Survivor Cook Islands cast includes at least three actors, 13 people from California

CBS has just unveiled the site for Survivor Cook Islands, following this morning’s announcement of the season’s big twist. And while the cast may be diverse ethnically, geographically, they are homogenous. Of the 20 players, 13 are from California, and nine of those are from Los Angeles. A few are listed by other cities to help disguise this fact, but Venice and Marina Del Rey are both basically part of Los Angeles.

Even more incredibly, many of them are actors, two of whom have together had parts on all three CSIs. Sundra Oakley was on CSI Miami, while Jonathan Penner was on CSI New York and the original version. While Sundra is listed in her CBS bio as an actress, Jonathan is listed as a writer/producer, as he wrote and produced the TV movie version of The Lone Ranger.

There’s also Sekou Bunch, who was in “Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue,” and while his name is distinct enough to prove that’s probably him, there is a Billy Garcia who’s an actor, although it’s unclear if he’s the same person as the cast member, just as it’s unknown if Jessica Smith is one of the many people listed on IMDB. In addition, the Becky Lee who’s a director is probably not the attorney with the same name who’s on the show. But 25-year-old Oscar, who’s identified as a waiter living in Venice, is probably just an actor who’s yet to be cast.

In any case, that’s quite a few actors; apparently, recruiting people for the show consisted of calling agents and walking into casting offices.

Survivor: Cook Islands [CBS]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.