'Survivor' host/producer, Jeff Probst. (Photo Courtesy of: Global Television, CBS Television.)
Host/producer Jeff Probst is asking disappointed fans to keep the torches burning bright. "Survivor: Fiji" will get better.
"It's going to start getting exciting this week," Probst told Jam! Showbiz. "I am just happy that the audience sticks with us to see how it plays out. We've never had two seasons in a row with people who are lackluster."
On Thursday's episode, Probst revealed that fans will see one of his favourite "Survivor" moments of all time. It involves the evolving friendship between Yau-Man Chan and Earl Cole.
"Yau-Man makes a quote that is similar to Rudy's quote about Richard Hatch: 'We're friends just not in no homosexual way'," Probst said.
Looking back at the "Fiji" production and how it played out, Probst agrees that the "rich versus poor" twist has slanted the game in favour of the Moto Tribe. Although the members were switched up in a tribal swap on last week's episode, Moto's outright dominance of the "Fiji" game has continued unabated.
"I cannot argue with the audience. I can feel that it (the series) has not been as fulfilling because it has been unfair," Probst admitted. "If you look at this (the twist) as a mistake then we certainly didn't have luck but I will say the season isn't over yet."
Categorizing "Survivor" as an unpredictable "science experiment" each season, Probst said that if he could go back, there is one change he would make to the "Fiji" game. He would have forced the "rich tribe" to defend their luxurious living conditions every week. In the end, other considerations stopped the producers from executing that plan.
"We didn't know if people would get confused over where they were living. We just decided to go for it, winner take all and see what happens," he said.
To Probst, the bigger mistake on the series was allowing Ravu a chance to win Moto's beach at an Immunity Challenge a few weeks ago. Probst says he fought against the twist but series producer Mark Burnett overruled him. It is not the first time Probst and Burnett have locked horns. During the 'Pearl Islands' season, Probst was opposed to the "Ghost Tribe" twist but once again, Burnett's wishes as executive producer won out.
"When you are voted out of the game, you are out of the game. That's what I would call a mistake. This (twist) is what I would call an idea that didn't work out so well."
Rumours that another "All-Stars" installment is on the way this fall due to Survivor's decline in mainstream popularity over the last few seasons, don't surprise Probst at all. On record as not being a fan of the concept the first time around, Probst would like to see a different "All-Stars" format such as giving past players that fans might not think of as true 'All-Stars' a second chance or maybe pitting a group of "All-Stars" against other players.
"My own personal preference is really irrelevant. This is a show we make for the people who watch it and we have been blessed with a loyal fan base who do want another "All-Stars" and it is not out of the question to have another one," he said.
Due to franchise restrictions, participation on the CBS reality series is still restricted to Americans. Canadian fans can take some comfort though in the fact that according to Probst, Mark Burnett is considering holding a "Survivor" series in Canada.
"I think Mark Burnett is truly leaning towards a colder climate, especially if the show goes on further because it is hard to find locations," said Probst.
As for his own future with the series, Probst fondly recalls a conversation he had with actor Robert Forster when they were filming "Finders Fee" many years ago. The words still ring in Probst's ear to this day.
"We took a walk one day, a hike, and he flat-out told me "Don't you ever walk away from the show. I had a career. It dipped. It hit bottom and for 25 years I couldn't get work and now I am grateful to have work again. When you have work, you take it because there will be a time when you can't get it'."
The next episode of 'Survivor: Fiji' airs in Canada on the Global Television Network on Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. EDT.
What did you think of the tribal switch? Did it improve the series? Chat with Jam!'s John Powell about 'Survivor' on Thursday, March 29th at 12:30 p.m. ET. To submit your question or comment now, click here