Why Some Fans Can’t Stand CBS ‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst

When it comes to hit reality TV shows, few have been as longstanding as CBS’ Survivor. The series has been on since the year 2000, and fans have been watching castaways “Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast” their contestants since then. From critical blindsides to surprising jury votes and unforgettable $1 million winners, just about everyone has seen the show at some point — and that also means they’re somewhat familiar with the longstanding host, Jeff Probst.

While Probst started Survivor as the “host” and humble narrator of the gameplay, he’s since totally evolved with the game. Now, as executive producer, he helps make critical decisions regarding the cast and the plot twists. Many love Probst and see him as a main draw for the show, but it seems others can’t stand him. Here’s why.

One Survivor contestant made it known he thinks Probst is an ‘egomaniac’

The players on Survivor all interact with Probst throughout the entire game, as he narrates what’s going on in challenges and asks questions to stir the pot during Tribal Council. It seems like they all generally like Probst, too, as it’s clear he loves the game just as much as they do. But it seems one contestant, Shane Powers, isn’t a fan.

Those familiar with Powers will remember him as a memorable contestant on Survivor: Panama. His Wiki page notes he was known for his “constant outbursts and rivalries,” and he seems he also has an issue with the way Probst is running things, too. Inside Survivor explains on Powers’ podcast, he noted that Emmy-nominated casting director for Survivor, Lynne Spiegel Spillman, was “let go” from the show when her contract did not get renewed.

Spillman had been with the show since its conception, and Powers blamed Probst partly for the decision. “I know what’s going on here – this is my opinion – Probst is an ego-maniac, and he doesn’t want anybody else getting credit for his show because he’s so empty and void because he’s never been able to get anything else going on in his life,” Powers said on his podcast. “The problem with Jeff Probst is that he doesn’t have the chops to do anything other than what he knows how to do, which is this game show.”

Fans blame Probst and the rest of production for too many twists and turns during the game

Powers may have more of a personal opinion of Probst since they’ve met, but even fans of the show who’ve never interacted with the (generally) beloved host have a number of differing opinions. Moviefone notes many fans are getting tired of the many twists each new season of Survivor offers. One fan even tweeted that the finale of Season 35, Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, had an “unfair twist” that ruined “the integrity of the game” because it gave one player a better shot at winning the prize money (in the end, he did, indeed, win). Since Probst is the executive producer, he has a lot of say as far as what the twists are going to be, so he received a lot of flack.

Other fans on Reddit noted that they felt “fatigued” by the many twists and turns, as they felt production was giving favorable circumstances to their favorite players. “I think they big problem a lot of the hardcore fans have right now is that production seems to view certain parts of the game they don’t like as bugs rather than features,” said one fan. And another added, “Jeff having a bias towards certain types of players is fine. Jeff changing the game specifically to help those types of players is not.”

Others think Probst stopped making the game for the fan’s experience

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Some Survivor fans have a deeper problem with how they’re now experiencing the show as a person watching from home instead of playing. As writer Andy Dehnart wrote for Reality Blurred, “There has been a significant change in Jeff Probst’s mind about why he and his team are creating Survivor, and it means the show is no longer produced for its viewers and fans.” Dehnart argues that Probst now creates the show entirely for the contestants and has forgotten about the most important aspect of the series — its viewership. “I’m glad Probst values his contestants — er, ‘storytellers’ — but valuing the microcosm of the Survivor experience, instead of how millions of people are experiencing the edited version of it, is disappointing, and I say that as one of those who’ve been disappointed recently,” Dehnart went on.

No matter how many fans aren’t on Probst’s side, it’s clear he’s still here to stay with the show — and we imagine he has plenty more tricks up his sleeve in the future, too.

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