Survivor - Game Changers
tv guide: survivor game changersBrace yourselves, Survivor fans, because Game Changers might be the most cutthroat season the game has ever seen.
Kicking off on Wednesday with a two-hour premiere that also marks Survivor's 500th episode, the idea behind Game Changers is self-explanatory: Competing on Season 34 will be 20 repeat contestants who have made (or at least demonstrated a willingness to make) huge moves in their previous outings that... well, changed the game.
"We look for players who understand that the simple math of it is that 19 out of 20 people will lose ... [and] who, despite those odds, are still willing to say, 'Give me the ball. I'll shoot right now. I will shoot, and if I miss, I'm out,'" host Jeff Probst tells TVGuide.com. "There's probably no escaping that this is a tougher season, because there are no gimmes. ... The first couple of episodes are so unnerving and uneven. They're not typical. There's a tension to them, because everybody is looking around going, 'Oh my god ... Who do I align with? Who do I try to get out?' ... It did feel very much to me like an all-star vinyl table at poker, where every single person is capable of running the table, and you have to be willing to go all in. And if you're wrong, you're out."
Per usual, there are a couple of twists thrown in. For starters, a new rule says there will be no re-votes after a tie vote, meaning that players must come to an immediate decision of whom to vote out or face drawing rocks immediately. Heading into his 34th season at the helm, Probst admits: "I've been frustrated with one thing, and that is when tribes split a vote to see if there's an idol, knowing they have enough people that it doesn't cost them anything. The way I look at the show is, every single action should cost you. ... So the idea behind this is, if you want to split the vote, you can. But just know, if there is no idol and there's a tie? You're going to rocks."
There's also a new way of finding the immunity idols - and new locations for the idols - that will likely throw a lot of players for a loop, Probst says. "It's super cool. It's another one of those moments where you're going to go, wow, we've never seen that before," he teases. "There is a common theme now, which is, you're going to have to work to find an idol. Even if you find it, you're going to have to work to get it open. Or if you find it, you're going to have to put it together, [take] some sort of risk that you're doing in public."
But perhaps the biggest twist is just the theme of the season overall, which finds contestants scrambling to find their footing right out of the gate.
"One of the big questions this season is, how do you stand out in a season of 20 standouts? What I saw happening was, early on, if you make a move, you'd better follow through, because somebody else has an arrow pointed at you as well," Probst says. "There are going to be a lot of tribal councils where Survivor fans feel a little bit of a loss - because it's not like a normal season where you may have five favorites. A good 15 of the 20, you're probably going to like a lot, and most of them are going to get voted out."