‘Survivor’: Jeff Probst on What Really Made Him Stop Episode 3 Water Challenge

Survivor S 42 E3
Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment

Survivor Season 42 Episode 3 marked a series first: Jeff Probst had to stop a challenge. Rough waters the day of filming made it impossible for the players to continue, so Probst stopped the water challenge, gathered the players on the beach, and let them continue from there.

Ahead of Survivor Episode 11 on May 11, Probst answered a fan questions on his Instagram Story about the safety conditions that caused the series first. The CBS host wasn’t as worried for the players’ safety as some may think. And he had good reason to be confident.

“We’ve done 650-some challenges, maybe more. We’ve never had to stop a challenge. And the question was, ‘Was it because you were you truly concerned about their safety, or because you didn’t think they could finish the challenge?'” Probst said. “Here’s the deal: I’m never truly concerned about their safety in the water because we have a lot of safety swimmers. We have people under water, we have people on the surface, we have people watching them. They are fast, and they can get to you quickly.

“Everybody’s safe, but they were never gonna finish that challenge. That water was super turbulent, and you know I like turbulence. There was no way they were gonna finish that. We let it go as long as we could, giving them a shot. And at a certain point, we had to call it.”

Ahead of Episode 10 on May 4, Probst revealed what goes on behind-the-scenes before each challenge, saying that anything “interesting or dramatic or funny” ends up on screen no matter what. But what isn’t seen is the players’ prep time.

“We bring them out, and we tell him what the challenge is going to be. And that’s not much of an explanation, it’s really just the basics,” Probst said. “Then we walk them through the entire challenge so that they have a chance to see every single element and anticipate what they want to do with it.”

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One player is forced to play a dangerous game of chance that could lead to their elimination — no vote involved.

“And then, the part that I like the most is before we run, I always say something to the effect of ‘good luck’ or a fist bump with everybody, because I am their biggest fan,” he continued. “Even though I’m seen as an adversary sometimes, I am always rooting for them to do their best. So think about that next time you watch a challenge.”

There are six players left in Survivor 42. The season finale will air Wednesday, May 25. Be sure to tune in to TV Insider’s Survivor recaps to get all the fun details from each episode.

Survivor, Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS