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Survivor Game Changers: season 34’s cast, twist, and more

Survivor Game Changers: season 34’s cast, twist, and more

If it’s like every other season of Survivor, tonight’s one-hour Survivor Millennials vs Gen X reunion will end with the official announcement about the next season, which is called Survivor Game Changers — the Mamanuca Islands, which debuts in spring 2017 (though later than usual, in March).

Here’s what we know so far about season 34’s all-returnee cast; its theme and twist; and other details—all of which are spoiler-free about actual game play.

The Survivor 34 twist

The original season 34 format twist had three tribes organized by their members’ success during their game:

  1. winners
  2. those who made the jury
  3. people who didn’t make the jury

However, the show was not able to cast an entire tribe of winners from the pool of people who were being considered.

Instead, the cast of returnees that was eventually assembled were labeled “Game Changers,” indicating that they’d all had a profound impact on the game.

Of course, as with most recent Survivor themes, the title is more arbitrary than accurate. (Just look at the Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X cast members’ actual ages, for example.) Some of the season 34 players had a profound impact on the game; others, not so much.

The Survivor Game Changers cast and tribes

The new cast includes a lot of people I’m excited to see play again, including Aubry, Caleb, Ciera, and Tai. Nearly all of the cast has played within the last few years, and it also includes a lot of people who’ve played many times before:

  • 12 people are playing for the second time
  • 6 are playing for the third time.
  • 2 are playing for the fourth time.

Here are the cast members, as originally identified by Inside Survivor, and divided by their initial tribes:

Mana tribe

  1. Aubry Bracco, Survivor Kaoh Rong
  2. Michaela Bradshaw, Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X
  3. Ciera Eastin, Survivor Blood vs. Water and Survivor Cambodia
  4. Hali Ford, Survivor Worlds Apart
  5. Malcolm Freberg, Survivor Philippines and Survivor Caramoan
  6. Caleb Reynolds, Survivor Kaoh Rong
  7. Troyzan Robertson, Survivor One World
  8. Jeff Varner, Survivor Australia and Survivor Cambodia
  9. Tony Vlachos, Survivor Cagayan
  10. Sandra Diaz-Twine, Survivor Pearl Islands and Survivor Heroes vs. Villains

Nuku tribe

  1. Andrea Boehlke, Survivor Redemption Island and Survivor Caramoan
  2. Brad Culpepper, Survivor Blood vs. Water
  3. Sierra Dawn-Thomas, Survivor Worlds Apart
  4. Cirie Fields, Survivor Panama, Survivor Micronesia, and Survivor Heroes vs. Villains
  5. Sarah Lacina, Survivor Cagayan
  6. Ozzy Lusth, Survivor Cook Islands, Survivor Micronesia, and Survivor South Pacific
  7. Zeke Smith, Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X
  8. JT Thomas, Tocantins and Survivor Heroes vs. Villains
  9. Tai Trang, Survivor Kaoh Rong
  10. Debbie Wanner, Survivor Kaoh Rong

Filming location and dates

Cast flew to the location at the end of May, and filming took place in June and July. True Dork Times’ calendar has estimated dates for the season, and typically updates it as more information comes in.

The show was filmed in the same general location as Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X: Fiji, where Survivor filmed 10 years earlier.

Specifically, the production is set up in a chain of islands northwest of Fiji’s major island. The Mamanuca Islands provide this season’s subtitle, and also hosted the Tom Hanks film Cast Away.

The preview

The Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X finale previewed the season, and Probst even brought out some of the returnees, though he notably ignored Zeke, perhaps to keep his casting a surprise.

Here’s the preview that aired at the end of the reunion:

The future

Jeff Probst tweeted in mid-November that the show was looking for new players to apply, though he cautioned against causal fans applying. Is that perhaps because a new Fans vs. Favorites season is ahead? Season 16 (Survivor Micronesia) and season 26 (Survivor Caramoan) were both fans vs. favorites, and since another 10 seasons has passed, perhaps Survivor season 36 will be, too.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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