“Survivor” will begin its 29th season Wednesday night with a 90-minute episode from 8-9:30 p.m. on CBS, again using the “Blood vs. Water” theme.

Each of the 18 castaways has a tie to one other castaway — a spouse, parent, child, sibling, boyfriend or girlfriend.

When “Survivor” first used the “Blood vs. Water” theme in the fall 2013 season, producers realized “we could bring loved ones out and complicate the game even more,” host and executive producer Jeff Probst said.

“It did so well we thought ‘Let’s do it again,”‘ Probst said.

Probst described this cast as “funnier than groups we’ve had in the past” and “pretty diverse, not only in color and background and lifestyle but also just points of view.”

The best known castaway is John Rocker, who pitched for four major league teams between 1998 and 2003.

“I was raised in a professional baseball clubhouse and still carry a lot of that idiocy with me,” said Rocker, who was suspended for the start of the 2000 season for a series of disparaging comments about gays, blacks and immigrants.

“Even people that like me, and those that didn’t like me, they’ve never seen the off-the-field John.”

Rocker’s girlfriend, Julie McGee, a 34-year-old model and owner of a spray tan business, is also a castaway.

“She already told me she’d throw me under the bus,” Rocker said.

Other castaways include a same-sex couple, Reed Kelly, a Broadway performer, and Josh Canfield, a singer, actor and writer; a black husband and wife, firefighter Jeremy Collins and Val Collins, a police officer; and sisters Natalie and Nadiya Anderson, who competed in the fall 2012 and the spring 2014 seasons of “The Amazing Race.”

City News Service

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