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The 18 castaways of Survivor: Philippines are set, with three returning players joining the group

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Written by : published Wednesday 22nd August 2012

The 18 castaways of Survivor: Philippines are set, with three returning players joining the group main image

We’re only four weeks away from the 90-minute premiere episode of Survivor: Philippines, the 25th season of Survivor (hard to believe).  Earlier this week, 15 of the 18 contestants were revealed, and today the returning three players have been confirmed by CBS:  Michael Skupin, Jonathan Penner and Russell Swan.

All three of these returning players were evacuated from their prior seasons due to medical emergencies.  Michael Skupin of Survivor:  The Australian Outback, inhaled smoke and passed out into the campfire.  The image of him running into the river and the shot of flesh hanging from his hands is one of the scariest, most memorable moments in the history of reality television.

Russell Swan of Survivor: Samoa, was thought of as a leader on his tribe, before he passed out during an Immunity Challenge in what Jeff Probst called “the scariest moment” for him in the show’s history.  He was evacuated soon after.

Last but certainly not least is Jonathan Penner, who will return to play Survivor for a third time.  He originally competed during Survivor: Cook Islands and made a name for himself as a fan favorite (one of my personal all-time Survivor favorites), which led to him getting brought back for the Fans vs. Favorites edition of the show.  It was his second time out, when he cut his leg so badly that they were afraid he may lose the leg due to infection if he were to stay in the game.

I for one, am pumped at these returning players.  Penner and Skupin can be considered “all-stars” and are definitely also “old-school” Survivor players.  Russell Swan was an interesting player who seemed to be in a good position before his exit, and is definitely a player worthy of a second-chance.

As for the show itself, we do know that the group will initially be divided up into 3 tribes:  Kalabaw (“Water Buffalo”), Tandang (“Rooster”) and Matsing (“Monkey”), with one returning player going to teach tribe.  Also according to CBS, the show “will prominently feature marine-based challenges where the three tribes will battle for first and second place in order to be granted immunity, while the third-place tribe will head to Tribal Council and face elimination.”

Be sure to check back often for my weekly episode analysis right here at TheTVKing.com, and make sure you subscribe to all of my Survivor and movie coverage at my blog, FilmSurvivor.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter, @tomsantilli.

Survivor: Philippines premieres on CBS on Wednesday, September 19th.

About the author SurvivorTom


Tom Santilli is a respected journalist and member of the Detroit Film Critics Society.  He writes several on-line columns, most notably as the Detroit Movie Examiner and the Survivor Examiner for Examiner.com.  He also is a contributor as a Survivor-Insider to TVGeekArmy.com and writes exclusive Survivor in-depth episode analysis for TheTVKing.com. He has been featured on Rob Cesternino's "Rob Has a Podcast" and most recently landed the only exclusive Richard Hatch interview given since his latest legal trouble has surfaced. All of Tom's Survivor coverage as well as movie reviews can be found on his blog the "FilmSurvivor", at FilmSurvivor.com

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