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'Survivor' Host Jeff Probst Reacts to Controversial Episode, Praises Zeke Smith's Compassion & Strength

Host Jeff Probst took to Twitter after tonight’s controversial episode of Survivor.

Contestant Zeke Smith was outed as transgender by fellow tribe member Jeff Varner during tribal council, which rightfully had the rest of the tribe – and the Internet – in an uproar.

“I am reading all of your reactions to tonight’s #survivor tribal council. @zekerchief has been an amazing partner through all of this,” Jeff tweeted after the airing. “@zekerchief Zeke’s ability to remain composed, strong and yet still compassionate, despite the very vulnerable situation was exemplary.”

He added, “@survivorcbs our hope is that this emotional and powerful conversation will bring awareness and understanding…and ultimately effect change.”

Zeke himself also took to social media.

“We cannot control the hazards we face, we can only control how we respond. Love each other. #Survivor #Zekevivor,” Zeke tweeted. “To learn how to be a better ally to trans people, click the link below. *Spoiler alert* Don’t out people.”

WHAT DID YOU THINK of tonight’s episode?

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Former 'Survivor' Players Celebrate Show's 500th Episode

Tonight’s Survivor: Game Changers premiere also marks the show’s 500th episode!

The CBS competition series has been airing for 17 years now and still going strong 34 seasons in.

“It’s monumental to us on the creative side because we’re proud. We have spent a lot of our time in the jungle,” host Jeff Probst told THR about the milestone. “Whether you like Survivor or not, we like it. We’re really proud that we’ve done what we think is a really good television show, going on two decades now.”

Many former players have taken to social media to share some of their favorite moments from the show. Watch below!

Some of those include Phillipines’ Malcolm Freberg, Caramoan winner John Cochran, Cagayan villain Kass McQuillen, San Juan Del Sur’s Reed Kelly, Kaôh Rōng’s Nick Maiorano, Africa winner Ethan Zohn, Vanuatu jury queen Eliza Orlins, Millenials v Gen X favorite David Wright, Gabon’s Corinne Kaplan, and of course, All-Star lovebirds Boston Rob and Amber.

Survivor premieres TONIGHT, March 8 @ 8PM on CBS.

Click inside to see more Survivor 500 tweets from former players…More Here! »

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Jeff Probst Photo Gallery

Jeff Probst's 'Survivor' Audition Tape Is a Must-Watch!

You have to see this cringeworthy demo reel that Jeff Probst submitted as his audition for the Survivor hosting gig back in 1999!

“If I looked back, I’d be humiliated. But at the time, I was super proud of it,” Jeff told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.

Jeff also said the reason he probably got the gig was because he lied to producer Mark Burnett. “They say, ‘Hey, can you ride a horse?’ ‘Yeah!’ ‘Can you fly a plane?’ ‘Of course!’”

The new season of Survivor: Game Changers, premieres this coming Wednesday on CBS.

Survivor's Jeff Probst Reveals Shocking New Rule for 'Game Changers'!

Jeff Probst just revealed a huge new rule for season 34 of Survivor: Game Changers.

“The biggest change we’re doing this season is if there’s a tie at Tribal Council, there will not be a revote,” Jeff told Parade. “There will not be a chance for people to change their votes. You go directly to the tiebreaker, which is openly discussing among yourselves who you want to get rid of. If you can come to a unanimous decision, then that person goes home. If you can’t get a unanimous decision, everybody draws rocks.”

ALSO READ: Survivor: Game Changers – Meet the 20 Returning Contestants!

Also, a new clip has been revealed which shows the contestants reacting to the rule change. Watch below…

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'Survivor' Host Jeff Probst Sizes Up the 'Game Changers' Cast

What do you think of the Survivor: Game Changers cast?

While some casting choices have fans a little baffled, host Jeff Probst is defending the decision to bring certain people back for the all-star season.

“This is about people who might have made a big bold move like Tony [Vlachos] that says ‘Hey, everybody it was me,’ people who make really subtle moves like a [Jeff] Varner or maybe a Sandra [Diaz-Twine], people who made moves that worked, or people who made moves that were a disaster,” Jeff told EW. But it’s like Ciera Eastin said: ‘You’ve got to make moves in this game.’ And part of this is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy now. They are making moves and I think you’re going to see moves made in this game.”

Speaking about perhaps the biggest head-scratcher, season 30′s Hali Ford, Jeff said, “Hali, to me, is the dark horse to win. I think Hali has everything you need to win this game. I think she’s a great student of the game, really good with her words. Hali was labeled a No Collar and in some ways lived up to it. She didn’t pull the trigger in ways that I think she wishes she could, but she is absolutely a game changer and somebody that I think if she can get out of the gate and get past Sandra, and Cirie [Fields], and Varner – maybe some of the older school players – I think she will shock people with how she plays.”

Survivor: Game Changers premieres on Wednesday, March 8 on CBS.

In case you missed it, watch the latest promo!

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