‘Survivor 42’ preview: Hai Giang on why Yul Kwon was ‘an idol’ to him [WATCH]

Survivor 42” castaway Hai Giang has already had to survive a great deal in his life before even stepping onto the island. As he describes in his CBS interview, the 29-year-old data scientist grew up poor, gay and Asian, traits that were considered “undesirable” (watch below). He adds, “When you get up every day, even though the world tells you you shouldn’t, it makes you resilient.” Get to know all 18 castaways.

The New Orleans native describes himself as a “latchkey kid” as he was coming of age, largely raised by television, especially “Survivor.” One of his favorite former players is Yul Kwon, the winner of “Survivor: Cook Islands.”  “Yul was an idol to me growing up because Yul showed that Asian men can be confident, successful and sexy,” Hai describes. “Watching that as a 12-year-old was empowering.”

SEE Updated ‘Survivor’ winners list

As for how he will play the game, Hai believes in his ability to adapt. “I like to say that I can read the room better than I can read a book,” he quips. “I think that’s going to take me far in the game.” In a game of social strategy, understanding new situations is an underrated skill that may indeed take Hai further.

Looking at his CBS bio, Hai hopes to play like other contestants who excelled at social strategy, Parvati Shallow and Aubry Bracco. While he jokes that he’s neither “hot nor charming” like Parvati, he expects he’ll play more similarly to Aubry, especially in how she was able to hop to different alliances depending on what suited her. One of his most encouraging statements is that he does not intend to rule out anyone for a potential alliance, suggesting he may be flexible and willing to get his hands dirty to win the game.

SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘Survivor’?

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