‘Survivor’ Season 41: What if Jeff Probst Got Sick? His Raspy Voice Has Fans Wondering

Survivor Season 41 is officially here. And fans are more excited than ever to see what’s in store for the rest of the season. So far, viewers have seen new twists, turns, and an ultra-difficult three-way immunity idol that requires serious strategy and effort to obtain. But in Survivor Season 41 Episode 2, fans turned their attention to host Jeff Probst, as he appeared to lose his voice. Now, fans are wondering: What if Jeff Probst got sick? Here’s what we gathered.

‘Survivor’ Season 41 shortened its game length to account for the pandemic

'Survivor' Season 41 host Jeff Probst smiling at Tribal Council
Jeff Probst | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

Survivor Season 41 is proving to be unlike any other season played previously. Host Jeff Probst decided to throw a number of past twists out the window to create a brand-new game. Additionally, because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the players only play for 26 days instead of the traditional 39.

“The decision to change the game to 26 days came from the fact that we couldn’t leave our bubble,” Probst told Entertainment Weekly. “So, if we wanted to shoot two seasons, we had to do it back to back. For us to shoot two seasons of 39 days, back to back, along with our 14-day quarantine, would have meant nearly 100 days, and that was simply too long.” 

It looks like the game might remain 26 days for the foreseeable future, too. “We haven’t decided if we will go back to 39 days,” he added. “I will say that I’m optimistic that fans will find this new 26-day game to be very entertaining and Survivor-worthy.”

What if Jeff Probst got sick? Fans theorize

The premiere of the new season had Jeff Probst more excited than ever, as it was clear he was stoked to have both players and fans experience the new 26-day setup. But by Survivor Season 41 Episode 2, fans wondered if something was amiss with the beloved host. By the time Tribal Council happened, fans wondered if Probst came down with an illness after apparent voice loss.

Probst did not comment about the voice loss, and his voice returned the following episode. Additionally, Survivor has strict coronavirus protocol. Entertainment Weekly notes the team even considered filming domestically to limit international travel. It seems if Probst came down with a serious illness, like coronavirus, production would remove him from the game immediately.

“We worked with the Fiji government to create what was essentially a large bubble that consisted of several islands — including tribe camps, challenge locations, Tribal Council, and base camp,” Probst further explained of the protocol. “This extended bubble would be our home for the next many months. Once every crew member and player had quarantined for 14 days and received a negative test, we were able to move freely between those islands, with no risk, because it was only our crew and we were all safe.”  

But what would happen if Probst fell ill? Reddit users guessed this has happened in past seasons and fans just weren’t made aware. “I always assumed this is what happened when they send the tribes those ‘DIY challenge’ kits on their beach in the later seasons and they perform the challenge with no Jeff interaction,” a Reddit user guessed. “Very curious what their plan would be long-term.”

Another Reddit user noted Probst was sick during a reunion in the past. A well-known cast member offered to step in and momentarily replace Probst. “My assumption is that they would find some willing and popular Survivor alumnus to pay big money and fly out,” they wrote.

When does ‘Survivor’ Season 41 air?

Four members of the Ua Tribe standing around a fire in 'Survivor' Season 41, hosted by Jeff Probst
‘Survivor’ Season 41 | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

So, when is Survivor Season 41, and how can fans watch the rest of the season? Survivor Season 41 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS. And those with Paramount+ can stream new episodes as they air live. Paramount+ also offers a seven-day free trial for those who want to watch the show without committing to a monthly subscription.

Additionally, fans can stream the new season via fuboTV, DirecTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV — though, these options come with monthly price points. Hulu offers seasons 1-34 to stream, and Netflix has seasons 20 and 28 to stream.

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