By Dalton Ross
Updated September 15, 2011 at 11:00 AM EDT


Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: South Pacific.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Three minutes into the game, John asks you to call him Cochran so he can be like many of the former Survivor greats known simply on a last name basis. I thought it was a bad move because that to me is a situation where you want to lay low and blend in, not draw unnecessary attention to yourself, but I remember you telling me out there that you thought it was brilliant. Explain.

JEFF PROBST: Hmm. It’s probably a sign of getting old but I can’t remember why I said it was “brilliant.” I do remember saying something like that, I just can’t remember the particulars. So, here’s my answer as of today… I do see your point about calling attention to being a Survivor fan and how that might work against you and I think you’re right. Also he put himself in a category of “great” players before he had even earned it, which might also work against him. So what the hell was it that I thought was so brilliant? Well, it was charming, at least to me. So there’s that… alright Dalton, dammit you’re right again. It was a risky move and one that could easily work against him. I was probably just trying to be contrary.

As always, the actual Tribal Council goes on a lot longer than what you are able to show on television, and during this one, Cochran kept going on and on, while also seemingly digging his own grave. That leads to the question: How much do performances at Tribal Council matter, and how often are people still weighing their voting decision while there as opposed to knowing whom they are voting out beforehand and sticking with it?

Great question. I actually think that as of the last few years it matters more and more what you say and how you say it. It used to be that people always walked into Tribal Council with their vote locked in, but I’ve seen a lot of times recently where people change their mind or, even crazier, are totally undecided when they arrive at Tribal, even though the rest of the tribe appears to know what is happening. I think Cochran survived a very close call and has major ground to make up. He’s smart and that might help him in reading people, but his physical limitations are a major obstacle.

What’s your sense at this point in the game? Has Coach — who was not welcomed with open arms by any means at the beginning — worked his way into the tribe’s good graces? Or are they just playing along and still itching to get rid of him?

That was the question with Coach from the first moments when Christine said “they’re temporary players.” You can see the instant value that Ozzy might offer, but with Coach having to overcome “The Dragon Slayer” baggage, it’s much harder for him to make a case. At this point in the game, I think Coach will be his own worst enemy. If he is able to truly lead he might have a shot… time will tell.

Finally, tease us up for next week, Jeff!

Next week someone finds an idol…!

For more from the host on last night’s episode, check out Jeff’s Tout page. To read Dalton’s recap, click right here. To watch Jeff’s reaction right after Tribal Council as well as an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, simply watch the video player below. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.