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A Survivor promo showed one of the two tribes getting fire at tribal council, spoiling that they would lose the upcoming immunity challenge and have to vote someone out first. The commercial aired before the first immunity challenge of the 2019 season. In case fans missed it, EW's Dalton Ross tweeted it out in the internet version of This Is Gross Try Some:
That was in fact a promo for what would come later in the episode, showing the Lairo tribe at the first tribal council of Survivor 39.
Jeff Probst isn't just the host of Survivor, he's also a producer. I wouldn't call him a control freak but he's definitely someone who has a finger in every pie, and he's understandably frustrated that after 39 seasons and counting, he and his team still don't have control over the Survivor promos. Here's what Probst shared across three tweets before the second episode aired:
To those of you frustrated by the #survivor spoilers in the promos... I have to admit I too find it mind numbing. And it pains me to have join in your complaints against @survivorcbs but I am... Despite being on the air 20 years we still have not earned the right to approve our own promo spots. The purpose of a promo is to entice you to watch without giving away what it is we want you to watch. We have no say in that... I encourage you to continue complaining in the hopes they will finally submit.
Yes, Jeff Probst is biting the hand that feeds him with the hope that fans can help him get control of the promos. Not everyone saw that tribal council tease in the ad, or recognized it as Lairo heading to vote someone out in a few minutes. But the point is that it gave away information the producers wanted to keep secret, and they'd rather have control over what's shown during the episodes they worked so hard to create.
CBS reality show editing is notoriously iffy -- just ask Big Brother -- but Jeff Probst is right that, at the very least, episodes shouldn't be spoiling major events for viewers. It's not like Survivor is The Bachelor, which constantly teases what's coming up later in the episode, in some desperate fear you might change the channel before The Good Stuff happens.
Considering Survivor: Island of the Idols is Season 39 and Season 40 has already filmed to air in spring/summer 2020, it does seem like Jeff Probst and company have earned the right to approve the show's own promos.
That said, if Jeff Probst is talking about editing, fans have their own complains for HIM -- that Survivor needs to bring back the full intro. Some of my fellow fans are also hoping to see the Survivor auction again. But the intro is a classic and it's sad to see it pushed aside.
Still, there has to be time for the intro. If nothing else, it reminds us who is actually on the season, since it's hard to keep track of everyone in the early days. Plus, that song. That iconic intro song. Don't deny us, Jeff!
Boston Rob would appreciate fans negotiating instead of taking the first deal on the table, so how's this -- if we bug CBS enough for the network to give Jeff Probst promo approval, can we get the full Survivor intro back?
Survivor 39, Island of the Idols, airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.