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: As viewers, we all make immediate judgments after a tribe swap in terms of which tribe got the upper hand. What was your immediate impression once we had our new Hunahpu and Coyopa tribes? And who individually was helped and hurt the most by the switch?
JEFF PROBST: Well, the great thing about a switch is it almost always guarantees some level of chaos because all you need is for one person to switch tribes and you have a new dynamic within that group. The big story this switch was the division of loved ones and singles. My immediate reaction was “this is going to force the game into a new direction” because now you have to make a big decision. Do you hold on and hope a merge is coming and try to wait it out to get back with your old alliances, or do you jump ship right now and play the hand in front of you? Jeremy is clearly in a bit of trouble because of the Josh and Reed partnership. But… anything can happen in this game. It’s amazing to me how many times the writing is on the wall and then gets erased and replaced with something new.
I get this question a lot when surprise tribe switches happen so I pass that question on to you, sir: Since contestants like Keith don’t carry around their hidden immunity idols with them and instead leave them back at their old camp, how do they get it when they get swapped over to a different tribe? Is it returned to them along with any other items they left back at their previous beach?
Great question. Depends on the situation. If you took your idol out of your bag and “hid” it under a rock and left without it, then the rules of Survivor don’t allow for any “help” for you to get it back. So, in that sense, it is your responsibility to have it with you. But if you left it in your personal bag and just didn’t bring your bag with you, then yes, we always move all of their personal items (clothes, water container, bag, etc) to their new island. So if you had it with your possessions, you are fine; if you hid it, you are not. We always remind the players at the start of the game of one big idea: Survivor is unpredictable. No matter how well you know it, you can’t be certain that it is going to go the way you think it is — so be prepared at all times.
We’re a good 5 episodes in now so I’m curious on your take on how this Blood vs. Water — with all newbies — is different from the previous one where you had 10 returning players. How is the dynamic different — if at all — with all strangers?
It’s a totally different dynamic. I wasn’t sure at first how it was going to play out, but then again, I rarely am. It’s always a big question as you lead up to a premiere and then the first few weeks into the show. But now that we’re up and running and I’ve been talking to fans, I’m very happy to hear that people are enjoying it. I think the lack of returning players combined with some very young people (Alec, Baylor, Wes) as well as guys like Keith, who don’t even really know the game, have combined to make this a very unpredictable season. You don’t have any “favorites” to win because for every Jeremy or Josh, who seem to be playing very hard, you have a Drew or a Keith, who can mess things up because of their very different style of game play. That leaves this thing wide open for somebody to steal it. The person who wins this season is going to have to do a great job of reading the playing field and seeing where the opportunities are for advancement. I think what is going to be fun is watching how this unfolds, especially given the new tribes and the division of loved ones. Who will ultimately win out? Singles or loved ones? Definitely some surprises to come.
Okay, we see you responding to Hunahpu’s request for more food in the teaser for next week. What else can you tell us about next week’s episode?
Ah, Hunahpu — I just can’t get enough of them. They just keep giving us great stuff every week and they’re not finished. I think the fact that they are out of food and have to figure out what to do should be enough of a tease! I mean this is Survivor…everything has an invoice.
Check out an exclusive deleted scene and our pre-game interview with Kelley and Drew in the video player below. Also, make sure to read Dalton’s full ‘Survivor’ recap. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.