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Survivor 35 theme and title: Survivor Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers

Survivor 35 theme and title: Survivor Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers
Jeff Probst, host and showrunner of Survivor. The theme and name for season 35 has been leaked online. (Image by CBS)

The theme for Survivor 35, the fall season of the CBS show that just finished filming, has been revealed, and it is Survivor Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers.

Yes, that is its actual title, according to reliable Survivor spoiler Martin Holmes, who first published the news Saturday night.

The tribes will be sorted based on their professions or work, or possibly their status as superheroes.

Holmes noted that “casting associates had put out notices requesting applications from those currently working as teachers, firefighters, and yoga instructors” while casting this season, which will have only new players, no returnees.

The weirdest part for me—okay, second-weirdest after “Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”—is that Survivor already had a “Heroes vs.” season, and it had nothing to do with heroes in their profession. Rather, it was a tribe of players who’d gotten heroic Survivor edits, as opposed to villain edits, thanks to their heroic or villainous behavior.

Survivor 35: three tribes, no collars

As the subtitle suggests, there will be three tribes, divided based on their players’ professions.

That makes this season essentially another version of Worlds Apart, except instead of being separated by arbitrary “collars,” the cast members will be grouped by arbitrary categorizations of their jobs, experiences, or way of life. So basically just collars with new names.

Here’s how it’s likely to play out:

  1. Heroes: Teachers will go here, along with people who’ve served in the military, or are working in public service jobs such as firefighters or cops. Holmes tweeted that he is “pretty sure a former lingerie football player is on Heroes tribe”; she is also a lifeguard. 
  2. Healers: People who work in helpful industries, whether they’re doctors or the aforementioned yoga instructors.
  3. Hustlers: Everyone else. I think this is the catch-all category for everyone who doesn’t fit in the other two.

Why another season with arbitrary tribe divisions and probable yammering on about the differences between the groups? Why can’t we just have themes when they make sense, and otherwise just have tribes? Jeff Probst explained last year.

At least the tribes are not divided by ideology or political party. That seemed like an even greater possibility based on an image from a challenge, which shows that the three tribe colors are red, blue, and yellow.

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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.


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