Dalton Ross
November 20, 2014 AT 12:00 PM EST

Every week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Wow, I’m still not exactly sure what happened here. Jon worried that Jeremy might possibly realize he was lying about having an idol so voted him out? It seems to demonstrate how even the littlest thing can get you voted out of this game. Do you think this was a savvy, forward-thinking move, or a paranoid knee-jerk reaction from Jon?

JEFF PROBST: I think Jon is playing a much more cutthroat game than he wants people to realize. Jeremy was a legit threat to win this game if they let him continue on — and Jon recognized that and made a move.  Survivor has become so vicious, in the greatest way — I really love it. One of the reasons I love it is it’s making the game much more unpredictable. If Jeremy or Josh played again they could just as easily win as be on the jury and they could just as likely be first out because they’re a threat. There just is nowhere to hide — it’s  fight or flight from the moment the game starts. I truly hope future players learn to understand this and use it to their advantage. When I say you need to make big moves, some people think I am trying to undermine them. I’m not. I’m saying as clearly as I can: You must play to win. It’s your only shot. Yes, you may get voted out, but playing “not to lose” is no longer a viable strategy. You may make it deep, but you won’t win. Look at recent history. The winners have all been people who played the game. Even those who play but fall short are still respected and often invited back to try again. Those who hide in the shadows are quickly forgotten.

Is it just me or do these “selfless” acts of giving rewards to other people — dating all the way back to Yau-Man handing Dreamz that free car — always seem to backfire in this game?

That’s a great question. I think it’s still dependent on the situation and the way you present it to the person. The biggest mistake I see being made is the lack of transparency of your motive. I often stand next to someone who says, “I’m gonna give this reward to my tribemate because they really need it” and I don’t think anybody buys the gesture because it’s inauthentic. If I ever played and was in that situation I think I’d try to just make a straight up deal. “If I win, I’ll give you the reward but here’s what I want in exchange.” I know I can’t hold them to keep their word, but I’m gonna do my best to leverage every move I make in the game. But hey, I’ve never played so I’m just backseat driving and speculating. I have no idea what it’s like to be out there trying to play this incredibly difficult game. I’m also hungry at the moment, so I may be a bit lippy as I write this. Okay, so getting back to your question — I think there is value in trading a reward, but it does require a lot of finesse, a good read of the situation, and a sense of the person you’re giving it to and what you can get from them.

I like you guys coming up with brand new wrinkles to challenges like forcing people to use only their feet to construct that tower. Tell me about the genesis and application of this challenge and how you thought it played out.

The foot challenge dates back to about four months before we ever hit the beach. John Kirhoffer sent his first batch of challenge ideas and he had three different “foot” based challenges. We knew it was going to be challenging to find an idea that you did with your feet that would move fast enough to be exciting to watch and didn’t feel we had it in the first ideas. But John was really determined to make one work so he and his team kept at it and came up with “The Game Is Afoot” and it played really well! It was so fun to see the challenge team birth yet another super unique idea that will no doubt become a launching point for new challenges in seasons to come. So future players, start working on your core!

Looks like the alliance lines are all over the map now. What can you tease up for next week?

Yes alliances are definitely “up for grabs” and the immunity challenge demonstrates how incredibly demanding this game is on the mind, body, and soul.

Check out an exclusive deleted scene and our pre-game interview with Jeremy and Val. Also make sure to read Dalton’s full ‘Survivor’ recap. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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