There's long running TV shows, and then there's CBS groundbreaking reality competition Survivor. The reality show that started it all is about to air its whopping 34th season in the air, with the highly anticipated Survivors: Game Changers. Game Changers will feature a cast of returning players who will once again attempt to outwit, outplay, and outlast each other and win a million dollars. But how will the game continue to be thrilling for these repeat players, as well as the rabid fanbase who has been watching for 15+ years? By changing the rules, of course. Jeff Probst does love a twist, after all.
Parade had the opportunity to be on location when Game Changers was beginning filming. They had the chance to speak with producer/host Jeff Probst, and the face of Survivor revealed a new change to the rules:
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. 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.
Well, this is certainly intriguing. And this twist is sure to up the stakes for the already seasoned castaways during the events of Game Changers.
Ties aren't a common occurrence in Survivor, but when they happen it's usually a major moment in the game. In the past, tie breakers were handled as follows: when Jeff reads the votes and discovers a tie, the tribe revotes (with the exception of the two that have been voted again). And if a second tie occurs, the tribe will randomly pull rocks from a bag to decide who goes home.
But this new twist will change how ties function within Tribal Council. Rather than a revote, Jeff will presumably run some type of town hall meeting with the castaways. They'd have to verbally agree to a unanimous decision, or those dreaded rocks are coming out. And in a game all about strategy and planning, letting your game be left to fate is an undesirable outcome for most.
This twist comes straight off of a major tie breaker moment in last season's Millennials vs Gen X. After a battle for dominance resulted in two tie votes, Gen X Jessica ultimately drew the wrong rock and went home before her time. But if a public forum was held where Jessica could unite with the rest of the tribe against one target, she might have made it deeper into the game.
We'll just have to see how this new twist works out when Survivor: Game Changers premiers Wednesday March 8th on CBS.