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Brad and Monica Culpepper to compete on 'Survivor'

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Published:   |   Updated: August 21, 2013 at 05:36 PM

A retired Tampa Bay Buccaneer and his wife will try to “outwit, outplay and outlast” other castaways — and each other — when the Emmy Award-winning reality series “Survivor” returns this fall.

Brad Culpepper, 44, a local lawyer, and his homemaker wife, Monica, 42, will be among the 20 castaways who will compete for a $1 million prize on “Survivor: Blood vs. Water,” the network announced Wednesday.

“It's a great opportunity,” Brad Culpepper said Wednesday. “It's something of an iconic show. I was an Eagle Scout and grew up in a stilt house on the Gulf of Mexico, so this is right up my alley. And to be able to go out and play with my wife is the best case scenario.

Brad Culpepper said he was originally asked to be a castaway on “Survivor: One World” and turned it down. Monica Culpepper went on to compete that year, the show's 24th season. She was the fifth person voted off the show.

Last spring, show executives contacted the couple with a new idea of having loved ones compete against each other.

The Culpeppers were among 500 loved ones flown out to Los Angeles for interviews and 10 teams were selected, he said.

The 27th season of “Survivor, Blood vs. Water” will include the return of Redemption Island. The twist this season is the former players will compete with — and ultimately against — their loved one to be crowned the sole survivor.

The teams will be forced to choose whether to “save” their” partner on Redemption Island and switch places with them, allowing their loved ones to re-enter the game, or leave them in exile to survive on their own, raising the question: which is thicker — blood or water?, according to a CBS news release.

This season's castaways include two mother/daughter duos, an engaged same sex couple, three married couples, two brothers, two couples who are dating and an uncle and niece team. One of the married couples is “Survivor” fan favorite Rupert Boneham and his wife Laura.

The Culpeppers, who have been married 21 years, met at the University of Florida where she was homecoming queen and he played football for the Gators. They have three children, ages 11, 13 and 16. Brad retired from pro football in 2000, after playing for the Bucs, Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears. He now runs the local law firm of Culpepper-Kurland.

The new season of “Survivor” will premiere with a special 90-minute episode at 8 p.m. Sept. 18 on CBS.

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