It’s that time of year again when a new group of Survivor castaways is revealed by CBS. Survivor: Kaôh Rōng will be the 32nd season of the popular television show and it will have big shoes to fill after Survivor: Cambodia delivered such an exciting season. The series debuts with a special 90 minute premiere on February 17th.
Let’s take a look at the castaways that are taking part in the season. Kaôh Rōng aspires to be one of the harshest seasons in the show’s history. In the preview released last December, there were many scenes that included a contestant in danger as well as host Jeff Probst setting up an evacuation area for the chopper. Just take a look:
The Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty (BBB) twist is returning from Survivor: Cagayan. Cagayan has been voted one of the best seasons of all time and this one has a lot of work to do. But if you don’t understand the twist, the tribes will be divided upon three traits: Brains, Brawn, Beauty. Last time in Cagayan, the Brains collapsed early and the Brawn took the title. But Kaôh Rōng is a different season and a different game, and now that the twist is returning, the contestants will know the history of the BBB twist.
So let’s begin with the Brains tribe: Chan Loh
The Brains tribe, named Chan Loh, will always wear blue and has a reputation to live up to. In Cagayan, the Brains tribe, Luzon, lost all of their challenges and self destructed. The good thing for this tribe is that there is no one that appears to act like J’Tia and will throw all of their rice into the fire. But this is Survivor so you just never know.
Name (Age): Aubry Bracco (29)
Current Residence: Cambridge, Mass.
Occupation: Social Media Marketer
Aubry Bracco is a social media marketer from Cambridge, Massachusetts. She describes her name to mean the “leader of the elves”. Aubry is also a fan of coloring with crayons as it’s one of her wishes to bring them to the island. She states that she is the love child of Sophie (Winner South Pacific) and Cochran (South Pacific, Winner Caramoan) with the hair of Shambo (Samoa). Interesting.
Name (Age): Debbie Wanner (49)
Current Residence: Reading, Penn.
Debbie Wanner is from Reading, PA and does everything, according to her video. She states that the Survivor contestant she is most like is Coach (Tocantins, Heroes vs. Villains, South Pacific) and that she hates the Kardashians. But by the looks of her tiger bathing suit, Debbie will be an enjoyable character.
Joseph Del Campo
Name (Age): Joseph Del Campo (72)
Current Residence: Vero Beach, Fla.
Occupation: Former FBI Agent
Joseph Del Campo is 72 years young from Vero Beach, FL. Joe will be the first contestant since Rudy Boesch (Borneo, All-Stars) to play the game in their 70s. Joe has the shortest bios and the shortest answers. Period. He hates whiners, he loves St. Judes, and he’s a Tom Westman (Winner Palau, Heroes vs. Villains) look alike.
Name (Age): Elisabeth Markham (27)
Current Residence: New York, N.Y.
Occupation: Quantitative strategist. Writes computer programs that forecast stock prices and trade automatically.
Liz Markham is a Quantitative Strategist from New York City. Right off the bat, I’m glad she explained her bio because I had no idea what it was. Her inspiration to life is her “badass grandma”. Please CBS, bring her grandma to the family visit. Liz later states she hates “racism, sexism and homophobia,” which means that she might have to deal with one in the game.
Name (Age): Neal Gottlieb (38)
Current Residence: Sausalito, Calif.
Occupation: Ice Cream Entrepreneur
Neal Gottlieb is from Sausalito, CA and is the founder of Three Twins Ice Cream. First off, Neal needs to take some tips from Joe on how to write a bio as his is way too long to read. But he does state that he is obviously most like our other ice cream scooper Erik Reichenbach (Micronesia, Caramoan) in that he doesn’t want the money. His inspiration to life is his “Uncle Larry”. Maybe he’ll visit along with Liz’s grandma.
Name (Age): Peter Baggenstos (34)
Current Residence: Minneapolis, Minn.
Occupation: ER Doctor
Peter Baggenstos an ER Doctor from Minneapolis, MN. If you did not realize in the picture, Peter relates to Pete from Philippines because of their similar qualities and name. He also does not like people calling him Obama, “Bros”, and “know-it-alls”. Sorry RHAP.
After finishing the Brains lets move to the Beauty tribe: Gondol
The Beauty tribe Gondol will always wear yellow and is made up of the most “beautiful” contestants in the cast. Last time in Cagayan, the beauties, Solana, were very dominant in the pre-merge. But after the merge they were systematically eliminated all in a row. Let’s see if Gondol can do better.
Name (Age): Anna Khait (26)
Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY.
Occupation: Pro Poker Player
Anna Khait is a Poker Player from Brooklyn, NY. What’s Survivor without a Poker Player, right? Anna has been studying the game of Survivor for a long time and likes to play handball. Maybe her handball skills will come in handy as the show has shifted to more parlor type games in recent years. At all cost do not do what our last poker player did on the show.
Name (Age): Caleb Reynolds (28)
Current Residence: Hopkinsville, Ky.
Occupation: Army Veteran
Caleb Reynolds is 28 years old from Hopkinsville, KY. If you have never seen “Beast Mode Cowboy” before, he recently participated in Big Brother 16 back in 2014. Caleb will be the second Big Brother houseguest to participate in Survivor as Hayden Moss did so in Survivor: Blood vs. Water after winning Big Brother 12.
Name (Age): Julia Sokolowski (19)
Current Residence: Boston, Mass.
Occupation: College Student
Julia Sokolowski is 19 years old and is a college student at Boston University. She will be our youngest female to date and enjoys flirting a hobby. Julia states in her video that she has many life experiences that will help her on Survivor. She then describes that Natalie Tenerelli (Redemption Island) as the contestant she is most like, because of her age.
Name (Age): Michele Fitzgerald (24)
Current Residence: Freehold, N.J.
Michele Fitzgerald is a bartender from Freehold, NJ. Michele lists that “Harry Potter” inspiration to life because of his bravery during the movies. She says that she joined the show to have an adventure and to show her Survivor knowledge.
Name (Age): Nick Maiorano (30)
Current Residence: Redondo Beach, Calif.
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Nick Maiorano is a personal trainer and a life coach from Redondo, CA. Now wait a second, what is a life coach. So lets just go with the personal trainer instead. If you are a fan of RHAP, Nick wrote blogs for the original Brains, Brawn, Beauty season. He is trying to be a villain this season, and he is ready to do it.
Name (Age): Tai Trang (51)
Current Residence: San Francisco
Tai Trang is 51 year old gardener from San Francisco, CA. Jeff Probst stated that once Tai entered the room for casting, he was going to make the cast. He reminds me of when Rupert (Pearl Islands, All-Stars, Heroes vs. Villains, Blood vs. Water) was announced to the cast his first season. Tai is also a refugee from Vietnam and states that Cambodia is his “homeland”.
Now that we have finished the beauties, lets finish up with the Brawn tribe: To Tang
The To Tang, or Brawn tribe, will wear red this season. To Tang has a lot to live up to this season. Last time in Cagayan, two Brawn members, Woo and Tony, made it to the Final Tribal Council. Tony did end up winning the season. As Tony was a police officer, I’m surprised that we have no police officers this time but maybe someone might lie about being one instead.
Name (Age): Alecia Holden (24)
Current Residence: Dallas, TX
Occupation: Real Estate Agent
Alecia Holden is a 24 year old Real Estate Agent from Dallas. Alecia states that her father was a boxing promoter and “used to watch guys rip each other’s faces off for fun”. She describes herself also as being tough for looking like a “Barbie”. Finally from her bio, we learn that all Alecia wants is pizza, maybe it will be a reward.
Name (Age): Cydney Gillon (23)
Current Residence: Douglasville, Ga.
Occupation: Body Builder
Cydney Gillon is a professional body builder from Douglasville, GA. She reminds me of the Australian Outback castaway Alicia Calaway based on her experience and one of her alternate personality’s plans to act that way. Cydney tells us that she has two alternate personalities: Storm and Rebecca. I wonder if they will show which personality we are listening to in the confessionals.
Name (Age): Darnell Hamilton (27)
Current Residence: Chicago
Occupation: Postal Worker
Darnell Hamilton is a 27 year old postal worker from Chicago. He states in his video that he is used to deception. Darnell would watch every night till his mother went to bed and then would sneak out to hang out with friends. He struggled in high school with a 2.0 but worked his butt off to finish college with a 3.47. Plus, he knows old Survivor.
Name (Age): Jennifer Lanzetti (38)
Current Residence: Salt Lake City, Utah
Jennifer Lanzetti is an actual contractor from Salt Lake City not a fake contractor like Tony in Cagayan. But maybe she will construct some “spyshacks”. Jennifer has battled drug addiction and cancer through her life and is ready for another battle of Survivor. There is only one thing, she doesn’t like getting wet and especially during sleeping.
Name (Age): Kyle Jason (31)
Current Residence: Detroit
Occupation: Bounty Hunter
Now this is sweet! Survivor has finally found themselves an actual Bounty Hunter. Kyle Jason of Detroit is a bounty hunter. Kyle stated in his interviews that he believes that Russell Hantz (Samoa, Heroes vs. Villains, Redemption Island) played Survivor the only way that it should be played. If Kyle can pull this off he could be the “best player of all time”.
Name (Age): Scot Pollard (40)
Current Residence: Carmel, Ind.
Occupation: Former NBA champion. Played for the Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.
Scot Pollard is a former NBA Champion that currently lives in Carmel, IN. Scot last played in the NBA in 2008 when he was a part of the 2008 champion team, the Boston Celtics. But what’s a Brawn tribe without a basketball player? Scot will be the second tallest contestant of all time by one inch behind Mitchell Olson from The Australian Outback. His plan is to tell his tribe that he is a former NBA Player in order to build trust with his tribe.
Survivor: Kaôh Rōng has a lot to live up to after coming after Cambodia, but I think that it will do well. Now if it goes even remotely close to Cagayan, it will perform better than the last two seasons that premiered after all-star seasons: Vanuatu and Nicaragua. Stay tuned for more in depth coverage of Survivor: Kaôh Rōng this spring. It will premiere this Wednesday the 17th with a special 90 minute premiere.