Probst signs on for Survivor 19 and 20; says 17 is “on the equator”

Jeff Probst, who is already contracted through season 18 of Survivor, has signed on for the show’s 19th and 20th seasons, according to a profile of the host. USA TODAY reports that Probst “recently signed on for four more editions, ending with the show’s 10th anniversary and 20th edition.”

Besides that, Probst reveals a lot about the show and his involvement in it. As part of the (excruciatingly annoying, automatically playing) video that accompanies the story, Probst discusses in a location in a way that all but confirms season 17 will tape in Gabon, the African nation rumored to be the next location. “Season 17 is somewhere very remote and on the equator. I think we’re going to be able to do a challenge where you’re on one side of the equator, and the other side by the end of the challenge,” he said.

In the story, he says the new location is “probably as remote as we’ve ever been. The place we’re going is one of the last of its kind. It’s so wild out there and the animals aren’t used to anybody.” Gabon is both on the equator and has a population of less than 1.5 million in a space the size of Colorado (which has about 5 million people). Of course, there are other remote locations on the equator, but it’s probably not mere coincidence that the most heavily rumored location fits that description perfectly.

Jeff also possibly spoils an upcoming Survivor Micronesia event, or at least, the combination of the preview for this week’s episode, the final moments of last week’s episode, and his teaser probably give it away. (Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to know.) In the video, he says, “We’re not done having people have to leave the game for reasons other than being voted out.”

Beyond those revelations, the piece also explores Probst’s evolution on the show. At the start, he “was pretty sure the center of the universe was me,” but now, “You start really seeing how huge the world is and that you’re just one guy from Wichita — no more, no less important than anybody else. I think I’m a much better person because of Survivor,” he said. “All those nights sitting outside your tent and looking up at the stars gives you a lot of time to think about who you are and who you want to be, how you’ve lived your life and how you want to live your life. … I’ve undergone a tremendous change. I didn’t always like the guy I was before, but I do like me now.”

He also talks about his break-up with Julie Berry, and says they aren’t still close. “It’s hard to be friends. Maybe it’s too soon. But I definitely fell in love on Survivor. For sure. And wouldn’t change a thing about it,” he said. “I didn’t always treat people in relationships especially well, so I’ve tried to make amends and move forward.”

Celeb Watch: ‘Survivor’ host Jeff Probst will survive — and thrive [USA TODAY]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.