Each week, host Jeff Probst answers a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tyson has the immunity idol again! It seems like the players that get it once often get it a second time, too. As a producer, are you hoping that immunity idols fall to different players over the course of a season?
JEFF PROBST: The only thing we hope for is that an idol gets found! Idols add such an unpredictable dynamic to the game that it really doesn’t matter who has it – you just want it in the game so there is the chance that it may be used. Even the mere chance that it may be used can create layers of additional drama for the players and the audience.
After 27 seasons of tribal councils, that has to rank as one of the craziest. What did you make of Hayden’s reckless—or perhaps recklessly smart—strategy of proclaiming Tyson the front-runner, and what were you thinking as you watched it all unfold?
We’ve had a handful of tribals in the past where there was a brief discussion about drawing rocks but I never believed it was going to happen. I felt the same way this time as tribal started. Ciera seemed very locked into her decision to stick with her alliance. But Hayden, who had nothing to lose, went for broke and once he got Ciera thinking, you could feel the momentum shifting. It also didn’t help that her alliance kept referring to her as “number four.” I loved the move by Hayden. That is how you have to play if you are not in control – you have to make a bold move in the hopes that you can shake up the game. I’m not sure what Tyson was thinking but he had to be worried. To work that hard and then leave it up to fate – is so risky. The “rock draw” literally had a million dollars attached to it – the question is… for who?
How long did the contestants argue about whether to vote out Monica or Hayden before they drew rocks? It seemed like a fairly agreeable decision, but if that were me, I would not have settled for drawing rocks with a 33% chance of me going home — especially with two people already on the chopping block.
Surprisingly there wasn’t much discussion at all. They all just locked horns and said “We’re drawing rocks. Let’s do it.” I kept thinking that somebody may get cold feet, but it appears it was a perfect storm of opportunity mixed with desperation. Ciera was playing to win. Hayden and Katie were playing to stay alive. Gervase, Tyson and Monica really had no other option – unless one of them was wiling to betray their alliance. The problem with betraying your alliance that late in the game and in front of the jury is that it makes it very difficult to come back and win the votes even if you do make it to the end.
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