Jeff Probst on Return of Survivor Auction ‘On Fire’ Podcast (Episode 8)

Probst and co discuss Episode 8.



Survivor host Jeff Probst, Survivor: Edge of Extinction’s Rick Devens, and producer Jeff Wolfe meet to discuss the eighth episode of Survivor 45 on the On Fire podcast. They discuss the long-awaited return of the Survivor Auction, how it came to be in the new era, and this episode’s blindside at the tribal council. To wrap the episode up, Probst answers some fan questions.


  • Probst admits the introduction of advantages broke the Survivor Auction.
  • “Dangerous fun” was the central concept to reinvent the auction, and it started with players running around the beach looking for money, as players need to earn everything they get in the game. 
  • Devens says he hated how Bruce played looking for the money, as everyone went all in besides him, and it was “unnecessarily annoying.” 
  • As Survivor is a constant game of ups and downs, the production also had a go at the “dangerous fun” concept by forewarning the players that the one who had the most money at the end of the auction would lose their vote as that player holds the most power yet has the most considerable risk. 
  • Wolfe admits he thought some advantage would come up regardless of Probst’s warning that there wouldn’t be any in the auction. Probst is adamant there’s a difference between him being careful with his words to not mislead the players and him outright lying.
  • A makeshift kitchen was built on the island so the kitchen team could create each serving for the auction. 
  • Probst says the production and crew behind the show are multicultural, and the fisheyes used as a “gross food” item were tested beforehand. One of the crew members, who is from the Philippines, tried to show they were safe and to highlight fisheyes are only “gross” to the others as they’re not culturally accustomed to eating them. It is only a mind-over-matter situation in the end. 
  • Probst reveals one of his favourite moments from the auction was Emily’s reaction when she ate her reward, as she showed another aspect of her personality, which highly contrasted the audience’s first introduction to her. 
  • They all agree Bruce is playing inconsistently, which has dramatically impacted his social game, as one second, he’s the tribe’s leader, and the next, he doesn’t own up to his decisions. Probst says if Bruce makes it to the end, this gameplay style might haunt him.  
  • Probst says this new Survivor Auction style will be back in the future, though not every season. 
  • The rice negotiation is brought up, especially Probst’s shocking move of stabbing the rice bag to pressure the players to sit out of the challenge in exchange for food. Probst admits this idea came from a former Dream Team member. 
  • Devens admits he’d never sit out of an immunity challenge, even for food, as he’d never forgive himself if this were why he would be later voted out of the game.
  • Probst reveals the reading order of the votes depends on the story they want to tell. For instance, he could’ve read them to lead the players to think it was between Jake and Kellie. However, they opted to go for a blindside.
  • Devens says it’s awful when, as a player, you see your name on the parchment, especially when you have no indication this can happen. Probst admits Kellie’s blindside is one of the most potent ones he’s ever witnessed.
  • Probst reveals Kellie was an alternate for Survivor 44, and on location, she was told she would instead play the following season. 


  • What happened to Survivor villains, and why has the show “gone soft”? Probst replies casting has evolved, and he wanted to take it in a different direction. Probst emphasises they are looking for interesting, compelling people. Probst says they would cast likeable villains today, such as Boston Rob, Sandra, Parvati, Tyson, and Tony, but they wouldn’t cast ones like Russell Hantz. Probst remarks he doesn’t dislike Russell personally, but Russell’s gameplay style wouldn’t work with the show’s present format. 
  • Are bathroom breaks allowed during tribal council? Devens says there aren’t bathroom breaks during tribal, but players usually go before it starts. 
  • How bad do contestants smell on the show, and is this why Probst stays away from them at challenges and tribal? Devens says he recalls he didn’t have a terrible odour, but he did wash at the ocean daily. Probst says the players usually smell like a mix of campfire and a gym locker that hasn’t been opened in a while, but he clarifies it doesn’t affect him. Probst lastly adds he stays far away for camera reasons. 


Written by

Mariana Loizaga

Mariana is a lawyer and a writer from Mexico City, Mexico. She has a masters degree in International Relations from the University of Surrey. Her hobbies include reading, blogging, and of course watching Survivor. The first season of Survivor she ever saw was Survivor: Philippines and she became so fascinated with the game and its many layers that she went back through the archives and watched every single previous season.

One response to “Jeff Probst on Return of Survivor Auction ‘On Fire’ Podcast (Episode 8)”

  1. Omg Jeff give us back our villains! Nasty villains like Corinne and Russell make the show interesting because we experience people like that in everyday life as well. It’s compelling. Sigh…

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