Survivor to Pre-Tape Reunion Finale Amid Controversy, Security Concerns

Survivor’s three-hour finale and reunion shows are typically live for the east coast in front of a CBS studio audience. However, next week’s (Dec 18) big Survivor: Island of the Idols finale will go live-to-tape earlier in the day and be broadcast in the usual time slot.

A source close to the situation tells Entertainment Weekly that the change was made due to the sensitive nature of the season’s controversies. First, contestant Kellie Kim complained that fellow contestant Dan Spilo touched her inappropriately. That was followed by other players exaggerating their own reactions to Dan’s touching to further their own game play. Dan was removed from the show, Jeff announced at the end of last night’s (Dec 13) episode, after another incident, reportedly with a crew member. There are also security concerns for the contestants. Additionally, producers want to make sure the players feel as comfortable and safe as possible while discussing what happened out on the island.

Survivor Season 39 Island of the Idols Week 12 Recap and Live Blog

As in past seasons, the show will take place in front of an audience and still plans to start with a “live” introduction, have periodic look-ins during the finale, and then a reunion/cast discussion after a winner is crowned. While the program will not be airing live with the usual 10-second delay, CBS expects that it will still appear in its entirety without any edits, as if the show were airing live. EW compared it to how late night talk shows tape a few hours before the program is aired a few hours later.

The Survivor: Island of the Idols finale and reunion will air Dec. 18 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!