By Dalton Ross
Updated October 20, 2011 at 11:00 AM EDT


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

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s dive into this strength versus loyalty debate that raged at Tribal Council. Fun Fact! Not counting any season in which there were pre-merge tribe swaps or consolidations — because that muddles the picture in terms of where loyalties are — there have actually been only five Survivor seasons (Thailand, Palau, Tocantins, Samoa, Redemption Island) in which one tribe has gone into the merge with more members than the other. And in two of those five instances, the winner actually came from the tribe with the numbers disadvantage. So, I’ll ask you: What is more important, numbers or unity?

JEFF PROBST: Wow. Amazing fact. Great question. Seeing as how I have never played the game this is clearly an armchair opinion. I’d say that in an ideal situation, you want the #’s at the merge until you get the advantage and can knock them off. But you want the other side to have the majority of the members on the jury because you are ultimately going to have to betray your own alliance to get to the end and if you do that they typically won’t give you the vote at the end. Depending on when you merge that can get tricky as the jury doesn’t always start with the first person voted out. The number of players at the start of the game also impacts the numbers. Having 20 really complicates things. 16 is a much more manageable number, but we don’t do 16 anymore.

Even with that whole strength versus loyalty debate, I couldn’t help but feel that the entire thing was a bit of a ruse on Coach and Albert’s part, with the real point of contention being Coach wanting to bring someone he could control in Edna that would give him an edge down the line versus Albert wanting to instead bring someone in Mikayla that might show a little more loyalty to him and Sophie. How much of that do you feel was factoring in?

I think you’re right and I think Coach won that battle. He has a side deal with Edna that will garner him more favor than it will Albert or Sophie. Strategically, Coach is a few steps ahead of Albert but I’m not sure about Sophie. It’s not clear how much she is laying back vs. just letting Coach take the heat. Coach is playing the best game he’s ever played.

What’s a worse move: Ozzy informing everyone he has the idol and declaring himself a free agent, or Brandon inviting his tribe to vote him out?

It’s a bigger blunder for Ozzy because Ozzy could actually win the game and moves like that really hurt him. Brandon can never win and blowing up like he has been at Tribal Council makes him more likely to go to the end. It’s amazing that coming into the game you would expect Ozzy to be the favorite, but the more I talk to people on the street it’s clear — Coach has surprised everybody and Ozzy is playing an even worse social game than he did last time.

We’re almost halfway through the season, so hit us up with an extra-special tease for next week.

Extra special? Okay. Part 1: It’s time for some Coach-chi. Part 2: An epic blunder in a challenge may cost a favorite their spot in the game.

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 an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode as well as our pre-game interview with Elyse, simply watch the video player below. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.