Jeff Probst on episode 11 of 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

Image credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

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

A few weeks back in my recap I wrote how on a double elimination what you guys should do is have a regular challenge and Tribal Council and then surprise them on the spot with another Tribal Council-set immunity challenge and vote right then and there. Admit it, you invented a time machine after reading that to go back and do that for this episode, didn’t you? Seriously, though, how perfect was the timing on your double eliminations in that it allowed you to speed through some pretty obvious vote-offs (Mike and David, and then Ralph and Steve) in half the time? 
That was what we refer to on the island as “Survivor Luck.” We’ve been lucky going back to season one when Richard Hatch won and became the greatest and most notorious spokesperson we could ever hope to have.  It’s amazing how many times it happens on location that things just work out. Not always, but often. 

As a viewer, are you more impressed by Rob’s dominance at keeping his former tribe members completely under his rule, or disappointed by the inability of any of those Ometepe people to even consider mounting any sort of challenge to him whatsoever?
Oh without question, I’m more impressed with Rob’s ability to keep his alliance under his thumb. It’s a monumental task and it’s about to get really tough because now his own alliance becomes the enemy. It’s yet to be seen if his alliance will mount an attack against him. Up until now it wasn’t in their best interest. The alliance of six was masterful in how they stayed together. I doubt that will happen again for a long time.

If someone that has spent time at Redemption Island after the merge does make it to the final three, would they have an unfair advantage with the jury members that had also been to R.I., in that they had time to bond with them after being voted out and unite against a common enemy — meaning the people still in the game that helped vote them out and then made it all the way to the end? We’ve seen adversaries in the game become friends later after being voted out at Ponderosa. Couldn’t the same thing happen here?
Absolutely. I’d say if you make it back from being sent to R.I., and then make it to the final, that feat alone is probably worthy of a win! But generally speaking it’s no different than having all of your alliance get voted out and put on the jury, but you end up making it to the end and so you get their vote. There isn’t anything about this game that is fair or unfair because the rules are made up by the participants. They decide who to keep and who to get rid of and they decide who wins. Bitter juries, undeserving winners… hey that’s why we always say it’s a microcosm of life!

Okay, we’re finally done with the systematic destruction of the Zapatera tribe and now get to the good stuff — watching Ometepe eat its own. Tease us up for next week!
You just gave my tease. Now it will get interesting and the blindsides will begin because everybody thinks they’re safe. It’s crazy but it’s true. Not one of them thinks they are in trouble.

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 (as well as a pre-game interview with the freshly ousted Julie) simply click on the video player below. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.

Comments (189 total) Add your comment
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  • Sean

    My Random Thoughts:

    – The (Non) Duel, was predicated by another sugary Matt speech about how he’s at peace with everything, and God loves everyone…and I’ve never in my life loved the gloriously dimply Jeff Probst more than when he took it all in and essentially responded with, “OK then, let’s play some shuffleboard!”

    – Grant suggested Andrea as a potential candidate to vote out, partially because she was feeling guilty about Matt, and partially because she’s good at puzzles. (BUT NOT AS GOOD AS DAVE!) It was an interesting bit of strategy, but I couldn’t get past the fact that he was wearing pink slippers in his confessional.

    – Look Steve, I get that you’re frustrated with Phillip for his rant last week, but if you’re going to call him names, did you not have the presence of mind to think that the first TWO names you call him shouldn’t be “N-Word’s”. Nimrod and Numbnuts? Really?

    – I had a better idea for the “Twist.” How awesome would it have been if the card said, the three people on Redemption Island will compete RIGHT NOW, the winner is back in the game, and THEN there is an immediate vote…and the Redemption (Non) Island returnee has immunity.

    • Sean

      You can check out the rest of my recap: sfurfaro.blogspot

      • Diggin’

        If that’s a sample … no thanks.

    • anonymous

      Blah, blah. blah.
      Repeat Offender …….

      • Diggin’

        Grant is headed for RI next on ‘Survivor:Boston Rob,’ under the guise that ‘they’ need someone to defeat Matt to keep ‘them’ all safe. Stupid, mindless sheep.

    • Mike

      Sean, that’s a good idea for a future season (your last bullet point). I also think a good twist would have been to have a fire building challenge right then and there, and whomever wins that gets immunity. That will prove who really belongs in the game and isn’t riding coat tails.

      • Diggin’

        Let me guess .. you’re either Sean or Sean’s relative/friend who’s hoping that his blog will take off and he can move out of your basement. Again. Don’t bet on it. Fire challenge? Old and tired.

      • Diggin’

        How about a real challenge, like having to make an edible meal – without using the welfare rice – for the Probester? Ralph doesn’t have a problem catching fish, but no one else provides food. In spite of this season’s production of “Smarmy Svengali” or “The Puppets of Pavlov,” the name of this show is ‘Survivor,’ and my money would be on Ralph.

      • Diggin’

        Frankly, this whole show needs to be retooled. Probie can go work with Kelly Ripa now that Reege is leaving, and Dalton can take his place, since he’s already scripting what’s going to take place weeks before it happens – or it that just because he has access to the actual footage – haaaa! Love ya, DR! Next, the winners of the challenge get a map to the reward – or, better yet … the reward IS the challenge. Instead of old, tired and dumb@ss games and puzzles, they would have to follow maps and chop and dig their way to food, if they want to eat. The dead weight/anorexic, lazy chick/students/whiners wouldn’t last too long, and it would reduce the amount of exposure the world has to the p!ss-poor job of parenting the last generation has done … with the exception of Matt’s and Mike’s parents. Of course, they could also do the NFL -vs- NBA edition that I’ve been suggesting for the past nine seasons! Call me, Mark Burnett …

    • Michelle

      My twist would be some kind of a wild card vote. i.e. first person voted out, audience (which I understand would mostly work for Big Brother). I don’t dig redemption Island or the idol. When you’re out, you’re out. Like Rob — get him out! If this was his first time, these people would NEVER have so blindly trusted him. He had such an unfair advantage because they knew who he was. They’re all following him around like puppies. He doesn’t even need the idol. Those people don’t think for themselves. It’s pathetic. I haven’t even bothered to learn their names. I just call all the girls Ashley.

      • Peg

        I agree with your comments about Rob and I haven’t bothered to learn the names of the three remaining girls either. Only I call all of them “Natalie.” This is the first time in all the seasons that we are this close to the end and I couldn’t tell you all the players’ names.

      • Diggin’

        Haaaaaaaa! +1

    • ladyinred

      Love your twist much better Sean. I don’t think that the winner of RI should be in the final 3.

    • Brad

      Stay off of this site. It is a virus scam!!

  • Lo

    Jeff! Please get rid of the bimbos for next season’s casting…loyal fans are begging you!! I’m trying really hard to continue to love this show, I really am…

    • Carol

      I agree, stop casting models and young kids and start casting more “characters” as they are what makes the show fun to watch.

      • Agingdiscoqueen

        I don’t really mind the young kids, but how many weeks into it are we and I couldn’t tell you the names of any of those girls. Talk about a bunch of pods. They just sit at Boston Rob’s feet and wait to be told what to do. You know they aren’t smart enough to band together and vote Rob out next week.

      • Tim

        I agree—it’s disgusting to watch idiots like that–Grant too is a bimbo who has no business being there. DALTON—why don’t you ask Jeff about the casting process?

      • Nick

        It has nothing to do with young v old…it has to do with recruiting 95% of the cast in the LA area. You shouldn’t find Survivor cast members at LA bars. That’s insulting to your own brand. Loyal fans deserve more Janes and Ralphs. At least they’re real people.

      • TreS

        Agreed with Nick! These people are an insult to those of us who have been watching Survivor for YEARS. These people do nothing other than look pretty(ish) and try and further their acting careers by staying on TV as long as possible without actually doing anything.

        And its always the Julies, Ralph, Shambos (the non-models) who are the interesting ones. Seriously, other than Stephanie from this season, who was the last interesting young attractive person cast? Parvati maybe? During season 13.

      • Diggin’

        What?? And interfere with Probester’s dating service??? It’ll never happen. Unfortunately. The casts are getting progressively worse … and that’s saying a lot.

    • Clive Arkin

      I respectfully disagree. Nothing wrong with having eye candy in the mix. Besides, look how far they have made it into the game. These are not dumb bimbos. They know what they are doing.

      • Juan

        Yeah, don’t forget that foxy Amber followed this exact same strategy of doing nothing but following Rob’s orders and she won the million.

      • Normally Shy

        I agree. Where it gets interesting is that 4 people are essentially playing for one spot (Grant, Andrea, Natalie, and Ashley). Why mess up things til you have to? Wouldn’t make sense to me. Now comes the tough part and I think Grant is the key, we’ve only seen him talking to Rob, but he HAS to think that Rob doesn’t want to be in the finals against him, so how can he mix it up to get rid of Rob, before Rob gets rid of him. From Rob’s perspective I think he goes after Grant next, guess Rob doesn’t want to go to the final 3 with Grant, don’t know who he wants for that last spot but it isn’t Grant. I am thinking Andrea right now as he may can point out her role in the whole Matt debacle turning votes against her. So Rob and Grant will be gunning for each other next week.

      • joblo

        The hot girls are hit and miss just like everyone else. Half of them do well and make an impact and half are forgettable. But you can’t dismiss them because some of the greatest players in show history could’ve just been written off as eye-candy.

      • Diggin’

        They are EXACTLY dumb bimbos. It pains me to say this, but the last chick with any ‘smarts,’ was D’Pravity … as I like to call her.

      • D

        I agree with you that they are not at all dumb. I just wish they had some better personalities on the show.

  • JedK

    The contestant’s don’t seem to be fighting as hard to stay in the game before being voted out. I think without redemption Island we would see more of a perhaps frivolous fight from those on the chopping block. Although this season would not have much to it if it weren’t for RI and Boston Rob

    • Eva

      This is totally my thought as well. They really have no threat because RI is there as a safety net. As the season progresses I really dislike RI.

      • D

        I agree with you. I am getting absolutely sick of it. They should keep it for after the merge. It sucks away too much time from getting to know the contestants.

    • Hen

      They aren’t fighting as hard because they know they are dead. Do you honestly think Steve or Ralph think they have any chance against Mike or Matt at RI? No.

  • Agingdiscoqueen

    This would’ve been a great season to bring back Warrior Coach. I would love to see him and Phillip together. Nothing but chanting, spear throwing, yoga and good ole insanity. Almost sounds romantic.

    • Mangan

      Philip is allstar material and he may play again one day in the same season as Coach Wade. During next year’s spring season.

      • Wong

        Please!!!! No veteran survivors. Look how boring this season is. You know exactly what is going to happen at TC because BR controls everything. I enjoy watching surivor when there is always blindside at TC.

  • Greg

    After seeing how entertaining Phillip was this season, I suggest Survivor: All Star Crazy vs. First Time Sane. Just think how fun it would be to watch a whole tribe of insane, off their meds all star players, like Coach, Shane, Phillip, and more, compete against a team of sane, normal first time players. Genius!

    • Snsetblaze

      I don’t know if I’d want to watch it – but you did make me laugh.

    • Diggin’

      Haaaaaa! That’s funny.

    • D

      Actually, you don’t REALLY know if the first time player will be sane or not.

  • Ken

    I can’t see Rob thinking he’s safe, he has to know he’s got the biggest target on him. He’ll have more problems keeping Phillip around at this point, since odds are the girls would try to get rid of him next (unless they realize what Rob has). Good news is, Rob still has an idol. Bad news is, he has to pray Matt goes down in a duel…at least if Matt wins out and comes back in at 5 left, Rob can easily convince the others to dump Matt or risk losing the money.

  • BreAnna

    No one this season has really went all out to stay in the game. The bimbo’s Rob is playing with are just pathtic. Did they come to play or to be someone’s yes girls?

    From the day that the tribe purposly lost the challange to get rid of Russell, they never got back into the game,it was all downhill for that tribe.

    Either Rob is playing close to a perfect game, or he is the only one with a spine to make any plays..Phillip talks, but that is all he does..NO ACTION.
    Can anyone imagine on the next episiode if the others join together to get rid of Rob first?? I know i am dreaming..Is it possible??

    • bh

      no way

      • Snsetblaze

        Plus he still has an immunity idol which is good for at least 2 more tribal councils. He’ll likely make the top 4. The rest depends on whether Grant wins immunity or not. If he doesn’t, he won’t make it.

  • Shannon

    The only reason i am still watching this season is because of Matt. He is a bit too religious for my taste but I like him! He has been put down over and over again BUT IS STILL THERE!!! I can still hope a nice guy wins on this show! has never happened, but I can still hope!

    • kikidee


      • Ian

        Ethan, Tom, Bob, J.T.

      • Radar

        I don’t think of Bob as a winner. If you go back and watch the last three immunity challenges closely, you will see that, at least two of them were fixed. In the “build the Gaboneese mask while blindfolded” challenge, everyone was out on the course to retreive puzzle pieces, but Bob. He was still at the mask, and lo, and behold stuffing a bundle of puzzle pieces into his shirt. Wow! How much more obvious could they make it, that it was fixed? And then in the next challenge all the bags of puzzle pieces were in a bin, covered with a cloth, EXCEPT Bob’s. His were sitting on top of the bin right by the door. Hmmmm. Magic? I think not.

      • Mac

        Matt is the male version of the two bimbos that are already following Rob around. He’s an absolute idiot.

    • Fr. John Garkowski

      There’s no such thing as being too religious only not religious enough! Everybody on earth should have the level of faith in God that Matt Elrod has!

      • Jane

        People who believe in imaginary characters controlling their lives are cuckoo for cocoa puffs. Matt is uber annoying

      • Tonic

        Maybe if Matt stopped thinking God cared about Survivor (while allowing genocide and starvation all over the world) he’d actually be able to figure out some game strategy and stop making the same stupid mistakes over again.

      • Diggin’

        @Jane … enjoy Hell.

        @ Toxic/Tonic … God doesn’t ‘allow’ genocide and starvation … those are the manmade maladies of God-given free will. Stop blaming God. Matt seems to be doing alright on RI, and his faith – and misplaced trust and goodwill – is none of your effing business. Enjoy Hell with your douchey girlfriend, Jane the Pain.

      • LFC

        Laughing at Diggin’s comments. Spitefully telling others to “enjoy hell”–how very Christian! I’m sure you win a lot of converts this way.

        Anyway, they won’t be able to enjoy hell, because it’s made-up and doesn’t exist. Sorry about your fantasy.

        “Matt seems to be doing alright on RI,”

        As evidenced by his tearful breakdown and proclamation that he’s ready to go home. If only Matt realized he can be plenty strong on his own and make his own decisions, without waiting for an imaginary being to do it for him, he could be really playing the game with the others instead of sitting on Redemption island.

      • Jane

        Diggin—Unfortunately for your weird fantasies I am not a lesbian. I am married with children and we enjoy a nice life. A life without imaginary gods. Well except for Megatron. All hail Megatron. Megatron will prevent me from entering hell.

      • Fr. John Garkowski

        Imaginary characters? You didn’t create yourself Jane and neither did your ancestors! God may not care about the game of Survivor but he cares about those that put their faith in him and that is what Matt is doing. And unlike some that might try to exploit religion on televison for personal gain that is not what Matt is doing. He is genuinely a man of faith and will come out of this season a winner whether he wins the money or not because money isn’t what makes people winners. I pray Jane that you one day accept the truth!

    • Agingdiscoqueen

      Loved J.T.! I’m old enough to be his mother, but…..

    • John S.

      Never happened??

      Outback – Tina Wesson?
      Africa – Ethan Zohn?
      Palau – Tom Westman?
      Cook Islands – Yul Kwon?
      Fiji – Earl Cole?
      Gabon – Bob Crowley?
      Tocantins – J.T.? (James Thomas)

    • Shannon

      Okay!! JT i can agree with being a pretty good guy! YOu do have to admit that usually the snakes win this game though! Rob is a BIG SNAKE! And was lucky to get on a team with the biggest bunch of morons ever!

      • Hub of Hockey

        It’s a freaking game. How do you know that they are morons? All of them together go to the final six. Now, the game really starts. It is foolish to judge any of them before the next show. Just because it would have been better for your viewing enjoyment if that alliance wasn’t so tight, it’s great gameplaying by all six of them (not just Rob).

    • no more rob

      everyone makes fun of Matt’s faith, and he questions why God still wants him there. Julie’s exit remarks say it all-Matt inspired her to go home and find a church. why do we need to mock Matt for his faith-I wish I had that strong faith. This season has really become lame-too bad Survivor was yanked and replaced by the Boston Rob show. If I never see him again on a reality show my life would be wonderful

      • John

        Why would you wish to have that much faith? Unwavering belief in something that doesn’t exist is a shortcut to thinking.

      • joblo

        I agree. Matt’s inspiring. @John, how do you know he does not exist? You cannot prove or disprove the Supernatural, by definition. That’s why it’s “faith” in the first place.

      • DBalcer

        Matt’s faith was rewarded and his purpose in the game revealed with Julie’s statement going home. She is going to look for a church. God does care about everyone and used Matt and his faith and commitment to His glory. I won’t argue with atheist I don’t need to. It is great to see a Christian living his faith.

      • God

        @Joblo If you think that the all powerful God would appear as a male or female you are pretty dumb. The limitations of biology have nothing on me.

      • Jane

        Joblo—how can faith in something that isn’t provable be a good thing. That’s what I call a sucker.

      • Fr. John Garkowski

        And to you John! Stop commenting about Matt’s faith in a negative and sarcastic way. He is a good man that puts his heart and soul into the game of Survivor because he prays for guidance and strength from the Almighty! He is the greatest Hero this game has ever seen! Unlike the Heroes team from Season 20 where most of those heroes had done sneaky things in the past Matt has not and will go down as the greatest goodguy in 22 seasons.

      • Leona jones

        Same here. He is such a smart ass this year.

  • bh

    I hope Jeff and the Producers are reading all these posts. Enough with the eye candy already. Pick some real contestants with minds of their own.

    • TreS

      They may eb reading, but they haven’t been listening up till now. I wouldn’t hold my breath that they will start anytime soon. They are too obsessed with TELLING us what we want instead of LISTENING to what we want.

    • Fr. John Garkowski

      Jane! You don’t need proof that God exists. That’s why it’s called faith.

  • Jim

    E12: Steve loses at RI. Natalie wins immunity. Grant is voted out.
    E13: Ralph loses at RI. Andrea wins immunity. Ashley is voted out.
    Finale: Matt wins at RI, putting Ashley, Grant, and Mike on the jury. Natalie wins immunity. Matt/Phillip/Andrea vote Rob while Rob/Natalie vote Matt. Rob plays his idol – Matt goes home in 5th. Rob wins F4 immunity. Andrea is voted out leaving F3 of Rob/Natalie/Phillip. Rob gets the votes of David/Julie/Steve/Grant/Mike/Matt/Andrea. Natalie gets the votes of Ralph/Ashley. Rob wins S22 7-2-0.

    • Doris

      From your mouth (or your writing!) to God’s ears!

      • Ziggy

        Wait, I cannot fathom it being so straghitforwrad.

    • Hey Ya!

      Rob goes in the next 2 weeks.

      • Welcome

        You’ve got to be kidding me—it’s so transapnretly clear now!

    • Radar

      Jim, that sounds more like a spoiler than a prediction, and that can get you booted from this site. Take care.

      • Susy

        Clear, ifonrmavtie, simple. Could I send you some e-hugs?

    • Leona jones

      If Rob wins we will all know CBS and Jeff really do have a man crush on him

  • darclyte

    You rule Jeff. I hope you submit your tribal from last week as your Emmy reel, as what you did was amazing. Thanks for the Q&A, the live Twitters during the show, and your own blog on your website. Baba Booey to Ya!

  • John

    I’ve watched every season of Survivor multiple times, and I’ve never felt more frustrated or bored in my life. Even Thailand had more excitement than this season. It’s sloppy, poorly edited, the rules seem to be made up as we go along, and the casting was just dreadful. For three and a half episodes, it was a ton of fun. Now, I can’t wait for it to be over. Far and away the worst Survivor season, in my opinion.

    • Mangan

      The worst Survivor seasons for me was Thailand, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Nicaragua. This season for me ranks up with Amazon, Panama, and Tocantins!

    • Abe Froman

      John, I agree. They went to the Boston Rob well once too often. I hope when this season is over we are done with Rob for good.

      • Brent Legunn

        I can never get tired of Boston Rob. I hope he plays a fifth time in Season 24 next spring.

    • Leona jones

      Abe I think most survivor watchers feel the same that love the game but not the TV ho they brought back named Boston snob.

  • Lana Coursey

    They are all dumb bimbo’s including the idiots following Rob. Worst survivor EVER! When you can predict what’s going to happen, it’s no good. Haven’t seen anyone with any backbone except the other team that is now gone!

    • Wong

      100% agree.

  • Teresa

    I liked Redemption Island up to the merge. I think one chance to get back in the game is plenty. Now it is taking up too much time, and I miss the dynamic that the reward challenges bring by having some people away from camp with different alliance members. I think the Omatepe 6 benefited from not having any players taken away from the camp on rewards with a chance to discuss things without a buddy, or having to show who was at the bottom of the alliance with by having to pick someone to come along.

    • D

      I disagree. I didn’t like it before the merge and am getting absolutely sick of it now. If they START it at the merge, it would be much better. Those contestants voted out after the merge are deserving of being back in the game. Matt does not deserve to ever get back into the game.

  • Tonic

    I’m the schmuck still watching this season. My BF comes home and asks what happens, I tell him to imagine the most boring thing possible and that’s what happened.

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