Survivor: Redemption Island – New Cast and New Twist Thoughts

I thought it was just a rumor, but based on the announcement that two former players will be returning to play in this upcoming season, I’d bet the farm that Boston Rob and Russell are once again appearing on Survivor.
This news annoys me for so many reasons. First and foremost, I don’t like Russell and don’t want to see the toothless, smelly troll grace my TV screen ever again. I don’t want to listen to the endless debate over why he is or isn’t (he isn’t) the greatest player ever, and nothing about his past game play or his post-game attitude makes me believe that in his third attempt he will finally figure out how to actually win the million bucks.
Second, I love Boston Rob, but do I really want to see him play again? This will be his fourth appearance on Survivor. Fourth! And he was just on! It’s too soon, even for a player that I really enjoy watching. I wouldn’t even want to see Parvati, my all-time favorite player, appear again this season. Let us have a few seasons of fresh blood before dragging the same people back out there!
OK, let’s talk about the new cast. I definitely have a better feeling about this crew than I did about last season’s, despite the plethora of young, hot chicks. Check out the awesome photo gallery and videos over at (unlike mean, mean CBS, EW’s videos are actually available here in Canada) for info on all the players. 
A few players stood out to me. Mike Chisel, who defied my stereotype of former military personnel who appear on Survivor by coming across as likable and charming. Matthew Elrod, who is practically an exact replica of last season’s victor Fabio, won’t be at the top of my list but I’m fascinated by his physical and strategic similarities to the previous Nicaragua surfer-dude. Grant Mattos is a former NFL linebacker who was encouraged to sign up by his friend Natalie Bolton of Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites. Could insider knowledge of the game help him out?
On the flip side, 46-year-old law student Kristina Kell gave me a distinct too-intense-for-her-own-good vibe, and I think her age could work against her with this younger crowd. David Murphy, a Los Angeles lawyer, seemed like he’ll have trouble finding room for his ego on the island and Natalie Tenerelli at only 19 years old made me question her smarts when she named Lady Gaga as her inspiration in life. I also won’t be picking Big Tom 2.0 Ralph Kiser as one of my selections for the office pool, or tough lady Julie Wolfe.
And how high up on my list should I place Russell or Boston Rob? Sure, they’ve both proven their abilities to make it to the finals – but can they do it with massive targets on their backs? Though if I had to put money on someone kicking ass at the Redemption Island “duels”, I’d put five bucks on Boston Rob. 
What do you make of the new cast? Better than last season? And are you pro or con the Russell vs. Rob twist? (Which, by the way, has not been officially announced. But I’ll eat my hat if they bring back anyone else.)