'Survivor' host Jeff Probst sizes up 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' finale castaways
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/17/2014
Survivor host Jeff Probst has sized up the remaining five Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water castaways and who has the best chance of winning.
Natalie Anderson, Keith Nale, Missy Payne, Baylor Wilson, and Jaclyn Schultz are all still in the running to be crowned the franchise's 29th "Sole Survivor" and win the $1 million grand prize. In a less-than-stellar season, home viewers may think the winner should be obvious, but what does Jeff think?
Jeff, 53, said Natalie, a 28-year-old student and crossfit coach from Edgewater, NJ, was actually a big question mark when producers were debating whether to cast her with her twin sister Nadiya Anderson, who had both competed on The Amazing Race twice together.
"I'm always wanting to put likable people on the show, and they weren't likable on The Amazing Race. As it turned out, their stories couldn't have been more different, which surprised me. The best thing that happened to Natalie was that Nadiya was voted out first. We're watching a woman play with nothing to lose," Jeff toldPeople.
"She's playing for revenge. She'll make big moves. That's a lesson for future players: You need to be able to play as if there's not a million dollars at the end. Swing for the fences. If you make it to the end, you have a resume to plead to the jury. At this point, on the island, Natalie had momentum, you could feel it."
Although fans may think Keith, a 53-year-old fire captain from Shreveport, LA, didn't strategize much and sort of floated through the game, Jeff acknowledged "there was an energy surrounding Keith."
"It's amazing. On Day 1, he had no idea how to play this game. Now here we are in the finals and he's a favorite to win," Jeff explained. "He's got a great story. 'Look at me! I'm a guy who didn't know what I was doing. I came out so my son could have this experience, but I'm wiser than I look. I figured it out, and you never voted me out.' If he says it right, he could win the game."
And then there's mother and daughter Missy, a 47-year-old owner of a competitive cheerleading gym from Dallas, TX, and Baylor Wilson, a 20-year-old student from Nashville, TN.
"They played two very different games. If I were Baylor and made it to the end, I'd say, 'I'm just a young kid, but I played this game well. You may have some more life experience than me, but I did very well for a 20-year-old girl, and that should be rewarded,'" Jeff told People.
"Missy has a different argument. She should say, 'I got this far with my limited skills. When I hurt my ankle, I transitioned my game and stayed in the competition.' I'm not sure that either of those arguments will sway a jury, but those are their best arguments to make."
In the last episode, Jaclyn, a 25-year-old media buyer from Las Vegas, NV, was left alone in the game after her fellow castaways turned on her boyfriend Jon Misch and voted him out. Jaclyn and Jon had made most of their decisions together, which made it difficult to determine which one was the brains of their operation.
"I may be alone in this, but I think Jaclyn can make a case to win this game," Jeff admitted. "She's a dark horse, but she's ahead of Missy and Baylor. If she can make it to the end by winning immunity, she has a shot. She needs to say, 'I was with my boyfriend, but I was playing this game hard; you just didn't see it.' It's an outside chance, but she's got it."
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water's finale airs Wednesday night at 8PM ET/PT on CBS. The two-hour finale will be followed by a live one-hour reunion show hosted by Jeff.