking of Spencer, Kass is another lock. As Russell said on the show, she's an underrated strategic player. She's also the most memorable female villain in recent memory. 

-And speaking of female villains, we also have Abi-Maria. She's someone who can never win, but she's an entertaining character who would certainly add some drama and fire to the season. 

-Special agent Phillip Sheppard also fits that criteria. For comedy and entertainment purposes, I can see him coming back. There's whispers that he'd never play again. But I personally cannot envision Phillip EVER turning down a chance to be on Survivor. 

-Ciera VOTED OUT HER MOM. It's the most overrated move in Survivor history. Her mom was going home anyway! But CBS seems to love her and I wouldn't mind seeing her play again. 

-Wentworth is a fan favorite who has played 3 times already. Her performance in Cambodia gave her legend status. Seems like a no-brainer if there's no winners involved. 

-Andrea is similar to Wentworth. Hasn't taken it all the way, but has still had multiple impressive performances. I gave her nod over Aubry just on personal preference. 

-The last spot was hard, but we went with Rick Devens. He's the only person on the cast who has only played once. I think it's hard to consider people legends from the newer seasons who have only played once. I personally would prefer seeing Dom get this spot, but I think Jeff and CBS love how Rick played and he'll definitely be asked back eventually. 

Russell also revealed who from the cast he could see himself aligning with. 

What do you think of the cast and what would you do differently?