CBS reveals the castaways of 'Survivor: Gabon -- Earth's Last Eden'
By Reality TV World staff, 08/27/2008
CBS has revealed the identities of the eighteen castaways who will be competing on Survivor: Gabon -- Earth's Last Eden.
Survivor: Gabon -- the seventeenth edition of the long-running reality series but the first one which will air in HDTV -- will premiere with a special two-hour broadcast of the show's first two episodes on Thursday, September 25 beginning at 8PM ET/PT.
Although it was announced a couple of months before Survivor: Gabon filmed this summer, the season's "Earth's Last Eden" subtitle -- which was originally intended as a reference to the remote and untouched African wilderness in which the show filmed -- apparently ended up being a particularly apt choice.
Over the course of the season, one group of castaways will eventually emerge as "deceitful" and come to represent "the forces of evil" while another group will "play from their heart," according to CBS.
"In a strange coincidence to Earth's Last Eden - good vs. evil emerges as a major theme this season," Survivor host Jeff Probst teased. "I think the audience will quickly identify with one group or the other."
Survivor: Gabon's season will begin with the contestants being divided into two tribes via a schoolyard pick 'em, after which they will immediately compete in their first challenge, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Survivor's now near-standard Exile Island concept will return as part of the new season, however given Survivor: Gabon filmed at a location on Gabon's coast but not in an actual island setting, the exile location will just be called "Exile." In addition, an opportunity to search for a hidden Immunity Idol won't be the only factor the cast will be keeping in mind when determining which castaway gets exiled.
"When you go to Exile this time you can either get a clue that will help you find the hidden immunity idol, or you can get 'instant comfort' -- a nice thing to sleep on, some food, some fruit," Probst explained to EW. "Depending upon the time, we'll make the temptation bigger and bigger. The idea was to see if anybody would be dumb enough to choose comfort over the only thing that guarantees you to stick in the game, which is immunity."
Based on Probst's additional comments, it appears at least one tribe was "dumb enough."
"By the time this season is over, you can make the case that maybe this is the dumbest team when it comes to idol play," said Probst.
According to Probst, the decision to finally make the long-since overdue move to high-definition filming -- both he and Survivor executive producer Mark Burnett had repeatedly cited poor HD camera durability and upgrade costs as the reasons for the delay whenever asked about the issue over the last several years -- will also give HDTV viewers a significantly different Survivor experience.
"If you're a Survivor fan and you have HD, it will be a completely different show," Probst told EW. "When you incorporate the wildlife, it's kind of like being in a Spielberg movie. I mean, it's so real-looking that it's exciting and scary."
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However one thing viewers won't see on either the show's high-definition and standard-definition broadcasts is a hardcore showmance. Survivor: Gabon will be largely romance-free -- despite some castaways' best efforts, according to EW.
"Marcus, the doctor from Georgia -- one of the most arrogant guys that we've had on the show -- he at one point had three people after him, Probst told EW. "And not only women."
The eighteen castaways who will be competing on Survivor: Gabon are:
- Randy Bailey, a 49-year-old videographer from Eagle Rock, MO
- Jacque Berg, a 25-year-old medical device sales representative from Santa Barbara, CA