‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X’: Meet the New Cast

Noah V

Survivor has returned for its 33rd season, and this time, we are headed back to Fiji and pitting generation against generation. This season’s Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X looks like it will be a bit harsher than last season’s Survivor: Kaôh Rōng with a new twist on the Old vs. Young tribal division.

Before the 90-minute premiere on Sept 21, let’s run down through the new cast to see what this “Battle of the Generations” is all about.

The Millennials – Vanua
Millennials of the Vanua tribe on Survivor

There looks to be a big theme among the Vanua tribe: Religion. Some members are very religious and others who are going to be very annoyed with that aspect in their teammates.

Adam Klein


Age: 25
Current Residence: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Homeless shelter manager

Adam Klein is a long-time Survivor fan and is the first contestant from Reddit to appear on the show. As a homeless shelter manager, Adam should be able to manage many different and volatile personalities. The only thing that worries me is that he has a sick mother at home, and since Terry Deitz was removed in Cambodia when his son had a heart condition, anything is possible.

Hannah Shapiro
Hannah Shapiro Survivor season 33 Millennials team Vanua tribe

Age: 24
Current Residence: West Hollywood, CA
Occupation: Barista

Hannah Shapiro is also a comedian, and you can get that idea from her video when she just laughs at herself even by stating that “you must laugh at yourself when you go through puberty junior year of high school.” Good thing that this season was filming when Kaôh Rōng was airing because I get a strong Aubry Bracco vibe from her.

Jessica “Figgy” Figueroa
Jessica "Figgy" Figueroa Survivor season 33 Millennials team Vanua tribe

Age: 23
Current Residence: Nashville, TN
Occupation: Bartender

When I was watching Jessica “Figgy” Figueroa’s video, I should have counted how many times she said “Figgy,” as it would have been over 30 times. She states that she likes videography and likes “throwing a good snap in our [Snapchat] stories every now and again.” Snapchat is not a form of videography, Figgy. She gives me strong Hope (Caramoan) vibes, and I suspect that she will not last long for this game.

Justin “Jay” Starrett
Justin "Jay" Starrett Survivor season 33 Millennials team Vanua tribe

Age: 27
Current Residence: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Occupation: Real estate agent

Justin, or Jay as he wants to be called, Starrett gives me a strong Malcolm (Philippines and Caramoan) and Ozzy (Cook Islands, Micronesia and South Pacific) vibe and will probably follow in that direction. He believes that he is a mix or Russell Hantz (Samoa, Heroes vs. Villains, and Redemption Island) and Woo Hwang (Cagayan and Cambodia) – now that’s a combo to mess with! His pet peeve is “when people make plans or say they’re going to do something and they don’t deliver.” Welcome to Survivor, Jay.

Mari Takahashi
Mari Takahashi Survivor season 33 Millennials team Vanua tribe

Age: 31
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Gamer

Mari Takahashi has appeared on the YouTube channel Smosh. Mari is an interesting casting choice for this upcoming season. As a Millennial, I know that having followers on social media is an important part of my life and in this “Me Generation,” that is all we think about. Mari could use her online success as a bribe to other castaways in the game, so it will be interesting to follow what she does.

Michaela Bradshaw
Michaela Bradshaw Survivor season 33 Millennials team Vanua tribe

Age: 25
Current Residence: Fort Worth, TX
Occupation: Vacation club sales

For being on the Millennials tribe, Michaela Bradshaw has a Gen X way of living. She lived off of PB&J, used a flip phone, and drove her 1992 Honda Accord throughout college and a few years after so she could pay off her loans. I don’t know if she will last long in the game if the Millennials go to Tribal Council early, but when a tribe switch happens, and she gets to be with some Gen Xers, watch out!

Michelle Schubert
Michelle Schubert Survivor season 33 Millennials team Vanua tribe

Age: 28
Current Residence: Yakima, WA
Occupation: Missionary recruiter

When I mentioned earlier that there was religion in this tribe, I had to leave it out for most of the Millennials. But for Michelle, her relationship with God is a bigger part of her life, and all the castaways will know other than her secret boyfriend. I have bad Roxy (Philippines) vibes from her because usually those who like to talk about their faith go very quickly and I am afraid to say that Michelle could be one of the first to go.

Taylor Stocker
Taylor Stocker Survivor season 33 Millennials team Vanua tribe

Age: 24
Current Residence: Post Falls, ID
Occupation: Ski instructor

Taylor Stocker is the definition of the work Millennial. If you have any question about Taylor being a Millennial, just read on. “Come on, man! We are open-minded, liberal, self-expressive, upbeat, connected, tech savvy, and we invented the words ‘sicky sicky gnar gnar, rachet, clutch, bae, and LOL.’ I love my generation. We are all-around epic.” Enough said. LOL!

Will Wahl
Will Wahl Survivor season 33 Millennials team Vanua tribe

Age: 18
Current Residence: Long Valley, NJ
Occupation: High school student

Yes, Will was a high school student at the time of filming which was in March this year. Will went from study hall to playing Survivor and back to graduate. I wish my senior year was like that! Will is another contestant that talked about his religion, but he would like to use it in a manipulative way. It could be his way to sit at the cool table or sit with the nobodies at the Ponderosa lunch tables.

Zeke Smith
Zeke Smith Survivor season 33 Millennials team Vanua tribe

Age: 28
Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Asset manager

I haven’t seen so much buzz for a contestant for some while. For those who did see the ORG Survivor: Brooklyn, Zeke was one of the contestants and got to play against actual Survivor players Sophie Clark (South Pacific) and Andrea Boehlke (Redemption Island and Caramoan). When it comes to being a Millennial, Zeke says, “To be perfectly honest, I’ve never thought of myself as a Millennial. Ask one of the other children.” Jeff Probst is hyping this guy hard, and this is going to be amazing.

The Gen Xers – Takali

Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe group

As the older bunch, the Gen X group wants to destroy these Millennials and take away their trophies.

Bret LaBelle
Bret LaBelle Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe

Age: 42
Current Residence:
Dedham, MA
Occupation: Police Sergeant

Bret LaBelle has been a police officer for 18 years and looks forward to the adventure of a lifetime. He states in his bio that he received a “Human Award for Bravery from the Governor of Massachusetts for disarming a gunman in 2014.” Mad respect there. He gives me the vibe of Boo from Fiji if Boo was in his 40s.

Chris Hammons
Chris Hammons Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe

Age: 38
Current Residence: Moore, OK
Occupation: Trial lawyer

If you have ever thought of the old Gen Xer who just goes around yelling at people, here he is. Take a look at the “Three words to describe you” part of the bio: “Super competitive because I don’t lose, tenacious because I never give up, and I’m a fighter.” That’s not three words, Chris! He better hope there isn’t a counting competition. Chris will either be out very early or during a jury blindside like Andrew Savage (Pearl Islands and Cambodia).

Ciandre “CeCe” Taylor
Ciandre "CeCe" Taylor Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe

Age: 39
Current Residence: Granada Hills, CA
Occupation: Insurance adjuster

CeCe has been trying to get cast for 15 years, so mad respect. But she states that her ex thinks she has multiple personalities. Hopefully, she’ll end up like Cydney from last season when Storm never came out. Cece will also be one of the big characters of the season as long as she can keep her mouth shut at the right times.

David Wright
David Wright Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe

Age: 42
Current Residence: Sherman Oaks, CA
Occupation: Television writer

David Wright has been a writer for many years and has written episodes for Family Guy and Malcolm in the Middle. He does not have the best self-esteem, but he knows how to deliver a good punchline. His hobby is printing 3D puzzles, so maybe if he prints a lot of puzzles, he will be able to solve those Day 37/38 puzzles.

Jessica Blain-Lewis
Jessica Blain-Lewis Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe

Age: 37
Current Residence: Voorheesville, NY
Occupation: Assistant district attorney

Jessica Lewis grew up on a farm for many years and states that her time on Survivor will be the first time that she will focus on herself. She says that in her job she needs to create and tell stories. That could be a very good skill on Survivor if you know how to play it right and don’t get caught.

Ken McNickle
Ken McNickle Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe

Age: 33
Current Residence: Denver, CO
Occupation: Model

Dude! This guy just came back from being off the grid. Ken used to live the “hippy” lifestyle and was cut off from the outside world. At least he will be able to help those who have never been outside before. He really reminds me of LJ (Cagayan). Other than that, Ken is a soft-spoken person and will probably skid through the pre-merge and will finish around the first juror.

Lucy Huang
Lucy Huang Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe

Age: 42
Current Residence: Diamond Bar, CA
Occupation: Dietician

If you missed Lucy Huang’s video, she is the second body builder in a row. Hope this isn’t a new casting type. She was born in Taiwan, moved to Brazil, and then to America. Lucy believes that Generation X is a more physical manual labor than the current generation. What a shock! I predict that Lucy will be kept around for her strength and could be around for a while.

Paul Wachter
Paul Wachter Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe

Age: 52
Current Residence: Sugarloaf Key, FL
Occupation: Boat mechanic

Paul Wachter is a singer in a cover band and is our oldest contestant this season, although he is 20 years younger than the eldest contestant, Joe, from last season. Paul is one of the most vocal about being a Gen Xer when he states that being part of his generation is “Someone who never received a participation award.” Could this guy be our next break-out character or not?

Rachel Ako
Rachel Ako Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe

Age: 37
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Recruiting director

Rachel Ako is best known for her book that she has plugged many times, Rise: True Stories of Triumph in the Face of Adversity. Personally, I feel like she is the only one that has told the truth about the Gen Xers: “We used to be viewed as the slackers until Millennials came along.” She tells us as a former Playboy model that she wonders if a bikini is going to be too much clothing.

Sunday Burquest
Sunday Burquest Survivor season 33 Gen Xers Takali tribe

Age: 45
Current Residence: Otsego, MN
Occupation: Youth pastor

The name Sunday for a youth pastor is such a fitting name. But Sunday could be a liability in the challenges. She compares herself to Lisa Whelchel (Philippines), and I can see it. Lisa was very emotional when it came to making decisions, and I can easily see it happening to Sunday as well. There are really two options for Sunday: Be a goat to the finalist or will be voted out before the tribe switch.

Now, with only a few days to the premiere of the season, you have all of the background knowledge of the contestants. But as every season plays out, the bios are not an accurate representation of the actual contestant.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X premieres this Wednesday, Sept 21 at 8:00pm on CBS.

Now in its 33rd season, Survivor sure has weathered many storms over the years but keeps on kicking on. We look at why Survivor has survived for so long.

Noah V
Become a
Pop culture fans! Write what you love and have your work seen by millions.