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Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Wait, where did the Summer go? It’s hard to believe we’re in September, let alone on the brink of Survivor SEASON 39!!! We’re now less than three weeks (!!!) away from the 90-minute Season 39 Premiere, and today the cast of the upcoming Survivor: Island of Idols was officially announced by CBS.

The show’s newest season will kick-off on Wednesday, September 25th at 8pm (EST), which – by the way – will be followed by the 90-minute Big Brother 21 Finale at 9:30pm (EST). 20 brand-new contestants vying for the million-dollar prize and title of Sole Survivor.

It’s sort of a weird time for Survivor to be honest. Most casual TV-viewers have one of two reactions when you tell them about Survivor. The first is: “Wow, that show is still on?” and the second is “Wait…Season 39?” But even though the Grand-Daddy of all Reality Competition shows is nearing middle-age, Season 39 marks the first that it went without its long-time casting director Lynne Spillman, who was reportedly fired from the show prior to the casting of this season. Many worry that the quality of the cast may suffer without her, and our hopes weren’t helped out when the theme of Season 39 was revealed during last season’s Live Reunion Show.

Haven’t heard yet about what “Island of Idols” is all about? Well the title is not just referring to the Immunity Idols that might be spattered all over the island, but also that it will feature two bona fide Survivor “Idols”: “Boston Rob” Mariano and the only two-time winner in the show’s history, Sandra Diaz-Twine. But although Rob and Sandra are both back on the current season, they will NOT be competing on the show…instead they will act in some way as “mentors” or island role models for the newbie cast-mates.

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Officially, here is how CBS tells it: “During the 39 days, some castaways will have the opportunity to visit the Island of the Idols to learn skills and strategy from these “idols.” Each player, selected to visit the special island in various ways throughout the season, will have to decide if they should put their knowledge to the test for a chance at a possible advantage in the game, or risk losing something very important in the process. Those who can rise up to the challenge will possibly gain an advantage and continue their individual quest for $1 million and the title of Sole Survivor.”

“For our 39th season, we are bringing back two of our most dominant winners to serve as mentors to a new group of castaways,” said executive producer and host Jeff Probst. “It’s a Survivor boot camp where each week, players will be instructed on a different facet of the game and then have a chance to test what they’ve learned for a shot at an advantage.”

Some say that this theme is a bit overboard – or “jumping the shark” if you will. The internet had a field day with the giant busts of Rob and Sandra‘s heads (see below) and plainly stated, many long-time fans are worried. It was also revealed all over the internet this Summer, that the landmark Season 40 of Survivor – set to air in the Spring of 2020 – will finally give us the long-awaited and highly-anticipated “all winners” season. This combination of news has led many to overlook Season 39, as it seems likely to fall short of past seasons and will surely fall short of Season 40…right?

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

It’s fair to be worried but please never forget this truth: 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 “Island of the Idols” 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?

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

We’ll dissect the theme of this new season in the weeks to come, but for now, let us take a look at the Season 39 cast…which I must admit does look diverse, not just in ethnicity and background, but also in age (a key fact that I’ve complained about several times on these pages, as the casts have trended younger and younger for several years). Finally it looks like we won’t just have the “token old guy,” but actually several players over 40! Woohoo!

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

And in case you’re wondering, 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. Whether you end up loving the show or hating it, it’s always a great time to participate in the comment section and experience the season together!

Remember, Survivor: Island of the Idols Premieres on Wednesday, September 25th!

Now without further ado, let’s meet this cast!

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

LAIRO” TRIBE

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Ronnie Bardah (35)

Hometown: Brockton, Mass.

Current Residence: Henderson, Nev.

Occupation: Pro Poker Player

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Elizabeth Beisel (26)

Hometown: Saunderstown, R.I.

Current Residence: Saunderstown, R.I.

Occupation: Olympic Medalist

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Missy Byrd (24)

Hometown: Decatur, Ga.

Current Residence: Tacoma, Wash.

Occupation: Air Force Veteran

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Dean Kowalski (28)

Hometown: Westfield, N. J.

Current Residence: New York, N.Y.

Occupation: Tech Sales

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Tom Laidlaw (60)

Hometown: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Current Residence: Greenwich, Conn.

Occupation: Former NHL Player

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Aaron Meredith (36)

Hometown: Uncasville, Conn.

Current Residence: Warwick, R.I.

Occupation: Gym Owner

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Vince Moua (27)

Hometown: Merced, Calif.

Current Residence: Palo Alto, Calif.

Occupation: Admissions Counselor

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Karishma Patel (37)

Hometown: Philadelphia

Current Residence: Houston

Occupation: Personal Injury Lawyer

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Elaine Stott (41)

Hometown: Woodbine, Ky.

Current Residence: Rockholds, Ky.

Occupation: Factory Worker

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Chelsea Walker (26)

Hometown: Marlton, N.J.

Current Residence: Los Angeles

Occupation: Digital Content Creator

 

VOKAI” TRIBE

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Lauren Beck (28)

Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif. and Rochester Hills, Mich.

Current Residence: Glendale, Calif.

Occupation: Nanny

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Molly Byman (27)

Hometown: Boston

Current Residence: Durham, N.C.

Occupation: Law Student

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Janet Carbin (59)

Hometown: Neptune, N.J.

Current Residence: Palm Bay, Fla.

Occupation: Chief Lifeguard

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Kellee Kim (29)

Hometown: Costa Mesa, Calif.

Current Residence: Philadelphia

Occupation: MBA Student

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Jason Linden (32)

Hometown: New York, N.Y.

Current Residence: New York, N.Y.

Occupation: Personal Injury Lawyer

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Jack Nichting (23)

Hometown: Newport News, Va.

Current Residence: Harrisonburg, Va.

Occupation: Graduate Student

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Noura Salman (36)

Hometown: London, UK / Bethesda, Md.

Current Residence: North Potomac, Md.

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Tommy Sheehan (26)

Hometown: Bayville, N.Y.

Current Residence: Long Beach, N.Y.

Occupation: 4th Grade Teacher

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Jamal Shipman (33)

Hometown: Jersey City, N.J.

Current Residence: Providence, R.I.

Occupation: College Administrator

Survivor Season 39 – Island Of The Idols – Revealed!

Dan Spilo (48)

Hometown: New York, N.Y.

Current Residence: Los Angeles

Occupation: Talent Manager

For those looking for more info on this cast, head over to CBS.com!

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 THE IDOLS THEME?

[Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira/Michele Crowe]

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