‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X’ spotlight: Will high school student Will Wahl have a chance?

Will Wahl -

As a general rule, we’re typically not for “Survivor” casting people who aren’t even legal drinking age, given that many of them are relatively naive, immature, and offer very little to the show. However, Julia Sokolowski last season showed that you can be a threat despite being only 18 at the time of playing and Will Wahl, the youngest person to ever play the game, is looking to try to take that up yet another notch.

On paper, we like the kid’s ideas. He seems to be a big fan of the show (we’re assuming that’s a Greg Buis reference in the video), and he also has an understanding of what he wants to do out there. As for whether or not he can execute it, that remains to be seen.

Tribe – Vanua (Millennial Tribe).

Bio – He’s 18 years old, and at the time of filming was seemingly still in high school. (With that said, he’s probably in college now.) He hails from Long Valley, New Jersey, a small town a little more than an hour west of New York.

Positive attributes – For one, his voice sounds almost identical to Peapod Kid from “Hey Arnold!” (though that reference may be a little too dated for an 18-year old). Strategically, we like that he is playing up the idea of being underestimated, and there’s something to be said about having less to lose with you playing the game at this age. Maybe you can take bigger risks and have a little bit more fun with it. We dig his enthusiasm, and it could rub off on other people.

Potential negatives – The whole idea of using Christianity potentially to push you further in the game can certainly work — just look at Coach at “South Pacific.” However, if the perception is that you are using religion for devious purposes, that’s a move that can easily backfire in front of the jury. We wouldn’t rely too much on that if we were Will; he doesn’t need it. Also, we do still worry that despite his game knowledge, his lack of real-world experience could come back to get him.

“Survivor” comparisons – In some ways, we look at someone like Spencer from “Tocantins” who was also very young and a big fan at the time of filming, but Julia may not be a bad comparison either given that she did have a spark about her that was different than the average teenage contestant. He did say that Randy Bailey is (hilariously) the person he’s most like, which makes us think that was a joke. (With that said, we do love Randy.)

Early assessment – Will’s probably going to be perceived as likable by the Millennial tribe, and they may want to protect and look after him because of his age. That should help him in the early going, but we do think eventually he’s going to get played out around the middle of the game. His idea to implement his faith is tricky, and overall he may be too much of a gamer for his own good.

What’s your take on Will on this coming season? Vote now in the poll below, and head over here to get some other news and “Survivor” spotlights right now! Also, you can sign up over here to get some other TV news on everything we cover, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)



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