NOTE: 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.
Oh…what would a season of “Survivor” be without a curveball to wing at the starving, sun-burnt contestants? I had a chance to chat with the man himself, host Jeff Probst, to find out what he has in store for “Survivor: Worlds Apart.”
Gordon Holmes: What can we expect twist-wise for this season?
Jeff Probst: Twists this season…I think are going to surprise the players because of how simple it is. We don’t have a lot of twists planned. Our big twist out of the gate hinges on one change in the game. We’ve often done something where we say, “Pick one person to make a decision on behalf of your tribe.” That’s worked well. The nice thing about having one person is that no one knows your lie. So, what we’re saying is you have to share your lie. Two people have to decide whether or not to deceive the tribe. And now you’re linked with them. If you lie, they know your lie and you know theirs. What do you do? Do you get rid of them because they know or are you linked with them to the end? And part of the lie is a clue to an idol. Who gets it?
Holmes: In “Survivor: Cagayan” the chosen players had to decide between a bag of rice and a clue. To differentiate this twist; if you take the clue, you still get a smaller bag of rice to throw the rest of the tribe off of your scent.
(EDIT: To clarify, the way the twist works is two people from each tribe will have to make a choice between a big bag of BEANS and no immunity idol clue or a small bag of beans and an immunity idol clue.)
Probst: We’re hoping at least one tribe takes the bait. Cause when we have our switch, which we always do, people start comparing stories. In a perfect world, the White Collar tribe lies. They live up to their name and they deceive.
Holmes: Why do you assume White Collar people will deceive?
Probst: (Laughs) They play the game the way it’s meant to be played. You make up your own rules. Given the chance to lie, and I don’t know about it? You will lie every day, all day. Maybe I’m wrong, but if I’m playing “Survivor,” that’s what I assume you’re going to be doing.
Holmes: With the economy in the state it’s been the past decade, is there any concern that the White Collars might be viewed as villains? Could this put them at an immediate disadvantage?
Probst: I don’t think any category puts you in an advantageous position. I think it’s a great crutch if you want to do that. Look at Cagayan, Morgan could have easily said, “What? Don’t just call me a pretty girl!” Instead she said, “I should be on the beauty tribe. I am hot and hot opens doors.” Anyone who doesn’t see that is being disingenuous or is blind to how the world works. In the same way, they all have things that are good qualities or bad qualities. If I was the White Collar tribe I’d say, “Damn straight I make the rules. I intend on making a few out here. But, I have the work ethic of a Blue Collar and the ‘eff you’ of the No Collars.” If being called White Collar makes you uptight, then you probably are.
Holmes: They aren’t villains, but you’re expecting them to lie.
Probst: Lying on “Survivor” isn’t a villainous move. Lying is gameplay.
Holmes: You can get voted out for lying.
Probst: Sure! You can get voted out for lots of things. This is how I play “Survivor,” I go for the home run. I’m not interested in third or thirteenth. You’ve got to take a big swing. If I’m on a tribe and I get paired off with you and I say, “Dude, what do you think?” And you say, “Absolutely not, we’re telling the truth.” I say, “Just what I was thinking.” If you say, “I don’t know…” I say, “We’re lying, brother!”
Probst: That’s how you play! We’re giving you the opportunity for an idol! You can win the whole game based on the alliance you make with the power of an idol. Or, you can become a target. Are you going to sit in the shade or play in the sun?
Holmes: I’m not knocking lying, I’m just questioning why one group is more likely to lie.
Probst: You know what? Then I’d vote you out.
Holmes: But we had a deal!
Probst: I’d make a lie with you and then I’d get rid of you as fast as I could. Hopefully before the merge.
Holmes: Soulless. Man without a soul.
Probst: So in a perfect world, the White Collar tribe lies, the Blue Collar tribe tells the truth, and the No Collar tribe debates it.
Holmes: Are we going to see the return of the Tyler Perry idol?
Probst: The Tyler Perry idol is not coming back this season. But, you say that with a little bit of a…did I sense something there?
Holmes: I wasn’t a fan because it reminded me of “Cook Islands” where Yul had the super powered idol.
Probst: I still submit; look at history. Look at the live show. When I said, “Would you have liked it if Spencer had found it?” And it was a standing ovation. It just fell into the wrong guy’s hands.
Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.