Survivor Heroes vs Villains cast: nine people getting a third chance at $1 million

CBS revealed the cast of Survivor Heroes vs. Villains last night with a preview that aired during the People’s Choice Awards. While Jeff Probst promised the first few minutes, it wasn’t the full cold open, but clips from it. While it seemed kind of half-assed because it didn’t even use the show’s signature music, the 20 cast members’ arrival in helicopters was set to Wagner’s “Ride Of The Valkyries,” and that seemed to be a clear nod to the famous scene in Apocalypse Now, although minus the death and destruction.

The group of 20 people returning to play the game are very familiar. Almost half of them, nine people, will be playing for the third time. Rob Mariano is getting his fifth chance at $1 million on a CBS reality competition series; here’s hoping he loses again.

While a very high number, six, come from the last three seasons alone (Gabon, Tocantins, and Samoa), five people–one quarter of the cast–appeared on seasons prior to the first all-star season, which was the show’s eighth season, and four of those five appeared on Survivor All-Stars (Sandra is the odd person out).

I interviewed everyone except Russell before they flew to Samoa late last summer, and will soon start posting those interviews in advance of the Feb. 11 premiere. Those will highlight everything from the cast member’s strategies to their pre-game alliances. And you’ll also find out which person stood up and walked out in the middle of our conversation, and which person seemed surprisingly human and real but insisted he was going to go be another character.

CBS.com has video clips featuring each of them, but here’s a list of the 20-person cast, in alphabetical order by tribe.

Heroes

  • Rupert Boneham: Pearl Islands (10th out), All-Stars (13th out)
  • James Clement: China (10th out), Micronesia (medically evacuated, 4th jury member)
  • Colby Donaldson: Australia (runner-up), all-stars (5th out)
  • Cirie Fields: Panama (12th out), Micronesia (15th out)
  • Jessica “Sugar” Kiper: Gabon (second runner-up)
  • Amanda Kimmel: China (second runner-up), Micronesia (runner-up)
  • Stephenie LaGrossa: Palau (10th out), Guatemala (runner-up)
  • JT Thomas: Tocantins (winner)
  • Tom Westman: Palau (winner)
  • Candace Woodcock: Cook Islands (13th out)

Villains

  • Tyson Apostol: Tocantins (8th out)
  • Randy Bailey: Gabon (11th out)
  • Sandra Diaz-Twine: Pearl Islands (winner)
  • Danielle DiLorenzo: Panama (runner-up)
  • Russell Hantz: Samoa (runner-up)
  • Rob Mariano: Marquesas (7th out), All-Stars (runner-up)
  • Jerri Manthey: Australia (8th out), All-Stars (7th out)
  • Parvati Shallow: Cook Islands (15th out), Micronesia (winner)
  • Benjamin “Coach” Wade: Tocantins (11th out)
  • Courtney Yates: China (runner-up)

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.