'Survivor' host Jeff Probst breaks down all the auction drama | EW.com

TV | Survivor

Survivor host Jeff Probst breaks down all the auction drama

(Monty Brinton/CBS)

Each week Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: Worlds Apart

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I know we already spoke at length about the extra vote advantage, so I will refer people to that article to see our conversation about that, but let’s talk about Mike’s initial refusal to give you $20 for his loved ones letter. He tricked everyone else into doing it so he was the only one with $500 to get the advantage, and only when he caught heat for it did he run back up and change his mind. Do you buy what he said that he had a change of heart, or do you just think he realized what a terrible move that was in terms of how it destroyed his social game and made him completely untrustworthy?  
JEFF PROBST: I think it’s a bit of both. To be fair, I fully understand why Dan and Carolyn might think it was a revealing moment of super lame character and I’d probably feel the same way if it happened to me.  But if I put myself in Mike’s shoes I can see how he thought he was going to be very cagey and pull off an amazing move, without really considering how it would be received.  Once he saw the animosity it drew, he quickly realized A) This is a terrible decision and could kill my chances of advancing and B) What was I thinking? That was a really lousy thing to do. I believe both exist. The bigger question is “What IS the long term damage?”  Did he just cost himself any shot at winning the game? If he gets to the end, will anyone give him their vote? No question it was a regrettable move; now he has to figure out how to get out from under it.  Definitely easier said than done.

Really interesting thing you did here by sending Will back to camp after he “won” the first item, but then giving him a secret stash of food. Where did that twist come from and did you have the sense like I did that if he shared it that the natural untrustworthy nature of the other contestants would only lead to trouble for him? 
The idea came from the same place all of our ideas come from—the Survivor gods.  We pray to them daily and they have been blessing us for 15 years! As to my reaction, I was blown away that they instantly doubted his word. That one totally took me by surprise and in that moment I understood Will’s frustration with having his word questioned. He made this truly beautiful gesture and all he got was “Where’s the rest of it?” And this deep into the game it’s so easy to get angry because you are truly at your end.

Will later asked if he could get his loved one letter if he did not partake in the immunity challenge and you said only if every player agreed to that. Shirin did not. Do you think that was on “integrity of the game” grounds or was that just a personal shot back at the guy who yelled at her earlier?  

Oh, I think that was very personal. I don’t think Shirin would have minded him getting his letter had everything else not happened. She never struck me as mean spirited in that sense. But that was a VERY heated argument back at camp. I think Will’s outburst was totally out of line, but it came on the heels of him feeling equally offended for something totally different and so one bomb set off another bomb.  I’m not excusing any of it, I’m just looking objectively at how quickly things can escalate—and then when you trace them back you can see their origins so clearly.

Judging by the preview that showed Tyler finding Dan’s advantage in his bag, it looks like we’re going to start to feel the ramifications of that new twist. What can you say about next week’s episode?  
The exciting part about having a new twist is nobody has any idea of how it will be played, if it will be played, when it will be played, or how it will change the game, if at all!  It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and it finally felt right and now it’s a viable “thing” just waiting to be called into action!

To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode in which Carolyn explains her “livid” reaction to Mike at the auction and why she was also upset at Dan, just click on the video player below. Also make sure to read Dalton’s full ‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’ recap. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.