Heres another interview with Jeff
'Survivor: China' Host Promises a Scantily Clad Season
Jeff Probst Dishes Mud, Itching, All-Stars and his 'Survivor' Dream Locale
Sept. 19 -- An interview with 'Survivor' host Jeff Probst confirms what we've suspected all summer: this season promises to be better than ever. With the breathtaking beauty of China as the exotic backdrop and a wild group of contestants ready to get down and dirty, this could be the most exciting season yet.
AOL TV's Angel Cohn probed Probst about the new crew, another rumored all-star season, the hazards of his hosting gig and if he's getting at all tired of trekking all over the world.
So China, that's pretty cool.
Yeah, China was great. We're the first American show to shoot over there. It took a little negotiating but once we were in ... they asked if they could come in at any given time and view tapes. Just kind of drop in on us whenever and view tapes to make sure we weren't positioning China in a negative way. Other than that, they opened the doors.
What's different about this location that is more challenging or cool that we should look for?
It's just a completely different look. You have bamboo jungles, you have temples and very, very hot water and a completely different kind of fishing. One of the rewards was to have a local family come and show you how to fish these lakes because that was a big deal. And then from a production point of view just the language barrier for us. You had to have a lot of interpreters because there's no faking Mandarin.
In the behind-the-scenes footage [see video below], we see your amazing crew.
The crew is pretty massive and we figured it was about time we started letting a little of the "behind the scenes" out. The amazing thing is that most of that crew has been there for a long time. We don't have a high turnover. It's such a gypsy lifestyle you're really living in a foreign land, sometimes in tents, sometimes out of a hotel and you know you're interacting.
Is it fun to have your brother around?
Yeah, Scott is my youngest brother and he's worked on a few seasons now. It just changes the dynamic when you see your blood out there. I have friends and that's great but I see Scott and it's like, "Oh yeah that's my brother! How great is this?" We hang out and play poker in the evenings and we had a night off, it was fun.
Are the challenges harder this season?
Yeah, the first especially. For the first several episodes, [there are] very physical challenges combined with the fact that they're only given the clothes off their backs. When the show starts, you have women in dresses, men in suits and guys in long jeans and what it ends up is that everybody is in their underwear because the clothes just aren't functional. So cut to the second episode when we've got this big full on challenge out in the mud ... clothes are coming off, people are ripping off each other's tops. Then we have another challenge later where they're on boats and it's hand-to-hand combat and it's very physical and once again you're seeing people in their underwear who should not be in their underwear, it's not their most flattering look. So it gives the show an added bit of aesthetic appeal.
There are some you'd want to see in their underwear.
There are some you would like to see, I can think of a few. Amanda wouldn't be bad to see in her underwear; Jamie would be okay in her underwear. I'm sure the women would like to see many of the guys in their underwear.
You've got a very diverse group this year.
Yep! From a chicken farmer, to a grave digger, to a professional poker player, to a professional wrestler, to a gay Mormon flight attendant, and a former Miss Montana, there's a little bit of everything in there.
Where do you even find them?
That's the great thing ... we do find them and they're crazy enough to say yes.
Do you stop trying to predict the winner?
After 15 seasons I've realized I don't know a thing. I really don't have a clue but it doesn't mean you don't pull for people. Denise has a mullet that is as good a mullet as you've ever seen and your first instinct is to look and go "Wow somebody needs to help her with the hair." But then you talk to her [and ask] "Why do you have a mullet?" She says, "Because, I work with food so, I have to keep my hair short. But I'm also a woman, and I have a husband, and I want to be ***y for him so I need a little length in the back" and suddenly you're saying "Wow, the mullet maybe the perfect haircut." She's just somebody that I've pulled for from the beginning, she was just so endearing. So, yeah, you do pull for people, there's not much you can do.
Are you ever worried at tribal council that you're accidentally going to spoil someone's alliance?
No. I get the big beats from the producers. They'll tell me like that their camp burnt down or whatever, but I don't always know a lot of stuff. I think that's what gives me the freedom to ask questions with reckless abandonment ... if you're dumb enough to tell me something certainly I'm going to take it. But I would never, if I knew something about somebody, I would never out them ever.
Are there any twists?
The big twists this year are that they start with the clothes on their backs and that we have a kidnapping every episode where one tribe kidnaps someone from the other tribe and that, on a game like 'Survivor,' becomes pretty [important] because they get to spy on the other team. They get to maybe make new alliances. Then we also have our hidden immunity idol, which this season is hidden in plain sight. You just have to figure out what it is.
There are rumors about another all-star season. Any truth to that?
Well I can neither confirm nor deny.
In the past, you've been vocally against it.
I've come around to at least understanding this: From a production point of view, it can be a pain in the butt, because the minute you call somebody an "all-star" or invite them back for a second time, they're suddenly so entitled that you know they have riders in their contracts and an entourage and all that. But from an audience point of view, I completely get that if you really liked Johnny "Fairplay" and you love to hate him and he's the most despicable guy you can ever think of, then you want to see him again. So I get it and if we do another one, I'll definitely be on board. I'm not against it anymore. I'm just prepared for the pain
they will be.