'Survivor' host Jeff Probst: We're still exploring 'Survivor: Winners At War' finale and reunion options
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/22/2020
Survivor: Winners At War host and executive producer Jeff Probst has revealed plans for Season 40's finale and reunion show are not set in stone and Survivor producers are actively discussing their options amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"We are still figuring out exactly what we're going to do," Jeff toldEntertainment Weekly.
"The rules change every day! At this point I can't tell you what we're planning, because we are still exploring options."
During the finale, Jeff will also virtually connect with all 20 castaways by video to discuss the highlights of the season, CBS revealed earlier this month.
"We will, of course, do our best to make it fun. A traditional live finale would have been awesome, but hey, this isSurvivor, and now we're having to deal with a twist of our own. We'll get it all sorted!" Jeff promised.
"The important news it that on May 13 we will crown a winner of the greatest season in the history of Survivor, and the winner will earn the first ever $2 million dollar prize!"
Due to restrictions placed on American residents as the coronavirus rapidly spreads, Jeff will not be able to read the votes or host a reunion show in front of a large, live studio audience as in Survivor's prior seasons.
A source close to the situation recently told EW the modifiedSurvivor reunion show will probably still feature pretaped footage laced with Jeff interviewing players electronically in real time as they are shown being eliminated from Survivor: Winners At War.
It's also likely Jeff will read the final votes with the Final 3 Survivor castaways on split-screens from their various remote locations so fans can see all of their reactions at once.
"Think of it like an Oscars envelope-opening as you watch inset pictures of the nominees reacting as the winner is announced," according to EW.
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Once the reunion commences after Jeff reads the final votes aloud, the show could feature chaotic online video chats with the cast as a whole or more organized group discussions such as separating Old-School vs. New-School players.
Survivor will probably choose to pre-tape the finale and reunion show in order to avoid technical problems, audio issues and people talking over one another, claims EW.
This wouldn't be the first timeSurvivor would feel the need to pre-tape its finale.
Last season, Survivor: Island of the Idols did not air live for the first time in 39 seasons allegedly due to the sensitive nature of material from the season, which had featured repeated inappropriate-touching allegations against Dan Spilo.
Survivor: Island of the Idols' finale filmed at CBS Television City in Los Angeles from 4PM to 7PM ET instead of airing live in the 8PM to 11PM ET time period as priorSurvivor finales have done.
AfterSurvivor wraps, a new season of The Amazing Race will step into its regular Wednesdays 8-9PM ET/PT time period beginning May 20.
Season 41 of Survivor was reportedly supposed to begin filming on March 24 in the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji, however Jeff informed crew members last month that cameras will not start rolling until at least May due to COVID-19.
Season 42 of Survivorwas reportedly set to begin filming on May 24, a few weeks after Season 41 was scheduled to wrap production.
As long as the two-month delay isn't extended further, both Survivorseasons will still reportedly be filmed in time to maintain their original premiere dates.
Survivor's 41st season is expected to debut in September 2020, while CBS plans to premiere Season 42 of the franchise in February 2021.
CBS made this decision on the heels of the network suspending production of Season 33 of The Amazing Race due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Amazing Race's Season 33 teams had reportedly already traveled to England and Scotland prior to the sudden suspension of the show's production.