Michele Fitzgerald loves “Harry Potter.” Is she the biggest fan of the boy wizard in “Survivor” history? We’re not sure that we can say that for sure, but we may probably spend the first few episodes trying to figure out what the sorting cap would choose for her. (We want to root for Slytherin, but that’s just because we always root for the female villains, a relative rarity on this show.)
While we could make the majority of this spotlight article today just one extended “Harry Potter” metaphor, you’re probably not here for that. Instead, let’s take a look at how Michele is as a player, and how well she could do in the game.
Age – 24
Location – Freehold, New Jersey. It’s reasonably close to the New York City area, but still far enough away to escape some of the hustle.
Tribe – Gondol a.k.a. the beauty tribe. (Fun fact: Tribe name is one letter short for being one of those boats you use in Venice.)
Occupation – Bartender. Pretty common “Survivor” job, but she’s mixing it up by not being a bartender from the LA area. We think that someone in casting has a permanent spot at a few of those just waiting for contestants to pop up.
Past “Survivor” comparison – Let us take you into our inner monologue for a moment as we watched her video before checking out her CBS bio: “She’s a longtime fan of the show; that’s awesome! She’s got a quirky side; she even loves Harry Potter! Please don’t compare yourself to Parvati.” Then, she does. ARGH. It’s probably a pet peeve of most of the “Survivor” fandom because at least two or three contestants every season make the same comparison. The truth is, we do actually see it to a certain extent here, given that they’re both outgoing and socially-conscious people with a competitive nature.
Still, we’re going to provide a few other names here to spice things up: Marisa Calihan, Misty Giles, and Danielle DiLorenzo. Hey, at least one of them is a runner-up and made it to the merge in two seasons.
Things to know – Despite being young she’s done a lot of traveling, and also has done a great deal of charity work. She’s someone with a spirit for adventure that extends beyond going on this show, which some consider to be enough adventure to last a lifetime. Oh, and did we mention she loves “Harry Potter.”
Advantages – She should be a solid enough contributor in physical challenges, and we tend to think in theory that being a bartender can be an asset from a social-game standpoint. It shows you have the tools to be a good listener and know what to say and when. This is also a tribe with three young women, and she could be able to fit in well with them and some of the guys. She seems like someone who will be flexible when it comes to who she’s working with, and that could keep her safe in the early going.
Disadvantages – Michele mentions the “stigma” that comes with being a “Jersey girl,” and that is a thing she’ll have to deal with. The same is being a young woman since there is some sexism that, even unconsciously, tends to happen out there. She’s probably not going to be the fastest or the strongest on her tribe, but we could only really see this becoming a problem for her if the Beauty tribe goes to tribal council multiple times. As mentioned, though she also should be far from the weakest.
Prediction – Michele could be an early boot just because sometimes outspoken young women are, but we could also see her going very far into the game. Her life experience should help her handle some the adversity of this brutal season better than others. Also, who knows? Maybe instead of a spy shack like Tony she can come up with a cloak of invisibility to keep other players from noticing her during private conversations.
What’s your take on Michele at the moment? Vote in the poll below, and head over here to get some other spotlights now! Also, sign up over here to score some other TV news on everything we cover, sent right to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)