Koh Rong Island is quickly becoming one of the more trendy vacation destinations for people looking for a great tropical getaway. The small island, located off the coast of Cambodia, has already been a resort destination for about 15 years. This has allowed it to keep many of the natural beauties found on this tropical paradise, while also giving it a great place for people to find five-star service in a vacation.
It’s location and beautiful scenery have made it one of the most spectacular praises on the earth. It is for this very reason that the long time American reality show, Survivor, decided to make Koh Rong their location for the 2015 airing of the program.
For those who are not familiar with Survivor, this is a program that takes ordinary people and places them in a “hostile” location where they are challenged to try to survive. Not only are the contestants attempting to survive in the location, but also compete with each other to see who would be the last man or woman standing. The winner is awarded a $1 million prize as the great survivor in this battle.
The producers of the show found that Survivor Reality Show in Koh Rong would be the perfect fit for the show. In previous seasons they have filmed in such locations as China, believes, and the Philippines, as well as in Nicaragua for three consecutive years. It was found that Koh Rong would make a perfect spot because much of the location of the island has been untouched or scarred by man.
The show was going to be a little different in this location. In previous seasons new contestants were brought in to compete against one another and to undertake various challenges. The winner of these challenges would gain an exemption from being voted out of the group, thus allowing them to stay on the show for an additional week.
However, in the Survivor Reality Show in Koh Rong idea, two different groups of 10 returning players were competing against one another. What this meant was that 20 previous contestants were brought back to the show to compete in this Cambodian island. In addition, the rule was changed so that the public would vote on who would be outed and not the individual contestants.
The contestants were brought to the island in March 2015 and remained there until July. While these contestants have competed on the show before, they are all still ordinary people who were forced to try to endure the rigors of nature in an environment that none of them are accustomed to. This is one of the great challenges of the show, and has made for great entertainment for an audience dying to watch the contestants compete each week.
The idea of bringing back previous contestants is an attempt by television network CBS to keep the popularity of the show going. In the first two seasons that Survivor ran, it was usually the top show in its timeslot every week. In fact, in season two the show was the number one program on television garnering nearly 30 million viewers per week. Those numbers have drastically dropped over the years, but the shows still draws in better than 12 million viewers every week.
To try to keep audiences interested in following the program the producers have come up with innovative ideas to try to hit different groups of people against each other to try to keep the audiences coming. In the first four seasons there were just two tribes of eight people that were randomly chosen. This changed in season five, when Survivor was filmed in Thailand, when it was decided that there would be two tribes of eight, but that those two tribes would be chosen by the two oldest members competing for the prize.
In the next year, the two teams were divided by gender, with each team still getting eight members. In that year, the women’s team one the competition when Jenna Morasca was voted as the winner by a 6-1 decision. That same format would return three seasons later when the two teams were divided into teams of nine women and nine men. In that season Chris Daugherty, from the men’s team, was the winner.
In between those two seasons the producers of the show opted for the old format in season seven and a slightly different variation in season eight. In the eighth season of the show 18 players were still invited to compete on the program, but instead of being two teams of nine competitors they opted to go with three teams of six competitors each. That season they also welcomed back what was considered the All-Stars from previous seasons to compete in the competition.
That season the program had its highest ratings since season two, attracting better than 21.5 million viewers per week. That made it the number three program overall, and buoyed the producers’ belief that returning player seasons was going to be something that would be used in the future.
Season 10 had a very interesting twist to it. 20 contestants were invited to compete on Survivor in Palau, but only 18 actually got to partake in the event itself. The two teams were picked by what the program referred to as “schoolyard rules,” where the contestants were lined up and two captains chose back and forth who would be on their team. Nine members were chosen for each team, meaning that two were left out. Those two were eliminated without ever being a part of the tribe. That idea seemed like a good one and it was, as audiences increases from the previous year.
Season 11 was in Guatemala and welcomed back to returning players to compete in the two tribes of nine. The was not a success, decreasing in ratings by more than two million people each week.
In Season 12, the producers returned to a previous idea, dividing the teams into four different tribes there was not only broken down by gender but by age as well. The show was filmed in Panama to a very lukewarm reception from the American public. This may have seen like a great idea, but the show’s ratings continued to plummet reaching its lowest numbers in the programs history. According to Hollywood insiders, the idea for the show seem to turn audiences off more than it inspired them to come to watch.
Looking to spice up the show even more, season 13 opened in the Cook Islands with four tribes of five members each. These tribes were divided by ethnicity, with a group of African-Americans, a group of whites, a group of Hispanics, and lastly a group of Asians. Asian Yul Kwon was the winner, but CBS was not. The show continued to fall, dropping another million viewers on average per week, and falling to its lowest ranking in the Nielsen ratings.
Season 14 look to attract audiences with the addition of a castaway. Two tribes of nine would be created with the castaway member joining the team that lost the first challenge. In season 15 they just went back to the traditional format with two tribes of eight. Both of these seasons saw their numbers drop from previous years. Season 14’s numbers dropped from the previous season but season 15 saw on increase of nearly 300,000 viewers per week, plus it jumped in the rankings seven spots to the number eight position.
Looking to spice up the show, in season 16 they invited back past contestants to compete with new players. The two tribes were divided into 10 contestants each with five past contestants being on each team. That season the show dropped below 14 million viewers for the first time in its history.
The next three seasons saw much of the same kind of programming no one as to how contestants and teams were selected, with ratings continuing to decrease by about 4 or 5% per year. In season 20 the show decided to go with an innovative idea. In what was dubbed, “Heroes vs. Villains,” 20 contestants who competed previously were invited back to the show and divided into two tribes of 10. What made the show different was that one team was made of nothing but people that were viewed as heroes from previous shows while the other team was filled with nothing but people who were viewed as villains from previous shows. The show had a slight increase in ratings, averaging 12.6 million viewers per season.
The increase from the previous season seemed to have a positive effect on season 21 in Nicaragua. The show divided two teams into 10 members each divided by age and drew over 13 ½ million people per week. That was the largest average audience the show had had in four years.
In the last nine seasons many of the years have followed traditional patterns for picking teams, often with some kind of minor twist. Season 24 had two teams divided by gender, but all contestants were living on the same beach. Season 25 had three tribes of returning players, but these were all players who had been medically evacuated in a previous season. Season 26 had two tribes with one tribe being comprised of new members and the other of past contestants. In a different kind of twist in season 27, previous contestants were invited back to be on one team, with the other team being comprised of the loved one of those contestants.
Season 28 saw the show go with the refreshing idea for the first time. Filmed in the Philippines, the 18 contestants were divided into three tribes of six members each. On one team was drawn, the second was brains, and the third was beauty. It was truly a show matching physical strength, versus intelligence, versus physical beauty. Tony Vlachos, a police officer, was on the brawn team and won the competition.
Looking to match unusual categories of contestants against one another, season 30 created one team of blue-collar workers, another of white-collar workers, and another of what was referred to as “no collar” workers. This show was dubbed as Survivor: Worlds Apart, and was won by Mike Holloway from the Blue Collar team.
That leads us into season 31, Survivor: Cambodia. The producers have actually already declared that season 31 and season 32 will be filmed on Koh Rong Island.
The unique twists to season 31 are intended to try to recapture, or at the very least maintain, the reality television audience. The show reached an all-time low of 10.8 million viewers in season 28, but has seen slight increases over the last two seasons. The producers are hoping that the format for this year show will help those numbers to climb.
According to the show’s executive producer,Survivor: Cambodiahad 75 former contestants who wish to compete in the competition. Of the former players who wish to compete, 32 were chosen to begin the competition on May 6, 2015.
In previous seasons contestants on the show voted players all, but this was not the case in season 31. Instead, viewers in the United States, Canada, and Australia, where the show is aired weekly, were allowed to vote online on which contestant would be voted off each week. Fans were allowed to vote for 10 women and 10 man to remain on the show each week until the competition was down to 20. This was a similar process that was used in 2006 by CBS for one of their other reality programs, Big Brother.
The show began to air on September 23, 2015. That episode drew 9.7 million viewers, a far cry from the over 11 million the show averaged the previous season. It still was ranked number 18 in the Nielsen ratings poll.
In week one Vytas was voted off. Ta Keo one the reward with Bayon gaining the immunity. Week 2 saw Bayon win the immunity again, and Shirin voted off.
In the October shows Bayon continued to shine, gaining immunity on two different occasions. Ta Keo also gained immunity on two occasions in the October shows, and won two separate awards during that time as well. Peih-Gee, Jeff, Monica, Terry, and Woo were eliminated from the program during the month. Terry was a surprising elimination considering that he had won a reward just two weeks prior to his elimination.
November’s four episodes were quite exciting. Joe dominated the competition, winning immunity in every episode. Several players were able to earn rewards by the way that the program was set up, but this did not always benefit them or keep them from being eliminated. For instance, Ciera one a reward three weeks in a row, but in the third week that she won a reward she was eliminated. Stephen also won a reward the week he was eliminated. Kass, Andrew, and Kelly were the other three people eliminated during the month.
December has been an exciting one so far. Joe and Abi-Maria have already been eliminated this month, with Keith, Kelley, and Spencer winning immunity so far.
For most of the first 10 weeks of the program the show watched its ratings dip into the 8 million per week range. Weeks 10 and 11 saw the show at attract 8.12 million viewers in each of those weeks. The last two weeks have seen the show’s ratings climb. The December 2 program drew 9.4 million members, while the December 9 program drew 9.9 million. Clearly as the program is nearing its season finale fans are returning to see who will wind up winning the competition.
The show has just one episode remaining until we find out who will be the winner of season 31. There were just six contestants left, three men and three women. There looks to be an exciting conclusion as to who will walk away with the $1 million prize. Three of these contestants, Jeremy, Keith, and Kelley were all in the Survivor: San Juan delSur season together. Kimmi was in the Australian outback season with Spencer and Latasha competing together in Cagayan.
The last episode set up some interesting scenarios that should play a part in this final decision. It was clear from the discussion that Jeremy and Spencer are concerned that the women are getting unite together to eliminate guys. At one point Jeremy and Tasha wished that Abi would leave so that the two of them could talk in private. She refused to do so, and the two discussed voting her off. That happened at the end of the episode when Spencer voted against her to send her to the jury. It appeared that Keith was originally going to be the target of Jeremy, Kimmi, and Tasha, but Abi’s refusal to leave the talk between the two clearly had an impression that forced their hand and asking that she be eliminated.
Now the competition shifts to see who will be the final one to take it all. It’s clear that this three-person alliance is can I have to have someone turn on each other. In just a few days we will know.