If it were up to Jeff Probst, it’d be a long while before we saw another All-Star version of “Survivor.”

“All-Stars was a fun experiment, but I would vote to never do it again,” the “Survivor” host said Tuesday. “I think the game is better played by strangers.”

His comments came just days before CBS is set to air the series finale, part of which will be live, on Sunday from Madison Square Garden.

Launched after the Super Bowl on Feb. 1, “Survivor: All-Stars” pitted 18 players from past installments.

Ratings for the show have been about the same as past editions, but Probst thinks the first-timers are more fun.

“I’m ready for new people,” Probst said. “I think it’s going to be a new type of game. Maybe we’ll get back to a unique approach to the game, rather than trying to emulate people.”

The benefit of having past players is they come in with a different perspective on the game – “they always give you gold,” he said – but the downside is viewers have already seen them before.

CBS will air the penultimate episode of “Survivor: All-Stars” Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT, setting up the finale for Sunday.

The Sunday show will run from 8 to 10 p.m., with the winner revealed live.

Then, in keeping with past versions, Probst will host an hour-long reunion show.

“It’s probably the most honest and emotional final tribal council that we’ve had since the first season, because they were friends and because there were a lot of hurt feelings,” he said, recalling the moment Richard Hatch won after being labeled a rat by Susan Hawk.

“There’s a pretty good reveal on the live show,” Probst said. “We’re going to share something on that show that I think is certainly significant, completely unexpected, and we’ll have people talking.”

(c) 2004, New York Daily News.

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AP-NY-05-05-04 0935EDT

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