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Survivor 12 – Panama: Exile Island: New season…New twists…My picks!

If you’ve been waiting and anticipating the start of the twelfth season of Survivor, your wait is over!

Survivor: Panama – Exile Island begins tonight and it’s predicted to be one of the best seasons to date. With a creative cast of characters from a “Lumber Jill”, to a fire dancer and even a retired NASA astronaut, Survivor will, once again, thrill us, entertain us and leave us at the water coolers dishing the dirt as always.

Yes, Survivor heads back for the third time to Panama. Prior to this show, both season 6 (Pearl Island) and Season 7 (All-Stars) were filmed around the Panama area. With the huge success of those two seasons, it’s no wonder why they’d try Panama again. But like every season, it’s not just the picturesque surrounding of the location that intrigues viewers to Survivor. It’s also the cast…the “A-Type” personalities who come to play the game and possibly bring home $1 million dollars.

As with every season, the best way to spice the game up is to incorporate twists that are unpredictable, fresh and new. This season provides it all. Not only are the teams divided into 4 tribes (of 4 people), but the teams are grouped by gender and age. That’s Right, younger men versus younger women versus older men versus older women. Intriguing…one may suspect that the men will have the advantage. But when you get 4 young hunks together, their concept will probably be…”Play first, work second.” The older men as well as the older women will have a “work hard” ethic and the young chicks…well they may just be confused. So how will this all play out? We shall see.

Here’s my quick analysis of the new 16 contestants vying for the $1 million dollar cash prize on Survivor: Panama – Exile Island:

The Bayoneta Tribe consists of the ladies under 31 and they are:

  • Courtney Marit who’s a fire dancer and a fun-loving, all around athlete.
  • Danielle Dilorenzo is a medicals sales rep.
  • Sally Schumann is a social worker
  • And Misty Giles who is not only an engineer but a model and former beauty pageant contestant.

These young ladies will surely have a challenge on their hands having to provide for themselves for awhile without the assistance of the “motherly figure”, the comforting “father-type” or the buffed out jock. Will they have what it takes to make it on their own?

My favorite in this bunch is Sally. Not only is her birthday a day after mine, but being a social worker has its advantages with reading people and I hope she utilizes her training in this game.

The Vivero Tribe consists of the young jocks and they are:

  • Aras Baskauskas who is a yoga instructor and played professional basketball in Lithuania
  • Austin Carty is a model, author and actor
  • Bobby Mason is an attorney and a graduate of Stanford Law School
  • And Nick Stanbury, a cutie pie in Financial Sales

Of the four young men, I like Bobby Mason. However, he looks like a really cocky dude who may come across harshly and rub his tribe mates the wrong way. But looks can be deceiving. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and pick him as my favorite. Come on Bobby…do me proud!!!

The Casaya Tribe is the over 32 group (the female Rat Pack) and they are:

  • Cirie Fields is a surgical nurse who lost 30 pounds after she found out she had made it on the show. She is also the second “proclaimed Diva” of Survivor (Remember Ghandia for Survivor: Thailand).
  • Melinda Hyder is a realtor, singer and dance who at one time was a dancer on cruise ships.
  • Ruth Marie Milliman is a shopping center developer and is another pageant person who participated in the Miss Teenage America Pageant (Obviously that was a long time ago).
  • And Tina Scheer is a logger and a professional Lumber Jill.

Of the older ladies, so far, I like Ruth Marie. She has something about her that I’m gravitating too. If she can stay competitive and align with the right people, she could win this. She’s definitely got that, “motherly…Tina Wesson” look.

The last group is the La Mina Tribe or as I like to call them, “The Gentlemen’s Group”. They are:

  • Bruce Kanegai who is an Eagle Scout and former Teacher of the Year. He said that he wanted to be the “Mr. Miyagi” (from the Karate Kid Movies) of the show.
  • Daniel Barry, a retired NASA Astronaut
  • Shane Powers (the youngest of the group) is a Marketing Executive
  • And Terry Deitz is a pilot for American Airlines and a Lieutenant Commander in the naval reserves.

Of the older men, I have to pull for Bruce and Terry. Bruce brings a different flavor to the game and Terry just seems like the “All-American Dad” and I like to see him go far.

So…my favorites are: Sally Schumann, Bobby Mason, Ruth Marie Milliman and Terry Deitz with honorable mentions Bruce, Courtney and Nick.

What do I expect to see this season? Well, for one thing, we’ll see another twist to the game. Each week a tribe mate will be banished from their group and sent to Exile Island alone to live. This could be an advantage or a disadvantage. Remember Janu from Survivor: Palau? She was banished from her group and sent to a separate island and her time there was spiritual. She had and epiphany and when she returned, she chose to quit the game. So being exiled will be different for everyone.

Another twist added to this season is the Immunity Idol hidden on Exile Island. I guess there’s an incentive for being banished there. If anyone finds it, they can hold onto it and after the votes are read, if that person has the majority votes, they can present the idol and the person with the second highest votes will leave the game. WOW…what a crazy twist. But it will definitely shake up the game. Who will find it first and how long will they keep it before it’s revealed?

As Survivor: Panama begins, I’m sure we’re in store for more than just an entertaining season, it will be monumental.

Until next time…

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