Survivor begins its 20th season Thursday night, and I must confess I will be following every moment of delicious Survivor mayhem. It is my one and only reality TV indulgence. I started watching Survivor with the fourth episode of the first season. My boss, Sue, was insistent. “This is great television,” she told everyone in the office, “you have to watch!”
I did, and I was hooked. That first season, with Richard Hatch, Susan Hawk, Rudy Boesch, and Kelly Wiglesworth making up the final four, was perhaps the best. No one, survivors or audience, knew what to expect. Watching the contestants struggle with each other and themselves, week after week was addictive.
Mark Burnett, who created the show, described it this way to the New York Times: “A group of people marooned on an island, where they had to survive by working together, and they had to work against each other to win a million-dollar prize – I new that premise was superior.” And so it was.
Who could forget Sean Kenniff’s odd Alphabet strategy, Hatch’s nude birthday celebration, or Hawk’s speech during the final tribal council. “We have Richard the Snake,” she said, “and Kelly, who turn into the rat … I believe we owe it to the island spirits … to let it end in the way Mother Nature intended: For the snake to eat the rat.”
Of course, Hatch won the million dollar prize. Too bad he didn’t pay his taxes!
Now, ten years later, Survivor 20 is about to kick off. This time, the survivors are made up of previous contestants, divided into a team of villains and a team of heros. These people know the game, they’ve seen the tricks, and best of all, they know each other.
Fun Fact: Hatch was asked to join the Survivor: Heroes vs Villains cast, but because he remained under house arrest for his tax conviction, wasn’t allowed to leave the country.
Fun Fact 2: The Survivor: Heroes and Villains show began shooting on Samoa just twenty days after the end of production on Survivor: Samoa
So, anyone else going to be on the Survivor train this season? Let us know who you think will win!