‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Explains the Decision to Stop ‘Most Intense’ Challenge

Explaining the panic that led to the decision, the host reveals in a new interview that it’s truly a historic decision to step in before things take a turn for the worse.

AceShowbiz -“Survivor” producers were forced to stop an immunity challenge during the Wednesday, March 23 episode. Explaining the panic that led to the decision, host Jeff Probst claimed that it was a historic decision to step in before things took a turn for the worse.

The episode saw contestants being knocked around by raging waters and gusts of wind. That made the Ika and Vati tribes struggle to stay afloat in the water. Seeing that, the producers decided to skip the ladder climbing portion that the contestants were supposed to do.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Probst said that while the challenge was made for good television and safety swimmers were on standby, they didn’t want to take any risks. “When you are feeling overwhelmed in the ocean, it is an absolutely terrifying feeling and there is no part of your brain saying, ‘Oh, I’m fine. I’m sure a safety swimmer will be here any second,’ ” he explained in an interview published March 24.

“I’ve been in a similar situation, and I can still remember the feeling. You are working as hard as you can to withstand the push and pull of the ocean, which leads to exhaustion which only amplifies the panic,” he continued.

Detailing what the contestants experienced at the time, the host added, “It can quickly become a panic situation because you are struggling to get a breath that doesn’t include a mouthful of saltwater. You’re trying to keep your head above water, but the swells consume you. Your fight or flight reflex kicks in and it can feel overwhelming. In other words, for the players struggling, there was nothing fun about it. That was real effort, real exhaustion, real fear.”

He also likened the new conditions to a tornado, saying, “I’m not exaggerating when I say that every five minutes it was gaining in intensity.”

Praising the contestants, Probst claimed that no one asked for help during the 22 minutes it took for them to get the ladders, before crediting to Taku member Jonathan Young whose performance was dubbed “a hall of fame moment.”

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