Now that we are a few days removed from the official “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” cast announcement, we are here to officially kick off one of our favorite things to do every season: Spotlighting the cast! This is especially fun with all-new players, since you’ve got an opportunity to really learn and size up people before they go out into the game.
We’re returning to the Brains, Brawn, and Beauty format following “Survivor: Cagayan” this season, but one of the things to know is that despite these labels, there’s a lot of room for crossover. For example, our first contestant Peter Baggenstos is pretty darn built, and he’s going to be able to handle the challenges as a member of the Brains tribe. He just also happens to be very intelligent and willing to adapt to any situation. (As an aside, he really doesn’t want anyone else to say that he looks like Barack Obama.)
Age – 34
Location – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Occupation – ER Doctor. There is a tradition of many male doctors at least faring decently on the show. Marcus made the jury in “Gabon,” Sean on the very first season was close to the final two, and Mick on “Samoa” made the final three.
Past “Survivor” comparison – He for some reason says Pete Yurkowski, which we really don’t see beyond just their first names and the fact that they are both guys in good shape. We’re much more willing to go with Mick Trimming, someone who comes into this with a medical background but doesn’t seem like they are that willing to seize control right away. Personality-wise he’s also a little reminiscent of Albert from “South Pacific,” but will probably be a little more assertive than he was.
Things to know – Peter is a Swiss citizen, and comes from a line of doctors in his family. Many of them are very busy, and his parents were worried about him coming out to do the show. He claims that most of his twenties were consumed with medical school and preparing to be a doctor, and with that we feel like he’s one of the people who really wants a great experience in addition to being a million dollars richer at the end of this.
Advantages – He’s clearly a smart guy, he’s in great shape, and given how many people are going to get hurt this season we imagine that there could be a certain comfort that comes from having a doctor as a part of the tribe. He’ll be able to make you feel safer, and if the conditions are punishing he could really use that, especially since he says that he doesn’t need an operating table or anything to be of use. Strategically, he makes it clear that he’s fairly flexible, and unlike that big-ol’ anchor tattoo he has he’s not going to anchor himself in any one place.
Disadvantages – He’s a strong, smart guy who comes across as pretty likable. Translation: He’s seriously close to being in Joe Anglim territory of being the sort of guy you cannot risk sticking around in the game for a long time. Also, we wonder just how willing he’s going to be to play ruthlessly; the majority of other doctors we’ve seen on the over the years have been at least somewhat image-conscious, and don’t want to start getting into the gray areas of real-life behavior versus actions in a game. It’s much easier to say you’ll be aggressive and willing to make moves in the pre-game where you haven’t met the other players yet.
Prediction – We’re going to give our pre-game projections after spotlighting every person, but for now we’re feeling very good about Peter. He’ll be a resource before the merge, and he’s not so arrogant that he’ll come across like Garrett did on the Brains tribe last time. If there are other threats around after the merge, he could be under the radar for a little while. While we’re not going to say he’s at the top of our list of winner candidates (who’s going to want to take this guy to the end?), he definitely has the tools to go far and could easily win over a jury if he gets there.
What’s your take on Peter pre-game? Vote in our attached poll, and be sure to visit the link here to get some other “Survivor” spotlights throughout the coming days. Also, sign up over here to get some other TV news on everything we cover, sent right to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)