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Article

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst on the season's craziest blindside yet

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Timothy Kuratek/CBS

Each week host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Savage was loving everything about his position in the game and it all came crashing down thanks to Kelley Wentworth’s hidden immunity idol. We saw whooping and cheering on one side, and disbelief on the other, complete with Abi sassing Andrew and him giving her the finger on his way out. Take us through the scene being there with all that conflicting emotion.  

JEFF PROBST: You summed it up pretty well — conflicting emotion. This game is being played at a high level and unlike say, a football game, the animosity in Survivor can be very personal.  So when you are blindsided, which is the case in most Tribals, it stings. Sometimes it stings a lot. This one probably left a mark on Savage. Savage came in with a very clear agenda — rewrite history.  The first time he played, he was truly caught off guard with a twist that nobody would have predicted. This time he just got caught in great game play. 

RELATED: Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance Cast Photos

It’s a testament to how much a part of the tapestry he was that they targeted him as the one who would do the most damage. I would guess that he feels vindicated in terms of getting to show America how he can play this game. Only one can win, most lose.  That’s the truth of Survivor.  The only way to win is to play big, knowing you will fail most times. 

The middle finger on the way out — that’s just truly raw emotion. Savage had uttered the line “I just want to make the jury” and that came back to haunt him. And when it the taunt comes out of Abi’s mouth, it has a bit of bite to it.  I love how everybody is playing this season.  I would pay good hard cash if I could guarantee this level of motivation every season.

We saw Stephen once again pushing to get rid of Joe, so it was probably wise of Joe to not take any chances and win immunity, but by winning his second straight immunity challenge, is he doing himself a disservice by marking himself as such a threat? Is there any argument whatsoever to make that he should throw a challenge or two just to take the target off himself a bit and blend into the pack? 

Absolutely not. Joe is already perceived as someone who could win any and all challenges.  So that perception has to be treated as reality. That’s how people see him. Lying down on a challenge does him no good because the perception will be, “He could still win the next one.” He has to dominate and control the game. It’s his only play.

When you have an immunity challenge like this and are forced to repeatedly say things like “Joe’s balls start to move,” how aware are you of the snickering at home as you’re saying it?  

Not only am I aware, I am consciously trying to say things that sound normal but have enough innuendo to be funny or just corny. We are all in on the joke! The players, the crew, the editors and I think even the network. It’s all in fun and we make sure to only include the ones that are PG.

BONUS QUESTION: Keith looked pretty good driving that tuk-tuk around? Did you try taking one for a spin while you were in Cambodia?  

Yeah, like Keith said, all he needs is a Cambodian driver’s license and he’s set! I never did drive one. I rode around in one, but that’s it. 

Looks like you guys are up to some new tricks next week by offering an advantage in the middle of a challenge. What can you tell us about what’s on tap? 

Ah, yes, that was a really fun idea that fell under the dome of “let them play.” It’s a big advantage. Question is: Will anybody go for it? And if they do, will it help them? Good times ahead! This season just keeps on truckin’!

To watch an exclusive deleted scene as well our pre-game interview with Andrew Savage and episodes of ‘Survivor Talk’, click on the video player below. Also make sure to check out the newest episode of Survivor Talk and  read Dalton’s full episode recap. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.