During the reunion show of Survivor:Nicaragua, we learned that the upcoming season of the show would be bringing us some new rules!
In a new interview, host Jeff Probst discusses the new format and rules. The most notable change on the upcoming Survivor: Redemption Island, which premieres Feb. 16 on CBS, is that when a contestant is voted off, he or she won’t leave the game but instead go instead to the “Redemption Island,” where he or she will face off against the next person voted off in a duel.
The loser goes home and the duel winner goes on to face the next arrival at Redemption Island until one person is left standing. That individual will then get a chance to return to the game.
“We did a haphazard version of Redemption Island a few years ago called the Outcasts,” Jeff explains. “It didn’t work and it didn’t please the audience and there was one fundamental flaw – we didn’t tell people up front it was going to happen … So I have no problem with people coming back into the game because everybody knows up front [now]. A rule can’t be unfair if you know going in. It’s an equal opportunity.”
And thanks to the two infamous quitters, NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn, being allowed to quit the game and remain on the jury, much to the fury of fans, the show has now implemented new rules regarding quitters. From the new season on, producers will have total discretion on whether to keep quitters on the show or leave them off the jury. “The most frustrating part for me was that both of them, due to a precedent we already set on the show, were allowed to stay on the jury and have an influence at the end of the game,” Jeff tells PEOPLE.
In other Survivor news, Matthew “Sash” Lenahan found himself in the same position as popular villain Russell Hantz during the finale show. Despite playing a pretty good game, Sash ended up not only losing the game, but receiving zero votes from his jury peers as he simply ruffled too many feathers. In an interview with TV Guide, Sash discusses not receiving any votes and who surprised him the most on the jury. Excerpts below –
TVGuide.com: Why do you think you didn’t receive a single vote from the jury?
Matthew “Sash” Lenahan: It’s rough. I think I played a great game on the show. I don’t regret anything. I think I made the best move every step of the way, and I did the best that I could. I can’t control how the jury is going to vote. I did think that I had a shot tonight, but I think the jury voted a lot based on emotion and previous relationships, and not necessarily based on the way I played, which is how I would have based my vote. I just thought some of the members of the jury would have respected the game more.
But saying that, Fabio is a great winner. I am a super fan of the show, I’ve watched all 10 years and 20 seasons, and no one has ever played like Fabio has. I thought I knew all the twists and all the turns and all the angles, but he played a way I’ve never seen, so he’s very deserving.
TVGuide.com: Was there anyone on the jury whose comments surprised you the most?
Sash: It really surprises me because this is a game. There are some people, Jane in particular, who tried to hit below the belt. You saw with me, the comments she made about my mother, the comments she made about Marty and his kids. It’s a game. I had my game face on, but I love everyone. I don’t hold any grudges. I know that they are all amazing people, but it’s a shame when you see people take it to a level that’s unnecessary.
TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW RULES? DO YOU THINK SASH SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN SOME VOTES? DID JANE TAKE THINGS TOO PERSONAL?