With the impending return of “Survivor” on CBS, Zap2it caught up with “Survivor” host Jeff Probst — why should Boston Rob and evil Russell get all the “Redemption Island” press? Jeff dished with us about his first kiss, an embarrassing moment and the fact that if he wasn’t the “Survivor” host, he’d want to be a psychologist, which we’d argue he gets to be anyway.
This is the last season of “Survivor” that Probst has signed on for, but as fans of the granddaddy of competition reality shows, we hope he’s not riding off into the sunset anytime soon.
1.) Tell us one thing we don’t know about you.
Often, when someone is talking to me, I will secretly move my fingers as though I am typing the words as they speak. No idea why, but as a result I’m a damn fast typist.
2.) Describe your daily routine, both outside “Survivor” taping and during taping.
When not shooting Survivor, I start the morning with a big healthy breakfast, eggs with some turkey, carrots, broccoli. Then, work on various projects depending on the day: Might be giving notes on a cut of “Survivor” or taking a meeting on a new project. I almost always do some sort of physical activity during the day, whether at the gym or outside. Phone calls to check in with friends in the afternoon. Evenings are personal time.
When on location for “Survivor,” it’s almost 24-7 “Survivor.” I still try to eat healthy meals and work out, but most of my days, and they can be long, are focused on “Survivor.” It’s that way for most everybody on the crew.
3.) If you had to choose another career, what would you be?
4.) Who was the first girl you kissed?
Karen Bruce. Wichita, KS. I played trumpet in the school orchestra. She sat across from me and played clarinet.
5.) What super power would you like to have?
Tough call, as I’d love to fly, but I’d say being invisible. I love eavesdropping and studying people. Being invisible would make that pretty easy.
6.) Tell us about one of your most embarrassing moments.
I was helping teach a beginning acting class. I was sitting on the carpeting in the middle of a circle of students and as I was making what I’m sure was a really meaningless point, I let one rip. Full on fart. No denying it. Not sure why it was so embarrassing, it would’t bother me today but back then it did.
7.) What’s your guilty pleasure?
There’s no such thing. If you find pleasure in something, then screw the guilt. Life’s too short, for crying out loud.
8.) What are your can’t-miss TV shows?
“Dexter,” “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “Eastbound and Down,” “Weeds.”
9.) Movies that make you cry?
“The Notebook,” “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “Planes Trains & Automobiles” (the last 5 minutes get me every time.)
10.) Is there another celebrity you’ve always wanted to meet and haven’t yet?
Not really. There are certain careers I admire, actresses I think are beautiful and things like that, but for the most part I have had enough with celebrity. I’m ready to start honoring some inventors or teachers or more interesting people. Yes, I include myself. I’m over myself as well.
11.) Can you pick a favorite season of ‘Survivor’? (Maybe one that was your favorite while filming it and one that was your favorite watching it back, if they are different?)
Impossible to pick a favorite because I really do think we’ve had quite a few very good seasons. I loved shooting in Palau, I loved shooting in Nicaragua. But hated shooting in Gabon, and then Tocantins.
I do wish I had understood how big a deal it was that 57 million people watched the first season finale. Because I was so green, I didn’t have perspective on anything. I would love to have that experience again now knowing what a big moment it is.
12.) Do you have a book you re-read over and over?
Been reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” quite a bit. Seems every page I turn to I find something that I can relate to.
13.) What’s a surprising activity you do in your free time?
Great question, but no great answer!
14.) Your dream job is …
Are you serious? I have it.
“Survivor: Redemption Island” premieres Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.