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. He received an Emmy in 2001 when the show won the first-ever Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class) award. In 2015 Survivor celebrated its 30th edition 15 years since the series premiered on May 31, 2000. Survivor premiered its 34th season in March 2017 and marked the show’s 500th episode. This fall, Survivor will premiere Season 39, Island of the Idols.

Probst is a New York Times bestselling author of a kid’s adventure series, Stranded.

Also, he is 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.”

He is a spokesperson for Taylorsgift.org, whose mission is to re-gift life through organ donation.

In addition, Probst is 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, CA.

A native of Wichita, KS, Probst lives with his family in Los Angeles when he’s not traveling the world. His birthday is Nov. 4. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @jeffprobst.

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Sandra Diaz-Twine

Sandra Diaz-Twine

Mentor

Age: 45
Previous seasons of SurvivorPearl Islands (winner), Heroes vs. Villains (winner), Game Changers

What specific accomplishments do you think ultimately earned you the moniker of “Idol” when it comes to Survivor?
This is probably the easiest question to answer. I am considered an Idol because I am the only castaway to ever win the game twice and to this day that has never happened again. I won the first season I ever appeared on back in 2003 and also won the second season I ever appeared on back in 2010. I’m not an Idol because I say I’m an Idol, but because my record proves it. Nine years ago and 19 seasons ago I became known as the Queen, and to this day no one has ever come close to tying my record.

What do you think you can teach the new castaways to help them become Sole Survivor?
I’m an open book when it comes to the seasons I’ve played in. I plan on sharing all aspects of the game with the castaways. I will be able to discuss situations like being flexible and how to go with the flow when you have no control over what the majority wants to do at a given time. How to build a strong alliance, by trusting people you genuinely like and share common interests with. And that no one is perfect, there’s no way to play a perfect game, so when you make a mistake, own it.

What part of the game do you think new castaways usually underestimate?
The new castaways underestimate how hard the social part of the game truly is. Hard because there’s people you will automatically like and people you will automatically dislike. With those you like, you immediately build a bond and trust, yet there can only be one winner. It’s easy to vote off people you dislike, but when all those people are gone, now you have to start voting off the ones you consider friends. And these are the friends that you just blindsided and 100 percent of the time are upset that you voted them off and yet you still have to also convince them to give you the million dollar prize. It’s really a juggling act.

How will being a mentor present a different challenge for you than actually competing in the game?
Being a mentor is actually easier than playing the game, because you don’t have to focus on the daily aspects of Survivor. I know I’m not playing for the million dollars. I know I will not participate in any challenges (hooray). And I know I will never enter the game in some crazy twist. All I have to do is get to know the new players, listen to them carefully, and advise them. In other words, I plan on sharing the knowledge I have gained after playing for 94 consecutive days. I’m going to provide guidance, but at the end of the day each person has to make their own decisions and play their own game.

Given that you’re not playing Survivor in the traditional sense, what element of the game are looking forward to NOT having to endure?
I’m over the moon knowing I don’t have to endure a single challenge the entire season.

"Boston" Rob Mariano

Mentor

Age: 43
Previous seasons of SurvivorMarquesasAll-StarsHeroes vs. VillainsRedemption Island (winner)

What specific accomplishments do you think ultimately earned you the moniker of “Idol” when it comes to Survivor?
I’ve played Survivor four times over the course of nearly two decades. I have seen the evolution of the game and I am proficient in the three main aspects of the game: the social component, the physical component, and the strategic/psychological component. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an idol—I didn’t come up with that idea—but I definitely know what I’m doing!

What do you think you can teach the new castaways to help them become Sole Survivor?
I understand the basics: everything from how to start a fire, build a shelter, and catch fish. And the more complex, social dynamics of the game—and of course, different strategic approaches.

How will being a mentor present a different challenge for you than actually competing in the game?
I think the hardest thing about being a mentor for myself is not being able to actually compete. I am competitive by nature, so to stand on the sidelines and watch the game being played is going to be difficult.

Given that you’re not playing Survivor in the traditional sense, what element of the game are looking forward to NOT having to endure?
The fact that they can’t vote me off will give me time to really enjoy the survival aspect of the game (camp life). My background is in construction so I plan to concentrate on building the ultimate shelter. The best one Survivor has ever seen!

Ronnie Bardah

Ronnie Bardah

Lauren Beck

Lauren Beck

Age: 28
Hometown: Bakersfield, California and Rochester Hills, Michigan
Current residence: Glendale, California
Occupation: Nanny

Hobbies: Eating an entire bag of Hot Cheetos in one sitting while binge watching true-crime shows, laughing at my own jokes, writing/blogging, music festivals, talking people’s ears off… my stepdad says I have the gift of gab, thanks Dad!

Pet peeves: People that take a French fry while asking “can I have a fry?” before I even get the chance to say yes, saying “literally” before every sentence (guilty), being late (if you’re on time you’re still late), talking in third person, and clapping when a plane lands.

Three words to describe you: Bubbly, adaptable, and diligent.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Moving across the country from Michigan to Los Angeles at 17 years of age and creating a stable life for myself. We all know Los Angeles rent is no joke, and even though a lot of people I know have moved home, I’ve been able to stick it out. Tenacity is my middle name!

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My stepdad, Charles. He has raised me since I was 10 months old, and is everything a girl could ask for. He always brings me Starbucks whenever I ask. It’s the little things. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me and my family.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
That I do one of the best Britney Spears impressions you’ve ever heard.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Troyzan because we’re both hot, Cirie because she’s the best social player to date DUH, and I also like to think of myself as a gangsta in an Oprah suit. And last but certainly not least, Sandra because I have no problem being cutthroat to make power plays to enhance my individual game. The queen stays queen!

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
My ability to connect with others is astronomical, I just love people! I have the physical and mental ability to see myself through to the very end. People tend to underestimate me which will definitely work in my favor. I plan to be the second black woman to win this game, hands down.

Elizabeth Beisel

Elizabeth Beisel

Age: 26
Hometown: Saunderstown, Rhode Island
Current residence: Saunderstown, Rhode Island
Occupation: Olympic Medalist

Hobbies: Surfing, violin, and wakeboarding.

Pet peeves: I hate when people have conversations while scrolling on their phones. Be present and in the moment without your phone.

Three words to describe you: Gregarious, competitive, and loyal.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Becoming the youngest member of the United States Olympic Team in 2008 at 15 years old.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My best friend Allison. She and I have been to three Olympics together. After the 2012 Olympics where she won five medals, she went through a serious post-Olympic depression. She is now a mental health advocate for athletes and speaks around the country. She is a true hero.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I love classical music and have played the violin since I was 3 years old.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Kara. Her exuberant personality and positive attitude reminds me of myself.

What’s your primary motivation for being on Survivor?
To compete again. I retired from swimming a year ago and I miss challenging myself and bringing myself to the edge. Second reason… one million dollars.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I’m physically, mentally, and socially strong. I can easily connect with people—my alliances will be strong and help carry me through the game. I can win individual Immunity due to my strength as an athlete. I’m a tough girl who will fight until the end.

Molly Byman

Molly Byman

Age: 27
Hometown: Boston
Current residence: Durham, North Carolina
Occupation: Law Student

Hobbies: Running, skiing, biking, hiking, reading, board games, traveling, and balling out for delicious meals.

Pet peeves: Being unwantedly touched, heavy breathing, slow walkers and slow talkers, people who are unprepared at airport security, rule-breakers, and the assumption that men and women can’t be platonic friends.

Three words to describe you: Competitive, resilient, and vibrant.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Teaching middle school for five years. Thanks to the two schools where I taught, my two incredible department heads, and my 400+ impressive students, I’ll forever be that person who says that teaching was the hardest but most rewarding job she’s ever had.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My family. I am the oldest of four and the oldest of my 13 first cousins, and we all genuinely enjoy each other’s company. My family inspires me to take on new challenges, but also to remain grounded, remember my roots, and to be someone they can be proud of. I have the confidence to do things like go on Survivor because of the stability and love both my parents have provided and continue to provide.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
My all-time favorite TV protagonist is Lindsay Weir from Freaks and Geeks. Also, I can read tarot cards.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Parvati (who is the most obvious selection that everyone strives to be) because she was charming as she was being manipulative. She allowed herself to be grouped into a “dumb girl alliance” but controlled the social situation throughout. I also relate to Wendell. Like Wendell, I am able to remain emotionally neutral and find humor in stressful or irritating situations.

What’s your primary motivation for being on Survivor?
I have wanted to compete on Survivor since I first watched Elisabeth Filarski jump off that cliff in the Australian Outback. Now that it’s happening (!!!), I keep reminding myself that the show is for money and not just an adventure. I want a behind-the-scenes look at the show I love, and I want to test my mind, body, and social prowess. The opportunity to graduate law school with zero debt is a bonus.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I am smart, strong, and not annoying. Discomfort and being dirty don’t bother me. I can fit in anywhere and form relationships with anyone. Being an oldest child and being a teacher taught me how to manage chaos, how to be adaptable and considerate to others’ needs, and how to use subtle powers of persuasion to get people to do what I want.

Missy Byrd

Missy Byrd

Age: 24
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia
Current residence: Tacoma, Washington
Occupation: Air Force Veteran

Hobbies: Hiking, traveling, immersing myself into the culture I’m visiting, and winning.

Pet peeves: Annoying human beings.

Three words to describe you: Relentless, clever, and decently dope.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Always finding a way to travel the world regardless of budget. We all deserve to see what’s out there.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
Oprah, Beyoncé and the Obamas. They all broke the mold for what being black in America looks like.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I rather enjoy a hot cup of tea and a good book.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Kim, my girl is a legend. She hit the sand and aligned quickly. She played both sides effortlessly. I would play like this. Kill ’em with a smile.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
Beyoncé wrote a song about surviving so I have to honor Queen B.

Janet Carbin

Janet Carbin

Age: 59
Hometown: Neptune, New Jersey
Current residence: Palm Bay, Florida
Occupation: Chief Lifeguard

Hobbies: Body surfing, softball, and rowing lifeguard boats.

Pet peeves: Laziness and being wasteful.

Three words to describe you: Aggressive, enthusiastic, and vivacious.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Saving many lives in the ocean and of course, my kids and my grandchildren.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
Tina Turner. She walked out and made no excuses—and made it big.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I come off tough and stern… not true.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Stephenie, because she’s athletic.

What’s your primary motivation for being on Survivor?
It’s my dream. And the money!

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
Because I can read people and I have the necessary skills, athletically and socially.

 Kellee Kim

Kellee Kim

Age: 29
Hometown: Costa Mesa, California
Current residence: Philadelphia
Occupation: MBA Student

Hobbies: Settlers of Catan (Cities and Knight), skiing, and soccer.

Pet peeves: People who wake me up while I’m sleeping or try to talk to me while I am falling asleep.

Three words to describe you: Fun, energetic, and driven.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Getting onto the Harvard Varsity Soccer team! It was a very long passion and journey and it was a huge accomplishment to be able to play in college.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My sister!

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I hate mayo; if I had to eat a tub to get to the Final 3, I’m not sure I could do it. And I don’t like whipped cream, vanilla frosting, or sour cream.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Kelley Wentworth. She’s athletic and gets along with people. And we almost have the same name.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
My pain tolerance is high, and I love to make difficult things fun. With a pinch of luck and a good “meat shield,” I’ll win.

Dean Kowalski

Dean Kowalski

Age: 28
Hometown: Westfield, New Jersey
Current residence: New York City
Occupation: Tech Sales

Hobbies: Basketball, crafts, and DJ-ing.

Pet peeves: People honking in dead-stop traffic, people from the back pushing up a couple rows upon airplane landing, and roommates leaving dirty dishes in the sink for a prolonged period of time.

Three words to describe you: Jovial, observant, and likeable.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Achieving the highest success rate of all Miami Algebra 1 teachers for students passing the end of year exam.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
Shirley Manzanares. Shirley was one of my 9th grade Algebra 1 students in my first year teaching. Shirley was an A+ student and the most respectful and loving soul. What you didn’t see was her two jobs to help pay for prom, her caring for her two younger siblings while her mom worked at night, and her dedication to community service. Shirley will be the first in her family to attend college.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I have recently grown to appreciate astronomy, physics, and our place in the universe.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Wendell for his quiet leadership.

What’s your primary motivation for being on Survivor?
I crave new challenges/experiences, and it’s the most uniquely strategic game ever.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
Self-awareness is one of the most important leadership characteristics. My social intelligence will allow me to read when to go big and when to fall back. I strongly believe in my ability to get along with and be liked by a variety of different people. This will allow me to build strong, diverse alliances. Additionally, my athletic and puzzle abilities will make me a threat within challenges. My experience working in sales will fuel my persuasion within my alliances.

 Tom Laidlaw

Tom Laidlaw

Age: 60
Hometown: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Current residence: Greenwich, Connecticut
Occupation: Former NHL Player

Hobbies: Watching Survivor, anything fitness, and hanging with the people I love.

Pet peeves: People driving slow in the fast lane.

Three words to describe you: Disciplined, dedicated, and stubborn.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Raising my two sons to be strong, independent men.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My grandfather. My grandmother was in a wheelchair most of her life. He took care of her until she died, and he died shortly after.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I don’t like heights.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Ben the Marine, he did whatever he had to.

What’s your primary motivation for being on Survivor?
The challenge and desire to win.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I know how to build an alliance and win challenges and then do whatever it takes to win.

Jason Linden

Jason Linden

Age: 32
Hometown: New York City
Current residence: New York City
Occupation: Personal Injury Lawyer

Hobbies: Sports, music, and learning new things.

Pet peeves: Bullies, slow walkers, and when someone coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth.

Three words to describe you: Charismatic, determined, and direct.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Starting my own firm. I am really proud of myself and it makes me happy. I’m also proud of the life my wife and I are building together. We are both blossoming in our respective businesses at the same time. We are just very in sync right now.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My dad, Alex. He is the happiest and most liked person I’ve ever met. He can make lemonade out of any lemon thrown his way. Also, he is relatively successful, but does not care about materialistic things. He just loves his family and playing sports, and that’s what makes him happy. If I can find happiness as easy as he can, I’d be proud.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I’m a huge Phish fan. I met my wife at a Phish concert.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
A mix of Stephen Fishbach/Adam Klein/Cochran 2.0/Rob Cesternino and weirdly a little Tony Vlachos. Buckle up baby, it’s going to be a wild ride.

What’s your primary motivation for being on Survivor?
The love of the game. I love Survivor and I want to play this game. I need to play. This is like Darwinism in its truest form.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
Survivor is a relationship-based game. First, I will develop the relationships needed to win the game. I have a deep and fundamental understanding of human communication and connection. I have an uncanny ability to make strangers feel at ease. I disarm them with humor and self-deprecation. But I reinforce the connections with true and sincere interest and care. I will build relationships that will not only take me further into the game, but will win me the votes at final Tribal Council. Second, I will take control of my game and lead my allies to make favorable decisions to my game. I am a natural leader. Third, I will outwork my competition; I am an animal. I am resilient and hardworking. When I start something, I NEED to finish it.

 Aaron Meredith

Aaron Meredith

Age: 36
Hometown: Uncasville, Connecticut
Current residence: Warwick, Rhode Island
Occupation: Gym Owner

Hobbies: Lifting, traveling, and outdoor activities.

Pet peeves: Ignorance, driving slow in the left lane, and lazy people.

Three words to describe you: Attractive, intelligent, and strong.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My son. He is unbelievably smart, kind, and funny.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My dad. He worked his ass off as a police officer for 25 years to provide for our family and he never once missed a game in all the sports I played.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I once had a kettle corn business. I drove up the east coast popping popcorn at fairs.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Ozzy. He’s a physical monster when it comes to challenges, a major contributor around camp, a smart player, and social threat.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I flat out want this! I have to come in with a STRONG social game because I will have a huge target on my back as a physical threat. I know how to work people, get people to know me, like me, and trust me.

Vince Moua

Vince Moua

Age: 27 
Hometown: Merced, California
Current residence: Palo Alto, California
Occupation: Admissions Counselor

Hobbies: Singing, photography, thrifting, and hunting for cool/unique cafes.

Pet peeves: When people are flaky and do not follow through with their promises. When people don’t understand that the middle seat passenger has rights to both armrests. When people tell me, “Wow! Your English is really good!” and follow with, “Where did you learn English?” When people dismiss and/or invalidate my lived experience as a person of color.

Three words to describe you: Shamelessly-me, quick-witted ,and not-afraid-to-flip-tables.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
It might seem a bit trivial, but I am most proud of buying my mother a new and modern refrigerator for Mother’s Day in 2017. She and my father were not able to afford new appliances and had been using the same old refrigerator for 12 years, so it was really meaningful for me to buy her something she really wanted and needed.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
Like so many children of refugees, I am here today because of my parents’ sacrifices. My father’s journey was especially harrowing. He, Txooj Zeb Muas, is my hero and quite literally, a true survivor. Faced with unknown odds, he risked everything to have a chance at living. At 16 years old, my father and his two cousins ran from the mountains of Laos—through jungles laced with landmines and buzzing with bullets from communist Viet Cong and Pathet Lao followers—to refugee camps in Thailand in an attempt to escape ethnic genocide of the Hmong and Mien people who were abandoned after being recruited for guerilla warfare. After miraculously making it across the Mekong River and into the camps, he was relocated to Montana with nothing more than the clothes on his back. Despite the struggles of being forced into a totally foreign country with no immediate family members, he has never given up on living life to its fullest potential. I have had the privilege of growing up without the fears of being exposed to Agent Orange, ethnic persecution, and displacement because of his resilience, his perseverance, his defiance, and his traumatic experiences.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
In 2015, after years of experiencing erratic and frightening out-of-body panic-attack-like episodes, my grandmother’s Shaman Master declared that I was, and am, the next shaman to rise in our family!

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Vince is Vince. Survivor ain’t never had anyone like me before, haha. IF I had to choose, I’d say a mix of Shii Ann Huang, because she didn’t let nobody mess with her. The Shii Devil, Cirie Fields, because she’s humble, analytical, strategic, and inspirational, and Natalie Anderson, because she was loyal, innovative, and an overall boss!

What’s your primary motivation for being on Survivor?
Honestly, I am here to show minority young folk and people across the world that they matter, that their stories and narratives are important, and that they should never doubt their existence regardless of what others say. Survivor has been an integral part of my life. It showed me that a kid from Merced could dream of traveling abroad, take big risks, and be more than another statistic. I hope that winning the title of “Sole Survivor” inspires other kids to challenge the oppressive systems and institutions that seek to keep them down!

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I have accumulated grit from the challenges that I’ve faced throughout my life and have always been able to gain the trust and confidence of others. I believe I can use my unassuming image and 209 vernacular to fool others into believing that I am not an immediate threat. However, I’d say I’m pretty crafty and will be able to use my smarts to create plans and execute votes that will eliminate anyone I feel is a threat to my game (if you’re not with me, you’re dead to me). I also understand how to deal with big egos and personal quirks and can use my social skills to build confidence among all characters. Lastly, I’ve got quite a mouth and can smack the Jury with an award-winning final Tribal Council speech to guarantee my win.

Jack Nichting

Jack Nichting

Age: 23
Hometown: Newport News, Virginia
Current residence: Harrisonburg, Virginia
Occupation: Graduate Student

Hobbies: CrossFit, listening to and singing musicals, all-you-can-eat sushi, and exploring the world.

Pet peeves: Being wasteful, rudeness, people running in place at crosswalks, and loud eating.

Three words to describe you: Determined, dreamer, and social.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Winning the National Championship for club soccer my senior year of college!

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My mom. Overcoming traumatic life events, she picked up and moved abroad to pursue a new job, in a new place, and is now exploring the world. Ultimate free spirit and the definition of a G.O.A.T.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
Externally, I can easily be perceived as a laid back, longhaired, ditzy guy. In reality, I can be quite intellectual, intentional, and LOVE having serious, deep conversations with people.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Devon Pinto. Devon just absolutely loves life and constantly radiates good vibes. He is always smiling and so am I.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I can navigate anyone and every social scenario. I understand I will be a target for people, and I do not take that lightly. I will get rid of anyone I view as a threat to me, without moral qualms. At the same time, I will be intentional in trying to remain more in the background and not viewed as a threat. Finally, if it came to life or death in a challenge, my smarts, physical ability, and focus will always make me a fierce competitor.

 Karishma Patel

Karishma Patel

Age: 37
Hometown: Philadelphia
Current residence: Houston
Occupation: Personal Injury Lawyer

Hobbies: Experimental cooking, hosting theme parties, and reading travel blogs.

Pet peeves: Party poopers, girls who play dumb for attention, when the tire hits the curb while parallel parking, mansplaining, passive aggressive behavior, and PDA.

Three words to describe you: Reliable, impulsive, and charismatic.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’ve taken three state bar exams—Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Texas—and passed them all on the first try.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My parents. They are the most devoted people I know. They have taught me that the key to happiness is to never forget to choose it for yourself. They came to America in the ’70s with a dream and achieved it all with hard work and determination.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I am terrified of alligators. (Just saying that word gave me chills…)

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Natalie Anderson because she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, but also made a lot of really subtle moves that kept her on top. Brown girl power!

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I feel like I was born to play this game. I’ve always craved challenges that help me learn more about myself, and I know deep down that I do have the physical, mental, and social skills to outlast, outwit, and outplay anyone. My job and my life experiences have trained me exactly how to win. I am hungry to be out in the wild, pushing myself to the edge, and doing things I never dreamed I could do. In the end, surviving this game means something more valuable than money to me.

Noura Salman

Noura Salman

Age: 36
Hometown: London / Bethesda, Maryland
Current residence: North Potomac, Maryland
Occupation: Entrepreneur

Hobbies: Working out, creating healthy foods and beverages in the kitchen, traveling, and social media posting on self-help, food, and fitness.

Pet peeves: People lacking personal hygiene and table manners. I also cannot stand or be friends with people who are selfish, self-absorbed, or stingy.

Three words to describe you: Ambitious, passionate, and energetic.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Experiencing the world, living in many places, trying many jobs, careers, and businesses. Exploring many different people and relationships; going out on my own and making my own living and path best suited for me!

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My mom. She is the most generous, loving, thoughtful, hardworking, and humble person I know. She has always encouraged us to “be ourselves” and do what makes us happy. She struggled financially for 20 years and emotionally in her marriage to my dad, but still gave us the world—happily and gracefully.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I love frogs. I don’t drink and have never done a drug or smoked a cigarette in my life.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Malcolm. Physically strong and great at puzzles and problem solving and genuinely liked by most people. And easy on the eyes. But underestimated with a low threat-factor like Fabio and Jud.

What’s your primary motivation for being on Survivor?
Finally use all of my talents, skills, and abilities and push myself to the highest physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual limits I’ve ever reached.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I’m multidimensional and not just one thing or person. I’m the nerd, jock, and model with brains, brawn, and beauty. Most importantly, I have the social skills needed to both win and influence people, and relentless drive to go after what I want.

Tommy Sheehan

Tommy Sheehan

Age: 26
Hometown: Bayville, New York
Current residence: Long Beach, New York
Occupation: 4th Grade Teacher

Hobbies: Surfing, sports (basketball, volleyball, football), and asking questions to my magic eight ball.

Pet peeves: I hate bullies who think they are better than everyone else and talk down to others. I also cannot stand grumpy and serious people. Lighten up, life is amazing, let me see that smile. LOL.

Three words to describe you: Outgoing, competitive, and goofy.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am proud of all the children’s lives I have changed teaching. Also, I have a really killer Disney coffee mug collection.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My parentsMy dad has always instilled the Sheehan motto in my head “Get it done.” There are no excuses, just get the job done, whatever it is. He is also the life of the party and lives each day like it is his last. My mom inspires me to care for others. She is the most caring individual I know and I hope to one day have half the heart she does.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I have the biggest heart. I love people and would do anything to help them, especially kids.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
I would say if you combined David Wright’s strategy, Davie’s social game, and a pinch of Amanda Kimmel’s likeability. These three players were fans of the game, played hard, and did everything they could do with the hands they were dealt.

What’s your primary motivation for being on Survivor?
I am on the show to do something most people dream about. I am there to win the game and get the million dollars. Those are my only motivations. If I happen to make people smile and help them escape whatever hardships are going on in their lives for an hour a week, that is a huge plus too.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I am physical and can win challenges, but that won’t win Survivor. What wins Survivor is the time spent opening up and connecting to people. When you have real connections with people they will keep you around longer. Also, I am there to win the game. I see myself finding idols, making moves and leading blindsides.

 Jamal Shipman

Jamal Shipman

Age: 33
Hometown: Jersey City, New Jersey
Current residence: Providence, Rhode Island
Occupation: College Administrator

Hobbies: Coaching basketball, taking West African and salsa dance lessons, teaching myself the bass guitar, and losing in fantasy football leagues.

Pet peeves: I hate bugs that insist on leaving behind itchy, painful bumps. I don’t mind sharing my blood with you, but why the discomfort? Why the ache? It’s pretty rude if you ask me.

Three words to describe you: Balanced, inquisitive, and present.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My educational path is something I’m most proud of. After 8 years at P.S. 27, a Jersey City public school where my mom is still a teacher, I was accepted to the Prep for Prep program in New York. That experience prepared me for high school at Milton Academy, a New England prep school, which opened the door for me to attend and graduate from Brown University, an Ivy League school in Providence, R.I. With some bumps along the way and lots of help from those who care about me, I was able to make it through and be where I am today.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
Barack Obama. I wasn’t all that politically aware prior to his run for president. He spoke to me. He inspired me to get involved and care about our world in a more engaged way. I’ve read his books, watched his speeches, and followed his presidency. The thoughtfulness, grace, optimism, and commitment he showed is absolutely uplifting. If we can approach life with his same attitude and aspire towards excellence the way he does, we’d all be better off.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
You wouldn’t know that while I was a tri-varsity athlete by my junior year in high school, I was also in the school a cappella group, played the trumpet in the orchestra, and played a role in the spring play! You can’t judge a book by its cover.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
I most relate to Jeremy. I think he played the game the second time similarly to how I would want to play it. Wendell, Officer Sarah, and Christian are all players I relate to, as well.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I’ve been intensely studying this game. I feel like I have a good handle on what to do in order to give myself the best shot at making it to the end with enough good will to get votes. People will be happy to write my name at the end.

 Dan Spilo

Dan Spilo

Age: 48
Hometown: New York City
Current residence: Los Angeles
Occupation: Talent Manager

Hobbies: Adventure travel, movies, and fitness.

Pet peeves: Trouble dealing with stubborn people but I respect EQ as much as IQ, ignorance, and close-mindedness.

Three words to describe you: Hardworking, articulate, and charming.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Raising two loving, considerate boys, and working hard to keep a marriage fun, loving, and passionate for 20 years.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
I don’t have a hero, per se—Jane Goodall and people like her who have a selfless devotion to something in the way she did. The way she illuminated the life of chimpanzees, and never let anything get in her way, is heroic to me.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
That I am a big softy. As my first client always reminds me, I cried at Finding Nemo.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Crowley and Kwon because of background, Westman and Boston Rob for social gameplay, and Cochran because he’s freaking cool and weird.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I think I have the basic, if not superior, physicality to be useful to the Tribe. More importantly, I have an incredible ability to know what people need and to make them feel good, and to make myself critical in their success.

 Elaine Stott

Elaine Stott

Age: 41
Hometown: Woodbine, Kentucky
Current residence: Rockholds, Kentucky
Occupation: Factory Worker

Hobbies: Four-wheeling, fishing, and taking my boat to the lake.

Pet peeves: Guys who think women aren’t their equals, girls who think they need to use their body to get ahead, and people who think their s*** don’t stink!

Three words to describe you: Independent, stubborn, and kind.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Stepping up and taking care of my loved ones when they needed me. I took care of my grandpa who helped raise me when he got sick until he passed. My godmother lost her daughter and her husband, then had a stroke all within eight months. I was all she had to get through everything. My mom recently was in a coma and on life support. For months, she fought to get stronger and relearn everything. I was by her side the whole time. The plan was for her to come live with me afterwards so I could take care of her. Unfortunately, she passed away from complications before that could happen. To some, stuff like that may not be an accomplishment, but to me that’s the only stuff that matters. I’m proud to be that kind of person.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My godmother. She took me in when I was young, and treated me like her own ever since. She is the strongest woman I know. She is kind, caring and very loving, even though she has suffered a great deal over the past few years. She’s awesome.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
People think I am a real hard ass but I am actually a big softy.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
I think I am most like Rupert, rough and raw on the outside, and a big marshmallow on the inside. He seemed to be a very kind person just like me.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I think people will underestimate me. I think with my people skills and my ability to relate to different types of people, I will be able to befriend them or gain their trust. I would be overlooked because I wouldn’t be a threat, but an ally.

Chelsea Walker

Chelsea Walker

Age: 26
Hometown: Marlton, New Jersey
Current residence: Los Angeles
Occupation: Digital Content Creator

Hobbies: Working out, going to the beach, soccer, rooting for Philly sports teams, and watching Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Pet peeves: The chunky dad sneakers trend that suddenly made a comeback and makes it look like you have bricks strapped to your feet. Bulky, unflattering, and yet “everyone” is wearing them. Why suddenly, after we all agreed to put these to bed, have these dad sneakers come back?

Three words to describe you: Driven, competitive, and scrappy.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Getting on Survivor. I started applying to the show when I was 21, and I remember believing once I put in that application, Survivor would be chomping at the bit to invite me to play this game. Little did I know at that point that this would be the start to a very long journey. After almost six straight years of applying, with rejection after rejection after rejection, I finally contemplated throwing in the towel. Yet, as hard as I tried to push it away, I could never get the thoughts and urges to play out of my mind and out of my heart. I’ve never quit anything in my life, and I’m so proud of myself for never giving up on my dream, despite people telling me to do so. The best thing I ever did was believe in myself.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?
Larry David because he respects wood.

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know from seeing a photo of you?
I’m pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Parvati and Kelley Wentworth, although I am aware the two girls play very different games. Parvati plays a very social, flirty, unsuspecting game, and establishes herself in power when she can. Kelley plays a very sneaky, threatening and aggressive game, tends to be more in your face with what she wants to accomplish, with a “never give up” type of attitude. I see myself in both of them.

What’s your primary motivation for being on Survivor?
It’s the allure of this really amazing game, this game I’ve been dreaming of playing since I was 8 years old. This game that will strip me down to my core, while also offering myself the opportunity to prove what I’m capable of. To all the superfans out there, never give up.

Why do you think you’ll “survive” Survivor?
I’ve been underestimated my entire life, and the second you tell me I can’t do something, I’m going to do my damnedest to prove everyone wrong. I know what it’s like to be at the bottom. Things might not always go my way, but I’ve learned to push through the challenges and work my way to the top. I’m tenacious, a hard worker, and I don’t take anything for granted. Applying to the show for so many years has made me stronger, and hungrier to win. I have something to prove, and I will win because I have the passion and desire to do so.