A guy who gained fame for crooning Bon Jovi & The Eurythmics at a gas station on The Tonight Show. Another guy who taught a course on Survivor at Northwestern University. A professional barrel racer. These are just three of the contestants that will be competing on Survivor: Worlds Apart when season 30 of the CBS reality show premieres with a special 90-minute episode at 8pm on Feb. 25. Eighteen all new players will be vying for the million dollars and will be separated into three tribes: White Collar, Blue Collar, and No Collar.
Host Jeff Probst explains the Worlds Apart theme: “The concept for this season of Survivor is White Collars, which tend to be the people who work in offices, might wear a suit, are in charge and they make the rules. Versus the Blue Collars, and this is really what America was built on and still what drives America, and these are people that work outside, they might wear a uniform, they work with their hands, and they tend to follow the rules. Versus the No Collars: These are the people on the outside that don’t have any interest in the status quo or tradition. It might be a jeweler, it could be a sailboat instructor, or somebody who works down on the beach. And they tend to break the rules.”
How the three types interact, says Probst, will be key. “The idea is, when you put these three very different types of people together, how will that play out, because it really is, I believe, a microcosm for what is happening in our country right now. Nobody seems to like the white collars—the rich. The blue collars are doing what they’ve always done, which is keep our country going. And the no collars have no time for either of it. They’re not interested in corporate America and they don’t really want to work in a normal job, so they just hang out on the outside sort of assessing and commenting on life and figuring out a way to get by.”
Among the White Collar tribemates is Max Dawson, who taught a Survivor course at college. Pro barrel rider Sierra Dawn Thomas is one of the Blue Collar members, while Will Sims II—who sang for free gas on The Tonight Show—represents one of the No Collar members. (See the full cast list along with photos of each tribe below.)
The theme of having three tribes representing three different aspects of society calls to mind last year’s Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn battle of Survivor: Cagayan. Did the success of that season help influence the creative twist for Worlds Apart? “It probably had a hand subconsciously,” says Probst. “The biggest thing that helped this is realizing the mistake that we made in season 29 [Survivor: San Juan del Sur], where we chose our theme first and then cast to that theme. That’s what you do on a traditional television show or a movie, but Survivor is different. What we do best is find the best group of people and then figure out the theme. And so we were very determined this season that that was not going to happen again. So we have this group of people and we kept looking at the different ways we could break them up.”
Of course, that’s not the only twist this season. The host also told us back in December that there will be another new element at play: “We have a new advantage in the game. Something we’ve toyed with for a long time and decided to do it this year, and it plays out great. I’ll leave it at that for now.”
See the full cast list and tribe photos for Survivor: Worlds Apart below (along with a bonus full cast photo and a preview video of the cast). Also make sure to check out our Survivor: Worlds Apart photo gallery with individual pictures of each contestant. And for more Survivor intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.
White Collar Tribe (a.k.a. Masaya)
Current Residence: Tampa, Fla.
Occupation: Corporate Executive
Current Residence: Valley Stream, N.Y.
Occupation: Marketing Director
Current Residence: Topanga, Calif.
Occupation: Media Consultant
Current Residence: San Francisco, Calif.
Occupation: Yahoo Executive
Current Residence: Long Beach, Calif.
Occupation: Retail Buyer
Current Residence: Los Angeles, Calif.
Occupation: Ex-Talent Agent Assistant
Blue Collar Tribe (a.k.a. Escameca)
Current Residence: Gorham, Maine
Occupation: Postal Worker
Current Residence: Grand Island, N.Y.
Occupation: State Trooper
Current Residence: College Park, Fla.
Current Residence: North Richland Hills, Texas
Occupation: Oil Driller
Rodney Lavoie Jr.
Current Residence: Boston, Mass.
Occupation: General Contractor
Sierra Dawn Thomas
Current Residence: Roy, Utah
Occupation: Barrel Racer
No Collar Tribe (a.k.a. Nargarote)
Current Residence: San Francisco
Occupation: Law Student
Current Residence: Long Beach, Calif.
Occupation: Sailing Instructor
Current Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Occupation: Jewelry Designer
Current Residence: Palmdale, Calif.
Occupation: Hearing Advocate
Current Residence: Santa Monica, Calif.
Occupation: Coconut Vendor
Will Sims II
Current Residence: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Occupation: YouTube Sensation