One day after the first returning player was announced for “Survivor: Blood vs. Water,” you really did not have to wait too long at all to figure out everyone else who was going to be joining the fold. It’s a group that is both predictable and also controversial, as there is at least one person in this group that prior to hearing rumors, we never expected to be back on the show.
1. Colton Cumbie and fiance Caleb Blankston – We don’t want to bury the lead here at all. Colton caused a huge backlash during “Survivor: One World” for his comments towards Bill Posley, and it’s shocking that CBS really wants to run the risk here. But you have to remember that this cast was filming prior to “Big Brother 15” starting, so the network wasn’t already in hot water at the time for inappropriate remarks.
To be fair, Colton was remorseful and had learned from some of his poor decisions when we spoke to him after the game the first time, so this could be an opportunity to redeem himself. Personal feelings aside, he had a good thing going prior to his medical evacuation.
2. Tina Wesson and daughter Katie Collins – An interesting team, given that Tina was the first person voted out of “Survivor: All-Stars,” but, she is also the show’s first female winner. She could do better this season now that the game is less survival-based, but she’s an early target more so than Katie.
3. Rupert Boneham and Laura – Yes, “Survivor” cannot get enough Rupert. He’s enormously popular still among many fans, and while we’ve enjoyed chatting with him in the past, his problem is still that he doesn’t have the killer game instinct to get to the end. A few extra years isn’t going to change that.
4. Gervase Peterson and niece Marissa – Gervase has now passed Michael Skupin as the “Survivor” to go the longest between seasons, and he could do very well this season, given that he’s not going to be a threat early on. Marissa is young and athletic, and should not have a problem.
5. Laura Morett and daughter Ciera Eastin – This is a team that is dangerous. Laura would have probably won “Survivor: Samoa” had Russell Hantz not kept pulling idols out of his rear, and she is in great shape and does a great job controlling others. It’s hard to judge her daughter, but maybe she’s picked up some tricks.
6. Monica Culpepper and husband Brad – This is a strange choice, because it seems that Monica was brought back mostly because her husband is a former NFL player, and not because of what she actually did during “One World,” where she went out before Colton did.
7. Aras Baskauskas and brother Vytas – Aras is very dangerous. In addition to being athletic, he’s incredibly smart and a “Survivor” scholar who pays close attention to strategy. Were it not for the fact that he’s won already, we’d probably pick him to win again. Vytas looks equally fit, and they could be pretty dangerous.
8. Candice Cody and husband John – Candice, formerly known as Candice Woodcock, is a pretty strong player who has excelled at getting herself ahead by any means necessary, but when it comes to winning, she hasn’t been so good at doing that. We don’t expect a home run from her or John this time.
9. Tyson Apostol and girlfriend Rachel Foulger – This should be fun. Tyson’s one of our favorite all-time players, and if nothing else, he will be great television. We’re also sure that like Cochran last season, he probably feels hungry after having to hear most people mock him for a bad decision he made last time.
10. Kat Edorsson and boyfriend Hayden Moss – We already told you about this one.
In the end, it’s a pretty good cast. We don’t know per se if we needed to see a couple of these people again, but having more of Tyson, Aras, Kat, Laura, and Gervase is something we welcome with open arms. We’re just glad that there are some second-time players in the mix.