Wednesday, January 18, 2012

'Survivor: One World': New cast and new twists revealed!

A little person, a gay Republican, and not one but two men obsessed with Tarzan are among the 18 new contestants vying for a million dollars when Survivor: One Worldpremieres Feb. 15 on CBS. It is a season filled not only with entirely new contestants, but several format changes as well.

Here’s some spoilers:
  • Both tribes will live in the same camp
  • The battles of the sexes format returns
  • Redemption Island may/may not return this season
  • “Do-it-yourself” challenges
  • 2 immunity idols featured for each tribe
  • Idols can’t be used to save yourself if you find it, they are used on someone from the other tribe
  • Contestants include: Survivor’s first little person, a gay Republican, a plastic surgeon who wants to be known as “Tarzan”
The biggest change will be that both tribes will live together at the same camp. The show experimented with this format briefly during a fake merge on Survivor: Thailand (and also had 20 contestants live together at the start of Survivor: Palau before splitting them into two tribes) but this will be the first time two separate tribes have cohabitated for an extended period of time. The season will also mark a return to the battle of the sexes format of Survivor: The Amazon and Survivor: Vanuatu with one tribe (Manono) being all men and the other tribe (Salani) being all women. “We wondered what would happen if we forced them to live together with no rules,” says host Jeff Probst. “You can build one camp, two camps, not have any camps. Men can sleep over with the women, women can sleep over with the men, or you can never talk at all. You can do whatever you want. But when it comes to the challenges, it is men versus women. And that gave us tons of new stuff to play with.”

But that is not the only change to the format. After two seasons, Redemption Island is out, which means that more reward challenges are back in. But the absence of Redemption Island does not mean the twist is completely dead and buried for future installments. “We never want to get locked into anything,” says Probst. “We did the same thing with Exile Island. We left it and then we came back to it and we changed it when we came back. I don’t think Redemption Island is done, necessarily.”

Among the other new wrinkles is the introduction of something Probst calls “Do It Yourself Challenges,” a few of which will be sprinkled throughout the season. (A similar experiment took place on Survivor: Samoa when confused contestants arrived at a challenge only to find some crates and no Probst.) This time, these Probst-less competitions will take place back at camp. Tribes will receive materials and instructions informing them of the rules so that they can then conduct their own challenge. “So they figure out how they’re going to run it, who’s going to participate, and then they run it,” Probst explains. “There’s no judge there. There’s no person to moderate it. You guys figure it out. We were hoping somebody might step up and decide to become the annoying host and say things like, ‘Pick up the pace! You dropped a coconut!’ And sure enough, that’s what happens.” But the impact felt from these Do It Yourself Challenges will not stop there. “You have the question of, what do you do with all the materials from the challenge?” says Probst. “In one case, we do a challenge with a gigantic rope and when you’re done, you have this massive rope and now you can utilize it in your camp somehow.”

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