Survivor host Jeff Probst, Survivor: Edge of Extinction’s Rick Devens, and producer Jeff Wolfe meet to discuss the sixth episode of Survivor 45 on the latest On Fire podcast. They talk about the mergatory, including the challenge, its aftermath, and that iconic tribal council where there was a first in Survivor history. To wrap it up, Probst answers some fan questions.
EPISODE 6: MERGATORY
- Wolfe asks Probst his thoughts on Bruce. Probst says he didn’t see the level of confidence Bruce has this season in his last, which is surprising but not unexpected as Bruce sees himself as a sort of Survivor celebrity. For Probst, this is Bruce 2.0.
- As a tip for future players, Devens and Probst agree players can have empathy for others, but not to the point of it being a detriment to their game.
- Wolfe asks Probst if he saw Jake’s potential for being sneaky, as in the episode, Jake made up a lie about losing his ring to cause a distraction while they looked for an idol. Due to Jake’s description of himself, Probst saw the hints of Jake using others’ perceptions about himself to his favour.
- Probst says it is intentional how Survivor is framed, as they only have one chance to get everything on film, regardless of what happens.
- Devens retells his experience of experiencing the merge and how chaotic, nerve-wracking, and fun it is. Everyone is running around trying to gather their belongings, including hidden advantages, while also trying to confirm with their allies about continuing to work with each other.
- Probst says they uphold the 10-minute warning, though it can go for a minute or two longer if they have more players to gather around.
- Devens asks Probst what happens to a player’s vote if said player cannot find their idol before the merge occurs. Probst answers that in the case of the beware advantages, for instance, it is written that if a player can’t do all tasks before the merge officially begins (not when the boats arrive, but when they get out of limbo and have their merge buffs), that idol is dead, and their vote is restored.
- Devens says the number of talks that happen once all players are on the same beach is a lot to take in. Still, everyone is on their toes, trying to absorb everything while maintaining existing relationships and creating new ones. Probst says the first tribal council at the merge is the most crucial one, as it is where players draw the lines when it comes to alliances and plans to get to the end.
- They all discuss Kaleb’s superb social game and how it is now a detriment for him moving forward. Kaleb’s social game is as evident as Jonathan Young’s physical strength in Survivor 42. Conversely, Bruce’s social game is very similar to Boston Rob’s in trying to control others’ conversations.
- Probst says the merge challenge took months to plan and build, as they wanted players to earn their right to the merge. Production’s intention was not to overwhelm players with intimidation but to overwhelm them with opportunity, as it would take everything they had to overcome the challenge ahead of them.
- Probst reveals the mud in the challenge was created by production, and its intent is for players to feel the game on their skin.
- Kaleb’s result with the “Shot in the Dark” was precisely what production intended with it, as he got all votes, and the game was flipped on its head by him being immune.
- Wolfe asks Probst how he kept a straight face when he realised the parchment said “Safe” for the first time. Probst quirkily replies it’s his job.
- Can a player use someone else’s “Shot in the Dark,” or can they only use their own? Probst says players can give their advantage for someone else to play, but a person can only use one per tribal to stick with the “one in a sixth chance” to be safe. Probst says he’s surprised this advantage hasn’t been used more as currency between players.
- Could a player’s vote be restored if they find a beware advantage but someone else finds the idol without telling them? Probst says the obligation is fulfilled if the idol is found; therefore, the vote is restored. However, the idol would now belong to the other person as they found it, and the first person would realise this at tribal council as they can now cast a vote.
- What does Probst do when he’s not in challenges or tribal? Probst replies he’s prepping, whether it is for the next challenge, tribal, or even the following season.