Survivor host Jeff Probst has explained why he changed his stance on never doing an all-winners season of the long-running CBS franchise.

ADVERTISEMENT
Many Survivor viewers have been clamoring for an all-winners edition of Survivor for years, but Jeff, who also serves as the show's executive producer nowadays, always rejected the idea.

RELATED LINK: 'SURVIVOR' COUPLES NOW: WHO'S STILL TOGETHER?! WHICH SHOWMANCES SPLIT UP? (PHOTOS) 

"We can't do all winners. As a producer, I would never suggest it. I would say it's not a good idea," Jeff told Us Weekly in 2018.

"We have 10 great winners that you'd want to see play again. We don't have 20. We don't have 18... Some of the greats are like, 'No, we're done.'"

During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jeff explained what made him change his mind given Survivor's upcoming 40th season, dubbed Survivor: Winners At War, will feature an entire cast comprised solely of former champions.

"Here's the history of an all-winners season. For the last maybe 10 years, several people have said, 'I'll never play again because I know I can't win. I've already won. I've already got a great track record,'" Jeff explained to EW.

"So I would just mentally note, 'Oh, there's another one who's out. There's another one who's out.' So any time somebody would bring up an all-winners season, I would say, 'Well, there's a lot of great players who won't play, so we really don't have that good of a group.'"

Jeff admitted, however, CBS was still pushing to bring back winners for an epic battle.

"It came up just last year [in 2019], and I said, 'CBS wants to do it, but I don't think it's a good idea.' That was still how I felt," Jeff shared.

"One day, I go to CBS, I sit with the President of CBS, Kelly Kahl, and he says, 'You know, we let you do your thing, right? For [Season] 40, we'd really like an all-winners season. What do you think?'"

RELATED LINK: 'BIG BROTHER' SHOWMANCES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER? WHICH COUPLES HAVE SPLIT UP?? (PHOTOS)

Jeff apparently reiterated his feeling that "so many of the people" they'd want to play wouldn't come back.
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!

"And [Kahl] said, 'Well have you asked them recently?' And I said, 'Nope! That's a pretty good idea!'" Jeff recalled with a laugh in his EW interview.

Jeff therefore said he "went home" and "starting calling" former Survivor winners.

"One by one, they all said, 'Yes.' So, I've never been so happy to eat my words. I wrote down, 'Producing 101: Always ask.' I've learned a lot of lessons!" Jeff admitted.

"Because I had locked in on [Parvati Shallow], [Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano], [Amber Brkich], [Yul Kwon] -- all of these people who are out there saying they would never go out there. That's the only reason."

Jeff concluded, "It's not that I didn't want to do an all-winners season; I didn't want to do an all-winners season without some of the truly great winners. And we have every single one of them!"

Jeff also revealed the "biggest get" for Survivor: Winners At War was Amber, who has four daughters with Rob.

Jeff didn't initially think either spouse would sign up for another season of Survivor, but when Jeff gave Rob a call, he reportedly said, "I'm thinking about it."

RELATED LINK: 'THE AMAZING RACE' COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER? WHO HAS SPLIT? WHERE ARE THEY NOW? (PHOTOS)

ADVERTISEMENT
Rob immediately predicted Amber would say, "No way," because of their kids, according to Jeff, but Rob also jumped to conclusions too quickly.

Jeff said Rob promised to speak to Amber about the opportunity, and then about three hours later, texted the Survivor host and wrote, "She hasn't said, 'Yes,' but she will. We're going to do it."

"You have a husband and wife who met on the show, who got engaged on the show, who got married on CBS, who have both won and said, 'We're going to get the grandparents to watch the kids. We're going to put the biggest target on our back and we're both coming out.' That's epic!" Jeff gushed to EW.

Jeff also said Parvati was a great -- and surprising -- addition to the cast because she had just welcomed a baby before filming began.

"The only person we were certain would say 'yes' is [Sandra Diaz-Twine], because she's never not said 'yes,'" Jeff joked.

As previously announced, Survivor: Winners At War will feature 20 former winners competing for a huge $2 million grand prize.

Survivor: Winners At War premieres with a special two-hour episode Wednesday, February 12 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.

RELATED LINK: 'SURVIVOR' COUPLES NOW: WHO'S STILL TOGETHER?! WHICH SHOWMANCES SPLIT UP? (PHOTOS) 

Following its premiere, the Survivor season will air in the show's regular Wednesday 8-9PM ET/PT time period beginning February 19.