Before there was Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kendra or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, another reality series, one that pitted brain against brawn in deserted locations, was the talk of the reality TV world. The competitive show (a spin-off of a Swedish TV series created by Brit Charlie Parsons) was one of the first of its kind, and its shelf life is a mark of its success: having originally aired on CBS in 2000, the tribe has now spoken for 12 years. To celebrate the 24th season of Survivor, airing on OSN from February 17, we reveal some odd facts about the series.
What happens when a group of genetically-blessed humans lie stranded on a desert island? Love blooms. While the show’s producers seem averse to documenting the romantic forays of Survivor contestants, long-term relationships have indeed blossomed. Jenna Moresca (Amazon 2003 season winner) and Ethan Zohn (Africa winner 2002) have been in a relationship for eight years, while more recently Rob and Amber from All-Stars have tied the knot and had a baby together.
Quitters are losers
And the award for the first contestant to ever quit Survivor goes to… Osten Taylor. The Boston-based financier threw in the towel in episode seven of the Pearl Island series, after asking the tribal council to vote him off as early as episode two. The contributing factors were almost drowning in a reward challenge, and being scared to death by a pelican.
Playing with fire
It’s not all fun and games under the Survivor umbrella. In the Australian Outback series, which aired in 2001, tribe leader Michael Skupin fell hands first into a fire after fainting. The injuries were serious enough for him to be airlifted to hospital and removed from the show. To add fuel to the fire (no pun intended), in 2007, he was pepper-sprayed by a PETA protestor for having knifed an animal in the wild all those years earlier.
Host with the most
US host Jeff Probst has been leading the show since the Survivor get-go. Probst, who was ordained as a minister prior to landing his Survivor gig, last year took home another Emmy for his work on the show. And he doesn’t stray far from his evangelical roots – he performed the marriage ceremony for The Office US’s Jenna Fischer and her husband in 2010.
If, like us, you assume the producers are using the same casting call as Next Top Model, you’re half right. Five former contestants were at one time crowned beauty queens, including Amanda Kimmel in China, Misty Giles in Exile, Danni Boatright in Guatemala, Ashley Underwood in Redemption Island and Janu Tornell in Palau.
Survivor airs every Friday at midnight from February 17 on OSN.