‘Survivor’: 1 Contestant Stopped Watching the Show Because It Made Them ‘Too Frustrated’

Survivor is one of the longest-running reality television shows of all time, a series that has won a host of awards and built a fan base that is unlike any other. Survivor has spawned multiple spinoffs and a massive media empire — and even though the recent seasons of the show have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is coming back strong. With the promise of a new season of Survivor on the horizon, many fans are looking to memorable contestants from past reasons, reflecting on the reasons why those contestants thrived on the show or the myriad of reasons why they were ultimately sent away from the island. 

Jeff Probst on ‘SURVIVOR: WINNERS AT WAR’ | CBS via Getty Images

When did ‘Survivor’ debut on television?

Survivor was originally conceived as a spinoff of a Swedish television series called Expedition Robinson. That series debuted on television in 1997, and Survivor made its appearance on American televisions not long after, in 2000.

Hosted by Jeff Probst, the show’s premise quickly became iconic. At the beginning of each season, a group of diverse contestants is dropped off in an isolated location, where they must learn to not only fend for themselves but thrive in a group setting, along with their fellow contestants.

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In short order, Survivor became one of the biggest shows on television. Ultimately, it led to multiple spinoffs and variations, and even though there have been a number of controversies around the franchise over the years, fans still love it — and tune in faithfully every season to watch the contestants struggle for survival. 

What items are ‘Survivor’ contestants allowed to bring with them?

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There are a lot of stories about the filming of Survivor that have become legend over the years. One of the most popular and pervasive tales about filming the reality competition show relates to the specific items that contestants are allowed to bring with them on the island.

According to E! Online, contestants are allowed to bring some basic hygiene items, such as ” feminine products, birth control, vital medications, contact lens solution, sunscreen, and insect repellent.”

Additionally, contestants are only allowed to wear specific clothing items that have to be pre-approved by the production team prior to filming. As reported by E! Online, one former competitor stated that showrunners “can be very specific, to the point of sending you to a specific store with photos of the items they want you to bring.”

Why made ‘Survivor’ contestant Janet Koth’s ‘blood boil’?

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While many fans might understand that showrunners for Survivor have a vested interest in maintaining the integrity of the series, a recent interview with a former contestant casts a rather different light on filming, and on the items that participants are allowed to bring. In an interview with former Survivor competitor Janet Koth, she revealed that she was deliberately cast in an unflattering light that made it seem as though she broke some serious rules. Koth was voted out of the show early on in the season — and she blames editing for the fact that she left early.

“The edit I got on the show makes my blood boil,” she said. “I almost declined going to the finale after seeing how I was portrayed. Even some of my family members thought I snuck in the granola bar after seeing how they took a scene of one day, and edited it to another day, making me look guilty.”

Koth also admitted that her “biggest regret” is not fighting harder against the allegations, which she maintains are untrue. These days, Koth says that she does not watch the show at all, because she “got too frustrated.”

As Koth explained, “I would see their environment, which was not nearly as harsh as ours, and they’re being provided water, and it ticked me off. I would find myself thinking how much better I could have done if I had had water, or had been able to cool off in the water, etc…” 

Safe to say that Koth will not be tuning into the upcoming season of Survivor.