Name: Jeff Varner
Hometown: New York City, New York
Previously Played On: Season 2: “Survivor: The Australian Outback” – Finished 10th out of 16 & non-jury; Season 31: “Survivor: Cambodia” – Finished 17th
Prevented from proving his ability to outwit, outlast and outplay in one of the most erratic and “passionate” (his words, not ours) game strategies the show has seen, Jeff Varner is back a wiser player.
“I learned a big lesson in Cambodia,” Jeff tells Erin Cebula. “Don’t get on the phone with people because it’s just a problem,” he jokes.
“I answered a few texts, and I reached out to one or two but I am not in any alliance with anybody,” the castaway says of his third time playing the game. “I have no deals, I’m showing up day one free agent, and I think that’s the best way to roll.”
Looking back on his previous experience, Jeff explains why his previous strategy didn’t work out. “In Cambodia, I was all aligned and set up, and here I’m not. If it doesn’t [work], let that be a lesson to all future survivors, get on the phone and make it happen.”
Now, his lack of an alliance isn’t the only difference between Varner’s “game changing” chance, the castaway shares how falling in love has affected his gameplay.
“Here, I am calm, I am at peace,” he tells Erin. “I feel level and I want to be a calming influence to people because that’s where I am in life. I’m in love for the first time and it’s just helped me, ground me so much. I have a purpose, I have a reason, and I’m excited.”
To watch how his new strategy plays out for Jeff, tune in to the season 34 premiere of “Survivor: Game Changers” on Global, March 8.