Host and executive producer of Survivor, Jeff Probst, has confirmed that the new merge twist can be expected in the upcoming seasons of Survivor.
Survivor‘s new merge twist is going to be a permanent fixture on the show according to host and executive producer Jeff Probst. The show has seen a lot of changes in recent years, especially after production was on hold throughout much of 2020. Jeff and the crew on Survivor have been hard at work to make the new, shorter version of the show even more exciting. Survivor has changed quite a bit in its “new era” from getting rid of the live reunion, to new advantages that allow you to steal idols.
One twist that Jeff is confident will stick around is the new merge, where the contestants are split in half and have to compete to be immune from the vote, or as Jeff calls it in an interview with EW, “Earn the merge.” Jeff hammers home the idea that the new Survivor is all about overcoming hardship, saying, “There is an emphasis on earning it every step of the way.” While there have been many twists that Jeff seemed to like, this one seems to have staying power as Jeff definitively tells fans to “count on this being the new merge moving forward.“
Jeff Probst Discusses What Makes The New Era Of Survivor Different
Jeff is open to change after Survivor‘s last 43 seasons. He even edited his famous catchphrase in Survivor 41. Along with the new twists, Jeff also discusses the challenges changing, saying, “The challenges have been getting bigger and more difficult.” The growing difficulty of the challenges is not lost on viewers, as Survivor 43‘s merge episode saw one contestant cut their hand open and continue to scale a giant wall. Jeff and the producers have also turned up the notch when it comes to life on the island. According to Jeff, “There are very few rewards [and] there are penalties for losing.“
Survivor‘s twists have always caused uproar from the fandom, whether it’s the final four fire-making challenge or a hidden immunity idol that can be played after the votes are read. While the new era of Survivor has certainly added more twists than ever, it seems the show’s format has become more and more predictable. The past three seasons of Survivor have included three tribes of six people with no tribe swap or shakeup before the merge. For some fans, this has made the show too predictable for the players, who seem to be able to anticipate every twist that’s around the corner.
It’s reasonable for fans to have concerns for a show that they have invested so much time into. For many, Survivor has been on since before they can even remember. Jeff Probst seems to take audience feedback on board, as he scrapped the controversial hourglass twist that appeared in season 41 and season 42. He clearly is passionate about Survivor, which is evident by the fact that he has even more energy two decades later than he did at the show’s inception. Survivor‘s compelling characters and backstories are enough to keep the show afloat for seasons to come, but as long as Jeff is involved in the show, there will still be new controversial twists.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 pm EST on CBS.