Clocking in at 22 (?!) seasons, Survivor is arguably the very first competition-oriented reality show to hit the United States. For a smidge over ten years now the show has gotten a range of ratings from super huge to middling, all because of the idea of turning Gilligan’s Island into a real life concept.

Full disclosure: I haven’t seen the show since that first season, so much of this I will recap based on muscle memory. Apparently I am supposed to hate Russell, or Boston Rob (from Boston?), or something.

Editor’s Note: Rob is super awesome.

But, the internet thankfully allows people who have no idea what they are talking about to write articles, so every week (or day, or whenever this show comes on) you will get a fresh recap of last night’s show. I plan to immerse myself into the culture and report back, much like the Big Brother articles. So, if I’m going to do recaps, why not a big preview to start it all off!

Hosted by frequent Regis and Kelly guest host Jeff Probst (rumored to be taking over the Reege seat too), This season the show is a bit revamped in the rules and activity. According to the multiple articles i’ve read, Probst himself came up with the idea of Redemption Island (an island that REDEEMS) around four years ago. Born out of the vicious blood feud between Russell Hantz and “Boston” Rob Mariano on “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”, the people in charge knew that a rematch between these two would put butts in seats. Here are the basics of how the season will be played out: two tribes, only one man or woman can win. People still get voted out, BUT now if you get voted out you go to “Redemption Island”, hang out for a bit and when someone else gets voted out, they compete, with the winner staying on the island to fight again, and the loser finally going home. To quote producer Mark Burnett: “Technically [a Redemption Island castoff] could win head-to-head, one-on-one challenges week after week. If they can keep their energy and survive, technically that person could come back…and win the game.”

People (who know things), say that this is being done to ensure that Boston Rob, or Russell don’t get bounced first, leaving the show with a gigantic budget and no people watching. The show is pushing the whole idea of the RI people being “cold, alone, same conditions,” so I guess expect someone to freak out?

On (where I will be watching the show) there is a video about the construction of the Tribal Council located HERE that is fascinating in how they take this awesome, natural untouched land in Nicaragua and build a fake looking rock and wood stage on it. Sample quote from a prop builder: “I’m the guy that goes through and puts plaque on the cracks…. that’s what I do. That’s my life.”

Here is the quick rundown of each person competing this year. I’m also including odds to win that I got from this other site, because we should probably gamble on this right?

Andrea: 21, student, Wisconsin. Grew up on a farm, a natural flirt says CBS. ODDS: 3-1. The handicapper seems to think that Andrea will kill them with kindness and survive the elements. I say that she looks like a normal, girl next door type that some people are going to crush on.

Mike: 31, former Marine recruiter, now realtor, California. Amazing Race dropout (his chick backed out) and he thinks he is a good judge of people. ODDS: 9-2. Vegas says that his size and strength is a possible issue against him.

Krista: 25, pharmaceutical rep, Alabama. Former head cheerleader and pageant queen. ODDS: 7-1. Those are not bad odds, and the pharma reps I know are very very cunning so this may be the bet to make.

Matt: 22, pre-med from Tennessee. ODDS: 8-1. Oddsmakers call him “Fabio Redux” and think he will play dumb.

Steve: 51, former NFL player, California. ODDS: 10-1. A former Dallas Cowboy, general thought is that Steve’s pride is going to screw with him and make him lose.

Ashley: 26, nurse AND model, Maine. ODDS: 25-2. Another pageant girl who the websites say “wants to be friends with everyone.”

Grant: 29, personal trainer, California. ODDS: 14-1. ANOTHER former NFL player, purchased in a possible buy one get one free deal when the producers bought pageant girls and Steve. He is also a big guy just like Steve.

Ralph: 44, farmer, Virginia. ODDS: 18-1. People who know things say that he is a nice guy, which we know will lead to him getting kicked off soon. Have fun growing things on Redemption Island buddy!

Julie: 50, firefighter, California. ODDS: 20-1. Julie’s angle is that she NEEDS to win. She just got divorced, is raising two kids and she has to pay alimony, so the million bucks would help that. She is JW’s DARK HORSE pick.

Phillip: 52, tech executive, California. ODDS: 23-1. He also apparently was a federal agent, the oldest person in this and was spotted rollerblading when casted.

Francesca: 36, attorney, DC. ODDS: 28-1. Every bio I read about her is that she thinks she’s the smartest, she will do anything to win, blah blah. She seems like someone who’s going to piss people off over the correct way to build a hut.

Russell: 36, oil company owner, Texas. ODDS: 33-1. Apparently he doesn’t even need the cash; he is just in it to be the antagonist. Oddsmakers think that he will get voted out immediately.

Kristina: 46, law student, California. ODDS: 38-1. We’re in long shot territory here. Unlike Francesca, Kristina is only in law school, but she has the same general bio that Francesca had.

“Boston” Rob: 35, professional Survivor contestant, Massachusetts. ODDS: 45-1. The white hat to Russell’s black hat I suppose. Presumably if these two “famous” guys have no shot, CBS is probably paying them more, so why throw away a bet?

Stephanie: 25, waitress/actress, California. ODDS: 65-1. She doesn’t want former players coming back and is described as “scrappy”.

Natalie: 19 (?!), dancer for a volleyball team (?!?!?!), California. ODDS: 65-1. What the hell is a “dancer for a volleyball team”? She also says Lady Gaga is her inspiration.

David: 31, criminal defense attorney, California. ODDS: 85-1. This whole season is lawyers, NFL guys and professional reality show people. David has been called the next Johnny Fairplay, so he will be entertaining.

Sarita: 36, visual effects producer, California. ODDS: 249-1. Your biggest ever long shot, Sarita was raised hippy and wants to “vibe out” and “play the game from her heart,” which means that she lost before she every got on the plane. She does get the preliminary award for JW’s Hottest one.