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Australian Survivor Show Descriprion
Australian Survivor is an Australian reality game show based on the international Survivor format. Following the premise of other versions of the Survivor format, the show features a group of contestants, referred to as “castaways” as they are marooned in an isolated location. The castaways must provide food, water, fire, and shelter for themselves. The contestants compete in various challenges for rewards and immunity from elimination. The contestants are progressively eliminated from the game as they are voted off the island by their fellow castaways. The final castaway remaining is awarded the title of “Sole Survivor” and the grand prize of A$500,000.
The series first aired in 2002 on the Nine Network, who as of 2020, also hold the first-run Australian broadcast rights to the flagship American edition of Survivor. In 2006, a celebrity edition aired on the Seven Network. Both iterations of the series only lasted one season due to low ratings.
In November 2015, the Network Ten announced at its network upfronts that it would be reviving the series in 2016. The series commenced airing on 21 August 2016. Unlike its predecessors, the series was renewed by Network Ten for another season for 2017, and has continued to be successful since. An All-Star edition featuring former contestants aired in early 2020. A second 2020 edition set to feature new civilian players was expected for later in 2020, but production on that season was postponed due to issued travel restrictions as well as safety concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This season is now set to be produced in mid-2021, in an Outback location near the town of Cloncurry, Queensland and is set to air in late 2021.
Australian Survivor Show Format
The show follows the same general format as the other editions of Survivor. To begin, the players are split into two or three tribes, are taken to a remote isolated location and are forced to live off the land with meagre supplies for a period of several weeks. Frequent physical and mental challenges are used to pit the tribes against each other for rewards, such as food or luxuries, or for immunity, forcing the other tribe to attend Tribal Council, where they must vote one of their tribemates out of the game by secret ballot.
About halfway through the game, the tribes are merged into a single tribe, and challenges are on an individual basis; winning immunity prevents that player from being voted out. Most players that are voted out during this stage become members of the Tribal Council Jury. When only two players remain, the Final Tribal Council is held. The finalists pleads their case to the Jury as to why they should win the game. The jurors then have the opportunity to interrogate the finalists before casting their vote for which finalist should be awarded the title of Sole Survivor and win the grand prize of A$500,000 (or a A$100,000 charity prize in the celebrity season).
Like other editions of the show, the Australian edition has introduced numerous modifications, or twists, on the core rules to prevent players from over-relying on strategies that succeeded in prior seasons or other editions of the show. These changes have included tribe switches, players being exiled from their tribe for a short period of time, hidden immunity idols that players can use to save themselves or another player at Tribal Council from being voted off, voting powers which can be used to influence the result at Tribal Council and players being given a chance to return following their elimination.
Survivor in Australia
The first Australian version of the Survivor format was filmed in late 2001, and aired in 2002 on the Nine Network. The program was a contractual obligation if the network were to be allowed to continue to broadcast American Survivor. The program was criticised for poor casting and lower production value than the popular American edition and it was not renewed due to low ratings. The Nine Network still hold the first-run rights to American Survivor and have continued to broadcast the American edition of the program ever since. Since 2013, recent seasons air on Nine’s secondary channel; 9Go! and streamed on 9Now within hours of the original American airing.
In 2006, the Seven Network found a loophole in the contract between the Nine Network and Castaway Television, which allowed them to produce a celebrity version of the series, due to a celebrity format being viewed as different from the original format. The Seven Network did not renew the series.
In November 2015, Network Ten revealed at its upfront event that it would air a new season featuring regular contestants to air in the last quarter of 2016. This new season gives Australian Survivor the distinction of being one of the few Australian programs to have aired across all three major commercial television networks in Australia. Australian Survivor has continued to air yearly, concluding its most recent season in March 2020.
Following Network Ten’s acquisition by CBS (the United States broadcaster of the format) in 2017, starting in December 2018, CBS made the complete American Survivor series available on their paid Australian streaming platform, Paramount+ (known as 10 All Access until 2021). The broadcasts include the previously unaired to Australia Survivor US: Marquesas, which Nine did not air due to its commitment in airing their 2002 version of Australian Survivor. A select few seasons are also uploaded to 10’s free streaming site, 10 Play. Each US season is uploaded some time after the season has aired on Nine Network, when the rights to that season revert to CBS under their agreement. Additionally, as of September 2020, both seasons of Survivor NZ and the Philippines & Island of Secrets editions of Survivor South Africa were also uploaded on 10 Play. In 2021, 10 Play offered week-to-week streaming via 10 play of the Immunity Island edition of the South African series as it aired in South Africa.