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Thread: 10 Behind The Scenes Facts About Survivor You Never Knew

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    10 Behind The Scenes Facts About Survivor You Never Knew


    Come May 31, 2020, Survivor will have been on the air for twenty years. In that time they have produced forty seasons, thirty-nine individual winners (one winner has won twice), and endless amounts of content. It's undeniably one of the best reality TV shows of all time, and the fact that it still attains eight million viewers a week is a testament to its endearing legacy.

    As is often the case with such iconic shows as this, the story behind its development is just as interesting as the show itself.

    10 It Comes From An Old Swedish Show


    America would love to take credit for Survivor, as the American version is by far the most popular and world-renowned. Unfortunately, that is not quite the case. The idea came from a British TV producer named Charlie Parsons, and after his idea was rejected by the BBC, he took it to Swedish producers and broadcasters. They loved the idea, and Expedition Robinson debuted in September of 1997. An international American version followed nearly three years later, and it was re-named Survivor.

    9 Editing Takes Between 4-7 Months


    Editing 39 days of footage is quite the process, and it typically takes anywhere between five to seven months. Let's take a look at some recent seasons. David vs. Goliath wrapped on May 6, 2018 and aired on September 26 - just over four months later. Edge of Extinction wrapped on July 7, 2018 and aired on February 20, 2019 - over six months later. The latest season, Winners at War, completed filming on June 29, 2019 and began airing on February 12, 2020 - just under eight months later! As you can see, the editing times vary!

    8 It Has Mostly Been Filmed In Oceania


    While Survivor loves to tout its world-trotting nature, most of the seasons are actually filmed in Oceania. Two seasons have been filmed in Africa, nine in Asia, eight in Central America, and two in South America. That's 21 seasons out of 40. The rest have been filmed in Oceania. The Oceanic settings include Australia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Palau, Samoa, Vanuatu, and Fiji. Unfortunately for those who like variety, Survivor has remained in Fiji since 33, and it doesn't look to be leaving any time soon!

    7 Seasons 41 And 42 Were Delayed Due To The Coronavirus


    Survivor never lets up. Even when one season is airing, another is being filmed and produced. Winners at War is currently airing on TV, and season 41 was scheduled to begin filming on March 24, 2020. But the consistency of seasons was ruined due to COVID-19.

    The pandemic ended up putting a halt on season 41, and as a result, pushed season 42 back as well.

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    6 Everyone Receives Money


    It would suck to drop your friends, family, and job, fly out to some God forsaken island in Oceania, starve yourself for 35 days, and come in third or fourth. Luckily, everyone who participates on the show is paid on a sliding scale, depending on how well they do. The winner obviously gets $1 million, the runner-up typically receives $100,000, and third receives $85,000. We also know that Sonja Christopher, the very first person voted out of Survivor, received $2,500. We also know that each contestant receives $10,000 for the reunion show. So even if you're the first to be voted out, you should be guaranteed $12,500. Where do we sign up?

    5 It Has Generated Controversy


    Survivor is certainly not without controversies. In All-Stars, Richard Hatch rubbed himself against Susan Hawk, causing the latter to quit the game in protest. Cook Islands infamously split the tribes by their race, allegedly resulting in some dropped sponsorship deals. Some seasons, including Gabon and Caramoan, feature shots of uncensored nudity. And Fiji utilized many recruited players (like unemployed actors looking for fame and fortune) rather than taking from the viewer applications.

    4 The First Winner Was Busted By The IRS


    Seriously people, pay your taxes! The very first winner of Survivor was a man named Richard Hatch. Unfortunately, Hatch failed to pay taxes on his $1 million in earnings, was convicted on charges of tax evasion, and went to federal prison for four years! He was thrown back in prison for an additional nine months after failing to amend his 2000 and 2001 tax returns (the same year he won Survivor).

    In 2013, it was also discovered that Hatch had failed to pay property taxes on his Nova Scotia property for more than six years. We don't think this guy likes the concept of forking over his money...

    3 Phil Keoghan Was Nearly The Host


    You cannot separate Jeff Probst from Survivor. Like Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak, and Bob Barker, he is intrinsically linked to the show, and it seems like replacing him is just...wrong. Amazingly, we almost didn't get him at all. While the producers were casting Survivor, Probst was in the running for hosting duties alongside Phil Keoghan. The producers and CBS executives obviously went with Probst, but they were so enamored and impressed with Keoghan that they offered him another show - The Amazing Race.

    2 Production Was Affected By 9/11


    As was the case with many things, production of Survivor was impacted by 9/11. The show was scheduled to begin filming its fourth season in Jordan in November 2001. However, the September 11 attacks caused the producers to change locations at the last minute, and production was moved to their back-up location - the Marquesas Islands. Unfortunately, this location was an utter nightmare for the cast and production crew, as it was swarming with painful no-no flies.

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    1 Six Contestants Have Since Died


    Over forty seasons, Survivor has seen 590 contestants. And six of them have since passed away. The first was Jenn Lyon of Palau, who died of cancer in 2010 at 37. Following her was B.B. Andersen of Borneo, who also died of cancer in 2013 at 77. Caleb Bankston of Blood vs. Water died in a work accident in 2014. He was only 27 years old. Dan Kay of Gabon died of unknown causes in 2016. Ashley Massaro of China died from suicide in May 2019. And Rudy Boesch of Borneo and All-Stars passed away in November 2019 at 91.

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    Dear @chinski

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