Jeff Probst on the finale 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. Here, he addresses some points from the season finale and reunion show.

What’s this? No Fallen Comrades tribute? I’m still in a state of Survivor shock at its omission! Did you guys not have them do it this season, or did the footage just not fit into the episode due to the time needed for the final Redemption Island duel?
We did shoot the tribute, but we had too much show and had to make a decision. We decided to edit the episode without it and if anybody spoke up during the notes process that they truly missed it, we’d revisit it. Nobody did. The “fallen comrades” has always been a “love it-hate it” part of the show. It used to be more relevant but as the game as evolved to more strategy it feels less pertinent.

Going into the final episode, it seemed to me the only people that could have maybe beaten Rob at the final Tribal Council were Mike and Matt. How do you think those guys would have done against him had one of them made it back and gotten into the final three?
Mike would have won hands down because of the make up of the jury. Matt vs Rob would have been interesting but I think Rob would have won. This jury was really solid. They weren’t the normal bunch of “bitter bitches” that we so often get at final tribal council. I liked this group a lot. I wouldn’t mind taking the same group and playing again with new tribes.

You were teeing up David pretty good at the Reunion show for that marriage proposal to Carolina, but for a while there he didn’t seem to be picking up what you were putting down. What happened there? Nerves on his part?
I have no idea what was happening with David. We had obviously talked about it beforehand and worked out the cue but I’m guessing he was just really nervous and didn’t pick up on it. The proposal itself was fairly awkward for me, not sure how it felt for the rest of the audience. A “live proposal” is such a risky thing and a bit unfair to the woman since she can’t help but feel pressure to say yes. I wish them both the best. This would be our 4th Survivor marriage.

Other twists you guys have introduced to Survivor — like the Hidden Immunity idol and Exile Island — evolved over the course of a few seasons. Since there’s not much you can tease up yet for Survivor: South Pacific, tell us your thoughts on the Redemption Island twist now that you have one season under your belt and whether there could be some tweaks or changes to that format as well.
I think it’s too soon to tweak Redemption Island in any major way. So many things could have played out differently. For instance, 90% of the time when someone like Andrea comes back in the last episode, the three girls turn on Rob and take over the game. It is also unlikely anyone will ever dominate Redemption like Matt did. The only question I have is should we end the season with 8 people again or should be lose more people from Redemption Island as we go. So when we have a 3 person duel, the bottom two would be sent home and only the winner remain. I will discuss this with Mark and CBS now that the season has concluded and we’ll make a decision. Other than that I expect it to stay the same way.

Thanks for the season, Dalton.  You’ve been there from the beginning and always been a loyal, albeit critical, supporter.  You’ve gotten a bit snarky over the years, but that’s probably just age.

For more from Jeff on last night’s episode, check out Also make sure to read Dalton’s recap as well as our new interviews with winner Boston Rob Mariano, and king of Redemption Island, Matt Elrod. And to watch an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s finale simply click on the video player below. Finally, for more Survivor scoop all year round, follow Dalton on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.

Comments (301 total) Add your comment
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  • Tupelo

    I’m hoping one of the mystery contestants is Jack Sparrow and the other is Johnny Depp. That would be mind-blowing.

    • Eliza Doolittle

      That is really funny!

    • Diggin’

      That Carolina is sure one classy piece of @ss. No prize on either end, but be sure to write yourself an ironclad prenup, David Whiner.

      • Tommy D

        Classy but with no brain in her head. Being engaged to a former challange thrower and the most slimy lawyer on earth. She could do better than that. Even with just half a brain.

    • Diggin’

      Probester … DR is getting any snarkier, you’re just getting more and more sensitive … You may have an estrogen overload – you should get it checked… ;~)

  • naynay

    Idea: do away with Redemption Island, Hidden Immunity Idols and bringing back former players. That is all.

    • TreS

      Agreed. But they will never listen because Jeff has his head so far up his own ass he only thinks that he knows best. Not the fans of the show who have been watching, and supporting, for over 10 years now.

      • synapse

        Totally agree. Jeff, while remaining charming, has somehow lost touch with the core viewers and now the show is fiddled and fussed with like a contestant on Toddlers & Tiaras.

      • Ian

        Jeff probably hears from more fans about what they like and dislike than you can possibly imagine. They go by more than just what a handful of hardcore fans on EW message boards have to say. They tailor the show to the average fan, and 95% of their fans don’t go to message boards and don’t rant and rave online….they watch the show and it ends there. Plus, if the fans you’re talking about that have been watching for 10 years are STILL watching, they obviously have done it right, otherwise they’d have stopped watching.

      • dohrayme

        Amen, TreS! Jeff spouts lip service about loving the fans, but that obviously doesn’t extend to listening to us. Example: For years now, fans have said to give a rest to bringing previous players back. Last night Jeff annonced that South Pacific would feature two previous players. As long as we show up in the ratings, Jeff, Mark Burnett & Co. could not care less about us.

      • Ian

        Yeah, it couldn’t possibly be that a lot of people like to see their favorite players return, and let Probst and company know about it…..

      • Chris B

        I agree. Probst has tuned out the audience and think only he knows best. Dalton Ross is the ONLY mainstream reporter who still covers Survivor. For years he’s been telling the truth about the “Final 3″ concept: it stinks! But you think Probst even listens or addresses it? No way.

      • rkk

        Really, Ian is right. There are so many more fans than the ones on EW and clearly they’re doing something right if Survivor has continued for 11 years, 22 seasons. Also, if you follow Twitter or Probst’s website, you’d see that he does respond.

      • AB

        @dohrayme: perhaps Jeff listens to fans who can actually spell and articulate in understandable English.

      • T2

        Ian – where are all of the other comment boards where the support is FOR returning players or Redemption Island or final three? is THE place for Survivor fans, and CBS knows it. They just don’t care.

      • Liza

        I agree, they need to please to away with Redemption Island. It was a nice little novelty for one season but two seasons? It’s just not working. When someone gets voted out we want them gone or in the jury. That’s the whole point of the show and why it’s so dramatic, once someone is voted out they are no longer a concern or a source of drama.
        I also think they shouldn’t bring anyone back because they have a huge shot at winning just like Rob did for obvious reasons or they will be the first voted out for obvious reasons. I just hope it’s not someone I truly despise like Nayonka, just bring back someone truly worthy of the money.

    • bruno

      totally. thanks for ruining my show, probst.

      • Joseph

        Not really going agree that the island was a mistake but rather they tweak it ,
        I do not think they should let the immunity idol be available from the time a player comes back.
        Plus I think that they really need to make sure that no one ever again has to spend a month on that island that is a huge mistake.

    • Lah Tee Dah

      TOTALLY agree about Redemption Island going very, very, very far away from Survivor. It ended up being a farse of an idea (not that I liked it from the beginning anyway).
      You’re right: Jeff doesn’t take advice/suggestions from viewers. Pretty sad, but I suppose as long as folks are applying for the show & watching the show, the lameness will continue.
      And bringing back two more previous players?! PAH-UKE!!!

      • Evie

        They really need to get rid of bringing stars back. All I want is a normal season. is that too much to ask?

    • Andi

      Absolutely!!!!! Totally agree with you.

      • David

        Bringing back former players makes it really easy to identify with survivor past which is pretty cool….Just a little tweak which I think works,Still best show on television

    • Tommy D

      I love having Allstars in every season. The old days went for too many seasons without seeing familiar faces.

  • David

    It bothers me that Jeff Probst deflects any criticism of the show. His position seems to be that if you don’t like something on Survivor, then there is something wrong with you, not with the show. Which is a little unfair.

    • Eric

      Yeah, I’ve noticed that too. Everyone watches this show for completely different reasons so not everyone is going to love every aspect of it.

    • FAN

      He’s a producer he’s not gonna eat his young,lol.

    • AK

      Agreed. I like Jeff as a host, but he has gotten really opinionated and biased over the years regarding the show. Like when he said that anyone who doesn’t like Russell is not a real fan of “Survivor”? Get over yourself, buddy!

    • joblo

      The thing is, not all fans agree. There are plenty out there who like the things that sometimes get criticized here. I think Probst listens, but he’s not always going to listen and adjust to what you or me or 50 other people on here say. There’s gotta be a balance. I hope that if Redemption Island comes back they do tweak and fix it; it lasted too long into the show. My hope would be that at the merge it would end. But that’s just me.

    • AB

      That’s his job. If some one criticises your job/job skills, isn’t your reaction to defend it? I don’t think he’s saying there’s something “wrong” with you for thinking what you do or voicing your opinion, I think he’s just responding to the criticism.
      FAN is right, he’s a producer, he’s not going to say “Oh, you’re right.” I’ve seen interviews where he’s agreed that they didn’t have the best ideas and they chucked them – ever seen him say, “yes, the Medallion of Power was not a great idea, so we got rid of it” or, “yes, Old vs. Young didn’t play out like we thought, so we merged the tribes early” etc. etc.

      I think some people are a little too eager to see what they want to see, like bias, when there isn’t any. Jeff is just doing his job, like anyone else. I think some people are just jealous that he’s got a fantastic job.

  • Flextor

    I’m glad Jeff took the opportunity to shoot an arrow at you at the end, Dalton, because sometimes you do seem to be a bit extra-critical. But I have a good idea, Jeff – invite Dalton to be a contestant some season, and see how he does!

    • somet

      Dalton already was a contestant, in the early years.

      • pmc630

        Uh, no Dalton Ross wasn’t a contestant at any time. Yes, he did appear during press days back then, but never was actually a contestant.

        You might be getting Dalton confused with Jon Dalton, aka Jonny Fairplay.

    • Chris


      Next time, you should pad your opinion with a little research, should you not have a clue what you’re talking about.

  • kathleen

    I was glad to see the Fallen Comrades Tribute gone – It was a little boring and I just wanted to get to the last (and most exciting)Tribal meeting with the Jury!

    • john

      You know what else they didn’t have this season? A recap episode! I hated those more than the Tribute. I would get stung every time looking foward to a new episode, and then 2 minutes in I realized I’ve been duped!

    • dohrayme

      I agree that seeing the finalists collect totems, offer (in)sincere tributes & burn the poles is a waste of our time. The one thing that has been interesting about the piece, sometimes, is watching the ousted offer a last word to see their attitude: bitter or accepting; delusional, revisionistic or realistic, etc.

    • Norman Alvarado

      Losing the rites of passage just shows what a stupid idea this Redemption Island really is. Jeff even said it above. They ran out of time because of Redemption Island. Redemption Island has ruined too many things in this season including the seperate reward challanges.

    • T2

      Something else that was greatly missed was the Survivor auction. I almost typed ‘food auction’ – but we all know that some nasty stuff was under the domes occasionally!

  • slwah

    They keep saying there are now 4 Survivor marriages…who are the four?
    Rob and Amber
    Eric and Jamie
    David and Carolina
    ? and ?

    Are they counting Jenna and Ethan as married?

    • elr

      That’s what I was wondering too. I had forgotten about Eric and Jamie but, immediately thought of Jenna and Ethan.

    • Heather

      I think he said romances not marriages (he had one himself)

      • Velvet

        Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my qeustoins are answered!

    • Emmie

      Alex Bell from Amazon and Kim Powers from Africa are married!

      • MMM

        Stephen Fishbach and Courtney Yates are together…

  • g

    They should have a hidden immunity idol on Redemption Island so that there’s a chance that the person who comes back won’t be voted out immediately after they come back!

    • Maria

      @g…I really like that idea. I did think of it earlier, but didn’t comment on it.

    • Mangan

      Yes! That would be a good idea. They should do that with Season 23 South Pacific given that Redemption Island is returning.

  • darclyte

    I’m willing to give RI another chance, but I STILL don’t like the idea of bringing back former players to play with new ones…unless perhaps if those players got booted before the merge so they’re not “pros” so to speak.

    • john

      RI would be cool if they were always alone and could never talk to anyone else that got voted off. They could just meet up at the “dual”.

      • Emmie

        The 4 married couples for those wondering:
        Rob and Amber
        Jamie and Eric (China)
        Alex Bell (Amazon) and Kim Powers (Africa)

        and then David and Carolina would be the 4th.

      • Arnie

        What about Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca? They are one of the 4.

    • Mangan

      Having two AllStars in every season now is a good idea. It just adds a new dynamic to the game that I think is even more interesting than Redemption Island itself. Because this season one of the allstars pulled off the victory.

  • Omatoran

    These are the questions???? With all the fan hatred for redemption island and this season being a snooze fest these are the questions you pick? lame!

    • Sara

      Right! I wanted to see his response to the fact that this season was completely designed for Rob to be the winner. Was there a challenge that DIDN’T involve a puzzle?!?!

      • joblo

        that’s just short term memory on your part. There were a lot of great physical challenges; including perhaps the most epic one ever with that huge pyramid and the steps. Also, puzzles are nothing new – look at Survivor: Nicaragua with all the old people and how they had to adjust for age there.

      • Chris

        You know, some arguments are really mind boggling. Basically, it distills to ‘I don’t like it when the season favors smart players’. Well, obviously, Survivor: Nicaragua must be your favorite season, because you certainly got your wish by the end of that one!

        And by simple math, they can take their Neilsen ratings the show garners weekly (equaling millions of viewers), divide that by the numbers of complainers (equaling hundreds of viewers at the high end), and come up with the opinion that there will always be whiners.

      • AB

        LOL Chris. You’ve got that right!!!

  • Lee

    Jeff, I thought it was unfair for both Matt and Andrea to go back into the game without any kind of protection. It was not too surprising to find out that both of them were quickly voted out again. I think Survivor should give the returning players immunity from the first tribal council that they go to. At least that’ll give them time to build alliances. I think this would’ve helped Matt.

    • Flextor

      Excellent observation! I agree!

    • Jon

      I disagree. If Matt had aligned himself differently after returning, even he admits he could have stayed. And with Andrea, she was right: the girls should have voted with her. I think with a different set of players, the returning people from Redemption Island could be treated a lot differently in the future.

    • sally wehling

      I would have loved to see Steve, Ralph and Julie in the final three. I liked their work ethic, courtesy and respect for each other. It really bugged me when Jeff Probst called Julie ‘second row’ material. I don’t know who he thinks he is but from where I stand he’s still just a game-show host.

      • caryn c

        I pass on Julie. She was so mean and rude during the final tribal council. I would be embarrassed if she was my mother.

      • AcaseofGeo

        @ Sally: You liked their work ethic? You mean the ethic that led them to THROW A CHALLENGE just to GET RID OF RUSSELL. You mean the ethic that KILLED THEIR TRIBE’S MOMENTUM and caused the ENTIRE TRIBE to be summarily decimated? Oh yeah that Final 3.

      • Saline

        Work Ethic? Steve Wright was one of the laziest Survivor’s of all time even more so than Dan Lembo and he along with Ralph and Julie were part of the evil Zapatera alliance that all were punished by the game for throwing a challange.

      • SALLY

        I really enjoyed Ralph. He blew Rob away in the challenge where they had to chop through a log with an ax. He worked hard. He gave Phillip a break and Julie deserved the money more than Rob did. She seemed to have an empathy that is getting more rare. Steve I guess did languish toward the end but his quiet courtesy I liked and he stood up to Phillip when P. suggested using their good rice bin for his tainted rice. Getting rid of Russell right away was imperative. If the other tribe had done that to Rob immediately we would have had a more interesting game. Rob even said as much himself

    • Marco

      How many chances are these Redemption Islanders supposed to get? Is it not enough that they’ve been voted out twice, and now you want to give them even more protection. Gee Whiz! Hey Jeff, listen to the hardcore fans and lay of the botox, it’s affecting your brain!

      • Saline

        Sally, you my dear have a lot to learn. Getting rid of Russell was imperative. No it wasn’t. It was stupid. That’s why all of those dummies got eaten up by Rob and spit out. If Russell had been there Rob wouldn’t have had such an easy ride to the end after the merge. And when Rob said that they should have gotten rid of him immediately he wasn’t talking about challange throwing. He was talking about the tribe losing ligitimately and then voting him out cleanly. Zapatera became villians to get rid of a villain. That’s not how it goes Sally. Matt defeated Russell cleanly. I’m glad he went out to but I respect the way he beat Russell fair and square unlike those cursed Zapatera losers. They have all lost. Thank Matt’s and my God for that. That’s proof that God may actually care about Survivor.

    • Saline

      I agree with you Lee but let them add that little detail in next time. I’m glad Matt went right back out after the merge and eventually lost on redemption for eliminating Russell from the game. And Andrea was a airhead blond that didn’t deserve to be in the game anymore. But they should give special immunity next season for the ones that come back in.

    • AB

      UM, Matt and Andrea got enough help, when they got another chance to play called Redemption Island. You want the producers to give them MORE help? Seriously? They were “helped” enough.

      • Saline

        I didn’t want them to get more help this time AB. I’m talking about Matt and Andrea as an example for the next cycle in Season 23 if it’s going to go down the same way as this season did. Matt had to lose because he along with all the evil Zapatera challange throwers were responsible for Russell Hantz being gone. Next time however as long as Russell isn’t in the season and doesn’t lose again to a bunch of cowards I would have no problem with the Redemption Island survivor to have additional help when they come back in.

  • ChetLemon

    Who do you think the two returning Survivors?

    No more Matt, for the love of God.

    • innerjuju

      That sure looked like Matt in the Survivor:South Pacific preview…

      • joblo

        It hasn’t even been filmed yet so you’re seeing things. No Matt.

      • Laurin

        I thought the same thing… that looks like Matt!!! And who’s eyes were those???

      • Shrevette

        I am guessing Dream Team members were used in the South Pacific promo

    • Anita

      I think the two returning are Matt and Andrea.

      • Norman Alvarado

        It won’t be Andrea. Andrea is not allstar candidate material.

      • rose

        I think it’s Matt and Andrea too, but I hope I’m wrong.

    • Saline

      It could be anybody! Anybody except for Rob, Russell, or Hatch because Hatch is in prison. My five pair of people guessess is Parvati and Rupert, Matt and Rupert. Coach and Philip, Grant and Matt or James and Philip. But of course it might not be any of the people that I just listed.

      • AB

        Oh please, not Rupert, I’ve had enough of him!!!
        Coach and Philip would be bloody hilarious.

    • Sue

      How about Big Tom and Ralph? LOL!

      • Norman Alvarado

        Ralph is not AllStar worthy. And Big Tom has gotten too old since his All-Stars appearence. Ralph was very disappointing and didn’t live up to the hype. And Big Tom has always been nothing but a big drunk.

  • JJ

    I heard the two people returning for the next season will be Boston Rob, and an open slot in case Boston Rob gets voted out they can put him in again.

    • caryn c

      haha – love it!

    • c jones

      Boston Rob VS Amber! I can’t wait for the merge!

    • Razano

      Not wanting to see Rupert for a forth time doesn’t make any sense to me AB. That guy is a true pirate and a likeable guy. Something that Ralph was unable to be in this season after throwing that challange to get rid of Russell and starting up an argument with Russell about a clue to an idol that he already had. Ralph is no Rupert. There’s only one Rupert and I hope he comes back again sooner rather than later. Rupert looks like God. Matt’s God!

  • Survivor Fan

    I think they should bring back all the players that were the first kicked off during all the seasons. Give them a chance to play the game since they really didn’t get to the first time they played.

    • deana

      i like this idea!

    • jake

      no we should have losers vs. winners.

      peeople who the game vs. people who didn’t (maybe runner-ups or first outs

      or just winners vs. winners or an unfinished business season like on TAR

      • RJL

        Theres so many things they can do! The options are limitless!

    • salyabyum

      that is an awesome idea. I have always felt sorry for them. Maybe open it up to first and second people voted off in case not everyone can attend.

    • Cookie

      Yeah, like Francesqua! I was bummed when she was voted off. I pray Jeff is not going to sic Coach on us again. BELIEVE US when we say he is annoying (although not to the degree of Philip)!

    • Jerri

      We don’t know who the two returning players are. For all we know it could be a couple who were voted out earlier on in seasons. (i.e. it could be the cop who was voted out because of the Russell virus )

      • Norman Alvarado

        No! It won’t be people like Jerri. And I’m guessing you’re not Manthey. Players like that aren’t Allstar material. Whoeve the returnees are they have to be people that stood out and made and impact. People that you can actually remember.

    • Norman Alvarado

      They’ll never do that. You are not considered a Survivor Allstar unless you’ve lasted to the merge or near the merge of your original season. Those that were voted out early and never returned are not AllStar material. Not even Shannon from Season 21.

    • JenR

      They’d never do that because most of the time the oldest person on the tribe was kicked off first and then they wouldn’t have any young hotties walking around in swimwear.

  • Xarias

    Seriously, bringing back Rob and Russell for the UMPTEENTH time REALLY rubbed me the wrong way and I bailed halfway through episode one. Every time I said, “I didn’t like how they brought Rob back AGAIN! It’s like they are going to do it till he wins”, people would agree, but say, “Yeah, but I like Rob.”
    It seemed kinda shady to me.

    • saraj

      Why do you think they cared if Rob won or not? They brought him back because he makes good TV. He gives soundbites they can use.

      • Madwurms

        I Agree, I hate when they bring people back…especually many time sdoes it take….the show is a joke…Jeff is a joke….sick of Rob….let bring back both Amber and Rob and doe couples survivor so they have a chance to win another million dollars….or maybe Jeff can just screw the casting and give them all money for the sake of it…..get new blood and stop f’n casting the show

    • Razano

      People like Rob and Russsell is what the game has become now. That’s what this game has evolved into. Being about great players. Not a journey anymore about a group of strangers in a foreign land. That stuff doesn’t matter anymore at all.

  • Liv

    Jeff, RI sucks. You guys should’ve added it to the Medallion of Power pile.

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