The Survivor 44 Final 3 Share Their Thoughts From ‘On Fire’ Podcast (Episode 13)

Jeff Probst wraps up the latest season.

Photo: CBS


In the final episode for this season’s On Fire podcast, Jeff Probst, Brittany Crapper, and Jeff Wolfe reunited to unpack the Season 44 finale, including the last two immunity challenges, the final four fire-making challenge, the final tribal council, and the season’s reunion. The final three, Yamil ‘Yam Yam’ Arocho, Carolyn Wiger, and Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt, were interviewed by the producers, where they got to tell their stories and answer questions regarding how the season ended. 


  • Shooting the last day at the beach involves the players’ last confessionals and their celebration with their breakfast, and Probst says he writes the after-show that day as the only thing left to do is crown the winner. 
  • Probst says the final tribal council can take two to three hours, and the after-show between one or two hours, meaning the cast and crew film all day from dawn until past midnight. 
  • Wolfe asks Probst about the hidden immunity idol, which Probst hinted at in the last podcast episode, and whether this idol was hidden differently from others as no one found it. Probst replies it was hidden the same way, and idols are found depending on several factors, including the players’ ability to see things, if there’s too much light or not enough, and where players are alone to look for them properly.
  • Should a reward challenge be won this late in the game? Probst says he disagrees when people say players should throw it, as it is better to be in control of a situation than not.
  • Yam Yam teaching Carson how to make fire is mentioned, and it is said it was a human moment amidst a cutthroat game, and whether or not it was a strategic move, it certainly was an impactful one. It can indeed be viewed as a social movement on Yam Yam’s part, as Carson also voted for him to win. 
  • Lauren and Carson are praised for making it to the finale and how they played great games, as they were the last two members of the jury. 


Yamil ‘Yam Yam’ Arocho 

  • Yam Yam says he felt incredibly proud of himself the first time he saw himself on TV.
  • Which moment would Yam Yam consider encapsulates his experience on Survivor? Yam Yam says it was the moments he experienced with Carolyn where they didn’t talk about the game and just enjoyed their time being themselves on the island. 
  • Yam Yam says his humour and personality helped him propel himself in the game and was also an asset for being underestimated while still being seen as enough of a threat to be targeted by several people. 
  • Yam Yam’s relationship with Carson was exceptional for him, which was demonstrated when Yam Yam helped Carson build a fire even though they could be pitted against each other at the fire-making challenge. 
  • What were Yam Yam’s true intentions in helping Carson? Was it a layered move? Yam Yam responds it unintentionally was since it wasn’t planned, but he wanted to help his friend anyways. 
  • How real was Yam Yam’s bond with the Tika three? Yam Yam explains his relationship with Carson and Carolyn was based on true love, which was apparent even when they disagreed.  
  • What did Yam Yam feel when he was announced as the winner? Yam Yam says he felt calm and relieved not to have to play anymore and could enjoy being with friends. 
  • What’s the validation in getting the majority of the jury votes? Yam Yam says he played the game how he usually is in real life, so it was validating to see his usual self being recognized and celebrated. 
  • What was the most significant thing Yam Yam learned about himself on the island? Yam Yam replies he knew more about his drive to accomplish what he wants.
  • What will Yam Yam do with the million-dollar prize? Yam Yam says he wants to use it for security, make his dreams come true, as well as helping his family. 

Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt

  • What did Heidi see in Danny which made Heidi want to work with him? Heidi says she saw Danny as a confident, loud guy who would be her perfect shield. Despite his brazenness, Heidi says she and Danny still connected personally, allowing them to work well together. 
  • As a woman of colour, did Heidi feel she needed to alter her game? Heidi replies she did. Heidi was still herself, but she needed to adapt her game to get to the end because of unconscious biases. Otherwise, she would’ve been voted out early. 
  • Crapper says she did see a transition with Heidi as she started quiet and with a tight alliance with Danny, and Heidi eventually broke out of her shell and became confident enough to play a “flashier” game.
  • Was Heidi’s decision to make fire based on her knowing she could do it, or did she feel pressure to make that move? Heidi replies it was a bit of both, as she was confident in her fire-making skills and knew she could pull it off, though she felt she needed a flashy move to improve her winning odds. Heidi also adds she doesn’t regret the move.
  • How did Heidi handle the overall game, her fire-making record, and just getting one vote to win? Heidi says it was a mix of emotions, as she was “close, yet still so far” to winning. Heidi also says she never underestimated her competition, but she came up short in considering Yam Yam’s ability to express himself through his humour.  
  • What does Heidi remember when Probst revealed the winner? Heidi responds she was tired, hungry, and the last tribal was brutal, but she remembers feeling content with her performance regardless of the outcome. 
  • What was the most significant thing Heidi learned about herself in the game? Heidi recognizes that she learned what matters most in life is the people that love you instead of material things. 
  • How did transitioning from being on Survivor to returning to real life feel? Heidi says it’s been hard, but she went after her dream of playing Survivor and feels fantastic to have accomplished it. 

Carolyn Wiger

  • How did Carolyn feel after seeing the entire season play out? Carolyn says there wasn’t anything she hated seeing, and she doesn’t regret anything, not even the embarrassing moments. 
  • Did Carolyn worry about how her authentic self could ruin her chances of winning? Carolyn gets emotional and responds she’s always felt proud of herself but is aware of how people perceive her. Carolyn noticed when people didn’t take her seriously, but she wanted people to realize who she was once they knew her. 
  • What was Carolyn’s proudest moment in Survivor? Carolyn says it was after the journey when she wanted to say, “This is me, and I’m here to play the game.” Crapper adds that from a production standpoint, this is also when Carolyn emerged as a contender to win the game. 
  • When did Carolyn realize other people were viewed as a threat? Carolyn says it wasn’t until she played the idol, but she still felt she wasn’t on anyone’s radar all the time. 
  • What did Carolyn feel when the jury started voting for the winner? Carolyn admits she’s always been hard on herself and almost touched the fight that had left her at that point, which made her feel she was about to shatter. 
  • Probst tells Carolyn she’s one of the most compelling people ever to play Survivor, not because of her gestures but because of her story and drive, which led to her becoming a fan favourite. Probst tells Carolyn he thinks she’s a unicorn and thoroughly enjoyed seeing her gameplay, as she proved anyone who called her crazy wrong as she’s sly as a fox.
  • Carolyn adds she feels she let herself down for not fighting until the last possible second, but Probst and Crapper say they see it as the complete opposite, and Carolyn should leave this season with her head held high. 
  • What was the most significant thing Carolyn learned about herself in the game? Carolyn says she struggles at times but is constantly learning and growing.


  • This podcast was created for fans and to take them behind the creation of the game they love so much. 
  • All producers agree they had a lot of fun during the season and praise each other for their hard work. 
  • Probst thanks fans for listening and tuning in each week and ends the season of this podcast by saying that Survivor 45 will be back this fall. 

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.

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