QUICK NOTE: The good folks at XFINITY sent me deep into the Fijian wilderness to bring you an exclusive look at “Survivor: Ghost Island.” While I was there I conducted interviews with “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and the entire cast. I also captured exclusive photos and other behind-the-scenes tidbits. So, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.
Gordon Holmes: You and I have been doing this since 2008.
Jeff Probst: Wow!
Holmes: I know. And like any relationship, you have to switch things up from time to time. So, I challenged myself to come up with seven “Survivor” questions you have never been asked before.
Holmes: I get that you’ve done 36 seasons worth of interviews…
Probst: This is tough for you.
Probst: I have no pressure.
Holmes: And if I ask one you’ve heard before, let me know. And I’ll hate myself.
Probst: You’ve got it.
Holmes: Would you ever cast a hypnotist? Seems like an unfair advantage.
Probst: Never been asked. Here’s the thing. I did a talk show and we had a hypnotist on and I thought he was full of (expletive deleted). I didn’t believe anyone was hypnotized. I felt like they were faking it out of peer pressure. And I was humiliated during the show because I thought he was a fraud and if I told him he was a fraud, that’s not a very nice thing. So…I’m a little creeped out by hypnotists. So, I’m going to say no.
Holmes: If aliens landed in New York City while you’re filming in Fiji, do you tell the cast?
Probst: Wow! Never been asked that question. Actual aliens?
Holmes: Verified, actual aliens.
Probst: If CBS tells us to keep shooting, first of all, I’m going to say, “Really?! I have a family at home with aliens?!” And if they were sure it was OK, I would not tell the cast.
Holmes: If I could talk to animals, would that be too much of an unfair advantage for me to play the game?
Probst: Oh, that would be fantastic. We would put you on the show despite the fact that you’ve been out here for a decade. Three for three, never been asked that question.
Holmes: “Survivor” is old enough to drive. What kind of car would “Survivor” drive?
Probst: (Laughs) Never been asked that. “Survivor” would change its car quite often. Right now it’s driving a Chevelle with big chrome rims, wide tires, a nice leather interior, and a big steering wheel. No power steering and a big old engine.
Holmes: Why haven’t we seen a politician on “Survivor”?
Probst: Never been asked that, five for five. That’s a really good question. In the ultimate, social, politicking game…there’s never been a politician. Maybe they know something the others don’t?
Holmes: You’ve cast forty Robs, three dozen Johns, never one Gordon. Why not?
Probst: Never been asked that. We don’t like the name. It’s been our history that guys named Gordon, they’re not reliable. They’re not interesting. They lack creativity. They’re bad storytellers. It’s just the name. Say it.
Holmes: I’d rather not.
Holmes: Preaching to the choir, man. I’m the third one in my family. My wife, if we have a son, she wants a fourth.
Holmes: I’m trying to talk her into something like, “Benry.”
Probst: (Laughs) There ya go.
Holmes: Last question.
Probst: (Pounds the table like a drumroll.)
Holmes: If I gave you a “Men In Black”-style mind eraser and allowed you to erase the minds of an entire cast and have them play again from scratch, which cast would it be?
Probst: Wow…never had that question. That’s a good one. That’s a hard one… Like five seasons came up immediately. I definitely want to see “Millennials vs. Gen-X” again because I feel like it was the most culturally relevant season. Like you were really watching the future teach the past why they’re the past. Young blood leaning forward, old blood leaning back. I’d love to see the “Second Chance” crew play again. I’ve never seen a season as pure as that. People wanted to play. Returning players who didn’t give us any grief. They were truly grateful. They earned it and they played hard. I loved both “Fans vs. Favorites,” “Heroes vs. Villains.” Oh…”Pearl Islands” that was a poignant turning point for us with Rupert and Fairplay and Sandra.
Holmes: Have you ever looked into bringing and entire cast back for a rematch?
Probst: We’ve talked about it.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes