Aubry Bracco is back for another scoop of the crispy on Survivor: Edge of Extinction and this isn’t her first rodeo…it’s her third.
The Hampton Falls, N.H. native appeared on the show’s 32nd and 34th seasons, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng and Survivor: Game Changers, respectively. Will she have what it takes to finally earn herself the title of Sole Survivor? We’ll have to wait and see as Survivor‘s 38th (count ’em!) season kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. on CBS.
In the meantime, here are five fast facts you need to know about one of Survivor‘s most robbed contestants.
1. Bracco Was the Runner-Up On Her Original Season
In her debut season, Bracco made it all the way to the end but lost the final tribal to Michele Fitzgerald in a 5-2 vote. Bracco was a member of the Chan Loh tribe, aka the Brains tribe, in a season that pitted Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty.
Upon merging, the Brawns and Beauties planned to align against the Brains but when their male allies’ attitudes soured, the Brawn-Beauty women including Cydney, Julia, and Michele teamed up with the Brains to form a new majority alliance. Though the minority alliance of Jason, Scot, and Tai had two hidden immunity idols, Aubry convinced Tai to betray his allies, flushing out one of their opponents’ idols in the process.
Aubry and Cydney were the top dogs of their alliance and only turned against each other at the final four. Aubry won the tiebreaker to join Michele and Tai in the finals. While all three were praised and criticized by the jury, the jury voted for Michele’s relaxed social game over Aubry’s outwardly strategic gameplay. (#robbed!)
2. Survivor: Kaôh Rōng Was One of the Most Difficult and Punishing Seasons the Show Has Ever Seen
Bracco participated in one of the toughest Survivor seasons yet. Not only did the cast and crew suffer under a flaming Cambodian sun, but the season had a record number of medical evacuations during its filming.
After the tribes dug in the sand for over an hour in record-breaking heat, three contestants were treated for heat stroke and exhaustion. Former Big Brother contestant Caleb Reynolds was medically evacuated from the game after his heart rate continued to drop. The heat was so bad that his insides were literally cooking. The houseguest-turned-castaway was evacuated via emergency helicopter.
Later, Bracco’s alliance member Neal was evacuated from the game after a doctor determined that an infected wound on his knee could’ve worsened and affected his joint. Tribal Council was canceled for that evening. Yet another member of Bracco’s alliance would leave the game later in the season; Joe began feeling ill as a result of the previous day’s feasting and was withdrawn from the game after his condition worsened. Despite her many losses, Bracco still maintained a solid social and strategic game that got her to the end, but didn’t win her the money.
3. Bracco Almost Went to the End On Her Second Try, Too
Two seasons later, Bracco returned for Survivor: Game Changers, an all-star season that featured all returning players who have changed the game in some sort of way during their previous seasons. Bracco competed against Survivor legends such as the only two-time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine, Ozzy Lusth, Cirie Fields, and her former Kaôh Rōng castmates Tai Trang, Debbie Wanner, and Reynolds.
Although Bracco struggled to get herself into the majority alliance as tribes shifted and alliances swayed, she still made it deep into the game, placing in fifth place before being voted out on Day 37. Survivor: Cagayan‘s Sarah Lacina would go on to win the game.
4. Edge of Extinction Will Push Bracco and the Rest of the Cast To Their Limits
Four returning castaways will compete in Survivor‘s 38th season, Edge of Extinction. Along with Bracco are Joe Anglim (Worlds Apart, Second Chance), Kelley Wentworth (San Juan del Sur, Second Chance), and David Wright (Millennials vs. Gen-X). None of these four have ever won the show.
New to this season is the Extinction Island twist. When contestants who are voted off, they’ll have an option to take a boat to an area known as “Extinction Island” rather than leave the game permanently. Extinction Island is an abandoned beach with even fewer amenities than the tribes’ main island camps. Contestants on Extinction Island may either wait for an opportunity to re-join the main game or may choose to leave the game at any point. According to host Jeff Probst, the remaining contestants won’t have a clue about the twist until much later. If at any point Extinction Island becomes too much, a contestant can raise a flag on a ship’s mast to exit the game. Those who choose to stay, however, will become members of the jury after they compete for a chance to re-enter the competition.
5. Bracco Currently Lives in Los Angeles and Works As A Marketing Director
Bracco, 32, lives in LA and works in marketing. According to Probst, she’s one of his favorite Survivor castaways ever. “I like how vulnerable she always is,” he said in a video (above) released by CBS.
“I was a girl who came out on Survivor and had a panic attack on Day 2,” recalled Bracco about her time on Kaôh Rōng. “What keeps me going? I keep me going! There is an internal flame. I will not quit! I always go in feeling like I have a target on my back, but I’m gonna tell people, ‘Hey look, you’ve seen how I play, you’re gonna want someone to shield you. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.
“I understand the bigger picture of the game now. I’m gonna use my knowledge of those shifts in the game to strike when it’s the right moment.”
Probst continued, “She literally let us watch her cry in the shelter and contemplate if she was made for this game. And then she made it to the final three.”