The “Survivor” reunion show used to be a place for castaways to air their grievances, recall their favorite moments and get emotional about their time on the island. For one hour, the players would gather in front of a live studio audience immediately following the announcement of their winner and let loose with host Jeff Probst (or, in the early years, with moderators Bryant Gumble and Rosie O’Donnell). However, over the past few years the “Survivor” reunion show has slowly been snuffed out before our eyes.
Wednesday night’s “Ghost Island” reunion show, for example, didn’t even begin until 25 minutes past 10:00 p.m. When you add in all of the commercial breaks, the return of former “cursed” players James Clement and Erik Reichenbach, the preview trailer for next season’s “Survivor: David vs. Goliath,” and the awkward Kevin Hart celebrity cameo, that only left about 15 minutes for Probst to dish “Survivor: Ghost Island” with its castaways.
Of the 19 contestants who appeared on stage (the 20th player, Stephanie Johnson, was MIA for reasons that were not explained), Probst only had time to talk to a handful of them. He of course spoke with winner Wendell Holland and runner-up Domenick Abbate about their friendship and their dominance of the game, and he asked third-place finisher Laurel Johnson about her decision to break the history-making tie vote.
Probst also briefly addressed Michael Yerger about his popularity, Chris Noble about his rivalry with Domenick, and Kellyn Bechtold about curses. And fan favorite Donathan Hurley got a special one-on-one chat with Probst following his elimination midway through the finale in which it was revealed Sia was gifting him $10,000. That meant a whopping 12 former players put on their fancy clothes and got their hair and makeup done to simply sit on the stage and smile.
“Survivor” fans, do you miss the hour-long reunion show of days past? Or is the new truncated version more to your liking? Be sure to sound off down in the comments section. Also click through our updated photo gallery highlighting all 36 “Survivor” winners.