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VIDEO Survivor: Philippines — Three Returning Players Officially Announced

August 22, 2012 03:30 PM by Ryan Haidet

This comes as no surprise to hardcore fans, but CBS has finally made it official by revealing the three returning players for Survivor: Philippines — Michael Skupin (Survivor: Australia), Jonathan Penner (Survivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Micronesia — Fans Vs. Favorites) and Russell Swan (Survivor: Samoa).  Each of them is back for another shot at the $1 million grand prize against 15 newbies after they were medically evacuated in episode six of a previous season.  Unlike some of the choices for previous returning castaways, I really like this trio — especially Penner.  He is my favorite contestant of all time.  But if you’re having a tough time remember their names, we’ve got a great refresher inside.

Host Jeff Probst weighs in on the three returning castaways:

Michael Skupin, 50

Previous season: Survivor: The Australian Outback (season 2).

Previous finish: First-ever medical evacuation of the series due to several burns he received after passing out and falling into a fire on day 17 of the competition.  “You don’t want to leave,” Michael said before he was air-lifted out.  “The longer you are here, the longer you want to stay here.  And it’s not even about winning as much as playing.  The winning will be anti-climatic. The playing is where it is for me.”

Clip of his evacuation from Survivor: The Australian Outback:

Tribe designation on Survivor: Philippines: Tandang

Current residence: White Lake, Mich.

Occupation: Professional speaker, author and coach

Personal claim to fame: I have seven of them that I feed every day — my children.  And, ranking 23rd on TV Guide and TV Land’s list of the 100 Most Unexpected TV Moments.  It’s an honor to have been there when it all started!

Inspiration in life: My dad, a true warrior who lost a battle to cancer when he was 28, and my mom who battled emphysema for 17 years and never complained.  She taught me what tough was.

Hobbies: Sports and fitness, coaching my kids and anything to do with water — in it, on it, over it, looking at it or listening to it.

Pet peeves: Negativity and pessimism. The glass is always full.

Three words to describe you: Adventurous, spontaneous and competitive.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?  Animals to hunt for food, an impenetrable shelter and an unbreakable alliance.

Reason for being on Survivor: To avenge a long-standing internal battle, wondering if I can win this game in spite of the changes and my 12-year absence.  No matter what any returning player may say, you never stop thinking about going back.  And: seven cars when they turn 16, seven college educations, seven weddings — I want to be there for my kids at all times when they need me.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: The physical part I’m ultra-prepared for.  I never stop moving.  The survival part won’t be an issue.  I grew up in the woods.  My crazy family life has prepared me exceptionally for the mental part.  I’m surviving seven kids!

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor There is no other returning player in the history of this game with more to prove than me.  I’ll find a way to win, whatever it takes!  I won’t give up — ever, ever, ever, ever!

Jonathan Penner, 50

Previous seasons: Survivor: Cook Islands (season 13) and Survivor: Micronesia — Fans Vs. Favorites (season 16).

Previous finishes: 14th voted out, 6th jury member on Survivor: Cook Islands; medical evacuation on day 15 due to knee infection on Survivor: Micronesia — Fans Vs. Favorites.  “I can only recommend for the sake of his leg and his life that he leave the game now,” Dr. Jessica Sartini said while diagnosing him during the game.  “He needs hospital treatment. It is not going to get better.  It will only get worse.”

Clip of his evacuation on Survivor: Micronesia — Fans Vs. Favorites:

Tribe designation on Survivor: Philippines: Kalabaw

Current residence: Los Angeles, Calif.

Occupation: Writer

Personal claim to fame: My Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short Film for “Down on the Waterfront,” which I co-wrote and co-produced with my wife, and also co-starred in with Jason Alexander and Edward Asner.

Inspiration in life: My kids.  My daughter is hilarious and actually looks up to me, and my son is smarter and more athletic than I am already.  Wanting to make them proud is why I always do my best.

Pet peeves: Stupidity, meanness and slow drivers in the passing lanes.

Three words to describe you: Happy, prickly and funny.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?  A good book to read, a blank book to write in and, if I can count her as a thing, my wife.  If not, I’ll bring a pen.

Reason for being on Survivor: The money.  I have nothing more to prove or accomplish but winning.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor:  Experience is the biggie, but I also bring humor and I’m a team player.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: Third time is a charm!  If I can get past the first three or four votes, I’m going all the way.  Seriously!

Russell Swan, 45

Previous season: Survivor: Samoa (season 19)

Previous finish: Medical evacuation due to dehydration on day 15.  “It was the scariest moment I’ve ever had on this show,” host Jeff Probst said at Tribal Council following Russell’s evacuation.  “In 19 seasons, I have never been more afraid in my life of how bad things were.  Russell was in terrible shape.”

Tribe designation on Survivor: Philippines: Matsing

Current residence: Glenside, Penn.

Occupation: Environmental Attorney

Personal claim to fame: Being a good dad.

Clip of his evacuation from Survivor: Samoa:

Inspiration in life: My dad, because he was a very ordinary guy, but a damn good dad.  He really loved his family and was a perfect example of what a husband should be to his wife, and what a dad should be to his child.

Hobbies: Riding my motorcycle, mountain biking and skiing.

Pet peeves: I hate whiners, materialistic people and generally people who are full of crap.

Three words to describe you: Energetic, optimistic and focused.

If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why? I would bring my “Terrible Towel,” because I’m an avid Steelers fan and I’m always looking for converts.  That’s it!

Reason for being on Survivor: First, the game kicked my butt and I want payback.  Second, I want to show people that failure doesn’t always mean the end.

Why you think you’ll survive Survivor: I bring strength for the physically demanding challenges.  I’m cunning — I know how to get my way without being overly confrontational.  And I have a sense of humor.  I love making people laugh.

Why you think you will be the sole Survivor: Because I’ve already tried the failure route.  I’m going to take a different path and win this time!

Survivor: Philippines, which marks the show’s 25th season, has a 90-minute premiere on Wednesday, September 19 at 8 p.m.

Do you like seeing these three players back on the show?  Who of the three are you most excited about?  Sound off and leave a comment below!

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Photo Credit: CBS

Topics: CBS Reality TV Shows, Survivor, Survivor Videos |

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