We suppose that Bret LaBelle is not the first funny cop in “Survivor” history, given that Tony Vlachos was often hilarious during his time on the show. Yet, at the same time there were also plenty of times where we never quite knew whether Tony was intentionally hilarious or not. Sometimes, his actions with the Spy Shack or being a “construction worker” drew side-splitting laughter just because of the way in which he went about him.
We know that Bret will inevitably draw some comparisons to Tony on “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X” because of his profession, but we do think that there are some major differences. Some of them will likely aid him in the game, whereas others may be somewhat of a setback.
Tribe – Takali (Gen-X Tribe)
Bio – He’s a 42-year old police sergeant from Dedham, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston), and he’s specifically a part of a unit created by the commissioner. He received the Human Award for Bravery back in 2014 from the Governor, so that should be a sign that he’s pretty darn effective at what he does.
Positive attributes – With some cop contestants, they both look and sound the part. We think that Bret, if he chooses to hide it, will actually be able to. He’s very funny, a little cranky in his CBS video, and he knows and understands this game well. He’ll be the sort of guy who will fight hard for you in challenges and work hard around camp, but will be sneaky enough to look for an immunity idol while getting firewood. He’ll make alliances and stab people in the back if need be. You get the sense that he’s there to live out the experience of playing the game, and won’t take anything for granted.
Potential negatives – There are times in reading Bret’s bio where we wonder if he’s a little too cocky, and we could see him being the sort of castaway who wants his voice to be heard even when nobody else really wants to hear it. He’s going to need to know when to take a back seat, and also when to be subtle as opposed to playing the game in broad strokes. While we think he’ll be able to hide his job if he chooses to, he may struggle to hide his strategy.
“Survivor” comparisons – He cites Jonathan Penner, and he may be the first person all season who has this pegged about 95%. (We’d say the other 5% is probably Judd from Guatemala.) He’s going to have the same enthusiasm about the game as Penner, and be the sort of player we want to root for sitting at home.
Early assessment – The tribe breakdown this season could be useful to Bret, given that there may be many black-or-white players on the Gen X tribe not willing to get down and dirty with strategy. He can use that to his advantage as he manipulates his way through the early part of the game. We just don’t think he’s going to be enough of an actor to keep what he’s doing a secret in the long term, and like Penner, his ceiling is probably somewhere around the top six or seven. He’ll be considered too big of a threat to get to the end.
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