Jeff Probst calls the New Era of Survivor ‘more difficult’

Jeff Probst on the red carpet
Survivor host Jeff Probst helped reveal the Season 46 winner. Pic credit: © Sadou/AdMedia

Survivor 46 has been a difficult season for some of the contestants – notably Ben Katzman, who was shown suffering panic attacks on the 12th episode.

Following that penultimate episode of Survivor 46, host Jeff Probst spoke about the difficulty of the season with co-host Jay Wolff and Survivor 45 winner Dee Valladares.

The conversation was a major part of his new On Fire podcast episode, Play or Get Played.

It began as a discussion about the change from 39 days to 26-day seasons, and how Jeff feels about the game possibly getting more difficult for New Era players.

The New Era of Survivor is every season that has taken place following Survivor 40: Winners At War.

It was during Survivor 41 that the reality competition show shifted from being 39 days long to its current form of 26 days.

Jeff Probst discusses the difficulty for players on Survivor New Era seasons

Jeff first spoke about the goals of achieving challenging 26-day seasons and ensuring that there were still enough stories to make entertaining episodes.

“We have 26 days. So how can we make this different, but every bit as fun and challenging in all the ways you want from Survivor,” Jeff stated during his podcast.

“I think we achieved that. And as for difficulty, to your point, Jay, I think it’s pretty clear, even just from this season, if anything, the New Era — brace yourself old-time players — is more difficult,” Jeff added to some laughter from his co-hosts.

“Yeah,” Jay agreed.

“Because the physical demands of surviving with very, very little, or for some players, no food, is extremely punishing. And it begins to break you down mentally. You can’t think; you can’t sleep; you can’t trust. That leads to the emotional breakdown, which can be brutal,” Jeff further explained.

Is the New Era of Survivor more difficult?

No matter what Jeff says about the topic, he may never convince every Survivor fan to agree with the sentiment that shorter seasons of his hit show are more difficult than longer seasons.

But his point about the lack of food making everything harder seems accurate. And the mental aspect of it all has shifted how people play the game.

Could that lack of food be why the Survivor 46 cast broke that embarrassing record? It’s certainly a good question.

It certainly played a huge part in Liz Wilcox’s blowup after she missed the Applebee’s reward.

Beneath it all, Jeff certainly set up the possibility of a future season having the theme of New Era vs Old Era players.

More news from the Survivor world

Kenzie Petty revealed that she is pregnant. The Survivor 46 castaway shared that she is expecting a baby with her husband.

Looking ahead, here’s when fans can expect Survivor 50. That momentous season is something Jeff has already begun teasing, even as the current season has been playing out on CBS.

Previous episodes of Survivor are available for streaming on Paramount+.

Survivor airs Wednesday at 8/7c on CBS.

All episodes of Survivor are now streaming on Paramount+. Try it FREE!

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Drew Reeves
Drew Reeves
28 days ago

They should stop calling it survivor and start calling it camping. They are supplied water ( no boiling ) and food ie rice. The early seasons,( the best ) they were actually trying to survive and play the game. They were eating rats and spiders . Are they informed ahead of time what color clothes to bring because they all surprisingly have clothes that match the buffs they “randomly” given. The show has really hit the skids too short also

28 days ago

Jeff can spin it however he wants – but the “new era” sucks. Everyone hates the beware advantages, the journeys, taking the flint away from the losers, no rice at camp, etc. etc. etc. Jeff has literally ruined this show over the course of the last four years.

26 days ago

Doesn’t matter how many days…the new woke Survivor lost me at #41.

Deborah R
Deborah R
26 days ago

I did enjoy the 39 days over the 26 days .I am not into the beware advantages, flint taken away after they have earned it. Would like to see different games played. I will continue to watch. I love Survivor!
25 days ago

It’s not fair to have one contestant help another contestant to beat a third contestant just because the third contestant is actually putting more effort into everything than the other two. It’s disgusting to try to reward people that want to gang up against a good player.

22 days ago

Yeah, 100% unfair! How about one of the final four helps one on the firemaking contest?