The new season of Australian Survivor is just around the corner, airing this Sunday at 7:30PM on channel ten. It has been a long wait since the announcement of the season in November last year and the patience of Aussie Survivor fans is about to pay off. There has been an overload of information coming out in the past couple of months, making it only more appropriate to gather said information in to one place. A Survival guide, so to speak! Featured here will be all the important information about the new season, from the cast, to the rules of the game and the episode structure. Everything is here! On top of that there will be a breakdown of what you can expect from us here at Survivor Oz. The hype is real and the wait is short…Australian Survivor is coming!
Australian Survivor first premiered in Australia in 2002 on channel nine. The series failed to capture an audience and only frustrated fans by airing the series in place of Survivor: Marquesas, the fourth US season. A second attempt at Australian Survivor came in 2006, this time on channel seven. The series was a celebrity edition and has better reception than the 2002 season but ultimately suffered a similar fate.
In 2013, Survivor creator Charlie Parsons appeared for an interview on Survivor Oz where he hinted that the Survivor format was being shopped around Australian networks. Ultimately the rumour of a new Australian series didn’t lead anywhere in public and most hope of a new season died.
These rumours turned out to be true and unexpectedly in November 2015 during the channel ten up fronts, a new season of Australian Survivor was announced to air sometime during the second half of 2016.
Casting opened the same week of the announcement and saw over 15,000 applicants, breaking records for Australian reality TV casting.
On the 11th May, 2016, a channel ten launch party was held which officially kicked off the beginning of production and the crew and cast heading to Samoa to begin the season.
The season began filming in May 2016 and concluded last month.
Speculation amongst fans quickly formed as to who would be the host of the series with channel ten personalities Rove McManus and Dr Chris Brown as frontrunners for the job. Ultimately Australian actor and former doctor Jonathan LaPaglia was named as the new host for the season. The decision was left of field but was largely a popular choice amongst fans and the media.
Jonathan was publically named as host in April 2016 and tweeted that he had met and received tips from US Survivor host Jeff Probst. Australian Survivor will be Jonathan’s first hosting role, breaking away from his normal Hollywood role. LaPaglia has spoken candidly about his struggles as being the host of an esteemed show and how he is balancing being unique from Jeff Probst yet still familiar to audiences.
The cast is made up of 24 Australians. Twelve men and twelve women. The players are aged between 23 years old and 63 years old, with the majority being in their twenties or thirties.
The 24 players will be divided in to three tribes of eight. Four men and four women on each tribe.
The Saanapu tribe (Blue) will consist of: Bianca, Conner, Flick, Kylie, Peter, Brooke, Matt and Sam.
The Aganoa tribe (Red) will consist of: Kristie, Lee, Kat, Evan, Rohan, Des, El and Phoebe.
The Vavau tribe (Yellow) will consist of: Kate, Sue, Tegan, Craig, Nick, Barry, Jennah-Louise and Andrew.
Every state and territory in Australia is represented in the cast except for Tasmania and the Northern Territory. The 24 players are made up of 8 people from Queensland, 5 people from Victoria, 4 people from New South Wales, 3 people from Western Australia, 2 people from South Australia and 2 people from the Australian Capital Territory.
Four of the castaways will be perhaps be already known to some of the viewing audience. Single Dad Lee Carseldine is a former professional cricketer who played for the Adelaide Strikers. He follows Rob Dickson and Guy Leech as the third professional athlete to appear in Australian Survivor. Perhaps lesser known than Carseldine, Barry Lea was a part of the Rugby team the Wallabies and is a radio host/actor.
Perth’s Kate Campbell received significant media attention after she was involved in a serious boat crash in 2007. She has written a book about her experience and still shows up occasionally in the media. Finally Matt Tarrant from Adelaide is a magician and mentalist who is a regular performer at the Adelaide Fringe festival and has made numerous television appearances.
Other professions amongst the cast include a criminal cartel lawyer, a private investigator, an air crash investigator, a charity CEO, a model, a courier driver and a personal trainer. Queensland contestant Flick has a connection to the US version of Survivor, dating the brother of Survivor: Nicaragua contestant Ben ‘Benry’ Henry.
The cast is made up of people who are huge fans of the show and people who have seen next to nothing of it. Some of the big fans include Nick, Matt, Kate, Andrew and Evan, while players like Sam and Brooke admit to not seeing much of Survivor prior to competing.
The game will run for 55 days. This is 16 extra days than the average US season, although not the longest Survivor season around the world. The 55 days is likely to accommodate the 24 players and to produce more episodes without cluttering the season of 23 tribal councils in 39 days.
The season was filmed in Samoa. The first Australian season was filmed locally in South Australia while the celebrity version had a similar pacific location of Vanuatu. Four seasons of the US version have previously filmed in the same Samoan location.
The prize for the winner and sole Survivor will be half a million dollars. This was the same prize for the first 2002 Australian Survivor. It is currently unclear whether or not there will be consolation prizes for the other 23 players, although it is safe to assume there will be.
Hidden immunity idols have been confirmed to appear in the season. These will be regular hidden immunity idols and won’t have superpowers such as the super idol from Survivor: Cagayan and the joint idols from Survivor: Kaoh Rong. In an interview with Hamish and Andy, Jonathan LaPaglia stated that there will be more than six idols in the game.
The season will have a final two, facing a jury of nine according to a Tenplay exclusive promo video. That means over half the cast won’t be present during the final episode. It is currently unclear when the merge will occur. At some stage the three tribes of eight will be merged in to two tribes, as expected.
Both reward challenges and immunity challenges have been confirmed to appear throughout the season, just like the US version. The first challenge will see the teams competing for fire, a common early reward in Survivor.
Two episodes of Australian Survivor will air weekly, every Sunday and Monday at 7:30 on channel ten.
According to Jonathan LaPaglia there will be 26 episodes in the season with a tribal council expected to be in all of, or most of the episodes. Assuming this info is correct and there is no double episodes on one night then we can expect to see the finale on Monday 14th of November. Roughly a month before Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X concludes.
The premiere episode, airing tomorrow will be extended edition like the US Survivor premieres. Episode one of Australian Survivor will be 100 minutes long, including commercials. The synopsis for the opening episode is, as follows:
“Twenty-four Australians arrive on the tropical island of Samoa ready to outwit, outplay and outlast each other in order to win the half a million dollar prize and the title of soul survivor.”
With episode two on Monday night:
“The tribes compete in an Immunity Challenge to avoid tribal council where they will be forced to vote a team mate off the island. Who will be the second contestant to leave the island?”
It is currently unclear if the season will have an opening title sequence similar to the US version, or if any form of title sequence will exist at all. The US Survivor theme ‘Ancient Voices’ was used in one of the advertisements for the upcoming season, so it is safe to assume we can expect to hear it in the opening episode.
Here at Survivor Oz we will be covering the show extensively, both in podcast and written form. We have yet to iron out all the details but you can expect to hear us live after the premiere tomorrow, followed by another recap on Monday. We hope to deliver you two episodes a week, with at least one of those being live after the airing of the episode. We also aim to bring you interviews with the castaways, be it in an exit interview format after they are eliminated or after the season has wrapped up airing.
We will also be providing you with a written recap once a week which will serve as a summary of the week gone bye and a refresher heading in to the next two weeks. In addition to the recap, there will also be a written power rankings once a week where the castaways will be ranked on their performance for the past two episodes. You can expect to see three or four of the ozlets participating in this. On top of the two weekly articles we will also be keeping up to date with the latest Australian Survivor news and keeping the conversation alive on social media through our Facebook and Twitter pages!
In addition to Survivor Oz, it has been made clear that channel ten wishes for Survivor to be a multi-platform series that extends from just the two episodes on television each week. Details of this have been kept pretty under wraps but based on the pre-season coverage, it would be safe to assume we will be seeing bonus footage on channel ten’s Tenplay site and maybe even exit interviews to go along with it. No doubt Australian Survivor will receive extensive coverage in the Australian media as well, just as it has already before the show has begun.
Catch up on the previews and promos for the season just in time for the premiere tomorrow night.
First six minutes of the premiere: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/australian-survivor/extra/season-1/episode-1-preview
Interview with Jonathan LaPaglia: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/australian-survivor/extra/season-1/exclusive-interview-with-jonathan-lapaglia
Meet Kylie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSx61bc3HMk
Meet Phoebe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWiuLQLC33k
Exclusive Interview-Phoebe: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/australian-survivor/extra/season-1/exclusive-interview-with-phoebe
Exclusive Interview-Kylie: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/australian-survivor/extra/season-1/exclusive-interview-with-kylie
Exclusive Interview-Des: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/australian-survivor/extra/season-1/exclusive-interview-with-des
Preview 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zgZYYmRVEo
Preview 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQtul66rmuk
Preview 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcYi2VDX0vE
Preview 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXmOdDVMmnE
Written Cast Bios: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/australian-survivor/castaways
So there you have it! We can now go from counting down days to counting down hours before Australian Survivor kicks off again for the first time in ten years. A moment most Aussie Survivor fans thought we would never see. With this guide you should now be prepared to take on the season. It should be a wild ride through two episodes a week and a whole load of coverage from Survivor Oz. Bring on Australian Survivor! August 21st, 7:30 PM, Channel Ten.
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