Mark Burnett’s original TV series Eco-Challenge is back and has a certain Survivor flavor to it, not just for its Fijian location but because of some of the familiar faces taking part.
The 10-episode adventure series, which initially ran from 1995 to 2002, debuts on Amazon next month with Bear Grylls as host and Burnett returning as executive producer. Lisa Hennessy, who also worked on the original seasons, serves as showrunner for the mammoth expedition race which sees 66 teams from 30 countries navigating across the rugged terrain of Fiji non-stop for 11 days.
“The race in Fiji is the biggest and most exciting Eco-Challenge production to date,” said Hennessy in a statement released before filming began last fall. “The course is a staggering 417 miles (672Kms) with a record 330 + athletes participating. We also have a record 35 camera crews capturing the action, in addition to drone and state-of-the-art handheld gyro cameras that will film in areas previously impossible to reach.”
Those 330 competitors are spread across 66 teams of five, including four racers and an assistant crew member, and a handful of the names in the mix might be familiar to Survivor superfans.
One of the teams representing the USA, Team Peak Traverse, features two former Survivor US castaways, Pearl Island‘s Ryan Opray and South Pacific‘s Mikayla Wingle. Their team is described as, “a ragtag group of survivors, marathoners and trekkers whose combined experience will take them far in the race.”
But it isn’t only Survivor US represented on the race, Australian Survivor is getting in on the action too. Waving the flag for Team Aussie Rescue is Samantha Gash and Mark Wales, both of whom competed on Australian Survivor in 2017. The pair started dating after the show and got married in December last year.
See how these Survivors handle the elements when World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji premieres on Amazon Prime Video on August 14.