Less than three weeks (!!!) away from the two-hour Premiere, the cast of the upcoming Survivor: Edge of Extinction was officially announced today by CBS. The show’s 38th season will kick-off on Wednesday, Feb. 20th. There will be 18 contestants vying for the million-dollar prize and title of Sole Survivor.
Survivor is coming off one of its most successful and best seasons in years. Survivor: David vs. Goliath was universally praised as a Top-5 all-time season. Can “Edge of Extinction” build on the show’s momentum. Or is it bound to deflate a bit? Let’s dive into what we know about Season 38 thus far, and let’s meet the cast!
It’s true: Whether you are a casual fan of the show or a die-hard fan like me, you must admit that Survivor is still the best thing going when it comes to competition-based Reality TV. A “bad” season of Survivor is still better than almost anything else on TV. The format of the show is simply untouchable. It always feels like Christmas when a new season of Survivor comes closer. Trying to figure out where this season will rank is all part of the pre-season fun. Will the theme of “Edge of Extinction” be a colossal bust? Will it rank among the all-time great seasons? Or is it destined to fall somewhere in the middle, another “ho-hum” season of TV’s greatest show?
“Edge of Extinction” is definitely not resting on its laurels…the season’s concept will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen on Survivor before. Per CBS: “This season presents a new layer to the game with the introduction of the island known as ‘Edge of Extinction,’ which severely tests the will of the castaways to be the Sole Survivor and what they are willing to endure to make that happen. Those who can withstand the emotionally and physically difficult challenge will be afforded a shot for one of them to get back in the game and continue their quest for $1 million.
“Survivor continues to reinvent itself with new energy, and this season we’ve added a new secret game-changing twist,” said executive producer and host Jeff Probst. “After being voted out, players will be faced with a decision to either go home or go to the ‘Edge of Extinction,’ where they will be pushed further than ever before for a chance to get back in the game.”
What this potentially means is unclear, but what it might mean is that there is a chance that ALL 18 castmates are still “in the game” heading into the Season Finale in May. As we read this description, voted-off contestants will have the chance to opt in to remain in the game via the “Island of Extinction,” but those remaining in the game – at least up until the merge – will have no idea that this twist exists. According to an article from Entertainment Weekly,: “…the twist was born out of [Jeff Probst]’s desire to see how far contestants are willing to push themselves.”
The “Island of Extinction” twist is not the only one that players will be dealing with. Of the 18 contestants this season, four of them are Survivor veterans. Joe Anglim, Aubry Bracco, Kelley Wentworth, and David Wright will all be back in the game. They will compete against 14 all-new players.
I’ll be back once again this season right here on Reality Tea bringing you weekly recaps of the action and – presumably – weekly exit interviews. Although with the new twist, it’s currently unclear exactly how exit press is going to work this season. With how awesome last season was, I really hope that you return to check out Season 38 beginning in less than three weeks, Wednesday, Feb. 20th!
Now without further ado, let’s meet this cast!
Dan “The Wardog” DaSilva (38)
Hometown: Ossining, N.Y.
Current Residence: Los Angeles
Law Student/Former Military
Reem Daly (46)
Hometown: Fairfax, Va.
Current Residence: Ashburn, Va.
Rick Devens (33)
Hometown: Blacksburg, Va.
Current Residence: Macon, Ga.
Morning News Anchor
Wendy Diaz (25)
Hometown: Los Angeles
Current Residence: Bell, Calif.
Small Business Owner
Lauren O’Connell (21)
Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.
Current Residence: Waco, Texas
Student at Baylor University
Keith Sowell (19)
Hometown: Fayetteville, N.C.
Current Residence: Durham, N.C.
Chris Underwood (25)
Hometown: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Current Residence: Greenville, S.C.
District Sales Manager
Kelley Wentworth (31)
Hometown: Ephrata, Wash.
Current Residence: Seattle
Previous Seasons: Second Chance, San Juan del Sur
David Wright (44)
Current Residence: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Previous Season: Millennials vs. Gen-X
Joe Anglim (29)
Hometown: Chandler, Ariz.
Current Residence: Ogden, Utah
Previous Seasons: Worlds Apart, Second Chance
Aubry Bracco (32)
Hometown: Hampton Falls, N.H.
Current Residence: Los Angeles
Previous Seasons: Kaoh Rong, Game Changers
Victoria Baamonde (23)
Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.
Current Residence: Bronx, N.Y.
Ron Clark (46)
Hometown: Chocowinity, N.C.
Current Residence: Atlanta
Teacher, Ron Clark Academy
Julia Carter (24)
Hometown: Hazleton, Pa.
Current Residence: Bethesda, Md.
Eric Hafemann (34)
Current Residence: Livermore, Calif.
Aurora McCreary (32)
Hometown: Pensacola, Fla.
Current Residence: Orlando, Fla.
Julie Rosenberg (46)
Current Residence: New York, N.Y.
Gavin Whitson (23)
Hometown: Erwin, Tenn.
Current Residence: Erwin, Tenn.
YMCA Program Director
TELL US – ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THIS SEASON OF SURVIVOR? WHO AMONG THE CAST STANDS OUT TO YOU AS A FAVORITE/LEAST FAVORITE? DO YOU LIKE THE ISLAND OF EXTINCTION THEME?
[Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira/Michele Crowe]