'Survivor' Ain't For Sissies

The Early Show, Survivor host Jeff Probst, Harry Smith CBS/The Early Show

It's season seven for Survivor. This time, it will take place in Pearl Islands, off the coast of Panama, where the contestants will outwit, outplay and outlast one another for $1 million.

Keeping with the tradition, there is always a twist.

Survivor host Jeff Probst dropped by The Early Show Thursday to talk about the newest installment of the popular reality series, which premieres Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET with a special 90-minute episode.

By now, it is no surprise that the first big surprise for the 16 contestants on Survivor: Pearl Islands is that they are ordered onto the islands with no extra clothes or supplies. On top of that, they were told to dress to the nines, in preparation for an interview.

"[The contestants] thought we went out to do some press, take some pictures, shoot some video and they thought, 'We'll change out and get our environment clothing and sunglasses,'" Probst explained. "You have women in dresses and high heels and guys in Armani suits. And [they're] swimming to shore."

The creators of Survivor showed some mercy by providing the players with a life raft, which was lucky for some who aren't able to swim.

"Osten [Taylor], a bodybuilder, is another guy on Survivor who can't swim."

Another twist in the competition is that each tribe gets $100 to spend anyway they want.

"There is a village and they can go in there and basically what I said is, 'You can buy whatever is for sale, but you can barter. This isn't Los Angeles. Take your shoe and try to get something from it,'" Probst said. "Interesting that one tribe does very well and one tribe doesn't do well at all with the same set of resources."

The mosquito population of the islands was another unpleasant surprise for the contestants.

"The bugs are bad," Probst revealed. "And you see it, surprisingly, in the first 90 minutes of the first episode."

The Survivor host told fans to expect even more twists and turns for the contestants on the road to the grand prize, and even a few strategic mistakes.

"I think somebody did something they're going to regret for a long time," he said. "And expect a twist midway through [the season] that's either going to have the audience excited or really angry."

It can't be said the creators of Survivor don't make each season a little different, which Probst said could be challenging.

"You're thinking next season, 'What are we going to do?'" he said. "You come up with a list of 50 ideas, but 49 of them are usually just not right.

"They're too far off or somebody else has already done it, so you're looking for that new little sliver. The theme of pirates gave us a whole new world this season. Now we have walked the plank in mutiny and looting and you see it in the beginning."

Tune in to Friday's The Early Show for an interview of the first Survivor: Pearl Islands' castoff.
  • Ellen Crean

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