CBS announces identities of new 'Survivor: South Pacific' castaways
By Reality TV World staff, 08/22/2011
CBS has announced the identities of the 16 new castaways who will be competing on Survivor: South Pacific, the 23rd Survivor edition that will premiere Wednesday, September 14 at 8PM ET/PT with a special 90-minute episode.
In addition to the usual assortment of former beauty queens and models, Survivor: South Pacific's cast also includes a Harvard Law School student, an anesthesiologist, a medical school student, a Brigham Young University English professor, a mortician, a country singer and former Nashville Star contestant, and the 19-year-old nephew of three-time Survivor villain Russell Hantz.
As CBS previously announced, Survivor: South Pacific's 18-person cast will -- similar to last season's Survivor: Redemption Island edition -- also feature two additional former Survivor castaways returning to "seek redemption."
The network is keeping the formal announcement of the identities of the returning castaways under wraps until "later this week," however reports that they are Ozzy Lusth and Benjamin "Coach" Wade have circulated since late spring.
Survivor: South Pacific -- which was filmed in Samoa in June and early July -- is the third Survivor edition for both Lusth and Wade.
Lusth originally competed on Survivor: Cook Islands in 2006, finishing second to winner Yul Kwon in a tight 5-4 Tribal Council vote. He then returned to compete as a "favorite" on Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites, the "half all-stars edition" which aired on CBS in early 2008, and finished in ninth place.
Wade originally competed on Survivor: Tocantins, which aired on CBS in early 2009, and finished fifth, lasting 36 days. A year later, he returned to compete on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, which aired in early 2010, and finished twelfth.
Survivor: South Pacific's 18 castaways will initially be divided into two tribes -- Savaii and Upolu -- named after the two islands of Samoa, which also previously served as the filming location ofSurvivor: Samoa and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains when they were filmed back-to-back in Summer 2009.
Survivor: South Pacific will also reprise last season's "Redemption Island" twist and allow castaways who are voted out of the competition to earn "redemption" and return at a later date.
Instead of being eliminated from the game after being voted off at Tribal Council, a castaway will be taken to Redemption Island, where they will live alone in exile until the next voted-off castaway joins them at the site.
Once a second castaway arrives, the two castaways will then compete in a "duel" challenge and winner will get to continue fighting for "redemption" while the loser will be eliminated from the competition for good. At an undisclosed point, the Redemption Island's exiled castaway will get to return to the main game and resume competing for Survivor: South Pacific's $1,000,000 prize with the remaining contestants.
Unlike last season, Survivor: South Pacific's version of Redemption Island will not change format and utilize "group duels" in the later days of the game.
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"That was part of the experiment [last season]. We wanted to see how many people we could keep in the game until the end. And that's why we let more people live out there. But we felt like it's too many people and now we've got half the group still in it at the end. So it will only be a one-on-one situation. Loser's out, winner stays. Otherwise, we're playing it the same way."
The eight first-time members of the Savaii tribe are:
- Mark Caruso, a 48-year-old retired NYPD detective from Forest Hills, NY
- John Cochran, a 24-year-old Harvard Law School student from Washington, DC
- Whitney Duncan, a 27-year-old country singer and former Nashville Star finalist from Nashville, TN
- Dawn Meehan, a 41-year-old English professor from South Jordan, UT
- Jim Rice, a 35-year-old medical marijuana dispenser from Denver, CO
- Semhar Tadesse, a 24-year-old spoken word artist from Los Angeles, CA