CBS’ “Survivor” is entering its 22nd year and 43rd season, continuing its streak as one of the longest-running reality shows of all time. After suffering a minor setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Fiji filming restrictions, the popular reality show bounced back in the 2021-22 TV season with seasons 41 and 42 airing, which was well received by most Fanbase (despite some criticism for the many new twists).
Host and millionaire Jeff Probst has been vocal about how, post season 40 (and the pandemic), “Survivor” enters a “new era” defined by harsher conditions for contestants (including limited supplies and groceries), a shorter, more intense 26-day game and a host of new changes and benefits. These elements of the game have been evident over the past two seasons, and it stands to reason that this will not change in Season 43.
What do we know so far about the upcoming season?
Survivor 43 will air in late September and will feature 18 castaways
In June, CBS officially announced the air date of the premiere of Season 43 of Survivor (which, like the last two seasons, will begin without a specific theme and will therefore be known only as Survivor 43). The season premieres with a two-hour special on Wednesday, September 21 and continues to air every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. EST on CBS.
Additionally, towards the end of season 42, the rumored cast of “Survivor 43” was leaked by Inside Survivor, a highly regarded source of “Survivor” spoilers. Like the last two seasons, Season 43 will feature 18 all-new players divided into three tribes. Contestants will range in age from 19 to 50, and in keeping with CBS’ 2020 “Diversity Pledge” to cast at least 50% people of color on its reality shows, it will be one of the most racially diverse seasons yet. Also featuring are the first two competitors ever from Hawaii (Cody Assenmacher and Geo Bustamante, both from Honolulu) and 25-year-old Paralympic snowboarder Noelle Lambert, who wears a prosthetic.
However, unlike the previous two seasons, season 43 appears to have no Canadian contestants, despite opening up casting to Canadian citizens in 2018 (which also resulted in two consecutive Canadian winners). However, it is possible that one or more contestants are Canadians living in the United States, like Shan Smith in season 41.
Survivor 43 has already wrapped up filming
According to The True Dork Times, filming for Survivor 43 began on May 2nd and ended on May 27th, meaning the season stuck to the new 26-day schedule originally put in place to accommodate Fiji’s quarantine regulations to take into account. Recently, however, host and executive producer Jeff Probst hinted that this new format could be permanent.
“It’s too early to decide if we’d ever go back to 39 days, but I’ll say we believe in the 26-day schedule,” Probst told TVLine in December. “And as you’ll hear during the ‘Survivor After Show’, players are in complete agreement that 26 days has still given them absolutely everything they asked for from their ‘Survivor’ adventure.”
In addition, the participants will now know many twists and advantages of the new season, which often relied on the players’ ignorance to be effective. These included, for example, the “Caution Advantage,” which required participants to utter bizarre phrases to activate idols, or the infamous “Hourglass Twist,” which allowed a participant to secretly “rewind time” and undo the result of an immunity make challenge. Though many fans (and players) have expressed outrage at the many new twists that they feel undermine the core of Survivor, Probst has acknowledged the changes and said they’re likely to stay here. “When people say, ‘Oh, you have the worst ideas,'” Probst told Vanity Fair in May, “well, you may feel that, but these are the best ideas I have.”