SURVIVOR is one of those shows with which I have a deep love/hate relationship. I always love the first episode of each series, because it’s exciting and intriguing to see the new cast. The second episode can also be fun, but in more recent seasons — with players more familiar with the show — the gamesmanship has begun to rear its ugly head, and I start to really hate cast members.
From there, my interest can waver severely based on the personalities that take center stage. I quickly become bored with the moustache-twirling villains, and if they get away with their B.S. for than a couple of weeks I find it too frustrating to watch. If the cast is just too dull — like… er, you remember that season recently… the one with… they were on a tropical beach… oh, hell — I won’t even bother watching after the first handful of episodes.
The 27th cycle (yes, 27!), dubbed SURVIVOR: BLOOD VS. WATER, has found yet another way to mix things up while keeping it all familiar: returning players (including Rupert, now on his forth excursion, but no Ozzy) are paired with loved ones and Redemption Island is back — but the rules and game conditions have been altered quite a bit.
- The night before the game starts, players and their loved ones will be dropped in the jungle in the dark.
- When the game begins on the beach, players will immediately be split into tribes and forced to vote someone off — with no time to form alliances or talk strategy. The loved ones of the players voted off will have the opportunity to take their place on Redemption Island.
- The second episode begins with a three-way battle among the first two players on Redemption Island and the person who was voted out during the first Tribal Council. The first two people to complete the challenge stay in the game and the third player goes home.
- The winner of the Redemption Island battle gets a clue to the now well-hidden Immunity Idol — and has to decide with whom to share that info.
Here are the cast members:
Returning Player: Tyson Apostol (TOCANTINS; HEROES VS. VILLAINS) Loved One: Rachel (girlfriend)
Returning Player: Rupert Boneham (PEARL ISLANDS, ALL-STARS, HEROES VS. VILLAINS) Loved One: Laura (wife)
Returning Player: Aras Baskauskas (PANAMA — EXILE ISLAND) Loved One: Vytas (brother)
Returning Player: Gervase Peterson (BORNEO) Loved One: Marissa (niece)
Returning Player: Kat Edorsson (ONE WORLD) Loved One: Hayden (boyfriend and BIG BROTHER 12 winner)
Returning Player: Candice Cody (COOK ISLANDS, HEROES VS. VILLAINS) Loved One: John (husband)
Returning Player: Laura Morett (SAMOA) Loved One: Clera (daughter)
Returning Player: Monica Culpepper (ONE WORLD) Loved One: Brad (husband)
Returning Player: Colton Cumbie (ONE WORLD) Loved One: Caleb (fiancé)
Returning Player: Tina Wesson (AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK, ALL-STARS) Loved One: Katie (daughter)
SURVIVOR: BLOOD VS. WATER premieres Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. on CBS.