Survivor Fiji debuts tonight; only one cast member applied while the rest were recruited

Less than two months after the conclusion of Survivor Cook Islands, CBS debuts a new season of the show tonight with Survivor Fiji at 8 p.m. ET. The first five minutes, however, are currently viewable online.

This season features new twists and a diverse cast from California, although not one split by race. Instead, the tribes will be split just like the teams are on The Apprentice, with one living in “luxury” and the other living without any amenities whatsoever.

Speaking of the cast, Jeff Probst revealed while talking to reporters about the show that only one of them (Gary Stritesky) actually filled out an application and applied. That’s a significant increase from the 85 percent who were recruited last season.

The cast was recruited, because “Probst says after recruiting players for the racially-divided concept used last time around, the producers had hoped to find a more diverse pool of people applying,” Inside Bay Area reports. “So, in the interest of casting a more diverse show, the producers recruited” the rest of the cast. That explains why so many once again come from California.

Survivor Fiji [CBS]
New ‘Survivor: Fiji’ divides haves and have-nots “Survivor: Fiji” [Inside Bay Area]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

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.