MERIDIAN, Idaho — The hit CBS TV show "Survivor" is returning for its 43rd season and welcoming 18 new contestants to the island. Among those 18 brave contestants is an Idaho resident and the oldest competitor for this season.
Originally from Houston, Texas, 52-year-old Mike "Gabler" Gabler currently lives in Meridian, which is in southern Idaho. He works in an operating room at Edwards Lifesciences as a heart valve expert, a career he has had for nearly 20 years.
Gabler believes his ability to operate on patients in a high-stress environment makes him a perfect contender to compete in "Survivor."
"I'm not your pretty typical device person," Gabler said in his introduction interview for "Survivor." "I have tattoos, I've got my beard and I'm a pretty big guy."
Gabler said the other contestants will likely perceive him as intimidating, but he hopes he can turn around their first impressions of him as the contest continues.
"I've got a heart of gold," he said. "I really care about people a lot, and the longer I'm in there and the more people get to know me, I think the better I will do with people."
At the end of the day, however, Gabler said his master plan to win the contest is based on three rules: outwit, outplay and outlast.
"Like I always say, a good friend will stab you in the front. So I hope I'm that good friend that can just take everybody out one by one with a smile," he said."
You can watch Gabler's full introduction interview by using the player below:
The Emmy Award-winning series kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 8:00 p.m. PT. The series is also available to stream live and on-demand on the CBS app and Paramount+.
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