‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Spills the Beans on ‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’

'Survivor: Worlds Apart' (CBS)

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Worlds Apart” scoop! I delved deep into the Nicaraguan wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily in the weeks leading up to the premiere, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.

Gordon Holmes: Alright, explain how this Blue Collar vs. White Collar vs. No Collar concept works.
Jeff Probst: The truth is; we had our cast together, but we didn’t have a theme. And everyone’s trying to think of a theme, and I just had the cards spread out on a table, and I kept coming back to Brains, Brawn, and Beauty. We had the perfect blend for that, but we didn’t want to do that again. So, kind of what you do is you just pair them together and you’re like, “We’ll these two could go together, and what about her? And this guy over here…”
Holmes: Because I feel like I’ve heard White Collar vs. Blue Collar tossed around a few times.
Probst: We never wanted to do White Collar vs. Blue Collar because it’s too flat. That’s very basic. That’s what “Survivor” is, we do it every season. But over here I had these cards that we couldn’t figure out what to do with and I said, “We’ve got these gypsies and beach people,” and then it just hit me. These are the No Collars, which wasn’t a term that I’d heard before but made sense to me. Our “Survivor” crew, we’re No Collars. Most of these people have spent the last 15 years on islands in the middle of nowhere doing a TV show. Then I thought of my boss, Mark Burnett. He’s a No Collar. Then I thought; White Collars make the rules, Blue Collars follow or enforce the rules, and No Collars break the rules.
Holmes: And you’ll get full credit when “No Collar” ends up in the dictionary.
Probst: I should get full credit. For me it was a discovery like discovering that the world was round. That’s how good I felt. I was jumping around my house going, “I got it!”

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur”

Holmes: This is the 30th season, I think people were expecting a big returning player showdown. Instead, we’ve got 18 new faces. How was the call made to just let the show stand on its own merits?
Probst: We didn’t start with the “let it work.” I wish we were that smart. We actually started about two years ago saying, “If we get to 30, let’s think about the big, blowout season.” We did pitch a few things to Mark and CBS that were fun and different. But even as we pitched them they felt predictable and tired. Nobody was getting excited. It was Mark Burnett who said, “Do we need to do an all-star season?” So, that gave us permission to get rid of the all-star strategy. Maybe it will be our last, who knows? Maybe when we get to 40 we’ll be asking the same question. But I’ll tell you this; not doing all-stars was the best decision because it would have deprived us of 18 of the most interesting people we’ve had on the show in a long time.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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