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Deal or No Deal Island's First Eliminated Warns How "Dangerous" *These* Players Are

You don't have to be the strongest or smartest person on the island to succeed on Deal or No Deal Island.

By Caitlin Busch
The cast of Deal or No Deal Island participate on a set in Episode 101.

This story contains spoilers for Deal or No Deal Island Season 1, Episode 1.

When contestants are introduced to one another on Day One of a competitive reality show, most usually try to make a good first impression. That was certainly the case in the premiere episode of Deal or No Deal Island — but that doesn't mean they weren't already playing each other behind the scenes.

How to Watch

Watch Deal or No Deal Island Mondays at 9:30/8:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.

RELATED: How Do Deal or No Deal Island's Challenges and Classic Briefcases Work?

After the premiere episode, NBC Insider spoke with the first contestant eliminated from Deal or No Deal Island, Brantzen Wong. And Brantzen presented two kinds of players as being particularly "dangerous," the first being Kim Mattina, who pulled the wool over her fellow contestants' eyes in the premiere episode by, as she explained in a confessional, playing up just how helpless she was. When Brantzen learned later how he'd been played, he said the news "hurt me deeply," but understood it was all part of the game. 

What are the odds on who will survive every week?

And Brantzen would know a thing or two about gaming as a professional poker player. So, when NBC Insider asked for his take on who his fellow contestants should be looking out for, he was quick to name Kim.

"The dangerous thing about Kim is that in this game, the losers have a lot of power," he said. "You have to think like she’s gonna lose most times, right? She’s not gonna do well in most of the [physical] competition. If anything’s physical she’s not gonna do well. I can predict the bottom three, four people every single time because the losers have the 50/50 shot of not going home. Then they can potentially stay. That is dangerous because they have the power to be bucking people off left and right."

Kim Mattina leans on a muddy briefcase in Deal or No Deal Episode 101.

But, from his understanding of the game, you have to find the right middle ground between the mental and the physical aspects. Because Deal or No Deal Island is a more evolved version of the original Deal or No Deal series; it's more than just chance and strategy, as there's now a weekly physical challenge the contestants have to play through.

RELATED: Joe Manganiello Teases Deal or No Deal Island Drama: "They’re Going After Each Other's Throats"

"If I was at the end and I had to be up against a couple of people, yeah no problem you could totally win [against Kim]. She has the power to vote someone off or kick someone off, that’s one thing, but when it comes down to, 'Oh, who’s gonna win in some sort of physical competition, me or the woman who can’t walk one step in the mud? She can do damage while she’s there but she’s not, in my opinion, a super contender for everything."

"Boston" Rob: "Primary Enemy Number One"

So, if Kim is someone you would want to go up against in the finale, who would you want to get rid of fast before that final one-on-one.

"Primary enemy number one is always Rob," Brantzen said, referring to reality competition show legend "Boston" Rob Mariano, who Brantzen, in the premiere episode, actually suggested as being the person they wanted to vote out. "To me it’s like a no-brainer. I just – for everything that I did, and I realize it wasn’t a smart tactical decision, I still felt like in the beginning of it I felt like, 'Well, at least Rob is here' ... If you have the power to kick out someone like Rob, you do it. Because it’s like, 'What are you doing, messing around not [kicking him off].' Because someone that is so dangerous, someone who’s so willing to say anything, do anything.

"Rob is someone who’s very good with strategy," Brantzen continued. "The way he implements his decisions was very, very clear to me from the get-go. He was very clearly, in my opinion, just playing others and they’re his chess pieces. Which, I have no problem with that! Not only as a person but as a competitor, he’s just somebody who is willing to go to any length, use anyone, step on anyone to win, and that kind of person is very scary to have in a game."

Rob has been known by Survivor fans for years as one of the greatest to ever play the classic competition-survival series. That's in part due to his sharp strategy and his ability to play people against each other.

RELATED: Joe Manganiello Reveals If Howie Mandel Gave Him Deal or No Deal Hosting Advice

Rob Mariano leans on a muddy briefcase in Deal or No Deal Episode 101.

"That’s the kind of person that can amass power for themselves and can change groupthink when they’re really trying to get in people’s heads," Brantzen said.

What, specifically, makes Rob so dangerous? He's not too flashy about his opinions or manipulations. Instead, viewers will see him "planting seeds in an inception kind of way – planting little ideas for people to discover on their own."

Brantzen explained: "Every time I would hear him talk – some little thing that might be some kind of snarky remark, something that doesn’t give a full idea of something. Because he wants people to feel like they came up with that idea and it’s very obvious ... That’s where the power is. The power is when you get a group against something and it’s not like, 'Rob is against this,' it’s, 'Oh, we are against this!' But they don’t realize that Rob is the reason they’re against it because he’s planting all these little ideas that everyone's like, 'Oh, yeah, OK, OK!”

New episodes of Deal or No Deal Island premiere on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT. All episodes will be available next-day on Peacock

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