Well, folks, with less than month to go until Survivor: Blood vs. Water premieres (assuming that CBS and Time Warner resolve their who-is-more-horrible-and-greedy-and-out-of-touch-and-only-serving-to-destroy-their-own industry-off), the much-anticipated cast list, featuring returning favorites with their loved ones, has been revealed! And we have to say, as opposed to last season’s casting missteps (
The Devil’s Brandon Hantz, Shamar, Sandra Bullock), this is a pretty solid roster with only a few complaints. If Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit was successful despite its bevy of either unbearable or barely there players, then we have high hopes for Blood vs. Water: No Matter Who Wins, We Also Win. Let’s dig a little deeper (in bullet form!)
- First, let’s start at the beginning, just like Survivor did in bringing back first season player and Borneo legend Gervase. Many latter-day Survivor fans were probably saying, “who?” while we were saying “woo!” It’s a nice nod to the history of the game, especially after casting seemed far too focused on the latter half of the franchise in populating Fans vs. Favorites 2. The big question: has Gervase learned to swim? Probably not, which is why we imagine he’ll petition Jeff from the get-go to be placed on Team Blood. Also, feel free to go ahead and call Gervase a liar:
- Surprised to see Rupert back for a fourth time but also totally not surprised at all. In his first go-round in the Pearl Islands he was Survivor’s all-American hero/professional wrestler, playing with honesty, integrity and the right amount of looking like a cross between Jerry Garcia and a pirate, a total package that made Sandra Diaz-Twine’s (first!) million dollar win so hard to take. But after feeling like Rupert was robbed that season, he scuffled in the first All-Stars (his shoreline shelter being his main undoing and current legacy) , and he revealed a more selfish, abrasive and unlikable side in Heroes vs. Villains, willing to work with (or at least tolerate) Rob and Russell while whining about a broken toe and generally acting like a bull in a Samoa shop. Even though he previously won a million dollars as a Fan Favorite (something that he loudly campaigned for in a way that was a serious turn-off), this maybe his Redemption Island.
- Tina’s back too! That’s pretty cool. Please don’t let her win again (unless Colby really needs another motorcycle). It’s nice to see Survivor playing homage to its roots (although, if we’re going to go all the way back to Outback we’d rather see Rodger and his Great-Great-Grandson).
- We must admit, we don’t know who Laura is. And we don’t know who is the mom and who is the daughter here.
- No surprise that Survivor’s most racist, least likable player, conservative gay man Colton is back. He’s the only person who can make Paula Deen’s non-apology seem decent and genuine. Is it possible for someone to get appendicitis twice?
- Monica Culpepper was a very logical choice to return. Good to see those two again. And her husband as well.
- Here’s how little we know or care about Candice: we don’t remember her on Heroes vs. Villains and, more surprising, we don’t recall her surname being Woodcock. Anyway, if she sticks around longer this time, you can rest assured that we’ll be getting a lot of mileage out of that.
- Aras and his brother Vytas, the new Team Bro! Our early money is on Vytas to take it all because the other players won’t even want to attempt to spell his name.
- Finally, if we had to predict one Survivor who was going to return with a loved one, without a doubt it would have been One World’s Kat, the original peach hoodie. However, we would have bet the farm(ville) that she would be accompanied by her cousin/BFF/roommate/oxygen-sharer/lover(?) Robby. So how shocking it was to learn that she will be back, but with new boyfriend and Big Brother winner Hayden Moss (we’re pretending like we know who that is). What gives, Kat? How could you do this to Robby? You crawled on your hands and knees for him, and now this? That’s cold. Things are going to get pretty weird if there’s a loved ones reward challenge and Robby comes back through those trees. A loved-ones triangle?
So, all and all, we’re pretty pleased with the cast. Our only complaint? One real travesty: No Dan and his son. This season was made for them. But, then again, what they have is thicker than blood.