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Survivor’s Jeff Probst Explains Why He Skipped Voting In The Last Tribal Council

 Jeff Smiling on Survivor.
Jeff Smiling on Survivor.

Throughout its many years on TV, Survivor is considered one of the best reality shows ever. The CBS series is showing no signs of slowing down, recently getting an Emmy nomination for the first time in years. While some folks are figuring out how to watch Survivor 46, the hardcore fans have been watching the season get off to a wild start. And showrunner/host Jeff Probst recently explained why he skipped voting at the last tribal council.

Starting with Survivor 46's premiere, we've watched (and streamed with a Paramount+ subscription) as the Vanu tribe failed time and time again. Castaway Bhanu got the attention of alums and fans for his emotional response to the game, and he was finally eliminated in the most recent episode. But Jeff didn't have his three tribe mates vote, which has only happened a few times in the show's history. In the official Survivor podcast On Fire, Probst explained why he didn't have Vanu actually write down their votes, saying:

It's rare to have a Tribal like this where everyone knows what is going to happen.You don't have any mystery, you don't have any uncertainty, and it offers us an opportunity to do something different.

He's not wrong. It's very rare for the full tribe to be on the same page about voting, including poor Bhanu who didn't even have a vote and therefore couldn't attempt to use the shot in the dark. And as such, Probst decided to host Tribal Council a bit differently.

Bhanu got the most screen time out of the entire cast (including the Survivor lookalikes) during his time on Season 46, so it shouldn't be surprising that his eliminated also went down in a unique way. And after the full tribe agreed he was finally getting his torch snuffed, Jeff skipped votes and eliminated him right there, complete with a hug for the poor guy. Later in the same podcast, Probst further explained his Tribal decision, offering:

In this case, what it allowed us to do was let Bhanu finish his story on his terms. And I love how he handled it because he remained true to himself. He was authentic. It was heartfelt. His tribe mates were very accepting and simultaneously, no doubt grateful he was leaving. But it allowed Bhanu to bring some level of agency in the closure to his experience. The is it. We're going to snuff your torch and your game is over.

And just like that Bhanu was eliminated without actually getting any votes written down for him at Tribal Council. He's definitely a memorable castaway, although I'm eager to see how the season continues on without him.

Bhanu gives a confessional on Survivor.
Bhanu gives a confessional on Survivor.

Hardcore Survivor fans like myself will remember that there's only been a handful of these no-vote eliminations. One came back in Survivor: Caramoan, when Brandon Hantz seemingly had a mental break-down and threatened violence against his tribemates. More recently, Jeff Varner was voted unanimously out of his tribe after outing Zeke as a transgender man in Season 34, aka Game Changers. By comparison, Bhanu's departure was far lighter fare.

Survivor airs new episodes Wednesday on CBS, and streaming the next day on Paramount+. Be sure to check out the TV premiere list to plan your next binge watch.