‘Survivor’ Strategy Roundtable: Jeff Probst, Parvati Shallow Take on the No-Collars


"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Worlds Apart” scoop! I delved deep into the Nicaraguan wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily in the weeks leading up to the premiere, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.

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The days before the launch of a new season of “Survivor” are full of fun little “what-ifs.” What if Corinne Kaplan and Ace Gordon team up to rule Gabon with a cruel, yet hilarious iron fist? What if Michael Skupin literally loses a limb? What if the young tribe tries to trade the Medallion of Power for some Fun Dip?

So, I thought it’d be a fun exercise and a chance to learn more about this season’s contestants if I asked; what if “Survivor” host Jeff Probst, “Survivor: Micronesia” champion Parvati Shallow, and some other random dude played with the “Worlds Apart” cast?

Parvati Shallow: Hali’s really cute, she’s smart. She has a good perception of other people. I would definitely work with her and trust her in my alliance. As far as getting to the end with her, I think she’d be a clear threat to win the game. So, I’d take her to the end, but not all the way to the end.
Gordon Holmes: I’m really on the fence about her. This cast wants to make moves and I’d have to convince her that the best moves for her would involve keeping me around. We’d need a common enemy instead of just picking off random people we’re not aligned with. I guess the fact that I’m so wary of her speaks to how much respect I have for her potential.
Jeff Probst: So much potential. She’s one of my favorites on this season. When she walked in the door I fell in love. I like the underdog. Me and her to the end.

Probst: My concern would be that she’s going to change her mind. She’s going to get a better offer. She might think it’s fun to vote me out even though it makes no sense. I wouldn’t mind stabbing her in the back. I like Jenn. I’d love to be on a boat that she’s sailing. She’s a blast.
Shallow: (Laughs) I agree with a lot of that. I think Jenn is a bit of a wild card. You want to trust her, you want to like her. She’s definitely incredibly likable. I’d like to play the game with her and hang with her on the beach. But, I think she could go whichever the wind blows. I could see her being manipulative and the kind of person who wants to make a big move. Make a big splash. Make a name for herself.
Holmes: I really like Jenn. She is a mega-ton of fun. But she is scary. I could see myself being very paranoid whenever she wanders off to get water. I’d work with her, but I wouldn’t make any long-term plans with her. Fortunately, I could see her being a juror that would respect and reward you if you cut their throat.
Probst: I’m not going to align with Joe. He’s just too young for me, I don’t trust his life experience. Way too likable and good-looking for me to give him a chance to go deep in the game. I’m going to use him until I can get rid of him.
Shallow: I disagree. I really like Joe and I don’t think he’d be able to beat me at a final jury. I’d take him all the way to the end. And I think that he and Hali would be a good combination. I’d work with those two. Something about Joe makes me really want to trust him.
Holmes: Joe is my dream alliance. Golden boy, challenge stallion, I’d be no threat in his eyes. He can take all of the attention off of me and what I’m doing. I’d just have to get rid of him in the final stages. No way I’m sitting next to this guy at the end. And if the tide does turn against us, him getting voted off would give me time to scramble.

Shallow: Nina reminds me of Kathleen Sleckman from “Micronesia.” She’s one of those people I think wants to be liked. So, if she feels comfortable, and liked, and valued, and included, then she can be an asset and a vote. But as far as relying on her for strategic plans? I wouldn’t do that. She’d be like Will to me. You’d tell them how to vote.
Yeah, in a season that seems overrun with hardcore players, she’s going to be someone who’s happy not to be first and then happy not to be second. I think I’d try to do a thing where I’d make others think she’s on the outs like Monica Culpepper in “Blood vs. Water.”
Eh…Nina…it’s not happening. She’s not meant for this game long term. Nice woman, but I wouldn’t even consider aligning with her.
Hey, it’s how I feel.
Holmes: I like Vince. I think I could definitely work with him. Let him take the lead, hang back. “Yeah Vince, you’re right Vince.” Then I’d have to get a gauge on how potential jury members were liking him before deciding when to make a move on him. If he was rubbing people the wrong way, I’d try to take him to the end.
Probst: He’s not going to be in my alliance. If I was on a tribe with him and I had to align with him, my approach would be, “Brother, just tell me what to do. You’re clearly the wise one. You’ve lived on the streets. I haven’t.” Then I’d follow his lead and hope for a switch or a merge.
Shallow: Yeah, I agree. This guy reminds me of Coach so much. I would appeal to his ego. I’d fan the ego, give him a lot of praise, a lot of compliments. I’d make him feel really comfortable, like he’s running the show. And then, get rid of him whenever you need to.

Probst: I would probably align with Will. And I’d make him want to please me. I’d say, “This is the way it’s going to go; my way. I know this game, you don’t. If you move left when I tell you to move right? You’re done.” And eventually I’d get rid of him because he’s super likable.
Shallow: He’s really likable. But, he could also be a liability. He doesn’t seem to really know the game much. I wouldn’t get that close to him. I’d think he’d go with the last person that told him what to do. I’d make sure I was that last person he spoke with before Tribal Council.
Holmes: Yeah, he’s my Edna Ma. If he’s loyal and listens, we can go a long way. If he wavers, he’s gone. I think this cast is a bunch of players and the jury will really appreciate gameplay. So, if I can get a coaster on my side, all the better for the final Tribal.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

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