Longtime “Survivor” host Jeff Probst once gave an interview to the Television Academy Foundation where he was asked to share his thoughts about some of the game’s most iconic players. He named the castaway he thinks became the most successful — and once you think about it, it’s not a surprising answer at all.
Here’s what he had to say:
Probst Said Elisabeth Hasselbeck Is the Most Successful ‘Survivor’
In the interview, Probst was asked who was the most successful castaway outside of the game and he didn’t even hesitate to say Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Now, this interview is several years old, but he probably hasn’t changed his mind.
“The biggest success from ‘Survivor’ outside of ‘Survivor’ is Elisabeth Hasselbeck,” said Probst, adding, “I mean, she’s a full-on, legitimate broadcaster.”
He also said that Hasselbeck’s success didn’t surprise him at all because she was a breakout star of “Survivor: Australia.”
“She was so adorable in ‘Survivor: Australia.’ Every guy wanted to date Elisabeth and wanted to be Colby [Donaldson]. They were the two big icons that came from that season,” said Probst. “Colby’s hosting shows now too, but nobody’s risen to where Elisabeth is.”
Probst also said that back at the height of popularity for “Survivor,” a lot of alumni were getting calls to do other things in entertainment, but Hasselbeck took the ball and ran with it.
“It’s one thing to get the call and it’s another to land the job and Elisabeth has clearly landed the job and really become a brand,” said Probst.
Does Probst Stay in Touch With Hasselbeck?
When asked if they’ve stayed in touch over the years, Probst said they have not but not out of some kind of animosity.
“No, [Elisabeth and I] don’t stay in touch. When I see her, it’s very friendly, but no,” said the host, adding that the two “Survivor” alums he stays in the most contact with are Andrew Savage from “Pearl Islands” and Boston Rob Mariano.
What he did say about Hasselbeck in a separate interview is that he admires how she never backs down.
“We were so happy when she got on ‘The View,’ because that’s incredible. But I will say, Elisabeth’s politics have certainly changed over the time, and I’m not sure what to make of where she stands,” Probst told HuffPost Live, adding, “I’m not saying I align with her, but I like that she does not back down, ever. I can see why she’s still working, why she got another job quickly because she’s compelling to watch. You’ve got to give her that.”
He also said that back when she was on “Survivor,” the entire crew was completely enamored of her.
“When she was on the second season of ‘Survivor,’ I will tell you this: Every guy on the crew fell in love with her. Every guy. We watched this young girl mature into this fighting phenomenon, and everybody wanted to date her. They thought about marrying Elisabeth. It was in all our fantasies,” Probst told HuffPost Live.