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S45: Sean Edwards

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From Entertainment Weekly



Name: Sean Edwards
Age: 35 
Hometown: Lawrence, New Jersey 
Current Residence: Provo-Orem, Utah  
Occupation: School Principal  

3 Words to Describe You: Connection-seeker, ambitiously minded, magnetic energy.  

Why do you want to be part of Survivor? I have been watching Survivor ever since the very beginning. I always wanted to play, but for so many years never had the confidence to even put myself out there. For me, Survivor represents my chance to reclaim a lot of lost time and missed opportunities. Now that I have pride and confidence in myself, I am ready to play and win!  
What's one life experience you feel has prepared you for the game? As a gay man, overcoming social stigma and religious expectations helped me to develop mental grit, tenacity, and resilience, which is absolutely necessary for Survivor.  

Which previous player do you identify with the most? Who do you think you will play most like? I identify the most with Zeke Smith. He was always authentic and true to himself. He always came across as genuine, even in his gameplay. I imagine I will play the most like Cirie Fields and Todd Herzog. They both were able to use the power of connection and social wit to form relationships that brought them further into the game. Then, when those relationships no longer served their game play, they voted them out. I know that sounds harsh, but that's the game! We can be friends after I win, I promise.  

What will you value in an alliance partner? Something I really value in my everyday life as an elementary school principal is diverse perspectives. I am going to bring that value into the game. I want to align with people who think differently than me because they will be able to see situations from a different vantage point, suss out shady people, or have different ideas that I may not initially see, notice or have.  

Favorite Hobbies: My husband, Matt, is a great cook. My favorite thing to do is eat his food while spending quality time with him and watching Survivor seasons. I also love a good game night with my cousins.  

Pet Peeves: People who are arrogant and think they are better than others.  

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I am pretty proud of a lot of things, like being the first openly gay school principal in my school district, getting my doctorate degree, having my work published in various academic journals, but all of that pales in comparison to my absolute greatest success in life which is marrying my husband, Matt.  

What is something we would never know from looking at you? When people first meet me, they often make assumptions. Almost everyone thinks I am younger than I really am. There was a time in my life when I was a high school vice principal and parents and visitors thought I was the student body president. So, people are always surprised to learn that I am so accomplished in my education and career. I'm not just here for a good time, I am goal driven and a natural leader. 

Who in your life is your biggest inspiration and why? My older sister, Elaine, has autism. She is nonverbal, aggressive, and self-injurious, and cannot live independently. Although she faces more challenges every day than most other people, she smiles, laughs, and gets through it. I hope to one day have an ounce of her bravery.  

Why will you be the Sole Survivor? Survivor is largely a social game and my skills in this area will lead me to becoming the next Sole Survivor. I can read people's emotions, empathize with others, connect with anyone, and make people feel comfortable with me. These skills will help me to build alliances naturally and easily. I'm ready to claim the $1 million now.    

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