This time, it's personal. As announced by CBS on Wednesday, Aug. 21, the new cast of Survivor: Blood vs. Water will be comprised of 10 returning show favorites and their loved ones — but the twist of the new season is that the contestants will ultimately be playing against their closest allies.
The newbies to the 27th season of the hit reality competition include family members — mothers, daughters, and brothers, as well as partners — girlfriends, boyfriend, spouses and fiances.
Among the returning cast members are fan favorite Rupert Boneham and wife Laura; Australia winner Tina Wesson, with her daughter Katie Collins; and Panama winner Aras Baskauskas, with his brother Vytas.
Also back for another round of Survivor fun are three castaways from Survivor: One World — spunky Kat Edorsson and her boyfriend, Big Brother winner Hayden Moss; resilient Monica Culpepper and her ex-NFL player husband Brad; and self-proclaimed "villain" Colton Cumbie and fiance Caleb Bankston.
The last four pairs rounding out the 20-person cast include first season's Gervase Peterson and his niece, Marissa; fan favorite Tyson Apostol and girlfriend Rachel Foulger; returning player Laura Morett and daughter Ciera Eastin; and Candice Cody and her husband John.
In addition to the friends and family theme, show host Jeff Probst says that this season will mark the return of the Redemption Island concept, wherein players who are voted off the island by their team have a chance to compete against other castaways in a "duel" to get back into the game.
And in a further twist, Probst tells Entertainment Weekly, players can opt to trade spots with their loved ones and take their place on Redemption Island.
"That puts blood and water to the test," he says. "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."