Survivor host Jeff Probst on that dramatic vote change at Tribal Council | EW.com

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Survivor host Jeff Probst on that dramatic vote change at Tribal Council

(Robert Voets/CBS)

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: Kaôh Rōng.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with the reward challenge, where former NBA player Scot started shooting baskets with a big lead, yet fell behind 7-5 to Nick before coming back and pulling out the victory.  It was almost a repeat of river rafting guide Kelly Wiglesworth losing a paddling competition to Gervase back in season 1. How big of a blow would that have been for Scot to lose? And how much of a feather would that have been for Nick? 
JEFF PROBST: Interesting question… was the episode that boring? :) Anytime you’re perceived as the expert in something you’re in a bit of a lose-lose situation. You’re expected to win, so there’s no glory if you do… but if you lose, oh man! So yeah, I think Scot’s NBA buddies would have given him a hard time had he lost to Nick. It was a tight finish though so Nick can feel good about that and Scot retains the title of best buoy shooter of the day.

Really nifty immunity challenge that ended with the tribes having to build a tower of blocks. As soon as you saw the yellow Gondol tribe building a tower with the smaller blocks that would up top first, did you sense they were in trouble? 
I’m not smart enough to know what kind of strategy will work in a challenge, but I do get excited when I see unusual approaches to solving our challenges because of what it says about the game play. Survivor requires you to take chances. If you play a “safe” game, it’s very difficult to get to the end, let alone win. So when you see a tribe taking a risky or unusual approach, it tends to bode well for them from a big-picture perspective. It doesn’t mean it will work in that specific moment, but it says to me that they are looking for ways to “beat the system.” 

As you know from visiting location, when we build challenges, we often leave “opportunities” within the challenge for players to find and use to their advantage… or disadvantage. So everything is fair game. And, of course, when a large block bonks someone on the head (sorry Joe), it also helps!

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There is nothing better than watching a vote change right before your eyes at Tribal Council. Take us through what you were seeing being there as multiple conversations starting breaking out as players changed their votes from Julia to Peter — with Aubry actually changing her vote right at the urn!
Tribal continues to evolve. I couldn’t be happier when conversations break out, because it tells me that the game is alive. That’s how it should be. The days of old when people walked into Tribal with their vote “locked in” are long gone. You have to stay open and listen for clues as to what is really going on. People make mistakes at Tribal, and you have to be aware enough to catch them. 

Remember, Tribal goes much longer than you see on the show. Everybody gets asked questions, so everybody has an opportunity to help or hurt themselves. This Tribal was yet another turning point in the game, and it was electric to witness it in person. I knew it was not a done deal and with all the variables the question centered around where would the vote land? I also think this marked a turning point for Aubry. She started out on day 1 in tears, overwhelmed by the elements. She survived and is starting to really blossom as a player. Changing your vote at Tribal is a giant move. You can’t be any more active and alive than that— and I loved it.

I don’t say it enough, but despite my snarky attitude at times, the truth is I respect the people who play this game so much. I have a bit of an idea of how absolutely exhausting it is on every single level. Whether you are first out or the last one standing — every player offers themselves up in basically the same way and that’s remarkable.

Okay, Hostmaster General, deliver us a juicy tease for next week’s episode. 
Next week is a big episode.  A lot goes down, strategies are refined, and more is revealed about just how tough this season is on every single player.

Check out an exclusive deleted scene from the episode above. Also make sure to read Dalton’s full episode recap. For more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss, and check back soon for our exit interview with Peter.