- The 41st season of CBS’ hit reality-competition series “Survivor” airs on September 22.
- All of the competitors are paid for their time on the show, even if they don’t win.
- Players have to wear the same pair of underwear for up to 39 days, with a few exceptions.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
According to Today, after host and producer Jeff Probst tells the tribes about the daily challenge, he and challenge creator John Kirhoffer walk through the obstacles with each tribe, giving them the opportunity to strategize beforehand.
Former competitor Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth said in a TikTok that players take the same plane together to the filming location but aren’t allowed to speak to each other. Despite this rule, he said a lot of “much nonverbal communication happens.”
“The game starts when you arrive at the airport,” Lusth said. “As weird as that sounds, you pick up a lot of social cues from how people move through crowded spaces together.”
The competitors then proceed to spend a week together on the island while preparing for the game and doing press but still aren’t allowed to talk to their fellow castaways.
“Apparently everyone on my season got laser hair removal, but I did not,” Beck said. “I had a mini jungle in my armpits. As well as other places.”
The two ended up going head-to-head for the $US1 ($AU1) million prize, with Amber winning it all. They later married and have since had four children.
They are also the only “Survivor” couple to have each won individual titles as “Sole Survivor.”
“I wish the audience could see the scenes off-camera,” she said. “I was almost bit in the face by a shark.”
Beck said she was also on the beach that day and remembers fellow player Aaron Meredith running away while screaming about a shark, leaving Stott “to get eaten alive.”
“At night when you wake up, you’re not allowed to go to the bathroom in the ocean at night because they don’t want you to die,” she said. “… If you try, they literally will be like, ‘You cannot go.'”
“If you needed any of that stuff, you could just go to the med box,” Stott said. “They only allow one person at a time to go so you’re not congregating back there.”
Beck added that the cameras stop rolling when competitors go to the med box “because they want to keep the illusion that it’s a reality show.”
Meanwhile, the oldest competitor to ever appear on the show was former Navy SEAL Rudy Boesch, who appeared on the first and eighth seasons at ages 72 and 75, respectively.
On the flip side, the oldest person was Bob Crowley, who was 57 years old when he brought home the cash prize after “Survivor: Gabon.”
However, the cameras are just about always rolling, so it’s difficult not to have any interactions.
“I was on the island for 38 days,” Beck said. “So you pick up on energies, and they laugh at the things that you said.”
“Survivor: Island of the Idols” player Karishma Patel specifically told Insider that players have to film the walk to tribal council several times to get the right camera shots.
“They do that shot about three times,” she said. “We have to rewind and do it again from different angles.”
“Jeff asks the same question to multiple people and then they pick which answer they like or which answer works and they go with that one,” Patel told Insider. “So for us, there is a lot of repetition at tribal.”
She added that “there’s so much good stuff” from council viewers don’t get to see.
In 2015, Probst told Entertainment Weekly that he doesn’t “see a spot on the jury for quitters.”
“My feelings have evolved over the years and I now think that you have to earn the right to vote and the people who make it to the end deserve a jury of people who are of like minds when it comes to finishing what you started,” he said.
Patel told Insider she contracted a UTI while on the island that she described as “a constant, 24-hour pain” that she “couldn’t shake no matter what.” Although she got antibiotics from the crew, the infection had gotten more serious.
“I came home and I was in the hospital,” Patel said. “It was really, really, really bad to get it taken care of because I still had traces of that infection in me and it [had spread] to my bladder.”
Boehlke also told Insider that she got a painful UTI while playing that later left her “in the hospital for a week with a very severe kidney infection.”
Vlachos won “Survivor: Winners at War,” the show’s 40th season featuring an entire cast of past champs.
According to Today, the second-place player gets $US100,000 ($AU138,258) and the person who comes in third receives $US85,000 ($AU117,519).
“The CBS producers did borrow it for a season called ‘Ghost Island’ where it was brought back into the game, but they returned it to me after the season was over,” Boehlke said.
However, she added that she lost it on her way home from a “Survivor” viewing party.
Stott told Insider that they “don’t want everyone to have the same kind of outfit,” but she was surprised when the wardrobe department picked out “shorter panties than I would ever wear.”
Even though she originally fought back on the decision, she ended up making a deal with the crew, saying, “Listen, I’ll do whatever you want me to do, I don’t care. Just, I have to take my hat.”
“They can’t put that on TV, but they’ll exchange it,” Patel told Insider. “I won’t mention who, but there were several people in our cast who got replacement clothes swapped out.”
Three-time player Malcolm Freberg also told Insider in 2021 that he was lost his flip-flip during “Survivor: Philippines” and was given a replacement.
“My a– was hanging out, and I see the family-visit challenge coming up, and I was like, ‘I have got to get new britches, you know?'” Stott said.
Janet Carbin, who competed on the same season as Stott, told Insider in 2021 that she also got replacement underwear since the pair she was wearing had too many holes “for TV.”
“Whatever you’re wearing is all we had. It was miserable,” Patel said. “We were talking about it amongst each other, and we think that there was a push towards making us look more like we were shipwrecked.”
According to Meghan Cook’s reporting for Insider, the last time players were shown in swimsuits was on the show’s 36th season, “Survivor: Ghost Island.”
Also, both season-18 champ J.T. Thomas and season-26 winner John Cochran have played “perfect games,” meaning they unanimously won the final tribal councils and didn’t have anyone vote against them throughout the entire competition.
So “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” player Davie Rickenbacker said he stayed in “game mode” at Ponderosa to help his last ally in the game, Nick Wilson.
“I was still playing the game for him,” Rickenbacker told Insider in 2021. “I was going up to Goliaths you know, trying to balance for him so that they would get his vote at the end.”
He even opted to room with a Goliath tribe member to sway his vote, and in the end, Wilson won the season.
However, Rickenbacker, who competed on a more recent season, said he was given better mental-health resources.
“They do have a psychiatrist for us to talk to within that first year whenever we want to talk to them,” Rickenbacker told Insider. “And the therapist that they had for us, she’s just amazing.”