Entertainment TV 'Survivor' Surprises Contestants with Full Family Visits for the First Time in Show's History "I think it's rather serendipitous that our biggest and most emotional loved one episode airs at a time when we all need it the most," said host Jeff Probst By Aurelie Corinthios Published on April 16, 2020 10:22 AM Share Tweet Pin Email This week’s Survivor was one for the books. On Wednesday night’s episode of Survivor: Winners at War, the contestants were surprised by not just one loved one but, for the first time in the show’s history, their entire families. It was an emotional moment for the viewers at home and the Fiji castaways, who got to see their spouses, significant others and children — and then didn’t even have to compete to spend more time with them. Instead, everyone got to catch up and spend some much-needed down time on the beach together. Survivor Plans Virtual Cast Reunion for Season 40 Finale as Coronavirus Continues to Spread Robert Voets/CBS Robert Voets/CBS In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, host Jeff Probst opened up about the decision to bring out whole families, explaining that it was rooted in an effort to honor this season’s players, who are all former champions. “One of the underlying goals of this season was to make it a celebration of everything we love about Survivor, including the amazing players who have given so much over the past twenty years,” he said. “So when it came time for the loved ones, we started thinking about the history of these players from the eyes of our audience.” “When Rob [Mariano] first played in 2002, he was single, then he met Amber in 2004, they got married and together have four kids,” he continued. “Parvati [Shallow] also started out single, then met another former Survivor player, got married and they have a new baby. In the years since Kim [Spradlin-Wolfe] played, she had married and given birth to three kids. All these beautiful Survivor families, but our audience has never met them.” Survivor 40: The Returning Winners Then and Now — and What to Remember from Their Games Robert Voets/CBS Robert Voets/CBS Probst, 58, said the more they went down the list, the “more excited” they got. “What if we could have the entire family visit? It would be the best thank you we could offer the players,” he said. “A once in a lifetime experience with their entire family. Something they would never forget. Something they would talk about for the rest of their lives.” And the fact that this particular episode happened to air during a time when so many are separated from their loved ones amid the coronavirus pandemic made it all the more special. “I think it’s rather serendipitous that our biggest and most emotional loved one episode airs at a time when we all need it the most,” Probst said. Survivor: Winners at War airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.