Resort on Survivor beaches opens mid-2011; fewer people watched Russell’s second loss

As construction continues on a resort that will use the beaches made famous over the past year on CBS, the Survivor Samoa Surf and Beach Resort in Samoa, Survivor Heroes vs. Villains concluded with a finale that had slightly fewer viewers than last fall’s Survivor Samoa finale, but improved compared to last spring’s Survivor Tocantins conclusion.

14.07 million watched Russell Hantz lose the first time, and he should find some consolation in the fact that his second loss was watched by 13.46 million people. That’s a loss of over a half million viewers, but still an increase of 4 percent in viewers compared to last spring’s lowest-rated ever finale, according to CBS.

Meanwhile, a 240-acre, two-cove property called Fagaiofu Bay that includes two coves is still being developed as a resort in Samoa, and that’s notable because it’s actually the two tribe beaches from seasons 19 and 20 of Survivor. The space is near the village of Falelatai on the southwestern coast of Upolu, Samoa’s main island.

When the property was initially for sale, the asking price was US $6.5 million, and photos on one posting show now-familiar spaces. Another ad shows how close it is to Aggie Grey’s, the resort near the airport that the crew used as base camp for both seasons.

The land was purchased by the Otto Haleck Sr. family, which is turning it into a resort, though development “was halted due to the need of Survivor to film on our site. Because of our agreement to provide our property to Survivor, they elected to stay and film in Samoa. We are pleased that we could assist and play a part in promoting Samoa to the world,” Avamua Dave Haleck told Samoa News in December, when they were “surveying the property, cutting away unwanted brush and trimming trees. We are cleaning the beach property and architects/engineers have been on site to start preliminary layout of the site. Our intention is to develop two resorts on the property.”

The first will be the Survivor Samoa Surf and Beach Resort, while the second will be called the Lupesina Luxury Resort. Avuma said “projected completion of the first phase of Survivor Samoa Surf & Beach Resort will be mid 2011. First phase will include reception area, two dining rooms, pool/spa and 25 to 30 beach fales.”

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Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

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Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.