'Survivor' host Jeff Probst on the latest twist in the game
Each week host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So you introduced a new advantage into the game, which is the ability to steal someone else’s vote. This is even more powerful than last season’s extra vote advantage because now not only does Stephen Fishbach gets two votes, but he gets to subtract someone else’s as well. Take us behind the decision-making in introducing this new twist.
JEFF PROBST: We wanted to give this group of second chance players the opportunity to really play big so we unleashed a lot of fun twists. This was a natural extension of last years “extra vote” with just a bit more power. We do our best to unveil new twists in tiny bite-sized portions, but this season we definitely added in a few extras. The other thinking is that we are getting to a point now where we have so many twists in our history/arsenal that I anticipate another level of game play to begin to arise — and that’s players lying about having certain advantages even when they don’t.
So Jeremy finds an idol clue that tells him to search out a light after it gets dark that will take him to the next hidden immunity idol. Question: Is it possible that someone else (say, Joe) who may have wondered over there at night to go to the bathroom or whatever could have come across the idol by chance? Or did you all set it up only once Jeremy started walking over or set it up outside of boundaries where tribemates are usually allowed to go? Basically, were there any precautions in place to ensure that only Jeremy got it since he had found the clue?
Well, I can’t give away all of our production secrets but philosophically I can answer your question. Once Jeremy had the clue, then the idol was designated for him and only him. The risk he had to take was getting caught by someone else, which we couldn’t help him with. But in terms of someone else finding the idol and taking it as their own, that would not have happened.
BONUS QUESTION! Rainy season in Cambodia! You’ve had your fair share of downpours over the years on Survivor, but that one which extended from the challenge through Tribal Council seemed especially brutal. How bad was it?
It was a tremendous storm, absolutely unrelenting. The rain was heavy and it was cold and it was one of the highlights of the season for me. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t enjoy seeing them suffer, but I do enjoy seeing them conquer. That’s a very big part of Survivor for me and maybe one of the most misunderstood in terms of people understanding my own personal take on the game. I like seeing people surprise themselves. But in order to really experience a high you have to have a low to compare it to. That downpour was a major low. I was very concerned about their well-being. When there is a storm like that, all of the executives are on our radios all night checking in with each other and the producer on the beach. But as hard as it is to see them go through something like that, we would not ever intervene unless their safety was truly in danger. Surviving Mother Nature is a big part of Survivor. But we always have plans in place in the case of an emergency.
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I guess I get why Stephen felt he had to make a move — any sort of move — to pad his résumé, so he flipped on Wiglesworth and the others, but it seems like an odd play for Jeremy if he indeed was in the power position of the tribe as Ciera clearly stated. Usually people in that position want to stay the course and not rock the boat since they see a path to victory the way things are going. Did that move surprise you?
Neither move surprised me but I am exactly opposite of you on which move I thought made sense. I think Fishbach is so consumed with making a move that it has robbed him of his greatest strength, which is to just sit back and evaluate and then make his best move based on the assumption that everybody else is making their best move. He’s a very smart guy, but thus far he can’t see the forest for the trees. Maybe this will wake him up.
As for Jeremy, I totally understand Jeremy’s move because he trusts Stephen, and this season especially, the premium on trust is at an all time high. Jeremy is playing a very sophisticated long game. Here’s the thing that players rarely understand their first time playing — odds are you are going to lose. The odds are not great that you are going to win. If we start with 20 players, 19 of them will lose. That’s a 95 percent chance you will lose. Get this in your head: If you play Survivor, you will most certainly lose. Which is why you have to play to WIN. Confused? (Ah, it’s easy, says the guy in the blue shirt who has never played a day in his life.)
It means that any time you have to make a big decision, you first have to make a series of assumptions and then base your move on those assumptions at that moment. And the days of trying to play safe and hide out are also gone because even if you manage to play safe the jury will never respect you enough to award you the victory. And when you get home and realize that nobody ever remembers the runner-up, you’ll start to second-guess your decisions and most likely end up regretting “not going for it.” So take the burden off your shoulders — if you play Survivor, you are most certainly going to lose. Let this free you up so you can play to win.
Tease us up for next week, sir!
Next week you get a DOUBLE DOSE! Two episodes of Survivor! Two amazing episodes. Episode 10 continues our theme of rain and forces a major decision. Episode 11 features one of the most daring moves yet. You’ll love it. Make time in your schedule for a great night of Survivor!
To watch an exclusive deleted scene as well our pre-game interview with Kelly Wiglesworth and episodes of ‘Survivor Talk’, click on the video player below. Also make sure to read Dalton’s full episode recap. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.