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True Dork Times Survivor 19: Samoa spoilers
Survivor: Samoa general/ pre-show spoilers Filmed: June 11-July 19, 2009
Airdate: Fall, 2009
As far as we know, anyway...
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Survivor: Samoa general spoiler/ speculation summary
October 3-4, 2009: In what will be remembered as the (Not-So-) Great S19/S20 Spoiler Pissing Contest of October 2009 (at least until the next one), an avalanche of alleged spoilers were dropped, mostly by not-so-new spoiler "missyae" and by SurvivorsUnite at Sucks. Some of them are contradictory, some of them are highly likely to be edited in the future as they fall apart, but whatever. We'll try to compile each one's "story" and sort out as much as possible.

We'll start with missyae's "spoilers", scattered over various threads. missyae's previous claim to fame was his inside knowledge of the filming of Jenna Morasca's pro wrestling events, (among other things):
- missyae 10/3/09 10:23 p.m. "Russell S WILL be the next to leave by injury."
- missyae 10/4/09 12:45 a.m. "The next player to be booted from the Game will be Yasmin from Galu. The next player that will be booted from Foa Foa when they go back to Tribal will be Ashley Trianer [sic.]. The next player to leave due to an injury will be Russell Swan from Galu. This will happen before the merge. The merge will happen when there are 8 Galu members and 4 Foa Foa members. You can easily see which Galu members make it - all but Yasmin and Russell Swan. The first boot after the merge will be Erik from Galu. The word I got on him was \'hothead\' and playing too aggressive. Dont believe Jeff Probst when he pimps Natalie as if she is playing the game and might not be with The Evil One - she is clearly in his back pocket. Laura is the one running things at Galu. Shambo will get along with Russell H after the merge."
- missyae 10/4/09 4:48 p.m. "Will they compare the brilliant Survivor mind from Russell Hantz to those of Richard Hatch and the others after going back to back - final 3 - in both Survivor 19 and then hooking up with Parvati on 20 and going to the final 3 there too?"
- missyae 10/4/09 5:27 p.m. "Shambo will not win. She did not make the finals."
- missyae 10/4/09 5:40 p.m. "I did ask if - when Russell Swan leaves do they have to vote out another player that week and I was told - NO."
- missyae 10/4/09 6:35 p.m. [talking about Russell S.] "Dont know details on his injury yet. I was led to believe it had something to do with an injury he had in his past before playing the game."
- missyae 10/8/09 12:18 a.m. [referring to the upcoming Ep4] "Sure would suck when Foa Foa finally wins a challenge if they didnt get to send someone to the Galu camp."
- missyae 10/8/09 12:47 a.m. "No car given away and no family visits."
[Note: We've given this one a different background color, because whereas the others are merely unproven, this one is almost surely wrong. EW's article on the Ep6 RC, "Roll With It" clearly states someone is removed due to dehydration, and the challenge is never finished. And Jeff Probst clearly said only two people removed due to medical reasons this season. So there's no way for Russell S. to be removed in Ep5, as missyae swears is the case here. The only way for Yasmin and Russell S. to leave, and no other Galus before merging at 12 is: (1) Yasmin booted in Ep4, (2) some Foa Foa booted in Ep5, (3) Russell S. removed in Ep6 RC, and (4) another Foa Foa booted in either Ep6 or Ep7.]

- missyae 10/8/09 2:43 a.m. (see also the reply, three posts down) "Okay the way I am told the events happen is after Yasmin is voted out this week - Russell Swan goes down during a challenge - then Ashley is voted out for Foa Foa. After that we have 1 more voted out for Foa Foa then we merge with 8 Galu and 4 Foa Foa."

Moving on... also spoilers from SurvivorsUnite:
- SurvivorsUnite 10/4/09 2:19 a.m. "No tribal swaps. A Final 3. I don't know that they actually merge a 12, by 10 they are definitely merged.
Natalie consumes one of the final 3 chairs:)....who else sits w/ her???? Do ya really want to know?"
- SurvivorsUnite 10/4/09 2:20 a.m. "Jury does start at 12 though."
- SurvivorsUnite 10/4/09 4:02 p.m. "Um, I do not know much on Samoa. Just Final 4...and the other few things I posted already (no tribal swap, merge at 12, final 3 instaed of 2). I only know that info b/c a certain someone has apparantly done nothing but brag about how they not only took down Foa Foa, but Galu as well."
- SurvivorsUnite 10/4/09 10:14 p.m. "The second chair goes too.... Drum ROLLLLL!!!!!!! It was in my not so subtle clue........that a poster picked up on;) RUSSELL H !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
- (we're assuming SurvivorsUnite will eventually get around to completing this extended thought).

Our take: most of this seems generally plausible. Most people had already picked Yasmin and Russell S. (or possibly John) as the most likely early boots from Galu. Both agree on a merge/jury start at 12. There is some apparent conflict between missyae's and Redmond's information regarding Ashley and Erik's performance (although Redmond's "go far" is open to interpretation... maybe just under half way is considered "far"). And both missyae and SurvivorsUnite apparently agree that Russell H (no surprise) and Natalie (who would be the designated mute/invisible woman in the final three, yet was tellingly hyped for no apparent reason by Jeff Probst) are final three. Plausible.
   But missyae is clearly getting some inaccurate information as well, such as that impossible pre-merge boot order. (We're also skeptical that they'd remove Russell Swan at an unfinished RC and then not do an IC, since they needed another double boot at some point, anyway). Follow uncritically at your own risk.

Entertainment Weekly
September 13, 2009: Entertainment Weekly unveils a Dalton Ross interview of Jeff Probst (apparently conducted during S20 filming, or after Survivor: Samoa had wrapped, at least). Among the many interesting perspectives it offers:

Probst's top characters: As in previous seasons, the people Probst retroactively mentions as big characters should provide at least modest clues as to longevity (especially with 20 contestants):

Jeff Probst: "Other thing about Survivor: Samoa is some huge characters. Uh, some guys that just leap off the screen, from day one, including...."
Russell H"...this guy Russell [Hantz], who is, as far as I can tell, an evil man, through and through. But what's really scary is that he's so charming that I could see myself teaming up with him, and even falling for some of his B.S. Even though I know going in, he's evil. And that is, those are great skills to bring into this game."
Ben"Another guy, uh, Ben, from this season. Big dude, Beverly Hills bartender, cool, strong, a little scary, extremely opinionated…. He's somebody else you're gonna know."
Jaison"There's a guy, Jaison. Big-time athlete, Stanford swimmer. But he's also a very good thinker, I think that's somebody people are going to notice."
Shambo"One of my all-time favorite characters, Shambo. Her name is Shannon, but when we started, I said, you know, introduce yourself, and she said 'Shambo.' And with that, created this--I don't know if it's a character, or if it's actually her--but she sports a mullet that she proudly dates back to the eighties, and she says 'I will never cut it, it is my identity.' And I think Shambo's going to be an audience favorite. I'm not sure. But I think, rather than be annoying, I think actually people like my Mom are gonna, going to really like her, and relate to her. Because she's kind of an everyperson. She just looks like a normal person, she talks like a normal person, and she really loves Survivor."

The 'somebody gets tossed from a challenge' spoiler:
"We have some very physical challenges. Very physical. Very physical. For the first time in the history of Survivor, I throw somebody out of a challenge…. I'd say it's a pretty noteworthy moment, considering we've run 500 some-odd challenges, never come close to throwing somebody out of a challenge. And this one was a no-brainer. The second it happened, done, out. Lucky we didn't throw you out of the game!"

The chiefs twist:
Mick in the chief's necklace"One thing we did in Samoa is we used part of the culture in our creative. And in Samoa, right here in this island, that we're on, the chiefs - each village has a chief, and the chief actually does things. He or… you know, it's a he… he is responsible for making decisions that are supposed to help the community. That's sort of the idea. So we took that same thing, and right off the bat, the two tribes are gonna do a blind vote, and they're gonna have to elect a chief [Mick and Russell S.]. And that person is going to have to make decisions on behalf of the tribe. And the idea is: it won't be a [looks around] 'What do we think, guys?', it will be What do YOU think? You're in charge. Things like, here's a choice: Do you want comfort and pillows, things like that, or do you want a tarp? And it plays out. Very interesting who they pick, very interesting what happens to the leaders, and just the whole notion of whether a leader can survive in this game, coming into it with that target on their back. And is it different if you say 'I want to be the leader,' versus you were appointed the leader by your tribe."
Alex Strachan, Canwest News Service
September 3, 2009: As flagged by VolcanicGlass at Sucks, Jeff Probst hints broadly that Russell H does well, and that conditions were not so great in Samoa, during an interview with the Canadian press:

  "But Survivor: Samoa showed a darker, more malevolent side to paradise, explains Survivor host Jeff Probst of the 19th season of reality TV's most durable, enduring survival competition.
   There were rascals in Survivor's paradise, Probst reports - and paradise itself was not always what it was made out to be, either.... Through it all, though, the wind howled, the skies opened up and the castaways were drenched.
   'Samoa is very beautiful - and it kicked the ass of two people to the point where they had to be evacuated,' Probst told Canwest News Service in a long, wide-ranging conversation. 'It was hot, and then it rained. And it rained for about a week. They didn't have fire. And they couldn't get water. It was hard. It was definitely hard.' "
   "'I don't think there are any trends. I think you can have coincidences, where a nice guy wins a couple of times in a row. This season, we have one of our most dastardly guys ever. One of the greatest villains in our history. And this is our 19th season. He's had to beat a lot of people. And somebody like that could still theoretically win the game, if they pulled a Richard Hatch.... Nobody does that anymore,' Probst said. 'Nobody gets up and says, "I kicked your ass; now give me the money."'
    That may change with Survivor: Samoa, Probst hinted."

August 27, 2009: CBS releases the full cast of Survivor: Samoa on their official website. Also, there's a press release to go along with it, which mentions an opening twist:

"Surrounded by coconut palms in a land steeped in tradition, the Samoans who inhabit this island have a proud history and strong sense of community that has enabled their own survival. From the start of the game, Survivor embraces this Samoan culture by incorporating an ancient tradition of electing an individual leader of the village. Without speaking, both tribes must immediately choose one member of their group to become their sole decision maker, their chief. How important will the role of tribal chief be in determining the fate of each tribe?"
Eric Goldman,
August 26, 2009: Probst gives an interview to; excerpted highlights below:

"A very aggressive season from the participants and from Samoa. We lost a couple of people to evacuations and we emerged with, I think, one of the most notorious villains. When you think about how many years we've been on, to break into that ranking… you gotta play. And this person said from day one, "I'm coming here to tear it up and either go home early or I'm gonna be here late, but nowhere in between." And they lived up to their word!"
August 24, 2009: In their first acknowledgement that the premiere is just three weeks away, CBS airs its first set of ads for Survivor: Samoa (video here). Among the hyperbole and mix of pre-game and in-game confessionals, there are shots showing still-anonymous contestants (plus Betsy and Ashley) on tribes. From the tribe flags, it appears the yellow tribe is called "Foa Foa" and the purple tribe is "Galu" (possibly "Fialu", hard to see - update: looks like Galu). Below, we've tried to arrange people by tribes, as much as possible:

Galu tribe (purple) - click thumbnail to expand
galu tribe galu tribe
galu tribe
blonde woman who can count to 20
first challenge?
first challenge?
dark-haired man again
dark-haired man
not kevin spacey

Foa Foa tribe (yellow) - click thumbnail to expand
foa foa tribe foa foa tribe
first challenge?
mind control guy
blonde woman, pre-game
sportcoat guy
probst enjoying the view
dark-haired man

Official CBS Survivor site
August 14, 2009: CBS updates their Survivor website to reflect the approach of the upcoming Survivor: Samoa season - ditching the bulk of the Tocantins content, and adding a row of generic "cast" pictures, presumably soon to be replaced by actual cast info.

generic cast

We've stared at this for several days now (as of August 18th. We've repoduced the picture above, but we've re-ordered it into two rows and added numbers). Here are our considered takes on the upcoming contestants:
- Contestant 1 (top row): Clearly quirky, with a strong independent streak. Will either run the game, or get an early axe in the back.
- Contestant 7 (bottom row): Could stand to lose a little weight. Challenge liability.
- Contestant 3 (top row): Casting someone this old and feeble is clearly only intended to provide easy early pickings for the favored models/actors.
- Contestant 6 (bottom row): Dark horse. Could go all the way.
- Contestant 5 (bottom row): Possible alliance with #6 (bottom)?
- Contestant 10 (top row): Typical generic mactor. Meh.

As you can no doubt tell, we could go on and on. But that would silly, tiresome, and pointless.
srvivrfreakevelrich at S19+
July 27, 2009: No sooner are the Survivor: Samoa tribe colors revealed, than images of the buffs are discovered as well, by srvivrfreakevelrich, as posted at Sucks's S19+ forum:

"OH MY GOD! I just found this on!!! [images of purple and yellow buffs]"

We've made our own copy of the buff images, below... no trace of the blue one (yet) on the PlanetBuff site that we could find:
samoa buffs
guatemala fanfic at S19+
July 26, 2009: Sucks poster guatemala fanfic reveals some details about the nearly-forgotten (already) Survivor: Samoa ("Cycle 19") season:

"Tribe colors are purple and yellow. The merged tribe is blue."
Survivor2009 at S19+
July 26, 2009: Sucks poster Survivor2009 posts the following unequivocal statement:

"guys, I know for a FACT that Survivor Samoa will have 20 contestants. dont ask me how i know cuz i obviously cant say, but it has 20 contestants for sure."

July 16, 2009: In the rush of Survivor 20 news (and otherwise complete absence of Survivor 19 news), we neglected to mention that the starting and ending dates for Survivor: Samoa (or, as Lynne Spillman would say, Cycle 19) are above, and the final tribal council is looming very near. So while we don't know exactly how the first few episodes are chopped up to accomodate the 2 extra boots, the last half of the calendar should be reasonably accurate.

Source forums
June 23, 2009: A local tour guide pops in to update potential travelers that Survivor's filming in Samoa is not signicantly interfering with tourists' sightseeing abilities:

" CrazyIslandboy
Joined: Jun 2009
Posted on: 5:31 pm,yesterday

The survivor filming only close two beaches in whole of Samoa. They are Return to Paradise, Matarewa beach both at lefaga. and there is a small beach on the south coast called Iliili beach resort where the loosers stay. There are a lot of beautiful beaches and places to visit in Samoa without visiting these 3 beaches. They could not take over Aganoa black sand beach so that is good news because it is one of my favourite beach in Samoa."

(Ed. note: Ponderosa-dwelling ex-contestants, wave to the nice people with cameras!)

Original: Reality Blurred
June 10, 2009: Sucks poster sa0695 notes that one Andy Dehnart of Reality Blurred claims to be... indisposed through mid-third week of June:

"I found this tidbit interesting from Andy Dehnart Reality Blurred Website. For the past few seasons, he has traveled out to location pre-show, interviewed contestants, and participated in the first challenge with the press. Normally filming starts around June 24thish... but perhaps they are beginning earlier this year to give them a little more time between seasons if they are filming back to back. He states: Holly Montag will likely join the show tonight, and I will likely remain grateful I am not being forced to sit through all of this because I'm in a faraway land until mid-week next week.

So maybe the contestants are already on the way to Samoa, and filming will begin earlier then usual."
Maxine Shen, of the New York Post
June 9, 2009: As noted in a post by VolcanicGlass at Sucks, Jeff Probst, apparently giddy to pimp his vanity show (an attempt to one-up Ty Pennigton in schmaltzily exploiting the misfortune of others for ratings gold) spilled the beans about back-to-back filming of Survivors 19 & 20 in Samoa to the New York Post (although, to his credit, few people would say "If it's in the Post, it must be true!").

"Turns out that be cause Probst is shooting two seasons of Survivor back to back -- he's currently in Samoa, gearing up for the 19th season of the compet ition show -- he "can't even start shooting [Live for the Moment] until the end of September, when I'm back from double duty on Survivor.)"
VolcanicGlass at Sucks
May 25, 2009: VolcanicGlass (at Sucks) posts a detailed, up-to-date, map-and-picture supplemented compilation of reported location news, including this novel info:

"There's an article in the Samoa Observer referencing an undeveloped stretch of land on Fagaiofu Bay in the southern coast of Upolu. The land was recently purchased for a resort development, to be named Survivor Samoa Beach Resort once it is completed. As it is part of the land which is to be used for the show, construction on the new resort will be held off until after the show has finished filming."

VolcanicGlass also goes on to identify a number of locations used for filming the post-Tocantins reunion preview of Survivor: Samoa. Click here to read the full thing.

DanieuBleau at SurvivorSkills
May 22, 2009: DanieuBleau at SurvivorSkills uncovers a Lonely Planet post listing a number of beaches on Upolu that have been commandeered by the Survivor crew:

"Aggie Grey's Beach Resort & Spa near the airport is booked out from sometimes soon until at least end of September. Furthermore the following 3 beaches (all South Upolu) will be closed for public access from May 12 through until October 4:

Matareva Beach (Lefaga)
Return to Paradise Beach (Lefaga)
Aganoa Black Sand Beach (Siumu)"
Michael Field in the Dominion Post
May 21, 2009: New Zealander Michael Field opines in the Dominion Post (relevant parts pasted here):

"How hard will Survivor: Samoa be?
    The problem for Samoa has been that the delicate Americans involved in making the programme are not interested in surviving - they want comfort.
    Thus, they have taken over Aggie Grey’s Lagoon, Beach Resort, at Satuimalufilufi, near the airport.
    I’ve survived it several times, finding gruelling the part between where you order a coconut from the fridge and wait two long minutes for its delivery.
   ...And the last time I had to survive the original Aggies hotel in Apia it was in the Marlon Brando Suite. It was as tough as it sounds.
   ... Survivor have taken over a couple of beaches, notably a place called Return to Paradise Beach on Upolu’s south coast. It was last famous in 1953 when Gary Cooper starred in a movie there.
   I’ve survived its warm waters and white sands. We had to pay the matai to be there. Then we tried to light a barbeque but could not as the wood was damp. A 10-year-old village girl came by and did it for us.
   ...The locations suggest the “jungle” to be used by Survivor is the area south west of the capital Apia. It is where we went one day to hunt the fierce wild Lake Lanoto’o goldfish."

samoasharkk at Sucks
May 20, 2009: Eagle-eyed samoasharkk posts about a possible reward location at Sucks:

"Local reports say filming will begin 'within a few days'. The very cool possible reward canopy walk at Falealupo, on the western tip of Savaii, is now 'closed for construction.'"

VolcanicGlass at Sucks
May 18, 2009: VolcanicGlass (Survivor Phoenix) notes that (before filming has begun), CBS is already selling a set of Survivor: Samoa t-shirts, in four colors: blue, turquoise, yellow and orange.

"Could be random colors, could be tribe colors. They are consistent with the logo colors."

(As a counter-argument, she also notes that the comparable set of choices for Tocantins were in the three tribe colors of black, red and green, plus an unused blue option).

May 17, 2009: CBS officially unveils Samoa as the location of the 19th season of Survivor, following the Tocantins reunion show. (Main highlight is the mention of 18 contestants). Video here.

Jeff Probst voiceover:
"This fall, Survivor ramps up for an incredible 19th season. Deep in the exotic waters of the South Pacific, 18 strangers will be abandoned on the rugged islands of Samoa. A tropical paradise, straight from Robert Louis Stevenson's legendary tale, Treasure Island. This majestic land of towering waterfalls, mysterious rainforests, and a fierce warrior culture will be the castaways' home for 39 days. Forced to work together, they must learn to adapt, or they'll be voted out. In the end, only one will remain to claim the million-dollar prize, and the title of Sole Survivor. Survivor: Samoa, coming this fall."

Vidcaps from preview: click thumbnail to view larger version
beach waterfall
Taga blowholes valley
club tattoos
fruit bats logo

Rebecca Lewis for the New Zealand Herald
March 22, 2009: Follow-up article from the New Zealand Herald, confirming previous stories about SEG gobbling up hotel space in Samoa (excerpts below):

"No bed for NZ tourists after TV show hijacks accommodation
   Hundreds of New Zealanders have had bookings cancelled at a top Samoan resort so it could house crew for American reality show Survivor.
   Aggie Grey's Lagoon Resort in Apia is closing during part of its June to September peak season to accommodate production staff for the CBS show.
   The location was supposed to be secret, but details leaked out via internet messageboards when holidaymakers were told they had to cancel bookings.
    The resort offered to house affected guests at the old Aggie Grey's Resort and bus them to the new hotel's amenities, but many are furious their holidays will be wrecked...."

Andy Dehnart, RealityBlurred
March 6, 2009: Andy Dehnart of posts the following summary of evidence that Survivor 19 will be filmed in Samoa (excerpted):

"Samoa may host Survivor 19
    Survivor 19 will be filmed in Samoa, according to several news reports from the region, although those reports claim journalists there are being asked to not report on the production.
    Lance Polu wrote a critical editorial on late last month about Samoan journalists being invited to a meeting by government officials, where they were asked to not report on the production of an American television show at a meeting. A production representative 'asked that the name of the series be kept out of the media until an official announcement in May. Their logistics team is ariving in Samoa in April and they expect none of their activities to be reported by the local media.'"
   "... it will be filmed 'a short distance from a couple of luxury hotels and Faleolo International Airport which is just three hours from Auckland.'
    New Zealand’s Stuff picked up the story recently and said the show 'is to be filmed later this year in Samoa but Samoan journalists are being heavily pressured not to reveal this until May,' but the report has since been deleted...."
   "There are also far sketchier rumors online that the series will return to the place that hosted the show’s ninth season, Survivor Vanuatu, or the the 13th season, Survivor Cook Islands, although a Survivor Sucks poster says Cook Islands will be used in the fall for season 20."

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