Survivor South Pacific premiered Wednesday, September 14, 2011. The twenty-third season of the venerable CBS competition returned to Samoa and retained the Redemption Island game structure introduced the previous season. Under that system, each castoff is sent to Redemption Island, where they await the next eliminated player to duel for a second chance in the game.
The returning cast members for Survivor South Pacific are Ben “Coach” Wade (Survivor Tocantins and Survivor Heroes vs. Villains) and Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth (Survivor Cook Island and Survivor: Micronesia). Although this season has been positioned as "Coach vs. Ozzy," the game is unlikely to revolve around direct competition between these veteran players.
New cast members--who one day may return in a future season of Survivor--include: Nashville Star contestant Whitney; World Poker winner Jim, who also dispenses medical marijuana; 14-times-applying-is-the-charm Rick, and girl-gone-wild Elyse Umemoto, the Miss Washington who embarrassed the Miss America organization when photos showed her behaving badly.
According to Survivor host Jeff Probst, the duels of South Pacific will only be between two people--so half the cast won't remain at the end of the season, as was the case during Redemption Island). Probst also told Entertainment Weekly that clues to the immunity idol’s location would also be hidden.
Survivor South Pacific airs on CBS Wednesdays 8/7 Central.