Jonathan Penner – Age 50. From Los Angeles, CA. Outside of Survivor – Writer
One of my favorites. He was the most interesting thing about Cook Islands – a very underrated season – as his actions often moved the story along. I was anxious for his return in Fans v. Favorites, but his injury took him down. Now he is back for the third time, and I am sure it will be the same old Jonathan. I thought his claim to fame would be the fact that he sounds exactly like Alan Alda. However, it is something much cooler. The year was 1994, and Tom Hanks was about to win his first Best Actor Oscar. Equaling Hanks that year in number of nominations (1) was Jonathan Penner. That’s right, he co-wrote “Down on the Waterfront,” which was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film. He also co-starred in it opposite Jason Alexander and Edward Asner. Sadly, unlike Hanks, Penner lost. The winner was “Black Rider,” by Pepe Danquart. Jonathan also wants to bring a book to read and one to write, and his wife as his third “thing.” If she doesn’t count, he’ll bring a pen. I would add that if he could bring her, perhaps ditch the book to write on, as you would have no pen to write with. But that’s just me. I will be shamelessly rooting for Jonathan.
Chances of Winning – He has a better shot of getting the royal treatment, a la Coach and Rob, than the other two guys. Of course, he doesn’t have nearly the track record as Rob, nor the bizarre quirkiness of Coach. He’s an acquired taste – we’ll see.
Jeff Kent – Age 44. From Austin, TX. Outside of Survivor – Former Baseball MVP.
Kent really doesn’t need another job; he got paid millions to play baseball. He won the MVP for the San Francisco Giants, and played in the 2002 World Series for them. He played in Toronto, New York, Cleveland, San Fran, Houston and Los Angeles. His top salary was the $10 million he received in 2004 with Houston. Jeff has had it made – and happens to be a big Survivor fan. He is just enough of a star to be interesting, and just obscure enough to blend in and not be noticed. There is an excellent chance he could go unrecognized. Gary Hogeboom would have in Guatemala, but Danni happened to be a sports host and amazingly recognized him. Kent was more successful, but still was somewhat low key. However, he does have an issue with lying, which could be a problem. He is a hunter, so he could take the role of provider. He wants to bring a pillow to put his “most valuable body part on a soft spot.” Um, ok. And, ewwww. Shockingly (not shocking), he identifies with Colby.
Chances of winning – Actually pretty good, so long as he remains quiet about his baseball career.
Sarah Dawson – Age 28. From Silver Spring, MD. Outside of Survivor – Insurance Sales.
Silver Spring in the HOUSE!!! Along with Penner, I will be shamelessly rooting for Sarah, mainly because I may have bumped into her at Trader Joe’s and not even realized it. She tells the story of talking her way out of a towing fee on her car, thus becoming the local legend. I guess I haven’t lived here long enough. She is inspired by Neil Patrick Harris. Legen. Wait for it. Dary. She thinks sarcasm is an underrated art. Well, duh. She would want as her three things – a horse, an audience and a hot guy. This woman is made for reality TV. She also made someone cry while playing Cranium. I would give good money for there to be a Cranium challenge this season. Amazingly, she points to Sugar as her Survivor she’s most like – considering none of her bio sounds remotely Sugarish. She also adds Sandra, which makes a lot more sense.
Chances of Winning – I hope she does. I have a good feeling here.
Katie Hanson – Age 22. From Newark, DE. Outside of Survivor – Former Miss Delaware.
That’s right, that’s her occupation. Former pageant queen. So, our second pageant girl takes the stage and is a big Russell Hantz fan – ironic, considering his “dumb girl” alliance. She awesomely shouts out Alice Wells as her inspiration – the nation’s first female police officer. She goes mostly practical on her three items – toilet paper, a toothbrush (go hygiene!) and her Miss Delaware sweater (…and vanity – cool) She also goes for a Danni comparison, proving how good pageant girls are. Danni is a good example, but she didn’t win due to looks, so not sure how much pageants played into her win.
Chances of winning – Feels like a jury member to me.
Carter Williams – Age 24. From Shawnee, KS. Outside of Survivor – Track Coach.
He claims to want to be an Ozzy, but feels more like a Micronesia Erik. That’s a biiiiiig difference, Carter. And neither are really kings of strategy. I love how his claim to fame is “graduating college while running all four years.” My thoughts on that – a) he must be exhausted, b) how did he write his papers, c) those poor professors, and d) did he have a long straggly beard at the end of it? He is on the show for glory. Got to appreciate the honesty – but not sure how much glory Survivor winners get anymore in the grand scheme of things. He claims to be a uniter not a divider and to be a great tree climber.
Chances of Winning – Average. I don’t get a good vibe. And not because of the last name for a first name.
Dana Lambert – Age 32. From Winston-Salem, NC. Outside of Survivor – Cosmetologist.
She has never swam in the ocean. Ruh Roh. She says she has no claim to fame. She seems overly interested in her own hair. She likes Boston Rob, but she couldn’t be further from him if she tried. Honestly, that’s the most boring bio I’ve seen in several seasons.
Chances for Winning – Early boot. But she gives me an excuse to make Ghostbusters jokes.
The show premieres in two weeks. And, as always, here are my utterly random pre-season predictions. I have received no spoilers, nor do I want any. This is all just knee-jerk reaction to what I have read. I am also unsure of the format – so let’s assume nine-person jury and Final Three.
Early boots – Dana, Pete, Malcolm, Carter, Denise, Artis
Jury – Zane, Roxy, Lisa, Katie, Abi-Maria, Swan, Angie, Penner, Jeff
Final Three – RC, Sarah, Skupin
Take it for what it’s worth – but there you go. Let’s start Season 25 already!!!