'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Jeff Probst says 'we couldn't blame Colton without also blaming ourselves'
Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Like a lot of viewers, I know you had your doubts about Colton returning, and sure enough he quits just a few days into the game. He talked a lot about rehabbing his image this time around. What do you think the public perception of Colton Cumbie is after this outing?
JEFF PROBST: Probably pretty close to what I said to him at Redemption Island Arena. Go away and don’t come back. I very much felt as though I was saying what most viewers would say if given the chance. There was no image rehab happening during Blood vs. Water. I don’t know Colton outside of this game so maybe he leads a very happy, loving, balanced life back home. I hope he does. I have formed my opinion only from the handful of days he has played Survivor and based on that — my opinion is that he’s led a pretty sheltered and soft life. When things go south, he just quits and goes home. I wasn’t surprised at all that he quit.
EW: You really called him out, and not just for quitting here, but for faking an illness to quit last time as well. What really struck me was when you said, “We brought a quitter back and we got a quit again.” It almost seemed like you taking a very public mental note in sort of a “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” sort of way. Is that the case?
PROBST: Yes, because we really did get what we deserved. We took a shot on someone who we all believed quit the first time and we knew the risks that came with bringing them back. So it was frustrating to watch it happen again because it really does suck some of the momentum out of the show. I also felt we had to own our part in it. We couldn’t blame Colton without also blaming ourselves. We are the first to take credit when a casting idea works so we have to accept blame when it doesn’t.
EW: Ah, a return to the classic push-the-other-person-out-of-the-sumo-ring challenge. A lot of intriguing match-ups here, including two mother vs. daughter battles and a brother-on-brother contest. Which loved one vs. loved one match-up were you most excited to see?
PROBST: No question. Aras vs Vytas. Having two brothers of my own and being a guy, I really related to the dynamic of Aras being the “chosen one” and Vytas always feeling one step behind. I wasn’t rooting specifically for one over the other but you could feel the history between the two and the need for healing playing out in front of you. It was pretty special. I will add that watching moms take on their daughters was also very compelling. Being a parent, I found myself wondering if I really could go full out and try to defeat my child. It had to be tough on all those who had to square off against a loved one.
EW: Looks like Brad Culpepper is in for another tough time at Redemption Island arena next week. Tease us up, Probst!
PROBST: Brad Culpepper is going to be in for tough times for as long as he is in the game. He asks for it. He can’t help it. I like Brad and I like Monica too – I find them very fun to be around — but Brad brings it on because he is just a very big personality.
To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, as well as the newbies naming what other Survivors they’d like to play with, and pre-game interviews with the ousted Colton and Rachel, simply click on the video player below. To read Dalton’s recap, click right here. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.