20 Behind The Scenes Survivor Photos We Weren’t Supposed To See

Survivor wasn’t supposed to be a success, at least initially. The concept was first pitched by Charlie Parsons way back in the early ‘90s – the show was entitled Castaway. BBC turned down the idea, though a network in Sweden finally approved the concept. The show became a hit and Mark Burnett would capitalize, bringing it to the US on May, 31st, 2000. Clearly, the concept worked. After 38 seasons and a near 600 episodes, the program continues on with really no end.

What few realize is how much work goes into piecing Survivor together. In this article, we’ll feature behind the scenes photos most of us never knew existed. These are pics we truly weren’t supposed to see.

Enjoy the article folks, let’s get started!

20 The Jury Villa

via Pinterest

So getting kicked off Survivor really isn’t a bad thing... we’ve seen examples of that in the past. Once a survivor gets kicked off the show, they return as part of the jury looking fresher than ever while rocking clean-cut clothing.

This photo gives a behind the scenes show at the Jury Villa over in Survivor Australia. Likely, some of the contestants are thinking about why they didn’t get eliminated sooner...

19 Survivor Thailand Employees

via Pinterest

Some of the employees camp out in luxury tents while others have the privilege of staying at a fine looking hotel. No, they aren’t slumming it out like the contestants on the show.

This photo is a rare shot of some employees working behind the scenes, staying at a hotel over in Thailand.

18 Having A Good Time

via IG

The mood is the exact opposite for the employees on the show and the picture above is an example of that. They’re enjoying a laugh on the boat and likely headed to a part of the island different that the contestants, one filled with luxuries.

Jeff posted this rare photo to his IG account, showing us a different side of the show, one that’s a lot less depressing compared to what the contestants deal with.

17 Transportation

via IG

The contestants on the show are basically dropped on an island with no transportation aside from a boat. Nope, no car, no bike or anything of that nature.

A rare behind the scenes shot, the crew has it a lot easier when it comes to navigating the island. Yes, the rainbow is beautiful in the background but what’s even greater is getting to ride around in this luxury cart... that’s the good life.

16 Staff Lunch

via Pinterest

The hardest part about Survivor is not only dealing with the grueling outdoor conditions such as heat and rain but not fueling properly is also a big issue. Contestants lose serious weight on the show.

The crew doesn’t deal with this problem. They have access to a catering service. Not only that but they’re also completely covered with a tarp – not a bad gig.

15 Endless Cameras

via Pinterest

There’s a reason CBS hasn’t given up on Survivor since 1998. The production value of the show is truly unmatched. As the viewer watching on the other side, we’re really are not aware of how deep this show goes to give us the ultimate experience.

We get a snippet of that in this rare photo, showing us the endless supply of workers filming the program.

14 The Finale

via Flickr

We get a rare shot of the finale from season 30. Survivor is very strict with this process. They don’t release the winner on the spot during the show and instead opt to make the announcement live once the program is completely done and edited.

It is also important the contestants don’t spill any information – keeping the result and show’s integrity intact.

13 Surrounded In The Moment

via Pinterest

We’re not going to say that Survivor’s scripted. However, the producers of the show do expect things to take place in a timely manner for the entertainment purposes of the show. There isn’t any use for something important to go down when cameras aren’t rolling.

We get a rare show of that in this behind the scenes picture, who could’ve imagined that it takes three others to film this segment?

12 More Cameras

via Pinterest

It is safe to say that the Survivor crew monitors all conversations. They aren’t filming out of the blue and most of it is pre-planned with a lot of the employees standing behind the scenes during such important conversations.

Credit the contestants for keeping things real during these ordeals, it is like they’re alone at times – though little do we know an entire crew surrounds them.

11 Employees On The Course

via Pinterest

Credit the camera crew for blocking out the behind the scenes employees during such ordeals.

The truth is, backstage workers are on the course making sure everything runs smoothly, let’s be honest, the courses aren’t state of the art and they require care and maintenance – as the two dudes are providing in the rare photo above.

10 More Video Room Work

via IG

Piecing the program together can be quite the arduous task. There’s a big delay most fans don’t even know of. Once the show ends, it takes them weeks to piece everything together prior to the final episode.

It is a long process but one that makes Survivor among the elite programs of all-time.

9 Candid Shot

via CBS

We get a shot of how much goes into one simple conversation – three cameras are present in this photo along with a photographer that snapped this picture up.

Once the cameras stop rolling, a lot of lying around takes place – that’s what we don’t see. Contestants are low on energy and are not providing non-stop entertainment.

8 Feeling It Out


Probst gets a lot of credit for the show, though it should be noted that Mark Burnett is the genius behind its North American success. The concept was actually contrived back in the early ‘90s under the name of Castaway.

Despite its early shortcomings, it would turn into a success under a new name in the late '90s and then thrive over in the US as a reality show juggernaut.

7 Meeting Before The Show

via CBS

No, the contestants aren’t dumped on an island without meeting before. The truth is some even develop a bond prior to the cameras rolling. The entire cast meets before the show, this is information we really aren’t informed about.

The show wants us to think the contestants are dumped on the island in total silence without ever meeting.

6 One-On-One

via CBS

The producers don’t tell you what to say, however, they do pinpoint the direction of the dialogue along with the moments that they want to go one-on-one with a certain contestant.

This helps the viewer to get a better understanding of the player – showing off the personalities is a crucial part of Survivor and one that can either make or break the ratings.

5 Thailand Crew

via Pinterest

We get a rare show of the Survivor crew behind the scenes standing next to a tent during the Thailand series. That setup is quite different from the one that the contestants use on the show.

We’re not exactly sure if that was meant for the staff or those on redemption island. Nonetheless, it is definitely a notch higher.

4 Getting Ready

via CBS

This photo gives us a real shot at how deep the camera crew really is. This might be the entire team as they ready themselves for quite the journey.

These people are responsible for making sure that the program flows properly while getting the best shots at the best times. Sure, they aren’t slumming it like the contestants but the process is a stressful one as well.

3 Hard Times

via Pinterest

During difficult times, the show's producers and crew step in. We get a raw example as former Big Brother contestant Caleb Reynolds felt the wrath and difficulty of the show.

The show isn’t easy and that’s especially true during the challenges. On such low calories and hot conditions – we’ve seen competitions turn not bad on more than a few occasions.

2 At The Control Center

via IG

This is where the magic takes places. For decades and decades, these behind the scenes employees have done a spectacular job at piecing the program together.

Believe it or not, host Jeff Probst is also part of the process. He posted this rare photo we weren’t supposed to see on his IG account.

1 Trying Out The Challenges

via Pinterest

After 38 seasons, Survivor is still trying to keep things relatively fresh with its obstacle courses. Again, the host is one of the first employees on the show to try the course out for himself, making sure that everything flows correctly.

It should also be noted that the challenges take a lot longer than what we are led to believe on television. In real-time, some actually last more than a couple of hours.

Sources – Twitter, YouTube & IG

More in Pop Culture