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Hey guys! As a contributor I'm relatively new here, but as a site viewer I've been around for awhile. A few years back while looking over at the Wikipedia Survivor page I was disturbed by the lack of information on the international versions of the show. Around 2009/10 I decided that I would try and find out as much info as I could on the Robinson versions of the franchise in order to provide some more details for others who were curious like myself. Along the way I found out about many different twists that have occurred in different versions that have/have not appeared in the US. I figured I'd share some with you here :).
1. The black vote-I don't really know how this hasn't appeared in the US yet considering it's been almost everywhere else. This twist first appeared in Sweden in 1999. The basic gist of it is that when someone is voted out they're allowed to cast one last vote that will be counted at the next tribal council. Used in: Argentina, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile
2. More than one vote at tribal council-THis twist first appeared in 2005 in Sweden and the Netherlands. Basically contestants were all given an allotment of votes at the start of the competition and were told they could use as many votes as they wanted (including 0) at any given tribal council, however when they ran out of votes they wouldn't be given more.
3. Master/Slave-This was the main twist of Denmark's 2010 season. The contestants competed in a competition on the first day and the winners became masters of their tribes. The male masters picked from the losing females and they formed one tribe, while the female masters picked from the losing males and they formed the other (two losers from both genders weren't picked and were sent to RI). Only masters could vote at tribal council and slaves had to do whatever their masters told them., ,
4. Winning tribe eliminates-This twist appeared in the original Swedish version in 1998 following the PR nightmare surrounding the suicide of Sinisa Savija in 1997. The thinking behind it was that contestants wouldn't take it as hard if they were voted out by the rival tribe. The twist would last until the 2000 season when voting would revert back to the original format.
5. Cold climate-This twist first appeared in 2003 in the Venezuelan version of the show. The cast traveled to South America's notorious Patagonia region. A more recent version of Robinsonekspedisjonen (Norway's Survivor) took this idea to a bigger extreme by holding a season in northern Norway.
6. Robinson vs....-This twist has been used in both the Danish and Norwegian version. Basically one tribe is composed of former Robinson/Survivor contestants while the other comes from other reality shows.
7. Jokers-This twist first appeared in Sweden's 1998 version. A joker is a player that enters the game sometime in the middle. This twist has been used in: Brazil, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany/Austria, Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania, Serbia, and Russia.
8. Duels-A duel is, as its name suggests, a live or death challenge that can happen between players at any time. Typically a duel takes place between two players. The winner of the duel usually wins reward for their tribe. In harsher settings the winner merely survives to play another day and is swapped to the other tribe. The loser is almost always eliminated but in some cases in swapped to the winners tribe. On rare occasions entire tribes have been eliminated in duels and in one Danish season that's how all contestants were eliminated. Used in: Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
9. Team X-A twist that first appeared in 2004's Expedition Robinson. Basically team x is comprised of a group of hidden jokers (or eliminated players in the case of 2009 Norway). After a certain number of days the original tribes will compete against team x in an elimination challenge (2009 Norway) or will merge and compete against them until a second merge occurs.,
1. The gender based tribes-This twist may have appeared for the first time in Survivor Amazon, however it first aired in the 2002 version of the Dutch, Danish, French, and Swedish versions. Most of the tribes, like the Amazon tribes, proved evenly matched, however the female tribe in the Swedish version performed sooo poorly that by the fourth episode they had already lost three members, and only three of their members would make the merge.
2. Age based tribes-This first appeared in the 2005 version of Expeditie Robinson (Netherlands). Though the young tribe proved stronger in the American version, the Dutch tribes proved evenly matched as neither lost a significant amount of challenges.
3. Four tribes-This twist has only appeared in the 1999 season of Expedition Robinson and was not used again until 2006 in the US. The likely reason for this is because in its original run one tribe formed an alliance that ultimately picked off the other three.
4. Rich/Poor tribe-This tribe has been received pretty badly in the US following Fiji, though when it appeared in the 2005 version of Expedition Robinson it seemed to be well received and unlike the US version neither tribe was decimated because of it. The twist did appear again in Norway with the twist that the poor tribe would live in a cave. The Norwegian version had similar results to the US with the poor tribe being reduced from an initial 10 members to only 2 (though even the rich tribe only had 5 members make the merge).
5. Redemption Island-Though it has been received very poorly in most US seasons, this was a staple twist for many years in Europe. This twist originally comes to us from Brazil. Perhaps where it did best was in Sweden in 2002 and Israel in 2008 where contestants managed to fight their way back into the competition after winning a series of duels and nearly won against the alliance that voted them out. Used in: Brazil, Bulgaria, Denmark, Israel, Norway, Netherlands, Serbia, and Sweden.