Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

Returning Player seasons offer the opportunity to former contestants to play the game of Survivor again.


The idea of former players returning originally occurred in Survivor: All-Stars. Executive Producer Mark Burnett wanted to showcase "The best of the best" after the ratings increase of Survivor: Pearl Islands. During pre-production for All-Stars, Burnett wrote down the series' most likable, villainous, and memorable players on a legal pad and shortlisted eighteen names within minutes.


"All-Stars" seasons feature casts comprised entirely of returning players. The eponymous season, All-Stars, saw 18 returnees divided into three competing tribes.

The All-Stars twist was revived for the ten-year anniversary season, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. This season divided the returnees based on their heroic or villainous reputations.

Survivor: Cambodia featured a "Second Chance" theme, consisting of contestants who played only once and lost; and its cast was entirely chosen by viewers through an online poll.

Survivor: Game Changers featured former contestants who contributed to the evolution of Survivor strategy and gameplay.

Survivor: Winners at War, the twenty-year anniversary season, consisted of former Sole Survivors returning to try and win for their second (or third) time.

Fans vs. Favorites

Although initially intending to produce a second all-stars season, Burnett pushed for Survivor to experiment with different twists in their 16th season. The result was the "Fans vs. Favorites" twist that saw a tribe of ten returning players pitted against a tribe of ten "superfans". Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan both utilized this format.

One Returnee per Tribe

Also informally known as the "Captains" format, this format features two to three former castaways, each being assigned to a tribe of new players. Survivor: Guatemala, Survivor: Redemption Island, Survivor: South Pacific, and Survivor: Philippines followed this format.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction expanded on this format, bringing back four former castaways and assigning two to each tribe of new players.

Blood vs. Water

Another type of "Returnees vs. New Players" format is the couples format, where returnees would compete against people they personally know. It was first used in Survivor: Blood vs. Water, where ten returning castaways would compete against their loved ones, similar to the "Fans vs. Favorites" format. However, each castaway would compete individually, so a castaway would still be in the game even after their partner was voted out. The twist would play its part when a castaway could opt to replace their partner on Redemption Island before a duel took place, thus allowing their partner to take their place on their tribe. While the Blood vs. Water twist would return in Survivor: San Juan del Sur, it was done with all new players and no Redemption Island.

Returning Players by Season

Season Returned from Season Season Returned from Season
Borneo.png S1 gervase t.pngS1 jenna t.pngS1 kelly t.png
S1 richard t.pngS1 rudy t.pngS1 susan t.png
SurvivorAustraliaLogo.png S2 alicia t.pngS2 amber t.pngS2 colby t.pngS2 jeff t.png
S2 jerri t.pngS2 kimmi t.pngS2 michael t.pngS2 tina t.png
Africa NB.png S3 ethan t.pngS3 lex t.pngS3 tom t.png Marquesas NB.png S4 kathy t.pngS4 rob t.png
ThailandTransparentLogo.png S5 shiiann t.png Amazon NB.png S6 jenna t.pngS6 rob t.png
SurvivorPearlIslandsLogo.png S7 andrew t.pngS7 jon t.pngS7 rupert t.pngS7 sandra t.png SurvivorAllStarsLogo.png S8 amber t.pngS8 colby t.pngS8 ethan t.png
S8 jerri t.pngS8 robm t.pngS8 rupert t.pngS8 tina t.png
Vanuatu NB.png S9 ami t.pngS9 eliza t.png Palau NB.png S10 bobbyjon t.pngS10 stephenie t.pngS10 tom t.png
GuatemalaLogo.png S11 danni t.pngS11 stephenie t.png PanamaLogo.png S12 aras t.pngS12 cirie t.pngS12 danielle t.pngS12 terry t.png
SurvivorCookIslandsLogo.png S13 candice t.pngS13 jonathan t.png
S13 ozzy t.pngS13 parvati t.pngS13 yul t.png
SurvivorFijiLogo.png S14 yauman t.png
ChinaLogo.png S15 amanda t.pngS15 courtney t.pngS15 james t.pngS15 peihgee t.png MicronesiaLogo.png S16 amanda t.pngS16 cirie t.pngS16 erik t.png
S16 james t.pngS16 jonathan t.pngS16 ozzy t.pngS16 parvati t.png
GabonLogo.png S17 corinne t.pngS17 randy t.pngS17 sugar t.png TocantinsLogo.png S18 coach t.pngS18 jt t.pngS18 stephen t.pngS18 tyson t.png
SamoaLogo.png S19 laura t.pngS19 monica t.pngS19 russellh t.pngS19 russells t.png HvVLogo.png S20 candice t.pngS20 cirie t.pngS20 coach t.png
S20 jt t.pngS20 parvati t.pngS20 rob t.pngS20 rupert t.png
S20 russell t.pngS20 sandra t.pngS20 tyson t.png
NicaraguaLogo.png S21 brenda t.png RedemptionIslandLogo.png S22 andrea t.pngS22 francesca t.pngS22 phillip t.pngS22 rob t.png
SouthPacificLogo.png S23 brandon t.pngS23 cochran t.png
S23 dawn t.pngS23 ozzy t.pngS23 sophie t.png
OneWorldLogo.png S24 colton t.pngS24 kat t.png
S24 kim t.pngS24 monica t.pngS24 troyzan t.png
PhilippinesLogo.png S25 abimaria t.pngS25 denise t.pngS25 malcolm t.png CaramoanLogo.png S26 andrea t.pngS26 malcolm t.png
BvWLogo.png S27 brad t.pngS27 ciera t.pngS27 tyson t.pngS27 vytas t.png CagayanLogo.png S28 kass t.pngS28 sarah t.pngS28 spencer t.png
S28 tasha t.pngS28 tony t.pngS28 woo t.png
SJDSLogo.png S29 jeremy t.pngS29 keith t.pngS29 kelley t.pngS29 natalie t.png WALogo.png S30 hali t.pngS30 joe t.pngS30 shirin t.pngS30 sierra t.png
Survivor31logo.png S31 ciera t.pngS31 jeff t.png
S31 jeremy t.pngS31 joe t.pngS31 kelley t.png
Survivor kaoh rong logo.png S32 aubry t.pngS32 caleb t.png
S32 debbie t.pngS32 michele t.pngS32 tai t.png
Survivor 33 Logo.png S33 adam t.pngS33 david t.pngS33 michaela t.pngZeke Smith t.png Survivor 34 Logo.png S34 aubry t.pngS34 sandra t.pngS34 sarah t.pngS34 tony t.png
Survivor 35 Logo.png S35 ben t.png Survivor 36 Logo.png S36 wendell t.png
Survivor 37 Logo.png S37 nick t.png Survivor 38 Logo.png None
Survivor Island of the Idols logo.png None Winners at War Logo.png None
Survivor 41 Logo.png None Survivor 42 Logo.png None


Seasons and Twists


Survivor Gameplay
Challenge Advantage · Do-It-Yourself Challenge · Duel · Family Visit · Immunity Challenge (Final Immunity Challenge) · Immunity Idol · Immunity Necklace · Medallion of Power · Reward Challenge · Survivor Auction
Edge of Extinction · Ejection · Evacuation · Final Tribal Council · Jury · Quit · Redemption Island · Snuffer · Sole Survivor · Tiebreaker · Torch · Tribal Council · Urn
Alliance · Pagonging · Split Vote (Strategy)
Social Dynamics
Final Two · Final Three · Merge · Tribe

Battle of the Sexes · Blood vs. Water · Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty · Old vs. Young · Returning Players · Schoolyard Pick · Tribes Divided by Ethnicity

Tribal Council-Related

Advantage Amulet · Do or Die · Double Elimination · Double Tribal Council · Extra Vote · Hidden Immunity Idol (History) · Idol Nullifier · Joint Tribal Council · Juror Removal · Legacy Advantage · Knowledge is Power · Shot in the Dark · Vote Blocker · Vote Steal


Advantage Menu · Buried Treasure · Day Zero · Exile Island · Fake Merge · Fire Token · First Impressions · Ghost Island · Haves vs. Have Nots · Hourglass · Island of the Idols · Kidnapping · Looting · Mutiny · One World · Reward Steal · Summit · The Outcasts · Tribe Leader · Tribe Switch

Fan Favorite Award · Lawsuits and Legal Action · Ponderosa · Reunion Show
Buff · Confessional · Luxury Item · Rites of Passage · Survivor Rulebook · Ulonging