Jeff Probst Shares Premiere Thoughts and Why Tevin Was Picked as Narrator

All the latest insights from the On Fire podcast.

The On Fire podcast‘s third season begins with Survivor host Jeff Probst, Survivor 45 winner Dee Valladares, and producer Jeff Wolfe as they meet to discuss the premiere of Survivor 46. The key points the trio talk about are the reasoning behind the choosing of Tevin’s speech as the backdrop for the season’s opening, the questionable decisions Jelinsky made at the Sweat vs. Savvy challenge and for the remainder of his short stay, Dee’s first impressions of the players as well as some great tips for future players, and last but not least, Probst answers some fan questions.

As Wolfe asks how Tevin became this season’s first narrator, Probst explains that they always look for different ways to start the show. After seeing what a talented performer with great gravitas Tevin was, the decision was a no-brainer. Probst adds he would use the word “eclectic” to describe this season, and he thinks the audience will enjoy it as there is a very high level of gameplay due to the players utilising advantages to their favour. 

Dee reveals the three players that stood out to her due to their personalities: “So from the get-go, I start picking up on personality traits… Soda, she has this contagious energy about her, especially when she was like ‘them, but not me.’Tiff is another one, calling herself a hustler. I identify with hustlers… and lastly, Bhanu. His story, eighteen years living in India in a hut made of palm trees and mud floors and is newly a citizen. I empathise with his story.”  


Moving on to the “Sweat vs. Savvy” challenge, Probst emphasises that production isn’t at fault as players have lost it for the second season. These complex challenges are mainly designed as penalties for failing the marooning challenge. Dee also makes it known she wasn’t too impressed with Jelinsky’s overall performance, and she would’ve never aligned herself with him as he quit too early in the “Sweat” challenge.

When talking about the journeys in Survivor, both Probst and Dee highlight their importance as they weave layers into players’ games, and, most specifically, this journey was designed to show character. While they were critical of Jelinsky as he crumbled under pressure again, Dee praised Maria and Tevin for playing their respective roles excellently.

Wolfe asks the others for some advice for future players. Probst says he encourages unquestioning optimism as this makes the castaways play their first time as if it were their second. Dee agrees as she says players need to be delusional enough to think they will win, not can, to ensure they get to the end. She also adds, “If you’re the outspoken type, speak your mind, but don’t be too pushy, and if you’re the quiet type, make sure you at least stand your ground if you disagree with your placement on the challenge because this strategising session can be do or die for your game.”

Probst also ponders how his initial speech during the marooning was meant for Jelinsky without knowing, as, in his opinion, based upon what he saw in three days, Jelinsky wouldn’t have won against anybody in the final tribal council. Probst softens the blow by adding he loved Jelinsky from the first time he met him and that Jelinsky went out there to live his dream by using his second name (which, if you’re a Survivor fan, you know the difference between being called by a first or last name by Probst). Regardless of anyone’s thoughts about Jelinsky, he left his mark in the game, as he uttered a now infamous addition to the Survivor lore phrase with “several means seven.” IYKYK

Lastly, Probst responds to some fan questions.

  1. How much thought goes into the selection of tribal colours each season, and how does that process come together? Production usually chooses colours that go with each other; for instance, if a tribe is orange, people in that tribe will wear orange, yellow, and brown. They also use the logo and the colour palette used for tribal council to decide which colours the tribes will be in the end and the merge colour. 
  2. During a challenge, what happens if someone accidentally interferes with another player? For example, if a player falls on a balance beam and knocks down another player, do they have to start again or just deal with it? Probst responds: if it came to that, they would do whatever was most fair, and if it meant a complete reset for the ones they were still in the challenge, they would do so.
  3. Can players ask questions to producers out there on the island if they find an advantage or a clue? Yes, they can ask questions about the note if there are any doubts about its clarity. Players are told producers are their allies. Probst emphasises that if it’s a question about clarity, they will get a response, but if it’s about strategy, they won’t. 



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.

2 responses to “Jeff Probst Shares Premiere Thoughts and Why Tevin Was Picked as Narrator”

  1. Twenty-three years and I have never missed an episode that I know of. My daughter and I now watch together. She is a big a fan as I am and she picks up things that now sometimes go over my head. Wednesday is a special night in our home!
    Will you guys ever be leaving Fiji? It is beautiful but there are many beautiful places that would also work well. We love you Jeff!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.