This time around, producer Mark Burnett's latest batch of backstabbers includes two bartenders, a 46-year-old goat farmer, a frizzy-headed professional soccer player and a flight attendant. They range in age from 22-year-old Duke University grad (and Amber heir apparent) Kelly Goldsmith, to 57-year-old retired school teacher (and Tina heir apparent) Kim Johnson.
And, in a piece of blessed casting that combines both stunning beauty and the security of an already-conducted police background check, the list also includes Jessie Camacho, a 27-year-old beauty queen-turned-deputy sheriff from Orlando.
"I think guys are just intimidated by my job," says J.Cho, whose favorite movies are (believe it or not) G.I. Jane and Pearl Harbor. "I'm very big on teamwork...[but] I'm going to do whatever it takes to win."
All of them will try their darndest to outplay, outwit and outlast for Survivor's third installment, which was filmed over the summer and debuts October 11 at 8 p.m. on the Eye Network. The network also will air a preshow special October 4 at 8 p.m. giving viewers a glimpse of the contestants' audition tapes. (Their photos and bios can currently be found at www.cbs.com.)
Unlike past seasons, however, Survivor will be forced to compete with a packed fall TV lineup--and prove that viewers still crave "reality" entertainment in the wake of the nation's recent tragedies.
The exotic locale for this season is Kenya's Shaba National Reserve, a scenic game sanctuary located 140 miles north of Nairobi, and a playground to lions, elephants and other very large animals that could give new meaning to the phrase "immunity challenge."
The reserve also served as the site for the 1966 film Born Free, based on the work of author and conservationist Joy Adamson.
Per tradition, Survivor's 16 contestants were split into two, eight-person tribes--this time divided into factions called "Samburu" and "Boran" (which are actual tribes that exist in Africa).
Here's a full rundown of who's who:
CARL BILANCIONE, 46, dentist, Winter Springs, Florida BRANDON QUINTON, 25, bartender, Dallas FRANK GARRISON, 43, telephone technician, Odessa, New York KIM POWERS, 29, freelance marketer, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania LINDA SPENCER, 44, career counselor, Cambridge, Massachusetts LINDSEY RICHTER, 27, advertising account executive, Portland, Oregon SILAS GAITHER, 23, bartender, Germantown, Tennessee TERESA COOPER, 42, flight attendant, Jackson, Georgia
CLARENCE BLACK, 24, high school basketball coach, Detroit DIANE OGDEN, 42, U.S. mail carrier, Lincoln, Nebraska ETHAN ZOHN, 27, professional soccer player, Lexington, Massachusetts JESSIE CAMACHO, 27, deputy sheriff, Orlando KELLY GOLDSMITH, 22, behavioral research analyst and recent Duke University grad, Rancho Santa Fe, California KIM JOHNSON, 57, retired school teacher, Oyster Bay, New York LEX van den BERGHE, 38, marketing manager, Santa Cruz, California TOM BUCHANAN, 46, goat farmer, Rich Valley, Virginia
Just as the cast was leaked last season, CBS' announcement Tuesday also confirmed what was already known by fan sites such as Survivornews.net, which posted photos and bios for many of the contestants. In fact, the show hasn't even started yet, and Brandon Quinton is already getting ridiculed for a set of goofy photos making the rounds.
In other Survivor news, producers have reportedly ditched their plans to shoot the show's fourth installment in the Middle Eastern country of Jordan because of the recent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. CBS refuses to comment on the reports, but producers are said to be eyeing Tahiti as a back-up location.
Whatever they decide, they'll never be as unlucky as former Australian Outback contestant Michael Skupin.
The onetime tribe member--who was severely burned when he fell into a campfire and then later pepper-sprayed by an animal activist for his pig-skinning episode--escaped more serious injuries Sunday when his twin-engine plane made a crash landing along a rocky Lake Michigan shoreline.
Skupin, 39, was on Mackinac Island for a Michigan Republican conference, and he spoke at a religious service on Sunday. As he and his wife and 3-year-old daughter were preparing to land and refuel for their return trip to Detroit, the engine failed on their Piper fixed-wing plane. The pilot managed to land and stop the plane, but not before it tumbled upside-down.
Skupin and his family were treated for bruises and scratches at a nearby hospital and later released.