‘Survivor’ Strategy Roundtable: Jeff Probst, Parvati Shallow Take on the White-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?

Jeff Probst: I’d align with Carolyn quickly. I think people won’t see her and she’ll blend quickly. She’s got that east-coast thing that I don’t have. I’d go straight up to her and say, “You’ve got something I don’t have. Let’s meet the coasts in the middle and run this game.”
Gordon Holmes: I’d really have to see how Carolyn interacts with others before teaming up with her. If she can stay cool, we’re in business. If she’s looking like a first boot, I don’t want to put my neck on the line to save her. I do think she’d be great to work with though because she has good enthusiasm and fun catchphrases.
Parvati Shallow: I like Carolyn, but for some reason I think she’s going to clash with some of the personalities in her tribe. She’s got strong opinions and is really loyal. I would keep her around because I think she’d stick with me and she’d take some of the heat off of me by rubbing some people the wrong way.

Probst: I’d want to align with him, but there isn’t room for him in my game. Only because I think he’ll beat me.
Shallow: This guy is so full of himself. I think he’ll just get on everyone’s nerves by trying to be the big shot know-it-all. I’d flirt with him but wouldn’t worry about pledging allegiance. He’s going to dig his own grave.
Holmes: How is this guy not a dream partner? He’s fit, he’s charismatic, he’s probably going to make a ton of enemies. Perfect person to team up with. He’s an alpha, I’d be a good lieutenant. And if it looked like he was becoming the jury’s fave, I’d lose him at final five.
Probst: I don’t trust Max. He probably knows the game as well as I do, and I don’t like that. So, simply by the fact that I see him as competition, I’m going to take that beard, I’m going to bury him in the sand, and let the scorpions have at him.
Shallow:  This guy knows too much. He’s been studying the game for years, and he’s incredibly manipulative. I would cut him day one, way before he saw it coming and could do any damage.
Holmes: I’m torn on Max. I could see us working together and having a grand old time, but I don’t want to go to the end with him and I don’t think he wants to go with me. It’d become a matter of who bounces who first. That’d probably make for some really tense Tribals. I think I’d rather partner with some lower-risk people.
Probst: Shirin is going to be too much for me. I’m going to ask for a recast. I’m going to ask to be put on a new tribe. They do that right?
Holmes: You could pull some strings. OK, here’s the thing with Shirin; she’s a great person to take to the end. She’s mega smart and she’ll probably be making some enemies along the way. However, most people have a “Just get me to the final three and I’ll figure it out from there” attitude. I’m sure Shirin is going to be thinking about who she wants to take to the end on day one. So, I’d have to pull a page from Sophie Clarke’s playbook and make an intentional enemy or two. In real life, I get along with most people. If it’s looking like I get along with everyone out there, I’d pick a fight with an unpopular future juror or two to make myself a more attractive finals partner.
Shallow: Shirin loves her some Parv. I would work with her because she’s freaking smart. We could put our heads together and pull off some badass moves that would make Jeff’s eyeballs bug out at Tribal.
Shallow: So is savvy. I think she would need to align with someone who needs her to play the protector. She reminds me a lot of Natalie from Micronesia. I would see who So was protective over and make sure she knew that I was also on board with keeping her “little sister” safe.  I would cut So right before the end of the road in a way that ensured I would get her vote at the final Tribal.
Probst: I would align with So. I would tell her, “I think you’re devilish. I think you’re super smart.  I think you can win this game and I’d like to go deep with you to the end. If you beat me, I’m OK with that. If you betray me, I’ll never let you forget it.” Then I would get rid of her three weeks before she’d ever see if coming.
Holmes: Devilish again? OK, with the year So has had, I think she has a lot banking on the next 39 days. Nobody wants to go home, but she realllly doesn’t want to go home. I’d make her feel as safe as possible. Also, it’s not enough for her to go far, she wants to do so in a way that stands out. I’d constantly be building her up and complimenting her moves. Then, I’d try to get rid of her at final seven or final five. No way I’d go to the end with her.

Holmes: I think I could go all the way with Tyler. I think he’s a logical guy and I’d just have to keep giving him logical reasons to stick with me. It would just be a matter of making sure my resume was better than his at the end.
Shallow: Tyler is endearing. He’s strong and pretty self-aware. I think he’d be a great early alliance, but I wouldn’t keep him around for too long after the merge, only because I could see him roping in a few bottom dwellers and making it all the way to the end. Then again, I may just go to the end with him because he could be the Stephen Fishbach to my JT.
Probst: Tyler would be easy for me to work with because I do think he wants to be in my club. I would let him be in my club and I’d keep him because he’s strong and malleable. I’d rein him in, and then when it was time to get rid of somebody, Tyler would go.

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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