“I will definitely not announce that I’m an Olympian,” Beisel says in a cast promotion video this week, going on to joke that she doesn’t usually announce herself as an Olympian everywhere she goes in her day-to-day life.
You can watch the short video below, courtesy of @SurvivorCBS on Twitter:
— SURVIVOR (@survivorcbs) September 22, 2019
Survivor host Jeff Probst also had positive things to say about Beisel, both her personality (Probst says she’s “one of the most energetic and charismatic people you’ll ever meet”) and her ability to endure what is probably the most physically and mentally draining reality TV shows around.
Beisel, on the other hand, mentions that her extremely energetic and outgoing personality can at times be too much for others – something she’ll have to balance over the 39-day game-show.
In anticipation of tomorrow’s Survivor: Island of the Idols premiere, we’ll compile all the preseason coverage we could find of Beisel:
Parade magazine’s Mike Bloom has been profiling each cast member individually. You can read his piece on Beisel here. Some of the most interesting material for SwimSwam readers might be Beisel’s comparison of preparing for swimming and preparing for Survivor:
“Going into this game, I’m probably the most excited and nervous I’ve been since the Olympics,” Beisel says. “This is a completely different beast in itself. When I’m swimming at the Olympics, I’m fully rested. I’m fully fueled. The pool is heated to my liking. Here I am trying to compete with that same physical ability with no food, no sleep, in ‘nature’s pool.’ It will be interesting to see if I’m the athlete I truly think I am. This is the equalizer.”
Beisel also expands on her strategy of not announcing her Olympic history. She says she won’t deny it if she’s recognized or if someone brings it up. But she won’t offer the information unless she’s pressed.
From a Survivor fan perspective, Beisel’s stated goal of avoiding conflict and betrayal – “I’m going to try to be Switzerland as much as I can,” she jokes – is reminiscent of many former pro athletes on the show, who tend to value loyalty over aggressive gameplay.
Rob Has a Podcast Interview
Former Survivor contestant Rob Cesternino hosts the leading Survivor podcast, and teamed with one of the top Survivor writers, Josh Wigler, for some pregame interviews. They talk with Beisel in a podcast, which you can find here. (Beisel’s portion begins about 1:35:10 (one hour, 35 minutes) into the podcast).
Notably, Wigler says in his interview with other contestants that Beisel has already been recognized as either an Olympian or a high-level swimmer several times. (The Olympic ring tattoo is kind of a dead giveaway). A funny story from Wigler: at least one cast member was trying to improve their swimming technique leading up to the show and found YouTube videos of high-level swimmers as examples. One of those videos actually featured Beisel, so that cast member immediately recognized the two-time Olympian.
Beisel talks about the process of retiring from swimming during the ten-minute interview:
“You sort of lose an identity when you retire from your sport,” Beisel tells Wigler. “It’s almost like mourning a death, of like Elizabeth Beisel the swimmer.”
On the other hand, Beisel talks glowingly about her experience and about the ability to retire from the sport without resentment towards the sport:
“I was lucky enough to retire on a good note, which a lot of my friends unfortunately haven’t been able to do,” Beisel says. “So I’m thankful that I still love the sport, I can swim every day of my life and not resent it, which is huge.”
Wigler is a great interviewer, and the swimming-centric part of the interview will be engaging even for those without interest in Survivor.
Survivor‘s Online Fandom
Survivor has a very active fanbase online, and cast reveals are always an occasion for bold predictions and analyses. We compiled some of the most interesting ones below:
- “I really like her and I hope she does good. I think the hardest thing for her though will be being a recruit with a bunch of super fans but we’ll see I guess!” – /u/haydeng2023 on Reddit
- “She’s explosive, but can be also slightly overbearing, so it’s fearful that others might find her unbearable and that way they could get rid of her. But if she just makes enough friendships and makes enough moves, she could land herself a sweet spot in the Final Tribal Council. At the very least Final 7-8.” – /u/cherry_color_melisma on Reddit
- “From that I think she might be a little much for me but we’ll see how the show goes” – /u/nsnave on Reddit.
Reddit users votes Beisel among the four least likely players to get voted out early. On the other hand, Beisel was voted among the four least likely to find a hidden immunity idol and one of the four most likely to be dragged to the end of the game as a “goat,” or a losing finalist.
The 39th season of Survivor premieres tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 25) at 8 PM ET on CBS.