By the way when I said "comming to Canada" not a canadian edition but Survivor Canada -- Survivor Fiji
Survivor coming to Canada?
By Amber Dowling
Jeff Probst spills the beans on the latest instalment of the hit reality show, the next All-Star edition, the possibility of coming to Canada, and why there will never be Canadians on Survivor
Do you also see this season of Survivor to be sort of a yin to last seasonís yang where everybody last season was so lovable and so in tune with each other, and this season theyíre kind of nasty and hateful?
Jeff Probst: I didnít think of that. But yes, this is definitely a rougher group. And we knew that when we were out there. We felt it. You can always feel the vibe. And Fiji was a tough season. It was a tough season to shoot for us physically because it was our second one back-to-back. By the time we finish the second season, weíre all so ready to come home, we canít wait. And it was very hot and the conditions were extremely tough. This group was much more a group of rascals and kind of got on each otherís nerves, the other thing Iíve noticed about Fiji is Fiji is probably more diverse than the Cook Islands were, even though that was supposed to be our diverse season. Because we truly have - people that are really different from each other. And you hear it in their speech. And you hear it in the way they talk and the way they think and whether itís Rocky or Edgardo or Lisi or Anthony, you know. You look at Anthony and how he would have fared on last seasonís show, itís just a very diverse group.
Do you think this yearís Survivor teams Ė the ďhavesĒ vs. the ďhave notsĒ Ė has cut down the drama or the surprise element of the show?
JP: Each season of Survivor is in a sense a science experiment. You donít know what youíre going to get. You have all these variables and you concoct this stew and then you see how it plays out. If we could go back to the beginning now and start Fiji over, I think we would make one change, and that is we would have the ďgoodĒ camp. We would have them play for that each week. And thatís something we talked about, and we just didnít know which way it was going to go. We didnít know if that would get too confusing and nobody would ever know where they were living and so that would be hard for the audience. We didnít know. So we decided letís just go for winner take all and see what happens. In the past weíve had pretty good Survivor luck. This time, if you look at this as a mistake, then we certainly didnít have luck. But I will say the season isnít over yet and, you know, thereís new life now for people. And some people get to taste, the good life. Other people are still starving on Poor Manís Island. But I think the show begins to pick up a lot of steam beginning this week.
You gave it to Lisi pretty hard after the twist last week. Why did her comments bother you so much? And is it tough to remain effective while still retaining objectivity?
JP: I think that when Iím hosting Survivor itís a bit of a different persona. And itís one that Iíve gotten comfortable with. I feel like I know the edges of the frame to where I can wander. I was merely pointing out what I think everybody at home was probably thinking which, is youíve lost your mind. So Iíll see you later. And Iím not trying to be harsh on her. Iím just saying exactly what I feel. And I was that way at tribal council sometimes with Anthony. When people were picking on him I could have said, ďOh Anthony, I feel bad for you,Ē thatís not what I was thinking. I was thinking, ďAnthony, theyíre picking on you. Are you going to stand up for yourself or not?Ē This is about the human spirit, whatís happening here. I donít have to live with you. You do. So itís kind of like group therapy on Survivor every day. Iíve had a couple of psychologists say itís very close to group therapy in terms of how candid people get with each other. So - and as far as keeping my objectively and being effective, Iím sure I lose my objectivity at times. I feel it when it happens. I get personally involved in a moment, and I probably put five cents in instead of the allowed two cents.
You're an integral part of the show. Whatís your future with the show? And do you think it could go on without you?
JP: I definitely think Survivor could go on without me. It would certainly be a change. And, you know, after 14 Ė or well, when weíre done with next year, itíll be 16 seasons, I think itís asking a lot probably of the audience to stick around when you bring in a whole new attitude. But yes, the show can go on because Iím not the show. Iíve become a part of this version of Survivor, but the essence of the game is putting a group of people out and abandoning them and forcing them to get rid of somebody every week until only one person is left. Thatís a basic game. As far as my future, when weíre done Ė the end of this year weíll have shot seasons 15 and 16, and I honestly donít know. I really donít. I wanted to come back after Exile Ė during my last contract. I wanted to come back. I just wanted a new contract. Iíd been under the same contract for a long time, and so we worked that out and everythingís great. Iím at a point in my life now where I think, where Iím considering what do I need to do for me? I would hate to leave money on the table because in this industry when you have a job youíre a fool to walk away from it. But I have also Ė have learned a lot from Survivor, and I think about mortality a lot. I think about the fact that when Iím dying what am I really going to remember and care about?
All of the destinations for Survivor are somewhere where itís really hot. Any chance youíll do one where itís minus 40 degrees in the winter like northern Canada?
JP: You know, we have talked about Canada believe it or not. We had a long discussion about it for these two upcoming seasons. And weíre still on the fence about it. We see a lot of positives that would be new and different. And then thereís some negatives, you know, because physically you tend to shut down when you get cold. You donít do as much. Youíre going to be wearing parkas and hats and boots. And youíre not going to be in bikinis. Challenges become a little different so thereís pros and cons. I think though that Mark is probably leaning towards truly considering a colder climate, especially if the show goes on further because itís hard, to find locations.
Will there be another All-Star season? How would feel about doing another one?
JP: When we did the first one I personally didnít want to do it. And throughout the filming of the show, I didnít enjoy it. Because they werenít new peopleÖthey had already done this. And thereís a lot of problems with people that have already played. One, they forget how miserable itís going to be until they get out there. And then they suddenly remember, "Oh my God, Iím only on Day 4." They become really irritable, and as a result, irritating. If youíve lasted any length of time in the game as most All-Stars have, youíve learned a little about how the show works, picked up some of our lingo. And you become bigger than a contestant. Youíre now part of the family. And so you hear people, I mean during the All-Stars it was "Probst, is production holding us up?" things like that. And that just drives me nuts because thatís not part of the show. I donít blame them. Thatís who theyíve evolved into after playing it once. We put them in this situation. But I will say when the [All-Star] show aired, and I watched how the Survivor audience loved it. And so Iíve had to really rethink it and realize my own personal preference is really irrelevant. I think they do want another All-Stars, and it would not be out of the question to have another one. Weíre due.
If another All-Star season did happen and you had the ultimate say on who came back, who would you like to see get another chance?
JP: Well, Iíd like to see it do something a little different than just the flat out All-stars. And, that could mean many things. Maybe we have a few people that we give a second chance to that you might not think of as All-Stars. Or maybe we pit the All-Stars against other people or maybe we do a different version of men vs. women with All-Stars, just something to break it up from what weíve normally done. And I think - and again, I donít really know how it would go down Ė and Iím being completely honest, but Iím guessing that if we did an All-Stars, we should probably do it starting with where the last one left off and moving forward. Now I donít know that we should do another All-Stars and bring Rudy back again or bring Rupert back again even though theyíre so fun and popular. We should probably do a fresh one with new people. And then it begs the question, do we have enough big names to do it?
Do you foresee a time when Survivorís open to international contestants?
JP: You know what it is? Mark doesnít own the rights. He only owns the rights to do a version - an American version. So to do a U.S. version, you have to be a U.S. citizen. We would have opened it up a long time ago. We would love to do an international Survivor. Itís unintelligible. But Charlie Parsons, the guy who owns Survivor who actually created the first version of it, he owns those rights and he has many versions of Survivor that go on in different countries. And so weíre prohibited from doing firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: Thursday, March 29, 2007