The Season 39 finale of Survivor airs on CBS on December 18, and it has been revealed that there will be one substantial difference in how it runs this time around. Usually, the pre-taped last part of the game is aired in front of a live audience. Then, the announcement of the winner and the reunion is done live. The Survivor finale has been done that way for some time now, but that won’t be the case for Island of the Idols.
Wednesday night, Survivor fans watched as controversial contestant Dan Spilo was removed from the game. This was said to have happened due to an incident involving a production crew member, leaving some viewers wondered how it would all be handled during the reunion show.
According to Entertainment Weekly, production has already thought ahead to the usual reunion show format and decided to make a change. Typically, the reunion show airs live from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific from the CBS Television City studio in Los Angeles, done early in the evening to sync with the show’s time slot on the East Coast. That timing won’t be the case for Season 39.
The finale and reunion will instead be pre-taped, but not very far ahead of when it will air. Instead of running from 5 to 8 Pacific, it will be taped from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on December 18.
That taping schedule means that there will not be a lot of editing done before it airs, but it seems that wasn’t the intention. In fact, it seems that CBS plans to air the 3-hour finale and reunion in its entirety without any changes.
As Survivor viewers know, Dan’s alleged incident that led to his removal from Season 39 was not the first issue with which he was involved. Fellow Season 39 contestant Kellee Kim alleged that he had touched her inappropriately earlier in the season, which became a significant issue.
Given all of this, it looks as if those behind the show felt that the sensitive nature of the topic would be best handled in a pre-taped setting.
Sources indicate that there were security concerns about doing a live finale as well, and production wanted those involved in the difficult discussions ahead to feel comfortable and safe. Usually, CBS incorporates a 10-second delay when airing the live finale. In this case, it seems production felt that the usual approach didn’t provide the setting they felt was needed. This way, if anything crazy does happen, there is an opportunity to deal with it before it airs.
Will things be intense during the Season 39 finale of Survivor: Island of the Idols? Fans will certainly be curious to see how these conversations are handled when the finale and reunion air on December 18.