On Saturday, the Inside Survivor team sat down to discuss the eighteen Kaôh Rōng castaways and give our first impressions and early predictions. Our opinions are based off the CBS bios and short meet the cast videos. These are our thoughts.
Survivor: Kaôh Rōng Cast Assessment – Beauty Tribe
Martin: Okay, let’s get to what you’ve all been waiting for! The Beauty tribe aka Gondol. First up is Anna Khait, the pro poker player.
Jacob: She’s my pick to win.
Martin: Same as Varner!
Jacob: And I picked Varner to win Second Chance so I’m probably wrong.
Martin: I like her.
Shawn: She dodged a HUGE bullet by not being on the Brains tribe.
Martin: Yes, that could help disguise her smarts quite well.
Shawn: I don’t love how much she focuses on her playing the flirt card though.
Jacob: Agreed Shawn. But I think she’s way above the rest of her tribe, but not in an obvious way.
Rob: I feel like she was probably forced into that role by producers. And by being put on “Beauty”.
Jacob: I don’t think she really focused on it too much, but they used a lot of that footage to fit her into the Beauty tribe role.
Martin: Yeah, she compares herself to Parv. Take another shot.
Rob: I think she’s the most Parvati like of all the Parvati comparisons.
Jacob: Haha she’s the only one I’ll let that slide for.
Martin: A poker player has never done particularly well on Survivor. There was Garrett, and of course the legend that is Jean-Robert Bellande.
Shawn: Lol at Amanda’s poker career.
Martin: Amanda was a poker player?
Shawn: Post-game. She tried to be famous after Heroes vs. Villains. Failed miserably.
Martin: Whoa. Peih-Gee a smoker, Amanda a poker player. What else dont I know about the China cast?! Is Chicken a brain surgeon?
Rob: Erik’s a virgin.
Shawn: I don’t know, let’s ask at a live reunion.
Martin: Oh Probst. So, Anna’s placement?
Jacob: 1st place. And I’ll tell ya who I think her #2 will be when we get there.
Rob: I could see her being a winner but at least VERY late in the game.
Shawn: Not going that far personally. Mid-merge.
Martin: I’m going to go against the grain then even though I really like her. I actually have more confidence in the other two Beauty girls, so I’ll say Anna is late pre-merge. Screwed by a swap maybe.
Jacob: The worst part about all this is knowing about the medevacs.
Martin: True. We haven’t touched on that much. SEASON OF DEATH!
Rob: WHAT COULD KAOH RONG?
Shawn: Literally everything apparently.
Martin: I’m going to be so nervous each week hoping one of my faves doesn’t get crushed to death by a falling tree or something.
Rob: I know!
Martin: Moving on, we need to talk about Beastmode Cowboy Caleb Reynolds!
Shawn: Gag me with a spoon.
Rob: *Insert eye roll*
Jacob: I don’t watch Big Brother, so I didn’t know who he was. From his bio and video, I want to punch him in the face.
Martin: I’m going to admit it right now… I’m actually excited to see him on Survivor and I dont care what you guys say.
Rob: I’m excited to see him flame out early and f**k off.
Martin: I don’t think he’ll be a good player at all but I just hope to laugh at him. If you don’t take him too seriously then he can be a fun character.
Shawn: He’s great for TV. I’m just worried that his whole “everyone gets mad at me because I’m beautiful” thing will rustle feathers early.
Jacob: He’s no Hayden, that’s for sure.
Rob: “Caleb – At least it wasn’t Frankie Grande.”
Shawn: THANK GOD NO FRANKIE!
Rob: I’d want him to be on Survivor only to see him drown during the marooning.
Shawn: I would have literally boycotted. In other news, Frankie’s Survivor casting tape is painful.
Martin: Frankie has a Survivor casting tape?
Rob: Yes. It’s horrendous as you’d expect.
Shawn: Yep, it was on Youtube once upon a time.
Martin: Ugh. The day Frankie Grande steps on the beach of Survivor is the day I stop watching Survivor. So CBS, if you want me to stop spoiling your show then you know who to cast next season.
Jacob: Kinda glad I don’t know who this guy is.
Rob: You should be.
Shawn: Be happy.
Martin: Okay, back to Caleb. What do we think his strategy will be? Bros? Or will he join up with the girls?
Rob: Well, he’s loyal to a fault.
Shawn: He’ll assume people will come to him because he thinks he’s famous.
Jacob: I think his primary strategy will be hitting on the 19-year old. And when that doesn’t work, he’ll get voted out.
Shawn: He’ll be Anna’s meatshield.
Rob: I think he’s gonna be threatened by Nick. And he’s probably gonna use his “charm” to get in good with the females.
Martin: Surely he learned his lesson about creeping after girls from his Big Brother experience.
Rob: He’s engaged or dating or something so I don’t see him being a creep to any of the girls.
Jacob: Didn’t stop Keith and Whitney…?
Martin: Someone should have stopped Keith and Whitney. Preferably at casting.
Martin: From Caleb’s bio: “3 Words to Describe You: Gregarious, spontaneous and hilarious.” Sounds like he got that off a Craigslist dating profile.
Rob: Where did he get “gregarious” from?
Shawn: Dictionary. He wanted to use big words.
Rob: Herd dat!
Martin: I bet he “herd dat” word once and now forces it into every conversation possible.
Jacob: I believe it.
Martin: First tribal council, Probst: “What do you think of this tribe, Caleb?” Caleb: “I think it’s a pretty gregarious group, Jeff.”
Rob: “That marooning was really gregarious you guys. JUDY CHOP!”
Jacob: Aubry: “Did someone mention Greg?!”
Martin: Oh yes! Totally forgot to mention that Aubry referenced Greg Buis. What an angel.
Rob: Another reason to love Aubry.
Martin: So are we all saying Caleb is out premerge?
Rob: He’s either pre-merge, or he’s really early jury.
Shawn: Pre-merge for me. Wait no. Yes. Right before merge. After swap.
Jacob: I think everyone is going to hate him. Pre-merge.
Martin: I think people will put up with him for a little while but not enough to take him deep. Late pre-merge for sure. But I do think he’ll provide some laughs. I hope.
Rob: He’s definitely going to provide laughs but he’s not going to try and provide laughs.
Shawn: The best kind of laughs.
Martin: That’s why it’ll be so funny.
Rob: He’s unintentionally hilarious, by being ridiculous.
Martin: By being gregarious you mean?
Rob: Yes, he will be gregariously hilairous.
Martin: Haha. Okay, next up is Killer Sokolowski! Julia, the Boston University student.
Jacob: I’m torn on Julia.
Martin: She was only 18 when the game started!
Rob: She’s young but I like her.
Shawn: Don’t mind her actually. Seems really appreciative of being in the game and I like that.
Martin: I think Julia could make Final Tribal Council.
Rob: She seems wise for her age. Definitely more mature than most 18 year olds.
Shawn: I’m worried she will try and play a game bigger than her personality because she is a big fan. I really want her to be the sweet sidekick to Tai.
Rob: Tai/Julia would be a great combo.
Jacob: I actually know a few of her friends haha.
Martin: You do? Spill Jacob…
Jacob: I know the exact kind of background she comes from. Yeah, I believe she’s friends with a family I used to be close with back in the day. I went to a Jewish sleep-away camp in Mass. and have a bunch of friends from that general area.
Rob: More news! There’s a Jewish sleep-away camp in Mass!
Jacob: Haha… quite a few. Point is, she probably comes from a pretty sheltered, wealthy background if she’s from the area I think she’s from. And her example of “experience” was one trip she went on.
Shawn: Do you think she’ll overplay her travels then?
Martin: But I think she admits as such in her CBS video though right? That she only recently started to branch out. She is only 18/19 afterall.
Jacob: I went on a similar trip to Israel at a similar time. Yeah, it’s experience, but it’s with a big group of Americans guiding you the whole way. Well that’s just it –
Shawn: Literally on my notes I wrote “Decent life experience for 18/19. All guided though.”
Jacob: We probably had VERY similar applications at the same time. Last year (when I was 19) I applied, and if you replace “barbie” with “long island Jew” and “Tanzania” with “Israel,” we’d have the same basic application. And I did get a response – haha!
Rob: JULIA STOLE YOUR SPOT!
Martin: Jacob was robbed.
Rob: This is like T-Bird and Monica all over again.
Jacob: Hahaha, totally.
Martin: The 19th cast member.
Jacob: But really, I think she’s in for a shock.
Shawn: Noooooooooooooo! Why does everyone get callbacks but me. At least Probst likes my video… *frown emoticon*.
Martin: You’ll make it Shawn. #KeepHopeAlive
Martin: But anyway, back to someone who is actually on the show! I think Julia seems very social and that is the key to Survivor.
Shawn: I always give a social edge to someone in a sorority/fraternity. It’s a different way of thinking. Sure they have their negatives, but my time in a Frat, I learned how to radically change my personality based on who I was around.
Rob: If she were on another tribe I could see her being in over her head, but she’s gonna fit in well with the other Beauties.
Martin: She compares herself to four different players.
Rob: Parvati is one of them, isnt she?
Shawn: Of course she is.
Martin: NatTen, Parv (take a shot), Jenna Morasca, and Andrea.
Rob: NatTen. Why? Go home.
Martin: Because of the age, which I think is fair.
Jacob: Yeah, the age, but that’s really all I see between them.
Rob: I don’t see Julia following someone as much as Nat did.
Jacob: It’s gonna be hard out there and I don’t think she’s gonna be quite as sociable when the conditions get rough.
Martin: Guys she’s KILLED COWS in Africa!
Rob: I feel like her and Caleb are going to get along well.
Shawn: I think she’ll actually do alright. She can’t play a big game and playing looser without pressure of expectation will be to her benefit.
Martin: Placement? I’m much more confident in her and I think she will go deep. F6. But maybe even FTC.
Jacob: If she ends up with a solid alliance, I’ll put her at Top 7/8.
Rob: I see her as the Jefra of this season.
Shawn: I unfortunately do not see Beauty performing well, so I see her pre-merge. But could be GREAT if she has the right friends.
Martin: Next we have Michele Fitzgerald the bartender… who is actually a full time travel agent but clearly CBS didnt think that fit Beauty as well.
Rob: I like her a lot. We share a mutual love of Harry Potter.
Martin: She’s my winner pick.
Shawn: Wait really? I actually hate her.
Martin: You hate her?! She is like Darnell for me, comes across naturally likable… plus is a superfan.
Rob: Yeah I felt the same.
Shawn: Whoa polar opposite. Something about her irks me. I found her really disingenuous.
Martin: Interesting. I thought she was very natural. Apart from that awkward dancing the producers clearly made her do on the beach.
Shawn: Maybe I was just reading into her answers too much and not her personality.
Jacob: I’m torn on her. Her bio and her video clash for me.
Martin: I can see guys and girls getting along with her. She doesn’t brag about how she’s this super strategist or evil mastermind, I think people will just naturally gravitate towards her.
Shawn: I see her getting far but not for actual gameplay reasons. I think she’ll be dragged by a bigger group.
Jacob: If she’s just playing as herself, I think she’ll be fine. I think she’s easy to be around. If she starts trying to be Parvati (like everyone else) it’s not gonna go over well.
Martin: Yeah she’s another Parv mentioner. But I see those Beauty girls clicking much better than the Beauty guys will – which should give her an early advantage.
Shawn: What irked me really was how she gave the whole “I’m 24, I’m so young” and then tries to back it up with adventure. Can’t play both sides.
Jacob: I think she’ll get along with a bunch of different people from various tribes, but I don’t see her being a strategic threat, y’know? I’m kind of neutral on her.
Martin: I don’t think she is going to come out swinging and leading the charge but I think that will be a good thing for her. I think people will want to work with her, it’s just if she can then carve out her own game at the merge.
Shawn: Hmmm so for her I want to basically abstain. I think I was reading too far into her answers.
Rob: I wasn’t reading too much into her answers but I was more paying attention to how she was coming across and it seemed natural and I feel like she’ll get along well with everyone. I do see her making it pretty far.
Martin: I think she could have a Natalie White style social game. Which could work amongst the big egos.
Shawn: That’s actually a really good comparison.
Jacob: I don’t know if that would work out like it did in Samoa, but it could get her further than one might initially think.
Shawn: So if she makes it to the swap she needs to flip and find a more chaotic group.
Jacob: I’m gonna put her at early-merge.
Shawn: Right around the merge. Could go on either side of it.
Rob: Agreed. But she has potential to go far.
Martin: I’m saying winner as a more active Natalie White while everyone else around her implodes.
Jacob: Alright, that would be fun.
Rob: It would!
Martin: Okay, Rob has been waiting for this one. It’s Nick Maiorano the life coach/personal trainer!
Jacob: I want him to be first boot so badly.
Shawn: UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH SAME HERE!
Martin: He’s a better listener than all of you!
Rob: Seriously this guy needs to f**k off so bad.
Shawn: He’s like Narcissus reincarnate.
Jacob: What’s even worse is just how hard he is trying to be that.
Rob: I know!
Martin: Agreed. Shawn, you said Michele came off unnatural to you? THIS GUY came off like a big fat phoney to me.
Rob: He’s such a tryhard.
Shawn: Yeah of everyone, Michele and Nick were the two I was rubbed the wrong way on.
Jacob: This is someone with no personality who made it through casting by just being an a**hole.
Martin: He said for Survivor player he is most like: “Courtney Yates and Jonathan Penner, personality wise. But I’m much more socially intelligent than they are.” Hmm, Courtney almost won. Let’s see how well Nick does.
Jacob: Courtney was just being herself. Nick essentially dissed every client he’s ever had in his video.
Rob: I really hope that he’s out immediately. And I see it happening.
Shawn: I wonder if being put on the Beauty tribe made him think that he has to play a certain archetype and not who he actually is.
Martin: I think this is how he used to speak to himself in the mirror when he imagined being on Survivor.
Shawn: He basically said his profession is useless in a non-superficial town.
Rob: He’s not gonna get on well with the girls or Tai, and I think Caleb is gonna be threatened by him.
Shawn: Agreed, Rob. I think he’ll come off the wrong way and be an early boot.
Rob: I get strong Garrett vibes from him. As mentioned earlier.
Martin: Could he be like Cagayan Spencer? Who also played up a big persona in his press? “I’m going to be the most diabolical evil genius ever muahaha!”
Rob: No. I never got that vibe from Spencer. And Spencer is young, so him being OTT was understandable. Nick is 30, he should know better by now.
Jacob: Yeah, I always kinda felt that Spencer was adaptable, even in the pre-game stuff. Nick seems more dedicated to his character than his game.
Shawn: He’s Silas Gaither. Thinks his s**t doesn’t stink and people will reward him for just being who he is.
Martin: I agree with you all on how he comes across, but I also think he will probably go quite far because Survivor is cruel sometimes and likes to award the worst people.
Rob: He’s like the douchiest douche to ever douche.
Rob: 18th. Bye. Can he just Mellisa McNulty this sh**t.
Shawn: Haha. Could go far, but will be first boot at first Beauty tribal council.
Martin: Sorry, but I think he will torture you for a lot longer Rob. I’m saying he goes fairly deep. F8-ish.
Jacob: I’m gonna say pre-merge. I don’t know if it’ll be first, but it’ll be before the merge. If I’m wrong, make him a Sash in my eyes.
Martin: Last but not least…. Tai Trang! Gardener and greatest man to ever live.
Jacob: He’s my runner-up pick!
Rob: Yau-Man’s gay Vietnamese cousin. He’s the best.
Shawn: From my notes: “He’s the love child of Yau-man and Where’s Waldo.”
Martin: How does this man not win if he makes FTC, Jacob?
Rob: If the jury doesn’t think he made “big moves”.
Jacob: I don’t think he’s gonna really PLAY like a lot of others are.
Martin: But he’s the greatest man to ever live. They’ll just look at him and be like… it’s TAI. Have a million bucks!
Rob: I think he’s gonna get super far, and go out jussssssssssst before FTC. He’s my Keith for the season.
Martin: I hope he goes super far but I fear he’ll be pre-merge. I think that is why the promos are hyping him so much now, to milk him while they can.
Rob: He’s either pre-merge, or super close to the end.
Shawn: Thinking pre-merge here too.
Jacob: Unless Tai ends up in a swap with all Brawn tribe people, I think he’s okay. I think he’ll come off as super trustworthy to just about everyone.
Martin: Who will he click with on Beauty?
Jacob: All the women.
Rob: I could see him getting on with everyone on Beauty, minus doucheface.
Martin: Is doucheface Caleb or Nick?
Rob: Doucheface will always be Nick. Even Caleb I think will enjoy Tai.
Shawn: I feel like it will be Julia + Tai + Caleb + Anna.
Martin: Yeah, I think Caleb will get on with Tai too. Caleb is actually super sociable, or should I say gregarious?
Shawn: Does someone inherit that role when he gets voted out?
Martin: Haha. If Beauty loses first IC does Tai survive that vote?
Jacob: Yeah, I think so.
Shawn: Yes but only because people (likely Nick and Caleb) will fight over why Tai should go.
Rob: He’ll be the “target” but he won’t go.
Martin: Nick gets Garrett’d?
Martin: This is Rob’s dream scenario.
Jacob: Nick or Caleb will go before him. He’s pretty in-shape honestly!
Martin: Yeah dude knows how to climb a tree. Eat your heart out Ozzy!
Jacob: Haha. It’s his favorite hobby!
Martin: He’s gone through a lot in life too. He has 11 siblings! And he was the middle child.
Rob: Tai’s got staying power.
Martin: And he survived with his family on the open ocean for 11 days. Survivor will be a breeze for him.
Shawn: As a middle child I feel you bro. But seriously, things won’t get him down and he’ll be a pillar of happiness for people.
Martin: I just fear that people will be all “Tai is too likable lets get him out now.”
Rob: I honestly think that’s gonna happen later down the road.
Martn: Unless Tai turns out to be secretly evil. I’d also love that.
Jacob: Evil Tai – I’m in to it.
Rob: Haha evil Tai would be amazing.
Martin: Scurring up trees, spying on people… burning Jason’s hair ties.
Jacob: Oh god the interactions between Tai and Jason – what will that even be?
Martin: I hope we get to see it. Tai, Jason and Debbie. Final 3. Book it!
Jacob: Haha that would be something.
Rob: Most ridiculous F3 since Gabon.
Shawn: I would pay a lot of money to build a time traveling machine and go back and watch that in its entirety.
Martin: This cast does give me a Gaboner. It has huge trainwreck potential. In a good way.
Rob: Can Tai Bob his way to the end?
Martin: He compares himself to Bob!
Jacob: I’d love to see it happen.
Shawn: Same here. Some great people but if the gameplayers go out early then it’s going to be completely unpredictable.
Martin: So placement for Tai?
Martin: I want him to go far and he’ll kill the survival aspect but I’m still saying pre-merge. He’ll be a big pre-merge character though I’m sure.
Rob: Either pre-merge or in the finale. No inbetween.
Shawn: Pre-merge, pre-swap. Sacrificed after Beauty’s second loss in a row in order to preserve strength.
Jacob: Perhaps it’s fan fiction, but I’m gonna say top 5 at the very least.
Martin: Top 5 baby! And that’s the entire cast.
Martin: So, which tribe is losing the first IC?
Rob: Beauty methinks (and not because I hate Nick).
Jacob: All logic says Beauty.
Martin: And first boot?
Rob: Nick. Ha!
Shawn: I agree with Nick (not just for hatred reasons).
Jacob: I’m gonna say Caleb first actually.
Martin: You don’t think Beauty is as athletic as the other tribes? Nor as smart I guess?
Rob: No, I think they’re a trainwreck waiting to happen.
Shawn: I think they lack someone that can step up and take vocal command.
Martin: Well, I’m sticking with the BvBvB tradition and saying Brains lose the first IC.
Jacob: Who’s your first boot then?
Martin: As much as I would like to be on that Debbie train with you Jacob, I think she is the first boot. It breaks my heart to say that.
Shawn: Tiger Debbie, you left us too soon!
Martin: ♩ But you’re gonna hear her roar! ♩
Rob: My thoughts on first boot for each tribe – Beauty: Nick, Brawn: Alecia, Brains: Debbie.
Martin: Beauty: Tai, Brawn: Alecia, Brains: Debbie.
Shawn: Beauty: Nick, Brawn: Alecia, Brains: Debbie.
Jacob: Beauty: Caleb, Brawn: Alecia, Brains: ah I’m gonna say Liz. I need Debbie to make it past her first tribal!
Rob: Haha yes!
Martin: We can all hope. Thanks for doing this guys and hopefully Survivor: Kaôh Rōng will be a fun season even with all the supposed DEATH!
Stay tuned to Inside Survivor for more Survivor: Kaôh Rōng info and features. To read more about the season and rumored game twists click here.