Exclusive: The cast of 'Survivor' GabonAug 27, 2008, 06:00 AM | by Hollywood Insider
Categories: TV Biz
-- written by Dalton Ross
The 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."http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2008/08/survivor-gabon.htmlhttp://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1753161914/bclid1747275715/bctid1749437141