Why did ‘Survivor’ make a significant rules change, as explained by Jeff Probst in 2023?

There has been a major change to the hit reality TV show Survivor, and beloved host Jeff Probst is finally sharing his thoughts on the matter. In the past, each episode of Survivor would have two challenges – a reward challenge and an immunity challenge. However, as the show evolved over the years, there became less time to feature both challenges in every episode. As a result, the reward challenge began to be tied to the immunity challenge, making it more difficult for the contestants.

Back in the early seasons, when one tribe had more team members than the others, they had to choose individuals to sit out of challenges in order to level the playing field. However, a rule was established early on that prohibited the same person from sitting out back-to-back challenges in an episode.

Now that the show no longer has two challenges per episode, a new rule change has been implemented.

During the episode on Wednesday night (October 4), Jeff Probst made the announcement that teams cannot have the same person sit out of challenges in back-to-back immunity challenges. The reasoning behind this rule change goes back to the early seasons of Survivor. According to Jeff, “The sit-out rule was designed to force a critical decision, because if you sat out of the reward challenge, you were forced to compete in the immunity challenge. So it came down to strategy. If you really wanted to win [a] reward, you might sit out your weakest player, but if you did, that weak player would then have to run in the immunity challenge. And Tribal Council was always the reset, which meant it was a clean slate with the next challenge.”

However, in the current era of Survivor, where there is often only one combined reward/immunity challenge, tribes could easily sit the same person out in consecutive challenges, without facing any consequences. This took away the decision-making dilemma and made the old system seem broken.

Jeff Probst credits the realization that the old system was flawed to a fan question on their podcast, On Fire. He admits, “It took us longer than it should to realize our old system was broken! Either way, we’ve changed it and we’re back on track.”

As the new rules unfold, fans eagerly tuned in to see what happened in week two of the latest season.

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