'Survivor: Winners At War' all-champions cast formally revealed and 'Survivor' Season 40 twists teased by CBS
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/19/2019
Survivor's 40th season has been officially announced as an all-winners edition dubbedSurvivor: Winners At War, and its cast of returnees and twists have also been revealed.
CBS confirmed Survivor's upcoming 40th season will be titled Survivor: Winners At War and feature an entire cast comprised solely of former champions during a preview video shown at the conclusion of Wednesday night's finale broadcast of Survivor: Island of the Idols.
At the beginning of the preview, the names and photos of the 20 former winners who will be competing on Survivor: Winners At War flashed quickly across the screen.
"It's the biggest battle in Survivor history -- 20 returning winners. They'll compete in epic challenges, face the return of the Edge of Extinction, and encounter a new twist that will completely reset how the game is played,"Survivor host Jeff Probst explained in a voiceover, as "Fire Tokens" for food and comfort were shown on the screen.
"Plus, they're playing for the biggest prize in reality show history, [$2 million]. It's the most anticipated Survivor season of all time."
Sandra and Rob just participated in Survivor: Island of the Idols as mentors; however, they were ineligible to play and compete for the $1 million prize.
Identities of the castaways for SurvivorSeason 40 originally leaked out online all the way back in May, shortly before it began filming.
"Coming back out here, I can feel my blood starting to rise," Parvati said in the trailer that aired onSurvivor: Island of the Idol's finale.
"It's like the Super Bowl 20 years in the making," Tony gushed.
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"I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, and it is a miracle that I'm sitting here today," Ethan shared.
"I met my wife [Amber] onSurvivor. We have four daughters. It would be really messed up if they have to see daddy vote mama off," Rob told the cameras with a bit of a cocky smile.
The preview of Survivor: Winners At War also confirmed the return of the Edge of Extinction in which castaways voted out of the game are given an option to head to Ponderosa and end their game for good or continue playing on what is presented as a remote, desolate island with harsher conditions than at camp and limited supplies and food.
Players who opt to continue playing go to the Edge of Extinction and wait until they're until given opportunities to win a spot back in the original game.
While they're not technically competing to be the "Sole Survivor" while on the Edge, they are able to send advantages to players in the real game.
When the Edge of Extinction was first introduced on Survivor: Edge of Extinction,Survivor's 38th season, two players -- Rick Devens and Chris Underwood -- were allowed to re-enter the game after they won respective challenges, and Chris went on to win the $1 million that season. (Rick finished in fourth place).
In addition to offering an unprecedented $2 million prize in reality TV history, Survivor: Winners At War will also introduce a brand new twist in which "Fire Tokens" may be used to purchase comfort, food and even an advantage -- such as an advantage in a challenge.
"Fire Tokens add yet another layer of duplicity that did not exist before," one castaway can be heard saying in the preview's voiceover.
According to Inside Survivor sources, Survivor "money" or "currency" called Fire Tokens are given to each player at the start of the game and can be exchanged for luxuries, food or advantages throughout the season.
When a player is voted out, he or she must will his or her Tokens and any purchased items to another castaway still in the game, similar toSurvivor's Legacy Advantage twist. Tokens can also reportedly be shared between players.
The twist will be in effect for castaways living on the Edge of Extinction as well.
Castaways at the Edge can send advantages to players in the game, but the recipients must pay for them. If an advantage is purchased, the money gets transferred to the person at the Edge, who can then spend the Tokens on food or comfort, Inside Survivor reported.
"Let the fireworks begin!" Adam exclaimed in the trailer for Survivor: Winners At War.
The castaways will face the "greatest of the great" competition on Survivor's next season, and to be the winner of this season will apparently be an epic accomplishment.
"Everybody out here was the best at one time," Sarah explained. "Who doesn't want to play with the best?!"
Following its premiere, theSurvivor season will air in the show's regular Wednesday 8-9PM ET/PT time period beginning February 19.
Season 40 was reportedly filmed in Fiji in May and June, shortly after the show's Survivor: Island of the Idols season was also filmed in Fiji.
While many Survivor viewers have been clamoring for an all-winners edition for years, Jeff Probst had rejected the idea as recently as last year.
"We can't do all winners," Jeff told Us Weekly in 2018. "As a producer, I would never suggest it. I would say it's not a good idea."
"We have 10 great winners that you'd want to see play again," Jeff told Us. "We don't have 20. We don't have 18... Some of the greats are like, 'No, we're done.'"
However, according to Jeff, CBS executives had been in favor of the idea for some time.
"CBS wants to do it. They're pitching me all the time," Jeff told the magazine.
"And I'm going, 'I'll sit down with you and show you the list!' We don't have it. And if I sat down and we wasted our time and I walked you through all our winners, you would say, 'Oh, you're right. You don't have a season.' We have a tribe of winners, that's it."
According to Inside Survivor, the decision to increase the grand prize served as an incentive to convince some former Survivor winners to come back and play again.