The 40th season of “Survivor” begins at 8 p.m. Wednesday evening on CBS with 20 previous winners competing for the largest prize in reality television history, $2 million.
The field for “Winners at War” represents “the different periods of the game,” which premiered on May 31, 2000, host and executive producer Jeff Probst said.
The earliest is Ethan Zohn, the third season winner. The most recent is Nick Wilson, the 37th season winner.
Zohn was diagnosed with CD20-positive Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009, seven years after his winning season ended. He announced in 2013 he was cancer-free due to two rounds of stem cell transplants that he received from his brother.
“Just being here today is a miracle,” Zohn said.
Other contestants include the series’ lone two-time winner, Sandra Diaz-Twine, and the husband-and-wife duo of Amber and Rob Mariano, whose relationship began when they formed an alliance on “Survivor: All-Stars” in 2003.
“Everyone out here has nothing to prove, which means they have nothing to lose, which means everyone out here is a dangerous killer,” said Parvati Shallow, the 16th season winner.
Shallow is among the season’s two Los Angeles-area residents. The other is Sophie Georgina Clarke, a Santa Monica resident who was the 23rd season winner.
To Probst, the contestants have different skills with the one common element is “they’ve figured out how to use their skills to get to the end and win.”
The new element of “Winners at War” is the introduction of fire tokens, which will serve as currency on the island and allow players to buy advantages to help them stay in the game or get back in the game.
The season will also include the return of Edge of Extinction, which gives voted-out players a second opportunity to win.
For the eighth consecutive season “Survivor” was shot in the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji. The winner’s prize is double the usual figure.
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