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Survivor's New Final Tribal Council Format Is Here To Stay

Survivor's final Tribal Council is going to get a lot more dramatic. Executive producer Matt Van Wagenen revealed in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly that the changed final Tribal Council format introduced in Survivor: Game Changers is here to stay.

Game Changers saw an open discussion replace the more strict question-and-answer format used in the first 33 seasons. Van Wagenen said they were unsure of how contestants would react to the changed format, but they were very happy with the results. "I think it gives you an opportunity if you're there to fight for your place in the game," he said. "It's not just someone talking at you, it's a discussion. And I'm actually, in hindsight, surprised it took us this long to get to this point the game."

Van Wagenen said the idea for the change came from host Jeff Probst, who has been with the show since its first season and has a huge influence on its changes over the years. "One of the things Jeff is great about— he's so tenacious when it comes to this— is questioning 'Why are we still doing this? Are we doing this for a reason? Is there a better way to do it?'" he said. "I think it was, how can we make this better? We were all starting to feel it a little bit."

The EP says that the new Tribal Council formatting made editing it quite a headache, but he says that the audience reaction was so positive that it made it worth the change. "We strive to be real, and I know that sounds a bit clichéd or cheesy on a reality show, but we really do strive to have a very real experience," he said. "And I think having someone just stand up and ask you a question or talk at you is not as real as a discussion between a group of people saying who deserves to win."

Survivor's 35th season, called Survivor: Heroes vs. Hustlers vs. Heroes, is set to premiere this fall, and hopefully viewers will be treated to quite the journey before entering the new dramatic final Tribal Council format. While we wait, read up on the untold truth of the show.