20th season. 20 winners. 18 MIA champs.
When the cast of Survivor's historic 40th season was revealed, fans of the CBS reality hit lost their minds as the show managed to get 20 returning Sole Survivors to return for another shot at the title and the $2 million grand prize. Iconic players such as Boston Rob, Parvati and two-time champ Sandra and more were on the roster, but many of Survivor's most infamous winners were noticeably missing from the cast list.
To be fair, it would be hard to stage a season with 38 players, though Jeff Probst did confirm they at least reached out to almost all of the winners to gauge their interest about possibly returning.
"We did call most of the winners just to see their level of interest, but we did have a general idea," Probst explained to ET Canada ahead of the season 40 premiere, going on to admit he never thought an all-winners season would actually come to fruition.
"It wasn't out of a lack of respect for the people we didn't invite, it was more that we wanted to taste a little of the early days, a little of the middle, a little toward the end and a little of right now," he said of the team's strategy for assembling the cast. "So we could have a composite of different styles of gameplay, different ages, different types of people and we have it. It worked out better than I ever dreamed."
On this Thursday's all new episode of For Real: The Story of Reality TV on E!, host Andy Cohen will go inside the series' historic beginnings and talk to people who were there, like very first winner Richard Hatch.
So we decided to check back in on the 18 winners who didn't appear on season 40, including Hatch, John Cochran, Jenna Morasco and more.
So what are the 18 Sole Survivors who didn't return for Winners at War up to now? And which ones chose not to return for the historic 40th season? Find out...
(Originally published May 13, 2020 at 5 p.m. PT)