Jeff Probst is Bringing an Olympian to Season 39 of ‘Survivor’ — Fans React

Season 38 of Survivor is officially over, with a seriously controversial final three bringing a lot of controversy to the season’s new twist. But you know what that means — new seasons are on the way! If there’s anything we’ve learned from our 19 years with host Jeff Probst, it’s that the producer always has a few tricks up his sleeves.

The upcoming Season 39, Survivor: Island of the Idols is no exception to the rule. Alongside a new twist, we’ll also be seeing a new batch of castaways, one of whom is coming to the island with an impressive physical background — some would say the most impressive background possible.

What is the ‘Island of the Idols’?

Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst | CBS via Getty Images

Season 39 has a lot to live up to, but things are already looking promising. This season will see Probst bringing back to famous Survivor winners. So famous, in fact, one might call them idols. See where we’re going with this?

Inside Survivor has suggested that we’ll be seeing the return of none other than “Boston” Rob Mariano and “Queen” Sandra Diaz-Twine. Diaz-Twine is well known for being the only castaway to ever win two seasons of Survivor. Meanwhile, Mariano is known for being a charismatic but cutthroat player who has a keen sense of social dynamics. That being said, neither of these two will be playing for the title of sole survivor.

Instead, they’ll be residing on the Island of the Idols. Here, players gain opportunities to earn advantages or to learn from two of the best in the game. It’s a potentially exciting twist.

According to Inside Survivor, “Throughout the season, players will be sent to the Island of the Idols via various methods, and while there they have a chance to gain advice and advantages from the pair of past champions. Think of it as sort of like Ghost Island, except instead of being populated by cursed props of Survivor past, Boston Rob and Queen Sandra haunt the hallowed grounds.”

Who is Elizabeth Beisel?

Elizabeth Beisel
Elizabeth Beisel| Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Probst isn’t just hitting us with a new twist, but a challenging new competitor as well. Elizabeth Beisel, one of the world’s most high-profile swimmers, will be joining Survivor: Island of the Idols as a castaway. This 26-year-old Olympian is a member of Team USA. She’s competed three times at the Olympics, in 2008, 2012, and 2016. In 2012 Beisel won silver for the USA in the 400 individual medley and a bronze medal in the 200 individual medley.

At a mere 13, Beisel was a member of the national team, and she competed at the World Championships when she was only 14 years old.

What do ‘Survivor’ fans think of the castaway?

(L-R) U.S. Olympians Amanda Weir, Cody Miller, Elizabeth Beisel and Ryan Held
(L-R) U.S. Olympians Amanda Weir, Cody Miller, Elizabeth Beisel, and Ryan Held | Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Survivor fans, being as active as they are, have already taken to speculating about how the Olympian might perform during her season. Reddit user u/milksoupmilk suggested they’ll see Beisel going far. “She seems like she’d have a strong chance of going very far given her personality – mature, very sociable, and has a good head on her shoulders. She was always respected and popular among the US national swim team, so she’d definitely have no trouble ingratiating herself with people. I wouldn’t have pegged her as the most entertaining television, but as a swimming fan I’m excited to see her play!”

User u/Scooter_McGavin_9 speculated on whether or not Beisel might struggle with a lack of food. “Her big disadvantage is that swimmers take in a lot of calories. I saw a segment during the Olympics on Michael Phelps and he ate more for breakfast than most people eat in a couple days. We did see college athlete Lauren have issues early this season with the lack of food. Hopefully Elizabeth has been weening herself off food going into the season.”

Being an Olympian does mean physical prowess, which always comes in handy during challenges. At the same time, that could put a target on Beisel’s back. We can’t wait to see how the new season shakes out.