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‘Survivor: Panama’ Players Revealed, Early Thoughts and Predictionsby David Bloomberg -- 01/10/2006
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In addition to revealing how tribes will be broken down at the start of Survivor: Panama – Exile Island and the fact that they will be reshuffled, CBS has provided us with info on the 16 players. Let’s take a look at who will be playing and see if we can make any initial predictions.
Dan Barry: 52; S. Hadley, Massachusetts; retired astronaut. Obviously, Dan is a bright guy – they don’t send dummies up in space. He has a doctorate in engineering/computer science from Princeton. He has five patents to his name, along with over 50 articles in scientific journals. Plus, now he’s running his own company and building robots. But that’s not all. In order to be an astronaut, he has definitely had to prove his physical ability. Barry has been in space three times, for a total of over 734 hours (that’s 30 days – almost as long as he’ll hope to be on Survivor), including four space walks. OK, I’m convinced – he’s the first one I’m reading about and I’m already a huge fan. With that said, he’s going to have a tough road ahead of him. If the other players know he’s an astronaut, he will likely become an instant target. Sure, allies might bring him along to the merge, but I can’t believe he will last much past it. And if he’s a nice guy on top of it, he’s doomed.
Aras Baskauskas: 24; Santa Monica, California; Yoga Instructor and former professional basketball player. There is no doubt that Aras is physically fit. And considering that he has an MBA from UC Irvine, it seems he’s pretty smart too. On top of it all, he’s pretty good looking. In other words, he’s one of those guys that other guys hate. Still, if the young men make it past the first immunity challenge, Aras seems virtually guaranteed for some smooth sailing. Unless he ends up in a very odd alliance position, Aras will be seen as somebody to keep around in order to keep the tribe strong. Of course, once he gets to the merge, that very feature will turn against him.
Austin Carty: 24; High Point, North Carolina; author/model/actor. The official website calls Austin an “established author” because he’s signed with a literary agent and has a book published. They fail to mention that the book was self-published and he’s also an actor who has appeared on One Tree Hill, among other places. The book, Somewhere Beyond Here, was published in November 2003, and has three reviews on Amazon.com. The first gives it one star and calls it “a true stinker.” The other two give five and four stars and are obviously much more impressed. What’s coincidental is that the book is about a man who loses family members in a car accident. As we’ll see down the page a bit, this is strikingly similar to what happened to another contestant, Tina, shortly before she went on Survivor. It will be interesting to see if the two talk about this at all. In any case, I don’t see Austin lasting very long. He is athletic and played soccer in college, but anybody who describes himself as “charismatic” always makes me cringe.
Terry Deitz: 46; Simbury, Connecticut; airline pilot and retired navy fighter pilot. Terry is another contestant who has played high-level sports, in his case college baseball. Plus, he obviously had to stay in shape in the Navy. Terry won’t be thrown out for being the weakest link. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him ally with Dan – although Dan isn’t a pilot, an astronaut may be close enough. I think Terry has the potential to go further than Dan. Somehow, being a pilot isn’t as intimidating as being an astronaut. I look for Terry to do well.
Danielle DiLorenzo: 24, Pompano Beach, Florida; medial sales representative. Another athlete! Danielle competed in gymnastics for eight years and set state track records in high school. Unfortunately, I don’t get much of a read on her beyond that. Working in sales requires something of an ability to read people, though, so I think she’ll do fairly well in that regard.
Cirie Fields: 35; Walterboro, South Carolina; nurse. Finally, somebody who was not a star athlete, but Cirie still swims regularly and works with a personal trainer. However, I can’t shake the feeling that compared to most of the rest of the line-up we’ve seen so far, Cirie may look like the weak link! She says she can fish and cook, which may come in handy – we’ll have to see how well she does and if her tribe cares. Can I just say, by the way, that it really bothers me that Cirie is in the “older women” tribe and she’s younger than I am!
Misty Giles: 24; Dallas, Texas; engineer/former beauty queen. Misty won Miss Texas Teen USA 1999 and went on to be a semi-finalist for the overall Miss Teen USA competition that year. But she isn’t all looks and no brains – she also has a degree in electrical engineering. I’ve got to root for the engineer (and the fact that she is cute doesn’t hurt), and think she has a chance of doing pretty well – beauty queens seem to have a knack for hanging around on Survivor.
Melinda Hyder: 32; Sevierville, Tennessee; singer/former beauty queen. Melinda has been singing professionally at places like Dollywood, cruise ships, etc. It makes you wonder if maybe she would have tried out for American Idol if she’d been a bit younger. But Melinda also won the Miss Lexington pageant in 1996 and progressed to compete for Miss Tennessee, where she was in the top ten. She’ll begin among the “older women” but you have to wonder if she’ll find that she has more in common with somebody like Misty. Unless she finds a good alliance (and maybe even if she does), I can’t see Melinda going far. It’s not something I can put my finger on, though.1 2 Next-->
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