Survivor Season 33: Millennials vs. Gen X cast

Jeff Probst

Jeff Probst

Host

Jeff Probst is a four-time Emmy Award winner for "Outstanding Reality Host." He has traveled the world serving as both host and executive producer for “Survivor.” Also, he received an Emmy in 2001 when the show won the first-ever "Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class)." Probst is a New York Times best-selling author of a kid’s adventure series, Stranded. Probst is also a feature film director. In 2002, he wrote and directed Finder's Fee, starring Ryan Reynolds, James Earl Jones, Robert Forster and Matthew Lillard. Most recently, he produced and directed the feature film Kiss Me, starring John Corbett, Sarah Bolger, Rita Wilson, Emily Osment, Missy Pyle and Jenna Fisher. Probst hosts the "Howard Stern Celebrity Fan Roundtable" for Howard Stern on Sirius/XM radio and previously served as host of VH1's Rock and Roll Jeopardy. He hosted several programs for FX and traveled around the world as a correspondent for Access Hollywood. In 2001, he was voted one of People Magazine's "Most Beautiful." Probst is a proud spokesperson for Taylorsgift.org whose mission is to re-gift life through organ donation. Probst is also an ordained minister and has served as the officiant at the weddings of several friends. He was ordained by the Universal Life Church of Modesto, California. A native of Wichita, Kan., Probst lives with his family in Los Angeles when not traveling the world. His birthday is November 4.
Adam Klein

Adam Klein

Tribe Designation: Vanua (Millennials)

Age: 25

Current residence: San Francisco, CA

Occupation: Homeless shelter manager

Three words to describe you: Intelligent, confident, and personable.

Hobbies: Board games, poker, browsing the Survivor Subreddit, and travel.

Pet peeves: Bullies, long lines, and smokers.

What does it mean to be a Millennial?
Millennials believe that, in this moment, anything is possible. If you have dreams, go after them. If you want to change the world, change it. I don't believe you have to "pay your dues" making copies and fetching coffee before you can be successful—or before you can make a difference.

Don’t just work harder, work smarter, and make your goals a reality! My dream is to win Survivorand I'm going to make it happen!

Personal claim to fame:
As a volunteer, I chaired a Relay For Life event that raised over $135,000 for cancer research and grew in size from about 10 youth participants to over 500. If any of that money helps save my mom's life, then it is, by far, my most important accomplishment.

Inspiration in life:
My mom. She is surviving lung cancer and has survivorship in her blood [because] her mom survived Auschwitz. She is incredibly physically fit and otherwise healthy. She can tear up the dance floor—that's where I get my moves!—and she's my best friend and supporter.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?
A picture of my family to keep myself grounded and focused, a fake hidden Immunity Idol because the threat can be just as powerful as the real thing, and a razor because I hate mustaches with a fiery passion.

Survivor contestant you're most like:
Spencer Bledsoe (Cagayan, Cambodia). We are both wise beyond our years, can easily play up to the egos of older and stronger players, are strategic thinkers, and are widely underestimated in the game. I also relate to the never-say-die nature and social finesse of Hayden Moss (Blood Vs. Water).

Reason for being on Survivor:
When I set a goal in life, I achieve it. As an ultimate super-duper fan, winning Survivor is an unrealized goal that I simply must accomplish. I have dreamed of winning Survivor since I was 9 years old, even going so far as to play Survivor online when I was in middle school.

The money is secondary, but not unimportant because it would allow me to continue my passion for social justice.

Why do you think you’ll "survive" Survivor?
No one is going to fight as hard as I will for that title. I may be—and look—young, I may be small, but my fellow competitors won't know what kind of power punch I pack until they are already knocked out. I will use my youthful charm and energy, combined with my strategic nature to win. I come from a long line of real-life survivors, and I am next.

Bret LaBelle

Bret LaBelle

Tribe Designation: Takali (Gen-X)

Age: 42

Current residence: Dedham, MA

Occupation: Police sergeant

Three words to describe you: Gregarious, funny/hilarious, and caring.

Hobbies: Going to the gym, golf, improv, and bicycling.

Pet peeves: Couples who sit on the same side of the booth, people who talk politics and religion at Thanksgiving dinner, and bullies.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer?
A Gen-Xer is someone who had to work very hard for everything that they have in life. They actually had to go to school (not just online), ride the bus, and study hard to get good grades. Gen-Xer's take responsibility for their own actions and don’t blame others for their mistakes. Gen-Xer’s remember a time when Saturday morning brought the best cartoons, they know the difference between VHS and Betamax, and they certainly know what it means to drop a dime.

Personal claim to fame: 
Receiving the Human Award for Bravery from the Governor of Massachusetts for disarming a gunman in 2014.

Inspiration in life: 
My father Donald LaBelle because he's funny, honest, and compassionate, and would give the shirt off his back, if need be.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? 
Sunglasses because the sun is very bright out in the open; toothbrush because healthy teeth are the key to a healthy life, no matter where you are; and toilet paper, which is self-explanatory.

Survivor contestant you're most like: 
I would say Jonathan Penner (Cook Islands, Micronesia, Philippines) because we are both funny, easygoing, and under the radar.

Reason for being on Survivor
I love this game! Who wouldn't want to get the chance to take part in this amazing adventure? My second motivation is the million dollars.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor?
I will win this game. I'm extremely likable and can relate to a lot of different people. I can read people like a book. I can tell if someone is lying to me or telling me the truth from my 18 years as a police officer. I will lead people without them knowing I'm leading them.
Chris Hammons

Chris Hammons

Tribe designation: Takali (Gen-X)

Age: 38

Current residence: Moore, OK

Occupation: Trial lawyer

Three words to describe you: Super competitive because I don't lose, tenacious because I never give up, and I’m a fighter.

Hobbies: Working out to relive stress, strategizing to be successful, and challenging myself to be the best.

Pet peeves: Smacking gum. I hate it. I would do away with all gum on earth if I could.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer? 
To me, it means that you work hard. It means you get up with a purpose and a goal each day. It means that you can do anything in America as long as you work hard and never give up.

Personal claim to fame: 
I came from nothing. I came from a trailer with no running water left behind by a drug-trafficking father at 15. I overcame tremendous odds. I put myself through college on a football scholarship. I put myself through law school. I did this on my own and have earned the respect of an entire community.

For years, my hometown of Sulphur, Oklahoma, had a sign that said: "The Home of Chris Hammons." The sign is actually in my garage now.

Inspiration in life:
Gerry Spence because he’s the America's greatest trial lawyer that ever lived. He has fought for American rights longer than I’ve been alive. He gives me inspiration to continue that great fight so the accused, the oppressed, the injured, the “little guy” will have a voice in America.

When we, trial lawyers, quit fighting, Americans will have no voice. He is a true patriot and the most loving man I have ever met. Without his program and path, I might have been lost the rest of my life.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? 
A medicine pouch given to me by an Indian Chief and blessed with love and caring, which would give me power in challenges; a journal and pencil to document my adventure but, more than that, write down all the details of each member so I could memorize their stories better; and a picture of my boys. I would use the pain of not seeing them as motivation. When I feel down, I will look at that picture and turn the sadness torage for a challenge.

Survivor contestant you're most like:
“Boston” Rob Mariano (MarquesasAll-StarsHeroes vs. VillainsRedemption Island.) He gave one of the most dominant performances ever on Survivor.

Reason for being on Survivor:
My primary motivation is to win. I love Survivor and have wanted to be on it for years. Life seems to get in the way of adventures. I love competition and I just see Survivor as the ultimate game and the ultimate competition.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor
I have always been able to juggle people and their different personalities. I can tolerate almost all types of people and connect with them. I will make the big moves when it is time. I have a great memory and will be able to keep the stories of contestants in my head and use them as needed. I have just always fit in with the 'in' crowd and the 'out' crowd. I am a hybrid of some sort.
Ciandre "CeCe" Taylor

Ciandre "CeCe" Taylor

Tribe designation: Takali (Gen-X)

Age: 39

Current residence: Granada Hills, CA

Occupation: Insurance adjuster

Three words to describe you: Outgoing, strong-minded, and goal setter.

Hobbies:
 Writing, hiking and working out, and watching reality shows.

Pet peeves: People who can't drive in traffic and people who cough and sneeze without covering their mouths.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer? 
Wow, just thinking about my history, childhood, and past brings me to tears, but also makes me smile. I came from a generation of fighters. The foundation of my family was built on strong women. Yes, my great grandparents, grandparents, and parents were married but, unfortunately, they didn't stay married. During that time, raising children as a single parent was be extremely hard, but the strength the women of my family showed—their will to never give up, their triumph over sweat and tears—shaped me into the woman I am today.

We are strong and most of the women I grew up with also demonstrate that same strength and willpower. Nothing was handed to us. We worked hard and, if we failed, we tried again. That's the overall mindset of a Gen-Xer. Never let your failures keep you down. You only stay a failure if you don't get back up and try again.

Personal claim to fame: 
Overcoming adversity and striving to be the best mother I can be to my children by supporting and pushing them to achieve their goals and dreams while, at the same time, still pushing to achieve my own goals and dreams.

Inspiration in life:
My grandmother, Eleanor, because she's a lover, a giver, and she always gives her very last to help anyone, especially her family. Her home is always open and she’s always spreading love through her cooking. If you’re hungry, you can always sit down and enjoy a meal at my grandmother’s house. She’s one of my biggest supporters.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?
The Bible, which was a gift from my grandfather and I read it daily, and a photograph of my children because they're the strength that keep me going.

Survivor contestant you're most like:
A combination of Spencer Bledsoe (CagayanCambodia) and Tasha Fox (CagayanCambodia). Both got far in the game, both are very strategic, and adaptive.

Reason for being on Survivor:
A better life for my family. I'm tired of struggling and living check-to-check, or waiting for pay day to buy groceries. I'm tired of living off of my credit card and I love the game. Being on this show is the biggest accomplishment of my life.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor
I overcame so much adversity in my life. I moved across the country with my children just to provide a better life and opportunity for them. My mind is set to never give up and to keep striving for what I want, so this will be the ultimate goal in my life.

David Wright

David Wright

Tribe designation: Takali (Gen-X)

Age: 42

Current residence: Sherman Oaks, CA

Occupation: Television writer

Three words to describe you: OCD, nervous, and paranoid.

Hobbies: 3D printing puzzles.

Pet peeves: Sudden, loud noises; people who don't use a turn signal; people who believe in ghosts and psychics; people who are late for dinner; people who incorrectly use the word "nonplussed;" people.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer?
Gen-Xers believe in hard work, earning their rewards, and eating breakfast. Why does no one eat breakfast anymore?!

Personal claim to fame:
Playing chess against Magnus Carlsen, the No. 1 ranked player in the world.

Inspiration in life:
Mr. Spock [from Star Trek]. He's highly intelligent, logical, and has trouble fitting in. If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? Beads, string, and polished stones to make fake Immunity Idols for other people to find.

Survivor contestant you're most like:
I relate most to the guys who don't fit in such as John Cochran (South PacificCaramoan)—he's my intellectual equal with slightly larger muscles. I also relate to Joe Anglim's (Worlds ApartCambodia) puzzle-solving skills, but, unfortunately, not his full head of hair, or way with the ladies.

Reason for being on Survivor:
I want to use Survivor as a tool to battle my insecurities and overcome my fears and anxiety.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor
My weaknesses and flaws are my strengths. Because of my small size and lack of physical stature, people won't perceive me as a threat.

I also have the most important Survivor trait one can have: paranoia. My eyes and ears will be at full attention, searching for any hint of a vote going bad for me. Chess has taught me to always look ahead, so I'm prepared to seize an opportunity when one presents itself. I won't let emotions and feelings stand in the way of reaching Final 3.
Hannah Shapiro

Hannah Shapiro

Tribe designation: Vanua (Millennials)

Age: 24

Current residence: West Hollywood, CA

Occupation: Barista

Three words to describe you: Nerdy, competitive, and weird.

Hobbies:
 Skiing, scuba diving, eating, plus I can hula-hoop and walk at the same time.

Pet peeves: Someone who likes to kill people. Not sure why, that's just such a pet peeve of mine! Also, people who stick their gum on public benches or fart in small elevators.

What does it mean to be a Millennial?
Being a Millennial means being hip, cool, nifty and totally rad. Go young people! No, I'm not secretly an 80-year-old neurotic Jewish lady. I don't know what you're talking about.

Personal claim to fame: 
I was Ben Franklin in my eighth-grade production of 1776. I sang out of tune, people clapped, and it was an electric moment of fame.

Inspiration in life: 
My mother. She has super-human levels of toughness. I cry when I bump my arm into something too hard, when an authority figure yells at me, or if I see a video of a cat being tickled. My mom is the opposite. She is a freakin' warrior and I'm her odd, terrified child.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? 
1. A journal: One with an old school lock on it that says "KEEP OUT" on the front. That way, I could write to stay sane and nobody would read what I wrote because there's a "KEEP OUT" sign on it.
2. An old buff I bought: I did a two-week rafting trip a while back to see if I could handle Survivor because I had never camped before.
3. An old-timey compass: People would be, like, she must be hip! Just look at that old-timey compass.

Survivor contestant you're most like: 
I'm a big John Cochran (South PacificCaramoan) fan. He used his humor and fish out of water-ness to control the game without seeming threatening. Cochran had a buff collection and wrote a paper on Survivorat Harvard Law School. I wrote my college common application essay about wanting to be on Survivor, so I can relate to his super fan-ness; plus, we were both obviously super cool in middle school.

Reason for being on Survivor:
I've been a fan of Survivor since I was 14. My friend and I would throw Survivor parties where we would eat worms and dirt (aka gummy worms and Oreos), while the castaways starved, and fancy food when they won Reward challenges. Simply stated, being a Survivor contestant has been a dream of mine forever. Plus, I like the idea that 14-year-old me would find 24-year-old me cool.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor?
I probably won't. I've tripped walking down a sidewalk, so imagine that person in the wilderness.

Jessica "Figgy" Figueroa

Jessica "Figgy" Figueroa

Tribe designation: Vanua (Millennials)

Age: 23

Current residence: Nashville, TN

Occupation: Bartender

Three words to describe you: Adventurous, free spirit, and crowd pleaser.

Hobbies:
 Kayaking, videography, and watching football.

Pet peeves: When people are lazy and expect things to just happen. That's not what life is about. Get up and fight.

What does it mean to be a Millennial? 
Being a Millennial means being blessed with an innovative and creative mind, and the world is at my fingertips. It's all there; I just have to make it happen.

I work hard for where I want to be and for everything I have. Millennials get stuff done and work hard while throwing a good snap in our [Snapchat] stories every now and again.

Personal claim to fame:
Moving to Nashville and standing on my own two feet at a vulnerable moment in my life. Leaving all that you know for a city of unfamiliarity? Scary. That's why I'm ready for a bigger challenge. Survivor is the ultimate challenge.

Inspiration in life:
My mother. She did everything she could to make life for us okay, having gone through a very toxic relationship with our father. She showed me courage and strength in standing up for herself and showing us what we are worth. I admire her for that.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? 
I'd bring a razor, a pair of water shoes—I'd rather not step on sea urchins, but if I must, I must—and a blanket. I don't consider that to be a survival item; I could use a tribe member for that.

Survivor contestant you're most like: 
I love Stephenie LaGrossa (PalauGuatemalaHeroes vs. Villains.) She's just so tough in so many ways and she's strategic. She shows some moments of weakness but, at the end of it, she is still a tough chick and she fights to stay alive. I admire her.

Reason for being on Survivor:
The challenge. I was brought up in a crazy household outside of the inner city with crime happening right outside our windows. I have had to fight for everything I have ever had in my life, and Survivor is the ultimate fight I want to take on. Mentally and physically, my strength is unreal.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor
Of course I'll survive. Why else would I even apply? I'm young and full of knowledge. I don't just go along for the ride; I'm a leader. I will lead my tribe and make it to the end with my lovable personality, my drive, and work ethic. It's destiny.
Jessica Lewis

Jessica Lewis

Tribe designation: Takali (Gen-X)

Age: 37

Current residence: Voorheesville, NY

Occupation: Assistant district attorney

Three words to describe you: Unique, unconventional, and intriguing.

Hobbies:
 Painting, baking, and photography.

Pet peeves:
 People who blame others for their own misery.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer? 

My parents were farmers and they worked harder than anyone I have ever known. There were no vacations, days off, or breaks. No matter the weather, their health, or lack of money, they never gave up. They never stopped.

That lesson has never left me. No one will live my life for me. No one is going to give me a break. If I want something, I have to get up and do it, regardless of how I may feel or how hard it may be. My life was decided by no one but myself. I saw the struggle my parents endured and I made a promise to myself to never stop trying to achieve any goal I set out to achieve. Nothing I have was handed to me. I had to earn it and I continue to do so every day.

Personal claim to fame: 

Getting into law school, making it through, passing the bar and excelling as a prosecutor. I did all of this while also getting married and starting a family. Within a six-year time span, I was married, graduated undergrad, started law school, had my first child, passed the bar, was hired as a prosecutor, and had my second child.

I recently had a trial in which the jury gave me a round of applause when it was completed. The presiding judge later told me he had never seen a prosecutor get a round of applause—and he has been on the bench for over 20 years. That moment was confirmation that the lack of sleep, long hours, hard work, and mental strain were all truly worth enduring.

Inspiration in life:

My dad. He was born to be a farm hand and his upbringing was extremely difficult. He is truly dedicated to his family and has a spirit and will that’s indescribable.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? 

Lip balm because it travels everywhere with me. Champagne and salt and vinegar chips, which I am lumping into one item because they always go together. Pictures of my family for inspiration and a reminder of what truly matters.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like:

Cirie Fields (PanamaMicronesiaHeroes vs. Villains). Her early life struggles are very similar to my own. This caused both of us to develop a resilient personality, the ability to push ourselves, and never give up. This, along with our strong desire to help our families, gave us what many people lack—drive.

Reason for being on Survivor:

My life is like that set of stairs in the movie Labyrinth: the directions don't make sense nor does the order, but I always manage to find my way through and get where I want to go. For me, those stairs never stop. My motivation comes from within and I will never be done or satisfied.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor?

My job requires me to be a great storyteller and I have the burden to prove my case to a jury, which I welcome every time. That burden comes with a significant amount of responsibility and pressure. I must convince a jury of 12 people that the evidence presented and the case I put forth proves the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. No matter the situation or circumstances, I must maintain my composure, all the while focusing on obtaining the right result. That is the essence of Survivor.
Justin "Jay" Starrett

Justin "Jay" Starrett

Tribe designation: Vanua (Millennials)

Age: 27

Current residence: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Occupation: Real estate agent

Three words to describe you:
 Determined, intelligent, and funny.

Hobbies:
 Skimboarding, fishing, and pretty much any sport.

Pet peeves:
 I don't like when people make plans or say they’re going to do something and they don't deliver.

What does it mean to be a Millennial?

Millennial means “freedom” to me. I say this because we are born in a time when anything is truly possible; social media and all these different outlets help you to not only learn information quickly, but gives you the capability to become or create anything. Being a Millennial, you can chase your dreams and do things that are out-of-the-box; as long as you are working towards your dream and not just sitting there thinking about it, you can become successful.

Personal claim to fame:

Purchasing my house at the age of 25.

Inspiration in life: 

I would definitely have to say my beautiful mother is my hero. Through everything—including past divorces and serious health issues—she still pushes forward like the little Peruvian soldier she is. She’s had 10 brain aneurisms and received surgical care for six of them. She wakes up every day smiling and not only motivates and inspires me, but everyone she comes in contact with. I am truly blessed.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? 

iPod because I'm always dancing or jamming out to something; a skimboard just in case there are some waves to ride; and a DVD player with DVDs, so I can lie back and relax after my hard day of living life like a caveman.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like:

I have to say Russell Hantz (SamoaHeroes vs. VillainsRedemption Island) and Woo Hwang(CagayanCambodia). Not only will I constantly look through everything to find clues, I'll be observant to all of my surroundings. I’ll align myself with the men and women to make everyone believe I want to make a team; but, all the while, I’ll be backstabbing and making big moves to eliminate any threat I may feel will get in the way of my success. Did I mention I'll be doing this with a smile on my face that will have to make them vote for me in the end?

Reason for being on Survivor
Sometimes I take the things for granted and I would like to strip myself of all the comforts. I want to go out there and play this game and win. I want to be with nature again and I want to lose myself, so I can rediscover myself. The other reason is simple; it's a million dollars. Come on. That could change everything in a person's life.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor?

I will be the final Survivor. Period. I am mentally strong and will push my body to any limit it has to go. I am extremely intelligent, determined, and focused on winning. I have a ton of street smarts and know how to maneuver and manipulate people to get the things I want. I'm a flirtatious, outgoing, good-looking guy who is not afraid to work hard and make big moves.
Ken McNickle

Ken McNickle

Tribe designation: Takali (Gen-X)

Age: 33

Current residence: Denver, CO

Occupation:
 Model

Three words to describe you: 
Driven, mindful, and perceptive.

Hobbies:
 Anything outdoors (i.e. hiking, camping and fishing), playing and watching music, and dancing.

Pet peeves: 
Superficial connections and communication.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer?

It's a generation of hard workers who were on the cusp of some incredible social, political and technological shifts. We are competent and capable in the “new world” yet are happy outside, while disconnected from our devices.

Personal claim to fame: 

The development of my non-profit, HumaneKind

Inspiration in life: 

I admire the Dalai Lama's compassion, wisdom with forgiveness, and willingness to give of himself.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?

A ukulele to play and sing with; a good book because I love inspiring literature; and a frisbee because no one is ever down throwing one around.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like:

Ozzy Lusth (Cook IslandsMicronesiaSouth Pacific) because of his easy temperament, his fierce competitiveness, his resourcefulness, and knowledge of how to survive in the wild. Also, he seems idealistic and optimistic, in general.

Reason for being on Survivor
To win! To show my daughter my strengths and what it looks like to fight for something.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor

I have the outdoor skills and physical attributes to be an asset to those around me, and I understand and read people well enough to know where to position myself.
Lucy Huang

Lucy Huang

Tribe designation: Takali (Gen-X)

Age: 42

Current residence:
 Diamond Bar, CA

Occupation:
 Dietician

Three words to describe you: 
Stubborn, hardworking, and controlling.

Hobbies: 
Lifting weights, cooking with my kids, and watching food shows to find new restaurants.

Pet peeves: 
Lazy people, people with no common sense, and whiners.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer? 

I grew up a latchkey kid with very little parental supervision. My parents both worked so my siblings and I had a lot more responsibilities and were expected to fend for ourselves. We were extremely obedient because we knew our parents worked very hard and we did not want to disappoint them.

Trophies were earned—not given—just for participating in sports. This is the case for most Gen-Xers, which is why we are more independent and results-oriented. We hate being micromanaged and expect people to have "common sense." We don't compliment every little thing; we only give praise when well deserved.

Personal claim to fame:

Creating a business that provides over 200 jobs for over 10 years.

Inspiration in life: 

My mother for her ability to hold our family together, even though she had numerous responsibilities and hardships to overcome. At a young age, she had to grow up fast and brought us from Taiwan to Brazil then America to live the life we have now. [She also managed to ] overcome financial hardships, cultural and language differences while remaining loving and caring.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?

Picture of my family because I will miss them; a book to kill time; and a journal to document my experiences.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like:

Jeremy Collins (San Juan del SurCambodia) because I would be a strong player in all aspects of the game and, at the same time, my actions would gain the respect of other players.

Reason for being on Survivor:

Primary is to win. Secondary is to compete.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor

With my life experiences, I’m mentally, physically, and emotionally "trained" for this competition, and my strategic moves will be respected by the Jury.
Mari Takahashi

Mari Takahashi

Tribe designation: Vanua (Millennials)

Age: 31

Current residence:
 Los Angeles, CA

Occupation:
 Gamer

Three words to describe you: Courageous, adaptable, and calculating.

Hobbies:
 Video games, rock climbing, and traveling.

Pet peeves:
 Stagnation and laziness.

Personal claim to fame: 

Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro. More than just the accomplishment of climbing a 19,000-foot mountain, it marked my transition from the world I knew everything about, which was the ballet world I dedicated 25 years to, and walking into the unknown, which led me to playing video games for a living.

Inspiration in life:

[Facebook Chief Operating Officer] Sheryl Sandberg because she's been a huge inspiration to me and has had a huge impact on the way I've moved up in the industry.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? 

My journal and a writing tool; my iPhone with wi-fi, so I could Instagram the crap out of the beautiful location; a taco truck endlessly stocked with carne asada tacos, Mexican Coca-Colas and chocolate-covered churros.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like:

I'd like to play like Yul Kwon (Cook Islands). He was fiercely smart and two steps ahead of everyone the entire game. To be in so much control as to not have to play his idol at all was awesome. I'd also like to keep in mind Kelley Wentworth’s (San Juan del SurCambodia) gameplay in Second Chance.

Reason for being on Survivor

First, for glory. I love to win. I want to win Survivor. I'm a natural-born competitor and I will play hard because I want that W. To be able to say I've conquered 39 days of mental and physical mayhem and came out on top would be the biggest win for me. I would wear that title so proudly.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor

I am tenacious. I love winning. I play to win. I compete every single day. Video games keep my mind sharp, my hand-eye coordination on point, and constantly hungry to get that W.

A background in ballet will shatter everyone else's chance of dominating in any balance challenge. My social game is calculated and precise. Social strategy is what I do. One doesn't accrue over 35 million fans across the internet by chance; it's strategic, calculated, technical, smart, and is exactly how I will play and win Survivor.
Michaela Bradshaw

Michaela Bradshaw

Tribe designation: Vanua (Millennials)

Age: 25

Current residence:
 Fort Worth, TX

Occupation:
 Vacation club sales

Three words to describe you: 
Intelligent, fun, and competitive.

Hobbies:
 Traveling, eating, and cuddling.

Pet peeves:
 When incompetent people try to instruct me, when people do things inefficiently or wrong, when I lose, and when other people make me lose.

What does it mean to be a Millennial? 

To be a Millennial is to resonate with the idea that I can design my own life. It’s the notion that I should have the desires of my heart, not because I am "entitled" to them, but because God granted me the ability to attain them.

Being a Millennial means I am bold enough to state a want and stubborn enough to work for it, despite obstacles and the opinions of others. It means that my journey is only a failure if I stop moving forward.

Personal claim to fame
:
Paying off my student loan debt is the crowning achievement of my twenties thus far. As a low-income student at a pricey suburban university, I worked two to three jobs during the majority of my college career, had very little fun, and made every decision based on money.

When I graduated and began working as an admission counselor, I kept my expenses low by eating PB&J for lunch, denying myself cable and internet, sticking to my flip phone, and driving my 1992 Honda Accord. After years of being teased for my frugal ways, I got the last laugh when I paid off $31,000 in loans at the age of 23.

Inspiration in life:

My godfather is my hero. He was about 60 years old when I was born. He had no children of his own and was the ultimate father figure in my life. For 20 years, he has read the Bible every day.

When I was younger, he took care of me, showed me what to value in a man, and raised me to tell the truth, trust in God, be confident in myself, do my best, and not fear mistakes. His influence led me to be a magna cum laude college graduate. The person I am is because of him.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?

A mirror because I'll feel better if I can look better and I’ll have no idea how I look if I can't see myself. A book because it will give me something to listen to besides myself and keep my mind sharp. Being alone and thinking too much drives people crazy. Finally, chocolate because sometimes a taste of something sweet can boost my mood.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like:

I'd play like a combination of Tasha Fox (CagayanCambodia), Kelley Wentworth (San Juan del Sur,Cambodia) and Natalie Anderson (San Juan del Sur). Tasha was in the right alliances and never had her loyalty questioned. I love that Wentworth was crafty, played hard, took risks, and was an asset in challenges. Natalie represents my inner beast; she was athletic, spunky, played a social game, made big moves, and actually won.

Reason for being on Survivor
My motivation is the $1 million. My goal is to leave an inheritance to my children's children. Winning Survivorwould be a start.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor?

I will be the Sole Survivor because I will adapt to everything the game throws at me. My experience in sales has made me nearly immune to rejection, so things not going my way won't take my head out of the game. Physically, I’m in great shape. Also, I’m a fairly rational thinker, so I will separate what I do in real life from what I need to do to win this game.
Michelle Schubert

Michelle Schubert

Tribe designation: Vanua (Millennials)

Age: 28

Current residence:
 Yakima, WA

Occupation:
 Missionary recruiter

Three words to describe you: Hungry, hungry, hippo.

Hobbies:
 I love learning, reading, and dancing. I seek beauty, adventure, and adrenaline. I like nature, exploring, rock climbing, slacklining, and The Settlers Of Catan games. I also study dragons and the stars.

Pet peeves:
 Windshield wipers on a dry window.

What does it mean to be a Millennial?

Being a Millennial means I can think outside the box. It means I won't settle for mediocrity but, rather, strive for the best outcome. It also means I know what a hashtag is and how to fix just about anything using YouTube or Google.

Personal claim to fame: 

Travelling two months in Europe by myself for less than $3000—including airfare!—or winning two state cross-country championships.

Inspiration in life: 

Can I say God? He created everything we've ever seen, touched, and experienced. He knows everything there is to know about everything... because he created it. He must be big, intelligent, majestic, and awesome.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? 

A good book to stimulate me mentally, spiritually, philosophically; waterproof mascara because I want to stay hot, especially on TV; and a large comfy bed.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like:

“Boston” Rob Mariano (MarquesasAll-StarsHeroes vs. VillainsRedemption Island) because of his puzzle game, ability to lead people, control decisions.

Reason for being on Survivor:
A challenging and exciting adventure—and money!

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor

I'm cunning and able to catch on quickly. I also have a unique ability to cause people to trust me and feel comfortable around me. For the physical aspect, I can take anything.
Paul Wachter

Paul Wachter

Tribe designation: Takali (Gen-X)

Age: 52

Current residence: 
Sugarloaf Key, FL

Occupation:
 Boat mechanic

Three words to describe you:
 Intimidating, methodical, and confident.

Hobbies:
 Singing in a rock band, treasure hunting, and spear fishing.

Pet peeves:
 Whiners and slackers.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer? 

Someone who never received a participation award.

Personal claim to fame
:
Being a father to three beautiful children.

Inspiration in life:

David Lee Roth from Van Halen because he became one of the best frontmen in the world and we share the same birthday.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?

My propeller necklace because my dad gave it to me; my thumb and pinky rings because my wife gave them to me; and my bracelet with my kids names on it because they keep me grounded.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like:

Ozzy Lusth (Cook IslandsMicronesiaSouth Pacific) because he has a heart of a lion and I am a lion!

Reason for being on Survivor:
My primary motivation is to win the million dollars. My secondary motivation is to show my children that anything is possible at any age.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor
Because I have what it takes to be the winner! I am the Sole Survivor.
Rachel Ako

Rachel Ako

Tribe designation: Takali (Gen-X)

Age: 37

Current residence:
 Los Angeles, CA

Occupation:
 Recruiting director

Three words to describe you:
 Energetic, authentic, and fun!

Hobbies:
 Dancing, traveling, and high- ropes or high-adventure activities.

Pet peeves:
 I guess I would say bad manners.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer? 

We used to be viewed as the slackers until Millennials came along. Kidding. Gen-Xers are hard workers; however, I value what every generation brings to the table.

Personal claim to fame:

Sharing my raw story of the tragedies I've been through in a book in order to help others; although, I was scared to because I was so vulnerable.

Inspiration in life: 

My father because he has great values, is loyal, authentic, and has integrity. He is my hero! Growing up as a child, it was Harriet Tubman because she was courageous, bold, and risked her life to save others.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? 

SPF, tampons, and lip balm, so I'm camera ready.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like: 

Myself, I’m bold, sexy, fun, confident, and real.

Reason for being on Survivor:

Winning a million dollars! Also, the experience, which includes the physical challenges, the rewards, and meditating on a tropical island in the morning and at night. I’d also like to inspire Asian Pacific Islanders to be confident and self-expressive!

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor?

I aim to be the first Asian Pacific Islander female to win Sole Survivor and $1 million! I have the ability to think so many steps ahead. I've been strategizing since a very young age. (I started competing in chess at 6 years old and won trophies for it!)

Sunday Burquest

Sunday Burquest

Tribe designation: Takali (Gen-X)

Age: 45

Current residence: 
Otsego, MN

Occupation:
 Youth pastor

Three words to describe you:
 Bossy, compassionate, and tenacious.

Hobbies:
 Repurposing and painting furniture, interior design, and thrift shopping because I love the thrill of the hunt for a good deal.

Pet peeves:
 Arrogant people and those who think they’re God's gift to the human race. Catty women who make the snide comments, back-handed compliments, and make other girls in the room feel like they don't measure up. Plus, people who are late drive me nuts.

What does it mean to be a Gen-Xer?

For myself, being a Gen-Xer means being driven and hard working. We don't expect things to be handed to us; we set goals and work hard for what we want in life. We also don't think we deserve to win in every situation and actually look at failure as an opportunity to learn. On the other hand, Gen- Xers can be stuck in our ways and leery of new ideas. It would help a lot if we would learn to listen to the younger generation and run with some of their new ideas.

Personal claim to fame: 

Besides my four amazing kids, I'm most proud of being a breast cancer survivor. After five surgeries, eight rounds of chemotherapy, and 28 days of radiation—not to mention the horrible meds they put you on—I'm still here! It was important to me that my kids saw me as a "warrior," rather than as a whiner. Of course, it was hard, but I wouldn't let cancer take over my life. Because of my faith, I was able to kick cancer's butt!

Inspiration in life: 

My inspiration comes from my relationship with the Lord. My faith has shaped my attitude in life and has given me the ability to be genuinely happy. Aside from my faith, my mom is my hero. She is the toughest lady. I get my tenacity and "never quit" attitude from her. I've watched her succeed despite her difficult upbringing, dealing with me and my brothers as teenagers, and enduring a bone-marrow transplant. No matter what happens, she keeps getting back up and going again!

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?

A deck of cards because I love playing games and it helps break down walls with people you don't know; lip gloss because I always feel a little better about myself with a little color on my lips; and '80s music because I love singing with friends and, no matter how off-key you all are, it's always fun.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like:

I'd play the game most like Lisa Whelchel (Philippines). I see a lot of myself in her. Not only has she been through difficult times, but her faith stayed intact. We're both moms and I see myself "mothering" some of the younger players, as she did. I see myself trying my best to play the game according to my faith, yet making sure I actually play the game. I know there will come a point I will have to deceive to get ahead; I plan to do it in the context of the game.

Reason for being on Survivor
My primary motivation is of course a $1 million! Second, I want to prove to myself that I can do it. As a fan of the show from the very first season, I've spent hours dreaming about being on the island, making alliances, finding hidden Immunity Idols, and, most of all, walking away with the title of Sole Survivor!

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor

I believe my strong personality will keep me going on the island. I know I'm good with people, especially young people because I work with them for a living, and this will help me gain allies on my tribe. My leadership skills will be useful in getting work done around camp.
Taylor Lee Stocker

Taylor Lee Stocker

Tribe designation: Vanua (Millennials)

Age: 24

Current residence:
 Postfalls, ID

Occupation:
 Ski instructor

Three words to describe you: Spontaneous, inventive, and thinker.

Hobbies: 
Playing music, brewing beer, and snowboarding.

Pet peeves:
 Wobbly tables, people not cleaning up their dogs’ poop, loud chewing, slow walkers, selfies, forms without enough space for answers.

What does it mean to be a Millennial? 

Come on, man! We are open-minded, liberal, self-expressive, upbeat, connected, tech savvy, and we invented the words "sicky sicky, gnar gnar, rachet, clutch, bae, and LOL."

I love my generation. We are all-around epic.

Personal claim to fame: 

Learning to play guitar. Not many people keep their passions.

Inspiration in life
:
[Scottish knight] William Wallace. I am a fan of fearless people.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? 

A toothbrush, lip balm, and, most of all, my banjo.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like: 

I would say Woo Hwang (Cagayan, Cambodia) because I am tricky and funny. But, if it came to it, I would not let another castaway walk off with my money!

Reason for being on Survivor:
In all honesty, I have not thought about the money; I just want to kick ass at this game.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor

I make friends easy. I also believe most would have a hard time voting me off because people like me. I am not annoying and I am a hard worker. It's just one day at a time.
Will Wahl

Will Wahl

Tribe designation: Vanua (Millennials)

Age: 18

Current residence:
 Long Valley, NJ

Occupation:
 High-school student

Three words to describe you: Cunning, adaptable, and dynamic.

Hobbies:
 Watching TV (mostly Survivor), camping and fishing, and reading news articles.

Pet peeves:
 People who are fake and/or stuck-up.

What does it mean to be a Millennial? 

A Millennial is creative, resourceful, intelligent, and, above all else, adaptable.

Personal claim to fame: 

Being the youngest person to ever compete on Survivor, which is a dream that has finally become a reality.

Inspiration in life:

Jesus Christ and Ronald Reagan. If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? Noise cancelling headphones so I won't have to hear any annoying people; a tent to stay dry in during the rain; and a Bible so that I can keep my sanity.

Survivor
 contestant you're most lik
e:
I don't want to play like any past Survivor. Each season is its own game and should be unique. I will play the way I need to play in order to manipulate people. However, I do respect Randy Bailey (GabonHeroes vs. Villains).

Reason for being on  Survivor:
My primary motivation is to show people that, even though I'm young, I can do anything an older person can do and more. People don't respect youth and I'm going to make them regret that. My secondary motivation is to screw with people's heads and lie every chance I get. It just sounds like fun.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor

I have a way of making people feel comfortable. I can manipulate people into thinking they are in control when, really, I’m the one making the big moves necessary to win.
Zeke Smith

Zeke Smith

Tribe designation: Vanua (Millennials)

Age: 28

Current residence:
 Brooklyn, NY

Occupation:
 Asset manager

Three words to describe you:
 Sharp, devilish, and unstoppable.

Hobbies:
 Writing, improv, gym, and cooking.

Pet peeves:
 Sniffling, chewing with one's mouth open, black shoes with brown belts, and children who don't listen to their mothers.

What does it mean to be a Millennial? 

To be perfectly honest, I've never thought of myself as a Millennial. Ask one of the other children.

Personal claim to fame: 

Being ranked one of the Top 16 high-school debaters in the country my senior year of high school. I got a plaque. It's been downhill ever since.

Inspiration in life:

Joan Rivers. She told Helen Keller jokes into her eighties. The woman lived.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?
1. Hairspray: While ostensibly helpful in making fires, I’d actually use it to keep my hair high and tight.
2. Coffee: This calms the nerves and awakens the senses, so to be on alert for plots against me. Coffee treatments also bring out my hair's natural shimmer.
3. Industrial-sized vat of peanut butter: Who wouldn't bring a high-protein, high-fat, delicious treat to a starvation marathon? And, lest we forget, peanut butter is a magnificent deep conditioner.

Survivor
 contestant you're most like:

Tony Vlachos (Cagayan). I mean, I'm not personally like a cop from New Jersey and I would never live in New Jersey. (Are you kidding me?) Where Tony and I intersect is our unbridled passion for Survivor. I came to lie, manipulate, and make big moves, which, on Day 39, will leave no one doubting that I played the superior game. (New Jersey? Seriously?)

Reason for being on Survivor
I love Survivor! I've dreamed of starving on desert beaches and running around in my unwashed underwear for years! It's long been my desire for Jeff Probst to reward my mastery of lying and manipulation with $1 million dollars.

Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor?
I'm tough as nails. Try and tear me down. Furthermore, people fascinate me. I can get along with anyone because I tend to be more curious than judgmental of an individual's quirks than judgmental. I'm surprisingly adept in the out-of-doors and have been killing myself in the gym for the past six months, so I shouldn't drag ass in challenges. Hopefully, all those hours... okay, days.... fine, years spent watching Survivor and listening toSurvivor podcasts will yield at least some aptitude at the game.
Season 33 premieres
Wednesday Sept 21
8 et/pt

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