Survivor has invested fans and curious viewers, and as we’ve watched over the past two decades, we’ve had many questions about the show.
I collected Survivor behind-the-scenes stories, and now I’ve dipped into the archives to gather together stories that answer questions that both fans and viewers—including me!—have asked about Survivor.
If you have other questions, please send them to me. Here are some of the best Survivor questions I’ve answered and explored previously.
Survivor has eliminated many of its elements over its 40 seasons, and added new ones.
Three favorites that often come up are the auction challenge, where contestants bid on food and advantages; the theme song at the beginning of episodes; and the Rites of Passage, where the final two or three players walk past the torches of everyone they've voted out.
Will any of those come back? Why or why not?
Edge of Extinction was introduced in season 38, and returned for season 40.
So what happens when a player is sent to the Edge of Extinction with a hidden immunity idol—or other advantage—in their pocket?
One of the most memorable and iconic moments in Survivor history is when Erik Reichenbach gave up his immunity necklace and then was voted out.
While we know what happened at Tribal Council, there are so many details that we didn't know.
Here's an exhaustive oral history of this moment, thanks to seven players and two producers who told the full story.
A Survivor superfan went back to the original location of Survivor Borneo—and you can visit it, too.
There, he was given a tour of Tribal Council's location, the tribes' beaches, and even the small island where the opening title sequence filmed a silhouetted person meant to represent the sole Survivor.
What did he find? What was that like?
While the theme song isn't included at the start of episodes any more, it's still iconic. (You can buy the soundtrack for $9.)
Who is the person and/or people doing that iconic yell at the start of the episode? Who are the people chanting? The composer of Survivor's theme song reveals that and a lot more.
Here are the health supplies Survivor tribes get at their camps, including contact lens solution, and what former contestants have said about that.
Do the cast members have access to fresh water in the well, or do they have to boil it?
And do the players have any access to bathroom facilities or any kind of sanitary products? If not, how do they expunge
We got the answer to that—and many more details about hidden immunity idols—during Survivor Kaoh Rong, when Tai Trang found an idol and the show let us read the rules that he received with it.
One advantage that's been introduced into the game is a hidden immunity idol nullifier. But can that be neutralized? Jeff Probst explained.
The contestants are given a detailed rulebook that viewers never see. But now you can read it yourself: nine pages in total.
A few years ago, Jeff Probst offered advice for anyone who wants to be cast on the show.
Probst is now running casting, since he fired the show's long-time casting director, so his advice is particularly relevant.
So what does he say? It starts with not going to open casting calls.
The Survivor: Winners at War finale and reunion won't happen as normal, but when finales have live audiences again, how can you get tickets? There are three ways.
Being a member of the Dream Team is a dream job. Dream Teamers test challenges, work int he art department, and act as stand-ins for the contestants, including in aerial shots.
The first moments of many seasons of Survivor have seen the show's host perched atop mountains and hanging off of helicopters, prompting me to write, "Jeff Probst is a fucking bad ass host who’s completely in his own league."
So how are those sequences filmed? Years ago, he gave details about a few of those shoots.
Jeff Probst obviously didn't quit. But in 2009, Jeff Probst said he was done with the show and took a break.
Some fans, including me, would love for Survivor to go back to a time before hidden immunity idols and advantages took over the game. But that's unlikely to happen any time soon.
Prior to season 38, just 17 percent of hidden immunity idols were found by women. That improved slightly during 2019, but why is there such a disparity? Do men have an advantage?
After removing a player from the game for unwanted touching of contestants and crew members, CBS and Survivor released details about how the production and its rules will change.
Here's data on 40 seasons of Survivor players and their ages: which seasons had the oldest and youngest casts, who the youngest and oldest players were each season.
Also, the average age of the final two or three, how many people over the age of 40 made it to the merge, and more.
One player who's been on multiple seasons, Stephen Fishbach, wrote about what Survivor did for him.
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