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'Survivor' Season 29 underway: What we know about 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur'

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As they have in years past, today "Survivor" has begun filming their upcoming two seasons, back-to-back. The Fall's incarnation of the show, "Survivor: San Juan del Sur," has already been announced as being the show's second "Blood vs. Water" season (Season 29 overall) and yesterday there was already some breaking news, as reported by Dalton Ross of EW.com. So what do we know thus far about the future seasons of our favorite reality competition show?

According to EW.com, the cast has already been shortened from 20 contestants to 18 when, at the last minute, two contestants had to drop out for medical reasons. Apparently, this loss happened before any filming began, but Probst did seem disappointed. Now with 18 players (presumably nine pairs), the show will not only begin with less-than-anticipated contestants, but there will be an odd-number of men and women to start the game.

We also know that - obviously - the show will once again be filmed in Nicaragua, close to the fishing town of San Juan del Sur. Season 30 will also be filmed there, which has been a cost-saving maneuver - shooting back-to-back seasons in the same location - for many years now. Survivor was last filmed in Nicaragua during Season 22, "Survivor: Redemption Island," which saw Boston Rob take home the win.

Speaking of Redemption Island, it will be back in play for Season 29. According once again to Dalton Ross and EW.com, Redemption Island will feature a new twist from previous seasons and the show overall will feature more water-based challenges than we saw the last time the show was in Nicaragua. The cast, by the way, will be all new players, but it is still unknown as to whether these pairs of people will begin the game on separate tribes, like the last Blood vs. Water, or if they will be pairs existing within the same tribe initially.

As for Season 30, rumor online has dubbed this a "Survivor: Legends" season, featuring returning All-Stars. Although it is a big anniversary season for the show, Probst has continuously reiterated the same thing over and over: That as long as the fan base sticks with Survivor, they will continue to make it even beyond Season 30. So even though some see Season 30 as a good ending point for the long-running show, Probst doesn't see it that way.

Which means that the future of Survivor may have a lot to do with the success of "Survivor: San Juan del Sur." Let's hope that this version of Blood vs. Water is just as exciting as the last one. One thing is for sure: Following up "Blood vs Water" and "Cagayan" won't be an easy task, even if the strength of these two past seasons does signify that the show can continue to re-invent itself.

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