Jeff Probst on episode 7 of 'Survivor: South Pacific' | EW.com

TV | Inside TV

Jeff Probst on episode 7 of 'Survivor: South Pacific'

(Image credit: Monty Brinton/CBS)

Each week, host Jeff Probst answers a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: South Pacific.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Okay, Jeff. You’re on the Savaii tribe and Ozzy presents his plan to get voted out on purpose and go to Redemption Island. Yet you can’t be sure the merge is next, can’t be sure Ozzy will win the duel, and also know that the person he’s going against in Christine was voted out first on her tribe so there’s a pretty good chance you don’t even need to beat her because she may not even want to go back to Upolu. What do you do: go along with the plan or argue to cut Cochran loose instead?
JEFF PROBST: I go with the odds that the merge is coming, knowing that if Ozzy doesn’t make it back, we have Christine as a back up. It takes a big move and this is a great time and a great idea if executed properly. If I’m Cochran, I might also pray Ozzy loses and I get to keep the idol.  Finally, if I’m a fan of the show, I pull Ozzy aside and give him some basic acting lessons starting with: ”Less is more.”

I think you’re a good person, Jeff. But admit that, like me, you love seeing blindfolded people bash their heads into things on challenges. You love it! Admit it! It’s okay to give in to the dark side once in a while. That said, while I have no doubt you and the other producers want there to be collisions, I’m also guessing there is a fair amount of prep and discussion about how the courses are designed so that nothing too bad happens to anyone. Tell us about walking that fine line, and what sort of advice you give the contestants beforehand to keep them from bonking themselves unconscious.
Yes to all of the above. We do like collisions but we don’t want anybody being seriously injured. We start out with a test block where we just walk through the challenge without cameras to see how it’s playing. We’re usually a bit light on the obstacles at this point. So we add a few more well placed logs or barrels or trees, and then we bring in cameras and the full Dream Team and we run a full-on rehearsal. This is usually where most of the injuries occur. Based on the results of the rehearsal we back off or add obstacles. It’s always very tricky because the real Survivors tend to run much harder than the Dream Team so we have to anticipate that and try to accommodate accordingly. As for the advice, I always say the same thing : “Go hard.”

Religion has played a part on the show from the very first season, and has been a major storyline for the past two installments. I have to ask you because we’ve seen it asserted by contestants time and again on this show: Do you think God really cares who wins an immunity challenge and gets to go see a cross-dressing Adam Sandler comedy?
Well I’m a bit like Steve Jobs. I’m 50-50 on the God thing. If there is a God, then I’m guessing that from time to time s/he does check out Survivor and based on who is asking for the “favor,” probably does care about the outcome.  If it’s Coach and Coach is being sincere, I think God would probably lend him a bit of a hand.  I think God appreciates the journey/struggle Coach is on in this lifetime and he probably wants to throw him an encouraging bone. The key with all of this is to remember that simply because God helped one tribe doesn’t mean he doesn’t like the other, just not as much.

Tease us up for next week’s episode, Jeff.
If you thought Ozzy’s move was good, just wait till next week. Game Changer.

For more from the host on last night’s episode, check out Jeff’s Tout page. To read Dalton’s recap, click right here. To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode as well as Ozzy talking before the game began about getting voted off on purpose, and our pre-game interview with Mikayla, simply watch the video player below. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.

Genre: