The 34th season of the hit reality game show Survivor premieres tomorrow night, and it promises to be one of the biggest and best seasons yet.
In the latest outing, 20 past contestants return to live up to (if not surpass) the “Game Changer” moniker. All players broke new ground in their respective seasons by proving to be forces in the game either strategically, physically, or socially in a way that changed the game in their individual season or in the game as a whole.
Among the cast of fan-favorites are three previous winners, JT Thomas (Tocantins), Tony Vlachos (Cagayan), and the series’ only two-time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine (Pearl Islands and Heroes Vs. Villains). All three players no doubt want to prove they can win the title again among some stiff competition like challenge masters Ozzy Lusth (who is playing for the fourth time), Malcolm Freberg, and Troy “Troyzan” Robertson.
Rounding out the cast further, many strategically savvy players join the roster, like Ciera Eastin (who was officially host Jeff Probst’s pick to win before filming for the season began in an interview with Entertainment Weekly), Cirie Fields (another fourth-time player, and widely considered one of the best to never win), and Andrea Boehlke.
Other players returning include four from the show’s 32nd season Koah Rong (Tai Trang, Aubry Bracco, Debbie Wanner, and Big Brother alum Caleb Reynolds); former NFL player Brad Culpepper; Jeff Varner (from the show’s second season); Zeke Smith and Michaela Bradshaw (from last season); Sarah Lacina (Cagayan); and two players from the show’s 15th anniversary season Hali Ford and Sierra Dawn-Thomas.
As previously reported by Inquisitr, there will be a unique twist in the voting process this year as the show does away with the classic re-vote in tie situations. In a game-changing twist, tie votes will go directly to a tie breaker, meaning that all players must unanimously decide who to vote out, or they will risk the daring rock-draw that will leave their fate in the game to chance. As Probst explains, this change will “make each vote more nerve wracking,” in an interview with ET Canada.
In addition, keeping the players on their toes is a must this far into the game, which is why they are shaking up the way Immunity Idols are hidden this year. Probst promises no consistency in their placing, meaning that idols can really turn up anywhere (like on the beach, at a challenge, or at tribal council).
Adding to the Survivor Legacy
As the Toronto Star reports, the key to the show’s success is simple: small tweaks in the format of the game without drastically changing the concept. The small changes (like the twists we can expect this year) keep the game fun and exciting while still staying true to what drew the loyal fans to the show in the first place. Fans were drawn to the idea of strangers stranded on an island while trying to outwit, outplay, and outlast each other to be the last one remaining in the game, and it all began back in May 2000 with the show’s first season in Borneo. With a finale drawing over 50 million viewers, the show was launched into overwhelming success that has given the show a sense of longevity that is very hard to achieve in today’s television landscape. The show has consistently been ratings gold, allowing it to remain on the air for a whopping 17 years, (a feat nearly unheard of for any genre, let alone reality television). Tomorrow’s premiere marks Survivor‘s 500th episode.
Are you excited for the brand new season? Who do you think will win in the series’ biggest showdown yet?
The two-hour season premiere airs March 8 at 8/7c on CBS.
Watch Jeff Probst’s official cast assessment below:
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]