Survivor: Caramoan Cast Analysis: Newbies

Survivor: Caramoan

Welcome back to The Lindus List’s analysis of the Survivor: Caramoan contestants.  On this season of Survivor, ten fans will compete against ten returning favorites from previous seasons.  Will the fans become enamored by their role models and get picked off one by one?  Or will they rise and become icons in their own right?  More importantly, will any of them get any screen time with returning players like Phillip, Cochran, and Brandon hogging the limelight?

In this installment of The Lindus List, I’ll be reviewing the ten new players on Survivor: Caramoan!

Photo credit: CBS.com

Photo credit: CBS.com

Laura Alexander
Age:  23
Occupation:  Administrative Officer

We’re off to a decent start with our first newbie!  At 23 years old, Laura seems like a very worldly, mature, experienced young woman with a solid head on her shoulders.  She has visited ten countries, she works in Washington DC, and has scaled Mt. Toubkal in Morocco.  She seems very gregarious and agreeable, and will likely fit in with a variety of groups.  I’m interested in seeing how she interacts with Brenda Lowe, who she considers to be one of her role models on Survivor.  I hope the editors are kind to her, though; there are four female fans under the age of 25, so my fear is that Laura might get lost in the shuffle.

What are her chances?  I would like to see Laura go far, and her chances are good if she makes it past the earlier stages.  She doesn’t seem to be physically strong, so she may be an early boot for that reason alone.  She may excel if the younger females on her tribe form a ‘black widow alliance,’ but even then, we know there will be a tribe swap early on since this is a Fans vs Favorites season.  My prediction is that she is a victim of such a tribal swap, and goes out pre-merge.

Photo credit: CBS.com

Photo credit: CBS.com

Sherri Biethman
Age:  41
Occupation:  Fast Food Franchisee

Survivor has really been kind to older females in recent years; Holly Hoffman from Nicaragua, Dawn Meehan from South Pacific, and Lisa Whelchel and Denise Stapley from Philippines are all older women who ended up going deep in the game, overcoming tribal and emotional obstacles to do so.  Sherri reminds me a lot of these women; she comes across as genuine and trustworthy, and will likely be surprisingly athletic.  I am worried that she may deliver stiff and boring confessionals based on her cast video, though.

What are her chances?  Good.  I predict Sherri will have an emotional breakdown by day 6, recover from it, and then make it to at least the top five.  Why?  History repeats itself on Survivor.  She may end up with a ‘journey’ edit, which is where the editors focus less on her potential as a winner, and more on the emotional growth she experiences while on the show.

Photo credit: CBS.com

Photo credit: CBS.com

Matt Bischoff
Age:  38
Occupation:  BMX Bikes Sales

Oh, God, no.  Not a Rupert Boneham clone.  Sigh.  Let’s get this one over with.  I am really not impressed with Matt Bischoff at all.  Yes, he has a pretty badass beard, but he brings it up CONSTANTLY in his interview and cast bio.  Anyone with that little to say will be a bore in confessionals.  He also makes plenty of references about how he isn’t afraid to cry, and how you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and how he is going to make everyone laugh while on the island.  These may be great traits in real life, but on Survivor?  Sorry, Matt, I’m not buying what you’re selling.

What are his chances?  Hello, first boot.  I mentioned before that Matt reminds me a lot of Rupert, and yes, Rupert went pretty far in the game on each of his seasons.  The difference between Rupert and Matt, though, is that Rupert is a very strong, imposing figure.  Matt simply isn’t.  Matt’s schtick is going to get old very quick, and his younger tribemates are going to cut him loose very early on.  If he makes it to the merge, I will be extremely surprised.

Photo credit: CBS.com

Photo credit: CBS.com

Hope Driskill
Age:  23
Occupation:  Pre Law Student

Is it unfair of me to say that Hope comes across as kind of bitchy?  I mean, she seems like a perfectly sweet, capable girl.  She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri, and is a former Miss Missouri.  By all rights, she could and should be a fantastic Survivor.  However, she comes across as overly ambitious and a bit smug in her interview, and that is going to ruin her chances on the show.

What are her chances?  Not very good.  Hope is sort of like a second-hand, knock-off version of Parvati Shallow.  Sure, she’s cut-throat, aggressive, and willing to do what it takes to go deep in the game.  Hope lacks Parvati’s charm, though, and that is going to cost her.  My prediction is that Hope will be a part of a duo, perhaps with one of the alpha males on the tribe, and will be taken out before her partner.

Photo credit: CBS.com

Photo credit: CBS.com

Eddie Fox
Age:  23
Occupation:  Fireman/EMT

I really hope Eddie is more interesting on the show that he was in his cast interview.  I say this because I think we are going to be seeing a lot of Eddie this season.  With his occupation as a fireman, we’re likely going to see a hero edit for Eddie, with tons of confessionals about how he wants to do the right thing and play with integrity.  He’s very physically strong; perhaps the easiest prediction I’ll make in this blog is that Eddie will dominate the physical challenges.

What are his chances?  Pretty good.  There is absolutely zero chance Eddie will go home before the merge; his tribe would have to be full of idiots to boot a physical powerhouse like him early.  Eddie has first merge boot written all over him, but he seems like such a likeable, trustworthy guy that he may be able to make it deep.  If he makes it to the end, he wins, but I can’t forsee any situation other than a ridiculous individual immunity challenge run where the other Survivors let him get to the finale.

Photo credit: CBS.com

Photo credit: CBS.com

Julia Landauer
Age:  21
Occupation:  Racecar Driver

Julia is my favorite of the newbies.  A racecar driver by trade, Julia is used to competition, which is a key element on Survivor.  Many of the challenge-whores of past seasons, including Ozzy Lusth, Matt Elrod, and Terry Dietz can attribute their success to their ability to keep a cool head during competitions, and I think Julia will be able to do the same.  Because she is a bit of a tomboy, she’ll fit in with her male tribemates, but because she is a young, attractive female, she’ll fit in with the women on her tribe.

What are her chances?  Great!  Julia crosses several demographics, and should fit in well with just about any combination of tribemates.  She’ll be good enough at challenges to get past the early stages of the game, and will be able to hide behind the larger, more obvious physical threats post-merge.  Her biggest obstacle will come post-merge if the Favorites tribe identifies her as being a risk to win the game.

Photo credit: CBS.com

Photo credit: CBS.com

Alexandra ‘Allie’ Pohevitz
Age:  25
Occupation:  Bartender

In both her interview and her cast bio, Allie mentions multiples times how comfortable she is with the idea of lying to get ahead in the game of Survivor.  Good!  A lot of contestants get hung up on the idea of social manipulation, and when they try to pull off a scam, it comes across as blatantly obvious.  I expect to see Allie makes a lot of deals behind people’s backs, wheeling and dealing, and talking shit in her confessionals.

What are her chances?  Meh.  As much as I want to see Allie causing mayhem behind the scenes, I have a feeling she is the type of person to overplay her hand and get caught in a lie.  Look for Allie to make a couple of close alliances and piss off a few people in the process.  I don’t think she has what it takes to go far in this game.

Photo credit: CBS.com

Photo credit: CBS.com

Michael Snow
Age:  44
Occupation:  Event Planner

Holy shit, who cast Moby on Survivor?  Michael Snow is going to have a lot of confessionals this season, and that bothers me.  Why?  Because he is fucking annoying.  Don’t believe me?  Watch his Sears audition video.  Admittedly, Michael seems in decent shape for being the ‘old guy’ on his tribe, so he has that going for him.  However, he thinks that you have to act goofy or wacky to be endearing, and his tribemates are going to get tired of that act very fast.  I’m disappointed in his season’s token gay.

What are his chances?  Not great.  Michael probably won’t make the merge, being an easy target in most situations.  If he can figure out when to turn off his comedy routine, he may be able to make a few alliances and deal, but I just don’t see it happening.  Sorry, Michael, not this season.

Photo credit: CBS.com

Photo credit: CBS.com

Shamar Thomas
Age:  27
Occupation:  Iraq War Veteran

I tried to give Shamar a fair shake, I really did.  The whole time I was watching his cast video, though, I kept getting thrown off by his over-use of the phrase ‘ya know’ multiple times in each sentence.  I really hope the editors trim some of that garbage out of his confessionals, because otherwise it will be, ya know, obnoxious.  Aside from that, you can’t say too many bad things about Shamar.  He’s athletic, an Iraq War Veteran, and he is very involved in community activism.

What are his chances?  Shamar will make it to the merge, but not much further than that.  He’s athletic, and along with Eddie, will likely lead his team to some early victories.  However, I was struck by how awkward Shamar came across when discussing the lies he would try to tell to get further in the game.  I don’t think he’ll be a convincing liar, and if he goes this route, may end up on his tribe’s shit list.

Photo credit: CBS.com

Photo credit: CBS.com

Reynold Toepfer
Age:  30
Occupation:  Real Estate Sales

Reynold is a very charming, very good-looking man.  At age 30, he is the perfect age to do well in Survivor.  I say this because at his age, he should be able to interact easily with both the older and the younger contestants.  Watching his interview, he reminded me a lot of Brian Heidik from Survivor: Thailand.  Man, I hope he is Heidik 2.0.  I want to see him play a ruthless, cut throat game, smiling to people’s faces and shivving them from behind.  A boy can dream, right?

What are his chances?  Decent.  Reynold, like Eddie and Shamar, are locks for making it to the merge.  Reynold is too much of a physical asset to be cut early.  Reynold comes across as very slick and charming, which may help him with a key alliances, but may also make him come across as conniving to his fellow castaways.  I’m guessing he is going to go out somewhere in 12th to 10th place, right in the middle of the pack.

What do you think of this cast of new players?  Let me know if any of them stand a chance against the returning players by leaving a comment.  Stay tuned for The Lindus List’s week-by-week coverage of Survivor: Caramoan!

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