‘Survivor’: How Jeff Probst Reportedly Helps Out Contestants at Tribal Council

by Taylor Cunningham

According to a former Survivor contestant, a lot of work goes into the show’s tribal council nights, which can be nerve-wracking for castaways. However, host Jeff Probst is always on hand to offer some advice and put worries at ease.

This information comes from the pen of Malcolm Freberg, who wrote an Insider op-ed about his time with the series. For those of you who don’t know, Freberg has played the TV game show three times. He starred in Philippines (2012), Caramoan (2013), and Game Changers (2017).

While he has yet to become the final Survivor, he did make it to the second to last episode during his first competition. And in all, he’s filmed a staggering 79 days with Probst. So, we’d say his inside knowledge of operations is golden.

And according to Freberg, “tribal council is the worst.” But Probst is always around to help make the experience a little less hectic and stressful.

Probst Gives Some Advice For Castaways Heading to the Booth

As Freberg noted, the Survivor tribal counsil set is arranged in pretty tight quarters. The voting booth where the players divulge their strategies and choices is only “20 yards away” from where the rest of the castaways sit.

Obviously, it’s best if the contestants don’t catch wind of each other’s secrets. So seeing how close the booth is, is a little unnerving. And Probst knows that. So before filming begins on tribal nights, he helps everyone understand just how loud they can speak to the camera.

“So every season I’ve been on, Probst stood in front of us and said, ‘This is me talking,’ at a normal volume. The host repeated the phrase over and over again as he walked to the voting booth and as he returned to us. You could usually just barely hear him in the booth” Freeberg wrote. “Then he’d change his volume to a whisper and repeat the process. Now, you absolutely couldn’t hear a word while he’d ostensibly be voting. It’s incredibly helpful and made me feel comfortable knowing how loud to speak during the vote.”

‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Wants to Make Sure Everyone Says Their Piece During Tribal Council

Another way Jeff Probst helps the castaways on Survivor is by reminding them to slow down and think through everything. It’s easy to get flustered during such a big night. And when cameras are in your face, the feeling is intensified. So Probst helps to ensure that no one walks away with tribal night regrets.

“One point that always stands out is that you, the player, shouldn’t allow the vote to start unless you’ve said all you need to say,” he continued. “On one of my seasons, Probst prefaced this tip with a vague anecdote. He said a former player — I don’t know who — complained after their boot that they hadn’t gotten the chance to say all they wanted to say at Tribal. So now Probst makes a point of empowering every castaway to hold up the vote if they feel the need to do so.”

Survivor 43 is currently filming in Fiji and will drop sometime this fall.