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'Survivor: Cagayan': Jeff Probst breaks down that 'exhilarating' Tribal Council

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: Cagayan.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Okay, Jeff. I am not going to waste any time asking you about the merge. I am not going to ask you about the immunity challenge. I am not going to ask you about anything except for what went down at Tribal Council because that was INSANE! Let’s take this point-by-point and try to get your real time reaction to some of these crazy moves. Starting with CRAZY MOVE #1: Tony reveals he has a hidden immunity idol. So basically, instead of stealthily using his idol to block already cast votes against him, Tony reveals it early and allows the competition to come up with a plan B. Why do that? And are you sitting there at Tribal Council at this point thinking to yourself, wow, this guy just blew it?
JEFF PROBST: Hmmm did I think Tony was blowing it? It’s a good question but honestly it’s so hard to evaluate anything Tony does because you never know where it’s going to lead. My Monday morning quarterback assessment is that Tony sometimes reacts faster than he realizes and he gets himself into a situation that he might regret… And then he makes another decision to fix the one he just made. Yes, I was surprised that he would reveal an idol, but…Tony is clearly a guy who is playing to win this game. So he is going to make big moves. If Tony is going to go down he is going to go down in a giant ball of fire.  So I guess my answer is no, I don’t think he blew it. I think he had a strategy to try and scare people off of voting for him, never anticipating he’d then give his idol to someone else… L.J.  t’s a big time move and it worked. He read the situation correctly and you know how much I love that kind of game play. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor: Cagayan': Exclusive merge photos and Tony interview!

He has been the sneakiest sneak of the Survivor season so far. Some of his moves — like putting a target on Cliff with a phantom lie to Sarah and putting a target on Jeremiah with a phantom hidden immunity idol clue — have been ingenious. Others — like yelling out “Top five, baby!” at the top of his lungs after winning a challenge — maybe not so much. And now Jersey City cop Tony Vlachos will have to come face to face with those people not part of his top five when the Survivor: Cagayan tribes merge on Wednesday night’s episode. We have two exclusive merge images (one above and one below) of the big gathering as well as an exclusive midseason Q&A with the guy Survivor fans either love…or love to hate. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor: Cagayan': Jeff Probst breaks down what happened on the big quit

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: Cagayan.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Take us inside how the Lindsey quit went down. How soon after Tribal Council did you get the call? And what does your gut tell you in terms of what made her quit, because we have heard her from time to time during the season talk about feeling miserable out there and regretting signing up for this adventure. Do you believe it was because of Trish blasting her? Because she couldn’t take it out in the elements? Or a combination of the two?
JEFF PROBST: I got the call around an hour after tribal council ended. I had gone back to base camp when the producer on the beach radioed to say there was a pretty intense argument going on between Lindsey and Trish and Lindsey had removed herself from the situation. It’s not unusual for people to be upset after a tribal but for one person to remove themselves from the situation was unusual.  I hopped in a boat and headed out to the beach. Lindsey was sitting alone in the sand just like you saw in the episode. I sat down to talk to her and it was clear she was pulling herself from the game.

As difficult as it is to lose someone from the game in this manner, I was really impressed with the way Lindsey handled it. She was so upset with Trish that she was genuinely concerned she might get physical with her if she stayed in the game.  She wanted to show her daughter a good example of how to handle a situation like that — remove yourself from the situation. As for whether there were other contributing factors such as fatigue and regret, only Lindsey knows for sure.

READ FULL STORY

CBS announces finale dates for 'Survivor,' 'Big Bang Theory,' more

CBS announced finale dates for a slew of its series including the two-hour Survivor finale and a special one-hour The Crazy Ones season finale. The much-anticipated How I Met Your Mother one-hour, series finale had been previously announced.

Check out the other finale dates and times below: READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: Cliff Robinson talks 'Survivor' and meeting Kim Jong-un

Cliff Robinson made in to the NBA playoffs in 17 of his 18 seasons as a professional basketball player, but he experienced considerably less success in his latest competition, being blindsided on last night’s episode of Survivor: Cagayan after two of his former Brawn tribemates flipped sides to do him in. But the former NBA All-Star took the defeat in stride and called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) to chat all about his time on the island…and in North Korea! And now you can hear the entire interview right here on the InsideTV Podcast!

Cliff reveals that he never knew about the plan to throw the challenge to get him out, talks about whether he holds any grudges, and mentions the one thing that happened that he wishes they had shown. Plus, he talks about meeting Kim Jong-un! (There’s something you don’t hear on many Survivor exit interviews.) You can hear the entire interview right here and right now by clicking on the audio player icon below. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor' finale moves off Sunday night for first time in 12 years


The 28th Survivor season finale and reunion show is heading back to its roots — Wednesday night. Entertainment Weekly has learned that the Survivor: Cagayan three-hour extravaganza will air on CBS, May 21 from 8-11pm. Richard Hatch won his million dollar check on a Wednesday night back in the summer of 2000, then the show (and the finale/reunion combo) moved to Thursdays. But in 2002 during season 4, CBS moved the Survivor: Marquesas finale to Sunday night. It went back to Thursday for Survivor: Thailand later in 2002, but then returned to Sunday after that for Survivor: The Amazon is 2003. And that is where the final episode and reunion have stayed ever since…until now. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor: Cagayan': Jeff Probst on the latest Tribal Council shocker

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 gameIt happens so fast, less than a minute and the game is often flipped on its head. READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: J'Tia from 'Survivor' explains her 'scorched earth' move

You might expect someone that struggled mightily in pretty much every single challenge, tossed out her tribe’s food supply, took the lead on building a terrible shelter, and then got voted out one day before a tribe shake-up that could have completely changed her fortunes in the game to have some regrets from her experience on Survivor: Cagayan. But not when then someone is nuclear engineer J’Tia Taylor. One day after being eliminated on the show, J’Tia called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) to talk about how it all went wrong, and we mean ALL went wrong. And now you can hear the entire interview right here on the InsideTV Podcast. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor: Cagayan': Jeff Probst says the Brains tribe 'was so bad it was kind of funny'


Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: Cagayan.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First question, Jeff, and this one comes courtesy of Alexis: Does, like, the rooster have to get it on with one of the hens to make eggs? 
JEFF PROBST: Given I’m from Kansas, I should know this and I think I do. The answer is no, hens do not need roosters to lay eggs. But I see why so many people think so — it would seem to make sense. But the truth is, hens lay eggs whether there is a rooster around or not. But if you want baby chicks, then you need the rooster to fertilize the egg. Did I get it right? READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: Brice from 'Survivor' slams the Beauty tribe

Brice Johnston came onto Survivor: Cagayan wearing bright purple pants, but such attire was not the loudest thing about him. Even months after being eliminated from the show, Brice still has some choice words for his former Beauty tribe, and he shared those words when he called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) today to discuss his early exit. Whether he is blasting Alexis and Jefra for their lack of work ethic, slamming Jeremiah for…well, being Jeremiah, or just talking smack about everyone in general, Brice is ready to let her rip. And you can hear the rippage right here and right now on the InsideTV Podcast.

Brice also explains just how bad that rainstorm was, which players from other tribes he wanted to align with, and what surprised him most watching the season play back on TV. He also maintains the Beauty tribe wanted to get rid of him because he is the cutest member among them. So there’s that. To listen in on our interview with Brice, just click on the audio player icon below. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor: Cagayan': Jeff Probst on which players have proved him wrong

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: Cagayan.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Oh my God! That rain! That wind! Those waterlogged hands and feet! I love it! As a producer, what is that sweet spot of just the right amount of misery you shoot for? On one hand, it’s amazing to see people struggling out in the elements against the force of Mother Nature. But I’m sure you also worry about your players just huddling up under shelter and not doing anything all day because you want them out there doing stuff. 
JEFF PROBST: Good question! When it comes to Mother Nature, there is definitely a point of diminishing returns.  We were close to that point in Samoa when it rained for something like twenty one straight days.  When it gets that bad it not only impacts the Survivors’ health, but also their morale. It also impacts the show, making it hard for us to get from point A to point B and hard to build our challenges. So the sweet spot is probably a good rain storm every few episodes. It’s really quite a balancing act because you want them under constant stress and crisis because that is part of the adventure, but you never want it to crush their spirit. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor: Cagayan': Jeff Probst weighs in on that crazy premiere


Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: Cagayan.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Jeff, you know how much I love it when people have to make decisions on the spot, decisions that could dramatically impact their standing in the game and the way others view them. You had a bunch of those decisions you threw at them right out of the gate. Tell me about that.
JEFF PROBST: The creative for this season began many months ago. Originally it was more detailed and had a few more steps involved, as we got closer we began to whittle it down to the essential beats, and by the time day one hit we were ready to go. The idea was to force decisions because with decisions come consequences. There is nowhere to hide when you are forced to pick a leader. Someone is going to be the chosen one. It’s easy to say,”Just never be a leader, it’s never a good idea,” but playing Survivor from a place of fear is a far worse idea. Plus, the truth is that “leaders” tend to do very well on the show — much better than followers.  The second twist came when the leader was then forced to pick the weakest. Again, decision and consequence. There isn’t anything particularly original about our strategy of forcing decisions, it’s the execution of the twist that matters. And then the third twist, a secret to the rest of the tribe, is that the person deemed “least valuable” now has a chance to redeem or potentially save themselves, and if they are savvy enough, they might even accomplish both. That’s a good opening set of twists! READ FULL STORY

'Survivor: Cagayan': Jeff Probst reveals the players to watch

Survivor: Cagayan kicks off tonight with 18 new players divided into three tribes of Brains, Beauty, and Brawn. Who are the contestants to keep an eye on? Jeff Probst already gave us his take on former NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson. Here are the host’s thoughts on some of the other million dollar winner wannabees that will be making a mark — in either a good or a bad way. READ FULL STORY

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