'Survivor' Season 44 Sneak Preview: Meet the New Cast

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The bonds are forming quickly on this season of Survivor. In a sneak peek at season 44, host Jeff Probst questions the cast members' intentions and strategies ahead of the game. 

"I'm just trying to figure out what's going on right now," barbershop owner Matthew Grinstead-Mayle from Columbus, Ohio, admits. "I don't even know. The anxiety is so high. So, I'm sure I should be fearful, but I'm not there yet. I'm just trying to take deep breaths and just try to hold it all in because if I don't, I feel like my heart is just going to plop right here and just make a mess out of everybody here in the front row."

Matthew and his fellow contestants are facing quite an uphill battle. "Stranded on the beautiful islands of Fiji, these motivated new players must form a society and adapt to their physical and social surroundings, forcing them to decide what is more dangerous: the environment or navigating the complex social game and placing trust in their tribemates," reads the press release for this season. "The participants will be divided into three tribes of six and face a faster, more dangerous season from the moment they step on the beach. The moral dilemmas and mysterious new layers of this complex game will push even the strongest competitors to their limits, and the mental and physical challenges require players to constantly adjust their strategies in order to make it another day."

In the end, only one will claim the title of Sole Survivor and go home with $1 million.

The thrilling two-hour premiere of Survivor season 44 airs Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. The series is also available to stream live and on demand on the CBS app and Paramount+.

Now let's meet this season's contestants.

Yamil “Yam Yam” Arocho Survivor

Name: Yamil “Yam Yam” Arocho
Age: 36
Hometown: Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Current Residence: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Occupation: Salon owner

Matt Blankinship Survivor

Name: Matt Blankinship
Age: 27
Hometown: Albany, California
Current Residence: San Francisco, California
Occupation: Security software engineer

Brandon Cottom Survivor

Name: Brandon Cottom
Age: 30
Hometown: Newtown, Pennsylvania 
Current Residence: Newton, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Security specialist

Kane Fritzler Survivor

Name: Kane Fritzler
Age: 25
Hometown: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Current Residence: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Occupation: Law student

 Carson Garrett Survivor

Name: Carson Garrett
Age: 20 Hometown: Rome, Georgia
Current Residence: Atlanta, Georgia
Occupation: NASA engineering student

Matthew Grinstead-Mayle Survivor

Name: Matthew Grinstead-Mayle
Age: 43
Hometown: Pickerington, Ohio
Current Residence: Columbus, Ohio
Occupation: Barbershop owner

Lauren Harpe Survivor

Name: Lauren Harpe
Age: 31
Hometown: Port Arthur, Texas
Current Residence: Mont Belvieu, Texas
Occupation: Elementary school teacher

Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt Survivor

Name: Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt
Age: 43
Hometown: Ponce, Puerto Rico
Current Residence: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
Occupation: Engineering manager

Helen Li Survivor

Name: Helen Li
Age: 29
Hometown: Wayland, Massachusetts 
Current Residence: San Francisco, California 
Occupation: Product manager

Frannie Marin Survivor

Name: Frannie Marin
Age: 23
Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota 
Current Residence: Cambridge, Massachusetts 
Occupation: Research coordinator

Danny Massa Survivor

Name: Danny Massa
Age: 32
Hometown: Bronx, New York 
Current Residence: Bronx, New York
Occupation: New York City firefighter

Bruce Perreault Survivor

Name: Bruce Perreault
Age: 46
Hometown: West Warwick, Rhode Island 
Current Residence: Warwick, Rhode Island
Occupation: Insurance agent

Maddy Pomilla Survivor

Name: Maddy Pomilla
Age: 28
Hometown: Huntingtown, Maryland 
Current Residence: Brooklyn, New York 
Occupation: Charity projects manager

Claire Rafson Survivor

Name: Claire Rafson
Age: 25
Hometown: Highland Park, Illinois
Current Residence: Brooklyn, New York 
Occupation: Tech investor

Jaime Lynn Ruiz Survivor

Name: Jaime Lynn Ruiz
Age: 35
Hometown: Mesa, Arizona 
Current Residence: Mesa, Arizona 
Occupation: Yogi

Sarah Wade Survivor

Name: Sarah Wade
Age: 27
Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota 
Current Residence: Chicago, Illinois
Occupation: Management consultant

Carolyn Wiger Survivor

Name: Carolyn Wiger
Age: 35
Hometown: North St. Paul, Minnesota
Current Residence: Hugo, Minnesota 
Occupation: Drug counselor

Josh Wilder Survivor

Name: Josh Wilder
Age: 34
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Current Residence: Atlanta, Georgia
Occupation: Surgical podiatrist



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