The new season of Survivor is just around the corner! It’s been about 15 months since the popular reality competition graced our television screens and fans are pumped for its return. It’s set to premiere with a two-hour episode on Wednesday, September 22 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS and on Paramount+. Here’s what we know what season 41.
Season 41 Is Billed as the ‘One of the Most Dangerous’ Ever & Jeff Probst Describes It as a ‘Monster’
CBS has been promising a season unlike any that Survivor fans have ever seen before. In a news release, the network described the new season as “one of the most dangerous seasons in the history of the show.”
Host Jeff Probst has also described the new season as “Survivor 2.0” and the “dawn of a new era.” As he explained over the summer, Survivor producers had a lot of downtime due to the pandemic which provided the opportunity to brainstorm new twists and turns for the show. Probst explained, “We had an entire year where we weren’t shooting so all we had was time to think. And that’s a dangerous thing. And it led to us creating a new game that is much more dangerous.”
Probst added ominously, “Survivor 41 is like the monster in a horror movie. And if you’re a player, it’s coming for you. So either you devour the monster, or the monster will devour you.”
In the teaser trailers for the season, the idea of a “monster” keeps coming up. In the first official tease, which was released on August 13, the camera moves through the jungle like an animal on the hunt. The voiceover includes lines like, “This is a very dangerous situation,” “This season is the most different ever,” and “It’s the most insane thing I’ve ever done in my life.” Probst’s voice then adds, “We’re back… and the monster is hungry.”
Survivor continued that theme with a tease on social media on August 26. The message was, “Are you ready to take on the monster? This brand new era of #Survivor will push the limits like no other!”
The Game Was Shortened From 39 Days to 26 & Players Weren’t Given a Daily Food Staple
There will be no time for the Survivor players to sit back and observe on season 41. The producers decided to shorten the game from 39 days to just 26. Probst says this created a faster-paced game and forced the competitors to “make bigger decisions.” The tribes will also remain smaller, meaning it’ll be tougher for players to keep low profiles if that’s their game strategy.
There will be certain advantages built into the game but Probst has said those benefits carry more risks than ever before. “In order to earn an advantage, you have to successfully navigate something risky,” Probst told Parade. “And votes are often at risk, which means you can’t ever rely on how many votes your alliance will have at any Tribal Council.”
CBS referenced those changes in a news release about the new season: “The series evolves even further when this season introduces fresh elements to the competition that intensifies the battle and tests even the strongest super fan. The mental and physical challenges force players to choose between personal risk and reward, while still navigating the complex social game and attempting to forge alliances to last another day.”
The producers also made the challenge of actually surviving more difficult, as well. Fans of the show know how common it is for Survivor players to talk often about how hungry they are. But they’ve always received food rations, generally bags of rice, so that they at least had some source of food to depend on. But CBS took that away in this shortened time frame.
Probst confirmed to Parade that the tribes were not provided any food this time around. Reward Challenges, where players compete for extra food or relaxation, are also not as prevalent in season 41. “This had a tremendous impact immediately as their mental and physical energy is instantly challenged,” Probst said.
The Winner Will be Revealed in Fiji
The players are being divided into three tribes of six at the beginning of the season. The tribe names are Luvu, Yase, and Ua. Each tribe has three men and three women to start. See the cast members here.
As Heavy previously reported, the players didn’t have to wait to find out who won the game, either. The winner was revealed while they were still in Fiji. This hasn’t been done since the first season of Survivor in Borneo. Traditionally, Probst doesn’t reveal the vote count until the reunion show but there isn’t expected to be a reunion this season due to COVID-19.
The Survivor producers are also creating more interaction with the audience than ever before by introducing a “Game within the Game.” Each episode will include a hidden puzzle somewhere on the screen for fans to find and solve. CBS says this was designed for “junior fans.”
CBS says Probst will also address fans directly during season 41. He’ll let us know about new twists before he reveals them to the players.