Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: David vs. Goliath.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I can’t believe we’re talking about the weather again, but that challenge! The rain was pouring down like crazy, and yet almost everyone was all smiles. Is that just because these people are starting to lose their marbles, or is it more that at some point all you can do is laugh?
JEFF PROBST: I think there is probably a bit of what you suggest, “What else can you do but laugh!” I also think it’s a confirmation that we’re putting the right people on the show — people who truly want the entire Survivor adventure and all that comes with it. And I have to add, there’s also the fact that it’s pretty epic to be out there playing Survivor — even from my point of view — when it’s coming down like that. We just don’t get these kinds of situations in our normal lives. I firmly believe that primal drive is one of the reasons the show continues to connect with people. It’s in the DNA of all of us.
Jeremy came into this game at 100 miles per hour. What did you make of his game, and what ultimately led to his ouster?
I really liked him in casting, and we expected him to be a story-starter because of his strong opinions and point of view. But being in the hotel room during casting is very different from actually playing the game. I didn’t anticipate Jeremy coming out of the gate that hot. Every player is affected differently by the group dynamic. I think if Jeremy could do it again, he might try to back off a bit and get a flow going. But hey, that’s the game.
His ouster came early, but it came from playing, and that is all we ever hope from the people we put on the show. We just want them to play the game. Jeremy played. I thought one of the most fascinating aspects to his personality was how invested he became in trying to help Natalie understand how she was being perceived. That kind of honest reflection rarely happens, especially from a non-alliance person. I found the scene between the two of them touching, even if it was ultimately unsuccessful.
We need to talk about Natalie Napalm. “I am very open to constructive criticism,” she said at Tribal Council. What do you make of that assessment and her first nine days out on the island?
I love Natalie. She is a RULER. She must be in charge. Try to take her throne and there will be trouble. She’s a great storyteller because her point of view is so absolutely specific and true to her character. I do think Natalie is open to criticism, it just depends on who it’s coming from. Clearly, Jeremy didn’t make the cut. I am so endlessly fascinated by people, and Natalie has been a bright spot of fun, human observation. She doesn’t see any flaws in her game at this point, which means it’s not the last of Natalie Napalm.
Natalie’s goodbye message to Jeremey was so classic: “That stinging sensation you feel in your eyes right now? That’s the Natalie Napalm. Get off of my island. By the way, your skin is gorgeous, darling.” That leads me to ask: What’s your favorite voting send-off line of all time?
In order to have a great send-off, you have to be able to write something funny and then deliver it. Not easy to do. But when someone nails it and we can use it in the show, it’s one of my favorite parts of the episode. For my choice of favorite voting send-off of all time, I feel it’s appropriate to go back to season 1, where it all began. Richard Hatch, who would go on to become our first winner, stood at the voting confessional holding his parchment with the name Stacey scribbled across the center. He then explained his strategy, which is obviously key to why you vote someone out: “Stacy… uh… tough call. Subtle reasons… [Places vote in the urn.] Not sure exactly what they are.”
And what I remember so well about that moment is there wasn’t the slightest hint of irony or comedy or sarcasm. He really meant it. He had very nuanced reasons for why he was doing it, he just didn’t know what they were. Both can exist. These are the kinds of complicated moments of human behavior that still make this game so compelling.
Looks like we’ve got a big tribe swap coming up next week. What else can you tell us about the upcoming charmpocalypse?
I can say this: The tribe swap… uh, always tricky. Yep. Lots of possible outcomes. Just not sure exactly what they will be.