Jeff Probst on episode 4 of 'Survivor: Redemption Island' |

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Jeff Probst on episode 4 of 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

(Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS)

Each week, Survivor host Jeff Probst answers a few questions about the most recent episode of Redemption Island.

Which did you find more intriguing: Russell breaking down and crying after being eliminated, or the way he then snapped himself out of it and went into full bore defiant Russell mode?

The breakdown caught me by surprise and showed me how invested Russell is in the game of Survivor.  I think that will go down as a very big moment in Survivor history.  But I was so delighted to see Russell go out the same way he came in — swinging for the fence.  He ate Ralph’s lunch and could quite possibly have given Rob’s tribe a huge advantage come merge time.

Russell also said, “This is my last time playing this game. That’s it. I have nothing else to prove to myself or to my family.” Do you believe him for even one second, ‘cause I sure as hell don’t?

I think in the moment Russell was sincere and convinced he was finished.  You have to remember that he has played the game three times in under two years.  It’s a huge toll both emotionally and physically.  I think given time to recover he could be convinced to come back and I think he has a great opportunity to turn over a new leaf and play a different way.  That could happen, right?

Obviously, a huge part of the episode was the back and forth between Ralph, Russell, and Phillip at the Redemption Island challenge. When you first conceived the idea of letting tribe members come to watch these duels, did you consider not allowing them to interact with the participants, kind of like a jury at Tribal Council?

From the moment we decided to let them come to the duels, we knew we wanted interaction. Part of the reason for allowing tribe members to attend was to create more layers of separation from those who were left back at camp.  That’s why I always remind them, “Whatever you share is up to you…”

Okay, tease us up for next week, Probst!

Next week… one of the best examples of “outwit” I’ve seen in quite a while.  You will want to tip your hat to the person behind the feat but you’ll have to do it while wiping away the tears of laughter at how they do it.

For more from Jeff on last night’s episode, check out To read Dalton’s recap, click right here. To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode as well the cast sharing their most embarrassing moments ever, simply watch the video player below. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.


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