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]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.