CBS has the cast list up on the show's official website. The concept is ten new players (allegedly all uber-fans) and ten players from the seasons since the last All-Stars. This is probably a better idea than the last All-Star season that was strictly former players and degenerated into an uncomfortable mess.
Looks like a relatively strong group, though I'm kind of mad they didn't bother getting even one person from Palau (season ten) and Guatemala (season eleven). They couldn't have found one decent woman from those two seasons to replace useless Parvati? What about Cindy the hot if somewhat crazy zookeeper from Guatemala? Michelle, who got horribly screwed over by a twist two seasons ago?
Fun and crazy alterna-cast! Going by the apparent no-winners rule that was in place, what about Michelle, Cindy, gay Rafe from Guatemala, nicotine addict Shane, Gary Hogeboom, Twila from Vanuatu, Ian from Palau, Candice from Fiji, Peih-Gee from last season and that Dreamz guy?
How you uh, how you comin' on that novel you're working on? Huh? Gotta a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Gotta, gotta nice litte story you're working on there? Your big novel you've been working on for 3 years? Huh? Gotta, gotta compelling protaganist? Yeah? Gotta obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Gotta story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh? Yea, talking about that 3 years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah?
Apparently, the producers did ask Candice to come back, but she's in the middle of med school, so she said no.
I can see Cindy not wanting to do it again because she got fired from her zoo job the first time she went on Survivor (not like Denise, who only pretended to have been fired).
The producers supposedly asked Terry to do it, but he wanted a guaranteed amount of money up front, so TPTB basically told him what he could do with himself.
I doubt they'd want Ian back because he kind of quit. And other than winner Tom, the only other memorable people from Palau were Stephenie and Bobby Jon, and they both already got their second shots.
I would have loved to have seen Rafe come back, or even Hogeboom, but then you get into the problem of which guy to leave off. They got a pretty good group of memorable male contestants back (say what you will about Jon Dalton, but you do remember him). I would have been OK replacing Parvati with Michelle, though.
So, way back when, I said and that seems explicitly the strategy they used in picking him. And how Paul picked him too, really. I had it figured out at the final four, because Mark, Nicole and Paul had eliminated themselves by that point.