For the first time in 39 seasons, Survivor’s reunion show will not be live. The Island of the Idols special will be pretaped four hours before it airs on Wednesday, December 18, Entertainment Weekly reports.
The team behind the long-running CBS reality competition made the change due to the sensitive material of this season as well as security concerns, according to the magazine. It will now reportedly tape from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PT rather than the usual 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT.
The news comes on the heels of contestant Dan Spilo’s exit from the game. The talent manager, 48, was accused of inappropriate touching by Kellee Kim and several other female castaways earlier in the season before Kellee’s elimination. Producers spoke with the cast off-camera and issued a formal warning to Dan.
Then, in the last minutes of the Wednesday, December 11, episode, Jeff Probst entered camp to deliver some surprising news: Dan had been removed and would not be joining the jury. The host, 58, did not explain what happened, but an onscreen title card read, “Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.”
Kellee, 29, reacted to the news via Twitter shortly after, writing in part, “While Dan’s dismissal has validated the concerns that I raised from the beginning of this season, I wish that no one else had to be subjected to this type of behavior. … What is most important to me now is how all of us — CBS, Survivor, other organizations, and all of us as individuals — decide to learn from this story and commit to take action.”
Probst, meanwhile, told EW that he could not disclose additional details “out of respect for privacy and confidentiality.” He did, however, share that Dan “was not happy” about the decision but eventually “calmed down and was actually very respectful as he departed.”
The Survivor: Island of the Idols finale and reunion airs on CBS Wednesday, December 18, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET.
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