Survivor Cagayan: three tribes, brains vs. beauty vs. brawn

Survivor‘s 28th season has already been filmed, and Jeff Probst teased that the season’s format is a “direct response to the fans.” What that means: there are not any returning players (as Probst previously confirmed) and the show will divide its cast into three tribes based on intelligence, attractiveness, and strength, i.e. brains, beauty, and brawn.

As is often the case, news of the season’s name and twist came via Survivor Sucks, via a poster named birdseyetoo, who wrote late last month, “The twist is indeed Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn, in a 3 tribe format.” Division of the tribes by those characteristics is thematically similar to the Big Brother 11 high school clique twist but without the returnee mentors.

A Survivor Sucks poster summarized the spoilers, including photos of 12 cast members, as some members of the cast were revealed in this thread. The cast includes NBA player Cliff Robinson of the Portland Trail Blazers.

I can add that Redemption Island will not return, and I’ve also confirmed the thematic three-tribe split.

The season was filmed last summer, after Survivor Blood vs. Water, but in the same location Philippines location as Blood vs. Water: Cagayan, the northernmost province, which gives this season its subtitle.

Update: The twist and season name were confirmed on the finale of Survivor Blood vs. Water, after first being teased with three Bs, but no other information was given, continuing CBS’ recent trend of dripping out information slowly before the new season begins. The logo shown at the end of this preview for season 28 actually does have “brawn vs. brains vs. beauty” as its subtitle:

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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.