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'Survivor' host Jeff Probst talks about the big injury

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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: Okay, let’s talk about this first reward challenge and Kelly’s injury. Let’s break it up into a few different parts. First question: When you did any of the rehearsals with the Dream Team where they go through and compete several times in the challenge to test it out, was anyone just dropping the platform down like Dan and Will were? Did you anticipate any safety issues before the challenge began? 

JEFF PROBST: Great question, and the answer is no. All of the Dream Teamers let the platform down smoothly and in a fairly calm manner. But Dream Teamers are not playing for a million dollars. And no matter how much we encourage them to really push it, there are some things you just can’t fake, like pretending that you really are playing for a million dollars!! So while rehearsals are extremely helpful, we are still often surprised when we run the challenge with the actual contestants. 

Take us through the medical check-up on Kelly after she got hurt. Concussion protocol is a big thing in sports these days before letting people go back in to compete. Was she checked for any sort of head trauma besides the actual surface gash on her face? And how worried were you when you saw blood coming out through her buff?

Oh, I was definitely worried when I saw the blood. The odd thing was Kelly was so calm throughout the entire event. She answered every question our doctor asked her thoroughly and in a very relaxed manner. She kept reminding us that “I work in law enforcement; I deal with trauma all the time. This is not a big deal.” Nonetheless, our doctors gave her a very thorough examination, not only addressing the cut and the fact that it would need stitches as soon as the challenge was over, but we also gave her some time just to make sure she was really okay. The most unusual part of the challenge was that everyone had to remain blindfolded because if we let them take off their blindfolds they would be able to look out into the field and see where their remaining objects were and we would have to start over. So I felt really uncomfortable keeping everybody “in the dark” so to speak and yet it seemed to be the only fair and appropriate response. 

When you started the challenge back up again, did you instruct the people working the platforms to stop letting go of the rope, and to let it down gently instead from there on out?

Oh yes, and to be clear I had been shouting it to them throughout the challenge. But in the chaos of playing Survivor it is sometimes hard to hear the ever droning host even on the rare occasions when he saying something helpful!

Let’s move on to the big tribe switcheroo. Obviously a huge physical disparity in the tribes, but when you mapped out the split in terms of how the people would mix with each other, I’m guessing you had to be pretty thrilled in the sense that each camp featured both alliance outsiders and swing votes. Give me your breakdown of the new tribes when you first saw them.  

Here’s my honest feeling after any tribe switch…. I look at the two tribes and I announce who is on which tribe and I move forward. I honestly don’t think very much about it.  I have learned over the years that a tribe switch should always be random and you can never predict what the divisions will be or what kind of success they will have or stories it will produce, regardless of what it looks like on paper. 

I thought Jenn had a pretty good quote when she said “Why would they let us know they know that much about Survivor?” about Max and Shirin. I saw John Cochran do the same thing his first time out by not hiding how much he knew about the game. Are superfans working at a disadvantage when they constantly blab about what superfans they are? I would never disclose my Survivor nerdom if I were playing this game.

I think it really depends on the person. I would not be drawn to—or put off by— somebody simply because they were a Survivor fan. To me it’s more about what are they like day to day. Do they have any self-awareness about how they are coming off at any given moment? Being able to take an educated guess at what might happen next because you’ve studied the game is certainly a bit of an advantage, but if that’s all it took to win,  then all of our winners would be massive superfans…and that’s not been the case.  

Quick—and without looking it up—now that the White Collar, Blue Collar, and No Collar tribe designations are gone, can you name the official name of the now-disbanded White Collar tribe, because I sure as hell can’t? I didn’t even know the other tribe names until this last episode. 

Ha ha—that’s funny. I can remember Nagarote (No Collar) nd Escameca (Blue Collar), but I am drawing a blank on the White Collar tribe. Point made.  

Okay, a nice double shot of episodes this week. What’s on tap next, sir?   

One castaway is struggling big time to fit in with their tribe.

To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, 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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