Sixteen of Survivor: Redemption Island's 18 castmembers were announced today by CBS.
The reality show's 22nd season newcomers are joined by two former Castaways, to be named later this week, also competing for the million-dollar prize and "one last shot at redemption."
The delayed announcement is sure to fuel the campfire rumors that this season--the second in a row to be filmed in Nicaragua--would feature a showdown between all-timers Boston Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz.
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Also unclear is what role the two vets will play in the series' new twist: instead of immediately leaving the game, a voted-off Castaway is sent to the isolated Redemption Island, living alone in exile until joined by the next person eliminated at Tribal Council. The two compete in a duel, with the loser of the showdown going home while the winner continues on for a chance to return to the game and vie for the title of Sole Survivor.
The current list of Castaways comprise more NFL vets (two of 'em this season) and the usual young hotties--including a doppelgnger of recent champ Fabio --but unlike last season, white-collar and service professionals make up a majority of the cast. For now, that is...
Ometepe TribeAndrea Boehlke, 21, Random Lake, Wis.; studentMatt Elrod, 22, Nashville; pre-med studentFrancesca Hogi, 36, Washington D.C.; attorneyKristina Kell, 46, Malibu; law studentGrant Mattos, 29, West Hollywood; former NFLer, yoga instructorPhillip Sheppard, 52, Santa Monica; technology executiveNatalie Tenerelli, 19, Acton, Calif.; professional dancerAshley Underwood, 25, Benton, Maine; nurseFormer Castaway (TBA)
Zapatera TribeMike Chiesl, 31, Del Mar, Calif.; former MarineRalph Kiser, 44, Lebanon, Va.; farmerKrista Klumpp, 25, Columbia, S.C.; pharmaceutical rep.David Murphy, 31, West Hollywood; defense attorneyStephanie Valencia, 25, Long Beach, Calif.; waitressSarita White, 36, Santa Monica; visual effects producerJulie Wolfe, 50, Oceanside, Calif.; firefighterSteve Wright, 51, Huntington Beach, Calif.; former NFL playerFormer Castaway (TBA)
Survivor: Redemption Island premieres Wednesday, Feb. 16 on CBS.