Season 38 of Survivor returns tonight with a brand new cast, including four returning players, and some new twists to keep everyone on their toes — viewers included. After 37 seasons of competitions, collusion, and general backstabbing among alliances, you might wonder what could still surprise players at this point. For the most part, the cast of Survivor Season 38 is made up of newbies, fresh on the island and ready to make a name for themselves. And even though the returning veterans will likely expect more of the seemingly unexpected twists to come, there are still some big surprises in store for everyone.
Like Edge of Extinction Island, which is named for the season's title, and will give exiled players the chance to compete against each other for another shot at the Survivor game instead of heading to Loser Lodge right off the bat. All 18 players will still compete for the usual $1 million prize, but not before they are divided into two even tribes to fight it out with the other side until the numbers are dwindled down enough to make it every man or woman for themselves.
It all premieres tonight on CBS at 8 p.m. ET, but before you get out your Survivor roster, you have to meet the Survivor Season 38 cast and make your own judgments ahead of the premiere.
Dan "The Wardog" DaSilva, 38, Law Student/Former Military
Chris Underwood, 25, District Sales Manager
Keith Sowell, 19, Student
Rick Devens, 33, Morning News Anchor
Wendy Diaz, 25, Small Business Owner
Kelley Wentworth, 31, Marketing Manager, Returning Player
David Wright, 44, Television Writer, Returning Player
Reem Daly, 46, Sales
Lauren O'Connell, 21, Student
Gavin Whitson, 23, YMCA Program Director
Ron Clark, 46, Teacher
Eric Hafemann, 34, Firefighter
Joe Anglim, 29, Multimedia Artist, Returning Player
Julie Rosenberg, 46, Toymaker
Aurora McCreary, 32, Divorce Lawyer
Victoria Baamonde, 23, Waitress
Aubry Bracco, 32, Marketing Director, Returning Player
Julia Carter, 24, Medical Assistant
There’s a mix of different professions that make up the cast this season, including some that could make players a threat, like Dan, who is former military. Then there are players like Ron and Wendy, who don't seem to have very athletic backgrounds. They could still be worthy social competitors, however, and gaining trust and alliances along the way helps a lot in staying in the Survivor game.
The returning vets could have a leg up on the competition already. They have all been in similar positions before. And for some of the returning players, like Aubry, who was already in two different Survivor seasons prior to Edge of Extinction, they have a lot more experience than the newbies. They might be out for blood this time around, eager to win even more than those who are new to the game.
Survivor host Jeff Probst spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the Edge of Extinction twist this season and confirmed that even the show’s veterans won't see it coming.
"Everything you do will require way more effort than you were doing back on that thing that you thought was tough called Survivor," he said. "And you’re doing it all on the idea that you have a shot to get back in."
While there have been similar twists to get back in the game in earlier seasons of Survivor, Probst said that this one takes it to whole other level in terms of difficulty and intensity. So just in case some of the returning players expect the twist ahead of time, they will still get a few surprises along with the rest of the Season 38 cast.