Shediac — It’s been 15 years since audiences around the world first heard Jeff Probst yell the words “Survivors ready!” and now the popular game show is finally coming to Canada, with its first season being filmed in New Brunswick.
Brenda Henderson, an executive at Global Television Network, was thrilled to make the announcement Monday morning at a press conference held at one of New Brunswick’s best-known landmarks, Shediac’s giant lobster. “We here at Global TV are thrilled to finally bring Survivor to Canada,” she said, standing in front of the towering lobster. “And we could think of no better place to start than here in New Brunswick, where’s it’s hard enough to survive even without the obstacles that our contestants will be facing.”
The show is set to begin filming on Feb. 1 at an undisclosed wooded area of the province, and the show’s producers are currently looking for contestants from all over the country.
“The biggest challenge we had was that the producers said no one would watch unless the contestants were mostly naked, like they are in the popular American version of the show,” said Henderson. “That was difficult for us because we wanted to really make this a Canadian show, not just a cheap imitation. To do so, we needed to have the show set with the contestants facing real Canadian elements, like ice and snow and below-freezing temperatures.”
Henderson claims the network had a sudden epiphany. “Finally it came to us — let’s just disregard the well-being of the participants! We’ll still have all the Canadian weather and stuff, but we’ll force them to wear their swimsuits anyway.”
Jeremy Ross, a network supervisor, was the one who initially came up with the idea to just not care. “Everyone was trying to think of all these creative ways to keep our contestants healthy and well cared for, while at the same time having them used as sex symbols to ensure high ratings,” he recalled. “Then, I just said something like ‘screw the contestants.’ I mean, who cares if they get frostbite or hypothermia or something? We’ll just have them sign a disclaimer — problem solved. I mean, it’s not like we’re forcing them to apply for the show or anything. People can make their own decisions.”
No host has been named as of yet, but The Manatee has learned that the network has narrowed its search down to Ben Mulroney and Alan Thicke. The show will feature 18 contestants from across the country with 1 person being voted off every 3 days until a single survivor remains. The winner will get $25,000 in cash — much less than the $1 million given in the American version — and a used Honda Civic donated by Jim Gilbert’s Wheels and Deals located in Fredericton.
Applications are currently being accepted and should be recorded onto a VHS cassette and mailed to Global Television’s head office in Toronto.