Malcolm Freberg – Caramoan Preview



If you’ve read this blog for a while (well, at least since last season), you know that I’m a big fan of Malcolm Freberg. He’s up there in my personal Survivor Hall of Fame with people like Rob Cesternino, Todd Herzog, Stephen Fishbach, Tyson Apostol, Yau-Man Chan and I’m forgetting a few (only men? strange… I blame you sexist editing). People who I believe are the best players to ever play this game (ok, maybe not Tyson, but his awesomeness makes up for his imperfect gameplay). It’s been a long time since we got such a well rounded player, even the ones I’ve just mentioned usually lack on the physical side.

So, I’m pretty excited to see him back (well, I never had a doubt he’d be back), with one caveat though. I wish he hadn’t returned so quickly (although, I’m pretty sure we’ll see him play a third time one of these days). Everybody has said it before (himself included in his pregame interviews), he’s now in Russell’s position during Heroes Vs Villains, that is playing as a returnee, except that nobody knows him, nobody has seen him play, and also, he’s had only two weeks or so to recover from the previous season, not enough time in my opinion.

Now, he’s in that pretty strange position where he has a serious advantage on everybody else, but that advantage puts a big target on his back from the get-go, especially because of the Russhole precedent.

However, there is a huge difference between Malcolm and Russell: Malcolm is very charming and has a great social game. Was there even one person to dislike him in the Philippines? No.

So, what I believe will happen is that people will be scared of him, but also intrigued and then charmed, possibly even wanting to ally with him. Maybe not everybody, maybe not Cochran (I don’t see Cochran being interested to be friends/ally with an unknown player who will remind him – at least physically – of Ozzy), but he shouldn’t have trouble finding allies.

How well can he do?

Seriously I have no idea, as a wild card for the other players, that makes him a wild card for the game too. He could be voted out early if other people get too paranoid, he could go far if he charms the right people early on (and I believe he will). However, I see the same fate for him than in the Philippines: being voted out near the end, because everybody will be aware than if he gets to the end, he’ll win it all.

In any case, good luck Malcolm, I’ll be rooting for you again!



4 Responses

  1. blitzers says:

    I think Malcolm can survive early. I think pre-merge alliances tend to develop around the physically strongest players (although there are exceptions). I think it also actually helps him that he is in a tribe of returning players. You generally want people who can be trusted and are mentally stable. Based on prior knowledge, people will be wary of trusting Cochran, Corinne, and Brenda (Brenda and Corinne may not be untrustworthy, but they showed cunning). Phillip and Russel Jr. are both a little crazy. While people may want to take them to be a goat at the end, keeping them could easily blow up in your face (i.e. Pete with Abi last season). That leaves Andrea, Dawn, Erik, and Francesca. And I believe they will gravitate towards Malcolm. Not only will he be the alpha male but he also has charm (as you pointed out). Furthermore, no one will know how big a threat he is because they won’t have seen last season. I think all of this puts him in a good position to control the Favorites side of the game.

    There are some major pitfalls for Malcolm though. I think he might still be rattled from last season’s loss. Especially since he was so close! I could see him mirroring Stephanie LaGrossa’s Guatemala game. She wanted to win so badly she overthought and overanalyzed everything and upset the entire jury.

    I also agree that Dawn is going to be very underestimated. I think she is definitely the wolf in sheep’s clothing this season. In a lot of ways she is similar to Denise. They are both smart/well educated and very rational players. I think Dawn should/will form an early alliance with Malcolm. As I stated above, he is probably the Favorite who will mesh best with her game. And she is definitely a good enough player to win it all at the end.

    While I would like to see a Fan win, I think Malcolm and Dawn are two players to look out for. (Although that is easy to say without seeing any episodes :))

    • David says:

      Great analysis indeed. A Malcolm, Dawn, Erik, Andrea, Francesca alliance would be pretty much unstoppable (I just wish Brenda was not a collateral victim in the process, but unfortunately I don’t see her being part of it, the sixth would be Cochran).

      As for the fans, I just can’t find the time (or the will?) to get interested in them. I even seriously doubt I’ll have time to preview them in detail. I’ll try to make one post for a “group evaluation” before Wednesday though.

  2. Fer says:

    I think Phillip and Brandon are interesting choices and certainly worth bringing back. It will be interesting to see how Brandon can survive when he’s not being carried around by Coach, and I’m sorry, but Phillip was fantastic! Even if they weren’t great players, they were great characters that evoked a reaction. Francesca though that’s an interesting choice. Both because she was voted out first, and because I want to see if Phillip can get her name right this time.

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