“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Favorite Gabby Pascuzzi Accepts the XFINITY “Survivor” Power Rankings Challenge


“Survivor” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings, occasional interviews, and full episode recaps.  So, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The XFINITY “Survivor” Power Rankings committee is pleased to announce that “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” star Gabby Pascuzzi has agreed to accept this season’s Power Rankings challenge. To kick things off, we’ve asked Gabby to rank the players based on how likely they are to win the game.

Gordon Holmes: First off, super excited to have you as this year’s competition. Let’s try to keep it relatively friendly. Before we get into this, what was your mindset going into these pre-season rankings?
Gabby Pascuzzi: Normally on a mixed season I’d put the returnees’ chances higher than the new players. But this season feels different to me: I think the newbies are too smart to be star-struck. And I think there are a few players who will benefit from having shields in the form of returnees.

 “Survivor: Edge of Extinction,” Begins Wednesday February 20, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET.

1. Eric: I’m so conflicted on Eric. Before I played “Survivor,” I would say Eric’s steady (dare I say boring) personality was no path to winning, reminiscent of the JPs of the world. Now that I’ve played the game myself, I’m convinced that the more normal you are, the better you do on “Survivor.” There are so many bigger personalities putting targets on their backs that Eric could easily scoot through to final Tribal Council. At worst, I see unfortunate early boot Brendan Shapiro downside – at best, Jeremy Collins upside. 2. Rick: I’m drinking the Rick Kool-Aid. He comes across so affable and down-to-earth in his pregame press. I always root for the apparent underdog, and this bespectacled dad-bod-rockin’ guy fits the bill. He could be everyone’s best friend, joking and laughing his way to the final three and a million dollars. If not, I am fully prepared to mourn his robbed god(dess) status.
3. Chris: Chris is the jackpot of what makes a scary “Survivor” player: he’s athletic, charming, good-looking, and a true fan of the game. He’s said in pre-season press that he plans to hide his sales job and instead focus on his diving abilities – I personally would go deep-sea fishing with Chris any day. I think that this secret superfan surfer boy has a real shot to win if he can use bigger threats (cough, Joe) as shields. 4. Kelley: Kelley is slowly taking over as the de-facto “What ‘Survivor’ player are you most like?” answer for female players, and for good reason. She played an amazingly solid game in Cambodia, so if she can find a way to rebottle that magic juju, this season could be hers for the taking. She only has to make it one more day than she did last time, but that’s the hard part – the other players know not to let her get too close.
5. Aubry: Aubry is my OG idol, the pinnacle of the smart-girl-in-glasses-having-an-early-breakdown-to-later-become-a-badass archetype. I would love an Aubry win. Her social game will keep her safe as she offers comfort to the frazzled new players. The downside is that the new players all know not to underestimate her. Being underestimated was a huge part of Aubry’s assassin-like skillset, so I worry that her social prowess is a double-edged sword that could prove to be too threatening. 6. David: Unlike the other veterans, David is on only his second “Survivor” attempt, which is why his return excites me the most. However, I worry that this cast of fans will correctly identify him as a threat. If he struggles in an early challenge (I’m having flashbacks of the infamous “Is he throwing this?” performance in the water), his tribe could use it as an excuse to get rid of him guilt-free. But if he can capitalize on the newbies being star-struck and turn on his crafty, creative, and charming side, he has a chance to take it all.
7. Joe: Joey Amazing basically has a golden ticket to the merge, but can he change his game up from his first two attempts? He needs to do more than flash his mustache-topped smile and lead vinyasa sessions on the beach, because the new players will be on high alert. If they do wise up and boot him like they should, I imagine Joe will just do fine on the Edge of Extinction island and likely win his way back into the game for (yet another) second chance. 8. Lauren: She’s a self-proclaimed triple threat, and I have to agree. The beauty has both brains and brawn. I’m hoping that as a fan, Lauren plays a fun, flirty, and strategic game like her “Survivor” idol Parvati, and doesn’t sit around to get taken out as the now-commonplace “female without an idol” merge boot.
9. Gavin: Sure, Gavin seems like a great guy, but shout out to the real MVP: his angelic wife who moved their wedding date with a month’s notice. How can I not compare this good ole’ boy to the winner of my season, Nick Wilson? The country accent will get him far and distract from his athleticism and superfan status. I wonder if lightning can strike twice for the second coming of JT and Stephen’s lovechild. 10. JuliaJulia seems like such a kind spirit. She’s articulate and introspective and based on things she’s brought up in pregame press, I think she’ll continue meta “Survivor” conversations about gender and race, which I love. I hope she’ll get a chance to do so at final Tribal Council, but I’m worried she’s so sweet that she may get thrown under the bus before she gets there.
11. Victoria: She’s funny, flirty, and hopefully wearing a boatload of sunscreen. She’s my personal girl crush and I would love for her to win, which means I have inevitably cursed her and will watch in despair as she gets taken out mid-merge. I think she’ll be the Cool Girl™ that everyone gets along with but doesn’t feel too beholden to protect when her name gets thrown out. 12. Aurora: This chick is cool, confident, and outspoken. I love how intense of a competitor she is, which I think could take her all the way to the end, or cause her to flame out early. I’m hoping it’s not the latter, because I would love for a tough, badass woman to win this whole thing. But as much as she knows she has to watch her mouth, when you’re tired, hungry, and frustrated, it’s not always something you can control.
13. Dan: Wardog has moments of self-awareness, but also has a mind (and a mouth) that goes a mile a minute. He says he’s not like Tony, but sometimes, it doesn’t matter what you think of yourself. Perception is reality on “Survivor.” If the other players perceive him to be chaotic, abrasive, and aggressive, those are labels he’ll be stuck with. He’s smart to keep the fact that he’s in law school a secret, but I think that being a tattooed, bald-headed tough guy from New York isn’t much better in terms of keeping a low profile. 14. Keith: I like that Keith is going to own his age, unlike previous teens who’ve played “Survivor.” However, it’s his age that causes me to rank his chances so low. No matter how much life you think you’ve lived at 19, you simply haven’t had as much life experience as the rest of your competitors. Naiveté can be endearing, but no one wants to let their little brother beat them at “Survivor.”
15. Ron: It pains me to place Ron so low, because I think he’s a real-life superhero. But I’m getting major alpha male control freak vibes from him, which doesn’t fly on “Survivor.” I’ve seen videos of the guy getting down with some serious dance moves at his eponymous school, but being the center of attention isn’t the right move in this game. 16. Julie: Pre-game press and Probst’s first impressions have me worried for Julie. As a fellow neurotic fan, I can totally empathize with feeling overwhelmed when you get your once-in-a-lifetime shot on “Survivor.” But from experience, overthinking is not your friend. It’s possible she gets voted out early if she doesn’t bond with people quickly, or she may make it super deep because..­­. people forget she’s there?
17. Reem: She’s got a cool name, a funky vibe, and she’s a fellow resident of Virginia. All signs point to her being a neat lady in real life, but on “Survivor,” she may rub people the wrong way. She seems a little loosey-goosey and erratic. Not caring what people think is a great quality to have in real life, but on “Survivor,” it pays to care. 18. Wendy: Oh Big Wendy. I am certain you will make amazing television for as long as we are graced with your blue hair and even more colorful personality on our screens. However, my purple-haired ally on my season was an early target, and I fear you will be too. A big personality may win the hearts of the internet stans, but it rarely wins the affection of your tribemates who just want a moment of peace and quiet.

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Edge of Extinction,” Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes