There are a few surprises in store when in comes to former players cited as inspirations by the new cast.

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You can tell a lot about Survivor contestant by who they gravitated toward in previous seasons. Did they enjoy watching the folks who played with big hearts or big lies? Were they fans of cold, calculating game bots or kooky characters who lit up the screen with their eccentricities? Did they marvel at folks who dominated challenges or played an under-the-radar social game?

Those are just the sort of clues we looked for when asking the cast of Survivor 41 to name their favorite franchise players ever. Sure, we got a few answers with names you might expect, like Cirie, Sandra, Parvati, and Ozzy — all deserving candidates and perfectly acceptable answers (especially the person who notes that "All the best seasons are the ones where women take down arrogant men").

But there were some surprises as well, including a few votes for Russell Hantz, with one current player saying, "He's unapologetically himself. I love anybody who is himself, even if he's the biggest brat in the world or the biggest a‑‑hole, like Russell. As long as you can own it, I appreciate you." (Say what you will about Russell, but he definitely does own it.)

SURVIVOR 41
The cast of 'Survivor 41'
| Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

There was also a somewhat randy vote for Malcolm Freberg, from a contestant who notes that "I might be 52 years old and married, but I'm not blind." No, she is not! And neither are the players who cited perhaps the two most unique personalities who have ever graced a Survivor screen.

So continue your season 41 pregame prep by watching the video at the top of the post and learning more about the players set to do battle on a shortened 26-day season. Will any of them soon become an answer themselves to the question of favorite former Survivor player? Only time will tell, but that question will start to be answered when Survivor 41 premieres Sept. 22 on CBS.

To keep track of our daily pregame Survivor 41 coverage, check out EW's Survivor hub and follow Dalton Ross on Twitter.

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SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Survivor

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst looks at his feet while telling them to "COME ON IN, GUYS!"

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  • TV Show
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  • 40
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  • CBS
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