Survivor: Jeff Probst on the dominance by women in challenges
Each week Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: Ghost Island.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: With Chelsea’s win in the immunity challenge, that means all three immunity challenges this season have been won by women. Not only that, but if you extend it back to last season, an incredible 10 straight immunity competitions have been won by women, and only one has been won by a male (Cole) since last season’s merge. Is there anything to that at all in terms of either the types of people you are casting or the types challenges that are being drawn up, or is that just a weird anomaly?
JEFF PROBST: Crazy, isn’t it? My guess is that it’s just an anomaly. Our challenges are always designed to test players in different ways. Sometimes it’s a tangible thing such as upper-body strength or balance, and other times it’s the intangible — the mental fortitude to continue pushing yourself, even when the pain is so intense you desperately want to quit. But there is no denying the Survivor women of late have been absolutely outstanding in challenges. I hope there are young girls watching this season imagining themselves doing the same things.
You all did something pretty interesting here in the reward challenge, in that you usually tell the contestants if there are extra pieces in a puzzle that will not fit, but here it seemed like the players had to figure that out on their own. Was that the case, and if so, how much do you think that tripped them up?
Yes, that was the case, and I think it absolutely added another layer of difficulty. It’s really fun for us to produce Survivor because of the give-and-take with the players. They come in knowing to expect the unexpected, and that’s what we strive to do — find moments where they might not anticipate a twist and drop it in. I really love how much today’s Survivor player enjoys and even looks forward to those kind of moments.
Desiree tried her hardest to lie her way through Tribal Council. Obviously, the others must not have bought it since they voted Des out, but how would you rate her deception skills? Did she come off as too defensive, or was she a pretty good liar?
I loved Desiree. She played hard. She made a big move, and she got caught and then tried to lie her way back out of it. It was fantastic to watch. She is so good there are times when you’re watching the episode and you can’t remember what is the truth and what is the lie. That’s commitment!
Desiree knew she had to make a big move to gain some respect in this game. She took a risk, but it didn’t work out. How would sum up her overall game and time on the island?
I think Desiree is a great example of how you have to play Survivor. Once you get a lay of the land and the other players, you have to decide which of your skills are best suited for the game. Her primary skill was going with the flow, staying involved, but without having too much responsibility/blame. Then when things got a bit dicey and she realized she needed to make a move, she made it. The move backfired, like they often do, so she resorted to her next best skill, the Desiree Time Machine: “I never said that. It never happened.” Sadly for her, that one didn’t work either.
Hit us up with a tease for next week, sir!
Another new twist catches everybody off guard and changes the game.
Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "DIG DEEP!"