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Producers Shake Things Up for 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Dec 20th 2010 7:55AM
Is it just us, or does it feel like 'Survivor' is on TV year-round? Last night, shortly after announcing the winner of 'Survivor: Nicaragua,' Jeff Probst and CBS unveiled details of the upcoming Season 22. And we learned that it will usher in some big changes to the show's format.

In the past we've had All-Star seasons, Fans vs. Favorites, Young vs. Old and Heroes vs. Villains. We've had nudists and celebrities. Some seasons had two tribes, others have had four, but the basic premise -- once you're voted off the island, the show's over for you -- hasn't changed.

However, coming out of a season that tried out several gimmicks with mixed success, the show's in danger of becoming tired and predictable.

So, following the example of 'American Idol' and others, producers have introduced a twist: Eliminated contestants won't go straight home. Instead, they'll head to 'Redemption Island' where they'll get another chance to compete.

The location for 'Redemption Island' will be familiar to 'Nicaragua' viewers as the season was shot this past August in San Juan del Sur Beach, Nicaragua.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, host Jeff Probst explained the new twist: "When you're voted out at Tribal Council, you don't go home. ... You go to Redemption Island and you live alone. And at a certain point in the game another person will join you. You will compete in a duel. The winner stays. The loser goes home. So you're continuing to live out there on your own with very basic supplies. But you're still in the game. And at a certain point you'll be allowed to reenter the game and have a shot at the money."

This isn't the first time 'Survivor' contestants have been offered a shot at redemption and another chance of winning the $1 million grand prize. In Season 7, 'The Pearl Islands,' six eliminated players returned as the "Outcast Tribe," much to the disgust of the other players and many fans.

Referring to the Season 7 twist as a "haphazard" version of 'Redemption Island,' Probst said he doesn't anticipate the same backlash because now that everyone knows what the twist is, they can't complain that the rules have changed. "I have no problem with people coming back into the game because everybody knows up front. A rule can't be unfair if you know going in. It's an equal opportunity."

Another change to the format is that because of the duel between eliminated contestants, each episode will feature only one combined reward/immunity challenge for the non-eliminated players. "This is the most excited I've been in a long time when it comes to a twist. I really hope [it] adds a new layer that we can use for years to come," said Probst. "It's a big risk. It could fail miserably. I don't think it's going to."

'Survivor: Redemption Island' premieres Wednesday, Feb. 16, on CBS.

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i wish stepehie lagrossa will be on the cast or any season shes so great

January 24 2011 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

I don't think I'm going to like this change. Nor will I like the combined reward/immunity challenges EVERY week. Sometimes it's a joy to see them go and know we won't see them again unless they're on the jury. And how do they work the combo thing? Whoever wins immunity also wins reward? Kind of sucks.

One good change is the NaOnka and Kelly quitters can't be jurors anymore.

December 20 2010 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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