Jeff Probst Admits Survivor 44 Has A Favorite All-Time Player (But He Got Booted Already)

Jeff Probst Admits Survivor 44 Has A Favorite All-Time Player (But He Got Booted Already)
Image credit: CBS

The host himself suffered as a result of Survivor's new rules leading to the elimination of his all-time favorite contestant.

Survivor Season 44 has proved to be one of the most controversial seasons of the reality series.

On the one hand, it has featured some of the best contestants, but on the other, it's also full of bizarre decisions and unexpected twists that make it difficult for viewers to follow the stories of their favorite castaways.

Recently, the show's host and executive producer Jeff Probst announced a new personal favorite. In an episode of his 'On Fire with Jeff Probst' podcast, he named his favorite player from the entire run of the show, and that was a surprising choice, considering the castaway's fate.

'Matt is one of my favorite all-time players. If for no other reason than how he expressed his vulnerability and let us see it — and wasn't embarrassed by it, in fact, he was proud and he grew,' Probst said.

Matt Blankinship is a 27-year-old security software engineer from San Francisco.

Jeff Probst Admits Survivor 44 Has A Favorite All-Time Player (But He Got Booted Already) - image 1

He was a very thoughtful player, and despite his cunning strategies, viewers loved him as he showed much empathy for the other contestants.

'It's no wonder Frannie has a crush on him!' Probst added, referring to the showmance between Matt and Frannie, who ended up on opposite sides, and this added some more drama to the season.

But even though Frannie can't speak publicly yet, Matt himself revealed that their relationship is still going strong after his time on the project ended.

Blankinship was eliminated in Episode 7 when Brandon, Jaime, and Yam conspired to vote him out, leaving many of the show's viewers unhappy. According to these fans, the breaking up of the merged tribe and the season's new rules preventing a general vote led to Matt's untimely elimination, while he and the other team members didn't have time to work out a proper strategic plan.

After learning that Matt was Probst's all-time favorite, fans can't help but wonder: was it even necessary to make up the new rules under the wire, which prevented the beloved castaway from making it further on the show?

Sadly, the host's favorite player is long out and now there are only 10 contestants left to compete for the title of Sole Survivor in the remaining two episodes.

The next episode of Survivor Season 44 will arrive on CBS on April 19, 2023.