What kind of wackos think it will be great fun to live on porridge, sleep in cramped bunks in the hull of an old sailing ship, and risk life and limb hunting through really rugged terrain for clues to a pirate treasure? "They're tough," says Mark Burnett, whose latest adventure reality show, Pirate Master, premieres on May 31. Sure, there's a total of $1 million at stake hidden around the Caribbean island of Dominica, but the daunting physical demands make Survivor's challenge look wimpy. "It's a really interesting diverse cast," says Burnett. "Everybody's a good athlete, but what they've learned is being a great pirate, you have to be really smart. When you're exhausted and you're trudging through a jungle, jumping off waterfalls or swimming up canyon lakes, you still have to think about what the pirate clues are.
"It takes a lot of brains," Burnett continues, "to decipher the clues. It's very, very hard. On top of that they're trying to sail a three-masted ship with huge sails. It's epic!"
Here is a first look at the men and women, who, Burnett says, "knew a lot about the world of pirates and all agree had they been born 250 years ago, they'd have like to have been pirates." In other words, meet the pirates:
Age: 29 Hometown: Tamaqua, Pennsylvania Occupation: ex-military
Age: 23 Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina Occupation: musician
Age: 43 Hometown: Fishing Creek, Maryland Occupation: marina owner
Age: 38 Hometown: Los Angeles Occupation: dive master
Age: 37 Hometown: Detroit Occupation: automotive parts salesman
Age: 26 Hometown: Los Angeles Occupation: music producer
Age: 35 Hometown: Sparks, Nevada Occupation: district attorney
Age: 25 Hometown: Carlisle, Massachusetts Occupation: scientist/Chippendale dancer
Joceyln "Joy" McElveen
Age: 21 Hometown: West Columbia, South Carolina Occupation: receptionist
Elicia "Jupiter" Mendoza
Age: 30 Hometown: Los Angeles Occupation: bartender
Joe Don "J.D." Morton
Age: 36 Hometown: Ft. Wainwright, Alaska Occupation: smokejumper
Age: 29 Hometown: Berkeley, California Occupation: make-up artist
Age: 45 Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, California (and originally from Nigeria) Occupation: former Kansas City Chiefs player
Age: 21 Hometown: Los Angeles Occupation: glass blower
Age: 26 Hometown: Laguna Beach, California Occupation: fashion publicist
Age: 27 Hometown: Venice, California Occupation: bartender
For more on CBS' Pirate Master, see TVGuide.com's original first look.