Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Redemption Island as well as offer up a tease for next week. (You can also see Jeff’s video blogs at

Okay, give us the lowdown on the helicopter ride to start the season. How did you not fall out of the back of that thing and plummet to your death? Not that we wanted that (even though it would have made for AMAZING television).

Hey, Dalton, Love the new Q&A and thanks for plugging my weekly episode vlog as well at Okay, let’s get to the opening shot from the helicopter. I have one safety strap that is attached around my waist under my shirt and is being held by one clip attached to the floor of the helicopter. The safety guys assure me that these straps never break and the clips never fail. Other than that there is no other back up. It is a bit of a risk but I go with the odds and the experts that I am relatively safe. Hanging out of the back end of a plane or helicopter is a rush and when the pilot banks hard to the left it is a real kick. I love it and selfishly I wish we could do it every season.

While there was obviously the puzzle part at the end, the first part of the Immunity Challenge was pure brute strength, as I know from lamely attempting it myself while I was out there. Was there a concern among you and the crew that Zapatera had an unfair advantage by having an extra man on their tribe, not to mention Julie, who is also strong as hell? If Rob the puzzle king had ended up on that tribe it could have been a flat-out massacre.

First of all, Dalton, I give you credit for always taking part in the opening challenge rehearsal when you visit location. You are able to give insight because you have actually done it. You’re right, this was an ass kicker. Yes, we were aware of uneven tribes but there just wasn’t anything to do about it. We were also reacting to the previous season where due to the theme of Old vs Young we were stuck with some “softer” challenges. We were ready to get out of the gates big with Redemption Island. I think we accomplished our goal!

This had to be the best first Tribal Council ever. What shocked you more: Rob asking for Kristina’s hidden immunity idol or Phillip’s inability to pronounce the name Francesca?

Let me start by giving my thanks to the Survivor gods for Phillip. He is one of my favorite all-time characters, even if he’s voted out next week. I love how earnest he is about his time serving as a former federal agent and how zany he can be with his logic. The trouble pronouncing Francesca was certainly humorous and we had some good laughs that night at Tribal Council. But, as always, you have to remember, it’s already been 3 days and they’re already physically exhausted and emotionally drained. As for Rob…I was initially shocked because it was so brazen, but upon reflection after Tribal I realized that Rob came to play. He is going to go big or go home or maybe both but he will not go quietly. I thought it was a tone-setting move and is an example of why I believe fans will really enjoy this season.

Finally, hit us up with a tease for next week’s episode!

Next week Phillip offers one of the most entertaining adventures when he goes crab hunting. It is both funny and touching. You will laugh and who knows, you may cry as well. Don’t miss it. Talk next week, D. Ross!

Check out an exclusive deleted scene featuring Phillip from last night’s episode as well as my pre-game interview with Francesca below. And for more Survivor scoop, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.