'Survivor: Philippines': Jeff Probst on 'one of the biggest blown opportunities in the history of this game'

Image credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Each week, host Jeff Probst answers a few questions about the most recent episode of ‘Survivor: Philippines’.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Jeff, is there anything more fun in the entire world than seeing a nice Christian lady who was originally ostracized by her tribe now not only working her way back into the game, but going and getting her hands dirty and making a bold move to try and take control of it? I think I now have a bigger crush on Lisa than I did back in the 1980s! 

JEFF PROBST: There are so many great qualities about Lisa — where do we begin? I recently had her on as a guest on my talk show and what really struck me was her earnest nature.  She’s not playing for the camera, her ethical struggle is legit. A Christian mom struggling to play a game invented by the devil. I believe we root for her because we see the true goodness in her and we want her to give herself permission to play dirty. If she does, she could win this game. I also think she looked better on the island than she ever has before because she let mother nature do its thing with her hair and skin — all of it.  Yes agreed — crush firmly in place.

EW: Two people showing off their hidden immunity idols — and then not using them — and two others blatantly forming alliances on the spot before the vote. Have you ever seen that much chaos and craziness at a Tribal Council? 

PROBST: I LOVED that Tribal Council. This game has gotten so complex and the moves people make are so brazen that you truly never know what to expect. I think it’s good for the game because you cannot hide as easily — people are playing to win. We don’t have as many people playing to “make the jury” and I think it’s because they’ve realized that the regret at not going for the gold will haunt you much longer than being voted out early because you went for it. There is no reason to play Survivor simply to “place” —winning is the only goal.

EW: After the vote you said, “That vote may go down as one of the biggest blown opportunities in the history of this game.” Obviously, you know how it plays out, but at the time, did you think it was a blown opportunity, and if so, by whom? 

PROBST: The blown opportunity was Penner and his lack of commitment to his alliance. For a guy on the outside of a true alliance, he had a shot to firm it up with Jeff Kent and take control of the game. I thought they blew it. Granted my comment only pertains to that moment, but in a game of numbers that was a big blown opportunity. The question is — did Penner miscalculate?  Or… does he have another plan in store.

EW: BONUS QUESTION! Is it at all weird to start reading votes and see your name in there? Ever consider they may actually be voting for YOU, Jeff?!? 

PROBST: Oh, I’m sure many contestants have wanted to vote me off and still do — but they can’t! It’s a bit weird to hear people saying “Jeff” when talking about someone else, and yes, it’s a bit odd to see my name written down. It definitely reminded me that it would not be a good feeling. Seeing your name on a piece of parchment at Tribal Council must be the worst feeling for so many reasons — including the simple truth — “these people don’t want you round no more.”

EW: Tease us up good for next week, Probst!

PROBST: Lisa continues to come out of her shell…and she may have found a new best friend in Penner.

To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode as well as our pre-game interview with Jeff Kent, simply click on the video player below. To read Dalton’s recap, click right here. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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