"Survivor" returned with a new twist and a milestone. The 27th season premiere just happened to also be the 400th episode of the long-running reality series. And for its latest season, Jeff Probst and company reached back into that history to come up with the latest batch of contestants. Subtitled "Blood vs. Water," the season features ten returning castaways -- including one from the very first season -- and their various loved ones.
The twist was that they would be competing against their loved ones rather than alongside them. But that wasn't the only wrinkle. Ensuring that this season is as complicated as possible, Probst announced the return of Redemption Island. And, because he's cruel, he had the tribes each send someone there the second they got together.
The newbies voted out four-time player Rupert Boneham's wife, Laura, while the veterans voted out three-time player Candice Cody. But, there was a new twist. Anyone could opt to take their loved one's place on Redemption Island. If they do, the loved one returns to the sacrificing player's team. So when Rupert stepped up to replace his wife on Redemption Island, she returned to his tribe, becoming the only newbie in a tribe of veterans.
“To put myself in a position where I am not safe is killing me," Rupert said. "But I would rather have myself in this position than I would my wife. Laura deserves to play the game.”
Buddy TV's Gina Pusateri was exhausted after that exchange, which was only the first 30 minutes of the 90-minute episode. "This was as complicated a beginning to a season that I've ever seen," she wrote.
The new twists impacted the game right up to the first elimination. After Gervase Peterson, who played last in Season 1, was a little too cocky following the veteran's win at the Immunity Challenge -- especially considering his own terrible performance -- it was his niece, Marissa, who suffered. Her tribe voted her out based on his antics. Now she joins Candice and Rupert on Redemption Island. Their first match-up is next week.
The confusing new season of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" continues every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
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