The Survivor Stunt That Nearly Ended Jeff Probst's Life

CBS's long-running hit series "Survivor" subjects its cast to all kinds of difficult situations from having to withstand harsh environments with little food (contestants now get even less food than before) to dealing with dangerous wildlife encounters viewers never see. As fans of the show know, it's easy to see that the conditions of "Survivor" take their toll on the cast. However, what you may not have realized is how much "Survivor" host and producer, Jeff Probst, has put on the line to make this show a success. In fact, according to Paramount, Probst is involved in almost every aspect of the show from choosing cast members to "testing out the challenges."


However, Probst may have taken his commitment to making great television a little too far when he almost lost his life during the filming of Season 9. In fact, as he explained on his podcast "On Fire with Jeff Probst," while doing a practice jump for the season finale skydiving sequence, Probst's parachute didn't open correctly. Fortunately, the reality TV host was able to stay calm, remember his training, and salvage the situation by scissor kicking out to fully open the chute and land safely on the ground. Of the experience, Probst shared, "One of the scariest times in my life."

Why was Jeff Probst skydiving in the first place?

"Survivor" has gone through a lot of changes over the course of its long life on air. One of those changes is that earlier seasons of the show included elaborate action sequences showing Jeff Probst delivering the final vote to the last tribal council. Probst has been filmed delivering the vote via jet ski and helicopter. The show continued to up the ante from there until the finale of Season 9 culminated in Probst delivering the final vote by catching a plane in Vanuatu and then flying to the U.S. where he parachuted out of the plane to a motorcycle and drove to the live finale set.


However, after Probst's near-death experience, the show seemed to have decided to go in another direction and Season 9 was the last time this sort of equally entertaining and ridiculous vote delivery sequence was included in "Survivor." Interestingly enough, despite almost ending his life, the skydiving incident wasn't even Probst's most frightening moment on the show.