The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (October 2021)
|Created by||Charlie Parsons and Planet 24|
|Original work||Expedition Robinson (Sweden)|
|Films and television|
|Television series||Survivor (independent international versions, see below)|
|First aired||September 13, 1997|
|Distributor||Castaway Television Productions Ltd (now Banijay Group)|
Survivor is a reality-competition television franchise produced in many countries around the world. The show features a group of contestants deliberately marooned in an isolated location, where they must provide food, water, fire, and shelter for themselves. The contestants compete in challenges for rewards and immunity from elimination. The contestants are progressively eliminated from the game as they are voted out by their fellow-contestants until only one remains to be awarded the grand prize and named the "Sole Survivor".
The British television producer Charlie Parsons developed the format for Survivor in 1992 for Planet 24, a United Kingdom television production company; the Swedish version, which debuted in September 1997 as Expedition Robinson, became the first Survivor series to be broadcast on television. As of May 2020[update], the flagship American version of Survivor has aired 41 seasons of the show since its launch in 2000; the 41st, and most recent, aired in late 2021.
Survivor, through its seasons and various international versions, has maintained the basic premise of the game despite several new rules and gameplay twists introduced in later seasons. In the game, the contestants, known as castaways, are split into tribes and assigned separate camps at the filming's location, typically a tropical setting. As a tribe, the castaways must survive the elements, construct shelter, build fire, look for water, and scrounge for food and other necessities for the entire length of the game, which is generally around 39 days for most versions including the American version, but has ranged from 20 days (as in the French special seasons) to 153 days (as in some seasons of the Turkish edition). In the first half of the game, the tribes face off in challenges, some for rewards of food, shelter, or luxury items, while others are for immunity, preventing the winning tribe from having to go to the next Tribal Council. At Tribal Council, the tribes discuss the events of the last few days with the host asking questions, and then vote out one of their own players, eliminating them from the game.
In the second half of the game, the tribes are merged into a single tribe, and challenges are played at an individual level for individual rewards and immunity. At subsequent Tribal Councils, those eliminated start to form the jury, who sit in on all subsequent Tribal Councils but otherwise do not participate. When only two or three castaways remain, those castaways attend the Final Tribal Council, where the jury is given the opportunity to ask them questions. After this, the jury members then vote to decide which of the remaining castaways should be declared the Sole Survivor and be awarded the grand prize.
Episodes typically cover the events that occurred over two to three days since the start of the game or previous Tribal Council, including Challenges and events that occur at the tribes' camps. Each episode typically ends with the Tribal Council and subsequent elimination of the voted-out player.
The following description of the show is based primarily on the U.S. version of Survivor, though the general format applies to all international versions.
Castaways and tribes
Players for each season are selected through applicants and casting calls, down-selecting to between 16 and 20 players and additional alternates. U.S. version host Jeff Probst noted that while 16 castaways assists in splitting the tribes with respect to age and sex, they have used 18 or 20 to provide them "wiggle room" in case of player injury or if one should want to quit the game. These players undergo physical and psychological evaluation to make sure they are physically and mentally fit for the survival endurance and will not likely quit during the filming period, replacing those that are questionable with the alternates. In one case, Fiji, on the day before filming was to start after they had dismissed their alternates, one of the castaways opted out of the competition, forcing production to start with 19 players and adapting the activities of the first few days to accommodate the odd number of players.
Tribes may be predetermined by production before filming starts. Often this is done to equalize the sexes and age ranges within both tribes. Other seasons have had the tribes separated by age, gender, or race. In other cases, the tribes may be created by the castaways through schoolyard picks. Most often, only two tribes are featured, but some seasons have begun with three or four tribes. Once assigned a tribe, each castaway is given a buff in their tribe color to aid the viewers in identifying tribal allocation. Tribes are then subsequently given names, often inspired by the local region and culture, and directions to their camps.
At their camps, tribes are expected to build a shelter against the elements from the local trees and other resources. Tribes are typically given minimal resources, such as a machete, water canteens, cooking pots, and staples of rice and grains, though this varies from season to season. Sometimes, tribes are provided with a water well near the camp, but require the water to be boiled to make it potable, necessitating the need for the tribe to build a fire. The tribes are encouraged to forage off the land for food, including fruits, wild animals, and fish.
In some seasons, tribe swaps occur where one or more players shift from one tribe to another. These new tribal designations are often determined by random draw or schoolyard pick. When these occur, those players that shift tribes are given new buffs for their new tribe and return to that tribe's camp, with any personal possessions from their former camp moved with them. In seasons with more than two tribes, tribe swaps often reduce the number of tribes to two. In Survivor: Cambodia, a tribe swap increased the number of tribes from two to three; a second tribe swap later in the season reduced the number of tribes back to two.
Tribes that have lost too many members may be absorbed by the other remaining tribes, as seen with the Ulong tribe in Survivor: Palau and the Matsing tribe of Survivor: Philippines; in the former case, the lone remaining Ulong member joined the opposing Koror tribe and the tribes were treated as if they were merged, whereas in the later case the two remaining Matsing members were randomly assigned to the two remaining tribes. Alternatively, in Survivor: All-Stars, the tribe that placed third in a designated challenge was disbanded, with the members reallocated to the other two tribes by schoolyard pick.
At a point in or around the middle of the game, the remaining tribes are merged into one. All of the players then live in a single camp, and are given new buffs and instructed to select a new tribe name and paint a tribe flag. The merge is often signified with a feast. Though the merge often occurs when approximately 10 to 12 players remain, the tribes have been merged with as many as 13 players (as many of the seasons since Survivor: Cambodia) and as few as eight (as in Survivor: Thailand).
During both pre- and post-merge parts of the game, the castaways compete in a series of challenges. Tribes are alerted to these upcoming challenges by a message, often in rhyme, delivered to camp by the production team at a basket or box on a nearby tree; this message has come to be called "treemail", playing off the word "e-mail". The message typically hints at what the challenge might be. The message may also provide props to demonstrate this, practice equipment for the players, or a sampling of the reward. Challenges can last from a few minutes to a couple of hours. The longest Survivor challenge was 11 hours and 55 minutes in the final immunity challenge in Survivor: Palau.
Prior to the merge, tribes compete against each other in challenges. These most often are multi-segment obstacle courses that include both physical and mental elements with the tribe that finishes first declared the winner; commonly, these start with tribe members collecting puzzles pieces that are then used to solve a puzzle by other tribe members. Other challenges may be based on winning a number of rounds of head-to-head competitions. Challenges are normally held with equal numbers of all tribes participating and in some cases equal splits of gender. Tribes with more players will be asked to sit out as many players as needed to balance the numbers, with the stipulation that those players cannot sit out in back-to-back reward and immunity challenges. When one tribe has more than twice the other tribe members, then players in the larger tribe cannot participate in back-to-back challenges. Tribes are given time to strategically decide who should sit out and who will perform the various duties on a challenge.
After the merge, challenges are generally performed on an individual basis. These include similar obstacle courses as for team challenges, but will often also include endurance challenges, having players maintain the balance under precarious situations for as long as possible, with the last player remaining winning the challenge. In some cases, during post-merge challenges, the individuals will be split into separate teams, with only the winning team eligible for reward or immunity.
Types of challenges
Challenges can be played for rewards, immunity, or both. Rewards include food, survival equipment like flint, tarps, or fishing gear, luxury items, and short getaways from camp. Before the merge, the entire winning tribe will enjoy these rewards. Post-merge, only one player may win the reward but will be given the opportunity to select one or more other players to bring along with them on it. Individual challenge rewards may also include an advantage that can be used at the subsequent immunity challenge, such as advancing directly into the final round of the challenge without having to participate in the first round.
Immunity challenges provide the winning tribe or team with immunity from Tribal Council. Immunity is usually represented in a form of an idol prior to the merge, and a necklace afterwards. Prior to the merge, tribes with immunity do not attend Tribal Council, allowing them to stay intact. In seasons featuring more than two tribes, immunity will be available for all but the last place finishers, forcing this one tribe to Tribal Council. With individual immunity, those castaways still attend Tribal Council with the rest of the merged tribe, but, unless they assign immunity to someone else, are ineligible to be voted for. Winning immunity is only good for one Tribal Council; at the next immunity challenge, the tribe or castaway will be asked to give up the idol or necklace, making immunity "up for grabs". There have been a few cases in which individual immunity challenges have taken place prior to the merge whereupon usually, one castaway in each tribe will be given immunity, after which both tribes will attend Tribal Council, one after the other. This is used to quickly dwindle the number of remaining castaways.
Though a wide variety of challenges have been used across the Survivor's broadcast, several challenges are frequently reused:
- A food eating challenge, involving food items that may be local delicacies but are considered gross or revolting by the castaways. These were more often seen in earlier seasons but in recent years have become much less frequent.
- A trivia or "know your tribe" quiz, where castaways who provide correct answers are allowed to knock other castaways out of the challenge and prevent them from winning.
- A "Survivor Auction", used in place of a reward challenge, in which the players are given a sum of money to use to bid on food items (both known and unknown at the time of bidding), other momentary luxuries like a bath, or advantages in the game, such as a clue to a hidden immunity idol or an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge.
- A "loved ones" challenge, where a spouse, parent, sibling, adult child or friend of each castaway has been flown out to the location to participate in the challenge with or for their castaway. The winner typically gets to spend more time with their loved one, either on a brief trip or back at camp.
- A "second chance" challenge, where elements of previous challenges are reused in a single course.
- The final immunity challenge is often a long-lasting endurance challenge, giving the remaining castaways time to make bargains and last-minute deals to get into the final Tribal Council.
Tribal Council is a special production stage located near the tribe camps. Tribes sit across a fire pit from the host while the jury members, if present, sit off to the side. A small alcove adjoins the structure for the players to cast their votes in private. Tribal Council almost always serves as an episode's finale.
The first time each player attends Tribal Council, he or she takes a torch and lights it from the fire pit while the host reminds them "fire represents life in this game". During the jury phase of the game, the host will call in the jury after the tribe is seated and remind jurors they are there to gather information but not speak or otherwise participate. The host will then proceed to ask the tribe questions about what has transpired since their last visit to Tribal Council (or the beginning of the game). The host asks these questions in hopes of bringing tribal dynamics to light, and players in precarious situations may reveal information or bargain with others to keep themselves in the game. Though the viewing audience typically sees only a few minutes of each Tribal Council, some have gone on for hours.
The host ends the formal discussion by declaring that it is time to vote. During the second half of the game, the host then gives the immunity challenge winner(s) the choice to keep their immunity necklace for themselves or give it to another player, then reminds players they cannot cast a vote for the player(s) who finally end up wearing the necklace(s). The host then directs the players to vote in the alcove one-by-one. After writing their vote, each player has the opportunity to address the camera before placing their vote in the ballot urn. Once all players have cast their votes, the host collects the urn, tallies the votes, and returns to the fire pit with the urn. Beginning from Survivor: Fiji, the host then offers players the opportunity to play an immunity idol prior to announcing the votes. If a player produces an idol, he or she must declare which player the idol protects (typically a player can protect anyone, including themselves). The host then confirms if the idol is legitimate, and if it is, the host declares that any vote for the protected player will not count. The host then reminds the tribe that once the votes are read, the decision is final, and the eliminated player must leave the Tribal Council area immediately.
When enough votes have been read to eliminate one player, any additional votes remain unread and unknown to the players (in almost all cases, the leftover votes are also for the eliminated player). The host instructs the eliminated player to bring their torch, snuffs it out, and tells the player that "the tribe has spoken" (or in rare cases, a fitting variation thereof) and "it's time for you to go." As the eliminated player walks off, the host makes a final observation before telling the remainder of the tribe to "grab your torches and head back to camp" and wishes them a good night. Occasionally, tribes who have not made fire on their own or earned it in a challenge will have to douse their torches or leave the torches at Tribal Council.
The eliminated player has a final confessional to express their feelings about being eliminated before they are sequestered with other eliminated players until the end of filming. Later eliminated players join the jury who will decide the winner. Jurors are sequestered until the end of the Final Tribal Council. While sequestered, jurors cannot discuss their jury vote or experiences with other jurors to prevent any possible cooperation or collusion from subgroups within the jury. After casting their vote at Final Tribal Council, jurors also cannot discuss their vote with anyone lest they spoil the surprise reveal at the season finale.
Ties occasionally occur. Normally, the players vote a second time with only the tied players eligible for elimination. If this second vote does not break the tie, various tiebreakers have broken the stalemates. These tiebreakers have changed throughout the seasons. In Survivor: The Australian Outback and Survivor: Africa, stalemates were broken by eliminating the player with the highest number of previous votes cast against them. If the players had the same number of previous votes cast against them, as seen in Africa, the tie was resolved by a sudden-death challenge (in this case a trivia quiz about nature), with the loser eliminated. This soon led to alliances choosing a player to eliminate based on their vote history over other relevant factors. To put all players on even ground in subsequent seasons, the non-tied voters have several minutes to deliberate and must come to a unanimous decision about which tied castaway to eliminate. If they succeed, their chosen castaway is eliminated; if they do not, all non-immune deliberators draw concealed rocks from a bag, and the castaway who draws the odd-colored rock is eliminated. This encourages players to change their votes to avoid a stalemate and punishes deliberators for stalemating. The rock-draw tiebreaker has occurred three times: in Survivor: Marquesas, Survivor: Blood vs. Water, and Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X. In Survivor: Marquesas, the rock draw occurred with four players remaining, and the tied castaways were both involved in the deliberation and eligible for elimination; host Jeff Probst later revealed that this was a mistake and that this tiebreaker should only be used when six or more players are involved. Following Survivor: Marquesas, all stalemates with four remaining players have been resolved by a fire-making duel where the first tied castaway to build a small fire high enough to burn through a rope remained in the game. The fire-making tiebreaker was also used in Survivor: Palau at a Tribal Council where the losing tribe had only two members remaining.
Final Tribal Council
When only two—or, in later seasons, three—players remain in the game, the finalists and jurors convene for Final Tribal Council. The change to three finalists presents more of a challenge to the castaway who wins the final immunity challenge: while that person has clinched their spot as a finalist, they cannot unilaterally decide which of the other remaining castaways they will compete against for jurors' votes.
At Final Tribal Council, each remaining castaway makes an opening statement to the jury. One-by-one, each juror then addresses any or all of the finalists, asking questions or commenting on the finalists' behavior in the game. Jurors often ask questions hoping for answers that will help make their decision, while comments and speeches are generally an effort to sway other jurors. The finalists are usually free to respond to these questions and comments as they see fit, though jurors can expressly forbid them to respond. Beginning with Survivor: Game Changers in the U.S., the process shifted from each juror receiving the floor one-by-one toward a moderated discussion highlighting the show's three major tentpoles: "Outwit", "Outplay" and "Outlast". After the interrogation, finalists often have one last chance to make their case. The host then reminds the jurors that they are writing their choice to win (versus writing their choice to eliminate, as in all other votes) and, for the last time, declares that it is time to vote. One-by-one, jurors vote privately in the alcove. As with regular elimination votes, jurors can choose to address the camera to explain their vote. The host then collects the urn, and in most seasons, leaves the votes unread until a live finale months later, at the conclusion of the season's broadcast, where they read the votes publicly and crown the Sole Survivor.
At the finale of Survivor: Micronesia, the only season to date with two finalists and eight jurors, host Jeff Probst reportedly had a white envelope containing the tiebreaker, but the exact nature of this tiebreaker is not known publicly, as a tie did not occur. This contingency plan was also in place for three-way ties involving three finalists and nine jurors. At the Survivor: Game Changers reunion, Probst revealed that a two-way tie in a final three would be broken with the third-place finisher casting the deciding vote. This first happened in Survivor: Ghost Island when Wendell Holland and Domenick Abbate each received 5 votes to win. Laurel Johnson, the third-place finisher, became the 11th and final juror and cast the deciding vote.
Evacuation and quitting
Some players have been eliminated from the game by other means than being voted out. Castaways who suffer severe injuries or exhaustion are evaluated by the medical team which is always on call. The medical team may provide treatment and give the player the option to continue in the game, warning them of the health risks involved. However, if the medical doctor determines that the player is at risk of permanent injury or death and needs to be removed from the game for their own health, they will be removed and taken to a nearby hospital. In Survivor: Cambodia, the producers were notified that one of the remaining castaways' children had been hospitalized, and the castaway was pulled from the game to return home and be with their family. Survivor: Kaoh Rong has had the most evacuations to date, with three.
Occasionally, castaways who are not in need of medical treatment have decided to quit the game, without waiting to be voted out, due to physical or emotional exhaustion—either by making an announcement at a Tribal Council, in which case they are let out of the game without any vote, or by being recovered from camp after making their intentions clear to producers and being interviewed by the host. When a player leaves the game without being voted off, the other tribes are notified of the departed player's removal, and the next Tribal Council may be cancelled. After the players merge into one tribe, any who have been removed from the game by medical evacuation are still eligible to participate as jury members once the medical examiners deem them healthy enough to do so. Those that have quit the game voluntarily may also still be eligible for the jury and, if their reasons for leaving are considered sufficient, they may also still be allowed to make a farewell speech to the camera.
Hidden immunity idols
Hidden immunity idols are pocket-sized ornaments—typically necklaces—made to fit the theme of the season, that are hidden around the tribes' camps or other locations that the castaways have access to. When played at Tribal Council, the hidden immunity idol makes the castaway who plays it immune from elimination at that Tribal Council. Idols are typically usable until the Tribal Council with five players remaining, and do not need to be declared to other castaways when found. The idol, once found by a player, cannot be stolen from them, but other castaways can look through their possessions to see if they have it. Idols can, however, be transferred to other players at any point, or be played on another player at Tribal Council. Once an idol "leaves the game", either by being played or by the holder leaving the game with their idol, a replacement idol may be hidden.
First seen in Survivor: Guatemala, several seasons have used different iterations of the idol:
- An idol that can be played before the votes are cast, thus preventing all other players from voting against the player who cast it (As seen in Guatemala)
- An idol that can be played after the votes are read, thus negating all votes against the player who cast it and eliminating the castaway with the next-highest vote total (As seen in Panama and Cook Islands. Also seen in Cagayan, Kaôh Rōng and Heroes v Healers v Hustlers as the "Super Idol")
- An idol that can be played after the votes are cast but before they are read, thus negating all votes against the player who cast it and eliminating the castaway with the next-highest vote total (As seen in all seasons from Fiji onward)
The third type of idol is seen as a "happy medium" relative to the two previous versions, and forces both the voters and the idol holder to make a more complicated strategic decision: the voters may have to vote without knowing whether the person they are voting for has a hidden immunity idol or without knowing whether that person will choose to play it, and the person with the idol must decide whether to play it without knowing whether enough votes have been cast to vote them out of the game. This type of idol may be "wasted" if a player uses it and does not receive the highest number of votes, and other times idol holders may choose not to use the idol, intending to save it to use at a later time, but will be eliminated with their idol unplayed. Though this third idol continues to be used, two seasons have used the two latter forms of idols concurrently: in Cagayan, clues were given to the third type of idol, but an idol with the second power was hidden with no clues; this idol could not be transferred. In Kaôh Rōng, all hidden idols were of the third type, but two idols could be combined into a single idol of the second type, referred to as a "super idol".
Strategically, castaways have used the idol as a bargaining chip to align other players with them and swing pending votes in a specific direction; as a result, some players have been inspired to create fake hidden immunity idols, either leaving them the spot that the original idol was found (most commonly), or carrying them around as a bluff to attempt to alter people's voting strategies in advance of Tribal Council. If a fake idol is played at Tribal Council, the host notes that it is not a hidden immunity idol and throws it in the fire. In the U.S. version of the show, the producers have encouraged players to make fake idols by providing decorative materials—such as beads, string, and paint—through props within the game. In Cambodia, all idols were deliberately made to look different from each other to further encourage castaways to make fake idols.
To help castaways find the idol, a series of clues are given to them in succession in a number of different ways. A clue may be given to the winner of a reward challenge, hidden among the reward prizes, announced by the host to all remaining castaways, or provided to a castaway who has been sent to Exile Island or temporarily sent to live with the other tribe. Castaways are under no obligation to share the idol clues with other players. Clues continue to be provided even after a player has secretly found the idol. Each successive clue includes all the previous clues given for that location. Only once a new idol is hidden are new clues provided to the players. In later seasons, players have been very aware that hidden idols may be in play from the start of the game and some have started to look for them near apparent landmarks before any clues have been provided. One castaway, Russell Hantz, was able to find two idols during Survivor: Samoa without the aid of clues. In light of this so-called "Russell factor," producers subsequently began hiding the idols in more difficult-to-find locations, and, in Survivor: Nicaragua, clues contained a rebus puzzle rather than text, though this did not carry into the next season or beyond.
Exile Island is a remote location away from the tribal camps, where one or two castaways are sent to live in isolation from the rest of their tribe. Exile Island was first introduced in Survivor: Palau when a single contestant was made to stay alone on a beach for a day as a result of being the first to drop out of an Immunity Challenge. This twist was not used regularly until Survivor: Panama; it was also used in Cook Islands, Fiji, Micronesia, Gabon, Tocantins, and San Juan del Sur. The first contestant to send him/herself to Exile Island was Yau-Man Chan.
A selected player is exiled to a location (typically a small island) apart from the main tribe camps. Typically, the castaway is exiled after the reward challenge, leaving the challenge location for Exile Island, and usually returns immediately before the following immunity challenge. The exiled castaway is chosen as a result of the reward challenge: in the tribal phase, a member of the losing tribe is exiled (usually exiled by the winning tribe), while in the individual phase, the reward challenge winner holds the sole right to choose. Unless stated otherwise, players who win the right to decide who goes to Exile Island may also choose to go themselves. In Micronesia, Tocantins, and San Juan del Sur, one person from each tribe was sent to Exile Island. In several seasons with Exile Island, there were tribe swaps with an uneven number of castaways remaining, as in Panama, Fiji, Gabon, David vs. Goliath; the leftover contestant was treated as "tribeless" and exiled immediately after formation. In this case, the contestant was immune until following the next Tribal Council, joining the tribe that lost the next immunity challenge.
Once selected, the exiled contestant is immediately sent there. They are given minimal survival tools, typically a water canteen, a machete, a pot, and a limited amount of shelter. The two main disadvantages of being on Exile Island are the lack of food and water, which can weaken a player and make them less effective in challenges, and the isolation from other contestants, which can cause a player to become out of the loop and weaken their position in their tribe. Contestants are often sent to Exile Island for one or both of these strategic reasons.
In certain seasons, exiled castaways receive a consolation prize: in all seasons with Exile Island, the exiled castaway receives a clue to the hidden immunity idol (or the idol nullifier on David vs Goliath.), which may or may not be located on the island. On Survivor: Gabon, the exiled castaway was given the option to give up their idol clue for "instant comfort," and in Survivor: Tocantins, the exiled castaway had the right to change tribes. Occasionally the exiled castaway is instructed to return after the next Tribal Council, earning them automatic immunity.
Other exile twists
Two seasons of the U.S. version have used different variations on the Exile twists. In China, tribes who won reward challenges earned the right to "kidnap" a member of the losing tribe, who would stay with them until the next immunity challenge. The kidnapped person was given a clue to the hidden immunity idol which he or she must give to one member of the winning tribe. In Samoa a reverse version of the kidnapping rule was used, called "spy expedition" (also known as "observing"). The winning tribe had to send one of their own to accompany the other tribe until the immunity challenge. Both of these twists were retired after the merge. In Kaôh Rōng, the three tribes were shuffled into two tribes with 13 players remaining; the leftover castaway, Julia Solowski, was exiled to the now-defunct third camp and joined the tribe that lost the next immunity challenge the day after their Tribal Council. In Game Changers, the tribes switched with 15 players remaining, with Debbie being exiled for not being put on a tribe. Unlike other visitors to Exile Island, Debbie was sent to a luxury yacht.
The 36th season of the U.S. version introduced the titular Ghost Island, which was similar to Exile Island but featured mementos and props from previous seasons of Survivor, including several misplayed advantages. Banished castaways were given the opportunity to acquire these advantages in a game of chance where they could either win the advantage or lose their vote at their next Tribal Council (represented as a parchment stating "No Vote"). However, not every episode has advantages given out at Ghost Island.
Redemption Island is a twist used in Survivor: Redemption Island, Survivor: South Pacific and Survivor: Blood vs. Water, in which voted out contestants remain in the game, exiled from the other castaways, competing in challenges for a chance to return to the game. It was first used in several international editions, including the Swedish version, the Israeli version as "The Island of the Dead", Philippine version's second season as "Isla Purgatoryo" (Purgatory Island), the Serbian version's second season as "Ghost Island" and the Romanian version's first season as "Exile Island".
After being voted out, contestants are exiled to Redemption Island, where they will fend for themselves like the castaways in the game proper until the next person is voted out. The day following Tribal Council, there is a duel in which the winner remains on the island and the losers are eliminated for good; upon elimination, the duel losers must remove their buff and throw it into a small fire pit. There are two places where the winner of the duel returns to the game: at the merge, where Redemption Island is cleared and reset; and when there are four players remaining in the main game, at which point Redemption Island is retired.
Double elimination cycles, or any other disruption of the game's pattern, leads to three or four duelists instead of two. In Survivor: Redemption Island only the loser of the duel was eliminated, resulting in four players competing in the final duel due to two double elimination cycles, with two Tribal Councils and no duels in between. For Survivor: South Pacific, the rules were changed so only the winner remained in the game while all others were eliminated. In Survivor: Blood vs. Water, there were three competitors at every duel, with only one player eliminated at each duel except for ones in which a sole winner returned to the main game.
Redemption Island in Blood vs. Water featured additional alterations to fit with the game's primary twist of featuring pairs of loved ones. Prior to any duel, the castaways with loved ones on Redemption Island are given the choice to replace their loved one on Redemption Island, with their loved one returning to the main game and taking their place in the tribe. In addition, the first-place winner of the duel must give a clue to a hidden immunity idol to any castaway in the main game.
A short-term variation of the Redemption Island twist is used on Australian Survivor, where at Tribal Council, the castaways are informed that the next two players voted-off (the castaway voted for that night and at the following Tribal Council) will not be eliminated from the game, but rather they will be Exiled. In Exile, the two castaways will compete in a "Redemption Island" style duel with the winner returning to the tribe and remaining in the game, and the loser being officially eliminated. This twist was used Australian Survivor 2018 and Australian Survivor 2019. Two variations of the Exile Twist was used during the Australian Survivor: All Stars - The first was during a Double Tribal Council, in which both tribes voted out a player, who would compete in a Fire Making Duel. The winner returns to the tribe and the loser is eliminated. The second variation had 3 players voted out in 2 tribal councils - the 6 players would compete in 2 challenges to return to the game - the 3 who remained would face a tribal council vote to determine who is eliminated.
Other seasons have featured alternate twists in which voted out players can return to the game. In 2003, Survivor: Pearl Islands featured the Outcast twist, in which the six eliminated castaways competed as the Outcast tribe against the two remaining tribes; as the Outcast tribe won the challenge, they earned the right to vote two of their own back into the game, while the other two tribes had to vote players out; following this, the tribes merged. In the seventh season of the Israeli version, voted out players remained in the game as "zombies", challenging their former tribemates to stay in the game and vote in their stead at Tribal Council; similar to Redemption Island, zombies returned to the game at the merge and near the end of the game. The 2019 season Survivor: Edge of Extinction allowed eliminated players the decision of either leaving the game, or going to the titular island. Once there, the contestants survived on fewer supplies than were available in the main game, but had the option to quit at any time. The players on the island competed in an individual challenge at the merge, and with five players remaining, with the winner returning to the main game. This twist returned two seasons later for Survivor: Winners at War.
The Sole Survivor receives a cash prize of $1,000,000 prior to taxes and sometimes also receives a car provided by the show's sponsor. Every player receives a prize for participating on Survivor depending on how long he or she lasts in the game. In most seasons, the runner-up receives $100,000, and third place wins $85,000. All other players receive money on a sliding scale, though specific amounts have rarely been made public. Sonja Christopher, the first player voted off Survivor: Borneo, received $2,500. In Survivor: Fiji, the first season with tied runners-up, the two runners-up received $100,000 each, and Yau-Man Chan received $60,000 for his fourth-place finish. All players also receive an additional $10,000 for their appearance on the reunion show. In the 40th season of the American version (an all winners edition), winner Tony Vlachos received $2,000,000, the biggest cash prize in the show's history.
Most seasons between The Australian Outback and Fiji have featured a late-season reward challenge where the winner receives a car. This reward was infamous for what was later dubbed the "car curse," referring to the fact that no player who won the car ever went on to win the game during his or her original season.
- In Survivor: The Australian Outback, Colby Donaldson won a Pontiac Aztek.
- In Survivor: Africa, Lex van den Berghe won a Chevrolet Avalanche.
- In Survivor: Marquesas, Sean Rector won a Saturn VUE.
- In Survivor: Thailand, Ted Rogers won a Chevrolet TrailBlazer.
- In Survivor: The Amazon, Matthew von Ertfelda won a Saturn Ion.
- In Survivor: Pearl Islands, Burton Roberts won a GMC Envoy XUV.
- In Survivor: All-Stars, Rob Mariano won a Chevrolet Colorado. In addition, Rob was allowed to bring another contestant with him on a trip; he chose Amber Brkich, who received a Chevrolet Malibu as a result.
- In Survivor: Vanuatu, Eliza Orlins won a Pontiac G6.
- In Survivor: Palau, Ian Rosenberger won a Chevrolet Corvette.
- In Survivor: Guatemala, Cindy Hall won a 2006 Pontiac Torrent; she was given the option to relinquish her reward to give the other remaining players each a car, but declined.
- In Survivor: Panama, Terry Deitz won a GMC Yukon.
- In Survivor: Fiji, Yau-Man Chan won a 2008 Ford Super Duty but gave it to fellow contestant Andria "Dreamz" Herd as part of a strategic deal. Herd would renege on the deal and neither won.
Other prizes are given out post-game, usually at the live reunion that immediately follows the coronation of the winner.
- At the Survivor: All-Stars reunion, Amber Brkich, as the Sole Survivor, was asked to select one of her fellow contestants to receive a car; she selected Shii Ann Huang.
- In Survivor: America's Tribal Council following the All-Stars finale, Rupert Boneham was selected by a popularity poll of Survivor viewers to win $1,000,000.
- For two seasons, viewers of Survivor voted their favorite player to win a new car.
- At the Survivor: China reunion, series creator Mark Burnett awarded Denise Martin $50,000 to help her out financially, but this gift was later donated to charity.
- From Survivor: China to Survivor: Caramoan, viewers of the show voted their favorite player to win $100,000 as the Sprint Player of the Season.
- Survivor: China: James Clement
- Survivor: Micronesia: James Clement
- Survivor: Gabon: Robert "Bob" Crowley
- Survivor: Tocantins: James "J.T." Thomas, Jr.
- Survivor: Samoa: Russell Hantz
- Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains: Russell Hantz
- Survivor: Nicaragua: Jane Bright
- Survivor: Redemption Island: Rob Mariano
- Survivor: South Pacific: Ozzy Lusth
- Survivor: One World: Kim Spradlin
- Survivor: Philippines: Lisa Whelchel
- Survivor: Caramoan: Malcolm Freberg
- Beginning with Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, pop singer Sia has personally given select castaways a monetary gift, also known as the Sia Award, at irregular intervals.
- Survivor: Kaôh Rōng: Tai Trang received $50,000 for himself, plus an additional $50,000 was donated to a charity of his choosing.
- Survivor: Ghost Island: Donathan Hurley received $10,000, which Sia later upgraded to $14,000.
- Survivor: David vs. Goliath: Davie Rickenbacker received $14,000.
- Survivor: Edge of Extinction: Rick Devens received $100,000.
- Survivor: Island of the Idols: Jamal Shipman received $15,000, while Elaine Stott and Janet Carbin received $100,000 each.
Variations in the format
Aside from the U. S. version, other franchises introduced variations and twists for the game. Most of these twists and variations are used in other franchises as well:
- During the 1998 and 1999 seasons, during the pre-merge portion of the competition when a tribe lost an immunity challenge the opposing tribe would vote to eliminate one of their members.
- In the 1998 season a "Joker" joined the game midway through. Since then this twist has become very common among Survivor versions around the world, either as a twist or as a contingency plan.
- During the 1999 season the contestants were initially divided into four tribes. This twist would later be used in the American version of Survivor during Survivor: Exile Island and Survivor: Cook Islands.
- During the 1999 season the twist of "The Black Vote" was introduced. During the merge portion of the competition whenever someone was voted out before they left tribal council they would cast one more vote. This vote would then be carried over to the next tribal council and whoever received the vote, assuming they didn't have immunity, would have an extra vote against them.
- During the 2002 season when a contestant was voted out they were sent to a secret island where they would take part in a duel with another eliminated contestant. The contestant who lost said duel would be eliminated for good while the winner remained on the island. The person still inhabiting the island when there were only three contestants left in the game would re-enter the competition. This twist would later be used in several different versions of the show and has recently been used on Survivor: Redemption Island and Survivor: South Pacific.
- During the All-Stars version of Expedition Robinson the tribes were initially divided into two tribes, one composed of "Veterans" and the other of "Fans". This type of twist was also used in the American version of Survivor during Survivor: Micronesia.
- During the 2004 season the twist known as "Team X" was introduced. Shortly after the competition began a new group of contestants entered the game and lived separately and secretly away from the other contestants until a certain point in the game. This twist has since also been used in Norway's 2009 season.
- During the 2004 and 2005 seasons a former contestant entered the game. This twist has since been used in many different Survivor versions around the world.
- During the 2005 season the tribes were initially divided up into a "Rich" tribe and a "Poor" tribe. This twist has since been used in the Danish, Norwegian, and American versions, most notably in Survivor: Fiji.
- During the 2005 season the tribes were initially divided up by age into "Old" and "Young", with the old contestants being forty and older and the young contestants being under the age of thirty. This twist was later used during Survivor: Nicaragua and Robinsonekspedisjonen 2009.
- During the pre-merge portion of the 2006 season two former contestants returned to the game to lead the tribes. As the leader, they were allowed to give individual immunity to any member of their tribe when they went to tribal council. Neither of these two contestants was eligible to win and both left shortly before the merge. A similar twist occurred in Survivor South Africa: Champions, except with sporting champions in the place of former contestants.
- When there were only three contestants left during the 2006 season all of the contestants that had lost on "Losers Island" voted to eliminate one of the finalists.
- The 2007 season began with one hundred contestants. Because many of these contestants weren't on the show for more than a couple of episodes many of their surnames are unknown.
- When it came time to reveal the winner of the 2008 season it was revealed that the jury vote was tied at 3-3. This led to seventy four former contestants voting for a winner.
- During the 2009 season the two tribes were initially composed of only women while a smaller tribe of men were hidden on a secluded beach. The men eventually entered the main competition in episode four. A similar twist was later used during Robinson 2011.
- The 2014 run saw the introduction of a 3-way tribe contest: Heaven, Earth and Hell. Hell being placed in the middle of the mangrove bush. During the first episodes, the losing tribe would vote off a member and relocate to Hell.
- The 2015 season started with an individual format. It started with 17 players, but the challenges had to be played in two even teams. So, before the first three challenges, one person was sent to a separate island and the rest of them created two teams. So the challenges were played with two teams of eight, seven and six. After that, only 11 players were left on the island. They had to make one group of seven and one group of four, which would join the three people sent to Tayak. From that point, it was Kamp Noord versus Kamp Zuid again.
- In every season of Koh-Lanta, just before the tribe merge, an ambassador is chosen in each tribe. Through season 8, they had the power to give one more vote to any contestant for the first Tribal Council of the merged tribe. In season 9 and later seasons (including the two All-Stars seasons), they were able to directly eliminate a contestant. However, if none of the ambassadors agrees to vote for/eliminate one contestant, they must draw one pearl from a bag. The one who gets the black pearl loses and either gets a vote or is directly eliminated depending on the season.
- During season 3 (Bocas del Toro), the oldest man and woman had the option to choose the composition of their respective tribes, as long as gender parity was respected.
- During season 4 (Panama), the two tribes were divided by gender. However, after 8 days, the tribes were mixed. A variation was used during season 10 (Vietnam), where the tribes were divided by gender except that one person per tribe was of the opposite gender.
- During season 5 (Pacific) and season 6 (Vanuatu), the tribes were divided by age: older or younger than 31 years old.
- During season 7 (Palawan) and season 8 (Caramoan), there was a challenge before the tribes' composition was decided: the best man and woman got the privilege to decide on the composition of their tribes, while the last man and woman were directly eliminated. The latter rule was also applied in season 9 (Palau) and in the first All-Stars season.
- During the second All-Stars season, seven previous contestants were part of one tribe, while the other tribe was composed of famous French sportsmen.
- In season 11 (Raja Ampat), two new rules were introduced: the hidden immunity idol, known from its appearance in the US version, and a new rule called the "vote noir" (black vote). After a contestant gets voted out at the Tribal Council, he or she can vote one more time against one of the remaining contestants of his or her tribe before quitting the game. This vote is counted at the tribe's next Tribal Council.
- The third All-Stars season featured sixteen former contestants who, despite their performances, hasn't previously become the Sole Survivor.
- In season 12 (Malaysia), four contestants out of the starting 20 won't initially be part of either of the two starting tribes. Instead, they will be on a version of "Exile Island", and will need to prove themselves in order to be integrated into one of the two tribes. Also, for the first time in the history of the program, two contestants will be eliminated at once in a single Tribal Council.
- Due to an accidental death during the first day of shooting season 13, those in charge of producing the show decided to cancel the 2013 season. Following a fierce discussion of these events in the media regarding the medical conditions, the show's doctor took his own life. However, this didn't stop the show entirely, coming back in 2014 with a fourth all-stars season.
- Because it was originally thought that the fifth season of Robinson would be the last to air in Denmark, Robinson Ekspeditionen 2002 was the first ever "All-Stars" version of Survivor to be broadcast worldwide. Since then there have been several All-Stars versions including ones in America, Belgium/Netherlands, France, Israel, and Sweden.
- During the 2005 season the contestants were divided up into tribes based on where they were from within Denmark.
- During the 2006 season all of the contestants were well known Danish athletes.
- In keeping with the theme of the season, during the 2006 season all of the contestants were eliminated through duels rather than voting.
- During the 2007 season the tribes were composed of past contestants from Robinson Ekspeditionen and contestants of another show known as Paradise Hotel.
- During the 2008 season the tribes were composed of fans of Robinson Ekspeditionen and former contestants from Paradise Hotel.
- During the 2009 season the tribes were initially divided into "Smart" and "Dumb" based on the results of an IQ test the contestants took prior to the start of the competition.
- During the 2010 season the contestants took part in a challenge that would ultimately divide them into "Masters" and "Slaves" within their own tribes (one tribe was composed of male masters and female slaves while the other was composed of female masters and male slaves).
- Because a representative from each participating country was necessary for the finale, the last remaining member of each tribe was immune from all remaining eliminations.
- In all seasons of Baltic Robinson the jury would vote for who they didn't want to win as opposed to who they did. These votes would be added along with those given to the losers of the plank (in all seasons) and those of the public (in the first two seasons) or of the finalists (in season 3).
- Introduced the "Double-Power Challenge" in Survivor 10: The Caribbean. The double-power challenge is an individual challenge, which is played after the Immunity challenge. Every person going to Tribal Council had to compete, and the winner of the challenge won an additional power at Tribal Council.
- Introduced the "Veto Armlet" in Survivor 10: Pearl Islands. Aside from the Immunity Challenge, where the winner of the challenge wins the immunity, the Israel version introduced the Armlet Veto, wherein the winner of the Veto Challenge gets the armlet. The Veto Armlets purpose is to cancel the vote of a castaway.
- In November 2011 it was announced that the 2012 season of Robinsonekspedisjonen will be known as "Robinson: Vinter" (Robinson: Winter) and it will be the first ever season of Robinson or Survivor to ever take place in a cold climate as it will be filmed in Norway.
- Introduced the "Cursed and White Pearls", both roughly the size of a standard billiard ball. During the merge stage, the person voted out, before having his/her torch snuffed out, will receive either one or both of the Pearls and give each Pearl to one of the remaining castaways. The castaway who receives the Cursed Pearl gets one vote in the following Tribal Council. In case the Cursed Pearl is lost, the holder would then receive two votes. In-show, the Cursed Pearl is called the "Black Pearl" (though in the first season, its actual color is really silver). On the other hand, the White Pearl will have one vote subtracted from the count in the receiver's favor in the next Tribal Council, should at least one such vote comes up. This was introduced in the first season of Survivor Philippines.
- Introduced the "Blood Pearl" in Survivor Philippines: Palau. The Blood Pearl served the same purpose as the Cursed Pearl, only, the holder would receive two votes in the next Tribal Council. In case the Blood Pearl is lost, three votes would be counted against the holder.
- Introduced the Isla Purgatorio, which is called the Redemption Island in US version.
- Introduced the "doubles format" in Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Doubles Showdown, wherein castaways are grouped as couples with preexisting relationships. In this format, the couple is treated as one castaway, wherein both members get immunity after winning Immunity Challenges, both win the reward from the Reward Challenges, and both are voted out in the Tribal Council.
- Also in Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Doubles Showdown, the "Temptation Reward" was introduced. The winning tribe in a Reward Challenge would choose one or two of their own to be the only one/s partaking in the Temptation Reward. After being shown the Temptation Reward, the chosen one/s were then also presented with the consequence that comes upon accepting the Temptation Reward. Declining from the Temptation Reward is also an option if those chosen would deem accepting it be too harmful to their life in the game.
- Twists of unknown origins
- During the year 2002 several different versions of Survivor used the twist of gender-based tribes as the main twist for their seasons. Due to the fact that at the time the Baltic, Belgian/Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish seasons were all traveling together in order to conserve and pool their resources, there is no way to determine which production team came up with the idea of the twist (though it's unlikely to be the Baltic's or Norway's as neither edition has ever used this twist). The same twist was used a few months later in 2003 during Survivor: Amazon and a couple years later in 2004 during Survivor: Vanuatu.
- Conspiring to split winnings will result in immediate expulsion from the game.
- Except for the occasional challenges which involve wrestling or limited combat, any physical violence between players will result in immediate expulsion from the game.
- At Tribal Council, players are not permitted to vote for themselves, nor can they spoil their ballots or decline to cast a vote. Players must also show for whom they voted to the camera inside the voting booth.
- Contestants must abide by U.S. law as well as local law. Breaking any of these laws will result in immediate removal from the game.
- A regular hidden immunity idol can be played after the votes have been cast but before they are read.
- A special hidden immunity idol can be played after the votes are read.
- Hidden immunity idols cannot be stolen by another player.
- If a contestant plays the hidden immunity idol, any votes cast for that contestant will not count, and the person with the next largest number of votes will be eliminated.
- Contestants may not skip any tribal councils, nor can they refuse to participate in any immunity or reward challenge, unless the game offers them the opportunity to do so. This rule was allowed to be broken by Phillip Sheppard in Survivor: Caramoan (due to a childhood traumatic event) and by Missy Payne in Survivor: San Juan del Sur (due to injury).
- Tribe members may not raid or visit the campsite of another tribe unless they are doing so as part of an immunity challenge, reward challenge or tribal merger activity with the other tribe. They also may not visit the TV crew compound. Exceptions to this rule have been made, though, as a result of an accident (as seen in Survivor: Cook Islands) or challenge victories. In Survivor: Guatemala one tribe intentionally visited the other to invite them over to lounge in their lake pool.
- If a contestant becomes seriously injured or sick, the player, fellow contestants, the host, or even the crew filming the players may call in a medical team for help. In some cases, the player can be treated at their camp, but the player may also be deemed unable to participate further by the medical team and then be taken from camp to a medical facility, and removed from the game. Often, the players may decide for themselves whether their health will allow them to continue.
- Contestants deciding to quit the contest for any reason not health - or other-emergency-related may or may not be called back for the final jury, pending the producers' decision, and may or may not get their closing speech aired, if their reasons are sufficient enough. (This rule was added after the end of Survivor: Nicaragua.) If a player decides to quit prior to Redemption Island, they are allowed to keep their buff instead of throwing it in the fire pit upon exiting (as was the case in Survivor: Blood vs. Water). Contestants who are expelled from the contest for breaking the rules are not permitted to join the jury.
- Depending on which country in which the show takes place, contestants may be barred from killing local wildlife.
Survivor around the world
The Survivor format has been adapted for numerous international versions of the show, some named after the original Expedition Robinson.
- Currently airing franchise
- Franchise with an upcoming season
- Franchise no longer aired
- Status unknown
|Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe||Survivor Africa||M-Net||Season 1, 2006: Tsholofelo Gasenelwe||Anthony Oseyemi|
|Canal 13||Julián Weich|
|Australia||Australian Survivor||Nine Network||Season 1, 2002: Rob Dickson||Lincoln Howes|
Season 3, 2016: Kristie Bennett
|Australian Celebrity Survivor||Seven Network||Season 2, 2006: Guy Leech||Ian "Dicko" Dickson|
|Austria, Germany||Expedition Robinson||ORF
|Season 1, 2000: Melanie Lauer[a]||Volker Piesczek|
|Space TV||Season 1, 2011: Kemal Cenk İçten||Emin Əhmədov|
|Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania||Robinsonid / Robinsoni / Robinzonai
|Džunglistaar / Džungļu zvaigznes / Džiungles
|Season 1, 2004: Dagmāra Legante||Tõnu Kark|
|Belgium, Flanders||Expeditie Robinson
Season 1, 2018: Robbe De Backer
|Bartel Van Riet|
|Belgium, Netherlands||Expeditie Robinson
Season 8, 2007: Vinncent Arrendell
Season 21, 2020: Thomas Roobrouck
|Expeditie Robinson: Strijd der Titanen
Expedition Robinson: Battle of the Titans
|Season 1, 2006: Ryan van Esch||Ernst-Paul Hasselbach|
On the Limit
Kamen Vodenicharov (1)
Into the Shangri-La
|CCTV||Season 1, 2001: Members of Sun Village||Unknown|
|Chile||Expedición Robinson: La Isla VIP
Expedition Robinson: The VIP Island
|Canal 13||Season 1, 2006: Marcela Roberts||Sergio Lagos |
Season 1, 2001: Rolando Patarroyo
|La Isla de los Famos.o.s.
The Island of the Famous
Season 1, 2004: María Cecilia Sánchez
Guillermo Prieto (1–4)
|Croatia||Survivor: Odisejev Otok
Survivor: Odyssey Island
|HRT 2||Season 1, 2005: Vazmenko Pervan||Kristijan Potočki|
Survivor: Costa Rica
|RTL Televizija||Season 2, 2012: Vlada Vuksanović||Andrija Milošević, Marijana Batinić, Antonija Blaće, Milan Kalinić|
|Survivor Croatia (2022)||Nova TV||Season 3, 2022: TBA||TBA|
|TV Prima||Season 1, 2006: Ingrid Golasová||Marek Vašut|
|TV Nova||Ondřej Novotný|
|Survivor Česko Slovensko||TV Nova
|Season 1, 2022: Upcoming season||TBA|
Season 1, 1998: Regina Pedersen
|Teleamazonas||Season 1, 2003: Tito Grefa||Marisa Sánchez|
Jarmo Mäkinen (1)
|MTV3||Season 1, 2013: Jarkko Kortesoja||Heikki Paasonen|
Season 1, 2001: Gilles Nicolet
Season 1, 2009: Romuald Lafite
The Last Hero
|Rustavi 2||Season 1, 2007–08: Tamar Chanturashvili||Unknown|
|Germany||Das Inselduell||Sat.1||Unofficial adaption, 2000: Michael||Holger Speckhahn|
|Season 1, 2000: Melanie Lauer||Volker Piesczek|
|Gestrandet – Zeig, was in dir steckt!1||RTL 2||Season 1, 2001: Alexander Kolo||Pierre Geisensetter|
|Outback||RTL||Unofficial adaption of Survivor: The Australian Outback, 2002: Unknown||Markus Lanz|
|Survivor||ProSieben||Season 1, 2007: Volker Kreuzner||Sascha Kalupke|
|VOX||Season 2, 2019: Lara Grünfeld||Florian Weber|
|Survivor||Mega TV||Grigoris Arnaoutoglou|
Giorgos Lianos (6-)
Sakis Tanimanidis (5-6)
The Edge of the World
|Mega TV||Season 4, 2010: Vaggelis Gerasimou||Giannis Aivazis|
|Survivor: Greece vs. Turkey[d]||Season 3, 2006: Derya Durmuşlar||Konstantinos Markoulakis|
|Season 7, 2019: Katerina Dalaka & Yusuf Karakaya||Sakis Tanimanidis|
|Hungary||Survivor – A sziget
Survivor - The Island
|Survivor India – The Ultimate Battle||Star Plus||Season 1, 2012 : Raj Rani||Sameer Kochhar|
|Survivor Tamil||Zee Tamil||Season 1, 2021: Current season||Arjun Sarja|
|Channel 10||Guy Zu-Aretz|
|Reshet 13||Season 12, 2022: Upcoming season|
|Channel 10||Season 6, 2012: Itay Segev|
|Italy||Survivor Italia||Italia 1||Season 1, 2001: Milica Miletic||
|L'Isola dei Famosi
The Island of the Famous
Season 1, 2003: Walter Nudo
Simona Ventura (Studio, 1–8)
|LBC||Season 1, 2004: Hussein El-Abass||Tareq Mounir|
Season 1, 2020: Eduardo Urbina
|New Zealand||Survivor NZ||TVNZ 2||Matt Chisholm|
Season 1, 1999: Christer Falch
|Season 1, 2006: Muhammad Ziad||Unknown|
|Philippines||Survivor Philippines||GMA Network||Paolo Bediones|
|Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Showdown||Richard Gutierrez|
|TVN||Season 1, 2004: Katarzyna Drzyżdżyk||Hubert Urbański|
Island of Survival
|Polsat||Season 2, 2017: Katarzyna Cebula
|Portugal||Survivor||TVI||Season 1, 2001: Pedro Besugo||Paulo Salvador|
Season 1, 2016: Lucian "Zapp" Lupu
Dragoș Bucurenci (1)
|Kanal D||Dan Cruceru (1)|
Daniel Pavel (2 - )
Season 3, 2022: Upcoming season
The Last Hero
Season 1, 2001: Sergey Odintsov
|Denmark, Norway, Sweden||Expedition Robinson: VIP[e]||TV3 Denmark
|Season 1, 2005: Tilde Fröling||Mikkel Beha Erichsen|
|Prva Srpska Televizija
|Andrija Milošević (1–2)|
|Survivor Srbija: VIP
Survivor Serbia: VIP
|Prva Srpska Televizija||Andrija Milošević (3–4)|
Marijana Batinić (4)
|Slovakia||Celebrity Camp||TV JOJ||Season 1, 2007: Aneta Parišková||Ján Kroner & Petra Polnišová|
|Markíza||Season 2, 2016: Filip Ferianec||Marián Mitaš|
|TV 3||Season 1, 2009–10: See Survivor Srbija 2||Ula Furlan|
|POP TV||Season 2, 2016: Alen Perklič||Miran Stanovnik|
|South Africa||Survivor South Africa||M-Net||
Season 1, 2006: Vanessa Marawa
|Spain||Supervivientes: Expedición Robinson
Survivors: Expedition Robinson
|La Isla de los FamoS.O.S.
The Island of the Famou-S.O.S.
La Selva de los FamoS.O.S.
Aventura en África
Season 6, 2005: Víctor Janeiro
Season 7, 2006: Carmen Russo
Season 1, 1997: Martin Melin
Season 10, 2009: Ellenor Pierre
|Sjuan||Season 15, 2015: Dan Spinelli Scala & Jennifer Egelryd||Linda Lindorff|
Season 1, 1999: Andreas Widmer
|Turkey||Survivor: Büyük Macera
Survivor: Great Adventure
|Kanal D||Season 1, 2005: Uğur Pektaş||Ahmet Utlu|
|Survivor: Greece vs. Turkey||Show TV||Season 2, 2006: Derya Durmuşlar||Acun Ilıcalı (2)|
|TV8||Season 13, 2019: Yusuf Karakaya & Katerina Dalaka||Acun Ilıcalı|
|Survivor||Show TV||Acun Ilıcalı (3–4)|
Hanzade Ofluoğlu (4)
|Survivor: Ünlüler vs. Gönüllüler
Survivor: Celebrities vs. Volunteers
Burcu Esmersoy (6)
|Star TV||Acun Ilıcalı|
|Survivor All Star||Season 9, 2015: Turabi Çamkıran||Acun Ilıcalı|
The Last Hero
Season 1, 2011: Andrey Kovalski
|TBA||1+1||Season 3, 2022: Upcoming season||TBA|
Season 1, 2000: Richard Hatch
|Venezuela||Robinson: La Gran Aventura
Robinson: The Great Adventure
- The German RTL2 created their own version of Survivor, Gestrandet – Zeig, was in dir steckt!, after airing a co-production of Austrian-German Survivor in season 1. Austria had not continued its own series nor co-produced an Austrian-German Survivor after season 1.
- Starting from the 11th season, Belgians were eligible to apply for the French series.
- Starting from the 10th season, the Swiss were eligible to apply for the French series.
- Survivor: Greece vs. Turkey is a co-production between the Greek and Turkish Survivor franchises.
- Is a season co-produced by the Croatian and Serbian franchises. It was the second season of Survivor to air in Croatia and the fourth season to air in Serbia.
- Starting from the 39th season, Canadians will be eligible to apply for the American series.
- Season currently being aired.
|Country||Season name||Launch date||Finale date||Days||Survivors||Grand prize|
|Australia||Australian Survivor||18 July 2021||2021||48||24||$500,000|
|Brazil||No Limite 5||11 May 2021||20 July 2021||29||16||R$500,000|
|Denmark||Robinson Ekspeditionen||6 September 2021||November 2021||TBD||TBD||500,000 DKK|
|France||Koh-Lanta||24 August 2021||Winter 2021||36||20||€100,000|
|Hungary||Survivor - A Sziget||30 August 2021||15 October 2021||42||TBA||20,000,000 Ft|
|India||Survivor Tamil||12 September 2021||TBA||TBA||TBA||₹ 100,000,00|
|Italy||L'isola dei Famosi||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA||€100,000|
|Mexico||Survivor México||7 April 2021||15 August 2021||TBA||24||$2,000,000 MXN|
|Netherlands||Expeditie Robinson||29 August 2021||December 2021||34||26||€25,000|
|South Africa||Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island||3 June 2021||16 September 2021||39||20||R1,000,000|
|Sweden||Expedition Robinson||2022||2022||TBA||20||500,000 SEK|
|Turkey||Survivor Turkey||TBD||TBD||TBA||30||₺ 500,000|
|United States||Survivor 41||22 September 2021||December 2021||39[a]||18||$1,000,000[b]|
- Unlike most seasons of the American version of Survivor, which typically last 39 days, Survivor 41 only lasted 26 days due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements.
- On the 40th season of the American version of Survivor, a season where all contestants were winners of previous seasons, the prize was increased to US$2 million.
One of the more novel merchandising items has been the interactive Survivor: The Ride thrill ride at California's Great America in Santa Clara, California. The ride includes a rotating platform on which riders are divided into one of four "tribes." As the ride moves along an undulating track, riders can be sprayed by water guns hidden in oversized tribal masks while drums and other familiar Survivor musical accents play in the background. Other theming includes Survivor memorabilia throughout the queue line and other merchandise for sale in nearby gift shops. The ride has since been rethemed as Tiki Twirl.
During the first Survivor seasons many online games based on forums were created. More specific Survivor online games appeared later.
In late 2013, a former contestant of the American version of the show, Erik Reichenbach, launched a Kickstarter campaign for a Survivor-styled online mobile app called "Islands of Chaos". The app pits players from all over the world in a battle of challenges and strategy to be the last one standing. If the campaign is successful, the plan is to release the game free of charge on a range of platforms including on Apple and Android devices.
Beginning on July 8, 2007, a parody of Survivor called Total Drama Island appeared on the Canadian television network Teletoon. This animated show included 22 summer campers who signed up to stay at a five-star resort, which actually turned out to be a cruddy summer camp on an island somewhere in Muskoka, Ontario. The host, Chris McLean, is modeled after Survivor host Jeff Probst. The campers are taken to the island on boats to meet their fellow competitors, being heartbroken at the sight of their wasted summer. The campers were separated into two teams: The "Screaming Gophers" and the "Killer Bass". Every three days there would be a challenge for the campers to face, from jumping off a 1,000-foot (300 m) high cliff into a lake to survival skills. The losing team of each challenge would go to the Bonfire Ceremony the night of the challenge, and vote someone off the team, like Survivor. Each team member still in the game would receive a marshmallow, leaving one team member without one. The member who does not receive a marshmallow (the symbol of life on the island) would have to walk the Dock of Shame and board the Boat of Losers to leave the island, and "Never ever ever ever ever" return (which turned out to be a lie in the episode "No Pain, No Game"). After 12 members of the island were voted off, the teams were merged. The winner receives a check for the C$100,000 and the final marshmallow. The show then ends with Chris thrown off the Dock of Shame. The show aired in 188 countries and also appeared on the channels of Cartoon Network and Jetix. The show became a critical and commercial success and it spun off into a series.
- List of television show franchises
- Total Drama
- Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls
- Takeshi's Castle
- The Hunger Games
- Tartaglione, Nancy (July 10, 2017). "Banijay Raises $416M To Help Finance Acquisition Of 'Survivor's Castaway Prods".
- Probst, Jeff (October 23, 2009). "Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #6". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
- "Jeff Probst Talks "Survivor: Fiji"". Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- Probst, Jeff (February 26, 2010). "Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains': Episode 3". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
- Ross, Dalton (February 7, 2005). "The Host Has Spoken". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 4, 2008.
- "Returning Shows". Retrieved September 21, 2007.
- Rocchio, Christopher (May 12, 2008). "Exclusive: Amanda Kimmel discusses 'Micronesia,' losing 'Survivor' twice". Reality TV World. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
- Survivor: Game Changers reunion show, CBS, May 24, 2017
- "The Slug: Jeff Probst Talks "Survivor: Fiji"". asapblogs.typepad.com. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- "Survivor: Cagayan Preview Special". CBS. February 12, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- Ross, Dalton (January 11, 2015). "Survivor host Jeff Probst reveals latest twist: a new 'super idol'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
- Probst, Jeff (April 3, 2009). "Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (episode 6)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 3, 2009.
- Ross, Dalton (January 11, 2015). "Survivor exclusive: Immunity idols to be hidden at challenges this season". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
- Probst, Jeff (April 30, 2010). "Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' episode 11". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
- Ross, Dalton (August 9, 2010). "'Survivor: Nicaragua': New cast and new twists revealed!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
- "Senior Women Web > Articles > Margaret Cullison". seniorwomen.com. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- "He lost a million, won our hearts on 'Survivor'". Retrieved May 15, 2007.
- Survivor's Lindsey Discusses Fame, Fortune, and the AIDS Benefit Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Reality News Online
- Smith, Stephan (December 9, 2006). "Car Curse In Cruise Control". CBS News. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
- "Bulgaria Survivor contestant dies". BBC News. June 1, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
- Semercioğlu, Cengiz (May 20, 2005). "Ahmet Utlu bir kez bile denize girmedi". Hürriyet. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
- "Survivor: The Ride – LoveToKnow Themeparks".
- kickstarter.com "Islands of Chaos: The Strategic Adventure Mobile App" Check
United Kingdom Season #1 (2001)
- Waddell, Dan. Survivor: Trust No One: The Official Inside Story of TV's Toughest Challenge. London: Carlton, [December, ] 2001.
United Kingdom Season #2: Survivor: Panama (2002)
- Waddell, Dan. Survivor: Panama. London: Carlton, [June, ] 2002.
United States Season #1: Survivor: Pulau Tiga, Borneo (2000)
- Boesch, Rudy, and Jeff Herman. The Book of Rudy: The Wit and Wisdom of Rudy Boesch. No location: Adams Media Corporation, 2001.
- Burnett, Mark, with Martin Dugard. Survivor: The Ultimate Game: The Official Companion Book to the CBS Television Show. New York: TV Books, 2000.
- Hatch, Richard. 101 Survival Secrets: How to Make $1,000,000, Lose 100 Pounds, and Just Plain Live Happily. New York: Lyons Press, 2000.
- Lance, Peter. Stingray: Lethal Tactics of the Sole Survivor: The Inside Story of How the Castaways were Controlled on the Island and Beyond. Portland, Oregon: R.R. Donnelley, 2000.
United States Season #2: Survivor: The Australian Outback (2001)
- Burnett, Mark. Dare to Succeed: How to Survive and Thrive in the Game of Life. No location: Hyperion, 2001.
- Survivor II: The Field Guide: The Official Companion to the CBS Television Show. New York: TV Books, 2001.
United States Season #6: Survivor: Amazon (2003)
- ChillOne, The. The Spoiler: Revealing the Secrets of Survivor. Lincoln, Nebraska: iUniverse, 2003.
United States Season #9: Survivor: Vanuatu -Islands of Fire (2004)
- Burnett, Mark. Jump In!: Even If You Don't Know How to Swim. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.
Various Seasons, esp. United States 1–6
- Survivor Lessons, edited by Matthew J. Smith and Andrew F. Wood. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2004.
- Wright, Christopher J. Tribal Warfare: Survivor and the Political Unconscious of Reality Television (Series: Critical Studies in Television). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006.
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