As America votes for next season's castaways, potential female contestants ask PEOPLE readers for their votes

By Steve Helling
May 15, 2015 08:35 PM
Courtesy CBS

Next season’s game of Survivor has already begun.

When CBS announced that the show would let America choose its next cast, potential contestants began aggressive campaigns on social media for votes.

Through next Wednesday, voters can visit Survivor‘s website to chose the 10 men and 10 women who they want to see compete next season.

While PEOPLE will refrain from making official endorsements, it just so happened that exactly 10 women responded to our requests for an interview. (We’ll profile the men soon.) Here they are, in no particular order:

Kelly Wiglesworth, 37

Claim to fame: One of the original Survivor contestants, she helped create the show we know today. She was the runner-up – and the recipient of Susan Hawk’s blistering speech about snakes and rats.
Why she wants to come back:Survivor is an unfinished chapter in my life for 15 years,” she says. “I’ve had a good life, but now I want to come back to win.”
How she’ll play differently: In 2000, Wiglesworth was ambivalent about having an alliance. Not anymore. “You have to have one,” she says. “I’ll still play ethically, but I’ll have an alliance.”

Teresa “T-Bird” Cooper, 56

Claim to fame: Cooper placed fifth on 2001’s Survivor: Africa. The likable Georgia flight attendant had a devious side: she cast a vote for the season’s villain, Lex, and sat quietly by while another contestant was blamed.
Why she wants to play again: “I love the adventure,” she says. “I would play the game for free, even if there weren’t a million-dollar prize.”
What she’ll do with a victory: “I had a brother who passed away from AIDS,” she says. “If I get another 15 minutes of fame, I want to use it as a platform to raise awareness.”

Kelley Wentworth, 28

Why you’d remember her: She was one of the few players in Survivor: San Juan Del Sur who had any idea how to play the game. After a bad tribal swap, she and her father, Dale, were voted out by players who had never seen a single episode of Survivor.
What she’ll do differently: “I’m prepared to rock it solo,” she says. “Bottom line, I am looking out for me, myself and I. And I’m beyond excited to play MY game, rather than mine and my dad’s game.”
How she’s campaigning: In addition to social media, she’s hitting the fan podcasts like Survivor Talk with D & D.

Kass McQuillen, 42

Why you’d remember her: Last year’s Survivor: Cagayan was one of the best seasons in the show’s history, and “Chaos Kass” McQuillen is a big reason why. After several big moves, she ended up in third place. Bonus: She drove eventual winner Tony Vlachos crazy, which was great TV.
Why she says she should return: “Because, love me or hate me, I made you yell at your TV,” she says. “How many other candidates can say that?”
How she’ll play differently: I have read a lot of self-help books and gotten a lot of advice – most of which is to keep my mouth shut.”
Why we’d like to see her again: Every season needs an entertaining villain, and McQuillen more than fits the bill.

Kass McQuillen
Courtesy CBS

Kimmi Kappenberg, 42

Why you’d remember her: Kappenberg competed on Survivor: Australia – the most popular season in the franchise’s history. A vegetarian, she got into a dustup over the tribe’s chickens with fellow castaway Alicia Calaway while a pre-View Elisabeth Hasselbeck looked on.
How she’ll play differently: “I didn’t have an alliance,” she says. “I know that a bad alliance or the wrong alliance is better than no alliance at all!
Why we’d like to see her again: When she played before, she was a 28-year-old party girl. Now she’s a 42-year-old mom of two boys. How will that change her game?

Kimmi Kappenberg
Courtesy CBS

Abi Maria Gomes, 35

Claim to fame: In Survivor: Philippines the Brazilian-born Gomes had a fiery temper and a sharp tongue. Finishing the game in fifth place, she always spoke her mind.
Why she wants a second chance. “I tore my ACL on day one when I played last time,” she says, “but I fought to stay in the game until the end. I never once planned on quitting.
How she’ll play differently “Hopefully, I will be able to keep my emotions in check and play a more aware game,” she says.

Abi Maria Gomes
Courtesy CBS

Sabrina Thompson, 37

Why you’d remember her: Thompson came close to winning Survivor: One World but ended up taking second place.
Why she didn’t win: “I feel like I played a pretty flawless game the first time, but I didn’t make a big move towards the end of the game,” she says. “That caused me to get runner-up.”
What she’ll do if she wins: “I want to use the million dollars to start a program I have been dreaming of called the Teen Travel Society,” she says. “It’s a program that allows teenagers to travel to two to three continents and use critical thinking skills during physical challenges and world social service projects.”
Can she win? If Thompson can channel her inner killer instinct, she could walk away with the million.

Sabrina Thompson
Courtesy CBS

Peih Gee Law, 37

Why you’d remember her: Despite being down in numbers for the entire game, Law finished fifth in Survivor: China.
Why she wants to play again: “I have something to prove,” she says. “I went very deep in the game in a season where the opposing alliance was very strong, and I had to fight against the odds.”
How she’ll play differently: “I can’t be someone that I’m not,” she says. “I’m loud and a bit offensive and very opinionated. But this time I’m going to focus on relationships and make moves when the time is right.”

Peih Gee Law
Courtesy CBS

Stephanie Valencia, 30

Why you’d remember her: You might not, but you really should. She was aligned with ubervillain Russell Hantz in Survivor: Redemption Island and voted off early – but it always seemed that she was quite clever, and had a lot more game left in her.
How she’ll play differently: “I would partner myself with people that I could make decisions with instead of being delegated to,” she says. “No one wants to vote the master strategist’s personal assistant to win the million.”
What she’ll do with the million: “Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it,” she laughs.

Stephanie Valencia
Courtesy CBS

Monica Padilla, 31

Why you’d remember her: She was one of the few contestants to stand up to Russell Hantz in Survivor: Samoa, where she finished in seventh place.
How she’ll play differently: “I’m stronger, feistier and wiser,” she says. “I’m more determined to win than ever before – and I plan to have fun doing it!”
What she’ll do with the million: I’ve been a practicing attorney for six years now and haven’t even made a dent in my student loans,” she says. “I would love to pay those bad boys off!”

Monica Padilla
Courtesy CBS

Visit Survivor‘s website to pick 10 female competitors for a second chance.

Advertisement