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SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SURVIVOR SEASON 44, EPISODE 1:
The first episode of Survivor Season 44 finally came this past Wednesday. It was an exciting and great episode, but some fans were left confused after an unfamiliar screen popped up at the end. The screen was a dedication, but the name in that dedication doesn’t seem super familiar to many viewers. Let’s talk about the somber dedication and the life of the person the Survivor production team is mourning.
A Somber Dedication
The dedication screen at the end of Survivor Season 44, Episode 1 reads, “In loving memory of our friend and colleague Keith Sayers.” Keith Sayers isn’t a name many fans are familiar with, so there was a bit of confusion surrounding the man behind the dedication. The answer is that he was a part of the production team working behind the scenes at Survivor.
Keith Sayers tragically passed away last month on February 1st. Immediately after his passing, several former players of Survivor went to social media with their condolences.
“JUST saw this on Instagram and my heart is SHATTERED,” wrote Survivor: Ghost Island winner Wendell in a tweet. “Keith was the Ghost Island producer that I got to meet on my way to my lonely night at GI, who, coincidentally went to Howard with my big sis. I have so much to say about big bro. Love and miss you.”
Several Ghost Island players wrote their condolences in response to Wendell’s heartfelt tweet. Kellyn wrote “Keith Sayres was one of the brightest lights during my time on Survivor. He conducted my confessionals while on Ghost Island all alone. We laughed and laughed and he made me feel loved instead of lonely. His smile was majestic. May he rest in peace.”
Keith worked from Seasons 23 up until 34, the Ghost Island season. He had many roles, from post-production assistant to story producer to segment producer. Overall, it seems apparent that Keith was a major benefit to the show, and the whole Survivor fandom mourns with the production team through his loss.
Survivor has sadly seen a number of tragic losses in recent years. Just last year, we lost Roger Sexton of Season 6, Survivor: The Amazon. In 2021, we lost Angie Jakusz of Survivor: Palau. Other amazing players like Cliff Robinson (Survivor: Brain vs. Brawn vs. Beauty), Caleb Bankston (Survivor: Blood vs. Water), and Dan Lembo (Survivor: Nicaragua) have all been lost in recent years as well. It’s the sad reality of having so many people pass through the doors of this show over the many years. We will continue to remember the memory of the great people from Survivor history who have been lost as we move into the future.
There is a memorial GoFundMe to donate to the family of Keith Sayres.
Survivor Season 44 is airing new episodes every Wednesday.