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After more than a year since Survivor’s last episode aired, season 41 of the CBS reality competition is almost here. And Survivor’s longtime host, Jeff Probst, implied that this might be its craziest season yet. A bunch of new twists are awaiting not only the contestants but also the fans.

The cast of 'Survivor' season 41 pose for a group picture on the beach.
Cast of ‘Survivor’ Season 41 | Photo by Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Image

Do People Hook up on ‘Survivor’?

Probst reveals what producers have in store for season 41

According to Us Weekly, a few changes will be made to the game of Survivor for the upcoming season premiering on Sept. 22 on CBS. First of all, the castaways will compete for 26 days rather than the usual 39 days. And, yes, the cast still consists of 18 players. Survivor will also include a “Game within the Game” element where young Survivor hopefuls will be able to spot and solve puzzles hidden in the episodes. There will also be times where Probst speaks directly to the audience.

Of course, many of season 41’s twists have not been made public yet. Probst and CBS are saving those for when the episodes air. But the host does promise that “…there will be new advantages and there will be some controversial twists.” For now, fans will just have to speculate and familiarize themselves with this year’s cast.

Meet the ‘Survivor’ Season 41 cast

CBS banked on its pledge to make at least half of its casts for reality competition shows, including Survivor and Big Brother, people of color. Fans who have been critical of the lack of diversity on the network saw the improvement with Big Brother Season 23, and now they can see the same with Survivor Season 41.

The cast also varies in age. The youngest castaway is 20 years old and the oldest is 52 years old. Diversity in age has never been a massive problem for Survivor, unlike Big Brother, but it’s a great accomplishment, nonetheless. The more diverse the cast is, the greater the chance that personalities will clash and provide top-level entertainment and drama. And from a couple of 20-year-old college students to a 51-year-old cyber security analyst, this cast is bound to make some waves.

Fans can check out the complete cast list with pictures and descriptions over at Us Weekly.

What the new twists will mean for the game

As mentioned before, there is still a lot the audience does not know about the upcoming season of Survivor. But with what we do know, we can speculate about how this outing will be different from previous seasons.

The most significant change will be the shortage of days. For as long as we can remember, castaways have spent 39 days in an exotic location trying to survive the elements and their fellow tribemates. There are usually three days between each tribal council, but with only 26 days in the game and 18 cast members, the fight for the 1 million dollars will be brutal. The producers most likely shortened the days due to the pandemic, but no one could ignore the extra level of drama it brings.

The other twists don’t seem as dire to the game itself. Instead, the “Game within the Game” element is more for the audience at home than for the castaways on the island. Still, an interactive component to Survivor could be fun, especially for those who hope to make it on the show one day.