‘Survivor: Kaoh Rong’ spotlight: Will Darnell Hamilton deliver on our expectations?

Darnell -

Darnell Hamilton is amazing. We have no idea how he’s going to do on “Survivor: Kaoh Rong,” but we hope that he can make it relatively far. He’s incredibly entertaining just to listen to, and this is without him playing the game. He’s also got a very different background than most other people who have come on the show, and we’re always very curious as to whether or not this will make him a better player than people who maybe had it a little easier growing up.

Luckily, Darnell is one of those sort of player who regardless of how he does, will probably be remembered and a candidate to return for another season. You just can’t deny charisma, and he has it.

Age – 27

Location – Chicago, Illinois. Specifically Darnell grew up on the South Side of the city, which is not a particularly easy place to be sometimes.

Tribe -To Tang a.k.a. the Brawn tribe.

Occupation – Postal worker. Cue the Dan Foley comparisons … or not. Really, the only thing that Darnell has in common with him is his job.

Past “Survivor” comparison – He mentions Sean Rector in his bio, and we really couldn’t be happier about that given that we see him almost as a distant cousin of the “Marquesas” standout. Both guys are super-enthusiastic and have big personalities, and also come across as very likable. We could probably through out there Dreamz or even Zane from “Philippines” if we really wanted to, but since we like Darnell we want to keep looking at him as the next generation Sean or even Earl Cole.

Things to know – After having a tough childhood on the South Side and barely graduating high school, he’s found a way to work hard, pull himself up by the bootstraps, and get his life going in a positive direction. He graduated college while working multiple jobs, and he wants to be somewhat of an inspiration to other people struggling while playing this game. He’s also got a great sense of humor.

Advantages – His charm is infectious, and that’s going to help him out there. People will enjoy being around him if he brings the same energy that he does in the video. He’s in pretty good shape, and could be underestimated as a strategic player. Growing up in the South Side helped him to become rather adept at reading people, which is something that he wants to use to his advantage out there.

One other great thing this season for him is that there are so many other strong men that he should be able to go for a while without being thought of as a physical threat.

Disadvantages – One thing we’re a little worried about with Darnell is that he’s going to get caught up in a “I want to be an inspiration” narrative almost like Dreamz did, where when he does something devious he’ll have a harder time justifying it. (Granted, what Dreamz did was really devious.) Even if he doesn’t have that problem, we’ve also got a fear that his story is almost too inspiring for its own good. If people know you could really use the money, they’re less likely to want you at the end out of fear they won’t be able to beat you.

Our only other concern is that Darnell’s an opinionated guy, and there are times he may need to keep that in check.

Prediction – We really like Darnell and want him to go far; he may be our favorite person we’ve spotlighted so far this season. Our feeling is that he’s good for at least the first few episodes, but could be a target come the end of the pre-merge or shortly after the merge. We think it’s going to be hard for some of people in the game to not be cognizant of how dangerous he is; if he does make it to the end, though, he’s got a very good shot at the money.

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