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Could Survivor thrive in bikini-less North?

EDMONTON - Survivor: Baffin Island, Canada?

Producer Mark Burnett is leaning towards bringing his highly-rated show to cold Canada, says host Jeff Probst, though several factors still give him pause.

"Mark is leaning towards, truly considering, a colder climate, especially if the show goes on further, because it is hard to find locations," Probst says.

The production crew has had long discussions about Canada, he says. "We see a lot of positives that would be new and different, and then there's some negatives because physically you tend to shut down when you get cold, you don't do as much. You're going to be wearing parkas and hats and boots and you're not going to be in bikinis, and challenges become a little different. So there's pros and cons."

Probst admits things haven't worked out so well so far on this season's Survivor: Fiji, which has seen one starving tribe routinely trounced by the other, pampered tribe.

If the producers could go back, they would have had the tribes battle for the luxurious camp weekly, a plan that was considered but dropped because it was thought the constant switching might be too confusing for both contestants and viewers.

But the well-fed tribe has had far more energy so it utterly whipped the impoverished tribe in all the challenges, which has so far made the show predictable.

"This one I'd call an idea that didn't work out so well," Probst says.

Now that the tribes are mixed up, things will get better, he adds: "The show begins to pick up a lot of steam."

There will be more fireworks from this year's villain, Lisi Linares, he promises. On the last Thursday's episode, after the emotional Linares was sent to the privation of Exile Island, she freaked out and talked aloud about walking off the show. On air, Probst strongly questioned her decision-making, but inside he was gleeful.

"Believe me, when I was sitting out there I was thinking, 'Oh thank you, Lisi, thank you. This is gold.' "

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