‘Survivor’ Cast Evacuated for the First Time in the Show’s History Due to Cyclone in Fiji

The 20 contestants arrive on SURVIVOR: Millennials vs. Gen. X, when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 33rd season with a special 90-minute premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 21.
The 20 contestants arrive on SURVIVOR: Millennials vs. Gen. X, when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 33rd season with a special 90-minute premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 21. Monty Brinton/CBS

Mother Nature for the win. The entire cast of Survivor’s upcoming season 33, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, had to be evacuated due to a cyclone in Fiji, host Jeff Probst revealed to Entertainment Weekly.

Cyclone Zena hit on April 6 — which just happened to be day two of filming — forcing production to temporarily evacuate the contestants and crew to safety.

“Weather does play a part in the show, and you will see the part it plays, and it’s a first,” Probst teased in a recent interview with EW about the upcoming season. “And it was scary.”

“For 32 seasons of Survivor, we’ve been very lucky to have escaped some severe storms,” he added. “This time, the storm caught us. It was only day two, and in a matter of hours, a nice afternoon turned into a severe rainstorm that kept growing in intensity by the hour. We were monitoring the weather minute by minute back at base camp. When the national Fijian weather service upgraded it to a cyclone, we had to evacuate both tribes from their beaches and get them to safety. We have never had to evacuate tribes in 32 seasons of Survivor.”

Last season, however, they had some close calls with contestants on Survivor: Kaoh Rong. The harsh Cambodian conditions — and unbearable heat — led to three medical evacuations.

Joe Del Campo was evacuated due to potential kidney failure after eating too much beef. Neal Gottlieb was taken off the island due to infections. Contestant Caleb Reynolds’s situation, however, was the scariest, according to Probst. Reynolds, who collapsed from heatstroke following a physical challenge, was unresponsive and had to be taken away via helicopter. “It was the most frightened I’ve been in all my time on Survivor,” the Emmy winner previously told EW.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X premieres on CBS September 21 at 8 p.m. ET.

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