Jeff Probst

Cast

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 40, Winners at War.

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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Cassidy Clark

Cast

Cassidy Clark

Coco Tribe

Age: 26
Hometown: Plano, Texas
Current Residence: Austin, Texas
Occupation: Designer
Favorite hobbies: Fashion design and most forms of art, thrifting your grandparent’s old clothes and knick knacks, skating, boxing, and underwater exploring

3 words to describe you: Groovy, charismatic, and creative

Pet peeve(s): Narrow-minded, judgmental people. Also, people who have no reverence for Mother Nature and all her beautiful beings!

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I’ve fought through many painful experiences and never let it break me or hold me back for long. I have a fighting spirit and will always be proud of my perseverance. But I am also very proud of showing my designs in a fashion show!

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I’ve always carried a deep spiritual wonder and appreciation for life, nature. and all of its many beautiful complexities. I can manifest and create anything when I surrender fully to the moment and find acceptance in it. Maintaining that flow throughout the game will not always be easy, but it is a top priority.

Who is your hero and why? I know it sounds cliché but my mom is freaking incredible! She has faced so much adversity and never allowed it to break her spirit. She is a legend in my eyes and the ultimate “survivor” to “thriver.”

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I’ve always admired Kim Spradlin’s game, she was a low-key assassin! I loved seeing a good triple-threat win; she played a very strong social, strategic and physical game. She “puppeted” her alliance through the entire game while keeping the target off her back.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I think I’ve got the sweet spot in all the right places. I’m physically fit and competitive, I will be an asset to my tribe but my slighter stature will make me appear non-threatening. I am intuitive and an out-of-the-box thinker. My clever and witty nature will allow me to maneuver and adapt throughout the unexpected twists in the game. I have the ability to manipulate and persuade others, and while I don’t abuse that in my everyday life, all bets are off in SURVIVOR. My life experiences, optimistic charm, and open-minded outlook will allow me to connect deeply with others, disarm them and form strong alliances and friendships. But I can use my logic to stay detached enough to always make the best decision for my game. When the rubber meets the road, I’ll do whatever it takes to play in a powerful way. People won’t see me coming and that’s exactly what I’m counting on.

Cody Assenmacher

Cast

Cody Assenmacher

Vesi Tribe

Age: 35
Hometown: Preston, Iowa
Current Residence: Honolulu, Hawaii
Occupation: Elevator sales
Favorite hobbies: Going out with friends, traveling and being outdoors

3 words to describe you: Optimistic, charismatic, fearless

Pet peeve(s): Lazy people, social media addicts, clipping nails in a public location

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I’m really proud of the relationship[s] I have with my family and friends. Without them, life would be boring. Knowing they are there for me, no matter what, is comforting.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? [Several] of my bottom front teeth are fake. When I was a kid, my older brother strapped me into a sled behind an ATV in a frozen cornfield, and the sled flipped over.

Who is your hero and why? Devon Yaddof, a best friend of mine who passed from cancer in high school. His loss lit a fire in me at a very young age. That fire continues to drive me to live my life differently. And my parents, as I’m grateful for them selflessly molding me into the man I am today.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Malcolm – he was a likable, physically skilled, humble player who used that skill set to advance his way through the game. Malcolm and I share multiple character, personality and physical skill sets. The ability to sit back and sometimes play the role of a fool to fool the fool who thinks they’re fooling you is critical in competing in this game.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I know that SURVIVOR and I were meant for each other. Just took us 20 years to realize it! My charismatic, fun-loving personality will enable me to build alliances. My competitive edge will keep numbers through winning challenges. Experience being outdoors will help in building shelter and sourcing food. My experiences, profession, and living in different cities have given me wisdom ahead of my time, and I will use that to my advantage in communicating with players older than me, while my active lifestyle and youthful spirit will enable me to relate to younger players.

Dwight Moore

Cast

Dwight Moore

Vesi Tribe

Age: 22
Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.
Current Residence: Collierville, Tenn.
Occupation: Graduate student
Favorite hobbies: Skiing, video games, tutoring/teaching

3 words to describe you: Ambitious, confident, and strong-willed

Pet peeve(s): Someone making a reference to The Office within two seconds of learning my name. Arrogance. Refusal to use turn signals while driving.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  In my sophomore year of high school, I decided to take the ACT, just to see how I would do on it, and I ended up getting a perfect score. That was great for college admissions, and it garnered me attention locally and nationally. Due to that, I’ve had parents in Memphis tell me that they’ve used me as an example for their kids, to show what black people can accomplish academically. It’s not the actual score that I’m proud of; it’s the idea that, hopefully, someone felt motivated by seeing Black representation in an academic space.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? That I had a whole career as a journalist that rivals that of professionals, all before I entered college! I got into journalism because as a kid, I wanted to become president and decided that the best way to learn was by interviewing other political figures. The list of people I’ve interviewed includes Cory Booker, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. I also covered the red carpet at the National Civil Rights Museum’s Freedom Awards for many years, interviewing honorees.

Who is your hero and why? My parents! My dad was raised in a small town in Mississippi and is now a doctor with his own practice in Memphis, and my mom is a registered nurse [turned] stay-at-home mom. They’ve been able to do so much with their lives despite obstacles, thus being able to provide me with so much in my life.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I hope to emulate Wendell’s game from Ghost Island the most. He made it far due to an extremely strong social game, and I hope to create that same level of bond, such that people will want to keep me around, even if doing so would be detrimental to their long-term game. Also, he performed well in challenges, both in the individual and tribal phases when needed.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I can be the Sole Survivor not just because of my social skills or intellect, but because of the passion that I put into every single thing that I do in life. If I set my mind to do something, I’m giving it everything until I see that goal met. I’m well aware that I lack typical skills for living outdoors, but many legends of the game lacked those skills initially as well. I’ve always been open to learning and adapting to my environment in order to succeed, and I don’t plan on treating this game any differently, especially in the succeeding part.

Elisabeth “Elie” Scott

Cast

Elisabeth “Elie” Scott

Baka Tribe

Age: 31
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Current Residence: Salt Lake City, Utah
Occupation: Clinical psychologist
Favorite hobbies: Rock climbing, skiing, karaoke at dive bars

3 words to describe you: Clever, perceptive, and authentic

Pet peeve(s): Really the only way someone can earn a spot on my bad side is by being inconsiderate or intentionally hurtful to others. Social injustice and discrimination make my blood boil. I will always speak up when I observe it, even if it gets me into trouble.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  I am most proud of persistence in education, despite challenges. When it came time to apply for college, my high school advisor told me I would be wasting time and money if I enrolled, but I had a deep desire to study psychology so that I could work towards helping families like mine that were impacted by addiction. I was accepted to a program for students with lower GPAs and/or standardized test scores, with the contingency that I had to make A’s in all of my first semester classes. After meeting this requirement, I realized how good it felt to do well in school, show up to class and try hard at things that were challenging. I graduated college early, with a 3.89 GPA and proceeded to earn a 4.0 GPA in all of my Master’s and Doctoral courses.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? Most people don’t know that I’m creative and artsy. I love to write, paint, and learn new crafts when I have time for it!

Who is your hero and why? My abuelos, my maternal grandparents, are my greatest heroes because of their ability to persevere through adversity and take risks to better the lives of their family and communities.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I think I have the natural ability to lead a group to the end in the same way Kim Spradlin did, but I also realize she had a lot of luck and circumstance on her side during her first season. Kelley Wentworth is an example of how I will play if I find myself without such luck. I am scrappy and crafty and would be fighting up until the last minute to find idols and sway votes in the same way. I can also see myself playing a social and strategic game like Cirie Fields. People see me as caring and nurturing, so I will be afforded more room to subtly manipulate and push for my best interest, without turning people against me. I’d also feel proud to play and grow in the same way that Sarah Lacina did across her seasons.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I will outwit by use of my natural social skill and cutthroat strategy. People will trust, share information, and be disarmed by me, which will make me dangerous. I am coming into the game with the understanding that SURVIVOR is a world with a different set of social norms, so my mindset will shift away from Psychologist ethics and toward SURVIVOR Ethics. I will outplay with my natural competitiveness, athleticism, and tenacity. I will not give up. In this new era, advantages are key, so I will hustle hard to find and use advantages to keep myself alive! And I will outlast by moving towards small goals that will motivate me along the way. I will know when to strike and when to lay low. I will be sneaky when I have to be and transparent when it is beneficial. I will adapt with the game.

Geo Bustamante

Cast

Geo Bustamante

Coco Tribe

Age: 36
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
Current Residence: Honolulu, Hawaii
Occupation: Project manager
Favorite hobbies: Hiking, traveling, diving

3 words to describe you: Adaptable, hard worker, resilient

Pet peeve(s): I strongly dislike laziness and people who don’t have common courtesy.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  Being that English is my second language, I grew up in the hood and was homeless for a period of time, the accomplishment that I am most proud of is graduating with my associate degree with a 4.0 GPA.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I grew up shy, quiet and in my head, which made me a thinker and very analytical. People also don’t see that if they mess or compete with me, they will lose. A whole new alter ego comes out that turns into a beast during any competition.

Who is your hero and why? My husband is my hero because he is everything I have. He motivates me and has encouraged me through so much. He is also in the military, so he is a real hero in life!

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? It would have to be a combination of Cochran and Boston Rob. I am not as physical as Rob, but I will be strategic like Cochran. I’m hoping that by the end of the season, people will see that I played my own game.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? Because in life, I am already a survivor. In life I did not have the luxury to mess up and have people help me. In life I struggled and fought hard for everything I’ve accomplished. I have the fire in me and the willpower to show the world that I deserve to win and will not let anything or anyone get in my way. I’m ready for this, and I will not let this opportunity of a lifetime go to waste. The world will see that Geo Bustamante has arrived, and I WILL WIN!

James Jones

Cast

James Jones

Coco Tribe

Age: 37
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
Current Residence: Philadelphia, Pa.
Occupation: Event planner
Favorite hobbies: Curating events, finding the best cocktails in the city, reading/writing

3 words to describe you: Confident, casual, self-aware

Pet peeve(s): Really bad customer service. Pushy sales people.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Winning the United States Chess Open (largest chess tournament in the USA) for my rating bracket when I was 12. You are playing against grown people, and I won $1,200. That was like $100,000 to me at the time! It gave me the confidence that I could do almost anything.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I grew up in the church. I was an usher and sang in the choir from age 6 to 17. My dad was a deacon and my mom was a deaconess. I have a deep faith but it is my own faith. I don’t talk about it a lot but I am a big believer.

Who is your hero and why? My mom. She overcame a lot to raise me and give me the foundation to be the person that I am today. She made sure I was raised in a safe house, made sure I went to church to develop a moral compass, took me to black history workshops as a child so I had a sense of self worth. She made sure I got into the best public school in the city, then made sure I could travel the country as a middle schooler playing chess. She passed away five years ago, and as I grow older, I grow to admire her more each day.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Sandra’s “anyone but me” will always be my strategy, as long as I see a path to the end and I am with people, or have people, in which I trust. If I don’t have that, I will be an agent of chaos Russell with charm. I am playing to win and not for 7th place.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I thrive, and find a certain comfort, in chaos. Managing events at a club on a Friday night anything can happen, but whatever issues pop up you have to handle. That takes interpersonal skills if it is dealing with people, and it takes general problem-solving skills when dealing with a venue, and you still have to make sure everyone at your party has a great time.

Jeanine Zheng

Cast

Jeanine Zheng

Baka Tribe

Age: 24
Hometown: South Hamilton, Mass.
Current Residence: San Francisco, Calif.
Occupation: UX designer
Favorite hobbies: Backpacking (bonus points if it leads to sleeping under the stars), photography, running

3 words to describe you: Green (both in that I absorb all new experiences/information around me, and am environmentally conscious), empathetic, witty

Pet peeve(s): Being “mansplained” to, people on their phones while you’re hanging out.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  The body of work that I am most proud of is my senior thesis, which bridged my two majors of Environmental Science and Visual Arts. They are two departments that have never worked together as a double major, and it took a lot of initiative to create my own syllabus and thesis which addresses both. The thesis is a true reflection of me, of my equal passions in sustainability and art.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? People often assume I’m extroverted because I’ve very effusive and engaged, especially when meeting someone for the first time. But I’m definitely an introvert and need time alone to recharge.

Who is your hero and why? My father paved the way for my family and our life as we know it. He grew up as a sweet potato farmer in the impoverished countryside of China; he eventually came to the United States, completed his PhD in genetics, and now creates biotechnologies to increase yields for those very crops. To say I admire his tenacity, discipline, and work ethic is an understatement.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Kim Spradlin. She had the ability to control the game based on her interpersonal relationships, convincing everyone on the tribe that they could trust her. She straddled the perfect balance of executing huge game moves without being pegged as the mastermind — and is feminism at its finest. Also, Andrea Boehlke because she is outdoorsy, carried her weight and manipulated people while staying likable.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? Given the evolution of the game, I see the winner as having to sit between multiple trust clusters and have the intuition to know when to rely on which at any given moment. I can sit in that position; I can create relationships with people from completely different backgrounds and juggle the nuances of my different alliances. My athleticism and outdoor experience give me the ability to “outlast,” but I see my real strong-suit in the “outwit” portion. I can read social dynamics easily, which will allow me to be ahead of the curve in terms of moves. I’ll make my own moves, so that at final tribal council, there will be no question of whether or not I played actively and assertively.

Jesse Lopez

Cast

Jesse Lopez

Vesi Tribe

Age: 30
Hometown: Venice, Calif.
Current Residence: Durham, N.C.
Occupation: Political science PhD
Favorite hobbies: Playing chess with my son. Dancing with my daughter. Binge-watching shows with my wife after the chess player and dancer fall asleep.

3 words to describe you: Aware, ambitious, unbreakable

Pet peeve(s): Quitters, people who complain about things but aren’t willing to change, and personalized license plates.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  The family I’ve built with my wife. Every day I get to watch my kids actually be kids and grow at their own pace. That’s something that I never had and always wanted. It doesn’t matter what else I’ve done or end up doing; building a family with my wife takes the cake.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I do research at Duke. You don’t look at me and see a scholar. As Biggie says though, “I’m sicker than your average.”

Who is your hero and why? My wife. She’s been with me every step of the way and had to make the same sacrifices as me to get here. She juggles the weight of both kids, my stresses, as well as her own, and still manages to maintain her composure. She’s got no fear and has always pushed me to do better. I could go on forever, but at the end of the day I just want to make her proud.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I’m basically Spencer or Christian (David vs. Goliath) if they got jumped into a gang at 15. I’m definitely bringing an academic mindset to the game because I’ve spent more hours thinking about how people vote than Sandra and Boston Rob combined. At the same time, I wasn’t raised in an ivory tower and have been around the block enough to know there is stuff textbooks can’t teach you about real people and life.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I’ve researched voting behavior for years. I don’t care if I’m out there with someone who never missed an episode of SURVIVOR, or someone who played 3 times already, they ain’t gonna hold a candle to me strategically. But I’m also not an academic by nature and have gone from being a gang member to dealing with Harvard-level researchers on a daily basis — so I can adapt to any environment and build relationships with anyone.

Justine Brennan

Cast

Justine Brennan

Vesi Tribe

Age: 29
Hometown: Sunnyvale, Calif.
Current Residence: Marina Del Rey, Calif.
Occupation: Cyber security sales
Favorite hobbies: Cooking, oil painting, golfing
3 words to describe you: Self-sufficient, resourceful, witty

Pet peeve(s): When people walk slowly right in front of you, when you open the door for someone and they don’t say thank you, when people are passive-aggressive.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  My parents let me borrow their 20-year-old Lexus SUV a few years back, and I immediately ran the passenger side door into a 4′ tall concrete pole by making a sharp right turn and not seeing it in my blind spot. To fix the destroyed door would have cost more money than the car was worth, so I looked at websites of a few junkyards, found [one] that had a 2000 gold Lexus LX470, bargained it down from $750 to $400, and installed the new door on Thanksgiving day. Aside from the passenger window now being tinted, it was like the accident never happened!

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I think a lot of people think I’m an un-athletic girly girl, but my dad raised me to be the son he never had. I grew up racing dirt bikes and going to fishing derbies. And at my high school’s traditional junior vs. senior girls powderpuff football game, I put a girl in a headlock and tackled her to the ground. (There’s photo evidence.)

Who is your hero and why? Easy – my dad. He’s the reason I’m athletic, resourceful, and driven. He decided to be the parent to me and my sister that he never had. He’s the best — so supportive, and he never lets a day go by without telling us he loves us. He’s the reason I’m in tech sales; I always wanted to be just like him when I grew up.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Either Kelley Wentworth or Joe Anglim. Joe was obviously an insane competitor at the individual challenges, but he also proved himself to be a necessary part of the tribe with how resourceful he was. Both were generally likable people to their tribes. It’s necessary to perform things like blindsides in order to keep yourself in the game, but I think Kelley and Joe both played in a lawful-enough way that wasn’t anywhere near as manipulative as other people like Sandra or Tony.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? In sales I have to outwit people every day. It helps having a high EQ, and I’ve always been way more emotionally intelligent than book smart. That’s a huge attribute when interacting with other tribe members. Having a psychology degree and being in sales gives me great people skills; put me in a room of strangers and we’ll leave as friends. I’m good at connecting with people and making them feel comfortable enough to trust me, which is key in a game like SURVIVOR. I’m a strong competitor. Don’t judge me by my size! I will never give up on something that I want; I’m that stubborn and I do not like losing.

Karla Cruz Godoy

Cast

Karla Cruz Godoy

Coco Tribe

Age: 28
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Current Residence: Newark, Del.
Occupation: Educational project manager
Favorite hobbies: Traveling, brunching, karaoke

3 words to describe you: Ambitious, gregarious, adaptable

Pet peeve(s): Tardiness, pessimism, slow drivers

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  My parents are Mexican immigrants who became teenage parents at the age of 16, which led me to grow up in a low-income community where college was only a dream. Fortunately, school became a safe space for me, where I felt loved, cared for and seen. I recognized that through school, I could follow my passions and most importantly, get out of the hood. I’m proud to say I’m the first in my family to graduate from high school, and the first to graduate from college, and I did it all with a full-ride scholarship from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Millennium Scholars program. This queer Chicana did that!

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I’m incredibly competitive and an overachiever in every aspect of my life.

Who is your hero and why? My grandfather, Elizafat Godoy. He immigrated to the U.S. from Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico to provide a better life for his family, and he instilled strong educational values in me. He loves his family and my grandmother unconditionally. He’s the most important male figure in my life.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Cirie Fields because she was an incredibly well-rounded, social, and analytical player. She was loved by all, she knew when to stir the pot, and she knew how to keep a strong social game that could take her to the end. I’m physically strong, so I’ll use that as an added advantage.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I’m adaptable, resilient, gregarious, and my ancestors have my back. I’m confident in my social game, that I’ll build relationships across differences and get along with just about anyone. With my wife and family in my heart and thoughts, I know I will make it to the end.

Lindsay Carmine

Cast

Lindsay Carmine

Coco Tribe

Age: 42
Hometown: Greensboro, N.C.
Current Residence: Downingtown, Pa.
Occupation: Pediatric nurse
Favorite hobbies: Volunteering, traveling, reading, exercising, gardening and projects on our homestead. Any and all outdoor adventures. Spending time with family and friends.

3 words to describe you: Relentless, resourceful, compassionate

Pet peeve(s): People that cut in line. Smacking gum. When people play games on their phone and don’t put the phone on silent.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  I’ve never strayed from my goals, even when people tell me my expectations are too high. The common assumption is that you can have it all, just not all at once. I’m here to show you that you can! I look around at this life that I’ve very intentionally created for myself and our family and think, “What if I had listened to everyone and just stopped dreaming? I wouldn’t have any of this!”

What is something we would never know from looking at you? People are mostly surprised at how competitive I am, especially as I get older. It’s as if people think I should have outgrown that phase in my life by now. I come across as non-threatening, and it is very intentional on my part – this is going to help me in the game.

Who is your hero and why? Healthcare providers! Specifically my co-workers and nursing school best friends, who I relied on for strength and support while I cared for Covid patients during the pandemic.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Natalie – mental and physical strength. Sarah – strategic. Michelle – social.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I have 20 years’ worth of reasons why I am going to be the sole SURVIVOR.

Mike ‘Gabler’ Gabler

Cast

Mike ‘Gabler’ Gabler

Baka Tribe

Age: 52
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Current Residence: Meridian, Idaho
Occupation: Heart valve specialist
Favorite hobbies: Camping, hunting, fishing, skiing

3 words to describe you: Intense, energetic, fun

Pet peeve(s): Unfairness and men in skinny jeans!

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  My family. It has not been easy. Life is busy; life is hard. But through hard work, dedication and love, we have stayed together, overcome obstacles and are strong!

What is something we would never know from looking at you? As social as I am, I enjoy time alone. I am also more sensitive than most think.

Who is your hero and why? My father. He’s always there for us. He was also a Green Beret and is a patriot.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? If I can only pick one, then I’d say Sandra. She was always in the right place at the right time. She had phenomenal strategies and game play.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? Yes!!

Morriah Young

Cast

Morriah Young

Baka Tribe

Age: 28
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
Current Residence: Philadelphia, Pa.
Occupation: Teacher
Favorite hobbies: Shopping, traveling, creating content

3 words to describe you: Colorful, energetic, joyful

Pet peeve(s): Negative Nancys, Debbie Downers, bullies

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  I’m proud of the life I’m building with my fiancé. I’m proud of being a teacher. I’m proud of making it through college. Opening my selfie museum.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? That I am terrified of clowns!

Who is your hero and why? I’m my own hero. I save myself each and every time. But my mom is the ultimate hero, because now that I’m all grown up and she’s no longer here, I realize how much she truly persevered.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? James: “Don’t bite the apple!” Stay true to your alliance as best you can, and stick it out to the end.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? There isn’t anything in the world that I cannot accomplish. My mindset has gotten me to the finish line of all my dreams. Plus, I’m super lovable and not an immediate threat.

Nneka Ejere

Cast

Nneka Ejere

Vesi Tribe

Age: 43
Hometown: Weatherford, Texas
Current Residence: Weatherford, Texas
Occupation: Pharmacist
Favorite hobbies: Traveling, biking, cooking

3 words to describe you: Joyful, hardworking, trustworthy

Pet peeve(s): Mediocrity, laziness

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  My family! My husband and I have made it through some rough times and have three amazing children.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? How tough, resilient, and determined I can be.

Who is your hero and why? My dad. He has accomplished so much. He overcame so many obstacles from childhood through his adult years and not only thrived, but brought so many others along with him, to ensure he ended the cycle of poverty that would’ve plagued the extended family otherwise.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Cirie, because I love to connect and do so easily. I will play hard without seeming to on the surface.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I believe that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I can influence others to make decisions, and they’ll think it was their idea the whole time. I am resilient, too; it is not about how many times I fall, but that I get up one more time. I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well, so I give 100% always.

Noelle Lambert

Cast

Noelle Lambert

Vesi Tribe

Age: 25
Hometown: Londonderry, N.H.
Current Residence: Manchester, N.H.
Occupation: U.S. Paralympian
Favorite hobbies: Snowboarding, traveling, hanging with friends

3 words to describe you: Tenacious, outgoing, determined

Pet peeve(s): Lazy people, slow drivers, and phony people

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  After my leg was amputated in 2016, I never let it define me. I returned playing Division 1 Lacrosse, and in just two years, I made the Tokyo Paralympic Track & Field team and set a new American record in the 100-meter dash.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? Something people don’t think when they see me is that I am a tremendous athlete. What a lot of people see when they look at me is my prosthetic, and they feel sorry for me and doubt my capabilities. And that is their first mistake.

Who is your hero and why? My mom. She is my best friend, my motivation and everything I aspire to be. She is the most selfless and caring person I know, and I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for her.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I would like to play a similar game as Kelley Wentworth on her second season. Her tribe mates didn’t think she was a big threat, but she found hidden immunity idols and created blindsides to further herself in the game.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I have the ability to form friendships easily, and I will use that to my advantage to go far in the game. I am also good at strategizing and adapting to an ever-changing environment, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to make it to the end. If you present me the impossible, I will overcome it.

Owen Knight

Cast

Owen Knight

Baka Tribe

Age: 30
Hometown: Bethesda, Md.
Current Residence: New Orleans, La.
Occupation: College admissions director
Favorite hobbies: Backpacking, hiking, video games, taking and coaching fitness classes

3 words to describe you: Loyal, charismatic, passionate

Pet peeve(s): People who are entitled. And people who don’t know what to do at a four-way stop.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  Being named an admission director at my age is rare. To be named director at my alma mater reminds me that the grind has been worth it, and that people have noticed how dedicated and genuinely invested I am.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? That I’m a great public speaker and use my people skills at work every day. Asian men have certain unfair stereotypes associated with them, and I do not fit that mold. I played football in high school, was rush chair for my fraternity, and can entertain a room of 800 people. I use my EQ more than my IQ on an average day.

Who is your hero and why? My parents. They are kind, fun, hard-working and dedicated to one another. They’re more active and social than I am! They gave me a life that anyone would dream of when they adopted me as a baby, and they have supported me in every endeavor I have taken on. I owe them everything and want to make them proud.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I would love to play a similar game to Adam Klein. He kept his threat level low, had good relationships with everyone, and was his authentic, superfan self.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I can win SURVIVOR because I am an unassuming triple threat. Socially, I’m likable and take a genuine interest in people. I make people feel like I am invested in them because I actually am! Physically, I am athletic enough to be an asset early in the game; however, nobody is going to mistake me for Ozzy and view me as a threat to go on an individual immunity run. Strategically, I am a SURVIVOR super-duper fan and have seen every season and watch the international versions. I have studied this game and know what works and what doesn’t. Most importantly, I am pretty self-aware and know that I need to play my own game and go with the flow as the game develops.

Ryan Medrano

Cast

Ryan Medrano

Coco Tribe

Age: 25
Hometown: Savannah, Ga.
Current Residence: El Paso, Texas
Occupation: Warehouse associate
Favorite hobbies: Fishing, hiking, carpentry

3 words to describe you: Charismatic, outgoing, humorous

Pet peeve(s): Bullies, laziness, self-entitlement

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? My connection that I made with my mother after her stroke. I helped her to understand that just because she wasn’t the same as before didn’t mean she couldn’t live a full life. She just had to approach things from her newfound perspective.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I was born three months early with mild cerebral palsy. Doctors said I would never walk but after four years of therapy, I finally was able to.

Who is your hero and why? My father. He helped raise us while fighting for our country and putting 110% into both.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Rupert. I like the way he provided food for his tribe, which helped them keep their strength for the challenges.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I’m a triple threat. I can socialize easily, am naturally strong and quick in puzzles. I am great at forming bonds and can influence others with a silver tongue. I have a great resolve to do what needs to be done to earn the million dollars.

Sami Layadi

Cast

Sami Layadi

Baka Tribe

Age: 19
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
Current Residence: Las Vegas, Nev.
Occupation: Pet cremator
Favorite hobbies: Sports, fitness, journaling

3 words to describe you: Unpredictable, tenacious, indecisive

Pet peeve(s): Excuses, laziness, being woken up before noon on weekends

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Probably getting my Eagle Scout, because I struggled mightily with completing merit badges and often took 3-4 classes just to get them. To finally receive it made me very proud of myself.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? My background is very culturally diverse with my father being an immigrant from Morocco.

Who is your hero and why? My grandpa, Dale Donald Mann, because he is the hardest working man I have ever known, and he always made sure I knew what was most important: family. He was an amazing husband to my grandmother; seeing him build their relationship upon love and trust taught me so much about how to love somebody. And he understood me more than anybody else ever has. When I would tell him about my insecurities and self-doubt, he would help me understand how those things are actually strengths. I knew I could always count on my grandpa, and I want to make him smile from up there.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Kelley Wentworth. What I admire and take away from Wentworth’s game is that she never gave up until her torch was snuffed, and even when she was clearly in the bottom, she not only found ways to climb up, but she made everybody think that she was oblivious and not smart enough to foil the foolproof plan they had.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? Because I do not allow myself to not know what is going on with those around me. I am too conversationally and emotionally experienced with people to be unaware of my standing in the game at all times, and I am too determined and hungry to get comfortable. Everybody that I meet grows a heart on their sleeve after I speak with them for 20 minutes, and my competitors on the island will be no different.