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“Survivor 45” contestants deliver controversial franchise hot takes

“Survivor 45” contestants deliver controversial franchise hot takes

Survivor fans are an opiniated bunch. I know this from experience judging by the… shall we say… colorful reactions to my Survivor season rankings. I also know from said rankings that not all opinions are popular ones. But where's the fun in everyone thinking the exact same way? There would be no debate and discussion if everybody agreed on everything. BORRRRRRING!

With that in mind, we asked the cast members of Survivor 45 — which premieres Sept. 27 on CBS — to each give us their hottest Survivor hot take. What sorts of wildly unpopular opinions would they throw out there? You can bear witness to their scorching hot takes in the video below, and it turns out they had no issues whatsoever attaching to their names to some real doozies.

For instance, what if I told you the Survivor 45 cast contains not one, but TWO Edge of Extinction superfans? And they have the same name! "Edge of Extinction is actually a really good twist," says Brandon "Brando" Meyer. "I think it adds a lot of pressure to the way that you treat people when you vote them out and before you vote them out. And it's always fun to see people come back and have a second chance. So Edge of Extinction for me."

And also, apparently for anyone named Brandon. "I am obsessed with it," says Brandon Donlon. "There are people here walking around with Edge of Extinction merch and I want it. I keep telling them like, 'Can I have that after you're done here?'"

Want another shock? Mild-mannered Drew Basile is a self-proclaimed "Culpepper maniac" and calls Brad his favorite Survivor player ever. Yes, that Brad Culpepper! There are also fans of new-era twists, including one contestant who wants better odds for the Shot in the Dark, and another who espouses the virtues of a 26-day game.

Survivor 45
Survivor 45

Robert Voets/CBS (3) Brandon Donlon, Katurah Topps, and Drew Basile of 'Survivor 45'

"There are a lot of people who are like, 39 days — that's the only way to play," concedes Sean Edwards. But you know what? There's an element of the 26-day game that forces the contestants to think quicker on their feet, to move faster, to play the game harder — because you have such a finite amount of time, more so than the 39 days."

Unfortunately, technical difficulties prevented Kellie Nalbandian's answer from making it to video — which is especially tragic because she actually agrees with yours truly that the since-discarded Fire Tokens were an interesting new addition to the game.

"I'm actually a fan of Fire Tokens!" Kellie says. "Mostly because I love the word bequeath. But I think it'd be so fun to try to extort tokens off people, or use them as a way to build trust with an exchange of tokens. Like, 'Oh, you can hold my token and give it back after the vote' sort of thing. And having a way to find or obtain advantages that's skill based versus just finding them is a cool element. I liked that Natalie earned her way back into the game with daily effort, not just one challenge."

And your challenge is to now watch the video above and see how many of the Survivor 45 cast hot takes you actually agree with. I hear Brad Culpepper is already a big fan of one of them!

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