One of the oldest, and still most popular, reality shows, Survivor debuts its 46th edition later this month and when the cameras go on in Fiji, two Garden Staters will be featured.

The cast features 18 contestants vying to be the sole survivor over 26 days (as opposed to 39 days that they used to have to endure).

Out of the 18, two have New Jersey ties:

Twenty-seven-year-old special ed teacher, Soda Thompson, lives in Lake Hopatcong.

She described herself to Entertainment Weekly as being Intentional, determined, and empathetic, and her three favorite hobbies are singing, going for walks, and doing random crafts.

As far as how her friends would describe her, she said,

If I’m honest, my friends might say I’m silly, extra, and anxious at times, but they bear with me. Before Survivor, the riskiest thing she had done was get married: I got married super young to a man from Brazil I had only known six months. He is amazing. It really worked out.

She also confessed her biggest fear:

I am deathly afraid of butterflies. I cannot even be in the same field as one and I can sense when anything small, soft, and winged is nearby.

Monarch Butterfly Threatened
AP
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The other contestant from New Jersey is 33-year-old artist Tiffany Nicole Ervin; she was born in Franklin Twp. and now lives in Elizabeth.

Her hobbies are painting, photography, and eating out. Her proudest accomplishment is successfully switching careers:

I was laid off [from] my job of six years at the top of 2020 and instead of scrambling to find another job that I likely wouldn’t have been happy with, I had the courage to follow my gut and pursue being a full-time artist instead. So far things have been working out even better than I expected.

Three different contestants from New Jersey have won the big Survivor prize; I’ll be watching and let you know if there’s a fourth.

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