'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Jeff Probst weighs in on puzzle copying

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Image Credit: Timothy Kuratek/CBS

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I have asked you this before, but in light of Laura blatantly copying off of John’s puzzle at the duel, and Kat not wanting to do it because she viewed it as “cheating,” it seems worth asking again: Why not put blinders up so contestants can not copy off of each other during puzzles, especially since it can give the person closer to the completed one (in this case, Laura) an advantage?
JEFF PROBST: Complicated question and answer. Historically we have used them more times than not. But then there are certain puzzles where cheating just doesn’t help because the puzzle is so complicated that by the time you realize what your opponent is doing, it’s too late. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether we use one or not. As to the fairness issue — that comes down to the luck of the draw (we always draw for spots) or in the case of Redemption Island — it’s the order in which you arrive at Redemption. We always fall back on the idea that this is their world. We strive to let them make up as many rules as we can. In the end, how you play the game will determine your outcome as you still have to get people to vote for you in order to win. 

EW: The contestants do the math and know a merge is coming up, so I was shocked that Tina would allow Vytas to stay, thereby creating another power couple in the game once he is reunited with Aras. Then again, maybe that offers a bit of camouflage for her and Katie. What was your take?
PROBST: Man, this season is so different from any other in the history of Survivor that at this point I was guessing as to what was going to happen next almost as much as they were. I have honestly never been so off balance. It’s one of the many reasons it feels so fresh — because it is.  I can only say this — I think Tina is a very good player. I do think she does get hurt sometimes by still not playing fast enough or thinking far enough ahead, so maybe this is one of those times. Or… maybe she knows exactly what she is doing.

EW: You told Entertainment Weekly Radio after filming that you hoped to do the Blood vs. Water concept again, and then I saw you tweeting out the other day that couples should send in audition videos. Is this something we can look forward to again, and if so, how often do you think you could go back to this twist?
PROBST: Right now we’re just exploring lots of ideas, including another Blood vs. Water with returning players, a Blood vs. Water with all new players, no blood/no water at all, one tribe of first offs, tribes of strange looking twins, most annoying losers, Probst-haters (the line would be around the block for that one), worst facial hair — we’re in our 14th year, we are open to almost any idea!

EW: BONUS QUESTION! Would you break up with someone who did not make it to the merge, Jeff?
PROBST: There comes a time in every man’s life where he has to decide — Should I Stay Or Should I Go? My mom didn’t bring me into this world to end up with a non-merge making woman.  Sorry, Kat — even though you’re super adorable and your sense of humor makes me laugh — you no make merge, you gots to go.

EW: Okay, looks like we have a merge and someone getting back into the game next week. Tease us up!
PROBST: You just did. Redemption Island — winner is back in the game and the losers are out for good.  I love this point in the game because the player who returns to the game often dictates which way the game will tilt. Do they become a swing vote? Do they re-enter a former alliance? Or are they a quick vote out and sent right back from where they came? It’s on, baby.

To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, as well as our pre-game interviews with Laura/Rupert and Kat/Hayden, 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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