CBS formally announces 'Survivor: Fiji,' reveals new season twists
By Reality TV World staff, 12/18/2006
Although Survivor host Jeff Probst had already disclosed the location in several recent media interviews, CBS has formally announced that next season's just-filmed fourteenth installment of its Survivor franchise will take place in Fiji and be titled Survivor: Fiji.
The network made the announcement at the conclusion of Sunday night's Survivor: Cook Islands finale, with Probst presenting a Survivor: Fiji preview that gave viewers some brief glimpse at the new season's cast and revealed some of the Fiji edition's new twists.
"Coming in the new year, Survivor turns the tables on two tribes as one lives the life of luxury while the other is left with virtually nothing," Probst teased in an opening that seemed to imply that Survivor: Fiji will feature a twist concept remarkably similar to that of The Apprentice 6, the sixth edition of Mark Burnett's NBC reality series that will premiere at least several weeks before Survivor: Fiji. "For the first time, there will be nineteen new survivors. This diverse cast, with lifestyles ranging from a Harvard educated lawyer to a once homeless street performer, will be forced to battle each other more fiercely than ever before."
The announcement did not explain how the odd number of castaways would be divided between two tribes, nor, given the inclusion of the word "new," did it necessarily rule out the possibility that -- similar to CBS's intentional omission of the fact that former Survivor castaways Bobby Jon Drinkard and Stephenie LaGrossa would return to compete in 2005's Survivor: Guatemala edition -- a former Survivor contestant might be the twentieth member of Survivor: Fiji's cast. However given the announcement confirmed that the show's new Exile Island concept will also return for a third straight season, Survivor: Fiji is probably more likely to just feature a Survivor pick 'em opening in which the last remaining unselected castaway immediately gets banished to Exile Island and later joins the tribe of Fiji's first bootee.
According to the announcement, some Exile Island changes will also be among the new season's twists. "Crawling with thousands of deadly sea snakes, Exile Island will be more treacherous than ever," Jeff revealed in the announcement. "This time, two hidden Immunity Idols and a twist will drastically complicate the game and one of the most controversial decisions ever made by a survivor will have America talking."