Meet the ''Survivor: Thailand'' contestants. Here are the 16 castaways who will endure, bugs, Jeff Probst, and lots of rain, starting Sept. 19

By Gary Susman
Updated August 16, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Survivor: Thailand
Credit: Survivor Thailand: CBS

OK, ”American Idol” has been a pleasant summer diversion, but really, all those kids had to fear was Simon’s criticism and Seacrest and Dunkleman’s inanity. It’s time once again for a reality show with some real challenges: capricious Mother Nature, physical contests, backstabbing fellow contestants, and smug Jeff Probst. So it is that CBS has announced the names of the 16 castaways whose ritual humiliation we will witness on ”Survivor: Thailand” starting Sept. 19.

At least a few of this bunch have practical skills, including medical-emergency training, that should help them with the difficulties of island living. There’s a New York City cop, a firefighter/emergency medical technician, a Navy swim teacher, a dental student, and a social worker trained in first-aid techniques. Several others are knowledgeable in business and law, which should help with the double-dealing among the tribes and alliances. And if things get really hairy, there’s a pastor. And a bartender.

The competition takes place this time on Koh Tarutao, a rain-soaked tropical island that’s part of the Tarutao Islands National Park, a group of 51 islands 600 miles south of Bangkok in the Indian Ocean. Tribal councils for this fifth edition of ”Survivor” will take place in an ancient Thai temple.

Here are the names, ages, occupations, and hometowns of the castaways. Let the office pools begin.

Jake Billingsley, 60, land broker from McKinney, Tex.
Erin Collins, 26, real estate agent from Austin, Tex.
Stephanie Dill, 29, professional firefighter-EMT from Fayetteville, Ark.
Jan Gentry, 53, first grade teacher from Tampa, Fla.
Helen Glover, 47, Navy swim instructor from Middletown, R.I.
Brian Heidik, 34, used-car salesman from Quartz Hill, Calif.
Jed Hildebrand, 25, dental student from Dallas
Shii Ann Huang, 28, executive recruiter from New York
Ghandia Johnson, 33, legal secretary from Denver
Clay Jordan, 46, restaurant owner from Monroe, La.
Penny Ramsey, 27, pharmaceutical sales representative from Plano, Tex.
John Raymond, 40, pastor from Slidell, La.
Ted Rogers, Jr., 37, software-development manager from Durham, N.C.
Ken Stafford, 30, police officer from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Tanya Vance, 27, social worker from Gray, Tenn.
Robb Zbacnik, 23, bartender from Scottsdale, Ariz.

Survivor: Thailand

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