Blood vs. Water is a twist introduced in the titular season, Survivor: Blood vs. Water. It featured returning castaways competing against loved ones, such as husbands, wives, children, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, and siblings.
In Survivor: San Juan del Sur, instead of returning castaways competing against their loved ones, there were new players competing against their loved ones.
In 2011, before the conception of the "Blood vs. Water" moniker, the Philippine version of the series had pairs of celebrities (similar to its previous season), each with a pre-existing relationship. Unlike the US adaptation of the format, the Philippine version had pairs of local celebrities, and the tribes had five pairs each.
In Survivor: Blood vs. Water, the twist split up the tribes with the loved ones being on the red Tadhana tribe while the returning players were on the yellow Galang tribe. The twist majorly affected the season, affecting Tribal Councils and Redemption Island duels. The twist allowed a contestant on Redemption Island to switch places with their loved one if they were still in the game, meaning the contestant on Redemption Island would join their loved one's tribe, while the contestant still in the game would take their loved one's spot on Redemption Island.
The twist was used again for Survivor: San Juan del Sur, this time with all-new players. Although the season was originally announced to feature the Redemption Island twist again, this was scrapped in favor of Hero Duel Reward Challenges prior to the merge. A pair of loved ones would compete against each other, with the loser being sent to Exile Island; the winner would then choose which member of their tribe would be exiled along with their loved one.
|Survivor: Blood vs. Water Loved One Pairs|
|Vytas & Aras
|Candice & John
|Colton & Caleb
|Gervase & Marissa
|Kat & Hayden|
|Laura M. & Ciera
|Monica & Brad
|Laura B. & Rupert
|Katie & Tina
|Tyson & Rachel|
|Survivor: San Juan del Sur Loved One Pairs|
|Baylor & Missy
|Dale & Kelley
|Drew & Alec|
|Jaclyn & Jon
|John & Julie
|Josh & Reed|
|Nadiya & Natalie
|Val & Jeremy
|Wes & Keith|
The following pairs have played on the same tribe/Redemption Island with each other. This list excludes Day Zero.
- Survivor: Winners at War is the first season to have castaways in a familial relationship compete against each other without Blood vs. Water being an official theme of the season. Married couple Amber Mariano and Rob Mariano competed on the season, starting on separate tribes. They never played on the same tribe together, due to Amber being voted out before the Tribe Switch and Rob before the merge, but spent 22 days on the Edge of Extinction together. This is the third-longest time played together of any pair of loved ones, not counting their 36 days spent together on Survivor: All-Stars before their marriage.
- In both Blood vs. Water seasons, the winner's loved one finished in 18th place: Rachel Foulger (to Tyson Apostol) and Nadiya Anderson (to Natalie Anderson).
- Both seasons contained a quitter: Colton Cumbie quit Blood vs. Water, and Julie McGee quit San Juan del Sur.
- Both seasons featured castaways who had previously competed on other CBS reality shows.
Survivor: Blood vs. Water
- According to RC Saint-Amour and Colton Cumbie, the twist was originally going to pit blood relatives (blood) against couples of significant others (water), but the last minute substitution of Candice and John Cody for RC and her father threw off the balance, forcing the loved ones to compete against each other on opposing tribes. However, this has not been confirmed by production.
- Rupert Boneham is the only castaway to accept the offer to switch with their loved one.
- Of the ten pairs, only three had both castaways reach the merge: Aras/Vytas, Tina/Katie, and Laura M./Ciera.
- Coincidentally, both the first person and the last person eliminated pre-merge was a Boneham.
- Laura M. and Ciera have the most combined votes received out of any pair, with 33.
- Colton and Caleb have the fewest combined votes received out of any pair, with 4.
- Ciera is the only person to ever cast a vote against her loved one, in this case, her mother Laura M. She cast her vote against her mother at the last Tribal Council where at least one full pair were present and in the game.
- Tina and Katie have spent the most days together in the game, playing on the same tribe from Day 14 - Day 24 when Tina is voted out, and playing together on Day 32, when Katie is eliminated.
Survivor: San Juan del Sur
- Jeremy and Val Collins are the only pair in the season to have a unique relationship.
- Of the nine pairs, only four had both castaways reach the merge: Reed & Josh, Missy & Baylor, Jon & Jaclyn, and Keith & Wes.
- Jon & Jaclyn are the first, and so far only, male/female pair to make the merge in a Blood vs. Water season.
- Jon & Jaclyn and Reed & Josh would be the first "water" pairs to play together.
- Only one pair was eliminated pre-merge, which was Dale & Kelley.
- Dale & Kelley are the only parent-child pair to not make the merge in a Blood vs. Water season.
- Twin sisters Nadiya and Natalie ironically came last and first in terms of placing, respectively.
- Baylor and Jon were the first jury members in a Blood vs. Water season to cast a vote for their loved ones at the Final Tribal Council.
- Bierly, Mandi (June 4, 2014). "'Survivor': Redemption Island axed for new twist". Entertainment Weekly. https://ew.com/article/2014/06/04/survivor-redemption-island-axed-for-new-twist-exclusive/. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Kwiatkowski, Elizabeth (June 4, 2014). "'Survivor' host Jeff Probst: 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' will replace Redemption Island with a new twist". Reality TV World. https://www.realitytvworld.com/news/survivor-host-jeff-probst-survivor-san-juan-del-sur----blood-vs-water-will-replace-redemption-island-with-new-twist-16388.php. Retrieved May 8, 2020.