Survivor Contestants Cannot Share Winnings

May 14, 2010 at 12:01 am 4 comments

This Sunday is the season finale of Survivor. I’m more of a Lost fan (hence the photo below), but these secrets are interesting even if you don’t watch the show. For those who do watch the show, this will give you plenty of things to think about on Sunday night.

Survivor is a serious contest. In fact, contestants are not allowed to make a pact where one or more will intentionally lose and the winner agrees to share the prize money with them. It is in their contract that they will face a $5 million penalty from CBS if they are caught doing this. Why have this rule? It ruins the drama, it takes away the cut throat nature of “surviving.”

There are often 300 or more crew members hidden at a nearby “base” camp. Depending on when and where the show is being made, the crew accommodations and working quarters vary from tents, cabins and shipping containers to hotels. The base camp has proper showers, bathrooms, catered meals and even a bar. A small group of crew members work in shifts at the contestant’s camp to keep their cameras and microphones trained on the cast day and night.

You never see the camera crews because they take great care not to be seen. In fact, the cast is not even allowed to talk to the production crew. The cast is only allowed to talk to the producer (Mark Burnett) and of course the host (Jeff Probst).

Junior crew members help test out the obstacles, puzzles and events. They actually have a dress rehearsal where these crew members will run the course just like the cast members do. This gives the production crew a chance to find the best camera angles and practice who will be shooting what.

These stand-ins are also helpful for the long-shots in helicopter fly overs. You never see camera crews in the helicopter shots, and it’s generally not the real cast that you’re seeing either. They take those shots before or after the main event when the real contestants are not around.

In fact, the obstacles and tribal council can often be a car ride away from the contestant’s camp. On TV, it looks like they hike there, but they are often driven. Contestants are not allowed to talk to each other while being driven between sites, that way the viewers never miss any important action.

The challenges are taken very seriously by CBS. After Jeff Probst explains the event to the contestants and cameras capture their initial reaction, the cameras are stopped. Jeff and John Kirhoffer, who is in charge of the team who builds the challenges, lead the contestants through the course and gives them a very thorough explanation. A member of CBS’ standards and practices division accompanies the contestants to ensure all of them have the same information and the contest remains fair. They also get to see the dress rehearsal video of the crew members running the obstacles and have a bit of time to ask questions and work on strategies.

The cast members are pretty bored most of the time. The first few days are busy, they have to build a shelter and develop their camp. After that, there isn’t much to do for most of the day. On-site producers will take cast members away from the group for their short confessional interviews and of course there are the challenges, but most of the time is their own. They can escape the cameras if they break off into small groups since there are a limited number of cameras on set at any one time.

There is a medical staff available for cast and crew. Most of the medical treatments are done on the crew, not the cast — minor injuries are part of the game for the contestants. Contestants do have access to a container of necessary personal items such as feminine products, critical medications, sunscreen, insect repellent and contact lens solution. They don’t get razors, toothbrushes and other items that we take for granted.

Big thanks to Blair and Gina who both suggested survivor secrets.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Sources: MSN, Survivor Web

Photo: Kris Taeleman (cc)

Entry filed under: Demystified. Tags: , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. olivia  |  May 16, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Does anyone know how much money the losers get?

    Reply
  • 2. John Schneider  |  December 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    The station “Closed Caption” is 4 to 6 seconds late. Quite often the caption comes on the screen after the scene changes.
    Your short captions are correct.
    Thanks, John S

    Reply
  • 3. @GodSpeed  |  February 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    […] https://brokensecrets.com/2010/05/14/survivor-contestants-cannot-share-winnings/ […]

    Reply
  • […] https://brokensecrets.com/2010/05/14/survivor-contestants-cannot-share-winnings/ […]

    Reply

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