For the first time in 32 seasons, the contestants on “Survivor” had to be evacuated due to a cyclone.
After last season’s harsh conditions on “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” in Cambodia led to three medical evacuations, this is the first time in the show’s history that the cast and crew were forced to evacuate due to Mother Nature.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, host Jeff Probst reveals that the cast of the upcoming “Survivor: Millennials Vs. Gen X” had to be temporarily pulled from the game as Tropical Cyclone Zena hit Fiji during day two of production in April.
“For 32 seasons of ‘Survivor’, we’ve been very lucky to have escaped some severe storms,” Probst says. “This time, the storm caught us. It was only day two and in a matter of hours, a nice afternoon turned into a severe rainstorm that kept growing in intensity by the hour. We were monitoring the weather minute by minute back at base camp. When the national Fijian weather service upgraded it to a cyclone, we had to evacuate both tribes from their beaches and get them to safety. We have never had to evacuate tribes in 32 seasons of ‘Survivor.'”
There have been some close calls with Mother Nature in past seasons with the production narrowly avoiding the 2009 tsunami that struck Samoa, decimating parts of the island used in filming. The weather in Fiji will be a big part of the new season, which premieres on Global on September 21.
“Weather does play a part in the show, and you will see the part it plays, and it’s a first,” Probst says, teasing the new season. “And it was scary.”
The new season will pit two generations against one another, splitting the tribes by age. The reaction to the evacuation news prompted very different responses from the two tribes.
“It was very interesting how the two groups responded to the news. The Gen X tribe was responsible and very concerned about their well being,” Probst recalls. “The Millennials were less concerned about their safety and more excited that they were making ‘Survivor’ history.”