Bozeman, brace yourselves. Reality television competition series, “Survivor,” is set to begin filming its thirty-third season this summer, but fans of the show will notice a drastic change in scenery from previous seasons. “Survivor: Hyalite” will be premiering this fall, and as “Survivor”’s Facebook page proudly states: “Bye-bye beaches — hello, mountains!”
“I was so sick of the f—ing islands,” host Jeff Probst said in an interview with the Chronicle. “I was like, ‘Mark, we’ve got to get away from the f—ing islands.’ And when all the producers were like, alright, yeah, we’ve milked the islands as much as we could, I told them that if we weren’t as close to the center of the North American continent as physically possible, I was out.”
“Survivor: Hyalite” will be structured similarly to past seasons of the series, with eighteen “backpackers” (the term being used to replace “castaways”) being dumped in an isolated location and forced to build shelters, form alliances and compete in challenges. However, with the series being filmed near Bozeman, expect to see some major changes in the style of the series.
“Normally, tribe names are derived from prominent local landmarks, so the two tribes were going to be called the ‘Bridger Tribe’ and the ‘Big Sky Tribe,’” one producer said. “But neither ski resort was super happy about that, since they weren’t getting any exposure, it being — you know — summer. So then we decided on the ‘Gallatin Tribe’ and the ‘Yellowstone Tribe.’ But we ran into logistical issues there, too. Honestly, we ran through dozens of names, and we somehow wound up with the ‘Wilson Tribe’ and the ‘Reid Tribe’ at the suggestion of the local government.”
Bozeman residents will recognize “Wilson” and “Reid” as being the names bestowed upon two of the most hated buildings on MSU’s campus — the former for its confusing layout, and the latter for its uncomfortable chairs and awkward seating arrangements. The naming suggestion could be construed as a thinly-veiled form of passive-aggression against CBS, given that Bozeman residents are none too keen on reality shows since the great Kardashian Debacle of 2015. However, Bozeman can rest assured that “Survivor” — arguably one of the most morally conscious reality shows on television — will paint the Big Sky in a good light, as most of the crew is local.
“Holy cow, those film students of yours are rabid,” one producer said. “Within an hour of announcing the location, I’d received seventy emails offering free labor. They had to create a summer class to accommodate everyone who wanted to volunteer. ‘Crewing Survivor 399.’ I have to lecture once a week. I don’t even know how that happened.”
In addition to the tribe names, much of the rest of the show will be steeped in local culture, as well. Rather than receiving the typical bags of rice and beans at the beginning of filming, the tribes will each be given five pounds of deer jerky and a bag of durum wheat. All fishing gear will be designed for fly-fishing, and before starting any campfires, each cast member has to pass a course on forest fire prevention.
Producers are also excited about the prospect of Montana’s infamously finicky weather.
“Bring on the crazy clouds!” Probst said. “Normally, our cast has one rain-related meltdown a season, but man, has that gotten tired. I want rain, hail, extreme heat and a summer snowstorm all in one day. If that volcano could rumble a bit, too, that’d be great.”
Casting for “Survivor: Hyalite” is nearly complete, with 18 contestants ready to brave the Montana wilderness for a shot at $1 million. None of the cast members for season 33 are local to the Bozeman area, but the casting directors did make sure to find some “outdoorsy youths.”
“We combed through everyone’s Instagrams, looking for hiking shots, pictures of tents, maybe a canoe,” a producer said. “We’ve got a few ‘city folk’ in the cast, but we didn’t want to throw an entire cast to the wolves … oh, gosh. I just realized: are there wolves in this area? Oh, no …”
“We’ve got one guy who once killed a coyote with a knife he carved from the beak of a hawk,” Probst added with relish.
“Survivor: Hyalite” will begin airing in September 2016.
Editors note: this article appeared in the March 31, 2016 edition of the Exponent, the “Excrement”. The edition is the annual April Fool’s edition of the paper. All articles are satire. For questions and comments please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (406)994-2224