Why Survivor Probably Won’t Have All-Stars Until Season 50

There have been several all-newbie seasons of Survivor in a row, and it seems that the trend will continue until season 50. Throughout its history, there have been a number of Survivor installments featuring returning players. Whether it be full all-star seasons or seasons that mixed new players with returning favorites, Survivor has frequently brought back its star contestants to play again.


There have been five full all-star seasons in Survivor history. The most recent was season 40, Survivor: Winners at War, which aired in 2020. Every season since Winners at War has exclusively featured new castaways. This means there have been four straight seasons without returning players, which is one of the longest stretches without returning players since the first returnee season in 2004.

Related: 10 Best Survivor Seasons With New Player Casts

Survivor Season 45 Will Be A New Player Season

The biggest sign that there won’t be any all-star seasons until season 50 is because Survivor season 45 is confirmed to be a new player season. There will technically be one returnee on season 45, season 44’s Bruce Perreault. However, Bruce is a special case. He was medically evacuated from the game on the first day of season 44 due to a head injury. Bruce never got a chance to actually play the game, so he’ll practically be a new player on season 45. There are also no indications that season 46, which is set to film soon, will feature any returnees either.

The fact that season 45 (and most likely season 46) won’t feature returnees indicates that Survivor is probably waiting until its landmark season 50 to bring back former players. It seems unlikely that the show wants to have a returnee season for 47, 48, or 49, when it will almost certainly have a big all-star theme planned for season 50. It’s possible the show surprises with a returnee season in the next cycle, but it’s been a long time since Survivor had all-star seasons so close together. Second Chance and Game Changers were only three seasons apart, but Game Changers was widely viewed as a poorly implemented returning player season.

Survivor Should Have Returning Players Before Season 50

Survivor 43 Cody Assenmacher

The most likely themes for Survivor season 50 all include iconic players of some sort, whether it be “Survivor: Legends” or “Old School vs. New School.” The problem is if season 50 only features players currently considered legends of the game, the majority of the cast would be castaways who already played together on former all-star editions like Heroes vs. Villains or Winners at War. If the show has another returnee season before 50, it could help more recent players cement themselves as legends of the game. They will be worthy of battling it out against iconic figures like “Boston” Rob Mariano, Cirie Fields, or Parvati Shallow in a legends-focused season.

There are several great recent players who should play again before they’re considered Survivor legends, like Jesse Lopez, Carolyn Wiger, and Omar Zaheer. There are also some slightly less recent players from the late 2010s (Domenick Abbate, Christian Hubicki, and Chrissy Hofbeck, for example) who should be locks to play again, but they have yet to return due to the lack of returnee seasons in the current era. Even if it seems unlikely, Survivor should definitely consider making a Second Chance or Fans vs. Favorites installment soon to make sure season 50 lives up to its potential.

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