This time out, 20 new castaways will be hitting the beach on the Pacific island of Palau to try to outwit, outplay and outlast each other for the $1 million prize. And Thursday morning, The Early Show offered an exclusive preview.
"There's always the integrity question in 'Survivor,'" host Jeff Probst told co-anchor Rene Syler. "Can you win with integrity? And the answer has always been no.
"But there are a few people this season - for whatever reason we had three or four people - who said, 'I might actually give my word and actually keep it.' It's fun to watch," said Probst.
New York City firefighter Tom Westman is one of them.
"Tom is the guy you're going to like because you believe he is what he says he is, which is 'I am a firefighter. I am a father, and I am a husband, and I'm not going to discredit any of those people or myself while I'm out here,'" Probst explained.
As in any reality show, it iswho set "Palau" apart from other "Survivors," Probst noted.
"Comparing it just to last season," Probst said, "one of the criticisms was it was a little flat. It was coming off the ',' which was huge in terms of personality, and we had a group of normal people."
But "Palau," he said, has "huge personality."
Besides Tom, just to name a few, there is Ian Rosenberger, a 6-foot-8 dolphin trainer; Janu Tornell, a Vegas showgirl; Coby Archa, a gay hairdresser; and Jennifer Lyon a "super hot nanny from L.A., not just 'Super Nanny,' but 'super hot nanny,'" Probst said.
And yet, so far, his all-time favorite "Survivor" winner is still Richard Hatch. But since Hatch got inover his "Survivor" winnings, Probst admitted he has not talked to the winner of the very first show.
Probst said he "thought about calling him," and then realized he wasn't sure he wanted to be associated at the time with someone who had agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion.
"Because I pay my taxes. Let me be clear about that," Probst said.
His least favorite player? Johnny Fairplay, no question about it.
Said Probst, "Here is the thing with Johnny Fairplay. It becomes personal. On the show, Johnny Fairplay is a home run. I wish we could have that guy on every season. To his credit, he knew what we wanted and he gave it to us.
"Off the show, never cared to see the guy again. That actually is who he is. He is an idiot. You know what? You have to be respectful if you're the host of a show talking about people because they don't have a microphone any more and I do, and I'm aware of that, but with Fairplay. I don't care."
And then, of course, there is the "Survivor" he loves: Julie Berry.
"We met, really, it was after the show that we got to know each other, and I fell in love with her. I mean I'm not dating her. I'm into her," he said.