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 Probst bloggin' for Tocantins

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PostSubject: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:27 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins': episode 1
Feb 13, 2009, 08:00 AM | by Jeff Probst

Mark my words. Survivor: Tocantins will go down as one of your favorite Survivor seasons. I know I've said that about other seasons in the past and check the records, haven't I usually been right? Some seasons I'm not sure how the audience will react, so I say nothing, but when I'm sure, I scream it.

This is me screaming: YES! YES! YES! Say it with me. YES! YES! YES! Yes is my new favorite word. Life is so much more fun when you just let go of your fears and say ''YES'' to whatever. Don't believe me? Try it. Today, just say ''YES'' to everything that comes your way. Let me know how it goes.

Okay, so to episode one. Well, here's something I was dead wrong about. I never thought Carolina would be first out. In fact, I thought she could go a long way. I was way off on that one. Too bad, we always seem to lose a cute girl early. What is wrong with these people? Don't they realize this is their show? They should get rid of the ugly and boring people and keep the attractive and entertaining ones. Like Sydney. Please don't turn around and vote out Sydney next week. Carolina may not have understood how to play Survivor but I'm sure there are a few fans already missing her. Whatever. I get paid either way.

While we're here, let's start the blindside tally. That's the first of what will be a record-setting season of blindsides.

I loved our opening twist. We on the Survivor creative team were all rather proud when we stumbled upon the simple but effective notion of ''first impressions'' as an episode 1 twist. In fact, if I remember correctly, we all downed a case of Brazilian beer as a toast to ourselves. The twist worked and it plays out for quite a while.

Sandy and Sierra are clearly still in trouble as a result of the first impression vote, but you have to admit, it's amazing that neither of them were the first person voted out, all things considered. I think Sandy took a risky approach – clearly selfish and probably based on the fact that she feels a bit ''odd woman out'' due to age. Sierra impressed me with her desire to instantly try to win back favor on her tribe by working hard on the shelter. I think it worked. Hard work and the ability to say... ''YES''... can get you a long way in life. I bet Sierra wins the whole thing! Ka-ching! Either that or she'll fall in love with a Survivor producer and make cute little Survivor babies. I still get paid either way.

''And now here's something we think you'll really enjoy!'' (Can anyone name that cartoon character?) We have something very special for you fans this season, it's a new Survivor philosophy, you might even call it a religion of sorts. IT goes by the name Coach. Stay open to IT. Stay open to Coach. Beautiful things may emerge if you just open your arms and accept what Coach can offer you. Salvation? I doubt it. Great laughs? Absolutely. Coach is a star. He was meant to be on Survivor. I only wish we could clone him. I'm already pushing CBS to do another All-Star season just so we can have him back. Plus, my friend Serena already likes Coach, so there's that.

We have so many great characters this season. I'd list some of them but that would just irritate the ones I left off. Oh who cares, like I said, I get paid either way. Okay, in no particular order: Tyson, J.T., Steven, Sierra, Brendan, Taj, Sandy, Debbie, Spencer, Erinn. Yes I know you are already wondering if that means these people last a long time. Guess you'll have to watch to find out...and maybe I left one or two off the list just to throw you off. Maybe. You never know. Especially when I write this blog late at night, I get lippy and sometimes I just say things that simply aren't true.

And let's just get this out of the way, for all the Survivor: Tocantins participants, don't take these blogs too seriously. I only mean half of what I say. The other half of what I feel, I never share at all. It's all just fun. I love you all equally. But mostly Coach.

Next week, Exile Island comes into play. Cue Probst dramatic voice: ''This year, we have the most desolate and unforgiving Exile Island ever.'' Okay, I've said that before too, but this time it really is! You'll see.

Plus, there is a twist on Exile that creates some interesting reality...I won't spoil it, but if only we had thought of this idea a few seasons ago, we'd be crushing American Idol in the ratings. Oh relax, Seacrest, I'm kidding. You guys are still the king. Whatever. Blah, blah, blah. I still get paid...just not nearly as much as you, Ryan. That does bother me a little bit. I'll admit it. I mean I don't do Survivor for the money, but when I see Ryan's house I do get a bit envious. It's a pretty cool house. Then again, he's a cool dude, so I just say ''YES'' and move on with my still glorious life.

It's 2 a.m. as I'm writing this and honestly these blogs are a bit like therapy for me, only $150 an hour cheaper. So far I've saved $50.

Okay is that enough for this first episode blog? Serena says, ''Yes, baby, it's enough already. Come to bed, it's late.'' Ah the imagination. It's a terrible thing to waste.

So be it. To bed I go. Talk next week
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:56 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins': episode 2
Feb 20, 2009, 08:05 AM | by Jeff Probst

First things first. Did you see our ratings? We went up from last year's premiere! That doesn't happen. Television ratings are crumbling all around us as the networks scramble to figure out how to combat DVR's, kids watching on computers, and iPhones and the like. So when something like this happens to a show in its 18th season, it's big news! And it's all because of you — our loyal viewers. So on behalf of the entire crew and CBS, I say thank you for your amazing support.

Okay, on to the episode. I gotta mention it. Another blindside. We're 2 for 2 and I love it. Candace never saw it coming. I hated losing Candace. She was bound to provide lots of spark around camp. But Candace, you picked a fight with the wrong guy....

You picked on Coach! Nobody picks on Coach. He's a symphony conductor for crying out loud. He's a maestro! You don't mess with maestros! They're known for their Scorpio-like ''get even'' mentality. You stung him and he stung you back. Torch snuff. Bye-bye. Just like that, Candace is out.

I am imagining Candace reading this right now and she is either...smiling and laughing along with me or...she is calling lovely Corinne from last season and asking her for the address of my house and instructions on how to light a Molotov cocktail. Ah, what the heck, go for it. I'm insured.

I love it when the Survivors eat grubs. It takes me back to Season 1 when we had a challenge in which they had to race to eat grubs and Gervase couldn't get his down. Ah yes, season 1. The good ole days. Back when I wore those silly safari clothes and said really corny things like ''fire represents life.'' Thank goodness those days are gone. Boy, was I a loser. I'm so much cooler now. Whew.

I have a question – do you think that Taj revealed she was the wife of Eddie George because she believes that honesty is the best policy? Or do you think she absolutely loves telling people ''I'm married to Eddie George, Heisman trophy winner at Ohio State and former NFL football star!'' I'm guessing the latter. But to be honest, I'd brag, too, if I was married to Eddie George. Heck, I'd pull a Heidi Klum and tattoo Eddie's name on my forearm. Yes, Heidi has a tattoo of her husband's name, ''Seal,'' on her forearm. That beautiful supermodel forearm with a huge tat of the word ''Seal.'' It's there. I know. I saw it. Yep. I've seen Heidi's naked forearm. Lots of times, in fact.

The problem with Taj's revelation is that you give people a reason to vote you out. Taj just shouted at the top of her lungs – ''I don't need the money! I'm already rich!!!'' That could be costly.

How great was that challenge? It was physical, it was in the water (which means bikini's), was pouring rain! I mean it was dumping! Here's a fact I've never admitted before. I secretly pray for rain every time we do a challenge. I love it when it rains. Not just because it turns me on a little bit, but also because it adds so much to the look and play of a Survivor challenge. It amps up the drama, it makes the shots look that much ''cooler,'' and like I said, I just like being wet. Anytime it's raining, just know that I'm happy...and yes, a bit turned on. Is that wrong? Or weird? I recently had to take a required sexual harassment course and I'm pretty sure merely writing that last sentence constitutes sexual harassment on some level. Sorry if I've offended.

A lot of people ask me, ''Why do you only do one challenge in the early episodes?'' The reason is because we want to have more time in the show for you to get to know the personalities of our Survivors. We figure in episodes 1 and 2 we can build one big challenge, make it epic, and that will allow us a few more minutes in the show to focus on the Survivors. Question: Do you like that or would you prefer 2 challenges in every single episode?

Speaking of getting to know the Survivors — my two favorite people this week are:

From Timbira — Sierra. She's a fighter and I like that. Wouldn't that be weird if Sierra ended up married to a Survivor producer? How random would that be?

From Jalapao — J.T. He's a great leader and he's playing humble. But I don't buy it for a second. J.T. is a bona fide threat in this game.

It's only episode 2 and trust is already playing a big part in the game. It's what makes this game so difficult to play but so fun to watch...ultimately you have to trust someone in order to survive, but conversely you really can't trust anyone if you want to survive! So what do you do? You have to trust people who are untrustworthy, and then you have to cut them loose before they cut you loose. It's like learning Russian. Very complicated.

One of my favorite moments of the episode was the ''fire pit'' cover-up. It was a great lie. Quick thinking. I absolutely love those kinds of moments. The key to it all was Debbie. All you need is one person to validate your lie and you're set, and let's face it, you can't get better than a middle school principal to endorse your lie! Debbie bought it hook, line, and sinker, and she was no doubt watching tonight's episode and laughing herself silly. Debbie has a pretty good sense of humor.

I would love to know why Brendan chose Taj. I would have never guessed that and never dreamed he would share the Exile information with her. But it was an interesting move and now we have the potential for an alliance that could wreak havoc later in the game.

The other relationship I am starting to enjoy is that of J.T. and Stephen. They couldn't be more opposite and yet they seem to be clicking fairly well.

Okay, time for me to go to bed.

Hang in there with me on these blogs. It's been a very busy past few weeks for me, and so I haven't had as much time for these blogs as I'd like. But I'm committed to posting something every week, so I just ask for a bit of understanding if they're not always everything you want them to be!!!

Talk next week!
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:20 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (episode 3)
Feb 27, 2009, 07:32 AM | by Jeff Probst
Ah, poor Jerry. We all had such high hopes for him. This is an example of just bad luck. Jerry was a trooper and I think would have probably done a pretty good job of just hanging out in the middle of the pack allowing him to get deep in the game. Not sure if Jerry had enough killer instinct to win but would have loved to have seen him last a bit longer 'cause he was a good one.

The only person happy that Jerry is gone...? Erinn. She was very close to going home. Erinn needs to continue to recover or her name will come up again and again.

What can you say about the reward challenge other than this...blindfolds always work. In the bedroom and on Survivor. They always come through. So long as it’s consensual, blindfolds typically equal good times. Show of hands, how many people have used blindfolds at some point in their life? And...? Good results? (Right about now is the time a third of you will begin to write your comments to me complaining that I am too provocative. Save the carpal tunnel, it only encourages me.)

The reward challenge was a blow out. Not sure why I enjoyed seeing Timbira lose, but I did. They were so cocky, and Jalapao just came in and got it done. They’re the underdogs at this point and I always secretly root for the underdogs. But as we Survivor fans know... underdogs can quickly become cocky and then they become villains and then you root against them!

As evidence of how bad the crew living conditions were in Brazil, even I got envious at the Jalapao reward. Umbrella, chairs, hammock! I would have loved to have a large umbrella outside my little four-walled tent. I often feel that way about the food rewards, too. When the Survivors win something like cheeseburgers, trust me the entire crew is salivating. We don’t get cheeseburgers on location. We don’t get big thick pizzas or large chocolate cakes either. We do get beer. Thank goodness our crew loves their beer. It’s the only thing that keeps most of us from ending up in an insane asylum. Most of us.

This week's observation about Sierra: Sierra is like an annoying little sister that you constantly complain about but secretly love having around because there is just something about her you’d miss if she was gone. Timbira will miss Sierra if they get rid of her. She’s worth keeping even though she is annoying. Imagine living with Sierra. Oy vey.

Okay time for a moment:

Ext. Brazilian River - Day
Coach stares into the water...contemplating.
Tyson spits something, maybe a seed. It makes a small splash.
Coach mumbles something insightful. It’s not a question. It’s a command. He’s Coach after all.
Coach (to Tyson): You’re like my assistant coach.

“You’re like my assistant coach.” Ah, thank you, reality gods. Beautiful. One of my favorite moments of the season. Coach laid out the perfect spiral pass and Tyson gently cradled it into his arms. For very different reasons, both these guys are solid gold.

Coach is without question one of the greatest Survivor characters ever. What’s your take on Coach? Love him? Love to hate him? Or just plain hate him? For the record Serena’s advice to Coach, “Just relax. Stop trying so hard. Just be yourself.” To which I reply, “He IS being himself! That’s what makes him so brilliant!

And then as if that wasn’t enough, another moment so good it’s as though it was scripted:

Ext. Jalapao Camp – Day

Spencer, young and single, lies on his side trying to sleep. Sandy, considerably older and also single, snuggles up next to him. Uncomfortably close. Hands searching. Surprisingly Spencer doesn’t seem to mind. Sandy musses her hair with a sexy toss of the hand.

Sandy: I know I’m a sex kitten.

Whoa. That made me incredibly uncomfortable. I had to stop the TIVO and rewind it. No offense, Sandy, (although as my friend Lopez says, whenever you say that, you actually mean the opposite) but that was just plain uncomfortable and in some states probably illegal. Is Spencer even 18 years old?

J.T. and Steven fishing together. It’s a bit like A River Runs Through It. Nice. I like it. But is it just me or do you get the idea that J.T. is the kind of guy who if you so much as looked at his girlfriend in a bar, he’d break your nose and then finish your beer. He seems very pleasant but I’m guessing that he’s broken a few noses.

And finally, the quote of the day:

Tyson: I love seeing people cry when you crush their dreams.

See ya next week!
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:31 pm

Wow...sounds like Jeff has a little man crush going on for Coach :lovestruck:

"I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee"~Joe DiMaggio
"Don't hate the black, don't hate the white, when you get bitten, hate the bite"~Sly Stone
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:00 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins': episode 4
Mar 6, 2009, 07:48 AM | by Jeff Probst

"Iron sharpens iron." Now that is a great line. Tell me...tell me! Where else on television can you find that kind of writing? Nowhere, I say. Nowhere. Only on Survivor: Tocantins...starring Coach!

Coach is not gold. Coach is platinum. Remember when you were a kid and you'd wake up irritated that you had to go to school, and then you realized...wait a minute, it's Saturday, I don't have to go anywhere. It was such a satisfying feeling. Well, that's the feeling I get every time I see or hear Coach on our show.

On any other season Tyson would be the guy I was raving about, but I just can't say enough about Coach. It's like being any other great golfer when Tiger Woods is playing.

I know you guys like insight, so here's a little Insight: Right now every other contestant on this season is reading this blog and they are sooooo mad at me for continuing to talk about Coach, the least liked person on the show. They want me to talk about them. Erinn wants me to talk about her incredible sex appeal. Brendan wants me to talk about how smart he was for creating "Bare Naked Granola" and making millions (yep he did). Taj wants me to talk about how good she looks...for her age...(ha, sorry Taj). Stephen wishes I would comment on his enormous brain. And Sierra – oh well, you get my point. All I can say to that is, sorry. Not my problem. As an audience member I just think Coach is hilarious.

Further evidence to support my point: "When you look at me and you look at Brendan, who looks stronger? I do." I mean, come on! In the words of Vince Vaughn, "Coach, you're so money."

I'm telling you right now that if they hadn't already signed their rights away to be on Survivor, I'd march Coach, Tyson and Sierra into CBS and sell the first hybrid sitcom/reality show...and you would all watch.

Taj is growing on me. Wasn't so sure about her the first few days but she's growing on me. Don't get me wrong, she can still be a pain in the ass, but I like her. I also want to stay on the good side of Eddie George.

"I might have just stumbled backwards into a huge alliance." Oh yes, you did, Stephen. A huge alliance. Keep an eye on that one. Stephen is great at playing the "one step behind bumbling goofball." Dude is wicked smart.

The reward challenge is one of my all time favorites. We haven't done this in a while. We did it in season 2 in Australia with Colby and Michael. We did it in Pearl Islands with Rupert and Andrew Savage (who got robbed when we did the Outcasts). This season J.T. was a workhorse, tying the record that Rupert set at 220 lbs. But ultimately it came down Debbie and Taj who were very impressive. In the end, Taj put those beautiful broad shoulders to work and pulled it out for Jalapao.

Insight: Mark Burnett absolutely hates it when contestants from opposite tribes congratulate each other after a challenge. Typically I do my best to make sure this doesn't happen but when Taj went over to hug Debbie at the end of the reward challenge it just felt right to let them do it. Fortunately Mark wasn't on location so he couldn't get mad at me, and he probably won't read this blog so he can't get mad that I'm sharing one of his pet peeves. And let's be honest, when you have a house in Malibu you really aren't entitled to any pet peeves anymore anyway.

J.T. is a major threat to win this game. Way too likable, way too smart, way too physical.

Tyson: "It felt a little weird having...those two... guys from the other tribe come the back of your mind you're thinking...I wanna punch these guys in the head." Okay, Tyson, you have earned your way into the full on Gold category. If we do an all-stars, you definitely get my vote. 100%.

Sandy: (referring to Sydney) "If they're gonna be voting you off, you better be pulling off more than a bra. You better be pulling off some panties or somethun."

You have got to be kidding me. Who says that? Sandy, step on up, you too are now part of the Gold family and we are so happy to have you!

While we're at it, it's time to give Sierra some well-deserved credit. Not only is she still in the game, but she is now locked into an alliance that has the potential to go all the way.

It's also time to give our challenge department some props. The immunity challenge was pretty damn ingenious. A three-sided puzzle with multiple possibilities to confuse the tribes but only one correct phrase. You try coming up with something like that. Our guys are really good.

Tribal Council was so fun! I love it when we get into some good juicy stuff! Let's address the elephant in the room: Sydney is absolutely beautiful. I'm not sure that it comes across on screen like it does in person but.... INSIGHT: The crew referred to her as Helen of Troy because literally everybody would stop their work when she walked into a challenge or tribal council. It's true. Now, Taj is a beautiful woman as well, but she's married and she's older so she's not going to get the same attention as Sydney. That definitely caused some friction. How could it not? Taj sees that someone like Sydney could go deep in the game simply by giving backrubs and staying out of the way. And as for flirting – I wouldn't say Sydney was that big of a flirt. The truth about men and women is that all it takes for a man to think a woman is interested in him is for her to say "hi." I don't know if Sydney has a boyfriend back home or not, but if so, he needn't worry. She wasn't "pulling down some panties or somethun."

Okay. Finally, we must lay to rest...crazy ole Sandy. I gotta say, I don't know that I agree with Sandy's logic but for a kooky lady she's not as dumb as she sounds. She is annoying though. Let's be clear. She was annoying. What makes her likable is she can't help that she's annoying. She doesn't mean to be. She's just being herself.

Sandy, I'm sooooooo sorry you are gone. Man, oh man. Such a loss. You were a delight to have on the show and I know I called you annoying but it doesn't mean I don't have mad love for you.

Last words — U2 has been on Letterman all week and they are tearing it up. Talk to ya next week.

I'm really over hearing about how wonderful Coach is puke
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:51 pm

Wow...this goes beyond a man crush.... Jaw dropper

"I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee"~Joe DiMaggio
"Don't hate the black, don't hate the white, when you get bitten, hate the bite"~Sly Stone
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:45 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins': episode 5
Mar 13, 2009, 06:04 AM | by Jeff Probst

Okay, I'm done talking about Coach. For now anyway, let's turn our attention to Stephen and one of my favorite quotes of this episode:

Ext. Camp – Day
Stephen scratches the back of Taj.

Stephen: "I've never brought such pleasure to a woman before."

Did this comment catch anyone's ear? I have a few explanations for this comment:
a. Stephen is gay, not that there's anything wrong with that
b. Stephen is straight but has limited experience with women
c. Stephen is going for broke and playing this game full on

I vote for C. I think Stephen is one of the most sophisticated and subtle players in the game. He is letting people believe that he's the quiet, "one beat behind" city kid just happy to not have bugs crawling up his arse. Who knows, he may be gay and/or he may have limited experience with women, but that is irrelevant. This guy could go deep.

Word on the street: People like Taj and I can see why. She's coming across as a likable, hard working, and industrious player. But boy did she make a potential million- dollar mistake when she gave the idol to Stephen.

Let me answer your question before you ask it...Stephen is absolutely correct that at this moment, the idol belongs to him. Case closed.

INSIGHT: Within the rules of Survivor, Taj has absolutely zero claim to the idol. If you give the idol to someone for "safe keeping" you better trust them because the person who possesses it owns it. Period. The only exception is theft –you cannot steal the idol from someone.

So the moment Taj handed that idol to Stephen she gave away the single most powerful thing in the game and trust me, Stephen is aware of this stroke of luck. Even if she had put conditions on it, such as "you have to give it to me if I need it" – doesn't matter. Remember Dreams and Yau-Man and the car negotiation for a vote that never materialized. Same thing. A Survivor agreement is only as good as the word of the person on the other end of the negotiation.

Man, oh man I love how easily Sierra can improv a lie...on the spot. She asked Deb for the most valuable information, "is everyone with you?" Deb's response gave Sierra an open door to talk freely with Brendan. What's wrong with you people?!! Have you not watched Survivor before? You don't leave people alone to strategize. It's like watching a horror movie when the sexy woman goes back in the house and you yell at the screen, "Haven't you watched horror movies!!!? You never go back in the house!" Dumb. Just plain dumb.

Drumroll please...not only is this my favorite quote from this episode, it tops anything Coach has said thus far:

Ext. Charmin Café – Day
The tribe enjoys their coffee and pastries. J.T. gets up to stretch and finds a collection of envelopes sitting in a hammock. Excitement breaks out as the Survivors scream to one another:
Sydney: Oh cool, what is it!!!?
J.T.: I don't know what it is.
Joe: Is it a menu?
Taj: Is it a gift certificate?!!!

"Is it a gift certificate?" "Is certificate." When I saw the first cut of this episode I must have watched that moment twenty times and I giggled myself silly every single time. Yeah Taj, it's a Survivor gift certificate. Good for use at your local Survivor store where you can buy anything your imagination can dream up! It's only good for one year so be sure to use it soon. Restrictions apply, consult the back of your gift certificate for full details.

There's nothing wrong with Taj's comment. It wasn't mean. It didn't hurt anyone. She wasn't being selfish. What I find so fascinating about Taj's comment is what it reveals. Nestled there in the jungle with her coffee and donut, Taj felt safe enough to let her guard down just for a moment and in doing so revealed so much about her life back home. Clearly, Taj loves her gift certificates and when that is the first thought that comes to your mind you obviously get them quite often. Evidently Eddie is very good to Taj.

And while we're at it, let me just address those of you who will write something along the lines of "how can these idiots get so emotional over a damn letter from home? It's not like they've been gone that long anyway."

Well the logical answer to that question goes like this: If a "thing," any "thing," continues to happen season after season, from one group of Survivors to another then there is probably something to it. Kinda like when you water a plant and it always seems to grow. Okay, that analogy sucked, but you guys know my analogies suck and you get what I'm saying anyway. Moving on.

I know I said I wouldn't talk about Coach but I have to address his ability to predict the weather. It was shaman-like. Spooky. Dude is gifted. Touched. In the head perhaps, but touched.

J.T. was an animal in the reward challenge. He nearly singlehandedly won that challenge for Jalapao. He just needed a little bit of support from anyone else on his tribe but he didn't get it.

Now to the tooth issue. Here's what happened: He didn't lose his entire tooth. He only lost half of his tooth. Not so bad, right? It was as if you shaved the top layer off, so he still had a tooth in his gum, it was just half as thick as normal. J.T. is one tough dude. J.T. reminds me how tough I'm not. I'm not sure where it all went wrong....I was born in Kansas, that's "tough guy" country, but damnit, if I lost half a tooth I would have milked that like a Holstein.

INSIGHT: After the challenge, you saw me give J.T. the tooth. He then took it back to camp but decided he didn't want it. Had no use for it. Didn't care that the rest of his tooth might fall out. "I'm a cowboy. I don't need my teeth anyway. " Okay he didn't actually say that but he might as well have. He gave it to medical and they gave it back to me and I now have it in my house. It's in a plastic bag and I will bring it with me to the live show in case he's changed his mind. Otherwise I will sell it to the highest bidder, so start saving your pennies.

Taj – I like seeing Taj get mad for no other reason than I just enjoy it. She's fun when she's mad. Was it a good move? Absolutely not. Fun to watch? Oh yeah. You know that woman can go off on people!! I would not want to be on the other end of Taj getting mad, like say, for instance, if you forgot to give her a gift certificate or something.

Finally – Spencer. I dig Spencer. I like how he carried himself in the game. He was much younger than most everyone else in this game, he was a huge Survivor fan, and he was endlessly enthusiastic. Maybe that's what did him in. I wish he had lasted longer because I know how badly he wanted to play this game.

INSIGHT: Spencer was an alternate this season. We don't even usually bring alternates, but this season our casting director, Lynne Spillman, just had a hunch we might need one so she insisted we bring Spencer, "just in case." It was the night before we were set to begin and it didn't look good for Spencer making the show. He was really bummed. We tried to keep his spirits up by reminding him that there was still a chance that he could be a part of next season.

Then in a strange Survivor twist of fate, one of our contestants did not pass the mandatory final physical exam. He would be unable to participate and we had an opening. Dave Burris (Exec Producer) Dr. Liza, (show psychologist) and I went over to share the news with Spencer. We decided to have a little fun with him knowing that ultimately we had good news to present. We pulled him aside from everyone else and with very sad faces said, "Spencer...about next's not gonna work out." This put an end to the last glimmer of hope Spencer thought he had of being on Survivor. We let the sadness hang for only a moment before continuing, "...because you're on this season!!" He erupted in joy to the point where we had to quiet him down so the other contestants wouldn't hear him and figure out he had been an alternate all along. It was one of the most enjoyable moments in the history of my time on Survivor because he was so excited.

So long Spencer, it was short but hopefully it quenched your Survivor thirst.

OKAY LISTEN UP: Because of NCAA basketball on CBS, our schedule will change a bit over the next 3 weeks. Here it is:

March 19 (next week): We are NOT on at all! (Bummmmer, I know.)

March 25: We are on WEDNESDAY NIGHT with a really cool "never before scenes" special. There are some great scenes that will crack you up, including Coach conducting. It's really good stuff. I know a lot of you guys hate this episode so we worked especially hard to make it rock! One of our best producers Daren sweated night and day for weeks to find stuff worthy of your time. Give it a shot if you're around.

Thursday, April 2: WE ARE BACK! I've just seen the episode. It's fantastic. You're gonna love the rest of this season.

Later dudes.

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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:48 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (episode 6)
Apr 3, 2009, 08:59 AM | by Jeff Probst

Okay, first let me address Survivor not being on the air during the NCAA Basketball tournament. On behalf of our entire crew I'd like to say…"We hate being interrupted!! We feel your pain. We have absolutely no say. It's a network decision and college hoops are big business, so that's that.

Moving on….

I'm gonna start with Coach. Tonight Coach got to me. Coach has a hard time accepting any kind of blame yet he is always the first to blame others. Tonight, had I been on his tribe, Coach would have irritated me to the point of me saying something that I would no doubt later regret.

Like, "Coach, shut up." Or, "Coach, kiss my ass." Or some other unprintable but quite colorful fifth-grade schoolyard verbal laceration.

Coach is also a martyr. Whoa, I thought my mom had that market cornered. Move over Barbara, Coach wants the throne. When they lose half a pot of their beans, it's a big damn deal. There isn't a craft services counter just around the corner with Red Vines and donuts. But Coach can't just say, "my bad" and get on with it. When Coach says he'll take full blame he doesn't mean it for one second.

Nonetheless, Coach once again wins the quote of the night:

Coach: "I probably won't make a second pot…for my beans."

I know many of you hate that I love Coach, but you gotta admit that was a funny line. And hey, for at least one week maybe we can all come together and hate Coach equally. Okay, I'm done with that.

Brendan is now my pick as the smartest player left in the game. Brendan is one smart dude. Brendan could win. Brendan's fate will come down to how he fares with Coach 'cause Coach wants him gone. Beware granola boy…the Dragon Slayer lurks….

Tyson is also a very smart player. He's trying to hover in the middle and stay out of the way. It's a good overall strategy but not for him. He's too much of a threat. He needs to make a big move very soon and try to take this game over or he'll get his throat cut.

J.T. is smart and certainly playing a very different game under the heading of "good ole country boy" but he almost blew it tonight. Voting out Taj would have been a huge mistake. You do not vote out someone from your alliance this early in the game. I now have to knock him down a couple of pegs. That was almost a fatal mistake.

Stephen is right there too, playing his own version of "Who me? I'm just happy to be here." The jury is still out on exactly how shrewd he is, but one thing is clear…Stephen is a lousy liar. That conversation with J.T. about the immunity idol was uncomfortable to watch.

Taj is second tier smart. I know that reading this will irritate her but it's how I feel. She's very good, but she will only win if the others destroy themselves. And Taj, are you out of your mind giving up the idol? Of course you are. You are out of your mind woman. I am 99% certain that your man Eddie George was on the couch tonight saying, "You did what, baby?!!" That was a big time mistake and you better find a way to get that idol back A.S.A.P., 'cause your alliance partners are just dumb enough to vote you out.

In case you were wondering, yes, those pigs were ceramic and yes, they hurt when you caught them.

Damn, Joe's knee. Whoa. That is ugly. Could anyone still doubt this game is for real? Just look at that little tiny nick and how bad it has gotten in just 72 hours. Joe is a hurtin' dude right now. I felt for him so much that it made it hard to laugh when he found the fake idol. I really like Joe. Joe likes Sydney. Sydney has a boyfriend. Joe has a bad knee and a fake idol and likes a girl who has a boyfriend. Joe is in trouble. He's on the outside of the alliance that he should be a part of. Poor Joe.

INSIGHT: At the end of the waterfall reward, you see a very big shot from high above looking down on the Survivors swimming in the water. That shot comes from our helicopter, which is standing by, ready for action 24/7. When a producer needs a shot, they call the chopper crew. Our helicopter cameraman, Mark Hyrma, and the helicopter pilot are up and spinning within 10 minutes. They communicate via walkie-talkie and within 20 minutes they have the shot and are heading back to base camp. This is a major luxury. It comes from Mark Burnett insisting from day one that this show have an epic look. The helicopter shot is a staple of Survivor and one of the many reasons the show looks so good season after season.

PERSONAL SHARING: Last weekend, I had dinner with Mark Burnett and his beautiful wife, Roma Downey. They invited some people over to their house and it was quite nice. Okay, reallllly nice. I mean the dude is quite successful, and Roma… anybody remember Touched By An Angel? Yeah, it was a little hit show that she starred in for over a decade, so they're doing fine and what's really cool is that they are good people. They're fun to be around. They know how to throw a dinner party. In fact, they throw such a good dinner party that they even hired some musical entertainment for the night. But here's the best part…they hired a piano player and singer named Mike Darnell to entertain us all. Now to most of you that name might not mean anything, but to Hollywood industry folks, Mike Darnell is a HUGE name. Darnell runs FOX reality. He's the network head of American Idol and every other reality show on Fox. Talk about successful. Darnell is a major player in the entertainment world…and here he is playing piano at Burnett's for tips. He said he just really enjoys entertaining people, but I wonder if maybe he lost a bet or something. I can't tell you who else was there, but suffice it to say that I was the answer to the question, "Who in this room does not belong?" Oh, I almost forgot one last part to the story – I wrote this part of the story on Wednesday.

Okay, back to Survivor. Joe is a major flirt. First Sydney, now Erinn, and Erinn likes it. Did you see that hug on Exile? If there wasn't a camera, I think that hug had a chance to become a bit more intimate. Am I reading into it? What do you think?

NOTE TO ALL FUTURE SURVIVOR CONTESTANTS: We LOVE fake idols. We "decorate" your camps and tree mails in a way that there are always plenty of "items" you can use to get creative. So do it. It's so enjoyable to see somebody think they have the real idol when we all know they don't.

Finally we come to Tribal Council – you knew it was only a matter of time. Sydney is this season's beautiful blonde who no one will remember by the end of the show. I'm sorry, Sydney, just being honest. She was destined to leave early. I'm not sure why but it always goes this way; the beautiful blonde always leaves too soon. We loved having you on the show and our crew HATED seeing you leave, but let's face it, you never really had a shot at winning so it's just as well before the bugs did too much damage.

I'm done. Talk next week everyone.
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:28 pm

Um, I WILL indeed remember Sydney at the end of the show thank you very much.
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:46 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (episode 7)
Apr 10, 2009, 07:47 AM | by Pop Watch

I have to say, I really enjoyed tonight's episode. It was very different from your typical Survivor episode and maybe that's what I liked about it. I don't always like an episode dominated by strategy talk but tonight was an exception. Tonight, I loved the dizzying amount of strategizing.

There are so many alliances going on that for the first time in 18 seasons I am delightfully confused. I can barely keep track of them all. It doesn't take a very smart 5th grader to tell there are going to be a lot of blindsides coming up in the next few weeks. It's almost guaranteed with this many alliances, not all of them can hold up. Betrayal is coming. To win this season of Survivor you are going to have to play a fantastic mental game from here on out.

If you let your guard down for one moment or trust that anybody is telling you the truth, your odds for being out skyrocket.

Which brings me to Coach. He is one of the most naïve dragon slayers I've ever met. He took JT's handshake and promise of loyalty straight up without a chaser, no ice, just down the hatch. If he didn't have all the tattoos I would seriously wonder if Coach was a real dragon slayer. All the dragon slayers I've met are notoriously lacking in the trust department. It is part of the dragon slayer training. Even Wikipedia has a pretty extensive manual on dragon slaying and the third rule is "trust no one, slay every one."

Speaking of Coach's tattoos, they all look very new. The ink is very bright and colorful. I would think given all of his adventures and death defying escapades that the ink would be a bit faded if for no other reason than all of the wear and tear. QUESTION: Is it possible that he actually got most of the tats in anticipation of Survivor? I bet at least two of them are within the last six months. I'm giving 5-1 odds.

By the way - so many people got upset last week because I said Taj was 'second tier' smart. It had nothing to do with her being a woman, it had to do with the way she is playing the game. I think she is playing a bit passive and that's just my take. Remember, I'm just a reality show host,.. and yes, I get paid either way.

While I'm at it, let me share for those of you who don't read the comments that people make in response to this blog that last weeks collection of responses was the most negative ever! Record setting in veracity and volume. I actually printed out all of the comments and posted them on my refrigerator… and my oven...and my kitchen table...and then I moved to the living room...and finally the downstairs bedroom. The rest of them I took to the local recycling plant, which refused them due to excess weight.

PERSONAL INSIGHT: I hated the stupid "flashes of lightning" we added to Coach's meditative stretching at the top of the show. I don't like any of those cheap effects but clearly I was outvoted this time.

Anybody else wonder how JT still has a belly? I think it's getting bigger, too. Is that from the merge feast? That kid must have eaten a lot. It doesn't take a huge imagination to imagine JT at about 65 years old. Same ole swagger, bit of a grin as he sips on his third beer. He could easily be a sheriff of a small town. Or that guy who everybody knows because he can fix anything. He's the somewhat surly old man who doesn't say much, mostly just nods, which makes him even more mysterious, but when he does talk, the townspeople, they listen.

It's the same on Survivor. People seem to listen to JT. Dunno why exactly but he has an easy way about him and that charm is working very well. People who get other people to listen to them do very well in this game.

QUESTION: Why is everybody so turned off by Brendan? Are they jealous or just threatened? I like Brendan. I can see that he's a threat but everybody seems to have a lot of animosity toward him. I really don't get it.

Tyson is a blast to watch and I love his witty commentary… but Tyson hates everybody. I am so curious what is driving his hatred of Sierra. Doesn't he know, Sierra could end up married to a Survivor producer and then if there's another all-star season and Tyson is on it, he might have to deal with a producer who married Sierra and that could make him feel bad, requiring therapy and possibly acupuncture? Doesn't he think about stuff like that? Who doesn't think about stuff like that? It could happen.

I loved the immunity challenge. For my money, this is the perfect type of Survivor challenge. Very simple in concept but very difficult to execute. Hang on for as long as you can until you have to let go at which point prepare to lose most of your skin.

The best/worst moment of the night had to be Sierra sliding down the post. I still cringe thinking about how much skin scraped off as she caught every part of that pole on her way down. Sierra is a model and I'm guessing her day rate will be greatly diminished as a result of that challenge.

In case you are wondering, my reactions to those things are not fake, we don't come back and shoot them later – I really do make that kind of ridiculous face when I see things like that happen. Biggest drag of the night – losing Joe to an injury. You could tell from his reaction that Joe was in some serious pain. I can tell you from his comments to me after the docs gave him the news that he did not want to leave. He was very disappointed.

INSIGHT: Our medical team checks on the Survivors throughout the course of the show so it was not unusual for them to take a look at Joe. The rules of Survivor are very clear regarding injuries. You can stay in the game as long as you like, unless our doctors decide that an injury is life threatening, at which point our doctors can pull you from the game whether you want to go or not. That is what happened to Joe. Joe did not want to leave, we did not want Joe to leave. The doctors insisted he leave. There was nothing we could do about it. Just like when they took out Penner and James in Fans Vs. Favorites. The doctors have a big voice on Survivor when it comes to the health of the contestants and for good reason. We are in the middle of nowhere and if someone gets in trouble it is not a quick trip around the block to the nearest hospital. In Tocantins, we were several hours by car and nearly two hours by helicopter from the nearest hospital. They looked at his leg and decided the infection was too risky. He was evacuated and taken to hospital and he is doing fine. We have an amazing medical team. They not only take care of the Survivors but also our crew of over 400.

Last word of the night goes to Serena who absolutely hates Stephen. She thinks he is a "three-faced, lying, manipulative, scheming, back-stabber, follower!" To further quote Serena, "He probably started liking the Lakers when Shaq and Kobe won their three rings together." Clearly Serena likes her hoops as well. This is an assessment I agree with completely (except for the follower part) and is further evidence of why I refer to him as a very smart player, definitely first tier.


--Jeff Probst
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:18 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (episode 8)
Apr 17, 2009, 08:36 AM | by Jeff Probst

Okay, truth're starting to love Coach a little bit, right? If not, you are gonna hate this blog, because this blog is dedicated to Coach.

I've hosted Survivor for 18 seasons, and up until now there has only been one person I thought might be worthy of their own show and that was Boston Rob. That is, up until now.

I am seriously considering a show called The Dragon Slayer. It's about a guy who lives in a world that exists solely in his own mind, and thus is invisible to the outside world. While it is the year 2009, the Dragon Slayer dresses like he's just returned from one of those Renaissance fairs where he's just finished eating a turkey leg the size of a small dog. We'll simply follow his daily life, where every time he leaves his home offers the potential for a life changing, near-death, journey. Every episode concludes with his signature line:

Coach: "Hence my name, the dragon slayer."

Most shows suffer from running out of ideas. That will never happen on The Dragon Slayer, not with comments like this:

Coach: "I want you guys to know there are three people in the world that know this story."

Okay, that is a total lie. Coach told all of us producers this same story during casting and I've probably told three or four other people cause come on, it's a good story. They've told people, who've told other people, cause again, it really is a good story. I'd argue that after tonight's episode, seen in over a hundred countries, that Coach's story of being beaten by indigenous people in the Amazon will soon surpass Susan Boyle in popularity. Don't know who Susan Boyle is? Stop reading this blog and go to YouTube.

Back to my new show, The Dragon Slayer. Another reason Coach deserves his own show is because he has principles. For instance, in one episode, National Geographic wants to come along with Coach as he kayaks down the Amazon, but he says no.

Coach: "I'm doing this alone."

That is a true Dragon Slayer. You do it not for the glory, but because it is there.

Say no to Nat Geo, but a resounding YES to Survivor. The man knows his demographic.

At this point in the pitch, I'm just gonna give you some topics for future episodes, snippets of dialogue you'll hear in the show:

Brendan: "How'd you afford a military chopper?"
Coach: "That I got for free."
Brendan: "How'd you do that?"
Coach: "I pulled some strings."

Coach: "Be the wizard, Stephen, be the wizard."

EPISODE 8 - YOU WON'T FIND IT (this will be our Emmy submission)
Coach: "If you do a Google search you won't find it; it's only passed down verbally."

Okay, now if you tell me you do not appreciate the brilliance of that line and the man who uttered it, I challenge you and say you are a LIAR. Furthermore, I'll give 20-1 odds that tonight, (Friday) you'll be home alone with microwave popcorn and some ridiculous Jim Carrey movie.

What a brilliant line. Maybe the single most brilliant line this season. That one sentence can literally get you out of any jam. "If you Google it, you won't find it, it's only (fill in the blank) verbally."

Coach is a genius.

The writing that comes out of Coach's mouth is so good that I am honestly intimidated. If Hollywood could write at this level consistently, there would be no need for anyone to ever strike because everybody would be working!

Brendan: We're throwing underhand breaking tiles and none of us have ever done us before.
Coach: "I have."

I throw my hands up. I cannot keep up. You get the idea. And yes, in case you're wondering, my lawyer has assured me that this blog constitutes ownership of the idea, the name of the show, and of Coach himself.

Okay, okay a few other things:

From what I can tell from my position as host, being on Exile Island with somebody is bad enough, being out there alone is miserable. An hour feels like a month. A bit of rain can get you so cold you truly believe you will freeze to death, never to awake again.

Stephen was completely out of his element and over his head on Exile and to his credit, he hung in there and he did it. He made fire. Making fire is never as easy as you think it is. I'm impressed.

Tyson — the dude is dangerous. A major physical threat. Also one of the best spontaneous lines of the night:

Tyson: (Regarding voting out Sierra) "It probably won't win me her vote...(long pause) but it might win me everybody else's vote!" I love Tyson. He cracks me up. I definitely think that Tyson should show up as a nemesis in the third episode of my new show, but he and Dragon Slayer eventually become friends. But what Coach doesn't know is that Tyson one day plans to slay him and steal the Dragon Slayer crown.

J.T.: "I'd come back with a damn 30-30 Winchester." Okay, look, I will admit that I am not a big gun enthusiast so it probably won't surprise anyone that J.T.'s comment about how he'd handle those damn Amazonian people who captured Coach made me more than a bit uncomfortable. I'm telling you, J.T. would make a great small town Sheriff.

Okay, let's get to Tribal Council and the star of my new show, The Dragon Slayer.

Coach: "Brendan's the dragon. I'm the Dragon Slayer."

Brendan: "He's kinda like a snake — don't bother him and he won't bother you."

Ah Brendan, such a good strategy. Unfortunately you bothered him and he bit you.

In one of the biggest surprises of the season, Coach defeats Brendan. The Dragon Slayer slays the Dragon.

Poor Brendan. Sitting on that idol... he never saw it coming. Blindside #4. That one hurt. Hated to see Brendan go as he seems like a guy you'd have a beer with.

But as much as I like Brendan, I'll admit, if given the choice of keeping the dragon or the Dragon Slayer – you know my vote. Long live the Dragon Slayer!!!

Please keep the Dragon Slayer all the way to the end. Please let him plead his case to the jury.

Two last things:
1. Coach can never write his own dialogue in my new show, The Dragon Slayer, and here's an example of why:

Coach: "Who really was the chosen one? It's gonna be Coach Wade."

Wait...What? Coach Wade? Coach Wade? What happened to my Dragon Slayer? Coach fell out of character. For one moment he remembered who he really was, "Coach Wade" and it totally blew the whole image thing.

"Coach Wade" does NOT work. It doesn't ring and it doesn't conjure up cool images of things being "slayed" either. It actually makes me imagine an overweight, former athlete turned insurance salesman living in Tulsa. Nothing sexy about that. Nothing. Sorry, but I've been to Tulsa.

That line should read:

"Who really was the chosen one? The Dragon Slayer."

And the last thing...and the best part of my new TV show, The Dragon Slayer, Coach has an Achilles heel, he'll cut his nose off to spite his face. Coach, you may have defeated Brendan, but in my opinion you and the former Timbira tribe made a terrible decision tonight. Voting out Brendan made no sense at all. You should have taken out J.T.

Okay, it's late. I'm done.
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:11 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:13 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (episode 9)
Apr 24, 2009, 07:58 AM | by Jeff Probst

Hey all,

How good was that episode?! On a scale of 1-10, I'd love your feedback. I honestly think it's one of the best Survivor episodes ever, for the following reasons:

1. LOVED IT: The opening shot of Coach standing in the water doing his various poses — not because it's Coach but because if you really go back and look at the shot it's absolutely amazing. Our helicopter team is so good. That shot is really beautiful as it spins around him and then pulls away. It's movie good. Bet you didn't even notice it – it was that good. Go back and check.

2. HATED IT: Okay, I've had just about enough of Sierra having to plead for her life with everybody else. Coach, Tyson, Debbie – everybody lecturing her. The ''older folk'' are working the young girl over and now Sierra is my new favorite underdog.

Sierra, tell them to shut it. It's easy to do. Just say, ''Shut it.''

Even Serena is really pissed. She is mad that Sierra has never been given a fair shot. From day one, when she was sick and ousted from the tribe, she has been working hard to earn their approval. Serena is angry. Very angry. I like it when Serena gets angry.

BTW: Tyson, you're wrong – her boyfriend IS pretty cool. Mess with him, you mess with me and you don't want to mess with me. Okay, check that, maybe you do want to mess with me, so I'm just asking, please don't mess with me.

3. TENDER MOMENT: Coach has a heart. He extends an olive branch to the young female Dragon Slayer in the making, Sierra. She needs a better Dragon Slayer name though – how about Sierra-Mota. Has a certain ring, I think.

And Sierra with a beautiful line: ''How do you save the kind enemy?'' I know for many of you this just passes by without appreciation, but as a veteran of this reality world, I'm telling you this kind of writing is rare air.

Serena says, ''It's like we're in the Twilight zone. None of this makes any sense.''

4. WEATHER ORGASM: Oh, you know I love the rain. Love it. Love it. Love it. If there is such thing as a ''reality show host program orgasm'' this is it for me. Go ahead, make all the pithy comments you want. I encourage them all because I own it — I love the rain.

But to have rain...mixed along with hot pizza and a huge dilemma for the contestants... you have a Survivor episode worthy of an Emmy. And an orgasm worthy of it's own blog.

Are you reading this Emmy voters? I challenge you to watch this episode and then tell me this show is not worthy of an Emmy nomination. I'm not positioning, I'm merely preaching the gospel. Where's the love? Let us back in the game for crying out loud.

5. POSER ALERT: Coach, you're such a poser! The ''dragon slayer'' who wants to change the game and play against the best, doesn't think twice about opting for pizza over immunity? I expected better.

Coach's ''I'm hungry'' move just about did Serena in for the night. ''These three guys (Coach, Stephen, JT) think they are king of the world and it pisses me off.''

Okay I'm not that mad, that's what happens in this game. It's what is supposed to happen in the game. That's how it's designed. You think you're in control so you take a chance. Stephen and JT clearly feel they are very safe in this game. That kind of cockiness is fun to watch but it can backfire quickly, so heads up country mouse and city slicker – watch your backs.

6. WRITE THIS DOWN: ''It would be (bleeping) stupid if we made an alliance, gave it a name, bandied the name about, talked about ourselves being warriors and then chickened out at the last second.'' Oh man, that made me laugh so hard I had to play it back again and again so I could get it exactly right when I added it to the blog. Coach you may be a poser, but are a classic, dude.

7. CAN YOU SAY BLINDSIDE?: Tyson, I am going to miss you so much. Man, you were a blast. People will miss you way more than they realize. But dude, what a great blindside, eh? I mean they kicked your ass. Zero idea. Great hair at tribal council, by the way.

FINAL WORDS: I know this season has been a slow burn...but I hope you're starting to enjoy it as much as I hoped you would. Like I said, tonight was hands down my favorite episode of the season and one of my favorites of all time.
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri May 01, 2009 11:13 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (episode 10)
May 1, 2009, 08:50 AM | by Jeff Probst

Let me begin by admitting that I blew it big time on my last blog. As much as I enjoyed everything I wrote...and I did…I completely overlooked one of the greatest blindsides in the history of Survivor.

Tyson's blindside was brilliant, and I can tell from the word on the street that you guys loved it! So I had to start tonight's blog by giving credit where due – that was a fantastic blindside and I think even Tyson appreciated the execution of it, so to speak.

Okay, onto tonight's episode – J.T. is a great player. The moment they got back to camp, he immediately went to Coach and explained why he didn't tell him which way the vote was going. No matter what else Coach may think, he will forever appreciate J.T.'s ''honesty'' and if J.T. is in the final and Coach is not, J.T. probably gets Coach's vote. That's how important the social politics are in this game. You have to manage every single person every single moment of every single day.

Debbie, Debbie, Debbie... she is a sly one. I wonder if anybody is buying it? I wouldn't let Debbie last much longer if I had my way because she is too likable, completely untrustworthy, and if she gets to the end she'd have a great shot at winning.

How in the heck did Timbira let themselves get into the situation you ask? It's why this game is so damn good. No matter how strong your alliance is, there is ALWAYS somebody on the bottom of that alliance and that person is ALWAYS looking to move up.

Erinn knew she was low person on the Timbira totem pole. She was vulnerable. Jalapao sensed it and took advantage. It doesn't matter if you watch every episode of every season and then get a chance to play Survivor yourself – you stand the same chance of making the same mistakes because this game is based on human nature.

Erinn didn't betray anybody, Erinn is playing the game. She made the best move for herself in this game and it kept her alive. That's why this game works season after season. There is no ''foolproof game plan'' that will keep you safe. Hindsight is always 20-20 but in the moment it is a very difficult game.

INSIGHT: Last night's reward challenge - where the tribe members try to guess who was voted ''biggest pain in the ass'' and other things like that - has run its course. I think we need to avoid this challenge for a while because I think what happened this year is that the Survivors had already discussed amongst themselves whose name they were going to write down if this challenge came up. I can't prove it, but that's my guess. I don't think we'll be seeing this one again for a while.

INSIGHT: Erinn had a miserable night on Exile Island. Brutal. In 18 seasons of Survivor, I'd venture that was probably one of the worst nights that anybody has endured. It didn't come across nearly as bad as it was. She definitely earned her Survivor stripes.

Okay, I'll admit it. I had no idea Taj would be this well liked, even by me! When she picked up that little girl at the reward, it reminded me of how special moms are to us all. How important they are to the world and that I need to get on it and order some flowers for Mother's Day!

Taj is also smarter than I realized. She has mastered the art of staying out of the way. The big risk Taj is flirting with is letting Stephen and J.T. get so tight that they're inseparable. What she has going for her is that sooner or later one of those guys is gonna want to take the other out and that could put Taj in a great spot.

(Deep breathe.) Debbie and Coach were so annoying tonight. I am so done with them lecturing Sierra. I kind of expect it from Coach and almost laugh when he does it, but Debbie was irritating. Here's my take: I imagine that Sierra was definitely a pain in the ass and annoyed people but damn, enough is enough. ''Can't we all just get along?''

HYPOCRITE: Coach. Coach. Coach. Dragon Slayer, you know I love you, but dude, you are one major hypocrite. Coach: ''Sierra is gonna do whatever she must to get as far as she can without any honor.'' Honor? Oh for crying out loud. It's a game and YOU are playing it as much as anyone! You lie as much as anyone else, Coach. You do see that, right? Please tell me you are smiling as you read this because you know that I know that you know that we all know that you know! Ya know? Please.

And Debbie, don't think I don't see you hiding there in the brush. Debbie: ''I'm too old for this.'' No, you're not too old. You're just frustrated that a 46-year-old woman got busted by an annoying 23-year-old. We all saw the episode. We all heard what we heard. You and Coach lied. Period. The funny part is all of you are nuts anyway because once again, it's a game! You're supposed to lie, that's part of the fun! ''Who can I trust?'' is the single great question of the game.

MINI ORGASM: More rain. Wasn't very hard but it did make me a little moist. The rain. The rain made me moist. Relax everybody. Please don't waste your time writing to tell me I'm a pervert. I just ignore those posts.

The Dragon Slayer won immunity. Oh man, he is so happy! I love it. Imagine how great a story this will become as it grows over the next 20 years.

Coach: ''And then, it was raining so hard that you literally could not see. Even Jeff said, 'It's raining so hard, I can't see.' But I dug deep and I used my ability to meditate while standing and that allowed me to see through the impenetrable rain. Something only Jedi masters can do.

''Then, I used my telepathic powers to guide the ball through a maze that was so difficult it had never been accomplished by anyone before. Even Jeff said so: 'This challenge is so difficult, no human being has ever accomplished it before!'

''When I finally won, Jeff tried to put the immunity necklace around my neck but due to me bench pressing 350 lb tree trunks earlier in the day my neck was too big for the necklace. That was another first. Even Jeff said as much, 'Wow, I've never seen a neck so big as a result of bench pressing 350 lb tree trunks that I can't get the necklace around. That's impressive.' ''

I'm so happy that I'm gonna be part of a Coach tall tale!

Finally...I will miss Sierra. I'm sure she earned most of the grief people gave her, but I still found her to be a bit of an underdog. That's just how I roll. She certainly made the show interesting. I'm not sure if she's a hero or a villain but she was definitely memorable. Goodnight, Sierra-Moto.

That's all I'm gonna say about this subject. Period. Paragraph. (Yes, that is a Coach-ism. I just couldn't resist.)
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri May 08, 2009 9:15 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (episode 11)
May 8, 2009, 12:39 AM | by Jeff Probst

Jeff: Debbie, how will tonight’s vote change this game?

Debbie: It will change how this tribe behaves, and I do think it will be a surprise:

Well, you were right about that. It was definitely a surprise... Debbie. That was about the only thing Debbie had right last night.

Wow. Timbira, you guys blew it. Brendan, Tyson, Sierra and now Debbie. Incredible. You guys absolutely blew it.

Debbie: “Now’s the time to make a move. I’m playing the game big time.” What?! Debbie, you were about...oh three weeks behind! The game has been playing you and the rest of the Timbira group for weeks now.

You knew it was bad when Debbie went so far as to approach J.T. and Stephen and say “I want to be with you guys.” I guess Debbie just didn’t realize that she had nothing of value to offer J.T. and Stephen. Nothing. Debbie is right, you do have to make a big move to win the game, Debbie just made her big move way too late.

The decimation of the Timbira tribe is one of the reasons this game continues to work. No matter how tight your alliance, there is ALWAYS somebody who is on the bottom of the totem pole and that person is dangerous because they are looking to move up by moving over to the other side. When Erinn turned, so did the game.

At the merge, what odds would you have given that the Jalapao three would even be in the game let alone in a position to be in charge? Granted there are still many things that can happen but Stephen, J.T. and Taj still in this game was something nobody would have predicted.

Crazy. And the best part is that there is no strategy to prevent these things from happening. It’s impossible. If I am the 5th person in a 5 person alliance and by joining 3 others I can become the 4th person, I’ve just moved up one full spot. Of course, I’m gonna make that move. I have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain. The longer you’re in the game the better chance you have at winning. Pretty basic.

PERSONAL SHARING: The Survivor Auction: Okay, let me preface this by giving my usual “if you don’t love love, then skip onto the next section.” For those of you new to these blogs, you should know this about me – for all of my ranting and raving – most of that is just for fun. I love love more than anything else in the world. I am always fighting to do a loved one challenge because I think it is good television and I love the Survivors getting an infusion of the one thing that can inspire them after 30 some days in the middle of nowhere.

It was so fun to be a part of Taj’s reaction at the Auction. We always wonder how things like the message from home will go - will we get the drama we hope for? Will we get big reactions? Will there be tears? With Taj we got it all and then some!

INSIGHT: After the auction was over, there was a bit of a celebration amongst the crew. We had carefully laid out how to play the loved one portion of the auction. The line “see you back at camp” was just subtle enough so as to not completely call attention to itself, but it was strong enough that the longer it lingered the more clear it became: “See-you-back-at-camp. SEE-YOU-BACK-AT-CAMP!” It shouldn’t even be something that the audience notices, but you guys like insight, so this is insight. We work hard to make sure we get the details just right – and when it pays off it’s an incentive for us to continue working hard. This one paid off.

Seeing Taj and her husband Eddie George on Exile Island was a great story. Here’s a guy who makes his living getting beat up playing pro football and yet even he is impressed with his wife and everything she has gone through. By the way, did anybody else notice how easily Eddie made fire? Hmm. Eddie George for season 19?

The other thing I liked about this episode is we had enough time to show you a bit of each Survivor’s relationship with their loved one. It reminds you that they are real people with real lives.

Talk about insight:

J.T.’s sister letting J.T. know that everybody wishes he was back home with the cows.

Erinn’s dad seeing his “girly girl” daughter surviving out in the wild.

Eddie George admitting “something about the wild is a bit of a turn on.”

Come on, this is good stuff. And then before you know it, the loved ones are gone and it’s …

… back to the game.

Debbie, Debbie, Debbie. Sitting around the campfire dictating to J.T., Stephen and Erinn how things need to go – man oh man. I give her credit for trying to strike a deal with an imaginary idol that she doesn’t have promising to give it to J.T. and Stephen if she ever ends up with it. No matter how much you like someone, there is NO WAY you can believe that promise. It just doesn’t happen, not with one million dollars within reach.
NO CHANCE she holds true on that promise. No chance.

INSIGHT: The Immunity Challenge – let me be clear about something. What Stephen did was jaw dropping amazing. We rehearsed that challenge several times. Our smartest guys practiced that challenge. Nobody came close to memorizing the numbers in one pass. Stephen was so far behind, much further than we even had time to show, that I wasn’t even paying attention to him. I thought J.T. had it in the bag. Stephen finally returns and like a mad scientist starts scribbling numbers down as fast as he can. I was checking my cheat sheet, I couldn’t believe he had it right. You can even see me double checking it again after he said he had it. I had to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Our crew was talking about that for a couple of days. Very impressive.

FINAL WORDS: I did something this blog and I hope you all appreciate it. Can you guess what it is that I did?
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri May 08, 2009 3:36 pm

FINAL WORDS: I did something this blog and I hope you all appreciate it. Can you guess what it is that I did?

Did anyone figure out what he meant by this? I think Erika, you may have figured this out without even realizing it. You stated somewhere that Jeff didnt mention Coach in this blog. Could this be it?

"I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee"~Joe DiMaggio
"Don't hate the black, don't hate the white, when you get bitten, hate the bite"~Sly Stone
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri May 08, 2009 4:42 pm

He neglected to Mention Coach Yes..but by mentioning that he still did it anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Fri May 15, 2009 8:50 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (episode 12)
May 15, 2009, 12:22 AM | by Jeff Probst

No sense in burying the lead. It finally happened. You all got your wish....

...Coach is gone.

You’ve been complaining about him for weeks on end. The universal energy you all put out there to get rid of him worked.

Now be honest... are you truly happy? Is life better now?

Or do you think you might miss him just a wee little bit? Be honest.

Listen up 'cause I’m gonna give you a dose of truth that will either having you nodding in agreement or vowing to never watch the show again: Coach was without question the most dynamic character this season. Nobody was even a close second.

Thinking Coach is a great character doesn’t mean I think he’s a great guy. It also doesn’t mean I think he’s a punk. My personal feelings about Coach are irrelevant; I’m only talking from a show point of view. He was, in the words of Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, “money.” Absolute money.

Love him or hate him, Coach provided more memorable moments than anybody on the show in years. He is an absolute must if we ever do another all-stars and if you saw him on the street you wouldn’t be able to help yourself. You’d approach him so fast you’d lose your shoes.

Let’s review his farewell episode, shall we?

Just when you thought Coach couldn’t provide any more fantastic moments...Coach gets sent to Exile Island.

The exchange between Coach and Erinn was one of the best of the season. Upon watching the episode and seeing what Coach said in interview and to J.T. (which I am not privy to during the show) I actually do not think Coach was trying to upstage Erinn. I think Coach was worried about making fire and living on his own. I think he was worried that he might look bad and so decided to avoid doing anything at all and instead turn it into a positive “choice.”

Coach’s speech on Exile Island will go down as one of the most fantastic in the history of our show. Coach Wade talking about himself in the third person was so good I am speechless. I cannot express how much I enjoyed it. Absolutely brilliant.

ADVICE: Young actors in Hollywood, take the Coach Wade monologue and use it as your audition piece for any and every thing. Wanna get an agent? Lay that on them. Wanna book that commercial? Give them a yuppie version of Coach Wade. Wanna meet Spielberg? Get to work on Coach Wade and it just may happen. You can’t go wrong with Coach Wade.

You guys think I’m putting you on. I really do think you could do a show with Coach Wade. Word for word, moment for moment, Coach Wade is one of the most entertaining guys on television today.

I’m surprised CBS hasn’t already signed him to his own show. “Weekends With Coach Wade.” Or of course the more dramatic, “By day he’s a former soccer coach and part time conductor. On the weekends he is ‘The Dragon Slayer.” No need for writers or actors. It’s all about Coach and his life and it’s all there.

Yes, I am serious. I miss Coach.

The immunity challenge couldn’t have been much better. Talk about a classic Survivor challenge. Unreal. Love it. It was so good I am laughing as I am writing this – sheer joy. It started with Coach’s long walk in from Exile and the insincere hug from Stephen. Ah, this game can be so brutal.

The challenge itself was really good. I love challenges that are simple in concept but demanding in execution. That challenge was definitely demanding. Very hard on your feet. I tried it myself. It hurts. A lot. It was a very hot day as well.

But Coach’s dramatic fall from grace was one of the most memorable performances ever. If there are any award shows honoring reality stars, Coach has to be nominated and he is a shoo-in to win. Name anybody on any reality show this year that has been more compelling than Coach? Nobody, I tell you, nobody! Long Live Coach Wade!

And like any Emmy-worthy episode of Survivor, it ended with what else...a poem from Coach Wade. In case you missed it:

With friend and foe we march to the battle plain
Some to seek success others to seek fame
We play with honor for the love of this game
And with armor or without we will toil in vain
So that someday someone somewhere will remember our name.

Coach, I assure you, nobody will ever forget your name. You left your mark on Survivor. I hope it is not the last we see of you.

Okay, so where are we now? Our final four:

J.T. – If he gets to the final two he probably wins...unless he goes up against...

TAJ – This would be quite a show down. Two of the most well liked people in the game.

STEPHEN – Best bet is to go up against Erinn, who he could probably beat.

ERINN – A long shot due to her betrayal – hard for her to get votes from the former Timbira members on the jury. Might be smart to take her all the way to the end.

You know how this works...Sunday May 17, 8-10 p.m. our final 2 hour episode. 10-11pm the live reunion show. If you’re in the central time zone it’s one hour earlier across the board.

I hope you enjoy it. As always it’s been a pleasure chatting each week. Thanks for all your feedback, positive... and negative! I wouldn’t want it any other way!
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PostSubject: Re: Probst bloggin' for Tocantins   Thu May 21, 2009 12:05 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (the Finale!)

Okay guys...

Well, I am sorry this is so late, but better late than never...right?

This one will be short and sweet and not all that clever -- just the facts ma'am. (Name that show....)

As far as the outcome of the show, I was not surprised. Having sat in on the final tribal council it seemed pretty clear at the time that JT would win. I didn't expect it would be a total sweep but I think Stephen did himself in when he admitted he wouldn't have taken JT to the end. Stephen would have been foolish to take JT if given the choice. JT knew that and it poured the "pretend shock and hurt" on thick trying to garner jury votes. It worked.

Final Tribal Councils are quite tricky because the jury is almost always very upset that they are not in the final and so they are looking to get the last word in edgewise. Stephen was a sitting duck next to JT.

No, I don't feel sorry for Stephen. He played a very good game, but JT deserved to win. In fact, I'd go further and say that JT is one of the best overall players ever to play Survivor. He has it all and he has to come back if there is ever another All-Star season.

How fun was it to see a winner embrace his family with such affection. JT certainly seems to come from a good family. I'm happy for him. I'll bet his work life back home undergoes a significant change. The world he's in is very competitive and now that he's "JT from Survivor" something tells me he is going to have a few more doors opened. I hope so, seems like a genuine guy.

The Live Reunion Show was much better than I anticipated. I actually prepared myself for a rather ho-hum live show. Fortunately from the moment we began, with tears from JT until the very end with me accepting a dare from Regis and Kelly to wear a mystery necklace (which is now up for auction) the entire show was very fun.

Coach, was of course one of the highlights with his surprise lie detector test results. In case you are wondering -- yes I was COMPLETELY caught off guard. I am going to have to do a better job in the future of making sure Survivors understand that if you have something you want to do on our "LIVE" Reunion show, you have to run it past me first. That could have been a disaster. Live shows are tightly timed and the censors are quick to pull the plug if they sense something going south. Fortunately Coach did a great job and he went out the same way he came in -- with major fanfare.

Do I believe the test? Sure. I have no reason not to believe it. I think it's fascinating that we immediately assume he is lying. That's why I suggested the lie detector test in the first place. I wasn't there for the test and no, I am not going to call the guy who administered the test to check up on it because ultimately it's irrelevant to me. Whether or not Coach is telling the truth was never all that important to me, I just found him to be a fascinating guy.

After meeting his "lady friend" I find him even more interesting. How the heck did Coach score an accomplished, beautiful and well-spoken woman? Who would have guessed that?! Good for you, Coach!

And let's be fair -- his "lady friend' had the line of the night when she said, "I slay the dragon slayer!"

I thought Sierra did herself proud and I was blown away that she was in the top 3 for the Sprint Player of the Season award.

Eddie George was a nice highlight as well. Judging by the way he started fire so easily, he would be great to have on the show, I wonder if he'd be up for it?

There is always a dilemma for me when it comes to the "back row." The "back row" refers to those folks who for whatever reason were voted off early in the show. This season it was Catalina, Candace, Sandy, Joe, Jerry, Spencer, Sydney. They typically don't have much to contribute simply because they weren't there long enough. I always have the desire and the intention to give them a "moment" but I always wonder if I am sacrificing something more entertaining in the process. Always a tough call for me. It may not always be the case, but to date I have always talked to every single Survivor at the live show. Not sure that's worth anything but just sharing.

Okay -- three last notes:

1. If you want to own a piece of Survivor and benefit my charity, The Serpentine Project, at the same time -- you can go to eBay where there is a Survivor auction that goes on for a few more days. Torches, urns, tribe flags, even the Regis and Kelly necklace is up for bid.

2. If you're in the market for a Jeff Probst Bobble Head -- yes, that's what I said, a Bobble Head, you're in luck. CBS has made one and they're for sale. Bear in mind, I don't make anything off of this, not one single penny. I just want to let you know it's out there. I'm sure there's a few of you that would like to get one simply so you can smash the head every time I say something you don't like.

3. Finally, Survivor: Samoa should be fun -- I like the group of people we have. But you guys are the ultimate judge, you decide if the season was good or not. I look forward to hearing from you again next season.

Have a good summer!

"I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee"~Joe DiMaggio
"Don't hate the black, don't hate the white, when you get bitten, hate the bite"~Sly Stone
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