Pop Culture

'Survivor: Redemption Island' gives losers a second chance

After 21 seasons of minor twists and tweaks, “Survivor” will soon see some major shake-ups to its winning formula.

Expect a new weekly challenge, a lot more scheming and much less predictability when “Survivor: Redemption Island” premieres February 2011.

“How it works is very simple,” host Jeff Probst explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “When you’re voted out at Tribal Council, you don’t go home. You’re not out of the game. You go to Redemption Island and you live alone. And at a certain point in the game another person will join you. You will compete in a duel. The winner stays. The loser goes home. So you’re continuing to live out there on your own with very basic supplies. But you’re still in the game. And at a certain point you’ll be allowed to reenter the game and have a shot at the money.”

In order to make room for those new duels, the traditional reward and immunity challenges will be combined into one very valuable mash-up competition.

If elements of the new theme sound a little like the infamous Outcasts twist that flopped during “Survivor: Pearl Islands,” never fear. There won't be any "no fair" cries this time around. Probst insists all the players know what to expect.

“I just told everybody (at the opening) it’s going to happen,” Probst said. “Make no mistake: When you’re voted out, you’re not going home, and somebody that you vote out could come back and bite you in the ass. So I have no problem with people coming back into the game because everybody knows up front. A rule can’t be unfair if you know going in. It’s an equal opportunity.”

Read Probst's full interview at EW.com.

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