Double Hardship For 'Survivors'
Thursday night, the granddaddy of all reality shows, "Survivor," enters its 11th season.
This time 16 castaways will be stranded among the ancient Mayan ruins in Guatemala where, yet again, they will have to outwit, outplay and outlast each other for the $1 million prize.
To keep the show fresh, host Jeff Probst tells The Early Show that two former "Survivors" will come back to compete this season.
"We sit around and brainstorm all the time, even in our off period," Probst says. "We're always asking: What if? What If? What if?"
The aim of this season is to see how the new group of contestants would deal with two experienced players.
"Would they see them as an asset or would they be threatened by them and vote them off right away?" Probst says. "We love to force the castaways to make decisions."
Since Probst has been the host since the first season in the summer of 2000, he likes to keep things fresh for himself by not always knowing everything the show's producers have in store.
"I get less and less information each season," he says, "I can go in there with all kinds of information or go in with none. But we have found a happy medium. I like to figure out things on my own, which makes it fun."
Here is Probst's roundup of the biggest standouts in Guatemala:
Gary Hogeboom — Probst says everyone is talking about the former NFL quarterback. "He didn't want anyone to know or recognize him from the get go, so he called himself Gary Hawkins, a landscaper."
Danni Boatwright — "We also have a sports journalist in Danni Boatwright," Probst says. "She hosts a sports talk show. Right on day one, she said, 'I think that's Gary Hogeboom.' She confronted him and he denied it."
Judd Sergeant — "He's just one big opinion. Everything is 'man' this and 'man' that," Probst says. "He's a doorman by trade."
Rafe Judkins — "The Ivy League student from Pittsburgh is very likable," Probst says. "It's funny; before the show he had taken a course in Mayan culture."
Cindy Hall — "She works at a zoo. She's more comfortable around animals than people. That could work for her or against her," Probst says.
Brian Corridan — Probst says Corridan is "Richard Hatch Lite. He's another Ivy Leaguer. He's funny, but he could drive all the other castaways nuts if he doesn't adapt." You can also watch videos of the contestants. What the contestants should expect this season is that it will be hard, Probst says. "Right off the bat, we send all the castaways on an 11-mile trek through the jungle. It starts one minute into show and finishes the next day. People are getting sick and everything. You'll see."
The premiere of "Survivor: Guatemala" is Thursday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT on CBS. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/09/15/earlyshow/series/survivor/main846622.shtml