'Survivor': They're baaaaaaaack! Russell and Boston Rob join the cast of 'Redemption Island'

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS (2)

The 16 new contestants of Survivor: Redemption Island will have to battle more than the elements and each other. They’ll also have two familiar faces to deal with as Boston Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz will be renewing their heated rivalry from Heroes vs Villains and returning to play the game once again. For Russell, it will be his third appearance in the past four seasons, while Boston Rob becomes the first person to ever compete four times on the show.

Rob and Russell’s feud in last spring’s Heroes vs Villains helped make the season one of the franchise’s finest, but could some fans be feeling a bit of Russell fatigue after seeing the polarizing player command so much screen time on both Samoa and Heroes vs. Villains? Host Jeff Probst doesn’t think so. “I’m not concerned at all about any Russell fatigue — that people have had too much,” says Probst. “If you’ve had too much of Russell, I dare say you’re not really a Survivor fan. He embodies Survivor. He’s polarizing. You hate him or you love him.”

The former players will each join a tribe after a drawing of concealed buffs and — contrary to internet rumors — they will not be offered any immunity, meaning either one of them could be voted out first (and sent to Redemption Island, where they would be forced to compete to reenter the game). But while Russell may seem like a shoo-in to be the first person out, Probst told EW.com while on location in Nicaragua just minutes after filming on the season began that he doesn’t believe that will be the case. “I do not think Russell or Rob will be the first person voted out of this game. Because I think they bring too much experience — 156 days between the two of them. When you’re playing a game, there’s a lot to be learned.”

Probst also believes that Boston Rob — who transformed himself from a villain to a hero last year — may actually have a tougher time than Russell sticking around when the going gets tough. “Rob may have an easier time initially, but Rob’s gong to have a tougher time long term because Rob could win,” says the host. “Rob is likable enough. He could win. Russell’s not going to win. Russell doesn’t get that. He’s not gonna win. Even if he was nice this season, the payoff for past seasons won’t let him win. Rob is going to have a tough time if he makes it to the merge.”

For exclusive on-location video of Jeff Probst discussing when the idea was born to bring these two players back and why he would align with Russell, check out the video player below. Also make sure to view our photo gallery of the 16 new contestants as well as exclusive video interviews with the cast. And for more Survivor news and views all season long, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Take it away, Jeff…

Comments (584 total) Add your comment
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  • Jim

    Oh no! Not again. Survivor is just recycling old cast members. I’m not watching this season.

    • Jim

      And Jeff, I have TONS of Russell fatigue and I’m a Survivor fan.

      • Dash

        According to Jeff I’m not a Survivor fan. I’ve only put in 20 seasons. I have Russell fatigue, I never liked him, never found him entertaining and he does NOT embody Survivor because he always forgets that he needs to win a vote and not just get to the end. I hope his tribe votes him out right quick.

      • Snsetblaze

        Jim – my sentiments exactly. First time I ever felt that Jeff Probst was insulting survivor fans. I do not want to see Russell or Rob on my screen again (or Parvati or Amanda …). At least they won’t automatically be given immunity … though choosing buffs is a crappy idea if everyone is not choosing buffs because then there’s no chance of them ending up on the same tribe …

      • maria

        i agree jim. i love rob but i hate russell. always have. always will. i guess jeff thinks i’m not a true survivor fan. russell is the reason i didn’t watch heros vs villians. not sure if i will watch this season either. i just can’t stomach seeing the vile little troll again.

      • Steve

        Thank you Jim. I think Probst owes all of us who have spent the last 20 seasons making Survivor a top rated show a BIG apology. Maybe we’re tired of seeing someone who has so little understanding of the basic concept of the game – you know winning a final jury vote – shoved down our throats and being force fed some crap about him being a great player. I’m tired of the producers forcing their favorites on us over and over (ie Rupert, Russell, Amanda) when they aren’t good players. A third season of Russell is almost enough to make me not watch. And maybe it’s because I do love and respect the game so much that I feel this way. So Probst…waiting for that apology….

      • Barbalicious

        You said it! What a tremendous crock of sh*t!!! I have watched every minute since the beginning and if I never see that lousy piece of cr*p Russell ever again, it will be too soon – what the f*ck is Probst talking about??? Is his head so far up the ex wife of that guy on Saved by the Bell’s *ss???

      • subarcticjoe

        oh please… get over yourselves… I am sure you will be watching

      • bruno

        totally agree. i’ll still watch, but i’m not impressed already. wake up probst. sick of BOTH of these dudes. they’ve had their day. enough already.
        AND, by the way, i’d much rather watch new interesting faces from people wanting to play the game than the batch of LA casting and scouting that keeps happening. cuz if you recall, you guys sure scouted a winner last year in all the way bored me out of my mind dan.
        and the voted off not really voted off twist?….LAME.

      • deedee

        me too; enough already

      • Rich

        I totally agree! I’m one of Survivors biggest fan but bringing Russell and Boston Rob back is a ratings ploy! Enough already. What happened to everyday people playing this game? Now we have football coaches, models and wanna be actors! PLEASE!

      • Juneau

        I think Jeff is right. I hate Russell, but am happy to watch him play again and see how others deal with him now that they all know his game. And it will be satisfying to see him lose AGAIN because he just doesn’t get that he has to court the jury vote to win.

      • Jean Guy Levesque

        Russell is the absolute best player never to win. All the crap players were jealous of his strategy to win. Vive la Quebec!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Zach

        Look, I love both Russell and Rob and what they bring to the game, and I’m excited and I know it will be more entertaining because of them. Still, I think this is tampering with the system too much–either all old players (yet again) or all new players, no matter what the ratings suggest, no matter how deserving old players may be (and as much as I love Russell and Rob, I don’t think either of them could ever win in any new scenario). Jump the shark!

      • AK

        I know! I’m actually kind of offended by Jeff’s statement. I’ve watched this show for 10 years, but because I don’t need to see Russell three times in four seasons (or ever again, for that matter), I’m suddenly not a “real fan.” Way to burn your core fan base there, Jeff.

      • Monte Porche

        @Snsetblaze, the whole point of the thing was to have them on opposite tribes….let them build an alliance, and see which one can outplay the other. If they end up on the same tribe, it defeats the purpose.

      • Eolra

        Wow, I’m really disappointed by Jeff’s comments. I guess “real Survivor fans” aren’t allowed to have an opinion that differs from the producer’s. Way to stomp on the people who made you a star in the first place Jeff. Get bent.

      • Dee W

        Angle, you into math or just can’t spell angel? *snicker*

      • rac

        me too I am a fanatic and sick to death of russell

      • mmm

        NARF. Not a Real Fan. Someone who refuses to conform to someone else’s opinion of what constitutes a real fan. Guess I’m a NARF, then. Jeff P.. you just lost a few points with me for that statement.

      • Joe

        @SnsetBlaze. I’d watch or Parvati or Amanda any day.

      • TreS

        Agreed, Jeff, I love you, but dont you dare going around telling me im not a fan of Survivor. I have Russell fatigue. I know his schtick, I dont want to see it again. I will still watch, because I actually AM a fan, but a large majority are sick of Russell. I don’t want to think Survivor is dying, but if it is, this is one of the worst swan songs ever. Seriously, stop recruiting and bringing people back and you will have a great season. End of Story.

      • Rudezy

        See, now I’m a real Survivor fan!! I can’t wait for this next season :) Russell vs. Rob, two of the most strategic players the game has ever know, facing one another properly!! Now that’s going to be AMAZING!!!

        I love Russell, I love Rob, and I’ve loved every single player that’s become an allstar!!

        I am a bit depro about the clustering of players from LA.. there’s real people out there who have wanted to play for 10 years.. who have made up game plans for 10 years.. find them.. and you’ll have an amazing show :P

      • aaron

        You idiots should be THANKING Russell. If it was not for Russell, survivor would be canceled next season. And Jeff is right, if you dont respect the way Russell plays, you are NOT a real fan.

      • Jabber

        Over the top fake outrage from me as well. I’ll state that I won’t watch, but I’ll be there glued to the tv for the first episode. Get over yourselves.

      • Clay

        All of you up and down this comment list don’t get it. You say Russell doesn’t grasp the game but it’s the bitter jury members who vote out of spite rather than based on the game’s credo. Look at his accomplishments and compare to ALL the 21 winners of seasons past.

      • BestPlayer2NeverPlay

        I am a hugh Russell fan and would never get tired of seeing him. I also love boston Rob and would not get tired of watching him. They do make for great T.V, However, I still believe enough is enough. How many times are we going to see them? Although I am not tired of seeing them, by recycling them again and again messes up with the dynamics of the game. The original beauty of Survivor was that you put ALL strangers on an Island, and see how they interact. Survivor is starting to get away from this and it will ruin the greatest show of all time. I have seen every single second of every single episode. I am not ready to give up yet. I will watch this season in its entirety. After this season I am begging the producers (if you actually read these blogs) do not do this again. One all star season every 5 years or so is MORE than enough. Do not get away from the beauty of Survivor. There are plenty of real fans (like myself) that are dying to get on this show. Yes, Russell is arguably the best strategist to ever play the game. However my strategy would blow him away. I can’t remember off hand if there were any winners that got every single vote.. But I know how to get to the end and actually get every vote in the process. So the producers need to start choosing fans instead of recruits(last seasons lame contestants)and get back to the basics of survivor that makes it the greatest show to ever air!

      • Teresa

        Not me!! Bring it on.

      • Debbie Lindsey

        I never did like Russel I was really surprised to see him back for another season, and I was jumping for joy when he was finally out. I hope Boston Rob wins again!

    • you lost me

      just started watching again & looking forward to next season but not now. i hate boston rob. have you not learned anything from the “bachelor”??? bring in new people & quit recycling previous contestants

      • Juneau

        What they learned from The Bachelor is that bringing people we know back increases ratings — significantly. Why else would they do it? I’m psyched. I love watching people who really play the game and Rob and Russell are masters.

      • Daxx

        Not sure what you mean by “masters”, unless you mean that never winning makes you one.

      • Natalie

        Rob basically won Survivor All Stars. He and Amber were obviously planning on sharing the money (clearly they couldn’t say that, because it’s against the rules, but they were). One of them needed to be the ‘bad guy’ in that game and it just made more sense for it to be Rob, because he already had that monkey on his back from his original season. Rob shouldn’t have gotten anywhere near the end of that season and he ended up carrying Amber to the end (his backstab of Lex is what saved her, afterall). So, yeah.

    • old john

      I’m a huge Survivor fan and a huge Russell fan, but enough is enough. Not that Russell coming back was a shock after every new cast member’s bio said how much they hated him.

      • wiggins

        russal is ritch yall make more r money

    • lee

      amen JIM I am sick of russel
      although I AM glad boston rob’s back
      rob can come back every season I’ll never have rob fatigue but russel? I had russel fatigue half way through somoa

      • rkar726

        Agreed

      • Rain

        Agree completely. Boston Rob can be there every season and I’d be thrilled! I hated Russell from the start and will hate him all over again this season.

      • Samantha

        let’s all hope that Rob can beat Russell’s in this season so that we won’t have to suffer “Russell Fatigue” for a whole season like i did in Samoa and Heroes vs Villains

      • Jenn

        YES! 100% Agree!!!!!

      • Tez

        I agree. I think that every time they bring Russel back to survivor, he is going to get voted off quicker. Its a waste of time for him to be there anymore. Everyone knows how he plays, it was fun to watch him the first time, but now he is so predictable that he should really just give up on survivor and go and find some other show to annoy. Rob is fun to watch, because he is not repetitive and predictable ( like russel) and he doesn’t just sit there all the time talking about how good he is and how no one knows his strategies, (like russel does). Because people do know russels strategies, they are the same every season. I would be keen for rob to return to every survivor season, hes a good competitor, and I want to see him win, because I think he should have won on all stars instead of Amber. So yeah, go Rob, your my idol!

    • Suzq

      Dah! This has been unofficially “known” for months @@(eyeroll)

      • Ian

        Only by people who read spoiler sites and comment sections on sites like this. You might be surprised to know that on shows like this, 90% of viewers watch the show and end it there. They don’t look for more info on sites like this, and if they read anything at all online it’s predominantly the show’s official site at CBS. The people here and on the spoiler sites is a tiny fraction of the viewers. They don’t care about you and whether you already found out. Most of their audience was in the dark.

    • Big Boston Rob Fan

      SORRY BUT I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED ABOUT BOSTON ROB COMING BACK!!! I SHALL WATCH THIS SEASON TILL ROB IS VOTED OUT! THAT MAN IS SMART AND I JUST LOVE HIM!!! BEAT RUSSELL’S ARSE THERE ROB!!

      Carry on……

      • Carol

        Can’t stand the thought of listening to Russell talk about himself. But I love the idea of watching Boston Rob beat him. Love Boston Rob!

      • Alan

        You’re THIS excited about someone being on the show for a fourth time?? So excited about a Professional reality show contestant who’s so obsessed with fame he can’t take his face off the TV that you type all in caps?? It makes you that excited, really??

      • Jane

        I’m with you. This news just mad my day. I love Boston rob & I can’t stand Russell but I love watching him. Please please please let them make it at least to the jury.

      • lala

        Hi, Amber

      • Duude

        You think Rob will beat Russell? I doubt it. I think Russell’s own tribe will beat Russell. Bet on it.

      • mmm

        maybe all those capitals will make up for those of us finding something else to watch.

      • THEsurvivor

        Russell is the game. Rob is a great player. I’d trust him more than Russell…BUT Russell is better and owns him for the most part in the game. There I said it.

      • VioletF

        Ear to ear grin! Boston Rob is back!!!
        I LOVE the twist – let’s see how it plays out. My heart sank at the grouping of Californians though; how about more long-time survivor ordinary folks, the dog breeder Janes, firemen, etc.?

    • Pete

      I’m with you. I was sick of Russell the first time around. And Probst is really insulting to say that we have to like this idea or we’re not true fans? Sorry but I don’t think not wanting to watch a sociopathic troll makes me not a fan.

      • Terry

        Amen to that, Pete. Are you really that out of touch with your fan base, Probst? I told my wife the other day when we found out that two old cast members were coming back that if one of them was Russell, she would be watching this season alone. Hope you enjoy the show, honey!

      • Tez

        Thats exactly how I feel… I LOVE survivor its my fave program , but I don’t like every thing that happens on the show…so suddenly Im not a fan? Get real, you don’t know me.

    • bruno

      and couldn’t agree with you more dash. a troll who STILL can’t seem to understand the social aspect of this game is not one of the greatest players ever.
      thanks for giving all your die hard fans a good slap in the face probst. and i’m guessign you love your new stupid voted off redemption island twist because one fo these two has been players is gonna end up there and have to battle every freakin person in order to make it to the end?

      you’re stoked for it probst? good for you. i’m already anticipating the lame.

    • carnage63

      Casting these 2 again is just a gimmick for ratings. What bothers me more is that now instead of people applying to be on the show they are going out recruiting people. Half the new cast is from California. Next season they should go back to only applicants from all over the country. Maybe the tribes could be born & raised in the country/small towns vs. big city.

    • Alan

      This is a JOKE. Russell AGAIN??? Boston Rob FOUR TIMES?? This show is so out of new ideas, that they are just recycling the same old garbage. They are obsessed about Russell. Why not just make him a regular cast member, like on a sitcom?? This is putrid. I am not watching.

      • Ian

        Get over it. You know you’ll still watch, lol.

      • HP

        You know, there are other contestants. I don’t understand all the hate. It’s only TWO previous contestants. They could easily be voted out early. Everyone needs to calm down and just trust Probst and watch the show. He’s promised us a good season.

    • Tim

      Yes, Jim, you will watch this season. I don’t believe you for a second.

    • Sillysally

      did you watch last season? worst-cast-ever (well, except for the season brian won). i’d take a russell rerun over another season of lame ducks. scary when a guy nicknamed fabio is the most interesting on the show

      • Rudezy

        Agreed.. at least with Russell, we either have someone to hate or love… it makes it exciting!!!
        I only ended up liking Fabio because he was the only not annoying person out there..

    • Get Real

      Who cares–don’t watch dweeb. And don’t come back here and post more of your useless words. We don’t care what you think dope.

    • Jam

      I like the idea…better bringing these two back then Jane & Jimmy T

    • Jenny

      No doubt! Russell’s shtick was ok once, wearing thin the 2nd time, and will seem intolerable for a 3rd go round.

    • Mike

      I’m a survivor fan and didn’t watch half of Russell’s first season or ANY of heroes vs villains due to him. And seeing Boston Rob again does not sound like fun either.

      • Rudezy

        You honestly missed out on the BEST season ever in H vs. V!!! Don’t make the same mistake again!!

    • starbbycat

      excited – cant wait!!!

    • Sdre

      Excellent, can’t wait to see both of them. Whether you love or hate them, they always create good TV. Hope Russel gets the win on this season.

    • aaron

      You lie. You will watch every second of every episode.

    • Repo

      Yeah survivor is starting to recycle a whole lot. I’ll tell you what I would like to see for once. They should do a couple season. People go on the show in pairs and when it comes to vote time the couples are voted on, it would change the whole dynamics of the game.

      If anyone from the show sees this idea and uses it i sure would like tickets to the finally.

      Hey guys check out this cool vampire vs werewolf game. You will like it.

    • Linda

      I agree Aaron. The only thing better would be if Rupert were to be there instead of Rob. I like Rob too,but I don’t think he’s a big-enough “pirate” to deal with Russel.I’ll never forget Rupert stealing shoes on the first day!

    • Clay

      Let’s see you dislike Russell because he plays to win based on: outwit, outplay, outlast. In his 2 seasons he did ALL 3 and got snubbed by bitter lesser players on the jury. If you examine their reasoning in why they refused to vote for him, you will find the same things wrong with our failing society.

    • BestPlayer2NeverPlay

      I am a hugh Russell fan and would never get tired of seeing him. I also love boston Rob and would not get tired of watching him. They do make for great T.V, However, I still believe enough is enough. How many times are we going to see them? Although I am not tired of seeing them, by recycling them again and again messes up with the dynamics of the game. The original beauty of Survivor was that you put ALL strangers on an Island, and see how they interact. Survivor is starting to get away from this and it will ruin the greatest show of all time. I have seen every single second of every single episode. I am not ready to give up yet. I will watch this season in its entirety. After this season I am begging the producers (if you actually read these blogs) do not do this again. One all star season every 5 years or so is MORE than enough. Do not get away from the beauty of Survivor. There are plenty of real fans (like myself) that are dying to get on this show. Yes, Russell is arguably the best strategist to ever play the game. However my strategy would blow him away. I can’t remember off hand if there were any winners that got every single vote.. But I know how to get to the end and actually get every vote in the process. So the producers need to start choosing fans instead of recruits(last seasons lame contestants)and get back to the basics of survivor that makes it the greatest show to ever air.

      • BestPlayer2NeverPlay

        Oh one more thing that I forgot to mention – In the future the producers need to stay away from redemption Island. Once you are voted out the tribe has spoken. Don’t fix what is Not broken!

    • Survivor lover

      Then don’t watch.

    • BestPlayer2NeverPlay

      Survivor is the greatest show to ever air, so I am not ready to give up just yet. I have seen every second of every episode (sometimes more than once) and will continue to watch. I love to analyze every episode. I am a hugh Russell fan and I like Boston Rob, but it is a big mistake to keep on recycling them over and over again. Survivor was a great concept from the first episode, when they put ALL strangers on an Island. Once your torch was put out the tribe has spoken. Survivor is moving away from that this season. Maybe because ratings have gone down a bit especially after last season’s disappointing cast (mostly recruits- that’s the problem). Not only are they recycling Rob and Russell but they will alllow one member to come back from Redemption Island (another mistake). Why keep bringing back Rob and Russell when there are so many fans that would love to get on this show? While I believe that Russell is one of the greatest strategists to ever play, I believe my strategies could wipe his **** any day of the week. Why allow a 2nd chance on Redemption Island? Why fix what is not broken? Do they want to improve ratings? Here are a couple of suggestions. Do not recruit people. Yes, there were some great players that were recruited (Russell) but overall I think the casts have been better when they hired from applications. Make the prize more money. A million $ after taxes is not that much. I think the ratings would go up if the prize money was 10 million$. Do they want to put a big twist that would not mess up the integrity of the game (like Redemption Island)? They could have America be the last Jury Member. The largest total submissions would count as 1 vote. I have many other suggestions to bring up ratings, but the direction that the producers are going , unfortunatly will bring ratings down. I hope that I am wrong because Survivor was and I hope that it will continue to be the greatest show to ever air.

    • BestPlayer2NeverPlay

      I am a huge Russell fan so I hope it’s not true that he leaked Survivor spoilers. If it’s true he’s a real idiot!

    • Nancy

      You are right. Russell is just a miserable little troll and I can’t stand him. Are things that bad, that you can’t come up with other ideas and not replay the same characters.

    • nolongerafan

      I am sick to death of seeing the same people return again and again. The next time they vote out Boston Rob, Russell, Parvati, Amanda, etc. instead of putting out their torch they should burn them at the stake. That way we can be sure they won’t be returning again for yet another season. THE TRIBE HAS SPOKEN!

  • MJ

    This might actually make me want to watch Survivor. I love Boston Rob and Russell!!! Both were 2 people who were robbed of the 1 million dollars because of pety people doing the voting.

    • Alan

      “robbed”?? I’m always frustrated with people who say that. If you don’t win the support of the jury, you don’t win. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s not voted by the public like American Idol, everyone knows the rules going in: you must win the support of your tribe. They have already had 3 chances on the show and they failed each time!

      • Ian

        Yes, but most jury members are obviously letting their egos cast their votes. They use the final tribal as a way of trying to get even with the person who wronged them and voting against them. It’s a bunch of ballbaby whining, and refusing to vote for the person who obviously outplayed, outwitted, and outlasted them. I’m not a fan of Russell, and he obviously should have been smoother with how he got rid of people, but the final tribals are always a clear case of sour grapes rather than acknowledging that someone was just better than you were.

      • Ian

        “It’s not a popularity contest,” — And this clearly shows that you’re not really seeing what’s going on with the final votes. It most definitely IS a popularity contest among the juries when it comes to who they vote for.

      • Eolra

        Part of “outplaying” is being able to read your jury members in advance. From the very beginning of the game, you need to guess if each person will vote with their heads, or their hearts, and what kind of gameplay they respect more. You then need to alter your gameplay to follow suit with each potential jury member. If the person who is up against you in the finals has done a better job reading the jury than you,and therefore gets more votes, that means they outplayed and outwitted you in that aspect of the game.

      • Clay

        If some of you are long time survivor fans which is left up to your own opinion you may remember in it’s earlier seasons that jury members at final tribal council were prompted to vote for the castaway that most embodies the : outwit, outplay, outlast credo. Sour grapes and trampled egos have corrupted the honor of this game. Russell is the best ever, by far.

  • david

    finally a promising new twist to the game w/ redemption island & then they bring that disgusting piece of crap back (i like rob but don’t need to see him again either.) i’m not watching this season.

    • carnage63

      Boston Rob has had enough chances on these shows. Four times on Survivor and twice on Amazing Race. Give other people a chance.

  • Dave

    Hopefully the new Survivors will be smart enough to dispose of Russell ASAP so that vile little troll doesn’t muck up my brand new beautiful 40″ HD screen.

    • sara

      They both get immunity until the merge. The producers have lost their idiotic minds.

      • Kate

        Wrong! That was a rumor that has proved untrue (read the article!). There will be no immunity for either Rob or Russell.

      • Ian

        Thank you Sara for showing how dim the people who read spoiler sites (and the people who believe the things they hear from those people) truly are.

    • Rain

      Ugh, I hadn’t even thought of the fact that I’ll now have to see him in giant HD. Hopefully he’ll go fast and then I can enjoy seeing Boston Rob in all his HD glory!!

  • Valentin

    The show jumped the shark.

    • Peter

      Hey! I was gonna say that!!

    • Sarcastic Pr*ck

      I’m not familiar with that term. Is it, by any chance, a reference to an old “Happy Days” episode?

      • chad

        yes it is

      • cirob

        Ha!

    • Steph

      The show jumped the shark back in ’06, but the stunt casting and twists are so ridiculous now, it is back ON. Eat it, shark.

  • Fangirl23

    Love this, I can’t get enough of these two!

  • Christina

    Worst kept secret ever!

    • MCS

      They really need to sort out whoever leaks this information from the set.

      • Dash

        Any info on voting order for this season? If Russell is out early I’ll watch but I’m not going to watch an entire season of him

      • Alan

        I TOTALLY agree, Dash. Normally I don’t like spoilers, but if Russell makes it past the first 1-3 episodes, I am NOT watching. I would love a spoiler that says he goes out first, although I’m sure producers wouldnt allow him to go first, given that they think he’s their ratings money slut.

      • Caryn

        I agree. I like to watch the show and be surprised as it’s happening. Whoever posts the cast off list is just awful. And obviously an insider.

      • aaron

        Sorry to let you know, Dash, but Russell outlasts Rob. Thats is all im giving you.

  • Nicky Copernicus

    Wow. This is news!!!!

    In a related story, the Earth ain’t the center of the universe.

    • KarlHall

      LOL!! Love it and it’s true!

    • Ian

      Like everyone else here, you assume that large numbers of people read spoilers and troll through comments on sites like EW. It’s a tiny fraction of their audience that does this (especially when they’re barely running promos on the network for the upcoming season.) The vast majority of their audience has heard only what’s been out in press releases. Most of the people who read this site don’t even scroll down to read the comments, especially given the number of asshats who post spoilers.

  • dawnomite

    It’s annoying that Probst thinks we have to like everything they throw at us (the viewers), or we’re not “real fans”. I’m in the too much Russell camp.

    • John Debono

      Ugh, if there is one good thing that can from this, is that Russell’s 3rd visit will be quick. (Who wants to bet that Russell’s tribe considers throwing the first challenge just to get him out of there?)

      • Dash

        Yea right, they cast the dumbest people on earth last season I’m betting this season is more of the same. They’ll keep him because they’ll think that he we help them win. He won’t. Russell helps Russell and hopefully they realize that.

      • Mark

        If you check the EW photo gallery of the new contestants, you’ll see that the majority were recruited. That means they’ve probably not seen the show before (some actually admit this), which means they won’t be familiar with Russell’s history.

      • Steven

        Mark – Even though most were recruted, they do go back and watch previous seasons.Watch the videos. When Dalton asks them who their least favorite castaway is, almost all of them answer Russell. Mike even says he’d love to play with him to get him out (which he will have a chance to do).

      • Thermos

        Dash: “They’ll keep him because they’ll think that he we help them win. He won’t. Russell helps Russell and hopefully they realize that.”

        He helped Mick, Natalie, Sandra and Parvati an awful lot, what with increasing their odds of winning from 1 in 3 to 1 in 2. I could see people keeping him around this season for that same reason. He may not intend to help others, but he definitely does.

  • MCS

    Redemption Island actually seemed like a cool idea…then it was ruined by this. 3 out of 4 most recent Survivors all featuring Russell – too much!

    • allie

      yep. Get rid of Russell and I am in for the remainder of the season, but until he’s gone, I will not watch. Which sucks because I do like Boston Rob… ugh.

    • Drew

      That really is my problem with this. First, neither of these players need redemption. Russell has achieved as much as he is going to. Period. And Rob flat-out owned season 8. Now, I do appreciate Rob coming back if they have to bring someone. Rob never really adapted his gameplay to the new aspects of the game. He never had to deal with hidden immunity idols, and now this new twist. I’m ready to see it work. Russell, however, is just overdone at this point. If I wanted to see the same cast every year, I’d be watching Real World/Road Rules Challenges (which I actually do watch, but I expect Survivor to be different…).

  • drpolisci

    Good, there will be one less program I have to juggle to watch. There will be no need to see the show On-Demand. I am not watching another Survivor with Russell on it. I have better things to do.

  • Gracie

    WHAT!!! Im shocked, I don’t know what to say. This is either a Really good idea or a Really bad one

  • Couchtime With Jill

    I am disappointed. Saying that Survivor fans won’t have Russell fatigue is idiotic. He’s appeared in three of the past four seasons, whether I like him or not, I’m sick of him.

    • pat

      is rob still married to that girl he was on with that one season

  • Katy

    So pumped!!

  • Melissa

    A true fan of Survivor doesn’t need rehashed castmembers over and over. We enjoy seeing new strangers play the game. We don’t like Russell because we’re seeing him 3 times in 2 years. Oh but I guess I’m not a real fan.

    • Sara Mc

      You are a fan. When you care about something you want to be proud of it. I don’t think the suits at CBS/Survivor will ever understand that.

    • tennisfan

      Melissa, I agree. Actually, I’ve been pretty entertained every single season of Survivor, even last season that a lot of people thought was boring (didn’t like the old v young concept, though, too heavily weightedin favor of young). I know I’ll be watching this season anyway, but I really enjoy watching new strangers from all different backgrounds working through the game of Survivor. Not too pleased that more than half the newbies in this cast are from California, too… Seems casting got lazy this time around or something.

    • Alan

      Exactly! Probst should know that a “true fan” wants to keep the original idea from season 1 alive. No gimmicks, no hidden idols, no rehashed old cast members, but true strangers thrown in a unique situation with only the bare basics. That should be IT.

      • tennisfan

        I’ve been secretly hoping all along that they’ll do a season of Survivor where the “twist” is that there is no twists, a Back to Basics / Old School Survivor. All new cast, varied group of people of different ages, backgrounds, from across the country. Back to the original rules, no HII, etc. They wouldn’t tell the cast that this is what is happening, but that would be the way it would go… And then the editing would focus on the relationships and strategies built. That’s what I’d like to see next. Plus, stellar challenges like last season.

    • Duude

      Funny, after Rob was ousted in Hero v. Villians, the boards were filled with people asking for a Rob v. Russell season. Now it comes and noone wants it? Can’t please some people no matter what they do. Just sit back and enjoy.

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