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Revision as of 22:09, 24 May 2018

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

Origins

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

"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, Heroes vs. Villains. This season divided the returnees based on the 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 have contributed to the evolution of Survivor strategy and game play.

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 were the iterations of this format.

One Returnee per Tribe

This format featured 2-3 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.

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, similarly 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 can opt to replace their partner who is currently on Redemption Island before a duel takes place, thus allowing their partner to take their place in the tribe.

Returning Players by Season

Season Returned to Future Season Season Returned to Future Season
Borneo.png 60px60px60px
60px60px60px
SurvivorAustraliaLogo.png 60px60px60px
60px60px
60px60px60px
Africa NB.png 60px60px60px Marquesas NB.png 60px60px
ThailandTransparentLogo.png 60px Amazon NB.png 60px60px
SurvivorPearlIslandsLogo.png 60px60px
60px60px
SurvivorAllStarsLogo.png 60px60px
60px60px60px
Vanuatu NB.png 60px60px Palau NB.png 60px60px60px
GuatemalaLogo.png 60px PanamaLogo.png 60px60px
60px60px
SurvivorCookIslandsLogo.png 60px60px
60px60px
SurvivorFijiLogo.png 60px
ChinaLogo.png 60px60px
60px60px
MicronesiaLogo.png 60px60px
60px60px60px
60px60px
GabonLogo.png 60px60px60px TocantinsLogo.png 60px60px
60px60px
SamoaLogo.png 60px60px
60px60px
HvVLogo.png 60px60px60px
60px60px60px
60px60px60px
NicaraguaLogo.png 60px RedemptionIslandLogo.png 60px60px60px
SouthPacificLogo.png 60px60px
60px60px
OneWorldLogo.png 60px60px
60px60px
PhilippinesLogo.png 60px60px CaramoanLogo.png 60px60px
BvWLogo.png 60px60px60px CagayanLogo.png 60px60px60px
60px60px60px
SJDSLogo.png S29 jeremy t.pngS29 keith t.pngS29 kelley t.png WALogo.png S30 hali t.pngS30 joe t.png
S30 shirin t.pngS30 sierra t.png
Survivor31logo.png S31 ciera t.pngS31 jeff t.png Survivor kaoh rong logo.png S32 aubry t.pngS32 caleb t.png
S32 debbie t.pngS32 tai t.png
Survivor 33 Logo.png S33 michaela t.pngS33 zeke t.png Survivor 34 Logo.png None
Survivor 35 Logo.png None Survivor 36 Logo.png Current Season

Trivia

Seasons and Twists

References

Survivor Gameplay
Challenges

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

Elimination

Edge of Extinction · Ejection · Evacuation · Final Tribal Council · Jury · Quit · Redemption Island · Snuffer · Sole Survivor · Tiebreaker · Torch · Tribal Council · Urn

Strategy

Alliance · Pagonging · Split Vote

Social Dynamics

Final Two · Final Three · Merge · Tribe

Twists
Casting

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

Double Elimination · Double Tribal Council · Extra Vote · Hidden Immunity Idol · Idol Nullifier · Joint Tribal Council · Juror Removal · Vote Blocker · Vote Steal


Miscellaneous

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

Post-Game

Fan Favorite Award · Lawsuits and Legal Action · Ponderosa · Reunion Show

Miscellaneous

Buff · Confessional · Luxury Item · Rites of Passage · Survivor Rulebook · Ulonging

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