Fans of competitive reality television have quite a bit to look forward to, as the latest season of Survivor is ready to debut on Thursday, September 20. Survivor: China is the first-ever U.S. reality series to be produced in the world’s largest and most populated country, and claims that it will feature not only the famed tension and struggles between contestants, but also the rich cultural past of the land as well. Longtime host Jeff Probst spoke with TV Guide on a wealth of the upcoming season’s details, such as the complete cast list for the two new tribes, plus information on the experiences of filming within the realms of an ancient, historic civilization.
He has said that this latest iteration was very tough and demanding to shoot, as the cast and production crew had to deal with a variety of challenges. Among these were the humidity and heat, and even poison snakes. However, many of the locations they were allowed access to were also abundantly striking, including landmarks such as a Shaolin temple and the famous Great Wall of China. Much of the shooting and the competition took place within the man-made Zhelin Lake, and Probst has also stated his personal view that he usually wanted to go home from their intense shooting. But this time around, if he had been told to stay for another two weeks, he says that he would have readily agreed to do so.
One notable detail that the show host revealed was that each contestant was given a copy of the famed literary classic The Art of War. Written by ancient Chinese philosopher and tactician Sun Tzu during the sixth century B.C. as a guide for military strategists and heads of state, and now featured on a reality television series, Probst says that its lessons on leadership and victory will prove vital for the two tribes.