Survivor producers “decided to make an exception for” 20-year-old Frosti

Producers for Survivor waived their own rules to allow a 20-year-old to compete on the new season of the show. Michael “Frosti” Zernow’s bio on says he was born February 15, 1987, making him solidly 20; he won’t be 21 until next February, about two months after his season concludes. And the application insists that “contestants must be 21 years or older at the time of application.”

For an column, I asked CBS why he’s on the show. “The producers decided to make an exception for him. They have the right to waive eligibility requirements at their discretion,” a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson didn’t respond to a follow-up about Big Brother 8‘s Daniele Donato, who’s also underage at 20, but presumably the same is true for her (and previous under-21 cast members).

Speaking of casting, Canadians might not be able to apply for the show, but besides working as Dream Teamers, they get a special treat this season: fortune cookies. Yes, Global Television “is using the iconic fortune cookie to support the series’ September 20th premiere,” the network announced in a press release. For the promotion, “one million custom-baked fortune cookies – prepared in a secret location, and containing special SURVIVOR: CHINA-branded messaging – will be distributed with each meal at participating Manchu WOK Restaurants nationwide.” Inside are “three ‘golden tickets’, bearing the grand prize of a trip for two to China.”

So stop complaining, Canadians. You get fortune cookies and three-in-one million chance to win a trip, and people in the states only get the chance to actually be on the series.

Did ‘Survivor’ break its own age-limit rule? [MSNBC]
A ‘Media Innovation 2007’ Exclusive – Global Television Supports Premiere Of ‘Survivor: China’ With Canadian Advertising First [Global Television press release]