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CBS reveals huge Survivor Second Chance vote total, fans freak out

This afternoon, CBS revealed that more than 10 million votes have been cast for Survivor Second Chance. The reaction has been panic among fans and even some of the potential cast members.

Voting ends Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET, and CBS just announced this in a press release:

“Since voting opened on May 6, more than 10 million votes have been cast to determine the ‘Second Chance’ castaways.”

The rules require voters to cast ballots that consist of 20 people, and each account can vote a single 20-person ballot every day. Yet that number of votes actually does not refer to the number of individual player votes.

Instead, it’s even more impressive: A CBS representative told me it’s “10 million votes for 20 players each.” So, more than 10 million ballots have been cast for 20 returning players.

Even knowing how popular the show is, I’m amazed by that. And I was also amazed by the reaction to this news, which I didn’t expect it at all.

That large number–which many assumed to be 500,000 ballots, even though it’s actually 10 million–is indicating to some people that “casual” fans are in control. They’re the people who watch but don’t engage in the same way we do–and by “we,” I mean those of us who are obsessed with the show.

See, for example, this tweet from Kass McQuillen:

Who are “the casuals”? For a sense of it, see the parody Twitter account @thatdamncasual, whose bio says “I love Survivor! My favorite players are Boston Rob, Russell, Rupert, Ozzy, and Sugar!” It’s mocking and judging the people who probably compose a large majority of the audience, those who have other things to do all day than browse message boards and send friend requests to cast members.

Oh, I kid the non-casuals. But seriously, as annoying is it is that some fans, say, want Rupert back for a fifth season, they are also fans of the show. They might not engage with the strategy or the editing in the same way we do, or annoyingly parse Jeff Probst’s every word, but they help keep it on the air. And giving viewers the chance to vote for an entire cast means all viewers get that opportunity.

When the results are revealed live on Wednesday, I’m sure there will be tears of joy for some of the new cast and tears of sadness for others who are chosen. And I’m also sure Survivor fans–casuals, strategists, former cast members, the RHAP community, cast member BFFs, trolls, everyone–won’t agree about which choices make us happy and which make us sad.

That’s Survivor.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.