The Key To Winning On Survivor, According To Jeff Probst

Jeff Probst on the beach in Game Changers

There are successful reality shows, and then there's CBS' competition franchise Survivor. Currently in the midst of its whopping 34th season, the series is a game that constantly changes, enthralling its rabid fanbase with two seasons a year. This season has been a doozy, as Survivor: Game Changers brought back a slew of returning castaways vying for the million dollar prize. We've seen blindside after blindside, and now Jeff Probst himself has put in his two cents about what it takes to become the Sole Survivor.

Survivor producer and host Jeff Probst recently spoke to EW about this wild season. After breaking down some of the biggest moments from Season 34, Probst revealed how he thinks castaways should approach the game, saying:

I'm a broken record on this question and until human nature changes, my philosophy will remain intact. You play every day as though it might be your last. You trust because you must but never fully. You have no 'best friends' ever. You must be willing to slay your alliance member if you determine they are an obstacle to you getting to the end and winning. A solid six alliance works for me if I am No. 1. It might work if I am No. 2. It does not work if I am No. 3 or lower because there are too many moves that could impact me. How do you know if you're No. 1 or No. 2? You don't. Which brings me back to never trust fully.

Not gonna lie, those are some excellent points. Let's break down exactly what Jeff Probst is saying to all the future Survivor contestants out there.

To start, Jeff Probst made a point about playing each day like its your last. And this is fair advice, as complacency and comfort can hit you right before one of your allies stabs you in the back and sends you to Ponderosa. Additionally, if you bide your time too long before making a big move, you carry the risk of other players seeing you as weak or a potential goat to take the end. And while that might get you to Final Tribal, it's playing for second or third place.

However, part of Jeff's advice about playing hard may be coming from him as a producer. Big moves make for better TV, so the producers don't want an alliance to stick together and make it to the end. Like Boston Rob's win in Redemption Island, the show becomes a bit stale and boring.

Speaking of alliances, Jeff seems to be going against the idea of finding a group and slaying your enemies. You should certainly have alliances within your group, so you don't get stuck in 5th or 6th place, but Jeff seems to be against the model of majority alliances. Once again, I think this is his producer hat coming through, and encouraging dynamic game play (which translates into fantastic TV).

You can catch Survivor: Game Changers Wednesdays on CBS. Be sure to check out our summer premiere list and plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.