HOLLYWOOD─It really seems like it has been 40 seasons in the making. Can you believe “Survivor” has been airing for 20 years, yes, 2 seasons per cycle, but let’s all agree season 38, ‘Edge of Extinction’ and season 39, ‘Island of the Idols’ were two of the worst seasons the franchise has ever seen. “Survivor” needs to bounce back and in a major way.
Season 40 is slated to kick-off on February 12, 2020 and its theme is one of a kind, ‘Winners At War.’ Yes ,that is right; we have a slate of 20 winners from previous seasons back to battle for the prize of sole survivor. However, things are a lot different this time around: the winners are vying for $2 million not $1 million. In addition, we have the return of the ‘Edge of Extinction.’
Now I wasn’t a fan of this twist in season 38, but when we have an all winners season, this is the time that we need such a twist because this is the best of the best people. They deserve a second chance if voted out the game. I’m more eager with this season because I get the opportunity to see old school players go toe-to-toe with some new school players. What do I mean by that?
Players who were forced to rely on social abilities and strategy to make it to the end versus the countless twists and advantages that have become part of the game in current seasons. I’m like most “Survivor” fans; I hate the final four fire twist. It just isn’t interesting TV if you ask me, it stifles gameplay, instead of encouraging it.
When I talk about old school players I’m referring to Danni Boatwright from ‘Guatemela,’ Sandra Diaz-Twine, the only two-time champion vying for a third time, not to mention she has played a total of 4 times now. She is the queen for a reason people. We have Yul Kwon from ‘Cook Islands,’ husband and wife, Amber and Rob Mariano from ‘All Stars’ and ‘Redemption Island.’ What can I say about Parvati Shallow; the girl played exceptional in ‘Micronesia’ and hands down should have won in ‘Heroes vs. Villains.’
There are two players I’ve been dying to see play again in Kim Spradlin and Denise Stapley from ‘One World’ and ‘Philippines.’ To round things out I’m eager to see Tony Vlachos back in the game because the guy made ‘Cagayan’ such a treat, but he crashed and burned when he went after Sandra in ‘Game Changers.’ So that rivalry is certain to be reignited. Perhaps one of the oldest players returning to the game all the way from “Survivor: Africa” is Ethan Zohn. To be honest the season should have been coined ‘Old School vs. New School.’
We are going to see a ton and I mean a ton of egos at war, and that I’m eager to see unfold, not to mention how this new twist involving fire tokens, which allow players the luxury to purchase items, food and advantages that can totally change the game. It’s another evolution in the game of “Survivor” because a lot of people have no idea that Hidden Immunity Idols were not always part of the game. Before those HI, it was all about social ability and strategy which helped players survive the game.
If there are players who have something to prove it would be Michele Fitzgerald from ‘Koah Rong,’ Ben Driebergen from ‘Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’ and Wendell Holland from ‘Ghost Island’ where many thought other deserving players should have taken the win. So let’s see how they will stand out against the shadows amongst such big names this time around.
I want to see cutthroat gameplay, backstabbing, deception, arguments; I want to see strategy on top of strategy. Its time fans of the show get to see all the mayhem that we have come to enjoy about “Survivor.” If I were to highlight the past 10 season of the series, only 2-3 seasons really excelled. That would be ‘Cambodia’ and ‘David vs. Goliath.’ All the others were ok, I enjoyed the notion of ‘Game Changers,’ but many of the actual ‘Game Changers’ were sent packing perjury and that is no fun America, none at all.
So with ‘Winners At War,’ the best of the best in the reality competition’s 20 seasons duke it all. I’m so curious to see if we’ll get an epic blindside or a strategy yet to be seen in the game come into play. We only have a few more weeks, but man I wish February 12 would hurry up already.