Survivor: Kaoh Rong - Season Preview
Part 2 - The Beauty Tribe
By Jim Van Nest
February 17, 2016

The tall guy looks like the bouncer who's about to kick all these people out.

Hello, good people! We are back with Part 2 of our three-part series previewing Survivor's 32nd season, Kaoh Rong - Brains vs Beauty vs Brawn. We've already previewed the Brains tribe and today we're here to talk about Beauty. Before we get to that, I want to mention the timing of the filming of this season. This season was actually filmed before Second Chance, but due to the fan vote and the immediate sequester, Second Chance was aired first. This means that these poor folks have been sitting on this for over a year now. Can you imagine thinking that you won the game and then having to wait this long to find out? Or being the first one voted out with all your friends talking to you about how excited they are for over a year?

This season was filmed in the same location as Second Chance. In fact, some Second Chancers mentioned seeing remnants of the Kaoh Rong cast out on the island - trees where they tallied the number of days in the game...stuff like that. Also, it should be mentioned that these people did not see Second Chance and may not have seen the end of Worlds Apart by the time they filmed, so they may know nothing about Vote Doublers and Vote Stealers advantages. So, keep that in mind when the players see things that we’re used to by now. This is their first time seeing it.

All right, are you ready to meet the Beauty tribe? They will be called Gondol. They'll be donning yellow buffs this time around and here they are:

Anna Khait - Poker players haven't traditionally done well on Survivor. Of course, the three poker players to play the game were all guys and all thought they were WAY smarter than everyone else. Anna could have fallen into the same trap, if put on the Brains tribe, I think. However, they put her on Beauty. With that label, she won't have to be the smartest person in the room. Also in her favor is that on this tribe, she probably will be the smartest. And she knows how to read people; you have to in order to make a living playing poker. In watching her video, what I liked about her is that she doesn't have the typical Survivor player bravado. Everyone's a champion in the pregame. She is very realistic about her chances, figuring that if she doesn't win, she'll at least learn something about herself and have something to work on. I agree with Jeff Probst and think going in with the realistic attitude that you likely won't win the game can help release you to actually play the game. And I think Anna will personify that attitude - the attitude that views Survivor as a really hard game to win, rather than your game to lose. I like Anna's chances and I see a long run for her out there.

Caleb Reynolds - Next up is former Big Brother contestant, Caleb. For those who watch BB, he had the nickname "Beast Mode Cowboy." Read that again if you want, because it's the last time I plan to use it. I don't have a problem with the cowboy part; he lives on a farm and lives that life. Awesome. The other part is a stupid nickname and it's someone ELSE'S stupid nickname. So, right off the bat I don't care for this guy. I don't watch BB, so I have no idea what he's about, but he certainly doesn't strike me as a Hayden Moss kinda guy.

He has an interesting plan for the game and that's to be funny. To be some sort of comic relief for his Tribe. He's a veteran, so he gets mad respect from me for that. I'm just not sure he's the personality I'm going to care for on a season of Survivor. I also think that I'm gonna have to put up with him for a while. He has the makings of the guy I want to see voted out that never gets frickin' voted out. He'll definitely make the merge, but I don't think he has what it takes to win.

Julia Sokolowski - We've already met one of the oldest to ever play Survivor, now it's time to meet one of the youngest. Julia is 18-years-old and at the time of filming was just a couple months removed from high school. I'll say this; she seems like a super sweet girl. She's very pretty, has a lot going for her and she will probably do well in life. But to quote Kimmi Kappenberg, "No, Pumpkin, no." Survivor is not going to be for her. She spent some time in Tanzania and did a lot of outdoorsy stuff, but I can't imagine in a million years that it will be anything like what she's getting ready to put herself through to play Survivor. She's a sorority girl who's been working on networking for life after college and that's amazing, especially for a freshman. But if she thinks, for one second, that that experience will in any way compare to Survivor, she's in for a major surprise. These people don't care, they won't care and they'll cut your throat at any second. I could be wrong here, but I think this game will swallow her up and she'll be a very early boot on the Beauty tribe. I would also put her in the pool for a med-evac.

Michele Fitzgerald - Every season has to have one, so I introduce you to Michele, Season 32's bartender! Michele's also a super fan of the show, and we know how that usually works out for people. Aside from that, she's a huge Harry Potter geek. I know you'll all expect this grumpy old man to make fun of that, but having made two trips to Orlando to visit both Harry Potter worlds, I'd suggest that you judgmental muggles need to back the hell up off Michele! Other than that, her bio and video are not very helpful. She's a Jersey girl, but she doesn't act like a Jersey girl, but then the Jersey girl sass may come out. I don't know...they have really given me nothing on this girl so it's hard for me to determine what to do with her. I have a sneaking suspicion that she may coast through the game for a little while based on just that - not being out there enough to be a target. I see her making the merge, but I fear that she could be the "wait a minute, SHE was on Survivor" girl of this cast. Hopefully for her, her Patronus is strong; I'm just not feeling it early on.

Nick Maiorano - Oh, Nick. You have history with Rob Has A Podcast, so I want to like you. But, simply put, I don't. The fact that you plan to fake listen to people and can't wait to start manipulating people actually makes we want to root for Caleb. He lists himself as a "Life Coach" but plans to tell everyone he's a personal trainer because Life Coach is too hard to explain. And, let's be honest - you never want to tell people that you make money from bullshitting people who are in a bad place and come to you for "help." This guy is gonna drive me nuts from the time he hits the beach until Jeff snuffs his torch. The only redeeming thing about guys like this is that their fall from grace is usually epic and incredibly satisfying. He'll make the merge and may even last a little while after, but that epic fall is coming and it will be glorious.

Tai Trang - I'm gonna go ahead and say it right now. If you can watch two minutes of Tai Trang and not like him, you are a scary person and you probably need help. I LOVE this guy. Tai is a gardener who also loves to keep bees (who DOES that?). He's from Vietnam (which he says he could probably swim to from where they are in Cambodia) and he's one of 10 children. He climbs trees, he loves to have fun, he's great to listen to and I instantly want to root for him. He would love nothing more than to win this game in his own backyard. I hate to take the smile off the little guy's face, but I think Tai is in trouble. Unless Beauty can go on a nice immunity run, I worry that being small and 51-years-old will make Tai a liability in challenges and with this tribe, that might be enough to get you booted early. Of all the predictions I'm going to make in these previews, this is the one I hope I'm wrong about. I want Tai to do well and go all the way, but I really fear he'll be a pre-merge boot. If that's the case, I hope he's at least memorable enough to get the call for Survivor: Second Second Chances or whatever the next fan vote season will be called.

And just like that, we're finished talking about the Beauty tribe. Overall, I'm about even on the Beauty and Brains tribe, though this tribe definitely has two people I think I will not like in Caleb and Nick. To counteract that, though, I do have some Tai Trang - for however few episodes that might be. Overall for this tribe, I see Julia and Tai being potential early pre-merge boots with Anna and Caleb having a good makeup to make it far in this game. Nick is a classic "vote after the merge" boot and Michele will likely bow out somewhere along the way, but not really pose too much of a threat to win it.

Thanks so much for checking out Part 2 of my Kaoh Rong preview and be sure to read about the Brawn tribe and I make my season predictions for Final 4 and ultimately, the winner of Survivor Kaoh Rong! 'Til then, take care!