Survivor 45 proved that the Shot in the Dark twist could lead to great television.
During the sixth episode of the new season, the three tribes were merged into one group.
But like host Jeff Probst frequently points out, they hadn’t officially reached the merge until they survived Tribal Council.
Seven castaways gained immunity from an intense challenge earlier that day, but one of the other six people was about to get voted out.
Kaleb Gebrewold knew he was in trouble. Four members of his original tribe (Lulu) had already been voted out, and many castaways viewed him as a threat.
At Tribal Council, Kaleb was worried about his journey ending, so he played his Shot in the Dark. And it worked. When Jeff opened Kaleb’s parchment, it revealed he was safe from elimination.
For any Survivor fans who are unclear about the Shot in the Dark twist, three castaways have scrolls that will give them safety, while the other 15 people have scrolls that say “Not Safe” on them. Since its introduction, nobody has revealed a “Safe” scroll – until Kaleb.
Jeff Probst talked about Shot in the Dark working on Survivor
During the new episode of On Fire (Jeff Probst’s Survivor podcast), he spoke (extensively) about what happened on the latest Survivor episode. It also allowed him to address why they introduced the Shot in the Dark twist.
“You imagine: ‘What’s the best thing that could ever happen with this?’ And that is one player gets all the votes and then pulls out the Safe, and the game is flipped upside down,” Jeff said during the November 1 episode of On Fire.
“And I remember when we were redesigning the game, we were during the pandemic…I had a note in my files about a wild card idea at Tribal Council — something that was always in play and could throw Tribal into chaos at any given moment,” Jeff elaborated.
He was right. The Tribal Council descended into chaos. Everyone had voted for Kaleb, so when he gained safety, the castaways had to vote again.
And since players choose whether or not to use their Shot in the Dark in secret, it adds another layer of excitement for the people watching on TV.
Jeff and his fellow podcast hosts also talk much more about Kaleb in the new episode of On Fire.
More from Survivor
Brando Meyer said he had an advantage taken away by producers when the tribe swap happened on Survivor 45. He spoke about it during one of his exit interviews.
Jeff Probst also expressed disappointment in Sean Edwards quitting, especially after Sean tried to create a narrative about why he needed to leave Fiji.
Jeff also mentioned why the sit-out rule was changed and which castaway led producers to the shift.
Previous episodes of Survivor are available for streaming on Paramount+.
Survivor 45 airs Wednesday at 8/7c on CBS.