There is something fun about seeing people on “Survivor” who are there to play that is exciting. The last thing we want is someone who’s just going to sit around, go on their own little adventure, and then on the other side of it not make any moves to save themselves. Mari Takahashi is the sort of person who will go into this game and go all-out to win, and that’s exciting. The same goes for her saying that she’s just as exciting about playing the villain as the hero.
Does all of this actually mean that she will end up going far in the game, though? That’s something we’re going to look at in the latest castaway spotlight below.
Tribe – Vanua (Millennial Tribe).
Bio – She’s a 31-year old gamer and video content creator from Los Angeles, and easily the most-noteworthy of the twenty contestants this season in terms of internet presence. Even though she may be the oldest Millennial this season, she ironically has the most Millennial career out of any of them. She’s also a former ballerina, she comes into this with a very different set of skills than any other perosn.
Positive attributes – She is probably deceptively strong at physical challenges because of her dance training, and being a self-described “chameleon” will make her able to adapt to almost any situation or group of players. She’s someone who will probably look for an immunity idol if given an opportunity, and also stab people in the back if it means that she has a much better chance to win. Her age and work ethic probably will make her more capable of getting along with the Gen X tribe, as well.
Potential negatives – There is something to be said at times for being almost too good for your own good, and we wonder if Mari’s success, coupled with her skill set for this game, will make her more of an obvious target than she realizes. There is a difference between beating people in a short game than something that lasts 39 days, so keeping some of her scheming under wraps may be hard to sustain.
“Survivor” comparisons – It’s awesome that she gives a shout-out in here to Yul Kwon, one of the smartest people to ever play the game. We wish we’d get a chance to see him play without the hidden immunity idol he had, mostly because it’s still likely that he would have found a way to dominate and quiet some of the people who were skeptical of his abilities.
Superficially, it’d be easy to call her Kenny from “Survivor: Gabon” because of her job; while we love Kenny (he’s one of the reasons we first got into writing about “Survivor”), we don’t think he was as adaptable as Mari will be. Her intelligence plus competitive drive reminds us a little bit of Sophie Clarke from “South Pacific.”
Early assessment – Mari can easily win this game. The one thing we worry about with her is if she’s on a tribe filled with so many carefree people that she sticks out like a sore thumb. We do think there’s a danger that she goes out early a la Anna last season, someone else we though had winner potential; if she can avoid some early roadblocks, she’s got a good chance to be sitting pretty at the end of the game.
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