Each week, host Jeff Probst answers a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water. Now, he gives his take on the finale and live reunion. [SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched the finale of 'Blood vs. Water.']
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: He found both the idols, he won the last two immunities, and he made the biggest move in the game by taking out Aras and then all the couples. How impressive was the Tyson victory, and did you think he had it in him after what you saw the last two times out?
JEFF PROBST: I thought Tyson played a really good game. He handled a lot of people — giving each of them what he thought they needed to stay loyal. Definitely did not think of him as a favorite to win given his previous two outings. I was impressed with how hard he played especially once Rachel left. If you look at the history of winners, it’s impossible to categorize what “type” of person most often wins this game. Tyson is unlike any other winner and he deserves the title as much as any other winner.
EW: What do you make about all the jury people picking at Monica’s personality. None of that stuff seemed to have anything to do with gameplay? Is that an example of, I’m hurt that you got rid of me so I’m going to hurt you back?
PROBST: I am still unclear on what it is about the Culpeppers that rustles so many feathers. The only observation I have to offer is that they do seem to have a pretty good life and they like to talk about their good life and oh yeah, they look good while they’re talking about their good life and Monica was in a super tight alliance and she won a bunch of challenges and her skin is flawless — so maybe it’s just a lot for mere mortals to endure.
EW: Do Hayden or Tina beat Tyson if one of them makes it to the final three?
PROBST: I wanted to ask that question tonight — but there was just so much happening that I had to toss it out in favor of other stuff. Had the drawing of the rocks gone down differently and Ciera, Hayden and Katie ended up in control you have a very different game. I think the scenario you suggest would have been a fantastic final tribal and I think it would have probably been a close vote. I don’t know who would have won. People respected Tina, people liked Hayden and Tyson clearly played a great game.
EW: I’m sorry, but did Kat just tell everybody about her new boob job on your show? What the hell was going on there?
PROBST: As far as I can tell, Kat was trying to make a joke about new breast augmentation. I think the joke was, since she didn’t make the merge, she got boobs to keep Hayden happy. But in her own charming way — Kat’s explanation made it very difficult to follow, even for me and I thought I knew where she was heading. But of this I am certain — she did get a boob job and she is happy with it.
EW: Obviously you had the tricky job of getting in and out of a really tragic emotional story with Tina and Katie’s son/brother. Was there ever any thought that one or both of them might not attend and how were they doing backstage before heading out there?
PROBST: Regarding attending the live show, I simply said to Tina and Katie that we understand whatever decision you make, just take care of yourself and don’t worry about the Reunion Show. Whenever you decide, even if it’s the day of the show, that’s okay. We just want you to be wherever you most want to be, where you feel safe and loved. She wrote back immediately saying she felt that coming to the finale was what they needed. It’s a very hard thing to even ask a mom to talk about, but in typical Tina fashion — she just steps up and deals with things as they come. I have even more respect for her than I did — and that’s saying something. I hope Tina and Katie feel they made the right decision to come to the show and that they felt surrounded by people who care about them.
EW: Congrats on another great season, sir. Now tease us up for Survivor: Cagayan!
PROBST: 3 tribes. All new people. No returning players. We’re continuing the social experiment we started 14 years ago by dividing the tribes based on brawn, brains and beauty. It’s pretty interesting how quickly those labels turn into badges of honor. As always, the audience will tell us if it was a good season — I’m optimistic!
To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s finale, as well as our pre-game interviews with the final seven, simply click on the video player below. To read Dalton’s recap of the finale/reunion, click right here. You can also click here for more intel from Probst on the next season of ‘Survivor’. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.