‘Survivor Cambodia’: Jeff Probst On Premiere Night’s Big Twist

Sarah Field - Author
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Sep. 23 2015, Updated 5:24 p.m. ET

Survivor: Cambodia — Second Chances is all about the all-stars. The fans voted for those losers they wanted to see back on the program, and tonight, fans will see the beginning of what resulted. Long-time host Jeff Probst told People that this is an extraordinary cast, and a very watchable season.

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“The contestants were honored that people voted for them, so they felt an obligation to play hard. Many of them swing for the fences from the get-go.”

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Despite his overall positive assessment of the show, he admitted he’s got his own favorites in the new cast. Those included Kelly Wiglesworth, who was the runner-up when the show debuted in 2000.

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“She’s my favorite person on the cast. Kelly didn’t have anything to prove to me. She clearly had the skills, her body is still in amazing shape. She’s just as likable. She’s just as quiet. When she played before, Richard Hatch stole the game from her, and she wanted the chance to take it again. She has a story this season that will be very compelling to viewers.”

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Meanwhile, he said he was surprised two women in particular — Monica Padilla and Peih Gee Law — even made it back at all.

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“[Peih Gee] played a good game in China, but she had bad Survivor luck. But here’s the thing about Peih Gee: You have to have kept up with the changes of ‘Survivor’ to succeed, and it’s not clear if she did that.”

“I don’t want to hurt Monica’s feelings, but I was surprised she got on. I was really curious to see what she brings. If I were on her tribe, I’d be saying, ‘Listen, you got on either because you have a big fan base or because you’re hot. you didn’t get on for gameplay.'”

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In a separate conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Probst revealed that Wednesday night’s premiere in many ways goes back to the beginning. They will run the Quest for Fire challenge at night, just like when the show debuted 15 years ago. Then there will be a twist that may affect the game. They will go straight to tribal council, with no time to scheme.

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“So out of the gate they’re going to figure, ‘We’ll go back to camp, we’ll strategize, we’ll figure out who were going to vote out.’ And I’m going to say, ‘And losers, you have a date with me at Tribal Council and we’re going right now.’ And we’re literally going to head over there.”

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The Survivor: Cambodia — Second Chances premiere airs Wednesday, September 23 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

[Photo by Mark Davis / Getty Images Entertainment]

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