After what felt like forever, Survivor is almost back, much to the delight of fans all over the world. Survivor’s return, however, comes with notable changes that may or may not sit well with fans: dropping the titles in favor of just the season number and reducing the game to just 26 days.
We asked some Survivor fans from a couple of local fan groups (Survivor Superfans – Philippines & Official Pinoy Survivor Fans) if they’re okay with a 26-day game setup and found that out of 216 responses, 59.2% felt the shortened days won’t be a problem, while 20.4% said they prefer the usual 39 days. The remaining 20.4% don’t really mind.
Then a thought occurred to me: how would former players react to these changes? So I reached out to some of our favorite Survivor players to find out what they think about these literal game-changers.
Jessica ‘Sugar’ Kiper
Gabon, Heroes vs. Villains
How do you feel about the show dropping the subtitles for the upcoming seasons?
I think maybe they’re going in a new direction now… like the first 40 seasons will be memorable and more easily identified by their titles. Many of them, especially Gabon, are very different. To fans, I think the themes helped. I mean, 40 seasons—that’s A LOT to remember. The die-hard fans will eat up anything that they throw at us, especially now, because of the long pause due to the freakin’ global pandemic.
I don’t expect it to be TOO different because “you don’t fix what ain’t broke,” but it’ll be possibly more intense (if that’s possible), and people will watch… that’s for damn sure. I’m excited to meet the new cast when it’s all over and they’re in their most insane phase of their life. That will be fun. It’s a WHIRLWIND.
How do you feel about reducing the number of days to just 26? How do you think this will impact one’s gameplay?
At first, I was upset by the idea of them not doing the full 39 days because the people that make it to the end have not had the full exposure to the insanity that everyone else had to go through. Apparently, they don’t give them any rest days… so I guess we’ll see on that one.
I know crazy eyes when I see them. My crazy eyes appear pretty early on in Gabon. I was holding a lot of power and only I knew it and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. So I used it to kill bad guys the second I had the chance. I’m looking out for those crazy eyes in [Season] 41. They literally push you to the edge in that “game.” I hope they all make it out okay. We weren’t allowed to do social media directly after, back in my day when it barely existed. This will be interesting.
How have you been since the last time you appeared on the show?
I’ve gone through tremendous growth since Survivor 17 & 20, but I don’t think I can thank them for that. They pushed me over the edge, so it was a long journey back. I did get to dance with natives in Africa, so that part was very cool. I really appreciated that part.
Producers of Survivor will make money off of other people’s pain for the rest of their lives, while the contestants just deal with the outcomes. I prefer scripted shows with residuals and craft service. I never applied; that’s a whole different story. I’m done spilling all of my beans for free on reality TV. I live in Los Angeles with my husband and 5-year-old daughter and I’m on cloud 9! I love being a wife and mom, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Instagram/Twitter @sugarkiper.