Every week, Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Simone clearly had a really hard time out in the elements, complaining about — among other things — the lack of air conditioning. Did you pick up on that in casting interviews, that she might have difficulty out there?
JEFF PROBST: We knew Simone would be a fish out of water, and for the record, so did Simone. But what made Simone so appealing is that her entire life has been about making the best of any situation. She has been an underdog time and time again. Survivor is not always an equal opportunity game. Social politics — your ability to read a person or find the nuance in a moment — is key. If you can’t sense how you’re being perceived at any given moment, it could be the beginning of your end. So in that sense, this was another underdog situation for Simone. She has a great attitude toward life and who knows? Maybe she learned a bit about how to play the game of “life.”
You know I love any challenge that involves diving down underwater. But then you also added in a very cool signpost puzzle that I understand was the idea of one Will Arbuckle, who was a fan that came to the Survivor event at EW’s PopFest last year to personally pitch challenge producer John Kirhoffer. Tell us about putting this idea on the show and how you think it played out.
The entire story of Will ending up on the Dream Team is what makes the Dream Team so appealing. It really can be a life-changing and often career starting experience. It’s very difficult to get a new idea into the game. We’ve done this so long and have experimented with so many ideas that the needle is tiny. But Will found a way to take the same thing — a puzzle — and make it different and connect it to the Survivor history.
Will is a great representation of what we look for in a Dream Teamer. Great attitude, willing to get dirty, willing to take some big hits (which he did) willing to work long hours and be relentless in using all your available brainpower to help us make the show better. In many ways, the Dream Team is always the heartbeat of the show. The new young energy that reminds the rest of us to always give 100 percent.
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Chrissy talked about the fact that she did not use the secret advantage idol last week and while now it was technically powerless, she could use it as a decoy idol moving forward. We also saw Mike hoarding some ropes he took off the bags of food from the marooning. How much are you seeing contestants stash items from rewards or other materials to use as possible fake idol-making kits? It’s always existed but seems to have kicked into another gear lately.
I do think you’re picking up on something. People are beginning to dig a little deeper into the possible ways they can fake people out. It’s a subtle shift in gameplay and has to be handled extremely delicately. Restraint is key. Only the finest criminals will be able to pull it off. But when it happens… so much fun!
Okay, tease us up for next week’s episode, sir!
It’s rare but every so often on Survivor, the pheromones kick into gear and love blooms.
Enjoy an exclusive deleted scene from the premiere at the top of the post as well as the above supercut of all 35 of Probst’s death-defying intros. Also make sure to read Dalton’s full episode recap.