Segregated 'Survivor'

The 13th edition of "Survivor" will have the show's most diverse group of players to date, CBS says. At the start of the game, though, they won't be mingling all that much.

After previous editions in which contestants were divided by gender or age, "Survivor: Cook Islands," which premieres Thursday, Sept. 14, will stick its hand firmly on a very hot button and set up its tribes along ethnic lines. The 20 players will initially be divided into four groups based on their ethnicity -- Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American and Caucasian. The tribes will merge at some point later in the game.

The announcement was made on CBS' "Early Show" Wednesday morning, and anchor Harry Smith voiced what maybe you're thinking right now: Is this a good idea?

"I think at first glance, when you just hear about it, it could sound like a stunt, especially with the way reality [TV] has gone," "Survivor" host Jeff Probst told Smith. "But that's not what we're doing here. The idea for this actually came from the criticism that 'Survivor' is not ethnically diverse enough. ... We said, 'Let's turn that criticism into creative for the show, and I think it fits in perfectly with what 'Survivor' does. It's a social experiment, and this adds another layer to the experiment."

The new season will keep the "Exile Island" wrinkle from last spring's "Survivor: Panama," in which at least one person is separated from his or her teammates in each episode. The exiles will have a chance, though, to find a hidden immunity idol that they can use to save themselves at a Tribal Council session.

The 20 players range in age from 23 to 45 and include a heavy-metal guitarist, a cop, a couple of showbiz types and an attorney. Here's a bit about each of them:

Name: Rebecca Borman
Age: 34
Hometown: Laurelton, N.Y.
Occupation: Make-up artist

Name: Anh-Tuan "Cao Boi" Bui
Age: 42
Hometown: Christiansburg, Va.
Occupation: Nail salon manager

Name: Sekou Bunch
Age: 45
Hometown: Los Angeles (originally from New York City)
Occupation: Jazz musician

Name: J.P. Calderon
Age: 30
Hometown: Marina del Rey, Calif.
Occupation: Pro volleyball player

Name: Cristina Coria
Age: 35
Hometown: Los Angeles
Occupation: Police officer

Name: Stephanie Favor
Age: 35
Hometown: Columbia, S.C.
Occupation: Nursing student

Name: Billy Garcia
Age: 36
Hometown: New York (originally from Miami)
Occupation: Heavy metal guitarist

Name: Adam Gentry
Age: 28
Hometown: San Diego (originally from Fredericksburg, Va.)
Occupation: Copier sales

Name: Nathan Gonzalez
Age: 26
Hometown: Los Angeles
Occupation: Retail sales

Name: Jenny Guzon-Bae
Age: 36
Hometown: Lake Forest, Ill. (originally from Melrose Park, Ill.)
Occupation: Real estate agent

Name: Yul Kwon
Age: 31
Hometown: San Mateo, Calif. (originally from Flushing, N.Y.)
Occupation: Management consultant

Name: Becky Lee
Age: 28
Hometown: Washington, D.C. (originally from Pittsburgh)
Occupation: Attorney

Name: Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth
Age: 25
Hometown: Venice, Calif.
Occupation: Waiter

Name: Cecilia Mansilla
Age: 29
Hometown: Oakland, Calif. (originally from Arequipa, Peru)
Occupation: Technology risk consultant

Name: Sundra Oakley
Age: 31
Hometown: Los Angeles (originally from New York)
Occupation: Actress

Name: Jonathan Penner
Age: 44
Hometown: Los Angeles (originally from New York)
Occupation: Writer/producer

Name: Parvati Shallow
Age: 23
Hometown: Los Angeles (originally from Atlanta)
Occupation: Boxer/waitress

Name: Jessica Smith
Age: 27
Hometown: Chico, Calif.
Occupation: Performance artist/rollergirl

Name: Brad Virata
Age: 29
Hometown: Los Angeles (originally from Seattle)
Occupation: Fashion director

Name: Candice Woodcock
Age: 23
Hometown: Fayetteville, N.C.
Occupation: Pre-med student

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