Rachel Ako was certainly one of the more energetic people we saw when we watched the first video preview of the “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X” cast, and that enthusiasm does bleed over to the video she did on her own below. That profile, coupled with the information listed on her CBS bio, are the focus of this castaway spotlight. (If this the first time you’re reading one of these, we do them every season leading up to the premiere.)
As you’ll see below, she’s got some attributes that suit her well in this game: She’s uplifting, she’s used to overcoming obstacles, and she has a personality that could help her to bridge the gap between the two tribes. Yet, at the same time we’re not sure how much of the show she’s seen (she didn’t compare herself to a past contestant), and we’re not sure how ready she is to take on some of the more vicious aspects of the strategic game.
Tribe – Takali (Gen-X).
Bio – She’s a 37-year old recruiting director from Los Angeles, California — otherwise known as an easy spot for casting to find people since they don’t have to travel far. She’s also a co-author of a book entitled Rise: True Stories of triumph in the face of adversity, which you can see over on Amazon. She’s also done a lot of modeling over the course of her life.
Positive attributes – There are some players on this season that will probably come across as inflexible, and we don’t see her being one of them. She has a sort of demeanor that suggests that she’d be up for working with either the Millennials or the Gen X tribe, so that is something that could aid her significantly at the inevitable time in which there’s a tribe swap or merge. If she can make it to around the final 12, she’s probably not going to be the biggest target, and if she can work to run things behind the scenes she could position herself very well to make it to the end.
Potential negatives – For Rachel, the biggest concern we have is her making it to a tribe swap. She’s probably the most Millennial-like out of any of the people on the Gen X tribe with her multiple careers and her personality, so she may be one of the people hurt most by this twist. She also says in her CBS video below that she’s the sort of person who does like to see the good in almost anyone — even though she cites somebody who she claims exhibited some jerky behavior pre-game. These people are cutthroat, and we could see her getting played by someone who acts nice on the surface and is down for a little shadiness behind the scenes.
“Survivor” comparisons – If we were to go one-for-one between this season and “Survivor: Nicaragua” (the last season to divide up tribes by age), we’d say that she does have similar qualities to an Yve Rojas, though we see her as a little more outspoken. She also brings to mind Natalie Bolton from “Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites.”
Early assessment – Rachel’s in the camp of “goes very early or lasts very far.” This is the first of these spotlight articles we’re doing, so we don’t have the gift of perspective as to her up against many of the other competitors. Based on what we’ve seen, her biggest issue could be fitting in and finding common ground with some more of the blue-collar, salt-of-the-earth people that are on this tribe. She just needs to do enough to make it through a couple of tribal councils; she may be fine there on out.
How do you think Rachel’s going to fare this season? Vote in our poll below, and head over here to get some of our other “Survivor” pre-game coverage! Also, sign up here to score some other TV news on all we cover via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)