Survivor Cook Islands now taping; all hotels are booked due to the production

Production on Survivor Cook Islands has been ongoing for a few months now, but filming officially began last Monday, July 3. Given a typical 39 day production schedule, the last day will be August 11.

The show is using four islands in the Aitutaki lagoon, according to The Cook Islands, an “independent, non-commercial guide” to the region. The site reports that a locally “famous ‘coconut king'” named Piri Purotu has “been teaching the contestants survival techniques including how to start a fire without matches or lighter.”

In addition, the site says that host Jeff Probst and executive producer Mark Burnett, and presumably other crew members, are staying at the Pacific Resort Aitutaki, which has room rates that start at $495 a night. In addition, “almost all accommodation is booked out until the end of August” because “the production company is expected to have more than 200 people on the island.”

And that’s not the only disruption. An airline is changing its routes, and the lagoon cruise “will take a different route to avoid the motus (small islands) which are being used as a location.” As a result, some “fear that the programme will damage the fragile tourist trade,” according to the site.

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.