Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: Winners at War. Here, he weighs in on Danni’s downfall, Boston Rob’s crazy Tribal Council gambit (as well as his failure in the challenge), and Tony just being Tony. Also make sure to watch our exclusive deleted scene from this week’s episode.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Okay, both of us had Danni as our winner pick because we liked how she sounded before the game. So what the hell happened? Nobody was even gunning for her and then she seemed to let her paranoia doom her. What’s your take on her downfall?
JEFF PROBST: First off, Danni could still win because… the Edge of Extinction is back! But in terms of her vote out, I think you might have nailed it… paranoia. If you look at the group, every player was panicking to varying degrees, but some are able to navigate it better than others. Danni’s disadvantages are that it’s been a long time since she played and today’s game moves so much faster. So when that panic hit, I think she was a bit out of practice and before she could get her footing she saw the game blazing past her at supersonic speed and she overplayed. But, to be fair, this is going to go down as the most intense season we’ve ever done. Danni will not be the last player to make one mistake and have it cost them. Now she has to get to work on the Edge and start planning her return.
Rob orders everyone at Tribal Council to empty their bags so he can see if anyone has an idol… AND THEY ALL DO IT! Even Adam, who complained out it, emptied his bag. How can one person have that much sway and power over a bunch of fellow winners? I’m flabbergasted by what I saw.
That’s why Rob had a statue. I can’t explain it. Nobody can. And it will probably never work again on Survivor because in just these first two episodes we’ve seen Rob work his powers of persuasion in ways that boggle the mind. So future players have no choice. If Rob were to ever play again the only thing you can do is vote him out immediately. IMMEDIATELY. I know you want a great answer, I don’t have one.
When people ask why do you have Rob back so many times? This is why. He’s compelling. He’s amazing to watch. The move to have everyone empty their bags was so smart on so many levels. Even levels that didn’t play out this time. And I do not think this will be the last time it happens. It’s a very powerful move that could be used in many ways. Nor is it the last really cool move we’ll see this season. We have a ton of extremely compelling players and this game is just getting started.
While Rob was super impressive at Tribal Council, he blew it in the challenge puzzle — which was bizarre to see because he is one of the best Survivor puzzle solvers ever. How much did his struggle there surprise you?
This is a great one-two question because it illustrates my belief about how you have to play the game. You have to go for it. All the time. Every day. Rob went for it big time with the “empty your bag” move. And it worked. Great. But he made an equally big move in the puzzle by trying a crazy strategy of separating pieces, and this time it didn’t work. It was a major disaster. That’s the consequence of a failed big move. Rob is not perfect, yet he continues to make big moves always trying to turn the game in his favor. When a big move works you move forward, and when a big move fails… you still move forward.
Tony Vlachos is God’s gift to television. I will never not be entertained by this man. Even when he is trying to tone down his act, he can’t help himself. What is the ratio of time you all spend of thanking your lucky stars for him vs. worrying that he may kill himself, and was there ever any thought from your producers at the camp as to stopping him from climbing that super sketchy ladder?
I couldn’t agree more. Who doesn’t love Tony! The ladder was s-k-e-t-c-h-y for sure. I’m still not sure that Tony was certain the ladder would work. When I saw the footage, I couldn’t believe he made the ladder and then couldn’t believe he actually climbed it. I do think there is a bit of adrenaline that drives him and yes, there is panic anytime Tony starts up a ladder or a tree or starts digging a trench. Because he’s nuts! And yet… I think we all suspect that every single move he makes is driven by a game point of view. Tony is never doing something just for fun. I think it is always driven by one single purpose — getting himself closer to the end.
Give us a tease for next week and tease us good!
I will not tease anything because this season is just too good. But I will say this. One of my all-time favorite sequences is next week. Hall of fame good. Enjoy! And happy birthday, DR.
Enjoy an exclusive deleted scene from this week’s episode above and make sure to check out our full episode recap. And for more behind the scenes Survivor scoop, photos, and videos, follow Dalton on both Twitter and Instagram.