‘Survivor’ Winner Calls Out Production for ‘Lying’ to Contestants

Jeff Probst

CBS "Survivor" host Jeff Probst on season 42.

In recent years, “Survivor” has been known for introducing a number of controversial twists and advantages in recent seasons, which have gotten fans, former contestants, and players alike riled up for their excessive and unnecessary inclusion in the game.

“Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X” winner Adam Klein became among the most recent voices in the “Survivor” community to call out the show’s production and host for the overabundance of new twists, which he believes is at risk of compromising the core of the game.

Here’s what you need to know:

Adam: Production Should Not Be in the ‘Business of Lying to Contestants’

During an appearance Thursday on Rob Cesternino’s Rob Has a Podcast, Adam took some time to discuss some of the new twists introduced in recent seasons, calling out production and host Jeff Probst, who is also the show’s chief executive producer, for “lying” to the players, not letting them play, and not trusting them.

“What has to happen – he’s not gonna like that I’m gonna say this but he’s not listening to this anyway – [is] for Jeff to not lie to the contestants at the merge about becoming safe and winning immunity,” Adam said, referring to the infamous Hourglass twist. Last season, contestant Danny McCray famously called out Probst behind the scenes for lying to the cast, claiming they would be immune after winning the challenge, only for that to be subverted upon the exiled contestant choosing to “turn back time” and reverse the challenge’s outcome.

“I know he was very upset when people said that he lied last season,” Adam went on, “but that’s what it is, I mean come on!” He added, “production shouldn’t be in the business of lying to contestants.”

Adam also castigated the new “Do or Die” twist, especially given its crucial placement at the final 7, when game-changing moves and reshuffling has often taken place in the past, largely due to the odd number of players remaining. “[Episode 11] was one of the best episodes of the entire season,” Adam said, “only because Lindsay got very lucky with the 33% chance to stay.”

Adam pointed out that had Lindsay Dolashewich lost the Do or Die challenge, the audience would have missed out on Drea Wheeler’s iconic elimination, in which she not only dropped a number of truth bombs on her way out, but was also blindsided by Mike Turner outmaneuvering her Knowledge Is Power advantage.

“If that didn’t happen,” Adam said of Lindsay’s successful play, “that whole incredible dynamic … gets thrown out the window, and you have a stupid episode. The episode only succeeded in spite of itself.”

Adam Pleads With ‘Survivor’ Production to ‘Trust’ Their Cast

At the core of Adam’s argument was that it is the cast that makes “Survivor” seasons great – not the twists – highlighting that of his own season, who Probst told at the time was among the best casts the show had ever seen. “What’s it gonna take?” Adam pleaded to the show’s production. “The game is good, your show is brilliant, it has so many viewers for a reason! Your cast is amazing! Trust it! … Let them play!”

Adam noted that this new overabundance of twists may have come about as a result of season 40, “Winners at War,” on which Adam appeared. According to Adam, Probst told the all-winners cast during production: “I think you guys have broken the game! I dont know what to do next here!”

Adam, however, does not believe the game is broken. “I think he needs to have more faith in the concept that has gotten us this far,” he said of Probst. “Let’s keep it what we love about it: votes at Tribal Council. Those are nice, we like votes, we like voting people out!” Indeed, Adam is not alone in voicing his concerns. However, the number of changes to “Survivor’s” game has only increased in recent years, and, given Probst and production’s track record, that projection is unlikely to change.

Be sure to catch the three-hour “Survivor 42” finale Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

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