16 Survivor Tocantins cast members announced, includes youngest Survivor ever

CBS officially revealed the 16 cast members who went to Brazil last fall and competed in the show’s 18th season, Survivor Tocantins, and they include the founder of Bear Naked granola, an SWV singer, and the show’s youngest contestant ever, a 19-year-old student who’s a Survivor fanatic and gay.

While unfounded rumors about the 18th season–the first to allow 18-year-old applicants–included having 18 18-year-olds, there are, in fact, no 18-year-old cast members, but the show does have its youngest cast member ever: Spencer Duhm, a student at the University of Florida, who is 19. (Previously, producers made an exception for 20-year-old Frosti Zernow.) However, this season almost had zero cast members under the age of 24, since Spencer was actually an alternate subbed in at literally the last minute.

Tomorrow, look for my ranking of the 16 players, and starting next week, I’ll post an interview a day with analysis of their potential as players. (In the interest of full disclosure, as with last season, I agreed not to reveal contestants’ identities until after CBS did, and ironically TV Guide jumped the gun. Alas.) For now, though, here’s CBS’ official cast list and their ages and occupations, followed by a video preview of the cast and Jeff Probst’s cast preview.

  • Tyson Apostol, 29, Lindon, Utah, pro cyclist
  • Debra “Debbie” Beebee, 46, Auburn, Ala., middle school principal
  • Sandy Burgin, 53, Louisville, Ky, bus driver
  • Joe Dowdle, 26, Austin, Texas, real estate
  • Spencer Duhm, 19, Lakeland, Fla., student
  • Carolina Eastwood, 26, West Hollywood, Calif., bartender
  • Stephen Fishbach, 29, New York, corporate consultant
  • Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George, 37, Nashville, Tenn., former pop star
  • Erinn Lobdell, 26, Waukesha, Wisc., hairstylist
  • Sierra Reed, 23, Los Angeles, model
  • Jerry Sims, 49, Rock Hill, S.C., U.S. Army sergeant
  • Candace Smith, 31, Dayton, Ohio, attorney
  • Brendan Synnott, 30, New York, entrepreneur
  • James “JT” Thomas Jr., 24, Samson, Ala., cattle rancher
  • Benjamin “Coach” Wade, 37, Bolivar, Mo., soccer coach
  • Sydney Wheeler, 24, Raleigh, N.C., model

Survivor Tocantins: Meet the Cast and Survivor Tocantins: Jeff Probst [CBS]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.