‘Survivor 40’: Who Is Returning for the New Season?

Season 39 of Survivor may have just ended but fans are already thinking about season 40. And after the disappointments of season 39, it’s no wonder people are ready to move on.

Survivor 39 ended with the first taped reunion in the history of the show. During the reunion, host Jeff Probst showed the audience a teaser for the new season and it looks….well…pretty epic.

Rob Mariano
Rob Mariano | CBS via Getty Images

What is the theme for ‘Survivor’ 40?

Survivor 40 will be called Winners at War. Given a title like that, it would only make sense if the show brought back previous winners to compete, right? Right. So, 20 past winners will be coming back again to battle it out for the right to be called Sole Survivor again.

This season will also bring back another twist that we haven’t seen since season 38. Now, when players are voted out, they will live on another island and bid their time until they get the opportunity to fight their way back into the competition.

Since all of the players have won in the past, there has to be a new incentive to get them to play again. This season players will compete for the largest prize in the show’s history, $2 million!

Who is coming back to the show?

Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine can’t seem to get enough of Survivor. The two, who served as mentors on Island of Idols, will now compete in Season 40. Diaz-Twine is the only contestant in history who has won the show twice. She’ll be going for a third shot at the title of Sole Survivor this season.

Mariano will also be joined by his wife Amber Mariano who he met on All-Stars.

In addition to the Marianos and Diaz-Twine, Parvati Shallow, Tony Wlachos, Sarah Lacina, Ethan Zohn, Yul Kwon, Danni Boatwright, Sophie Clarke, and Kim Spradlin, Denise StapleyTyson Apostol, Natalie Anderson, Jeremy Collins, Michele Fitzgerald, Adam Klein, Ben Driebergen, Wendell Holland, and Nick Wilson will all be returning for their chance at another win.

“I can feel my blood starting to rise,” Shallow, from Fans vs. Favorites, said.

“Everybody out here was the best at one time,” Lacina, winner of Game Changers commented. “Who doesn’t want to play with the best?”

Has there ever been a cast of winners before?

This is actually the fifth season where all of the castaways have played the game before. All-Stars was the first in 2004. Then came Heroes vs. Villains in 2010, Second Chance in 2015, and then Game Changers in 2017. This will, however, be the first season where all of the castaways have won before.

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It will be interesting to see how the game plays out this season as the dynamics between several castaways have already been established. There is a married couple, a pair who has worked together as mentors, and several players who have played with one another before. And even castaways who have never competed against each other still have had the opportunity to watch how the others play the game.

We’ll have to wait until the groundbreaking season premieres on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS to find out how these prior relationships will affect the game.