Survivor host Jeff Probst weighs in on the big tribe swap
Each week, the host answers a few questions about the most recent episode of 'Game Changers'
Each week host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Game Changers.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’m not going to ask you if you were happy with the results of the tribe swap because I know you’re happy no matter which way it turns out. However, I will ask what it is like for you and the other producers once you walk away from that beach after a swap. Do you all break down the most intriguing storylines as a result of the new tribes, and if so, what were the things that struck you most about this swap?
JEFF PROBST: Yes, that’s exactly what happens. The minute they begin to take their spots with their new tribes, all of us are evaluating the impact. Who is on the wrong side of the numbers? Who is reunited with someone they’ve played with before? What is the division of men vs. women? How evenly are they divided in terms of strength? Sometimes it’s really even and sometimes it’s very uneven. If there is one tribe that is clearly going to struggle in the water or doesn’t have any strong people to do heavy lifting, you will probably see John Kirhoffer (supervising producer in charge of challenges) start to squirm because he is thinking of the next challenge and how it will play, but the rest of us just take note and move forward.
The big story on this tribe swap were the people on the wrong side of the numbers. It’s a game-changing moment when you go from being a part of a strong alliance to being all alone. We tend to focus the story on those people for a moment because the decisions they make in those first few moments with their new tribe are critical.
RELATED: Ranking Every Season of Survivor
So, let’s get into the whole goat situation. I realize it’s difficult to answer this on a full stomach, but what would you have done in that situation: eaten the mommy goat or let her go? And how much would your vote have depended on how the other people were voting?
No question I couldn’t and wouldn’t kill either of the goats. I know it’s hypocritical given I’d be happy to eat one of the chickens. And I know it’s hypocritical given I’ll be having sushi tonight for dinner and steak later in the week. I am well aware that I am full of annoying contradictions, but in this case, it just didn’t seem fair. The only reason they caught the mom was because she was protecting the baby. It was an uneven playing field. But if the entire tribe wanted to kill the goat, then I would go along with it.
Watch PEN Fan Forum: Survivor, on the new PEOPLE/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) here, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.
One of the things you learn being around Survivor this long is there are times to make your point and times to just be quiet. If the rest of your tribe is going to do something you disagree with, stating your apprehension only causes more separation. It’s happening either way, so if you can’t stop it, don’t waste the chip. Again, I’m talking only in a situation like Survivor, not in real life where the stakes could be much higher. I have no problem sticking up for what I believe in those situations. But in a game of social politics, you gotta know when to go with the flow.
BONUS QUESTION: I just want to touch on this quickly because it’s worth clearing this up for people that did not watch the Second Chance season: In terms of an idol being hidden at a challenge, you only hide it if someone has found the clue, correct? And as these idols at challenges now become more common, do you expect players to start looking for them even without clues?
The answer to your first question is there are no rules that are hard and fast when it comes to idols. But in this case, yes, we placed it only after we knew Troyzan had found the clue because in this case it was only meant for the person who found the clue. As for the second question, maybe some people will start looking for idols at challenges, even though we’ve never just outright hidden one without a clue, but it comes with a heavy risk. If you focus more on an idol than winning a challenge and you get caught, you’re probably gone.
It seems to me that Brad really got one over on Tai here by telling him that keeping a strong ally in the game could hurt him later at the merge. (If that was the case shouldn’t everyone just vote out their strongest partner?) What was your take on Brad’s move and Tai going along with getting rid of Caleb?
Brad is a very good player and I am so happy we are getting see his strategy. We knew when we met him he could be very good, but playing with his wife the first time around was complicated. I don’t think there is a universal approach when it comes to how to deal with past relationships. I think the Tai and Caleb alliance is a very unique situation because Tai was so open about his fondness for Caleb. So you do assume they would vote together, even though I’m not sure that’s the case from Caleb’s point of view.
So yes, I think Brad made a great move and one I would have looked at as well. As for Tai, we all know he is a very fun player to watch and a top 10 fan favorite. But I still can’t fully figure out his game. Does he make mistakes at times by being too honest about his feelings? Or is he putting on a bit of a show by playing naive? The jury is still out on that one!
Looks like we have a Tribal Council double whammy in store next week. What can you tell us about what’s coming up?
What I can tell you is that’s not all there is to that twist… it’s another game-changing moment and another amazing episode. Anything else would spoil it.
Check out an exclusive Survivor deleted scene at the top of the post, as well as the ousted Caleb’s pre-game interview above. Also, make sure to read Dalton’s recap, and for more Survivor scoopage, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.