‘Survivor’ is a popular reality television game show. Different editions of this show are produced in many countries throughout the world. The show typically isolates the contestants in the wilderness where they are left to compete for cash and other prizes. The show has the system of progressive elimination, that is, the contestants are allowed to vote out other tribe members until only one final contestant remains. The final contestant that survives all the eliminations becomes the winner of the show is known as “Sole Survivor.”
Actually, it is a derived edition from the Swedish television series Expedition Robinson which was premiered on the Swedish public service network SVT in 1997 for the first time. However, the format for Survivor was created much earlier, back in 1992 by Charlie Parsons, the noted television producer.
Survivor is currently in its 22nd season and has been hosted near the beach of San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua. The season 21 was also hosted at the same place. The series got for a 23rd and 24th season, and the host of the show Jeff Probst also has his contract renewed to host the show through its 24th season.
In Survivor, a group of strangers, who are regarded as ‘tribes’ are marooned in a desolate locale. Therein begins the struggle for food, water, fire, and shelter for themselves. At the same time, they also have to compete in different difficult tasks and complete challenges successfully to earn rewards or immunity from being eliminated in the successive votes. Medical conditions like injury or infection also cause contestants to leave the show halfway. The two or three survivors who make it to the last have to a jury. There is a twist here, as the jury consists of the last seven, eight, or nine players voted off. The final few are interrogated by the jury and then the voting process for the winner of the game is executed. The winner wins the title of Sole Survivor and a million dollar prize.
Season 1 of Survivor in the USA closely resembled the same general format as the Swedish series. However, since then there have been lot of changes over the span of these 22 seasons and new twists on the core rules are introduced so that the players can never rely on some set strategies alone to survive. The new challenges that the players face also keep the viewers hooked to the channel. Some of the twists in the recent times have been tribal switches, exile of any tribe member for a short time, and immunity idols that the members can use at the Tribal Council.
The final five or six contestants are asked to compete for a car. However, the task has always been very challenging and so far, no one has been able to win the game. There’s this famous concept: "Survivor car curse”.
The winner who is chosen as the Sole Survivor is awarded a cash prize of $1,000,000 (prior to taxes) and a car (except in Survivor: Cook Islands). In most of the seasons, the first runner-up is awarded $100,000, and the second runner-up wins $85,000.
All the participants also receive prizes or compensations the amount of which depends on how long he or she lasts in the game.
Through its first 18 seasons, Survivor has managed to retain its position in the top 20 most watched shows. The first eleven seasons of survivor even ranked amongst the top ten most watched shows. It is also named as the mother of American reality TV as it is highly profitable reality show broadcast on the USA television and always has high seasonal rankings.
The Survivor series even got nominated for a number of Emmy Awards and went forward to win Outstanding Sound Mixing in 2001, Outstanding Special Class Program in 2002, and subsequently four times the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. Jeff Probst, the famous host of the show has also won the award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program consecutively three times.