Jeff Probst on episode 5 of 'Survivor: One World'

Image credit: Monty/Brinton

Each week, host Jeff Probst answers a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: One World.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Sometimes you guys do the pre-merge tribe shake-up and sometimes you don’t. As first day five-person alliances become more prevalent, is that something you’ll do more of to keep contestants — and viewers — on their toes?
JEFF PROBST
: Hmm…you mean switching up tribes? If so, there’s no rhyme or reason as to why we do it. We have learned that a switch doesn’t mean it will buy you anything other than a chance at some new reality. But not a guarantee. After 24 seasons, we just try to find any way we can to keep them off balance going into the game. But yes five-person alliances are something we have to deal with, and I’m confident we’ll come up with something very good!

I imagine you and the crew were also pretty nervous and excited to see how the tribe shake-up played out. What was your initial reaction when you saw how the tribes were divided up?
Well, that wasn’t what we hoped for where one tribe got all the strength and the other tribe had squat. But that’s what I meant in the last question — so often a switch works against you because one tribe ends up being so much stronger. That’s why we don’t always do it and we never count on it to help shift the game — it’s just one element. The only good thing about one tribe dominating is slowly the audience will begin to pull for the underdogs. It almost always happens.

On the message boards last week a lot of people were complaining about not wanting to watch as long as Colton was on, due to their extreme dislike of him. How do you balance that feedback with the knowledge that, deep down, viewers do love having a villain to hate and root against — especially when that villain finally gets their comeuppance?
There is no way to balance that kind of animosity. Truthfully, I don’t think any of us knew he was going to say and do the things he has said and done. We knew he came from a small town and had certain entitlement issues, but it wasn’t until he was on the beach that it started getting nasty. And let me be really clear — I do NOT know most of what is going on out on the beach. I had no idea how physical it almost got with Bill or how nasty he was being to other players. Colton is definitely in a small category of players that the audience truly despises. I think Colton is different from Russell in that sense. I’m very curious to talk to him at the live show in May to see what his experience was like after all is said and done.

Tease us up for next week, and also reveal the answer to your “history repeats itself” clue from last week. All I could come up with was one person from an alliance (in this case, Alicia) being completely separated from the rest of her group by a tribe shake-up.
I have to admit something to you…. I was one week ahead! I had been watching next week’s episode! I screwed up! So my tease for next week is…. history repeats itself! Sorry about that!!!

For more from the host, check out Jeff’s Tout page. To read Dalton’s recap, click right here. To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, simply watch the video player below. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Read more:
‘Survivor’ recap: Switching Sides
Jeff Probst on episode 4

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