Survivor fans will never say no to seeing their favorite castaways return to Fiji for a second chance. But given that the CBS reality series has entered a “new era,” some viewers are concerned that it will be a long time before the show features returnees. Thankfully, Survivor host and executive producer Jeff Probst is here to ease fans’ worries.
When was the last time ‘Survivor’ featured former castaways?
Survivor Season 40 was called “Winner at War,” and it featured 20 returning winners of the game, including legends like Sandra Diaz-Twine and Parvati Shallow.
Sandra was the only two-time winner, outlasting her fellow castaways in Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. But she wouldn’t three-peat in season 40 as the other former winners perceived her as too big of a threat, and she was voted out on Day 16.
At the end of the season, the jury crowned Tony Vlachos, who previously won Survivor: Cagayan, the Sole Survivor. And Tony joined Sandra in the two-time winners club.
Jeff Probst is open to bringing ‘Survivor’ players back in future seasons
During an interview with Parade, Jeff Probst shared how he and the other Survivor producers are approaching future seasons. Since the season 43 cast and future contestants know about the twists from seasons 41 and 42, the producers had to consider that during planning.
“We put ourselves in the shoes of the players and try to guess what they anticipate is coming and then design around our assumptions,” Probst shared. “Sometimes we go in the direction of what we think they are expecting, and sometimes we go in the opposite direction. Our hunch was that because 41 and 42 was such a radical departure, they would be very uncertain about what was going to happen in 43 and would be on edge the entire time.”
As for if this “new era” would interfere with bringing back former castaways, Probst set the record straight.
“I’m definitely not saying we’re done with anyone who played in the first 40 seasons. Not at all,” the host explained. “Let’s be clear; we are premiering our 43rd season on the shoulders of all the great players from the past 42 seasons. That’s our Hall Of Fame! We would not still be going without all our great players from past seasons.”
Probst added, “I think we’re wise to let new players explore this new version and see where it leads. It’s our best chance at having a pure experience we can all learn from. I know there are so many former players who want to play again. And I truly ache for them because I know they feel it’s out of their control. All I can say is that we have no idea where the future will lead us. We are doing the same thing we say to the players: staying open and adapting every day.”
Jeff Probst reveals ‘Survivor’ Season 43 will throw away one controversial twist
According to Jeff Probst, Survivor Season 43 will be different from the previous two seasons regarding one controversial twist.
“We were very curious how fans would react to the new 26-day era of Survivor,” Probst revealed. “One of the perks of having such a loyal audience is they speak up! So we anticipated lots of opinions regarding the new twists, pace, and difficulty, and we were right! The most vocal feedback surrounded the ‘change history’ twist. People either loved it or despised it, but there was no gray.”
When Probst says “change history,” he is referring to the Hourglass twist.
He continued, “The ‘change history’ twist had been on my personal idea board of ‘One day. When the time is right.’ So I’ll shoulder the full responsibility for those who wanted to rip my safari shirt off my back! For [season] 43, we did not bring the ‘change history’ twist back. But I feel the need to remind future players, it doesn’t mean it won’t return in the future.”
Survivor Season 43 premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.