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Credit: CBS
SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Survivor: Game Changers is officially in the books, and a new winner has been crowned. Which naturally means it is time to start looking forward to next season. At the end of the Game Changers reunion show, Jeff Probst revealed the theme for season 35 to be Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers. The promo also highlighted six of the new contestants: marine Ben and lifeguard Ashley (Heroes), surgeon Mike and physical therapist Desi (Healers), and personal assistant Ali and bellhop Ryan (Hustlers). We asked the host for some more details on the installment, which will air on CBS in the fall.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell me about the theme for season 35. How did you come up with it, and how does it fit within Survivor?
JEFF PROBST: Survivor is a game about social politics so we continue to look for new ways to divide people based on human behavior. This season is unique in that they are divided based on how they are perceived by others. Heroes are used to being heralded, healers receive gratitude, and hustlers earn respect. The question this season is, how do those imposed labels impact how they see themselves and how will they play Survivor?

How do the players react to the tribe designations they are given?
Well, these are three very positive traits so nobody felt they were being underestimated, but there were certainly people who felt they belonged on all three! During the casting process, we always tell players they can tell the truth or lie about anything or everything. But they are always aware that there might be a theme that reveals something about their profession or age or background. So when I said “Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers,” I’m sure there were a few people quickly reconsidering what they were going to say about their background.

Why head back to Fiji for two more seasons?
Because it is the most beautiful place we’ve ever been. They’re great to work with, the islands are amazing, the water is crystal clear and the accommodations are excellent.

What else can you tease in terms of what to expect in season 35?
Ah, it’s way too early for teases! You want those…? You gotta dig deep and earn them!

Episode Recaps

SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "DIG DEEP!"

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