Meet the Cast of “Survivor: Island of the Idols”

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings, exit interviews, and full episode recaps.  So, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute fun.

The cast for the 39th season of the legendary reality show “Survivor” was revealed by CBS on Monday morning. This collection of 20 all-new players has been divided into two tribes that have nothing to do with their ability to heal, be heroic, or hustle. They will battle it out for a chance to meet “Survivor” Hall of Famers “Boston” Rob Mariano and “Where Sandra’s From” Sandra Diaz-Twine. They could also win a million bucks.

Name: Aaron Meredith 
Age: 36
Hometown: Uncasville, Connecticut
Occupation: Gym Owner
What Accomplishment Are You Most Proud Of: My son. He is unbelievably smart, kind and funny.
Hobbies: Lifting, traveling, and outdoor activities.
Three Words to Describe You: Attractive, intelligent, and strong.
Name: Chelsea Walker
Age: 26
Hometown: Marlton, New Jersey
Occupation: Digital Content Creator
What is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of: Getting on “Survivor.” I started applying to the show when I was 21. Little did I know at that point that this would be the start to a very long journey. After almost six straight years of applying, with rejection, after rejection, after rejection, I finally contemplated throwing in the towel. Yet, as hard as I tried to push it away, I could never get the thoughts and urges to play out of my mind and out of my heart.
Inspiration in Life: Larry David because he respects wood.
Hobbies: Working out, going to the beach, soccer, rooting for Philly sports teams, and watching “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Three Words to Describe You: Driven, competitive and scrappy.
Name: Dean Kowalski
Age: 28
Hometown: Westfield, New Jersey
Occupation: Tech Sales
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Achieving the highest success rate of all Miami Algebra 1 teachers for students passing the end of year exam.
Hobbies: Basketball, crafts, and DJ-ing.
Three Words to Describe You: Jovial, observant, and likeable.
Name: Elaine Stott
Age: 41
Hometown: Woodbine, Kentucky
Occupation: Factory Worker
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Stepping up and taking care of my loved ones when they needed me. I took care of my grandpa who helped raise me when he got sick until he passed. My godmother lost her daughter and her husband, then had a stroke all within 8 months. I was all she had to get through everything. My mom recently was in a coma and on life support. For months, she fought to get stronger and relearn everything. I was by her side the whole time. The plan was for her to come live with me afterwards so I could take care of her. Unfortunately, she passed away from complications before that could happen. To some, stuff like that may not be an accomplishment, but to me that’s the only stuff that matters. I’m proud to be that kind of person.
Hobbies: Four-wheeling, fishing, and taking my boat to the lake.
Three Words to Describe You: Independent, stubborn, and kind.
Name: Elizabeth Beisel
Age: 26
Hometown: Saunderstown, Rhode Island
Occupation: Olympic Medalist
What is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of: Becoming the youngest member of the United States Olympic Team in 2008 at 15 years old.
Hobbies: Surfing, violin, and wakeboarding.
Three Words to Describe You: Gregarious, competitive, and loyal.
Name: Karishma Patel
Age: 37
Hometown:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Personal Injury Lawyer
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: I’ve taken three state bar exams – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Texas – and passed them all on the first try.
Hobbies: Experimental cooking, hosting theme parties, and reading travel blogs.
Three Words to Describe You: Reliable, impulsive, and charismatic.
Name: Missy Byrd
Age: 24
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia
Occupation: Air Force Veteran
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Always finding a way to travel the world regardless of budget. We all deserve to see what’s out there.
Hobbies: Hiking, traveling, immersing myself into the culture I’m visiting, and winning.
Three Words to Describe You: Relentless, clever, and decently dope.
Name: Ronnie Bardah
Age: 35
Hometown: Brockton, Massachusetts
Occupation: Pro Poker Player
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Holding the world record for most consecutive cashes in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event. Also getting my dad out of Brockton and buying him a place in Henderson, Nevada!
Hobbies: Kickboxing, beatboxing, and hiking.
Three Words to Describe You: Resilient, analytical, and savvy.
Name: Tom Laidlaw
Age: 60
Hometown: Brampton, Ontario Canada   
Occupation: Former NHL Player
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Raising my two sons to be strong, independent men.
Hobbies: Watching “Survivor, anything fitness,  and hanging with the people I love.
Three Words to Describe You: Disciplined, dedicated, and stubborn.
Name: Vince Moua
Age: 27
Hometown: Merced, California
Occupation: Admissions Counselor
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: It might seem a bit trivial, but I am most proud of buying my mother a new and modern refrigerator for Mother’s Day in 2017. She and my father were not able to afford new appliances and had been using the same old refrigerator for 12 years, so it was really meaningful for me to buy her something she really wanted and needed.
Hobbies: Singing, photography, thrifting, and hunting for cool/unique cafes.
Three Words to Describe You: Shamelessly-me, quick-witted, and not-afraid-to-flip-tables.

 

Name: Dan Spilo
Age: 48
Hometown: New York, New York
Occupation: Talent Manager
What Accomplishment Are You Most Proud Of: Raising two loving, considerate boys, and working hard to keep a marriage fun, loving and passionate for 20 years.
Hobbies: Adventure travel, movies, and fitness.
Three Words to Describe You: Hardworking, articulate and charming.
Name: Jack Nichting
Age: 23
Hometown: Newport News, Virginia
Occupation: Graduate Student
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Winning the National Championship for club soccer my senior year of college!
Hobbies: CrossFit, listening to and singing musicals, all-you-can-eat sushi, and exploring the world.
Three Words to Describe You: Determined, dreamer and social.
Name: Jamal Shipman
Age: 33
Hometown: Jersey City, New Jersey
Occupation: College Administrator
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: My educational path is something I’m most proud of. After 8 years at P.S. 27, a Jersey City public school where my mom is still a teacher, I was accepted to the Prep for Prep program in New York. That experience prepared me for high school at Milton Academy, a New England prep school, which opened the door for me to attend and graduate from Brown University, an Ivy League school in Providence, R.I. With some bumps along the way and lots of help from those who care about me, I was able to make it through and be where I am today.
Hobbies: Coaching basketball, taking West African and salsa dance lessons, teaching myself the bass guitar, and losing in fantasy football leagues.
Three Words to Describe You: Balanced, inquisitive, and present.
Name: Janet Carbin
Age: 59
Hometown: Neptune, New Jersey
Occupation: Chief Lifeguard
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Saving many lives in the ocean and of course, my kids and my grandchildren.
Hobbies: Body surfing, softball, and rowing lifeguard boats.
Three Words to Describe You: Aggressive, enthusiastic and vivacious.
Name: Jason Linden
Age: 32
Hometown: New York, New York
Occupation: Personal Injury Lawyer
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Starting my own firm. I am really proud of myself and it makes me happy. I’m also proud of the life my wife and I are building together. We are both blossoming in our respective businesses at the same time. We are just very in sync right now.
Hobbies: Sports, music, and learning new things
Three Words to Describe You: Charismatic, determined, and direct.
Name: Kellee Kim
Age: 29
Hometown: Newport Beach, California
Occupation: MBA Student
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Getting onto the Harvard Varsity Soccer team! It was a very long passion and journey and it was a huge accomplishment to be able to play in college.
Hobbies: Settlers of Catan (Cities and Knight), skiing, and soccer.
Three Words to Describe You: Fun, energetic, and driven.
Name: Lauren Beck
Age: 28
Hometown: Bakersfield, California and Rochester Hills, Michigan
Occupation: Nanny
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Moving across the country from Michigan to Los Angeles at 17 years of age and creating a stable life for myself. We all know Los Angeles rent is no joke, and even though a lot of people I know have moved home, I’ve been able to stick it out. Tenacity is my middle name!
Hobbies: Eating an entire bag of Hot Cheetos in one sitting while binge watching true-crime shows, laughing at my own jokes, writing/blogging, music festivals, talking people’s ears off…my step-dad says I have the gift of gab, thanks dad!
Three Words to Describe You: Bubbly, adaptable, and diligent.
Name: Molly Byman
Age: 27
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation: Law Student
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Teaching middle school for five years. Thanks to the two schools where I taught, my two incredible department heads, and my 400+ impressive students, I’ll forever be that person who says that teaching was the hardest but most rewarding job she’s ever had.
Hobbies: Running, skiing, biking, hiking, reading, board games, traveling, and balling out for delicious meals.
Three Words to Describe You: Competitive, resilient, and vibrant.
Name: Noura Salman
Age: 36
Hometown: London, UK/Bethesda, Maryland
Occupation: Entrepreneur
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: Experiencing the world, living in many places, trying many jobs, careers and businesses. Exploring many different people and relationships; going out on my own and making my own living and path best suited for me!
Hobbies: Working out, creating healthy foods and beverages in the kitchen, traveling and social media posting on self-help, food and fitness.
Three Words to Describe You: Ambitious, passionate, and energetic.
Name: Tommy Sheehan
Age: 26
Hometown: Bayville, New York
Occupation: 4th Grade Teacher
What is the Accomplishment you are Most Proud of: I am proud of all the children’s lives I have changed teaching. Also, I have a really killer Disney coffee mug collection.
Hobbies: Surfing, sports (basketball, volleyball, football), and asking questions to my magic eight ball.
Three Words to Describe You: Outgoing, competitive and goofy.

Don’t miss the 90-minute season premiere of “Survivor: Island of the Idols,” Wednesday September 25, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes