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Survivor Host Jeff Probst Weighs In On Erika Casupanan's Upcoming Immunity Decision

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(Image credit: CBS)

Spoiler alert for Survivor 41’s Oct. 27 episode!

In addition to the traditional 39-day timeframe and the rules of hidden immunity idols, Survivor 41 has flipped the script on yet another beloved facet of the game: the merge. Instead of players simply, well, merging and feasting as one, they had to partake in one of the most grueling challenges I've ever witnessed. Two teams, with the winners earning the merge feast and blanket immunity in the next tribal council. So, essentially, it's now the individual part of the game and six people have immunity necklaces walking into the next vote. Or do they? Host Jeff Probst has his own take on Erika Casupanan's upcoming decision concerning who actually gets safety.

When Erika Casupanan was sent to exile island with no merge feast or immunity, things looked dire. But, then Jeff Probst showed up to her hovel with an hourglass and some power: take away the winning group’s immunity and give it to the other, or leave it as it is. We've seen versions of this twist play out before on Survivor, but never at such a pivotal point in the game. What would Probst himself do in that situation? He told Entertainment Weekly:

When we were working through this twist, we debated this same question, and we never came to a consensus because it's so situational. The decision any player makes will fully depend on where they stand in the game and with the other players. In Erika's situation, going into the challenge she appears to be on the outs with her tribe. Then in a random draw of rocks, she drew one of the two rocks that forced her to sit out, which left her fate in the hands of others. They sent her to Exile, and now she has power in the game. So her decision will be based on that specific set of circumstances. Does she feel she can recover with her tribe by protecting them? Or does she go for broke, knowing that if she changes history her former tribe will be gunning for her from now on?

Let’s think about this. It was clear in the last episode that every single person on the beach is leaning toward voting out Casupanan, so her decision is quite literally life or death for her in the game (though she doesn't know it yet). She admitted that she felt on the bottom in her former tribe and had even previously said point-blank that she wanted to be a game-changing Survivor player. As a strategic underdog with a grudge, Casupanan is leading me to believe that she will ultimately flip the immunity.

If it were me, myself, and I, I would flip the power simply because there are more men on the already safe side, who are all big threats to win future immunity challenges. Then one could easily pitch a dominate all-girls alliance to take things to the end; it's happened before. As for what Jeff Probst would really do, he shared that he would “make a big move,” but only after considering alliances and jury votes. So coy, Probst.

Suffice it to say, there's more moving pieces than ever on Survivor. And likely, more blindsides soon to come. The upcoming episode title is, in fact, "There's Gonna Be Blood." To find out what Erika Casupanan decides, tune into CBS on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST.

Lauren Vanderveen

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.