'Survivor: Edge of Extinction' returning castaways formally revealed and twist teased by CBS
By Steven Rogers, 12/20/2018
Survivor: Edge of Extinction's cast and format twist have been partially revealed by CBS.
CBS confirmed Survivor's upcoming 38th edition will be titled Survivor: Edge of Extinction and feature a cast that includes four returning castaways during a preview video shown at the conclusion of Wednesday night's broadcast of the finale of Survivor: David vs. Goliath. (WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW!)
"For our 38th season, a new group of players will take on the greatest social experiment ever created," Survivor host Jeff Probst said in the video package. "They'll be joined by four returning players."
In addition, the video also closed with Probst teasing Survivor: Edge of Extinction's format twist.
"And a new layer to the game will push them further than ever before! It's Survivor: Edge of Extinction!"
Who are Survivor: Edge of Extinction's returning castaways?
Joe previously competed on Survivor: Worlds Apart and Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance, while Aubrey competed on Survivor: Kaoh Rong and Survivor: Game Changers.
Kelly was on Survivor: San Juan Del Sur and Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance, and David -- the only Season 38 returnee who has only previously competed on one Survivor season -- appeared on Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X.
In addition to the four returning castaways, the video also revealed two of the season's returning castaways -- Wendy, a blue-haired young woman; and Rick, a male news anchor from Macon, GA.
Survivor: Edge of Extinction was filmed back-to-back with Survivor: David vs. Goliath in Fiji earlier this year and will premiere Wednesday, February 20 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.
What is Survivor: Edge of Extinction's format twist?
According to online spoilers, Survivor: Edge of Extinction will feature what some viewers will deem to be a controversial twist -- a new Redemption Island-like format change in which castaways are not permanently eliminated from the game when they are voted out of their tribe at Tribal Council.
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Instead, the ousted castaways will have the option to go to "Extinction Island," where they will have to survive with no shelter and limited supplies as they wait for the opportunity to earn a chance to rejoin the main game.
"When a player is eliminated they can choose to quit or go to Extinction Island. Players can leave at any time. There will be two chances for a player to win their way back into the game -- at the merge and then around Day 35/36," Inside Survivor blogger Martin Holmes reported in July.
"Extinction Island does not reset at the merge; the extinct castaways who don't win their way back into the game can continue to live on Extinction Island until Day 35/36 when the second opportunity to reenter arises."
According to Holmes, "every eliminated player who chooses to stay on Extinction Island past the merge will be part of the jury (if a player on [Extinction Island] quits post-merge, they will still be on the jury)."
However, a Survivor season has never featured four "captains."
How did Survivor: Edge of Extinction's returning castaways do on their previous Survivor seasons?
Given they have all appeared on seasons that have aired within the last few years, most Survivor fans should be at least somewhat familiar with Joe, Aubry, Kelley and David.
Joe is a two-time Survivor castaway, having reached the jury on both Survivor: Worlds Apart and Survivor: Cambodia: Second Chance in 2015. Joe never made it to the end because he was always viewed as a dangerous social and physical player.
"You know, there are archetypes like me that people say will never win, [but] I'm going to prove them wrong!" Joe said in the Survivor: Edge of Extinction announcement video. "Third time's the charm baby!"
Aubry most recently competed on Survivor: Game Changers in 2017 and finished in fifth place. Prior to her stint on Game Changers, Aubry claimed the runner-up spot on Survivor: Kaoh Rong in 2016.
"I know how hard this is going to be. I can be starving, it can be pouring, but I'm here for the win," Aubry said in the video. "That's what I want. I will never quit. I'm freaking determined."
Kelley will be coming back for her third attempt at the million on the long-running reality competition series after competing on Survivor: San Juan Del Sur in 2014 -- during which she had an early, pre-merge elimination -- and then Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance the following year, when she finished in fourth place.
Joe and Kelley may have an immediate friendship or rivalry on Survivor: Edge of Extinction, as they both made it to the merge on Survivor: Cambodia but then Kelley ultimately voted him out on Day 32.
As for David, he is simply a memorable one-time player. David overcame numerous fears, insecurities and idiosyncrasies while testing his luck on Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X in 2016.
David placed fourth because the tribe viewed him as a big threat to win the game since he would have an incredible story to tell at the Final Tribal Council.