Warning! The following contains spoilers for Survivor: Winners At War's April 1st episode. Read at your own risk!
It’s what CBS likely hoped for, of course, though one could’ve never guessed just how fun it would be to see 20 Survivor winners face off for a $2 million prize. Probst spoke about the magic of this season, and gave the contestants all the credit in a recent interview with EW.
It’s so easy (and fun) to sit at home and judge every player’s game. But I really respect this group. They all came back knowing fans would have tremendous expectations and would be ultra-critical of their game play. And, as players, you’re extremely vulnerable on Survivor because there is nowhere to hide. We see them at their best and their worst. Survivor players aren’t allowed to come in and adjust their image like an Instagram post. They let us see the real, raw truth under extreme conditions. . . . These players are putting on a phenomenal show for us. Every single episode has been electric! The best season of Survivor we’ve ever seen. As producers, we laid the groundwork and gave them the toys… but they are the ones bringing it to life. I bow down in respect.
Survivor fans know hyperbole is one of Jeff Probst's strong suits (especially during competitions), but it's hard to disagree while watching Survivor: Winners At War. Watching winners try to play their game, another game that wasn't how they won the first time, and trying to figure each other out all while juggling an economy system has been quite a trip to watch. It almost feels like every player is playing 4D chess which, not surprisingly, makes for some quality reality television.
It has also led to some pretty insane moments, like when Boston Rob Mariano made Sele empty their bags to prove they didn't have an idol at Tribal Council. It was a classic Rob move, as was ensuring no one in his tribe talked gameplay by sequestering them, which ultimately led to him being voted out of the game. That too was a classic Rob move, and showed that Survivor: Winners At War contestants can't win relying on any one form of gameplay.
That's hasn't always been the case in past seasons of Survivor, so it's good to see there's not really any one person dominating Survivor: Winners At War. It has all mostly come down to making the right moves at the right time, and hoping for that immunity idol at every turn to prevent being the next player "blindsided" from the competition. If Survivor can find a way to recreate the magic of Winners At War on a season with new competitors, it isn't hard to see this reality series lasting another 40 seasons.
Survivor: Winners At War airs on CBS Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the CBS reality series, and for the latest news happening in television and movies.