Way back on January 26, 2006, CBS News released a video of Jeff Probst chatting about the Survivor: Panama - Exile Island contestants and their prospects in the game. It was a roundtable discussion, featuring various members of the then-large Survivor pre-game press — Mara Reinstein (US Weekly), Paul Adler (TV Guide channel), Shawna Malcom (TV Guide), Dalton Ross (EW), and Jarett Wieselman (In Touch). The video included clips from each contestant's CBS pre-game interview (which have also recently disappeared from YouTube, sadly). But being a Survivor nerd with a website and more time than sense, I transcribed the discussion for each player and saved it.
Now, 15 years later, the video is long gone from the internet. But the transcripts are still sitting in a folder on my hard drive, collecting dust. Since I'm now rewatching the season, and since we can no longer watch the video, here are the transcripts for what was 2006's version of the Jeff Probst cast assessment, ordered alphabetically, by first name. Read Dalton Ross and Jeff Probst's first public thoughts on Cirie, Aras, Shane, Terry, and other players, several of whom they call "vanilla"! Which ones did they love the most? Whom did they think would be the first boot?
Click below to jump directly to the player of your choice, or just scroll down to read all of them.
|'Bob Dawg' Mason
|Ruth Marie Milliman
See also: Aras's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Okay, then we have uh, Aras, the uh, yoga instructor.
Aras (pre-game interview): My name is Aras, I'm 24, I'm from Santa Monica, California. I'm a yoga instructor.
Shawna Malcom: I couldn't quite figure him out. He came in, and, and seemed very angry about something, but I couldn't quite get to what was going on. And he just sort of seemed like, 'Okay, I'm here....'
Jeff Probst: Probably when we told him what he had to wear, what he couldn't bring.
Shawna Malcom: What did he want to wear?
Jeff Probst: No, I, I don't know. Usually what irritates these people is, all this game is about to happen. It's gonna kick your ass for 39 days, and we come in and say 'Eh, not the red shirt, how about the green one?' 'But I, I look good in red. I mean, this is cut for my...'. You know, it's this huge deal about what they're gonna wear.
Paul Adler: I didn't get Aras either. He kind of gave this whole diatribe about how, like, society is built around Gordon Gekko, 'Greed is good,' and how he wants to come in and play the game honorably. And he talked a lot about his yoga principles, and I, I just don't know what game he was talking about. Because I don't think it was Survivor.
Aras (pre-game interview): I'm in a state of flux. I'm learning to be a more loving, honest person. Um, battling the demons of competitiveness, and ladder climbing. You know, wanting to be successful monetarily, but also wanting spiritual growth, and sometimes those things don't come hand in hand.
Dalton Ross: There's always a point in Survivor where there's a line, and you have to decide if you're gonna cross it. And, and it, sometimes it depends on who's on the other side of that line, or where exactly that line is. And I'm not sure he's gonna be able to cross it, or cross it when he needs to cross it, and as, you know, decisively as he's gonna need to cross it.
Jeff Probst: I think Aras is gonna cross the line *like that*.
Dalton Ross: You think so?
Jeff Probst: Yeah, I don't buy it at all, this.... I think we've got a lot of people searching. They're transitioning in life, and this may be the, the portal. But I, I don't....
Jarett Wieselman: He said to me, he was like, 'You know, I'm 24, I'm young, I'm still figuring out who I am. And I think this is a great way to see who I am, and what I'm made of.' So I think, I agree with you completely. In a heartbeat, I think he would turn on anyone to advance himself in the game.
See also: Austin's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: What's the vibe on Austin?
Austin (pre-game interview): I'm Austin Carty, I'm 24, I'm an author, and currently living in High Point, North Carolina.
Shawna Malcom: He was interesting, because he came in, and immediately said, 'I'm a writer.' You know, like, he very much identifies himself that way. I mean I, I don't know how he's going to do in the game. He didn't seem to come in with any real strategy. He came in just, he seemed very vanilla, very bland.
Jeff Probst: Did you like him?
Shawna Malcom: [Shrugs] He was likeable, you know, um....
Paul Adler: He had very sort of like endearing
like qualities. A little vanilla. Um, he just took one look at
Bobby and said, 'God, I hope I don't have to wrestle that guy.'
Mara Reinstein: Yeah, he said that, he said that to me, too.
Jarett Wieselman: He's very concerned about the competition, I think, because he's short, you know, and he's not that muscular. I think that, moreso than Aras, he's gonna have a hard time, because he's very religious. And he was very adamant about staying true to himself, and not crossing the line in the game.
Austin (pre-game Bible reading): Therefore take up the whole Armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. [Ephesians 6:13]
Jarett Wieselman: I don't think it's doable, with the way the majority of players are going to play, to play it as honorably as he might want to.
Dalton Ross: This guy's not gonna be a ringleader. He's not gonna be the guy calling the shots. He's gonna be a follower, not a leader. And we know followers can win Survivor, it doesn't mean he's not gonna win, but that's what I think, what he's gonna have to do.
Jeff Probst: So, final words on Austin. Everybody seems a little, 'We don't know, he seems vanilla,' but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Mara Reinstein: If he's an under the radar guy he might be okay.
Paul Adler: Somebody may take him under their wing, he may go far.
Dalton Ross: I think he needs help, I think he needs help.
Jeff Probst: He needs help because he has such strong principles, that he'll need somebody to do dirty work, for him to survive.
Dalton Ross: Partly, partly. He might not do the dirty work, and he might. It's not even he could 'Oh, I might do this, but I won't,' it's 'think ahead to what I need to do to do it.' I don't think that's within his mind frame. You know, someone else will have to make those decisions, and then he'll have to either agree or not agree to do it.
Jeff Probst: Overall, aside from the game, did you like Austin? He's a likeable guy.
Paul Adler: He talked about the sunset, the ocean, and how beautiful it was, and how he couldn't believe he was here. He's very endearing.
Bobby 'Bob Dawg' Mason
See also: Bob Dawg's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: All right, let's talk about the last group, which unlike you guys, who thought the younger women were the weaker group, I'm concerned about our younger guys.
Dalton Ross: I am, I am too. I'm concerned, except for of course, the Bob Dawg.
Jeff Probst: The Bob Dawg, who talks about himself as though he's a character.
Dalton Ross: Yeah, he does. Well he is a character. I think we can all agree on that, in more ways than one.
Bobby (pre-game interview): My name is Bobby Mason, I'm 32 years old, and I'm from Los Angeles, California.
Dalton Ross: He's a, a huge personality. Um, he says he's going to tone it down. But we've seen this. Can you tone it down? I sat there and interviewed everyone on All-Stars, and people saying, 'I'm gonna tone it down, I'm gonna be, I've been through this before, I'm gonna keep my mouth shut.' You can't do it! You just can't do it.
Bobby (pre-game interview): I'm not like some pretty boy, soft, sensitive, caring, and considerate dude. I was like, I'm basically a modern day caveman. I'm Archie Bunker, Sam Jackson, and all these jokers rolled into one.
Jeff Probst: I'm not convinced he can't. I'm not convinced that Bob Dawg won't go out the window the second they get on the boat. And that he just becomes a guy, and maybe we get to see who he really is.
Shawna Malcom: I think to me, he may actually be very quiet, and kind of go off by himself. You know, be a little bit of a loner type. He'll go out there first, and try and to be a big personality, but actually he'll be the one that's kind of isolating himself.
Jarett Wieselman: Yeah, I mean, he said to me when I asked what was he going to miss most from his real life, he said, 'the ability just to go in my room, and close the door and have that quiet time,' which was so odd for someone...
Jeff Probst: Well it's wearing to be, to be Bob Dawg.
Jarett Wieselman: Yeah, it has to be. You've gotta turn it off every once in a while.
Jeff Probst: Is he looking for a, a wrestling contract? I mean that's the first thing I had, that Bob Dawg will become a, on cups and t-shirts.
Bobby (pre-game, explaining his many poses): That's the kings ransom, the double dragon, the warrior's honor.
Jarett Wieselman: He's looking for something, for sure.
Dalton Ross: Well he is, he's very competitive, obviously. I mean, here's a guy, he's a huge Risk player, a Monopoly player. He loves to win, win, win. But he also loves ... to be Bob Dawg. And are those two things gonna be able to play in tandem, or against each other?
Jarett Wieselman: The other thing is with his competitive nature, because once he wins, he wants everyone to know he's won. You know, so I think that may be a big problem, after the tribe starts going.
Jeff Probst: Well, we will manipulate the game to get rid of him, if he's gonna talk. We'll do what we always do: we'll just rig it, and get rid of him.
Jarett Wieselman: Well then there's no problem.
Paul Adler: There are a lot of things that don't fit with him. I mean, I don't really buy the whole package. Because he's a lawyer, and he does play Risk, and he, all these very sort of cerebral things. And then on the outside, he's got the tattoos, and the family crest on his arm.
Bobby (pre-game interview): This is my family coat of arms. [On the other arm:] Two headed lion looking forward and backwards. Looking backwards at the dudes I've smashed, and looking forward to the dudes I will soon smash.
Paul Adler: Something just doesn't fit. I mean I, it almost reminds me of Courtney, who, maybe he doesn't quite know exactly, what he is.
Jeff Probst: If I had to guess, I'd say Bob Dawg is less lawyer than anything else. Which is not to take away from the education and all that. I mean that's a huge achievement. [various inaudible muttering from the group]. Okay, so we've talked, we've covered Bob Dawg. Obviously a hude character, and uh, and big enough to kick all of our asses. So maybe we should end it by saying how much we enjoy him.
Jarett Wieselman: We love you, you're going to win.
Dalton Ross: What happens if Bob Dawg and Shane get on the same tribe? You know, what happens when they mix up? Think about what would happen there, it's like nitro and glycerine.
Shawna Malcom: Bob Dawg would eat him for breakfast.
Dalton Ross: You think so? And then strike a pose?
Jeff Probst: You never know, unlikely, uh, pairings.
See also: Bruce's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Let's talk about Bruce, the fourth guy in the old guy's group.
Bruce (pre-game interview): I'm Bruce Kanegai. I'm a high school art teacher in Simi Valley. And I teach shotokan karate also in the evenings in Simi Valley.
Shawna Malcom: So many accomplishments. I don't think any of us got a question in. You know, he just came in ready to talk.
Bruce (pre-game interview): I have such a great passion, not only for teaching. But um, I should have died nine times in my life. And I just feel I'm here for a purpose. And whatever I do, my goal is always to be the best at what I do.
Dalton Ross: That might be the one problem. He really has an interesting background, but, you know he says he has nine lives. Like, I think I lost one when I died of boredom just hearing about them the 30th time. And if he goes out there and does that, that's gonna get old real quick.
Jarett Wieselman: Yeah, he definitely has to turn it down once he gets on the island, because if he's the guy who never stops talking, and never stops telling stories, they're just gonna vote him out, just to like have some quiet.
Jeff Probst: What do you think of the difference between someone like Dan, the astronaut, who really doesn't spend a lot of time talking about — he'll talk to you if you, really wanna know about it. And a guy like Bruce, who has just as, an, an equal amount of fascinating background but spends all of the time telling you about it. What does that say about the difference with those two guys?
Jarett Wieselman: It sort of seems like Dan may be a little bit more confident and secure in what he's done. Whereas I'm sure Bruce is also. But um, I just think he's got such this incredible passion for life and he wants to share it with everyone. And I think that could end up possibly being a detriment to him.
Shawna Malcom: I think he wants people very much to know what he's done. I think it's more an insecurity issue.
Mara Reinstein: He's also a teacher and he's used to just standing up in...
Shawna Maclom: Teacher of the year!...
Mara Reinstein: Exactly. Really? I didn't know! [laughs] Um, but, even though he's the oldest one he's probably just as, in good of shape as everyone. But I agree, I think his mouth may get him in trouble and not his physical ability.
Dalton Ross: And ultimately that's what it comes down to. Who do I want to be next to for the next three days.
Jeff Probst: First off, if we stay with groups and they go to Tribal Council, first off from the older guys?Group: Bruce... or Shane!
Jeff Probst: Wow, suddenly Bruce vaults to the top!
Dalton Ross: I think it depends on the challenge. I think if they go to the first Tribal Council, whoever is holding them up may be that first person.
Jarett Wieselman: Bruce is incredibly fit. I mean he backpacks, he said he's hiked across Oregon. You know, I think if it's a physical challenge and it's between the two of them, Shane is gonna definitely seem like the weaker link.
Mara Reinstein: Although Shane's doctor did tell him, he's in the best shape he's ever seen.
Dalton Ross: Well that's grading on a curve.
Shawna Malcom: That's also what Shane told us.
See also: Cirie's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Let's talk about Cirie, one of my all-time, already, favorite Survivor contestants.
Cirie (pre-game interview): I'm Cirie, I'm 35 years old, I'm married. I am a registered nurse.
Shawna Malcom: She's just effervescent. She has so much energy. She walks into a room and it just lights up. And her enthusiasm for the game is incredible. I couldn't believe, you know, she's so excited to be here.
Paul Adler: And man, does she have the hots for you, Jeff. Whoo! She went on and on.
Jeff Probst: You know what I like about Cirie is that, for me, she represents every person who's ever been at home and said, 'Gah, you know I'd like to do Survivor.' But never get up off the couch.
Cirie (pre-game interview): My life is boring! I just, uh, work, come home and take care of the kids and watch TV. I do! I'm sorry! That is really all I do.
Jeff Probst: Cirie is the most unlikely candidate to ever make it on the show, but she did. She applied, and her personality and enthusiasm won us over, and she's on. How well will she do? I actually think she'll do all right.
Shawna Malcom: I think so too, because she showed determination. You know, she was told she had to lose weight, in order to be on the show, and she did it. She stuck to it. She started working out, and changed her diet, and she looks great.
Jeff Probst: I'm hoping that when you guys have met her, that a little bit of the nervousness is gone. Is it?
Jarett Wieselman: It was, it definitely was. She was very excited, and like ready to go. I think the thing with Cirie, that will get her far in the game, is that she can sort of take on that motherly figure.
Cirie (pre-game, still): I want to be... everything to this group. I want to be like the hot mama, want to be the hot nurse, I want to be the hot cook. I just want to be hot, really!
Jarett Wieselman: She even admits herself that she's not gonna be great at the challenges. But you know, when it comes to the mental stuff, she's ready. I mean she's very intelligent. She knows what she's doing, having raised you know, three kids, like she can keep people in line, she can let 'em do what she wants. If she can align herself with some stronger people who will bring her further in terms of competition, I think she has a really good chance.
Mara Reinstein: The other women I asked about, I mean, when I asked them about Cirie, this came out right away, that they could just tell that she has a great personality and would be fun to have around. That's just total body language, and not even talking to her.
Dalton Ross: Yeah, you've got to play what card you have and I think that's her card. And so she's gotta play that card. And you know, like, 'I've got to make connections somehow with these people, so if I'm not holding up my end in the challenge, I can give them another reason to keep me around.'
Paul Adler: She's also a nurse, so that caregiver role, that really worked for Margaret, a short time. And that really worked for Margaret in Guatemala, you know, being able to take care of people who are new to their environment, and were hurt, and sick.
Jeff Probst: Well, Cirie seems to have, and you kind of hit on it, that, that quality that you can't manufacture, which is true likeability. You just like her. And you actually would probably get rid of somebody else, just 'cause you like Cirie. Whereas so many other times in this game, you're getting rid of somebody 'cause they're too likeable, meaning, they might win this game. But there's not a true, soulful, I just like you. I like what you represent. I think people want Cirie to succeed. I think the audience is really gonna pull for her.
Paul Adler: She'll be very happy to hear you like her, Jeff. She went on and on....
See also: Courtney's contestant page.
Jarett Wieselman: I think Courtney's very interesting. I think it depends on how she meshes with the girls. And I think she could either be the first one out or possibly one of the final two. Because she's very strong, but she could sort of rub people the wrong way.
Courtney (pre-game interview): I've just had a unique life, um, from the beginning. 16 years of gymnastics, and then world travel, and living a self-employed life.
Jeff Probst: What I can't figure out and give me your take on this with Courtney: Is if she is comfortable with who she is.
Shawna Malcom: I didn't get that feeling at all. It's like she's desperately searching for an identity, and so she's trying out all of these things.
Jeff Probst: Which is again, not unusual. Even at 31, you're still, we're all still trying to figure out.
Dalton Ross: We grew up in the same area and she went to a, uh, a very strict Catholic girls' school. Uniform, you know, the whole deal. And you can see what's going on, is that she's sort of realized that there is another world out there, another side to her, and so she's sort of going in that direction.
Paul Adler: I think a thing about Courtney is that her outer appearance, um, I think is gonna fool a lot of the contestants. I mean she's very smart. She's kind of an urban survivor. She's run a theater company and she's like, you know, built sets and she's, you know, uh, made a living doing crazy, odd jobs. So I think that the dreads and the hair kind of spiky might throw people off.
Courtney (pre-game interview): I don't conform. Basically, I just do what I want. And this is what I want to look like. So, this is what I look like. I'm just free, you know. And I enjoy dreadlocks, I like the way they feel, I like how I don't have to deal with them. And, um, I'm just funky and free, baby.
Jeff Probst: Do you think if two years ago we saw Courtney she had the dreads?
Dalton Ross: I wonder about her Survivor smarts a little bit, though. Because her luxury item that she picked was stuff like firesticks and things to make fire. I'm like, 'You really think they're gonna let you bring that out here?' You know, you really think that they're gonna, 'Hey, Day 1, here ya go!'Jarett Wieselman: Here's some gasoline and a match.
See also: Dan's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Dan Barry, astronaut.
Group: Awesome, blast off! I think hands down, our favorite of the group.
Dan (pre-game interview): I'm Dan Barry, from South Hadley, Massachusetts. I recently retired from NASA as an astronaut, in April. And um, now I'm building robots.
Dalton Ross: I think we all really liked him the most. I do worry about him when he gets out there though, because he's looking at this as like an experiment, very observational. He builds these robots, unless he's like building a robot assassin that's gonna go out and kill everyone else, I don't know if he's gonna make it to the end.
Paul Adler: Yeah, I think the same thing. I think he's like playing the game in his head a lot. When he gets out there and gets right in the challenges, I don't know how he's gonna do. But, warm heart, I mean uh, so well-intentioned, he does see this as a life experiment more than anything else. I think he's, um, a great person, I'm not quite sure how that translates into a great player.
Shawna Malcom: Although he was able to explain the robotics to me, like in layman's terms. You know, like he has the ability to communicate and not be too scientific, I think.
Jarett Wieselman: He definitely can take something that's very complex, and break it down and make it really simple, which I think will help.
Dalton Ross: He also should be able to handle the elements though. He's been, I mean training for an astronaut is about as brutal as it gets, so, you know, I think he'll be able to handle all that stuff.
Paul Adler: I think it's dangerous when people go in saying 'I want a great life experience' and not going in with a strategy to win the game, so, which I didn't get from him at all. So....
Jeff Probst: But, I agree, I mean it does seem like he's approaching this in a way that the other 15 people are going to be liking him. We're all going to be having this great experience together. On the flip side though, he seems very adaptable. He seems like a guy that might figure out on Day 4: not working, going to Plan B. I mean, an astronaut! Just, I would think the mental preparation alone has gotta prepare you a little bit for a game like this.
See also: Danielle's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Danielle's not memorable?
Dalton Ross: Well, Danielle is memorable, and I think that it's, um, I think it's really big of you, and Mark, and the whole Survivor team, to allow Boston Rob to have a sex change and come back to play for a third time. It's exciting, a reality first.
Danielle (pre-game interview): I'm gonna set the guys straight real fast. I mean, they're gonna look at me and be like, 'Oh, what, what's this girl gonna bring to the table, you know? She might be hot, but, what's she, what's she gonna do for us?' So, um, I'm gonna show them, and they're probably gonna blow their socks off. They're gonna have no idea what I'm capable of doing. Physically, mentally, everything.
Jeff Probst: She has a big personality.
Shawna Malcom: Not with us she didn't.
Danielle (pre-game interview): People want to know what a Survivor carries in her bag. Well let me tell you.
Shawna Malcom: She came in, and was very quiet, and you kept trying to draw her out. You know, I asked her why she thought she was chosen, and she said, 'Oh, because I have, you know, a lot of spunk.'
Danielle (more interview): Got the uh, the rain jacket, gotta be prepared. For ah, for the rain. Got the old camouflage Boston Red Sox hat. Can't go anywhere without this. Pair of sunglasses? Gotta be prepared with the sun. Pack of gum? Trident.
Shawna Malcom: And I thought, well, where did it go? You know? There was just no spark, whatsoever.
Danielle (still going!): This isn't for the island, this isn't for the island, this is preparation... before the island. Cause that's cheating and I don't cheat.
Jeff Probst: Well, we definitely saw it in casting. She was cocky, and you know, talked a lot about her sports background, and her success.
Danielle (phew!): You know, I'm gonna give it my all, give 110 percent, and put my heart and soul into everything I can possibly, give everything I possibly can.
Dalton Ross: Yeah, sometimes you get people, I've noticed, that are very nervous around the press. Especially people like this who haven't dealt with the press, who's never dealt with the press in their life. You know, it's possible that she gets in a room with us, and she's never dealt with press, and maybe she doesn't know how to react and, and what to say, so she sort of clams up. And so then that doesn't give us a good read on what she's really gonna be like when she gets out there.
Jarett Wieselman: I do also think that she was one of those people who was the most ready just to start. Like I think at this point she just wanted to go, and get on the island, and just get the game started. And I think once she's there, she'll be a fierce competitor. She's in great shape. You know, she's played soccer competitively for years. I think she definitely has like that Stephenie drive, to be like the strongest woman.
Dalton Ross: She, she got a headstart on the game, dealing with Hurricane Wilma, and living in Fort Lauderdale. Her place was flooded and stuff. So that's, this is maybe a little respite for her, just getting in the game, a little bit.
See also: Melinda's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Okay, so we've talked about Cirie. Now, at the other end of the spectrum, not in terms that she's not likeable, just in terms of a different person, would be Melinda. Coming into this game...
Melinda (pre-game interview): My name is Melinda Hyder. I'm 32 years old, I'm an entertainer, and I live in Sevierville, Tennessee.
Dalton Ross: I didn't really learn a lot about her with the game, because I just wanted to spend all my time with her talking about Dollywood.
Melinda (pre-game): Sta-and by-y yo-our ma-a-an. [Stops poorly singing Patsy Cline]. I don't like that, I have to do that again.
Dalton Ross: I don't know, I guess some of you had more negative experiences with her, And I don't know if negative is the right word, but... thinking that she wouldn't do so well.
Paul Adler: We interviewed her sort of leaning up against a cut-down tree. The first thing she did was want to take something and wipe the tree top off. And we were like, that's a problem.
Shawna Malcom: I thought, she's not going to be able to do anything out there with those acrylic nails.
Jeff Probst: Which makes her fun. I mean, I'm interested in seeing Melinda, because Melinda thinks, coming into the game, she's absolutely ready for it. And I think we're all sort of agreeing that, looking at her, we're thinking you couldn't be less ready. But it'll be interesting to see what happens, when those... those first three days tell so much. If she rips off those nails and says, 'All right, I get it.' If, otherwise, if she's trying to protect them, you know, she'll be gone. My, my concern about Melinda is that she keeps saying that she's here for the adventure. I think she's here to be on TV. I think she's a performer, and that's what she does for a living, and so this is possibly exposure, or whatever.
Dalton Ross: A little bigger than dinner theater. Just slightly bigger than her current gig. So yeah.
Mara Reinstein: She'll have to sing on the spot for anybody, I'm sure.
Jeff Probst: So you guys don't really have much for Melinda? She didn't give you much in her interviews.
Paul Adler: I love being proven wrong by Survivor contestants after the interviews. But I just don't know. She was, you know, already trying to talk to the other contestants. Smacking bugs on her hand just standing at the nice home where we were interviewing them. I just don't know if she's got the teeth for it.
Shawna Malcom: Yeah, I think she could be one of those people who gets out there, and is uncomfortable, and just blows up, loses it. Because you know, she was talking about how people, her friends back home kind of doubted that she could do this, and that she would go off on them. Um, and she was, she was eager to prove you wrong. But I think in the wrong environment, you know she's just, she's not gonna do well.
Jeff Probst: Why do you think we would put her on the show?
Jarrett Wieselman: I think she's a very engaging personality. There is sort of like that car crash quality to her, that you sort of don't love her, but you want to watch her. You want to see what she's going to do, especially if she's going to be as much of a fish out of water as we all think she will be.
Dalton Ross: I don't think she's unlikable. I didn't, I didn't dislike her. I don't want to give that impression that I didn't, I didn't like her. Is she ready for the experience, that's the question. Uh, she's a big personality, and obviously that's, that's why she's there.
Mara Reinstein: And she's very pretty, you can't discount that.
Shawna Malcom: She looks like Tara Reid, actually, you know. Looking at her with shorter hair.
Mara Reinstein: Let's hope she's just as entertaining as Tara Reid, please!
See also: Misty's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Misty Giles, rocket scientist.
Misty (pre-game interview): My name's Misty Giles. I'm 24, from Dallas, Texas. I'm currently an electrical engineer.
Dalton Ross: She's a little feistier. I think she's definitely a little feisty. I can see her being ultra-competitive. You've got a former teen beauty queen and that's about as competitive as it gets. I made her show me the wave by the way. There's a special pageant wave. Oh yeah. Sort of like back and forth, and you sort of cup.... So I think she's gonna be very competitive when she gets out there and I think she seems pretty athletic, too.
Jeff Probst: Did she talk a lot about her beauty? Because she kept impressing that on us.
Misty (pre-game interview): Being a female and being physically attractive and keeping up with myself has been somewhat of an issue from time to time. In college it was definitely difficult.
Shawna Malcom: She talked a lot about how she wasn't a girly girl. But then she said she spent an hour straightening her hair that morning, so.
Paul Adler: Yeah, she asked before our interview, um, if she had enough make-up on and we were like, 'honey, it's the end of vanity, 'cause you're going to the game.'
Jeff Probst: How do you think she'll fare in this group?
Paul Adler: I'm not sure the girls are gonna like her. Um, I really liked her. I thought she was smart, and, you know. But she's very bubbly, she's very perky. The other girls are a little more low-key.
Dalton Ross: I asked one of them, 'What do you think, have you been sizing up the other girls? It's sort of, you've been seeing them, you haven't been able to speak to them yet, but you've sort of seen them.' And she goes, 'Well I think that three of us sort of probably have the same vibe, and there's one of us that don't.' And I think Misty might be that one that isn't on, that isn't working on the same wavelength. Well Courtney was the one who said it, so....
See also: Nick's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: All right, Jarett, give us your take on Nick.
Jarett Wieselman: I like Nick. I think I probably like Nick more than anyone else did.
Nick (pre-game interview): My name's, uh, Nick Stanbury. I'm 25, I'm from, uh, I live in Tempe, Arizona.
Jarett Wieselman: You know, it'll be interesting, because he had said to me that, you know, he was in a fraternity, and he was always the vice president of all the charities. 'I'm a really good number two guy, I'm not the leader.' So I mean, he's going into it sort of assuming that he's gonna need someone to latch on to. And, I don't necessarily know that any of the guys that are gonna be with him are gonna be the person for him to latch on to.
Jeff Probst: Well, and you're also assuming that we're going to stick with tribes of four for very long, which mathematically, we, we couldn't anyway.
Jarett Wieselman: So, it should be interesting to see how far he makes it, because he's another one who's a little bit vanilla, you know, he doesn't have a whole lot to talk about like Cirie does, you know. So it should be interesting.
Shawna Malcom: But I think he actually, seems anyway, that he has a strong work ethic. And that he would be the one that was willing to go out there, and build the fire, whatever would need to be done, that he would step up and do it. And that's valuable out there.
Dalton Ross: I think he's a mix of.... I think he's athletic, he's likeable, I think he has some smarts. So I think he's got a lot of good cards to play. I really think he does.
Jeff Probst: So I didn't get a big vibe from either of you guys, right now, on Austin or Nick. Did they not give you a lot?
Paul Adler: I had a really hard time getting a sense of Nick. He's a really nice guy. Would you really want to go hang and have a beer with him? Yeah, absolutely. He's smart, he's athletic. I don't really get it, otherwise. I don't know.
Dalton Ross: Can you think of a reason, though? I see him out there, and I can't think of any reason to get rid of Nick. I think he's doing well in the challenges, I like him.
Shawna Malcom: He works hard, Bob Dawg will get on people's nerves.
Ruth Marie Milliman
See also: Ruth Marie's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Let's talk about Ruth Marie.
Shawna Malcom: Very perky. Ex-flight attendant.
Ruth Marie (pre-game interview): I'm Ruth Marie Milliman, I'm from Greenville, South Carolina, and I'm 48 years old.
Shawna Malcom: She came in with these braids, you know, and I just, I, she comes across much more youthful than she is. She's the oldest woman in the game, I think 48. I wouldn't have guessed that especially with those Linda Hamilton, Terminator arms.
Paul Adler: She is really cut. Um, you know, she did the um, race in the, the marathon in the Sahara, the 12 days. 12-day trek with the backpack, you know, starting at noon, you know, which is so, utterly impressive. I think she has a lot of determination. She's very quiet, speaks with a little of a lilt. So I don't know how she's gonna be seen by the other women, but ....
Mara Reinstein: She's got a Tina Wesson thing going on for me.
Jarett Wieselman: I think the same thing, She told me that she was running in her hotel room to stay in shape. I was like, how do you run in your hotel room? But she wants to run on the island, and I think she'll be surprised at maybe the lack of energy that she has. Because she has so much right now, in terms of what she likes to do everyday. She's like, 'I like to get up and run, and then run again.' She's very athletic, which would be great to have her on your team, but she may not be that person once, you know, the hunger sets in, and then the water problems, so.
Jeff Probst: Well in, she's Tina Wesson in a physical sense. Tina Wesson was a — she may be this way also — but what we know about Tina Wesson is: incredibly bright, very strategic and played it so low-key. And everything worked out for her. But Tina was not an accident. Tina played that game really well.
Dalton Ross: We talked to her a lot. She's obviously in great physical shape. I think socially she'll do well, I worry about strategically. She didn't seem to have a plan of action, or, I'm just not sure she's gonna be cunning enough to do what she needs to do. Now that doesn't mean that she can't ride some coattails along the way, and then use her physical strength and endurance to get her to where she needs to be. But, that's my concern with Ruth Marie.
Jarett Wieselman : I also think, moreso than any of the other people that we talked to the other day, she's gonna have a hard time being away from her family. I mean, she's only been away for three days now, and she almost started to cry when I just brought up her, you know, 'What does your family think of you being here?'
Ruth Marie (pre-game interview): I get homesick. I've only been separated from my children for 12 days. So I have some anxieties about that.
Jarett Wieselman: So I think the separation for her might be a bigger problem than she thinks.
See also: Sally's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Sally.
Jarett Wieselman: Sally's interesting, you know, she had applied... five times to be on the show? And I think she was very determined to be here. She'd gone through a lot to get here.
Sally (pre-game interview): I've been called 'Survivor Sal' for like five years. 'Cause people are like, 'Oh, we heard that about you before we knew you. You know, like you're obsessed with the show, and you always try out,' and... you know, like that was my nickname. People called me that. And so now, and to now be able to like, people call me and like, 'Guess what? It finally paid off!'
Jarett Wieselman: And I think the person she is now, having gone through the divorce, and sort of discovering herself, is what made her great for the show. She knows who she is now, and I think she's much more comfortable with herself. Having said that, she might have some problems fitting in, if there's any sort of mixing of the groups, with the other guys. She seems to be a little more of a girly girl than some of the other girls. At least in my own view.
Mara Reinstein: She wasn't tough to me, like mentally tough or physically tough.
Shawna Malcom: She seemed a little fragile.
Dalton Ross: I disagree with the mentally tough thing. I, I think I agree with the physically tough. I think that she's gonna kill you with the smile. You know, she at least is saying that she's willing to be as devious as she wants to be. A lot of these people are like, 'Well, you know, I have to see what happens.' And she's like, 'No, I'll do whatever I need to do, and I'll be very nice, and I'll be very laid back, and when I need to stab someone in the back, I'll do it. If that's, if that's what she's gonna play, 'cause she seems so sweet, she's got a great smile, and, and, I didn't think of her that way going into the interview. But I left thinking a different, different way.
Jeff Probst: I'm going with Dalton, I think she's around for a while. I think she's gonna slide somewhere into the comfortable middle, and let other people take bullets. And then we'll see, see where the cards fall.
Jarett Wieselman: Yeah, it's interesting, 'cause she is such a fan of the show, you know. Sort of like Rob C., like she knows everything about every cast member. So she sort of knows how to play the game, which could really work to her advantage, in terms of just letting other people do her dirty work.
See also: Shane's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Okay, let's go through them one by one. We'll start with the older guys. So what we've done at the beginning is divide them into four groups. Older men, older women, younger men, younger women. Let's start with the older guys: Shane Powers.
Mara Reinstein: Colin Farrell, slash Dave Navarro, slash Tommy Lee.
Shawna Malcom: He was the first person I interviewed and he's still the most memorable.
Dalton Ross: If he's as good at strategizing as he is playing with his hair, this guy's got the million dollar check already.
Shane (pre-game interview, playing with hair): I think that, that how I'm going to blend in is that I'm probably gonna be looked at as a bit eccentric, um, but the thing is that if I'm eccentric and I'm interesting, and I'm clever and I take off my shirt, and I have a bunch of tattoos, and I have this long hair, and I have this like, for whatever reason, hip, slick, cool-guy image, a lot of that will be disarmed by my self-effacing humor ....
Jeff Probst: Well, you know in casting he was, uh, very well prepared in that nonchalant way. Of 'I'm not trying at all.' He seemed to have his — which isn't necessarily a bad thing or even unusual, especially when you're in casting because it's such a ... foreign environment. You do find people are a little more nervous. Do you guys buy him? Do you think he's for real?
Shawna Malcom: I think he knows what he's doing. He came in and took his shirt off immediately. Like that was the first thing, and showed off all of his tattoos, and ....
Paul Adler: Yeah, he has this like little ball of energy, that's like bursting at the seams. First of all, he smokes three packs of cigarettes a day, and he was also wearing a patch. Um, I think his energy, if it keeps up, is probably going drive a lot of people nuts.
Dalton Ross: Major withdrawal symptoms are headed his way. Fifteen shots of espresso, three packs of cigarettes a day, a day. He's in some trouble. I think around day four, if not earlier.
Shawna Malcom: He was already cranky yesterday.
Mara Reinstein: And a little abrasive, too.
Jeff Probst: Is the, uh, is the abrasiveness something that is still, is also part of the put on? Or do you think he's already just getting, you're starting to see some of him coming out?
Mara Reinstein: Uh, my interview he rambled around a little bit at the end. I mean, it was just 20 minutes in an air conditioned room. So, I don't know how he's gonna do on the island.
Paul Adler: I don't, I don't think he's long.
See also: Terry's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: What about Terry? Another, a fighter pilot.
Terry (pre-game interview): I'm Terry Deitz, from Simsbury, Connecticut, just west of Hartford. I'm 46 years old, a pilot for American Airlines and a retired Navy fighter pilot.
Shawna Malcom: I think he's, you know, a great personality. I love the fact that he came in and said, you know, 'top gun, that's what I did.' You know, and now that he does Pilates. You know? I just love that there's this fighter pilot, this tough guy, doing Pilates. Like I love that image.
Jarett Wieselman: He does seem to have a lot of sides to his personality. He's very easily adaptable, and I think he's very ready to take a leadership position, but if his tribe is sort of against it, he's also ready to fall into the background.
Dalton Ross: How are he and Shane going to co-exist? That'll be very interesting.
Jarett Wieselman: I think Shane co-existing with anyone might be a problem, to be honest with you. Between the withdrawal and his sort of, cocky, 'I've already won the game.' You know, might be a problem.
Mara Reinstein: I dunno, I can't see those older guys putting up with Shane. I fell like, you know, 'I've been an astronaut,' 'I've been a pilot,' Like, 'Who are you? You're a club promoter!' I dunno, I just don't see it.
Jeff Probst: I don't even know, though. I don't know that the, quote unquote, 'older guys' will look at Shane and say, 'just 'cause you're a club promoter, not an astronaut ...'.
Mara Reinstein: Well, no, but it gets all Shane-like on him. I don't, I just don't see it. I mean, he pulls an attitude? Which he will.
Jarett Wieselman: The other three people in his tribe definitely are very fit. And if you've been smoking three packs a day for like 20 years, you know, running is gonna be really tough.
See also: Tina's contestant page.
Jeff Probst: Tina Scheer.
Paul Adler: Heartbreaking.
Jeff Probst: Timber Tina, a Lumberjill.
Tina (pre-game interview): I have spent a lot of time in the woods, and spent a lot of time on my own, um, you know, solving problems. I'm a female in a male-dominated business. And uh, I've had, I've had to struggle, a lot.
Jeff Probst: She's a, and I say this with all due respect, but she's a very likeable Sue Hawk to me.
Dalton Ross: Absolutely, that's exactly what I thought. She's extremely likeable, and a huge personality. I mean just a really big personality, and so physical. I mean a female lumberjack, log roller. She's got all that. The one concern I have is, the very recent loss of her son, and the reason why she didn't make it to Guatemala.
Jeff Probst: Let's set that up. She was a contestant on Survivor: Guatemala. She was ready to go, and a horrible accident happened with her son and he was killed, and we didn't think, certainly, that it was appropriate for her to go. She didn't. So she had a spot on the next season. Very recent.
Dalton Ross: Exactly, very recent. And uh, you know, we've seen some like, Brett Favre throw for four touchdowns the day after his dad died, and obviously you can pick yourself up and do that. But Survivor always amplifies your emotions. Usually we see it in screaming fights and yelling, but also it can make you very lonely and sad. We saw what happened with Jenna Morasca and All Stars, and with her mother. I worry about how that's going to play with her emotions when she gets out here for a while, and she's been in the sun, and she's a little delirious. And so I'm a little concerned about her with that, other than that, I think she's, she's uh, in good shape.
Shawna Malcom: I think Tina is a very strong competitor. I mean, she's been competing as a lumberjill for how many years now? And she's also said that this was a way, she felt, to honor her son. She was doing this because he was so excited for her, when he found out she was going to get to go to Guatemala. And she really sees it as an opportunity for him to live on a little bit. So there's that.
Paul Adler: I think also in the early stages, at least, they need her physicality. Because with Melinda and Cirie on the team, who I think may handicap them, you know? Maybe handicap them in the challenges. Um, Jill [sic.] is really strong, Ruth Marie is very strong. So I think that may ... let her slide by, depending on what the first challenge is of course, but ....
Jeff Probst: I have no concerns for Tina. And again, it's first impressions, or second impressions in my case. But, I think she's super strong-willed, and I agree with what you said, about her son being a, an inspiration. And I, I just don't see her crumbling at all. I thinks she's going to lead that group, settle Cirie down a little bit, probably get rid of Melinda. That's who I think would be first to go. As much as I'd hate to see Melinda leave, because I think she needs this experience for a lot of reasons, if she doesn't assimilate quickly ... I just, like you, I would look at those acrylic nails and think which, which piece doesn't fit?
Paul Adler: I think they're gonna need Jill, too. She's the only one who has any outdoorsy, you know, survival skills. She could probably, you know, saw down an entire forest with her bare hands. I don't see, you know, Melinda gathering firewood and chopping down trees.
Jeff Probst: Who is first to go in this group if they go to Tribal Council?
Jeff Probst: Sorry, Melinda.
Jeff Pitman is the founder of the True Dork Times, and probably should find better things to write about than Survivor. So far he hasn't, though. He's also responsible for the Survivometer, calendar, boxscores, and contestant pages, so if you want to complain about those, do so in the comments, or on twitter: @truedorktimes