TV Guide Channel Helps Us Meet the ‘Survivor: One World’ Contestantsby David Bloomberg -- 02/14/2012
It’s almost Survivor time again! You know what that means, don’t you? A TV Guide Channel special preview for the season. The preview show actually aired a little while ago, but I just wasn’t in Survivor mode again yet. I was afraid that if I watched it that soon, I would just be torturing myself until the show actually began. Now that Season 24 begins this week, it’s an appropriate time to watch the preview and recap it for you fine readers. As I usually do with this show, I’ll be focusing on the players, twists, and Probst’s thoughts.
As we already know, Survivor: One World features the first time both tribes will share the same beach, and also a return to tribes that are initially split up by gender. Host Jeff Probst says they’ve been toying with the idea of having the tribes share one beach for around five years now. Really? And they went with Redemption Island first instead?
Anyway, Probst thinks alliances will get interesting with this format and wonders how players can trust their alliance as much as in the past when it’s possible the players could have a whole other alliance on the other tribe. Considering you can’t really trust your alliance in this game anyway, I don’t know that there’s necessarily much difference! Plus, he says you have a better chance of doing it and not getting caught, but it seems to me that if you spend a lot of time consorting with the other tribe, you may be pegged as a traitor whether you have another alliance over there or not!
Probst says any time they divide men and women, the women flirt and the men fall for it. I’d like to say he’s wrong, but, well, he’s not. So with them living together, he expects it to be amped up even more – and he thinks there will be more women at the end and a woman will win.
While Redemption Island is gone, hidden immunity idols are still around. But there won’t be any clues because people don’t seem to need ‘em. Another idol-related twist is that if you find your tribe’s idol, you can keep and use it; but if you find the other tribe’s idol, you have to give it to someone on the other tribe before the next Tribal Council.
We get a preview on the start of the show with Probst telling us it will begin with the players coming in on trucks laden with supplies, and they have a minute to unload as many as they can. The women get a ton of stuff unloaded, but as they’re getting it out of the truck, at least one of the men is grabbing it and moving it to their pile without the women noticing – until it’s too late. Ha! Awesome.
The first contestant to whom we’re introduced is Troy, aka Troyzan. He used to live with monkeys, whom he adopted. Probst says Troyzan is funny and likeable and “no dummy – he knows the game and knows how to play it.” Good news for us fans! He’s been applying for years and “is one of the older guys,” though he doesn’t look 50.
He tells us he’s already got his eye on some players who look really smart (considering these interviews were done before they were allowed to even speak to each other, I’m not sure how you determine if somebody looks really smart, but okay), and he’s going to try to get rid of them. But he’s also open to a relationship with any of the women if it happens. Looking at him, I’m thinking not. Stick to strategy, Troy.
Next is 29-year-old Kourtney, who is a mechanic and a single mom of a seven-year-old boy. She says she typically gets to a point in her life where things get to be too much and she flees. Hmmm, do we have a possible quitter-in-waiting here? Having her son has forced her to stay put – well that’s good news!
Probst thinks she’s there to show that she’s a new person. She seems to agree. But if she’s there for personal reason, I’m thinking she’s not likely to actually play strategically and win.
The third contestant we meet appears to have gotten on the show due to having the same name as the actual person casting meant to get. Sabrina’s info kept popping up and casting liked her better than the one they had originally picked. Well, that must be great news for the original. I don’t know about anybody else, but I would be totally pissed to find this out if it happened to me.
Probst loves Sabrina and says she has a great smile and infectious energy. She teaches in a dangerous neighborhood and Probst thinks she may kick some ass in challenges. But her opinionated nature may intimidate some of the other castaways, as she tells us she feels like she’s “gonna go to Hell on a scholarship.” OK, I love that turn of phrase and am going to try to work it into at least one conversation tomorrow!
Sabrina tells us there is another contestant who looks “sweet as pie” but she thinks “he should be on Glee and not on Survivor.” Who is it? Colton, the 20-year-old gay Republican (I still don’t understand how that’s possible, given the current GOP climate) and huge Survivor fan who wants people to underestimate him. Probst says Colton is smart and knows the show, but telling too much about it “can become annoying.” Hmm, anybody think he might be referring to a certain contestant from last season?
Another fan – who has watched every season (hooray!) – is 27-year-old Jonas, the sushi chef. He grew up in Hawaii, so he feels more comfortable than most in this climate. He even knows how to weave fronds for a shelter roof and thinks he can make fire with bamboo (though he doesn’t know if he’ll show off with that yet).
Probst thinks Jonas’s biggest problem will be getting into an early alliance because he’s not aggressive enough. And if Jonas’s tribemates are expecting great things from the chef, he says they shouldn’t – he’s not planning on “going overboard” with the provider aspect. Also, he admits he’s a bad liar, even though he plans to give it a shot.and win.
Our next contestant is NFL wife Monica, married to Brad Culpepper (not the Culpepper most of us thought it would be), who played nine years. She doesn’t plan on telling anybody about her husband’s occupation because “that’s a one-way ticket out.” Bingo. Now the question is if she can actually follow through on her plan, because we’ve seen so many people say they won’t disclose something and then doing it anyway.
She’s so busy at home, she almost will see Survivor as a vacation – at least that’s how she portrays it. Personally, when I go on vacation, I tend to eat more than usual, so I may have a different definition than she does. Anyway, Probst hopes Monica lasts a long time but she may be more fit than anybody else, which could work against her. I’m thinking it will help her in the early going when the women will need strong competitors.
Matt, the 33-year-old lawyer, takes the screen next and tells us he plans on keeping a secret of his own – that he’s a lawyer. He doesn’t want people to think he may have an advantage with the jury. So he’ll pretend to be an average Joe, and he’ll further downplay the relationship he has with his girlfriend so he can try to get a strategic advantage with some of the young ladies in the game.
Other issues with Matt? He think he may do too well in the challenges and plans to back down if he starts to stand off too much. And he’s a poor follower, but he also knows leading makes a player a target.
Probst has blunter words for Matt, calling him somebody who will be seen as arrogant, misogynistic, and condescending. I can’t understand why, considering that Matt tells us, “I’m probably a favorite to win this game right now.”
Then we have 28-year-old Kim, who just got divorced and is using her time on the show as a new beginning. She owns a bridal boutique (irony alert!) but is also outdoorsy and athletic, which she worries may make her stand out as a target. Again, I say any woman who has that attribute this season will be seen as a positive, not a negative, in at least the early stages of the game.
Kim also majored in communications and is fascinated by all the social situations in the game. Probst thinks viewers will root for Kim because she’s likeable, quiet, and attractive, but not a doormat. OK, but that doesn’t tell us what Probst thinks about her actual chances.
The next woman on our tour of contestants is Alicia (pronounced A-lee-see-ya), who showed up in five-inch heels. Immediately, I have a negative opinion of her – unless the producers tricked her into wearing them to highlight her as “the biggest fish out of water here,” as Probst describes her.
She expects to be underestimated, given her manner of dress and designer handbag and all. I expect her to be stereotyped, which may mean an early vote-out if she can’t use her self-described social game to convince the ladies otherwise. She seems to think she can use her looks (and her butt, which is hanging way out of her shorts) to reel in some guys and stick around. Boy, won’t she be surprised by the men vs. women aspect. Whoops!
Probst thinks she’ll do well as an asset by getting the guys to help the ladies. I wonder what he’s been smoking. To make matters worse, Alicia says she has a bad Puerto Rican temper and gets annoyed easily. Oh, well, that will go over well on Survivor!
Who can follow Alicia? Tarzan. No, not Troyzan – we met him earlier. This is Greg, who calls himself “Tarzan.” He is like Alicia in that he apparently has a temper and is extremely competitive – to the point that Probst thinks he will be his own worst enemy. I wonder if that means he’ll fight with Troyzan over who gets to use the nickname.
Greg doesn’t look the part, but he is a plastic surgeon and Probst calls him “just so smart” and wants everybody to know it. Greg may be older, but he thinks he’s in good enough physical condition to compete. Oh, and his favorite contestant is Coach because he showed moral fortitude and didn’t try to hurt other people in the game. Yeah, good strategy there. It worked wonders for him…
Next up is all the artsy stuff, but I’m not here to focus on that. So we’ll skip ahead to the next batch of contestants – beginning with Leif, the first little person on Survivor. He knows people may not take him seriously, but he’ll try to use that to his advantage – though I’m not really sure how. Probst says we’ll root for him as the underdog. He adds that Leif definitely knows the game and could be dangerous if the others let him stick around too long.
Somebody who doesn’t initially strike me as dangerous is Christina, who admits she doesn’t know survival skills. But she goes on to say she’s been an avid viewer and it’s really not about those skills – it’s about working with others. She claims to be “socially smart” and can manipulate people. Probst calls her “aggressive” and somebody who won’t be afraid of the men, which may work to her advantage here. She even admits she may be portrayed as a villain due to her being straightforward and perhaps coming off as “harsh.” Er… I don’t see how that goes along with being “socially smart.”
One more thing about Christina: She writes for Food and Travel magazine and thinks she can make their food a lot more interesting. Personally, I’m not counting on it.
Our next contestant is Jay, the model – though he doesn’t plan on telling the others that. Probst says he comes across as a quiet Southern country boy, but may understand the game better than everybody thinks. Hmm, didn’t we have a winner like that already? Anyway, he hopes the others will think he’s strong in challenges and keep him around. That might work in a mixed tribe situation, but won’t be as big a factor with the tribes split by gender.
Jay is also a Christian but won’t let that get in the way, as he says he’ll lie, cheat, or steal as necessary. He’ll also be blunt with people and if that hurts their feelings, so be it. And here I thought Probst said Jay knows how to play the game! But Probst still believes Jay will be well-liked all around.
Fellow southerner Chelsea follows Jay, saying she’s in good shape and ready to compete. She knows she comes across as the girl next door, but considers herself a tomboy who will be able to hunt and fish. Probst has high regard for her as well.
Following a bit about some traditional Samoan blessing for the show, we move on to 51-year-old Nina, who plans to keep her life experiences to herself. She doesn’t feel like she looks 51, so she probably will lie about her age. She’s a veteran of the police department and even made the SWAT team as the first woman after the police department did whatever they could to exclude her (in her words) and she ended up suing to get her place.
Probst thinks Nina needs to make alliances in a hurry or she may not have time to make the right relationships. If the women let her stick around long enough, they will come to see what an asset she may be.
On the flip side – that is, somebody who should be able to make social bonds quickly – is 27-year-old stand-up comedian Bill. Probst thinks he will be flexible enough to fit in no matter what. Also, we should note that Bill was in the military, which certainly gives him more outdoor and physical skills than your average comic. Probst figures if Bill plays his cards right, he could be our big winner!
I doubt Probst sees the same for 22-year-old Kat, who compares herself to the dumb blonde Fabio. Way to aim high there. She thinks she can compete in any challenge and plans to play the middle-of-the-road – she won’t make big moves and she won’t be the weakest link. Probst thinks her downfall could come if she says something regrettable early and can’t recover, but she seems to understand that, saying it’s a social game and she can befriend anybody. The best Probst can say about her chances are, “She could do okay” if she gets in with the right group. What high praise!
Next we have Michael, who is either cocky or confident, depending on how you look at it. He thinks he can come across as a nice guy but get away with anything – including backstabbing. He even says he’ll “hurt a girl” in a challenge if he has to. And it looks like he may be the one who grabs the women’s supplies in the initial moments of the game. Probst puts it plainly: “He’s a villain.” Michael doesn’t care how he’s portrayed – he’ll do whatever he has to do to get to the top.
With all the contestants introduced, we get a brief preview of a challenge. The contestants will use a coconut slingshot to knock out five tiles (in a five-by-five grid) in a row. We also see the actual Survivors begin their first immunity challenge – they have to jump into nets, walk across a balance beam, and… well, they’re not going to show us more than that, are they?! We’ll just have to tune in Wednesday night (and I’m thinking almost everybody reading this article was planning on doing that anyway!).
But before we get to the season premiere, be sure to check back here at Reality News Online for our pre-show articles! We’ve already posted the beginning of a multi-part series on the best Survivor players ever, which will continue for the next couple weeks. We’ll also be posting our Roundtable discussion for predictions on how this season will go. And once the show begins, you know we’ll be jam-packed with articles covering it. We’ll see you then!
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