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'Survivor' returns with new tie-vote rule for 'Survivor: Game Changers' season


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/08/2017 

Survivor is returning with a rule change for its new all-stars season.

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Survivor host Jeff Probst has revealed that on Survivor: Game Changers, there will be no revote after an initial tie vote at Tribal Council, Parade reported.

"The biggest change we're doing this season is if there's a tie at Tribal Council, there will not be a revote. There will not be a chance for people to change their votes," Probst told Parade of the twist that may prevent an alliance of castaways from splitting votes in order to just flush someone's hidden Immunity Idol out of the game.

"You go directly to the tiebreaker, which is openly discussing among yourselves who you want to get rid of. If you can come to a unanimous decision, then that person goes home. If you can't get a unanimous decision, everybody draws rocks."

In the case of a tie vote, if the castaways who did not receive the votes cannot arrive at a unanimous decision on who goes home, the castaways who received votes will become safe and then it's the other tribe members who must draw rocks -- ultimately sending someone home who probably wasn't a target to begin with.

The last time viewers saw a tribe draw rocks was in Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X when Jessica Lewis refused to change her vote -- which would have taken out her ally Hannah Shapiro -- and then she ended up being the person to draw the wrong rock and get eliminated. Jessica was shocked and devastated by the turn of events.

Probst said Survivor producers came up with the idea to remove the revote over the course of production on Millenials vs. Gen X, which was only the third season in franchise history to feature castaways pushing the votes to a rock draw.

"I realized last season that they're getting this free look into the future. They want to know if somebody has an idol, and we have enough people in our alliance that we can actually split the votes for free and change them on the re-vote. And nothing on Survivor should be free," Probst explained to Parade.

"The emphasis on the word 'free' is what stood out to me. They didn't have to pay for it. Survivor is a game in which everything should have an invoice. Every single decision you make should come with the risk of costing you something. Now, it will."

Probst added, "If you want to know if somebody has an idol, you're going to have to be willing to risk the consequence that if you don't [make the move], you might find yourself in a tie-breaker and you might go home."

Probst also pointed out an interesting scenario in which the new rule might give an edge to players with their backs against the wall.

"These guys will quickly figure out there could be opportunities where a minority alliance can place a vote on one of their own members to force a tie and then say, 'I'm willing to draw, because there are only three of us and there are six of you.' So I'm curious what they'll do," Probst revealed.

However, the longtime host doesn't necessarily think the new twist will result in more ties and therefore more rock draws in general.

"I don't think we're going to have more ties as a result of this change. They're still there if you want to have them. They're always there. I think this just makes Tribal a little more alive," Probst explained.

"I don't think it'll result in more ties, but I do think ties will continue to happen because players have finally realized what I've been preaching for a decade: there's only one winner. Why give up 39 days? Why leave your family, quit your job, lose all that income, for fifth?"

Survivor: Game Changers will premiere with a special two-hour episode on Wednesday, March 8 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS. The show's debut marks Survivor's milestone 500th episode. CLICK HERE to look through a gallery of photos of this season's cast of returnees.


Robert Voets/CBS

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