Here’s how it works. I’ll go through each of the three tribes on the upcoming Kaôh Rōng season and give each castaway my own First Impression. Then I’ll give the tribe an overall assessment. Now, this won’t be helpful to almost anyone. But think about the fun we’ll having getting to look BACK on these when the finale airs. Oh yea, fun times are ahead. 

First up: Brains (Chanloh)

Let’s get this out of the way, shall we? If history repeats itself (which it usually does coughRUSSELcough, coughSANDRAcough, coughFISHBACHcough) then I think we can expect the brains tribe to fail miserably. I will say, I loved watching J’Tia dump her tribe’s rice in the fire and subsequently NOT get voted out. Garrett thinking Survivor wasn’t about surviving was amazing television. These castaways were so in their own heads that they lost focus on the long game immediately.

But we were also treated with the likes of Tasha, Spencer, and Kass, who all provided great TV moments and some of the best strategic conversations we’ve seen. It’s no wonder they all earned a second chance. So how will this new brains tribe fair against their counterparts? Let’s get started.


Peter Baggenstos

Barack Obama… err, Peter Baggenstos. He’s a doctor. His first bit in his video is all about watching videos on how to make fire (good idea) but falling back on winning fire instead (bad idea). Dude, you cannot just lean on challenge wins to get you places. You gave up learning fire and decided, “We’ll win and be fine. no worries.” Big mistake, Peter. I hope you have to make fire in a tie breaker and go home because of it.

He gives us a piece of the, “Don’t call me Obama. I hate that.” Although I think he probably loves it. And a bit of, “I’m recapturing my youth.” Honestly, all of this to me is screaming Garrett reincarnated. He’ll get about four days in and start hating the experience because they won’t have fire, won’t have food, and won’t want to survive. Peter, I think this is the wrong experience for you.

Survivor Buff says: Pre-Merge Boot


Aubry Bracco

Little Aubry Bracco. She looks quirky, intelligent, and a little on the weird side. She says she’s more than just a book-smarts girl and is great at communicating. I have to say, if someone thinks they are a great communicator because they manage social media… something isn’t right. It tells me she doesn’t have the experience reading non-verbals, body language, or tone of voice that usually helps in this game.

She also mentions that she’s sometimes unaware of the faces she makes and comes off as intense without meaning to. Aubry, you are killing me here! Everything this girl says is basically, “I do things that can hurt my chances in Survivor… but I’m gonna make it all the way.” If she alligns with the right people, she can be carried far. But I don’t see a winner.

Survivor Buff says: Pre-Merge Boot or Carried Deep. 


Joseph Del Campo

What’s up Del Campo! This is what Joe from Worlds Apart and Second Chances is going to look like at 72. But that’s about it. His entire video is FBI Agent this, or Navy Seals that, and, “I was born on the Fourth of July.” There’s just no depth here. He’ll help out in challenges and has life experiences to talk about to the younger kids on his tribe, so he won’t be an immediate target. But once the merge hits, his challenge prowess will be threatening to the other castaways.

Survivor Buff says: Early Merge Boot.


Neal Gottlieb

Neal is the guy you see on the street and think, he seems nice. He’s like a less manic Fishbach in a way, employing the same strategy – let the alpha males take each other out. He doesn’t come off as threatening in any way, which is both good and bad. Good because people will want him around longer, but bad if he’s on a losing brains tribe early on. He seems like he’d get along well with Joe based on experiences and Aubry based on quirkiness.

Neal is tough to read. He could be an easy first boot if he isn’t helping around camp, an easy target once the merge hits, or could maneuver his way to the end. I’ll throw a bone and say he’ll do well.

Survivor Buff says: Deep Game. 


Elisabeth Markham

I am IMMEDIATELY getting a female Spencer here. Quantitative strategist? Minored in Game Theory? Counted cards in Vegas? If that doesn’t scream gamebot then I don’t know what would.

Oh wait, she flirts. Okay so maybe there is a better balance here.

Lis is super confusing to me. She could be the more strategic Parvati, or the more social Spencer, or a lot of things. But it’s tough to tell from two minutes. Overall she seems excited and fun so her tribemates will enjoy her presence. She can provide around camp – a great skill to implement especially in the early game. I like her and I think if she can really pull in her social skills, she could make a run for it.

Survivor Buff says: Deep Game. 


Debbie Wanner

Hot damn look at that suit! Already an early favorite. It seems like she’s here more to prove a point than anything else. Push yourself, you can do it, take risks… it’s like she’s a walking motivator. That’ll certainly help in the early game, but is it enough? Her one fault is that she seems to think she knows it all, I mean she even says, “Everything I need to know, I think I now possess.” If she’s too stubborn, she’s going to piss some people off. Especially on a brains tribe.

Survivor Buff says: Pre-Merge Boot. 



Now, how will these people interact with one another. I can see Aubry and Neal getting along, Joe and Debbie getting along, maybe even Lis working her way between the two? I kind of see it as less of a cluster than the previous Brains tribe. But with new super idols hidden and tribe swaps a guarantee, it’s going to be a wonky ride for these braniacs.

Stay tuned next time for part 2 of the cast assessment!