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Bad weather has always been a part of Survivor. There have been countless shots of players calling it the lowest point of their lives as they sit and shiver in massive storms. The show experienced 21 straight days of rain during filming of Survivor: Philippines. And then, during Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, the players were actually evacuated for the first time ever during a cyclone that hit Fiji shortly after the season began.
Well, Mother Nature struck again during filming of Survivor: David vs. Goliath, which premieres Sept. 26 on CBS. And not once, but twice. Just like on Millennials vs. Gen X, a cyclone hit the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji during filming on the very first episode of David vs. Goliath (and you can see visual evidence of the torrential rains that accompanied it in some exclusive images below). But that’s not all. EW can also reveal that a second, even more destructive cyclone hit during filming on a later episode as well.
This is the danger (and, for viewers, excitement) of filming in Fiji. Survivor has set up shop permanently in the country and shoots back-to-back seasons there, with about a two-week break between them. While the second seasons in the filming cycle that start at the end of May take place in the dry season and are relatively free from weather drama, the first cycles that shoot at the beginning of April catch the tail end of the wet season and can include heavy rainfall — and worse. That’s what happened during Millennials vs. Gen X, and that’s what happened twice during David vs. Goliath.
“Cyclones are becoming a normal part of shooting Survivor in Fiji, especially the first of the two seasons,” host Jeff Probst tells EW. “There is a cyclone in the first episode that hammers the tribes with extremely strong and relentless rain as they attempt to establish shelter and make fire. This is not the last of the bad weather and this is not the worst of the cyclones they will have to overcome.”
Take a look below at some of the exclusive challenge photos from the first episode that show off the deluge that hit the players, and then stay tuned to see when — and how much harder — the second cyclone hits.
For more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.