How Do You Get Chosen For ‘Survivor’?

The survival and competition-based reality show, Survivor, has had an incredibly long run. September 2021 will mark the start of Survivor’s 41st season. There has been plenty of intrigue and games to study over the years, so maybe you think you could take on a season of Survivor yourself.

Jeff Probst smiling at a tribal council
Jeff Probst | CBS via Getty Images

Maybe you could even win the million-dollar prize. The first step is to know how to be selected for the show. Learn these tips and improve your chances of being chosen. 

How to audition for ‘Survivor’ 

The first step is to apply online at CBS Survivor Casting. In order to do this, you need to send in a completed application, a current photo, an audition video, and an explanation of why you want to be on the show. There are also open casting calls all over the country where the casting directors seek out new talent. 

Some famous players get on the show through connections, while others are scouted — but for the most part, the way to get on is to apply.

Before you apply, be sure you check with your state of residence about age requirements. Generally, you have to be at least 18 years old to apply but some states require you to be older. You must be a U.S. or Canadian citizen. You also have to have a valid passport. If you spark interest with the producers, they will contact you. Hearing nothing means you were not chosen. 

Audition tip #1: be genuine

Probably the most important part of your audition submission is your audition tape. This is where potential contestants can feel nervous because they believe a good video will require major videography experience.

The truth is that’s not necessarily the case. The casting directors are looking to learn about you and who you truly are. That means there is no room for anything fake or flashy. 

The key is to be genuine and to show your true self to your audience. Surviving Tribal said:

“If you’re the kind of person who jumps out of trees and does sick stunts, you can keep that in the video. However, the casting team is fine with you shooting a video while sitting on the couch with your children, just as long as you present yourself as a genuine character for whatever character you truly are.” 

Audition tip #2: be compelling

It is indeed very important to be authentic and not gimmicky when filming your audition tape. Overly flashy and fake videos will not get past the casting directors. However, these same casting directors have the job of putting together the perfect group of people that will help the show make the most money.

What does that mean? That means they need the very best story to tell.

Each of the contestants needs to bring their own strong personalities and compelling stories to the show to help push the character arcs. Share your life and share your story. And if you don’t get picked your first time auditioning, don’t give up.

Each season is looking for something different and your unique and compelling may very well fit better in a later season. Insider points out that there are quite a few contestants who had to apply quite a few times before they got cast. Don’t give up. 

Audition tip #3: be a winner

Survivor is a competition and that means you need to have the mind of a winner. You need to have total confidence that you can win the entire show. Never say people have doubted you or that you have doubted yourself.


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Do not talk about your failures in life. You don’t need to share that you are without a job or fresh out of a relationship. Be authentic, compelling, and confident, and you just might have a chance at being on Survivor.