It’s time for another batch of strangers to outwit, outplay and outlast each other, as Survivor season 43 is underway on CBS. While the remote conditions, challenges and conflicts have made the competition series a hit, we can’t discount the people who bring all those elements to life: the cast.
The 18 contestants are competing for the chance to win $1 million on the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji. Jeff Probst, the only host Survivor has ever known, is back again, and said on Instagram (opens in new tab) this season they’re going to look at "how that society that they form directly impacts the game they’re playing." Remember, the Sole Survivor isn’t just an exceptional player; they also have to convince the jury to give them the prize money.
Parade (opens in new tab) interviewed the players to get more details on who they are outside of the Survivor setting, but fans are also getting to know the players watching the show. We'll keep this page updated as the season go along with eliminations and other fun tidbits.
So without further adieu, let's meet the Survivor season 43 cast.
Cody Assenmacher is from Honolulu, Hawai’i, and is in elevator sales. The 35-year-old plans to use his experiences, profession and the fact that he’s lived in different cities to his advantage. Cody believes that having wisdom ahead of his time will help him communicate with players older than him and his youthful spirit will allow him to relate to younger players.
Lindsay Carmine is a pediatric nurse from Downingtown, Pa. Her dream to be on Survivor has been present for over two decades. The 42-year-old says that she’s relentless, resourceful and compassionate, but people are surprised by how competitive she is, especially as she gets older.
Cassidy Clark was cast for season 41 of Survivor, but the pandemic hit just days before she was set to play. The 26-year-old fashion designer from Austin, Texas, prepared harder during reapplication and now she’s back. Cassidy admires past player Kim Spradlin and her "low-key assassin" game and plans to “manipulate and persuade others” in her own way.
Having quit his job to join Survivor, 36-year-old Geo Bustamante is arriving from Honolulu, Hawai’i. The project manager says that laziness and people who don’t have common courtesy are his pet peeves. When asked to describe which past player he’ll play his game most like, he said, "It would have to be a combination of [John] Cochran and Boston Rob [Mariano]. I am not as physical as Rob, but I will be strategic like Cochran."
Mike Gabler is a 52-year-old heart valve specialist from Meridian, Idaho. A self-described intense, energetic and fun person, Mike thinks he’ll play the game most like past player Sandra DIaz-Twine. "She was always in the right place at the right time. She had phenomenal strategies and game play," he said.
Karla Cruz Godoy
Karla Cruz Godoy is welcomed from Newark, Del., where she is an educational project manager. The 28-year-old grew up in a low-income household to Mexican immigrant parents. Karla lives by the motto, "if you don’t like something, change it" and will utilize her resilient nature and eavesdropping skills to take the prize.
James Jones is a 37-year-old event planner from Philadelphia. When he was 12 years old, he won the United States Chess Open (the largest chess tournament in the US) for his rating bracket. James thrives and finds a certain comfort in chaos, which he believes will lend a hand in him becoming the Sole Survivor.
Owen Knight is a 30-year-old college admissions director from New Orleans. Owen considers himself an unassuming triple threat, which will be the key to him winning the $1 million. "I would love to play a similar game to Adam Klein. He kept his threat level low, had good relationships with everyone and was his authentic, superfan self," he said.
Noelle Lambert is a 25-year-old from Manchester, N.H. and a US paralympian who competed at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. After an accident, Noelle had her leg amputated in 2016, but has never let her prosthetic define her. She plans to channel Kelley Wentworth’s second season in her own game. "Her tribe mates didn’t think she was a big threat, but she found hidden immunity idols and created blindsides to further herself in the game," Noelle said.
Sami Layadi is 19 years old and from Las Vegas. The pet cremator calls himself unpredictable, tenacious and indecisive and is into sports, fitness and journaling. Sami says that he’s "too conversationally and emotionally experienced with people to be unaware of my standing in the game at all times." He’s also too determined to get comfortable.
Jesse Lopez is joining the cast from Durham, N.C. The 30-year-old went from being a gang member to turning his life around with a political science PhD. Jesse has researched voting behavior for years and believes he can adapt to any environment and build relationships with anyone. "I’m definitely bringing an academic mindset to the game because I’ve spent more hours thinking about how people vote than Sandra [Diaz-Twine] and Boston Rob [Mariano] combined," he said.
If you ask Ryan Medrano why he believes he can be the Sole Survivor, he says that he’s a triple threat who can socialize, use his strength and be quick at puzzles. The 25-year-old warehouse associate from El Paso, Texas, was born three months early with mild cerebral palsy. Doctors said that he would never walk, but he was able to after four years of therapy.
Meet the 22-year-old graduate student from Collierville, Tenn., Dwight Moore. He hopes to emulate Wendell Holland’s "Ghost Island" game, where he had a strong social game, created bonds and performed well in challenges. "If I set my mind to do something, I’m giving it everything until I see that goal met," Dwight said.
Elisabeth "Elie" Scott
Elisabeth "Elie" Scott is a clinical psychologist from Salt Lake City. The 31-year-old considers herself to be clever, perspective and authentic. When she’s not on Survivor, you can find her rock climbing, skiing and partaking in karaoke at dive bars. Elie believes she’ll win thanks to her "natural social skill and cutthroat strategy."
Making her way to Fiji from San Francisco, Jeanine Zheng is a UX designer. The 24-year-old, who enjoys backpacking, photography and running, thinks that she can be the Sole Survivor because, "I can create relationships with people from completely different backgrounds and juggle the nuances of my different alliances."
Watch Survivor season 43 live on Wednesdays at 8 pm ET/PT starting September 21. Episodes will be available to stream on Paramount Plus after on Thursdays.
Survivor season 43 eliminated contestants
Here are the contestants that have been eliminated so far in Survivor season 43:
Morriah Young, the teacher from Philadelphia, was the first castaway voted out by her tribe (Baka). She didn't take it too hard though, telling her fellow tribemates, "I love you guys. It's okay." Guessing other contestants may not handle the moment with as much grace this season.
Justine Brennan was the first member of the Vesi tribe voted off the island. She basically predicted at the start of tribal council as she described the tribe as broken up into factions and dealing with trust issues. Whether or not Justine spoke it into existence, she was the one who's torch was extinguished when the votes were revealed.
Nneka makes it two in a row castaways from the Vesi tribe to be eliminated. But she didn't seem to be grudging of her exit, calling her time on the show, "a dream come true."
Caitlyn has been a professional editor and writer since 2014, and her work can be found on a range of websites, including Hearst's BestProducts.com, POPSUGAR, StyleCaster, and InStyle. Her favorite TV shows are Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime, The Real Housewives franchise, just about anything on Bravo, and Netflix Originals.
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