SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Another Survivor winner has been crowned as the Edge of Extinction season came to close Wednesday night on CBS. But as one journey ends, another one begins, and at the end of the reunion show host Jeff Probst revealed the trailer and theme for season 39 of the reality giant.

Survivor: Island of the Idols (airing in the fall) will feature a cast of 20 new contestants competing for the million-dollar prize. But, as always, there is a twist. Unbeknownst to the players, two of the game’s legends in Sandra Diaz-Twine (who won both the Pearl Islands and Heroes vs. Villains seasons) and Boston Rob Mariano (who won the Redemption Island installment) will also be out there.

When players are sent to the Island of the Idols they will find two living, breathing Survivor idols in Sandra and Boston Rob waiting for them. Sandra and Rob will not actually be playing the game, but instead will serve as advisors to the contestants that visit them; answering questions and offering assistance on any topic, be it strategy, shelter building, or social tips. Whether the players share the secret of the two winners with their fellow contestants when they get back to camp is up to them.

So where did the idea for this latest twist come from? “The idea came from wondering how to get a player like Boston Rob, who has said he’d never compete again because he doesn’t feel he’d ever really have a shot to win, to return to the show,” says Probst. “So, the idea of making Rob and Sandra mentors was born. They aren’t playing, they can’t cast a vote, they can’t be voted out, and they can’t win the million dollars. The basic idea is they run a Survivor boot camp. They teach aspects of the game and then give players a chance to test what they’ve learned.”

This is actually not the first time a former winner has come back to offer advice to a current contestant. Survivor: Caramoan champ John Cochran returned on a swanky yacht during Survivor: Game Changers to offer advice (as well as a choice of advantages) to Debbie Wanner. But how will the players on the new season (which recently completed filming) use the advantage of leaning on the wisdom of these two Survivor greats? “I could say a lot, but I won’t say anything,” says the host. “But kudos for asking.” DAMN YOU, PROBST!

Check out the official logo for Survivor: Island of the Idols below.

Survivor: Island of the Idols
Credit: CBS

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SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning $1 million, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "Dig deep!"

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