Why ‘Survivor’s’ Jeff Probst Once Refused to Say ‘The Tribe Has Spoken’

Jeff Probst on 'Survivor'

CBS Jeff Probst on 'Survivor'

Emmy-winning “Survivor” host Jeff Probst once refused to say “the tribe has spoken” at Tribal Council. Find out what made him so angry and why he thought he was being extremely clever at the time — and looking back, it seems so silly now.

Probst Was Furious At Osten Taylor For Quitting

Back in season seven, Osten Taylor was the first person to quit “Survivor.” At the time, it made host Jeff Probst extremely angry that someone would throw away their chance to be on the show, so he refused to say his signature tagline.

“I was so upset about it,” Probst told the Television Academy Foundation. “I was like, ‘I’m not saying “the Tribe has spoken.” You gotta earn that line!’ and [creator Mark Burnett] said, ‘Fine, don’t say it.’ So I said, ‘Per your wishes, go home!’ And I remember going home and thinking, ‘That was so clever, Probst.'”

Of course, it turned out that Taylor would be the first of many to quit the show and while it’s still a big deal now, it’s not nearly the big deal it was back then.

“Unfortunately for Osten, he was the first … and because he was a really fit, muscular guy, he took even more guff,” said Probst, adding, “Now cut to — tons of people have quit. Osten just happened to be the first. And I get it — it’s really hard! But I do think he regrets it, I’ve heard that he regrets it because there’s no taking it back.”

Probst Also Said Production Works Really Hard to Keep People From Quitting

In the same interview, Probst said that production always wants to see people stick it out, so they work hard to convince people to stay.

“We always try to tell people, unless you’re sick — truly sick — stick it out. You’ll be OK. … because they have one bad night and we say just give it ’til the morning,” said Probst.

He also revealed, “We talk people into staying all the time.”

We wonder which players viewers would be surprised to learn had to be talked into staying on the show? Either way, over the years, there have been 16 castaways who have voluntarily quit the show:

  • Taylor, “Pearl Islands”
  • Jenna Morasca, “All-Stars”
  • Sue Hawk, “All-Stars”
  • Janu Tornell, “Palau”
  • Gary Stritesky, “Fiji”
  • Kathy Sleckman, “Micronesia”
  • NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn, “Nicaragua” (they quit together)
  • Dana Lambert, “Philippines”
  • Colton Cumbie, “Blood vs. Water”
  • Lindsey Ogle, “Cagayan”
  • Julie McGee, “San Juan del Sur”
  • Bi Nguyen, “David vs. Goliath”
  • Keith Sowell and Wendy Diaz, “Edge of Extinction” (they quit together)
  • Sandra Diaz-Twine, “Winners at War”

Now, some of these people chose to quit because they didn’t they should continue due to health reasons, even though the medical team cleared them. And the last three on the list (Sowell, Diaz, and Diaz-Twine) quit at Edge of Extinction after behind voted out.

Finally, a lot of fans generally don’t consider Morasca leaving the game as “quitting” – the show received word that her mother’s cancer had worsened and she left to see her mom, who died just days after Morasca returned home.

“Survivor” is back in production now. If the pattern holds, it should be premiering its 41st season the third or fourth week of September 2021.

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