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Gordon Holmes: You haven’t seen the testimonials from the vote yet, but one of the themes was that Ciera was playing too hard, too fast.
Jeff Probst: Interesting…
Holmes: Right? In a season of Game Changers, the first person voted out was hindered by her desire to play too quickly.
Probst: Well, the players decide how the game is going to be played. I think the most interesting comment to come out of Tribal was when Ciera said, “Maybe the new school players can learn something from the old school players.” Because the game has been on a trajectory for quite some time of going up in terms of the game being amped up and alliances being even less and less clear. And what I felt like what she was saying is that they need to slow down a bit. Unfortunately, it sounds like she didn’t take her own advice. Or, she wasn’t aware early enough.
Holmes: It reminded me a lot of “Second Chance” where Shirin was accused of the same thing where someone is playing hard, but they don’t have the challenge prowess to give them that must-keep status in the tribe.
Probst: Yeah, absolutely. I like Ciera. I think she could win the whole thing. I even predicted that. And I like that she embodies game changers. And she got caught. She made a move at camp, she was talking about who she wanted to vote out when nobody else was talking about it yet. So, the fact that she talked, was enough. Sounds like there isn’t much wiggle room this season. If you make one mistake it could cost you. And that’s where a player like Sandra is so lethal. She doesn’t make many mistakes.
Holmes: How good is Sandra?
Probst: Sandra is great. I think you watch the first Tribal and you think, “She could win again.”
Holmes: She shushed you in the challenge. I’ve never seen that before.
Probst: She and Varner. I like that. My job really is to give the audience a play by play. But, I like it when the players are a part of it and talk back. It tells me they’re there and their head is in it.
Holmes: Michaela was the name used to throw Ciera off. She didn’t like that one bit. Her and Caleb were the most nervous up there.
Holmes: Michaela mentioned that her and Caleb are both challenge threats whose games are still unknown. She said something about Caleb getting a wider birth because he’s a guy. Was there anywhere to go to follow up on that?
Probst: I thought it was interesting. I think she felt like she was getting into deep water and wanted to get back out. I think what she was saying is that Caleb and I are both unknowns. You don’t know how Caleb plays this game, so why am I the one getting heat? Michaela’s in a tough spot, because if she isn’t gifted enough to turn the uncertainty into an asset, then it is scary. It’s scary to play with someone you don’t know. Everyone has a past or a question around them. Hers is, “Who are you?”
Holmes: As a journalist I’m supposed to stay impartial. As a fan I want Tony to find 37 idols and stay to the end.
Holmes: Seems like we saw a kinder, more reserved Tony tonight.
Probst: I got a sense tonight that he is able to play another game and it’s a more understated game. He knows he’s in a season of true all-star players. He’s not going to get as many looks. He’s not going to get his hands on the balls as often. So, I’ve got to be quiet and go with the flow. He’ll have an opportunity. But, I think he has to change, because I don’t think that Cagayan personality can win. I think Tony wins by saying, “Look, I was playing with people I thought I could school. Now I’m playing with people I respect.”
Holmes: What did you think of Hali taking the swimming portion today?
Probst: Damn, I should’ve asked about that. I was shocked. In fact, my vantage point was so bad that I first thought it was Malcolm, then I thought it was Troyzan.
Holmes: They look a lot alike.
Probst: (Laughs) And when she got out of the water I realized it was her.
Holmes: We can fix that in post.
Probst: Thank you. I believe that when Hali played the first time, she came into the game as a smart lawyer type but was labeled a no-collar and tried to fit in. She hooked up with Jenn and it was a disastrous move. She’s a sharp woman and that’s the game she’s going to play now.
Holmes: How are you feeling about this season so far?
Probst: So good, I couldn’t believe I was talking to Tony, Varner, Sandra, Malcolm…it was great. Usually, that many people in one show is good and this is one tribe!
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