Survivor is back and so am I! Today CBS released info on all 18 of the new cast members that will be competing on the show’s 35th (!) season that is set to premiere on Wednesday, September 27 at 8pm EST. They also released new details on a few game twists that we can expect, one of which will be revealed during the premiere episode and will surely play a big factor in the game.

Let’s take a look at the new cast!


There are no returning players this season, so if there were any time to start watching Survivor again or for the first time, then this season is as good as any! Season 35 – called “Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” (0r as I will refer to it, “Survivor: HHH”) – once again filmed in the islands of Fiji, so you can expect beautiful landscapes and the crystal-clear blue waters that we’ve grown used to seeing (the past several seasons taped in Fiji as well).  The 18 new players will be divided up into three initial tribes: Levu (The Heroes), Soko (The Healers) and Yawa (The Hustlers), mostly based on their occupations. And host Jeff Probst is quick to point out that a “Hustler” isn’t a negative term, but instead indicates a person who really works hard to get things done in their career.

In addition to the cast, CBS also announced today a few game twists, one of which we will see play out in the very first episode. A special Super Idol advantage will be found by one contestant in the opening minutes of the game, that allows them to use it after the votes have been read at Tribal Council…the catch? It can only be used at the very first vote. Probst has also revealed that there will be more Immunity Idols in play – one for each of the three tribes – that will be more challenging to find like in the previous season.

So here is the new cast of Survivor Season 35:

LEVU TRIBE (Heroes – Blue)


(From left to right: Ben Dreibergen, 36, Marine from Boise, Idaho – Chrissy Hofbeck, 46, Financial Analyst from Glen Gardner, New Jersey – Alan Ball, 31, NFL Player from Detroit, Michigan – Ashley Nolan, 26, Lifeguard from Satellite Beach, Florida – John “JP” Hilsabeck, 28, Firefighter from Los Angeles, California – Katrina Radke, 46, Olympian from Morris, Minnesota).

THE SOKO TRIBE (Healers – Yellow)


(From left to right: Joe Mena, 34, Probation Officer from Tolland, Connecticut – Cole Medders, 24, Wilderness Therapy Guide from Little Rock, Arkansas – Mike Zahalsky, 43, Urologist from Parkland, Florida – Jessica Johnston, 29, Nurse Practitioner from Louisville, Kentucky – Desiree “Desi” Williams, 27, Physical Therapist from Newport News, Virginia – Roark Luskin, 27, Social Worker from Santa Monica, California).

THE YAWA TRIBE (Hustlers – Red)


(From left to right: Devon Pinto, 23, Surf Instructor from Solana Beach, California – Lauren Rimmer, 35, Fisherman from Beaufort, North Carolina – Patrick Bolton, 24, Small Business Owner from Auburn, Alabama – Ryan Ulrich, 23, Bellhop from North Arlington, New Jersey – Alexandra “Ali” Elliott, 24, Celebrity Assistant from Los Angeles, California – Simone Nguyen, 25, Diversity Advocate from New York City, New York).

For a more in-depth look at this cast plus some of my initial thoughts, please check out the FilmSurvivor Podcast here.

THIS SEASON: I’m happy to say that I’ll be back for full coverage of Survivor again this season, and I urge you to listen and follow the Podcast! You can count on full Recaps and reactions each and every Wednesday night throughout the season, as well as a Podcast exit interview each and every Thursday with the voted out contestant. I’m looking forward to spending another season with my fellow Survivor fans!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter, @tomsantilli!


Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets

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