‘Survivor’ Runner-Up Gavin Whitson Pushes For ‘Edge of Extinction’ Spin-Off Series

Sole Survivor Chris Underwood is one of the series’ most debated winners due to the perceived unfair twist that led to his controversial victory. The twist, Edge of Extinction, has returned for Survivor 40: Winners at War.

While some love watching the content, they would rather see what’s happening in-game. Therefore, many fans, including Season 38 runner up Gavin Whitson, are appealing for an Edge of Extinction-based Survivor spin-off.

Gavin Whitson
Gavin Whitson | Monty Brinton

Gavin Whitson on ‘Edge of Extinction’

In 2019, 25-year-old YMCA program director based in Erwin, Tennessee, Gavin Whitson, competed on the 38th season of Survivor. Not only did the season include four returning players, but it also featured a new twist, the Edge of Extinction.

When castaways were voted out of the game, they had the choice of leaving or staying at the Edge for an undisclosed amount of time in the hopes of re-entering the game.

At the Edge, the contestants could find advantages that allowed them to practice the re-entry challenge or help other players currently in the game. Then, they had two opportunities to get back into the game by beating the other Edge castaways in a duel. After the second re-entry challenge, the Edge is closed, and everyone voted off afterward joins the jury as usual.

Despite his quiet nature, Gavin played a strategic under-the-radar game and created strong connections that prevented anyone from ever writing his name down.

Additionally, he won two immunity challenges. However, the connections Chris Underwood made during his 27 days on the Edge proved more influential, and Gavin lost in a 9-4-0 vote.

Many fans express dislike in the Edge of Extinction

Even though executive producer and Jeff Probst swears by the Edge of Extinction twist, many fans do not like it, and it’s become a heavily debated issue.

Many fans believe if one is voted out, then they did not outlast, outwit, or outplay the competition and should not win. Additionally, it’s perceived as an unfair advantage because castaways can make amends on the Edge, which isn’t available to those still playing in the game.

Finally, several viewers don’t like watching the contestants who aren’t actively competing because it takes away time from critical strategic conversations in which they would like to be privy.

The Edge of Extinction twist returned for the 40th season, the first consisting of an all-winners cast, Winners at War. Several fans continue to complain about the time it takes away from in-game conversations and still would not want an EOE returnee winning the season.

However, they do enjoy watching the difficult tasks the castaways complete to earn a fire token, or in-game currency they can spend on advantages if they re-enter the game.

Gavin Whitson and fans want ‘Edge of Extinction’ as a spin-off

Because fans still enjoy the Edge as a concept but don’t want it as a part of actual Survivor, many, including Gavin, have brought up the idea of Edge of Extinction returning as a spin-off series.

Instead of including the Edge as a twist, the reality series would go “back to normal” and the spin-off series would air between June and August. In the show, five men and five women would compete in “daily tasks” or “challenges” for fire tokens and live on the Edge without any Tribal Councils.

Then, whoever accumulated the most tokens by the end of the series wins $100,000. Because there’s only ten contestants, it “would allow for great character development.” Additionally, it could “focus on moments such as Ethan overcoming the stairs challenge.”

Gavin, the only male from his season to never go to the Edge, also promoted the theory on his Twitter account. He encouraged the spin-off series to “happen” so viewers would have “essentially nine months of Survivor every year.”

He also compared it to The Bachelor reality show, which airs spin-off Bachelor in Paradise immediately following the season. Finally, the runner-up tagged Survivor executive producer Matt Van Wagenen in his tweet, hoping to gain traction.

Watch Survivor 40: Winners at War Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.