Survivor just ended Season 39, the controversy-laden Island of the Idols, and did the usual promotion for the next season. Survivor: Winners at War has 20 past Survivor winners competing against each other for a prize twice as good as the usual money -- $2 million. It raised a lot of eyebrows and got CBS' Big Brother winners wondering when they'd ever get a prize even close to that.
Big Brother airs every summer -- and lately the seasons have stretched out for up to almost 100 days, way more than the standard 39 days of Survivor. The prize for winning Big Brother is $500,000. The Amazing Race pays $1 million to the winning team of two.
You can make arguments for why Survivor's prize is larger -- bigger ratings, for one thing. But it's also prestigious, as reality TV goes, since it's been airing since 2000 as one of the first and most popular competition shows. EW asked Survivor host Jeff Probst if there was any difficulty behind-the-scenes at CBS to double the prize from $1 million to $2 million:
That was a CBS decision and they never hesitated. They’ve been very supportive and excited about this season. They know what a milestone it is for Survivor to reach its 20th year and 40th season. We all want to celebrate! And I need to say it again, this season only happens because 20 former winners all said yes. We don’t have this season without them.
It really is an amazing milestone year for Survivor. Big Brother isn't quite hitting the same milestones in 2020. But the money was a CBS decision, eh? Hmm...
Big Brother fans and some players were already hoping the Big Brother 2020 season would feature returning all-stars. Now past winners are hoping for their own version of Winners At War with that $2 million prize.
Here's what Big Brother 16 winner Derrick Levasseur wrote, tagging host Julie Chen and the CBS account:
BB16's Derrick is considered one of the best players of the game, so he would certainly be invited back for any winners season. He would also almost certainly be one of the first houseguests to be targeted for eviction. So unless he got more twists to help, he'd be in a tight spot. But it would be fascinating to watch.
Big Brother 19 winner Josh Martinez was more of a surprise winner against Paul Abrahamian in 2017, which would probably help keep him underestimated in an all-winners season. He has tweeted before about an all-stars season and he definitely sounds game to return for a $2 million winners season, if CBS gives them the chance:
Survivor: Winners At War is Season 40, so the 20 players who'll return only mark half of the past winners. Here are the 20 castaways who'll compete:
• Adam Klein
Winner of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X
• Amber Brkich Mariano
Winner of Survivor: All-Stars
• Ben Driebergen
Winner of Survivor: Heroes v Healers v Hustlers
• Danni Boatwright
Winner of Survivor: Guatemala
• Denise Stapley
Winner of Survivor: Philippines
• Ethan Zohn
Winner of Survivor: Africa
• Jeremy Collins
Winner of Survivor: Cambodia — Second Chance
• Kim Spradlin
Winner of Survivor: One World
• Michele Fitzgerald
Winner of Survivor: Kaoh Rong
• Natalie Anderson
Winner of Survivor: San Juan del Sur
• Nick Wilson
Winner of Survivor: David vs. Goliath
• Parvati Shallow
Winner of Survivor — Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites
• Boston Rob Mariano
Winner of Survivor: Redemption Island
• Sandra Diaz-Twine
Winner of Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
• Sarah Lacina
Winner of Survivor: Game Changers
• Sophie Clarke
Winner of Survivor: South Pacific
• Tony Vlachos
Winner of Survivor: Cagayan
• Tyson Apostol
Winner of Survivor: Blood vs. Water
• Wendell Holland
Winner of Survivor: Ghost Island
• Yul Kwon
Winner of Survivor: Cook Islands
Just going by the lineup, I feel like someone like Danni has a great shot to go far because she'll be underestimated. Survivor: Winners At War premieres February 12, 2020 on CBS. Big Brother 22 will air this summer. Apparently Celebrity Big Brother is skipping 2020 but host Julie Chen has been teasing something.
Do you hope CBS does go for a Big Brother: Winners At War season? Do they have enough players for that? It wouldn't have to be 20. Could be 15 or 16 from the 21 seasons to date. Here are 10 of the most memorable winners, so they'd just have to contact five or six more and hope they all agreed to return. I'm ready!