Season 18 "Survivor" castaways compete in the first reward challenge called "Man Down" in Guatemala. This season, the competitors are trying to be the last one standing in Cambodia.

GET READY FOR SEASON 31: Castaways fight for their lives in wet, humid Cambodia on ‘Survivor’

Over the next weeks Octagon staffers will preview why they’re excited for the season premieres of their favorite TV shows, both familiar and new.  

Twenty survivors will be cast away yet again, tasked with surviving on their own for 39 days in a foreign location for the 31st season of “Survivor.”

The first episode of the season airs on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. on Channel 13.

The slogan of the reality TV show is “39 days, one survivor.” 

When the show begins, the castaways are placed in a foreign location, such as Cagayan or Guatemala, with nothing but a bag of rice for 39 days. On the island, they have to make their own food and fires and build their own shelters.

This season is really special. The survivors will be in Cambodia.

There will be many challenges there for the castaways. The weather will be very hot and humid. It will also be very wet with lots of rain that could even last for days.

When the castaways first arrive, they will be split into two tribes. (Each season there are a different number of tribes. Last year there were three.) Each tribe has its own campsite and competes against the other tribes for immunity and rewards. The tribe or castaway who wins immunity is safe from elimination for the week.

The two tribes this year are the Bayon tribe and Ta Keo tribe, each made up of 10 castaways with a mix of boys and girls.

The tribes are determined in various ways. They can be based on gender or profession. Last season the tribes were separated into blue collar (working class), red collar (no class) and white collar (high class). This season the tribes are not separated by any particular characteristic. They were decided at random.

Season 31 of "Survivor" set in Cambodia premieres Sept. 23. Fans voted for the twenty castaways they wanted to see get a second chance at fighting for the $1 million prize.
Season 31 of “Survivor,” set in Cambodia, premieres Sept. 23. Fans voted for the 20 castaways they wanted to see get a second chance at fighting for the $1 million prize.

The 20 castaways this season have competed, but not won before, and are vying for the $1 million one more time, hence the name of the season: “Survivor Second Chance.”

The producers are most likely going to make this season really hard on the castaways because they are all veteran players. This will make it much more fun and interesting.

Fans voted for the survivors they wanted to see back on the show again. This will be one of the best seasons ever because all the castaways have experience in the game and know how to play it well.

Each week there are a number of competitions. The first is always for reward. A tribe could win extra food or comfort, like pillows and hammocks. These rewards can change the game completely.

However, the reward doesn’t matter if you’re eliminated the next day because your tribe didn’t win immunity.

The second competition is always for immunity. To win, the tribe or castaway has to compete in many grueling competitions. Most are very physical and push the castaways to their limits, such as in season 30 where the castaways had to hang on to a totem pole until there was only one left.

Sometimes the immunity competitions are more mental, involving puzzles and remembering information.

Every three days, one castaway is sent off of the island, back to their normal lives. The tribe that wins immunity is safe for the week, and the other tribe has to go to Tribal Council.

At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst, the host of the show, asks the tribe questions about how the last three days were. Everyone then votes for whom they want to leave the island, and the castaway with the most votes is forced to leave.

Probst is probably one of the most sympathetic and caring hosts in reality TV. He generally seems to care for the castaways. But sometimes he will purposely ask questions that will spark huge fights or hit a soft spot.

About midway through the 39 days, both tribes combine to form one big tribe.  Every castaway dreams of this moment called “The Merge,” when they begin to play individually for reward and immunity.

I am really excited to see how these castaways react and live with each other for 39 days. “Survivor” is like a very big social experiment.

There are always one or two castaways in each camp that are very mean and bossy. These characters also tend to make very big moves on big targets. This means that they get some of the most popular and best players to leave the island.

These people make each episode more enjoyable to watch. Every once in awhile one of the mean people wins the game (such as Tony in season 28).

Tony would talk trash about all the players and make mean comments about their mothers. He would make very big moves and get important and well-liked people eliminated. However, nobody could ever get him eliminated, so he eventually won the game.

If you like reality TV and watching people fighting for their lives (and for $1 million), then come watch season 31 of “Survivor.”

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