Back in Survivor’s 12th season (Survivor: Panama — Exile Island), the members of the press that travelled to location sat down with host Jeff Probst to share our initial thoughts on the cast after interviewing them before the game began. You can still watch this roundtable discussion as it is one of the bonus features on that season’s DVD release.
While not all of the hot takes ended up being all that accurate — we all had Tina Scheer making the final four and she ended up being voted out first — it was an interesting exercise in that it was the first (and only) time press that covers the show did analysis on the players based solely on pre-game interviews without having watched a single second of actual gameplay.
With that in mind, I attempted to replicate the experience last May while out in Fiji for the filming of Survivor: Edge of Extinction. After interviewing all 18 cast members, Josh Wigler from The Hollywood Reporter and Rob Has a Podcast and I sat down on Tokoriki Island and shared our initial takeaways over a delicious Fiji Gold. Who did we think would be major threats out of the gate? Who did we believe might be in major trouble? Whom did we love? Who left us with more questions than answers? And what did we make of the four returnees?
Now you can find out as the second ever Survivor On-Location Press Roundtable is unveiled! And it’s not just Josh and myself. You will also get a heaping helping of Mara Reinstein. Mara has been on location 15 times for Us Weekly, making her the second most travelled Survivor press peep ever. She also was part of the first press roundtable back in season 12! And while Mara did not interview the cast this time around — she was there doing other articles with Hostmaster General Jeff Probst — she offered her #ReinsteinHotTake on each of the 18 players based solely on their bio and photo.
So whether you are still filling out your Survivor fantasy team, or want to hear the so-called experts’ very first impressions of the cast before the game had ever begun, or just want to use this as fodder to make fun of us later once everything we say has been completely disproved mere days into the game, check out the SoundCloud link below.
IMPORTANT PROGRAMMING NOTE: You can also hear all 18 of my cast interviews from Fiji in a series of Survivor specials on EW Radio (SiriusXM channel 105) airing Monday from 12-2pmET, Tuesday from 1-2pmET, and Wednesday from 12-2pmET.