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January 13, 2003

"Survivor: Amazon" Cast Revealed

From: E! Online - 13 Jan 2003

by Lia Haberman

It's Mars versus Venus as 16 all new Survivor contestants struggle to be crowned king or queen of the jungle.

CBS announced its new crop of castaways today for Survivor: The Amazon. And the Eye promises a new twist in the sixth installment of the successful franchise, billing it the "ultimate battle of sexes."

The two tribes of eight men and eight women appear well matched. The dudes of Tambaqui include a rocket scientist, always useful, and a triathlon coach, good for endurance challenges. But the dames of Jabaru tribe hold a trump card: a swimsuit model (never underestimate the power of a scantily clad Amazonian).

And just in case things get out of hand, there's a travel agent who also lists herself as an abstinence counselor and a deputy district attorney who can throw the book at anyone who gets out of line.

The camera-ready squatters also include an actor, computer projects coordinator, principal, tax accountant, contractor, restaurant designer, marketing director, saleswoman, gym teacher, guide for the deaf and a school guidance counselor (herself deaf--the first time the reality show has had a contestant with a physical disability).

In fact, it seems like the show's most powerful enemy may be the surroundings themselves. The Survivors, who were island-bound in three of the last five versions, are landlocked in Survivor 6.

The show's location scouts have outdone themselves this time, stranding the would-be Richard Hatches by the remote Rio Negro river in the heart of the Amazon in Brazil.

Aside the from the scorching temperatures and the dangers of flooding (it's wet season in the rainforest), other threats to the contestants include flesh-eating piranhas, lurking jaguars, caiman alligators and anacondas.

Welcome to the jungle.

The foolhardy group, who will risk 39 days in the ominous tropical forest for a chance to win the million bucks, range in age from 21 to 56 with the majority in their 20s and early 30s. Good times.

And while it's men against women in this series' installment, the 10 singles have a definite numbers advantage over the six married Survivors. (The swimsuit model is single in case you were wondering; the abstinence counselor is married in case you weren't.)

Here's a quick rundown of who will try to outwit, outlast and outplay:

* Ryan Aiken, 23, model/actor from Ellicott City, Maryland
* Alex Bell, 32, triathlon coach from Los Angeles
* Rob Cesternino, 24, computer projects coordinator from Wantagh, New York
* Dave Johnson, 22, rocket scientist from Pasadena, California
* Butch Lockley, 50, middle school principal from Olney, Illinois
* Daniel Lue, 27, tax accountant from Houston
* Roger Sexton, 56, vice president of estimating for a construction company, Valencia, California
* Matthew von Ertfelda, 33, restaurant designer from Washington, D.C.
* Deena Bennett, 35, deputy district attorney from Riverside, California
* Jeanne Hebert, 41, director of marketing for the New England Dairy promotions board from North Attleboro, Massachusetts
* Janet Koth, 47, travel agent/abstinence counselor from Manchester, Missouri
* Shawna Mitchell, 23, retail clothing saleswoman from Redwood City, California
* Jenna Morasca, 21, swimsuit model from Pittsburgh
* Christy Smith, 24, children adventure guide for the deaf from Basalt, Colorado
* Heidi Strobel, 24, physical education and health teacher from Eldon, Missouri
* JoAnna Ward, 31, school guidance counselor from Orangesburg, South Carolina.

The gender divide comes as the series starts to lose momentum among viewers. While the last season of Survivor scored a very respectable average of 21.2 million viewers per episode and 24 million for the finale, the series is no longer winning its Thursday night time slot against Friends. Producers are still going ahead with a seventh season in an undetermined locale.

The sixth season of sneaky alliances, restrictive rations, harsh elements and Jeff Probst will premiere February 13 on CBS.

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