Meet the new cast of ”Survivor”
The Palau Islands of the South Pacific are littered with the wreckage of World War II. Soon, though, they’ll also be littered with the spent torches and deflated egos of 19 American reality-show contestants, all of whom will eventually be vanquished by one wily rival during the 10th season of CBS’ Survivor.
The winner of Survivor: Palau will come from a pool of 20 men and women (up from last season’s 18), with an average age of 32. Among them are three lawyers, two cancer survivors, and two former beauty queens. The rules will be different from those in previous Survivor contests: Not only will three castaways leave by the end of the first episode (airing Thursday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m.); the producers say the game will be shaken to its core in the first 10 minutes.
If you need a little edge prepping for your office Survivor pool — or just want a little background detail to help you figure which castaway is which — check out our player gallery.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Coby Archa
Voted off April 14, 2005
HOMETOWN Athens, Tex.
THE SCOOP The snap-tastic funnyman may supersede Will & Grace‘s Jack as Thursday-night TV’s most popular gay man.
PROS He spent a few months in the slammer as a teen — and was homeless for a while as well — so Survivor living may be a breeze.
CONS The other players may not take to his Queer Eye for the Island Guy persona.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Ashlee Ashby
Voted off Feb. 24, 2005
HOMETOWN Easley, S.C.
THE SCOOP She’s gregarious and flirty (with self-described ”huge humongous breasts”), but she’s also a practicing Mormon and a virgin.
PROS The former swim instructor should ace water-based challenges.
CONS She’s the youngest woman on the island — does she have the life experience to outwit, outplay, and outlast?
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Gregg Carey
Voted off May 5, 2005
OCCUPATION Business consultant
THE SCOOP The former high school and college football star climbed Japan’s Mount Fuji last September.
PROS A high school friend of Carey’s told their local paper that the Survivor contestant was always a favorite with the ladies.
CONS Guys who come off smart and strong early are often viewed as threats.
Bobby Jon Drinkard
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Bobby Jon Drinkard
Voted off April 7, 2005
HOMETOWN Santa Monica, Calif.
THE SCOOP This deeply religious Alabama native was named his state’s most eligible bachelor by Cosmopolitan in 2003.
PROS A newspaper report from Drinkard’s hometown says he’s an experienced hunter and fisherman.
CONS If the guys catch wind of his Cosmo past, he might get laughed off the island.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Katie Gallagher
Runner-up May 15, 2005
HOMETOWN Merced, Calif.
OCCUPATION Advertising executive
THE SCOOP Her current job — and her past experience as a camp counselor for at-risk kids — ought to come in handy when she’s pitching alliances to emotionally spent comrades.
PROS Should be able to fake her way out of a jam; after all, Gallagher starred in a local production of A Chorus Line last summer.
CONS She describes herself as funny, but we’ll see if her shackmates agree after a week of typical Survivor living conditions.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Caryn Groedel
Voted Off May 12, 2005
HOMETOWN Solon, Ohio
OCCUPATION Civil-rights attorney
THE SCOOP This marathon runner and mother of three is ”an exercise fanatic,” her husband told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
PROS Has lost only two jury trials in her career — a pretty good track record if she makes it to Survivor‘s final two.
CONS Will have to withstand 39 days of lawyer jokes.
“Survivor: Palau”: Meet Angie Jakusz
Voted off March 16, 2005
HOMETOWN New Orleans
THE SCOOP The chatty Wisconsin native lists heckling — yes, heckling — as one of her favorite hobbies.
PROS Bartenders make good listeners — and pick up dirt on their competitors, too.
CONS Eleven colored tattoos will make it hard for her to lie low.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Jolanda Jones
Voted off Feb. 17, 2005
THE SCOOP The mother of a 13-year-old son, she overcame an intensely tumultuous childhood to become a successful criminal-defense attorney.
PROS Her harsh early years — Jones’ father killed himself in front of her as a young girl — ought to make intra-tribe drama seem inconsequential.
CONS Jones won three NCAA heptathlon championships back in college, and tough jocks often get pegged for early elimination.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Stephenie LaGrossa
Voted off April 28, 2005
OCCUPATION Pharmaceutical sales rep and part-time bartender
THE SCOOP A Division One lacrosse player in college, LaGrossa was also a member of her high school swimming and field-hockey teams.
PROS Has four older brothers — so she ought to be able to handle the guys…
CONS …but will she thrive living with other women?
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Jonathan Libby
Eliminated Feb. 17, 2005
OCCUPATION Sales and marketing
THE SCOOP According to his bio, this straight-shootin’ Texan goes fishing, teaches women’s self-defense, and competes in ”full-contact fighting” in his spare time.
PROS Being a cancer survivor, he has already beaten greater odds than his 1 in 20 chance of becoming a Survivor champ.
CONS He’s similar to another handsome, genial Texan — Colby Donaldson — but like Colby, he may lack the killer instinct necessary to seal the deal.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Jennifer Lyon
HOMETOWN Encino, Calif.
THE SCOOP The game’s resident ”hot nanny” says she won’t be afraid to flirt her way through Tribal Council.
PROS Spent time camping as a kid.
CONS Would she be better suited to Fox’s Nanny 911?
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet James Miller
Voted off March 23, 2005
HOMETOWN Mobile, Ala.
THE SCOOP This father of four predicts he’ll be the first ”redneck” to return home as Survivor‘s million-dollar baby.
PROS His affable good ol’ boy persona may cause rivals to underestimate him and keep him in the game . . .
CONS . . . but it might start grating on their nerves, too.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Kim Mullen
Eliminated Mar. 10, 2005
HOMETOWN Huber Heights, Ohio
OCCUPATION Graduate student
THE SCOOP The former Miss Ohio refers to herself as a tomboy.
PROS She minored in psychology during college, so she may have an edge in reading her tribemates’ moods.
CONS Her brassy motormouth style could prove polarizing.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Ibrehem Rahman
Voted off March 31, 2005
HOMETOWN Birmingham, Ala.
THE SCOOP The former pharmaceutical rep has a low-key charm.
PROS As one of three current or former Alabamans on the island, he could have two built-in allies from the git-go.
CONS Lists ”eating” as one of his hobbies, so maybe he’s come to the wrong reality show.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Ian Rosenberger
Voted off May 15, 2005
HOMETOWN Key Largo, Fla.
OCCUPATION Dolphin trainer
THE SCOOP According to a Penn State classmate quoted in their campus paper, Rosenberger is the kind of guy ”everyone falls in love with.”
PROS May be able to entertain his tribemates with dazzling displays of dolphinry.
CONS Natural leaders (Ian was president of his college class) tend to inspire mutinies in the last few weeks.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Wanda Shirk
Eliminated Feb. 17, 2005
HOMETOWN Ulysses, Pa.
OCCUPATION English teacher
THE SCOOP This wacky mother of two has also been a foster parent to 25 children and has taken in exchange students from three countries.
PROS Solo-backpacked 85 miles in the Pennsylvania mountains at age 50.
CONS The island’s eldest woman is unlikely to win immunity pitted against the young cubs in the physical challenges.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Willard Smith
Voted off March 16, 2005
HOMETOWN Bellevue, Wash.
THE SCOOP Because of a boyhood illness, Smith spent several years in a wheelchair, but he eventually recovered and joined the Marines at 17.
PROS His muscular, trim physique may seem less threatening because of his age.
CONS A smoker, he’ll have to adjust to Survivor living while going through nicotine withdrawal.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Janu Tornell
Voted off April 21, 2005
HOMETOWN Las Vegas
THE SCOOP The former beauty queen and cancer survivor is fluent in four languages.
PROS For a lead showgirl who’s performed as often as 12 times per week, endurance won’t be an issue.
CONS The sex-appeal card may not impress the other women.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Tom Westman
WINNER! May 15, 2005
HOMETOWN Sayville, N.Y.
OCCUPATION New York City firefighter
THE SCOOP A rugged man’s man, he’s the father of three and an adept scuba diver.
PROS Everybody loves firefighters!
CONS As their numbers dwindle, competitive players tend to vote off those who could win the jury’s sympathy.
”Survivor: Palau”: Meet Jeff Wilson
Voted off March 3, 2005
HOMETOWN Ventura, Calif.
OCCUPATION Personal trainer
THE SCOOP The buff youngster has also worked as a welder and a soccer ref.
PROS Hello! He’s a 21-year-old personal trainer — ’nuff said.
CONS The carb-heavy coconut diet could prove his undoing.