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Survivor host Jeff Probst addresses Chickengate

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<em>Survivor</em> host Jeff Probst addresses Chickengate

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: Edge of Extinction.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, we saw what Reem and Keith had to do just to get a little rice for the day. Talk about how you all came up with the idea of making them endure this brutal hike up a mountain just to get their food, and might there be some other facets of Edge of Extinction we have not seen yet?


JEFF PROBST: It started with an observation. Over 18 years of Survivor, it’s been remarkable to see how well players have adapted to the conditions. Living on very little rice while enduring the elements, competing in challenges and playing human poker had become the baseline. So, we wondered, could they go further? If pushed, how would they respond? This was not designed as a cruel test for our sinister pleasures, but more a true examination of willpower.

So the idea quickly became that they would have to earn every step they took. If you thought Survivor was tough, wait until you experience Edge of Extinction. In the case of rice, we didn’t even tell them it existed. Everything was on them. I think it was supervising producer Jimmy Quigley who found the spot for the rice. Blame him. Yes, there are definitely other facets to Extinction and as weird as it sounds right now. I think when it’s all said and done, people may end up looking fondly upon Extinction.

We’ve seen a lot of vegetarians be upset about killing chickens before on Survivor, but the Wendy situation was certainly unique in that she freely admits to eating them back home. She then sabotages her tribe by stealing the flint, even though that could easily end her game. What would you make of all this if you were on her tribe and you were STARVING!


I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I really enjoy Wendy. She is so unique in so many ways and her unpredictable point of view is really fun to watch. But… if I knew she hid the flint while lecturing about not killing the chickens, I think it would try my patience as a player.

Wendy is a really good example of how far likability can get you. She has complicated, maybe even convenient, moral misgivings about killing a chicken, but she does it with such charm that it does make it more difficult to stay mad. We never dreamed Wendy would be so dynamic and drive so much story. I also really like that she is not intimidated. She’s going to do what she wants, and she doesn’t seem to care how it impacts the tribe or even her own game.

What do you make about Manu’s decision to get Chris out and the fact that David and Rick kept their hands clean even though they were the ones who wanted Wentworth out in the first place?


These are the kind of votes that can really turn a season for a tribe.  Chris is similar to Joe in that he’s obviously very helpful around camp and in challenges. Getting rid of Chris this early is a massive move, and it’s risky from the standpoint that the more you lose the more you go to Tribal. But from a game play standpoint, I like it, because it speaks to point of view and that is how you must play Survivor. If there is one thing that I think has driven this game more than anything else these past many years it’s the strong point of view that most players embody. It makes for exciting game play and strong final Tribal Council resumes. Devens has found a worthy ally in David. They have the makings of a strong pair.

Gotta say, I’ve noticed you’ve sounded a little hoarse calling the past few challenges, yet you DUG DEEP to get through them! What happens when you feel a sickness or something coming on and know that you are going to have to yell anyway to call a challenge?


That was just me overdoing it at an earlier challenge and I lost my voice. It was a rookie mistake and once it was gone it just took a few days to get it back. But in answer to your question, if you get sick while shooting Survivor, you just plow through it. Doesn’t matter whether you’re shooting, gathering audio, producing an interview, building a challenge in the pouring rain or hosting Tribal. You don’t stop. From day one to day thirty-nine. We’re always shooting.

I see there is more to Chickengate coming up next week as well as a switch from two to three tribes. Hook us up with a tease, my man!


Oh, next week is another great episode. Edge of Extinction is slowly becoming a society with its own set of issues.  And back in the regular game, the deviousness is already full on. I love the way this group is playing. Very aggressive out of the gate. And they still have no idea that the Edge of Extinction really exists and that it may impact their game.

Check out an exclusive deleted scene from the episode at the top of the post and also make sure to read our full recap. Plus, for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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