Each week, host Jeff Probst answers a few questions about the most recent episode of ‘Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites’.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start off with a question about the first immunity challenge in which the players had to balance their feet on narrow footholds. I’m too lazy to go compile stats to back this up, but these types of challenges always seem to clearly favor women with smaller feet. Much in the way that strength challenges are now done by percentage of body weight so that bigger men do not have an unfair advantage, has there ever been any thought to evening these types of contests out somehow — especially considering how the two smallest women went for hours longer than anyone else?
JEFF PROBST: Nope. Maybe we should. Our goal is to keep the challenges uneven, unpredictable, and yet hopefully still as fair as possible. There certainly isn’t a science to it and there is always room for improvement even when things aren’t broken. I’ll bring it up to the challenge department. It’s a note worth exploring.
EW: After three hours, Andrea and Brenda added their own twist to the rules by agreeing to put one foot in the air until someone dropped. What did you think of that agreement, and would you have then called someone out if she had dropped her other foot back onto the platform?
PROBST: I love it when Survivors take the game into their own hands. That’s the ultimate — when the game doesn’t need any kind of host, it plays itself. It’s what we were going for when we tried “Do it Yourself” challenges. This is a better version of that. The key is that everybody has to agree. If one person disagrees then we don’t do it.
For instance, back in Palau we had a final three challenge that ended up lasting 12 hours. After about six hours, darkness set in and we needed light. So, we first brought out fires and placed them in floating bins in the water. This accomplished the goal of light and it fit our aesthetic. It was a perfect solution. Katie and Ian were fine with it, but Tom Westman was not. He said “Nobody ever said there would be smoke from fire blowing in my face during the challenge.” He was right. So we pulled the fire bins and had to bring out generators to power lights and put them on a barge. It was a massive process but we did it because we would never do anything to risk the integrity of the game or make it unfair for someone.
It’s worth noting, that Tom Westman went on to win the game. So, yes if one of the girls had touched her foot after they both agreed to the new rules, I would have called her out, and if she was voted out of the game as a result there would be no sleep lost.
EW: Andrea’s undoing was ultimately revealing whom she wanted voted out and whom she wanted to bring to the final three. What did you think about the way she was ultimately blindsided and is this a common mistake that players make: giving away too much information instead of asking others what they would like to do, thereby gaining information instead of revealing something that might make others question you?
PROBST: You make a fair point, but when you’re in the middle of the game it’s so tricky because you often just don’t have enough information. I really don’t think there is any general philosophy you can count on. If she merely asked what others thought, there is no guarantee they would tell her the truth and she could still have been blindsided. One simple example of an argument for taking a stance on who to vote out is this — If I give the right people a reason to vote someone else out, they’ll go with me because it’s not them that is being voted out. I love Andrea. I would have her back again. She can win this game.
EW: As if Dawn hasn’t cried enough this season, now you’re bringing the loved ones in?! What can you tell us about next week’s visit and episode?
PROBST: Well, I can tell you this. Hang on. Wait for it. I cry. Yes. I cry. It’s that good. And… not only is it emotional, but it the loved one visit is directly connected to strategy and holy cow does it play out. I love next week’s episode.
To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, simply click on the video player below. To read Dalton’s recap, click right here. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.