Survivor 41 cast: Who is Ph.D. student Evvie Jagoda?

Survivor contestant Evvie Jagoda.
Who is PhD student Evvie Jagoda? Meet the woman who hopes to be the first queer woman to win Survivor. Pic credit: CBS

The game of Survivor is ever-evolving and after a prolonged hiatus due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, fans weren’t sure what the hit CBS show might end up looking like.

When it was announced that Season 41 had been given the green light, many let out a sigh of relief. However, now that the new season is here, there are some impactful changes happening.

One of those changes is that the newest season is going to be considerably shorter than prior seasons. Instead of the normal 39 days that fans are used to, the new castaways are given just 26 days to accomplish the same amount of work and gameplay as past contestants.

But the new cast brings plenty of gumption, grit, and savvy to the long-running hit CBS show.

Who is Evvie Jagoda?

Among the 18 brand new faces to the game is Ph.D. student Evvie Jagoda. The 28-year-old, whose hobbies include cooking, biking, and being in nature (she is in grad school for Human Evolutionary Biology after all) says that her smarts and strategic gameplay will help her throughout the course of Survivor.

Over on Evvie’s CBS profile, she discussed why she would be able to win the title of sole survivor.

“I really think I have the right combination of skills to win the game,” Evvie said. “I’m extremely smart and strategic and know the game [of Survivor] very well and will constantly be thinking about how to put myself in the best position to win.”

However, Evvie also said that this might also work to her benefit in terms of being underestimated.

“I’m also so silly and goofy and physically small and clumsy that I think people will really underestimate me and not target me…I think people will feel close to me, tell me information, and want to work with me.”

Evvie hopes to be the first queer woman to win Survivor

One thing that Survivor fans may be surprised to find out is that Evvie hasn’t always felt comfortable identifying as queer. In fact, according to Evvie, she passed as straight for 23 years.

“People are normally shocked that I passed as straight for 23 years. I give off the vibe of someone super confident in my queerness (which I am now), but it wasn’t always this way.”

Evvie says that she likes to “be loud and proud” about her experience so others know that it’s “okay to take longer to know yourself.”

As for who Evvie plans to emulate in terms of gameplay, she wasn’t able to narrow it down to one player. The one thing she is focused on is making sure that she stays “close to the center of power” without ever being “directly perceived as the one making the calls.”

“For example, Todd at the beginning of China put Aaron as the leader of his tribe but knew he could control him. I also think Natalie in San Juan Del Sur crushed this.”

It will be exciting to see what Evvie brings to Survivor 41.

Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.

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