‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Breaks Down the ‘Worlds Apart’ Premiere


"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

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I didn’t give “Survivor” host Jeff Probst a second to breathe after So was sent home. I stormed the Tribal Council set to get his thoughts on the season’s hot start, So and Joaquin’s questionable lie, and what he thinks will happen next…

Gordon Holmes: How are you feeling?
Jeff Probst: I’m feeling about as good as you can feel given that my life is already pretty (expletive deleted) good.
Holmes: I have written in my notes “Happy Probst.”
Probst: Yeah, I’m pretty happy. We’re on day three and I’ve been saying this since twenty minutes into day one, I think this is going to be an incredible season. How do I know that? I have no idea. But, if the first twenty minutes, first challenge, and first Tribal are any indication, we’re in good shape.

Watch the Season Premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart”

Holmes: Let’s talk about that first challenge; you’ve got the free spirits getting it done, the Blue Collars following their lead, and the White Collars failing.
Probst: I was initially surprised that the White Collars picked what most people would say is the easiest puzzle. But then, I realized, that probably makes sense because the White Collars do get the knock of making conservative, safe choices. From afar, I would think you have the biggest brain power out here, why not take a chance on the five piece and see. Spend two minutes on it, then switch. I think they made a tactical error and are afraid to admit it.
Holmes: I consider myself White Collar, any my plan was if I had a lead, I’d go with the 50 because I’d have time to barrel through it. I thought it’d just be a put-the-numbers-in-order puzzle.
Probst: That’s exactly what they thought. You were right in sync with them.

Holmes: Tyler seems like he’s the conscience of this tribe. They treat him almost like he’s an innocent. Everyone seemed like they were yielding to him and trying to make him happy.
Probst: Surprised me. Not only have I never seen anything like that this soon in the game, I had Tyler completely wrong. I thought Tyler would be trying to get in with everybody else. I was completely off on him. Whatever he’s doing is working.  They see him as some kind of moral compass. Maybe that’ll last another day, another 36 days. Who knows? He’s definitely one of the surprises. And it makes me happy because I’ve wanted him to be on the show for a while. He’s been through casting many times.

Holmes: As a producer, would you ever let someone make a neutral choice like So and Joaquin dreamed up?
Probst: I didn’t know about that until tonight. So, when I heard that they added their own element, I thought it was a pretty terrible lie.
Holmes: You guys don’t have twists so people can take the middle road.
Probst: That was their mistake. They didn’t go with a lie that made sense. But, I did feel for them because I think a lot of people would choose to deceive. Like Max said, I wouldn’t hold it against you.I don’t think So got voted out for choosing to deceive. I think she was voted out because she’s a pain in the ass.
Holmes: It seemed like she was rubbing people the wrong way when we visited the tribe camp.

Holmes: A lot of people had high hopes for So going into this season.
Probst: I think So herself is extremely disappointed right now. She’s looking for somebody to blame. I was surprised how things went with So, I thought she was going to be a very sharp firecracker out here. And I think she is in life, it just brings up one of the truths about “Survivor”; you make your play and it works or it doesn’t. She might come out again and play differently. The only thing I saw from So at Tribal that concerned me was that she never changed her approach. The entire night she kept defending. I don’t think there’s enough nuance in that for her to ever have a shot.
Holmes: I think the second Max admitted that he was lying to her that she should’ve gone into hyper scramble mode.
Probst: Yeah, she was trying to say there’s more to me than meets the eye. But, there are sometimes you just can’t change the vote.

Holmes: It’s such an impressive cast, that you can’t get too upset when one of your favorites goes home.
Probst: The way I would say it is; you can’t get disappointed when somebody good goes home, because somebody good is going to go home every week. We have the luxury of having seventeen other good people out there. So, I’m not going to be disappointed at all.
Holmes: No disappointment that the obvious “So Long” vote wasn’t made?
Probst: Somebody said, “So Much Drama,” that was good.
Holmes: That was Shirin.
Probst: OK, yeah, “So Long” would’ve been a great one. But, you’re a writer. You’d be good out here…for the writing part of it. Let’s be clear.
Holmes: Yes, the looks part and the challenge part would be a disaster.
Probst:  (Laughs) I didn’t say anything about looks!
Holmes: I told you, I’m not young enough to be a young good looking guy or old enough to be an old cranky guy…
Probst:  But didn’t you kick Parvati’s ass?
Holmes: That I did. But, she’s sick of hearing about it.  I’m not sick of talking about it.
Probst: I was just saying that I was there, you faced Parvati, and you defeated her.
Holmes: She had a significant lead, too.
Probst: You kicked her ass. But, you just said you weren’t good at challenges.
Holmes: People who brag about challenges don’t last long, Jeff. You know that.
Probst: Got it. Understood.

Holmes: Alright, who’s going home next?
Probst: No prediction. I don’t even know what we’re doing tomorrow.
Holmes: Is White Collar coming back to Tribal without So?
Probst: I’m thinking what the next challenge is…
Holmes: I believe it’s the water basketball challenge.
Probst: Oh yeah. I’m going to say that White Collar is going to lose again.
Holmes: Who gets voted out?
Probst:  I think Joaquin needs to scramble fast. He’s got to work. And he’s at a disadvantage because he doesn’t know the game as well as other people. And at Tribal, he doesn’t speak so well for himself. I could barely hear him.
Holmes: He’s learning on the job.
Probst: If he can pick up the speed he’ll be OK. He’s a sharp guy. If I was him I’d go after Shirin, I’d leave Carolyn alone. But, at the end of Tribal, Max, Carolyn, and Shirin were all holding hands. So, who knows?

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