'Survivor' reunion will reportedly not air live for first time ever and not include Dan Spilo
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/12/2019
Survivor's reunion special for Survivor: Island of the Idols will reportedly not air live for the first time in the show's 39-season history and also not include Dan Spilo, the ejected castaway at the center of the season's inappropriate touching allegations.
For the first time inSurvivor's near 20-year run on television, the three-hour Survivorfinale event that usually takes place live will film earlier in the day and air on tape delay on Wednesday, December 18, Entertainment Weekly reported.
Survivor: Island of the Idols' finale will reportedly film at CBS Television City in Los Angeles from 4PM to 7PM ET instead of airing live in the 8PM to 11PM ET time period as prior Survivor finales have done.
After filming earlier in the day, the three-hour finale of Survivor: Island of the Idols will still air on CBS from 8-11PM ET/PT.
According to an Entertainment Weekly source close to the situation, the decision not to air the finale live was "due to the sensitive nature of the material this season," which has featured allegations that Dan inappropriately touched some of the Survivor season's female castaways repeatedly.
In addition, there are security concerns and CBS wants to make sure Survivor: Island of the Idols' castaways "feel as comfortable and safe as possible while discussing what happened out on the island," EW reported.
The three-hour finale, however, will take place in front of an audience in typical fashion, according to EW, with plans to have a "live" introduction followed by back-and-forth clips between in-studio material and previously-recorded footage of the remaining castaways' final days in Fiji.
The final hour of the event will reportedly be the usual reunion and cast discussion that follows when a winner is crowned and given a $1 million check.
The expectation is reportedly that the three-hour tape of the finale will not be edited before it airs on TV, similar to the way network late-night talk shows film several hours before they air.
But discussion on the set will probably already be somewhat muted as Dan has been uninvited from attending the finale, Peoplereported.
Early in Survivor: Island of the Idols' season, castaway Kellee Kim spoke to Dan about her concerns about his inappropriate touching.
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However, Dan's inappropriate behavior with Kellee and some of the game's other women allegedly continued to occur for weeks after Kellee attempted to address the matter with him -- resulting in Dan finally being issued a formal warning from the show's producers on Day 22, shortly before Kellee (and not Dan) was voted out of the game by the rest of the season's castaways.
Then, last night's Survivor broadcast featured a subsequent off-camera incident that resulted in Jeff Probst and the show's other producers making the unprecedented decision to eject Dan from the game.
The controversy was also further complicated by female Survivor castaways Elizabeth Beisel and Missy Byrd's decision to attempt to use Kellee's allegations about Dan to exaggerate and fabricate their own allegations in an attempt to remove the tribe's target from Missy and place it onto Dan's back instead.
(Elizabeth and Missy later apologized on social media for lying about Dan causing them discomfort at camp and making light of a serious issue).
Sources connected with the show told People the decision to uninvite Dan from the finale was made after Kellee made her allegations against him, and CBS lawyers informed him he would not be permitted to appear after the Survivor: Island of the Idols episode in which Kellee's allegations were made aired on CBS on November 13.
It remains to be seen how many other Survivor: Island of the Idols castaways will attend the finale, however, because, according to multiple People sources, several players are having second thoughts about showing up.
Last night'sSurvivor: Island of the Idols episode unexpectedly concluded with Jeff surprising castaways Noura Salman, Lauren Beck, Tommy Sheehan, Janet Carbin, and Dean Kowalski by suddenly appearing at their Lumuwaku camp to "share some news" on Day 36.
The tribe automatically assumed it "meant bad news" for Dan, a 48-year-old talent manager who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, since he was missing from the gathering, and Jeff quickly confirmed that was the case.
"I just spoke privately with Dan, and I want to update you guys. A decision has been made and Dan will not be returning to the game. He won't be coming back to camp; he won't be on the jury. He's gone," Jeff explained to the castaways.
At the very end of the episode, a very vague on-screen graphic was shown informing viewers there was another off-camera "incident" with a non-castaway that led to Dan being ejected from the game.
"Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player," read the graphic.
While the statement did not provide any additional details about the off-screen incident, the phrasing suggested Dan was involved in another incident of inappropriate touching.
Dan is the firstSurvivor castaway ever removed by producers from the game during the show's 39 seasons, which have featured hundreds of castaways over 19 years. (Past players who prematurely departed the game had been medically evacuated or chose to quit on their own accord).
In an interview with EW following the episode, Jeff declined to elaborate on what exactly Dan did and the incident that got him kicked off the show.
"The question is a fair and reasonable one," Jeff said.
"I've endeavored to be as forthcoming as possible with you regarding everything that has happened this season. In this situation, out of respect for privacy and confidentiality, I canâ€™t say anymore."