'Survivor's' Jeff Probst on Brandon Hantz's meltdown: Security guys were ready to assist
Host Jeff Probst tells EW what the show was thinking in bringing Hantz back and what viewers did not see on TV.
"We were actually very excited [about Brandon's return] because he had a new approach to the game," says Probst. "He said he wasn't going to be as emotionally reactive and felt that after playing once he was better prepared for the 39-day adventure. We felt Brandon had the potential for a true underdog story of a young man who was overwhelmed the first time he played and was seeking redemption."
As for during the actual confrontation at the Immunity Challenge, Probst says security was on stand by, as was the show's psychologist.
"Because something like this had never happened before there was no plan in place. I was assessing moment to moment, making decisions based on what was playing out in front of me," says Probst. "I can share with you that I was whispering instructions into my microphone (which is fed to our audio department) for our safety and security guys to be ready to assist if necessary. I was also asking for our show psychologist to be put on a boat and brought over immediately so she could counsel Brandon after the incident was over."
It turns out a psychologist is made available to all "Survivor" players when they are voted out, which we were unaware of.
"Our psychologist is there for any contestant who needs care whenever they need it. If necessary we find a psychologist or therapist for a contestant in their home town," says Probst. "I can't speak about Brandon specifically due to confidentiality, but we are in constant communication with him and will be for as long as he needs it."
Probst also teases that there is indeed a tribe shake-up next week -- "I said at the beginning of the season I felt this was a good season and I still feel that way. Much more to come."
"Survivor" airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.