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Survivor rules: the contract that details pay, tie-breakers, prohibited behavior, and more

Like any game, Survivor has rules, but as viewers, we’ve never seen those rules. Until now.

The nine-page document below is part of the legal contracts and agreements Survivor contestants sign before they are interviewed in Los Angeles. Contestants told me it is the only rule book they receive. (These rules may change from season to season, of course, never mind the clauses that say producers can change the rules whenever they want.)

The rules includes ones we’ve never heard of, and ones that have clearly been broken. For example, quid pro quo is not permitted, nor may “one Contestant receive a benefit of some form of consideration” from another, but there was Yau-Man promising a truck in exchange for immunity. There are also very clear rules against two things we saw Russell Hantz do during the last two seasons: communicating with members of the other tribe and taking and/or damaging personal property.

The document’s longest passage has to do with procedures to break ties, including the infamous purple rock, though its color is not specified. There are many permutations beyond that, however, that have apparently never been necessary. It also includes clauses that haven’t been invoked before, but that could be, including allowing a medically evacuated contestant to return to the game.

Some of the other details about the game in the rules part of the contract, which is identified as Exhibit A of the “Applicant Agreement”:

There’s a lot more here, too. I have modified the document to conceal personal and identifying information, including some references to the particular season, using black boxes. I’ve also eliminated stray marks, and highlighted interesting and newsworthy passages with arrows, but it is otherwise unmodified. (I suggest clicking on Full Screen in the reader below to read it). And check out the full cast member contract, too.

Survivor rules: the rule book