Oldest ‘Survivor 42’ Contestant Once Mistook Woman for Being Pregnant

Mike Turner

CBS "Survivor 42" contestant Mike Turner.

With season 42 of “Survivor” on the horizon, fans are anxiously anticipating the release of the March 9 premiere. Ever since the release of the season’s cast photos and videos, fans have been examining what each of the 18 castaways have to say about their strategy and chance in the game.

“Survivor 42’s” oldest contestant will be 58-year-old Mike Turner, a retired firefighter from Hoboken, New Jersey. If he wins, he will be the oldest winner in the show’s history, though he will have quite a few obstacles to overcome if he is to achieve that goal.

Here’s what you need to know about Mike:


Mike Has the ‘Gift of the Gab,’ but Also the ‘Hoboken Whisper’

Mike Turner

CBSMike Turner in his CBS introductory video.

In his introductory video, Mike, a Hoboken native, spoke of how his life as a firefighter has helped him prepare for “Survivor.” “Everybody says they’d run into a burning building and pull a person out,” Mike said, “but you don’t know what you’re gonna do until you’re in that moment. So hopefully I’m prepared to adapt to different situations.”

Mike has also highlighted his likability, which he says will be crucial when it comes to making alliances. “I honestly think I can be the final Survivor because I possess all the attributes needed,” he said in his CBS bio. “I’ll be a beast in challenges, a worker in camp, yet I’ll make people believe I’m not a threat until it’s too late. I also have the gift of gab! People will like me (even Jeff).”

However, the thing that Mike considers his biggest challenge may be his loud mouth, which he calls a “Hoboken whisper.” He said in his intro video:

I think the most difficult part is probably going to be me talking in a way where nobody hears me, because I talk loud. I call it the ‘Hoboken whisper.’ So hopefully nobody hears they’re getting blindsided, otherwise you’re going to see Mike Turner’s name written on that parchment a few times.

Mike is also modest about the way he will approach the game. When asked which players he would most like to play with, Mike named a few “Survivor” legends, but added he didn’t know whether he could pull off as impressive games as theirs. “I would love to play like Boston Rob,” he said in his bio. “Not sure it will work out that way but I really believe that I have all the great attributes of all the great players.”

Rob Mariano and Tony Vlachos

CBSRob Mariano/Tony Vlachos.

In his pre-game Parade interview, he also mentioned two-time winner Tony Vlachos as a winner he identified with the most, in part because of their shared background of Hudson County, NJ, as well as the fact that they’re both civil service workers. “The way he plays is the way I think,” Mike said. “I’m not sure that I can be a Tony. I know I’m going to be a Mike. And I want to be a Mike. But I think that I most identify with his style of play, his sharp wit, and his sharp thinking.”


Mike Once Mistook a Woman for Being Pregnant

Mike Turner

CBSMike Turner.

“Survivor” would not be the first time Mike’s “Hoboken whisper” has caused him trouble. When each “Survivor 42” castaway was asked to recount their most embarrassing stories by EW’s Dalton Ross, Mike recalled a time back when he was a firefighter, when he and his team were forced to evacuate a building due to high levels of carbon monoxide.

At one door, a woman who looked about “seven months pregnant,” according to Mike, answered. Mike said to her, “Ma’am, you know we also want to protect your unborn child,” to which she responded, “I’m not pregnant, I’m just chubby!”

Mike responded by hugging the woman and apologizing, though he added that he still believes to this day that the woman was playing a joke on him. He said, per EW:

I still think she’s pregnant. I still think she got me. She’s walking around today with a 20 year old kid saying, ‘When I was pregnant with you, this fireman came to the door, and I told him I was chubby and not pregnant, and you should’ve seen his face! I got him good!’ So I think the joke is still on me.

“Survivor” airs Wednesdays 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. The two-hour premiere of season 42 will air on March 9.

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