When Survivor announced it was returning to Nicaragua for filming of seasons 29 and 30 of the longtime reality hit, many fans were concerned that they would once again not be seeing many water challenges. That was a problem the last two seasons filmed there: Nicaragua and Redemption Island. Jeff Probst was concerned as well, and he told EW back in May that a plan was in place to remedy that situation: “That was the mandate from the moment we decided on Nicaragua,” said Probst of getting the contestants back in the water for challenges. “The one thing I kept asking our scouting crew for was updates on how the water situation was looking, and between our art department and our challenge department, they’ve got it under control. We’re going to have a lot more water challenges and be in the water more —and really that’s the only concern we had about Nicaragua, is that it was a little dry last time.” READ FULL STORY
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It always happens. Whenever someone even semi-famous comes on Survivor and hopes to fly under the radar, they are recognized. Former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel almost made it all the way through Survivor: Philippines, until Jonathan Penner forced her to reveal her secret at the final Tribal Council. Even Gary Hogeboom, who was mostly a backup quarterback in his NFL career, was recognized when he played in Survivor: Guatemala. All it takes is one person to connect the dots and your game could be through.
So will it happen to former Atlanta Braves relief pitcher John Rocker when Survivor: San Juan del Sur commences on Sept. 24? I asked the outspoken and controversial athlete about that when I spoke with him and his girlfriend Julie McGee out in Nicaragua the day before filming began and you can see his response in the video player below. READ FULL STORY
Something weird happened last year on Survivor. A contestant from another CBS reality show appeared on the program. Previously, CBS had imported stars from Survivor and Big Brother onto The Amazing Race. And it also cast Willie Hantz — brother of Survivor’s Russell and uncle of Survivor’s Brandon — on Big Brother. But Survivor — which is still considered the granddaddy and gold star of reality television, even if it doesn’t have the Emmy awards (or nominations, for that matter) to prove it — had never accepted sloppy seconds from another CBS show.
That all changed when Big Brother 12 champion Hayden Moss showed up on Survivor: Blood vs. Water. But that casting at least made a little sense. Hayden had actually originally auditioned for Survivor instead of Big Brother, and the fact that he was dating Survivor contestant Kat Edorsson allowed him to tag along as her loved one for that Blood vs. Water season. But would that be an isolated incident?
The answer is no. For the second Blood vs. Water go round on Survivor: San Juan del Sur (premiering Sept. 24 on CBS), the show has now gone and imported an Amazing Race duo: twins Nadiya and Natalie Anderson. The “Twinnies” — who appeared on seasons 21 and 24 of Race — are a love it or loathe it duo for fans, and I was curious as to Probst’s thoughts on bringing aboard more contestants from another show. I spoke with the host out on location in Nicaragua on day one of filming to ask him about it, and now you can see his response in the video player below. READ FULL STORY
Survivor has had its fair share of villains over the years. But it has also had a few people that have gone past that line of villainous play into something far more distasteful. There have been productive conversations about race relations —like when Jeff Probst (in one of his finest moments) mediated a dispute between Phillip and Steve on the Redemption Island season — but there have also been insensitive remarks hurled that have made viewers as uncomfortable as the contestants.
Keeping that in mind, I asked Probst if he was concerned that bringing in baseball pitcher John Rocker — who made controversial remarks in the past — might lead to more of that type of behavior. I had already asked Rocker himself if he thought that infamous Sports Illustrated article would follow him into the game, and now I wanted to see the host’s logic for casting someone with such a background. Probst was resolute in his support for bringing in the former Atlanta Braves closer, and you can now see and hear his complete thoughts by clicking on the video interview below. READ FULL STORY
Apparently deciding that one stint out in the wild was not enough, a former Survivor contestant has returned to rough it out in the elements, but he forgot one thing: his clothes. That’s right, a former Survivor player will be appearing on this Sunday’s episode of Naked & Afraid on Discovery at 10pm. Who’s the adventurous chap of which we speak? READ FULL STORY
One of the most dramatic moments of last year’s Survivor: Blood vs. Water season was when Ciera Eastin voted her own mother, Laura Morett, out of the game. (Awkward Thanksgiving dinner, anyone?) Now that Survivor is bringing back the Blood vs. Water twist of loved ones competing with and against each other for Survivor: San Juan del Sur, it got me wondering: Would any of the new players vote out their special someone? READ FULL STORY
There were supposed to be 10 pairs of loved ones competing on this season’s Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water (which debuts Sept. 24 on CBS). But then, just days before filming began in Nicaragua, one of the couples was forced to bow out after a last minute-medical check turned up something that gave the Survivor medics pause. The same thing actually happened during the last Blood vs. Water season when RC Saint-Amour and her father had to drop out while on location due to medical reasons involving the dad. In that instance, Candice and John Cody were flown in at the last minute to replace them. (They arrived in the Philippines less than 24 hours before filming began.) READ FULL STORY
The new season of Survivor: San Juan del Sur will feature all new players, but among the cast are a few familiar faces. And the most familiar — and controversial — is former Major League Baseball pitcher John Rocker (who will be competing with his girlfriend Julie McGee). Rocker pitched for the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 World Series in a losing effort against the New York Yankees, but the closer made even bigger headlines in a Sports Illustrated article that came out later that year. READ FULL STORY
When I spoke to Survivor‘s Jeff Probst earlier this year after the success of the Blood vs. Water season, he mentioned that the Redemption Island twist would most likely only return in future Blood vs. Water seasons. Then when I spoke again in May upon the announcement of the upcoming Survivor: San Juan del Sur season (which premieres Sept. 24 on CBS), Probst confirmed that the twist would indeed be back. So imagine my shock when I showed up on location two weeks later — just 48 hours before filming began — and learned that Redemption Island had been axed. READ FULL STORY
Earlier today, Entertainment Weekly exclusively revealed six of the players who would be competing on Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water. Now the rest of the cast — which is comprised of pairs of loved ones — that will be challenging for the million dollars can be announced as well. In addition to previously disclosed controversial former baseball player John Rocker and his girlfriend Julie McGee, Amazing Race twins Nadiya and Natalie Anderson, and Broadway boyfriends Reed Kelly and Josh Canfield, there will be 12 other contestants.
Originally there were supposed to be 20 contestants total, but one pair was forced to drop out after a medical check-up just days before filming began in Nicaragua. “We lost a pair of women, so the way it works out is there are more men than women,” host Jeff Probst tells us. “That’s just the game. We don’t like it that way but that’s the way it’s going to start.” Among the pairs that will be playing in season 29 are a married cop and a firefighter, Miss Michigan 2013 and her boyfriend, as well as a cheerleading mother and daughter team. (See the full contestant list as well as video interviews with all the teams below.) READ FULL STORY
Entertainment Weekly has your first look at six of the contestants that will be competing on the next season of Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water. Like the previous Blood vs. Water season, San Juan del Sur will bring in pairs instead of single players to compete for the million dollars. The one difference is that this season will feature no returning players. However, there are a few doozies among the cast of newbies.
Controversial former baseball relief pitcher John Rocker will be playing along with his girlfriend, spray-tan business owner Julie McGee. Rocker pitched for the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 World Series against the Yankees. But later that year, Rocker became embroiled in controversy when he was asked in a Sports Illustrated article whether he would ever consider playing in New York and was quoted as saying, “I’d retire first. It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 train to the ballpark looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing… The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?” READ FULL STORY
Malcolm Freberg got a taste of adventure when he appeared on Survivor not once, but twice. And he liked it. So he’s off again — but this time as a host, not a contestant. Malcolm will host a new online docuseries titled Wayfaring that will see him and a film crew depart on July 1 for a 20 day, 20 episode road trip around the United States. But where exactly Malcolm goes and what he does will be determined by viewers, who will vote on social media and control all of his life choices (kind of like the way he controlled Phillip’s ouster on Survivor: Caramoan with all of those immunity idols).
While an episode of the series will be available each day of the journey for free on wayfaringlive.com, fans can also donate through Kickstarter to receive exclusive bonus content including live Q&As with Malcolm. We caught up with one of the Three Amigos to get the scoop on his newest project. READ FULL STORY
It’s been discussed many times before, but Survivor still has yet to pull out an all-winners edition of the reality franchise. If they ever did stage the ultimate battle royale, the question is — would one of the best winners ever, Parvati Shallow, come back for it? In the past, Pavarti has claimed that she is done as a contestant (having played three times, winning the Micronesia season and being runner-up for Heroes vs. Villains), but we posed the question again last week when she guested on Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105), which was broadcasting from Nicaragua for the filming of Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water. So what did she say this time? READ FULL STORY
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