‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Ranks the ‘Blood vs. Water’ Castaways

Jeff Probst (CBS)

Quick Note: I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Blood vs. Water” competitors before the game began. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each pairing in the days leading up to the September 18th season premiere. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for those interviews, behind-the-scenes exclusives, and more…

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Gordon Holmes: OK, we can’t have you getting bored out here on location, so I have arranged an activity.
Jeff Probst: Fun.
Holmes: I’ve given you flash cards featuring all twenty of this season’s castaways. I need you to put them in order from most likely to win to least likely to win.
Probst: (After a few minutes of arranging the names) OK, in front of me I have laid out who I think can win, who has a shot to win, who will probably be middle of the pack, and who has no shot to win.
Holmes: Excellent, now tell me why…

 1. Hayden – Kat’s boyfriend won “Big Brother.” He’s a good guy, good looking, charming, I root for him. I didn’t see the “Big Brother” season he was on, but I can tell why he won.  2. Aras – Aras is probably the most boring winner we’ve ever had, but it’s because he’s so good at keeping things in check. He knows where his center is and he doesn’t let you get to him. He comes back at you with love. It makes if very difficult to get rid of him even though you know you should. Why am I going to get rid of Aras when I can get rid of someone else? That’s Aras’s charm.
 3. Vytas – Aras’s brother is also up here as a possible winner, which is pretty amazing. Vytas would win a very different game. I’m guessing Vytas’s game would be a little darker, a little manipulative. Vytas’s story would be, “I’m the underdog and I’m truly creating a second chance in my life.” He had a rough younger part of his life, was hooked on drugs and has recovered. He’s been sober for 14 years and has really made something of his life.   4. Caleb – Instantly liked him, maybe five seconds after he started talking I wanted him on the show and I thought he could actually win. He’s the guy you want to win. He doesn’t have a big sense of self. He clearly takes care of Colton and as he said in casting, “When I want something I let Colton know. I’m not a doormat. Colton doesn’t always say the brightest things and I try to help him be a better person, and together we’re a really strong couple.” Caleb would be one of the best winners ever.
 5. John – Doctor, helps out wounded vets, good looking, extremely likable, always seems to say the right thing. If that guy gets deep into the game he could win. So, we have on my winners list here, five men…no women.
  6. Tina – Well…there is a possible winner wild card. I was really bummed when she was voted out early the second time around. I think Tina could win this game, her only obstacle is she’s the oldest woman out there and people judge older women as weak. But Tina lives this life. She lives out there, she takes showers outdoors. She can do this. I hope she finds an alliance that gives her a chance. She’s really good strategically.
 7. Ciera – And you know what? I’m going to put Ciera up here as a possible contender. Ciera is a really interesting woman. A really young mom. She’s extremely proud of that. But Ciera is not someone that anyone is going to walk over. She has several guns, she votes against gay rights. I’m looking at her thinking, for you to get my vote…huge obstacles. But if you can prove to me that you’re worthy, then I’ll let the fact that we disagree politically go and give you the million. I think Ciera could earn it.
 8. Katie – Now we have a lot of people that are fun to watch, but they just don’t have it to win. Katie isn’t going to win because she just doesn’t have enough life experience yet. She’s very capable, she’s extremely bright, but to outfox everyone in this game? I don’t see it. I think she can go deep, she can make the jury, I don’t see her winning.

  9. Brad – I hope he lasts until the very end because I’m fascinated by him. I love every thing he says. He’s electric and compelling. But, I think Brad’s target is going to be that he’s had a big life already. He’s played in the NFL, he’s a stud, his wife is beautiful, they seem to have this incredible life. I think people will be annoyed by that really early on. Brad’s challenge is going to be how to make himself more valuable than his lifestyle is annoying.
 10. Monica – I like Monica and I’m glad she’s back on the show. I find them to be a really fascinating couple. But I don’t think that Monica fully sees how other people see her. I think that’s what happens to most people who play this game, and I would be no different. She talks a lot. She has a lot of advice and it comes from a good place. But, people don’t want advice out here. The more you say, the more opportunity you give for someone to find fault with what you say.

 11. Tyson – Tyson isn’t going to win because I don’t think he wants to win. I think Tyson lives a life that is so fun that this isn’t about winning a million dollars. This time, I’m going to come out with my girlfriend. Maybe I’ll ask her to marry me, who knows? He’s just this goofy, aloof guy that in a lot of ways I wish I was more like. That guy doesn’t win because ultimately people won’t respect that enough.  12. Gervase – The only way Gervase wins is if he’s in the finals with Rupert’s wife. Gervase isn’t going to win this game, he’s going to maybe make the merge and the reason is he doesn’t work hard enough. Gervase is no different than he was the first time. He’s a really likable guy who wants to get by with as little effort as possible. And that’s OK if there’s a place for him on the tribe. I hope he lasts because he’s funny. And I love that he calls people out. I like seeing him. He makes me happier. But, he won’t be smiling at the end with a million-dollar check.
 13. Colton – He’s not going to win. He knows he’s not going to win. Colton still has an invoice to pay from the last time he played…and I would argue that he quit. I don’t think he had appendicitis. I’ve told him this. I think he manufactured a quit. We brought him back because when we talked to him we thought he’d grown as a person. He got home and his friends told him he acted like an ass. Will he go deep in the game? He should, he’s very good. But he’s not going to win.
 14. Rupert – Rupert is not going to win this game. There’s just too much animosity for a guy who’s gotten so much celebrity from “Survivor.” He was so popular that America literally voted to give him a million bucks. He’s not going to win. It’s not the way the world works, it’s not the way “Survivor” works.
 15. Candice – She just isn’t good enough at making that final argument. She doesn’t own it. She’s really likable. I think she’ll do well in challenges. It takes a certain charisma to win this game. You’ve got to convince people that I’m more worthy than everyone else here. And I don’t see that from Candice. Maybe she’s a little too reserved.
  16. Marissa – Very likable and for a young person she is very sharp. There are people out here that have 30-plus years on her and she can hold her own. But, somebody that young winning this game with this group? It’s not going to happen. She’ll get outplayed at some point and she won’t see it coming.
 17. Kat C’mon, who are we kidding? Kat’s not going to win. Kat might think she can win, but Kat’s best bet in this game is to play the way she played last time. Be lovable and goofy and help her guy get deep in the game. If I was part of the alliance, my part of the strategy would be, “I’ll be the distraction. I’ll let people laugh at me, and we keep inching to the end.” Then she should try to marry him before that so she’s entitled to half the money.
  18. Laura M. – I think Laura is someone that people will say, “Who?” And that could work to Laura’s advantage. When she was voted out of her season we thought we lost a good player. I think Laura can do well in the game if she can get an alliance early. Laura can also rub people the wrong way. Like her daughter she has some strong opinions about a lot of things and she won’t waver on them.
 19. Rachel – She can’t win the game. I just hope the strong version of Rachel shows up and not the little girl. When we talked in casting she was very candid that there is a girl who cries and a woman who doesn’t. Who will show up?   20. Laura B. – And as hard as it is to say, and it is hard to say…Laura has no chance to win this game. I don’t think she understands why. She’ll think it’s because of who her husband is, but I think it’s because of Laura. I think socially she has a harder time blending with people and I don’t think she sees it. And all the producers agree our first choice to be voted out first is Laura.  She will be the first person out of this game.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

Don’t miss the special 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET.

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