Season 41 of Survivor is off and running, and the show has a bunch of new tricks of his sleeve. A few of those tricks, including the newly instated 26-day game and Jeff Probst breaking the fourth wall, will apparently even continue into Season 42. But the one thing many fans and alums wanted to see happen in Survivor 41 didn't come to fruition: an “old school,” bare bones, no frills game. Probst recently explained why he and his team opted out of reverting back to the supposed good old days of Richard Hatch and Australia.
As fans know, “old school” Survivor refers to the Survivor of the early 2000s, during which there were no advantages or twists or high levels of social strategy going on. The series simply included a group of strangers literally vibing out and surviving in the wilderness. With the lengthy hiatus, the show had the opportunity to reimagine the old school way again in the new 41 era. In Jeff Probst's view, though, it just wouldn't make sense. He told TV Line:
As someone who was jonesing for some Survivor amidst the hiatus and watched all of the original season, I couldn't agree with Jeff Probst more. Though some of the twists and advantages are kind of tedious in the newer seasons, it doesn't get much more grueling than watching a foregone conclusion play out for weeks, as it did in the earliest incarnation of the game.
Richard Hatch won the first season precisely because he gathered numbers early and simply picked off everyone. If Survivor 41 had brought back this old school way, it would have been extremely unlikely for all the underdogs, misfits, and outcasts (who have made the show so dramatic to watch of late) to forge a path of their own. In other words, great players like Survivor: Cambodia winner Jeremy Collins or Survivor: World’s Apart winner Mike Holloway, or fan-favorites like Rick Devens, wouldn't have had a fighting chance. There's also the fact that the biggest blindsides and blunders in the history of the game would have never happened.
Survivor 41 instead opted for a happy medium between old school and new school. The new contestants weren't given rations of rice upon hitting the beach this go around, and Jeff Probst told TV Line that there will also be fewer reward challenges, as was the case in older seasons. But it was the risky prisoner’s dilemma and the Shot in the Dark twist that heightened the players’ strategy for the premiere episode’s double tribal council night. And that's the way Probst wants it:
There will supposedly be other twists in store for the rest of Survivor 41. And if the first elimination wasn’t already a clue, it might just be a seriously bumpy ride. Check out the next episode of the new season on CBS on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST.
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