‘Survivor’: Why the Show No Longer Features Introduction Videos in Opening Credits

Since Season 1 of Survivor, the show has included introduction videos of the contestants in their candid moments to “Ancient Voices” alongside their names for the opening sequence. However, it did away with the staple montage and music altogether by season 36’s Ghost Island. A former player addressed the removal, noting executive producer Matt Van Wagenen explained why they nixed it.

Troyzan Robertson on 'Survivor: Game Changers'
‘Survivor: Game Changers’ finalist, Troyzan Robertson | Timothy Kuratek/CBS/Getty Images

At the beginning of each Survivor episode from its inception, the show previously featured live-action shots or clips of the contestants in candid moments throughout the season along with their names.

Set to a mix of Emmy-award theme music, “Ancient Voices,” which previously changed to fit the filming country’s culture, the lyrics are based on a Russian folk song.

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A shortened version of the tune typically accompanies the minute-long introduction videos. Starting with the 16th season, Micronesia, the sequences began shortening every week as the eliminated players were removed from the credits.

Then, Survivor featured a five-second clip of “Ancient Voices” at the start of every episode without including the montage of the contestants. However, it nixed the opening sequence altogether by season 36’s Ghost Island.

Troyzan Robertson explained why the producers no longer include the introduction video

Many fans have wondered what happened to the introduction videos and notable music as they looked forward to it. Talking to three-time competitor Russell Hantz, Game Changers finalist Troyzan Robertson noted the theme song still gets him “fired up” and claims he still plays it when going for runs.

Hantz agreed, claiming the fans want the “old stuff back,” especially the introduction videos. According to Robertson, the opening sequence “hooked” him in season 1 as he recalled feeling like he got to know the contestants seeing their names in the introductions.

Now, the popular player pointed out he has trouble remembering everyone’s names without the sequence, which he thinks takes the personal connection out of it.

Robertson explained that he asked Matt Van Wagenen about the removal and noted the executive producer told him they still make the introduction video and uploaded it to YouTube. However, it’s not included in the episodes anymore so that viewers have more time watching the players strategize.

Russell Hantz recently called out Jeff Probst for removing ‘come on in, guys’ phrase

Before Survivor 41 debuted, Hantz claimed he wouldn’t recap the season on his YouTube channel, as he has for the past few seasons, if it included “political issues.”

He insisted it would “ruin” the show for him and believed the series would experience a drop in ratings if it went that way.

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During the premiere episode, host Jeff Probst offered to drop his notable “come on in, guys” phrase if anyone felt uncomfortable with it. Castaway Ricard Foyé spoke up, and the host did away with the saying. Afterward, Hantz made another video blasting Probst for the change, calling it a “big deal” as he considers it one of the three staple things the host has said in nearly every season.

Additionally, the two-time finalist claimed other former players are also upset about the change because of their “passion” for the game. Survivor 41 airs Wednesdays at 8/7 Central on CBS.