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"Survivor" host gets candid about show's dangers

Jeff Probst, of "Survivor," talks with "The Early Show" about his time with the show and some of its scarier moments.
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"Survivor" is just beginning its 23rd season on CBS. There have been many twists and turns along the way, but there is one ultimate survivor: the Emmy award-winning host, Jeff Probst.

CBS News correspondent Betty Nguyen recently sat down with him while he was on location on the island nation of Samoa. Probst, Nguyen said, keeps a low profile on the show, but he was quite candid about it, and his life, when Nguyen caught up with him.

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Probst disclosed to Nguyen that he was, when the show was in Samoa, fearful for the life of one of the contestants.

He said, "We had a guy, Russell, who just about died in front of me. ... He was suffering from dehydration, he had fallen down, kind of lost his mind, passed out once, passed out again. And his eyes went back in the back of his head... and he just, was out. ... For about seven seconds, I thought, 'Oh my God, someone's about to die on this show.' And then they brought him back and he was fine, but it was yet another reminder that it's real."

He added, "That's, I think, the thing the audience will never fully appreciate, because there's so much reality out there that looks real, but it's not."

Nguyen said, "But this is the real deal."

Probst also told Nguyen he's been in therapy for years.

"I'm a fan of therapy," he said.

When asked if everything is alright, Probst said, "At this moment? Yeah. Ask me five minutes from now -- no, it's not. It's not indicative of instability. I just, I love exploring human nature. And the best place to start for me is with myself."

Probst has hosted the show since it first aired in 2000. And four Emmys later, the show is based on the same premise: a bunch of castaways, 39 days and a $1 million prize.

The host, who has traveled around the world for work, said it's a good life.

He told Nguyen, "Survivor's been very good to me."

So how long will the longtime host stay with the show?

"I can't imagine not doing Survivor if it's on the air," he said.

Probst said his favorite spot the show has filmed is Kenya.

He said, "And for a kid from Wichita, Kansas, to end up in Kenya, watching these animals walk past my tent that I'm living in, with them, I really got it."

Where does the host go on vacation now that's he's traveled around the world for the show?

"I haven't taken vacation out of the country in 12 years," he told Nguyen. "I really like being home when I'm not away. My job is sort of the opposite of most people's, where they're looking to get away; I'm looking to come home."

On "The Early Show," Nguyen added that Probst will host his own talk show next year, which he says is still a work in progress.

He says nine months in the studio would be OK, as long as he can spend the summer on some exotic locale with "Survivor."