Jeff Probst 'mesmerized' by his favorite “Survivor” moment of the season

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The host has never been happier on season 45.

There have been a lot of big moments on Survivor 45. Kaleb Gebrewold becoming the first person to save himself with a Shot in the Dark. Kellie Nalbandian being brutally blindsided. The return of a new, improved auction. And even two people quitting the game. But Jeff Probst’s favorite moment of the season so far actually took place on this week’s episode.

The Reba foursome imploded when Drew Basile and Austin Li Coon decided to vote out their alliance member Julie Alley. One problem: Austin had entered into a showmance with Julie’s biggest ally, Dee Valladares, and chose to inform her of the plan. Chaos then erupted when Dee told Julie, who then tried to organize a vote against Austin before ultimately deciding to play her idol (which Austin had given her previously in a moment of strategic weakness) and vote out Emily Flippen instead.

On the latest episode of his On Fire podcast, Probst and cohosts Jay Wolff and Rick Devens (Survivor: Edge of Extinction) discussed the dramatic turn of events, which culminated with Dee instructing Julie, “You need to put on your biggest acting face you ever put on in your life. Again, you have to play your idol tonight and we're going to vote Emily out, but you have to put on your biggest acting face, okay?”

<p>CBS</p> Jeff Probst on 'Survivor 45'

CBS

Jeff Probst on 'Survivor 45'

It's a scene the host watched play out just as viewers did. “Remember, I don't see these scenes playing out on the beach,” says Probst on his podcast. “I'm not watching a monitor of everything that's happening. And even if I get a basic download from the producers, it's truly basic…. So when I saw this scene actually play out, I was mesmerized. It's my favorite moment of the season so far. Dee is a killer!”

And, to the host, it’s not just about Dee. “Just to continue why this is my favorite scene of the season, it's not just Dee who's a killer. Julie is a killer. ‘Man up and face me when there's three left!’  Both of these women are saying, ‘Bring it! We're not moving. We're standing right here and we're ready for the fight.’”

Of course, as Survivor often shows — just this week, in fact, with the elimination of Emily right on the heels of her making a big move on Bruce Perreault — once you make a big stand, you often also become a big target.

“The minute people realize you're playing, you're a threat and you must be dealt with,” says Probst. “There's no denying Dee or Julie could win this game and they're trying to make a run to be in total control of the game. So you can't let them get to the end. But the problem is, there are other threats who could win as well. So it's this ever-shifting goalpost. It's like whack-a-mole. You just don't know who to take out at what moment.”

Thanks to Dee, Julie was not taken out this week. What happens next week without an immunity idol, however, could be a different story. For much more inside intel from Probst on the latest episode, check out On Fire: The Official Survivor Podcast.

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