As diehard Survivor fans know, the eat or play twist happens just about every season. During this twist, castaways are given the choice of sitting and eating food or participating in an immunity challenge. As long as the challenge continues to go on, those who choose to sit out can feast on the food provided to them.
During this week’s episode of Survivor, fans watched as four castaways — Lauren, Kelley, Victoria, and Ron — opted to sit out so they could enjoy beer and a mountain of pizza instead of fighting to win the immunity challenge.
Entertainment Weekly caught up with Survivor host Jeff Probst after the episode aired to see if any of the castaways who decided to pick food over immunity surprised him.
Probst admitted that every single time they do the eat or play twist, there is at least one castaway that surprises him with their decision. Sometimes, it is their decision to eat that surprises him and sometimes it is their decision to play. According to Jeff, there is one important thing to consider when thinking about this particular iconic Survivor twist.
“There is always one constant takeaway: hungry people want to eat. There is also one prevailing reason players give for choosing food over immunity: ‘I don’t think I can win this challenge anyway…’ If that is the truth, then sitting out is probably a very wise move,” Probst explained.
Jeff believes that simply being hungry or feeling safe and secure in contestants’ placement within the tribe are not the only factors that go into deciding whether the players eat or try to win. There are some challenges where castaways just come to terms with the fact that they are not going to win. If players find themselves in that situation, he argues it might not make sense to try and win when they could get some fuel in their belly instead.
Probst went on to explain it is the strategizing that takes place during twists such as eat or play that make up some of his favorite parts of Survivor. While he acknowledged it might be a far-reaching example, he recalled the tribal council during last week’s episode where everyone lost their mind. Jeff himself coined it as one of the craziest tribal councils he had ever been to.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Jeff admitted that the session was so crazy he went back and watched it several times catching something new every time. He, however, wondered what would have happened or how things would have been different if some of the castaways had a full belly of food and a clear mind that wasn’t focused on being hungry.
“Part of that was due to the inability to think clearly due to lack of food. Imagine that Julia, who was completely depleted at that point, had just spent the afternoon devouring pizza. Now she’s back to her normal very bright self with all of her cognitive abilities back in check. So as Julie is causing chaos at one end of tribal, Julia is using her brain to look at options for how to stay clear of the madness and avoid being voted out. Could have been a very different outcome,” he said as he explained his example and reasoning.
New episodes of Survivor air every Wednesday night only on CBS and are available via the streaming app the day after they air.