Survivor is currently filming its 35th season in Fiji, the same location as seasons 33 (Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X) and 34 (Survivor Game Changers), specifically the chain of islands called the Mamanuca Islands.
Fiji will host both Survivor 35 and Survivor 36, as the show films seasons back to back in the same place. The Survivor 35 cast flew out March 27, and the game is about halfway over now, according to True Dork Times’ speculative calendar.
The location was confirmed last week in Jeff Probst’s interview with Katie Couric about the events of last week’s Tribal Council. Jeff, who was wearing his typical Survivor location costume of a blue shirt and Survivor baseball hat, was in a tropical location and talking from a porch.
At one point, after saying, “I’ve never been more proud to be a part of Survivor than I am with this moment,” Probst said, “You said so much in there I wanted to comment on, and I’m in Fiji forgetting half of what I wanted to say, because I really am swept up in Zeke.”
A few days later, Probst also tweeted this “S35 sneak peek” image:
What's better on Easter, than a Survivor easter egg!! It's not much but just sharing from the jungle. pic.twitter.com/dLCh1RlbN2
— Jeff Probst (@JeffProbst) April 17, 2017
That the show would return to Fiji has been apparent for some time, though not confirmed until now. Inside Survivor reported this last December:
“it appears that production will be returning to Fiji next year to shoot seasons 35 and 36 of the long-running reality-game-show. According to various travel and tourism websites, the Mana Island Resort (which housed the production staff during filming earlier this year), is once again closed to the public between March-July 2017.”
Why is Survivor back in Fiji again?
So why return to the same country, and perhaps even the same islands? It is a spectacular location, of course, with space for spectacular water challenges on land and in the water.
Production of season 33 was interrupted by a tropical cyclone, and that actually affected two other shows, too. Yes, three reality competitions were filming in Fiji last year at this time: Survivor, MTV’s Stranded with a Million Dollars, and Fox’s Kicking and Screaming.
Why? I just interviewed Stranded’s executive producer, Kevin Lee, for an interview that I’ll publish early next week, and he told me that some of his show’s crew members went over to Survivor after their show finished filming. He said that his crew “always joked that if we saw them at the airport or something, we would fight them,” but the “we never bumped into them.”
He also explained why Fiji is such an attractive location, besides its physical beauty: “Fiji has very aggressive tax rebates, or film incentive rebates, so for reality shows Fiji is a great.”
That means productions cost less, so if a show can save money; keep its crew happy and comfortable; and film in a spectacular location, it really is—as Probst called Fiji—”the ideal Survivor location.”