updated 11/19/2013 AT 11:30 AM ET
•originally published 11/18/2013 AT 8:45 AM ET
This season – entitled Survivor: Blood vs. Water – pitted former Survivor contestants against their loved ones for the first time in the CBS reality competition’s 13-year history.
“It is one of the best seasons we’ve ever had,” Probst tells PEOPLE in an exclusive video. “[The twist] has added more layers and more emotion to the show than I think we ever had.”
And with just 11 castaways left in the competition, Probst is promising a “strong finish” to the already dramatic season.
“This is when it is going to get really good,” says the 52-year-old, who recently stripped down for an episode of Two and a Half Men. “Because sooner or later somebody is going to have to decide, ‘Do I vote out my loved one before they vote me out?’ ”
Survivor: Blood vs. Water airs Wednesdays on CBS.