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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Brad Reese

Cast

Brad Reese

Age: 50
Hometown: Shawnee, WY
Current Residence: Shawnee, WY
Occupation: Rancher

Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, helping others pursue their passion and achieve their dreams.

3 Words to Describe You: Spontaneous, Practical, Patient

Pet Peeve: Lack of initiative

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? My family. I’m very proud of my wife of 21 years and 4 kids.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I’m a private pilot and enjoy flying. I’ve nearly died from a rattlesnake bite, been blown up by a propane tank and I like to live life on the edge.

Who is your hero and why? My Dad. I worked side by side with him nearly every day my entire life. He was a father, boss and friend and, even after battling cancer for five years, he always kept a positive, generous attitude.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Boston Rob. We don’t have the same personality, but his thoughtful, strategic play is how I see myself playing.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I have all the skills of a typical rancher – hard-working, common sense-but I’m completely different because of my social skills. I believe I can build multi-dimensional alliances and win trust with most people, but with laser vision towards the end goal.

Danny McCray

Cast

Danny McCray

Age: 33
Hometown: Houston, TX Current
Residence: Frisco, TX
Occupation: Ex-NFL Player

Hobbies: Competing, traveling, cooking

3 Words to Describe You: Competitive, charismatic, optimistic

Pet Peeve: Lying, not being on time and lack of accountability. Lack of awareness and consideration for people’s time and space or having to repeat myself after three times.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Completing my graduate degree program! It was my goal to earn an MBA before I made it to the NFL, but that changed due to the money I was making and the workload that football requires. After retirement I had to overcome my own mind and doubts that I couldn’t do it. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in life – late nights of studying and having tutors almost giving up repeatedly. But I never did, I have my MBA!

What is something we would never know from looking at you? You would never know that I often achieve success because of fear, my fear of letting the people that I love down. Letting down people that took a chance on me is the vision that I use to thrive in competitive situations. Very similar to Adam Sandler in the movie “The Water Boy.”

Who is your hero and why? My mom. When my father passed, she was left to take care of three kids alone. She worked two jobs plus side work to provide for us. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for us. I take strength to be strong when a tragedy hits from her, she never complained or let us see her cry. She did that for us. I owe her everything that I can give.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Ben “Boom” Driebergen, 1 Big Move King. I figure that I would be seen as a strong physical player so I would eventually become a big target. The way Ben was able to outwork everyone on the tribe and do what he needed to do in order to survive was truly admirable. It’s that ‘back against the wall’ mentality I admire.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I’m applying to win. I always have something to prove to myself. I truly believe that I can succeed at whatever I put my mind to. I haven’t failed yet and don’t plan on starting now.

David Voce

Cast

David Voce

Age: 35
Hometown: Highland, CA
Current Residence: Chicago, IL
Occupation: Neurosurgeon

Hobbies: Traveling, snowboarding, eating

3 Words to Describe You: Determined, passionate, stubborn

Pet Peeve: My pet peeves revolve around people’s incompetence, laziness and lack of self-awareness. When you work an insane number of hours in a week, you just can’t tolerate pure ineptness.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Hands down I’m most proud of becoming a neurosurgeon that focuses on treating the brain cancer that claimed my father’s life. No one in my family is in healthcare and no one in my family has left our area in Southern California. Becoming a physician, let alone a neurosurgeon, just wasn’t something that was done in my community and was not something that seemed achievable as a kid.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? Despite a confident exterior, I still have and process a lot of emotional baggage. As with all neurosurgeons, I have a “trail of tears” that I have to cope with on a routine basis.

Who is your hero and why? My mom is my hero. She raised me and my sister herself after my father passed. She has sacrificed so much and worked so hard so that I could shoot for my dreams. She never pressured me to do or be anything; she just wanted me to be the best that I could be.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I would play with a similar aggressive nature as Russell Hantz. He was aggressive, but his social assimilation needed work. Todd Herzog had a brilliant social game. He did in final tribal what Russell couldn’t. I know how to pander to people and make them feel valuable even if I don’t believe it. I would dominate in final tribal. Natalie Anderson also had a brilliant social game, she made big moves and covered her tracks perfectly. Kelley Wentworth was aggressive and had an uncanny ability to read her surroundings, and so do I. Cirie Fields is the master of this game. If she was a little more athletic, she would dominate. Her social ability and her social awareness is amazing. She relates to people and makes them feel comfortable. She’s calm and doesn’t appear to be overly aggressive.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I will be the sole Survivor because I possess an ideal balance of charm, wit, athleticism and grit. Neurosurgery training has prepared me to push myself physically and emotionally beyond what is normal. As a neurosurgeon I have to be charming, relatable and able to connect with my patients, who place their identity and lives literally in my hands. I know how to be cool under stress. In neurosurgery the stakes are incredibly high and the only person I can trust to get the job done is myself. In “Survivor,” you always have to assume that people are trying to screw you over. I am extremely athletic and work out twice a day. However, I am not a “jock” or “golden boy” like Joey Amazing, Malcolm or Ozzy, who will always be targets because of their persona. I can also be extremely eloquent and persuasive – my final tribal council will rival the likes of Todd Herzog’s.

Deshawn Radden

Cast

Deshawn Radden

Age: 26
Hometown: San Bernardino, CA
Current Residence: Miami, FL
Occupation: Medical Student

Hobbies: Cooking, making music, playing tennis

3 Words to Describe You: Charming, devious, resilient

Pet Peeve: My biggest pet peeve is being told what to do. And it’s not something that makes me mildly irritated, I deeply loathe being told what to do. Listen, I’m not saying I know it all, but I’d much rather try and fail at something than go along with what someone else tells me is “acceptable.”

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Every time I set a new goal and accomplish it, I become most proud of that goal. Most recently, I’m most proud to be in medical school, with a master’s and bachelor’s degree under my belt. I sense that within this next year I’ll be most proud of winning “Survivor.”

What is something we would never know from looking at you? You’d probably never know that I am very introspective and empathetic. Around people, I am always so outgoing, but I’m also someone who thinks a lot, sometimes overthinks and over feels, for other people and sometimes my own situations. I consider myself an empath and although I may not always appear to, I do feel other people’s emotions and I do feel strong emotions myself. I think I just do an above average job at concealing these emotions to not look vulnerable.

Who is your hero and why? My heroes are my parents because they truly took parenting personally. They both come from challenging backgrounds and made it their duty to create a better life for my siblings and me. But above all, I find it most heroic that they are and somehow raised five genuinely good human beings, with good hearts and strong moral compasses. That can be hard to come by these days.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Well I mean let’s be real here, my game will be unprecedented! But I see my game being most like Cirie Fields socially and mentally, with a sprinkle of Wendell for pulling out competition wins in the clutch and jury management. I’ll be like Cirie and Wendell’s love child!

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I believe I could be the final Survivor because of a combination of social, mental and physical skills. I studied the game of “Survivor” like I would study for a medical school test and what I have found is that in order to outwit, outplay and outlast, you must have all three skills and these skills must work harmoniously together and shine at different points in the game. I feel like I am self-aware, which is something a lot of people lack. I am analytical enough to pick up on social cues and smart enough to critically think through obstacles that may present themselves, without becoming flustered. I know that I’m physically enough to help my team do well in challenges in the beginning and win challenges past the merge, but also, cunning enough to get any physical threats voted out before the game becomes individual. I am persuasive, but non-threatening. I have street smarts and book smarts and am empathetic enough to be read as trustworthy. I truly feel like I have the recipe to win!

Eric Abraham

Cast

Eric Abraham

Age: 51
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Current Residence: San Antonio, TX
Occupation: Cyber Security Analyst

Hobbies: Basketball, golfing, reading

3 Words to Describe You: Open-minded, optimistic, confident

Pet Peeves: People who have characteristics of being slothful, condescending, and sycophantic

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  My daughter as she is the next generation in our family.

What is something we would never know from looking at you?  I love scuba diving.  I enjoy examining the surface of the moon, stars or passing comets with my very own telescope.

Who is your hero and why? My hero is my grandfather, a man that didn’t have to say a word to speak volumes. I would watch him walk into a room and respect was given to him before he uttered a word. He showered his grandchildren with affection and love that can only be given from the heart. The lessons that he shared with me were instrumental in my development and made me into the man I am today. My grandfather passed during my third week of basic Air Force training, but he remains a constant figure in my life.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like?  I would construct a hybrid playing style of Richard Hatch and Wendell Holland with a touch of Boston Rob.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I was taught to always dream big and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors, try to be better than yourself. The game is not only my motivation, it’s my tool to show myself that I can be the sole Survivor.

Erika Casupanan

Cast

Erika Casupanan

Age: 32
Hometown: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Current Residence: Toronto, Ontario
Occupation: Communications Manager

Hobbies: Traveling, boxing and fitness, following pop culture

3 Words to Describe You: Fun, fearless, empathetic

Pet Peeves: Ignorance and men in ill-fitting jeans

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? It’s hard to pick one because I love my whole life. My goal was to pay off my student loans by 30, and I did it at 27. Doing so allowed me to travel to so many places on my bucket list, get into combat sports and create financial stability for myself. One of my biggest accomplishments is actually leaving my job before coming to Fiji for the game. I’m proud of the career I built for nearly a decade. I’m even more proud that I was brave and walked away when I wasn’t passionate about it anymore.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? People are always surprised by how smart and articulate I am. I’m quite smart and figure things out quickly. I’m also quick-witted and those who get it are pleasantly surprised. Those who don’t, have no clue what they’re missing. People also don’t believe I’m 5-feet tall because my vibes make me seem 5’3″.

Who is your hero and why? My grandma. She lived with my family growing up and I have a tattoo inspired by her. She [was] strong willed, so chic, sweet, yet opinionated and caring. She had my back 100% of the time. During her final days in the hospital she was still so high-maintenance and always made the nurses put on her pearls and diamonds.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Brenda on the outside, Todd underneath. Brenda is physically strong, socially aware and not afraid to show her teeth. Todd is my all-time favorite player. I can channel his ability to influence others and always be strategically in control of the game and prepare to pitch myself in an amazing jury performance. Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I’ve been manipulative since before I knew what manipulation was. I relentlessly pursue my dreams. The great thing is no one would expect it because of my youthful face and small stature. I can make it to the end and am confident in my ability to advocate for myself at final tribal.

Evvie Jagoda

Cast

Evvie Jagoda

Age: 28
Hometown: Westchester, NY
Current Residence: Arlington, MA
Occupation: PHD student

Hobbies: Cooking, biking, being in nature (hiking, camping, swimming in ponds)

3 Words to Describe You: Extroverted, enthusiastic, smart

Pet Peeves: Men. Not all men, but I cannot stand machismo and man-splainers – anything like that drives me insane. [In grad school] I deal with A LOT of know-it-all male energy, and it’s a lot. Back when I dated men, I once broke up with a guy because we were on a trip to Budapest and he kept pronouncing it “Budah-pesht” to prove how smart and worldly he was, and it was the biggest turnoff. I broke up with him literally 30 minutes after we got back from the trip.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? In February 2019 I was featured in an episode of the podcast Radiolab (episode “Asking for a Friend”). I was so proud of it for several reasons. One, I absolutely love that podcast and it was so freaking cool to be a part of it. Two, I felt like I was really able to bring a lot of myself into the interview. Normally, scientists try to keep things very clinical and sterile. That’s not my attitude. We talked about Neanderthals, but in the discussion, I also brought up the fact that we always seem to imagine Neanderthals as males when of course they were females as well. The reporter said, “Oh maybe I should be imagining myself meeting a female Neanderthal at a bar.” Naturally, I replied, “Well that’s my kind of story.” She ran with it and had a whole chunk of the episode be about queer interspecies romance, which is literally my dream come true.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? People are normally shocked that I passed as straight for 23 years. I give off the vibe of someone super confident in in my queerness (which I am now), but it wasn’t always this way. I like to be loud and proud about that so people know that it’s okay to take longer to know yourself. People who know me at all are also often incredibly surprised when I say that I’m 5’2″. People are always surprised that I’m short. I have a big personality that takes up more than 62 inches of space.

Who is your hero and why? My hero is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is just such a badass woman and withstands so much hate, sexism, racism, ageism and somehow never gives up or gives in. I so admire the way that she stands up for regular people and against huge opposition from powerful forces with just her voice, passion and beliefs. I genuinely cried when watching her speech after a Republican congressman called her a bitch. She stood there in Congress, so poised and dignified, yet still so clearly channeling intense fiery passion against abusive men and for women everywhere who have to deal with that BS. She said, “having daughters is not what makes someone a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect is what makes a decent man.” That’s just so true and clear and makes me feel seen by a politician for the first time ever.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I think the strategy that would work well for me would be staying close to the center of power, but never directly perceived as the one making the calls. For example, Todd at the beginning of China put Aaron as the leader of his tribe, but knew he could control him. I also think Natalie in San Juan Del Sur crushed this. She was Jeremy’s number two at first, so he was the one that got cut while she stuck around. Then she pretended to let Jon Misch et al. be in charge. Ultimately, she struck at the right time and was able to get him out and win. I think that would be the type of player I would want to be–I’d want to seem agreeable and like I wasn’t playing with intense strategy, but be right next to the front-man so that I could grab the reins at the right moment. This plan could blow up if you’re too in love with the front-man (a la Stephen with J.T. or any non-Kim players in One World). You have to know when to betray them.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I really think I have the right combination of skills to win the game. I’m extremely smart and strategic and know the game very well and will constantly be thinking about how to put myself in the best position to win. But I’m also so silly and goofy and physically small and clumsy that I think people will really underestimate me and not target me. I’ve got an infectious smile and personality that will help me make great bonds with people. I’m super open and vulnerable with people so I think people will feel close to me, tell me information and want to work with me. I think people will have warm feelings for me at the end of the game even if I vote them out. I’m good at reading people’s vibes and am very sensitive to shifts in people’s energy so I think I’ll be able to figure out if people are lying to me or planning to betray me. Even though I am very empathetic to people, I also can have a wall up in me and always put my closest people above anyone else, and I know I will be able to betray someone for the sake of winning the game. I’m also relentlessly optimistic and will not ever give up or count myself out.

Genie Chen

Cast

Genie Chen

Age: 46
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Current Residence: Portland, OR
Occupation: Grocery clerk

Hobbies: Cooking, video games, thrift store and antique shopping

3 Words to Describe You: Funny, kind, sensible

Pet Peeves: People who wear masks incorrectly by not covering their nose and mouth, or who don’t wear them at all.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?  I got the “hustle award” one year at basketball camp when I was 15 years old.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I was first-string cellist in junior high and I still play videogames.

Who is your hero and why? My hero is my sister. She is a success story with a beautiful family despite not having had support at an early age.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I don’t believe in playing like any other contestant before. I’m going to have many alliances so I can always have the best options to further my game.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I’m very likable and sincere so people trust me. I’m also very nice so no one will suspect me to be strategic.

Heather Aldret

Cast

Heather Aldret

Age: 52
Hometown: Charleston, SC
Current Residence: Charleston, SC
Occupation: Stay at Home Mom

Hobbies: Exploring, painting, tennis and pickleball

3 Words to Describe You: Authentic, passionate, devoted

Pet Peeves: Loud cell phone talkers, people who choose not to hear the truth, bullies

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? With the profit I made with the sale of my first house which I bought all by myself, I was able to pay off the remainder of my student loans and all of my personal debt. Marrying my husband 100% debt free was the absolute best gift to myself. I’m still raising two strong, courageous, kind daughters but I’m sure who they are becoming is undoubtedly going to be my absolute best accomplishment.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I had a very challenging upbringing, have a passion for opossums and I cuss like a drunken, sunburnt sailor.

Who is your hero and why? I know many heroes. My definition of a hero is anyone who goes against the grain and stands up for what he/she believes, in the face of ridicule, embarrassment and at the risk of being ostracized, all while being his/her true authentic self. I strive to be one and raise two of my own.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Rick Devens – he played so hard with everything he had. Even when it was getting bad, he made his time fun! I want to make my experience a truly fun adventure, even if only for myself. I want to belly laugh when it’s so tough. Tina Wesson – she was calculated, direct, but kind. Age and stature and her nurturing persona played in her favor, she inspired me. I’d embody the kindness of Lisa Whelchel, but with the savviness of Chrissy Hofbeck.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I’m sharp and observant, like OCD observant. I’m surprisingly very strong and have a ridiculously high threshold for pain. I’m resilient. I’m daring but careful. I build strong relationships. I’m likable and entertaining. I listen and learn. I will be the person who remembers where everyone is from and what they love on their pizza. I’ll know their stories – the kids, pets, etc. I may not like them all, but I have the ability to convince them all that I do! I’ll make people smile when they need to. I hope to make all feel included and important.

Jairus Robinson

Cast

Jairus Robinson

Age: 20
Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK
Current Residence: Oklahoma City, OK
Occupation: College Student

Hobbies: Obviously Survivor, working with kids/pediatric nursing, athletics (jiu jitsu, running,
dance)

3 Words to Describe You: High energy, charming, charismatic

Pet Peeves: I really hate bullies, and I don’t like loud eating.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I’m so proud to be a two-time state track champion because it is the culmination of seven years of absolute passion, but also pain. Literal blood, sweat and tears! Everyone will tell you running is hard, but running with the fastest people in the state running sub five minute miles and pole vaulting is a story of its own.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? When people first meet me they always assume I’m the goofy, go with the flow bro who’s here to make you laugh. But I’m also a lot smarter than people think until they see my grades or hear me speak in front of a crowd. I did Toastmasters, a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership, when I was in 6th grade up until high school so I can speak eloquently. Public speaking has never been a problem for me.

Who is your hero and why? Every now and then I volunteer at the children’s hospital because pediatric nursing is what I want to do with the rest of my life. Those kids are absolutely my heroes. To know and see what they go through hurts, and yet they still have a smile on their faces. Why would I – someone in perfect health – spend so much time being angry at dumb stuff like bad weather, girls or no more milk in my fridge? I’m so much more privileged than they are. I will always have a smile on my face and a laugh on the way because why not, right?

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I would love to play the game like the culmination of some great Survivor winners, specifically Parvati, Fabio and Jeremy Collins. No one in the history of Survivor can charm like Parv. I’m going to change that. I would love to have Fabio’s ability to be underestimated, which I believe is the best thing you can be in Survivor. Lastly, I want to work Jeremy’s shield management into my gameplay while still having my own king spin on it.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I believe that there are numerous aspects of Survivor. You’ll drive yourself mad trying to do one of them perfectly. If I can do everything well enough, I know I can win. I have great social awareness and in high school I was very popular. I had my hand in every clique with the jocks, the band kids, musical theatre kids, popular kids, rappers, academic kids, ROTC kids, quiet kids and even the teachers loved me. Even now, I have a great relationship with the president of our college. I have that “it” factor that some people just have. I think JT had it and Kim Spradlin, now I have it too.

Liana Wallace

Cast

Liana Wallace

Age: 20
Hometown: Evanston, IL
Current Residence: Washington, DC
Occupation: College Student

Hobbies: Dancing, running, writing poetry

3 Words to Describe You: Adventurous, loving, outspoken

Pet Peeves: I hate when people chew with their mouth open.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I am most proud of being invited to perform my spoken word for Congressman John Lewis during a fundraiser for a non-profit organization in my community.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? Looking at me you would never know that I spent a portion of my childhood in Tokyo and Singapore.

Who is your hero and why? My hero is Misty Copeland, the first female African-American dancer to be promoted to a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. I see Misty Copeland as a hero because she faced incredible odds growing up in terms of her home life, but she also stayed committed to her craft and her love of ballet to get where she is today. In staying committed mentally and emotionally to the idea that she could, in fact, be a professional ballet dancer even though she didn’t fit the archetype of a white ballerina, she broke barriers for future Black ballet dancers who had dreams that always seemed unattainable.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I would hope to play the game most like Tony Vlachos, except not have other people know that. Tony was a player that minimized risks to the best of his ability. He would always read the social scene and crunch numbers, but if he felt like his game was on the line, he would find some way to ensure his safety, whether it was finding an idol or slickly attempting to overhear other players’ conversations. Although I really hated when Tony did that as a viewer, I think his type of game play is one that I would try to emulate, but in a way that had more authentic relationships. In all honesty, I would hope to be a type of hybrid between Tony and Elaine. I would have Tony’s game play skills and Elaine’s people skills.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I believe I can be the final Survivor because too often, women of color are overlooked and undervalued. Whether that’s in my business classes dominated by white men who feel entitled to the space they take up or in future workplaces, it is women of color who have nurtured and cared for others throughout history. If there was ever a person who was strong enough mentally, physically and emotionally to take on a game full of odds – a woman of color, a woman like me and the women I come from would be the one to do it.

Naseer Muttalif

Cast

Naseer Muttalif

Age: 37
Hometown: Sri Lanka
Current Residence: Morgan Hill, CA
Occupation: Sales Manager

Hobbies: Cricket, traveling, cooking

3 Words to Describe You: Authentic, outgoing, hardworking

Pet Peeves: Laziness and people who don’t contribute to group efforts

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I have achieved the American Dream. I grew up in poverty, living in a mud hut with no electricity or running water for half my life. I never held a cell phone or touched a computer until I was 18. I worked my way up from selling vegetables on the street to making multi-million-dollar sales for my company. I taught myself English. I am able to give my kids the life I didn’t have growing up and still fully support my family back in Sri Lanka. I was able to help send my sister to college and support the education of my nieces and nephew. I recently saved enough money to buy land in Sri Lanka, where I hope to build my mom a more modern, safer home.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? People would never know that I grew up in a remote village and didn’t experience modern conveniences or technology until I was grown. I didn’t know how to use a real toilet or shower until I was 18 and moved overseas (in Sri Lanka, we had a hole in the ground in an outhouse for a toilet and bathed in the river behind the house). We washed our clothes in the river. I didn’t get my driver’s license (or really drive a car) until my wife – then girlfriend – helped me get one in Dubai when I was 26.

Who is your hero and why? My mom is absolutely my hero. She has sacrificed everything for her children. When I was young and my father was ill, she had to make the immensely difficult decision to leave behind three young children to go work in a foreign country as a housemaid. She suffered and was mistreated there, but she did what she had to do to keep us fed.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I think I’m pretty original and not too similar to anyone who has played before. I have some aspects of former players, like my jungle skills and an engaging personality, but I think I’m unique and will bring something new and refreshing to the game.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I am a strong competitor. I have a unique and engaging personality and believe my tribe would want to keep me because I can provide, win challenges and keep them entertained. I will do whatever it takes to win. This game is so
important to me and winning it would be my greatest achievement. I have unique life experiences that will help me to make it to the end.

Ricard Foye

Cast

Ricard Foye

Age: 31
Hometown: Lynnwood, WA
Current Residence: Sedro-Woolley, WA
Occupation: Flight Attendant

Hobbies: Violin, running, winterguard

3 Words to Describe You: Hopeful, positive, funny

Pet Peeves: Being asked a question and the answer being ignored

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I’ve always been willing to make a change, pickup and go. It makes me feel brave to know I’ve changed my career when unhappy. I’ve purchased a one- way plane ticket not knowing what to expect, just to audition to dance around the country and succeeded. I’ve moved alone to new states on a whim. I only have this one life, I don’t want to waste it doing what’s easy.

What is something we would never know from looking at you?  I am deaf in one ear. I focus heavily on reading lips and am fluent in ASL.

Who is your hero and why? My husband, Andy.  He has navigated through life after many setbacks, struggles and the tragic loss of a parent in a car accident. Andy focused on putting his physical comfort behind his and my desire for our family to grow and carried our children as a transgender man. I cannot think of a better human. Which past Survivor will you play the game most like?  Aubry Bracco, but win. 🙂

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? The ability to show kindness, but also not take certain attacks and situations seriously feels like most players’ downfall.  They succumb to the emotions and get voted out.  I have awareness of my being while also being very observant of others and loyal, but not to a fault.

Sara Wilson

Cast

Sara Wilson

Age: 24
Hometown: Sherman Oaks, CA
Current Residence: Boston, MA
Occupation: Healthcare Consultant

Hobbies: Poker, aerial silks and trapeze, cooking and baking

3 Words to Describe You: Astute, resilient, witty

Pet Peeves: Loud chewing and chewing with an open mouth. Uncleanliness. Really crude humor; manners go a long way.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I got a summer internship at a company my junior year of college and I had been dreaming of working at the company for years. When I got there, they presented me with an engineering problem that they had three full-time senior engineers working on before I got there for the summer. None of them had been able to figure out this problem. I was there for 12 weeks and figured out the solution to this problem in 8 weeks, after having been told that they did not expect me to be able to figure it out. I am so proud of this moment because not only did I prove everyone wrong, I also made a direct impact on the lung cancer diagnostic device the project was for. I lost my grandfather to lung cancer, so I am proud of myself for making a difference in this field.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I have so many layers. I come off as super-sweet, but I am tough and have the biggest fighting spirit you will ever see. I am absolutely a force to be reckoned with and I feel bad for the people who underestimate me. No one who looks at me realizes how smart I am just by seeing me. I am young, but I have been through some tough things in my life and have learned how to bounce back from adversity.

Who is your hero and why? My grandmother. She passed away in April 2020 from COVID and she fought alone, and all the way to the end. She did not have an easy life at all.  She fought for absolutely everything that was hers and never gave up. She also treated everyone with so much love and kindness and never expected anything back from anyone. My grandmother’s ability to bounce back from hit after hit that life threw at her is so inspiring to me and all I want to do with my life is be someone that she would be proud of.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Kim Spradlin. She actually took the time to get to know the other people, which made her more personable. She also used this to her advantage because she knew exactly how to get into their heads. She made people feel like they were the ones making the moves, successfully diverting the target from her back. Kim was also so strong and kicked butt in immunity challenges, which I definitely think that I can also do on the show.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I don’t think there has ever been someone on the show with the same physicality, intelligence and social awareness that I have. I love talking to and bonding with people and in order to win Survivor, you have to know how to connect with people on a human level. I am very good at reading a room and know when someone is lying to me. I also have the physical strength and fighting spirit that I know will push me to never give up and always give everything I have. I am incredibly tough, both mentally and physically, and I believe I will thrive in the environment of the game. I’m not going to tell anyone I went to MIT and I think I will be underestimated, which I will use to my advantage. With my ability to genuinely connect with people, brains and physical strength, I could definitely be the final Survivor.

Shantel Smith

Cast

Shantel Smith

Age: 34
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Current Residence: Washington, DC
Occupation: Pastor

Hobbies: Running, improv, acting, comedy, dancing

3 Words to Describe You: Passionate, authentic, resilient

Pet Peeves: Bad breath, second-hand embarrassment and slow talkers

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? The accomplishment that I am MOST proud of is doing the hard work in therapy and confronting my demons, working through the pain and the feelings of injustice, and then being willing to cultivate a relationship with those who let me down when I was little.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I was in a gang.

Who is your hero and why? My mom, because I saw her fight her demons until her dying breath. She experienced so much pain in her life, and my childhood was dark, twisted and complicated, but she was an extremely hard-working Italian woman. She always made sure I had a roof over my head and lunch money in my pockets. She did the best she could and I’m grateful. She gave me the best life she knew how and loved me with all the love she had in her. She is my image of beauty and strength. Also, Xena: WarriorPrincess. Lucy Lawless taught me so much about how to be a strong, assertive woman and how to stand up for yourself in a world full of men. She was my childhood hero, posters all over my wall. I even had a Xena: Warrior Princess-themed birthday party…last year.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I think I am probably going to play the game most like Kim; strategically and relationally like Tai when it comes to idols, but I got some Parv in me too.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I believe I have what it takes to win. I think living on the streets, developing a strong work ethic, practicing excellence in all that I do and put out into the world, having a high threshold for pain and suffering, endurance, perseverance, knowing that nothing comes easily but everything must be earned and worked for, rigorous self-examination, zero entitlement, trusting that self discipline is self love, believing in others and making them feel capable of accomplishing anything, my interpersonal skills, my wit and my grit, my reverence for God in others, my heart to serve, and an attitude of gratefulness and celebration for the small wins all make me believe that I will be the final Survivor.

Sydney Segal

Cast

Sydney Segal

Age: 26
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Law Student

Hobbies: Running, knitting and crocheting, soccer

3 Words to Describe You: Confident, charismatic, empathetic

Pet Peeves: Bodily noises: sniffling, snoring, heavy breathing, coughing

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Being the California State Champion in cross country.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I speak Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and some French.

Who is your hero and why? My father. He is the second messiah to me. He is even-keeled and rational. My dad is the perfect role model and the most positive person I have ever met, even in circumstances where it would be easy to get down. Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Natalie White. She was able to assess her place on her tribe and in her alliance, while consciously nursing Russell’s ego. Her social awareness is something I admired.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I have the essential social skills and social awareness. I am athletic, but not some 6’2″ buff dude who will be threatening. I am not a creature of habit and can adapt to any situation. Having watched Survivor, I have the benefit of
hindsight and think I have a high Survivor IQ. I play to win.

Tiffany Seely

Cast

Tiffany Seely

Age: 47
Hometown: Forest Hills, Queens, NY
Current Residence: Plainview, NY
Occupation: Teacher

Hobbies: Running, talking to people, building things in the house (someone has to!)

3 Words to Describe You: Funny, loving, LOUD

Pet Peeves: I hate being wrong! I also hate loud chewing with mouth open, half-empty water bottles in a room, people in power that abuse it.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I am most proud of raising my two boys to be fine young men. They’re loving, open and honest!

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I hate brushing my teeth before bed. I never wash my face.

Who is your hero and why? My grandmother is my hero. My mother was her only child and she so gracefully lived through her untimely passing. She was blind to top it all off, yet the smartest and funniest person in the world. She always made me feel loved and she laughed with me all the time. She was literally my alarm clock every morning until she died!

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I would play competitively like Ozzy, loyal like Colby (but not to the detriment of my own game), and endearing like Parvati.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I am patient and experienced in seeing the bigger picture. I know when to strike when the iron is hot, so to speak. I can read people in a minute and read their energy!

Xander Hastings

Cast

Xander Hastings

Age: 21
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Current Residence: Chicago, IL
Occupation: App Developer

Hobbies: Free climbing, road tripping, antique shopping, graphic design

3 Words to Describe You: Independent, resilient, adventurous

Pet Peeves: Laziness and cockiness, especially from people who like to bark orders

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Nike Cross Nationals is the Super Bowl of cross country, and I love that people were baffled that my high school team even qualified. The conditions on race day were grim: the field was hilly, drenched, and oozing mud, the temp was a bone-chilling 40°, it was pouring rain and clearly no place for a Florida boy. Everyone was miserable but seeing the best of the best riddled with fear and intimidation, I felt a surge of confidence. Despite predictions that we would flop, we placed top 10.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I love the pursuit of knowledge and experience. I could spend hours discussing the genius of Richard Serra’s commission for the NYC IRS building, or how Mandarin enables the mind to think more creatively, or the lab I just finished on rendering an image of the Crab Nebula using doppler shift and Kepler’s 3rd Law, or an algorithm for my latest app’s feed widget, or the golden warmth of the sun as it crests the horizon on a cold morning in Rocky Mtn. National Park, or meandering through the crowded bazaars of western China… I want to live a thousand lives before mine is over.

Who is your hero and why? Undoubtedly my dad. That man sacrifices everything for his family and especially for me to live out my exuberant adventures and ambitions. He served in the Navy, Peace Corps and now serves as a prominent doctor in the Jacksonville community. People adore him, most of all me. Above all, he lets me know he’s proud of me and supports me in any direction I want to take my life.

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Any of the pretty-boy-challenge-beast-charmers, just take your pick: Jay, Joe, Devon. I think I’d play most like Jay, a fellow Florida boy, using physical powers to get me to the merge, but more importantly making strong bonds, charming all and secretly thinking hyper-strategically.

Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I will be the final Survivor because I’m the jack-of-all-trades and there’s nothing in life that can stop me. If I’m not happy with my situation, I change it and shape the world the way I want to see it. I form deep bonds in every social sphere I encounter and live such a diverse life, there’s no one I can’t relate to and empathize with. I’m disciplined and won’t rest until the million is mine, and no matter what I won’t get complacent or cocky.