As anyone who hung out around Sucks can attest, this was crazy up-and-down rollercoaster ride, with nobody having good information. Earl's wife just had a baby, so he was widely considered not to be asked. Tina went back and forth, mainly due to IG activity. Vecepia was not asked, and went public about it. Todd was considered in, and then out (if you're going to hate Adam for something, he may have replaced Todd). Hatch was pretty much thought to be a lock, especially since he put his Scruff profile (I don't even know what that website is, not sure I want to) on "Away." Rob was touch-and-go for a bit, with rumors of him dropping out about a week ago, widely debunked (now we likely know what he negotiated for).
Social media activity (Cameos on "away" mode and IG stories of going away parties) widely confirmed Nick, Wendell and Michele early. Natalie and Parvati had twitter activity on the finale day -- but that was thought to be people posting for them. Adam had social media activity the day after the finale when no one else did, putting his spot in jeopardy (I personally think Jay was trolling all of us).
Then suddenly Chris D. deleted his social media, and his wife followed the all-winners IG, so maybe he was on? And then two people (trolls) on Twitter said they spotted Fabio at LAX? And would they actually ask Chris U.? (that was ruled out fairly quickly). And what about JT in all this? Natalie White was considered an alternate, but someone said they saw her at a grocery store. Tom Westman's cousin (?!) chimed in that he'd talked to Tom, and his health wouldn't allow him to play. There were people coming out of the woodwork being like "I saw X Survivor winner at work today."
There were competing lists, competing sources, and absolutely zero people had Ethan or Amber -- they were just not even considered. Yul was always a hope, but we didn't know because there was no way to confirm. There were tears and bloodshed and multiple locked threads, and two people who had a 15 page knock-down-drag-out fight over Nick's game in DvG ( ... don't even ask).
But at long last, the spoiler casting war is over, and we survived, and I'm home, and can't wait to discuss this season with all of you guys when it airs.