'Survivor: Kaoh Rong -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty' host Jeff Probst hypes up the players to watch
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/17/2016
Survivor: Kaoh Rong -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty host Jeff Probst has summed up his views on a handful of players who will probably stand out this season.
Survivor's 32nd edition premieres Wednesday night, February 17 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS, and Probst has teased some players whom fans should keep an eye on.
Scot Pollard, a 40-year-old former NBA champion from Carmel, IN, will make a big impression on the Brawn tribe, according toEntertainment Weekly.
"I think his size makes him a target for early speculation," Probst toldEW. "Folks may be asking, 'What does a guy this big do for a living?' So being recognized is definitely a concern, but I think he has a pretty good story prepared to explain why he could still deserve to win."
Probst personally "loved" Pollard, who played for five NBA teams in his 11-year career and won a championship in his final season with the Boston Celtics.
"I loved Scot from the moment I met him. He's a big guy with a big personality that can swing from a true gentle giant that will take care of you to a guy who would just as soon bury you -- with a shovel," the host explained.
Caleb Reynolds, a 28-year-old Army veteran and former Big Brother contestant from Hopkinsville, KY, will be playing on the Beauty tribe.
Reynolds, who was best remembered for being girl crazy on Big Brother, is following in the footsteps of Big Brother winner Hayden Moss, who played as Kat Edorsson's boyfriend on Survivor: Blood vs.Water and placed seventh.
"Initially I wasn't sure about Caleb. But he definitely won me over in a big way," Probst admitted. "There is zero doubt that he is made for this game. He's very likable, an incredibly hard worker, and he has just the right amount of confidence/cockiness that you need to get the jury to vote for you to win."
Debbie Wanner, a 49-year-old chemist from Reading, PA, on the Brains tribe caught producers' attention from the moment they met her.
"She has more careers, more skills, and claims to have more knowledge about more things than anyone I have ever met in my entire life, including Elon Musk. How much of it is fully true and how deep her knowledge goes is a question to be answered. But I have zero doubt the audience will have a take on her very fast," Probst told EW.
Tai Trang, a 51-year-old gardener from San Francisco, CA, will be playing on the Beauty tribe and Probst insisted the audience will "gravitate" to him quickly.
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"He's a gardener who loves all living things and yet has chosen to play one of the nastiest games ever invented. He is also from Vietnam so he's very comfortable in this part of the world and should be an early asset to his team," Probst explained.
And then there's Joseph Del Campo, a 72-year-old former FBI agent and hostage negotiator from Vero Beach, FL.
"He's an easy target because of his age and there isn't anything he can do about it," Probst said of the Brains tribe castaway. "But whether he lasts one day or all 39 -- he's an inspiring guy and he is in great shape for someone in their eighth decade of living."
Cydney Gillon, a 23-year-old body builder from Douglasville, GA, will be a big, bulky guy on the Brawn tribe.
"I think the toughest part for Cydney will be the lack of calories," revealed Probst.
"Every time we have had a super toned athlete they struggle more than anyone else because they are so used to devouring a lot of food. Cydney's body is really a work of art. She is chiseled. I think she'll be seen as valuable early on if for no other reason than she can truly carry her own weight."
And Probst questioned whether another Brawn player, Kyle Jason, a 31-year-old bounty hunter from Detroit, MI, will have a bite to his big bark.
"Kyle makes a big impression," the Survivorhost noted, "and I think it's a well-crafted presentation that works for him."
"His appearance could definitely lead to a first impression of a hard, scary guy," Probst continued.
"But he does have a very nurturing quality to him. The question is, which part of his personality will win out under the extreme conditions of this season? I also think Kyle is a guy who can come across as loyal without ever truly considering himself loyal to anyone."
Probst teased Survivor: Kaoh Rong as potentially the most physically brutal season ever -- full of hardships, evacuations, sunburns and daily obstacles.