Survivor Oz was an Australian radio show/podcast dedicated to Survivor coverage. Based in Hobart, Australia, it is Australia's only Survivor podcast and website, and is known mostly for its extensive contestant interviews.
The show began as a segment on Edge Radio's Friday breakfast show, The Brink and was called Survivor's on the Brink. It debuted with an interview with Survivor: Gabon contestant Gillian Larson before other guests would follow on a weekly basis, usually for around 15–20 minutes. Popularity of the segment and its subsequent interviews lead to the segment spinning-off to become a weekly hour-long radio show, Survivor Oz which aired on Tuesday afternoons. In September 2012, the show finished on Edge Radio and became solely a podcast.
The show's main episodes are its interviews with former contestants. Each interview starts off with a group of generic questions about the players gameplay and how they got on Survivor, before answering questions sent in from the listeners and the shows' famous 5 Questions (which are actually 6 separate questions merged into 5). Interviews generally last anywhere from 30 minutes to upwards of two hours, depending on the guest.
In late 2012, the show hosted its first live episode online. Since then it has hosted several live episodes including special events and guest interviews. The show also does a weekly recap with a former Survivor castaway during each season, where the castaway gives their viewpoint on that weeks episode.
Also in 2012, the show introduced the Ozcap, which is an episode dedicated to recapping a specific season of Survivor.
In 2013, In conjunction with the premiere of Survivor: Blood vs. Water, the show introduced the Survivor Oz Oztopsy. The Oztopsy consists of Ben and some of the "Ozlets" (referring to their interns) broadcasting a live podcast on Google Hangouts (formerly Spreecast) after the Australian airing of the episode, to discuss their thoughts on the episode.
In 2014 the show introduced exit interviews for the 29th season of Survivor: San Juan del Sur. Also in 2014 the show branched out into covering other reality shows such as the Australian version of Big Brother and both the US & Australian versions of The Amazing Race. Both spin-off shows included interviews and recaps from former contestants of both shows.
In 2015 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Survivor the show hosted a series of podcasts ranking all 442 contestants to have ever played the game from 442 through to 1. In total these episodes went for 34 hours in total length. Sandra Diaz-Twine from Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains was named the best contestant in the history of Survivor. Kim Spradlin, Tony Vlachos, Todd Herzog, and Earl Cole rounded out the top 5.
In 2016, host and founder Ben Waterworth announced the end of the show due to personal reasons. However, in 2017 it was announced the show would be re-formed under the title of 'The Oz Network'. The show now covers other media outside of Survivor, but still has weekly recaps during each season of Survivor with former contestants coming on to help recap episodes. It has also covered both New Zealand and Australian versions of the show.
Survivor Oz is hosted by Ben Waterworth, but in 2012 he introduced a group of helpers called the Ozlets (a pun on Cirie Fields's notorious comment about Amanda Kimmel and Ozzy Lusth's romantic relationship in Survivor: Micronesia). As of 2015, there are 20 Ozlets who help in developing the podcast and content for the shows website. Notable Ozlets include Noah Groves, Colin Hilding and Kristan Knarr. Ozlet Clifton Gibbons writes the episode recaps the show publishes for each current season whilst Noah is the shows historical analyzer during podcasts and is also the host of The Amazing Race Oz. The show generally opens up applications to be an Ozlet once a year around March. Another notable member Ozlet is Survivor Wiki user Ivan Ornelas. His biggest contributions were in the Survivor: Kaôh Rōng coverage, providing pre-season predictions (where he correctly predicted 5 of the final 7, albeit in an incorrect order), weekly power rankings, and post season player grades.
In 2012, the show held a poll where listeners got to vote on six different categories on various elements of Survivor. In 2013 the show expanded this poll and renamed it The Ozcars which is now an annual award ceremony to celebrate various aspects of Survivor and award contestants, locations, seasons and those involved in the show for their service and performance. Parvati Shallow has won the most Ozcars overall with six, with Spencer Bledsoe next with three.
The Survivor Oz Top 10
Every Wednesday, the Survivor Oz website publishes different Top 10 lists about certain topics of Survivor. These Top 10's have proven to be extremely popular, with various topics covered so far including "Top 10 Couples", "Top 10 Game Changing Players" and "Top 10 Strategists". The Top 10's are written by a different Ozlet each week and aren't publicly voted upon. Each January however the show conducts a stand-alone "top 25" poll allowing its listeners to vote on a specific topic before the results are revealed live at the end of the month. In 2013 listeners voted for the top 25 moments in the history of Survivor; in 2014, the listeners voted for their 3 favorite one-time players; and in 2015, the listeners voted for the top 25 episodes in the history of Survivor.
Prior to Survivor: Worlds Apart, Ben Waterworth and four of the Ozlets ranked all of the Survivor contestants from the first 29 seasons. The top 3 were Tony Vlachos, Kim Spradlin, and Sandra Diaz-Twine in ascending order.
Survivor Oz is known for its interviews of many Survivor castaways, in which the podcast aims to interview every single Survivor castaway in the history of the show. As of December 2015, the show had interviewed 287 Survivor castaways. Survivor Oz gained notoriety for its ability to track down castaways who had remained out of the public eye for many years, including B.B. Andersen, Greg Buis, Kelly Wiglesworth, Silas Gaither, Brian Heidik and Danni Boatwright. The show conducted the last ever interview with B.B before his death in 2013, as well as the last interview with Todd Herzog before his stint in rehab for alcoholism that same year. In 2014, Survivor Oz won the award for Best Foreign Website in the 2014 Reality Awards from the Czech and Slovak website Reality-show.eu.
The show has also interviewed important figures in the show's production, including Mark Burnett, Charlie Parsons, Lynne Spillman and Russ Landau, as well as other members of the Survivor media cycle like Dalton Ross and Gordon Holmes.
Interviews by Season
- The longest contestant interview is with Dan Foley, with a running time of 3 hours, 59 minutes, and 30 seconds.
- The longest episode in the history of the show is Part 3 of its 'Rankings Cast' from 2015 with a running time of 8 hours, 43 minutes, and 25 seconds. This episode was separated into 5 parts to allow for easier listening.
- Survivor: Micronesia is the only season to have all of its castaways be interviewed by Survivor Oz.
- In January 2017 it was announced the show would return, but to include coverage of other TV shows as well as movies. It was re-branded as 'The Oz Network'.
Media references to Survivor · Reality-show.eu (Reality Awards) · Rob Has a Podcast (Miss Survivor · Mister Survivor · RHAP Top 20 Players of All Time) · Survivor After Show · Survivor Hall of Fame · Survivor Historians · Survivor Oz (The Ozcars)