One of the things that we do like about how Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers is setting up their contestants is how they’re letting the theme of the season dictate their narrative — but not in an aggressive way. Rather than having to hear about silly things like brains vs. brawns vs. beauty or whether or not you fit into a specific casting box, the producers are really doing a good job letting the castaways tell their stories in their pre-game videos. We feel like we know Marine Ben Driebergen really well in the two or so minutes we spend watching him; hopefully, this helps to give an informed position on where he’s going to be in the game.
Take a look below to see how we think this guy is going to fare on the season, and what makes him a little different from the standard military man you’ve seen on the show before.
Age – 34.
Location – He lives in his hometown of Boise, Idaho, but has traveled extensively thanks to his time spent in the Marines. He works now in a grocery warehouse.
Bio – Ben served in Iraq, where he lost one of his good friends and specifically went back to Texas in order to give the dog tags back to his mother. You really get the sense of that connection in the video, and it’s powerful stuff. He trained in California and Okinawa before evening heading over to the Middle East, and you get a sense that what happened over there did weigh on him. He credits his wife and his children for helping to inspire him and make him a better, stronger person today. He wants to use the money, if he wins it, to make investments and get closer to having a ranch. It doesn’t sound like he wants his life to change all that much.
Past Survivor comparison – He says Joe Anglim, Boston Rob, and Russell Hantz, which are close to boilerplate responses for casual fans of the show. They’re all notable players, but we see Ben as more Mike Chisel from Redemption Island meets Lex from Africa. He’s got that heroic, strong, and supportive side, but we also do think that he will be aggressive and cutthroat if he needs to be. He mentions having a “grizzly bear” side to his personality that could end up coming out of him.
Strengths – He’s going to be a hard worker around camp and probably a good leader. He has been in far worse conditions and will not how to deal with some of that stress of being away from friends and loved ones. From the vantage point of other players, maybe Ben is the kind of guy who serves as an almost-perfect shield to hide behind for a while since he’s not the sort of person who will be able to blend into the background altogether effectively.
Weaknesses – Ben’s big problem could just be relating to other players. Few people have gone through what he has, and he needs to bring himself to their level rather than trying to bring them to where he is. He needs to be able to relate, open up, and be willing to make the moves that he needs to. He also needs to keep that grizzly bear in check and allow other players to get themselves in trouble. Don’t be the catalyst for anything dramatic publicly.
Pre-show prediction – Ben does have winner upside in that we find parents are great Survivor players when they have the sort of drive that he does to win. He’s going to do everything that he needs to and won’t stop. He’s probably bound for the merge, but after that he just needs to stay out of his own way, potentially find an idol, and be willing to betray people when he needs to.
How well do you think that Ben Driebergen is going to do on Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers? Let us know in the comments below!
Also, click here to see some of our other CarterMatt spotlights on this season. (Photo: CBS.)