02:52 PM EDT 05/20/2015
Originally posted 05/18/2015 07:50PM
You've got to hand it to the producers of Survivor. They sure know how to keep a franchise going.
Two weeks ago, the long-running show announced a voting process where America would get to choose contestants for next season.
Through Wednesday night's finale, voters can visit Survivor's website to choose the 10 men and 10 women who they want to see compete next season.
Last week, PEOPLE profiled 10 women who are in the running to compete.
Now it's time to hear from the men.
PEOPLE spoke with 9 of the potential male contestants. (Mike Holloway is still an active contestant on the current season. As such, he is under a press embargo and cannot campaign for a slot.)
Here they are, in no particular order:
Originally posted 05/15/2015 08:35PM
Next season's game of Survivor has already begun.
When CBS announced that the show would let America choose its next cast, potential contestants began aggressive campaigns on social media for votes.
Through next Wednesday, voters can visit Survivor's website to chose the 10 men and 10 women who they want to see compete next season.
While PEOPLE will refrain from making official endorsements, it just so happened that exactly 10 women responded to our requests for an interview. (We'll profile the men soon.) Here they are, in no particular order:
Originally posted 05/04/2015 07:30AM
When Shirin Oskooi was 21, she applied to be a contestant on Survivor. She didn't make it, so she applied again and again, at least once a year.
She finally got the call to compete. She was 31.
But things didn't go as planned. Oskooi, a Yahoo! executive from San Francisco, found herself on an exceptionally unpleasant season. The arguments often devolved into vicious personal attacks – many of which were aimed directly at Oskooi.
The ugliness reached its peak when fellow contestant Will Simms derided Oskooi for not having a family. It was clearly a painful moment for the contestants and an awkward scene for the viewers. Thankfully, Oskooi's ally Mike Holloway physically led her away from the confrontation.
Oskooi tells PEOPLE about life on the island before her elimination on Wednesday's episode – and how she feels about her experience today.
Originally posted 04/10/2015 08:00PM
Let's face it: Survivor often casts pretty young girls who seem more interested in sunning themselves on the beach than actually playing the game. They have no strategy and give clueless confessionals.
Hali Ford was definitely not one of those girls.
The 25-year-old law student proved herself to be very intelligent and articulate. (How many other contestants have compared and contrasted Survivor strategy with the Revolutionary War?)
Unfortunately for Ford, she found herself on the wrong side of the numbers and was voted out on Day 22. She tells PEOPLE what went wrong and why she was blindsided.
Originally posted 04/08/2015 10:20AM
In 30 seasons of Survivor, producers frequently bring out a similar challenge: each contestant must walk along a balance beam to untie bags of puzzle pieces.
The challenge usually favors the petite girls. Men have historically had trouble with the balancing challenges.
Walking along a 2x4 can be difficult in the best of circumstances. It's even harder when contestants are starving and exhausted. The result? Several awkward, hard falls.
Originally posted 04/02/2015 05:40PM
Survivor is a numbers game. The entire point of the competition is to get and keep a numerical advantage against your opponents. Generally speaking, if you have the numbers, you're safe.
Unless you're Kelly Remington.
The tribes merged on Wednesday's episode, creating a new 12-member tribe. (In a flash of patriotism, they named their tribe "Merica," a shortened version of "America." the flag colors, of course, were red, white and blue.
In the new tribe, Remington had a tight alliance in the majority. The 44-year-old New York state trooper seemed very safe, until they decided to vote for sailing instructor Jenn Brown. What they didn't know: Brown had a hidden immunity idol, so no votes cast against her would count.
And just like that, Remington was voted off with just 4 votes out of a possible 12. Merica had spoken.
Remington tells PEOPLE what went wrong – and what viewers missed at home.
Originally posted 03/31/2015 06:50PM
You can always tell when the Survivor editors think something is funny. They play corny music in the background and slap a hashtag on the screen.
Last week was no different. During the sixth episode of Survivor: Worlds Apart, a bromance bloomed between contestants Joaquin Souberbielle and Rodney Lavoie. ("Bromance" isn't our word; CBS helpfully hashtagged it several times throughout the show.)
The other tribe members, sensing the close bond between Souberbielle and Lavoie, did what any intelligent tribe would do: they got together to vote out Souberbielle, a 27-year-old marketing director from Valley Stream, New York.
Speaking with PEOPLE, Souberbielle talks about what he did wrong – and dishes on that infamous bromance.
Originally posted 03/21/2015 12:05PM
Generally speaking, it's a good idea to hold your tongue while playing Survivor. There will always be outspoken people who will get on your nerves; the CBS casting department sees to that. It doesn't pay to be lippy and confrontational. (That is, unless you're two-time winner Sandra Diaz Twine, who can somehow get away with it.)
Originally posted 03/13/2015 08:40AM
Survivor is a challenging game. Everybody says so, even the strapping young contestants who go deep into the game.
So when Nina Poersch joined the cast, she knew she had a few obstacles to overcome. At 51, she was a decade older than the next oldest person on her tribe.
And then there was the biggest obstacle: Poersch had lost her hearing seven years ago. (She is Survivor's second deaf contestant, after Christy Smith placed sixth on Survivor: Amazon in 2003.) Like Smith, Poersch found herself on the outside, unable to hear a lot of the conversations going on around her.
Poersch talked with PEOPLE about her game – and how deaf contestants face a disadvantage.
Originally posted 02/25/2015 03:40PM
It happens during every season of Survivor: A contestant is backstabbed.
During the final tribal council, one of the competitors is inevitably shocked – shocked! – that an ally would lie to them. They throw around words like "integrity" and "honor." Some even cry.
As the scenario unfolds, host Jeff Probst watches with an amused smile on his dimpled face. "It's fascinating," he tells PEOPLE. "I'm constantly entertained."
Was he entertained while filming the show's 30th season, premiering on CBS on Wednesday night? Probst says that Survivor: Worlds Apart, which divides its 18 contestants by profession, will be one of the franchise's strongest seasons yet.
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