Survivor Season 40 To Introduce New Game Twist

Money talks…

Photo: CBS

The increased $2 million prize fund isn’t the only twist involving money on Survivor season 40. Inside Survivor has learned that the upcoming all-winners season will feature a brand new twist involving Survivor “currency.”

Update 01/07/20: Throughout the season, players can earn Survivor “money” called Fire Tokens, which can be exchanged for rewards, comfort items, and advantages. Originally, we reported that each player would start the game with a certain amount of tokens, however, that might not be the case (Update 01/15/20 – Each player will start with 1 token, according to EW’s interview with Jeff Probst). According to our sources, Fire Tokens have to be earned by winning challenges (and perhaps by other means). For example, when a tribe wins a challenge, the whole tribe earns tokens.

Items can be purchased at any point, both in the game and at the Edge of Extinction (a list of purchasable items will be provided at each camp). When a player is voted out, they must will their tokens to another player still in the game, much like the Legacy Advantage. Players can also share tokens.

S40 Tokens2
Photo: CBS

The twist is also in effect for those living on the Edge of Extinction, which we recently revealed is part of this season. The inhabitants of the Edge can send advantages (and disadvantages) to players still in the game, but to obtain the advantage, the recipient must pay for it. Once a player purchases an advantage, the money is then transferred to the sender on the Edge, who can spend it on food, comfort, or advantages for their battle-back challenge.

That means that those living on the Edge, this supposedly desolate island with limited supplies, can potentially eat food and enjoy luxuries—hardly the extreme conditions that would push someone to raise the sail and quit.

The twist has elements of the Survivor Auction, which hasn’t been seen on the show since season 30, Worlds Apart. First introduced in the second season, the Auction allows players to bid on various items, including meals and other luxuries. Sometimes undesirable choices are mixed in. Items usually remain covered until someone makes a winning bid. In later seasons, the Auction began offering game advantages too.

Photo: CBS

During season 37, David vs. Goliath, castaway Christian Hubicki asked Jeff Probst why the Auction is no longer part of the show. “His reasoning was that it’s not as interesting to watch hungry people eat food anymore,” said Christian in an interview with Hollywood Reporter. “But for me, I think the issue is more that people have gamed the auction to death, ever since Shirin did what she did in Worlds Apart about paying $20 for letters. That takes away the uncertainty.”

Now we basically have a season-long Auction where players can buy food and various rewards throughout the game, whether they’ve been voted out or not.

Let us know your thoughts on this twist 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.

22 responses to “Survivor Season 40 To Introduce New Game Twist”

  1. They stole this idea from $urvivor, an ORG (online reality game) on Discord. The host should sue them for sure. @Species

    • FWIW, I did it in an ORG I hosted long before Discord even existed. It’s an idea that should stay in ORGs.

  2. I was so excited to see the all-winners 40th anniversary season. That’s all they needed. Now they’re formatting it to death.

  3. Survivor is just barely Survivor anymore…much better when the game wasn’t so loaded with twists. Last season’s win by a player who hardly played the game was ludicrous. What are you thinking Jeff?!

  4. I’ve said it before, but EOE and anything associated with it should end at the merge, since they’re insisting on doing it at all, otherwise, as we saw, it’s a ridiculously unfair advantage, and with this element of being potentially well-fed and comfy, it would be even more so. Forcing earlier re-entry might negate some of that advantage. Look a Devens, he re-entered earlier, and made the rest of the season more entertaining, and he still had to actually play.

  5. I don’t hate this idea, but what I would do is make the price of items come out of the $2million prize money and make the prices high. So, if they want that comfortable pillow, they can have it, but it will cost $20,000 from the prize money. And food, sure, but would you pay $50,000 for that chocolate chip cookie?

    • MTV did this on “Stranded With A Million Dollars”. You needed a majority to order anything off the ridiculously over-priced menu. Things got ugly very fast, when the majority refused to share anything they bought, with the minority. The final 4 were 2 from each group left. One pair was deliberately trying to make the other 2 sick, so they would be medivaced and wouldn’t have to share the prize money with them. Unfortunately it never got picked up for a 2nd season.

  6. They call them Champions so Probst kiss their ass and treats them like Champions. How stupid. I hope no one is stupid enough to buy food or comfort.

  7. This is such a terrible idea. Keep the all winners season as simple as possible. You don’t need stupid twists to make this season interesting.

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