‘Survivor: Cagayan’ spotlight: Can Garrett Adelstein’s ego fit on the island?

Survivor -Did you know that Garrett Adelstein is a high-stakes poker player? Did you know that he is amazing, and that he apparently has spent half of the last year extensively studying how to play the “Survivor” game? There is a difference between being a member of the brains tribe and having a head so big it doesn’t fit into the room; this guy could be the coolest dude out out there on the island, but his casting video comes across as a guy who is way too pleased with himself.

Maybe part of the problem that we have with Garrett is in some ways a larger issue with casting. When we heard about brains, brawn, and beauty being the twist for “Survivor: Cagayan,” we personally pictured a tribe consisting of Yau-Man Chan, John Cochran, and Kenny Hoang all rolled into one person. We weren’t imagining someone with abs that could be used to break boards karate-master style. He is a great player on paper, but to use a poker analogy (since we know that he would love that), you need to have more than just a good hand. You need to know how to play it.

Name – Garrett Adelstein.

Age – 27.

Location – Santa Monica, but originally from Tuscon. If we ever learn that casting found him at a taco stand or a bar, we will literally throw up all over this site. (That is what the running joke is for most California Survivors who are recruited for this show. Judging from the way Garrett talks, we hope that he applied.)

Occupation – Please, don’t make us say it again. What we will share, though, is the video that we think of whenever we hear the words “poker player” on a reality TV show (and no, it has nothing to do with John-Robert from “Survivor: China”).

Just to make it clear, we don’t agree with anything that she says; it’s great more for the ironic entertainment of Joan Rivers actually believe that poker players are somehow worse than a million other kinds of people in Las Vegas.

What he brings to the show – Obviously, an ability to actually compete in challenges for the Brains tribe, and also some sort of dedication that has come from months and months of training for a show he didn’t even know he would get on. The sort of arrogance that come from this statement on his CBS bio, a response to whether he considers himself a Brains, Brawn, or Beauty says a lot about how much great entertainment he could bring to this show: “I’ll go with the modest answer and say all three.” That’s modest? The only thing that we find funnier is that he lists “dishonesty” as a pet peeve, when that is a huge chunk of what he does for a living.

What he will struggle in – Actually relating to other people. This is a guy who seems very wrapped up in what he does, and what he is going to do on the show. It is striking that in all of his talk about preparation, he doesn’t really mention anything when it comes to the interpersonal aspect of this game. You have to win people over, and we don’t see any real way that he is going to do that despite being extremely intelligent and in great physical shape.

Past “Survivor” comparison – Take a little of Boston Rob, a little of John Fincher, a little of Sash from Nicaragua, and a little of Matt Quinlan. Then, you have Garrett both physically and in terms of personality.

Prediction – We give a clap or two to Garrett for really putting in the crazy work to prepare for this season. But, he may regret the time spent when he goes before the merge. It is very possible that the rest of his tribe could get annoyed with his attitude and he goes early a la Matt Quinlan, despite being a good asset to the tribe. Or, if he actually does play his cards close to the vest, we still see him getting in trouble come a tribal swap. He’s got a ton going for him, but “Survivor” is different than poker in that you cannot hide very well that you are playing a good game and you are a physical threat. He can only bluff so many times.

Now, it is time for you to chime in. Do you think that Garrett goes “all in” too quickly, or that he’s going to struggle to get a good hand every tribal council? Do you think there are any more terrible poker puns we can use? Either way, we want to hear what you think in both the poll and comment box below. As much grief as we give him we do love that he’s a big personality and can’t wait to see what he does out there.

Also, click here to see more of our “Survivor” spotlights for the rest of this season. You can also get some email updates from us every week by clicking here, and you don’t even have to go to a tree to find them.

Photo: CBS



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