We’re halfway through meeting our cast! Let’s say hello to our next four castaways. You can check out the whole cast here.
“I have been asked if I’m from Duck Dynasty before,” laughs Jamison–Jamie to family and friends–“but I couldn’t be more different in a lot of ways.” Born and raised in Northern Louisiana, Jamie spent his teenage years shooting beer cans with BB guns, off-roading in friends’ trucks, and working part-time at his father’s Bait and Tackle shop. Despite being a “prototypical country boy,” Jamie still often felt he didn’t fit in with his Southern small town, by virtue of his political beliefs and his sexual orientation. Jamie was rejected by many in his community after coming out as gay, which is why he feels so passionately about campaigning for the rights of marginalized people. After spending most of his early 20’s in New Orleans, he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to work with the Southern Poverty Law Center, where he organizes volunteer efforts for fundraising purposes. He lives with his boyfriend, Roger.
River has loved to sing ever since she can remember, whether it be to the songs of her first pop-idol, Whitney Houston, or with the choir at her elementary school. She never expected that after enrolling in The School for Creative and Performing Arts in her hometown of Philadelphia that she’d end up falling in love with opera. A classically trained soprano, performing in operas has given River the opportunity to travel the world, taking her to countries like Australia, Brazil, The United Kingdom, and China. Within the last year and a half, she made the decision to stop touring and return to her hometown in order to help care for her ailing mother, who is battling cancer. She feels that her experiences as a performer and traveler have taught her how to connect with a various types of people, and she feels that will be her biggest asset in the game. She hopes that her people skills will allow her to win the grand prize and take some of the financial burden off of her mother.
At 58 years old, Jill, who recently became a grandmother for a second time, is the oldest of the castaways competing in Survivor: India–though you wouldn’t know it from talking to her. She claims her “infectious” and “youthful” energy comes from her over 30 years of experience as an elementary school teacher and the sheer amount of time she spends around children. For her, the fit is natural. A talented baker and cook, Jill also loves spending time with her own children, all three of whom are now grown, as well as with her husband, Jack. The family have always been avid campers, and still take annual trips together. Jill believes that her extensive outdoors experience will surely be an asset for her out in the wilds of India that will help compensate for impressions surrounding her age.
On the other end of the spectrum from Jill is the youngest of Survivor: India’s castaways, Gavin. At just 19 years old, this rising college sophomore is nevertheless confident his age won’t hold him back: “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could win the whole thing,” he says. An avid gamer, Gavin loves to hone his competitive spirit, and feels that while he isn’t the most physically imposing of the men in the game, he has great hand-eye coordination and a lot of intelligence. Having still not declared his major, one of Gavin’s hopes is that he can win the money in order to be able travel and soul-search over his direction in life. When not away at school, he lives with his parents, younger sister, and his beloved dog Cheez-Puff.
Can Jill or Gavin prove that age is just a number? How about Jamie and River–could one of them have what it takes? We’ll find out soon enough. Tomorrow we round out the cast with our last group of castaways, meaning we’re almost ready to dive into our game!