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CBS reveals 'Survivor: Fiji' cast, series to premiere February 8

By Steve Rogers, 01/12/2007 

CBS has revealed the identities of nineteen of the castaways who will be competing on its upcoming Survivor: Fiji reality series.

Survivor: Fuji, the fourteenth installment of the long-running reality franchise, will premiere Thursday, February 8 at 8PM ET/PT -- a date that, unless CBS opts to reschedule some of the show's early season episodes, will put three of the season's first five episodes on a collision course with Fox's Thursday night broadcasts of American Idol 6's semifinalist results shows.

As CBS announced last month, the new season will feature an ethically diverse cast, however unlike last season's Survivor: Cook Islands edition, Survivor: Fuji's won't be divided by race. Instead, all nineteen contestants will begin the game living in one "exceptionally comfortable" camp. Then, on Day 3, one of the castaways -- who will be determined by an undisclosed event that will take place before the game's first Immunity Challenge -- will be given the task of splitting the group into two tribes.

Unfortunately for the rest of country, Survivor's new racial diversity seems to have once again come at the cost of geographic diversity -- similar to Survivor: Cook Islands, over half of Survivor: Fuji's cast are from California.

Once the castaways are divided into their two new tribes, the tribes will then compete in an Immunity Challenge that will not only determine which tribe will win immunity, but also determine which of the new tribes will get to return to the plush camp that they had all initially shared. The losers will be forced to relocate to a new island that, in a The Apprentice: Los Angeles-like twist that Survivor host Jeff Probst first revealed during December's Survivor: Cook Islands finale broadcast, will have "virtually nothing" -- only a pot, a machete and a water source.

As the network previously announced, the show's new Exile Island concept will also return for a third straight season. Like the show's last two seasons, Survivor: Fuji will require the castaways to exile at least one castaway during each episode, however unlike the show's last two seasons, Exile Island won't contain a hidden Immunity Idol. Instead, there will be two hidden Immunity Idols -- but they'll be hidden somewhere near each of the two tribes' camps, with Exile Island still supplying each exile with a new clue to their exact whereabouts.

According to Us Weekly, the fact that a twentieth contestant dropped out of the competition the night before Survivor Fiji's production started is the reason why the new season features an odd number of castaways.  "It put us in a weird situation, because we didn't anticipate the problem," Probst told the magazine in its January 22 issue.

The nineteen castaways competing on Survivor: Fiji are:

Alex Angarita, 28-year-old attorney who currently reside in Los Angeles, CA and is originally from Colombia

Kenward "Boo" Bernis, a 34-year-old construction worker from Lafayette, LA

Yau-Man Chan, a 54-year-old computer engineer who currently resides in Martinez, CA but was born in Hong Kong and raised in Borneo, Malaysia

Earl Cole, a 35-year-old advertising executive who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA and is originally Kansas City, KS

Jessica deBen, a 27-year-old fashion stylist who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and is originally from New Orleans, LA

Erica Durousseau, a 27-year-old non-profit fundraiser from Lake Charles, LA

Cassandra Franklin, a 42-year-old civil engineer manager from Los Angeles, CA

Liliana Gomez, a 25-year-old loan officer from Oxnard, CA

Andria "Dre" Herd, a 25-year-old cheerleading coach from Wilmington, NC

Stacy Kimball, a 27-year-old interactive Internet producer from Montpelier, VT

Sylvia Kwan, a 52-year-old architect from Ross, CA who was born in Hong Kong

Mookie Lee, a 25-year-old loan manager from Wheeling, IL who was born in Seoul, Korea

Lisette "Lisi" Linares, a 36-year-old customer service representative who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and is originally from Miami, FL

James Reid, a 28-year-old bartender who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and is originally from Boston, MA

Edgardo Rivera, a 28-year-old advertising executive who currently resides in Miami Beach, FL and is originally from Puerto Rico

Anthony Robinson, a 32-year-old expert witness locator from Compton, CA

Gary Stritesky, a 55-year-old school bus driver from Ramsey, MN

Rita Verreos, a 38-year-old single mom who currently resides in San Antonio, TX and is originally from Venezuela

Michelle Yi, a 23-year-old student from Cincinnati, OH

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