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If you have yet to watch the premiere episode of Survivor: Redemption Island, please feel free to stop reading this while also heading right over to the CBS website to catch this episode. Yes, it was that good!

And for those who viewed the debut last night, you might be willing to attest that the tribal council was without a doubt the wackiest ever, and also one of the best ever.

The episode began with show host Jeff Probst introducing the returning all stars Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz to the two different tribes. Rob’s tribe seems happy and eager to have him on their team, while Russell’s tribe is willing to make do with the hand they have been dealt. Francesca makes a critical error at this point in the game when she opens up her mouth and states, “They’re troublemakers. I don’t think they’re here just to help us out.” Bad move Francesca, bad move. With those words, Francesca immediately put a target on herself.

Despite giving his Zapatera tribe a sweet speech about being a changed man, we immediately see Russell is back to his old tricks as he singles out the young Stephanie to be his new Parvati. The men in Russell’s tribe however are not so impressed and are already on to him, planning to vote him out the first chance they get.

Things take a more entertaining turn on Rob’s Ometepe tribe as his groupies… oops, most of his female tribe members seem to swoon over him, make googly eyes at him, and are eager to join his alliance. Let’s all hope Amber has nothing to worry about. One person not too willing is Kristina who immediately goes looking for an idol clue. Rob is on to Kristina, who is aware Rob is on to her and now realizes she poses a threat to Rob.

Meanwhile, “federal agent” Phillip, who for some reason has decided his saggy red briefs is the way to the $1 million prize, decides to pull the women together and let them in on a little secret. He used to be a “federal agent” yall!, as the ladies pretend to be impressed. Phillip also makes certain to put a target on his back by criticising the others and pointing out all that they are doing wrong. Francesca and Kristina both seem the most irritated with Phillip and his know-it-all condescending attitude, but the two ladies made a fatal Survivor error when they decide to form an alliance with an unstable game player. This brings their alliance to three versus Rob’s six member alliance.

This makes way for an epic tribal council as Phillip just flies off the handle for some unknown and unprovoked reason, proceeding to out his alliance while also revealing Kristina’s immunity idol. Phillip however makes certain to let us know he is not unstable, and what better way to prove that than by mispronouncing Francesca’s name a number of times. Who knew Francesca was so hard to pronounce?

Kristina takes a great risk by not using her idol and Francesca is the tribe’s first causality as she is voted off to the Redemption Island. Great episode overall. Would like to see Francesca return to the game as she appears to be a strong player. Those chances are however very slim. Pretty gutsy move by Kristina to not play her idol but her days on the tribe are numbered. She is that player who played way too hard, way too quickly. It will be interesting to see if Russell’s tribe does get rid of him quickly or allow him to make it far in the game.

Meanwhile, in other Survivor news, Russell Hantz is now denying the allegations that he leaked out Survivor spoilers for the two previous seasons he was on. “The problem is with me, I am that villain and people take shots at me. Even though it’s not really who I really am in real life. So, you know, all I can say is it’s 100 percent false. It’s hard for me to sit there and take it, but I don’t give it any credit whatsoever,” said Russell on CBS The Early Show this week.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON EPISODE ONE OF SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND? THOUGHTS ON THE CAST AND THE TRIBAL COUNCIL? SHOULD THE TRIBES VOTE OFF RUSSELL & ROB?

During the reunion show of Survivor:Nicaragua, we learned that the upcoming season of the show would be bringing us some new rules!

In a new interview, host Jeff Probst discusses the new format and rules. The most notable change on the upcoming Survivor: Redemption Island, which premieres Feb. 16 on CBS, is that when a contestant is voted off, he or she won’t leave the game but instead go instead to the “Redemption Island,” where he or she will face off against the next person voted off in a duel.

The loser goes home and the duel winner goes on to face the next arrival at Redemption Island until one person is left standing. That individual will then get a chance to return to the game.

“We did a haphazard version of Redemption Island a few years ago called the Outcasts,” Jeff explains. “It didn’t work and it didn’t please the audience and there was one fundamental flaw – we didn’t tell people up front it was going to happen … So I have no problem with people coming back into the game because everybody knows up front [now]. A rule can’t be unfair if you know going in. It’s an equal opportunity.”

And thanks to the two infamous quitters, NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn, being allowed to quit the game and remain on the jury, much to the fury of fans, the show has now implemented new rules regarding quitters. From the new season on, producers will have total discretion on whether to keep quitters on the show or leave them off the jury. “The most frustrating part for me was that both of them, due to a precedent we already set on the show, were allowed to stay on the jury and have an influence at the end of the game,” Jeff tells PEOPLE.

In other Survivor news, Matthew “Sash” Lenahan found himself in the same position as popular villain Russell Hantz during the finale show. Despite playing a pretty good game, Sash ended up not only losing the game, but receiving zero votes from his jury peers as he simply ruffled too many feathers. In an interview with TV Guide, Sash discusses not receiving any votes and who surprised him the most on the jury. Excerpts below -

TVGuide.com: Why do you think you didn’t receive a single vote from the jury?
Matthew “Sash” Lenahan:
It’s rough. I think I played a great game on the show. I don’t regret anything. I think I made the best move every step of the way, and I did the best that I could. I can’t control how the jury is going to vote. I did think that I had a shot tonight, but I think the jury voted a lot based on emotion and previous relationships, and not necessarily based on the way I played, which is how I would have based my vote. I just thought some of the members of the jury would have respected the game more.

But saying that, Fabio is a great winner. I am a super fan of the show, I’ve watched all 10 years and 20 seasons, and no one has ever played like Fabio has. I thought I knew all the twists and all the turns and all the angles, but he played a way I’ve never seen, so he’s very deserving.

TVGuide.com: Was there anyone on the jury whose comments surprised you the most?
Sash:
It really surprises me because this is a game. There are some people, Jane in particular, who tried to hit below the belt. You saw with me, the comments she made about my mother, the comments she made about Marty and his kids. It’s a game. I had my game face on, but I love everyone. I don’t hold any grudges. I know that they are all amazing people, but it’s a shame when you see people take it to a level that’s unnecessary.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW RULES? DO YOU THINK SASH SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN SOME VOTES? DID JANE TAKE THINGS TOO PERSONAL?

Los Angeles native Jud Birza aka Fabio became the $1 million winner of Survivor:Nicaragua after outlasting, outwitting and outplaying his fellow competitors following 39 days in the rain forest.

The 21-year-old college student and model beat out musician Chase Rice, 24 and real-estate broker Matthew “Sash” Lenahan, 30, to become the youngest Survivor contestant ever to win the game.

Fabio won by a 5-4 vote, beating out Chase. And in what can only be described as the Russell Hantz effect, villain Sash received zero votes.

Fabio, who won the last three immunity challenges, stated numerous times that he is not as dumb as others thought he was. Dog trainer Jane Bright, 56, was declared the fan favorite, winning the $100,000 Sprint Fan Favorite award. NaOnka Mixon, who host Jeff Probst called “a great villain” admitted that she “acted a fool” on the show but ultimately defended all her actions.

And thanks to NaOnka and Purple Kelly aka the Quitters, Jeff announced last night that starting with the new season, quitters will now have some repercussions, such as not being allowed on the jury. The decision will however be in the hands of the show’s producers.

The next big announcement was that the new season will have a new twist called Redemption Island. According to Jeff, when a contestant is voted out, they will go to Redemption Island and stay there alone, before being ultimately joined by the next person voted out. The two will then compete in a duel and the winner will remain on Redemption Island. After a certain period, the last person left standing on Redemption Island will get to return to the game.

We also got an update of Boston Rob and Amber. The two just delivered their second daughter Carina Rose on December 10th.

My Thoughts – I thought Fabio made an excellent move in deciding to vote out Holly. He’s definitely not as dumb as he appears. Holly would have likely won had she made the finals and quite frankly, I believe she deserved to win. She is the only member of the older tribe left in the game, the only woman left standing and she made some great moves in the game. She is the one who orchestrated the elimination of Brenda — a major competitor. Had it not been for Holly, Brenda would have likely been in the final 3 with Sash.

Personally, I was rooting for Fabio the most and I’m glad he won. I did not think Chase deserved to win at all and believed his game play was about as impressive as Kelly Purple’s. He just seemed to go with the flow, doing what others told him to do. I’m not surprised Sash didn’t get a vote. I’m guessing he failed to watch Russell Hantz’s performance on the last season. Part of Survivor is the social game and pissing everyone off and backstabbing everyone is never a good idea. Sash was a bad player in my opinion because he lied when he didn’t need to, thus making himself more enemies than he needed to.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS SEASON OF SURVIVOR AND FABIO WINNING? SHOULD PLAYERS LIKE SASH & RUSSELL BE PUNISHED FOR BACKSTABBING? THOUGHTS ON THE NEW RULES?

Survivor 21

One of the longest running reality shows is set to make its return, as Survivor: Nicaragua will premiere September 15 at 8/7c on CBS.

This marks the 21st season of the show, with CBS also announcing the show is moving to Wednesday nights.

As for the twist this season? The 20 castaways will be divided into two Tribes of 10 comprised of older competitors and younger competitors.

The Espada Tribe will be made up of individuals over the age of 40, who must prove they have the life experience and knowledge that will ultimately help them Outwit and Outlast their younger competitors. The La Flor Tribe on the other hand will consist of individuals ages 30 and younger, who will have to use their youth and vitality to Outplay and ultimately Outlast their elders.

The show’s host, Jeff Probst, has also announced that the Hidden Immunity Idol will be coming back this season.

Below are the photos and brief bios of the 20 castaways!

Name: Alina Wilson (23)
Tribe: La Flor Current Residence: Downey, Calif.
Occupation: Art Student at California State University (Fullerton)

 

Benry

Name: Ben “Benry” Henry (24)
Tribe: La Flor Current Residence: Los Angeles, Calif.
Occupation: Club Promoter

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON BELOW TO SEE THE REMAINING CAST PHOTOS!

survivor-allstar-finale

In what some are calling the best season ever of Survivor, 34-year-old bank teller Sandra Diaz-Twine became the first castoff ever to win the show twice when she was awarded the $1 million prize on “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.”

And it wasn’t an easy task. Sandra had to beat out Parvati Shallow and Russell Hantz, who lost his second season in a row. Russell, 37, ended up receiving zero votes, as the jurors determined he played the game too dirty. Russell was however awarded the $100,000 consolation prize yet again. The prize is for being the fan favorite and the winner is determined by viewer votes.

When asked if winning the show twice made her the best player in Survivor history, “It makes me the queen,” replied Sandra. One person who wasn’t too happy with Sandra’s win was disgruntled Russell who believes there’s a flaw in the game, “If [Sandra] can win the game twice.”

Parvati, 27, who placed second, was however a more gracious loser than Russell. Host Jeff Probst also revealed that after 114 days of playing the game over three seasons, she has played it more than anyone else. It was also revealed she’s tied for second for most individual challenge wins. Surprisingly Colby Donaldson still has the record, despite his bad game play this season.

The dumbest move ever award was also awarded last night and the unfortunate winner of that was JT, who was seen earlier this seen handing over his immunity idol to villain Russell.

Going into yesterday’s finale, I was rooting for Sandra and thought she played the best game, but after watching last night, I had a change of heart. I found myself rooting for Parvati, who I now believe played the best game this season and in my opinion is the best player in Survivor history. I believe Sandra had a lot of luck go her way, while Parvati had to win and scheme.

TELL US – DO YOU THINK SANDRA PLAYED THE BEST GAME? IF NOT, WHO DO YOU THINK DID?

Cirie Fields

In what is being described as the first blindside of the season, Cirie Fields was surprisingly voted out of her Survivor tribe when her fellow alliance member J.T. flipped sides.

Most people seem to think this was both a smart and brave move on JT’s part, but how does the proclaimed “puppet master” feel about being ousted? In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cirie opens up on her feelings on being voted out, on whether the show host Jeff Probst influences voting, and what she would have done differently. Some excepts are below –

I want to start where it all ended for you: Tribal Council. Were you cringing the entire time Probst went on an on about the idiocy of voting off strong players?
Oh my God! Was I?!? I try not to react when Jeff makes his comments because everyone’s watching, everyone’s listening, and I don’t want to influence any vote one way or the other. And I’m trying to not let what he says influence the votes one way or the other — but absolutely! We sit on these little tree stumps. After Tribal was over when I got up I don’t know if you saw that toothpick fall from right under, but I literally was clenching my behind the whole time, like, “Please, Jeff, just move on to something else!” He was going exactly against why I was telling them we should vote out Tom, so yeah, that was a real clencher for me.

Did you know it was J.T. that voted you off?
No, I wasn’t sure who it was. I felt like Rupert, Amanda, and James were pretty much going to stick to the plan, but you never know. I couldn’t tell. I knew Tom was talking to J.T. a lot and I never trusted J.T. I always said to Amanda, “Are you sure about J.T.?” because I could see J.T. playing. So it was hard for me to figure out which one flipped, but I wasn’t really that surprised.

You take a pretty clinical, strategic viewpoint of everything. So how did you feel about how personal James was getting with Stephenie at that Tribal?
Oh, boy. I like both of them and I even said to James after that Tribal was over, “Was it necessary?” I know this game gets your blood boiling and I know everyone is there to try to win, but I think James’ lack of ability to articulate how he feels made him come across more brutal than was necessary. James will be the first to admit he doesn’t do the social thing, and not having experience in the social aspect and being able to speak to people and get your point across without coming off like a brute, I think kind of hurt him.

You’ve had some time now to sit back and replay everything. If you could jump in Mark Burnett’s magic Survivor time machine and go back and change one thing about how you played, what would it be?
I think I would have tried to spend more time with J.T. and make him feel comfortable and convince him that he wouldn’t’ have been my target later on.

TELL US – WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST SURVIVOR EPISODE? DID JT DO THE RIGHT THING BY JOINING FORCES WITH TOM AND COLBY? IS RUSSELL PLAYING SMARTLY?

Survivor All Star Cast 20

CBS has officially unveiled the 20 former castaways who will be competing on the 20th season of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.

The latest season of Survivor will premier with a special two-hour episode on Thursday, February 11 at 8PM ET on CBS. The castaways will be divided up into two tribes of 10. It will be a Heroes vs Villians theme, with the “Heroes” being “defined by their decisions of integrity,” courage and honor, and the “Villains” having “mastered their skills of deception, manipulation and duplicity,” according to CBS.

The show’s host Jeff Probst also discussed the upcoming season, “This season we’re bringing back some of your favorite past competitors — 10 heroes going up against 10 villains in a knock-down, drag-out brawl.” This season was also filmed in Samoa, the same location as Survivor 19.

Back in the mix is Russell Hantz — a favorite from the Survivor:Samoa. According to reports, season 1 winner Richard Hatch was asked to return for this season. However, he had to apply to leave the country since he is under house arrest. His request was denied by a federal judge in Rhode Island.

The two separate teams are listed below -

Heroes: Amanda, James, Cirie, Tom (Palau), Stephanie, Rupert, Candice, JT, Colby and Sugar.

Villains: Boston Rob, Jerri, Russell, Parvati, Sandra, Coach, Tyson, Danielle, Randy and Courtney.

James Clement Survivor All StarJAMES CLEMENT: HERO

Occupation: Gravedigger
Past appearances: China; Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites
His M.O.: Known for his smile and impressive pecs (he made it to PEOPLE’s Sexiest Men issue!), James won the Sprint Fan Favorite prize of $100,000 in back-to-back seasons.

 

benjamin-wade-survivor-20BENJAMIN ‘COACH’ WADE: VILLAIN

Occupation: Soccer coach/orchestra conductor
Past appearances: Tocantins: The Brazilian Highlands
His M.O.: The self-titled Dragon Slayer, who slung his jacket over his shoulder while approaching the voting lectern during tribal councils, told wild but seemingly true stories by the campfire

MORE PHOTOS OF THE REMAINING CAST BELOW:

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