‘Survivor 27’ rumor: Is a Favorites vs. Family idea really a good idea?

Jeff ProbstOver the past 24 hours, a rather interesting story has spread like wildfire over what could be the 27th season of “Survivor“: one featuring ten returning castaways along with ten family members (though we are presuming friends, or in Coach’s case his assistant coach, could qualify here). The credibility of this rumor is strong in that it comes from Reality Blurred a.k.a. Andy Dehnart, who is really as honest as they come.

Now, there are a number of reactions that you could have to this concept right away. The obvious question, first of all, is “why,” and the answer to that is rather simple: because CBS whole-heartedly believes that returning players equals ratings. They have the data to back this up, obviously, so it’s hard to question them too much. Personally, we think it is somewhat of a crapshoot based on whether or not the castaways who go far are some that the average viewer cares about.

But could this concept work? Even Russell Hantz, who has been talking about wanting to return for some time, prefers the idea of watching new people to seeing this sort of concept play out:  “I do not like the concept at all!!I think someone needs to lose their job because they’re only going to lose more viewers! #newpeople”

Of course, we don’t see a Hantz getting back on the network anytime soon in between Brandon’s “Survivor” meltdown and Willie getting expelled from “Big Brother.” Russell was really the one who seemingly was playing the game just as much as trying to be a big character and knew at times how to keep his emotions in check.

From one standpoint, we don’t think that this idea would necessarily be terrible if they brought the right people back. For one, who wouldn’t want to see Colby yell at his brother some more like he did on “Heroes vs. Villains,” or have Tarzan tear up over his wife? The issue of course is that if you really want family members who are a sure thing, you’re excluding contestants who didn’t make it to the family visit part of the game. The only real exception to this we can think of is Rob Cesternino and his wife Nicole, but that is only because they’ve both developed a very public rapport on Rob Has a Podcast and should be familiar to fans.

But when you consider that Colby’s not going to play again, and that outside of Rob and Nicole, some of the other candidates are not necessarily the most notable players in the game, is there really enough interesting family members to make this work? We’ve watched this show for over a decade, and we can’t sit here and name ten family members that we know already and want to see on TV. With that in mind, we’d prefer to see something like “Survivor: Philippines,” except maybe have each tribe led by a really good strategist who didn’t win their season (Rob, Stephen Fishbach, Kenny Hoang) and viewers could be hungry to see more of. It’d certainly be a nice change from all of the crazy characters we’ve been seeing lately.

What do you think about this idea: is “Favorites vs. Family” stupid, or surprisingly smart? Vote in our poll below, and you can read some more of our “Survivor Caramoan” coverage over at the link here.

Photo: CBS

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