Survivor South Pacific premieres tonight with a cast of sixteen new contestants and a couple of faces you will probably recognize. There are some new twists on an old Survivor reality TV theme too, to get Survivor 23 off to a great start.
We may not have Russell Hantz this season but we do have his nephew, Brandon Hantz (19). Not that he’s going to tell anyone that he’s related to Russell as he fears that might count against him. Ya think…?! Brandon is one of the sixteen new contestants that will be competing for the million dollars along with two familiar faces when Survivor: South Pacific kicks off tonight on CBS.
Among the players joining him is a former Miss America contestant, a country music singer, a Lingerie Football League player, and a medical marijuana dispensary owner. However, these players will not just have to battle each other. They will also have to take on two returning players, Coach and Ozzy. They fancy their chances, too.
“I’ve played the game twice before,” said Coach. “I haven’t been successful. This time, I’m trying to control my sense of self-righteousness and judgment on the others. I’m back because this is one more shot for me to prove to everybody that I can own this game and that it can be done with honor and integrity.”
Someone should maybe remind him there could be a reason he hasn’t won on Survivor before! Which of the new castaways do you think will be the first to tell him?
Ozzy is confident too.
“I’ve been the guy that’s able to climb coconut trees and hunt fish. I’ve also been really strong in challenges, but I don’t think I’ve had the best strategy. This time, I’m more mature and I’ve learned from my mistakes. I need redemption because I feel like I just haven’t been able to lock my hands on the million dollars. I’ve almost been there a few times, I just haven’t been able to finish.”
Joining the returning castaways will be a few old hands at reality TV. Country singer Whitney Duncan placed fifth on the fifth season of Nashville Star, while former Miss Washington Elyse Umemoto appeared on Miss America: Reality Check, TLC’s reality show that accompanied the 2008 Miss America pageant, in which Umemoto was the second runner-up. There is also lingerie football player (and Playboy cover girl) Mikayla Wingle and medical marijuana dispensary owner Jim Rice.
Filmed in Samoa, Survivor: South Pacific will also feature a few twists to the format. First, there will be hidden immunity idols.
“This year with hidden immunity idols, we’re hiding the clue,” explained host Jeff Probst. “No clue as to where the clue is. Once you find the clue, then you have to find the idol.”
The Redemption Island twist is back, but this time there will be no group duels. If you lose a competition you will go home. Loser’s out, winner stays, it’s that simple, which should give the duels an exciting edge they didn’t have last season.
There are some interesting competitors this year, in a different character to the ones we are used to. John Cochran and Sophie could be called nerds by any standards and Sophie risks being eaten alive by competitors with way more street smarts than she has. We also have seriously smart Edna, Eliza and Liz.
So, when Survivor: South Pacific starts tonight, watch out for more gamesmanship and scheming than ever before. These guys seem to have the brains to keep it up. And if they have the hunger to win too, things could get nasty as the weeks go on I can’t wait!