PHOTOS – Meet The Cast of Survivor: South Pacific! Returns Sept. 14

Think you could survive another season of competition and deprivation in the wild? CBS hopes so! Survivor: South Pacific is returning for its 23rd season!

The drama begins in Samoa, as the 18 castaways are divided into two teams, the Savaii Tribe and the Upolu Tribe, both named for Samoan islands. The cast will include 16 Survivor novices and two former castaways back for revenge, another chance at famewhoring, and a million dollars.

This isn’t the first time CBS has employed this trick, as Season 21, Redemption Island mixed in two experts with the pack of amateurs castaways. Even though several of the cast members are first timers on Survivor, many have “experience” with reality tv – and you know what that means: they know how to cause D-R-A-M-A!

CBS has released the names of the 16 newbies this week and plans to release the names of the final 2 contestants later in the week. No ideas yet of who it could be! I’m hoping for Richard Hatch, if he’s not back in prison! Also one of the new contestants, 19-year-old Brandon Hance, is actually the nephew of villain Russell Hantz!

Borrowing another twist from Redemption Island, the eliminated castaways aren’t immediately vanquished, but instead go to “Redemption Island” (the place, not the season) where he or she will face off against the next person eliminated by Tribal Council. The loser of the duel will then be sent home, while the winner remains in the game until the next person voted off arrives, where the cycle begins anew until ONE eliminatee, referred to as the Sole Survivor, is left standing. The Sole Survivor will then return to the game to compete for the million dollars. I guess, no one is truly safe in this edition!

The 90 minute season premiere airs Sept. 14 8/9c on CBS. The cast bios and photos for the 16 new contestants are below!

UPDATE Ben “Coach” Wade and Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth are rumored to be the two returning cast members.


Name (Age): Elyse Umemoto (27)

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

Occupation: Dance Team Manager
Reality TV Bio: The former Miss Washington is a reality show has-been on the unheard of TLC’s Miss America: Reality Check

Name (Age): Brandon Hance (19)
Hometown: Katy, TX
Occupation: Oil Tanker Crewman
Reality TV Bio: The nephew of former castaway Russell Hance, Brandon is looking to exact revenge for his family.


Name (Age): Whitney Duncan (27)

Hometown: Nashville, TN

Occupation: Country Singer

Reality TV Bio: Whitney was a fifth place finisher on Season 5 of Nashville Star, who is ready for camera time!


Name (Age): Albert Destrade (26)

Hometown: Plantation, FL

Occupation: Baseball Player/Dating Coach

Reality TV Bio: This dating coach was originally tapped for The Amazing Race, but some how ended up on Survivor instead.

Name (Age): Edna Ma (35)

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Occupation: Anesthesiologist

Reality TV Bio: The good doctor planned on appearing in Shark Tank, but decided to do Survivor instead to promote her product: BareEase ouchless hair-removal prep cream (she also has a similar product for men called — wait for it — Numb Nuts).



Name (Age): John Cochran (24)

Washington, D.C.

Harvard Law Student

Reality TV Bio:
While John is a reality TV virgin, he is a huge, HUGE, Survivor fan!



Name (Age): Christine Shields Maroski (39)

Hometown: Merrick, NY

Occupation: Teacher

Reality TV Bio: No reality cred, but as a teacher she is used to chaos, tattling, and organizing people!



Name (Age): Jim Rice (35)

Hometown: Denver, CO

Occupation: Medical Marijuana Dispenser

Reality TV Bio: Nada, but hopefully he’ll be smuggling in the pot to subdue his fellow castaways!



Name (Age): Semhar Tadesse (24)

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Occupation: Spoken Word Artist

Reality TV Bio: The former Miss Eritrea has no reality TV background, but something tells me she has her eye on the prize – fame.



Name (Age): Sophie Clarke (22)

Hometown: Willsboro, NY

Occupation: Medical Student

Reality TV Bio: A big-time Survivor fan since age 9. Will her viewer expertise give her an edge?



Name (Age): Mark-Anthony Caruso (48)

Hometown: Forest Hills, NY

Occupation: NYPD Detective

Reality TV Bio: No reality TV history, but he seems like reality TV gold! He calls himself “Daddy Bear” and has worked for NYPD for 20 years! I say: force to be reckoned with!



Name (Age): Mikayla Wingle (22)

Hometown: Tampa, FL

Occupation: Lingerie Football Player (yes, you read correctly and NO, I cannot believe I just typed that).

Reality TV Bio: Originally recruited for The Amazing Race. The former Playboy Covergirl is a linebacker for the Tampa Breeze – a lingerie Football League (and no, I cannot believe I typed that AGAIN).



Name (Age): Keith Tollefson (26)

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Occupation: Water Treatment Tech

Reality TV Bio: While Keith is a newbie to reality TV, his claim to fame will quickly become the Survivor contestant with a pacemaker since childhood, but that isn’t about to deter him – don’t worry!



Name (Age): Dawn Meehan (41)

Hometown: South Jordan, UT

Occupation: English Professor

Reality TV Bio: The serialSurvivor applicant tried out in 2000 and didn’t make the cut, but in 2009 when CBS found her audition tape on the floor of the dusty supply closet where they stuff all the rejects, she was cast for Redemption Island, unfortunately at the last minute she got axed! Finally she gets to prove her survival skills a mere 11 years after beginning her quest!



Name (Age): Rick Nelson aka Mustache Man (51)

Hometown: Aurora, UT

Occupation: Rancher

Reality TV Bio: Rick has applied 14 (yes – FOURTEEN) times to be castaway and finally won the Sears’ Online Casting Call which secured his spot in the show. Finally. I guess somebody is persistent!



Name (Age): Stacey Powell (44)

Hometown: Grand Prairie, TX

Occupation: Mortician

Reality TV Bio: This hottie Mortician is out to bury her competition (haha) and has no fear of the reality TV pros that are joining the game!
Will you be watching Survivor: South Pacific? Can you believe this show has been on for 23 seasons?!