As Jeff Probst announced during the “Survivor: One World” reunion Sunday night, the 25th season of the show will be about redemption, but thankfully not the kind involving a silly island that changes the entire strategy of the game — instead, three previously-evacuated contestants are going to be coming back into the game for another shot.
So who are these lucky men or women? We know there are some spoilers out there as the season has already been filmed, but until CBS confirms we are going to do some speculation as to who should be offered another chance at playing the game. The creteria? You have to have been forced out of the game due to injury (and not to quitting or being voted out by your tribe), and you also have to have been somewhat of a memorable player who could avoid injury the next time. There have been teen people who have been evacuated — and based on the fact that Kourtney from this past season is the only female evacuee, expect more testosterone when it comes to returning players.
Joe Dowdle (Tocantins) – It took us some researching to actually remember who he was … and this was a season that we enjoyed.
Mike Borassi (Samoa) – While a tiny bit more memorable, older castaways are traditionally not brought back … and it’s really worse when it’s someone who only lasted a few days the first time around.
Gary a.k.a. “Papa Smurf” (Fiji) – Not only is he an older contestant, but he also was on a season all parties involved are still trying to forget.
Kourtney Moon (One World) – Yes, she was the first person out — but she seemed nice enough, and she’s current enough so that casual fans will remember her.
James Clement (China, Fans vs. Favorites, Heroes vs. Villains) – Considering that he only left due to injury in one of these seasons (though he was limited due to an injury on “Heroes vs. Villains”), he really shouldn’t be on here at all — but we never doubt the producers obnoxious desire to put the same castaways on TV time and time again.
Jonathan Penner (Cook Islands, Fans vs. Favorites) – By the same logic as James, Penner is a controversial choice. At least here he has not come back and played again already after being evacuated.
Bruce Kanegai (Panama) – He was an older castaway, but Bruce was seemingly in a bit better shape when he last played — not only that, but he also made it pretty far in the game before being forced to leave.
Colton Cumbie (One World) – We wish this wasn’t the case, mostly because we don’t really know what good it would do anyone to reward Colton’s behavior with a second shot at the game. However, the producers may try to play the “he’s changed’ angle — and while Jeff Probst has said that he is unsure if Colton should ever play again, he’s also warmed up to an idea of a celebrity season. Just saying.
Russell Swan (Samoa) – He was the second-most-popular Russell on his season, but easily the more likable one. Russell’s injury remains to this day the scariest in the history of the game, mostly because it felt as though his life was at risk.
So long as Russell remembers this time around to take care of himself before others, he would be the perfect person to come back.
Mike Skupin (Australia) – On the negative side, Skupin was on over a decade ago — so he’s really only memorable to diehard fans who still remember Australia. Then again, if you were watching then you probably remember what happened here more than any other injury in the show’s history. Mike’s hands nearly melting off in the fire was frightening, and it was a moment seen by over 35 million people the moment the episode aired.
Who do you see as likely to return to the game?