Exclusive: The cast of 'Survivor' Gabon

– written by Dalton Ross

Survivorgabon_lThe 18 contestants competing this fall on Survivor: Gabon—Earth’s Last Eden for the series’ 17th cycle include an Olympic gold medalist, a Gilmore Girls actress, and a professional video game champion, EW.com has learned exclusively. Crystal Cox, who won gold at the Athens Games in 2004 as part of the 4x400m track relay team, is the biggest name on the roster this season, which premieres with a two-hour episode on Sept. 25. Also among the fresh faces is Jessica “Sugar” Kiper (Gilmore Girls fans may remember her as the pin-up model who made out with Milo Ventimiglia during her four-episode arc as Shane) and Ken Hoang, the current international champion of Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers Melee video game. There will also be a prominent international presence, with contestants who have lived in South Africa (Gillian Larson), London (Ace Gordon), and Chile (Paloma Soto-Castillo).

As for the format, the biggest twist of Survivor: Gabon involves Exile (formerly Exile Island). “When you go to Exile this time you can either get a clue that will help you find the hidden immunity idol, or you can get ‘instant comfort’ — a nice thing to sleep on, some food, some fruit,” explains host Jeff Probst. “Depending upon the time, we’ll make the temptation bigger and bigger. The idea was to see if anybody would be dumb enough to choose comfort over the only thing that guarantees you to stick in the game, which is immunity.” Okay, did it work? “By the time this season is over, you can make the case that maybe this is the dumbest team when it comes to idol play.”

to Also for the first time ever, Survivor: Gabon will be shot entirely in HD. “If you’re a Survivor fan and you have HD, it will be a completely different show,” Probst promises. “When you incorporate the wildlife, it’s kind of like being in a Spielberg movie. I mean, it’s so real-looking that it’s exciting and scary.” And that wildlife Probst speaks of will come into play when elephants visit a tribe camp. “A truly real, raw moment of a wild animal that’s not in a park or some protected area,” Probst says.

The contestants of Survivor: Gabon will be divided up into two tribes at the very outset by a good old fashioned schoolyard pick ’em, which will immediately lead to the contestants’ first challenge. And while there are no hardcore “showmances” this time around, Probst does tease that one player proves particularly popular: “Marcus, the doctor from Georgia — one of the most arrogant guys that we’ve had on the show — he at one point had three people after him. And not only women.”

Click here for a gallery of the complete Survivor: Gabon cast, featuring comments from all the players, Probst’s thoughts on each, and exclusive on-location video interviews.

to Also for the first time ever, Survivor: Gabon will be shot entirely in HD. “If you’re a Survivor fan and you have HD, it will be a completely different show,” Probst promises. “When you incorporate the wildlife, it’s kind of like being in a Spielberg movie. I mean, it’s so real-looking that it’s exciting and scary.” And that wildlife Probst speaks of will come into play when elephants visit a tribe camp. “A truly real, raw moment of a wild animal that’s not in a park or some protected area,” Probst says.

The contestants of Survivor: Gabon will be divided up into two tribes at the very outset by a good old fashioned schoolyard pick ’em, which will immediately lead to the contestants’ first challenge. And while there are no hardcore “showmances” this time around, Probst does tease that one player proves particularly popular: “Marcus, the doctor from Georgia — one of the most arrogant guys that we’ve had on the show — he at one point had three people after him. And not only women.”

Click here for a gallery of the complete Survivor: Gabon cast, featuring comments from all the players, Probst’s thoughts on each, and exclusive on-location video interviews.

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Comments (63 total) Add your comment
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  • Tim

    Funny, I didn’t even realize survivor had survived! I’ve been stationed downrange for the last few years and think it’s halarious that people still watch the mindless bickering like chickens and meat puppets that are just going to lose anyway. What have I been fighting to protect? Americans right to watch bad television, that’s what!! LOL

  • julie

    I am so excited to see America’s Hometown girl finaly got on the show. Way to go Susie!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be cheering for you.

  • Anne

    Dalton, did you abandon The Glutton??

  • no-idol

    I am curious about the Glutton as well. One of my favorite columns – please don’t abandon it!!

  • bruno

    three words: dalton freakin ross!!!!
    welcome back mate!

  • bruno

    now please take care of ausiello… and by “take care” you know what i mean….

  • MsDaisy

    Corinne looks like the love child of Amanda and Parvati.

  • Anonymous

    yeah but you can still pixilate the good stuff out so whats the point of high defintion if you pixilate the T&A

  • Kelly

    You finally made it Susie!!!!! We’re so proud of you. We can’t wait to watch you in action!!!!! Love ya, Kelly and Nicole

  • Andrew

    I was a huge fan of this show up until the spring 2006 season: Survivor Panama: Exile Island. I thought it was a terrible season and that was the “Jump the Shark” season for most people. I decided to give it another chance with “Cook Islands” which was very good. “Fiji” was all right but kind of boring. “China” was way too predictable and I decided not to quit in the middle of it. I didn’t see all of “Micronesia,” but I still enjoyed it. I don’t know if I’ll watch this one because I watch “The Office” now, but we’ll see.

  • Andrew

    I meant I decided TO quit in the middle of that season.

  • Steve

    When is Survivor going to come to Canada? The West Coast has many secluded areas and if they want to keep it on an island – we have many islands where the weather is wonderful during the summertime.

  • Alex D

    Is it me or does this cast look like leftovers from commercial auditions? Cardboard and typical of a recruitment process CBS seems to enjoy rather than casting those who audition. Something just seems fake about these people.

  • survivorbk

    Wow these women are useless. I guess all pretty girls know how to do is flirt and act stupid. I do like ACE & Randy though.

  • Anonymous

    Tim, you’re an ass.

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