Survivor Season 1: The Greatest And Most Outrageous Moments

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Striking It Rich a Second Time

The main portion of the DVD ends with glimpses of the Survivor wrap party mixed with the closing credits. Each person is introduced by Mark Burnett and given some applause. "Thank you so much for playing the game," says Burnett -- now a rich man, indeed. Some last comments are made, including Rudy's saying that he loves gay people now as long as they don't touch him. Greg says goofy stuff about how he loves the island and all of the island is reality. And thus ends the main portion. Wow, how underwhelming.

Which leaves us with one final bit: "Survivor: Inside the Phenomenon," the documentary. If you've read the book, there aren't too many surprises, but in the interest of brevity (yeah, 9,000 words later), here's a quick summary: Burnett explains how the show got started from the format for the show to how the island was chosen during a two-year search. He says they wanted to find an island that was dangerous, but not too dangerous. He reveals that his production company contributed financially to a future resort on the island.

Jeff Probst talks about how he first heard about the hosting gig on the radio. He seems awfully cheesy, even when he's not hosting, but his enthusiasm for the job does come through.

Burnett says they looked at about two hundred possible casting choices. Burnett and Probst go back and forth about how they met and how the host was chosen. Burnett says they needed someone who was tough and who had passion for the project. But they chose Probst anyway. ["I still think they had a little thing going. Burnett's just a bit too effusive about Probst'" -- Wing Chun]

Probst reveals that when he got the gig, he was given a folder of all the bios and he went over them with his wife.

Burnett stresses that these people are not "outrageous personality types." Not even Greg? Probst says he was asked to be aloof and shadowy as host. Mission accomplished. Except for the "shadowy" part. Jeff says that he didn't meet the contestants before the contest, and that the first words he said to them were right before the cameras rolled, when he told them they had two minutes to get their stuff off the boat.

Both Burnett and Probst stress that the very first bits of the show were crucial because there was no way they could go back and do them again. Probst says that even then he knew, "We've got something good here." He even smiles evilly. Clips are shown to break up all the dialogue.

Burnett addresses FCC concerns about quiz shows, and how because there were prizes involved, nothing could be staged and all the contests had to be won fair and square.

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