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'Survivor': Ousted Vytas talks about Laura's 'low blow' that knocked him out of the game

Vytas Baskuaskas had his spot seemingly secured for another few days on Survivor: Blood vs. Water. Laura Morett had already won the Redemption Island duel, but he was well ahead of Tina Wesson in the loser-is-eliminated battle. Then he tried to sneak a peek at Laura’s completed puzzle. Then Laura blocked and twirled it so he couldn’t. And then she went one step further, giving Tina the answers so she could get her biggest competition out of the game. It was a savvy strategic move, but a brutal way for Vytas to be handed his proverbial walking papers, which explains why he refused the post-duel hug. The ousted Vytas called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) to share his feelings on the controversial move — and those feelings are still conflicted. “I was pretty bummed when it happened,” says Vytas. “It’s Survivor, man. It’s a game of low blows and it was a low blow. And as long as you don’t get called out on it, it’s not against the rules. So kudos to them for taking me out.” READ FULL STORY

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Jeff Probst on Laura's controversial move


Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Very interesting dynamic here at the Redemption Island duel as Vytas tries the old copy-off-the-person-that-has-already-finished trick, yet Laura not only spins her stacked cubes so he can’t copy, but also goes all Mom Power and gives the answers to Tina to get the threat of Vytas eliminated. A very sly strategic move to help control the competition you face in the future as you try to get back in the game. Tell me your reaction when you saw this going down.
PROBST: My reaction was mixed. As a general philosophy we always strive to have minimal rules. It’s their world — a social world in which your relationships are key to winning — and we want them to decide how that world works. So when creating a challenge, we always consider the cheating element and if we should do anything to help prevent it from happening, but we never want to go so far as to interfere with the social elements of the world. When we get into the individual part of the game (post merge), or a situation like Redemption Island, which is also about individuals and not groups — we are even less likely to get involved. But, we did experiment with using a blind on this challenge and it did no good as the contestants could simply step back and still share information with one another. So we let it go.

From a story point of view it’s obviously a fantastic moment because it speaks to the essence of Survivor —social politics. Vytas was up against two moms. The moms ganged up on the single guy. It’s a simple as that. It’s no different than had they voted him out. You can certainly make an argument that he didn’t get a fair chance in the duel. But Survivor isn’t always about what’s right or wrong — it’s about the rules of the world. And since turnabout is fair play, if either Tina or Laura M get to the end and Vytas is on the jury, payback might cost them a million dollars. Their rules. Their world. READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: Aras talks about the 'gut-wrenching' betrayal on 'Survivor'

As a previous winner of Survivor, Aras Baskauskas knew he would be a target when he returned to play Blood vs. Water. But he didn’t see it coming when he was voted out of the tribe a few weeks back. And he certainly didn’t see being betrayed by one of his closest allies in the game — Gervase. Now that he has been eliminated from the game after losing the duel at Redemption Island, Aras called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) this morning to break down how, why, and where it all went wrong. READ FULL STORY

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


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. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor': Jeff Probst says there will 'definitely' be another Blood vs. Water season


We have good news if you are a fan of Survivor‘s current Blood vs. Water season that features returning players competing with/against loved ones: There’s more to come. That’s according to Survivor host Jeff Probst, who called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) to chat about the longtime reality hit. And now you can hear the entire conversation right here and right now on the InsideTV Podcast.

When I asked Probst if this Blood vs. Water idea was one we might see again at some point, he wasted no time affirming that this concept will not be a one season and done outing. However, according to Probst, when they do bring it back, there could be a few changes. “Definitely somewhere down the line,” Probst said about another loved ones season. “We’re experimenting now with some casting ideas of how we can do it again and what’s the next version of it. Do you need returning players, or could you bring fresh couples? So we’re looking at all kinds of ideas.” READ FULL STORY

'Survivor': Jeff Probst calls Typhoon Haiyan devastation 'heartbreaking'

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Before we get into the show, I know you all spent a lot of times in the Philippines, shooting four seasons there over the past two years. Tell me your thoughts upon hearing about the tragedy with Typhoon Haiyan. 
JEFF PROBST: Over the last two years I’ve spent nearly eight months in the Philippines. Some of the nicest, hardest working and most humble people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Seeing this devastation is truly heartbreaking. You feel simultaneously helpless to contribute in any significant way and grateful to be home safe and sound with your own family. CBS is being very active in helping raise awareness and support. Survivor is also being very active in doing our own internal fund raising and I would imagine we will somehow involve the live reunion show as well.  READ FULL STORY

'Survivor': Jeff Probst and former contestants to help raise money for Typhoon Haiyan relief in the Philippines


Survivor
host Jeff Probst and some of the show’s contestants that competed in the Philippines are now doing their part to help raise money for the country that was hammered by Typhoon Haiyan. Probst and former players like Lisa Whelchel, John Cochran, Malcolm Freberg, Phillip Sheppard, and Jonathan Penner will be participating in a CBS television stations – Red Cross fundraiser for victims of Typhoon Haiyan that will be taking place on CBS-owned TV stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Probst and the contestants will be speaking and answering phones to raise money for the American Red Cross relief effort. In addition, Probst is recording a Red Cross PSA for victims of Typhoon Haiyan that will air immediately after Wednesday’s episode of Survivor and direct people to the Red Cross to donate. READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: Was the last 'Survivor' duel fair? John Cody weighs in

It was double trouble last night on Survivor: Blood vs. Water as two people were eliminated from the game when they lost the final pre-merge duel at Redemption Island. But was that final duel — in which the contestants had to put their feet in tiny footholds while hanging onto a pole to support all their weight for as long as possible — fair? We asked the eliminated man with the size 12-and-a-half feet — John Cody — his thoughts when he called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105), and now you can hear the entire thing on the InsideTV Podcast. READ FULL STORY

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


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. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Brothers Aras and Vytas discuss the game so far -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Before this season of Survivor: Blood vs. Water began, I tweeted out that my pre-game interview with Aras and Vytas Baskuaskas was the most impressive I had ever done. So in that sense, it is not surprising they both made it to the merge, which happens on tonight’s episode. But when you consider all they have been through to this point — Aras being targeted by former alliance partner Tyson; Vytas being the sole male on the Galang tribe — it was by no means a given they would make it this far. But they did. And now, in an EW.com exclusive, the brothers talk about their journey so far in the game and how they made it to this point. Plus, to spice things up, we have some exclusive photos of the first post-merge challenge for you — photos that appear to be strategically cropped so we do not see who made it back into the game from Redemption Island. (Click through all 4 pages to read the entire Q&A and see all the exclusive photos.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Vytas, your strategy at Galang seemed to be to let the weak links emerge and do themselves in. Was there ever a consideration towards targeting Tina and Katie as the tribe’s single “loved ones” pair? 

VYTAS: No. Even though she was not a part of the guy alliance at the original Tadhana, I had made sure to form a good relationship with Katie. I knew that she was my link into the new Galang because her mom would support her. Once Tina embraced me as a confidant of her daughter, that’s when I was safe. It was the mother-daughter pair that kept me alive on Galang so it would’ve been foolish to target them, especially since I knew the merge was coming and Aras and I would need as many other pairs to align with as possible.

NEXT: Click here for more exclusive photos from tonight’s episode and more from Aras and Vytas

InsideTV Podcast: Kat from 'Survivor' says she was 'pissed' Hayden did not take her place at Redemption Island

There was a super awkward scene in last night’s episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water where Kat Edorrson — who had been voted out of her tribe and was set to compete in a duel to stay alive at Redemption Island — flat out told her boyfriend Hayden that she wanted him to swap spots with her. Only one problem: Hayden didn’t want to. Therefore, he didn’t. So how did Kat feel about that after she was eliminated? “After the game, I was PISSED!” she told Jessica Shaw and me when she called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) this morning. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Jeff Probst weighs in on puzzle copying

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the most recent episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I have asked you this before, but in light of Laura blatantly copying off of John’s puzzle at the duel, and Kat not wanting to do it because she viewed it as “cheating,” it seems worth asking again: Why not put blinders up so contestants can not copy off of each other during puzzles, especially since it can give the person closer to the completed one (in this case, Laura) an advantage?
JEFF PROBST: Complicated question and answer. Historically we have used them more times than not. But then there are certain puzzles where cheating just doesn’t help because the puzzle is so complicated that by the time you realize what your opponent is doing, it’s too late. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether we use one or not. As to the fairness issue — that comes down to the luck of the draw (we always draw for spots) or in the case of Redemption Island — it’s the order in which you arrive at Redemption. We always fall back on the idea that this is their world. We strive to let them make up as many rules as we can. In the end, how you play the game will determine your outcome as you still have to get people to vote for you in order to win.  READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: Brad Culpepper defends 'Survivor' strategy

He formed a power alliance right out of the gate, but then broke up that power alliance and subsequently got powered right out of the game. However, Survivor Blood vs. Water’s Brad Culpepper insists there is another level to his strategy that people are not seeing, and that all of his actions were not to benefit him, but rather his wife Monica’s game. The ousted contestant called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) to discuss his controversial run on the reality program — a run that saw one person curse him out, another flip him off, and another stage a Tribal Council coup to remove him from the tribe. READ FULL STORY

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