The secret to getting on Survivor

Written By komlim puldel on Selasa, 24 Februari 2015 | 20.01

Survivor host Jeff Probst with his best catchphrases.

New contestants ... the cast of Survivor: World's Apart. Source: Channel 9

FIFTEEN years and 30 seasons after it helped spark the worldwide reality TV obsession, Survivor is still going strong. While it may never again see viewing figures like the 52 million who tuned in to watch soon-to-be-tax-cheat Richard Hatch win the season one finale, it remains a favourite among reality TV aficionados.

Host and executive producer Jeff Probst has been there from the beginning, dispatching hopes and dreams with his immortal catchphrase: "The tribe has spoken. It's time for you to go."

New series Survivor: World's Apart delves deep into class warfare, pitting tribes of blue collar workers against white collar — and "no collar" workers (coconut vendors, YouTube sensations and the like).

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New series ... it's class warfare on Survivor: World's Apart. Source: Channel 9

Concepts aside, the four time Emmy winner says the show lives or dies on the strength of its casting.

"I'm always amazed at how much time we spend on casting," he says. "We have a full team and they're working almost year round on Survivor."

They're already casting for seasons 31 and 32 and as usual, there's a shortage of suitable women. "We can find lippy loud mouth weird guys all day ever day, but finding a woman who wants to do it … and has the personality is tough," he says.

Jonny Fairplay's fake dead grandmother aside, heartbreaking stories don't play well on Survivor. Probst recalls the casting team were "bored" when one woman came in with tragic story about the emotional impact of losing her husband. The next hopeful came in with a funny story about eating potato chips. "We're on the floor laughing," he says. "Which guy got on the show? The potato chip guy."

Honest ... Jeff Probst, host and executive producer, says he wouldn't last a week. Source: Channel 9

Probst, who will give brutally honest feedback on audition vids if you tweet him a link, knows he wouldn't last a week on the show.

"My closest friends said: 'Probst, you'd be out so fast' and I was shocked," he says. "The thing I thought was my asset — words, verbal — are not nearly as charming as I think they are. And they said: 'Oh no, you would piss somebody off pretty quick and they'd vote you out'."

"I now know that to be true."

Deserpate times ... Survivor: World's Apart features the usual dramatic scenery. Source: Channel 9

Probst says Australia is too expensive to film in at present, but the country's had a big impact on the show. It picked up a large proportion of its crew in 2001, when the production doubled in size filming Survivor Australia.
"They (Australian) took over and what took over was: 'Relax!' And it wasn't, 'Relax, don't work hard'. It was like, 'We're working hard but I can have a beer. Life's going to be OK'.

"You're guys have a different way of looking at the world, and Americans are really uptight, so thank you for that!"

Survivor: World's Apart, GO! Thursday, 9.30pm

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