‘Survivor’ brings back 20 winners for 20th-anniversary competition

CBS competition starts its 20th-anniversary year

Jeff Probst

With the show starting its 20th-anniversary year, it stands to reason “Survivor” would want to mark the occasion in a special way.

To that end, 20 past winners of the award-winning CBS competition — which did much to make the reality-show genre a programming staple — are brought back to compete in the 40th season, aptly subtitled “Winners at War” and starting Wednesday, Feb. 12. Underscored by a “Survivor” retrospective special shown a week earlier, host Jeff Probst (also an executive producer of the series) is so familiar with the encoring participants who vie to “outwit, outplay and outlast” each other to claim the $2 million grand prize, he probably had most of his homework done for the new round simply by outlasting the earlier seasons himself.

It must be noted some of the returnees date back to almost the beginning of “Survivor,” and even though their earlier stints ended in victory, each one’s own game may have changed considerably over the better part of two decades. Also, those who have returned for special “All-Stars” or “Fans vs. Favorites” editions already have found that “Survivor” itself has progressed from its early days, adopting such aspects as rule changes and ever more complex challenges in strategy and physicality.

Following are the players competing again in “Survivor’s” 20th-anniversary 40th season.

Adam Klein, the winner of the “Millennials vs. Gen-X” season in 2016

Amber Mariano, “All-Stars,” 2004

Ben Driebergen, “Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers,” 2017

Danni Boatwright, “Guatemala,” 2005

Denise Stapley, “Philippines,” 2012

Ethan Zohn, “Africa,” 2001

Jeremy Collins, “Second Chance,” 2015

Kim Spradlin-Wolfe, “One World,” 2012

Michele Fitzgerald, “Kaoh Rong,” 2016

Natalie Anderson, “San Juan del Sur,” 2014

Nick Wilson, “David vs. Goliath,” 2018

Parvati Shallow, “Fans vs. Favorites,” 2008

Rob Mariano (the aforementioned Amber Mariano’s husband, with whom she also competed on “The Amazing Race”), “Redemption Island,” 2011

Sandra Diaz-Twine, both “Pearl Islands,” 2003, and “Heroes vs. Villains,” 2010

Sarah Lacina, “Game Changers,” 2017

Sophie Georgina Clarke, “South Pacific,” 2011

Anthony “Tony” Vlachos, “Cagayan,” 2014

Tyson Apostol, “Blood vs. Water,” 2013

Wendell Holland, “Ghost Island,” 2018

Yul Kwon, “Cook Islands,” 2006

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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