Just a few minutes ago today, CBS has revealed the new 18 contestants that will compete on "Survivor: Cagayan," the 28th season of TV's longest-running reality TV competition show. It had been previously announced that the new season will begin with a two-hour premiere episode on Wednesday, Feb 26 at 8:00 p.m. EST on CBS.
The theme of the season is Brains versus Brawn versus Beauty, with the tribes being split up into groups of six according to those classifications. The Brains tribe is Luzon and will wear teal, the Brawn tribe is Afarri and will wear orange and the Beauty tribe is Solana and will wear purple.
Early word is that this will be another exciting season that will produce at least one future All-Star. The season was shot in the Summer of 2013 in Cagayan in the Philippines.
Curious as to who these newbies are? Here's your introduction to the new cast of "Survivor: Cagayan" (please click here for a photo slideshow of the new contestants, or be sure to view the video intro at the top of this article).
Your three tribes competing for the title of Sole Survivor:
BRAWN TRIBE - AFARRI
- Cliff Robinson, Age 46 from Newark, New Jersey. Former NBA All-Star.
- Lindsey Ogle, Age 29 from Kokomo, Indiana. Hairstylist.
- Sarah Lacina, Age 29 from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Police Officer.
- Tony Vlachos, Age 39 from Jersey City, New Jersey. Police Officer.
- Trish Hegarty, Age 48 from Needham, Massachusetts. Pilates Instructor.
- Yung "Woo" Hwang, Age 29, from Newport Beach, California. Martial Arts Instructor.
BRAINS TRIBE - LUZON
- David Samson, Age 45 from Plantation, Florida. President of the Miami Marlins MLB team.
- Garrett Adelstein, Age 27 from Santa Monica, California. Pro Poker Player.
- J'Tia Taylor, Age 31 from Chicago, Illinois. Nuclear Engineer.
- Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen, Age 41 from Tehachapi, California. Attorney.
- Latasha "Tasha" Fox, Age 37 from St. Louis, Missouri. Accountant.
- Spencer Bledsoe, Age 21 from Chicago, Illinois. Student.
BEAUTY TRIBE - SOLANA
- Alexis Maxwell, Age 21 from Addison, Illinois. Student.
- Brice Johnston, Age 27 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Social Worker.
- Jefra Bland, Age 22 from Campbellsville, Kentucky. Miss Kentucky Teen USA.
- Jeremiah Wood, Age 34 from Dobson, North Carolina. Male Model.
- LJ McKanas, Age 34 from Boston, Massachusetts. Horse Trainer.
- Morgan McLeod, Age 21 from San Jose, California. Ex-NFL Cheerleader.
Initial Reaction to the Cast. There is something refreshing about an all-new cast and upon first glance, each tribe seems to be made up of some interesting people. While it is nice to see that this cast seems to be a nice cross-representation of our entire country - not just California like in many seasons - it still features its fair share of models, former cheerleaders and superstar athletes who continue to want to be a part of TV's greatest game.
It should come as no surprise that the tribe of "Beauty" contains no one over the age of 34. Each tribe consists of an equal number of males and females and the Brawn tribe has a nice split of young and old as well. The one major discrepancy seems to be on the Brains tribe, with the young student Spencer having to find commonalities with others that are several years older. It's also interesting to note that the two oldest contestants this year are only 48 (Trish) and 46 (Cliff), both of whom will compete on the Brawn tribe.
And baseball fans: How would you react to knowing that your team President was competing on Survivor...during the middle of the baseball season (which is when this season took place, last Summer)? The most intriguing player this season of Survivor, for me, is Miami Marlins President David Samson. Not only was he apparently off playing Survivor during the Summer, his team went on to a National League worst-record of 64-100. This is the same guy who has, throughout his career, been embroiled in controversial business decisions that are only fueled on by his blunt nature when dealing with the media.
Be sure to get yourself caught up with all of the Survivor introduction videos, starting with the one at the top of this article, and then continuing on at CBS.com.
You will want to subscribe to this column (above) for email alerts when any new articles post. Leading up to the season, we will have much to discuss about "Survivor: Cagayan." During the season, we will preview each week's episode with an article on Wednesday mornings, followed by a full episode recap and analysis later that night. Then on Thursday, I will get an exclusive one-on-one interview with the person voted off each week.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter, @tomsantilli, for episode previews, recaps, exclusive interviews and any Survivor-related news, as well as for my movie reviews as a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Detroit and Online Film Critics Societies.