The last hurrah. The cast of Survivor: Island of the Idols reunited for the season 39 finale taping following the controversy surrounding ousted contestant Dan Spilo.
Kellee Kim, Missy Byrd and Dean Kowalski were among those who posted Instagram photos and videos from the reunion on Tuesday, December 17, and Wednesday, December 18. The episode is set to air on Wednesday night.
Entertainment Weekly reported earlier this month that the special would be pretaped for the first time in 39 seasons. The reunion was scheduled to be filmed four hours before its airtime. The team behind the show reportedly made the decision because of sensitive material stemming from Spilo’s exit and security concerns.
The talent manager, 49, was ejected from the competition during the December 11 episode following complaints about inappropriate touching. “Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player,” a title card on the show read.
Kim, 30, initially expressed during episode 1 that Spilo’s touching made her uncomfortable. CBS issued a warning to him after production stepped in on day 22. His removal occurred on day 36.
Spilo broke his silence on the ordeal on Tuesday. “I am deeply sorry for how my actions affected Kellee during the taping of this season of Survivor,” he told People magazine. “After apologizing at the tribal council when I first learned that Kellee still felt uncomfortable, I want to make sure I do so again, clearly and unambiguously. I truly regret that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable by my behavior.”
He continued: “In my life, I have always tried to treat others with decency, integrity and kindness. I can only hope that my actions in the future can help me to make amends and show me to be the kind of father, husband, colleague and friend that I always aim to be.”
Kim reacted to the statement on Tuesday. “It’s curious that Dan has decided to publicly apologize to me — and just me — on the eve of the #Survivor39 finale for a series of inappropriate incidents that occurred months ago and impacted a number of women on set,” she tweeted. “I truly hope that some of this self-reflection is real and that Dan changes his behavior going forward. For men, this statement only underscores the responsibility of CBS and Survivor to take action to prevent anything like this from ever happening again in the future. #Survivor.”
The Survivor: Island of the Idols finale and reunion airs on CBS Wednesday, December 18, at 8 p.m. ET.