‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Reveals His Favorite Season of All Time

Survivor host Jeff Probst has been around for 19 years, giving us the play-by-play while his castaways struggle through the dirt to become the sole survivor. That means Probst has seen the best of the best, and the absolute worst.

It must be hard for a host like Probst to remain impartial — and one of the reasons Probst is so lovable is because he just doesn’t. When asked about favorites, Probst almost always has an answer, even if it takes him a few seconds to think about it. He’s got favorite players, challenges, locations — and seasons.

This question was a bit tricky for Probst, he had to provide two favorites, but they’re both excellent seasons.

Give ‘em another chance

Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst | CBS via Getty Images

When asked about his favorite season, Probst first mentioned Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance. You might call Probst a sadist, but he loves to see the castaways forced to cooperate under difficult conditions, and this is exactly what happened on Second Chance.

“From a production standpoint, beautiful water, and white, just incredible postcard sand, and tough conditions. This is the rainy season, so it can be very hot and then it can absolutely dump,” explained Probst. “So they’re going to have to work together to build a shelter while voting each other out. It’s the same premise. It gets me excited every time because no matter how many different ways the game might change — the premise never does. How to work with people and vote them out?”

Another reason Probst loved this season so much was because he believed it was a very active season with twists that promoted gameplay.

“The overall creative theme for this season was ‘Let them play!’ We wanted to present options and twists that would promote gameplay, “ explained Probst. “The 20 to 18, two tribes to three, was based on reversing expectations. We had never done it before and felt very confident that even if the players suspected it or even predicted it, it would still be effective. After 31 seasons it is very difficult to come up with ‘new’ twists that nobody ever considered, so one of the keys is using twists that are foolproof. I was very happy with the results.”

To top it all off, the sole survivor, Jeremy Collins, was a fan favorite, and even earned an unheard of unanimous jury vote to clinch the game.

Intergenerational warfare

Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst | CBS via Getty Images

Probst did follow up his first answer with a caveat, however. Right after mentioning Survivor: Cambodia — Second Chance, Probst went on to say that Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X takes a close second place to Second Chance.

This season included a wild twist right on the second day — a cyclonic twist that is. The entire cast had to be evacuated for a day due to the incoming severe tropical cyclone Zena. The wild weather set the stage for an intense season.

Probst found this season a little amusing, because it featured a rare thing — Survivor romance. “There’s rarely a love interest,” explained Probst. “Man, they stink. Their hormones are off. They’re not eating. But leave it to the millennials to give us a little love! It’s a fun one.”

Probst was also a big fan of how this season handled immunity idols.

“This season, we literally hide them in nature meaning to get an idol, you have to find it inside a coconut, a shell or a piece of driftwood. What’s cool about it is you can’t tell that there’s an idol in the shell or a coconut because the Survivor art department is so good!” exclaimed Probst. “The contestants know one of these shells has an idol. But they can’t keep picking up shells because everybody’s looking at them like they’re collecting things for grandma!”
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X is a dramatic, action-packed season with a cast of highly memorable contestants. It’s easy to see why Probst might pick this as a runner-up.