Fans have long been speculating about what the theme for Survivor's 40th season would be, as the CBS reality competition show usually does something big for its milestone seasons (season 20 brought back returning players as Heroes vs. Villains).
Reports of an all-winners season for Survivor season 40 floated around for a while, and fan website Inside Survivor was the first to compile a list of the rumored cast members for the season. CBS later confirmed the cast and details about the season during the Island of the Idols finale in December 2019.
Survivor: Winners at War is currently airing, but just in case you need a refresher, here's what you need to know about the all-winners season.
Survivor season 40 premiered in February.
Survivor season 40 premiered on CBS on February 12, 2020, at 8 p.m. The season started with a two-hour premiere.
The title for Survivor season 40 is Winners at War.
Who will be on Survivor season 40?
This is the official cast, according to Inside Survivor and CBS:
Adam Klein, winner of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X
Amber Mariano, winner of Survivor: All-Stars
Ben Driebergen, winner of Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers
Danni Boatwright, winner of Survivor: Guatemala
Denise Stapley, winner of Survivor: Philippines
Ethan Zohn, winner of Survivor: Africa
Jeremy Collins, winner of Survivor: Cambodia
Kim Spradlin, winner of Survivor: One World
Michele Fitzgerald, winner of Survivor: Kaoh Rong
Natalie Anderson, winner of Survivor: San Juan del Sur
Nick Wilson, winner of David vs. Goliath
Parvati Shallow, winner of Survivor: Micronesia
Rob Mariano, winner of Survivor: Redemption Island
Sandra Diaz-Twine, winner of Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
Sarah Lacina, winner of Survivor: Game Changers
Sophie Clarke, winner of Survivor: South Pacific
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
And here's the Survivor 40 tribe breakdown:
AKAL (Red tribe)
Tyson, Sophie, Sandra, Wendell, Yul, Sarah, Amber, Kim, Tony, and Nick.
SELE (Blue tribe)
Natalie, Danni, Jeremy, Ben, Michele, Adam, Rob, Parvati, Denise, and Ethan.
Survivor season 40 features a grand prize of $2 million.
Because the season is full of players that have already won before, the incentive for them to come back had to be good: that's why the grand prize for the Sole Survivor at the end of the season will be $2 million. An in regular seasons, jury members get $40,000 and the first person voted off gets around $2,500-3,500. This season, everyone will get at least $35,000—$25,000 for coming on the show and $10,000 for coming to the reunion.
This is similar to the pay raise for 2004’s Survivor All-Stars, which was the first season to feature returning players, as Entertainment Weekly reports.
Survivor season 40 features a twist from a recent season.
While fans were not happy with the Edge of Extinction twist on season 38, it seems like the Survivor team is going to bring the twist back for season 40. Inside Survivor is reporting that the 40th season will allow eliminated players to choose whether they want to go home or head to Extinction Island for a chance to reenter the game, but it seems like on this season, the players will know about the Edge from the beginning.
Survivor season 40 also gave the castaways money to spend during the game.
As Reality Blurred reports, at the start of the game, each contestant will be given "Survivor money" that they can use to buy rewards, luxury items like pillows and blankets, and advantages. Additionally, if a castaway is voted out, they have to give their money and items to someone still in the game.
The family visit might be getting a revamp this season.
While season 38's Aubry Bracco said that she thinks Survivor should get rid of the family visit, the show has decided to do the exact opposite: every cast member on season 40 will get a family visit.
According to Inside Survivor, every castaway that is still in the game, including the ones on Extinction Island, will receive a visit from their family members. Notice the "s" on members—apparently, multiple family members were flown out for each castaway, rather than the one family member that we see during the visit.
But fans are wondering why Richard Hatch wasn't cast on the all-winners season.
Viewers were surprised to see that the first-ever winner of Survivor wasn't going to be on the all winners season, but the circumstances behind his absence are a bit murky. On Twitter, Hatch said that he hadn't been invited to play, but when we spoke to him, Hatch said he had been invited back but was later cut from the cast.
And as Inside Survivor reports, other winners like Tina Wesson (Survivor's first female winner) and Mike Holloway were initially called but later cut from the cast, while Earl Cole and John Cochran reportedly turned down the offer to come back.
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