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Season 38 To Feature Returning Survivor ‘Captains’


Returning players on Season 38?

A couple of months ago we posted that both Survivor seasons 37 and 38 were set to feature all-new castaways, however, in that time something changed, as Inside Survivor has recently learned that season 38 will feature four returning players.

The four returning veterans will join fourteen brand new castaways to compete for the $1 million prize and the title of Sole Survivor. Those four returnees will likely act as ‘captains’ similar to Boston Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz in Redemption Island or Coach Wade and Ozzy Lusth in South Pacific.

Other ‘captains’ seasons include Guatemala, where Bobby-Jon Drinkard and Stephenie LaGrossa returned after competing on the previous season in Palau, and Philippines, which saw the return of three former medically evacuated players, Jonathan Penner, Michael Skupin and Russell Swan.

In each previous ‘captains’ season, one of the returning castaways made it all the way to Final Tribal Council, though Boston Rob is the only one of those that won.

This would mark the fifth time Survivor has done a ‘captains’ style season but the first one to include four returnees. It’s not yet known if the season will be divided into two tribes of ten with a pair of returnees on each or four tribes of five including one returnee per tribe.

Season 38 is currently filming in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands and will air on CBS in early 2019.

The names of the four returning players will be revealed in due course. Stay tuned to Inside Survivor over the coming weeks for more information.

Feature Image: Designed by Freepik – not silhouettes of actual contestants.


Martin is a 30-year-old writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing, and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and ET Canada, previously Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull.



  • Demetra

    Let me guess, they’re bringing back both Chris and Domenick

    • Anuris

      Dom doesn’t seem very realistic. He would be a huge threat and prime candidate for one of the first boots after all the others had the opportunity to see how he played on GI right before they flew out to Fiji. Besides, he said that he needs some time off before returning and his wife for sure also wants him home after he was away for so long the first time around. And also, the Dom vs. Chris story already run its course on GI with a satisfying end (Chris lost, but they both still respected each other and even became friends after the show).

      However, Chris definetely is a good candidate for one of the returnee spots. He’s a challenge beast, entertaining for a lot of viewers and non-threatening in terms of both his strategic and social gameplay.

  • Thomas Stevens

    Hey if interested.  We started a survivor group for Survivor fans. We have fun discussions, games, former players and more. STRICT NO SPOILERS.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/survivorfanjury/

  • Taylorg8

    But…. why?

  • RavenLord

    Four returning women?! Yes, please 😉

  • Aaron Conn

    Ugggggggggggggh. If this were similar to whatever South Africa did in their fifth season, I might’ve been okay with this. I’m glad it isn’t Fans Vs Favorites but I’m finding it harder and harder to watch this show.

  • UKDanJames

    This has the potential to be really good, but I’m sure Probst will mess it up by forcing Dr Mike or other equally terrible players down our throats

  • jamie Valonqar – del año

    I wonder if that would have to do with Stephanie Johnson being absent from the meeting. since its edition as you said martin was of a player who returns.

    what will be the subject of the captains 2 place or the first ones exiled

    • James

      I think that you might be onto something! They never addressed why Stephanie wasn’t at the reunion and she received MAJOR focus in every episode that she was in! I wonder if they are thinking about bringing back some of the best pre-merge Survivor boots that deserve a chance to make it to the merge, HOPEFULLY!!! I also would not be opposed to it being a season where the four returnees were ALL WOMEN as most of these returning captains seasons mostly brought back men with the exception of Stephanie LaGrossa in Guatemala.

    • TommyReinke

      I sort of find it hard to believe that Stephanie Johnson is one of the returnees but I can be wrong. I seen just today she had a post on her Instagram.

  • Karel Zich

    I would guess Terry Dietz being one… any other guesses? Malcolm again?

    • Night

      This is highly possible!
      Both left the game t pre-merge (in their 2nd/3rd try).
      I think it will be like Guatemala and Philippines that bringing back players who were eliminated pre-merge.

      If the picture above is a hint…
      Besides Terry and Malcolm, I agree with jamie Valonqar that it can be Steph Johnson.
      But, I still can’t think of the other female.

      Survivor lacks of outstanding female contestants. I can only think of Cirie and Sandra.
      But, new players will eliminate them asap because they are big threats and cannot contribute much in physical challenges.

      In recent seasons, I can only think of Chrissy who dominated many challenges after the merge and Christine who only lost to Ozzy on Redemption Island. But, I don’t think producers love them that much to give them another shot. Other female contestants are too young, too invisible, and clueless to play again, I guess.

  • Jasmine

    I just hope its two women, two men. When they do stuff like this, they tend to heavily favor the men, which is unfair.

  • Kirsten Doyle

    The only returnee season I’d be interested in would be a season featuring first boots.

  • tisoytisoy

    If they did pre-merge boots, we could see:
    Females: Stephanie Johnson (GI), Ali (HHH), Mari (MilVs.GenX) – All 3 girls had decent camera time and were shock pre-merge boots.
    Males: Bradley (GI), Peter (KhaoRong), Max (Worlds Apart), Joaquin (Worlds Apart), Garrett (BBB) – All males were big characters/villains and could make for good returnees.

  • tisoytisoy

    And to add, if they did runner-up returnees (made it to final tribal), we could see:
    Females: Chrissy, Carolyn, Hannah, Jaclyn
    Males: Domenick, Ryan, Sash, Albert

  • Anuris

    I doubt we’ll see him this soon or at all, but how about Brendan as a potential returnee? He was already playing the leader role on Ghost Island and he’s a strong physical player, both of which makes him a good fit for the position of a valued tribe captain. On top of that, he was voted out so soon that he wouldn’t be viewed as a big threat, since apart from some solid game awareness (e.g.when he immediately asked about papers to Jacob’s fake idol) he hasn’t really shown much of his gameplay and strategic skills.

  • Tiaan Smith

    Not really. Season 12 had 4 tribes, 4 members on each tribe. Don’t look into the picture too much…it’s just a random picture to give the article a face.

  • Tiaan Smith

    As much as I want to see Chrissy and Dominick play again, I do not want them on season 38 but rather on an all returnee season. I think they can cause quite some damage if they work together

  • Bill03948

    Rupert is busy having cardiac arrest on the Amazing Race.