Jeff Probst Talks New Game Mechanics & Finale Predictions From ‘On Fire’ Podcast (Episode 12)

Photo: CBS


Survivor host Jeff Probst, Survivor: Edge of Extinction player Rick Devens, and producer Jeff Wolfe meet to discuss the twelfth episode of Survivor 45 on the latest On Fire podcast. They talk about how much Survivor is related to performing and whether acting can make or break a player’s game. Probst and company also discuss this season’s showmance, the challenges, and the latest blindside. To wrap the episode up, Probst answers some fan questions.


  • They discuss the difference between Austin and Dee’s gameplay, as the former put his game on the line for their relationship, while Dee was much more cutthroat and put the game first. Probst retorts that maybe their showmance isn’t like Rob and Amber’s but a version of Survivor theatre. 
  • Devens praises Katurah for looking for an idol at first chance, as everyone is supposed to do in Survivor. 
  • Probst says production came up with the reward challenge as a way to treat the players and viewers. 
  • Devens says there are no “low-risk” decisions in Survivor and agrees with Austin’s decision to take Dee and Katurah on the reward. 
  • Probst reveals that production saw Austin and Dee creating a genuine connection on the island, and they wanted to treat it as such when portraying it on the edit, especially as their showmance impacted the game.
  • Wolfe and Devens admit they were shocked no one is targeting Austin or Dee due to their relationship as an inseparable duo. 
  • Probst praises the filming crew as they delivered an impactful POV on a static challenge. 
  • Devens recalls how Survivor challenges the players on the simplest tasks or challenges. Probst adds how Aras commented back on Survivor: Panama how easy he saw doing the challenges at first and later being unable to do them again as the game continued. 
  • As a warning, Devens tells future players to be cautious of hubris. 
  • Probst says Drew was a shoo-in for the show once he met him and how surprised he was by Drew’s intelligence and sense of humour. 


  • When a new mechanic is introduced to the game, how does the process ensure it meshes well with the existing game? Probst responds that production walks through every possible scenario by thinking as players, and once they notice a quirk, they discard it, or if it works, they introduce it to the game.
  • What’s it like watching your Survivor season as a former player? Devens answers it’s a mix of emotions, as players know what happened, but seeing the nuances is a genuinely different experience.
  • Can players lie on the final tribal council and get away with it? Probst says yes, especially as some players say a version of the truth and they’re not contradicted, “they get away with it.” 


  • Devens says Dee and Austin are in the power position, and the other three would need to make an argument for themselves to win. 
  • Wolfe wonders about Jake’s words regarding himself as a “wolf in goat’s clothing” and whether or not it’s a clue about his endgame. 


Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

One response to “Jeff Probst Talks New Game Mechanics & Finale Predictions From ‘On Fire’ Podcast (Episode 12)”

  1. I acknowledge I was very skeptical about the cast at first glance, especially the men, but I am happy how this season turned out. Thanks Survivor producers for bringing back the intro, the auction and the individual questions from the jury at final tribal. I would have loved for them to stand up when asking their questions, but I am happy it was brought back and we didn’t have to endure the 3 part forum anymore. Thanks Survivor for listening to the fans a little more.

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