Jeff Probst Introduces New Money-Based Twist to ‘Survivor’ Season 40

There’s a reason Jeff Probst has been the host of Survivor for almost 20 years, and producer for close to the same. The legendary host seems to want to keep the game evolving, and loves to see it grow. Maybe that’s why, from the sound of it, Season 40 is going to be a twist-laden blowout. 

So far, we know Season 40 will be an all-star season — a concept Jeff Probst has derided in the past. We also know there’s an increased grand prize of $2 million for participants this year, the highest in Survivor history. And, to the consternation of many fans, the Edge of Extinction is returning for Season 40. But that’s not all — there’s a new, money-based twist for this season, and it’s not the grand prize. In fact, it bears some similarities to the classic Survivor auction.

Why Probst hates the idea of an all-star season

Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst | CBS via Getty Images

In the past, Jeff Probst has made it clear that he’s not a fan of all-star seasons, so fans were surprised to learn that Season 40 would be one. In an interview with Us Weekly in 2018, Probst expressed his feelings on the matter. 

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.’” 

He went on to add, “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 CBS got the better of Probst, or perhaps the host had a change of heart. 

What’s the new twist all about?

Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst | Timothy Kuratek/CBS via Getty Images

Beyond the all-star cast, Edge of Extinction, and the grand prize boost, Inside Survivor alleges that there will be another twist — a kind of Survivor currency. 

According to Inside Survivor, “…at the start of the game, each player is given a certain amount of Survivor ‘money.’ This money can then be exchanged for rewards, comfort items, and advantages throughout the season. When a player is voted out, they must will their money and any purchased items to another player still in the game, much like the Legacy Advantage.”

The site goes on to reveal that this time around, players who wind up on Extinction Island will be able to send advantages to the other players — but the players will need to pay for those advantages with their Survivor currency. The players trapped on the Edge can then use the money to pay for comfort or food items. It sounds very much like the old Survivor auction, spread out across the whole cast of the entire season. 

Fans don’t love the Edge

Jeff Probst, Rick Devens
Jeff Probst, Rick Devens | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

That being said, this particular twist might irritate fans who already dislike the Edge of Extinction. The Edge wasn’t a popular twist during Season 38, because it allows players who were voted out and subsequently barely on the show to return right before the finale. 

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.”

Amazing Race contestant and previous castaway Eliza Orlins 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?”