* Day Zero
For the first time ever, the game will not be 39
days long, but rather 39-and-a-half days, as the
couples will begin the game the night prior to
day one with a new twist titled "Day
Zero." The 10 pairs will be sent out at
sunset to 10 different locations to live by
themselves for the night. They will then all
meet up to be officially welcomed by host Jeff
Probst and start the game the next morning.
"The whole idea was to try and get them
thinking and maybe believing that they would
play as a pair," says Probst.
* Tribal Split
Just minutes after congregating, the returning
players and their loved ones will be split into
two different tribes, with the returning
players making up the yellow Galang tribe and
the newbies comprising the red Tadhana tribe.
"Suddenly your partner becomes your
adversary, your competition," says Probst.
"And that was the whole premise of Blood
Vs. Water. How is that going to play out in
a game where only one person can win?"
* Redemption Island
First impressions can be key in the game like Survivor,
and that will prove true here as just moments
after meeting each other, each team will vote
one member off their tribe. They will later be
informed that these people have not been voted
out of the game, but rather will be sent to Redemption
Island, which makes its return after having
been absent for the past three seasons. There
they will battle to stay alive and reenter the
game at a later point.
* Trading Places
Jeff Probst will then immediately offer each of
the loved ones of the two people voted off the
opportunity to trade places with them, meaning
that if, say, returning player Tina is voted out
of her tribe at the start, her daughter Katie
can opt to take her place at Redemption Island
instead, and Tina would then join the tribe of
* Three Person Duels
As mentioned, Redemption Island is back. Anyone
voted out will be sent there and will then
compete in a three person duel. The last
place finisher in each contest is out of the
game for good, while the top two remain.
However, if someone's loved one is still in the
game they can take their loved one's place
before a duel. (So if, say, Monica is at
Redemption Island but her husband Brad thinks he
would do better at a duel involving strength, he
can swap places with her, electing to do the
duel while she takes his place on his tribe.
They could then swap again at the next duel if
it is a contest better suited to her strengths.)
"That puts blood and water to the
test," says Probst. "And we're gonna
do it at every duel. So the first time early in
the game, somebody may say 'It's just too
early." But as those duels increase and
they get closer to what they think might be a
merge, their strategy is going to start to
* Hidden Immunity Idol
That's not all when it comes to Redemption
Island. The person who finishes first in each
duel will also get to give a clue to the
location of a hidden immunity idol to any person
from either tribe that they choose.
"There's all these things you can do,"
says Probst. "Because for a moment, even
though you're on the outest, furthest part of
the game, you have a little bit of power."