Survivor Redemption Island cast revealed as CBS (almost) finally confirms two returners

CBS has confirmed what we’ve known since last summer, that two former Survivor cast members will return for Survivor Redemption Island, but has decided to continue to drag out the announcement and reveal Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz’s identities later this week. There is news in the announcement: Rob and Russell will join tribes, not just duel for the first spot on Redemption Island.

The cast does not include Carrie Prejean nor Kimbo Slice, whose names were leaked intentionally as bad information to discredit previously accurate spoiler missyae, a scenario discussed in this hilarious Xtranormal video, which also may contain other spoilers, so beware.

During our awkward interview last week, Mark Burnett said “no” when I mentioned they were bringing back two former cast members. But today’s press release says “18 castaways will be divided into two Tribes of nine: the Ometepe Tribe and the Zapatera Tribe” and “two are former castaways who will be given another chance to compete for the million dollar prize and one last shot at redemption.” (For Rob Mariano, that “one last shot” is attempt number four for this game, and number six on a CBS reality series.)

As to the regular cast, it includes an Iraqi vet, a former NFL player, a Jud/Fabio clone, and even a Russell Hantz clone. It’s actually weird how much these people look like stand-ins for previous cast members, though nowhere near as charismatic or attractive as the people they resemble.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.