Survivor Edge of Extinction cast assessment: Dan DaSilva is the Wardog

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

If Dan DaSilva is truly the Wardog he says he is, then Survivor: Edge of Extinction is the perfect test for him, as the game is a war of attrition.

There are many iconic characters who refer to themselves in the third person. Who could forget George Costanza and one of his iconic phrases, “George is getting upset?” The Rock made a multimedia career after referring to himself as “The Rock.” Now, Survivor: Edge of Extinction has an elite illeist in its ranks, as Dan DaSilva is known as Wardog, and he’ll let you know it himself.

There is nothing more important of a necessity for someone who refers to themselves in the third person than self-awareness, and the Survivor Wardog’s ET Canada interview showcased that in spades. He knows what kind of target he presents in the way his persona comes off to others, knowing that he has the look of a Tony, a Domenick, a bodega Tony Joe Mena or even a Ben Driebergen.

However, he’s also a studious Survivor fan (much like many other players this season) and knows that he needs to take the Sandra Diaz-Twine approach early with the “anybody but me” strategy. Not only that, but he’s able to bring the strategy around and explain it in modern terms by describing how nobody cares what you do early on with Day 6 masterminds; it’s all about how you finish that matters to the jury.

Dan “Wardog” also prepared for this game by learning how to swim at an advanced level, training in his community pool to control his breathing and complete basic tasks underwater. I think aquatic skills are a bit overrated, and even he says he can get to the second-deepest level of diving, but it shows his commitment level to self-improvement which comes from his military background.

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Perhaps one of his strongest suits is his adaptability, which will translate very well in Survivor: Edge of Extinction. He listed off his various jobs such as three years of advertising and sales, three years of professional poker, telecommunications for three years and law school for the past two years. He’s shown throughout his preseason press just how quick he is on his toes, and the fact he can move across the country and adapt is bigger than the game itself.

How Dan separates himself from the characters that draw targets is how much of a trickster he is. He seems to be very aloof and will keep people laughing. Balancing that out with his third-personisms might become an annoying nitpick that could undo all his goodwill, so let’s hope the Wardog listens to his inner Wardog.

His CBS bio goes deeper into his military background, which shows off the impressive records he accomplished 20 years ago. He’s in good company when it comes to strength, as he will look to beast competitions with the Joes and Erics (firefighter) of the game. What we’ve yet to discover is if he will try to take a leadership role later in the game or if the Sandra gameplay will permeate.

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If there’s one thing to take away from Dan “Wardog” DaSilva ahead of Survivor: Edge of Extinction, it’s that he’s going to be a character and for a long time. Even if he gets booted after the merge, I cannot wait to see what his game will look like, even if he’s scratching and surviving on Extinction Island.