CBS’ veteran reality staple wraps up its 30th cycle (can you believe it?!) tonight with a two-hour finale, followed by the always-illuminating live reunion show when the latest Survivor champion is crowned. For longtime host Jeff Probst, the surprise this season was how the Worlds Apart twist – which separated 18 castaways by social class into White Collar, No Collar and Blue Collar tribes – played out.
What will be different is what happens after the cameras stop rolling following the reunion show, which will be the first time fans will find out who the 20 castaways they picked to compete in season 31 – a long-in-the-works format tweak, Probst says.
You just hit on something that, at least for me, is the fun of Survivor and that is that you really don’t know. If you’re watching Mad Men, you know Don Draper’s not going to die because he’s the star but if you’re watching Survivor, you don’t know if your favorite Survivor Joe, the young, long-haired, No Collar hunk is going to last another episode. It’s very Game of Thrones in that way in that anybody could die at any time, and it won’t surprise you.
You have Rodney, who is going to go down in as one of the most colorful characters we’ve ever had. He’s funny, he’s honest, and he’s so exhausted right now that his vulnerabilities are coming out in ways that even he doesn’t want them to. When he complains about his birthday, I think he has been deprived for a long time. Rodney has a real shot to win. Carolyn definitely has a case to win this game. She’s made moves, she’s hung in there and she’s the oldest person out there which is in and of itself a major obstacle on Survivor. She’s played a game where she’s had to do it herself. Mike’s challenge is really simple: Everybody wants him out. They feel he betrayed the alliance and the group; Mike either has to find someone to team up with or he has to win his way to the end. And then Sierra and Will are the longshots – Will is the biggest longshot to win, mainly because of what happened with Shirin. He turned a lot of people off and he’d have to recover from that quickly for people to give him a chance. If Sierra makes a move in the final five it’d have to be a big move. But if she teams up with Mike to make something happen, she might be able to make a case.
People are going to be very satisfied. It fulfills. It delivers. It is exciting. It’s dramatic. It’s surprising. It’s got a huge momentum where we actually had to ask the network for more time – we were about four or five minutes, which is quite a long time for a TV show to be long. We had so much happening that we didn’t want to cut any of it out. It’s good. It’s definitely night to sit down, camp out and say “I’m Survivor-ing it from 8 to 11, and then I’m going to watch [David] Letterman retire.”
Survivor wraps season 30 on Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
What did most recent Survivor winner Natalie Anderson plan to do with her $1 million grand prize? Press play to find out what she told ET!