‘Survivor’: 1 Non-Natural Item Provided Suggests Things Get Steamy Behind-the-Scenes

Survivor is one of the most enduring reality TV shows of all time. The series has been around for more than two decades and has spawned several spinoffs as well as specials, video games, and books.

However, one of the most enduring legacies of Survivor could be the couples that have gotten together while filming. Not only has the show helped to birth several new relationships, but according to a 2004 news article, showrunners for Survivor might actually encourage behind-the-scenes canoodling. 

‘Survivor’ debuted on television in 2000

Michele Fitzgerald and Tony Vlachos
Michele Fitzgerald and Tony Vlachos | CBS via Getty Images

Based on a Swedish reality series with a similar concept, Survivor first debuted on American television in the year 2000. Audiences responded well to the show and loved the concept.

Each week, viewers tuned in to watch a group of contestants try to navigate their way around a remote location, all while foraging for food, water, and shelter. In addition, the contestants are tasked with forming peer relationships with their fellow contestants, establishing societal rules that allow them to thrive.

In the two decades since the show has debuted, Survivor has continued to earn new fans. The series has been filmed in exotic locations all around the world, and all the while, original host Jeff Probst has remained on board, ushering in new contestants, year after year.

Although the show is now on an indefinite hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be returning to a regular filming schedule once conditions prove safe. 

What personal items are contestants allowed to have?

The basic premise of Survivor is that contestants are left in a semi-deserted location with no creature comforts. Some reports, like one from The Talko, suggest that contestants are not even allowed to shampoo, body wash, razors, or toothpaste, all in order to enhance the feeling that they have been stranded.

They are also only allowed the most basic of food supplies, such as rice and dried beans. The idea, in regard to food, is that contestants will be forced to prepare their own meals from produce that they forage on the island. 

However, a 2004 article from Today revealed that, at least in the early days of the show, contestants were given a few items. These items included condoms, tampons, birth control, and contact-lens solution.

The notion that contestants are given birth control supplies suggests that while showrunners want contestants to be responsible, they also don’t exactly discourage behind-the-scenes hanky panky. This idea is supported by the fact that, over the years, there have been many Survivor contestants that have gotten together. 

There has been a lot of flirting on ‘Survivor’

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In the early years of the show, social media wasn’t as prevalent, so it is likely that the contestants got away with a lot more flirtatious behavior. However, these days, with reality television a regular force in people’s lives, everyone turns to social media to monitor their favorite stars.

For example, a pair of contestants from the 2016 season of Survivor, Taylor and Jessica, per CBS, didn’t mind flaunting their flirtation on camera, and although they are reportedly no longer together, they stand as one of the most public examples of on-screen Survivor flirtation. 

Another couple that got together on Survivor, Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano (Fame10), first met during the filming of season 8. The two became fast friends and formed an onscreen alliance, which eventually led to an offscreen one. Rob ended up proposing to Amber during the season finale, and the two were married 2005. These days, they are still happily married and have four daughters

It’s clear that the dismal-looking locations featured in Survivor might actually be more romantic than they initially appear.