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Gordon Holmes: Alright, who are your favorites this season?
Jeff Probst: Let’s start with the No Collar tribe; I love Hali. Hali is someone I would’ve been friends with if I was in school with her. I’d be like her if I went to law school. Hali is really smart. Smart enough to get into law school, but her approach to life is that of a No Collar because she wants to get into law school so she can change the rules. She doesn’t like the way people are being defended. That is the personification of a No Collar; smart enough to make their own rules, but maverick enough to say the ones that are in place now don’t really work for me.
Holmes: Any other No Collars?
Probst: I like Vince because he’s the kind of guy we don’t have on the show a lot. He literally sold coconuts on the beach. Who does that?! He did. And his life growing up is very unusual and very interesting. It puts him in this position where he’s smart enough to be aware that people see him as a loon. People see the feathers and think he’s nuts. And maybe he is. But I think that’s the question he wants to leave you with is; am I or not? I’m not sure Vince can win though, because I don’t know if people will want to give him the money.
Holmes: Who do you like from the Blue Collars?
Probst: I love Mike. He’s an oil driller from Texas and he’s the kind of guy I always want to have on this show. And they’re hard to find. He’s kind of like Colby when he played for the first time. He’s a guy’s guy. He has good manners, he’s a good-looking dude. And, I think if he doesn’t get too anxious he could make some decent alliances and go a long way. He certainly knows the game. I also like Rodney for very different reasons. He’s a spark plug. He kinda even looks like a spark plug physically.
Holmes: I don’t know if he’s going to win. But he’s going to be a star.
Probst: If Rodney lasts, you’ll never forget him. And what makes me like him so much is that he really says what he feels. And, you could argue that he should be a No Collar because he’s such a hustler. But at his core, he’s a guy who will get things done no matter what. I think that’s what Blue Collars represent. They have heart. You have to finish the job.
Holmes: And White Collars?
Probst: I like Joaquin a lot. I like him because he knows he’s White Collar and he’s not ashamed of it. He doesn’t think it’s a derogatory term. He’s proud of the fact that he wears a suit and he’s in an office. So what? I like that. He’s not going to use that as a chip on his shoulder. He’s going to use it as a starting point. He’s a good-looking guy, he’s charming. I don’t know how he’s going to do with the women. Sometimes the good-looking guys they try to charm the women and they see through it and say, “See ya.” Other times they let them think they’re charming them.
Holmes: Who else?
Probst: I also like So. She is so determined. She is type-A, brother. All the way. And she’s not used to losing. I like her chances in this game because there’s something about So that I think she understands that you have to back off at times. Shirin, who is on her tribe, I’m not sure can do that. She may come on too strong. But So seems like the devil that’s so attractive that you want to keep her around because she’s so great to look at. But, she will come up to give you a kiss and it will be a bite on your neck and she will drain all the blood. You will bleed out and die on the floor. And when the paramedics come they’ll say, “Oh, So.”
Holmes: There aren’t rules against that kind of behavior?
Probst: We do have rules…
Holmes: It’s a cool trick, I’d just imagine she can only do it once.
Probst: Yes. There’s an asterisk to our rules and it states, “If the person doing the attacking is young and really attractive, we tend to let it go.” And the reason we do that is because we feel that on “Survivor” as in life, that kind of thing happens.
Holmes: Who’s in trouble?
Probst: Dan’s in trouble from the Blue Collar tribe only because he tries too hard. He’s actually a really nice guy, but you can’t try hard.
Holmes: I like Dan, but it seems like he’s always on. Where’s the real Dan?
Probst: Yeah. It doesn’t work. Dan’s probably great at a party or a dinner, but you’ve gotta be real on “Survivor.”
Holmes: Who else?
Probst: On the White Collar tribe I think Tyler’s probably the first one in trouble.
Probst: Yeah, I think he might have trouble fitting in because he wants to fit in. I get the feeling that he wants to be in a club that he’s not yet in. And on “Survivor” you have to front as if people want to be in your club. Even if you’re nervous, never let them see you sweat. They should want to align with you.
Holmes: I always feel like six-people tribes should want to keep challenge strength.
Probst: You never know. With this group you’re probably right. I’d be with you. But then you see people saying, “Get rid of Garrett.”
Holmes: Who’s in trouble from the No Collars?
Probst: I would say…man…oh wait, this is easy. It’s gonna be Nina. Nina could be the first person out of this game. I don’t think Nina would mind. I think Nina is overwhelmed and it doesn’t have anything to do with her hearing. She’s quite capable and a strong woman. I think sometimes you get out here and it becomes too real and you realize you’re not going home. I’m going to be eating bugs and sleeping with snakes. I think Nina probably already wants to go home.
Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.