Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor 42” was one of the most intense and groundbreaking episodes of the series yet – not only because that night’s tribal council saw two of the tribe’s six members fail to vote, resulting in a near deadlock – but also because, for the first time in “Survivor” history, host Jeff Probst was forced to halt an immunity challenge midway because two tribes failed to complete the in-water portion.
Although the show’s edit only shows us a brief snippet of what happened during the challenge, Probst has gone to EW to reveal more about what transpired in that intense and unprecedented moment. Here’s what you need to know:
Probst: “It never let up”, the water “just kept pounding”
in a (n Interview with EW On Thursday, Probst revealed what it was really like to be on the beach as Episode 3’s dramatic immunity challenge unfolded. As fans will recall, Taku was the only tribe to make it to the beach, due almost entirely to the strength of 28-year-old Jonathan Young. The other two tribes were left in the water, utterly unable to climb their ladder amid the raging current that pounded on their bodies.
“Sometimes the ocean pulled them so far off course that they ran onto our camera platforms,” Probst said. “It was amazing.” He added that while the challenge went smoothly when the production’s so-called “Dream Team” tested it days before, the weather on the actual day of the challenge was noticeably different, which was clear before the challenge even started was: “Like a tornado, the wind and swell picked up speed by the minute. You can even see it in the trees and the Survivor flags that wave when players walk in.”
Probst summarized the intensity of the winds that day, and therefore also the water, as follows:
I’m not exaggerating when I say it increased in intensity every five minutes. Even getting the players to their starting pontoons required some effort. And as you saw in the episode, her initial plunge into the sea was aided by a huge swell that nearly threw her off the pontoon.
From that point on, the wildness of the ocean continued to increase. There was never a back down, there was never a quiet moment, never a chance for the players to catch their breath. It just kept pounding, wave after wave.
Given that perspective, it’s not surprising why Probst and the production decided to drop the challenge for good. And as Probst pointed out, it was a seminal moment for the show. “In 42 seasons,” he said, “we’ve never had to stop a challenge. This. was. A. First.”
Jenny Kim: Fighting the ladders lasted ‘at least half an hour’
In recent exit interviews, Jenny Kim, who was voted out later that night, spoke a little about the immunity challenge and explained that it all took a lot longer than what was shown on screen. Just talking about the part where Dad and Ika were fighting with the ladders, Jenny said inside her Exit interview with Rob Cesternino“Just that part took at least half an hour,” adding that they were all “probably in the water for about an hour [total].”
in the her own interview with EW, Jenny added that she was “really swept up” by the intensity of the water. “Our bodies just couldn’t move in this water, which would have carried me away anyway,” she said. “By then I’d probably lost a few pounds and I was probably the shortest person out there, next to Romeo maybe.”
However, Probst, who is familiar with the time frames, revealed in EW that the two fighting tribes were only in the water for 22 minutes, not half an hour. However, as he said, “That’s an incredibly long time in these conditions,” it’s understandable why the castaways think it took longer when they look back.
Despite all the chaos that ensued that day, Probst added that none of the eight castaways in the water “ever called for help,” despite knowing they always could and that a dive rescue team was on standby. “Nobody asked us to stop the challenge and save them. They kept fighting. They continued to work together. They kept trying to complete the challenge. I was really impressed.”
“Survivor 42” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS.
https://heavy.com/entertainment/survivor/jeff-probst-challenge-halted-insanity/ Jeff Probst talks about the “crazy” Survivor Challenge