Survivor host Jeff Probst, Edge of Extinction’s Rick Devens, and producer Jeff Wolfe meet to discuss the eleventh episode of Survivor 45 on the On Fire podcast. They discuss the dilemmas players face when playing to win, Austin and Dee’s showmance, how the season’s storytelling is being driven, and Probst hints at what is next as the season ends.
- They all comment on Emily’s decision to take ownership of Bruce’s blindside, as the revelation immediately alerted everyone else to how well Emily was playing, leading to her being voted out.
- Wolfe exclaims he didn’t see Austin and Dee’s showmance coming, while Devens says there were hints of it in earlier episodes.
- Boston Rob and Amber’s flashback was brought to highlight this season’s showmance, instead of appearing with another famous showmance from last season between Matt and Frannie.
- Probst reveals Matt and Frannie also discussed Rob and Amber, but production decided to focus more on their mutual joy over being nerds.
- This time around, however, production did the flashback as Austin and Dee “had a very different feel to it… We’ll let’s start with, I think we can all agree that there’s a bit more of a romance novel paperback cover type of thing happening here. I mean, just look at them!”
- Probst expands his answer by saying the Rob and Amber flashback had a dual purpose, as this season’s showmance is paving its way to decide the season’s endgame, just as it happened back in Survivor: All-Stars. Probst adds if Austin and Dee make it to the final three, it would raise the question of “Who was Rob, and who was Amber?”
- Probst denies production seeks romantic potential in casting now but admits they did in the past.
- Devens points out that Austin and Dee are better at hiding their showmance than Matt and Frannie are, as Julie was troubled by finding that Austin was Dee’s number one but not by the extent of the true nature of their relationship.
- The trio mentioned they were blown away by Katurah’s personal story and praised Katurah for her resilience and grit.
- Devens agrees with Emily’s decision to protect her vote as it was in her favour to do so rather than risk it in a game of chance.
- The savvy challenge from episode 1 was reutilised as production wanted to see if someone else could get it to get a different result, though as Emily decided not to do it, the question is still up in the air.
- Devens was surprised to see Emily was naïve enough to believe everyone bought her story (which was the truth). Still, it worked in her favour as everyone voted for Julie at tribal council.
- Probst proudly boasts about his love for the final four fire-making challenge because it’s one of the few certainties in the game. Also, Probst asks the other two to remind him to talk about this challenge when they discuss the season’s finale, as Probst has an idea he’d like to discuss with them.
- This episode’s storytelling purpose was to make viewers think about what they would do if they were in the players’ shoes.
- Devens highlights Dee’s and Julie’s gameplay, as both were killers in the last episode to get what they wanted out of the game.
- Why did they show all the votes but Julie’s? As the most interesting POV was Julie, the show wanted to let the audience in on the vote but to keep the suspense until the last second.
- Devens once again praises Dee for acting at tribal council, as Dee managed to have her cake and eat it too. He also voices the most significant questions left by the end of the episode: why wasn’t there a split vote, and why did Austin not get any votes or play his idol after what happened to Bruce?
- In Austin’s defence, Probst mentions that sometimes, not playing an idol can be as big of a move as playing one.
- They all agree Emily’s elimination was brutal. Most importantly, Probst says Emily is one of his favourite players ever.
- Has Probst ever been truly surprised by a blindside? Probst says he is sometimes blindsided, too, and as an example, he mentions Kellie’s blindside from this season.
- What is it like for a player to watch back their season and see all the smack people have said about them? Devens replies it is awkward and rough at times. The group chats usually start losing participants as the season goes on. Devens mentions he made peace with someone from his season at Ponderosa, but their relationship ended for good once they returned home and the season aired.
- How many contestants have been bitten by an animal on the island, and have there ever been any serious injuries caused by bites? Probst says there have been a few people who have been bitten by spiders, but none by snakes, that he remembers. Also, the medical team has mentioned that snakes don’t go after humans, so it’s unlikely there will ever be a snake bite.