Jeff Probst Brings Back Controversial Twist For Season 40 of ‘Survivor’

Survivor is getting ready to air Season 40. And after almost twenty years of the show, Jeff Probst still has twists up his sleeve. So far, fans of the show have sussed out what appear to be three twists in Season 40. According to reports by Inside Survivor, Season 40 will be bringing us a cast of all-stars only — a surprise move for the show, since Jeff Probst has expressed distaste for the idea in the past. 

In addition, Season 40 will include an increased grand prize of $2 million, the biggest grand prize in Survivor history. The final twist, however, is much more controversial, and not new. Jeff Probst is bringing back Extinction Island for Season 40. 

Jeff Probst’s feelings about an all-star cast

Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst | CBS via Getty Images

Jeff Probst has made it clear in the past that he doesn’t really support the idea of an all-stars season of Survivor. In fact, Probst said as much during an interview with Us Weekly in 2018. 

Probst told Us Weekly, “We can’t do all winners. As a producer, I would never suggest it. I would say it’s not a good idea. We have 10 great winners that you’d want to see play again,” he says. “We don’t have 20. We don’t have 18. Some of the winners don’t want to play again. Some of the greats are like, ‘No, we’re done.’” 

Probst added, “CBS wants to do it. They’re pitching me all the time. And I’m going, ‘I’ll sit down with you and show you the list!’ We don’t have it. And if I sat down and we wasted our time and I walked you through all our winners, you would say, ‘Oh, you’re right. You don’t have a season.’ We have a tribe of winners, that’s it.”

It sounds as if Jeff Probst was overruled by CBS — either that, or he recently had a change of heart. 

How does Jeff Probst feel about Extinction Island?

Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst | CBS via Getty Images

When it comes to Extinction Island, however, it sounds like Jeff Probst is a fan. The island first appeared in Season 38, Survivor: Edge of Extinction. The island granted players who were voted off an opportunity to their game on a desolate island. Eventually, they’d be given an opportunity — a challenge for every member of the island in which the winner can return to the game. 

According to Probst, it’s all about pushing your limits. “As we continue to evolve the show, it’s really important to us that we continue to see how far we can take this experiment. We’ve done a lot in the last few years about gameplay and advantages and twists and really wanting players to come in and play strategically,” said Probst.  

“Lately, it’s also been occurring to me that we should try to get a little deeper psychologically, a little deeper spiritually. Let’s see how far people want to go. Is there a possibility of the spiritual death and rebirth that you seek in life, where you realize something deeper about yourself?” explained Probst.  

How did fans feel about Extinction Island in Season 38?

Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

Fans, however, weren’t as thrilled as Probst with the new Survivor twist. When Season 38 rolled around, the finale ended up being rather controversial. A castaway who hustled hard to maintain immunity for several episodes ended up losing to a castaway who returned from the Edge of Extinction after only being on a handful of episodes of the actual show. 

One Twitter user wrote, “Jeff What the?? AWFUL, JUST AWFUL ENDING. I’ve watched from the First show. This is in the top 3 WORST. STOP CHANGING THE BASIC RULES! Yes it is fun to see some new aspects to the game. HOWEVER it is called SURVIVOR. He was present only a few days!#SurvivorFinale.”

Eliza Orlins of The Amazing Race tweeted, “I’m heartbroken. I don’t care what anyone else says, Devens was the star of the season. I’m so disappointed with this lackluster final three. Is it time to switch over to #thechallenge?”

Perhaps CBS will execute the twist differently this time, and fans will feel a little happier with the result. Hopefully they’ve been listening.