That’s right, the theme of the seventh season of Australian Survivor is Blood vs. Water, pitting 12 pairs of loved ones against each other in an epic battle. The season was filmed on home soil, taking place in the Charter Towers region of Queensland. The vast and dusky landscape is marked for its extreme heat, which is said to have created the toughest season of Aussie Survivor yet.
The new cast includes siblings, parents & children, and married couples. Amongst the new crop of castaways are a former MasterChef contestant, a pair of identical twins, plus a handful of former castaways, including Mark and Sam Wales, who met playing Survivor back in 2017. Also returning is Champions vs. Contenders II contestant Andy Meldrum, who will be playing with his sister.
Last but not least, the upcoming season will see two-time Survivor winner Sandra Diaz-Twine trying her hand at Survivor down under. The Survivor icon will be joining the season with her daughter Nina.
Get to know the entire cast a little more below. [Disclaimer: This post will be updated with more information later].
Alex Frost & Jay Bruno – In-Laws
Alex and Jay met after Jay started dating Alex’s sister. Now the pair will put their own relationship through a very unique test. A super fan of the game, Alex wants to fly under the radar, secretly making moves, while Jay is relaxed but also determined and competitive.
Jay says: “Our strategy is not to blend in but to go with the flow because you don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know who’s there and who you’re in with.”
Amy Ong & Khanh Ong – Siblings
Amy and Khanh are set to put their closeness under a microscope. Charming and disarming, Amy is ready to make a name for herself after living in her older brother’s shadow, while Khanh has a burning desire to win the title of Sole Survivor. And don’t be fooled, he’s willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means he has to lie, cheat and steal to get there.
Khanh says: “There is no strategy from either of us going in. We want to have some fun and see what happens. We’re both very social people so we’ll rely on that, we both find it easy to make friends.”
Andy Meldrum & Kate Tatham – Siblings
After Kate pushed Andy to apply for Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, not only is it Andy’s shot at redemption, but Kate hopes to make her own mark on the game. Planning to use his skills as a professional poker player to read people, Andy’s also ready to try and play a more honest, fun, and good-natured game this time around.
Caring and selfless, Kate is used to doing everything for her family but is now taking a chance on herself, determined to make her first time playing the game count.
Ben Watson & Shayelle Lajoie – Partners
Partners Ben and Shayelle realise the value of having each other on their Survivor journeys, especially when the going gets tough. Standing at 6’4”, Ben is a standout in the crowd kind of guy and has a drive to win. He hopes to be a player who is a beast at challenges but also someone the tribe trusts.
Shay says: “Having him there will be priceless in terms of support. I struggle to not get caught up in my emotions sometimes, so I have to force myself to think my way out it.”
Chrissy Zaremba & Michael ‘Croc’ Crocker – In-Laws
While Chrissy may not have a lot of Survivor knowledge, she is playing with Croc to keep his dream of being part of the game alive. Croc’s strengths in the game will be his observation skills, as well as his brute physical strength. He will build genuine relationships and ascertain what makes people tick, how they behave and then make big moves when the time is right to eliminate his biggest threats.
Although she may not be a superfan, Chrissy is confident and competitive and wants to prove to her kids that she can do anything and to inspire them to do the same in their lives.
David Goodchild & Briana Goodchild – Father & Daughter
Briana is competing for the title of Sole Survivor alongside her father, David. Briana says her dad is the skull crusher—the guy who is going to lay down the law while she is the entertainer and social butterfly. As a Project Manager at a construction firm, David knows himself to be very strategic. He believes in getting the lay of the land, being flexible and making tough ruthless calls when need be.
Survivor is Briana’s dream, but one David is more than happy to follow saying: “I’ve been vortexed into this dream and I’m pumped. We’re gonna smash it because our relationship together is strong. We’re both ambitious, both fierce.”
Jesse Hansen & Jordie Hansen – Siblings
Jesse has a tight bond with his older brother, Jordie, who is playing alongside him, and although the two claim to be polar opposites of each other, they are dedicated to becoming the perfect team. As a landscaper by trade, Jordie is used to digging holes and getting himself out of them. And despite the ease of which he makes friends, Jordie knows Survivor is about more than just being mates and is about understanding people on a deeper level.
Meanwhile, Jesse enjoys anything that will challenge him and he will push through any physical or mental boundaries to get there. As a professional triathlete in training, Jesse is used to intense endurance and he even finds comfort in pain. Although he has a cheeky disposition, he does not take failure lightly.
Jordan Schmidt & Josh Millgate – Cousins
Jordan is playing with his cousin Josh, and, between the two, Jordan is the one who will be diving in headfirst. Although they are cousins, Jordan and Josh say their relationship is closer than most brothers. Jordan’s ready to push himself both physically and mentally as far as he can when he hits the mat, to see what he is truly made of.
On the other hand, Josh considers himself a Survivor armchair expert and is excited to see if he can execute the physical, social, and strategic gameplay in real life.
KJ Austin & Sophie Cachia – Siblings
As a Survivor super-fan, Kate (KJ) comes armed with the knowledge she has taken on after meticulously watching past seasons, and is excited to play with her younger sister, Sophie. Two very different people, KJ is hoping to use some of Sophie’s traits to help her in the game, as Sophie is a driven businesswoman who doesn’t take no for an answer.
Sophie’s also hoping to use some of KJ’s Survivor super knowledge to help her gain her footing: “I know how well-prepared KJ is so I’ll be going to her for advice, strategy, game play, what I would do in a certain situation.”
Mark Wales & Sam Gash – Husband & Wife
Mark was last seen on Australian Survivor Season 2, where he formed a power couple with fellow castaway Sam. The two fell in love, were married in 2019 and have a son together. Last time Mark played Survivor, he thought being fit and strong would be enough to go far in the game, but he quickly realised this was not the case and that his social game would need to improve. He won’t be making the same mistake twice.
Sam’s mantra is “composure and calm, this is a marathon not a sprint”, and says she doesn’t have a game plan as she wants to adapt to the people she is playing with.
Mel Chiang & Michelle Chiang – Identical Twins
Mel is playing with identical twin sister Michelle, who she shares a “twin connection” with. They’re able to know what each other are thinking and can even feel each other’s pain. Mel is a Survivor super-fan, who wears her heart on her sleeve but is a keen strategist and loves the psychology behind the game. As a social butterfly, Mel makes friends easily and is planning to make alliances a key part of her game plan.
Michelle has built a career on communication and prides herself on catching people out in their lies. As a Speech Pathologist, she is confident her innate understanding of human behaviour will push her to find out what is driving her fellow tribe mates.
Sandra Diaz-Twine & Nina Twine – Mother & Daughter
Sandra is a two-time US Survivor winner and now she is ready to take on Australian Survivor and defend her international Survivor throne. Sassy and outspoken and having been a part of US Survivor five times, she is excited to be playing with a family member for the very first time. While she might be the Queen, Sandra has never played Survivor: Blood vs. Water and is hoping not to impact Nina’s game.
Playing in the shadow of her mother’s Survivor legacy doesn’t intimidate Nina, who is ready for the challenge. Nina says: “The best advice my mum has given me is to keep your head down but your ears open. You don’t want the target to be on you, you want it to be on somebody else, so that has been really helpful.”
Sandra says: “I’m set in my ways but having Nina out there will remind me, ‘Sandra, tone it down.’ It’s a whole different game, it’s a whole different place, it’s a whole different theme so I can’t be the same Sandra as before.”
Australian Survivor: Blood vs. Water premieres Monday, January 31 on Network 10 and 10 Play, and will also be available to watch in the US on Paramount+.