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CBS announced today the 20 castaways who will compete against each other on SURVIVOR when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 36th season with a special two-hour premiere, Wednesday, Feb. 28 (8:00-10:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
This edition, themed “Ghost Island,” features 20 new castaways divided into two groups of 10 and centers around the bad decisions of past players. In a new twist, players may be sent to a separate haunted island filled with SURVIVOR relics from the previous 35 seasons of the show. The question is: will these new players be able to learn from the past mistakes of others and “reverse the curse,” or will the past come back to haunt them? Showcasing the series’ extensive history, Ghost Island is filled with real idols and advantages from previous seasons, including from Brazil, China, Africa and Australia, serving as a haunted graveyard of unfortunate choices made by former players.
“SURVIVOR continues to be a complicated game of social politics and everything rests on one’s ability to make the right decision at the right time,” said executive producer and host Jeff Probst. “This season, Ghost Island serves as a constant reminder that one bad decision can haunt a player forever.”
These new castaways will be forced to compete against each other with the same ultimate goal: to outwit, outplay and outlast each other in an attempt to become the Sole Survivor. The show is hosted by Emmy Award winner Jeff Probst. This season’s castaways include a social media strategist, an Army veteran, an emergency medical technician and a marine animal trainer.
The following are the 20 castaways competing this spring.
“NAVITI” TRIBE (Purple)
Angela Perkins, 42 Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio Army veteran
Chelsea Townsend, 24 Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah EMT
Desiree Afuye, 21 Hometown: Newark, N.J. Student
Kellyn Bechtold, 31 Hometown: North Manchester, Ind. Career vounselor
Morgan Ricke, 29 Hometown: New Albany, Ind. Marine animal trainer
Bradley Kleihege, 26 Hometown: Haslett, Mich. Law student
Chris Noble, 27 Hometown: Florida Keys, Fla. Male model
Domenick Abbate, 38 Hometown: Nesconset, N.Y. Construction supervisor
Sebastian Noel, 22 Hometown: Melbourne, Fla. Fishing guide
Age: 38 Hometown: Nesconset, New York Current residence: Nesconset, New York Occupation: Construction Supervisor
Hobbies: Crossfit, poker, and skiing.
Pet peeves: Fake people, small talk at parties, and judgmental people who are convinced they are better than me.
Three words to describe you: Calculated, intuitive, and empathetic.
What's your personal claim to fame? My greatest personal accomplishment came when my first daughter was born in 2008. Before her birth I was very overweight, smoked cigarettes, dabbled quite a bit at the craps table and would most likely be sitting down at the poker table on any given day. I recall a specific moment when my daughter was about a year old and she wanted me to take her outside on the swings. It was chilly that day so I had to dress warm. While putting on my shoes, I recall panting from being out of breath from the simple act of tying my own shoes.
It was at that moment that I knew I had to make a change so that I would be around a long time for her and my other children that were soon to come. In the last seven years, I quit smoking, dropped 65 pounds and even though I can still occasionally be found in a poker room, I have dramatically prioritized where my income goes and where most of my money is spent, which is primarily bills and workout clothes for my wife.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My father. He raised nine kids on a construction salary, taught his boys to be men and his daughters to be ladies.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A photo of my wife, a picture of my rugrats because they're awesome, and an antihistamine, which I will spike in somebody's drinking water if they are relentlessly annoying me and/or the group on the island.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? I know you are looking for one, but I am going to split this in three. Mostly Cirie, because I think she is masterfully empathetic with other players. She has an amazing ability to disable people. I hope I can do what she has done in the game. Second is Cochran. He wins in the emotional intelligence category that allows him to morph into whatever he needs to at the time. He also understands the importance of stroking other people's egos when he needs to. This is something I hope I am capable of doing. And finally Rob Mariano, for the simple fact that we both come from Italian families with a background in construction. But more importantly, he sees the game big picture which is critical and I hope I can maintain.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? Obviously this is the opportunity of a lifetime to play this game, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a forced break from real life. And I don't mean that I am happy to leave my family or my job, but this game will force me to be away from my life for a set period of time which I hope will open my eyes to what's important when I get home. Oh yeah, and that money is mine!
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I grew up in a house with eight siblings. Lack of food, clothes, and showers are something I'm accustomed to. This game should be a walk in the park.
Age: 21 Hometown: Newark, New Jersey Current residence: Brooklyn, New York Occupation: Student
Hobbies: Traveling, debating, and binging on YouTube videos.
Pet peeves: Complaining.
Three words to describe you: Unbreakable, driven, and real.
What's your personal claim to fame? Getting a place and back on my feet after being homeless. Freshman year when school ended, I didn't have anywhere to go. My parents were in Nigeria and both my brothers were in the U.S. but not much older than me so they couldn't help. This resulted in me being homeless for 1-2 months.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? Beyoncé. She works so hard and is constantly topping herself. She literally sets the standard for every performer and artist and continues to raise the bar. She had Adele and Kanye West on stage defending her when she didn't win an award. Who else can do that? She is one of the few super humans to walk the Earth.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A picture of a skeleton in a grave to constantly remind me that things could be worse, a photo book of my family because I will always love them and they forever motivate me and finally, text message threads between me and my best friend. We have the funniest conversations and laughing is the best way to stay positive and happy.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Michaela! I am a strong black woman who is not afraid to make power moves. I haven't had an easy life and sure as hell don't expect winning Survivor to come easy. I relate a lot to her because we are both strong-willed and determined and willing to do what it takes to accomplish our goals.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? The million dollars would change my life drastically. I would have a story for the books—the girl that went from village to Versailles. I've seen it all, from the slums to the fast-paced, hard working student life in NYC. I want to change my life and my surroundings. I want to show myself and others that regardless of what you've been through, (it was being homeless for me), you can succeed.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I currently live in a house of eight girls. I know how to deal with seven different versions of crazy and different personalities. I am constantly settling issues in the house and running the house meetings, not only does this make me sociable, it makes me likable and adaptable. I have good experience in sports, having played basketball for most of high school and I work out at my college gym. I'm putting myself through school with grants and academic scholarships while my parents are in Nigeria and I am an asset to any team.
Age: 31 Hometown: North Manchester, Indiana Current residence: Denver, Colorado Occupation: Career Counselor
Hobbies: Travel—I love meeting new people in new places, yoga, meditation, and gambling.
Pet peeves: Ignorance and unwillingness to try and walk in other people's shoes and being interrupted by a man.
Three words to describe you: Empathetic, effervescent, and excitable.
What's your personal claim to fame? My ever-evolving career. From being a waitress in Indiana, working at a plant nursery in Florida, to a receptionist at a crematory, and eventually working in career services and business consulting with a dual MBA and Master of Public Health.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My parents. My dad is one of the hardest working people I know. My mom tutors incarcerated women, volunteers on Election Day, and contributes to our local community in a loving, selfless way.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A bag of Skittles. I'm addicted to candy and just one Skittle a day would keep me going through starvation! Next, a deck of cards so I could get people to play games that require deceit, and try to read tells, and tampons, because, duh.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? I hope I'm a mix between Kelley Wentworth and Aubry Bracco. Kelley is a badass game player who would do anything to win. She gets people to trust her and is still a snake. I'm also a little bit Aubry—strategic, very intuitive, but slightly neurotic and quirky.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? As Probst says, Survivor is a human experiment. I am fascinated, as a huge fan, to watch how people interact and deceive when pushed to their limits. Can't wait to have a front row seat! I want to prove to myself that I can take on this insane physical and mental challenge. Survivor is the greatest game on earth, and I'd like to try my hand at it.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I will survive because of my innate ability to make people feel comfortable. I don't give up. I'm a resilient person who has done a lot to design my own life. I have the mental and physical stamina to last, even if I don't look like it. I think I am just sweet and sour enough to come out on top.
Jenna Bowman Age: 23 Hometown: Detroit, Michigan Current residence: Venice Beach, California Occupation: Advertising Account Executive Hobbies: Volunteering for the non-profit Wish Upon a Teen, traveling, and being outdoors.
Pet peeves: People who move too slow to accomplish something, people who say the word "poop," people who lie for no reason, internet trolls, bad breath, and road rage (basically everyone needs to chill).
Three words to describe you: Creative, open minded, and adventurous.
What's your personal claim to fame? I feel the most fulfilled when I can make someone's day or even make them smile. I think it's important to not only maintain healthy relationships with friends and family, but also to make a difference in a total stranger's life. I don't care what type of person you are, seeing someone better off because of something you did changes you for the better. Pay it forward, people. Even the smallest gesture can make a large impact!
Who or what is your inspiration in life? I'd say my daily hopes and dreams are inspired by all of the unique creatures, cultures, and nature that surrounds us on this planet.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? First, lemons to flavor my water/food and bleach my hair. Second would be Mentos gum to chew, and finally, pen and paper to document my journey/write love letters to a hot castaway.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? Because why the hell not? Literally can't think of a single reason why anyone would say no to an experience of a lifetime. Life is too short to not say "YES."
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I have been able to manifest anything and everything I've ever wanted in my life—it's pretty cool. Not to brag, but I say I want something and I always get it. So hopefully by saying "I'll survive," I will win or at least come out of the experience with nothing but a profound appreciation of what I just accomplished.
Jacob Derwin Age: 22 Hometown: Merrick, New York Current residence: Brooklyn, New York Occupation: Music Teacher
Hobbies: Songwriting and performing those songs, telling stories—be that on stage or just to friends—and cooking with my mom. Shut up, it makes me happy! Also, I listen to a ton of podcasts, attend as many concerts as I possibly can, and spend a great deal of time panicking over current political events.
Pet peeves: When people let little discomforts spoil an entire experience. When people feel a need to complain constantly, even when there's nothing to complain about. The worst, though? When people don't have a sense of humor. Laugh, dammit!
Three words to describe you: Self-deprecating, charming, and affable—though others would say "punchable."
What's your personal claim to fame? Nothing feels better than hearing your own music for the millionth time and still enjoying it. And even better, when other people hear your music for the first time and it makes them cry. You can't fake those kinds of responses. It's the best. Cheesy? Maybe. True? You bet, man.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? I have a few but I suppose Robin Williams is the most well-known one. When I was a little kid, Genie from Aladdin was my entire sense of humor. That wild, a-hundred-jokes-a-minute pacing, all the voices and wackiness completely dazzled me. As I got older, I got to appreciate all his other amazing roles and unabashedly nutty stand-up routines. I'm often told I'm too loud. I blame that entirely on Robin Williams.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? First would be my guitar because it gives me something I can focus on outside of the game. Next, one of those daily joke calendars because not only is it great for keeping track of time, but if your situation isn't providing many laughs, it's good to have a reliable way to find some. Finally, beard oil. I bought my first vile of this stuff about a year ago and it's the best feeling thing ever. Plus, it's really fun to respond to "Are you wearing cologne?" with "No, just beard oil."
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? I've always felt like I related most to Stephen Fishbach, though I see a lot of David Wright in me as well. I'm a funny, nerdy, neurotic Jewish guy trying to make it in the entertainment business. I'm logical and smart (I like to think), but I've spent plenty of time crying in private.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? I've been dreaming of doing this for well over a decade. At this point, above all else, it's to prove I can do what I've been saying I could do since I was a kid: Win Survivor. Part pride, part sticking it to the kids who tortured me growing up. It's a "What have you accomplished?" kind of thing. I promise I'm not usually so vengeful!
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? This sounds stupid, but I'm really easy to talk to. I want to set up my situation so everyone knows they can come to me to chat and get support despite any problems they're having personally or socially in the game. I'm a teddy bear, y'know? On top of that, I'm not a weakling. I can haul firewood and follow instructions when it comes to building shelters. I know how to make fire and untie knots and all that.
Stephanie Gonzalez Age: 26 Hometown: Aguada, Puerto Rico Current residence: Ocala, Florida Occupation: Graphic Sales
Hobbies: Paintball, working out, running, free diving, snorkeling, being in nature, anything involving the ocean, and I LOVE race/stunt cars drag race. Yes I'm a little bit of a tom boy and not at all ashamed.
Pet peeves: Complainers! People who feel entitled to everything without working for it. Also, annoying laughs, arrogant men, racism, bullies, and pretty boys.
Three words to describe you: Outspoken, strong-willed, and strategic.
What's your personal claim to fame? I was promoted to Senior Surgery Technician after only one year of long hours and sleepless nights of on call emergency surgeries. Meanwhile I was taking care of 14 foaling babies (horses) at home in exchange for rent.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? Not to be the cliché but my mother, reasons being I would not be here if she decided to abort (which was highly recommended by her doctors due to health issues when pregnant with me), Thanks for rebelling Mom! I am grateful for the woman she is and instilling in me the fighter I've become. She recently overcame skin cancer with a smile on her face. She's had to work hard and reconstruct her life after some health issues and losing close family members. She is a genuinely kind, graceful woman with fire in her heart. She works with handicapped children which has been a dream of hers. She reminds me I have a bigger purpose in life.
I've always really appreciated her strong support in my way of thinking and encouraged me to keep being an extraordinary human being. In other words, having a strong personality and being weird is cool in her book. That normal is boring and with that, normal woman rarely go down in history. To always do everything in life wholeheartedly. It's an "all or nothing" kind of life in my mom's eyes. I couldn't agree more with that woman.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A small plush panda teddy bear my mom gave me. It's special because she calls it my guardian angel. It really is the little things in life. A small bottle of my dad's cologne. He is the one who always pushes me to do better than the best, to be tougher. Being able to smell his cologne will feel like he is right next to me talking words of wisdom and encouragement. I was always a daddy's girl, and most importantly I have this bracelet that says "ONE MILLION WIN" (cause Sole Survivor would be a bit too cheesy even for me). It's gold on black strings and it serves as my reminder of how bad I need to win Sole Survivor. I never take it off.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? I would play like a combination of people. First would be Tony Vlachos who actually goes out and hunts for idols when no one's paying attention. Next would be to play challenges like challenge beast Kelly Wiglesworth. I'm also going to go for a nice little four win streak. Also, Brenda Lowe who can't help but be expressive, kind but is a total badass in challenges, and finally, Sandra who I can identify with socially in her sassy attitude and manipulative ways.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? One million dollars is a huge motivating factor for me. The bragging right of forever being a legendary Sole Survivor and being 1 of 16 women to win will be nothing short of amazing, but a million dollars is life changing! It would give me the freedom to be able to have a home and not continue to move from crappy apartment to crappy apartment. It would allow me to pursue investing and financial growth which I can turn into my lifelong goal of living a philanthropic life.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? Because of my hell-bent determination and strong will to win. I put my heart into everything I do. I wanted to go to school, so I worked three jobs to pay for it, along with 1,000 hours of internships to graduate. In business I wanted to help my brother and we grew the business from one store to three stores. I know in my heart that I can win. I welcome all challenges with open arms and can read people really well.
Socially, it'll be fun to test waters on how diverse I can be in order to really connect with people. After all, I have to cater to people's personalities so they'll feel comfortable doing what I need. Once my heart is set I will stop at nothing until I've achieved my goal even through blood, sweat, and tears. I've studied Survivor well enough to understand how to manipulate the numbers, play idols how they should be played and hustle the social game. I will go into this with focus, agility, and perseverance.
Wendell Holland Age: 33 Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Current residence: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Occupation: Furniture Company Owner
Hobbies: Playing basketball, traveling, creating something from nothing.
Pet peeves: People who aren't open-minded despite facts/logic/new information, people that overuse the word "honestly," and not being in control of my destiny.
Three words to describe you: Witty, intelligent, and competitive.
What's your personal claim to fame? I left a comfortable job in the legal field to pursue my dreams.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My family. I'd do anything for them or to make their lives better.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? First, my brush to take care of my beautiful beard and fro. Second, a chainsaw so I can make building things a lot easier, and finally, a sketchbook so I can doodle, draw, and write.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? I think I'd play the game like Jeremy Collins because I'll always keep my heart in the right place, but I'll still be a serious competitor and threat.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? I've been a big fan for a while, and I've always wanted to push myself to the limits and see if I can really survive. Oh yeah, I'm playing for the million bucks, too. That would really help things.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I'm good with people and likable. I'm very diplomatic and can connect with people from different walks of life. I'm also not the biggest and strongest looking person, though I can compete with the best of them. That will get me past the first few votes. Then, my athleticism and skill at puzzles will help me win challenges when it becomes an individual game. Finally, my persuasive skills in front of a jury will win me the million. Boom.
Hobbies: Discovering new music on Spotify, vinyl record collecting, binge watching Survivor on CBS All Access, and photography of nature and portraits.
Pet peeves: People who think they know it all, people who are disrespectful toward others for no reason, people who judge the book by its cover (people have treated me that way my entire life), people that say "literally" without it being literal, people who aren't straight forward when they need to be and finally, getting my name wrong. It is D-O-N-A-T-H-A-N, not Jonathan or Donovan.
Three words to describe you: Determined, whimsical, and rare.
What's your personal claim to fame? I was a part of a national and state level winning dance team. I danced in the hip-hop routine. I am proud of being openly gay and dancing in front of thousands in this area. My goal is always to try to change the opinions of others when it comes to the LGBTQ community and through dancing, I was able to open the arms of many.
There will never be another me when it comes to those years and for that impact, I feel very accomplished. Being the only guy to hold a national championship among the basketball, football and baseball guys—yeah, that felt really nice!
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My hero is my grandmother, Deloris Bentley. Always has been, always will be. My grandmother had seven children between the years of 1960-1968, with my mom being the youngest. She raised them all with very limited food, no power until 1975, no bathrooms, only outhouses—all while dealing with the day-to-day struggles of having an alcoholic as a husband.
Over the years, things got better for her. She raised her children, divorced and re-married (twice), and ended up being very independent and open-minded! In 2006, she had a brain aneurysm. She flew out to have emergency surgery and you know what saved her that time? Her blood was so thick from smoking three packs a day for so many years, that the aneurysm was sealed shut.
After her surgery, she was up the next morning eating on some ice. Now if that isn't inspiring, I don't know what is! She has always been the glue in our family. She is such a hero in my eyes because of all the sacrifices, determination and selflessness she has expressed and shown all her life! Many people are probably picking celebrities and all that jazz, but my little 'ole Maw Maw is my hero.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? My cross necklace my grandmother got for me, my glasses (if that counts) so I can snap them in half to help with making fire, and just the clothes on my back.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? While there are tons of castaways that I have related to, especially those from the LGBTQ community (Colton, Todd, Tia), and my hillbillies (Keith, Sandy, JT), I always find the most relatable to be Cirie.
No one expected the gameplay Cirie played in her first season. She went out there, hated leaves, and really didn't know much about the game. But you know what? She went out there and learned the way. She kept her mouth shut when need be, made the big moves when she needed to, and had a great sense of the people on the island what they were thinking.
She is the type of player I see myself being. I adore her, and it doesn't hurt that her birthday is July 18th and mine July 19th. We Cancers just have a way about us that is charming, yet manipulative. Our knife is always ready for backs (figuratively)!
What's your reason for being on Survivor? It's for me and my family. We have always been below the poverty line. We have always struggled year to year to make ends meet. But it does make you stronger having to live that way. But you know what? I am tired of living this life.
I want to be a great influence for my family—prove to them that when you try, things can happen. It takes you to put the first foot in the door, no one else. I don't want to end up being stuck here in a rusted old trailer. I want more for my family, especially my mom and grandmother, and also help those in my area who are less fortunate.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? Living in Eastern Kentucky has its perks. We are outdoors people. We love the lakes, we love to roam trails and mountains, and I have learned a lot about nature and survival. And while I have never been in a dire situation to use these skills, I truly believe when the survivalist in me kicks in, I would have a lot to offer.
Now darlin', I ain't no lumberjack. But I can offer common sense solutions in order to help make my tribe grow. I already plan on breaking my glasses to help with fire and prove that this little gay hillbilly nerd isn't afraid of what nature can bring! I really think I will surprise a lot of people.
Laurel Johnson Age: 29 Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Current residence: Minneapolis, Minnesota Occupation: Financial Consultant
Hobbies: Watching Survivor, playing beach volleyball, and the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.
Pet peeves: Incompetence, indecisiveness, and open-mouth chewers.
Three words to describe you: Driven, focused, and calculated.
What's your personal claim to fame? My college volleyball team winning our division championship. It's one thing to compete at the highest level, but it's another to win and be the best at it.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My parents—for their dedication, support, and all the values they instilled in me.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? Crossword puzzle book to keep my mind sharp, keep me sane, and give me a way to tune everyone out, a camera to capture every single moment, and a self-addressed envelope—so there's no confusion as to where to send the million dollar check to.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Todd. I'll be a smart player, shrewd, and pulling all the strings, a snake (but unbeknownst to others), and run circles around anyone in a final tribal speech. Also, Sophie. Not afraid to get stuff done, stand up for myself, and tell the boys what to do. I'll be the smartest player there.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? The title of Sole Survivor and the challenge.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I'm a triple threat to win this game—I'm a former college athlete, an Ivy League graduate, and I know the game better than anyone else out there. I'm a superfan who knows better than to let the game pass me by and I will always fight for every single inch.
Stephanie Johnson Age: 34 Hometown: Boise, Idaho Current residence: Chicago, Illinois Occupation: Yoga Instructor
Hobbies: Triathlon, running, yoga, meditation, climbing mountains and trekking, travel, and writing. Is wine considered a hobby too?
Pet peeves: When I run out of wine.
Three words to describe you: Wild, determined, and passionate.
What's your personal claim to fame? Ironman. I'm most proud of not just the finish line at the event but the dedication to the training as a working single mom that went behind it. It made me a better human and changed my kids and my life. My racing is always a family affair and I couldn't do it without my two little cheerleaders. Also, I've done a lot of solo traveling. I've been to 24 countries and six continents. Backpacking and trekking solo is a massive passion of mine and feeds my wanderlust soul. It is adventurous and crazy at times but it's shaped me more than anything else in life.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? Bob Scott. 87 years old. He is my angel. I met him the week of my divorce and two weeks after his wife passed away. I like to think his angel wife brought us together. He taught me to swim shortly after we met because he wanted me to be a "happy and fit mom" for my boys. He helped me learn to ride a triathlon bike. He introduced me to the world of triathlon, which changed my world. He competed alongside me at my first half Ironman and full Ironman and still competes to this day. Bob taught me the sport is about fun, fitness, and friends and that to do this for life and be just like him, I had to keep this mentality. We still train together each week as well as compete alongside each other.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? Lipstick! Because I even wear it when I do my Ironman races! Next would be ear plugs because I'm an insanely light sleeper and hate snorers, and a piece of Rose Quartz because it's my favorite stone and would remind me to follow my heart and trust my intuition.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? A combo of Parvati for her heart and inner strength, Tyson for his sarcasm, Ozzy for his love of adventure, Courtney for her sass, and Mama C for being a strong and fierce mom.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? The adventure. I've watched every single episode of Survivor since it began 18 years ago and the adventure of the show keeps me coming back for more and applying over and over and over! And the social game! I have wanted to play the social game since the first season. Ever since I taught English in Russia in college and was dropped into Siberia with a random mix of girls I have loved the social game of learning to get along with people in a group setting and finding out what makes people tick. That's why I love traveling solo too, because I like to meet and connect with other people from different beliefs and backgrounds.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? Because every day for the past 10 years, I have looked at a sticker on my mirror: "Outwit, Outlast, Outplay. Survivor." I never once have stopped believing that this dream would come true. I can have all the strategy in the world and I will! But if I have learned anything from watching the show, participating in endurance events, raising children, working in a fast-paced finance position, studying in an ashram, being an entrepreneur, or all my other adventures is that nothing turns out like you expect. I am really good at adapting to circumstances, to people, and to unlikely situations. Plan A quickly becomes Plan C and it doesn't shake me up. I can endure pain both mental and physical with a smile on my face. Adaptation. A sense of humor. Dreaming big. That embodies who I am and why I will win!
Bradley Kleihege Age: 26 Hometown: Haslett, Michigan Current residence: Los Angeles, California Occupation: Law student
Hobbies: Sailing, skiing, and running.
Pet peeves: Stupid people and people who think they know everything.
Three words to describe you: Ambitious, impatient, and astute.
What's your personal claim to fame? Getting on Survivor. But really, I am most proud of getting into UCLA Law, one of the best law schools in the country. Additionally, making it through the first year of law school taught me a lot about drive and perseverance.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? I don't have a particular source of inspiration in life because I don't believe in emulating or worshipping anyone. I think that everyone has positive traits to draw from as well as less desirable aspects.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? First, a notebook and pen to organize my thoughts and strategy. Second, my retainers because I have had my braces off for over a decade but am still too scared to try not wearing them. What if my pearly whites started moving around? And finally, a bottle of rum because no self-respecting sailor would be caught on a remote island without rum.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? I am passionate, competitive, and neurotic like Spencer. Also, I have the same penchant as him for making people feel irrelevant and that is something I will have to be very careful not to do during the game.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? To take a shot at playing a game I have watched religiously and loved since I was 9. I'd also like to win the million so I can pay off my student loans and then buy a sailboat and sail around the world.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I like to lead people and take initiative. Plus, I like to roast people and what doesn't build tribe morale more on Survivor than a few laughs from roasting the other tribe? I can also cook a mean batch of rice.
James Lim Age: 24 Hometown: Los Angeles, California Current residence: New York, New York Occupation: Business Analyst
Hobbies: Working out, exploring restaurants/bars, and traveling to faraway destinations.
Pet peeves: Slow walkers, people who are superficial, and bigots.
Three words to describe you: Astute, resolute, and ambitious.
What's your personal claim to fame? I am a U.S. Presidential Scholar selected by President Obama's commission, and interned for his White House administration. In college, I was a walk-on sprinter for Harvard Track and Field and, as a senior, was elected team captain by my teammates, becoming the first Asian American captain in program history.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My grandfather came from a rural village in Korea, survived the Korean War, put himself through the best college in the country, and eventually became a successful businessman. He came from nothing to overcome tremendous odds and so much adversity and always exemplified love for family along the way. He passed away a couple of years ago but remains an inspiration in everything I do.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? First, a photo of my family. They'll be a source of emotional strength no matter how tough it gets out there. Second would be an American flag because being a first-generation American is one of the greatest sources of pride and willpower for me. Finally, a journal and pen to take notes on the game as it develops and also to keep a diary during the adventure of a lifetime.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Yul Kwon. Our backgrounds are uncannily similar as Korean-American management consultants, and I plan to follow his example in being cool, calm, and collected throughout the game. Yul's Survivor journey contributed greatly to the positive representation of Asian-Americans on TV, and I hope to do the same.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? Survivor is an adventure like no other. Everything it presents—the wilderness, the challenges, the fellow castaways from all cross-sections of America—will be a chance for me to break out of the bubble I've been a part of for most of my life and push myself physically, emotionally, and mentally like never before. I'll embrace the challenge and have fun along the way.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? There is no magic formula to winning Survivor. However, there are qualities that will help players get far. I believe I have most of them—I am team-oriented, athletic, outgoing, and tenacious. I will focus on being a helpful, likable asset to those around me, and on the down low strategically pave my path to the very end.
Chris Noble Age: 27 Hometown: Florida Keys, Florida Current residence: Brooklyn, New York Occupation: Male Model
Hobbies: Traveling, sports, being a foodie, adrenaline seeking, working out, and dating.
Pet peeves: My pet peeves are certain characteristics of people. If you are lazy and also a liar, I won't like you. In fact, it angers me when people act lazy and try to manipulate everyone around them and ruin everything. Now, those pet peeves are going to be alive and well in the land of Survivor. Good thing I know how to dish it right back. I have been around people like that my whole life and I know how to deal with it. So yeah, my title of Most Dramatic, in the face of a bunch of liars will be, shall we say... interesting.
Three words to describe you: Ambitious, charismatic, and charming.
What's your personal claim to fame? My greatest accomplishment was being on a 5th Avenue Versace billboard! It was by no means the end all and be all of where I want to be in life, but it was a major accomplishment. To me it was an accumulation of everything I've worked hard for finally getting justified. It was a huge symbol of perseverance and it was gratifying. I rely on my own self-motivation and have accomplished stuff that was difficult and took legit perseverance, but winning Survivor will top all that.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My ma is my hero. But it wasn't always so. Growing up, my mom and I didn't have the best relationship. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at 27 and had me at 34. God bless her. A lot of side effects of MS don't just affect the body, but the brain as well, such as depression. So as a kid, I couldn't handle or understand what was going on. I look back at my childhood and most memories of my mom and I were difficult. She would have seizures during my baseball games, at my school where she tutored, and the side effects of all the medications made it difficult to have a normal relationship with her.
When I was 12, my parents split and the next couple years were even tougher as her disease progressed. If it wasn't for my father telling me I needed to rise above the past and grow up, I would have continued to struggle. When I was told she had two months to live I decided to become a man at 17, and our past struggles brought us even closer. Through the years, our relationship grew, and our love and respect for each other brought our relationship to all-time highs. None of this would be possible if she hadn't beat the odds for almost 10 years now.
I will always idolize her perseverance, her grit, and her faith in God. She is the greatest hero anyone can have and I live through her. She never quit or gave in when she was told she had two months to live, so why should I ever quit or give in when life "gets hard?" Want to talk about a survivor? That's my mom.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? First would be a good luck necklace my mom gave me when she almost died. I've been wearing it ever since and crazy good things have happened since. Also, lotion, so I could give awesome massages and bond with the hot girls on my tribe, and finally a second bottle of lotion—I plan to be on the island for a while, and maybe I'll get one if I play my cards right!
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? From Season 33, I would be a mix of Ken and Michaela. I would provide food like Ken. But unlike Ken, my social game would be on point. I would have Michaela's fire, determination, and athletic ability. I would also be blunt like her, but would do a better job of building relationships. In previous seasons, I would have the social and ladies game like Joe. Joe is eye candy and smooth. I would try and form a coalition with someone like him. He would be my shield and then I would cut him later in the game. As far as Season 36, I won't know whether to play the game like a Florida panther—stealthy and in the shadows, or like a lion—dominating its tribe. I may have to be both, depending on the dynamic of the game.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? The game itself, and to spread the awareness of MS. 2.3 million people worldwide have MS and there is no cure! For me, like life, I've been finding ways to survive for a long time. I want to apply all my experiences with different personalities, and put them to the ultimate test. I want to compete and I want to win. This is a competition of survival. I am a type-A personality and I cannot stand the thought of losing. I have tunnel vision when it comes to winning and there is nothing out there, competition wise, like Survivor.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I will bring my Survivor mental toughness, my ability to adapt, my positivity to aid the weak, and my will to survive. I might not know how to do some things, but I will find a way to eat and get water. Whether that's through my creativity, my charm with women, or my ability to make one of the guys my bro. Some men will not like my alpha mentality, which strategically, I will hold back in the beginning as I read people, but I will find my way. They always say "don't bite the hand that feeds you." I grew up on an island so if I'm one of the few that can get his own catch and get his own water (which are the two essentials of living), no one will bite that hand. I will have ultimate power.
Sebastian Noel Age: 22 Hometown: Melbourne, Florida Current residence: Satellite Beach, Florida Occupation: Fishing Guide
Hobbies: Fishing, surfing, cooking, living, loving, traveling, and gardening.
Pet peeves: When someone calls you but you miss their call by like a second, so you call them right back but then they don't pick up, and then you call them three more times in a row and they still don't pick up.
Three words to describe you: Outgoing, adventurous, and free spirited.
What's your personal claim to fame? Being everyone's favorite person. I truly enjoy meeting people from various walks of life, becoming very good friends with them, keeping them in my life, and smiling the entire way.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? Bob Marley. That man knew how to live life. He understood what living meant and inspired people to love the life you live and live the life you love. I smile just thinking about that beautiful human.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A waterproof camera. Life is an adventure. I'm in love with memories. I really enjoy capturing every twist and turn this beautiful life has to offer. A Hawaiian sling. I am a waterman, so being in the water, hunting for food is where I feel the most at home. True peace for my soul. A big bowl of gummy candy. I am absolutely addicted to candy, especially gummies. I can catch the meat, but I can't catch the candy.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Tyson. He knew how to play the game through laughter, creativity, and good times. A true free spirit.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? I've been waiting my entire life for an opportunity to show the world the many skills I have to offer. I feel like this is my calling. Also, almost everyone I know literally asks me all the time, "Seb, why are you NOT on Survivor?" I just feel like it's my time to shine.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I am perfect for this game. I spend most of my life outside in the elements, a lot of which is involved with something physical. I'm great with people and can make friends very easily. I enjoy being challenged in such ways that may be life risking. I can figure out little kinks to situations that others may not even think about.
Angela Perkins Age: 42 Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio Current residence: Cincinnati, Ohio Occupation: Army Veteran
Hobbies: Running, biking, and snowboarding.
Pet peeves: My pet peeves are laziness or unmotivated people when they have the ability and or resources to be and do so much more, and when someone expects someone else to pull their weight. One that believes things are "rights versus privileges." Also, unorganized people or things, close-minded individuals and people who think you "owe" them something.
Three words to describe you: Spontaneous, courageous, and determined.
What's your personal claim to fame? Retirement from the U.S. Army. I served over 21 years in the Army and I was an Army officer captain. I served in the transportation unit and in a psychological Operations Battalion as an executive officer and I was the only female officer in the organization, yet still chosen to be second in command. I have been to several countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Dubai, France, Bratislava, Slovakia, Italy, and Germany.
I was put in the most unusual and extreme situations and conditions and survived better than most. I was in isolated conditions where life's bare necessities were limited. While deployed to Iraq in 2003-2004, I went months with only taking bottle water showers. The supply lines were compromised so often I was forced to make a decision to either wash with my daily bottled water or consume it. I jumped from several different Military aircrafts and did drown-proofing that consisted of water survival.
While deployed to Afghanistan, I was put in situations that required me to influence the local "elders" (leaders) of our U.S. missions in their country while at the same time earning their trust. This posed a huge issue because one, I am a female (and their beliefs with females are VERY different than ours) and two, I was an American. However, I was able to gain the trust of the local people as well as many elders.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My son. He has been braver than he believes, stronger than he seems, and smarter than he thinks. I have never met a more amazing person than him.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? First would be my guitar because I have one and played a little in college but it would be a chance for me to have music and learn at the same time. Next would be paper and pen to document my experience. My memory is not the best and I want to capture as much as possible to remind me of the once in a lifetime experience I had. Finally, an iPod to listen to music.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Michaela Bradshaw because not only was she fit, outspoken, attractive, and witty, she also spoke her mind and was extremely good at challenges. And when she won, she wasn't afraid to celebrate. She expressed her emotions on her face which is very similar to me. My friends tell me even when my mouth is shut, they know what I am saying because my facial expression "talks." I'm not afraid to express my feelings and I put a lot out there. I want to give my best self and Michaela never gave up. It was clearly depicted in the episode where she lost her top. I'll do whatever it takes to win, with or without my top.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? To fulfill an exciting and different adventure that a small percent of people get to do. I want to be part of the small group that was chosen and is remembered. Not because everyone can, or everyone gets chosen or remembered. I will be the person everyone remembers because of my unique skills and plays I will bring.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I am strong, hardworking, loyal, determined, and able to figure out most things. I am very versatile and by my looks, most wouldn't expect it. I am like the snake that you don't know is there until bitten. I have a strong ability to win people over and get them to want to do what I want just by actively listening.
Morgan Ricke Age: 29 Hometown: New Albany, Indiana Current residence: Orlando, Florida Occupation: Marine Animal Trainer
Hobbies: Sleeping, cheering for the South Carolina Gamecocks, and binge watching true crime documentaries.
Pet peeves: Feet, cold weather, and a shortage of ketchup.
Three words to describe you: Bubbly, stubborn, and determined.
What's your personal claim to fame? Accomplishing my childhood dream of becoming a killer whale trainer at SeaWorld Orlando!
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My parents. They have been married for 32 years and have raised five successful, happy, and healthy children. They have stuck by each other's side through all the ups and downs over the years and have never given up on one another!
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? Lip balm—I'm addicted—a space heater to keep me warm, and a super comfy pair of sweatpants.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Kelley Wentworth. She was strategic, strong, sneaky, and a fighter. She wasn't afraid to make big moves. She played her own game and didn't hide in anyone's shadow.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? It has always been one of my dreams to be on Survivor. I have been a fan of the show since Season 2 and I know I have what it takes to be the Sole Survivor. Additionally, I would love to see a new part of the world and a million dollars wouldn't be bad either.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? Being resilient, strong, and fearless are nice traits that should translate well on the island. For example, at a younger age I was a competitive gymnast on the national level and sustained a career-ending injury. Doctors told me I would never compete again as a gymnast, nor play other sports. Fortunately, in high school, I went to state finals in volleyball and diving and then earned a D1 diving scholarship to the University of South Carolina. Go Gamecocks!
Hobbies: Sleeping, cheering for the South Carolina Gamecocks, and binge watching true crime documentaries. That is if she's not averse to Texas A&M Gamecocks. (Shows she knows her literature and her football conferences).
Pet peeves: Feet, cold weather, and a shortage of ketchup. (Shows a weird but great sense of humor).
Brendan Shapiro Age: 41 Hometown: Herndon, Virginia Current residence: Herndon, Virginia Occupation: Physical Education Teacher
Hobbies: Coaching and watching my kids' sports, tailgating at Redskins games, running and chopping wood.
Pet peeves: Passive-aggression, when people slow down to merge or change lanes, cry babies, and waiting.
Three words to describe you: Deliberate, optimistic, and determined.
What's your personal claim to fame? I am not afraid to take risks and make big changes. During the recession, I left a well-paying but unsatisfying desk job, risking everything I owned, to start my own business. After more than a dozen years and at 40 years old, I sold the business to pursue another lifelong interest to become a teacher.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My wife because she overcame bike crashes, injuries, and big obstacles to become a world-class professional triathlete (while raising two kids and running a business).
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A picture of my wife and kids to keep me tethered to reality, a football to throw on the beach, and bacon jerky because it's delicious and doesn't need to be refrigerated.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Jeremy Collins and Tom Westman because I understand people and know how to unite them behind a common goal. Also, I am pretty athletic for an old guy.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? To win.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I'm strong, fast, tough, and good with my hands. I can read a room. I know how to make people feel comfortable and secure. My tribemates will want to keep me around.
Chelsea Townsend Age: 24 Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah Current residence: Los Angeles, California Occupation: EMT/Pro Cheerleader
Hobbies: Hiking, camping, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Pet peeves: People with constantly pessimistic or negative energy.
Three words to describe you: Outgoing, dynamic, and driven.
What's your personal claim to fame? Graduating college. I grew as a person and learned a lot about dedication and self-motivation. It gave me the foundation to continue my education and pursue a career as a physician assistant.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My family. I have the most supportive and loving family. They constantly challenge me to be the very best version of myself. I love being able to pursue my passions and dreams knowing they will always be there to help me along the way.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A mattress to get a good night's rest, a toothbrush because I can't imagine not brushing my teeth for more than a day, and definitely food because nobody likes starving.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Parvati. I think I could use my charm to build relationships, and I think I have the competitive spirit and wit she had.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? It is the experience of a lifetime. You get to push yourself to your absolute limits and challenge yourself in a unique way. I believe I will learn a lot about myself and become a stronger person physically and mentally. The money would of course be helpful as well. I am looking to attend graduate school in the near future and it would be nice to not have any student loans after school.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I have the traits needed to make me successful. I am a hard worker who is extremely driven to reach my goals. I am agile and athletic from a background in dance and gymnastics. I am personable and get along well with people of all backgrounds and ages. I am a competitor and love a good challenge.
Libby Vincek Age: 24 Hometown: Houston, Texas Current residence: Houston, Texas Occupation: Social Media Strategist
Hobbies: Working out (boxing, running, weights), traveling, and cooking.
Pet peeves: When people don't put away simple belongings, loud chewing, and slow walkers.
Three words to describe you: Adventurous, strong, and outgoing.
What's your personal claim to fame? Training and completing a marathon! I tried while I was in Florida and my coach was in Texas. Crossing that finish line faster than my goal time was an incredible feeling.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? Elisabeth Filarski-Hasselbeck. I began to look up to Elisabeth when I first saw her on Survivor when I was 9 years old. Even at a young age, I looked up to her not only because of her outer beauty, but her noticeably beautiful heart and work ethic. I continued to follow her in all aspects of life, from standing up for her beliefs to working with people who stand on her same side. I am a strong believer in my faith and when it comes to politics, let's just say I'm a true southern girl. She is a badass blonde, but shows that her faith and family come first. To be able to balance all of that like she does makes her a hero and a mentor to me.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? My Bible because my faith is everything, a baseball hat, and a huge bag of my family's smokehouse Turkey Jerky.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? I would play a combination of Jenna Morasca and Kim Spradlin, and a little bit of Natalie White. Jenna because of her strategy to flirt to the finish. She wasn't afraid of much and used her strengths like beauty, social and brains to get her to the top. Kim because of her ability to keep cool when necessary and her athletic ability was on point. Natalie, because she used her southern outgoing charm to win hearts and keep her social game strong.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? To win a million dollars. And to prove that this southern small town blonde is more than just a pretty face. I love adventure. I love challenges and I love to overcome them. Winning could be my chance to show the bullies in high school that I'm not little 'ol Libby anymore. It's a chance to show off my skills and strengths and use them to their full potential. Being on Survivor has been a dream of mine. I feel like God's been putting me through challenges and experiences in life to prepare me for this.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? Because I know that I can outlast and outplay! I work out a lot. I have endurance, I danced for 12 years. I have balance. I've completed tough mudders, marathons, and other races so I can get myself through challenges. My social game is strong. Making friends and alliances wouldn't be an issue for me. Though I now work with technology and digital media, I grew up camping, hunting, and fishing. I love the outdoors so I know I can use that experience and those skills to outlast those 39 days. I'm strong, smart, and pretty and I know how to use it.
Michael Yerger Age: 18 Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee Current residence: Los Angeles, California Occupation: Real Estate Agent
Hobbies: Health, fitness, luxury and exotic cars, outdoor activities (camping, hiking, swimming), traveling, concerts/festivals, and architecture/design.
Pet peeves: Incompetent drivers, negativity, and rain/cold.
Three words to describe you: Energetic, slick, and resilient.
What's your personal claim to fame? Earning Eagle Scout, the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouting Program of the Boy Scouts of America.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? The strong desire to use my inherent abilities to leave a positive impact on this earth when I am gone.
If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? Hot sauce, boomerang, skittles.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Malcolm Freberg—I'd be inwardly strategic and aggressive but outwardly friendly and easy-going.
What's your reason for being on Survivor? To become the youngest Sole Survivor ever.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? Because I'm a people person. I've always preferred to spend my time around others over being alone. I feel as though I can relate to those of all ages from all walks of life in some way in order to form common ground.
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