'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Jeff Probst weighs in on Ciera and Monica's big moves

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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 can see why Ciera voted out her mom to stay with the majority and not make waves. What I’m more interested in is your take on Ciera basically asking her mom to throw the challenge at the final 6 and not win immunity because she would then feel vulnerable. Would you ever ask a loved one to do that or agree to do that if a loved one asked you?
JEFF PROBST: I think Ciera is showing herself to be much more shrewd than I first thought. Or she’s learning as she goes. Or maybe both. I think Ciera’s gut is right. Laura is a major threat. She just seems unbeatable and the only way she lasts to the end is to win, win, win. So Ciera is looking long term. If we want a shot at the money, you have to fall on the sword. To wait only increases the odds that Ciera gets voted out. If Ciera can show her alliance she’s with them, she might buy herself another Tribal.

EW: Monica wins the challenge, which comes with a huge feast reward. You tell her she is allowed to have one person join her, but she immediately asks if she can give all the food to the tribe (excluding herself) instead. Two part question: 1) Was this just a cagey way of her getting out of having to make a tough decision that could upset people on her tribe? And 2) How do you decide on the spot there whether to allow a proposed deal or not?
PROBST: 1) Hard to know with Monica. I do believe Monica has a big heart. I don’t think it’s all show. I also know Monica is very good at finding her place within the group and I think she is doing a great job of staying out of the way. Giving the entire group the food seems like a pretty good move simply due to the number of people you are pleasing, and yes, it takes the burden of disappointing someone off your shoulders — which is related to staying out of the way. Anything that buys you another Tribal can’t be bad and I think that should ensure her at least one more vote. 2) It’s really a gut call but for the most part I am fine with a deal so long as it doesn’t stretch the boundaries of fairness.  We’ve done so many twists over the years that we’ve offered all sorts of options and any of those are typically okay. Had she made it more complicated like asking if she could just have one bite and then everybody else get the rest I would have said no. Her deal was very clean and in the spirit of the reward. I’m guessing she thought through this while she was out there competing.

EW: One of the advantages to shooting in the Philippines is the ability to do more water challenges, yet the contests of late have mostly been on land or, like tonight, hovering over water. I know you all need to mix them up, but will you all be back in and under the water again this season?
PROBST: Are you seriously using your third question to talk about how much we’ve been in the water? I’m so disappointed. We’re in the home stretch of one of our best seasons, a brand new concept, incredible emotion as Laura cries while describing what it’s like to watch her daughter grow up in front of her and you want to know when we’re be back under water? Maybe you’re sick and someone else wrote these questions? I look forward to your usually well crafted questions but this one leaves me feeling… empty.  I feel like a kid who waited all night to see what Santa brought and I awaken to find coal. Gonna take me some time to sort through this one. Guess I’ll catch ya next week. If you are sick and this isn’t you, I hope you feel better. [Editor’s Note: Dalton is perfectly healthy…or so he claims.]

EW: BONUS QUESTION! Okay, Jeff, so as if hosting the gold standard of reality television, directing movies, and showing off your “bacon bits” on Two & a Half Men is not enough, you’ve also got another book out this week, the third entry in your Stranded series. What can you tell us about it and where’s the autographed copy for my daughter?
PROBST: Thanks for asking!  STRANDED is a kids adventure book series.  It’s basically Survivor for kids!  This third book (Stranded: Survivors) finishes off the first adventure for Buzz, Carter, Jane and Vanessa!  But… another adventure awaits! We’re writing books four, five and six right now. This next adventure promises to take them into a completely different world where so many more things are possible including a first crush and a massive do or die battle if they ever want to get back home. All books are available at bookstores, online (Amazon, B&N) and Scholastic book fairs!

EW: Okay Mr. Naked Bacon Server, hook us up with a tease for next week, won’t you?
PROBST: Well it won’t be a plate of bacon! Next week… Vytas has a role reversal – this time he’s the one  getting picked on — can he survive?

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