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Survivor FACTions: Information is, Once Again, Up for Grabs

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There are some questions that come up every year so we, as a community, thought it would be nice to have a place to go to find answers to the most common ones.  This information was obtained from either Reality Blurred or Fandom Wiki Rule Book.   

  1. What are the rules/guidelines around the clothes the Survivor's wear?   The clothing for Survivor contestants are carefully controlled and sometimes even chosen by production.  Production will add, substitute or remove contestant clothing to conform to color motifs, tribe themes or to fit the narrative they want the contestant to tell.  For example, John Cochran never wore a sweater vest until he went on Survivor and production told him he had to.  In the case of bathing suits and athletic shoes, the production also holds some clothing and decides when the cast is allowed to actually wear it.  Frequently, neither climate suitability nor gender parity plays a major role in the selection.
  2. Are contestants provided with clean water?  It appears that the contestants boil their water, but all accounts suggest that’s unnecessary. The wells are installed by the production, and is drinkable water without needing to boil. 
  3. Are contestants provided with food? Contestants may receive meager food supplies such as small sacks of rice, beans and the like. In pre-determined cases, food will be provided as prizes in Reward Challenges.
  4. What are the rules for Hidden Immunity Idols?  Here is the link to Reality Blurred transcription of the rules and the Fandom Wiki link about HII's, and Jeff's own comments on the HII.  The basic rules are that HIIs cannot be stolen from players and the last time a player can use a HII is at final five.  The Production team moves the idols for the players in case of a merge.  There's a HII thread for discussion of HII's here
  5. Can contestants search/take items from another contestant's personal items? Stealing personal items from other contestants is strictly prohibited. This includes personal clothing and luxury items. The Hidden Immunity Idol is considered a personal item, thus cannot be stolen from its owner, but that does not mean a contestant is not allowed to look through another contestant's belongings if he/she is suspected of possessing one.
  6. Can contestants vote for themselves at Tribal Council (TC)? No.  Doing so will force the contestant to redo his/her vote.
  7. Can a contestant refuse to vote at TC? No. If a contestant refuses to vote, he/she will either face expulsion or become ineligible for immunity at the next Tribal Council.
  8. What happens if there’s a tie at TC?  

    The first vote is declared a tie.  The window for HIIs is fully closed and will not be reopened until the next TC.

    A re-vote is called.  The only options for the re-vote are the people in the tie.  If the tie is between two people, those two do not vote.

    If the re-vote is also tied, the tribe is allowed an open discussion to decide on whom to vote out.  This decision must be unanimous (by the Survivor definition.)

    If no decision can be made, one of two tiebreakers occurs

    Fire-making: Used at the F4, or if a tribe only has 2 members.  Each person has a station with a fire-making kit and a device with a string and flag.  The first to make a fire that burns through the string to cause the flag to rise stays in the game and the other is eliminated.

    Drawing Rocks:  Used in all other cases.  Anyone who had immunity before the first votes were read, and those who were involved in the tie are exempt from the draw.  Each remaining member of the tribe must draw a rock from a bag.  Odd rock out gets their torch snuffed. 

  9. What happens if a contestant quits? Quitting is considered a violation of their contract and results in a contestant's exclusion from the jury (if the quitter left the game during the jury phase of the game) and the withholding of their consolation prize.
  10. What is Ponderosa? Ponderosa is a special holding area for Survivor contestants before the game begins and after being eliminated from the game. It is usually located at a resort or a hotel.  Here is the Fandom Wiki page about Ponderosa. 
  11. What is in the contract the contestants have to sign? Here is the link to the Survivor contract.
  12. Can contestants conspire to share the prize? No
  13. How long must contestants stay silent about their time on Survivor? Castaways are not allowed to reveal "the ways of production" until three years after his or her appearance on the show.
  14. How do chickens "work"? Do you need a rooster for eggs? This isn't a Survivor specific fact, but for some reason it comes up every year.  Without getting too into the weeds of chicken biology- roosters are NOT needed for hens to produce eggs.  If the contestants win a rooster and a chicken, there is no logical reason why they can't eat that rooster immediately.
  15. What are the Rules for sitting out challenges?  The rule that you cannot sit out back to back challenges only applies to when there are separate reward and immunity challenges. The same person can sit out back to back to back challenges as long as it is a joint reward/immunity challenge.

This isn't a discussion thread, but feel free to post any other suggested facts (including links for the website the information was obtained from) for this list and I'll update it.  

This thread is meant to be helpful, but not to be used in a derogatory way, such as responding to a poster's question in another thread with something like "Read the FAQ thread instead of asking your dumb-dumb questions".  Posters can choose to read this thread but it is not required reading. 

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FYI- to keep this thread fact focused, once I incorporate your suggestions I will hide your posts.  I'd like to keep this streamlined.  Once we have a succinct list, I will lock the thread for informational purposes only. 

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