When Survivor announced it was returning to Nicaragua for filming of seasons 29 and 30 of the longtime reality hit, many fans were concerned that they would once again not be seeing many water challenges. That was a problem the last two seasons filmed there: Nicaragua and Redemption Island. Jeff Probst was concerned as well, and he told EW back in May that a plan was in place to remedy that situation: “That was the mandate from the moment we decided on Nicaragua,” said Probst of getting the contestants back in the water for challenges. “The one thing I kept asking our scouting crew for was updates on how the water situation was looking, and between our art department and our challenge department, they’ve got it under control. We’re going to have a lot more water challenges and be in the water more —and really that’s the only concern we had about Nicaragua, is that it was a little dry last time.”
But sometimes you can only do so much when taking on Mother Nature. Even though the beaches of San Juan del Sur where production is filming are a popular destination for surfers, the large swells often make it difficult to build sturdy contraptions and platforms for water challenges, and present situations that are simply too dangerous to put the contestants in. I learned that first hand when speaking to Probst out on location on day one of filming for Survivor: San Del Sur — Blood vs. Water (which premieres Sept. 24 on CBS).
While speaking to Probst, I noticed a challenge course in the mid-stages of being built out in the water behind us. I asked the host about it and he explained how the challenge was one being designed for very early in the season but now may not be run at all due to the extreme tides. At the time of this being filmed, producers were weighing whether to delay the challenge or shut it down completely. Check out the video below to enjoy the rare opportunity of seeing a challenge that may be completely abandoned. Will this contest ever see the light of day in season 29, 30, or beyond? Who knows, but you can get a behind-the-scenes look at what they were building, as well as an explanation form Probst as to how rare this happens. And for more Survivor scoop, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.