‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Explained Why They Brought the Edge of Extinction Twist Back for ‘Winners at War’

For the first all-winners season, Survivor: Winners at War, CBS has increased the prize money, added a new game element, and decided to bring back the controversial Edge of Extinction twist from Season 38.

Chris Underwood, who was voted out on Day 8, re-entered the game at Final Six, 27 days later, and won. Because the Jury included people he lived with during his time on the Edge of Extinction, and the other two were never voted out, Survivor fans criticized the fairness of the twist.

Jeff Probst Winners at War
Jeff Probst | Timothy Kuratek

Nonetheless, they will bring Edge of Extinction back for Winners at War, and host Jeff Probst explained why.

‘Survivor: Edge of Extinction’ twist

Similar to the Redemption Island twist, the Edge of Extinction is a place where castaways who have been voted out by their tribe go to await another chance to re-enter the game.

However, there are no regular duels. Instead, they live on a deserted island with limited food rations until the merge, where they compete in a challenge.

The winner returns to the game, and the other castaways are sent home. After the merge, eliminated contestants live on the Edge of Extinction until the Final Six, where there is another challenge to re-enter the game. Then, the island is closed, and the losing castaways become members of the Jury.

While on the island, players have the option of quitting by raising a white flag. Additionally, the contestants can find advantages on the Edge of Extinction that might increase their chances of returning to the game or help castaways that are still competing.

The twist has only applied to Season 38, but host Jeff Probst confirmed they are bringing the Edge of Extinction back for Winners at War.

Jeff Probst explained why they are bringing the twist back for ‘Winners at War’

In an interview with EW, Probst said almost every winner wanted to “ensure they would have a legitimate shot at winning.” Therefore, the production team decided to make it a second-chance season, where “they’ll have at least one more shot to get back in the game.”

Additionally, the idea excited the team and Probst because watching “20 of the most popular Survivors of all time” trying to “survive on Extinction will be fun.”

Everything we know about ‘Winners at War’ so far

The 40th installment will debut with a special two-hour premiere on February 12, 2020, at 8 p.m. EST on CBS. The cast consists of 20 previous winners who are returning to prove they’re the ultimate Sole Survivor. Winners at War will include the Edge of Extinction twist and new advantage, “Fire Tokens.”

These tokens are an in-game currency for players competing on the island and on the Edge of Extinction, where they can purchase things that range from comfort to advantages.

Additionally, the winner will receive the highest prize award in franchise history of $2 million. In the EW interview, Jeff Probst explained CBS agreed to increase the money in celebration of their 20th year in its 40th season.

They also wanted to thank the contestants because the show would not have happened if the former winners declined to return.