Two former Survivors rejected invites to return

Two Survivor cast members rejected invitations to return to Survivor Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites: Survivor Redemption Island‘s Matt Elrod, and Survivor Samoa‘s Shannon “Shambo” Waters.

Here’s what Jeff Probst told EW:

“There’s two people we wanted back. Matt from Redemption Island we would have been interested in, but he is just done with it. I think it was enough for him. And Shambo has basically said, ‘I never want to do it again.’ We would have loved her as well. But in both cases I think their story is similar in that they don’t want Survivor to define their life and they feel like once was enough. And that’s it.”

Matt, who you may recall for his devout religiosity or his absurd streak of Redemption Island challenges, makes sense as both a personality and player, since he was voted out of the game twice. Considering that a significant number of this season’s returnees/”favorites” are most notable for their personalities, Shambo makes sense.

Probst says the reason they chose Malcolm Freberg and not Lisa Whelchel to return from the most recent season was because Lisa has children, and single type-A men are much more free to play in Probst’s playground. He said,

“Lisa isn’t somebody you would bring back right off the bat. She’s a mom with a personal life. Malcolm is a single guy with no attachments.”

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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.