Since there are some, "maybe" spoilers in this article I'll post it here thanks to sucks for the heads up
~ 'Survivor' returns with faves
By Bill Brioux, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Fire up the Tiki torch and pass the Doritos - another version of "Survivor" is comin' atcha.
And who better to sell it than host Jeff Probst, at his dishy best Tuesday afternoon in a CBS conference call with critics. Among his surprisingly candid remarks, Probst revealed that the only so-called "luxury" items players receive at the start of every game are "tampons and condoms."
"We don't want to have any 'Survivor' babies," he said.
Asked if there might ever be an all-winners version of "Survivor," Probst snapped: "We'd have to wait for Hatch to get out of prison." ("Hatch," of course, is Richard Hatch, the original "Survivor" winner currently doing time for failing to pay taxes on his $1-million winnings.)
Instead of a long-rumoured all-winners edition, which Probst thinks might someday be the best way to end the series, "Survivor Micronesia" will pit "Fans vs. Favourites."
Ten former players, including notorious Jonny Fairplay - battle 10 rabid fans of the series. At stake is the usual $1-million prize. (It starts Thursday, Feb. 7)
Probst offered up just enough juicy dirt to pump up fans for another island adventure. (This 16th edition brings the game back to the island of Palau, where season 10 took place.) Among the revelations: there are a record number of blindsides this season, with several tribal council votes bringing truly baffling results.
"My jaw dropped a few times," he said. This edition is also "the most physical ever," with several nasty confrontations during the challenge events.
Sex rears its ugly head, with two sets of couples getting jungle fever.
"Some of the most intimate footage we've ever had," said Probst, sounding more and more like Jerry Springer. Somebody makes an even bigger blunder this time than James Clement, the strong man from the last edition who failed to use his immunity idol when he needed it.
Probst, who is also a producer on the series, had vowed he'd never have anything more to do with Fairplay. He was tired of playing straight man to the mop-haired player's WWE antics.
"He's not our pedigree anymore," Probst told the other producers. "We don't need him."
Every series needs a villain, however, and Probst was persuaded to welcome him back. He says he's since had a change of heart about the player fans love to hate, seeing him as a "struggling guy" with demons, trying to live his life.
In the end, he says, "we got exactly what we expected and deserved" with Fairplay's return.
Besides Fairplay and Clement, also returning are past fan favourites Yau-Man Chan and Ozzy Lusth, with the latter considered one of the game's strongest contestants ever.
Sounds like the head games started even before this edition started filming. Probst revealed that the producers initially told 20 former players they'd be coming back, knowing most of them would get on the phone and start forming alliances before the game even started. Then 10 were told they'd been cut and replaced with super fans of the series.
That, needless to say, unsettled the remaining 10 - exactly what the producers wanted. Probst said the last time "Survivor" went with an all-star, former player format, it was a big ego show.
They behaved like "pseudo rock stars" and there was too much attitude.
"This group, they were great," he said. "We picked 10 people we thought would complement each other."
Not everybody they approached wanted to come back, including Tom Westman, the Palau winner and firefighter who didn't want to risk tarnishing his image and was happy to go out on top
Probst also confirmed that "Survivor" has been renewed for two more editions, taking the series through the 2008-2009 season.
The host flirted with leaving the last time his contract was up but says he's older and wiser now.
"I get paid more money than any college dropout should ever dream of making," he said, "and when I'm not working, I have a lot of free time to think about how lucky I am."
He dismissed a suggestion that "Survivor" was renewed as a hedge against the ongoing writers strike.
"'Survivor' doesn't need any help," he said. "We haven't lost a regularly scheduled Thursday night since 2003."
As for the strike, Probst says it bothers him to see colleagues struggling and hopes for a quick end to the dispute.
"I'm part of a show that is one of the reasons the studios can fight for a while," he said. "I don't want to be in the middle of it, but we are." http://jam.canoe.ca/Television/2008/01/29/4800685-cp.html