It's a battle of the ages as Survivor heads into its 21st season on the shores of Nicaragua. The reality hit is pitting 10 castaways age 30 and younger versus 10 players 40 and older. Rumors have been swirling for weeks about Jimmy Johnson, two-time Super Bowl winning coach of the Dallas Cowboys and current Fox NFL Sunday commentator, and we can now confirm the football legend dons a blue buff for the older Espada tribe.
Fall TV: Get more scoop on your favorite returning shows
"As a kid, I always dreamed of doing something like this, and football got in the way for many years," Johnson told TV Guide Magazine as filming began in early June. "I'm not a fan of Survivor, I'm obsessed with it."
The 67-year-old Johnson is the oldest castaway this season, but he says despite his age, he's in top physical shape. "I nearly had an opportunity to go to Gabon [in 2008], and then the heart doctor for Survivor found blockage," Johnson says. "He sent me to the cardiologist, I lost 25 pounds, cholesterol went from 220 to under 100, so you might say Survivor saved my life." (For more with Johnson, pick up this week's issue of TV Guide Magazine, on stands Thursday!)
Check out photos from Survivor: Nicaragua
Another notable contestant this season is La Flor tribe member Kelly Bruno, a 25-year-old medical student from Durham, N.C., who lost her leg to a birth defect when she was six months old. "My leg is going to be more of a factor in my strategy," says Bruno, who is the second amputee to play the game after Survivor: Vanuatu's Chad Crittenden in 2004. "I plan to hide it until we get to our first challenge. At that point I'll switch to a multi-purpose leg designed specifically for Survivor."
The age divide is not the only twist viewers can expect this season. Before the tribes even reach their camps, host Jeff Probst introduces the Medallion of Power, which if played at an immunity competition gives one tribe a distinct advantage that varies depending on the challenge.
"The Medallion of Power gives you a dilemma and a choice in every challenge," says Probst, who hopes the decision of whether or not to use the medallion will cause discourse in the tribe. "Somebody will be right and somebody will be wrong, but once you decide to play it, then the other tribe gets it and can play it in the next challenge."
You'll have to wait until Wednesday, Sept. 15 (8/7c, CBS) to see just how this power will affect the game. For now, here is the complete list of all 20 contestants for Survivor: Nicaragua.
Espada (40 and older tribe)
Jill Behm, 43
ER doctor from Erie, Penn.
Jane Bright, 56
Dog trainer from Jackson Spring, N.C.
Tyrone Davis, 42
Fire captain from Inglewood, Calif.
Wendy DeSmidt-Kohlhoff, 48
Retired Army officer from Fromberg, Mont.
Holly Hoffman, 44
Swim coach from Eureka, S.D.
Jimmy Johnson, 67
TV sports broadcaster from Islamorada, Fla.
Dan Lembo, 63
Real estate executive from Watermill, N.Y.
Marty Piombo, 48
Technology executive from Mill Valley, Calif.
Yve Rojas, 41
Homemaker from Kansas City, Kan.
Jimmy Tarantino, 48
Fisherman and government seafood inspector from Gloucester, Mass. and winner of the first CBS/Sears Survivor online casting call
La Flor (30 and younger tribe)
Judson "Jud" Birza, 21
Student from Venice, Calif.
Kelly Bruno, 26
Medical student from Durham, N.C.
Shannon Elkins, 30
Pest control company owner from Lafayette, La.
Ben "Benry" Henry, 24
Club promoter from Los Angeles, Calif.
Matthew "Sash" Lenahan, 30
Luxury broker from New York, N.Y.
Brenda Lowe, 27
Paddleboard company owner from Miami, Fla.
NaOnka Mixon, 27
Physical education teacher from Los Angeles, Calif.
Chase Rice, 24
NASCAR jackman from Charlotte, N.C.
Kelly Shinn, 20
Nursing student from Mesa, Ariz.
Alina Wilson, 23
Art student from Downey, Calif.
Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!