Credit: Robert Voets/CBS
SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: Kaôh Rōng.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The past two seasons have opened with people scrambling for supplies on a boat before having to jump overboard, a nice old-school call back to the original Survivor marooning. Why does this never get old?

JEFF PROBST: It’s just such an exciting way to start the game. They’ve not been able to say a single word up until this moment, so the first “Hello, how are you?” comes in the midst of making some of the biggest decisions they’ll make — what supplies to take with them? There are chickens running around, people bumping into each other, supplies and people going overboard and rafts floating away. For me, it always takes me back to season 1 when we did this same thing. It was my first real test as a host. We had never done it before and it had to be perfect because there was no going back to do it again. We were so pumped after they all started paddling away and I have that same feeling today. It’s the feeling of “Here we go again!”

What exactly is the Survivor protocol for when someone has a bug enter their ear and start rooting around their head? Was the medical department consulted at all when Jennifer was experiencing that massive pain?

Yes, our medical team was aware. They knew she thought she had something in her ear, but as you saw on the show, it was inside her ear canal so there was no easy way to get it out. Had it become a life-threatening situation then she would have been taken out of the game. Our protocol is this: We will not help any player in a way that gives them any kind of an unfair advantage. So if someone is dehydrated, we can’t give them electrolytes and an apple. That wouldn’t be fair to other contestants. But lancing a boil or giving a contestant some wraps to put on a sunburn is acceptable. In this case I would have said that if they can get the worm out easily to go ahead and do it. Fortunately, that little sucker came out on its own and of course … we got the shot!

Clearly the heat is going to be a major issue this season. How does that impact the challenges you guys do? Obviously this first one required some big exertion, but did you have to tone down the physicality at all this season due to the extreme conditions?

No. We really can’t change our challenges, especially early on. The big tribe challenges take so long to build that even if we wanted to, we wouldn’t have enough time to start building a new one. The weather is always a factor in the game — this season more than others and it will go down as a very physically demanding season.

There is always so much more at Tribal Council that happens that you don’t have time to cram in the episode, so did anything happen in between that first vote (which ended in a tie) and the revote (which sent Darnell home) or was that first tie just to protect against a hidden immunity idol being played?

My hunch is they were pretty sure it was going to be Darnell but they were a bit concerned about an idol so they split the vote. But what’s been interesting about Tribal the past several years is that people do change their mind at Tribal, so Darnell and Alecia were smart to fight to stay in because you really never do know what might happen. And we will see some more of that this season. Nobody is ever totally safe at tribal until a torch is snuffed.

Okay, sir, tease us up for next week!

The birth of one of the best and most unlikely bromances in Survivor history. How’s that?

Check out an exclusive deleted scene from the premiere above. Also make sure to read Dalton’s full episode recap. For more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss, and check back soon for our exit interview with ousted Darnell.

Episode Recaps

SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning $1 million, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "Dig deep!"

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