Ianic Roy Richard

Here we are, officially at the beginning of the Survivor pre-season. The cast has been officially revealed. People are already picking their favorites and contenders only to see them crash and burn once they actually start the game (shout out to Mari Takahashi). To kick off A Tribe of One’s Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers coverage, let’s get to our pre-game assessment of each tribe. We will begin by going through the Heroes tribe. I will assess each person individually and then go into the potential tribe dynamics.

Alan Ball

Age: 31

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

Occupation: NFL player

Simply on first sight, Alan was my go-to guy. He’s ripped to shreds and a former professional athlete. There’s no doubt he will perform well in challenges. To become a pro-football player, you have to be willing to work harder than everyone else so I don’t doubt Alan will also be a workhorse at camp. There’s no way his tribe will be trying to get rid of Alan early on because he is a very generic asset when it comes to a tribe.

Like he says in his video, it’s unlikely he will be recognized as an NFL player unless someone on his tribe happened to be a diehard fan of one of his teams. So unless we get another Danni Boatwright situation, Alan should be fine. No word yet on whether or not Alan has come up with an alter ego named Alan Puck, a landscaper who also went to the University of Illinois but didn’t play football there.

That said, come merge time, Alan may be in trouble. He fits the bill as a typical merge boot who is sent home for being too much of a threat physically. What scared me watching his video was that he talked a lot about being grumpy when he’s hungry. That’s one of the things people on Survivor have to deal with, all it takes is one misplaced comment when you’re hangry to send your whole game toppling down.

In his bio, Alan says that he doesn’t like liars or people who feel entitled. That might be a problem for Survivor because the show is filled with both types of those people. His answer to the Survivor he is most like is a dead giveaway that he’s never seen the show:

I honestly don’t think you will see gameplay like mine; one of the only things I have in common with people on past seasons is there was a winner.

I do appreciate that he’s very confident about his chances though. It’s also worth noting that one of the three things he would bring on the island with him is some hot sauce. Because there’s nothing better to bring along with you on an empty stomach. I would like to see what kind of digestive issues that would give him.

Ashley Nolan

Age: 26

Hometown: Satellite Beach, Florida

Occupation: Lifeguard

Welcome to the Survivor female version of Big Brother 19’s Cody Nickson. Ashely is a self-described alpha personality who isn’t there to take shit from anyone. That makes her interesting and probably a cool person in everyday life but on Survivor, it’s a good way to ostracize yourself from your tribe. If she is going to have a good run in the game, Ashely is going to have to compartmentalize her feelings and only air them out in confessionals. She also says she might yell at her tribe if they lose a challenge because she hates losing.

On the good side, Ashley is without a doubt physically fit. She’s watched the show since the first season and even compares herself to Richard Hatch. On a cast that seems recruit heavy, understanding the dynamic of a show like Survivor might give her a huge edge if she gets her footing in the early going.

There’s also the fact that she quotes the Will Ferrell movie Talladega Nights in one of her bio answers, “If you’re not first, you’re last — and I refuse to be last”. Which makes me wonder if she ever finished the movie because the point of it was that Billy Bob Thoronton’s character was high and/or drunk and that his motto makes no sense. Though if the Heroes somehow lose the first challenge, I could definitely see Ashley being last.

Ben Driebergen

Age: 34

Hometown: Boise, Idaho

Occupation: Marine

I’m really iffy on Ben but I can’t put my finger on why. He says that he used to be sort of confrontational but is past that now. I’m not sure that I believe. Specifically, Ben refers to himself as a teddy bear that can turn into a Grizzly Bear when provoked. I can easily see him getting into arguments with his tribe. Especially because the Heroes all seem to be strong-willed people who won’t back down from their spoto.

There’s also his Survivor comparison: Russell Hantz, Boston Rob and Joe Anglim. What kind of weird combination of people is that? Truth be told, I am seeing more of a less interesting Keith Nale than anything else.

Not that there aren’t some good things about Ben. He’s a former marine who is used to being in tough situations. He’s had to deal with losing one of his best friends in combat and he believes that helped shape him and strengthen him. Like pretty much all of his tribe, Ben should do fine in most physical challenges.

It will remain to be seen but of the Heroes, he is one of the lower members on the totem pole in terms of how I see him meshing with the rest of his group.

Chrissy Hofbeck

Age: 46

Hometown: Bernardsville, New Jersey

Occupation: Actuary

After the bios and videos have come out, Chrissy is the person I am probably the highest on in comparison to when we just had basic information about these people. She’s an Actuary, which isn’t heroic in any sense of the word, but it should help her understand the steps she needs to take to keep progressing in the game.

On top of that, she is also a huge Survivor fan and has been applying since pretty much day one. I respect anybody who does not give up on their dream of getting onto the show and always hope that they do well when given the chance. In her Survivor comparison, she mentions Jenna Morasca because Chrissy would also take off her clothes for peanut butter and chocolate. That is probably an event that Survivor would like to leave in its past going forward. Or at least that was in her bio before it was edited to Tai Trang. See? Already evidence that Survivor does not want people to remember Jenna and Heidi’s nudity for food.

While she’s 46, Chrissy doesn’t look much more than in her 30s. She’s a very attractive lady who also happens to be incredibly intelligent. There are only a few “older” women in the cast and two of them happen to be on the same tribe. Of the two, Chrissy impresses me more.

She does mention that her pet peeve is when someone eats like a caveman. Given that they are going to be out on a deserted island, she may encounter some of that so hopefully she is prepared. There was also mention of Candy Crush being one of her hobbies before her bio was edited. That just seemed like subliminal advertising for CBS’s failing show.

JP Hilsabeck

Age: 28

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Occupation: Firefighter

JP is sort of boring but in a good way. He seems to be very humble despite being physically attractive and having an actual heroic occupation. He’s one of two I could see fitting the “golden boy” persona though not in a way that might be as interesting as Jay Starret did two seasons ago.

The fact that he’s a firefighter is sure to help him out. Could JP be a white Jeremy Collins? We’ve had both Jeremy and Tom Westman emerges as firefighters who won the game, could JP be the third? As long as he doesn’t suffer the same fate as Jim Lynch, he should be happy with his experience.

I do like the fact that JP is doing Survivor partly as a way to help his sister’s auto-immune disorder. It gives him a very focused goal to narrow in on. That should help keep out any distractions that the game or other people may bring to the table. He also loves his dog, of whom I’ve seen pictures and it is very cute. So points for that.

Katrina Radke

Age: 46

Hometown: Morris, Minnesota

Occupation: Olympian

Our second Olympian to ever be cast on the show. Thankfully for Katrina, she doesn’t have any “blazing speed” to boast about given that she competed in the water. That should give her an advantage in those competitions but emphasis on the word should because we all remember Crystal Cox. Hopefully Katrina doesn’t wear 10 pound shoes and she should be good.

I have to raise an issue with Kristina for describing herself as a “more outgoing, adventurous Denise Stapley”. Like, Denise is a national treasure and such treason on her name will not be accepted. Similar to Denise, Kristina works in the mental health industry as a sports psychologist. It seems like the show is really pushing the Olympian angle so her actual profession may be left by the wayside.

Kristina should be alright. I am not high or down on her, sort of just waiting to see what happens. If the Heroes lose multiple times, I think she may be in some trouble but if they can avoid that, she should be able to find the time to make some connections.


Tribe outlook:

The first thing that jumps out at you is that this tribe is full of physically fit people. If they have a few players who are also good at challenges, they may be in great shape to avoid losing immunity. This is especially the case in a three tribe season where all you have to do is just not be last. Proving once again that Ashley’s Talladega Nights motto is wrong.

One thing that scares me a little bit with the tribe as a whole is its name. Of the three tribe designations, the Heroes are the most susceptible of falling in love with their roles. We saw it on Heroes vs Villains where a few players, notably Rupert Boneham, would only view the game through their “heroic” lens. Hopefully these players realize that what they are named means nothing and that they should play the game without trying to fill a certain role.

I see some natural alliances forming between some of these players. I think Chrissy and Katrina could bond over being the older women who might be underestimated because of their age. Chrissy is a super fan of the show and Katrina referred to Denise which makes me think she watches as well. That duo could do some damage if they get a person or two on their side. I can also see Alan and JP bonding though I can’t explain why. Basically I just see Ashley and Ben ending up on the bottom of their tribes because I don’t think they will do that well at assimilating themselves.

Another thing that I noticed, and am happy to see, is that the Heroes tribe is full of strong women. Both Ashley and Chrissy mention not needing men to succeed in the game or in life. It gives me hope that this cast will have some strong women take control of the gameplay and not let the men dictate their fate. Coming off the dominance of Sarah Lacina, it would continue the same trend.

Overall, I think the Heroes will do well as a tribe. I don’t see them losing immunity challenges. If they don’t swap, they should all coast fairly far into the game. That said, it would be shocking to me that we would go through the entire pre-merge without a swap. Especially with three tribes. We will get to them later but I think the Hustlers are a prime candidate to get Matsing-ed and if it starts going that way, a swap may happen to change the flow of the game.

A Tribe of One

The premiere spot for Survivor history and analysis ranging from Borneo to the current season.

Ianic Roy Richard

Written by

Sports fan and alleged analyst. Day one Survivor fan and reality television junkie. @atribeofone1 on twitter. For inquiries: ianic.roy.richard@gmail.

A Tribe of One

The premiere spot for Survivor history and analysis ranging from Borneo to the current season.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade