The new crop of castaways for Survivor‘s 24th season has been announced, and for once there are no familiar faces. The show has wisely gotten rid of Redemption Island and former contestants, instead adding the creative new twist of forcing both tribes to live together, offering the possibility of cross-tribe alliances. In addition, the tribes will be divided by men and women.

Though we won’t get a good look at the action until Survivor: One World premieres Wednesday, February 15 at 8pm on CBS, the cast announcement comes with a rather detailed questionnaire that provides some brilliant insight into who these people are.

First, check out the video preview to get a quick glimpse at the 18 new castaways.

Now, based solely on first impressions, here are the five castaways I’m most excited about.

Kat Edorsson

This 22-year-old Florida timeshare rep wrote that her inspiration is Xena: Warrior Princess, elaborating that “I could only wish I can be half the woman she is.” Most people chose family members or historical figures, but getting inspiration from something as objectively awesome as Xena means this chick is gonna be pretty nutty and cool.

Greg Smith

At 64, this plastic surgeon is the oldest castaway and will probably get voted out quickly because of it. However, based on his questionnaire, I envision him as a Don Quixote-esque figure, a man who sees magic everywhere. His inspirations are Tarzan and Scaramouche, a swashbuckling figure from Italian commedia dell’arte. In addition, when asked why he thinks he’ll win, he wrote “Other than the misfortunes of contretemps, I hope to outwit, outplay, outlast.” How can you not love a crazy old man who uses phrases like that?

Kourtney Moon

When asked about her personal claim to fame, Kourtney wrote “I grew a person inside my body, squeezed him out of a tiny orifice and managed not to completely bomb at parenting (so far).” Clearly she has an oddball sense of humor and I suspect she will bond with Xena Chick, thus creating a Kardashian-style “Kat and Kourtney Take Survivor” subplot.

Leif Manson

He’s a little person. That’s all I need to know to root for him. Hopefully he’ll be like Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones, manipulating everyone while letting them think that he’s harmless because of his short stature.

Nina Acosta

My favorite stock character of every season is the bad-ass old lady. On Survivor: One World, that title will likely go to Nina, a 51-year-old retired LAPD officer. Based on her career, and the fact that she tried out for the SWAT Team and had a basketball scholarship in college, it’s clear she’s more of a physical threat than the sexy know-nothings half her age. I can’t wait to see her kick the butts of the men who think they’re so tough.

Which Survivor: One World castaway is your early favorite?

(Image courtesy of CBS)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.