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Jeff Probst explains why everyone on 'Survivor' is getting naked

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Monty Brinton/CBS

Each week Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: Worlds Apart.

EW: I remember when I was out there in Nicaragua for the San Juan del Sur season you had to call off a water challenge you were building due to difficulty with the strong current and how it impacted the platforms. It may have even been this same one for all I know. How were you finally able to get out there and do a big challenge on water? 

JEFF PROBST: The waters in Nicaragua were very tough for us this year. Our marine team working together with our art department is truly something remarkable to witness. What the audience never sees and should never even think about is all of the underwater structures that it takes to pull off a challenge in the water. It’s a massive “underworld” that can take weeks to create, and during the challenge there are almost always a crew of people underwater making sure everything is okay. Personally, I have a very limited knowledge of engineering, so whenever I arrive at a water challenge I am always like a wide eyed five-year old getting his first look at the LEGO factory—it just blows my mind what they can do. So in answer to your question— we just got lucky and the water cooperated and we were able to pull it off. One day earlier or later, who knows? That isn’t always the case with water challenges; Nicaragua just happened to be particularly tricky.

All of a sudden, everybody is getting naked! Max, Shirin, Hali, and Jenn all went au natural in this one episode. What’s this all about? Is it just the next step in shedding the shackles of society? Is it a comfort issue of getting out of dirty clothes for a bit? Or, perhaps in the case of Max, is it just a way to ensure a little extra camera time? What gives here? 

I think it’s a combination of all of the above, depending on the person. Max was very clear that he was giving a nod to Richard Hatch, so I think for him it was a “Survivor moment.”  For Shirinn, I think it was 50% strategy—to align more closely with Max—and I think the other 50% was the bit of her “No Collar” coming out to say hi!  For Hali and Jenn, completely different. They’re young, beautiful women with a much more carefree attitude toward life, and so for them I’m guessing it was just a fun idea—one they would have done with or without cameras. I love the free spirit. It bums me out how uptight most of us are with our bodies. Who cares? Just go have fun!

It’s been interesting how even though you have split the players up into No Collar, Blue Collar, and White Collar, we still see divisions among age. The three youngest people on No Collar have formed a strong alliance (and made Nina cry in the process), while So and Joaquin targeted the oldest person last week on White Collar, and Dan and Mike have had trouble fitting in with the younger folks on Blue Collar. Why do these age differences and issues with compatibility seem to cross all other lines? 

Great question. I can only relate it back to my own life experiences when I am pretty sure I did the same thing. I saw older people as “out of it”—their time was over and they most certainly didn’t “get it” anymore. In Survivor, being older is also seen as a physical disadvantage. It’s fascinating for me, because I am now the “Older Guy” and it hurts the heart. I don’t get the same looks I used to get, I don’t think people see me as relevant as I used to be—all of those same things end up coming around and before you know it you’re getting subscription offers for AARP. Not that I am— I’m just saying. The great equalizer is the brain. Young people, generally speaking, are not as good at playing the game as someone in their late 30s or 40s or 50s. Strategy really benefits from experience. So don’t count out all the oldies just yet!

Two strong outings so far. Tease us up for what’s in store next week. 

We start to see the nuances within each tribe emerge and this is where tribal bonds are going to strengthen or begin to fall apart.

To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s ‘Survivor’, just click on the video player below. Also make sure to read Dalton’s full ‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’ recap. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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