It is Wednesday and time for another top 10! With just one day to go to the premiere of Survivor: Cambodia, Ozlet Noah Groves takes a look at ten of the most exciting aspects to look out for heading into another season of Survivor. From returning players and brand new twists, Second Chance is looking like it will be fondly remembered for years to come. What aspects of the season are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!
10. New Location
This is something that has kind of been overlooked with all the returning player excitement but finally Survivor is heading to a new country in Cambodia. Considering the show has only been to three countries since season 19 this is exciting news that will hopefully add some new elements and a unique look to the show. Given the recent trend of filming back to back, Cambodia will be used as a location for season 32 as well. It is already been labelled as one of the harshest location yet and should prove a challenge for the castaways.
9. Past Connections
One interesting aspect of this season, as with other returning player seasons is the past connections between the players. This season becomes even more fascinating thanks to the introduction of the Blood vs Water twist four seasons ago. In terms of season connections we have Kimmi and Jeff from Kucha on season 2, Vytas and Ciera from Blood vs Water, the “Cagayan Four” of Spencer, Tasha, Kass and Woo, San Juan Del Sur trio of Keith, Jeremy and Kelley and Joe and Shirin from last season. Also there are the connections which I am continually interested in, Vytas and Terry and Ciera and Monica. Terry went head to head with Vytas’s brother in Panama while Ciera’s mum Laura played with Monica in Samoa. Will Keith and Jeremy put aside their differences and align? Can Terry get over Aras beating him and join forces with brother Vytas? And what the hell is going to happen with Kimmi and Jeff!?
8. Potential Tribe Divisions
When Planet Buff released the buffs to purchase for this season they included an interesting third buff for the tribe “Angkor.” There is a strong rumour that some point in this season the two tribes will be split into three tribes, likely at 18 or 15 players left. While this hasn’t been officially announced and can’t be said for sure, it is certainly an interest prospect. It is a twist I would never imagine to see in Survivor five years ago but judging off the new idol developments I wouldn’t be surprised to see a third tribe introduced. This would be a great opportunity to squash pre game alliances and make a less predictable boot order. Stay tuned to see if the Angkor tribe really is a third tribe or not. Aside from this the way in which the two tribes have been divided will also lead to some interesting interactions seeing past tribe mates like Jeremy and Keith reuniting or even old schoolers like Kelly playing alongside newbies like Shirin. What do you think of the way the tribes have been divided and do you hope there is a third tribe included in the season?
7. Keith Nale
This season is filled with many contestants who are heavily focused on strategy which is a net positive. However you need variation in a cast and someone who is light hearted to balance this out. Enter: Keith Nale. That is not to say Keith has no strategy at all but he is such a hilarious real character who is needed in the season. Whether Keith is first boot or the winner he is guaranteed to bring entertainment gold and a barrel of laughs. Let’s hope we see loads of spitting and a family visit from ‘Wesley.’ While I would love to see Keith plucked exactly from San Juan Del Sur, I can’t help but hope to see him develop into a much stronger (yet still as funny) Survivor player.
6. Season 1 Tribute
The premiere for this season will feature several tributes to season 1, Survivor: Borneo. Firstly the day the season began shooting was the day in which Survivor first premiered fifteen years ago. Next is the launching of the season which will feature a marooning style opening where the players must jump off a boat, grab some supplies and row to their respective beaches. The last time a marooning was used was in season 25. Finally the first immunity challenge will be “Quest for Fire” which was the first challenge ever played in Survivor which saw Pagong defeat Tagi and Sonja becoming the first person ever voted out. Oh and let’s not forget the fact that Kelly Wiglesworth is coming back…
5. Twenty New Two-Time Players
This is the third full returning player season in Survivor and like All Stars, features only two time players. Heroes vs Villains had nine out of twenty players as three timers while a season like Blood vs Water had three three-timers and one four timer in just ten returnees. Finally fans can tick so many favourites off their list of people they want to see return. Not only that but the season becomes all the more exciting now that we are out of the returning player slump of seasons 22-27. Second Chance becomes the first season to feature returnees in four seasons. Exciting times!
4. Second Chance Challenges
One of the exciting aspects of this season that Jeff Probst revealed was a twist regarding the challenges this season. In fitting with the second chance theme, each challenge will be a challenge (or variation thereof) from seasons past. Players will have a second chance to prove themselves if they lost on a challenge previously or prove they are king if they won last time. Heroes vs Villains did use this theme for some of the challenges. I have never been the biggest fan of challenges but hopefully this will prevent the same balance or puzzle piece challenge over and over.
3. Old School Players
Many have complained that this cast has suffered from too much recency bias, which is to be expected. Yet almost half of this cast is made up of people who appeared on the show before Heroes vs Villains. Some of the bigger old school characters are finally back to play, some after a fourteen and fifteen year gap. I am so excited to see Jeff Varner finally get his Second Chance, a popular character and strategist in season 2. Kimmi is someone who I voted for every time and is arguably one of the most memorable pre-merge players of all time. It still blows my mind that I am writing about Kimmi Kappenberg returning to Survivor. Terry Dietz seemingly has been in the running for every returning player season up until this point and finally makes it back on while Savage was one of the stars of Pearl Islands and someone who was always going to return someday. While there are some newer favourites to look out for, it is these old school players that I am most excited to see on the season.
2. New Idol Twists
Since their introduction in Guatemala, Hidden Immunity Idols have gone through minimal changes and have sticked to the basic premise for the past twenty seasons. While the way the idol is played stays the same this season, where the idol is hidden has gone through another evolution. Idols will be hidden at challenges for this season, meaning a player must potentially sacrifice winning a challenge in exchange for going after the idol. They must also do it extremely covertly if they don’t want everyone in the game to know about their idol. Each week a new clue will be given for the whereabouts of the idol. The look of the idols will be varied as well. Some will look completely legit (The Bob Crowley Idol) while others will look like a six year old made it (the Ozzy Lusth Idol), that means plenty of opportunities for fake idols and confusion. These new idol twists could fail miserably but there is so much potential for new dynamics in the game that you can’t help but be excited by it.
1. Kelly Wiglesworth
It is so exciting that I get to write about Kelly Wiglesworth’s return to Survivor. I don’t think anyone thought that this was a possibility after fifteen years of obscurity and Kelly turning down the option to return on multiple occasions. Kelly is hands down a Survivor legend who was just one vote away from beating Richard and becoming the first ever winner. She was a challenge beast who still holds the individual immunity record for the women and was involved in so many memorable moments of the first season, including being the rat in Sue Hawk’s famous speech. Even if Kelly turns out to be a dud this season or doesn’t get a huge edit then it is still extremely exciting and worth voting her back on just for the potential possibilities of what she does in the game. Will she be able to keep up with new school strategy or is she still the same challenge beast as she was fifteen years ago? Tune in tomorrow to find out!
What do you think of the top 10? Do you agree? Disagree? Is it in the wrong order or are there ones that didn’t make the top 10 that you feel should’ve? Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts!
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