‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Recaps the ‘Blood vs. Water’ Premiere


Jeff Probst (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Gordon Holmes: Let’s start at the beginning, Day Zero…I think we expected everyone to show up cold, muddy, and miserable, but everyone seemed to be in good spirits.
Jeff Probst: We didn’t know what the weather was going to do. Fortunately for them they got a beautiful night with a beautiful moon and no rain. The good thing about “Survivor” is whatever happens we use it to our favor. It became; welcome to the calm before the storm. Those people who never played were like, “What were they talking about? ‘Survivor’ is not so tough!” Yeah, you were out there for four hours with no obstacles. They’ll get so hot during the days, then so cold when it rains, they’ll be thinking, “Oh my God, that was like a camping trip.”

Holmes: Let’s talk about Gervase’s performance in the challenge. My jaw was on the floor.
Probst: Gervase’s charm is that he gets by on so little. It’s fascinating to watch. He was the worst in the challenge today, but he talked the most trash. I love that.
Holmes: If Marissa getting the boot had something to do with the way Gervase talked trash, that’s a big deal. Who would’ve ever thought a tribe would punish someone based on the actions of their loved one?
Probst: Never, I was completely surprised. I’m still thinking about the ramifications of the notion that you could be out here playing your best game but your idiot family member does something and people get mad and hold it against you. Or, even more likely, they think, “I don’t want to be in an alliance with that idiot, so if we keep this person I might because we’re going to merge at some point. I’m going to get rid of you now so that won’t happen.” Who knows what’s going to happen at the duel, but I bet if we held it tonight Marissa would look at Gervase and say, “It’s because of you, just so you know. It’s because you were a jackass. You should take my spot in this duel.” That’s what I would say if I was Marissa. I’d lean on my uncle.
Holmes: What do you think Gervase would do?
Probst: I don’t think Gervase would quit, and that would kind of be a quit. I don’t think Gervase works hard enough to win anything at Redemption Island.

Holmes: In other news, your seven picks to possibly win the game managed to stay away from Redemption Island. How does that feel?
Probst: (Laughs) I feel good, I feel vindicated and justified for all of the naysayers who thought my picks weren’t worthy.

Holmes: Now as we’re talking this hasn’t aired, we’re sitting on a Tribal Council set. Do you think you have the pieces to put together a solid premiere episode?
Probst: We have a great first episode. We have an opening marooning that starts the night before, we have a split, we have an initial vote out, Rupert saves his wife. We have tears from Candice’s husband John when he doesn’t make the switch. We have one tribe that gets fire, another that doesn’t, showing the value of experience. We have a great challenge where the returning players are so bad in the water that there’s no way they win…except for the fact that the newbies are so bad at puzzles that the returnees manage to comeback and win. Then we have a blindside at Tribal Council. We’ve got all the pieces.

Holmes: There have been a lot of doubts with all of these twists. A lot of those doubts came from me. However, I’m prepared to say it looks like you guys are off to a great start. As a producer, how does it feel to put me in my place?
Probst: Aww…I don’t feel like I’ve put you in your place, but it’s great to hear you say that. One thing about talking to the press of “Survivor” is you guys know the game and you’re usually not excited about anything we do. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) That’s fair.
Probst: I get it, you’re shooting bullets saying, “Prove it.” But we’re going on our fourteenth year and you have to continually try new things, and that’s what we did with this. And we’re well aware it’s a risk. But we’re one episode in and there’s certainly a lot to talk about. With a little bit of “Survivor” luck, hopefully we’ll have a really good season.

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