Although the British version of Survivor did not do as well as expected, they are still bringing it back again. How did the U.K. version differ from the U.S. in terms of the players and the end result?
Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, Survivor is going to return to ITV (Britain) in Spring 2002.
According to Ananova, it will be filmed in Panama. This is indeed a miracle because the U.K. version of Survivor did terribly in the ratings. The first series of the U.K. version was filmed at Palua Tiga, exactly like the famous American version. The challenges were almost identical to the U.S. ones. The way the castaways got to the island was identical – on a boat, swimming to shore, breaking up into two tribes.
Producers of this show had hoped to echo the stellar success its sister had in America. To make a long story short , it didn’t. The ratings were a disappointment to the folks at ITV. It had expected to draw an average of 10 million viewers. It peaked at 8 million, and most nights hovered around 5 million. Survivor was eventually cut from two 60 minute shows a week to one, and removed from its peak time slot to a later time.
The new series is likely to go out in a later slot, when it returns around Easter next year.
Even with its poor ratings, U.S. contestants can learn something from the U.K. version. First of all, these folks were tough – much tougher than the U.S. contestants. They were sitting on poles the same way the S2 folks did. And would you believe two of them lasted just a fraction under 24 hours on that? The U.S. version had Tina and Keith at 10 hours.
The show also ended differently than the U.S. version. The last two shows were like the first U.S. Survivor: four contestants – psychiatrist Richard Owen, policewoman Charlotte Hobrough, retired policeman Mick Easton, and airline industry purchaser Jackie Carey – were whittled down to the final two. And in an occasion that has not yet occurred on the U.S. version, the semi-finalists were both women. According to both Richard and Mick, they did not realize that at the final moment, the girls made a very late alliance to wipe out the men. Neither man had thought of doing a very last minute alliance. (This might be a good idea for future Survivors to think about.)
The finale also ended in a different way than the U.S. versions, the winner got all seven of the jury votes. This came as someone what of a shock to me when I saw it, because Charlotte was known in the London tabloids as “Charlotte the Harlot,” for having an affair with a fellow contestant on the island. Yes folks, the U.K. version achieved what Mark Burnett has been wanting to achieve for two-and-a-half series – two contestants actually hit it off and did the horizontal mambo.
Charlotte, much to the press’ sorrow, has been working on saving her marriage to another police officer since she came back from the island. But even more amazing, can we in the States believe the votes could go unanimously to a contestant?
Both women were not very well liked among the other contestants. The men were. Both women knew if they reached the final two with a member of the opposite sex, they would lose, much like Colby knew if he took Keith to the final two he would win (and probably go for the unanimous vote here too). Kelly, even though she had a rudimentary knowledge on how the game should be played, knew enough that if she took Rudy to the final two she would not win. Taking Rich was a safer bet.
What is amazing is that both women played as they should. They lied, they backstabbed, and both were disliked. But the jury had to pick which one was less disliked, and they chose her unanimously.
Now that we Survivor junkies have Survivor: Africa to ponder and devour, it’s interesting to look at other scenarios that have not yet played out here in the U.S. Will we ever have two women in the finals? Will there ever be a unanimous vote? We can only wait and see.