‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Discusses Overwhelming Whispering During Last Tribal Council, And If It’s Fair

Jeff Probst sits at Tribal Council during Season 29 of Survivor
Robert Voets / CBS

The December 4 episode of Survivor was another shocking hour for the CBS program. The emotional family visits were overshadowed by the bizarre events that went down during the tribal council at the end of the episode. The remaining castaways engaged in one of the most whispery tribals of the season, with the cast almost entirely ignoring Jeff Probst while he asked them questions over the last several days’ gameplay. Eventually, Jeff got quiet and watched one player get up to speak with another, and no one in the group was silent. The longtime host recently commented on this odd tribal when catching up with Entertainment Weekly.

The publication inquired if Jeff thought this type of gameplay was fair, and should there be rules prohibiting the castaways from engaging so much with one another during tribal council.

“It’s ultimately irrelevant what I think because it’s their game. And from a practical standpoint, you can’t stop players from whispering while sitting next to each other, which means you also can’t penalize a player seated at one corner of Tribal who might want to ‘whisper’ to someone at the other side of Tribal. But from a fan standpoint, I really like it because it keeps the game alive until the last second. I’m all for less rules and more freedom when it comes to gameplay.”

A lot of viewers took out their frustrations on Twitter regarding the whispering in last Wednesday’s episode, holding Jeff responsible for not proctoring the tribal council meeting properly. Some fans are even hoping a new rule is instituted where no discussions amongst the cast are allowed, but as the host said, it’s almost impossible to keep the players from conversing no matter what the rules are.

New Rule for next season, no whispering during tribal #Survivor pic.twitter.com/WWHDf7R9k7

— Lynn (@send2us23) December 5, 2019

Ban side conversations and whispering at tribal. CBS PLEASE ???? #Survivor

— bing! (@DishesOnMyBday) December 5, 2019

It didn’t even seem like the whispering was necessary at all since Karishma Patel was the one ultimately sent packing. Tommy Sheehan thought he was going to be voted out after Dean Kowalski let him know some of the group was targeting him. That’s when Noura Salman got involved and tensions got high. Elaine Stott ended up playing her idol, although it was completely unnecessary since she didn’t receive any votes. Noura ended up being safe as well and Karishma went home in a blindside.

Producers of Survivor probably won’t stop their castaways from whispering at tribal council anytime soon, as it’s great drama for television and can shake up the game in a matter of minutes. Changes are definitely coming in upcoming seasons of the reality show, just don’t expect it to have anything to do with the tribal council.

Survivor: Island of the Idols airs every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.