“Survivor” Host Jeff Probst Uses a Unique Method to Figure Out His “Winners at War” Champion

“Survivor: Winners at War” (CBS)

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Gordon Holmes: Alright, you’ve avoided this long enough. (Places “Survivor” player playing cards on the table)

Jeff Probst: Wow, look at those.

Holmes: I actually had to make 38 of those, because I didn’t know which winners I’d be meeting out here.

Probst: (Laughs)

Holmes: So, if you want a Tina Wesson card, I can hook you up.

Probst: That’s cool.

Holmes: We’ve been doing this since the dawn of time. Who does Jeff think is going to win? But, I want your gut reaction this time.

Probst: I love these games.

Holmes: I love providing them. OK, do you remember that site that was like “Am I Hot or Not”?

Probst: (Laughs) Yeah.

Holmes: They’d show you two pictures and you’d have to choose the one that appeals to you most. I have a deck of cards with all twenty players. I’m going to show you two players at a time, you tell me who’s going to win.

Probst: Of those two?

Holmes: Correct. It’s very scientific.


Round One:

Danni or Yul?

Probst: Yul, I love Danni, but Yul is a massive force in so many ways. I don’t see him going out early or easy.

Denise or Rob?

Probst: I’m going with Rob simply because he’s so wily. He’s Wile E. Coyote.

Sophie or Tony?

Probst: Sophie…I love Tony but I think this is going to be a really nuanced, layered game of relationships. And Sophie is in a really good spot in her life right now.

Michele or Sarah? 

Probst: This is a tough one because I feel like they both have liabilities. In this case, I’m going to go with Michele. I think Sarah has played the criminal so well that it’s going to be very hard for people to trust her.

Ethan or Adam?

Probst: Ethan, just for nostalgia’s sake. I’ve got to go with Ethan. Nothing against Adam, he’s clearly a very clever player.

Wendell or Sandra

Probst: Damn! Toughest match up so far. Wendell and Sandra…well I am an eternal optimist and I’m ultimately a storyteller and there is nothing I’d love more than a three-time winner. So, I’m going with Sandra.

Nick or Tyson?

Probst: Tyson all day. Nick’s out of his element right now. It doesn’t mean he won’t weather the storm, but he’s in over his head.

Kim or Ben?

Probst: Dang these are tough! Kim…Ben is a little erratic. He’s bouncing around like crazy. Kim is very focused.

Parvati or Jeremy?

Probst: This is insane.

Holmes: This deck was shuffled. You watched me shuffle them.

Probst: Um…whaa…

Holmes: The cast is a murderers’ row. You have nobody to blame but yourself.

Probst: Yeah. I’m going to go with Parvati. Jeremy would be an amazing winner, I just think the target is so big with him. People know he’s likable.

Amber or Natalie?

Probst: Natalie…I don’t see the way this plays out that Amber…with Rob in the game…is going to win.


Round Two:

Rob or Sophie?

Probst: Rob, because he could get back in. He’s going to go to Extinction at some point and he’s the guy who can get back in. He can win a challenge and when he gets back in, watch the (expletive deleted) out.

Natalie or Michele?

Probst: Michele. Michele plays not from anger and Natalie can get angry. That’s not going to work.

Sandra or Yul?

Probst: Oh…(expletive deleted)…Yul’s going to win challenges. I think Yul. (Expletive deleted!) I want Sandra in!

Holmes: The heart wants what the heart wants, Jeff.

Probst: (Expletive deleted) Nobody is going to let Sandra win a third time…but I’m going with Sandra.

 Parvati or Tyson?

 Probst: (Laughs) Let’s see…Parvati. I think I’m trying to create…I don’t know…those are two amazing players. Why Parvati over Tyson? Parvati could bond with some moms and there could be a mom alliance.

Ethan or Kim?

Probst: Kim is just lethal and Ethan might just be taken out because his story is so incredibly uplifting and powerful. At some point people are going to say “we just can’t beat him.”

Holmes: You know that saying, “He’s a guy that men want to be and women want to be with him?”

Probst: Yeah.

Holmes: That’s Kim.

Probst: Totally.

Holmes: Women want to be her.

Probst: I agree.


Round Three:

Rob or Parvati?

Holmes: Have fun.

Probst: Rob and Parvati…the match-up…Parvati. Because Rob’s swagger, he’s a guy in the mob. Sooner or later the guy that does all the killing gets killed and I think people are going to take joy when they knock him out.

Kim or Sandra or Michele?

Holmes: OK, a three-way dance. Pick one.

Probst: How’d we end up with three?

Holmes: You half it. Twenty, then ten,  then five.

Probst: Ah…

Holmes: It’s not a perfect system, Jeff.

Probst: Obviously.

Holmes: Cast sixteen people next time.

Probst: (Laughs) I’m going to go with Kim. I hate to get rid of Sandra, but she made final five.


Final Round

Kim or Parvati?

Holmes: And here we are. Who wins “Survivor: Winners at War”?

Probst: If they are in the final two…I think Parvati wins. I think tenure in the game and reputation and the idea that she could come back…I don’t know. You have two moms, two great stories, two lethal players, two great women.

Holmes: To compare it to baseball, they’re five-tool players.

Probst: I’m picking Parvati because she’s had to play so many different games. She played one way, she had to play another way, and now she’s playing a different way. If she can pull that off, she deserves to win.


Don’t miss the premiere of “Survivor: Winners at War” – Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 8 pm ET.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @GordonHolmes