CBS withheld the names of the two returning players to join the 16 new contestants announced on Monday for Survivor: South Pacific, but EW.com can now exclusively reveal that the internet rumors are indeed true, and those two returning players are Benjamin “Coach” Wade and Ozzy Lusth. This will mark the third appearance for each contestant. Coach made the jury in both Tocantins and Heroes vs. Villains, while Ozzy was the runner-up for Cook Islands and was a member of the jury in Fans vs. Favorites.
Like last season’s returning pair of Boston Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz, Coach and Ozzy will each end up on different teams, this time after breaking an egg filled with the paint color of one of the tribes. Unlike Rob and Russell, however, there is no built-in rivalry between the pair. But host Jeff Probst says the two do have a natural connection. “What they share together is their social games suck,” says Probst. “Coach? He blew it in Heroes vs. Villains. He blew it seven different ways. And Ozzy got voted out with an idol in his hand! If that doesn’t speak to how bad you are in the social part of this game. So we looked at it and said here are two guys that do have a redemption story. Yes, you’ve played. Yes, you’re popular, but you don’t know what you’re doing in this game.”
Probst also told EW.com on location just a few hours after filming kicked off on the franchise’s 23rd season that the two returning players will have a much tougher time after Boston Rob came back to win it all last time on Redemption Island. “Boston Rob winning last season made it very difficult for Coach and Ozzy,” says Probst. “We even talked about giving them immunity. We said, maybe we should give them immunity for the first Tribal Council and let them get their feet wet, and we said that’s just not our show. You’re on your own.”
And what do Coach and Ozzy have to say about coming back to play? We’re glad you asked! Check out the video player below for on-location interviews and exclusive in-game footage of the pair. Also make sure to view our photo gallery with quotes from the 16 new contestants, as well as exclusive video interviews with the entire cast. And for more Survivor news and views all season long, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Take it away, Ozzy and Coach…