Jeff Probst Makes New Rule For Survivor Quitters Going Forward

The host is ready to be harsher on future quitters.

Live With Kelly & Mark/YouTube

Survivor 45 has been a hit with viewers, but it’s not all been smooth sailing, with the pre-merge featuring two quitter — the first non-medical related quits since Survivor: San Juan Del Sur back in 2014.

There was once upon a time when host and executive producer Jeff Probst would go hard on quitters. Remember in Survivor: Pearl Islands when he threw Osten Taylor’s torch on the floor? Or the way he chastized Colton Cumbie in Survivor: Blood vs. Water? For a long time, Survivor’s edict was to shame quitters.

That changed in recent years, with Probst taking a more tolerant and understanding approach to those who bowed out of the game. As we saw this season, both Hannah Rose and Sean Edwards were treated with compassion and had the honor of having their torches snuffed despite quitting (or asking to be voted out).

Well, Probst has now had enough and is returning to strict school principal mode. In an interview on Live With Kelly and Mark on Wednesday, November 15, Probst was asked about the two quits this season, and he made a vow.

“I want to declare right here, on your show, that from this point forward, if you’re a Survivor player and you quit, your torch will not be snuffed; that’s over,” he said. “To get your torch snuffed, you gotta play the game… you don’t get the moment if you quit. I think I need to be a little harder on that moving forward.”

It’s unclear quite how this will work. Will Probst just leave the quitter’s torch lit and make them walk off with it? Will he put out the flame another way instead of with his custom-made snuffer? Perhaps he’ll throw a bucket of cold water over the player and the torch just to add extra insult to injury.

“The truth is, over 45 seasons, less than 1% quit, so it’s pretty remarkable people actually do it,” Probst added. “The one thing you can’t test for in all the psych testing is the real elements, you know, the rain, the bamboo, the snakes, and all that.”

What do you think of Probst’s new rule regarding quitters? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

31 responses to “Jeff Probst Makes New Rule For Survivor Quitters Going Forward”

    • Come on Jeff. This is the 21st century. Are we not supposed to support quitters and be sympathetic to their reasons? That seems to be what we have been told the last few years.

  1. I think he should throw the torch in the fire pit. So it is still lit but burns in the fire. Then it’s not memorabilia.

  2. There should be a more rigorous selection process. There must be thousands of very interested people who would have loved the opportunity to be in those contestants shoes. To have them (and I) witness the selfishness and seemingly entitled demeanor, quite frankly, left many in my circle of survivor fans a little disgusted. The audacity you have, to carelessly throw in the proverbial towel, you should know better. If you couldn’t handle it, you shouldn’t have applied. As Survivor fans, we all know this isn’t for the faint of heart!

    • Like they aren’t already? How “rigorous” do you want them to be? Don’t you know how hard it is to get on as it is? Try asking someone that has been applying since season 2 & has never gotten a call! Add to that that over the years they have lowered the application age from 21 to 18 & now even let people as young as 16 to apply! Then, they also now allow Canadians to apply (some have even been on, including the very 1st season they were able to apply for) & now, on top of all that, all casts are now 50% BIPOC. It has only gotten harder to get on with that alone.

  3. I don’t think insulting or chastising the person proves anything, it shows immature people that it a form of bullying and it’s ok because they did it on survivor. if they can’t continue them let it be.. chose another way of snuffing the torch . Maybe they need to throw the torch fully in the fire and walk away .

  4. I totally agree with Jeff! I have applied for Survivor three times over the past 20 years, and I would give anything to be selected for a spot on the show! It is unbelievable that people would quit when they were given an opportunity of a lifetime!!! I am a super fan!
    Thank you for taking the stance that quitting is not an honorable discharge from the best show on TV! The have dreamed so many times of being on the show since the inception, so it was so disappointing to see two people quit this season. I would gladly take their spot!
    [email protected]! Please email me, Jeff Probst!

  5. I think the minute they decide to leave you say “fine you may go now, no need to wait till tribal council. Just grab your stuff that you personally came with. Leave your buff, torch, and anything else the show has issued you.” Then at tribal council throw their torch in the flames. If you wanted to be real strict you could put in the contract they owe back all travel expenses if they quit.

    • All wussys need need not apply.
      And if you do you should have to give back your buff. And have your torches, should be broken in half. And tossed into the fire pit!!!!
      Serves them right.

  6. If you quit for other than medical reasons, you should be responsible for the travel, food, and lodging costs at least!

  7. I have watched since the very beginning. I’ve made costumes, and gaming boards, and even home versions of the game. No one else that I know, that is a true fan, could ever conceive of anyone quitting. I think Sean quit so he wouldn’t be humiliated by being voted out. Little did he know that he likely was going to be saved. I agree with Jeff. The quitters should be embarrassed to quit! I like the idea of burning their torches in the fire. I believe they should have to put their own torch in the fire and watch it burn while they try to justify themselves to Jeff and the other tribe members. Quitting should be unacceptable. If a tribe member quits it should be a “painful” experience.

  8. I love Tina’s idea, snap the torch in half. The player is broken, so the torch should be too. No one wants to feel the cringe of Jeff going off on players. I get it and understand it, but it is hard to watch and uncomfortable. A symbolic gesture of a broken torch and sympathetically letting them walk away is best. The problem is how to define a quitter. Clearly someone who just leaves fits that. But those who say “vote me out” means they really are not wanting to make that decision on their own and are leaving it to the small chance the other players may try to keep them. This is tricky on how to handle it. Also folx who have to be pulled due to threatening or bad behaviour like Brandon Hantz and Dan Spilo deserve their torch snapped in half too, but without sympathy.

  9. Have all continuing contestants and Jeff (and all other staff but one camera person) turn around facing away and the quitter has to walk away. Klingon style.

  10. I am sure the contestants sign contracts before appearing in the show. Include a requirement of repaying roundtrip airfare and all show expenses if they are quitting for any reason other than medical.

  11. I would give anything to be on the show but have never applied because I know I couldn’t pass the health exam. With my back implant and having had open heart surgery they would never let me on it. I have bugged my police officer daughter to apply, but she says it is just too hard to get on. We have been watching since the show started TOGETHER. We never watch it alone, if she is on duty, we simply watch it on the next day she can watch with me. To see someone go on the show and just quit after such a short time like is going on this season is an insult to the show, They obviously are NOT true Survivor fans, and should be banned from the finale show.

  12. They should be embarrassed as they are letting down all the other players. They should be shunned by the others. No hugs or goodbyes. Their torch should be burned. They should be made to leave the set immediately and sent to the airport directly, w/o any opportunity to bathe or clean-up.

    If I were their employer, I would consider letting them go for lack of perseverance, commitment and fortitude, all necessary skills in the workplace.

  13. Take their buff, and torch and throw them in the fire. Have them and their belongings put on the first plane stateside. They will cease to be a part of the show.!!

  14. People wait a long time to get on this show. So I think there should be more penalties for people that quit.
    And another thing, I hate that that they took out the word guys from Jeff’s introduction to the competitions. Come on in guys!… its ridiculous.
    We all say that when addressing a group of people, whether it girls or guys. all the gender crap is just crazy!

    • AGREED! I also agree with the person that said they should require those that quit must reimburse for all travel expenses lost, not to mention the time wasted with production, all because couldn’t handle it so they quit. I love the show but have enough sense to know I would never make it one night out there. I am not going to waste productions time or money when I know there are thousands of others out there that would gladly take my place.

  15. Have all the quitters walk down a different path and snuff out their own torch…The path should be labeled Survivor Quitters…I have never missed one season of Survivor and I agree with everyone else…Bring back “come on in guys” It’s a historic part of the show.

  16. I agree with the comments that “all expenses should be reimbursed”. Is the initial interview stringent enough to “weed out” potential quitters? I wouldn’t hire the quitters.

  17. Snuffing of torch while reciting ” tribe has spoken” should ONLY b reserved when the tribe HAS spoken via tribal counsel vote. For those that want to quit. Drop out other than medically pulled, there should b nothing dramatic. Person should exit. Perhaps give tribal members power by each passing that persons torch to the fire pit and watch it blaze. Members could express a brief comment in the process. Medically removed members- pass the torch to jeff, perhaps a moment of silence and jeff snuffs torch.

  18. I don’t believe that they have to be publicly shamed or embarrassed at the game site. But they are excluded from any follow up Survivor activities. I think Jeff simply ignoring them or apologizing for misjudging their ability to play the game would be appropriate. I agree that they should stick it out since they got a spot others would die for. And make allowances for cases where it is obvious that a player continuing would be injurious to them. Others have been pulled from the game for ;physical reasons.

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