You’ve got to hand it to the Survivor producers for finding new ways to keep the show fresh. We’ve seen seasons divided by race, age and gender. We’ve seen more blindsides and twists than we can count. We’ve even seen celebrity participants, including Lisa Whelchel and Jimmy Johnson.
But for the latest installment of CBS’s hit, Survivor: Blood vs. Water, we’ll see something we’ve never seen before: returning contestants competing against loved ones. Sure, it would be nice to have someone from home on the island with you – but it’s still every man for himself. The blindsides will be more personal and the ramifications could extend far beyond the game.
Here’s who will compete on season 27 of Survivor, which premieres Sept. 18:
• Rupert Boneham and his wife, Laura: The fan favorite from Pearl Islands has never won the game, despite playing three previous times. His best showing was a fourth-place finish on All Stars.
• Tina Wesson and her daughter, Katie Collins: Survivor‘s first female winner holds a dubious record as the only contestant to finish in both first and last place. Her stint on All-Stars lasted just three days.
• Monica Culpepper and her husband, Brad: After a surprise twist ruined her game on One World, Culpepper returns with Brad, who seems perfectly cut out for the show. A lawyer now, he was a defensive tackle in the NFL for nine years.
• Aras Baskauskas and his brother, Vytas: After winning Panama‘s $1 million prize, Baskauskas started a music career as Odd Us. He and his brother are both yoga instructors.
• Colton Cumbie and his fiance, Caleb Bankston: With his bigoted behavior and racist confessionals, Cumbie became one of the show’s most notorious villains before being evacuated due to health problems.
• Kat Edorsson and her boyfriend, Hayden Moss: Edorrson was the resident goofball of One World before leaving the game in tears after being blindsided by her alliance. She started dating Big Brother winner Moss last year.
• Laura Morett and her daughter, Ciera Eastin: On Samoa, Morrett – a self-described “hot grandma” – famously tangled with Survivor bad boy Russell Hantz and was voted out in 10th place.
• Gervase Peterson and his niece, Marissa: One of Survivor‘s first castaways, Peterson was the affable basketball coach on the original season in 2000. He was best known for being unable to swim. Let’s hope he fixed that in the past 13 years.
• Candice Woodcock Cody and her husband, John: After two 8th place finishes on Cook Islands and Heroes vs. Villains, medical doctor Woodcock-Cody becomes one of few contestants to compete three times.
• Tyson Apostol and girlfriend Rachel Foulger: Known for his quick (and sometimes cruel) one-liners, Apostol was blindsided in both Tocantins Heroes vs. Villains.
The Blood vs. Water season will also bring back the controversial Redemption Island, where ousted players will remain and compete for survival every week in a duel. And in a new twist, contestants will be given the opportunity to swap positions with their loved ones for challenges – putting them in a position to potentially make the ultimate sacrifice.