Every season of Survivor has its standout players, but there’s no one like Evvie Jagoda. They came onto Season 41 of Survivor, the first season of the series’s “new era,” and they really did help catapult Survivor into its 42nd season. Evvie was the first genderqueer castaway to play the game of Survivor in 20 years, so getting to see them in action was life-changing for many Survivor fans.
Now, Survivor 42 is the most diverse season yet, so Distractify spoke exclusively with Evvie about their history on Survivor 41 and how it has informed their experience as a fan. Plus, although Evvie’s insider knowledge of Season 42 might be just as limited as ours, they know how the game works behind the scenes, so they can give us some insight as to what might happen next.
Evvie has a whole new perspective while watching Season 42 of ‘Survivor.’
“I feel very much back into Survivor fandom, and I just love the show,” Evvie shared. “But now I just also have a lot more insight.”
They know the ins and outs — how hard the challenges really are, how hungry the players really feel, and what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the myriad of twists.
They continued, “It's also really interesting because so much of what is happening ... so far in 42 are variations on things that happened for the first time in 41. So it's really fun for me to watch thinking, ‘Oh, they changed this a little bit,’ and, ‘The players are reacting this way.’” But that’s what makes Survivor great — the same game with different players is still incredible television.
Evvie shares their predictions about the evolution of ‘Survivor’ strategy and the future of Season 42.
As an evolutionary biologist, Evvie has some unique ideas about the future of Survivor. “I think one undervalued thing that makes humans really special is our ability to learn from each other,” they explained. It’s this ability that has allowed Survivor to evolve over the course of its 40 seasons. “Think about the very, very first season,” they reminded us. “They invented the Alliance.”
As we made it to Season 38, alliances stopped mattering as much, but Evvie noticed something interesting happening in Survivor’s “new era.” They explained, “For my season and for Season 42, we didn't know what was coming next. There was a lot more uncertainty in the game, and the game is so fast. I think when you're scared you actually rely more on your relationships.”
Evvie continued, “I think people thought a faster game would mean relationships matter less. I actually think it means relationships matter more.”
While Evvie wants everyone to go far in Season 42, they feel a special kinship with players Maryanne and Lydia. “I just think they're both so fun to watch. Everything they say, I'm smiling,” Evvie told us. But as far as predicting who will go the furthest? Evvie said that Jenny and Romeo seem to have what it takes to go far, but now that Jenny is out of the game, Evvie's predictions have changed.
Evvie has some predictions for who could win Season 42 of 'Survivor.'
There's been a major shift in alliances after the merge, which Evvie finds surprising. "I was surprised to see how much Romeo is now on the outs given how close it seemed he and Drea had been in the pre-merge," they said. "There definitely seems to be a theme that the Vati and Ika players seem very willing, and in some cases eager, to get rid of members of their starting tribes, whereas Taku has stuck together more."
Evvie reflected on their experience in Season 41 and discussed how similar events could play out this season: "However, I wonder the degree to which other players in the game, particularly Hai — who likely is not thrilled that Lydia went home even if he did go along with it — will start to think that Taku is too close and try to break them up as they did to my Yase group."
They continued, "I think ultimately the course of this game is going to come down to whether the non-Taku players realize Taku's strength before it's too late, or whether the central Taku players especially Omar, can just ride their tribal strength to the end."
On the flip side, Evvie mused, "I would love to see some of the players at the bottom flip this game around! I especially think the chaotic self-preservation that Tori has displayed will continue to add drama and could be fodder for a big move."
Check back in with us each week to see what Evvie thinks will happen in the next episode of Survivor 42, which airs every Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.