Survivor: Island of the Idols finale will be filmed live-to-tape ahead of airing


Four hours ahead of the Wednesday, December 18, 5 p.m. PT start, the Survivor: Island of the Idols finale will be filmed live for “security concerns,” among others.

This post will discuss the events of Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 13, which aired earlier tonight.

It’s not easy to watch, talk about, or cover Survivor this season. For dozens of reasons, consuming the greatest reality television this Fall has been a rollercoaster of emotions, with the tone dropping into the abyss heading into the finale. CBS knows the reaction from the fans and how it will impact the ending of Island of the Idols and will do something completely unprecedented.

As reported by EWthe Survivor: Island of the Idols finale will be filmed live from CBS Television City in Los Angeles from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PT. That is the three-hour runtime of the usual production, but, as opposed to what you see being fully live and happening at that moment, it will be filmed live ahead of time and rebroadcast as a taped experience a few hours later.

Dalton Ross’ source indicated that the “sensitive nature of the material this season” is the reason for the move and that “security concerns for the contestants and to make sure the players feel as comfortable and safe as possible.” There is also an expectation that it will appear “in its entirety without any edits,” although non-disclosure agreements signed by the castaways mean that it would be difficult to get confirmation down the line whether or not anything was cut.

This story broke before Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 13 aired, meaning that it seemed like the show wanted to maintain focus on the game and minimize the blowback Dan Spilo would receive for his events at the merge. However, now that we know he was removed from the game based on an event that happened off-camera to somebody else besides a player in the game, paired with Jeff Probst’s litigious-prevention-like responses to questions about it, indicate there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.

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Kellee Kim reacted to the events of tonight’s episode on Twitter, and if it’s any indication of the direction for the finale, one can hope that the players will be a lot more open to discuss what happened, what went wrong and, hopefully, are granted apologies from production on how this season was handled. The way that CBS seems to be going out of their way to control the dialogue, however, indicates that might not be the case. Fingers crossed.