Soda Thompson aims to become the next Long Islander to win ‘Survivor’


This Soda would rather not fizzle.

But as Bay Shore native Sodasia “Soda” Thompson aims to become the latest Long Islander to conquer “Survivor,” rival contestants appear to be scheming to get her off the island in the South Pacific where the long-running CBS reality show is filmed.

“As far as we’re concerned, me, Hunter and Liz are on board,” fellow castaway Tevin Davis said of his teammates on the March 20 episode. “Like, Soda got to go-da.”

@cbssurvivor Keep your friends close!🤭 #Survivor ♬ original sound – Survivor

Thompson, who graduated from Bay Shore High School in 2014 and now works as a special education teacher in New Jersey, is among more than a dozen Long Islanders who have competed on “Survivor” since the show’s debut in 2000.

She joined 17 other castaways competing in mental and physical contests for the $1 million “Sole Survivor” prize after being stranded on the Fiji Islands and divided into tribes of six.

It’s a role Thompson says she has been building for over a lifetime — after being raised by an aunt while her mother and father both struggled with addiction.

“I’ve been playing ‘Survivor’ in real life for my whole life,” she told Parade last month. “So this seems like the ultimate hero’s journey for me.”

Ninety-minute episodes from the 46th season of “Survivor” air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS and are available for streaming via Paramount+.

Thompson is on the “Nami” tribe alongside Davis, an actor from Richmond, Va. who tearfully pleaded for forgiveness after losing her sandals while trying to fish in rough waters.

“It’s ok, I have other shoes, I don’t have another Tevin,” Thompson told Davis. “As long as you’re safe and you’re here, I’m good.”

On the show and in clips posted to social media, the 27-year-old teacher has showcased her nurturing side and her singing, along with some team-building skills.

“There’s nothing that this fab five cannot do,” she told her teammates in one clip posted to TikTok.

Thompson is attempting to follow the path of others from Long Island who have outlasted and outsmarted the competition on “Survivor.” 

Long Beach’s Tommy Sheehan, a fourth-grade teacher at the Floral Park School, won the 39th season in 2019, while Tom Westman, an FDNY member from Sayville, won “Survivor: Palau,” which aired in 2005.

In her “Survivor” introduction video, Thompson emphasized how her past has prepared her for anything on the islands.

“I think I have what it takes because the thing about trauma is, it leaves you resilient,” she said.  “I don’t even know who my parents were and here I am today — if that doesn’t say survivor all over it, I don’t know what does.” 

Top: Photo of Sodasia Thompson from her Instagram page.

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