Jeff Probst Had A Huge Reaction To Survivor’s First Flash Forward Scene

 Jeff Probst smiling on Survivor 45.
Jeff Probst smiling on Survivor 45.

There are long running reality competition shows, and then there’s Survivor. CBS’ groundbreaking show is currently in the midst of its whopping 45th season on the air, with fans treated to 90 minute Survivor episodes. The show is known for its wild twists, and the most recent episode “The Thorn in My Thumb” featured a first for the franchise: a flash forward scene that showed some of what goes down at Tribal Council. And even Jeff Probst had a huge reaction to Survivor’s first flash forward sequence.

Jeff Probst (aka the internet’s “zaddy”) has been hosting Survivor since Day 1, and he’s also the show’s producer and showrunner. You think he wouldn’t be surprised by the show as a result, but that’s not the case. It turns out the was taken back by the way the newest episode shared footage of Tribal Council while the castaways were still scrambling on the beach. On the most recent episode of the On Fire podcast, Probst spoke about his strong reaction to seeing that flash forward. In his words:

Here's this scenario. I'm on my back deck calmly sitting. It's a Saturday morning, I'm drinking a cup of coffee and I'm watching this episode. And when I saw this moment, I was so inspired that I unconsciously sort of jumped out of my chair. I splashed coffee all over my MacBook because I was racing to get my phone to call the editor Fred Hawthorne to ask where this inspired idea came from.

Talk about a big reaction. Jeff Probst has seen it all, including Survivor 45’s multiple quitters. But despite how long he’s been on the show, he was also shook by the first use of a flash forward. And I have to wonder if this editing technique will be used in further episodes of this season.

Deep into the latest episode of Survivor, we watched as castaway Jake weighed his options about what might go down at Tribal Council. As he’s vocalizing the way the votes might end up landing, we are treated to footage from Tribal, including the reveal of multiple people’s votes. This has never happened in the history of Survivor, and was a visual treat that really helped to illustrate the various ways that vote could go down. Later in the same podcast episode, Jeff Probst spoke about how he felt watching the flash forward for the first time, saying:

I started watching and then I realized: Wait a minute, this is tonight's Tribal. And it was a really interesting moment for me because I am watching the episode as a producer, because this is the last stop before we send it to the network. So that's first and foremost what's on my mind. But you can't help but also watch as a fan because the episodes are so good. So when this moment hit, my mind exploded, my knees jumped off, thus the coffee splash all over my MacBook.

Talk about a strong reaction. Despite the fact that Probst has been involved in Survivor for two decades, even he is sometimes shocked by the show. And no, we’re not talking about how Survivor castaways brush their teeth on the island. We’ll just have to wait and see if more flash forwards are going to be present throughout Season 45’s time on the air.

The current season has been wild from Episode 1(see how to stream Survivor 45 here), where castaway Brandon Donlon struggled as soon as the marooning process began. This season also saw the return of the show’s theme song, as well as the famous Survivor auction. And only time will tell how it all shakes out.

Survivor airs new episodes Wednesdays on CBS. Be sure to check out the TV premiere list to plan your next binge watch.