Season 25 of Survivor Will Have a Twist: 3 Teams and 3 Returning Players

Fresh after the first ever all female finale, we get some interesting news about the upcoming season.  Yesterday we learned that the new location will be in the Philippines.  What we didn’t know was that there is a twist!  Jeff Probst revealed to EW that not only is there a format change but 3 former players will be returning.


Basically the format of the show was changed to counteract the alliance building around 5 players.  To break this trend, they decided on using 3 teams instead of the standard 2.  If you remember, the three team format was used in Season 8’s “Allstars”.

As Probst explains,

First we decided on three tribes. That was the first thing. And that was just an effort to change up the way the numbers were playing. People were locking into these alliances of five. So we thought, okay, let’s try a three-tribe scenario and see what that does.

After the 3 tribe format was decided they also wanted to bring back some players as they’ve done in the past, that’s when they stumbled on to the idea of bringing back those who were out due to injury.  Probst stated,

“Once we had the three tribes, we talked about are we going to do returnees? I love returnees. I love second chances, I love the losers bracket in sports. I love all of it. So I love these guys coming back. And then we hit on the evacuees and went, that’s it! These are true second chancers. They were pulled from the game. They didn’t quit. They didn’t get voted out. They were yanked.”


So who has been voted out of Survivor due to injury?  Let’s tally it up and find out who the likely returnees would be.

Season 2 – The Australian Outback

  • Michael Skupin Age 38 – He was the first injured person to leave.  He inhaled smoke and fainted in the fire burning his hands severely.

Season 14 – Fiji

  • Gary “Papa Smurf” Stritesky Age 55 – suffered vertigo due to an allergic reaction caused by bug bites.  His conditioned worsened and he pulled himself out of the game.

Survivor:16  Micronesia

  • Jonathan Penner  Age 45 – he had a life-threatening infection in his injured knee.

Season 15 The Brazilian Highlands

  • Joe Dowdle Age 26 – had his knee injured during an Immunity Challenge and it had become deeply infected, hindering his performance. He left the game. 

Survivor: 19 Samoa

  • Mike Borassi Age 62 – Injured during the Schmergen Brawl challenge.  At the end of the chellenge Jeff asked Mike to stay so the medical team can lok at him because of the hard hits he took.  They determined that he was unable to continue the game.
  • Russell Swan Age 42   Russell S. became disoriented and struggled to make it to the puzzle table. When he collapsed at his station onto the puzzle table, Jeff called for a halt so the Survivor Medical Team could tend to Russell S. After examination, they announced that he had dangerously low blood pressure.  After much resistance he had to go home.

Survivor 24: One World

  • Kourtney Moon Age 29 – Kourtney injured her wrist while landing in the net during the tower jump. When Jeff noticed that Kourtney was kneeling and in obvious pain while waiting her turn on the balance beam, he called a stop to the challenge to tend to Kourtney.  She went home as a result of this injury.
  • Colton Cumbie Age 21 – Christina found him curled up on the ground and called the Survivor Medical Team. Ramona, the Medical Team doctor, diagnosed possible appendicitis that required immediate evacuation for further tests

So who’s coming back from the 25th  Season of Survivor?  It’s got to be from these four:

  1. Colton
  2. Kourtney Moon
  3. Russell Swan
  4. Joe Dowdle

Who do you think?

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