Survivor 39 Island of the Idols Preseason Thoughts...

**Contains information about events that will happen, but no spoilers**


In Survivor season 39, Island of the Idols, the 20 castaways will be marooned on their separate beaches without talking to Jeff Probst. They will see their buffs and a sign with the name of the season, but won’t know what it means. $100 says they spend a lot of time searching for idols! Lol

 During the first episode, one castaway will be selected to go to the Island of the Idols. They will go through a Survivor bootcamp with the mentors, returning winners Boston Rob Mariano (Yay!) and Sandra Diaz-Twine. They will be instructed in the physical, strategic, and social aspects of the game. Then, they will be given a test for the chance to win an advantage in the next immunity challenge. If you have seen information about how the get selected, please comment and let me know!

Below are my preseasons thoughts about the castaways. This is just based on their CBS biographies and episode previews. 

Lairo Tribe


Front row, left to right: Dean Kowalski, Karishma Patel, Elizabeth Beisel, Chelsea Walker, Elaine Stott
Back row, left to right: Missy Byrd, Ronnie Bardah, Tom Laidlaw, Aaron Meredith, Vince Moua

Dean Kowalski - 28 years old

I'm really excited to get to know more about Dean. He is a high school math teacher, turned tech sales and DJ. From his bio, I think he could do well physically, mentally and socially. He is in great shape and I don't see him getting evicted early on when they need to stay strong. (Dean - I apologize if this is the kiss of death for you! lol)

Karishma Patel - 37 years old

Karishma is a personal injury lawyer. I don't know what that means in Houston, but in Florida that means she would be intelligent, cutthroat and competitive. (Yes, I'm profiling! lol) She has a LOT of pet peeves, including "mansplaining" and girls who play dumb. (Uh oh) She's not the least physically fit of the women, but if she is holding them back in challenges and coming on too strong, she could go early.

Elizabeth Beisel - 26 years old

As soon as Elizabeth started talking in the preview about how awesome it would be to see the women go to the end, she started to lose me. I hope she drops that spiel quickly. She's an olympic medalist and could be a huge benefit to the tribe in physical challenges. She has the possibility of being a big social and physical threat.

Chelsea Walker - 26 years old

Jeff said that Chelsea has been trying to get on Survivor longer than anyone else who hasn't gotten on the show. That alone makes me like her! She is competitive, persistent and seems like she will be a sassy and fun castaway. Don't let us superfans down, Chelsea!

Elaine Stott - 41 years old

Elaine is the least fit of the females, but that could be misleading because she's a factory worker and probably will contribute a lot to camp. She says she's hard on the outside and soft on the inside. She will probably either butt heads with Tom (see below) immediately, or become quick allies. If she works hard and makes connections, I can see her outlasting some of the weaker or more annoying players.

Missy Byrd - 24 years old

Missy is an Air Force veteran, so she already has a place in my heart. Her pet peeve is annoying human beings, so I can see her knowing who she wants to target early on. (Maybe Karishma?). Her bio was really short, so there's not much to go on. She is fit and should be a physical asset. Hopefully she's good at hiding when people annoy her!

Ronnie Bardah - 35 yrs old

I'm not sure if I could ever like Ronnie as much as he does! That being said, I'm intrigued by him. He grew up in the inner city, is a world traveler, seems physically fit and is a professional poker player. If he doesn't show his cards too early or play too hard to fast, I could see him doing well.

Tom Laidlaw - 60 years old

Tom is fit for the "older player" spot. Hopefully that will keep him from being the easy early target. He is a former NFL player and father. If he doesn't try to immediately take charge and tell the younger people what to do, he could do well. 

Aaron Meredith - 36 years old

Well, Jeff's description of Aaron is that he will do well if he can tone it down! Aaron is a father and gym owner and wants to be the tribe caretaker. He seems a bit over the top and might rub some people the wrong way. However, they will probably keep him for awhile to stay strong.

Vince Moua - 27 years old

Vince is quirky, Asian and gay. I think I love him already! He does sound like he has something to prove and I hope he doesn't come in trying to play too hard too fast. As an admissions counselor, he deals with a lot of people and should have a good social game. He is the least physically fit of the guys and that could hurt him if they lose early. Hopefully he puts his good social skills to work quickly!


Vokai Tribe


Front row, left to right: Jack Nichting, Molly Byman, Lauren Beck, Kellee Kim, Janet Carbin
Back row, left to right: Noura Salman, Dan Spilo, Jamal Shipman, Jason Linden, Tommy Sheehan

Jack Nichting - 23 years old

Jack is smart, social and physically fit. I think he will be able to successfully make connections with most of his tribe without being annoying. He will also be a help physically in competitions, and hopefully around camp. He should stick around for a while.

Molly Byman - 27 years old

Molly is a law student, and like Karishma, has a lot of pet peeves. (Coincidence? lol) In her favor, she was a middle school teacher. (I can vouch from personal experience that it requires a lot of patience and the ability to put up with annoying people. lol) One of her pet peeves is when people assume men and women can't be platonic friends. Therefore, Molly is my guess for getting into a showmance! While not an athlete, she seems fit enough to be an asset in physical competitions. However, she may make herself a target if she's a big flirt.

Lauren Beck - 28 years old

Lauren has an outgoing and bubbly personality and works with children as a nanny. She isn't athletic or outdoorsy and may struggle with camp life and the physical competitions. Here best bet is too be helpful around camp and to quickly use her social skills to gain allies so her lack of athleticism doesn't make her a target.

Kellee Kim - 29 years old

Kellee is a college student and soccer player. She is smart and has a fun attitude in her bio. She seems to have a problem with creamy white foods - mayo, whipped cream, sour cream and vanilla frosting! (Hopefully she doesn't mind coconut or rice, which are both white! lol) She shouldn't be an early target. Kellee wants to find a "meat shield" to protect her. Maybe Tommy will be her guy?

Janet Carbin - 59 years old

Janet is our token "older player" for the Vokai tribe. She's a lifeguard and rower, so she should be a physical asset and not hold the tribe back in competitions. Her bio is brief, but she says she's aggressive, comes off as tough and doesn't like laziness. Hopefully she's able to reign all that in and not come across as bossy. She has children the same age as some of her tribe mates and may be able to take on a "Mom" role. Unfortunately, I can see her being an easy early eviction.

Noura Salman - 36 years old

Noura is extremely physically fit and should be a competition asset. She likes herself a LOT (maybe as much as Ronnie on the other tribe! lol) There's something about her bio that makes me think she could rub people the wrong way and be confrontational and judgmental. (Prove me wrong, Noura!)

Dan Spilo - 48 years old

Dan strikes me as having good social, mental and physical game. (But, this could be because he's a loving husband and cried at Finding Nemo) I could see him possibly butting heads with Noura, but he will be able to make social connections with the other guys early on and shouldn't be a target early on.

Jamal Shipman - 33 years old

Jamal won me over as soon as he said he was a Momma's boy and likes fantasy football! He strikes me as having a strong mental and social game, while not holding his tribe back physically. I could see him allying with Dan and being in the larger alliance early on.

Jason Linden - 32 years old

Another personal injury lawyer? Jason compares himself to "Stephen Fishbach/Adam Klein/Cochran 2.0/Rob Cesternino". Those are some big shoes to fill! He seems intelligent and charming and fit enough to not hold his tribe back. I could see him trying to play too hard too fast, but hopefully he will join the big alliance and play under the radar at first.

Tommy Sheehan - 26 years old

I love Tommy already because he's another teacher, has a magic 8 ball, and describes himself as goofy! He is very fit physically and should have a great social game. I don't see him going any time soon (Tommy, I'm sorry if I jinxed you!).


Thank you for reading my preseason thoughts! These could all drastically change after the first episode, but it's fun to get to know the castaways a little bit and have some people to be cheering for right off the bat. Please feel free to share your comments and ideas.