As we head into this week’s Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers finale, I have the honor of taking part in a yearly blogger competition, the Jury Jeopardy. I have been pitted against the best of the best in Survivor writing: RHAP, Inside Survivor, Purple Rock Podcast, and True Dork Times, in a battle of wits that might possibly be even more intense than any Survivor finale you could conjure up.

Here’s how it works: for each juror (and the members of the final five who eventually become jurors), I will predict the order in which they would vote for a finalist. If any given juror’s vote is ahead of the other two finalists in my ranking, then I score a point, if not then I don’t get said point.

In the event of a tie, I have also predicted the number of votes the winner and runners up will receive. Whoever is closest to the number of votes cast for the winner (or if still tied, the runner up) will be sole victor.

Time to get inside these juror’s minds and do my best to take home the title belt as this season’s sole rookie. This is like Survivor: Micronesia and I’m Erik Reichenbach to these people’s Cirie Fields and Parvati Shallow… let’s just hope I don’t give up individual immunity at a crucial juncture.

The Jurors

Desi Williams

Given her scathing exit interviews, I don’t see a world in which Desi is willing to vote for Chrissy, and by proxy Ryan. I think it’s fairly obvious that Mike is going to be her preferred candidate. Since she is such a competitor, I can see her respecting Ben’s gameplay were he in the final three. Devon sort of falls right in the middle of each camp.

Desi will vote for: Mike > Ben > Devon > Ryan > Chrissy

Cole Medders

I feel like Cole is a little tough to predict. Like Desi, I do believe that his Healer bonds with Mike would make him likely to vote for him before anyone else. Slotting Mike at the top is the easy part… where does it go from there? For me, I feel like Cole has a lot of respect and admiration for Devon, given what he said about him in exit press. After that, I think Ben’s journey is something most jurors will respect. Given the choice between Ryan and Chrissy, I think Cole would lean more towards Chrissy, for showing a lot of public decision-making as opposed to Ryan’s more quiet demeanor.

Cole will vote for: Mike > Devon > Ben > Chrissy > Ryan

JP Hilsabeck

Getting into the mind of JP might be difficult. I’m not even sure JP is able to do it. Going from what happened in the game, I think JP is going to have a lot of loyalty towards Chrissy. They were together from day one, got close in the post-swap period, and Chrissy never left JP high and dry like Ben did. The same could be said of his feelings for Ryan. After that, it’s probably Devon and a crapshoot between Mike and Ben for who would come in 4th and things like that.

JP will vote for: Chrissy > Ryan > Devon > Ben > Mike

Joe Mena

Call me crazy but I see a lot of respect for Ben in Joe’s tribal council reactions. These last two votes, Joe has been reacting like the 12th man of an NBA team when Ben pulls out these crazy idol plays. I’m surprised he hasn’t choreographed a dance with his fellow jurors to celebrate the action. I think that Joe is going to surprise people by voting for Ben above anyone else, even Mike. After those two, it’s a bit tougher. Does Joe respect Devon’s more muted gameplay? Can Joe ever will himself to vote for Chrissy (spoiler alert: no)?

Joe will vote for: Ben > Mike > Devon > Ryan > Chrissy

Lauren Rimmer

Queen Lauren should have been sitting as a finalist but she just had to let crazy Mike hold part of her idol. Oh well. Lauren is a lock to vote for Devon if he’s sitting in the final three. I think she would respect Ben if he found his way to the end because Lauren is the kind of person to see through dislikes and vote for somebody she thinks deserves it. Which is why I think if neither of those guys are there, she would vote for Chrissy as somebody who played a worthy game.

Lauren will vote for: Devon > Ben > Chrissy > Ryan > Mike

Ashley Nolan

We’ll have to wait and see how much Devon’s flip really bothers Ashley but I don’t think she is voting for anyone but him if he’s at the end. We also know that Ashley and Chrissy did not have a very good relationship, which also extends to Ryan. This might come to bite me in the end if Ashley is truly still angry but I think her relationship with Devon is too deep to just throw away at the end.

Ashley will vote for: Devon > Ben > Mike > Ryan > Chrissy

The Final Five

Since we don’t know the order in which the other two players will join the jury, I will just do the final five’s juror votes in alphabetical order.

Ben Driebergen

If Ben finally gets fatally wounded and sent to the jury, I can see him respecting whoever manages to get him out of the game. Because he’s been a lone wolf for a few weeks now, it’s hard to see what Ben might do. I think that Chrissy’s early game bond with him is going to have a lot of pull if she is able to make a compelling case to him at the end. I don’t know that he respects anybody else’s game to the extent he does Chrissy’s. Given that, I think he would still give Devon his vote ahead of the other two because they did work together for a decent period of time. Ben doesn’t strike me as somebody who would reward Mike for being out of the loop so much in the post-merge.

Ben will vote for: Chrissy > Devon > Ryan > Mike

Chrissy Hofbeck

If Chrissy is on the jury and Ryan isn’t, that may be the one guaranteed vote coming Ryan’s way. Though it’s hard to imagine a situation where that might happen. I think it’s a toss-up between Devon and Mike for her second favorite potential finalist but I think that she respects Devon a little more than she does Mike. I don’t see any situation where Chrissy votes for Ben to win after their relationship has deteriorated, she just doesn’t strike me as the type of person to let something like that go.

Chrissy will vote for: Ryan > Devon > Mike > Ben

Devon Pinto

If we are headed for a Devon vs Ben battle at final four or five, I can see whoever loses giving the other their vote. Devon is a fan of the game and I think he would respect Ben if Ben were able to send him to Ponderosa early. After that, I think this re-formed alliance between Devon and Chrissy and Ryan would make Devon feel like he could vote for Ryan to win. Their relationship will have time to repair over their past differences. I don’t think there’s any scenario, barring a crazy finale, in which Devon votes for Mike to win.

Devon will vote for: Ben > Ryan > Chrissy > Mike

Mike Zahalsky

Through this season, if I’ve learned anything from Mike the Survivor player is that he likes bombastic moves. Because of how Ben has been playing idol after idol, I think Mike would give him the win above anyone else in the end. After that, I can see Chrissy being his second choice because she has also been a very vocal and demonstrative player. Given that Mike has been on the record as not being a fan of Ryan, I am going to place him last on his preferred list of winners.

Mike will vote for: Ben > Chrissy > Devon> Ryan

Ryan Ulrich

Like Chrissy, Ryan is a lock to vote for his closest ally if one is on the jury and the other in the finals. That’s an obvious choice. After Chrissy, I think Devon gets Ryan’s vote because their friendship clearly isn’t completely over and there is a lot of respect between both players. If Mike doesn’t really want to vote for Ryan, the same can probably said going the other way so logically, that puts Mike at the bottom of Ryan’s list.

Ryan will vote for: Chrissy > Devon > Ben > Mike

Tie-breaker: 3–3–2

To me, it’s going to depend whether this incoming Ben vs Devon clash happens at final four (by fire with the new final four twist) or at final tribal council. I think if both find a way to get to the end, we’re looking at a tie vote and yet another first for Survivor. If one can dispose of the other before that, they should be set to win without needing a tie-breaker.

Now to throw it back to you guys. How do you think the votes might fall? Which of my friends is closest with their predictions (if you want me to like you, please say me)? Leave us all comments to let us know! You can also use the hashtag #juryjeopardy to discuss on Twitter.

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