By: Josh Wigler
Reaching The Legal Drinking Age
After eleven years, SURVIVOR finally enters Season 21! Sadly, there’s no indication that returning host Jeff Probst is marking the occasion by getting the whole cast rip-roaringly drunk at Tribal Council, but there’s a consolation prize — the new season is set in the lush jungles of NICARAGUA, returning the series to South America for the first time since Season 18, when the world was first introduced to the wonders of Coach Ben “The Dragon Slayer” Wade.
Everything Old Is New Again
SURVIVOR has never shied away from controversy when dividing contestants into tribes based on ethnicity, gender and other factors. This time, the 20 new contestants are the victims of ageism: in the yellow corner is the all-too-hip La Flor tribe, consisting of castaways under the age of 30, and in the baby blues are the members of Espada, which is not Spanish for “geriatric,” though the team does range in age from 41 to 67.
Hall of Fame
This season of SURVIVOR marks the arrival of a fairly notable name in the sports community as Super Bowl winning coach and NFL analyst Jimmy Johnson makes his home at the Espada tribe. Johnson is the oldest contestant this season and the second oldest in the history of the game after Rudy Boesch. He’s also the second football professional to play SURVIVOR, following in the footsteps of GUATEMALA veteran Gary Hogeboom.
Expect plenty of immunity and reward challenges this season — perhaps a little less physical than usual, due to the generation gap between the tribes — but there’s a new wrinkle in the game as well: the Medallion of Power, an item that gives an edge to the team that uses it during a challenge. Once used, the Medallion is turned over to the rival tribe. Hidden Immunity Idols are also in play this season, but are supposedly better hidden these days in an effort to prevent the creation of future Russell Hantzes.
Seeing Is Believing
Naturally, all the information in the world can’t prepare you for the game of SURVIVOR — it’s much better to watch with your own eyes. Season 21 debuts tonight (Wednesday, September 15) at 8/7 PM central, but you can get an early look at the season premiere’s opening marooning courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. Check back tomorrow morning for our recap, reactions and analysis of the first episode!
Josh is an entertainment reporter based out of New York City. He is commanded with ruthless efficiency by his office manager, Pardo the cat, and writes regularly for MTV News, Comic Book Resources, Spinoff Online and more. He’s a SURVIVOR fanatic and is forever faithful to Team Romber. Follow him on Twitter: @roundhoward.