By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
Whether in a court room or sitting around a gaming table, Kane Fritzler knows what it takes to win.
As a lawyer, a Survivor superfan and an avid Dungeons and Dragons devotee, Fritzler believes he has all the skills to bring home another Survivor win for Canada.
“As lawyers, we’re high variance when it comes to Survivor for sure. There’s not much in the middle. (laughs) I think that my skill set can translate easily. You learn about people skills. You learn about negotiation. You learn about leverage. You learn about identifying people’s interests. You learn about all that stuff and that’s something that I could apply. I think I’m good at building rapport with people as I’m good at building rapport with clients. I think there’s a lot of translatable skills across the board because it’s a people profession,” said the 25-year-old about his chosen profession.
World building, creativity, cooperation and puzzle solving are the hallmarks of the Dungeons and Dragons game whether you are a player or a Dungeon Master (the game’s lead storyteller and referee). Whether slaying orcs, kobolds or gelatinous cubes or leading a party of adventurers through their epic journey, Fritzler thinks his D&D skills will come into play during his Survivor quest and hopes it doesn’t turn into a Tomb of Horrors.
“I love Dungeons and Dragons and I think that one thing is that it teaches you how to get a group of people together and figure out what the story is. The story that everyone is telling together. As a Dungeon Master, because I’m primarily a Dungeon Master when I play, you get to sort of influence people and tell them what the story is going to be. You tell them where they should be going in a way where they still feel like they’re leading the story themselves. So, I think being cognizant of the narrative is very important to playing Survivor and Dungeons and Dragons,” he said.
In Dungeons and Dragons there are a myriad of characters players can choose from. You can be everything from an elven magic user to a human monk. Fritzler sees himself playing Survivor as a multi-class paladin rogue with the emphasis on being a paladin which is an interesting combination if you think about it. A paladin is a holy knight while a rogue is a thief who often operates in the shadows and is able to disarms traps.
“I want to be able to come forward and be this good guy, to be able to heal people and be that support character but I want to have those ‘sneak stats’ in my back pocket. I want to be able to to make sure that I can still execute the shifty part of the game but then when people look back and try to figure out who did it, all they see is this wonderful paladin, right? That would be ideal for me,” he said.
As a Canadian, Fritzler has a big legacy to follow on Survivor. In recent years Canadians have dominated the game with Erika Casupanan from Toronto winning season 41 and Maryanne Oketch of Ajax winning season 42. Maryanne’s fellow Canadians Omar Zaheer from Whitby and Drea Wheeler from Quebec finished 6th and 7th.
“I feel that Canadian pressure. Canadians have been performing very well on Survivor so I have got big shoes to fill. I’m very excited to represent Canada and represent Saskatchewan. North of the border, there’s a lot of hunger for this game. I’m excited! I’m keen! I’m glad I am where I am. I know a lot of people go out there and wonder if they should lie about their profession. I am like…Do I lie about my citizenship?” he laughed.
According to Fritzler Canadians have done so well at Survivor because they were born and bred for the game not only because of the harsh climate they face but the cultural environment they grow up in which although is similar to America it is also vastly different than America. For example, the pandemic brought Canadians closer together whereas it can be argued that in the USA it accentuated the deep political and cultural divide that exists there nowadays.
“Canada is a huge cultural mosaic. There’s all these different types of people that all come together. There’s a lot of different perspectives and I think that really helps me. I think a lot of Canadians are able to get out there with any combination of people and hit the ground running, be able to make friends. I think that’s one big part of it. I think the other big part of it is winter. Canadians across the board are just more hardened than the Americans. We get out there and it gets cold in Fiji at night, that winter air blows up and it didn’t bother me as much as my other tribemates. We’re a little more hardened. We’re a little more able to hit the ground running. I think that we’re just hungry because we finally got our shot,” he said.
Before heading off to that Fijian island Fritzler and his girlfriend binged watched, rewatched many Survivor seasons closely examining the fatal flaws and the spectacular successes of former players. He even worked through puzzles and challenges with her in their own Survivor boot camp. The one approach that always stuck with him throughout the preparation process was to make friends first and allies second.
“I went in and wanted to talk with people, get to know them and figure out what my role was going to be in that ecosystem which we’re creating with each other. Once I knew that, I was sort of a firm fixture in the tribe, then I could start thinking…Who do I want to work with? Who is going to be my ally in this game?” he explained.
No matter whether he is the first to be voted out or is the Ultimate Survivor this season Kane is glad he got the opportunity to play Survivor his way.
“I love this game! I do. It is so much fun! I just wanted to play it so bad and I’ve watched other people play it for so long. I’m going to try my damnedest to do the Kane Fritzler approach to Survivor,” he said.
Survivor 44 debuts tomorrow night with a two-hour season premiere starting at 8:00 PM, ET on Global Television.