Jeff Probst breaks down the 'Survivor: Philippines' finale, including the immunity advantage and Penner's final comments

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. And click here for exclusive intel from the host on next season.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I put down Survivor: Philippines down as the seventh best Survivor season ever, right below Palau and ahead of Samoa. Now that it’s all done, where does it rank for you?

JEFF PROBST: Ah man you’re way ahead of me, I just got home from the live show and post show margarita’s at El Coyote.  But  I can say that I’m with you in that it’s a top 10 season, but honestly I haven’t had time to properly evaluate, I’m still wiping Dawson’s lipstick off of my face.

EW: There was so much I loved about this season and this finale, but the one thing I really did not like was giving someone an advantage in the final Immunity Challenge. Even though Malcolm earned the advantage fair and square, I still want that final, most important Immunity Challenge to be on a completely level playing field. This was a pretty significant change for the show so I’d love to get your insight on why you all decided to do it, how you feel about it now, and whether it is something we may see again.

PROBST: I love that you have such strong opinions.  Part of the success of Survivor is experimentation and this was something we’d discussed for many seasons.  I don’t hold onto as much purity about the game as you do.  I like expanding the box and trying new things and I was happy with this, especially given that it didn’t ultimately help Malcolm.  It’s too soon to know if we’d bring it back again as a regular thing but personally I’d be open to it.  Chalk this up with yet another thing we differ on, along with a final three vs a final two!

EW: I want to ask you about Penner’s comments at the final Tribal Council. What did you make of him outing Lisa’s celebrity past just moments before the final voting, something Mike Skupin, who was still competing for the money, did not even do?

PROBST: Ah man you just reminded me I forgot to ask Penner that question during the reunion.  Damn.  I blew it.  I even wrote it in ball point pen on my card so I’d remember.  I thought it was a bit petty. I don’t know why he needed to do that or wanted to do it.  I can only assume that it’s because he didn’t end up in her final alliance, though he paused when he had the chance.

EW: I hammer you about this every season, but I will not stop until you bring it back: What’s up with the lack of skydiving, jet skiing, and motorcycle riding while delivering the votes to the U.S?

PROBST: Ah so many reasons, including running out of clever ideas!  When you think of a great one let me know and maybe we’ll attempt it!

EW: Finally, tell me about the conversation with your wife after Dawson ran over and smooched you at the live reunion.

PROBST: My wife is such a great sport.  She was laughing so hard during the commercial break.  Turns out Carter put Dawson up to it.  I had absolutely no idea she was going to do that – but it was funny and made for a nice moment at the end of the show, which must have been somewhere around midnight on the east coast!

Check out all the rest of our ‘Survivor’ finale coverage, including Dalton’s full episode recap, exclusive intel from the host on next season, and interviews with the final four. Plus, enjoy an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s finale — as well  as pre-game interviews with the final four — in the video player below. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop all year long, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.


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