I get a good vibe from this group. Maybe it's the red shoes.

By Gina Carbone

I’m already in love with half the cast of “Survivor: Redemption Island” and I’ve only seen a short video. I should probably stop now since I’ll start hating them if I see more.

Keep them blurry!

People magazine posted a cute little video and mini write-ups about the 16 castaways who, at this point, don’t seem to know Boston Rob Mariano and Evil Russell Hantz will be joining them to make a solid 18.

(I would LOVE IT if Rob and Russell stayed blurred out, like they are in the video clip, for the whole season.)

“Redemption Island” will be shot in Nicaragua again, which leads me to believe there will be no water challenges. I miss them. But at least we have the Redemption Island twist itself. Even if it’s lame —  and I doubt it will be — it can’t be worse than the Medallion of Power … or anything else about “Nicaragua.”

This season was shot before the end of "Nicaragua," I believe, so they won't know that Fabio won by already being this guy.

Speaking of “Nicaragua” … it looks like we have a Fabio clone in Matthew “Matt” Elrod. The video also shows us “braniac” David Murphy, hot Iraq vet Mike Chiesl, and Ralph Kiser, who is like Big Tom mixed with Rupert. Love him already.

Adore Ralph.

We also have a bunch of football players (thanks, Jimmy Johnson!) and hot chicks, including two pageant blondes — Krista Klumpp and Ashley Underwood — and two similar cuties, Stephanie Valencia and Natalie Tenerelli.

I’m worried that Francesca Hogi will turn into another angry NaOnka. CBS should not do this, but they love to do it so they probably will. (Just don’t quit!)

At least the women also have Kristina Kell, who finds herself to be the complete package, and newly divorced firefighter Julie Wolfe, who is like several past “Survivor” contestants in one (Tom Westman? Jane Bright? Wendy? Wanda?)

I always pick a pre-season favorite and I’m about to do it again. For “Samoa” I chose “The Toothless Texan,” who turned out to be the Evil Oompa Loompa himself. For “Nicaragua” I chose Jane and she turned into Gollum.

This time I am going to use my curious powers for spotting the (evil) Player of the Season to target … David! David, I am now rooting for you … to do something interesting. You don’t have to win, you just have to be memorable. That is your task.

The season starts on February 16, which is another Wednesday. I don’t really give a rat’s ass what day it’s on. I’ll watch it.


Andrea is an ex-marine, which is cool. She also looks like she'll be considered less of a threat than the mega-hot Iraq veteran guy.

Here’s the cast list (minus Rob & Russell) from People.com:

Keep an eye on Ashley, and not just 'cause she's purty.

• Andrea Boehlke, 21, former marine: “I’ve been raised on a farm my whole life,” she says, “and I’ve been hunting since I was 12 and fishing and camping, so I’m not too worried about the elements.”

Mike Chiesl, 31, student: “The great thing about Survivor, though, is nobody’s shooting at you,” says the Iraqi vet. “I’ll take that over going on deployment to Iraq any day.”

• Matt Elrod, 22, pre-med student: “Out here when people feel alone and isolated,” he says, “I have a warmth towards people that I think they’ll respond to and want to keep me around and probably trust me.”

• Ralph Kiser, 44, farmer: “I’ll make you laugh your ass off,” he says, “because I say things not proper.”

Francesca Hogi, 36, attorney: “There’s a mean girl inside of me,” she says. “I terrorized some girls in elementary school.”

• Krista Klumpp, 25, pharmaceutical rep: “I competed for three years in the Miss Alabama pageant and then two years in the Miss Alabama USA pageant,” she says.

• Kristina Kell, 46, law student: “I’m a complete package,” she says.

I'm already crushing on David. He's my type. Is this bad? The shorts!

• David Murphy, 31, defense attorney: “I think I’m going to have to start the game taking myself down a notch,” he says. “It sounds awful to say it but I’m going to have but I’m going to have to bring myself down to their level.”

Here's hot Iraq vet Mike.

• Grant Mattos, 29, yoga instructor: “[I played professional football for] the San Diego Chargers, the Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans.”

• Stephanie Valencia, 25, waitress: “I’m always right even when I’m wrong,” she says. “I always get my way just because I know how.”

• Phillip Sheppard, 52, technology executive: “I have a terrific smile and when I really let it pop, you look at that smile and it disarms you,” he says.

• Sarita White, 36, visual effects producer: “It’s a good group,” she says of her costars, “so that of course makes me excited but also like, what’s the catch?”

• Natalie Tenerelli, 19, professional dancer: “Of course I’m going to use my girly instincts,” she says. “I can be flirtatious and I hopefully will know when to stop.”

Phillip does have a nice smile.

Go Julie!

• Julie Wolfe, 50, firefighter: “I’m newly divorced. I have 100 percent custody for two children and I’m paying alimony, I’m paying child support and my house is in foreclosure,” she says.

• Ashley Underwood, 25, nurse: “I really think pageants get a bad rap sometimes,” she says, “but in all honesty, it really takes a lot of mental toughness.”

• Steve Wright, 51, former NFL player: “I played for the Cowboys, the Baltimore Colts, the Indianapolis Colts, the Los Angeles Raiders,” he says.


Check out more cast photos here on the official “Survivor: Redemption” CBS page.

And check out some spoilers on the Survivor Sucks board. I haven’t been paying enough attention to know what’s up yet.

And catch up on my “Survivor” stories and spoilers in this nifty archive.