Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Preview, Part 1

By Ben Willoughby

September 16, 2013

Well, they don't appear to be off to a roaring start.

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Survivor returns for its 27th season, its third consecutive season in the same country, and its second consecutive season with 10 returning players. Who says the show is getting tired?

If you thought the 10 returnees from the Caramoan season were lackluster, you should check out this bunch of low expectations. Of the 10 returnees, maybe two of them have been brought back because they are good at playing Survivor. And both won their seasons, so they will probably get booted out early. There’s maybe one returning player who I am interested in seeing again. So I am struggling to find silver linings for the season. For now, I’m focussing on my relief that the producers decided not to bring back Russell Hantz with his presumed loved one, Brandon, in a double-Hantz-tacular.

But maybe this season will be the one where a new player actually wins the game, because each of the returnees is bringing someone from their real life with them. Probably someone who’s sick to death of hearing how great a Survivor player the returning castaway is and wants to show that anyone can do it. But anyway, each of the newbies has been coached in the game by someone who has been through it before. Of course, a coach who knows what they are doing would have been better.


So that’s why we have the blood vs. water motif for the season. Of course, blood isn’t a great description, because six of the pairs are in their relationship by choice, rather spawned from the same gene pool. Two of the couples are described as “dating”. Maybe they share the same blood type. But it should bring a different dynamic to the season, as everyone coming into the game will have an existing alliance.

Anyway, speaking with EW, Probst is eager to shovel all of the credit for the blood vs. water concept on the casting director, who he claims has been talking about this for years. So it’s all on her if this season sucks the big one. But Probst seems to be genuinely into the whole idea, and interested in seeing how it plays out. After 26 seasons, I’d be looking forward to something new too.

Those aren’t the only twists. Returnees and loved ones will be on separate tribes, but they are paired up the day before. Redemption Island is back, because some brainiac decided that Tribal Council has too much drama and pay-off. One castaway from each tribe will be sent to Redemption Island before the first challenge. If the person you came to Survivor with is on Redemption Island, you can offer to trade places with them, and send them back to your tribe. But I’m sure Probst will go over the rules sometime in the first episode.

Probably the best thing about having returning castaways bring their loved ones is that they are interviewed together, so I only have to watch half the number of promo videos before judging them. Silver lining.

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