Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: Cagayan.’
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I know you guys always have your immediate impressions after a tribe switcheroo, so what were your thoughts as to the new Aparri and Solana tribes after you saw which way the buffs turned out?
JEFF PROBST: Sarah is in trouble. That was my first thought. My second thought was and we have a new game. It happens so fast, less than a minute and the game is often flipped on its head.
EW: Is Trish and Tony flipping to vote out Cliff a textbook example of the others not making people at the bottom of their pecking order feel valued? From what we saw, Cliff, Lindsey and Woo really kept Trish at arm’s length and made it super clear she was at the bottom. Isn’t the key to a successful alliance making sure the people on the bottom never realize they are on the bottom?
PROBST: I think about this all the time, and the more we play this game the more I realize that it’s very difficult to achieve both a tight tribal alliance of five or six as well as a smaller “final 3″ type of alliance. There are so many obstacles working against you. It’s easy to sit at home and say “just make them feel included,” but I do think it’s similar to a clique in school — even within the clique, someone is always on the outside. Fortunately, from a producing standpoint, that’s why this game is so fun. It’s very easy to understand but very difficult to master.
EW: The element of complete luck or chance is something I love as a viewer but would probably hate as a contestant (unless it worked out for me!). The tribe switcheroo is a perfect example of how whether you win or lose the game of Survivor could totally depend on what color buff you randomly pull. Obviously you are not automatically a winner or loser depending on what you pull, but it can have a HUGE impact on your chances. If someone were to ask you what percentage of the average person winning was due to skill and what percentage was due to luck, what would you say? What’s the ratio look like?
PROBST: I think it’s tough to put an actual number on it because it varies from game to game and player to player — but luck is certainly a big factor in Survivor. I would have to do some deep research to verify what I’m about to say — but I’d be willing to bet that there has not been a single winner for whom luck didn’t play a pretty big part in their game. I like that element in Survivor because it’s truly out of anyone’s control. You can’t predict if there will be a switch, a merge, an idol, Redemption Island, Exile Island, two tribes or three tribes, a final three or a final two, the Medallion of Power, whether it will rain and put out your fire, or rain and put out the other tribe’s fire, whether some crazy person will throw your rice in the fire, or even if a tribemember will quit — just to name a few possibilities. You can make assumptions and hedge your bet, but luck will always be a big part of this game. Just like life.
EW: Okay, looks like there is going to be some fallout from that vote at Tribal Council. What can you tease up for next week?
PROBST: I can tease up…a first! Twenty eight seasons in and still another Survivor first. Good enough?
Click on the video player below for an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode featuring Alexis calling Morgan out as “malicious” and a “mean girl,” and make sure to read Dalton’s recap. Also, for ‘Survivor’ scoop sent directly to you, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.