The host locked in his prediction on day 1 of filming.
SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Every time I head out on location for Survivor, I ask Jeff Probst right as the game starts to make his prediction for who will win the game. This has always proved to be an enjoyable exercise because Probst was one of the few people whose predictions were almost as hilariously wrong as mine. (Back in Survivor: Game Changers he named Ciera as his winner pick. She was voted out first.) But then Probst nailed it with his selection of Wendell for Survivor: Ghost Island, while I had to suffer for a few more seasons of shame and indignity before finally getting back on the winning track myself with my Island of the Idols pick of Tommy Sheehan.

So now that we’ve both moved past our complete and total embarrassment, I asked the host on day 1 of filming for Survivor: Winners at War (premiering Feb. 12 on CBS) to make his official pick for season 40. So whom will it be? Tell us, Jeff, and TELL US NOW!!!! “I’m debating,” says Probst, clearly stalling for time. “My first thought was Kim.”

KIM! Great pick! Also my selection for the best single season performance in Survivor history! Well, there you have it! Wait… hold on. He’s still talking. “Man, this is hard.” Yes, it’s supposed to be hard! That’s why we’re pretty much always wrong. Hold on, sounds like he’s about to change his mind.

“I’m gonna go Danni,” says the host. Interesting, especially since Danni Boatwright was also the name Probst threw out when I asked him for his Winners at War sleeper pick. So why Danni? “It’s just a thing. Today I saw something. I like Danni Boatwright. I like a lot of people out here but I’m going to pick my winner’s pick — Danni.”

What exactly was it the host saw on day 1 that made him pick Danni? “I saw something at the marooning,” says Probst. “And it was just a quiet confidence. It was different from everybody else. It didn’t have any energy. It didn’t have adrenaline. There was a lot of adrenaline from people. Danni was just very much right there. [Imitating Danni] ‘I’m ready to go right now. Or we can wait. Up to you. I don’t mind. I’ll strip down and get in the water right now. Absolutely. And I will kick somebody’s ass on my way out. My name’s Danni Boatwright. Nice to meet you.’”

So Probst’s winner pick is in the books. I will be revealing mine in our Survivor Press Roundtable out on Saturday, Feb. 8, and hopefully not starting another epic 24-season losing streak.

To watch Probst talk about the oldest Survivor cast ever, watch the video at the top of the post. For more Survivor articles, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss, and for exclusive season 40 photos, follow him on Instagram @thedaltonross.

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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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