Survivor contestants explain why they will win season 44

As exciting as the start of any Survivor season is, what's even more exciting — for contestants, at least — are those days right before their journey begins. Those are the days when hope and optimism abound. When contestants feel invincible. When everyone has their clear path to the million-dollar prize all worked out in their mind. And then the game begins, and it all turns to you-know-what.

So before Survivor 44 kicks off March 1 on CBS, let's go back to a kinder, gentler time when every single player was heartily convinced that the million-dollar check was already written with their name on it. We asked each of the contestants days before filming began to tell us why they would win season 44, and let's just say that confidence was not in short supply.

You can watch all 18 hopefuls boldly proclaim why they will emerge victorious in the video at the top of this post, knowing full well that 17 of them are wrong.

Survivor season 44
Survivor season 44

Robert Voets/CBS The 'Survivor 44' cast

So who will win? Is it Maddy Pomilla? The same Maddy Pomilla who explains that "I will win Survivor because I am a wild card. Nobody is going to play in the middle the way I am going to play in the middle. Nobody's going to see me coming and I am going to hit them hard."

Or is it Danny Massa, who refers to himself as "Danny Bronx"? (Take one guess where he's from.) "People have their head up in the stars and then trip on what's under their feet," says Danny. "I'm going to be in the moment every moment."

Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt says she is playing for something bigger than the cash prize: "I want to represent for all those Latinas out there and all those people who have an accent and sound different and look different. I see you, I want to represent you, and that's why I will win."

That is but a mere sampling of the boastful claims contained in the video above. Go check out what the entire cast had to say, and see whom you believe and who you feel is full of hot air — with the true answer being revealed when Survivor 44 premieres March 1. (Also make sure to watch the first footage from the two-hour premiere.)

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