‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Weighed in on ‘Whispering’ Tribal Councils and Karishma Patel’s Loved One Visit

Survivor: Island of the Idols Episode 12 consisted of emotional loved ones’ reunions and a Live Tribal Council almost entirely full of whispering. While some fans liked the last-second drama, others hated it and felt like host Jeff Probst lost control.

In an interview with EW, Probst explained which loved ones’ visit touched him the most and weighed in on whispering Tribal Councils.

Jeff Probst Tribal Council
Janet Carbin, Noura Salman, Karishma Patel, Dan Spilo, Lauren Beck, Tommy Sheehan, Elaine Stott and Dean Kowalski | CBS

Which emotional loved ones’ reunion moved Jeff Probst the most?

During the tribe swap, Karishma Patel opened up to her new tribemates and began openly questioning her marriage. However, during Episode 10, in what Jeff Probst called “one of the most powerful scenes of the season,” Patel found a hidden immunity idol while also finding clarity about her love for her husband, Drew.

On Episode 12, the contestants were briefly reunited with their loved ones before the challenge, and Patel fell into her husband’s arms, crying, while repeating, “I’m not good.”

In an interview with EW, Probst said the reunion moved him the most because it “illustrated the emotional toll the game can have on a player.” He explained that Patel never gave up despite being on the outs, so “when she fell into his arms, you could feel the security of his embrace, which allowed her to release all the emotion she has been forced to hold inside.”

Additionally, the host stated he “can’t recall a loved one visit like that” in all 39 seasons of Survivor.

Karishma Patel eliminated after Live Tribal Council

Patel did not win the reward challenge. Therefore, she, Dean Kowalski, Noura Salman, and Elaine Stott, went back to the island with no extra time with their loved ones.

The rest of Salman’s alliance were on the reward date, and she felt like she stood at the bottom of her alliance, so she proposed they band together and vote off Lauren Beck.

However, the nanny won individual immunity, so the target shifted to Tommy Sheehan. All four planned to put their votes on Sheehan, but Salman could not grasp the concept.

Her indecisiveness drove Kowalski crazy, so he decided to flip on her during Tribal Council. He leaned over to Sheehan and told the fourth-grade teacher he would get three votes that night.

Sheehan asked Salman, through Dan Spilo, if it was true, and the entrepreneur told everyone the original plan. Then, the tribemates dispersed and began whispering to each other, trying to figure out who they wanted to vote off the island. Sheehan decided to spare Salman, and the majority sent Patel to the jury.

How does ‘Survivor’ host Jeff Probst feel about ‘whispering’ Tribal Councils?

Many fans criticized the whispering Tribal Council online and felt like Probst lost control. However, the host said it’s “irrelevant” what he thinks “because it’s their game.”

He continued, “You can’t stop players from whispering while sitting next to each other, which means you also can’t penalize a player seated at one corner of Tribal who might want to ‘whisper’ to someone at the other side of Tribal.”

However, the host admitted he enjoys it “from a fan standpoint” because “it keeps the game alive until the last second. I’m all for less rules and more freedom when it comes to gameplay.”

Watch Survivor: Island of the Idols Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.