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Once again, even though Karishma Patel has proven several times that she is one of the worst physical competitors of the season, if not franchise, she was spared from elimination.

During the reward and immunity challenge, host Jeff Probst called Patel out numerous times for being the weak link, to which the lawyer argued she was not.

Probst opened up about his occasional not-so-popular commentary and why the new Lairo tribe kept Patel.

Survivor 39 Karishma Patel
Karishma Patel | Robert Voets

‘Survivor 39’ contestant Karishma Patel ended up on new Lairo

Missy Byrd wanted to save Karishma Patel on Episode 4 because she felt like Patel was a vote in her pocket. However, during Tribal Council, Byrd berated the personal injury lawyer, almost ensuring Patel would flip once a swap or merge happened.

Sure enough, on Episode 5, Jeff Probst told everyone to drop their buffs, and they had to draw another one randomly. Patel ended up on new Lairo on the minority in a five-to-three split with former tribemates Dean Kowalski and Tom Laidlaw.

The tribes then competed in an Applebee’s reward challenge, where Noura Salman had to pull Patel to the finish line, but Vokai ended up winning. In the water dive-and-shoot immunity challenge, the lawyer again slowed her team down by taking a long time to get up the ladder, allowing Vokai to get an early lead and eventually win immunity.

During the challenge, Probst called Patel out several times for holding her team back, to which she responded, saying she’s not. Even though she obviously did, her tribe chose to send Laidlaw home instead of the lawyer, who was more than willing to flip on old Lairo.

‘Survivor 39’ host Jeff Probst gave a deep dive into his commentary

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Probst explained they enjoy Patel’s presence on the show and “knew she would add a compelling layer” when they interviewed her in casting.

Nonetheless, he claims he has “zero filters” over what he says about the contestants and points out whether someone is carrying the tribe on their back or holding everyone back.

Probst also admitted that he doesn’t know if someone is throwing the challenge or very low on energy, but he always tries to “remain objective.” The Emmy-Award winning host promised his personality is different in real life as he’s “more optimistic and encouraging.”

‘Survivor 39’ host Jeff Probst explained why new Lairo kept Karishma Patel

Even though it seems like new Lairo will never win a challenge with Patel on their team, they chose to keep the lawyer because she flipped on her old tribe.

Additionally, she opened up and told the old Vokai members personal things about her, including her parent’s arranged marriage and the pressure she felt to get married.

During their talk, they seemed to accept her, especially Jack Nichting, and her flip guarantees they will maintain the numbers once the merge happens.

Probst explained they kept her because it came down to tribe strength versus alliance strength. Even though Laidlaw did a lot around the camp and gave his all during challenges, he appeared to be too loyal to his old tribemates, and they were afraid he would flip back to them after the merge.

According to the host, this is “a great example of why the game is so hard to play, much less win.”