Survivor Season 40 To Include Edge of Extinction

Back from extinction…

Photo: CBS

The fortieth season of Survivor is not only bringing back twenty former winners but also one of its most controversial twists. That’s right, the Edge of Extinction will be in play for the champion of champions showdown which is set to air on CBS in early 2020.

The Edge of Extinction, which was first introduced in the thirty-eighth season, is a desolate beach with limited supplies: eliminated players can choose to stay on the Edge and await an opportunity to re-enter the game or can quit at any point by raising a sail. The inhabitants of EOE compete in two challenges, one at the merge, and the other at the final five, with the winner returning to the game. Those who remain on the EOE post-merge become members of the jury.

In describing the intent behind the twist, host and showrunner Jeff Probst told The Hollywood Reporter that the show wanted to “get a little deeper psychologically, a little deeper spiritually.” It was presented as an opportunity for emotional discovery. “Let’s see how far people want to go,” Probst said. “Is there a possibility of the spiritual death and rebirth that you seek in life, where you realize something deeper about yourself?”

While some fans appreciated EOE’s focus on survival and the emotional journey of its inhabitants, the twist also received its fair share of backlash for its influence on the jury and the way it implemented advantages. Those living on the Edge were given coded maps and letters, which led to the location of various game advantages, some of which could be gifted to the players still in the game. Then there was the controversy surrounding the eventual winner, Chris Underwood, who had initially been voted out on day 9 and returned at the final five with a Hidden Immunity Idol and a jury-load of information.

The Edge was also kept a secret from the remaining players in the game until the merge. It’s unclear if those competing on season 40 will be made aware of the twist from the start or if it will once again remain under wraps until a later point in the game.

What do you think about the EOE returning in season 40? Is it really a “best of the best” season if a player can be voted out and then come back later in the season? Is it just a desperate attempt by producers to keep the bigger characters on-screen as long as possible? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Inside Survivor confirmed this information with various sources, including renowned spoiler SurvivorsUnite.

Martin is a 31-year-old 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 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.

  • Birkaran Dhillon

    So Jeff needs to put in Rob’s wife AND 2 chances to return if voted out? If Rob still doesn’t win, I’ll laugh.

    • UKDanJames

      And currency that they can split between themselves. Jeff needs to just leave the show. It’s abysmal

  • Jaden Lanfrank

    So who’s ready for Island of the Idols, am I right?

  • Daniel

    Ugh. Is it too much to hope that this will be pre-merge only?

    • Science Badger DGaS


  • Andrew Presser

    Just ruined a potentially great season

  • Reed Hofer

    This really puts a damper on my anticipation for the season. I thought Probst and company understood that EoE was an utter disaster in execution the first time…guess not.

  • Come On In Here
  • Danny Scelza

    survivor has always been finding a way to disappoint me lately. I dont get it, people want to see the best of the best go at it and outplay each other. Im sick of how much luck is involved in the game now

  • diogopacheco

    Terrible news.

  • Whistler

    Let’s just hope these players realise they shouldn’t put their vote on someone who spent most of the game on EOE

  • Tony Blanco

    vote out holloway first then he comes back and wins the whole thing. not on this season you say. well, that’s never stopped him before

  • Jasmine

    That’s so lame. They didnt need to bring that twist back so soon. Although, I can begrudgingly say that I do see why it was brought back, especially for this type of cast being all-winners…

  • hollandtx

    I hate this “twist” unless EoI are given numerous chances to re-enter the real game. I still hate it. Outwit, Outlast, Outplay? All they do is Outlast.
    Why don’t they go with an 100% fresh cast, and back to challenges like the first few seasons? If you can untie a knot and solve a puzzle, you’re gold. Boring.

  • Autumn

    Survivor would do better to remain as it was and its original Seasons. Now it has little to do with Survivor and plays more like some ridiculous romance reality show on MTV. Edge of Extinction was a stupid twist because it was not fair to the players who managed to stay in the game. I’m also sick of seeing winners come back. If they want to bring back the people who were voted off first that would be more entertaining but these people have already had their shot and cashed in on it and I’m tired of seeing them. I feel like if I have to watch Boston Rob one more time I’m going to vomit but unfortunately my addiction to the show keeps me coming back

  • Kai Lei

    Interesting. I hated the winner of the first EOE, but an all winner season is different. We know these players. I will keep an open mind.

  • Max_Jets

    Production is ass. Hopefully Sophie can save the show a second time.

  • BillG


  • WordOnTheBirds

    Hate it! EOE had the potential to be a good twist but after Devons got back onto the game they should have ended the twist! Chris winning soured the while season for me..

    • John Komaroff

      I thought it was a good twist up till Chris won. It was a cool season up till that moment I fell like. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed because this time being all former winners. Things might be better this time time around. We’ll have to watch it and see how it plays out before we judge it.

  • Steven

    Ugh, really? I understand the idea of EoE, and it’s not entirely terrible, but for someone voted out on day 3 to have a say in the winner when they potentially NEVER interacted with them even for a day is terrible. I have the same opinion when they would start the jury before the merge. It might not be so bad in the winners season because they all (theoretically) know each other already. It also might not be as bad if players aren’t just magically gifted 16 different advantages.

    That said, I don’t think there would be as much controversy around the EoE winner if it had been someone like Ron or Aurora who had gotten back in at 5. I think a lot of the issue was entirely that it was Chris, someone who was voted out on day 9 and had a 27 day semi-vacation before coming back in and basically being gifted a spot in the final 3 by production. Yes, I know that they had to work hard on the Edge, but they didn’t have to play the game. They didn’t have to worry about manipulating people, lying to them, voting them out. Devens being gifted the half-idol at the merge… ok fine. It’s not my favorite thing in the world, but that had loads of potential to blow up in his face, and if it had been anybody but him it probably would have.

  • Walter Ellis Nosis

    I hated EOE and am really displeased to hear it’s returning!

  • aceacekingheart

    Such a bad twist

  • yeltra

    Damn!!! Here I was all excited about the best of the best, winner vs winner. Then they dropped this turd in the pool. Best we can hope for is a true winner makes it to the end, never having seen EOE, and takes the votes. I really hate those GIANT asterisks beside a winners name.

  • Fay Leuzzi

    Love the EOE addition! A lot of times survivor can be unfair and players just end up on the wrong tribes that can’t win challenges for whatever reason… this gives individuals another option to play, if they have the heart. I think it’s an excellent addition.

  • Pranay Das

    For the sake of my sanity and the entire fandom, I hope you are wrong for once this time

  • Leishmaniasis


  • Buffy0531

    IF they do this, then they need to have the person re-enter the game no later than the merge.

  • James

    This is clearly meant to help production keep their favorites around and give them a better chance to win. Now Probst can feel better when his favorites (Boston Rob, Tony, Parvati, and Sandra) are all targeted and taken out early for being the biggest threats!!!

  • Dan the manwich

    I can’t believe you’ve done this.

  • Kai Lei

    No, no, no, no! They are ruining the whole season with this! It was bad the first time. I would love to see the winner’s season played as straight Survivor, no idols, no twists. I will keep an open mind, but ugh.

  • yeltra

    There is no amount of editing, that could make this good, and I was so looking forward to an all winners season. Sigh.

  • S Wright

    Well, that sucks!

  • Alexed

    I’m on the boat that doesn’t “hate” the EoE concept but how it was played out. Hopefully this time they:
    A. Making EoE harder so the entire cast isn’t in the finale.
    B. Less advantages on EoE. People voted out shouldn’t really have a say in the game until the FTC
    C. Second Re-Enter point is sooner. (Final 7 or 8) so the returnee still has game to be played.
    C. Pre-Merge boots are ineligible to be on the Jury. Them staying on EoE in the merge is fine, but they shouldn’t be in the Jury.

  • Begonias3

    I love edge of extinction but wish they were competing and voting there too, somehow. You just end up with way too many people from there too close to the end. It’s basically an advantage to just get sent there…that should change

  • UKDanJames

    WTF….Probst is desperate for a Boston Rob win. Ridiculous

  • The Dreamer

    Whilst I didn’t think EOE was all bad last time, it does need a little reworking for season 40. First, show us more EOE life, even if in a web series like a Ponderosa style thing. Especially with all returning winners, the dynamics will be amazing. (And that could be amazing good or amazing bad. Either way, great viewing.) Second, make it harder to get back in. For example, you could hide a set of idols on EOE, say five. And then the five who find the idols compete in a challenge to get back in the game. Obviously if someone finds more than one idol then their chances increase because they would only be competing against three others. Unless they decide to give one to another castaway. (But why would you?) Then once the competition has been won and the winner is returned to the game. Keep the rest at EOE, but this time to get back in the game they face a vote. Not sure if I would make it people in the game or on the edge who are voting. But the person with the most votes would get back in the game. Hmm…I think I would go for the people in the game, so that those who voted you out, once again have your fate in their hands. This time it would be about strategy. Do you try and make amends and bring back someone you blindsided? Or do you bring back the easy target? Do you face the challenge beast once more? Or do you take the player who slides under the radar?

  • Darrius Bethea

    Jeff favoritism is getting out of hand we all know these twists like Edge of Extinction is design to keep his favorites in the game which is very disappointing he knows fans don’t want to see this twist again but he does it on one of the most important seasons of all time plus the stupid ass firemaking twist it very annoying Probst if you reading this. This is not hate its advice don’t do Edge of extinction twist and eliminate firemaking twist your going to lose ratings. It feels like you design this season for another Boston Rob win.

    • Jonathan Husk

      Firemaking twist has no problems though. People get blinesided 3 – 1 all the freaking time.

  • Gato_wiska

    The 2nd edge winner should not be from challenge. Instead for their social game. Also people on the edge should have an idol that gives them the power to eliminate someone out of the edge.

  • JennyWren

    “Some fans” liked the EOE twist? Name one. *Crickets*

  • JennyWren

    I hate to agree, but… this past season was BARELY watchable and there was no payoff at the end of it all to make it worthwhile. Not even an all winner season can save EOE because really, I have no interest in seeing Rob play for a 6th time.

  • q10

    i kinda thought EOE would come back for this season, since it gives the chance for a well-known first boot to still be in the mix during the season. Don’t hate it, but wouldn’t mind some tweaking from s38

    • Science Badger DGaS

      As in last EoE comes in 7 or so?
      Also FAR less EoE on the jury.
      That would be a big improvement.
      And you’re right on why they did it.

      Odds of Rob going first tripled once I heard EoE was in.

  • shaqattaq32

    EoE was clearly something that they had been itching to try for a while. I’m mystified as to how, after Chris won, they would ever consider bringing it back.

    Especially for the long-anticipated all-winners season. What a huge blunder.

  • Jonathan Husk

    I hope they revise it a bit. Like dont let pre-merge players be put on the jury and get another shot. The twist is ok, but we don’t need another Chris incident.

  • Jonathan Husk

    For real the only reason people hate it is cause of Chris winning.

    • Science Badger DGaS

      We hate it because it emasculates the game.
      I don’t mean that it makes the game more feminine. It actually gives men better odds.
      I mean that it cuts the balls off the game named Survivor.
      It neuters half the game.

      The very STONES of Survivor = you’re out you’re OUT
      you treat people like utter shite, you lose (RUSSEL!)

      it emasculates the game.
      I get it in this case, but I hate it nonetheless.

  • Ghosty Smiley

    I’m disgusted. This season was going to be so good. I don’t want people to stay in the game after they are voted out even if they are my favorites. It takes all of the drama out. I was so hyped for this season and it just all went down… We probably only had one opportunity of a season like this and they already ruined it.

    • Science Badger DGaS

      They had little choice.
      You have to realize that Boston Rob is probably 40% of the draw of this season.
      Sure, you and I are gonna be PSYCHED about the Yul, Nick, Sophie, Natalie, and mmm, I dunno, Danni Boatwright? Denise? final 5… or some other 5 of similar normie appeal…. but that normie appeal is LOW. To us that’s a fantastic final 5 (esp w/ my girl Denise.)
      People to respect & root for.
      Normies? Not so much.
      Nah man.
      They gotta keep Rob & the other names around.
      They paid enough for ’em.

      That said if they use EoE again I’ll be PISSED.

  • Green Decker

    I guess its good because it means everybody can be on the jury again lol

  • Science Badger DGaS

    If Rob gets fed idols like Driebergen I’m done with the show.
    No joke.

  • Science Badger DGaS

    NO idea why they haven’t been doing an extra hour for All-Access.
    200 million for Star Trek Disgracery & they can’t throw out an extra 1 mil for an editor & a couple extra cameras? Almost certainly would be a FAR higher return in subs/$.

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