The American version of Survivor is coming off one of its best ever seasons in Survivor: David vs Goliath, and is once again mixing things up with a huge new twist for its 38th season. Watch the trailer below.
Usually (and with only odd exceptions) in Survivor, when you're voted out, your game ends. Not this time. In Survivor: Edge of Extinction, eliminated contestants will face a choice after their torch is snuffed out. "You’re going to leave Tribal and walk around the corner and finally come to this lighted torch with a signpost," host Jeff Probst told Entertainment Weekly, "And the signpost will say, ‘You have a decision to make. If you’re done playing and you want your adventure to end, keep walking. If, however, you want a chance to get back in the game, take the torch and get in the boat.’ That’s all you know.”
Those choosing to stay in the game will be taken by boat to Extinction Island, which will make the normal tribal beaches look like a resort. Desolate and devoid of much to sustain the players, it will really push them to their limit. "It's not Redemption Island. It's not Exile. It's not the Outcast [twist from Survivor: Pearl Islands]. It's truly a situation where you're going somewhere where tribe life as you knew it on the island will seem wonderful, because on Extinction, you will have to work for everything," Probst told The Hollywood Reporter.
All the eliminated contestants who choose to carry on in the game will end up at Extinction Island, with their former tribemates none the wiser. If at any point the experience proves too harsh for these players, they can quit by hoisting a white surrender flag. Those that remain will be given a chance to return to the game. Exactly how that plays out has not been officially confirmed, but blog Inside Survivor explains what it believes the process to be here.
The returning players
To further complicate matters, four returning players will be among the 18 contestants this season. Joe Anglim (Season 30: Worlds Apart and 31: Cambodia), Aubry Bracco (Season 32: Kaoh Rong and 34: Game Changers), David Wright (Season 33: Millennials vs. Gen X) and Kelley Wentworth (Seasons 29: San Juan del Sur and 31: Cambodia) are all back for another shot at the title of Sole Survivor. "None of them won, but all of them pushed themselves. They all had obstacles they had to overcome, and they overcame them," Probst said of the decision to bring these players back.
The new contestants
Fourteen new players will be split into two tribes, Kama and Manu - with each tribe containing two of the returning contestants. Ranging in age from 19 to 46, the castaways include a veteran, a news anchor, a firefighter and a teacher of disadvantaged students whose story was made into a telemovie starring Matthew Perry.
The start date
In Australia, Survivor: Edge of Extinction is due to start on Thurs., Feb. 21, screening at 7.30pm on 9GO! and streaming from 4pm AEDT that afternoon on 9Now.