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article imageSurvivor Redemption Island begins with return of Rob and Russell

By Kim I. Hartman     Feb 16, 2011 in Entertainment
San Juan Del Sur - Nicaragua is the host for the 22nd season of the hit-show Survivor. It's called Redemption Island and the first twist of the season is the return of former contestants 'Boston Rob' Mariano and Russell Hantz, who bring 156 days of experience to the game.
Redemption is the key word in CBS's new season of Survivor Redemption Island and each player will have an opportunity for redemption in the form of a return to the game after being voted off the island by their fellow castaways and competitors.
The new game rules for will change the dynamics of the contest when castaways from the tribes Ometepe and Zapatera, named for islands off the coast of Nicaragua, will have something different to keep in mind when determining individual and team strategy and their alliances.
On Survivor 'Redemption Island' when a contestant is voted off, they will still have a chance to continue to play the game and win the million dollars, according to a CBS press release.
"Each week at Tribal Council when a castaway is voted off, they will be sent to an isolated island called "Redemption Island," where they will live alone in exile. To stay on Redemption Island, they will need to compete in a duel against the next person eliminated at Tribal Council and sent to the Island. The winner of each duel earns the right to continue fighting for an opportunity to return to the game and the chance to compete for the title of Sole Survivor; the loser is sent home."
"The idea of a second chance, a losers' bracket, makes a lot of sense. You made a mistake, whatever it was, whether choosing the wrong alliance or behaving poorly, and you're voted out, said Jeff Probst. "Now you may earn a chance to redeem yourself," reports USA Today.
While the added twist of Rob and Russell joining the cast may have thrown a few players off their game, the bad boys of past Survivor seasons appear ready to square off and have brought their egos with them to the beautiful beaches of Nicaragua, where Survivor has chosen to produce back-to-back season's of the popular tv series.
"The season should be named Russell vs. Rob, not Redemption Island," boasts Russell Hantz, 38, business owner and self-described millionaire as well as much hated loudmouth from Texas, who has returned for a third opportunity 'to outwit, outplay and outlast.' "We're just too good," said Hantz, according to the report in USA Today.
"Mariano, who is appearing for the fourth time on Survivor, may be a bit more realistic. "I'm going to have a huge target on my back," he said to USA Today. About his feud with Hantz and their competition for bragging rights and a million dollars, Boston Rob said: "When we are out there playing the game, Russell and I are competitors, and there's nothing I love to do more to my competitors than beat them."
After last season found two players on the jury who had quit the game, People magazine reports Jeff Probst announced the producers of Survivor "will now be given the discretion whether to keep quitters on the show or leave them off the jury."
The pair of votes received from NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn on Survivor Nicaragua were all that were needed for season 21 winner Fabio Birza to take the million dollar prize from runner-up Chase Rice in the season finale in a one vote win. "If I had two quitters not voting, I would have won the game," Rice says to People. "I like rule change but I wish it would have applied to our season."
Francesca Hogi, a Washington, DC resident and attorney, has become the first cast member voted out of the game and sent to Redemption Island where she will await the arrival of the contestant eliminated in the second episode.
See the rest of the cast here and be sure to catch Survivor Redemption Island on its new night, Wednesday's on CBS.
More about Survivor, redemption island, Nicaragua, Rob Mariano, Russell hantz
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