The CBS "reality show" Survivor debuted in January of 2000 and became the year's most-talked-about TV series. The premise: 16 contestants were put on the deserted South Pacific island of Pulau Tiga, divided into two "tribes," and run through a series of games and tests of skill. Each week one contestant was voted off the island by his or her peers until only one winning survivor remained. The winner in the original series was Richard Hatch, a Rhode Island corporate trainer with a Richelieu-like knack for political manipulation. A second edition, Survivor 2 began in 2001 with a new set of contestants dropped into the Australian Outback. The winner of that series was Tina Wesson, a nurse from Knoxville, Kentucky. These were followed by Survivor 3 (Africa, won by Ethan Zohn), Survivor 4 (Marquesas, won by Vecepia Towery), Survivor 5 (Thailand, won by Brian Heidik), Survivor 6 (the Amazon, won by Jenna Morasca), Survivor 7 (Pearl Islands, Panama, won by Sandra Diaz-Twine), Survivor 9 (Vanuatu, won by Chris Daugherty), Survivor 10 (Palau, won by Tom Westman), Survivor 11 (Guatemala, won by Danni Boatwright), Survivor 12 (Panama, won by Aras Baskauskas), and Survivor 13 (Cook Islands, won by Yul Kwon). In 2004 CBS presented Survivor All Stars (also known as Survivor 8), pitting 18 former contestants in a battle royale. That show (like Survivor 7) was set in Pearl Islands, Panama, and was won by Amber Brkich, originally a contestant from Survivor 2; Brkich became engaged to another contestant, "Boston Rob" Mariano, at the end of the final episode. Survivor has continued on for more than a decade since then, through many other seasons and locales, and remains a staple on the CBS schedule.
The American version of Survivor was created by Mark Burnett, based on a Swedish TV show with the same concept. Burnett later created The Apprentice, The Voice and other shows… Elizabeth Filarski was one of the final four contestants on Survivor: Australia. In 2002 she married NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, and in 2003, as Elisabeth Hasselbeck, she became a regular co-host of the TV show The View… Other legends of reality TV include Darva Conger and the Rick Rockwell of the 2000 show Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?
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