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'Survivor' celebrates 20th anniversary with first all-champs edition

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst oversees the CBS reality competition's first all-champions edition when Season 40's 'Winners at War' premieres Wednesday.

“Survivor” host Jeff Probst wasn’t certain he could line up a worthy cast for the CBS reality competition’s first all-champions edition, “Winners at War” (premiering Wednesday, 8 EST/PST).

Many have moved on with their lives, pursuing careers and starting families, or might not want to risk competing again after their moment of triumph, he thought, even for $2 million, double the usual “Survivor” payoff.   

But Probst, who has hosted the pioneering reality show since its premiere in May 2000, had a good feeling after talking to veteran Rob Mariano (“Redemption Island,” 2011), better known as Boston Rob.

Ethan Zohn, left, 'Boston Rob' Mariano and Parvati Shallow are among the

“Rob had always told me: ‘No. I won, I’m done.’ And I called and he said, ‘Lemme talk to Ambuh,'” Probst said, doing his best Boston accent in mentioning Mariano’s wife, Amber (Brkich) Mariano (“All-Stars,” 2004). “I said, ‘Really?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, we’re both going to do it (but) she doesn’t know it yet.'”

Mariano reasoned it was time for the couple’s four daughters to see their parents back on the show where they met, fell in love and where Rob proposed on the live “All-Stars” finale, Probst says..

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