'Survivor: Philippines': Jeff Probst addresses jury fairness issue and says there are no more hidden immunity idols

Image credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Image credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

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

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Abi keeps lying about having a hidden immunity idol, and it got me thinking: In the past, after idols have been used, you have put new ones back into play. Does that mean there actually are two idols out there replacing the ones Abi and Penner used after the merge, or did you decide not to recycle the idols this time?
JEFF PROBST:
Typically, once an idol is played we put another one back into the game. But this season, because we started with three, we decided that three was enough. There is a fine line between the fun and chaos an idol can bring about and putting yourself in a position where everybody is safe at Tribal Council! But because there have been so many twists and turns, the players never know what might be happening. They can make assumptions based on previous experience, but they’re never absolutely certain.

A group of Survivors including Michael Skupin and Russell Hantz took to Twitter this past week to debate the fairness of allowing jury members to hang out together and possibly influence each other on final voting. What’s your take on this? Should jury members be sequestered from each other like before the game starts, or is group jury talk just something that players at the end should be factoring into their gameplay all along?
If it was logistically possible to sequester everybody on the jury, we would do it in a heartbeat. Ba-bump. That fast. But it’s just not something we can pull off. It’s too expensive and we’d need 8 separate places to keep them. Not gonna happen in the middle of the South China Sea! Yes, it impacts the game and probably not always in a good way. But in life, gossip does the same thing. So you have to manage what you say about people in the game knowing if may come back to help or hurt you — same as in life.

The tears always flow at the loved ones visit. Which of this week’s family reunions packed the biggest emotional punch for you and what surprised you the most when you saw the visitors and how they interacted with their relatives?
This was a very powerful loved one visit for me as many of the connections moved me, but Lisa Whelchel really got me because she literally fell into her brother’s arms. She was so emotionally exhausted at that point in the game, and having someone “safe” show up was just what she needed. The other impact of a loved one visit is that sometimes your loved one can say just the right thing — the one thing you need to help you get to the end.

BONUS QUESTION! When we did this last season, you gave us some updates from the set of the new movie you are directing, Kiss Me. What’s the latest on the film?
The film is finished. We are just starting to screen for agents to help us sell it. Emily Osment is amazing and I know she has a lot of fans. Sarah Bolger (currently on Once Upon A Time) is also brilliant, along with Jenna Fischer (The Office), John Corbett and Rita Wilson — awesome cast.

Only two episodes left. Hit us with a solid gold tease, Jeff!
We’re at the point in the show where who you vote out is as important as who you decide to keep. Abi is the wild card. Will she drive people nuts enough to vote her out or can she annoy her way to the final three? It’s a great ending — two more eps!

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

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