New 'Survivor' shows the love, too

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Separate the men from the women in a jungle and you end up with more attraction, more flirtation, more interest -- not less.

That's the lesson of "Survivor: Amazon," according to host Jeff Probst. Set in the jungle by the Brazilian river, the reality series premieres at 7 p.m. Thursday on CBS, Sunflower Broadband Channels 5 and 13.

For a new twist for the sixth incarnation, executive producer Mark Burnett decided to put all the men in the tribe called Tambaqui (named after a fish) and the women in the tribe called Jaburua (after a bird). And while that means men vs. women in competition, Probst saw another story happening: attraction.

"It was like having an all-boys school and an all-girls school, and they would swim across the water at night," Probst said.

The tribes actually were too far away from each other in the jungle for any secret rendezvous, but the interest between men and women was shown during the immunity challenges. Those are the games in which the winning tribe doesn't have to vote a contestant off the show on that day.

For one immunity challenge, the men and women asked each other questions.

And that led to flirting.

Men would compliment women on their bikinis, and they would thank them for the compliments.

"I became (game show host) Jim Lange for a moment, and it was 'The Dating Game,'" Probst said. "At the next tribal council, I would ask, 'What do you think of this guy?' The women would say, 'This guy is cute.' The guys would disagree over who the hottest chick was."

Being careful not to say too much, Probst wouldn't reveal whether the two tribes merged as in past shows.

See the premiere of "Survivor: Amazon" at 7 p.m. Thursday on CBS, Sunflower Broadband Channels 5 and 13.

The wild Amazon was the most unusual of all the "Survivor" locales, Probst said.

When the series began, the 16 contestants weren't told where they were going until they arrived on a small, wooden fishing boat.

"They realized, 'We're not on a Hollywood sound stage,'" Probst said.