Each week, host Jeff Probst answers a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I was wondering how Tina was going to handle this mother vs. daughter duel. My take was that Tina was just too competitive to actually lay down and throw it. Being there, what was your take, and how did Katie seem to feel to you when Tina asked her if it was okay to knock her out?
JEFF PROBST: I wasn’t sure how Tina was going to handle it. I think it would have been a much tougher decision if Katie had shown her mom that she really wanted to stay in the game. In that case, I do think Tina would have stepped down. I think it would have been difficult but I think she would give Katie the opportunity to get back in the game. My take on Katie is that she did Survivor for her mom and for the shared experience, but not because she loves the competition. In that sense I think it was easier for Tina because she knew that her daughter really was okay being knocked out of the game.
EW: I’ve picked on Ciera quite a bit in the recaps earlier in the season for following others too much and for performing so poorly in the challenges. Has she redeemed herself in these past two episodes by showing people she is willing to take risks, and pulling out a big immunity victory?
PROBST: I say yes. I think we rush to judgment very quickly — and I include myself in this tendency — when we often need to give people a moment to find their footing in the game. Survivor is very easy to back seat drive, but much more difficult to play in the moment. I’ve been very impressed with Ciera’s game play. I think she falls into the same category as someone like Andrea — a young player who is learning as she goes along.
EW: Wow, Hayden has been working it HARD these past two weeks at Tribal Council in an attempt to sway votes. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone so competitive and combative, yet in such a likable way that nobody even seems upset at him after for it. How good is this guy?
PROBST: Hayden is a natural. He’s very persuasive, he’s much sharper than people give him credit for — plus he has a rare quality to not take it personally. If you can get to the end of Survivor by playing hard while still maintaining a sense of humor, you can win. Hayden could win.
EW: BONUS QUESTION! I was away last week but have to ask you one question about that insane tiebreaker. And clearly it is the most important question on everybody’s mind: What happened to the purple rock? Why change it to white?!?
PROBST: Ha! That’s funny. Didn’t even occur to me. Honestly. Until you just asked I never even thought about it. We had not done it in so long (23 seasons) and honestly we didn’t think it was going to happen anyway — that I don’t think anybody thought about it much more than making sure we had rocks and that one of them was a different color than the rest. Nothing more to it. Nice work, D Ross — making us look bad once again!
EW: The sign of a really good season is that you can’t believe the finale is already here. And here we are! Tease us up for Sunday night, sir!
PROBST: Sunday will be big fun because there are still so many people left in the game. One person from Redemption Island will re-enter the game and have a shot to win it all. I’m very excited about this finale. I’m amped about the live show. We have a tremendous group of players to talk to and a fun update from Cochran! We’re also taking Twitter questions from the audience and we’re teasing our next season. It’s a full show! And yes —- the non jury members will be back on the stage this year! Can’t say it will always be that way but for this season they are back!
To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, as well as our pre-game interviews with Hayden/Kat and Tina/Katie, 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.