Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: Edge of Extinction.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with a very scary moment as Lauren passes out during the immunity challenge, falling hard. Take us through the scene there when it happened. From where you were, could you hear her talking about how she was dizzy and couldn’t see before she dropped? And how did you juggle making sure she was okay and checking in with her while still monitoring a challenge that remained in progress?
JEFF PROBST: During the challenge, I didn’t have any idea Lauren was struggling. Once I saw the footage, it made more sense. She was talking very quietly to herself, almost under her breath. And then she just dropped. When something like this happens we have a very clear protocol. Medical is called in immediately and because they are at every challenge it only took a few seconds before Dr. Joe and his team were at Lauren’s side.
From that point on, Dr. Joe is in charge. That’s why I turned things over to him. If at any point he had told me to stop the challenge, we’d immediately stop. Because the challenge was static and nobody was going anywhere, I just kept checking in with him waiting for his decision. Fortunately, it was only a few moments before she woke up and Dr. Joe quickly indicated to me that she was fine and we could continue with the challenge.
Maybe the most significant impression of the entire event was Lauren’s reaction the second she woke up. No fear at all, only frustration. She wasn’t worried about her health in the slightest, she was just mad that she passed out. That says it all. She is one of the most competitive players we’ve ever had, and she manages to play very hard while still being very kind. That’s a rare combination of human.
My favorite scene of the episode was what appeared to be the break-up of David and Devens. We’ve certainly seen alliance-partners argue about moves or drift apart or backstab each other before, but I’m not sure we ever had a scene like this where two people who had worked together all season could not agree on the same course so calmly and mutually agreed to part ways. Did it surprise you that David and Devens could not find a way to come to some sort of agreement and stay on the same page?
I’m so glad you brought this up. I agree, it was a fascinating moment. Those critical moments on Survivor are where character is almost always revealed. In this case, what it really said to me was that both men are here to win. Friendships are great, and maybe when it’s over David and Devens will have one. But on the island, you must do what is good for you. Only you. Nobody else cares about your game. Never be fooled. It’s a zero-sum game. Ultimately, I can win only if you lose. That move between players is the kind of move that you rarely see. Very level headed. No disrespect, but very clear. This doesn’t work for me. This entire cast is playing hard. It’s been a while since a game has been this up for grabs. And we still have Edge of Extinction waiting in the wings…
Eric repeatedly used the Loved Ones visit as, at best, a carrot at the end of a stick, or, at worst, a threat to keep Kama folks in line. Do you think he hammered that point home too much and that ultimately got him voted out? And the way Survivor has evolved, is it pretty much impossible to keep an alliance of that size together anymore?
I like Eric. He had a game plan and he was very consistent. But, like most every person I know, he has a blind spot. One of the tricks of Survivor is limiting the traps you set for yourself with choices you think are foolproof. It’s a crazy circle. And one of the enjoyable parts of watching Survivor at home is you get to judge those choices that players make. It’s so easy to critique when you have all the information. Eric just didn’t see how he was coming across. Imagine if Survivor was broadcast in real time and one of the advantages you could find was “Ask The Audience!” You’d step into the jungle and have sixty seconds to get as much insight as possible from fans watching at home. Fans might have told Eric: “Dude, you are blowing it!!! Back off!”
And yes, a large alliance is next to impossible. I’m sure there are future players reading this and thinking “I could pull it off!” And maybe it will happen again. Unlikely, but possible. One of the reasons it’s so unlikely is because every player is constantly asking the question…. Where do I stand in this alliance? And no matter how gifted you are socially, it’s very difficult for every player in a large group to convince every other player in that large group that they’re the most important. Beyond that, nobody in that large group wants to take credit for a blindside for fear of retaliation, but everybody in that large group knows they need a blindside under their belt to add to their resume. This causes a lot of indecision and before you know it, that large group is splintering, and a blindside is soon to follow.
Okay, we saw a big reaction from the jury in the preview for next week’s Tribal Council. What can you tell us?
One of the craziest Tribals. Ever.
Check out an exclusive deleted scene from the episode at the top of the post and also make sure to read our full recap as well the cast pitching ideas for new twists and themes. Plus, for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.