Warning: This video is spoiler-free. However, do not watch if you do not want to hear “Survivor” castaways talk openly about their pre-game alliances. These interviews were conducted after the cast was selected for the show, but before the game began and were embargoed and confidential until after the series wrapped filming.
While secrets and double-dealing are part of the DNA of landmark reality franchise “Survivor” on-camera and on “the island,” for the upcoming 31st season, it started weeks earlier with conference calls, a clandestine knot tying camp in North Carolina, and a east coast-west coast yoga alliance.
This fall’s 20 “Survivor” castaways, each a returning favorite who won their way back on to the series in a nationwide vote, are speaking out for the first time. Many if not all of them knew each other in advance, or at least by reputation, creating a new twist: a pre-existing social hierarchy.
Sequestered and cut off from all communication and each other since before they found out that they were “on the show,” the castaways were surprisingly chatty when TheWrap met them 36 hours after they got their good news and shortly before they jetted off to Cambodia.
Returning contestant Jeff Varner, from 2001’s most popular “Survivor: The Australian Outback” shared his dossier, naming names and revealing behind-the-scenes machinations of two separate pre-game alliances he was coordinating.
“This is so weird to talk about this s–t,” Varner said in the pre-season interview with TheWrap.
While the results of the taping (which began on May 31 — the 15 year anniversary of “Survivor’s” series premiere in the summer of 2000) remains confidential and TheWrap will not be posting spoilers, these pre-game interviews shed light on where the contestants thought the game was heading once they could size up the actual competition at close range.
Watch the video above to hear about two alliances that started back in the U.S.
Favorites like Spencer Bledsoe, Terry Dietz, Kelly Wigglesworth, Shirin Oskooi, and more speak out (some truthfully, some obviously lying) about alliances in progress.
We will find out how well their plans held up when the series returns next month.
CBS airs a special 90-minute season premiere of “Survivor: Second Chance” on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m.