'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Jeff Probst says Gervase is 'in it to win it'

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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: Every time I see a challenge or duel involving footholds, I think to myself: The guy with the big feet is not winning this. Have you all explored the idea of altering the footholds to match people’s shoe size —  similar to what you do with challenges in which people only have to hold up a certain percentage of their body weight? Or is it just tough noogies.
JEFF PROBST: My initial response is tough noogies, but as with all Dalton Ross suggestions — this one will be put into our creative fishbowl for upcoming seasons. As with all of your ideas, it will go through the agreed upon vetting process, overseen by the U.S. Reality Challenge Committee Organization that you founded last summer to help Twitter haters find their inner peace through competition. I’d say there is a very likely possibility that nothing will change as a result of your demand, but as always, that last comment of mine ( I’d say there is a very likely possibility that nothing will change as a result of your demand) will be scrutinized by our sub-committee (also overseen by you) for bias. If bias is found, it may result in my termination as host and subsequent replacement by former contestant Jenna Morasca — your side kick on EW MORNING LIVE, heard weekday mornings on SIRIUSXM satellite radio.

EW: The first post-merge episode is always one of the most exciting in that anything can happen, and whatever does happen often dictates the course of the game from there on out. Do you get that sense when you have your first post-merge Tribal Council? Is there a different energy to it?
PROBST: There is definitely a different energy and the only consistent thing about the first Tribal, post merge is the uncertainty. Pre-existing alliances are always put to the test because nobody can be sure that what “was” still “is.”  Quite often there is a blindside that then awakens a few people to how the game has shifted and at that point it becomes a brand new game. Those in control now try to stave off those on the bottom. There is never an easy day on Survivor. You just can’t afford to sit back and say to yourself, “I’m okay for now.” As a result, the wear and tear accumulates. The merge is the beginning of the home stretch and this is where you have to be on your very best game every single moment of every day.

EW: It took 13 years, but Gervase just made his first big Survivor move! He really seemed to be the swing vote here as he chose to stick with Tyson instead of his former BFF Aras. What’s your take here? At that moment, which side did you think he would have been better off with?
PROBST: I never have enough information to know what is best for any player, but I liked the move because it was a big strategic move. I think Gervase probably has a better shot against Tyson so maybe that was what weighed his decision. I just love seeing him stepping up. Gervase is hard to read and that makes him a dangerous player. One minute he truly appears to be half awake in the game and the next minute he’s pulling the rug out from under you, flashing that great grin that so clearly says “Caught ya looking.” It’s clear he’s in it to win it this time.

EW: Speaking of Gervase, we know how much he loves a disgusting food challenge. Tease us up for next week, sir!
PROBST: Ah yes… Gervase was part of the first group to participate in the “local delicacy” challenge back in season one — where you have to get down local foods that most of us would find disgusting. He was most remembered for not being able to eat a grub. It’s still fun to go back and watch that challenge.  Thirteen years later, wouldn’t it be great if Gervase got a second shot at that grub…

To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode, as well as our pre-game interviews with Aras/Vytas and John/Candice, 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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