For the first time ever in the show’s history, Survivor: Winners at War will bring back 20 fan favorites that have won at least one of their seasons.
For the majority of season 39, two Survivor winners acted as mentors for a batch of brand new players, hoping to offer guidance and test their abilities to further their games and help craft a new winner. Little did we know that Boston Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine would return to the show so quickly, as just weeks after building a massive shelter and teaching game lessons, they would need to draw upon their own skills once again.
Survivor: Winners at War is the title of Survivor season 40, which was first announced at the end of the Island of the Idols finale. Of the 38 individuals who have won a season they competed in (including the game’s only two-time winner for the time being), the show will be bringing back X of the very best from multiple eras of the show’s prolific history.
CBS is going all out for their 20th-anniversary season, as they have an uphill battle for themselves if they want to compete with (or surpass) the excellence of their 10th-anniversary season, Heroes vs. Villains. By contrast, Winners at War will guarantee that there will be another player who will be crowned a two-time champion (unless Sandra Diaz-Twine becomes the only three-time champ).
Not many details have been revealed as of yet, but what we can share is some of the castaways that will compete this season. In addition to Boston Rob and Sandra, the following winners have been confirmed in alphabetical order: Adam Klein, Amber Mariano, Ben Driebergen, Danni Boatwright, Denise Stapley, Ethan Zohn, Jeremy Collins, Kim Spradlin, Michele Fitzgerald, Natalie Anderson, Nick Wilson, Parvati Shallow, Sarah Lacina, Sophie Clarke, Tony Vlachos, Tyson Apostol,
Wendell Holland and Yul Kwon.
Whoever will become the winner of Survivor winners will enjoy a much larger purse this time around. Two-million dollars will be awarded to whoever becomes the Sole Survivor of season 40, although further details of the prize breakdown have not been provided. Considering some of the names brought to this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if Boston Rob and Sandra being brought on as mentors last season had something to do with extra remuneration offered to the competitors.
The latest gameplay gimmick twists the conventional auction twist and cranks it up to 11. Survivor: WInners at War will grant players currency called “fire tokens” exchanged for several items such as rewards, luxury items, and even powers within the game. It’s unclear how extra currency will be earned or when it can be used.
Perhaps the most controversial decision made in creating Survivor: Winners at War is to bring back the Edge of Extinction twist. It makes sense on CBS’ behalf to include all the potential entertaining characters all season long (we’re getting a full season of all the castaways), but to bring back two players from the edge makes this effectively a 22-castaway season with 39 days of play. It also means that the person returning from the edge can influence the jury’s thoughts while being part of the jury themselves.
Survivor: Winners at War will debut on Wednesday, February 12 at 8 p.m., with the show airing a two-hour premiere that will likely see two players go home. Hopefully, we don’t lose Tony Vlachos in the first week like we did in Game Changers!