Jeff Probst on episode 9 of 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

Image credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Each week, Survivor host Jeff Probst answers three questions about the most recent episode of Redemption Island.

If Survivor is truly a social experiment, where does the way Rob has controlled every aspect of his alliance without any questioning or backlash whatsoever rank in terms of fascinating examples of human behavior?
Rob’s dominance is a great example of group dynamics. Had Rob ended up with the Zapatera group, he never would have had this much control. Mike, David, Steve, Julie, Ralph all have a lot of life experience under their belts and they would have handled Rob much differently than Ashley, Natalie, Andrea and Phillip. It all started when they reached into the bag and chose their tribe buffs. Crazy how one moment can determine so much. On the flip side, had Russell ended up with Ometepe he might still be in the game.

This latest installment was basically two episodes condensed into one. Was this originally planned to air this way as a single hour, or a choice that was made later after filming due to other factors? Take us through the decision-making process.
Nope, it was always planned this way. Anytime we have more than 16 players at the start of the game, we will have to do some “double eliminations” throughout the season. We went to this scenario after you, Dalton, bitched and moaned every damn week about the old way we did it, where both tribes went to tribal council, whether they had lost a challenge or not. So instead we went to the format of separate immunity challenges so you always have a shot at keeping yourself alive in the game.

Is there any scenario where Jeff Probst would take food over competing in a challenge?
No. It’s just not in me. I don’t see the game that way. I don’t need the food. It will probably only make me want it more.  Even if I was in a tight two-person alliance and they said “you can sit this one out and get stronger so you can help us tomorrow…”  I’d say no thanks. Way too risky. Who knows why people do what they do? For some it’s a strategic move, for others like Phillip, he was just hungry.

Did Steve have a point in that he clearly was not going to win that challenge anyway so why not get some nutrition?
When did this go from three questions to four? Imagine I’m your magic genie, we agreed to three questions – choose them wisely.

Fair enough, but are we going to see a Redemption Island duel next week? Tease us up!
Next week has one of the most explosive tribal councils we’ve ever had in all 22 seasons. I imagine it will stir up a bit of water cooler talk.

For more from Jeff on last night’s episode, check out To read Dalton’s recap, click right here. To watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode of Rob talking about why he wouldn’t eat Ralph’s fish, simply watch the video player below. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.

Comments (169 total) Add your comment
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  • darclyte

    Hey Jeff, I LOVE that you are on Twitter during the show. Thanks for that, these Q&As, and the blogs on your website.

    • Sean

      Love the live Tweets as well.

    • Lee

      Jeff, I hope you’re right about the “explosive” TC next week. I hate to say this, but this has been a very uninteresting season so far. Lack of strategy pre-merge. Redemption Island got tiresome pretty quickly with Matt repeatedly winning the challenges. And now post-merge has been pretty boring. Again–lack of strategy. Just picking the players off one-by-one. I’m sorry to say but this season did not work. With that said I hope David comes back into the game and wins it.

      • G

        That’s for sure, most boring season ever!

      • O-My

        As soon as Russell went bye-bye I knew that was it for this season. Phillip’s a kook but not nearly as entertaining as Coach.

  • Rickyret

    Jeff is a prick. Answer the damn question!

    • nite man

      I agree Jeff should have answered the 4th query, but no need to be nasty and childish.

      • CRUSHER

        Jeff can’t answer the question, because it’ll give away the surprise. There are no more Redemption ISland challenges. They wills tack those voted off on RI until the numbers are 6 in the game, and 6 on RI. Then, they will have 1 ultimate team immunity challenge and the winning team stays in the game, and the losers go home.

      • Jordan

        Crusher: if you are right then they really needed to set that up from the getgo -I think it would be very unfair!

      • Juneau

        I doubt that is what will happen because it’s completely unfair to the people who weren’t voted out.

      • dom

        I think it’s more likely that they will have a big challenge between all the castoffs, rather than one on one, and the winner gets back in the game.

      • kross

        I actually think they will keep sending them to RI until their are like 3 or 4 players left and then left the winner from RI come back into the game. That would be awesome!

    • Jolie

      Probst has gotten so full of himself. That’s what those Exec Producer fees will do to a person.

  • Tipz

    Two more Zapatera memebers bite the dust. And best case scenerio is that Matt defeats both Mike and David next week during the three-way duel. I knew those evil Zapatera memebers were going to be trapped down the line. I just knew it. This game respects big moves and this game despises challange throwers. They have been cursed by the game of Survivor. Matt will beat the two of them hopefully next week and the other three Steve, Julie, and Ralph will follow. They are paying for what they did to Russell! And I’m enjoying every minute of it.

    • O-My

      Talk about KARMA! You throw a competition to get rid of the best player ever and it comes back to bite them in the ass. LOL The game does NOT like to be disrespected!

      • Carl

        If he was the best player ever he wouldn’t have gotten voted out in episode 3. Or lost twice before.

      • Tipz

        Carl, Russell is one of the greatest players of all time, he only was voted out by Zapatera for that very reason. They knew how good he was. And he only lost both times in the past because of a bitter jury both times. And so did Parvati in Season 20. Like Russell or hate him you can’t deny that he’s the only one that could have stopped Boston Rob at this stage of the game.

      • Dave

        O-My/Tipz, Please stop with the “Russell is the best ever…”. Russell is a loser who doesn’t understand how to play the game. Zapatera voted him out because he is a cancer.

      • Robby

        Lol Russell didn’t get voted out because the tribe thought he was “too strong”.. He got voted out because right away he divided the tribe when he formed a clearly visible alliance with the two girls.. He was voted out because he was shady and dishonest in coveting immunity idols. His social game was terrible and he dug his own grave.

  • TreS

    Ugh, Jeff, when did you become such a jerk. Not answering questions, telling your twitter and facebook followers to stop following you if they don’t like your posts, and trying to inform us that only you are right, and the rest of us are wrong when it comes what we do and do not like on the show.

    And where is this amazing season you were promising us? All it looks like is the worst part of Pearl Islands mixed with a clearly experienced player walking everyone else to slaughter. This is why you don’t bring people back to play with newbies, especially recruited newbies.

    • lulu

      Good for you, Jeff, for not answering question #4. I think this Dalton Ross questioning Jeff format is stupid. Let Jeff blog again on EW like before – he is an excellent blogger and does NOT need to be interviewed. Let him say what he wants to – and get (Dalton) out of his way. I know he has his own website – I cannot access is, unfortunately, so I miss his blogs and am stuck with Dalton’s three dumb questions each week …

      • roberta

        I agree. This week was boring. Dalton’s blog was boring and now he’s made the Q&A’s boring.

        We need more Probst, not more Dalton, IMHO.

      • Diggin’

        I agree that they each need their own forum, but don’t pick on the DR. He needs a Milwaukee’s Best run, that’s all.

    • Jazzy

      I’d like to point out that Russell was also a experienced player competing against newbies. He didn’t last long. I think Boston Rob would have dominated the game regardless.

      • kross

        There is no way that the other tribe with all the older, more opinionated people would have tolerated Boston Rob telling them what to do. He would have been gone as fast as Russell. Those idiots playing with Rob don’t have a brain cell between the 5 of them.

    • Tipz

      Carl, Russell Hantz is one of the greatest players of all time next to Rob and three others. He lost the first two times because of a bitter jury both times and was voted out in this season in episode 3 because those Zapatera Sinister Six Challange throwers knew how good he was. That’s what a lot of people don’t see with that cowardly move Zapatera made back during episode 3. They were paying Russell a compliment by doing what they did because he was that good. Although he didn’t see it that way or his fans. But I know that all the Rob haters which does not include myself wish Russell was still around right about now so he can challange Rob in a strategy war.

      • peter

        Keeping the jury from becoming bitter towards you IS part of the game. Russell is not one of the best players ever. He is a good liar.

    • Tipz

      Hey Dave, you’re being duped by what Zapatera did. Cutting him out because he was a cancer was ony their excuse for getting rid of him. What were those Zapatera dopes suppose to admit to the cameras that they were throwing the challange to get rid of Russell because he’s the greatest player ever and they didn’t stand a chance against him. They had to word it in the ways of cutting out a cancer otherwise they would look even more stupid than they do right now going out one by one at the hands of Rob.

      • Tipz

        Keeping the jury from being bitter towards you is impossible. Whether you play as a hero or a villain you can not control other people’s emotions or feelings. Whoever the jury wants to vote for at the end they are going to vote for and there isn’t a damn thing that the final two or final three can do to change their minds once they write the names down. Russell was the victim of that twice. As was Rob back in All-Stars. But he married Amber and got the money anyway.

    • Tipz

      His social game never happened this time around. He was never given the chance. He wasn’t voted out because of his three person alliance with Steph and Krista. He was voted out based solely on his past reputation. The evil Zapatara knew the damage that he would have caused if he had been left in. And let’s be clear Matt really eliminated Russell not Zapatera. And he didn’t have to become Russell in order to do it. He beat him fair and square. I don’t hate Matt for beating Russell in the duel because he did it fair and square whereas Zapatera had to throw a challange in order to get rid of him. Becoming Russell to get rid of him. That’s why those now five jerks have been cursed by Russell fans and by the game of Survivor.

  • Bob

    I hate survivor this year. A bunch of people sitting around with no strategy. Boring…

  • CV

    Thanks Jeff. I’m loving this season, thanks. I like the anticipation of awaiting duels at Redemption Island. I love the master strategy in play. It’s been a fabulous season so far. And I’ve never missed even a single episode since season 1. Great job!

  • Saline

    I personally am enjoying watching Zapatera Crumble. They are now the Sinister three v.s. Philip’s catch phrase Stealth R US! The three-way duel next week should be good. It’s really anybody’s game when it comes to these three guys. Matt is not going to be able to defeat Mike and David so easily. Now it’s put up or shut up for him. Now let us all see what this Jesus worshiper can really do. Let’s face it the only impressive thing he’s done so far is maintain a cool head and endure through tough times. But all the opponents he defeated during the first cycle of Redemption Island were easy to beat along with pathetic challanges. Now that the second cycle starting with a three-way war is about to begin I hope the Arena duels become more macho and more aggressive in nature.

    • darclyte

      I’m betting that they totally regret throwing that challenge to boot Russell. They won the next challenge, and then the tribe didn’t win another challenge, and so far none have won individual. I think we can finally say with 99.99% certainty that throwing a challenge just to boot someone is a very, very, very bad idea.

      • Saline

        Totally agree! Let this be a lesson to future tribes in future seasons. Never throw a challange. The game of Survivor will always get it’s revenge on you. That’s why Ozzy lost to Yul Kwon during Season 13 and that’s why Peh-Gee was voted out during Season 15. It’s just like the curse of the car which isn’t done anymore.

      • Juneau

        That’s making the huge assumption that they would’ve won if they’d tried to win. I don’t think they would’ve won that challenge. It came down to a puzzle that Rob finished really quickly (and even had a head start on). David showed last night that he’s not all that great at puzzles. Both Grant (who won) and Mike (?) beat David on a puzzle. It’s easy to say that you only lost because you threw the challenge, but I think they would’ve lost anyway. Zap would’ve lost momentum at the point no matter what they did and Russell would’ve been gone either way.

      • dom

        They won the very next challenge, so no momentum was lost. They just had the the bad luck to be opposite a team with challenge monster Rob. They were put in a bad position from the start with Russell being on their tribe, they made the least bad decision and got rid of the cancer on their tribe. Russell, and his two Russettes, had no allegiance to the tribe, they were doing their own thing, and made no bones about it.

    • Diggin’

      Saline? Is that French for Satan?

      • Saline

        No it’s french for smartass which would be you who nobody on this site is Diggin’!

  • Tommy D

    The first to go was Sarita the sandbagger. Now Mike the moron marine and David the Devious Defender. This season has gone just the way it should go. Rob is in full on mafia mode just like David mentioned. But what Boston Rob needs to be careful about is becoming too confident. I know he has that idol that nobody knows he has and can play it whenever he feels in danger down the line but if he becomes too much of a tyrant it could eventually come back to bite him either in the game or the jury votes at the end.

    • FlossAus

      I just hope some one is foolish enough to take Boston Rob to the final two, and the jury actually respect Rob’s dominance and give the victory to him. Man is playing a great game.

    • Saline

      You’re missing the point Juneau, we’re talking about some sort of Survivor mystic force kind of like the supernatural things that supposedly were happening during Season one where the torches snuffed themselves out and the frequently punctual thunderstorms at tribal council over the years. Along with the curse of the car. That’s what people are talking about when it comes to Zapatera being challange throwers. The road not taken in this case is what you said, had Zapatera given 100% during episode 3 the results would have been the same. They would have lost anyway and voted out Russell. Maybe it would have gone down the exact same way but at least they wouldn’t be cursed by the game by being challange throwers. That’s what’s happening here. There’s two things slowly destroying Zapatera. The game of Survivor and Boston Rob. If you beleive in that sort of thing like cosmic paypack. If you don’t than just look at Boston Rob as being Zapatera’s only problem. Either way Zapatera is doomed.

  • SLB

    Would you stop sucking Russell’s d*ck Jeff? Russells s*cks. Just admit it and be done with him. Rob is a genius.

  • TV_Pete

    I think Steve, as the biggest guy there, had a valid point. Who were the ones who made it to the end?

    The smallest guy and the three smallest girls. This endurance challenge clearly favored those who had less weight to carry.

  • John Dreska

    Boston Rob has got to check his ego at the door. He’s starting to sound a little too much like Russell. He made that comment that I’m The General and then he said I’m the best and I’m the king. He’s starting to become realy evil now and any little indiscretion on anybody’s part will have tough and hard consequences. Like Ashley muttering to Natalie after talking to Ralph not to say anything to Rob, and Grant eating the fish that Ralph caught and cooked. The Robfather is now setting himself up for the same thing that happened to him in All-Stars. He’ll end up losing at the end to whoever he’s up against if he continues down this path of being a tyrant. The only difference this time will be he can’t marry the winner and get the money anyway.

    • Queen Bee

      Rob isn’t “becoming” anything. He’s exactly the same guy he’s always been. Check out Marquesas if you don’t believe me.

      • John Dreska

        That won’t be necessary! I own every season of Survivor and have seen Marquesas, All-Stars, and Heroes v.s. Villians a lot of times and Rob has one trait in common with all four times he’s played. Being a villian! The only reason why he wasn’t that much of a villain during Heroes V.S. Villians was because he had the flu and was weakened a little bit. But during episode 9(The Buddy System) I saw his face when he was at camp and you could see that look. The look that he had back during All-Stars after he got rid of Lex. It’s a game on look and a take no prisoners look. Like I said he’s in full on evil villian mode and that’s a good thing. But as for his first time Marquesas he was part of Tag Team The Terrible with his old buddy Sean Rector. I wonder whatever happened to that guy. It’s a shame he’s never played again.

  • Brent Legunn

    Rob does have to be careful with how he talks to these people now. Those girls even Andrea will follow Rob off a cliff if he said follow me but Grant and Philip will turn on him if Rob continues to choke them with these strict rules. Before being voted out David called the former Ometepe tribe the Mariano syndicate. I guess that’s what they are for now but can they hold it together and do what Zapatera was successfully able to do. Which is to wipe out an full alliance and then turn on each other. I don’t like the three remaining people on the Zapatera tribe and it’s in the best interest of the six Ometepe to wipe them out completely before turning on each other.

    • Diggin’

      It would have been great if anyone on Zapatera had any balls and actually challenged Rob and tried to break the hypnotic trance. “Hey, Rob – how many more times are you going to do Survivor and cheat someone else out of a chance to win a million bucks?” “Hey, Rob – Amba doesn’t seem to have a problem with you being gone for months at a time. Are you that lousy a lay? Is she getting it somewhere else?” “Which one of you dumb, hypnotized pu$$ies is getting Rob’s ax after Phillie?” Something?? Anything?? Weak @ssbags deserve to get sent home. Weak. Losing.

      • Saline

        Boston Rob is the man! Don’t talk about him or his wife Amber like that. I can guarantee that you wouldn’t say that to Rob’s face!

  • Tipz

    I agree! For personal reasons I want the last remaining Zapatera memebers to go out three in a row if possible. But speaking from Ometepe’s point of view it’s the best thing to do. Zapatera are one of those tribes that will stick together even during the jury phase of the game which is starting very soon. They are like Galu was back in Season 19 Samoa. Where if only one Zapatera makes it to the finals that person will most likely have four definate votes cast for them to win. That’s why Galu had to be wiped out completely by Foa Foa during Season 19 because if a Galu member snuck into the finals they would have definately won the season. Same thing here just with lesser votes because the Zapatera member would only have four votes but that could be enough to win especially if you go up against Philip or Mariano!

  • Wanda

    I liked the bickering between David and Philip. Philip is a very quick thinker because that comeback he made to David about the cesspool was right on the mark and quickly thought of. But David did get him back during the second immunity challange while Philip was stuffing his face with cheeseburgers.

    • Diggin’

      David should have said, “I’m scratching my Phillip.” It’s the truth since Sporting Dirty Feather is going to play the race card next week. Weak. Losing.

      • Wanda

        Who asked your opinion?

      • Tony is not Diggin you

        If you’re a woman Diggin’ than leave a woman’s name so people know they are talking to what they think is a woman or a wiseass gay guy with an attitude. Either way you’re no lady that’s for sure. I read your blogs about how hot you think Matt is so it’s either one or the other. Which ever it is do not insult Boston Rob on this site the way you did or Italians in general.

  • loji

    it might just be the edit but i think Grant might be getting uncomfotable in his alliance. I think he sees himself and Rob as a JT,Stephen kind of combo–not just the challenge winner for the tribe.

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