‘Survivor’ Reveals If Jeff Probst Is Ever ‘Unprofessional’ On Set

Jeff Probst visits 'The IMDb Show' on February 12, 2020

Getty Jeff Probst visits 'The IMDb Show' on February 12, 2020

One former “Survivor” crew member’s non-disclosure agreement expired a couple of years ago and he was asked to reveal what he really thinks about host Jeff Probst. Here is what he said.

The Dream Teamer Called Probst a ‘Stone-Cold Badass’

In an Reddit Q&A, a member of the “Survivor” “Dream Team” — which is the show’s group of about a dozen 20-somethings who stand in for the contestants when the show practices challenges or figures out camera angles and lighting at Tribal Council — said that now that his non-disclosure agreement has expired, he can speak freely about the show, so he wanted to hold an AMA (ask me anything).

One Redditer asked, “How often is Jeff ‘unprofessional’? Like swearing off-camera or just not being too serious?,” to which the Dream Teamer responded that Probst is a “stone-cold badass.”

“[Probst is] a stone-cold badass. He takes his job incredibly seriously, but he’s also one of the most approachable celebrities I’ve ever worked with,” revealed the Dream Team member.

“He’ll be driving his golf cart around and wave to you, say hello. He swears like everyone else, not excessively, but not not at all. He’ll swear with the contestants at tribal and pre-post game interviews, but he knows it won’t make it to air, so he phrases his responses in a way that he knows they’ll be able to cut around later,” he added.

The Dream Teamer was also asked if the rumor is try that Probst rapped “Lose Yourself” during “Redemption Island” and the Dream Teamer said, “Wasn’t there, but it sounds on brand.”

The Other Fun Reveals

Before CBS shut down the AMA, the Dream Teamer revealed some other really interesting behind-the-scenes information and anecdotes. One of the big highlights was him explaining how a challenge is filmed — start to finish, from testing to the final challenge, takes three full days.

The Dream Teamer wrote:

  • First – Blocking – We test the challenge elements with a handful of dreamers. No cameras, just Challenges and a couple producers (sometimes the EPs, incl. Jeff)
  • Second – Rehearsal – We bring all the production elements (cameras, craft services, art dept) and they film the dreamers run the challenge. The DT will play against each other for a case of beer (or maybe a massage voucher, but usually beer). Camera tests different angles. Then the producers watch the playback and make decisions based on what they see.
  • Third – Shoot – Contestants brought to set and they run the challenge
  • Fourth – Cineflex – We get the DT dressed up as their respective contestant/Jeff stand in and we shoot the big helicopter shots.
  • Fifth – Pick ups – if there’s a story moment we need that we didn’t have enough cameras to cover, we’ll get it using a dreamer. Think had close ups and the like.
  • Sixth – Game Exo – We get a fancy camera for the game explanations, and a group of dreamers is selected to demo the game.

The Dream Teamer also assured fans that challenges “are incredibly safe.” There’s are three dedicated teams standing by in case of emergency: a safety team, a medical team, and a dive team.

He also said the Dream Teamers do generally know what is going on in the game because they are there for every Tribal Council — “Tribal is lit with studio lights. Every time a contestant leaves, they have to readjust. And that’s a lot of work. Seating arrangements, hights, camera angles. While it looks very similar, every Tribal is lit and shot from scratch. (Also partly because we can’t keep lights and cameras out in the rain for days.)”

Finally, he also assured fans that “Survivor” is as real as it comes in regard to reality TV shows.

“[‘Survivor’ is] actually one of the most real reality shows I’ve ever worked on. They are actually out there, they actually do the challenges, and they have total autonomy over their game. That is something that Jeff has insisted stay sacred. And it’s why we aren’t allowed to talk to them.”

Also, in case you were doubting the veracity of the Dream Teamer’s anecdotes, former “Survivor” castaway Erik Reichenbach chimed in to say that what the Dream Teamer was reporting is accurate.

“It’s a shame this AMA was shut down early, there’s a lot of interesting stuff here, and honestly more transparency about production is better IMO – it doesn’t diminish from the show to know some of this … A friend of mine was a challenge consultant with the show, and he has similar anecdotes,” wrote Reichenbach.

“Survivor” returns for its 41st season on Wednesday, September 22. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!

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