12/15/2012 AT 4:10 PM ET
In the 25 seasons that Jeff Probst has hosted Survivor, he has presided over 399 tribal councils.
Since the show’s debut 12 years ago, 384 contestants have played the game, with 43 of them competing more than once. Seven contestants have quit; ten have been medically evacuated and 23 people have walked away with $1 million and the title of Sole Survivor. (Sandra Diaz-Twine is the only contestant to win the game twice.)
Why all the statistics? Because it just goes to show that Probst knows a thing or two about how to win this game. Here, he evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the final four contestants of Survivor: Philippines for PEOPLE. Who will walk away with the million-dollar prize on Sunday night? Probst won’t find out until the live finale with the rest of us, but here’s his expert take on everyone’s chances.
“If he can win his way to the final tribal council, I think he wins against anybody,” says Probst. “He’s played a beautiful game combining physical skills with great social skills. People like him, he’s an underdog and he hasn’t lied. If he doesn’t win the final immunity challenge, he has no chance. Nobody is going to take him to the end.”
Unless something goes terribly wrong, Lisa will be in the final tribal council. The question is: Who will be there with her? Lisa has a good story – she has overcome a lot. Her biggest challenge will be getting sympathy from the jury. It’s much easier for the audience who sees all of her interviews. The other players may see her as a whiner. She will need an amazing speech at the final tribal if she is to beat Malcolm or Denise.
If she gets to the end with anyone other than Malcolm, she will most likely win. She has the biggest underdog story having survived the worst tribe and going to every tribal council. She has also played a brilliant social game. Her best bet is to go to the final with Lisa and/or Skupin.
He’s the longshot only because of his competition. Skupin is seen as a bit of goofball. He has a “go for broke” attitude and, as a result, he is as likely to fumble the ball as he is to score the touchdown. It’s a great way to play Survivor and it got him this far, but in a game in which the jury is looking for any reason to criticize, Skupin may have given them too much.