‘Survivor 42’: One Contestant Doesn’t Want Their Past to Hinder Them

by Allison Hambrick

One contestant on Survivor 42 is keeping their cards close to their chest when it comes to their history. Hai Giang is a 29-year-old data scientist with a unique background

“I am a Vietnamese refuge,” Hai told Entertainment Weekly. “I came over here when I was three years old, and I grew up very poor. My personal history is not something I want to share right off the bat. If it comes up, it will come up, but I don’t want my life story to hinder my game because I don’t want people to use it as strategy for why I don’t deserve to sit at the end because they are afraid I will win the money.”

Hai isn’t the only competitor with a secret. One wants to keep her history as an actress under wraps, while Zach Wurtenberger hopes to hide his prowess as a speech and debate champion. However, one contestant is putting all of his skills out in the open.

“The only real thing I’m hiding that I’ll do everything I can to hide is that I am of a classical liberal persuasion,” said competitor Daniel Strunk. “And have historically worked for Republican political campaigns – at least, I worked for the Romney and Jeb Bush campaign. It’s a very different world now. But I wouldn’t want that to be known and I’ll steer away from politics as best I can.”

So though he is sharing his background and skillset, Strunk still has something to hide. After all, Survivor 42 is a competition.

Survivor 42 Contestant Talks Strategy

Wurtenberger also opened up about how he intends to play the game to win Survivor 42. The 22-year-old college student is aware of how past winners survived. As such, he decided to model himself off of a previous contestant: Todd Herzog.

Herzog competed in China, and his chief strategy involved being able to control every vote “from the shadows.”

We’re in a period of Survivor now where the tallest tree is the first one cut,” he explained. “Just look at Edge of Extinction’s boot order. You need to build a resume, but you can’t let anyone realize how extensive your resume is until it’s too late.”

Essentially, the best way to win the game is to make yourself useful enough to keep around, but not useful enough to be a threat to everyone else. Herzog used that strategy, which inspired Wurtenburger to do the same. Maintain a low threat level, while remaining a viable ally.

“I’d also love to mix that with Jeremy’s meat shield strategy,” he added. “So that I’m never the first one targeted if things go awry.”

Of course, the latter is pretty straightforward: don’t be the obvious target to vote off.