Survivor casting tips: Don’t reveal you’ve been contacted on social media

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

If you’re coming to Survivor content creators for tips on the casting process after being contacted by someone in casting, you’ve already made a big mistake.

Roughly 18 months ago, there was a report on TMZ that Survivor was casting a Florida Hot Cop in a future season of the show. That player turned out to be Dan Rengering, and he did appear on David vs. Goliath, flying out roughly the same time the story broke. Considering that Davie Rickenbacker was already an alternate for the Davids just hours before filming, the show was in a bind.

However, had this story broke any earlier, we might have never seen the idol-finding, history-making player appear on the show, radically altering the impact of the season. Whether it’s Big Brother, The Amazing Race, or Survivor, casting crews on reality competition programs do not like their applicants (or someone on their behalf) revealing they are in the running or will be cast for future television.

I bring this up because we are currently at the beginning of Survivor casting season for seasons 41 and 42, and fans across the United States have been sending in their application videos to the recruiting team. Although those involved in poring through the hours of footage have been at it for just a few weeks, it appears as though some have been contacted already.

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If you are one of the few people who are in that select group, congratulations; you’ve reached one of many hurdles in the Survivor casting process. Though it may be an exciting journey, there’s only one thing you need to do from here on out; shut the f— up and do whatever casting tells you to do (within reason, of course).

If you cannot contain your level of excitement and not publicly comment about your status, then you cannot be trusted enough to fulfill your non-disclosure agreement. Another David vs. Goliath castaway, Alec Merlino, is an example of what can happen if you violate that trust, as he was not present for the reunion and will likely never be cast for future returning player seasons after posting a picture with him and Kara after filming.

For whatever reason, if you have to ask for help after being cut somewhere en route to filming like Laurel Johnson was before eventually getting on Ghost Island, make sure you ask for help anonymously. She asked Big Brother legend and reality casting coach Dan Gheesling for advice on how to recover after getting cut at finals for Millennials vs. Gen X, using a fake name to get solid advice from an expert.

The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your one-in-thousands shot on getting cast for Survivor, and not everybody has your best interests in mind. Though the game is filmed on the island, the strategy begins in casting. Anybody in Finals can, and may, use whatever you tell them against you to get ahead.

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With that being something months away in confidence amongst dozens, just imagine what people will do either anonymously or with a screen name on Twitter or Instagram if you say you’re going to compete on the show. As The Rock likes to say, “Know your role and shut your mouth!” I’ve seen it happen already in this casting cycle; don’t let an errant comment bury you early.