The impossible is happening. While filming season 38, host Jeff Probst told Us Weekly that the show “can’t do all winners,” simply because it wouldn’t work. “As a producer, I would never suggest it. I would say it’s not a good idea.”
However, it seems tides have changed.
At the time, Probst, 58, explained to Us that “some of the winners don’t want to play again,” but CBS executives would love to make it happen. Personally, he called the idea of an all-winners season a “dream,” but wasn’t sure what would make past contestants fight for the $1 million prize again. However, a $2 million prize seemed to work!
During the season 39 finale on Wednesday, December 18, Probst announced that season 40 will be Winners at War, filled with a cast of 20 past winners. The season will also bring back the Edge of Extinction, in which eliminated castaways were given the choice to continue playing on a deserted island — and a chance to get back into the game. Plus, a new element will be added in called “Fire Tokens,” which can be used to receive food, advantages and comfort.
The iconic season will follow the most controversial in the show’s history. During season Island of the Idols, contestant Dan Spilo was removed from the island on day 36 after multiple allegations of inappropriate touching — first by cast member Kellee Kim then by a producer.
On Tuesday, December 16, CBS released a lengthy statement about changes coming in the future of the game following the incidents in season 39, including a third-party expert being brought into the field, an on-site professional for reporting any concerns and more.
“We recognize there are things we could have done differently, and we are determined to do better going forward,” the statement read. While season 40 has already been filmed, the statement included that the show has “added to its pre-production cast orientation-specific guidelines regarding personal space, inappropriate behavior, and how to report these issues.”
For future seasons, “the producers are reviewing all elements of the show to further support appropriate interaction, including how the players live during, as well as after they are eliminated from, the competition.”
Additionally, pre-production orientation will be updated with “new anti-harassment, unconscious bias and sensitivity training for cast, producers and production crew on location.” A new rule will be implemented, as well, that states unwelcome physical contact, sexual harassment and impermissible biases cannot be brought into the competition and will not be permitted as part of gameplay. This will be covered in the cast orientation for each season, along with clear instructions on how to report violations.
Remeet the full cast below. Season 40 of Survivor premieres on CBS Wednesday, February 12, at 8 p.m. ET.