Warning: This article contains spoilers about the cast of Survivor Season 40.
Survivor: Winners at War is set to debut in February and the cast will consist of those who have won the game in the past. With 20 players returning, that means 17 former winners were not chosen, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t considered or almost on the cast. Many have been wondering why Season 1 winner Richard Hatch didn’t make the cut, and Inside Survivor shed some light on why some of the most memorable names in the game aren’t showing up in Winners at War.
Richard was asked on Twitter why he wasn’t going to be appearing on Season 40, and he allegedly responded that he wasn’t asked to be on it. It turns out that may not have been true, because of a private conversation he supposedly had with a fan of his.
According to Inside Survivor, Hatch claimed he was cleared to compete in the game but he was dropped during the casting process just days before he was supposed to fly to Los Angeles to be sequestered. Richard also said him not being included in Season 40 had nothing to do with his All-Stars incident with Sue Hawk where he was “completely cleared of any wrongdoing.”
The spoiler site suggested it’s possible that Hatch was cut to prevent fans of the show from getting upset over his casting given the incident with Sue in the past, especially given the last episode on Island of the Idols and the inappropriate touching surrounding Dan Spilo and some of the women on the cast.
Those who were never allegedly called to compete on Season 40 were Todd Herzog (Survivor: China winner), Vecepia Robinson (Survivor: Marquesas winner), Chris Daugherty (Survivor: Vanuatu winner), Brian Heidik (Survivor: Thailand winner), Jenna Morasca (Survivor: The Amazon winner), and Jud “Fabio” Birza (Survivor: Nicaragua winner).
Inside Survivor is reporting the following former winners were called, considered, and then cut from the casting process: Tina Wesson (Survivor: The Australian Outback winner) and Mike Holloway (Survivor: Worlds Apart winner).
Two winners were also offered a part on the show, but turned down the offer. Earl Cole (Survivor: Fiji winner) reportedly had to step away from Season 40 after the premature birth of his child. John Cochran (Survivor: Caramoan winner) is rumored to have turned down the opportunity for an unknown reason after being offered a spot.
Some former first-place players’ absences from the upcoming season are complete mysteries. They may have never been called, or they might have been cut or turned down the offer. Those players include Tom Westman (Survivor: Palau winner), Aras Baskauskas (Survivor: Panama winner), Bob Crowley (Survivor: Gabon winner), J.T. Thomas (Survivor: Tocantins winner), and Natalie White (Survivor: Samoa winner).
The winner of Season 39 was not considered to participate in Winners at War.
Survivor: Winners at War premieres February 12, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.