Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 Things Australian Survivor 2016 Needs

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Happy Wednesday S'ozers. This week in our first top 10 of the summer, in light of the announcement of a local version of Survivor in 2016, Noah gets excited putting down his wishlist for the top 10 things that the forthcoming Australian Survivor season needs. Do you agree with his must-haves for the Australian version of the greatest reality show on the planet? What else would make Survivor sweet in 2016? Share your thoughts below!

10. A Million Dollar Prize

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This is a small point but it is vital that the seasons has decent prizes throughout. In the original Australian version the producers didn’t tell the cast that the prize would not be one million dollars until they were in the season. That caused some controversy and gave the season a sour taste. The bigger the prize the more motivation there is for the castaways to compete hard. If there is no incentive to make it far that could lead to quits or people simply not trying as hard as they could.

9. A Title Sequence and Familiar Soundtrack

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The fact of the matter is that we probably won’t get Ancient Voices as the theme song as most international versions don’t. If it is possible then it would validate the season all the more like the use of the main theme in The Amazing Race Australia. If we don’t get Ancient Voices then we need a catchy song and a title sequence that is that standard Survivor intro. The day to day soundtrack needs to either fit the style of Survivor or be taken from the US version. Australian reality TV has a knack for playing pop songs in their shows which would be an embarrassment in Survivor. The network Ten up fronts video included the US version of the theme which can give us hope it will be used in the finished product.

8. An Exotic Location

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Another big issue with the original Australian version was that they filmed the season locally rather than a far off international location. This was corrected in Celebrity Australian Survivor when they filmed in Vanuatu. The original season didn’t even film in the Survivor: The Australian Outback location but was a camping trip in South Australia instead. Luckily for us Channel Ten chief programming officer Beverly McGarvey stated that it will be filmed overseas somewhere with white luxurious beaches. She neglected to say where just yet but it is a definite step forward in the success of the season!

7. Familiar and New Challenges

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The original Australian version had almost exclusively new challenges that hadn’t been seen before. Some of them worked, many didn’t. Challenges are such a big part of the show that in some ways they could make or break the season. This is a chance to have some familiar challenges from the US version like gross food eating, auction, Sumo at sea, answering questions about fellow tribe mates, just to name a few fan favourites. Let’s not have the same old pre merge ‘go out and get the puzzle pieces, come back and make the puzzle’ challenge or post merge ‘balance a ball on a plate or stand here for as long as possible’ for every challenge. This is also the perfect opportunity to introduce new challenges that haven’t been seen in Survivor before. Utilise the challenge legacy of the US version while not solely relying on it.

6. A Mix of Survival and Strategy

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It is hard to predict what will happen in terms of this balance. On one hand I could see the strategy game being largely ignored in favour of people surviving on a beach and voting out weaker members of the tribe much like the original Australian version. On the other hand the US Survivor is so strategic focused that the new Aussie version could put a bigger emphasis on strategy and use the survival as a backdrop. A lot of this depends on how savvy the cast actually is but this could be the perfect opportunity to produce a season that finds a strong balance between Survival and living aspects along with the strategy similar to later early to middle seasons of the US version.

5. Familiar Rules and Production

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This is a big one and it is simple…keep the same rules and format! The original Australian version introduced the immunity bell instead of idol, players could vote for themselves and tonnes of changes were made. Keep everything the same. It should be like an American season but with an Australian cast and a few things to give it its own flavour. One big fear is that they will do things like having confessionals in the middle of challenges. Even though people complain about them, hidden immunity idols would probably be a valuable introduction to the season but please no major rule changes! It has already been revealed in the network Ten up fronts video that the cast will be 24 people which sounds slightly troublesome but it can work if some players aren’t completely neglected.

4. A Good Host

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This could be a huge factor in the success of the season. Jeff Probst is such an authority figure and recognised factor in the Survivor phenomenon that it makes it difficult for international seasons to thrive in this department. As nice as he is, Lincoln Howes from Australia 2002 even admits he wasn’t the best choice as host and Dicko from the Celebrity version was decent but fell flat. No doubt the host will be a recognised personality in Australia but perhaps it would be better to go with an unknown. Some suggestions have been Rove McManus who in my eyes would not work for the show. He hosts late night TV well but is not an authority figure the show needs. Hamish Blake has been suggested which let’s face it, would be horrible for Survivor and Grant Denyer would make the show plain unwatchable. PLEASE do not screw up on the host channel ten!

3. Strong Episode Structure

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It has already been revealed that the intention is to air multiple episodes a week instead of the sole one that the US version airs. This could be extremely troublesome but could also be an experiment that works. McGarvey stated that it wouldn’t air every night though so we can assume it would be between two to four episodes per week. Australian reality TV has a trend of airing extended episodes of 90 minutes to two hours multiple nights a week. It is complete overboard. If they stick with hour long episodes and limit it to two episodes a week, three at the most then it should be a good thing. It would allow more time to get to know the characters and it would hopefully mean the editing isn’t skewed completely to four or so players. It can be time for more challenges, more strategies and more of the survival aspects of the show. Here’s to hoping that the episode structure doesn’t completely screw the season!

2. No Crazy Twists

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Australian reality shows love to have twists galore and plague their shows with crazy and over the top twists. New twists are fine every now and then but please can we not have them just to add cliff hangers in the episode or fill the quota of two or three episodes a week. In my eyes that is the worst possible thing that can happen with this season. Keep the twists to a minimum or do not create twists that are completely unfair or out of place. Ideally it will be just a regular season but if not then we can only hope the tribe divisions isn’t something completely ridiculous. No redemption island either!

1. A Diverse Cast

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Perhaps the biggest flaw in the original Australian version was the fact that the cast comprised of 16 white, middle class Australians, the majority aged between 20 and 40. These players treated the game like a camping trip and were all very similar. The success of this upcoming season relies more on the cast than anything else. It needs to be diverse, in every way possible. From even genders, a spread of states represented, diverse races, sexual orientation, age, way of living (Urban, suburban and rural), jobs, different physical types and most of all people who are willing it play the game and are entertaining. If the casting directors are able to put together 16 to 20 people who cover all of these bases then we are a huge step forward to having a successful season and potential future seasons. Casting is everything!

What do you think of the top 10? Do you agree? Disagree? Is it in the wrong order or are there ones that didn’t make the top 10 that you feel should’ve? Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts!

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5 Comments on Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 Things Australian Survivor 2016 Needs

  1. What they need to do for the new season is make it different from the american version so that it has some uniqueness to it but keep it twist once the season starts.

    If they decide to have different rules in the game or a different way of voting then everyone needs to be told that at the beginning and not surprised later down in the season.

    24 people is ridiculous but they want to make it work they need to have 2 hour episodes at least at the beginning and then maybe go down to one hour at merge. We need to be able to know about each player in the early us seasons you knew everyone “personally” by the merge and no one was invisible when they went home.

    They should make the contestants have to survive and make food limited. It should be a struggle for them to get through the game like in the earlier seasons. Strategy should also be shown but they should not be thriving like on later seasons of the american version.

    hidden immunity idols in the 1st season could work but I think they should have a few changes from the US version.

    1st they should be allowed to steal idols to make people actually have to keep it safe and to add some drama into the season. They need the idol to be the current format.

    The tie breaker should be passed votes 100% it makes every vote count and would set it apart from the current US version.

    The jury should be made of 7 people and they need to have a final 2. Just because the casting director got drunk and cast 24 people does not mean we need some final 3 and massive 12 person jury. No! keep it a final 2 and keep the jury small. This would mean that only the best get on the jury and have to survive 5 rounds in merge (assuming its a 14 person merge)

    They need to come up with a logo either make it new or steal it from the uk one “trust no one” The must not use the American one.

    They must not pull a BBCAN on survivor.AKA pulling twists out of a hat every round. Also take out the rule that allows for voting for your self. Its stupid.

    All in all they should make it their own with out going astray from the concept of survivor and hopefully stay with a final 2.

    • I agree and disagree. I think the season should feel unique but I think they should capture that through a strong cast that represents Australia and a good Australian host. A big part of why the original season failed is it did try and be different to the US version which didn’t work apart from a few cool challenges. A big part of why Survivor South Africa is the best English international version is because they stay true in most parts to the US version while still feeling unique because of the cast. I think to make the best possible product they should actually copy most of the US version and focus on casting more so than anything. In essence as long as they don’t change key parts of the rules then we can have some hope for the success of the season!

  2. 100% agree with all of this.

  3. Can someone send this into 10 and Endermol-Shine. It’s definitely a good read for them.

  4. And racism hits the top spot.

    Wanting a diverse cast is basically code for wanting casting to discriminate against White people. Ultimately who gets on Survivor should have nothing to do with race. Who gets on should be based on personality and how interesting and dynamic you are as an individual. The vast majority of Australian citizens are White so the pool of talent will and ultimately should represent the demographics of Australia. Otherwise you are discriminating.

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