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“It’s different” — “Old school” ‘Survivor: Africa’ winner Ethan Zohn sounds off on current show

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Grassroot Soccer

Tonight on CBS is another installment of the 42nd (!) season of Survivor.

Way back in 2001, the winner of the third season, Survivor: Africa, was Ethan Zohn, and he’s still watching the show, so ABC Audio wanted to get his perspective on the current iteration of the Emmy-winning series. 

I’m torn because I’m an…old-school Survivor player. I played back in the day,” he says. “I just feel the way the game’s organized now, it’s not better or worse. It’s just different.”

He explains that, as opposed to his season’s 39-day adventure, “today’s game is 26 days,” adding with a laugh, “Like, seriously, anyone can last 26 six days, you know?”

Zohn admits that the current game seems confusing to him,” noting with a laugh, “I get through an episode like, ‘What just happened?!’ Like…there’s two idols, there is a clue, there is an advantage, there’s a disadvantage — all in one episode. I’m like, ‘Ahh! What’s going on?!'”

That said, Ethan’s still a fan. “I still think it’s so exciting, I think [host and producer Jeff Probst has] done a great job. I mean, the cast this year is pretty diverse and unique and [there are] a lot of backstories that you’re seeing that makes them interesting.”  

Zohn, who not only is a Survivor winner, but a two-time cancer survivor, is running the Boston Marathon on Monday — marking his return to the race for the first time since 2014, when the deadly Boston bombings cut the event short.

He’s celebrating 10 years of being in remission, and he’s running to raise funds for the foundation AKTIV Against Cancer and its mission to make physical activity part of cancer treatment. 

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