Do You Want to Win 1 Million Dollars?

Well, do you? If potentially scheming and conniving your way to a million dollars is an objective you would deem as life-changing, or even just an experience you want to go through for the heck of it, maybe you should send in an audition tape for Survivor.

But don’t get your hopes up quite yet; sending in an audition tape will not secure you the money. Between 10,000 and 15,000 people apply for the show, but only 20 at the maximum get chosen per season. Applying doesn’t even give you a decent chance to be a contestant; a good percentage of them are recruited or brought back from a previous season.  To top it off, only one person in that batch of 20 gets the million—and it’s all based on gameplay and also a bit of good luck.

Part of Survivor‘s success relies heavily on its contestants. Have you seen Survivor: Nicaragua? Don’t waste your time. It’s arguably one of the worst seasons to date; the contestants were all around unappealing, and there was practically nothing memorable about the entire season—unless you count both NaOnka and Kelly S. quitting on the same night with eleven days left in the game. Eleven. Along with the idiotic gameplay, it seemed like no one was willing to make any power moves, which ultimately came across as boring TV. When it finally got down to the final three, it felt like there was no one to root for, and that’s not a good note for a season to finish on.

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villainson the other hand, is seen as one of the greatest. Although all the contestants featured had played the game at least once before, the season still brought something new to the table. Some of the experienced contestants made rookie mistakes: Tyson switched his vote at Tribal Council, which caused his exit that night. Hero J.T. gave away his Immunity Idol to Villain Russell under false pretenses, which caused J.T. to be blindsided at Tribal Council and ultimately sent home.  Along with these foolish moves that made for great TV, there was also excellent gameplay. At one Tribal Council, Villain Parvati played two immunity idols to save her other alliance members, but not herself. That blindsided the Heroes alliance and ended up sending one of them home. With 20 returning players on this season, audiences were bound to root for or even root against at least one contestant, if not more. This ensured Heroes vs. Villains as being one of the top seasons, and it displayed the types of people the producers would like to have on the show. Here, host Jeff Probst does a roundup of the cast for that season.

Rob Cesternino, contestant on Survivor: Amazon and Survivor: All-Stars, now has his own podcast dedicated to Survivor. Starting with Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Cesternino has been live-tweeting about updates on the show as well. Below, he sums up fan feelings and also critics feelings on the Heroes vs. Villains season.


Overall, Survivor producers seek contestants who can bring drama to the game, personalities that clash with others, and people who are willing to do whatever they can to get to the top. Why exactly? Because this draws in viewers and boosts ratings. So, perhaps if you want the million dollars and you want to send in an audition tape, you’ll make sure to prove you’re willing to play hard and dirty—if you don’t win it the first time around, maybe they’ll bring you on for another season.






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