Mark Anthony Caruso, an openly gay man, is among the 16 contestants vying to win CBS' Survivor: South Pacific, which was filmed in Samoa.

Caruso is a 48-year-old retired New York City Police Department morgue detective from Queens, New York.

In his videotaped profile, Caruso says 9-11 was the height of his career.

“The highlight of my New York City detective's career was 9-11,” Caruso says. “Because I was able to go in there, fingerprint people, solve cases which would be – you know I didn't know what was going on – our job is to go in there and bring the families closure. And I took that very seriously.”

He added that contestants shouldn't write him off because of his age.

“What I would like to tell the other castaways is don't underestimate an older guy. Why? Because I have the heart, brain and soul to outwit, outplay and outlast every single one of you.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

In his bio, Caruso adds: “I call myself a Daddy Bear: I'm older, wiser, and cuter, I guess. No, I'm kidding I'm not cuter.”