Hallelujah! It’s almost time for the new season of Survivor to begin!!! In just under 36 hours, I will have my kids in bed early, ready to devote the next two hours to getting to know the new castaways and the new location: Gabon.

TV Guide Channel has been airing a preview of Survivor: Gabon, and thanks to the ‘ole DVR, I finally got a chance to sit down and watch it. First off, I’d like to say I forgot how much I love Jeff Probst. Those dimples are so adorable! This little preview was super awesome, because there was no dumb TV Guide Channel host – just a little Parvati, and a whole lot of Probst. Woo-Hoo!

This season looks to be pretty exciting. There is a really interesting group of people, some wicked crazy primitive terrain, and a whole lot of ferocious wild beasties. So, we know the show is in Africa, but how the heck do you say that word – Gabon. Thanks to Probst, we know that there are many pronunciations, but he says it “Guh-bone”, so I guess that’s what we’re going to go with too.

Gabon is a pretty remote place. For those of you too lazy to check a map, it’s on the western coast of Africa, smack in between Equatorial Guinea and Congo. I’m sure that helps… The producers just happened upon the location, and because it is nearly devoid of anything but wilderness and animals, they decided to give this season the tag line Earth’s Last Eden. According to the show, there are roughly 60,000 Elephants, 20,000 Gorillas, and 25,000 chimps – all in this one area of Africa. Sounds like an accident waiting to happen to me!

The contestants for this season are really diverse. There’s a grandma – Jillian. She’s 61 years old, and she’s the oldest on the show this time around. She’s originally from South Africa, and though she’s been turned down several times to be on the show, she scored this time. She’s a psychological nurse, and she’s got a big personality.

Danny (G.C.)is a musician working as a maintenance man. His mom is an ex-con, he’s been homeless in the past, and he went through a boot camp for rotten kids at 17. Jackie is a 25 year old medical device salesman. She’s very type-A, and she thinks she “might” annoy some people. The show hasn’t even started and I’m already annoyed.

Charlie is 29 and he runs in marathons for fun. Parvati calls him an “openly gay corporate attorney”, and I’m left wondering if he is an attorney for openly gay corporations, or if he is openly gay. All I know is I don’t give a crap one way or the other. Be gay, or be straight, but why oh why do we have to label anyone by their sexual orientation? I swear if I ever go on a reality show, I am going to make sure they say I’m an “openly straight writer and mother of 3.”

Ken is 22 and he plays video games for fun, and for money. He’s cool, calm and collected. He seems small, but he’s strong – both physically and mentally. Michelle is a boxer and she might be the inspiration for the character Polly in Along Came Polly. She’s been there done that on just about every level.

Ace is a rich photographer with a sweet accent. And he can walk on his hands. He’s bald, and I love bald guys, so he’s on the top of my list. He seemingly hooks up with Jessica – who calls herself Sugar – is semi-obsessed with the 50s. She is an actress and pin-up model, and she even has one of those old bathing suits that has bottoms that come up to her boobs. I find her extremely irritating at this point, but she just lost her dad, so I’ll give her a chance.

Crystal won a Gold Medal at the 2004 Olympics – but she isn’t letting anyone know. She is strong, and will be a huge physical threat. Marcus is 28 and hot. He’s a doctor, a tri-athlete, Cosmo’s hottest bachelor of 2006. I’m sure he’s gonna have a showmance. Probst seems a teensy bit jealous when he declares that Marcus won’t win.

Kelly is the blond bombshell of the show – 22 and she apparently has no job. She’s got three brothers, and she thinks that’s enough to make her tough. Probst pretty much just says she’s hot. Matty is the grandson of Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company. With that info in mind, he’s surprisingly hot. He was rich at one time, but he blew it all and now he lives with a girlfriend he loves, but he thinks he might cheat on. Nice.

Corrine is a curly-haired salesperson. She quit her job to be on the show, and she’s a straight-shooter. Probst calls her a b!tch, and she doesn’t mind that label. Randy is the almost-50 year old guy and he’s a socially retarded wedding videographer. He doesn’t like people and he really doesn’t like religious people. Paloma is a religious person, so I’m not looking for those two to form an alliance. Probst says she’s got no chance, but she lived in Kenya with the local people for three months by herself.

Bob thinks he’s the oldest, but he’s only 58. He’s a teacher, and he looks like one. He’s also a tree-hugger who wears a bow-tie. Susie is a 47 hair dresser and English teacher. She drops the F-bomb regularly, and I like her. Dan is 32 and another lawyer. He quit his job to find himself. He seems really confused, and like he’s smack in the middle of a mid-life crisis. I feel ya dude – his life sounds very much like mine. And, we’re almost the same age – I pick Dan for my fave.

So, that’s it for the castaways. Other things they covered in the show include the fact that this will be the first season broadcast in HD. Probst is afraid that people will realize he has villages of tiny people living in the huge crevasses on his face, and the crew is worried people will realize they use a lot of duct tape on the props.

The show gave a sweet tour of the tribal council area. The huts are sweet – and are built just like they are in Gabon. They bought the doors from local people, and the thatch roofs were brought in from some pygmies and it was ordeal to get them to the location.

Probst shows us the nice little stools that the tribes have to sit on – and says the producers don’t care if it hurts their butts. The voting booth is set in its usual conspicuous spot, and the pen is based on ivory carvings. Probst specifies based on ivory – sit back down PETA.

The best part about this whole preview show was the sneak peek at the first Immunity Challenge. It’s freaking sweet. Six players for each time are tied together, and they have to go down a hill, through a swamp, up an A-frame, up a hill, under/over fence posts, dig up some puzzle pieces, and get puzzle pieces and players under a gate. Finally the last three players for each team have to assemble the puzzle. Awesome!

One final twist for this season – there will be an exile island, and the person who is exiled has to choose between a clue, or a “comfort.” Who the freak would be dumb enough to take the comfort? I can’t wait to find out!
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