'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Jeff Probst breaks down the big Tribal Council shocker

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Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You and I have talked about how the majority of the time everyone pretty much has their mind made up exactly what they are going to do by the time they enter Tribal Council. Well, Caleb just blew that to smithereens by telling the rest of his tribe moments before voting that he was writing down Brad’s name, engineering a huge last second shift. Take us through what that moment was like being there in person.

JEFF PROBST: We were just getting ready to vote and with no real clear intention I lobbed one last question to Caleb — I don’t even remember what it was about. Caleb answered and then just volunteered that he was going to vote for Brad. There was no set up, no question I asked that you didn’t see. He said later that he was sitting there and said to himself, “If Jeff asks me another question I’m gonna do it.” It was that random. You could feel the various energies surging — what to do? Could the girls trust Caleb to really vote for Brad? Could Brad trust Hayden and Vytas to stick with him? This was a go-for-broke move from Caleb.

We do the vote and we have a tie. When we have a tie, we do one re-vote and the rules are that if nobody changes their vote and we remain tied, then the two people tied are now immune (yes, immune) and the rest of the tribe must draw rocks to see who goes home. The person who draws the odd rock is out. So it’s a massive move to “go to rocks” — you really have to feel it is your only way to last in the game, otherwise somebody is going to change their vote. We did the re-vote and the girls stayed with Caleb and voted Brad again — they were willing to draw rocks because they felt they had nothing to lose — but Vytas changed his vote sending Brad home and shattering the male alliance. Hayden had the heaviest head as he left tribal realizing that he just lost his entire alliance. Brad was out, Caleb had defected, and Vytas had caved. Even though Survivor is just a game and the stakes are only as big as you allow them to be, those kind of moments definitely excite the crew and you can see that it excites the players too — big moves are very fun.

EW: Brad’s downfall can be traced back to his decision to vote out his alliance-mate John, just over the small chance that Candice might make it back into the game. Had you been in that all-dudes alliance, would you have trusted Brad after that? 

PROBST: No, for the reason you state. If he’ll do it to John, he’ll do it to me. You have to think that way because it’s really all you have to go on. Brad made several mistakes, but most people do. Survivor is a really tough game to play, but boy is it easy to back seat drive! I do it every week at Tribal Council. I think Brad’s biggest adversary is his own personality. He wants it so much and he is so used to being in competitive situations where amping people up is a good thing that I think he just didn’t realize the impression he was making on others. I’m always humbled when I see people try and fail because it always reminds me how difficult this game is to play. You rarely recover from those kind of mistakes. Fortunately, Brad has Redemption Island, so he has a shot at a second chance. While we’re on the topic of Brad — can we just address the Culpepper bodies for a moment? How exactly do they do it? They both have beautiful, sculpted bodies that seem to defy gravity. I’ve seen a lot of people parade around in swimsuits, but if Survivor had a “best couples combined body” I think they’d be a shoo-in!

EW: Continuing with our all-Culpepper edition this week, what did you make of Monica’s move to put the hidden immunity clue that John gave her into the fire rather than risk it making her a target. What would you have done in that position?

PROBST: I thought it was a brilliant move given what had happened to John and also given her perceived place in the tribe. She felt safe and knew it would only draw attention. I don’t think I would have thought of that. I kept thinking that maybe she was going to try and fake it and pretend to put it in the fire but not really do it, but she didn’t. As far as I know she threw the clue smack in the middle of the fire and didn’t think twice about it. Idols are tricky business. I don’t think you can ever just say “this is what you should do” until you are in that exact moment.  Monica is getting a chance to play this time and you can see her truly enjoying it.

EW: I have one word for the Cody-Culpepper reunion at Redemption Island: AWKWARD! Go ahead and tease us up for net week, sir!

PROBST: Their first few moments together on Redemption Island are awesome, and then to go against each other in battle — it will be epic! These are the moments we hoped we would get when we decided to do this season. Blood vs. Water — how far will the couple go to protect each other? How far would you go? Tune in next week, caped crusaders!

To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, as well as the newbies naming what other Survivors they’d like to play with, and my pre-game interview with the ousted Marissa, simply click on the video player below. To read Dalton’s recap, click right here. To read what competing spouses Candice and John had to say about their big duel, click here. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.


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