On the heels of yesterday's announcement that Survivor: One World's Kat Edorsson would be returning for the upcoming season of Survivor - called Survivor: Blood vs. Water - along with her boyfriend and former Big Brother champ, Hayden Moss, today the remaining 18 contestants of the show were revealed.
As previously mentioned, the new season will feature former Survivor contestants and their loved ones all vying for the million dollar prize and title of "Sole Survivor." Some of the choices may shock you. Here they are:
Three contestants from Survivor: One World will return. In addition to Kat and her boyfriend Hayden, it was somewhat of a shock to learn that they will be joined by fellow One World-er, Monica Culpepper, and her husband Brad. Perhaps less-surprising is the return of the Survivor villain everybody loved to hate, Colton Cumbie, and his fiance Caleb. Colton was a polarizing force who seemed to be running things on the island, before being evacuated from the game following a severe stomach illness.
Two former Survivor winners will return. Tina Wesson, winner of Survivor: The Australian Outback (the show's second season, who also was the first person booted from Survivor: All-Stars in 2004) will return with her daughter, Katie. Aras Baskauskas, winner of Survivor: Panama (the show's 12th season) will return for the first time to compete with his brother, Vytas.
Returning "Heroes" and a legendary "Villain." Coming back for his fourth go-round at Survivor is fan-favorite Rupert Boneham, along with his wife, Laura. The tie-dye-wearing pirate won the million dollar fan favorite vote during the All-Stars season and most recently appeared as a "Hero" on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Joining him from that cast is fellow "Hero" Candice Cody (formerly Woodcock, with her husband John). Candice was surprisingly cast as a Hero her last time out, but is best known for her mutiny during Survivor: Cook Islands. Also returning is the sharp-tongued "Villain," Tyson Apostol, with his girlfriend, Rachel. Tyson also appeared on Heroes vs. Villains and famously cast the vote that allowed Russell Hantz to flip the power on Boston Rob, a move that has gone down as one of the dumbest in Survivor history.
An original Survivor returns. Among the returning contestants is Gervase Peterson, who appeared way back on the very first season of Survivor. He will compete with his neice, Marissa.
Rounding out the cast. Finally, the remaining couple returning is Laura Morett, from Survivor: Samoa and her daughter, Ciera.
From Dalton Ross and EW.com, Survivor: Blood vs. Water will feature a record-number of in-game twists, as described below:
- For the first time ever, the game will not be 39 days long, but rather 39-and-a-half days, as the couples will begin the game the night prior to day one with a new twist titled “Day Zero.” The 10 pairs will be sent out at sunset to 10 different locations to live by themselves for the night. They will then all meet up to be officially welcomed by host Jeff Probst and start the game the next morning. “The whole idea was to try and get them thinking and maybe believing that they would play as a pair,” says Probst.
- Just minutes after congregating, the returning players and their loved ones will be split into two different tribes, with the returning players making up the yellow Galang tribe and the newbies comprising the red Tadhana tribe. “Suddenly your partner becomes your adversary, your competition,” says Probst. “And that was the whole premise of Blood Vs. Water. How is that going to play out in a game where only one person can win?”
- First impressions can be key in the game like Survivor, and that will prove true here as just moments after meeting each other, each team will vote one member off their tribe. They will later be informed that these people have not been voted out of the game, but rather will be sent to Redemption Island, which makes its return after having been absent for the past three seasons. There they will battle to stay alive and reenter the game at a later point.
- Confused yet? Well, it gets even more confusing! Jeff Probst will then immediately offer each of the loved ones of the two people voted off the opportunity to trade places with them, meaning that if, say, returning player Tina is voted out of her tribe at the start, her daughter Katie can opt to take her place at Redemption Island instead, and Tina would then join the tribe of newbies.
- As mentioned, Redemption Island is back. Anyone voted out will be sent there and will then compete in a three person duel. The last place finisher in each contest is out of the game for good, while the top two remain. However, if someone’s loved one is still in the game they can take their loved one’s place before a duel. (So if, say, Monica is at Redemption Island but her husband Brad thinks he would do better at a duel involving strength, he can swap places with her, electing to do the duel while she takes his place on his tribe. They could then swap again at the next duel if it is a contest better suited to her strengths.) “That puts blood and water to the test,” says Probst. “And we’re gonna do it at every duel. So the first time early in the game, somebody may say ‘It’s just too early.” But as those duels increase and they get closer to what they think might be a merge, their strategy is going to start to change.”
- That’s not all when it comes to Redemption Island. The person who finishes first in each duel will also get to give a clue to the location of a hidden immunity idol to any person from either tribe that they choose. “There’s all these things you can do,” says Probst. “Because for a moment, even though you’re on the furthest part of the game, you have a little bit of power.”
Whoa! Consider my mind blown. So what do you think of the new cast and the new twists this season? Leave your comments below and be sure to check back in as we get familiar with all of the this year's contestants on the way towards the 90-minute premiere of Survivor: Blood vs. Water, debuting Sept 18 only on CBS.
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