‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Remains Vague on If Season 41 Will Have a Live Finale: ‘Do We Risk It’

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

While “Survivor” is known for its outlandishly entertaining twists and turns, those surprises have not circulated over to the actual filming of the series.

Season 41 of the popular reality survival TV series has been quite the process. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the show has faced major obstacles when it comes to the filming process. The last season of the show, “Survivor: Winners at War” was filmed in May and June of 2019. It then aired starting in February 2020.

One of the constant parts of the series that has not changed over the years is the way in which the finale airs. Instead of revealing the winner at a Tribal Council meeting, “Survivor” has a live finale. This has been a tradition the show has followed, although it was altered a few times for different reasons.

The show brings back some of the castaways from the season and everyone sits in front of a live studio audience. In addition, several of the family and friends of the final competitors are sitting in the audience waiting to hear the announcement. While being on “Survivor” is certainly a fun and exhilarating experience on its own, the game ends with a $1 million cash prize.

‘Survivor’ Live Finale During Upcoming Season

During season 40 of the show, the winner was announced via a Zoom call. This was in order to keep people safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tony Vlachos is now the franchise’s second two-time winner. “Winners at War” was an incredibly intense and riveting season full of familiar faces and drama. However, ending it all with a Zoom call felt a little anticlimactic for viewers. Although, at the time, it was unavoidable.

Now, the host and showrunner of the series, Jeff Probst, isn’t quite revealing how the winner gets the news. There’s still a lot of uncertainty when it comes to live events, especially with the delta variant making its rounds. “Survivor” also has a crew from all around the world. The contestants have families that come from different areas all around the U.S. as well.

“Yes, we faced our own dilemma when it came to deciding how to handle the final Tribal Council and the reveal of the winner. But this was more risk versus risk! Should we risk it and do what we always do in the hopes we can do a live finale back in the states? Or do we risk it and announce the winner in the jungles of Fiji and hope the secret stays a secret? What would you do? You’ll have to watch to find out what decision we made,” Probst said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

After the show took off after just one season, “Survivor” implemented the live finale reading of the winner. The goal was to reduce the risk of a spoiler in between the end of filming and the actual release date of the series. If the winner found out while still on location, spoilers could very well happen.

As for “Survivor 41,” it’s quite possible the winner already has the crown from Fiji. While the ending ceremony is up in the air right now, “Survivor” has vowed it’s going back to its roots. The show will focus on the players, the betrayals, and the original setup of the game. There will be no themes or underlying concepts guiding this season.

It’s just going to be players taking on the monster that is “Survivor” starting on September 22.