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Cincinnati native Daniel Strunk competing on next 'Survivor'

Robert Voets/CBS
CBS Entertainment
Cincinnati native Daniel Strunk makes his debut on 'Survivor' 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 9.

The former Keating Muething & Klekamp summer associate will be identified as a law clerk living in New Haven, CT, on the CBS show.

After growing up watching Survivor, Cincinnati native Daniel Strunk finally gets his chance to "outwit, outplay and outlast" 17 others for CBS' $1-million sole Survivor prize.

Strunk, 30, was named Wednesday as one of the contestants for the 42nd edition of Survivor taped in Fiji. It premieres 8 p.m. March 9.

"I mean, it's unbelievable to be here in Fiji. I've wanted to be on the show for so long," Strunk says in his one-minute CBS cast bio.

Strunk's Cincinnati connections aren't clear yet. (If you know Daniel or his family, email me at johnkiese@yahoo.com.)

He will be identified on the show as a law clerk living in New Haven, CT, where he attended Yale Law School from 2016-19. But on the video, Strunk says he's "technically a lawyer, but I work right now as a law clerk for a federal judge in Michigan."

His LinkedIn profile says Strunk clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Raymond Kethledge in Ann Arbor, Mich., from August 2020 to August 2021. Strunk now is an associate at the Keller Lenker LLC law firm in Washington D.C., and likely started after Survivor was taped.

Robert Voets/CBS
CBS Entertainment
Daniel Strunk, wearing a black T-shirt, is kneeling in the lower right. The 18 new "Survivor" cast members are (back row from left) Lydia Meredith, Rocksroy Bailey, Marya Sherron, Jonathan Young, Mike Turner, Drea Wheeler, Romeo Escobar, Lindsay Dolashewich, Hai Giang, and Chanelle Howell. In the bottom row (from left) are Zach Wurtenberger, Tori Meehan, Daniel Strunk, Maryanne Oketch, Jackson Fox, Jenny Kim, Omar Zaheer, and Swati Goel.

In his CBS video, Strunk credits "an amazing government high school teacher" who ignited an interest in law. He did not name the high school, and it's not mentioned on his LinkedIn profile. His education references begin with earning degrees in economics and political science from Duke University 2010-14. He earned a masters degree in politics and public policy from Trinity College in Dublin 2014-15 before entering Yale.

How well his negotiating skills serve him on Survivor remains to be seen.

"I grew up watching Survivor," he says in the video, which shows him standing next to a life-size cardboard cutout of host Jeff Probst. "But I really don't know what it takes to be the sole Survivor. Look, Las Vegas should not be betting on me. I'm short. I'm a little bit chunky. I don't know if I'll be able to do well in challenges. I don't know if I'll be able to provide around camp. But I'm gonna try!

"Obviously I'm a sneaky person. I'm well educated. I'll try to be goofy," he says.

Strunk is the first Greater Cincinnati Survivor contestant in four years. Angela Perkins, an Army veteran from the Warren County community of Oregonia, competed in Survivor: Ghost Island in spring 2018. It was also taped in Fiji. She finished fourth on the show.

Cincinnati was a hotbed for Survivor when it premiered in the summer of 2000, and for several years had the highest ratings for the show.