Credit: PlanetBuff Photo: Survivor Blood Vs. Water logo

Survivor: Blood vs. Water, aka Season 27, premiered Wednesday, September 18 on CBS. (Episode 1 recap here. Bad Gervase!)

The first cast spoiler was confirmed on August 20 when Entertainment Weekly talked to competing couple Hayden Moss (Big Brother 12 winner) and Kat Edorsson (Survivor: One World). EW later added the entire cast list and some twist notes.

The season’s theme has returning players (again) competing alongside either their family members (blood) or significant others (water).

Here’s the cast:

• Colton Cumbie (Survivor: One World) with his fiance, Caleb

• Gervase Peterson (Survivor: Borneo) with his niece, Marissa

• Tyson Apostol (Survivor: Tocantins, Heroes vs. Villains) with his girlfriend, Rachel

• Candice Woodcock (Survivor: Cook Islands, Heroes vs. Villains) and her husband, John

• Kat Edorsson (Survivor: One World) with her boyfriend, Hayden Moss (Big Brother Season 12 winner)

• Monica Culpepper (Survivor One World) and her husband, Brad Culpepper (former NFL player).

• Aras Baskauskas (Survivor: Panama winner) and his brother, Vytas

• Rupert Boneham (Survivor: Pearl Islands, All-Stars and Heroes vs Villains) and his wife, Laura

• Laura Morett (Survivor: Samoa) with her daughter, Ciera

• Tina Wesson (Survivor: Australia winner, All-Stars) and her daughter, Katie

Here are some twists from the EW story:

This season's game will be 39.5 days long, instead of just 39 days. The couples will begin the game the night before day one with a new twist called "Day Zero." As EW explains, "The 10 pairs will be sent out at sunset to 10 different locations to live by themselves for the night. They will then all meet up to be officially welcomed by host Jeff Probst and start the game the next morning."

After that, EW says, just minutes after congregating, the returning players and their loved ones will be split into two different tribes, with the returning players making up the yellow Galang tribe and the newbies comprising the red Tadhana tribe.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Credit: CBS/Entertainment Weekly Photo: Survivor Blood Vs Water cast (aka Season 27)

Spoilers should always be taken with a grain of salt and treated as early unconfirmed rumors, but according to longtime spoiler @TheGameSurvivor’s sources, the Redemption Island twist is returning and it makes the first boot pretty interesting.

Rumor has it, Rupert’s wife Laura is the first person voted out, but Rupert takes her place at RI and loses his battle, making him the first real boot. We’ll see if that’s how it turns out.

Update: Based on EW's teasers, it sounds very plausible: "As mentioned, Redemption Island is back. Anyone voted out will be sent there and will then compete in a three person duel. The last place finisher in each contest is out of the game for good, while the top two remain. However, if someone’s loved one is still in the game they can take their loved one’s place before a duel. (So if, say, Monica is at Redemption Island but her husband Brad thinks he would do better at a duel involving strength, he can swap places with her, electing to do the duel while she takes his place on his tribe. They could then swap again at the next duel if it is a contest better suited to her strengths.)"

Other early spoiler notes suggest Colton (groan!) quits either after his boyfriend/fiance is eliminated or just because he's Colton; Aras goes after veterans in the game; and Tyson is basically the star of the season. 

It’s suggested that Gervase and Tyson could be in the final three, along with a female returning player (Sounds like Monica). Rumored jury members include (in no particular order): Laura M, Ciera, Tina, Katie, Hayden, Marissa, Aras, Vytas, and Caleb. Tyson could win! If Caleb makes the jury, it sounds like he doesn't get voted out, or he manages to survive RI, etc., so maybe Colton's quitting has nothing to do with him at all. 

If you’re not happy to see Candice back again, it was supposed to be RC from Survivor: Philippines but her father had health issues and had to drop out. But Candice is said to leave pretty early. Kat is also supposedly a pre-merge boot, but her boyfriend Hayden makes it pretty far.

That’s some early buzz, but it could change in a heartbeat. Still, if true, good for Gervase for going from Season 1 to the finals of Season 27. If Gervase doesn't win, what do you think about Tyson winning? Or Player of the Season? It’s intriguing. Not sure why Monica isn't considered a good bet to win yet, but we'll have to see how this plays out.

Sources: Entertainment Weekly@TheGameSurvivorFacebookSurvivor Fever