updated 08/27/2014 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 08/27/2014 AT 12:00 PM ET
What happens when you put a controversial baseball player, a Broadway star and a pair of outspoken twins on an island? You get the cast of Survivor: San Juan Del Sur.
The reality show returns for its 29th (!) season next month. After the success of 2013’s Blood Vs. Water, the show decided to return to the format, pitting contestants against loved ones to vie for the million-dollar prize. This season, the castaways will compete in San Juan Del Sur, a region on the southwest coast of Nicaragua.
For the first time in the show’s history, there will be an uneven number of men vs. women. (An all-female team dropped out at the last minute due to health concerns.) This cast is also one of the youngest in recent memory: half of them are under 28 years old. Only three contestants are over the age of 40.
Survivor has always succeeded or failed on its casting. Strong contestants like those on spring’s Survivor: Cagayan can turn an ordinary season into a stellar one. Does this season’s cast have what it takes?
Perhaps the biggest name to compete on this season is John Rocker, 39, a former Atlanta Braves pitcher who was widely criticized for his remarks about minorities in a 1999 Sports Illustrated interview. Now older (and hopefully wiser), he’ll compete with his girlfriend, Julie McGee, a model who owns a spray tan business.
Other contestants include Nadiya and Natalie Anderson, 28-year-old twin sisters who bickered their way through two seasons of The Amazing Race. When they’re not appearing on every CBS reality show, they work as Crossfit coaches.