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New “Survivor: South Pacific” Contestants Announced, Featuring a Wide Variety of Backgroundsby David Bloomberg -- 08/22/2011
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Earlier today, CBS announced most of the contestants who will compete on Survivor: South Pacific. Once again, as you undoubtedly know, two former contestants will be returning to compete again – those names will be announced later this week, but as you’ll see at the end of this article, we have a pretty good idea of who they are.
The contestants are divided into the Savaii Tribe and the Upolu Tribe (each an island of Samoa), each with nine players (eight new, one returning). The Redemption Island twist will continue in this season, as contestants who are voted off will have the opportunity to fight their way back into the game via a duel.
In looking over this list, you’ll see that we have a rather eclectic group. Here are the names, locations, ages, and occupations for these 16 players – each of whom we will watch when Survivor begins anew on Wednesday, September 14, in a special 90-minute premiere at 8:00/7:00 Central.
Mark Caruso: This retired New York City Police detective is 48 years old and currently resides in Forest Hills, NY.
John Cochran: Perhaps this contestant wants to be the next Johnnie Cochran, as he is 24 and attending Harvard Law. He is from Washington, DC.
Whitney Duncan: This 27-year-old may look familiar to some reality TV viewers, as she placed fifth on the fifth season of Nashville Star. She’s a country music singer who has already released one album and had some success with singles “Skinny Dippin’” and “When I Said I Would. Not surprisingly, she lives in Nashville.
Dawn Meehan: Dawn is a 41-year-old English professor from South Jordan, Utah. Not much more to say about her yet.
Jim Rice: But Jim has a rather different occupation – the 35-year-old is a medical marijuana dispenser in Denver, Colorado. Former winner Fabio might be looking him up after the show…
Semhar Tadesse: Another interesting occupation is “spoken word artist.” No, I don’t really know what it means either, but that’s what Semhar, a 24-year-old living in Los Angeles, apparently does for a living.
Keith Tollefson: A more straightforward job is Keith’s employment as a water treatment technician. The 26-year-old is from Edina, Minnestoa.
Elyse Umemoto: The 27-year-old Elyse manages a dance team in Las Vegas. We’ll have to check with RNO writer Jeffrey Clinard to see if he’s seen them perform.
Sophie Clarke: We begin the second tribe with a 22-year-old medical student from Willsboro, New York. Not much more we can say about her yet.
Albert Destrade: But I have to wonder what a “baseball/dating coach” is, as that is 26-year-old Albert’s occupation. I mean, I know what a baseball coach is. I’m not entirely sure what a dating coach is (does he accompany men on dates and give them signals from the sideline?). And I’m really unclear on how the two go together. But that’s apparently what he does in Plantation, Florida.
Brandon Hantz: Here we have the youngest competitor of the season. The 19-year-old from Katy, Texas, is an oil tanker crewman. We’ll have a bit more to say about him later in this article.
Edna Ma: We don’t, however, have that much to say about Edna, other than that she’s a 35-year-old anesthesiologist from Los Angeles.
Christine Shields Markoski: The same is true regarding Christine, a 39-year-old teacher from Merrick, New York.
Rick Nelson: But this 51-year-old rancher from Aurora, Utah (two players from Utah?) is the eldest of the competitors this season. Still, with the number of players in their 30s and 40s, I don’t expect him to stand out as a target due to his age too much.
Stacey Powell: The oldest woman of the season is also on this tribe, as we have a 44-year-old mortician in Stacey.
Mikayla Wingle: Our final (non-returning) contestant is 22-year-old Mikayla, who is a lingerie football player. I’m betting she will probably look good in a bikini, but that’s just a guess.
As I indicated earlier, this is an eclectic group of contestants, involving a wide range of ages, hometowns, and occupations. Indeed, the latter features everything from a spoken word artist to a lingerie football player to a country music singer to a medical marijuana distributor! We have several more mainstream professions as well, including both a doctor and a medical student, a couple teachers, and a law student.
Then there is the oil tanker crewman. You may have noticed that his last name seems a bit familiar. Yes, that’s right, Brandon Hantz is the infamous Russell Hantz’s nephew! Will the legacy continue or will Brandon be a bit less abrasive? I know one thing is for certain: If I were him, I would not mention my relationship to Russell!
As mentioned at the top of this article, it’s pretty much an open secret as to who the returning contestants are. However, if you don’t want to know and want to wait ‘til the official announcement later this week, stop reading now.
It is generally accepted that the two returning contestants are…
…Coach and Ozzy! Yes, they are both contestants who need only one name (or nickname). Will the new players be happy to see them, as Rob’s tribe was last season? Or will they target the veterans immediately, as Russell’s tribe did to him? It will be interesting to see, so be sure to join us right here on Reality News Online for all the coverage leading up to the new season – and of course, plenty of articles once it begins!
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