Survivor: Gabon — Earth's Last Eden is the seventeenth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The premiere aired September 25, 2008, with the first two episodes screened back-to-back.
Applications were due on January 24, 2008. Around March 2008, 800 applicants were selected for an interview by CBS. Out of these 800, about 48 semi-finalists were selected to go to Los Angeles in April 2008. From these semi-finalists, 18 contestants were selected to participate in the show between late June and mid-July 2008. This season, players sent to Exile Island had a choice of receiving a clue to the location of a Hidden Immunity Idol or a comfort item.
On April 13, 2008, at the National Association of Broadcasters's annual show, Sony announced that the 17th season of Survivor would be the first to be shot in high definition, using Sony XDCAMs.
Survivor: Gabon began filming in late June. It marked the second season of the series that was filmed in Africa (Survivor: Africa had been filmed seven years earlier in Kenya). Reports from Gabon indicate the show was filmed around the coastal towns of Nyonie and Ekwata in the Wonga-Wongue Presidential Reserve.
Host Jeff Probst mentioned that preproduction of the series was plagued by shipment delays, a crane toppling over and undesirable wild animals encroaching into the production area.
The winner was 57-year-old Bob Crowley, a high school physics teacher from Maine. He defeated Susie Smith and Jessica "Sugar" Kiper in a 4-3-0 vote at the live finale to take the million dollar prize. In addition, Bob won the $100,000 "Sprint Survivor of the Season" award, beating out Sugar and Matty Whitmore who were next highest in the popular vote.
Kiper gained the unique distinction of not receiving any votes cast against her on the way to the final, but also not receiving any votes from the jury to win. Therefore, she is the only Survivor finalist in history to never have her name written on parchment at all during a season.
Kiper and Randy Bailey returned for Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains where they placed 20th and 18th respectively. Corinne Kaplan was asked to return, but declined due to work obligations.
Kiper was later featured as a patient on Celebrity Rehab.
Kaplan eventually returned as a Favorite for Survivor: Caramoan. She finished 12th.