‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Host Jeff Probst Breaks Down the First Tribal Council

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: Whispering at Tribal Council has become more and more common at Tribal. Do you like it because it adds an air of mystery, or are you worried that we’re going to miss something important?
Jeff Probst: I like it…it’s funny…I’ve never thought of either of the two things that you just said. I don’t worry about it all because I trust that they’re going to do what they want to do anyway. And in terms of the mystery, it’s cool because it adds doubt to what you think is locked in. But mainly, I like that it’s what I would do. You don’t get a second chance. I like that Gonzalez stood up. I was shocked. When I asked if we were ready to vote, she shot her hand up. My first thought was, “Wow, this is a real thing that’s going to happen from time to time.”
Holmes: She did not consent.
Probst: No, she didn’t.

Holmes: On the other hand, you’ve got Donathan who wasn’t privy to any of the whispering. He’s just sitting there. How can you possibly do that at this point?
Probst: Yeah. I think Donathan told you his story. He’s lacking self-confidence. His self-esteem is so low from the friends in his world that he doesn’t have the constitution to stand up and say, “I’ve got a voice too.” So, maybe he’ll last long enough that we can watch that voice grow. Wouldn’t that be cool to see him come in as quiet as a mouse, then leave roaring like a lion.

Holmes: Jacob was done for. We were at tribe camps yesterday and he was desperately searching for idols. You can’t script “Survivor,” but if you could, wouldn’t he be the first person you’d send to Ghost Island? Was there a silent little fist pump going on?
Probst: Yes, you’re always looking for good moments. But, I trust the game. What I thought was more interesting was him saying that he predicted it and it was all part of his plan. That made my jaw drop. Either he believes it or he believes that we believe that he laid it out so he’d be the guy.
Holmes: Has anyone ever pissed off all 19 other players in the first three days before?
Probst: (Laughs) That’s a good question. It’s rare air.

Note: Andrea Boehlke was sitting nearby.

Holmes: Settle a bet with me and Boehlke. In the beginning of the game, when you introduce people and say, “You in the red shirt, what’s your name?” Do you do that in case they want to use a different name?
Probst: Yeah.
Holmes: You hear that, Andrea?
Boehlke: No it’s not!
Holmes: He just said it!
Probst: Whatever you want to do, I don’t say, “Hey, Andrea.”
Boehlke: I thought it was so they could introduce themselves.
Probst: Why does nobody ever believe me when I give an answer?
Holmes: Just let me be right for once.
Boehlke: Fine, you’re right about something. But, we’re fighting.

Holmes: Michael is lying about his age. And you asked him how long he’s been watching and he quickly responded with the correct fake age.
Probst: That was awesome.
Holmes: You should’ve drilled him with some more. “When did you get your driver’s license?”
Probst: (Laughs) He’s a sharp man. I have to remind myself he’s eighteen. He doesn’t look eighteen. He’s saying he’s 23 and I don’t want to blow it. It’s pretty impressive.
Holmes: Who else impressed you tonight?
Probst: Brendan is a legit threat. He’s gifted. He can answer a question in a way that keeps him safe but lets other people know he’s still strong. He’s complimentary to other people. He seems like a natural leader. I thought James…really like James. He’s such a contrast to everyone on his tribe. He really does analyze every little thing. And he does it so fast that to him it must seem normal. I like Libby a lot. I think she’s a sleeper. You can miss what she’s doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if she returns two or three times.

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