Survivor back to Samoa: crew hotel now booked for four months

Update: The new season is called Survivor South Pacific, and details were revealed during the Redemption Island finale, including that two old players will return.

Survivor will likely return to Samoa this summer to film its 23rd and 24th seasons, as the hotel that housed the entire crew and the show’s base camp last time the production was there is once again booked for the entire summer.

It’s unclear what the show will call the season. The name could attempt to conceal the re-use of the country–perhaps Survivor Upolu after the name of the island–or acknowledge the show’s return there post-tsunami with a name such as Survivor: Back to Samoa.

The hotel, Aggie Grey’s, now has no availability from May 16 to Sept. 16. The specificity of the time that the hotel is unavailable, which is nearly identical to the time frame the production was there in 2009, is pretty solid evidence that Survivor is going back, never mind the unusualness of a single hotel being completely booked for the entire summer. I was skeptical about Survivor Skills’ initial report about a return to Samoa mostly because the hotel still had availability even after Jeff Probst said the location had been locked down.

Samoa has been selected instead of Fiji, which had been a possible location after negotiations with Tonga fell through. The show’s return will be two years after it filmed seasons 19 and 20 in the same place. The effects of the tsunami or other factors (like the planned but apparently never completed development of the tribe beaches) may affect specific locations. But since the Tribal Council and one frequently used challenge location were very close to the hotel (Survivor Maps’ diagram is accurate except Tribal Council and another challenge location were much closer to the western part of the island), it’s likely that that will remain and thus the visuals won’t be very different from what we saw on Samoa and Heroes vs. Villains.

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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.