Sur­vivor: San Juan Del Sur

Sea­son 29 SABC3 (*193) 19:30 Re­al­ity

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Sur­vivor (2000-cur­r­net) isn’t nick­named “the grand­fa­ther of re­al­ity shows” for noth­ing. It’s seen and done just about ev­ery­thing in its 34 sea­sons (it’s just been re­newed for an­other two) and that means a lot of be­hind-the-scenes se­crets are just wait­ing to come out…

While exec pro­ducer Mark Bur­nett 1

cre­ated the US ver­sion, he didn’t come up with the con­cept. UK TV exec Char­lie Par­sons de­vel­oped the idea in 1992 and the first ver­sion was Ex­pe­di­tion Robin­son (1997-cur­rent) in Swe­den.

View­ers only see the win­ner tak­ing 2

home the $1 mil­lion (R13 mil­lion) grand prize but the oth­ers score cash too – like the run­ner-up, who’s given $100 000 (R1.3 mil­lion).

There are over 75 cam­era peo­ple, 3

sound tech­ni­cians and pro­duc­tion crew on lo­ca­tion each sea­son.

Be­fore each se­ries, chal­lenges are 4

tested at the show’s LA base by a group called “The Dream Team” – and when you see a game be­ing demon­strated in the show and don’t see any­one’s face in-shot, that’s a Dream Team mem­ber per­form­ing the chal­lenge.

And medics check out each and 5

every con­tes­tant be­fore and af­ter any chal­lenge, even if they’re healthy.

Clever edit­ing makes Tribal Coun­cil 6

go past in five min­utes… but they are ac­tu­ally up to 90 min­utes long each.

Host Jeff Probst and the pro­duc­ers 7

choose the or­der votes are read at Tribal Coun­cil to add drama – they’re not read in the or­der they’re cast.

The Sur­vivor theme song – An­cient 8

Voices by com­poser Russ Lan­dau – is the same every sea­son. It’s just given a “lo­cal” twist to match up with where the sea­son is be­ing filmed.

Host Jeff Probst adds to the Tribal Coun­cil sus­pense.

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