Wed. Jul 24th, 2019

Survivor SA season 7 cast revealed ahead of 16 May premiere

This week we learned the identities of the 21 South Africans that are going to go head to head for the title of sole Survivor on the Island of Secrets.

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The 21 cast members of the seventh installment of the South African edition of the popular reality competition show Survivor were revealed this week.

Eight of the castaways were featured prominently in M-Nets advertising campaign, but producers have downplayed the significance of those choices.

“We handpicked fascinating, multi-faceted personalities from a variety of professions and age groups who are not all they seem to be on the surface. It’s going to be a social experiment of note to observe how they manoeuvre through the conflicts that are bound to arise,” said M-Net head of publicity Lani Lombard.

The season is subtitled, Island of Secrets, and in the spirit of the show M-Net revealed the names of the 21 contestants by hiding them in plain sight.

In 2019 there could be no better place to conceal the identities of the Survivors than in the pages of the TV Plus Magazine. Yes folks, a TV guide. If you are among those who still buys the magazine, which sells for R39, and is available in supermarkets (I guess), then you will already know who the 21 castaways are, if not, keep reading.

Each of the contestants set out on their Survivor journey with a plan but only one will outwit, outplay and outlast their rivals.

The Survivor: Island of secrets castaways are…

Ai-Ting Wong (25)

A GP from Durban, 25-year-old Ai-Ting hopes to deploy a Survivor staple further in the competition, lay low and hit them with a blindside. Her biggest fear coming into the competition is poor hygiene and sanitation on the Island. She prepared for the competition by fasting.

Mmabatlokoa Molefe (28)

An investment analyst from Cape Town, Mmabatlokoa says that she was nervous about physical challenges coming into the competition. She was also fearful that her social game-plan might backfire, leaving her isolated in a game that is as much about interactions as it is about challenges.

Jacques Burger (27)

Pretoria boytjie Jacques comes into the contest full of confidence claiming his biggest fear is making it to the final tribal and not getting any votes. An Industrial engineer by trade his plan is to align himself with one other contestant who will help him go all the way.

Nicole Capper (33)

Former beauty queen Nicole, says that she prepared for the Island with a fine balance of training and rest. She hopes that being her authentic self will carry her to the final tribal council.

Meryl Szolkiewicz (31)

The Pilates instructor from Centurion wanted to be prepared to survive on the island and says she taught herself how to make fire from bamboo by watching videos on Youtube. Meryl plans to use her charm and good looks to get her way in social settings.

Laetitia Le Roux (57)

The oldest women in the competition Laetitia is a nurse from Johannesburg who believes the biggest challenges she will face on the island will be keeping ‘her big mouth shut’. She prepared for the rigours of Survivor by reducing her daily caloric intake.

Durão Luzo Mariano (28)

This hotel concierge from Durban took the opposite approach to that of Laetitia, he ate more in a bid to build up reserves of fat for the harsh conditions on the island. A self-styled charmer Durão is confident in his abilities in both the social and physical game.

Paul Smulders (57)

As the oldest man, Estate agent Paul is wary of standing out from the crowd and wants to fly under the radar and make a big late push. He fears venomous creatures like snakes, scorpions and his fellow castaways.

Rose-Lee Smith (33)

Finding clues is what 33-year-old crime scene forensic analyst, Rose-Lee does for a living. She feels that her investigative background will help her suss out the competition early on.

Geoffrey Cooke-Tonnesen (33)

Geoffrey comes into Survivor with a win at all costs mentality. He says he prepared for Samoa by running the Comrades marathon last year. His biggest fear is having to defecate outdoors. Hopefully any such experiences won’t be filmed.

Cobus Hugo (27)

Cobus is fearful that he won’t find adequate stimulation on the island, saying that he gets bored easily. He has set out his stall to become a leader, which might not be the best gameplan out there. He will also face some stiff competition from some of the other alpha males in the group.

Mike Venter (21)

The youngest castaway isn’t one who should be written off, 21-year-old Mike from Johannesburg is a law student and Survivor super fan. He fears hunger above all else but feels his knowledge of the show will give him a tactical edge.

Dante Rudolph de Villiers (31)

Dante is striving to be at one with the earth and his fellow man and his plan A is to be honest. His plan B though is to lie through his teeth. Like many of his fellow castaways this coffee shop owner from the West Coast fears hunger above all.

Lee-Anne van Renen (33)

Lee-Anne packed on an impressive 7kgs in muscle before shipping out to the Island of Secrets and will surely deploy her skills as a human behaviour analyst to get her further in the competition. She has also brushed up on her fire-making skills.

Seipei Mashugane (40)

Seipei feels that life has already prepared her for the island and concedes that she has done no additional preparation. Dealing with drama is her biggest fear. The no-nonsense single mother is also a biker whose passion is teaching women about the freedom of riding a Harley-Davidson.

Rocco van Rooyen (26)

If his name sounds familiar to you, it could be because 26-year-old Rocco has competed at the IAAF World Championships, and Olympic Games for South Africa in javelin throw. So, no pressure on him in challenges at all. Rocco stands out as a big threat and will need to play the game smart.

Tania Copeland (51)

Tania went into the competition with the mindset of forming a firm alliance of five before the merge, and then powering to the finish. She brushed up on her Survivor history in preparation. She has represented Western Province in chess so she should be adept at thinking several moves ahead.

Nathan Castle (25)

25-year-old graphic production studio director Nathan should get on well with fellow germaphobe Ai-Ling. Nathan is eager to get the authentic Survivor experience. His tattooed body certainly fits in with the Survivor aesthetic but there is more to this game than appearances.

Felix Godlo (29)

One of the ‘cover stars’ of the season Felix encompasses the spirit of the rainbow nation which producers have sought to capitalize on. A proud Xhosa man, Felix earned a a scholarship to an Afrikaans high school, where he met the woman he was to marry. He says his preparation for Survivor has been largely mental.

Rob Bentele (28)

His striking good looks made Rob an obvious choice for M-Nets promotional drive for the show. He intends to play the cerebral game and hopes to be the puppet master pulling the strings from behind the scenes. Rob won’t be leaning on his physicality despite his background in MMA.

Steffi Brink (27)

The former Miss Namibia intends to downplay her athleticism to avoid painting a target on her back. She even stopped training ahead of Survivor in order to cut back on her muscle mass. She certainly cuts a statuesque figure in the promo shots but how far she will get in the competition is something we will learn in the coming weeks.

Survivor: Island of secrets premieres on 16 May at 19:00 on M-Net DSTV Channel 101.

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