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'Survivor' host Jeff Probst on that 'ugly' confrontation

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Every week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Well, Jeff, this seems pretty clearly to be a case of John Rocker’s past coming back to haunt him. Once Jeremy decided to use that as a weapon against him and Natalie seized upon it, was that pretty much it for him?

JEFF PROBST: I think the incident at the challenge was probably a big impetus for voting out Rocker. I remember that challenge pretty clearly and I remember feeling “this is ugly.” All of it. Those are not the kind of moments I want for Survivor but when you take a group of strangers and let them build their own society you can’t control how they will behave or the decisions they will make. I think Rocker’s actions speak pretty clearly.  He was baited by Natalie and he took the bait. Hard to recover from some of the things he said. From Natalie’s point of view, who knows if she meant it or was just playing the game, but either way, it was effective.

We heard a lot of chatter from the other tribe that Rocker was talking a lot of smack during challenges. Did his behavior at challenges seem particularly obnoxious to you?

In this situation, I think Rocker’s comments probably got more attention than they would have if they’d come from someone else. He is lippy, for sure, but given the baggage of his past, I think comments from him are magnified. It’s fairly common to “talk trash” during a challenge — people are pumped and they often say things they regret. That’s normal. But the “trash talking” that followed the challenge was not typical. That was uncomfortable.

Pretty easy to draw a parallel from Rocker and his girlfriend to the Culpeppers from the last Blood vs Water. Brad got a lot of hate from the other tribe, got eliminated, and then Monica went all the way to the end. Is John being voted out the best thing that could have happened for Julie? 

Hmmm… I guess you can draw a parallel — in a very broad sense — between the two couples, but only as it relates to Survivor and how people viewed them. So in that sense, yes, this is probably the best thing that could happen to Julie in the short term — in terms of her not having to worry about John and what he might say or do. It may give her the space she needs to play her own game, but if she makes the merge then not having a loved one could work against her. So it’s hard to say how this will play out for her long term, but given the animosity toward John that was only going to continue to grow, I’d say she probably breathed a sigh of relief.

Okay, sir, tease us up for next week!

There are certain things that you should just never do on Survivor.

Check out an exclusive deleted scene and our pre-game interview with John and Julie Also make sure to read Dalton’s full ‘Survivor’ recap. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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