Jeff Probst Reveals the Auction Won’t Return For Survivor 46

The host hints at when we could see it again.

Survivor fans were super excited to see the return of the Auction last season, but they shouldn’t get used to seeing it regularly. In fact, it won’t be used at all in the upcoming Survivor 46.

Host and executive producer Jeff Probst revealed the disappointing news in an interview with Entertainment Weekly‘s Dalton Ross, confirming, “The auction is not back for 46.”

As for why this is, Probst said, “It really came down to resources.”

“That’s a gigantic lift from production,” the Emmy-winner explained. “It looks simple, but you’ve got a chocolate shake, and you’ve got a bag, and somebody pays with money. Now there are so many departments involved.”

When the Auction returned after an eight-year lay-off last season, it came with a few new wrinkles. The castaways first had to run around the jungle to collect as much money as possible. Secondly, Probst announced before the bidding that no advantages would be offered. Next, Probst pulled a numbered rock that told him (but not the players) when the auction would end.

Finally, in the most dramatic twist of all, the contestants were told that the person with the most money left over at the end of the Auction would lose their vote at the next Tribal Council.


Probst agreed with Ross that they could have brought the Auction back immediately, saying, “We could have got a free shot at it in 46,” as none of the players would have seen what happened in Survivor 45. But, again, resources and time management were the deciding factor.

“We only have a certain amount of days,” said Probst, who also serves as Survivor showrunner. “And in those days, a certain amount of daylight hours… There are only a certain number of people on our team, and there are only so many little homes that people can live in. We can’t get more crew. We have nowhere. It’s just this complicated math problem.”

Probst was also conscious of working the crew too hard, especially after seeing the toll it took on them last season. Survivor 45 was the first ever season to be made up entirely of 90-minute episodes, meaning the crew was tasked with filming more content and creating more twists, challenges, and other game elements.

“One of the things that I didn’t do well in 45 is I didn’t manage from a global perspective,” Probst shared. “And, as a result, at the end of 45, our crews were exhausted, and all the heads of departments said, ‘Dude, we’re loving this, but we are on fumes. We are working harder than we’ve ever worked before.’ And then we had to turn right around and do 46.”

While Survivor 46 will also have 90-minute episodes (plus 2-hour episodes for the first two weeks), it wasn’t shot with 90-minutes in mind like is predecessor. “We weren’t [intentionally] shooting for 90 minutes, or we might’ve considered the auction,” Probst admitted.

However, knowing his crew “we’re on fumes,” he knew adding the Auction again was “too much.”

That said, just because the Auction won’t be appearing in Survivor 46 doesn’t mean it’s gone for good.

“If we’re going to do it again in the future, it has to be part of our overall design that we have time for it,” Probst explained. “Will we do it in 47 and 48? Probably one of the two. Maybe not both. But we do love it, fans love it, and I love that.”

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.

3 responses to “Jeff Probst Reveals the Auction Won’t Return For Survivor 46”

  1. My gosh, you guys are already in Fiji for over 10 years, you have no themes, no new locations like back in the old era. Add some more people to your teams

  2. What a pathetic justification. A chocolate shake requires the efforts of a different department? Like catering? So Probst is suggesting that nobody from the crew eats for the entirety of filming? Over it.

  3. This seems pretty reasonable to me. It sounds like he genuinely wants the auction to happen, and he’s being pretty open about the show’s own shortcomings, so I see no reason not to believe what he’s saying here

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