Richard Hatch Gives His Take On ‘Survivor 41’

Richard Hatch

Getty "Survivor: Borneo" winner Richard Hatch in 2015.

Richard Hatch, the original “Survivor” winner, recently weighed in on a number of different aspects of the ongoing season in a video posted to his YouTube channel. In the video, Hatch gave his take on a number of the current castaways, the new onslaught of controversial twists and advantages, and how host Jeff Probst is inserting himself into the game.

Here is what you need to know.

Hatch Describes Production’s New Twists As “Horrific Changes”

Survivor Season 41 midseason Reflection by RICHARD HATCHSurvivor Season 41 midseason Reflection by RICHARD HATCH2021-11-22T23:34:33Z

Hatch, who is widely known for his iconic appearance in the first season of “Survivor” back in 2000, on which he spent much of his time naked, was also nude in the video (at least from the waist up), without any explanation. Hatch begins the 51-minute long video by railing against the number of twists and advantages introduced by production; twists which have been ramping up in recent years but are more prevalent than ever in “Survivor 41”.

Hatch says that although he agrees that “part of ‘Survivor’ is being prepared for twists,” and stressed the importance of adaptability, he also said that “one’s adaptability must be within the context of the game.” He said that many of the recent twists that have been introduced are “horrific changes and interferences with what I think is the game: Survivor!” He went on to say that the game as a whole was “at risk, I think, of being dissolved amidst countless distractions.”

He highlighted the “Hourglass twist” which appeared in episode 6, whereby contestant Erika Casupanan could “turn back time” and change the outcome of an immunity challenge by smashing an hourglass, saying it was “unreasonable.” He explained:

How could that possibly be reasonable in the game of Survivor? If you’ve worked and planned and plotted and been sufficiently aware to get together and win a challenge…someone else’s arbitrary gimmick can steal that from you? Come on!

In introducing such twists, Hatch said, contestants’ skill at the game become less and less relevant, and thereby the essence of “Survivor” is watered down. Hatch explained: “If the game becomes as arbitrary as I feel like it’s becoming because of Probst and other producers’ lack of understanding of the game…in trying to switch things up for no reason, then we lose. We fans lose our game.”

Hatch: Probst Is “A Terrible Influence”

Hatch, who has been a vocal critic of “Survivor” host Jeff Probst since the beginning of his YouTube channel in February 2020, slammed Probst for a number of different reasons, including the implementation of the new twists, which he said were “just pure Probst ego, interjecting himself into the game.” Hatch went on to say that Probst is “a good host, be a host, I say! I don’t think he should be trying to increase his profile in the game of Survivor, and his impact on the game.” He said that he believed Probst was now “overly involved, and stealing airtime, and making decisions that undermine what ‘Survivor’ is. It’s sad for me to watch.” He went on to say he was “a terrible influence, a really disrupting and undermining factor that saddens me.”

He also lambasted Probst for what he sees as a fake personality the host puts on for publicity’s sake. He criticized Probst as he “started to get politically correct preachy, or socially preachy,” saying that Probst was “pretending, even. It’s not even real with his like, ‘come on in guys’ thing that he wanted to talk about and get the hype, the spotlight on him…damn stupid from my perspective. Infuriatingly [distracting], and not their damn responsibility.”

He expounded on that topic, saying that:

as soon as…those producers, Probst, and the others behind the scenes, step in and start to preach: eugh! … I can listen to those ideas on my own if I want. I don’t go to ‘Survivor’ to hear what you think as a producer of the show, you want to tell people that’s politically correct to inspire them to believe that ‘Survivor’ is woke. Oh, puke! It’s really nauseating to me, perhaps because I know the people behind it and I know much of the sad reasoning that drives some of these choices.

Hatch Has His Eye On a Few Players

"Survivor 41" episode 3 challenge.

YouTube“Survivor 41” contestants at a challenge in episode 3.

Hatch wasn’t all critical of the show; he also took some time to share his opinion on some of the current castaways.

On the so-called “Black alliance,” consisting of contestants Shan Smith, Liana Wallace, Danny McCray, and Deshawn Radden, Hatch said:

I’m so excited about it…there are particular players within that alliance that I think have the potential to do really, really well. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say I’m not sure that’s Shan anymore. I had some high hopes for Shan earlier on, but as we see more and more footage…I feel as if the intent with which she began has started to be impacted by the stresses of the game, and that’s dangerous.

Hatch also highlighted Danny, complimenting the former NFL football player on his ability to play under-the-radar. “I like me some Danny,” Hatch said. “This is a guy who should be frightening. He’s incredibly physical… he’s quiet enough…to be wondering what’s really going on in his head. He contributes, he’s observant, ooh! I’ve got my eye on Danny. I think there could be much brewing there.”

He also said, of the Black alliance as a whole, that they should be careful not to undermine their gameplay simply by sticking to an alliance for personal reasons:

If what they’re doing is maintaining that alliance…in order to…this kind of proud moment where four Black people came together and drove the game to the end, at the expense of what would be the best decision for them at the end, it could undermine it for all of them. So I wish what I were seeing…is more conversation about what [strategic] possibilities exist.

Finally, Hatch weighed in on arguably the season’s most popular current player: Xander Hastings. Hatch said that, “Right now, as I’m taping this, I gotta say, Xander excites me.”

Hatch went on: “I hadn’t been all goo-goo about Xander initially, because I didn’t know how he was going to react to being such a target. But he’s done beautifully.” Hatch went on to compliment Xander’s skill in garnering advantages, building relationships, and, like Danny, being able to play relatively under-the-radar for someone who should be a target. As Hatch explained it: “someone who’s as non-threatening as possible, given how objectively threatening this guy really is… I’m so impressed by so many different aspects of his gameplay. So I say watch this one.”

He also complimented Xander’s gameplay as it related to the fake idol he used in episode 7, praising the 20-year-old for thinking ahead of time and having the fake idol as a failsafe, even if he didn’t know what for at the time he made it. “That’s somebody who’s thinking,” Hatch said. He went on to say he believed Xander “is going to continue to be making real moves, good moves, that keep him there and further his game. Man’s a player to watch.”

Whether or not the fan favorite will be able to continue to avoid being targeted will only be revealed as the season progresses. Be sure to catch “Survivor 41” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET, on CBS.

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