9:15am PT by Josh Wigler
'Survivor: Ghost Island' Player Profile: Meet Sebastian Noel
Welcome to the Survivor: Ghost Island preseason! THR's Josh Wigler reports from his visit to the show's shooting location in Fiji, where he interviewed host Jeff Probst, as well as the 20 new castaways battling it out for the million dollar prize.
Click here to make sure you're all caught up on our stories from the island, including our weekly podcast series "First One Out: Ghost Zero," an in-depth look at all of the new players, culminating in an interview with the first person voted out of the season, and Wigler's exclusive overnight stay on Ghost Island.
Twenty-two years old and hailing from Satellite Beach, Florida, Sebastian Noel exists somewhere between the realm of legendary Survivor player Ozzy Lusth and legendary pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. (Indeed, Sebastian spends significant amounts of time in his real life acting as Jack Sparrow at events.) As a professional fishing guide, Sebastian could benefit significantly from one of the new Ghost Island twists: a diminished rice supply, increasing the need for someone who can provide food.
"I love Sebastian," says executive producer and host Jeff Probst. "I think he's going to be a kids' favorite. I hope so, at least. I hope we're right about him. He has a bit of a Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High attitude about him: 'Ah, dude! It's all good! I'm going to get out in the ocean and catch some fish, and I'm going to rock the fish!' The question about Sebastian is, is there more to his game? He's a young guy. If he gets with the right people, maybe his vibe really works. If he ends up with maybe some older people? I don't know."
Read on for highlights from our interview with Sebastian.
Sebastian's favorite Survivor players:
"My all-time favorite has to be Rupert. He was just that gnarly original dude who was just like… 'Whoa, who is this guy?' With the mud dripping from his beard. But I'm very comparable to Ozzy. My grandma says I look like Joe. I think my all-around social player has to be Jay. Those four people are my all-time faves."
How Sebastian's first day plays out, if it goes perfectly:
"The first day will be perfect if I make an alliance with at least one strong friend. I've seen too many episodes where you take a great partnership all the way to the end. You don't have to work with them the entire time. You can switch tribes and still be close. As long as you have a mainstay and a couple of other close friends along the way, I think you can make it pretty far, as long as you're socially active."
How Sebastian plans on playing like a pirate:
"I'm going to be a quiet pirate. I can still shiver the booty, but I'm not going to go out and raid and pillage on the first day. I'm going to be that [conniving] pirate who looks around and observes — kind of like Jack Sparrow does. He's not so out in the open, like he's going to slice your guts open. He's that observatory kind of pirate."
Why Sebastian thinks his powers of observation will serve him well:
"That's where noticing the small things comes into play for me. I'll notice a piece of sand on someone's earlobe for three hours. Why is that there? I see the little things. I'm very good at that. I think finding idols is going to be a nice part of my game."
That's Sebastian in his own words. But what do the other castaways think about him? Over the course of our interviews out in Fiji, the Ghost Island castmembers were presented with pictures of their competitors, and asked to establish their preseason thoughts. With that said, here's what they think about Sebastian.
Wendell Holland (Furniture Company Owner, Naviti Tribe): "He's Captain Jack Sparrow, or a fish — a creature out of the water. He has a fish tattoo on his ankle. He has fish on his sandals. I want to work with that man. I just want to know who the hell this guy is! I've been looking at him: 'You really look like an exotic fish!' He's really probably just a surfer dude, and a really nice person."
Brendan Shapiro (Physical Education Teacher, Malolo Tribe): "He looks like the classic Survivor surfer guy. He's going to be fun. He's going to say funny things and he's going to be fun to be around."
Morgan Ricke (Marine Animal Trainer, Naviti Tribe): "I said 'mini Malcolm' to someone else, and they were like, 'Oh, are you saying Malcolm's fat?' No! Malcolm is super buff and strong, and that guy is like a mini version of him. He's scrawnier. He still has a six-pack, but he's not big."
Chelsea Townsend (Cheerleader and EMT, Naviti Tribe): "Good old surfer dude. Seems very friendly and very go with the flow."
Bradley Kleihege (Law Student, Naviti Tribe): "Good god. He was sniffing a Sharpie at the airport. That's all I need to say."
Josh Wigler, (Reporter, THR): "That told you a lot?"
Bradley Kleihege (Law Student, Naviti Tribe): "It told me everything I needed to know."
Donathan Hurley (Caretaker, Malolo Tribe): "I don't want to be stereotypical, because there are some 'dumb surfers,' and I don't want to be stereotypical against him. He could be a great guy. But I do have my suspicions."
Domenick Abbate (Construction Supervisor, Naviti Tribe): "I love him. I don't know why. He's a good mood guy. If you're on a team with him, he seems like a type where you'll have good vibes, going to challenges. Good charisma. One of those guys you like to have around."
Stephanie Johnson (Yoga Instructor, Malolo Tribe): "I feel like when our hair first saw each other, they were soul mates. Our hair is in an alliance. That's just unbreakable."
Laurel Johnson (Financial Consultant, Malolo Tribe): "This guy cracks me up. He has beautiful hair. Better than most of the females here, actually! He takes excellent care of it. He's a beach bum type, a surfer dude. I don't tend to get along with those guys very well, so I don't know if we'll vibe, but he seems like a low-key dude."
James Lim (Business Analyst, Malolo Tribe): "He's probably a surfer of some sort, probably from SoCal. That's the overwhelming vibe I'm getting from him, which is probably true. He's more chill. He's chill about everything — probably not Survivor, though. When it comes to the individual stage, if I want to earn that immunity, I'll have to earn it past him. We're built in similar ways. We're not big and bulky. We're cut and lean. Hopefully we'll be good allies during the tribe phase, but once individual immunity hits? Game on."
Kellyn Bechtold (Career Counselor, Naviti Tribe): "My parents are very religious. My mom has been praying this whole time that someone would be out here who can catch fish — and I think he's the answer to my mom's prayers. All of his gear is fishing this and fishing that. He looks like he's been living out on an island for the last year already."
Michael Yerger (Real Estate Agent, Malolo Tribe): "He looks like he's been playing out here for half a year already. He may have a leg up. He looks like a surfer dude. He probably spends a lot of time outside in his daily life. Whichever tribe he's on, athletically and outdoor skills-wise, he'll be a great asset."
Chris Noble (Male Model, Naviti Tribe): "He's like my brother, that's the way I look at it. There's something about him. I can tell he's a fisherman, maybe even a surfer, a paddle boarder, whatever. I was a surf instructor growing up in the Keys. I haven't figured out if he's from Florida or California. I think we'll have a lot of the same attributes to bring to the tribe, so it'll be interesting to see if we're on the same tribe at the start or not. Either way, judging on his personality, he's more of a free spirit and chill person. I've hung out with a lot of those guys, and a lot of those guys are often very genuine. I don't think he's going to do much strategically. I think he's going to be a lot like Ozzy, who was never a good strategic player. That's what hurt him. I think he'll be a good shake-and-bake partner."
Jacob Derwin (Music Teacher, Malolo Tribe): "He's the cliché! No offense to you, man. I'm pretty sure I can guess everything about this guy's life. He probably sells surfboards on some beach in California, he got the one dread while he was in Jamaica and decided to never get rid of it. He has a tan that looks like it burned through his body and came back anyway. I don't know. I'm scared of him. If the mentality on my tribe is that we need people like him and the other blonde girl from before around? And they're the ones running the tribe? That puts me in clear danger, because we're clearly different people."
Libby Vincek (Social Media Strategist, Malolo Tribe): "Mermaid Man! I like him. He's our version of Ozzy. I'm so excited to work with him. I think he's going to be fun and he's going to be a threat for sure. He gets the game, in and out — but subtly, too. He's going to be able to fish and everything, but I think he knows he's going to be a threat. I think he's prepared for that. He would be my number one pick for alliances."
Desiree Afuye (Student, Naviti Tribe): "He's one I can definitely see getting in a romance on this show. He's going to use his looks to get to the girls, and I'm not going to be one of the girls. But I want to see it!"
Stephanie Gonzalez (Graphic Sales, Malolo Tribe): "That guy is something else. I think he has a tiny crush on me. He lingered around me a lot. I would move, just to test it out, just to see if it was me or if it was in my brain. I sat at a table, and eventually he worked his way to the table. Went to the chairs over on the other side, and somehow he was walking around. I sense that maybe I'm eye candy for him."
Jenna Bowman (Advertising Account Executive, Malolo Tribe): "That's my crush. (Big smile.) That's my crush! It's the man bun. I can't. I can't even look at him. It's the man bun, I think. And I'm from Detroit! Tanned surfers do not look like that in Detroit. Especially being on an island? It's like, yes. Absolute yes. We've already flirted a little bit. We'll wink at each other. "
Angela Perkins (Army Veteran, Naviti Tribe): "(Huge eye roll.)"
Josh Wigler, (Reporter, THR): "Huge eye roll, for the record!"
Angela Perkins (Army Veteran, Naviti Tribe): "Huge eye roll, or very long blink. The dude looks amazing. On the surface, he looks like a badass surfer. Not intimidating, but obviously very appealing to the eyes. He could have some sneaky moves. He looks relaxed. At times, I catch myself thinking, 'Jesus Christ, this guy has no sense of awareness or consideration of others.' He'll bring his feet up into his chest while he's sitting there. He takes up slightly more room than the others when I'm sitting there being clenched and thinking about how the others are feeling. He's so comfortable and relaxed and he wants people to know that if he's relaxed, you can be relaxed. But the second I start judging, I think of him as an arrogant prick. I know he's not. I know it's just his demeanor and where he's at in life. He's just really relaxed and cool with what's going on."
Keep up with all of our preseason interviews:
• Angela Perkins
• Bradley Kleihege
• Brendan Shapiro
• Chelsea Townsend
• Chris Noble
• Desiree Afuye
• Domenick Abbate
• Donathan Hurley
• Jacob Derwin
• James Lim
• Jenna Bowman
• Kellyn Bechtold
• Laurel Johnson
• Libby Vincek
• Michael Yerger
• Morgan Ricke
• Sebastian Noel
• Stephanie Gonzalez
• Stephanie Johnson
• Wendell Holland
What's your read on Sebastian? Sound off with your predictions in the comments section below, and keep checking THR.com/Survivor for more interviews with the Survivor: Ghost Island cast.