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VIDEO Survivor: Philippines — Meet The 15 New Castaways

August 20, 2012 04:00 PM by Ryan Haidet

What a crazy cast of characters!  CBS has revealed the 15 new castaways competing on Survivor: Philippines in hopes of claiming the $1 million prize.  Among the newbies include a former teen television star, a cancer survivor, a retired Major League Baseball player, a sex therapist, a tire worker who says one of his pet peeves is ice cream sprinkles(!) and nobody from the infamous Hantz family.  I know, that last one is tough to believe.  They will all be divided into three tribes — Tandang (rooster), Kalabaw (water buffalo) and Matsing (monkey) — as a trio of former players return to compete once again.  Those three contestants, who won’t be revealed until later this week, are all men who were medically evacuated during a previous season.  They will each be joining one of the three tribes.  If you can’t wait to learn who is among the three returning players, check out our previous story to see who they are.  We’re using this article to help get you learn more about the 15 newbies before the big 90-minute premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Full bios of each of the 15 new castaways:

Lisa Whelchel, 49

Tandang tribe

Current residence: Dallas, Texas

Occupation: Former TV teen star (“The Facts of Life”)

Personal claim to fame: My three delightful and interesting children and the close friendship we enjoy.

Inspiration in life: I admire and respect Oprah. She has used her fame and fortune to help people.

Hobbies: Reading, scrapbooking and traveling.

Pet peeves: People who judge other people.

Three words to describe you: Quick-witted, sharp-minded and brave-hearted.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A Bible with giant print because I don’t know if I would have my reading glasses. A journal and a pen because I have a terrible memory and I don’t want to forget a minute of this experience. Playing cards  because I love to play games.

Survivor contestant you are most like: Colby — I’m competitive, genuine and from Texas!

Reason for being on Survivor: I love the game and was born to play it. Plus, I want to meet Jeff Probst.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I am strong physically, intellectually and in will.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: My inherent make up is to assess the big-picture goal, determine the steps to reach it, gain everything there is to learn about how to accomplish the goal, jump in with both feet, connect with other people’s strengths and never give up until the job is done.

Abi-Maria Gomes, 32

Tandang tribe

Current residence: Los Angeles

Occupation: Business student

Personal claim to fame: Traveling the world on my own and becoming an American citizen. I now have dual citizenship in the United States and Brazil.

Inspiration in life: Steve Jobs’ words: “Stay Hungry. Stay foolish.”

Hobbies: Languages, hiking, dancing, surfing and skiing.

Pet peeves: Complainers.

Three words to describe you: Driven, creative and charming.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? I would bring a book to distract me. I would bring a pen for writing. And I would bring a notebook to write on.

Survivor contestant you are most like: Parvati — she is as charming as I am.

Reason for being on Survivor: The money!

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I bring social skills and team work. I am a motivator. I will also bring a very positive energy.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: I will bring my “A” game! I am strategic, I am athletic and I have an ability to persuade situations to my favor.

Roberta “RC” Saint-Amour, 27

Tandang tribe

Current residence: New York, N.Y.

Occupation: Investment banker

Personal claim to fame: I was the 112th Wellesley Hoop Rolling Champion — the oldest and most beloved Wellesley tradition.  The winner is said to be the first person in her class to achieve success, however she defines it.

Inspiration in life: My mother — she has always been there for me, guiding me, helping me, teaching me right from wrong and sacrificing for me. She always wants the best for me and inspires me to believe that my happiness only comes from my own self-respect.

Hobbies: Swimming, running and traveling.

Pet peeves: Annoying people and inefficiency.

Three words to describe you: Outgoing, headstrong and exuberant.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A good book that I could read over and over again. A puppy, so I can have at least one loyal friend. A radio to listen to music and news.

Survivor contestant you are most like: None — I’m an original. There’s no one like me!

Reason for being on Survivor: I have been a huge fan of Survivor since the beginning. I want to be on the show to win Sole Survivor and prove to myself that I can do it.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I would be a great physical asset for the team. I am mentally tough and very little bothers me.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: I have the perfect combination of physical and mental strengths. I’m an athlete and have been a competitive swimmer since the age of 5. I hold a Masters All-American title, earned 12 Top 10 national Master’s records in the last four years, held numerous college and high school records. I ran a half Boston marathon without training and swam the English Channel. As an investment banker, I’m very analytical and have survived Wall Street and the fall of Bear Stearns.

Artis Silvester, 53

Tandang tribe

Current residence: Terry Town, La.

Occupation: Computer engineer

Personal claim to fame: Beating stage 4 cancer.

Inspiration in life: My ex-wife — she’s my light, my strength, my everything. I pray everyd ay that we are brought back together.

Hobbies: Martial arts, motorcycle riding and bowling.

Pet peeves: Traffic, know-it-all people, bullies or people that prey or pick on those weaker than themselves.

Three words to describe you: Spontaneous (sometimes explosive), opinionated and competitive.

Survivor contestant you are most like: I’m a combination of Rudy, Rupert and James. I have Rudy and Rupert’s cunning leadership and likability. I have James’s physical appeal — even at 52.

Reason for being on Survivor: The million-dollar prize and the chance for the experience of a lifetime. Plus, I’m tired of yelling and screaming at my TV about how the contestants are playing.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I have physical and mental strength, creativity, adaptability and a sense of humor. I’m an incredible manipulator and I have an uncanny ability to remain calm in stressful situations.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: When the odds are stacked against me that is when I shine the most. Although I’m definitely no angel, I believe I do have a guardian angel watching over me. No one has been more persistent than me to be on the show, and it is because I know I can win if given the chance.

Peter “Pete” Yurkowski, 24

Tandang tribe

Current residence: Holmdel, N.J.

Occupation: Engineering graduate

Personal claim to fame: Graduating with an engineering degree and putting it on the back burner. Got to do what you love.

Hobbies: Going to bars and meeting girls, going to the gym and making beats.

Pet peeves: Stupid people definitely sit at #1. But, here goes the list: ditsy girls, girls that wear tiaras to bars on their birthdays, meatheads, people that are happy all the time, people that beat around the bush, bad ideas, traffic circles, buildings that are structurally unsound and escalators — especially when they don’t work.

Three words to describe you: Crazy, funny, manipulative and intelligent.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? My stuffed pillow pet turtle named Hambone. He is coming, because Hambone goes where I go. He will be an icon for the show. Plus, how can girls not melt when they find out that one of the things I brought was a stuffed animal. A bottle of rum. Ukrainian flag — Grandpa would be proud.

Survivor contestant you are most like: Russell Hantz, because he manipulated everyone and was a boss the entire time. Puppet mastery is the name of the game.

Reason for being on Survivor: I want to be the alpha male. This show is predominately about who is the leader of the pack, and that’s me. I’ve been busy with school and graduation but now that’s all over. It’s my time to dominate this game and win it. Plus, I want a million dollars.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I’m strong, I’m agile, I have excellent balance, I’m intelligent, I can empower you through the use of speech, I can strategize like Napoleon and I’m a leader.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: I take charge of situations and am willing to put my reputation on the line to manipulate and make it to the end. I am not on the island to make friends. I want to win. I have the athletic and intellectual means to conquer anything and anyone you throw at me.

Sarah Dawson, 28

Kalabaw tribe

Current residence: Silver Spring, Md.

Occupation: Insurance sales

Personal claim to fame: My car was once towed and I was able to talk the owner of the towing company into returning it for free. I have become a local legend.

Inspiration in life: Neil Patrick Harris.  Have you seen that man do a toe touch? Quite inspiring.

Hobbies: Surfing and adventure travel.  I love getting to know foreign cultures and flipping strangers into amigos.  Also, I think sarcasm should qualify as a hobby; it is an underrated art.

Pet peeves: Societal pressures of conformity and disrespectful men.

Three words to describe you: Outgoing, spirited and competitive.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and shy?  A horse, an audience and a hot guy chef.

Survivor contestant you are most like: Sugar, for her uncompromising moral compass and passion, and Sandra, because she is extremely calculating and strategic.

Reason for being on Survivor: I want to compete, be the sole Survivor and win $1 million!

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I am personable, comfortable, experienced outdoors and very competitive. I made someone cry while playing Cranium once.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: People readily trust me, I am very good as a competitor, I won’t make anyone too bitter and I can talk people into anything.

Katie Hanson, 22

Kalabaw tribe

Current residence: Newark, Del.

Occupation: Former Miss Delaware

Personal claim to fame: I was Miss Delaware USA for 2011 and competed at the national level at Miss USA.

Inspiration in life: Alice Wells, because she was appointed the first female police officer in the nation and paved the way for other females in the police force.

Hobbies: Running, working out and traveling.

Pet peeves: I hate bitchy, conceited girls. Those are the girls I love to beat when I compete against them in beauty pageants.

Three words to describe you: Very outgoing, athletic and intelligent.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?

Toilet paper — for obvious reasons and to help start a fire. A toothbrush — got to have fresh breath for the hot guys on the island. My Miss Delaware sweater — it can keep me warm at night and it also reminds me that if I put my mind to something I can accomplish it!

Survivor contestant you are most like: Danni Boatwright! I respect her because she proved that pageant girls can kick ass on Survivor and take home the million dollars. It will happen again!

Reason for being a Survivor: Winning money and challenges! And meeting the guy of my dreams!

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I love the outdoors, which means I will be able to build shelter and catch food. I am very athletic so I know I will be beneficial to my tribe and help us win the immunity challenges.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: I feel like I am a well-rounded individual. I excel in athletic competitions and I’m intelligent with a drive to win. That money is mine!

Jeff Kent, 44

Kalabaw tribe

Current residence: Austin, Texas

Occupation: Retired Major League Baseball Player. I played for the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Personal claim to fame: Being a husband and a father to four kids, with the ability to provide them with every opportunity to be successful.

Inspiration in life: My dad is my hero for instilling in me the desire to be the best you can in all that you do, and setting a great example for a happy family.

Hobbies: Hunting, motocross and golf.

Pet peeves: Stupid people and people who talk too much.

Three words to describe you: Competitive, resilient and hardheaded.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A lounge chair to lounge in and sleep in. My iPod to motivate me and tune things out. A pillow to put my most valuable body part on a soft spot.

Survivor contestant you are most like: Colby Donaldson — for our athletic ability, Southern charm and gamesmanship.

Reason for being on Survivor: To challenge my talents and survival skills under isolated circumstances, and to prove to my family that being resilient pays off.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I enjoy hunting and fishing. I know how to cook outdoors, and I’m good at improvising.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: With my survival skills and instincts, living on an island for 39 days will be easy. Utilizing the other survivors in alliances and/or challenges will take skills that I’ve mastered throughout my baseball career. Motivating and manipulating people is what I did best in the locker room and on the field.

Dana Lambert, 32

Kalabaw tribe

Current residence: Winston-Salem, N.C.

Occupation: Cosmetologist

Personal claim to fame: Truthfully, I have no claim to fame. My friends tell me that my claim to fame is my blonde spiky hair.

Inspiration in life: Helen Keller, because she succeeded and prevailed against overwhelming odds, and for her work with women’s rights and suffrage.

Hobbies: Home renovations, camping/being outdoors and going out dancing with friends.

Pet peeves: Slow-moving people as well as negativity, arrogance, laziness and narrow-mindedness.

Three words to describe you: Energetic, well-rounded, family-oriented.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? Tweezers — so it doesn’t look like I’m wearing a headband on camera. Hair product — because my hair sticks straight up. Picture of my family — to remind myself of the lives it will change if I win.

Survivor contestant you are most like: Boston Rob, for his unconquerable spirit and determination.

Reason for being on Survivor: For the experience and the money.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I’m resourceful, I’m good at finding solutions to problems and I’m a hard worker. Plus, I have experience camping. I can cook and help forage for food. I’m a team player.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: I think I have just the right amount of perceptiveness and social skills to succeed. I’m competitive and my life experiences have taught me that observing, timing and determination can go farther than anyone thinks.

Carter Williams, 24

Kalabow tribe

Current residence: Shawnee, Kan.

Occupation: Track coach. I motivate and inspire.

Personal claim to fame: Graduating college while running all four years.

Inspiration in life: My dad. I see what he has done for me! The guy has a heart of a champ!

Hobbies: Surfing, running and eating meals with friends.

Pet peeves: Laziness!

Three words to describe you: Ambitious, inspiring (I’m a dreamer) and lighthearted.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? Journal — to document my thoughts. A rope swing — because a rope swing on your own private island…. doesn’t get much cooler than that. My mom — she would dominate!

Survivor contestant you are most like: I want to play in challenges with a lot of heart like Ozzy did, but I think I have a personality that is more similar to Erik Reichenbach or Fabio.

Reason for being on Survivor: Glory! All the people in my generation who say, “oh… I could win that show…” I say, “put up or shut up.” Including me.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I bring people together and make them laugh. That’s important. I’m a leader, and I’m probably one of the best tree climbers.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: People enjoy me. I’m competitive but down to earth. I won’t slack off and I’m physically built, like a lot of past winners.

Malcolm Freberg, 25

Matsing tribe

Current residence: Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Occupation: Bartender

Personal claim to fame: In college, I helped to organize and run a program that paired varsity athletes with underprivileged children in a free-to-join sports league. It still exists today.

Inspiration in life: O.J. Simpson, before the legal drama. When he was a kid, he had rickets. For his birthday, when he was still young, his father took him to a signing to meet Jim Brown, and O.J. hobbled right up to him and told him he was going to break all his records, which he eventually did. I’m a sucker for underdog stories.

Hobbies: Exercising, writing/reading and partying.

Pet peeves: Dumb people.

Three words to describe you: Charming, brilliant and cocky.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? Hair ties — I can’t see anything without them. Book of puzzles — your mind is a muscle and needs to be kept in shape. Whiskey — to unwind after a hard day of challenge domination and competitor manipulation.

Survivor contestant you are most like: I think I will play most like Russell. You can control and rule with an iron first. You just have to be clever enough for them to thank you for it in the end. I’ll run the show from day 1 until I’m handed an oversized check with my name on it.

Reason for being on Survivor: I’ve been watching Survivor since I was 12 years old. Some kids grow up watching baseball on TV and dream of getting their chance to play in the big leagues. I grew up watching and dreaming about playing Survivor.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I’m smart, I’m athletic and I’m nice to look at.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: There’s no reason to play the game if you’re not playing to win. I’m not trying to see ‘if I have what it takes’ or ‘how far I can make it.’ The best thing I have going for me is my single-mindedness to be the champion.

Zane Knight, 28

Matsing tribe

Current residence: Danville, Va.

Occupation: Tire repair

Inspiration in life: Jesus and my wife.

Hobbies: Working, hunting and fishing.

Pet peeves: Butt-kissing, lazy people and ice cream sprinkles.

Three words to describe you: Influential, opinionated and ready.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? All I need are my old boots (I feel naked without them) and my Yankees hat.

Survivor contestant you are most like: Brandon (Hantz). If you all thought he was wild, wait till you get a load of me!

Reason for being on Survivor: I’ve always wanted my own tow truck, but working like I do now, I won’t ever be able to afford it.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I believe I can come into this game and make everybody work for me till I don’t need them anymore. I can be sweet like Boston Rob, a nonthreatening like Cochran, crazy like Phillip or a snake like Russell. I am a million dollars.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: I know I will be the final Survivor because I have the gift of gab. I’m very outgoing and can have a conversation with the president or a crackhead. I was made for this game!

Angie Layton, 20

Matsing tribe

Current residence: Provo, Utah

Occupation: Model/student

Personal claim to fame: I’m Miss Utah Teen USA 2010 and 3rd runner-up Miss Teen USA 2010.

Inspiration in life: My family. I’m the youngest of five older brothers and one sister. They taught me how to be tough and have thick skin, and to be proud of who you are, no matter what.

Hobbies: All sports, working out, scrapbooking and hanging with my peeps.

Pet peeves: Lazy people and slow drivers.

Three words to describe you: Competitive, confident and happy.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? The only thing I would bring is my camera so I could take pictures and scrapbook my journey.

Survivor contestant you are most like: Fabio — because people underestimated him for a “dumb blonde” and he used that to his advantage. At the end, he surprised everyone. I am the same way!

Reason for being on Survivor: I want to win, meet some hotties and prove to everyone that I can do it.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: Because I am mentally strong, and I have what it takes to survive the elements and challenges. I’m also loyal and easy to get along with.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: I know I can manipulate my way to the top! But, most importantly I am extremely competitive and am driven to succeed. I’m not afraid of anything.

Roxanne “Roxy” Morris, 28

Matsing tribe

Current residence: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Occupation: Seminary student

Personal claim to fame: Accepting the call of God to ministry.

Inspiration in life: Jesus Christ! He gave up his life for the world, and that is the most inspiring thing anyone could ever do.

Hobbies: International travel, trying new sports, i.e., fencing, snowboarding, horseback riding and dancing.

Pet peeves: People who blame their present on their past and people who enjoy showcasing their insecurities.

Three words to describe you: Witty, wise and a warrior.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? My Bible. A small rock (found in the Valley of Elah, the place where David killed Goliath) that I brought from Israel. I would also bring my small wooden cross necklace. My journal, because I like to record my thoughts and dreams.

Survivor contestant you are most like: Probably Brandon (Hantz), because he dukes it out everyday in life alongside Jesus and is continuing to find his identity in Christ.

Reason for being on Survivor: I want to win the million dollars so I can give to my church and hopefully help get them their own building. Right now, we rent a space. I also want to have my own ministry that travels the world from mission to mission. I also think it is an excellent opportunity to meet people and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I have traveled on small budgets through Ghana and Togo. My parents are originally from rural parts of the Caribbean, so relying on natural resources is not foreign to me. I am legit fit. Army strong!

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: Because the game isn’t very different from real life. As a Christian, every day you are faced with the choice between God’s principles and your personal, selfish preferences.

Denise Stapley, 41

Matsing tribe

Current residence: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Occupation: Sex therapist

Personal claim to fame: The decision to leave the safety and stability of my previous job to open my own business is without a doubt my proudest accomplishment. It took planning and preparation to make that transition smooth and successful. It also took some serious courage to risk the financial security I had.

Inspiration in life: At this point in my life, I struggle to identify any one hero, but a hero in my eyes is someone who follows their passion.

Hobbies: Sprint triathlons, reading and playing dress up/goofing off with my kiddo.

Pet peeves: My #1 pet peeve is laziness and people who expect that change will happen without them having to put in any real level of effort. Life is what you make it, folks… dig deep!

Three words to describe you: Determined, energetic and goofy.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? A seriously sturdy jogging bra — no one needs to see my 40 year-old ta-tas dangling out. This is for function, not fashion. My baseball cap or pink do-rag — sheer comfort and a reflection of who I really am. My favorite picture of my husband and daughter for motivation and connection with them.

Survivor contestant you are most like: I really like Stephenie from Survivor: Palau. If that wasn’t “digging deep,” I don’t know what is. She has sheer willpower and determination. That is what drives me.

Reason for being on Survivor: Believe it or not, for the experience!

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: At work, I have to be able to engage and connect on some level with every person who walks through my door. I’m also a worker bee who will seek out ways to help camp life run smoothly.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: I have a job that requires the ability to engage people to share very personal information and gain their trust to know it will remain confidential. Survivor will require that same skill set and honestly, I’m good at it. My motto in business, life and now Survivor is “keep it simple, keep it smart.”

What are your first impressions of the 15 new castaways?  Who is your favorite and who is your least favorite based at this point?  Are you excited for the upcoming season?  Sound off and leave a comment below!

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Photo Credit: CBS

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