One thing tied into the reunion a few years back was the Second Chance vote where fans voted players back onto the show. That was super exciting and I’m actually surprised you guys have not done some form of that again.
PROBST: Well, the first thing is, you have to have a worthy group of Second Chancers. We just did it in 31 and we had a worthy group, and part of the reason it was so good is that we were really invested in the players and we wanted them to have a second chance. It’s only now 36, so we’ve only had a few seasons since then. But the idea of a live vote, definitely want to do it again, it’s very exciting. You just have to find the context, if it’s Second Chance players then we have to have a big enough group of compelling Second Chancers, but there are other things we could do with a live vote.
But you just have to be patient when you’re producing a show like Survivor. You have to believe that the pace is important and go from A to B to C to D. Because if we had done another live vote the next year, I don’t know if it would have been as special. If we did all-stars all the time, it wouldn’t be as special. But every so often, it’s fun to bring back players or do an all-star so you’re just constantly looking at the board.
I’m often writing the last 10 seasons out on a whiteboard and just looking at them and seeing: Where is our pace? What are we due for? What haven’t we done lately? Oh, maybe it’s time for a live vote and then we do it. Right now on our creative whiteboard we probably have 20 advantages, variations that we can throw into any season and we’ve earned every one of those because we patiently introduced them one at a time. And just like with Ghost Island, when people say, “Would you ever do Ghost Island 2?” Absolutely! But before we get to that, Ghost Island is now an advantage in the game. We could easily bring back a Ghost Island relic with the same opportunity — risk your vote for an advantage and it can be a one-up. It’s now in our wheelhouse.
Finally, season 40 is around the corner now. You guys would be filming that next year. Do you think you will do a big blowout for that one? You did a big blowout for 20 with Heroes vs. Villains, but you didn’t do really anything major for 25 or 30. Any sort of initial thoughts now what you guys are thinking for the big 4-0?
PROBST: I can tell you, I’d like to do something big. It feels right, it feels time, and so that would be my guess is that we would all probably think, yeah, let’s get some fun ideas together and see which one makes the most sense, which one holds the most appeal to the audience and which one feels right for where we are in our evolution right now.
BURNETT: You’re right, it does feel big: Survivor 40. And again, who knows what it will be, but I do have to agree with you. I mean for me, personally, with the finale that led to the live vote and people literally had their bags packed and getting on a bus was such fun. I mean, it was such fun. The amount of people who mentioned that to me was crazy, You know, something huge. And the good news is, it’s not like we have to convince ourselves to do something big because we need to, it’s just because the team would want it. Jeff would want to, the team would want to.
Right, so what I’m hearing then is an all-winners edition for season 40. Whether it’s true or not, that’s my takeaway and I’m sticking with it. An all-winners Survivor: Champions edition for season 40.
PROBST [Laughs] We’ll see!
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