Twenty players were voted in by fans to play Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance. That means 11 were not. (A twelfth, Mike Holloway, was ineligible because he won Survivor: Worlds Apart.)
We already shared who the folks in the actual cast think were snubbed. But we also asked host Jeff Probst what fan omissions shocked him the most. “I think the one that everyone is talking about is Shane Powers,” said Probst when we spoke to him on location in Cambodia on day one of the game. “And I find it really interesting to just observe it from afar. I thought Shane would be on. I just assumed. In fact, I was already thinking about: How am I going to deal with Shane? He can be crazy, but he’ll be great. And then as the votes were coming in I realized Shane may not make the top 10. “
Probst has a theory why the Survivor: Panama—Exile Island player did not ultimately make it. “I started thinking, why would that be? I looked at my own life. I don’t vote on a television show. I might watch a competition show and root for somebody, but I’m not going to pick up my phone or go to my computer. So if Shane has a fan base of people like me, they didn’t vote. And there’s nothing you can do about it. And I watched my mom vote in my house the day before the finale and this is what she did: She went, ‘Jeremy, oh I like him. Savage, I like him. Oh, I really like Ciera.’ That’s what it was! And for some people like my mom, they go, ‘Shane, he was kind of crazy and mean. I don’t know.’ So it could just simply be that — people that like Shane didn’t vote.”
Shane is not the only surprise for Probst. The other one that had him flummoxed was the woman who played a very solid game on the season that was airing while voting was taking place. “I was surprised by Carolyn as well,” he says. “I really was. I kind of assumed Carolyn would be on and that it would soften the blow if she didn’t win. And when she didn’t make it and didn’t win, it was a tough night. I felt for Carolyn. You go through this long process, you have a live vote and you don’t win. And I think she thought she was going to win. And then, ‘Well, at least I get a second chance.’ You don’t get a second chance. And all of it is live. And to put yourself out, and she had to arrange with work to be gone again.”
In fact, Probst had kind words for everyone that put themselves through the process and possibility of being rejected by America on live television. “I had so much respect for all 32 people. In fact, we started with about 50 that we talked to and we had to go, ‘Sorry, you’re not going to be on.’ That was an arduous, tough emotional process.” Especially for Shane and Carolyn.
Watch Probst talk about the surprise omissions from the cast in the video at the top of the post. And for more Survivor scoop — including a new exclusive video every day — follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.
WANT MORE EW? Subscribe now to keep up with the latest in movies, television and music.