Will ‘Survivor: Edge of Extinction’ Make Show History With the Largest Jury Ever?

Many fans of Survivor have been watching the show since it first began in the year 2000. And it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to know a lot has changed since the start. While new advantages, hidden immunity idols, and strategies have been introduced into the gameplay, making it more complex than ever before, host Jeff Probst and the rest of the producers have also added in major twists to change things up for both the players and the viewers. And this season on Edge of Extinction, players who are voted off the island have a chance at getting back into the game via Extinction Island.

Aside from the brand new twist, there’s another aspect of this season that’s about to make show history — and that’s the jury. Are fans slated to see the largest Survivor jury ever? It certainly seems that way.

The jury is typically made up of all contestants who are voted off the island after the merge

Jeff Probst and the other survivors watch Kass McQuillen head to the jury
Jeff Probst and the other Survivors watch Kass McQuillen head to the jury | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

Survivor has had a jury since the beginning, as the jury members are the ones who have the final vote in who wins the million dollar prize at the end. When the show begins, there are typically 18 to 20 players on any given season attempting to be one of the final three contestants to make it all the way through the game without being voted off by their peers. The players are also initially divided up into two or three tribes, and the tribes compete for immunity and rewards. When enough players are knocked out in the beginning, the tribes all merge as one — and this is when contestants really start playing the game.

Post-merge is also when the jury begins. Any player voted off after the tribes are merged is sent to the jury. While jury members no longer get to compete for the prize, they do get to watch every Tribal Council that happens post-merge and then cast their vote on the winner.

Jury members stay on location at Ponderosa

Jeff Probst extinguishes David Wright's torch at Tribal Council
Jeff Probst extinguishes David Wright’s torch at Tribal Council | CBS via Getty Images

Fans see jury members come and go from Tribal Council, but where do they stay? Mic explains they go to a place called Ponderosa, where they can finally eat from an array of foods, shower, talk with the other voted-off contestants, and consider what they could have done differently to get further in the game. As Bret LaBelle from Season 33 explained, “It’s a long boat ride to Ponderosa. And I was really bummed out because I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to go there. A lot of emotions come over you. … There’s a part of you that’s depressed but there’s a part of you that’s excited to eat.”

Other contestants have noted that they’ve used Ponderosa as an opportunity to decide what they’ll be paying attention to most during Tribal Council and what could sway their vote. “From a super-fan perspective, Ponderosa is pick who you want to win, try to sway any vote you can and really gather your thoughts on who you want to win and why,” said previous contestant Will Wahl.

The Edge of Extinction twist might make a huge jury for the end

The remaining Survivors head to Tribal Council
The remaining Survivors head to Tribal Council | CBS via Getty Images

It’s typical for a Survivor jury to have anywhere from eight to 10 contestants, Gold Derby reminds us. But on this season of Edge of Extinction, fans might see the largest jury ever. Since every contestant on Edge of Extinction has the opportunity to come back to the main island, every contestant who’s been voted off since the beginning is now on the jury. Two players have left the game completely on their own accord — but if there’s a final three contestants and all remaining contestants are on the jury, that means the jury will contain 13 players.

This could radically change the final outcome of the game, of course. A player like Reem Daly who’s been off the island since the first Tribal Council is still around to watch what happens next — and that’s never happened before. As for who will make it to the final three, Gold Derby notes their readers think Victoria Baamonde, Lauren O’Connell, and Eric Hafemann will be the ones to fight for the $1 million. We’ll have to wait and see if they’re right.

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