Survivor’s Dream Team of 20-somethings tests challenges, gets rewarded with beer

CBS is gradually releasing a series of videos shot and narrated by Survivor host Jeff Probst, who takes us behind the scenes of the production in China. Yesterday, he toured the base camp; CBS says that future installments will follow Jeff as he travels to a challenge, watches as a “challenge is created from inception to execution,” shows us the control room at Tribal Council, and lets us in one of his typical days.

If the first two are a good guide, the following films will also be super-informative and the kind of behind-the-scenes stuff Survivor fans absolutely love. These videos are a brilliant way to promote the season organically, while giving something of value to the show’s viewers, like a look at where the cameras are on the Tribal Council set.

Today’s video, which is below, follows the Dream Team, the group of 16 to 20 people “in their early 20s” who test challenges. “Without them, we couldn’t do the show,” Jeff Probst says. “Whenever we reharse the challenge we treat the Dream Teamers just like we would Survivors … to try to anticipate what the Survivors might do.” But they do more than that; they also paint and help build challenges, and “at Tribal Council, they will sit in as though they were the Survivors, so we can light,” Jeff says.

Alex describes her job as being a “crash test dummy,” while Dream Teamer Will says, “the only difference between the Survivors and us is that we get to eat and they don’t.” One Dream Teamer named Lance is a Canadian who couldn’t apply for the actual show, so he did the next best thing: apply to be a Dream Teamer. Now he competes in challenges, although for beer, not $1 million. “Beer is a big motivator for the Dream Team,” Jeff says.

Survivor China – What Is A Dreamteamer? [YouTube]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.