The best of the best will return for the 40th season of Survivor to compete for a $2 million grand prize in the series’ first champions-only edition.
According to Reality TV World, Season 40 reportedly filmed in Fiji in May and June following the currently-airing “Survivor: Island of the Idols.” The new season, set to premiere in February 2020, will bring back 20 winners from previous seasons, despite show host and executive producer Jeff Probst voicing his objections to the idea just last year.
“We can’t do all winners,” he told Us Weekly in 2018. “As a producer, I would never suggest it. I would say it’s not a good idea. … We have 10 great winners that you’d want to see play again. We don’t have 20. We don’t have 18.”
At the time, Jeff went on to claim that “some of the greats” were done with the show, despite network executives being in favor of the idea for quite some time. This is reportedly one of the reasons the show has increased the usual grand prize from $1 million to $2 million, in order to provide an incentive for those hesitant to return.
Among the lineup of contestants slated to make their ‘Survivor’ comeback are Sandra Diaz-Twine, winner of “Survivor: Pearl Island” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” and contestant on “Survivor: Game Changers”; and Rob Mariano, winner of “Survivor: Redemption Island,” “Survivor: All-Stars” runner-up and contestant on “Survivor: Marquesas” and “Heroes vs. Villains.” Both Sandra and Rob currently serve as “Idols” (or mentors) on ‘Island of the Idols.’
The female champs reportedly joining Rob and Sandra will be:
Amber Mariano winner of “Survivor: All-Stars” (and Rob’s wife!)
Danni Boatwright, winner of “Survivor: Guatemala”
Denise Stapley, winner of “Survivor: Philippines”
Kim Spradlin, winner of “Survivor: One World”
Michele Fitzgerald, winner of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong”
Natalie Anderson, winner of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur”
Parvati Shallow, winner of “Fans vs. Favorites”
Sarah Lacina, winner of “Game Changers”
Sophie Clarke, winner of “Survivor: South Pacific”
The male winners reportedly returning for Season 40 include:
Adam Klein, winner of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Generation X”
Ben Driebergen, winner of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”
Ethan Zohn, winner of “Survivor: Africa”
Jeremy Collins, winner of “Survivor: Cambodia”
Nick Wilson, winner of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”
Tony Vlachos, winner of “Survivor: Cagayan”
Tyson Apostol, winner of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”
Wendell Holland, winner of “Survivor: Ghost Island”
Yul Kwon, winner of “Survivor: Cook Islands”
In addition to bringing back a cast of familiar faces, Season 40 will also bring back a twist element similar to that seen on “Survivor: Edge of Extinction.” On that season, castaways who are voted out of the game were given the choice to end their game for good or continue playing in a mysterious manner — and ultimately, the opportunity to win a spot in the original game.
The two-hour season premiere of ‘Survivor’ will air Wednesday, February 12. The remainder of the season will air during the show’s regular Wednesday time period, beginning February 19.
(Photos: CBS; Instagram)