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 Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains

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PostSubject: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Feb 12, 2010 8:28 am

Jeff Probst blogs the 'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains' premiere

by Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Survivor-probst_320
We’re baaaaaack… and it feels so good!
Might as well start at the beginning.
Last night’s two-hour premiere was one of our best ever. In fact, it was so good I think CBS should air it again. In the words of our fearless leader Mark Burnett, ”It was epic!”
It started with the kickass marooning where the Survivors landed on the beach courtesy of the Royal New Zealand Air Force and their Huey helicopters.
INSIGHT: We had to get special permission from the New Zealand government to get the use of the Huey’s and the Air Force personnel to fly them. We came to an agreement that allowed the RNZAF to use our rehearsals (without the real Survivors on board) as an opportunity to also practice various mission maneuvers for which they needed a location and situation to conduct them. It was a win-win.
If you watch it again you can see that when we did it for real with the Survivors on board and the Huey’s approaching the beach, it even resembles a mission. Two come in and land, sand flying around. They depart and the other two come in. It’s also worth mentioning that it went off without a hitch. Everybody hit their marks, it was magical.
As a thank you we had the RNZAF personnel rehearse one of our big challenges against our dream team. It was a great day in which I swapped one of my Survivor baseball caps for one of their RNZAF caps.
Moments in, we knew that we had made the right choice to go with the theme of Heroes vs. Villains. You could feel the rivalry even as the two tribes were departing the helicopters. The heroes were puffing their chests with pride, the villains were puffing their chests looking for a fight. The opening Q/A was fascinating. The fact that every villain believes they are a hero speaks to how important perspective is in this game. ”Outwit, outplay, outlast.” It’s an important factor to keep in mind as you watch this game.
There are very few rules in Survivor, the contestants are responsible for determining which qualities to reward and that is where the perspective of having played once before will have a big impact. For instance, if Russell plays the same game he did in Samoa during this season, he has a much better chance of winning because this group of players has a different set of criteria for what it takes to win the game. That is only one of the reasons I believe this season is going to deliver.
We knew we wanted a big, badass challenge right off the bat to let them know this season was going to be physical and demanding. We expected a battle but we didn’t expect it to rise to the physical level it did. Injury count: Dislocated shoulder (Stephenie), broken toe (Rupert – man you should have heard him screaming as the doctors tried to set it), and a topless finish and double ”flip-off.” (Thanks, Sugar.) On top of those injuries, there were lots of bruised up bodies that had been worked over during those digs in the sand.
The Coach/Colby matchup was one of the more anticipated. Colby waltzed through his first Survivor experience in Australia virtually unchallenged. Coach, his opponent, believes he can do anything and beat anybody… and whadaya know, he did. Coach worked Colby. He even had me fooled — I thought Colby was dragging Coach along, turns out Coach was riding Colby to the finish line.
In typical hero fashion, Colby merely nodded at the loss and moved on. It’s early in the game and he didn’t seem too concerned. And if you had any question about why Tyson was invited back, he answered that question with this quip: ”I can only imagine what Colby is thinking… I may as well become a woman because there is no point on trying to maintain my masculinity now.” Ah, it’s one of the nice things about having returning Survivors – they’re great interviews.
I have to tell you, writing this blog is a pleasure because this episode was absolutely fantastic. I challenge you to show the first 20 minutes of this episode to anybody – Survivor fan or not – and have them not want to watch the rest of the premiere and the season.
It was interesting to watch the two very different ways the first moments on their respective beaches played out. The Heroes got to work quickly. Everybody pitching in, their experience really showing. The Hero music was appropriately uplifting and heroic. The Villains ignored shelter and turned immediately to strategy. Russell was back to his bag of tricks, making alliances with everybody. The Villain music was also appropriate: heavy, suspicious and dramatic.
Russell made an interesting comment: ”I’m the best to ever play this game and now I get to prove it.” How do you feel about the idea behind his cocky declaration? Do you believe that the winner of this season will go down as the ”best to ever play?” Or will the winner of this season simply be ”the winner of Heroes vs Villains.” There are so many factors that go into someone winning this game that I often wonder if you can ever truly declare someone the best. I will say that to win this season you will have to play one helluva game. Nobody is going to win by coattailing it. No chance that kind of behavior will be rewarded. Playing an ”under the radar game” is different than riding somebody’s coattails. Please don’t ask me to explain the difference because I’m not sure I can; it’s just a gut feeling that I believe I can spot.
Another fascinating aspect of the first few days is watching the various egos inflate and deflate. We have a lot of true leaders this season and when you’re a leader it’s tough to accept the role of being a follower.
Coach is a perfect example. It is painful for Coach when he tries to be a follower. He’s a good solider but he feels he’s a better General. Boston Rob was playing him for a fool during their ”coconut tree challenge” when he tried to entice him to climb the tree. But I actually think that Boston Rob and Coach could be a good team if they could both get past their egos. Coach still wants it badly and Rob needs some of that in his alliances because after becoming a husband and a father, I’m not sure Rob wants it badly enough. Rob can last a long time based on sheer street smarts but he will need to get his ”Survivor instincts” back quickly if he is to last.
The first immunity challenge was probably more revealing about the tribes than the first reward challenge. The differences in the strength of both tribes was clearly illuminated in this challenge. The Heroes are stronger but their egos get in the way. The Villains work together better. That was the difference in this challenge. Boston Rob and Sandra led the villains to victory by leading them through the puzzle. Period. They’re both scrappy players and scrappy will be the key to winning this season. That doesn’t mean a Hero can’t win, it merely means that in my opinion, by the time this season is over, the idea of what makes up a Hero or Villain will fluctuate quite a bit. ”Outwit, outplay… outlast.”
Okay, without thinking it through – just off the top of my head — here are some overall thoughts about some of the returning Survivors:
Sandra Diaz – I am so glad she is back. I love her lippy way of telling it like it is. Courtney is also surprising me early on. I like how hard she fought in the initial challenge. Cirie is a legit, 100% full-on threat to win this game. Parvati, if given any kind of an opening will worm her way back into a solid alliance. Russell is a no-brainer. Take him out early or risk seeing him in the final again. Tom Westman, so glad he came back for another go. He needs a strong alliance and if he gets it, he will go deep. He’s a very good ”people person.” Rupert, Rupert, Rupert. It’s hard for me to distinguish the Survivor Rupert from the real Rupert. Maybe there isn’t a difference anymore, but I know this… kids still love them some Rupert!
One of the greatest tribal council sets we’ve ever had. Forty feet in the air, a massive build, it is stunning. Our two production designers, Jesse Jensen and Dan Munday, are incredible talents. The fact that we have not lost them to the movie world is a testament to how strong our team is and how much we all enjoy working on this show.
The idea of ”past relationships” came up during Tribal Council and it is going to be a theme this season. If you’re in a Survivor pool, make sure you factor this into your decision of who you think will win. It could go either way – being tied to others from your season could work for you or against you, just as being the only one out there from your season could work for you or against you – but it will be discussed a lot and will factor into how people vote.
James illuminated the biggest challenge on the hero tribe: The Heroes must start listening to each other and let the ego go. Otherwise tribal council will become their second home.
Sugar didn’t really seem like she was ready to do this again. I think she fell victim to the ”what did I get myself into” realization that often happens to a returning Survivor. They forget how miserable it was and so they say ”Yes!” to returning for another go. Then they get out there and by the end of day one they are quickly reminded… ”Oh yeah, I forgot. This sucks.”
I don’t think her tribe will miss her, and in fairness, I don’t think she’ll miss the tribe. I think Sugar would be the first to admit that the Survivor experience was more about being on television than it was anything else. I’m glad she came back, she was worth taking a shot on, but Colby said it best, given the amazing amount of personality this season, she won’t be missed.
Talk next week.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Feb 19, 2010 9:51 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains': episode 2

by Jeff Probst

Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Survivor-probst_320BOSTON ROB ALMOST GOES HOME
Boston Rob is a stud. The dude can make fire without flint, he can single-handedly win a challenge for his tribe, he is always good for a memorable quip (“Again I’m on the buffoon tribe”) and… he married Amber. Not bad. But even Boston Rob cannot stomach the Samoa flu.
Turns out that’s all that was wrong with Rob, a bout of the local Samoan flu. But hear me when I say this was no ordinary flu. During the season it took out a lot of our crew members and a lot of the locals on the island. It hits the body very hard and according to our doctors, one of the worst parts was the accompanying headache which felt like a nail being repeatedly pounded into the back of your head.
INSIGHT: When the doctors and I first got to Rob at camp, he was flat out on his side. Flat out. He was shaking uncontrollably and he was slobbering from the mouth. I knew it was bad because Rob is not the kind of guy who ever complains about physical pain. He’ll complain about damn near everything else, but he’s pretty self-contained when it comes to pain. He was out of it. Before the docs diagnosed it as merely the flu, I thought he was going to have to be evacuated. I doubt Rob has any idea how bad it really was, I don’t think he remembers much of what happened.
After the doctors had run their tests and determined that he was okay to continue, he and I sat and talked for quite a while. He just needed time to get strong enough so that he could stand up and walk back over to the rest of the tribe. It was a pretty funny, and at times emotional, exchange. He kept repeating that he didn’t want to “let anybody down” because he loved the game so much. But as his mind cleared up a bit, those noble feelings were replaced by a more familiar Boston Rob refrain: “Screw it. I’m gonna win this damn game.”
I half expected him to stand up, staggering to maintain balance and yell to no one in particular: “Adrienne! Adrienne!
Russell is obviously annoyed with Rob being the one in charge, but if Rob and Russell could get rid of their egos and team up they could run this game to the end. Russell offers Rob the energy to play a very aggressive game and Rob offers Russell the wisdom of when to simmer down. If it happens, watch out.
Cirie is amazing. I am so impressed by how good a player she has become, so subtle with her maneuvering of people. Like her or not, I’d put Cirie in the top twenty players of all time. She will definitely have her hands full this season because she is playing against a lot of very good players but she is quite clever and if they let her last for long she will be in an alliance that will be too tight to break.
The heroes are clearly starting to fall apart. I still do not understand the rationale of players who come into this game, some of them for the third time, and continue to make selfish decisions, based solely on alliances, in only the SECOND WEEK OF THE GAME!
Voting out Stephenie? Really? Even on Ambien that makes no sense. The Sugar vote made sense. This vote… no sense. Obviously, I’m not out there playing, so it’s easy for me to sit back and judge. But Stephenie? This vote really surprised me and it was all based on alliances. Week-two alliances.
FUTURE PLAYERS, HEAR ME WHEN I SAY THIS: Voting out great players in the second week is idiotic. It almost always works against you. Look at the history of Survivor. When the game starts it is a “team” game. The more you win as a team the longer you are guaranteed to stay in the game. The more you lose, the more you go to tribal council and the more likely you are to be voted out.
This very simple strategic idea has been lost over the years. It used to be a no-brainer to keep your tribe strong, but the game has changed. It makes no difference to me how people play, but if the heroes continue to lose keep that idea in mind.
Maybe next year we’ll get a group of people who play a little more “old-school” Survivor and then we can see if my comments hold any water.
There are certainly many examples of winners who formed alliances on day two that took them to the end. Of course there are, because most everybody is forming those kinds of alliances so obviously it will work out for one player. But for everybody else, it will fail. It is not the smartest way to play this game. You need to be able to balance your alliance while keeping the tribe strong.
And while we’re on the topic, “strong” doesn’t just mean in challenges. Strong means work ethic, attitude, ability to provide food or build shelter, as well as leadership abilities and a whole host of other qualities.
I’m going to say something that will probably be very unpopular but if I were on the Heroes tribe I would have to seriously consider getting rid of James. I know he’s the strongest guy to ever play this game, but his attitude is just not there and that is more damaging long term than his biceps are helpful short term.
He ran around camp telling everybody that Stephenie was a loser and she should be voted out. He caused as much disharmony with his running around as Stephenie did by talking during the challenge. But it was his outburst at tribal council that was most unnerving.
But here’s the issue…
Players get so locked into their vote that they rarely change their mind at tribal council.
NOTE # 2 TO ALL FUTURE PLAYERS: If you are at tribal and something is going south – have the guts to change your mind and call an audible. Make a stand. To get a shot at the million dollars you have to make it to the end and to get to the end you have to avoid tribal council and to avoid tribal council you have to win.
The hero tribe will need some time to recover from tonight’s vote and not simply because they lost a very strong player in Stephenie. The real damage came at the hands of James. His comments must have left a bad taste in the mouth of every other member on the Hero tribe.
The hero tribe now needs to heal and come back together as a tribe. It’s only day six. The problem is, healing takes time and Survivor waits for nothing and no one.
Some of the best one-liners of the season are in next week’s episode. Enjoy.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Feb 19, 2010 1:24 pm

Quote :
Voting out great players in the second week is idiotic. It almost always works against you

Quote :
This very simple strategic idea has been lost over the years. It used to be a no-brainer to keep your tribe strong,

Quote :

if I were on the Heroes tribe I would have to seriously consider getting rid of James.
Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains 618676

mmmmmmkay Jeff. Usually you are spot on but you lost me here. We're talking about a team whose second strongest player got owned by Coach. Getting rid of James would be a death sentence to the Heroes, IMO of course.
While voting out Steph may not have been the smartest move (Cirie is certainly not a physically strong player and is VERY good at playing both sides) I still think it was a good strategic move. Obviously the line has already been drawn in the sand and her alliance was a solid one.
When are the women in Survivor going to get smart...I mean really smart? Joining together to vote out Rupert would have been an awesome move but once again, and I see it so many times on Survivor, they sit back and let the men rule and make the decisions. Yes, he can be a VERY strong player and win challenges for the tribe but with his broken toe he is as useful as Cirie. Two tribal councils, two women gone. Typical.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Feb 19, 2010 3:46 pm

Voting Stephanie out was dumb - IMO. Rupert would have been a much better choice. He sucks and his toe is "broken" Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains 290276

Not sure where this whole gung ho let's get rid of Stephanie came from, it must be one of those incidences where something happened that we didn't get to see because of editing.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Feb 26, 2010 12:00 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains': Episode 3

Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Survivor-probst_320

When last I left you…James appeared to be in the beginning stages of losing his mind. Last week’s tribal council ended with the very ugly and unnecessary comment from James to Stephenie: “Shut your mouth.”
Ah, so lovely.
Look, I’ve been a big fan of James from day one. I voted for him to be on Fans vs. Favorites and I voted for him to be on Heroes vs. Villains and up until this season I would have referred to him with affectionate phrases like “James the Gentle Giant.” Yeah… those days are gone.
I don’t know if James was going through something personal like trying to quit smoking or if he had a bad rash nobody knew about but something has definitely changed.
James is just not a nice guy these days. More on that later.
Boston Rob’s strategy tip was absolutely brilliant: “I’m gonna give you the key. Watch who is sleeping with whom at night.”
Talk about insight. It’s amazing what we reveal about ourselves without realizing it. As David Mamet would say, “We all have a ‘tell’.” A tell is something we’re not aware of that gives us away. That’s why poker players wear dark glasses, to hide their tells.
I wonder if Tiger Woods had a tell?
Circus Announcer: “Ladies and Gentlemen, gather your children and circle the wagons, for on this very stage tonight you will be witness to one of the greatest spectacles ever seen by human eyes…it’s the Survivor Black Widow Shooooooooooowdown!”
You knew it was coming. Jerri “The Original Black Widow” Manthey coming face to face with Parvati “I Take No Prisoners” Shallow for the female grudge match of the season. I couldn’t be happier.
Jerri: Every time I’m around her I want to punch her in the face.
Parvati: She’s just a bitter old cougar.
It’s an interesting match-up but I have to give the advantage to Parvati. That doesn’t mean Jerri isn’t long for the game, it only means in terms of playing the “flirt” game, Parvati has no equal.
She’s even got Russell under her spell. Even Russell, the guy who thoroughly dominated last season in Samoa, is susceptible to the charms of a beautiful woman. Of course he is, he’s a man. Rob sees it. Coach sees it. The audience sees it. We can all sense what is going on. Russell may not want to believe it and I’m sure at the live Reunion show he’ll tell me how wrong I was, but from where I sit he is getting played by Parvati the same way my two-year-old honorary nephew Oscar plays with his marionette.
Coach is spot on. Parvati is dangerous. And yes, if Parvati decides to snuggle up against Coach in the middle of the night you’ll hear Coach singing a whole different song in the morning. He’ll be walking around proud as a victorious warrior spouting off pearls such as :”Parvati is a really nice girl. I trust her. She’s worthy of warriorette status.” Of course he will. Why? Everybody together now, “He’s a man!”
Leave it to the oldest guy out there to say it best:
Randy: “Survivor, in so many ways, is like the real world. You don’t get ahead by being smart, clever, and hard working. You get ahead, unfortunately, with a pretty smile and being able to schmooze people, and Parvati is the queen.”
But Russell’s problem is not Parvati. Russell’s Achilles heel is his ego. He keeps saying he cannot stand that Rob thinks he is running the camp. What he really means it that he cannot stand that Rob IS running the camp. If it were only the perception that Rob is in charge, Russell wouldn’t care. It’s the fact that it’s true that has those little hairs on his head standing on end. <~~ Cound not agree more! Work WITH him NOT against him! ugh!
Russell: “I’m the daddy around here. Nobody knows who they’re messin’ with. It’s Russell Hantz. Gimme a break.”
If Russell were a leader back in the Roman Empire days he would have been Maximillian I, one of the most egotistical Roman Emperors to ever govern Rome. Maximillian didn’t have the Internet or television to promote himself but he did have the printing press and he used it to share all of his victories with the world. Imagine ‘ole Max on Survivor – now that would be a ratings juggernaut.
Let me say it one more time: Russell continues to miss his single greatest strategic opportunity – Boston Rob. Stop working against Rob and work with him. What’s wrong with you! Rob and Russell together could take it all the way to the end. It’s so easy to see when you’re not stuck in the middle of it. <~~ I completely agree with Jeff!
I love this challenge. We could do this challenge every year and I’d be happy. And if Coach could play in this challenge every season I would never stop hosting Survivor.
But first…
The “Didn’t See It Coming” match: Did anybody actually think Amanda would take out Danielle? That was the biggest upset of the match. A total shocker.
“The Most Exciting” match: Colby and Rob. That was a fantastic match-up. Exactly who we wanted to see go at it. Chalk this one up for Colby. That is how this challenge was designed to be played. Aggressively.
“The Most Embarrassing” match: It’s now official. James has clearly lost his mind. It’s el gonzo. It was the most lopsided match of the challenge. There was no doubt who was going to win. James knocked Randy off with one small push and then…he threw his bag on top of him and as always had to have the last word. “Get your f—ing old ass outta here.” Sorry James but this is where I get off the James train. It’s not that I think Randy is the nicest guy in the world either, but that was just unnecessary and truly ugly.
And now…to the greatest moment of the episode…
“The I Can’t Hear You, Jeff, Because I’m Too Busy Posing For The Camera” match: Coach, you are a gem. You are the greatest. I loved this moment when it happened. I love it even more now that it’s on my TiVo and I can watch it over and over and over and over.
Hopefully you all saw what happened. The rules state that both hands must be on the bag at all times. One of Coach’s hands slipped off the bag and inadvertently helped push Rupert off the platform. A technicality yes, but still an enforceable rule. So we had to play again. But Coach didn’t hear me and went into a 30-second pose down that was absolutely brilliant. One of his best ever and his reaction when he found out it was all for naught was even better.
And here’s something I’ll admit. When Coach flipped me off it didn’t bother me. I understood it to be in the heat of the moment and not really directed at me so much as it was just frustration in general. It could bring up the question: Am I holding James to a different standard? I certainly don’t feel like I am. I feel like James’ attacks have been very personal, but I’m aware that it could seem like a double standard. Whatever it says about me, I didn’t find Coach’s flip-off to be ugly, but as already stated, I think James has blown a gasket.
Side note: Some of you may be wondering about the sit-out rule pertaining to back-to-back challenges. That rule only applies within an episode. Each new episode it starts fresh. Typically we have two challenges within an episode, but not always. So Courtney was able to sit out the last challenge (last week’s episode) and sit out again in this week’s challenge (new episode.) Hope that clears up any questions.
She did it in the Pearl Islands and she’s doing it again. Sandra is employing the single greatest and most simple strategy you can have on Survivor: As Long As It Ain’t Me. That’s really all you have to do to win this game – just make sure it ain’t you every single time you go to tribal council. Easier said than done for sure, but Sandra has it down to an Olympic-caliber science. She’s so good at it that at this point she is nowhere close to being voted out. Nobody’s even talking about her. She’s just minding her own business, going with the flow and staying out of the way. I love it.
In an episode filled with fantastic quotes, this was my favorite.
Coach: “There’s nobody out here that’s honorable anymore…except for me.” Admit it, you just laughed when you read it, right? It’s that good.
“There’s nobody out here that’s honorable anymore…except for me.” If I could write stuff this good I’d be taking home an Oscar this year.
The thing about Coach is he wears his emotions right there on this tattooed body for everybody to see. He is clearly upset by the lack of honor but in typical DragonSlayer fashion, he rallies with a quote from the great Martin Luther King, Jr.
Coach: “The greatest measure of a man is not the way he handles times of comfort but in the way he rises through controversy and challenges.”
Now the minute I heard Coach spouting off with an MLK quote I just knew it would be a complete bastardized version of the original. But I was wrong. I Googled that quote and Coach, you were spot on, brotha. Bravo.
The villains made the right move. Randy was the best person to vote out. He said it best, he just never fit in with the tribe and with his already sour attitude and marginal strength in challenges, he seemed the perfect and easy target to vote out. Randy I hope you’re happy and if you’re not happy – I hope you’re happy being not happy.
See ya next week.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptySat Feb 27, 2010 11:46 am

Quote :
Boston Rob’s strategy tip was absolutely brilliant: “I’m gonna give you the key. Watch who is sleeping with whom at night.”

Seriously now, give me a break. Even the most CASUAL of Survivor WATCHERS can figure that one out. I'm sure he's not the first person to come up with that "brilliant" tell. duhhhhhhhhh
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Mar 05, 2010 12:23 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains': episode 4

by Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Jeff-probst-survivor_320Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSWell, we’re four episodes in to Heroes v Villains and I am hearing from a lot of you on the streets that you are really digging this season. I’m happy to hear that and you’re going to love next week just as much. There’s good stuff coming down the pipe!

Lets get to the most recent episode…
COACH: (battling tears) “Why doesn’t anybody ever say anything nice about me?”
There it is. The Answer. The great mystery has been solved. Nine simple words and you have the secret to understanding Coach.
He just wants to be liked.
Is that so much to ask?
SCREEEECH! Oh, for crying out loud, I can already hear the Coach haters telling me to get over my “Coach Crush.” Let me just deal with you guys right quick by delving into my 7th grade bag of insults. How ’bout this one… “Bite me.” Has a nice ring to it. I may use it again later.
Let me also tell you up front that I’m slightly annoyed as I write this. It’s late, it’s been a long day and as I was driving home at 10 p.m., it started raining. Not a big deal except that I had hosted a big charity event at my little tree house of a home on Sunday and so I pulled out the cushions to my patio furniture and I forgot to bring them back inside, knowing it was scheduled to rain. So I came home to the dreaded… wet cushions. Ah, we’ve all been there, right? The dreaded wet cushions. Right up there with that load of laundry you left in the washing machine and now it smells of mildew. Crisis. I wasn’t in the mood. Now the cushions are in my living room creating a small pool of water as I write this. Just not in the mood. Annoyed. It happens. Hard to believe, I know, but I’m not always Mr. Positive. Shocking.
So… if you pick up on any pettiness, it probably stems from wet cushions. Guess I’ll have to get out my Pottery Barn catalog and order new ones. I’m kidding. I’m not gonna call Pottery Barn, I’ll have my assistant call Pottery Barn. I don’t deal with that kind of domestic crap. Relax. I’m kidding again. I don’t have an assistant. I have an intern, they’re free.
Okay, back to Coach. We all want to be liked. I want to be liked, politicians want to be liked, musicians want to be liked, tree trimmers want to be liked, grocery store clerks want to be liked, even Hollywood talent agents want to be liked. Check that, they REALLY want to be liked. I’m guessing most of you reading this blog also want to be liked. It’s a universal desire to be liked. Well, Coach is no different. Coach believes he is living a very noble life and playing a very honorable game of Survivor and he wants to be acknowledged for doing so… he wants to be liked…but it just isn’t going to happen. It’s Survivor. Nobody gets any respect.
Case in point – Tyson.
Tyson’s actions regarding Coach are a perfect example of why Survivor is so damn tough to play. On one hand Tyson was a source of comfort to Coach. He listened as Coach shared his feelings and he even offered counsel to Coach with some candid advice that Coach would be wise to take to heart.
But then Tyson turned around and shared every single thing Coach said with the rest of the tribe, including the fact that Coach had shed tears and considered quitting. Man, that ain’t right. That’s some bullsh*t up in here.
But that’s how the game of Survivor is played. Information is king. If you give information to someone else, you give them power. Coach gave Tyson power when he shared his feelings with him. It’s harsh but it’s true.
I loved the exchange between Coach and Boston Rob because it brought out Rob’s very limited patience for topics such as feelings and whining. More than any other guy I know Rob is the quintessential “guys guy.” He’s just not one to have long talks about feelings. You’re either with him or you’re against him. It’s so clear that Coach desperately wants to be with him and that is probably at the heart of why he’s feeling left out. He just wants Rob to like him! But with Rob, it’s not so much if he likes you as much as it is if he doesn’t despise you. Coach, he doesn’t despise you, so take his advice – stand up straight and get back in the game. It’s too soon for you to go home.
Oh, while we’re here… how about another response for those of you who are still screaming at me to get off the Coach topic? Let’s see… hmmm… how about this 8th grade classic… “Up yours.” Ya like that one? I do too. It’s straight to the point.
I’m kidding. It’s just a joke. Where’s your sense of humor. Fun. You remember fun, right? That thing you used to have before you became a pain in the a–? Yeah, that thing. Listen, if I can laugh at myself with wet cushions, you should be able to take a little Coach humor.
I was a bit surprised at the different way the two tribes approached the idol clue. I never would have guessed that it would be the Villains who chose to not look for the idol, while the Heroes were tripping over each other in a mad dash to uncover it. Further proof that at this point, the Villains are more in control of their game. They just have it more together than the Heroes.
Yes, of course it makes sense to want the idol in your possession, but the fact the villains were fine keeping the idol out of their game tells me they are more concerned with keeping their tribe strong then they are dividing it by looking for the idol.
Russell of course has a different idea and thank heavens, because let’s be clear – we put the idol in the show because we want it to be found… and we would like it to be played.
Preferably many times.
So the Villains’ decision to sit on the clue and do nothing about it is not the most exciting news to hear back at base camp. That’s just one of the reasons Russell was invited back – he plays the game. He’s not an observer, he’s a participant. And he still should have won last season.
Yes, that was the same Immunity Challenge from last seasons Survivor: Samoa in which the dreadlocked Russell went down… and almost did not get up.
As emotional as it was to run the challenge again, we never debated. We felt that it belonged in this season because of the distinction of being the only challenge in the history of Survivor to not be completed and it offered a chance to create new history when it was finally was completed.
Once again Boston Rob showed his ability to lead as he singlehandedly won that challenge for the Villains. Rob is a guy who wants the ball in his hands when there are only seconds left on the clock. He’s not afraid to step up and take the big shot. That’s the same way he plays Survivor – to win. I respect anybody who plays this game full tilt boogie every day.
Here’s something that will aggravate Russell and probably every other Survivor. Every other Survivor except Ashley from last season – Ashley gets it and she’ll understand that what I’m about to say is not a slight to anyone else, it’s just a really wise bet.
Here’s the bet: If I had to put money on only one Survivor it would be Boston Rob. Overall, he has the qualities that I would most want to have if I played the game and I think that if I bet on him every day that over the course of the run I’d come out ahead.
While I’m sorry to see Cirie gone from the game, I’m happy that she got voted out because this philosophy of getting rid of the strong players simply because they’re not in your alliance was about to make me throw my laptop through my television screen. Imagine that, a living room filled with wet cushions and a busted TV. That would really suck.
Cirie was the right vote. Voting out Colby or Tom over Cirie would have been yet another idiotic vote by the Hero tribe – one that I fully expected them to make. I was shocked to see JT switch his vote, but I do think he made the best overall move.
That doesn’t mean JT won’t be the next one voted out, but if you want to win… you have to have a strong tribe and at times you have to make big moves. JT did both tonight – he kept his tribe strong by making a big move. Cirie is only strong in one area – strategy. She’s a master strategist in fact, but she was not going to help them at camp or in challenges.
So maybe the Heroes can turn things around now. They’re clearly the stronger tribe physically if they can just get their attitudes to catch up to their muscles.
Next week’s episode offers another interesting tribal council and … another Survivor goes down!
See ya then. By the way, the cushions are now dry.
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Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyMon Mar 08, 2010 12:12 am

Hey Coach, if you ever get a chance to read this....I like you!! lol Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains 448189

lol @ Jeff "Up yours and bite me". You keep writing all you want about Coach Jeff, we'll keep reading!!
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Mar 12, 2010 1:22 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains':
episode 5

by Jeff Probst

Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Survivor-jeff-probst_320
Let’s call this one THE DUMBEST DECISION YET.
But before we get to Survivor… for all of those concerned,
my cushions… are dry. Hallelujah. Such a big relief. You really don’t
know how good you have it until you undergo a major crisis such as wet
outdoor patio cushions. I didn’t even share that when I called Pottery
Barn – I mean when my assistant, actually my free intern, called Pottery
Barn – they said those cushions were not being made anymore. Say
I truly thought for a moment, “What am I gonna do?” But then like a
gift from the Universe, the sun came out. That beautiful ball of heat,
the most important part of our incredible solar system revealed itself
to Southern California and those cushions… that were once so
wet…miraculously dried. I still marvel at the power of nature.
Okay onto Survivor…and THE DUMBEST DECISION YET.
Admit it. Go on, admit it! You smiled when he found it. You turned
to whomever you were watching with and said, “I don’t believe it. He
found another idol!” I know I did. How can you not? It’s not Survivor
if Russell isn’t looking, finding, or playing an idol. Now that he has
it, this season is officially on, and things are about to change
dramatically. How can they not, ‘ole Russell is now back in charge.
Ah, so much to talk about at what started out as a simple little
Reward Challenge.
First, the chocolate tease. Occasionally when we really want to whet
their appetite, we’ll tease the tribes with a small taste of the
reward. So, I handed each tribe a plate with some very tiny pieces of
chocolate. Enough for one bite for each tribe member. They were very
small, but when you haven’t had much of anything to eat in a long time,
even a tiny sliver of chocolate looks pretty good to most people.
But not Colby, or any of the Heroes for that matter. They wanted
nothing to do with that damn chocolate. I get what the Hero tribe was
doing. They were trying to psyche themselves up by staying focused.
Fair enough. They were also trying to intimidate the villains a bit,
which clearly was wasted energy. The villains are on a roll, they’re
dominating the game and they’re not intimidated by anything at this
But the part that I’m sure a lot of you are talking about was my
interaction with Colby when he instructed me, in no uncertain terms, to
get the challenge started.
To which I replied:
Probst: “I got the message brother, and we’ll go when I’m ready.”
Don’t go reading too much into it. I was merely holding my ground as
host, nothing more. I would have had the same response to anybody who
attempted to tell me what to do. Because like it or not… “We WILL go…
when I’M ready.” That’s what 20 seasons and the title of host gets
you. The ability to go when you’re damn good and ready and not a moment
Oh, and one more bit of housekeeping from last week’s blog. I read
many of your comments implying that I was hard on “America’s Favorite
Survivor” Rupert because I was trying to save my buddy, Colby.
Let me be really clear about a few things:
1. The first time I had seen Colby in several years was at the start
of Heroes v Villains. I have no more loyalty to Colby than
anybody else.
2. If I wanted to, do you really think I could influence a vote by
asking a simple and legit question? You think these players are so
easily influenced?
3. If I could indeed influence the game, do you think I would risk
losing a job that allows me to buy beautiful outdoor patio cushions by
doing so?
Get a clue. Buy a vowel. Phone a friend. Whatever it takes, but
pull your head out.
I was hard on Rupert because his logic made no sense. He was clearly
voting with an alliance and trying to convince me he was voting based
on keeping the tribe strong. Every Survivor knows I ask tough
questions. That’s my job. He could have answered any number of other
ways and got me off his back. He didn’t. Rupert dug his own hole, all I
did was offer him the shovel.
This is a challenge that was created by our grip department. These
are the guys who build the scaffolding that makes it possible for us to
shoot out in the water or put cameras high in the air. These guys are
hard working and keep us all safe.
During a day off they created a simple game they named
Schmergenbrawl. It evolved into a major day-long tournament where our
crew divided into teams. They had T-shirts made and some even had their
own mascots. It was full-on. The game was so popular with our crew
that our challenge department stole the idea and with a few
modifications turned it into a Survivor challenge that we
premiered in Survivor: Samoa.
You may remember it as the challenge that resulted in me tossing
somebody (Ben) out of the challenge for unsportsmanlike behavior and
also resulted in the evacuation of Mike Borassi due to dehydration. We
should have known that it was too rough, even for Survivor.
But instead, we brought it back again this season. Once again it was
physical and once again it resulted in a major injury as James was
removed from the challenge after wrecking his knee.
This challenge will NEVER be played again. It was officially retired
after last night’s challenge and those of you who love justice being
served will be happy to know that the grip that created the challenge
was fired.
He wasn’t really fired. He was sacrificed. It turns out the Samoans
have an ancient ritual that saved our season from becoming a disaster.
We gave him over to the Samoan gods to do with him as they must and in
exchange they were able to bless us and insure us a very good finish to
our 20th season. A small price to pay if you ask me.
One grip in exchange for a really good season of Survivor.
We’ll make that deal every year. Plus, one of the younger guys in the
grip department got to move up and take his spot. That’s what you call a
I think my favorite part of the challenge was when Rupert threw Jerri
up against the side of the course: “Like I meant to do that!” And
Jerri responded by draining the winning bucket for the Villains. You
think it was the chocolate that made the difference?
I loved the exchange between Russell and Parvati:
Russell: Just grab onto my coattails.
Parvati: I don’t ride coattails, baby.
Russell: You’ll ride these.
Russell is very good at using the idol. I’d say he’s as good at
using it as anybody. He really understands how to leverage its power
and he completely changed the game by securing Parvati in his alliance
and then bringing over Coach.
Do you think Russell made a wise move? Or is he falling prey to one
of the most deadly flirts in Survivor history? Both Russell
and Parvati pulled out their big guns and told the other everything they
need to know. Russell believes Parvati will ride his coattails.
Parvati told him very clearly she does not ride anybody’s coattails. It
may be the showdown of the season thus far, even more so than Russell
vs Rob.
Parvati and Russell have both proven they can play this game very
well. It’s a deadly duo if they stay teamed up but there is no way this
relationship ends peacefully.
I was blown away by how emotional Amanda was regarding James and his
injury. I guess I just assumed that after playing together three times
that maybe she could handle it a bit better. Amanda’s affection for
James is endearing but speaks to how complicated this game can get.
Showing her loyalty and concern for James is a big, bold move and can’t
help but separate her from the rest of the group, at least a little bit,
no matter what is said or not said.
I love blindfolds. Yes. Read into that anything and everything you
want. They just make life… and Survivor challenges… more
interesting. Once again the challenge comes down to a puzzle, once
again the heroes blow a huge lead and once again… the villains, led by
Boston Rob, come from behind and win another challenge.
Okay, straight up – as the Heroes headed into Tribal Council, how many
of you thought James would be going home? Me too. It seemed like a
no-brainer. NO-BRAINER.
But then I reminded myself, “oh yeah, this is the Hero tribe.
They’ve made more silly decisions than Tiger Woods.” The consistently
lousy decisions made by the Heroes have been one of the biggest
surprises of this season.
But the biggest surprise of the entire season (for me anyway) has
been James and his newfound social game.
Set aside his lousy and increasingly agitated attitude –the
gravedigger has learned to play the social game. How else could he
still be in the game? He has influenced more than a few votes by
talking to other people and manipulating them with his arguments. You
have to give him credit. I was really impressed that he was able to
convince the majority to keep him in the game over Tom. Yes, I know it
had to do with alliances as much as anything but when you consider how
many challenges the Heroes have lost – to keep a guy with a bum leg was a
really crazy move and you have to give James some of the credit.
Once again, Rupert tried to sell his vote based on keeping his tribe
Rupert: (referring to James’ bad leg). “He’s still stronger than
Rupert, if you really believe that James, with his bad leg, is still
stronger than Tom, then you need to stop drinking that pirate grog
because you’ve lost your friggin mind.
Ah, but that isn’t what Rupert believes. Rupert is doing what he
needs to do to keep his alliance strong. Once again, let me, “Mr. Back
Seat Driver,” point out why this makes no sense. Your own personal
alliance may be intact, but your tribe is dwindling and if and when
there is a merge, you are putting yourself in a very weak position
because you will have fewer members than the Villains.
You know how I feel. James has been a problem from day one. First
it was his attitude and now it’s his physical limitations.
And no, I’m not friends with Tom, nor am I enemies with James. I’m
just sharing what I feel and I’m guessing what the audience feels as
For the record, my niece most definitely could have beat James in a
foot race. I just didn’t want to push the point for fear of him hobbling
across tribal council with that bad attitude and messed-up knee, and
thoroughly kicking my ass. Cause that’s something James could
definitely do, even with two bad legs.
Due to the NCAA college basketball tournament, SURVIVOR WILL
NOT BE ON NEXT WEEK! I know, we hate it too.
Survivor will be on for a special Wednesday night episode: WEDNESDAY
On April 1st we return to our regular Thursday night time
Spread the word.
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Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Mar 12, 2010 1:39 pm

a few thoughts on Jeffs blog, which I love reading by the way; first of all Jeff, shut up about the freaking patio cushions ok? Its OUTDOOR cushions and guess what Jeff, THEY ALL GET WET AT SOME POINT IN TIME. But then guess what? The sun comes out and drys them and they are as good as new. Let me let you in on a little secret Jeff, thats what they are designed to do.

Ok next, I am not a huge Colby fan but Jeff needs to give the guy some slack. When he said to Jeff, lets do it or whatever he said, he surely wasn't giving Jeff orders. He was basically saying "Fuck the on". But of course sometimes Jeffs ego gets in the way of good judgment and I do like Jeff but it has to be said. Put yourself in Colbys shoes for a minute Jeff or anyone else in the game who is starving and frustrated and then have them wave a sliver of chocolate in your face. I might have told him to shove it up his ass...with love of

I also think Jeff is a little off base with his assumption that James would go last night. Yes, he is hurt BUT this is also a numbers game. With Candace and Colby on the outs, if they lose the next two immunity challenges, they will go. I guess JT could have voted out James and the alliance would have been him, Tom, Colby and Candace vs. Rupert, James and Amanda. JT seems to have a plan and so far I think his swing vote decisions have been pretty good. We'll see.
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Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyThu Mar 25, 2010 3:47 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' episode 6

by Jeff Probst
Categories: Reality TV, Survivor, TV Recap
Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Survivor-jeff-probst_320Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSThe Boston Rob vs. Russell showdown continues!

Russell: He’s threatening Russell Hantz. When do you that, you go.
Rob: He’s not playing with the amateurs anymore. Playing with the big boys now.
Rob: I’m just telling you watch your back.
Russell: Same thing for you man, watch your back.
Russell: Boston Rob says it’s better to play with me than against me. Oh, really? I believe I’m gonna get him to eat those words.
And last night, I think Rob was served an appetizer.
More on that later.
Physically, Boston Rob continues to dominate this game. I don’t think there is anybody left that can beat him at any of the challenges. Like him or hate him, you cannot deny that if you’re in a fox hole, B-Rob would not be a bad guy to have in there with you. Part McGuyver, part Pete Rose — in my book, he’s money.
And for all of you who are saying “Nah nah nah nah nah nah! Look at how well James did, he did better than Colby in the challenge! The Heroes were right to keep him in the game!!” Well, you’re right. He did beat Colby, and so did Rupert, and in response, James had some funny comments that I’m sure were tough for Colby to hear:
At camp…
James: You, the great Colby. So if you turn it on and start winning, we’ll be alright. But if it’s the old sleepy ass Colby that gets beat by a fat man and a cripple. That ain’t right.
Then in interview…
James: Colby doesn’t want to be here. There’s no way that’s the Colby of old, one of the baddest competitors ever. He has not done anything. He has almost brought me to tears. It’s like my Superman sucks. All his muscles are gone so it’s very disappointing to see a grown man give up like that.
Then at tribal council…
James: You got slammed by the Dragon Slayer. …[You] got beat by a cripple and a fat dude on the obstacle course. It’s like finding out Superman was in a big girdle. You seem them muscles and you get up close and it’s nothing but a fat suit.
To his credit, Colby accepted it as a valid criticism. He’s not having a great season.
Who needs a challenge department? Who needs a host? The Hero tribe provided more drama and more humor than any challenge we’ve done thus far this season when they created their own Survivor Challenge: The Hero Olympics.
James taking on J.T.? Get out. That’s good television. The only person missing was my niece! She would have taken second for sure!
It was one of the craziest things I’d ever seen. James trying to out run J.T. with a splint on his leg. Remember, I do not stay out on the beach, so the first time I saw this footage was watching an early cut of this episode. It was awesome.
I have to give James major credit. That guy does not back down from any challenge. Going up against J.T. with a bum leg was ballsy. And I’ll admit, I was surprised how fast James was, given his bad leg. Maybe I was wrong, maybe my niece wouldn’t have beat him. But let’s be clear… I would have.
It also made me respect the Heroes just a little bit, something that has been hard for me to do of late. It gave me hope that maybe, just maybe they’re starting to get a clue.
The entire speech about banana etiquette from Amanda to James was yet another in a season filled with scenes that you would swear are scripted. I think Survivor should be nominated for an Emmy for Best Writing, and the award should go to the Heroes vs. Villains cast. If you could write this kind of a show every week, you would have a big house in the Hollywood Hills with a pool, a few really cool cars, a man servant, a full-time maid, a well-stocked wine bar, a movie theatre in your basement, and an incredible view of the city. In short, you’d be living like Ryan Seacrest.
Fortunately, we don’t have to write anything, our group of Survivors do it for us.
Okay, back to the showdown. This was one of the greatest Pre-Tribal and Tribal Councils we’ve had in the history of our show. So much was going on, so much was at stake. This was truly a royal battle.
Going into tribal council, Boston Rob laid out a strategy for his alliance that was 100 percent fool proof. 100 percent. B-Rob is a very smart and strategic player. He was absolutely right. Even if nobody played the idol, so long as everybody voted as laid out by Rob, (three votes Parvati, three votes Russell) then their alliance would stay intact — at worst Russell, Parvati, and Tyson would be tied with 3 votes each. They would re-vote, Rob’s alliance would most likely target Russell, he would have been voted out.
But Rob was also prepared for an idol to be played, and if so, then Parvati’s votes would not count, and Russell and Tyson would have been tied at three votes each. We’d re-vote and Russell would be voted out. He had it wired. Russell was going home. Russell should have gone home.
But this is Survivor and that means anything can happen. And what happened last night was…
The short, stubby, tooth-missin’ garden gnome did it again! Unbelievable. UN-B-LEEVE-ABLE. I still cannot believe he pulled it off. There were two HUGE elements at play:
1. It was a very inspired move to try to convince Tyson that he was safe at the vote because Russell was turning on Parvati — therefore Tyson didn’t need to worry about voting for Russell. He could just change his vote to Parvati since his vote didn’t really matter. The thing is Tyson didn’t have to change his vote. He could have gotten the same result and still kept himself safe by voting for Russell. The smarter move would have been to say, “Fine Russell, I dig that you’re ready to vote out Parvati. I’m gonna keep with my plan to vote for you just so I don’t alert anybody but I’m with you, and Parvati is going home.” Tyson could have gotten the same result without risking anything. Tyson simply lost his mind and forgot what he was doing… because Russell put that damn Russell seed in his head!
2. Russell giving the idol to Parvati was the biggest risk he’s taken in either of his two seasons. He went for broke and it worked.
You can write all the comments you want about how much you hate Russell. I don’t care. I won’t respond. That dude just made a major game-changing, momentum-switching move — and it worked. That’s what legends are made from – big bold moves.
Tyson now joins James and Eric in the small section in the back of the Survivor Hall of Fame reserved for DUMBEST MOVES EVER. Tyson! We passed up Shane to bring you back… we had such high hopes for you. What were you thinking?! It’s one thing to be voted out with two immunity idols in your pocket like James did in China. It’s another thing to give up an immunity idol at tribal council like Eric did in Fans vs. Favorites. But Tyson, you changed your vote when there was nothing to be gained and in doing so you voted yourself out! We’ll take a poll, but I think that might be him at the top of the list. Remember, he gained nothing by changing his vote. It was just a tragic, game-ending muck up.
It’s one of the greatest showdowns we’ve ever had and one of the most interesting stories of the season. Russell and Boston Rob. Two heavyweights duking it out on the beaches of Samoa.
Tonight, Russell took the upper hand. I loved how happy he was with himself, on the beach slapping his thighs with joy. And Rob’s face of confusion as he heard the votes being read was something we’re not used to seeing. I wonder how long it took him to figure out what happened.
And Russell is absolutely smitten with Parvati. The handing over of the idol from Russell to Parvati was the Survivor version of foreplay. I even got a bit turned on watching it, over and over and over. Think I’m crazy? Go back and take a look again. It’s foreplay. As she takes the idol, Parvati gives him a look that says, “You will most definitely get some tonight.” Of course we all know he won’t, but I think he thinks he will. That’s what I mean when I say Parvati is deadly. Even when you’re not into her, she turns on that charm and next thing you know you’re giving her your… idol.
These are our best players and they are giving us a tremendous season. The strategy is as intense as it has ever been — and we’re still just getting started.
Oh yes, the Heroes finally made a good move and voted out James.
See ya next week! We’re back on Thursdays again – from here till the end! Our finale is in NYC on May 16. Mark it down.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Apr 02, 2010 12:34 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' episode 7
by Jeff Probst

[img][/img]Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Survivor-jeff-probst_320


The more and more I think about it, something doesn’t feel right. Something just doesn’t feel right.


The stadium lights shine onto the field filled with a large crowd of mourners, mostly dressed in red and blue.

…and as we gather to pay our last respects to Boston Rob, I’d like to take a moment of silence to remember the many things he brought to the game of Survivor. He was the Godfather who left too soon in Survivor: Marquesas. On Survivor: All-Stars, he took a different approach. He put his arm around the beautiful Amber on day three and became her “knight in shining armor” as he dragged her to the end giving her the opportunity to win the million dollars while being a two-faced betrayer to everybody else — and he did it all with an evil smile that made many of us fall in love with him in a brand new way. And finally on Survivor; Heroes vs. Villains, he transformed himself yet again — this time into a fairly likable, extremely hardworking and challenge-dominating player who took it upon himself to go up against Russell, the biggest villain of all-time.Some might say the karma of past betrayals finally caught up with B Rob and he went down hard. Probably for the last time. Rob… you will be missed.

There is silence in the stadium. Then… a shout from the cheap seats.


What about me??!!! Where’s the love for me? I’m the one took him down. I’m Russell Hantz, the greatest Survivor of allllll-time. I’m that good.

Russell hops down the steps toward the railing and without hesitating leaps from the 300 section. It is a long way down to the field, but miraculously he lands in the middle of center field and bounces up on his feet unharmed.
The crowd recognizes him as the man who took down Boston Rob. As expected, the Boston crowd quickly becomes a vigilante group and takes after the gap toothed troll. In a flash, he is gone for there is still more game to play on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.

My therapist says that time heals everything, but I’m not sure how much time it will take to heal this loss. I miss him already. I miss the battle. Russell vs. Boston Rob will go down as one of the greatest battles of all time. I want them back. Now. We should do an entire season centered around Boston Rob vs. Russell. Give them some war clubs, put them in a gladiator ring.

Amber could be the ring girl. She’s dressed the same way she was in Maxim (if you haven’t seen it go back and check it out) but instead of being the sexy ring girl, this time she’s a mom, carrying child. She represents hope for the world. Goodness.

Coach would be Rob’s consigliore, his right hand man.

At the other end of the arena, Russell would stand alone. No friends. No allies.

The promos are written, the audience would be there. Right? If I told you right now that next season we’d have Russell and Rob back again, wouldn’t you be intrigued?

Okay, enough of my clear favoritism!

Man, I’m so in sync with you guys I can hear your comments already. “Why don’t you ever talk about how awesome Candace is?” “Jeff, relax, Rob is already married!” “Why do you love all the villains and hate all the heroes?”

Maybe it’s time for me to do a quick recap of everybody left in the game:

J.T. Still like him even though he is clearly playing in a way that could easily earn him a spot on the villain tribe. A friend of mine just told me that J.T. is her favorite, and she feels like she has the best husband because he’s the perfect combination of “J.T., Tyson and Boston Rob.” Not really sure what it means, but in this time of mourning I believe it is best to just share everything.

COACH Hmm. How can I say it in a new way. I can’t. I love Coach. Always loved Coach. I still want to develop a show centered around “Tales of The Dragon Slayer.” But right now The Dragon Slayer is depressed. He’s lost his way. As much as he wants to live by a code, he finds himself trapped in a corner on a game called Survivor and there appears no way out. If this were a movie, this would be the end of Act II when all seems lost. Is it? Or can he rise up from the ashes and be reborn yet again?

CANDACE Ah, man… I just got bored doing this recap. Sorry. I promise next time to talk about how the awesomeness of Candace. And she is awesome. Seriously.

Does anybody else think Jerri and Coach might actually have a shot at making it as a couple? I do. Seriously, I do. No, really… I do. If they could each just open their arms, let down their guard, release judgments and simply accept the other, this could be something amazing. (Come to think of it, if I could do that in my own life it’d be pretty amazing.)

Coach and Jerri just look like they should be together. I can see them trekking across the Australian Outback with the sun beating down on their necks, sweat pouring off their bodies as they stop to take… their last… sip… of water. Stranded with no transportation, no food and now no water, they must rely on each other to provide shade, comfort, and love.

I can see the poster for the movie. Coach… his arms raised in a Dragon Slayer pose, a touch of blood dripping down his forearm hints at the epic battle we will witness. Jerri is dressed in a long flowing white cotton dress, slightly torn from her own battle or perhaps just their intense passion for one another. Her arms are wrapped around Coach’s thigh as she looks up adoringly at him.

For the sequel, I can see them paddling down the Amazon as Coach re enacts being captured by an indigenous tribe, only this time Jerri arrives just in time to save the day. Coach sweeps her up in his arms, flexing his tattoos and grabbing a quick feel. They’ll make made love in the jungle, which we won’t show because in this version we want the PG-13 crowd. They emerge from the jungle, disheveled and once again sweaty as Coach is declared the new king of the land.

In the third movie, Jerri surprises Coach picking him up in an old Buick as they drive across America to Burning Man where Jerri will perform a spoken word tribute to the love of her life while Ozzy — yes, Ozzy — plays bongos in the background.

This is one of the greatest “could be” love stories of all time. Coach? Jerri? Are you listening to your hearts? Let go of your fears. Open your arms and your bodies and accept the other for all they are… and all they will never be.

If you decide to marry, I will officiate and forego my normal $25 fee as my wedding gift to you both.

Russell continues to flabbergast me in the most enjoyable and entertaining of ways. Calling out Courtney or Sandra as the “next to go home” right in front of their faces was one of the boldest moves I’ve ever seen anybody make in any game at any time. Wow. Give this man a wide berth cause if you don’t, he will take it.

Let me tell you what I’m really learning from Russell — when you have nothing to fear, nothing at stake, you have all the power. Russell is truly only playing to win and it shows. He is so brazen. Russell is one helluva salesman. No, I am not going to stop talking about him because he’s absolutely fascinating.

What’s even more amazing is that he is still in the game! For all the people that want to hate on him, he’s still in the game and Rob is gone. Tom is gone. James is gone. Stephenie is gone. Cirie is gone. He’s not just a crazy person, he’s a very intimidating, cunning and powerful player in this game.

Can he win the game? Remains to be seen. He still lacks social grace. I doubt he has ever had it, probably never will. But that guy will empty your wallet before you ever know he had your hand in his pocket.

Rob: (to Coach) You’re a little man.

I love how Rob went out. He didn’t pretend it didn’t matter, he didn’t say “good luck”, he simply said what was on his mind, the subtext of which was clear: Coach, you suck.

Coach. Coach. Coach. I too am a bit dismayed. I will need time to sort through this emotionally. I will certainly need more therapy to help me understand and try to forgive. I may never see you the same way again. But I will still marry you and Jerri. Although at this point I’d feel more comfortable charging you the $25.

See ya next week
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Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Apr 09, 2010 9:30 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' episode 8

by Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Jeff-probst-survivor_320
Russell lies back in his homemade bed of palm fronds and coconut husk. He takes one last puff before on his imaginary Survivor cigarette before extinguishing it into the imaginary mud.
He puts his arms behind his head and smiles as he traces back the thoughts of last night…

… the seventh person voted out… Boston Rob.
Russell turns to Parvati, who is of course not really there.

(deep sigh)
Ahh. That was really good.
He gives her a peck on the cheek and effortlessly pops to his feet. With a flash he is gone for there is more Survivor left to play.
Boston Rob is gone. Russell is in charge. Or is he? Who really is in charge over at the Villains camp? Is it Russell? Is it Parvati? Is it Parvati and Danielle? Or is it truly a power trio of Russell, Parvati, and Danielle? Expect a battle for true leadership to emerge at some point because Parvati takes a back seat to nobody. Either way you slice it, the Villains are in trouble.
More on that later.
Oh, J.T.: Dude, you got caught! Sweet.
J.T. was like a six-year old kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He can try all he wants to make it a “tribe idol,” but the damage is done. He got busted. It didn’t play out in this episode, but rest assured it will in future episodes. J.T. has some major recovering to do because he flat out got busted and it didn’t go over well with the rest of the tribe that he went looking for the idol without telling anybody.
Coach and Jerri continue to captivate me. Their love story, and in my book it is a love story, is one of the best we’ve ever had. Sure, it may be a story of unrequited love, since Jerri just doesn’t seem to be into it, but it’s been so enjoyable to watch. They make me feel as though I’m in the midst of some sort of 15th century epic war movie where you know Jerri will finally proclaim her love for Coach only as he is dying in her arms after saving her life.
It’s been a long time since we last tried to pull off a “fake merge.” It was way back on Survivor: Thailand when Shi-Ann took the bait, believing that we were in fact merging and ultimately made a strategic mistake that cost her a shot at the million dollars.
This week, we knew that both tribes were expecting (even hoping for) a merge so we played on that expectation even though there was no merge planned for this episode.
The first thing we did was write a tree-mail that would help set the trap. If you go back and listen to the tree-mail again, the content is the same as any other challenge tree-mail. It explains the challenge and it teases the reward. But the way “tree-mail poet” and challenge producer John Kirhoffer wrote it played on their expectations of a merge. It was a subtle shift but it worked. It set the trap.
The result: The Villians believed they were merging and so they took apart their entire camp and brought everything with them to the challenge, anticipating that they would not be going back to their camp.
Yes, that made us very happy because keep in mind that after 20 seasons it is extremely difficult for us to get anything past them. So many players today are students of the game combined with the fact that we’ve used up most of our tricks over the last 10 years. So any small victory is a reason to celebrate.
The next thing we did to help sell the idea of a merge was to let them “see” the reward when they walked in, which is also a bit unusual. Normally I “reveal” the reward only after explaining the challenge. When they saw the food sitting on the table it again fueled their expectations — the food had to be the merge feast. Why else would it be sitting out like that? Wrong again. More celebration for us.
The final lure was the language I used when addressing them, which inclued the beginning words of the phrase that we always use when we merge:
“Everybody… drop… your…”
As I was slowly saying the words, I saw Rupert begin to take off his clothes. I’ll admit I couldn’t help but smile inside. These are our best and smartest players. Some of them have played three times. To pull something over on them on any level is just good ole plain fun.
The final beat was the last word…
“Everybody drop your… expectations.”
It was followed with a large groan by both tribes as they realized we were not merging.
The Villains were especially bummed since they had taken down their entire camp. Yes, they went back to camp and had to rebuild everything.
The Villains do not have a leader. Russell is not a leader. He’s a great strategist, but he doesn’t know the first thing about how to lead a group of people. Parvati is certainly not a leader. She’s a spy. Coach would love to be a leader and if this were a women’s soccer team, perhaps he’d be a very good leader. But this is Survivor and Coach cannot lead a group like this.
Boston Rob was a leader. He led his tribe. But Boston Rob is gone.
When the Villains were strategizing about whom to sit out at the reward challenge, it was Coach that was taking the leadership role. Coach was asking silly questions like “Who is good at bowling?” What? Coach, this isn’t the PBA with oiled up lanes and a Black Diamond 16 lb ball. This is Survivor bowling. It’s 90 percent luck for crying out loud. When you have to sit someone out, the question should never be about the Reward Challenge, it should always be about the upcoming Immunity Challenge. You have to keep in mind that whoever sits out in the Reward challenge has to play in the Immunity Challenge.
Leadership. Forward thinking. Sorely missing.
Sandra is really underestimated. Not only does she know when to avoid a fight, she also knows when to start a fight. Strategy is all about timing, and Sandra is very good at gauging the right time to stir up trouble. She did it back in the Pearl Islands and used it to get the heat off of her back, which allowed her to win the game. She did it again this episode by starting a rift between Coach and Russell. Brilliantly played. I loved it. Let’s be honest, Sandra could have easily been sent home by now and had Courtney been voted out tonight, Sandra would be a shoo-in for next week. But because of her well-timed strategic maneuver, Sandra is still alive.
With this one little move, Sandra again revealed Russell’s Achilles heel. It’s not that he’s “stupid” as Sandra suggested. It’s his ego. Pure ego. In this case, it’s that he can’t stand thinking Coach is having second thoughts about him. Nobody has second thoughts about Russell Hantz. “I’m Russell Hantz!”
With Parvati, it’s his ego that is leading him to believe she really likes him. She doesn’t. Parvati doesn’t like anybody. We all know that. We’ve watched her play this game three times now. She’s a flirt. A very good flirt. A million-dollar flirt. But she doesn’t like you, Russell.
When Parvati and Russell were talking about their plan, she said to Russell: “It’s all falling together perfectly…” Russell should have stopped and listened to his gut. His reply to Parvati — “You’ve done that before…” — tells you that he knew something wasn’t right, but he didn’t listen. The reason he didn’t listen? His ego. To admit to himself that Parvati might be playing him would mean he would have to admit that maybe Parvati wasn’t as “into him” as he wants to think she is. Ego is a powerful thing. Russell’s ego is so powerful that it overrode his usually spot-on strategic sense and has left him very vulnerable. At this moment in the game, Russell is in trouble. He doesn’t see it, but he is.
The villains never really had a chance. Courtney has hurt them in back-to-back challenges. She hurt them last week, and she hurt them again this week. I’m not picking on Courtney! Relax. I’m just observing. Courtney should not have sat out of the bowling challenge. She should have bowled. Sandra should have bowled too. Bowling is a non-contact, non-physical challenge for reward. You don’t put yourself in a position to have Courtney and Sandra both forced to compete in the Immunity Challenge when you only have 5 people competing. That’s nearly half your tribe. I’ll say it again: leadership. Voting out Rob was a mistake they are paying for dearly.
If you find yourself on a tribe with a really great leader or a really great strategist or a really great food provider, or someone who dominates at challenges — think before you vote them out. Yes, they may be a threat later in the game, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense to vote them out immediately. Better to work with them, use their skills to get YOU as far in the game as you can go. Ride the horse in the direction it’s going… then when the end is in sight, you cut their neck. The short-sighted nature of so many Survivor players is the single biggest reason they never have a shot at the money.
In a sense, you have to play this game backwards. Think about it. You must get to the end to have a shot at the money, right? So, you have to survey the scene and ask yourself, who can help me get to the end? Guys like Russell and Rob and women like Parvati and Sandra, they can help you get to the end. If you find yourself in a situation where you sense somebody is very good, latch onto them and take a ride. I’m not suggesting flying under the radar, but I am suggesting you look for someone you fear — and instead of fearing them, join them. Just don’t forget to cut their throat before they cut yours.
Oh, now Danielle wants Courtney gone?!! Finally, a good idea. Danielle is right. But it’s too late, and she’s the wrong person to make a suggestion to Russell. Russell doesn’t respect Danielle. Parvati might have a shot at convincing Russell but she’s fine getting rid of Coach, because remember… it’s all “falling together perfectly.”
This slowly emerging idea that the Heroes think there is a “women’s alliance” on the villain tribe could be their salvation. It remains to be seen how and if it will play out but the Villains will need some sort of a break because right now they are in major trouble.
I won’t do a “goodbye Coach” tribute. You all know that I hated to see Coach go. From my vantage point, he’s one of the most fascinating people we’ve had on the show, but there is nothing to be done about it — he’s gone. My tissue box is still empty from last week’s dismissal of Boston Rob so the tears will have to simply fall down my face and onto the floor.
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Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Apr 16, 2010 12:22 pm

Apr 16


Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' episode 9
by Jeff Probst

Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Survivor-jeff-probst_320

Man oh man. Episode eight and this season has not slowed down one bit.

I know I use a lot of hyperbole in my blogs, it’s in part just so I can read your comments criticizing me for doing so, but sometimes the hype is justified. That’s certainly the case with what I’m about to write….
JT made perhaps the biggest and boldest move in the history of our show last night. It will go down as one of the most controversial decisions ever made by a player. Some will call him flat out dumb, while others… like myself …see the wisdom in what he was attempting to pull off.

More on that later…

I have loved this challenge every time we’ve done it in the past, but this time we added a great twist. We made it a tribe challenge pitting opposite tribe members against each other and the twist yielded great results. It was no longer a challenge based simply on strength and will-power, now it mattered who you matched up against. That changed everything.

It’s very clear that Rupert truly believes he is the strongest person left in this game. I love you Pirate Man, but on this note you’re delusional. Maybe you were one of the strongest players back in the Pearl Islands, but not this year. You’re not the strongest. You’re not even top three. In a head to head match up in most challenges I’d take Amanda, Candace, Parvati, Jerri & Danielle over you, and I’m just starting. Most every player left in this game is strong (both physically and strategically) and that’s why it’s going to be an exciting finish.

I think this challenge was won in large part because of the people that had hurt the Villains in earlier challenges. Sandra and Courtney were shoo-ins to win their match up. Courtney’s small stature made this an easy one for her to dominate, in fact she won a similar type of challenge in China. As for Sandra, these challenges play right into her wheel-house because they rely on pure will-power and nothing else. Sandra has an endless supply of will power. Like she said during the challenge, “two kids and not so much as an asprin!” That gave the villains 2 guaranteed points right off the bat.
When I saw the match-ups, I didn’t think the heroes had much chance at all.

Amanda and Parvati have both reached 100 days in the game of Survivor. You have to tip your hat to that amazing feat. Both of these women are fantastic players. You do not last that long in this game three times in a row without doing a lot of things very well. There are many things you could find to criticize about both of them, but it will never outweigh the fact that they’ve lasted longer than anybody else who has ever played. Now the question becomes who will have the most days played when the game is over? Will it still be a tie? And will either one of them have a million dollars as a result?

The way Parvati handled the finding of the clue and the idol is just one of the reasons Parvati has been so successful in this game. Parvati is playing to win. Her instant decision to hide the idol note from everybody except Danielle speaks to her prowess in this game.

Parvati: “We’ll fill Russell in on a need to know basis. Right now he doesn’t need to know.” If she chooses to keep this a secret from Russell and then surprises him with it, there will be repercussions, unless of course she uses it to vote him out.

I’ve said it many times this season because I believe it. Parvati has found a weakness in Russell and it’s a weakness that haunts most men – our ego when it comes to the opposite sex. I know some of you don’t like to talk about sex or the relationship between men and women, but there is no denying it plays a part in Survivor and in our daily lives. Parvati is a good flirt and there is zero doubt in my mind that she senses that she has just a slight edge over Russell so long as she can keep him dancing.

Parvati isn’t kidding when she says she wants to see Russell squirm a bit, she wants it to be very clear to Russell that she’s in charge. It’s a bold move and I respect it, but whoa girl, watch out if and when Russell finds out what you’ve been doing. You better use that idol to vote him out or use it to save him in a way that you can sell as an “alliance” move later in the game. Otherwise this could get really ugly and all the flirting in the world will not save you.

Okay, let’s get down to it.

JT…wants… to… give… a hidden immunity idol… to Russell. What?!

JT wants to give Russell an idol. He wants to hand him a get out of jail free card and along with it the power to change the vote at Tribal and decide who goes home. No amount of hyperbole could over sell this decision. This is JT. The guy who won this game in Brazil now wants to give away the single most powerful weapon in the game to the single most untrustworthy person left in the game?

It boggles the mind. It’s one of the most jaw-dropping decisions I’ve heard in the last 769 days of Survivor. (My math may be a day or two off, but I think that’s how many days the game has been played.)

It’s jaw-dropping but was it really crazy? That’s up for debate. What I like about the move is that it’s a big move and typically (not always) big moves are required if you’re going to have a shot at winning the game.

It’s easy to say it’s a silly idea when you’re watching from home and you know what everybody else is saying and doing. All JT had to go on was the mistaken belief that Russell was in trouble was probably going to be voted out. JT reasoned that if they merged then the female alliance would take over the game. But, if he could save Russell then Russell would be free to join the heroes and they would have the numbers at the merge and JT and his alliance would be in good shape. Based on the information JT had, it was actually a pretty inventive idea. If JT was right, it could have swung the game 180 degrees.

And if indeed there was an alliance, it didn’t matter that Russell wasn’t trustworthy because as far as JT knew, Russell had no other option so that made Russell need the heroes as much as the heroes needed Russell.

There’s been a lot of debate about whether Russell had an advantage or a disadvantage since nobody knew anything about him coming into this season. My take is that he had neither. We told everybody at the start of the show that they should read a lot into the fact that while they hadn’t seen Russell play, Russell was selected as one of the 5 most notorious male villains of all time. These are seasoned players, they knew this meant that Russell was a bad dude. On the flip side, when we asked Russell to join the H v V cast, we told him there is a very good chance you’ll be voted out early because nobody knows you, nobody has played with you and therefore nobody can trust you. Russell knew that was a risk going in. So both sides had fair warning. They were just as likely to vote him out in episode one for fear of the unknown as they were to keep him. Once Russell survived a couple of votes and showed what kind of player he is – intimidating, calculating, cunning – all bets were off.

JT’s hand-written letter to Russell is the kind of moment that reality producers dream about. You just can’t believe it’s really happening and you hold your breath that he won’t change his mind. (By the way, you’re no doubt wondering where they got pen and paper? It was part of Amanda’s luxury item that they won in an earlier episode.)

When the hand-off of the idol and the note finally happened the entire producing team popped a bottle of champagne. Okay that’s a lie, we don’t drink while shooting the show. But when we got back to basecamp. Whoooeee, it was party time! Actually, that’s another lie. When we get back to basecamp, most of us fall asleep at catering. Okay, fine… that too is a lie, a lot of us avoid catering because it’s not the kind of catering you’re imagining. It’s more like Army catering. Hold your plate out and take what’s given to you. So there wasn’t really any formal celebration. But inside, we were really jazzed.

At the end of the day, hindsight is once again, 20-20. Turns out there isn’t a female alliance and as a result JT and the heroes just made a huge mistake. A monumental mistake.

Once again the credit for this goes to the Villain tribe with “special recognition” to Russell for a Golden Globe worthy performance.

Hopefully you were so enraptured that you didn’t even notice the amazing camera and audio coverage during the challenge in which all of the idol drama played out. So let me pat our team on the back. We were all over it. First, our crew captured Colby telling Russell the plan as the two stood out on the platform during the challenge. Then, our producers and editors found a beautiful way of letting the moment play within the challenge by fading the audio of the challenge and bringing you right into the moment of their conversation out in the middle of the water.

Then, we got a little love from Mother Nature when she brought us a heavy rain which added to the drama… and you know how much I love me some rain during Survivor.

Finally, our camera crew captured JT giving Russell the idol when they hugged after the challenge. All of this was done without giving anything away to any of the other players. It appeared to be just another challenge.

For all of my lippy comments and for all the times I take credit for things that I have nothing to do with – here’s the real truth… It’s humbling to be a part of this team. Ten years ago I got the greatest break of my career when I stumbled onto this show.

If I may… Survivor: Heroes v Villains is as good as it gets when it comes to storytelling in the reality world and even a lot of the scripted world for that matter. We’re twenty seasons in and the show is as strong as ever.

I hold no hope for any love from the Emmy’s but I would be lying if I said I didn’t think the show deserved to be recognized again for outstanding achievement. Am I biased? Sure. Do I believe it? Absolutely.

I’m sure most of you have noticed that I’ve been more vocal and more aggressive at Tribal Council this season. The reason is pretty simple – these 20 players are very experienced and as a result very good. To get anything out of them you have to be more direct and more relentless.

I hope you all understand that I never bring up anything at Tribal Council that hasn’t already been discussed or isn’t already known. I would never betray or reveal secret information. When you hear them fighting back with me, that’s just part of the game and often, the words they are saying to me, are actually intended to send a signal to someone else.

It’s a very elaborate game of cat and mouse and the reason this season is so good is because we started with 20 fantastic players who continue to deliver week after week. I bust their chops on this blog every week because that’s the fun part of writing a blog, but since I’m feeling very “confessional” today – the truth is we painstakingly hand selected every person this season and we’re really pleased with the results. Every single player gave us something, even Sugar. Every single player left in the game has a legitimate shot at winning. Even Candace. Ah, I love to kid Candace.

You may find this hard to believe but I miss her. I really dig Courtney. One of the reasons I enjoy her is her laser sharp wit. She could talk me under the table (as you saw at many a tribal council) but I still like taking my swings. I think Courtney enjoyed herself out there more than she likes to admit. I look forward to seeing her on the jury. I expect interesting wardrobe choices and lots of dramatic facial expressions during Tribal.

While we’re on it…

I would be remiss if I did not comment on Coach’s wardrobe as the first jury member. Love him or hate him, the man owns his “personae” and I dig it.

Until next week.
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Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Apr 23, 2010 1:56 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' episode 10

by Jeff Probst

Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Jeff-probst-survivor_320

First off, let me just say that I share your “speechlessness” regarding tonight’s episode. By the way, I love creating new words. Would someone please add “speechlessness” to the Survivor dictionary or at least Wikipedia. Because after tonight, I feel like all Survivor fans have just shared a bit of Survivor church. I am still in shock at how good this season is and I was out there shooting it!! Name another reality show having a better season than Survivor. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Okay, onto the blog…

Well for once this season, Rupert was actually right. Not only about the game getting “crazy…” but also his gut about whom to trust.. Sandra or JT? He was spot on in choosing to believe Sandra. Then again, it was more of a lucky guess than anything else.
Imagine having to make that choice. Russell or Sandra.
It’s very easy to know the right choice when you’re sitting at home with that big bag of Doritos in your lap, your fingers orange from the artificial flavoring. But imagine having to choose between trusting Russell or Sandra without any outside help.
What a choice. They are two of the craftiest players in the game, both of whom are capable of lying with absolute conviction. I can see why Rupert believed Sandra and I can see why JT did not.

Once again Colby drops out of another challenge. I think he has been one of the biggest surprises and many would probably say one of the biggest disappointments of this season. But the truth is it just shows you how unpredictable this game can be and how big of a factor luck can play in how long you last. The challenges this season have not played to Colby’s strengths so he has struggled. The alliance he chose didn’t last, so he has struggled. Because he has struggled, his attitude has waned from wanting to quit to fightin to stay alive. Survivor is not an easy game to play.
This challenge certainly favored women as we witnessed with Danielle, Parvati and Candice battling in the end. I do not understand why Candice stepped out of the challenge. Even after questioning her at the challenge it still makes no sense. Immunity is everything in this game. She had a very good chance of winning. I do not understand why you would step down at this point in the game. I really think Candice is in a good position to go deep in the game right now but her logic in this situation really baffles me.
Not only did she give up personal immunity for herself, but in stepping down she gave immunity to someone from the Villain tribe which gave the Heroes one less person to vote for at Tribal Council. Add in the two immunity idols that Parvati had and the Heroes really had no chance at Tribal.

Once again Rupert’s observation was spot on. Noticing how easily Parvati, a true competitor, agreed to bow out of the challenge raised a big red flag to Rupert. She must have immunity otherwise she would never step down.
He was right. Parvati had immunity. Here’s another question I have – and maybe my logic doesn’t make sense as I am literally thinking about it only while I’m sitting in my home office – but since the Heroes knew that Parvati had an idol, why didn’t their thinking continue to the point of realizing that Russell was also lying. He had said that Parvati played an idol, right? Maybe I’m missing something obvious, but seems to me Russell may have dodged another bullet tonight. He was a sitting duck.

In case you’re wondering, my office is pretty small. It’s not connected to my house either. It has hardwood floors that I had to replace about three years ago after a particularly wet winter. I have a poster from a movie I wrote and directed, “Finder’s Fee.” I have a poster from a show I created and hosted, “Live For The Moment” that nobody watched so it’s off the air. I have two very old paintings from one of my grandpa’s. I have a flat screen that my brother mounted on the wall that I never watch and wish wasn’t there. I have an old grandfather clock, a few photos from Survivor, some photos of friends and a few trinkets from my travels. Now you know.

You knew it was coming. It was only a matter of time. Two former allies come together again with one major question on everybody’s mind. Will they partner or will they battle. I’m so happy they didn’t partner last night. It’s time they battled. I hope it continues. I will admit that I loved that Amanda betrayed Parvati. She just scored points in my book. Not because I’m rooting against Parvati, simply because I like seeing Amanda really step up. It’s about damn time. Parvati didn’t buy it and that’s why Parvati is neck and neck with Amanda in terms of days played in this game. Amanda’s tell is when she starts feigning “the weight of the world” on her shoulders. “I’m so confused. My head hurts.” Ah, she was doing so well until she gave it away. Make no mistake, Amanda is a big part of the reason tonight’s vote went down the way it did.

Now let’s get to the good stuff! Russell is a great player who is making potentially disastrous mistakes because of good ole hormones. Say what you want, tell me I’m wrong, I remain convinced that he is doing this because of Parvati’s flirtatious ways.
He would not give that idol to Sandra, even if Sandra was in his alliance. He wouldn’t give it to Danielle who IS in his alliance. He wouldn’t give it to anybody else, but for a second time… he gave it to Parvati…with no idea she already had one of her own.
Parvati is ballsy, right? Wow. She is knowingly double-crossing the one guy everybody else fears. You know what that tells me? She’s not afraid. Parvati is extremely confident. She smelled Amanda’s bullsh*t and she doesn’t fear Russell’s. Could Parvati win this game again? Maybe. Or maybe by me suggesting it, it means she won’t. Or maybe I just gave away that she did. Could Sandra win this game? Jerri? What about Rupert? Danielle? Amanda? Candice? Colby? JT? (Oops, sorry JT). Did I miss anybody?

It was an excellent tribal council because we have amazing players left in the game. The many layers of strategy that played out last night was fascinating. But the highlight of the night and one of the stand out highlights in a season filled with them came at the hands of Parvati.
It was one of the biggest moves ever and certainly the biggest of this season thus far.
The reactions as she passed out the first… and then the second idol were as good as it gets on Survivor. This is how you play Survivor. Full tilt boogie. Parvati just made it into the Survivor Hall of Fame.

Oh, there will be a big aftermath with Russell and Parvati. You saw him mouth to her at Tribal, “You got some explaining to do.” Russell does not suffer fools lightly, especially when he is his own fool. He’s mad. Burn your house down mad. This will be their first lovers quarrel. Yes, I know they’re not technically lovers, but in the game of Survivor, they’re more than lovers, they’re married and this will result in a major spat.
The question is will it destroy their alliance or will Parvati be able to salvage it. Any bets?

I respect JT for one simple reason. The handshake with Russell. It was classy. He got played and he knew it. Instead of pouting he acknowledged the move and with his head held high, left the game. JT went out with a bang for sure. Many will say he made the dumbest move in the history of Survivor, but in my book it’s how you finish and JT finished strong.

I have a great job.
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Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Apr 23, 2010 3:15 pm

I'm not even watching this season (wish I was, I just don't have time or DVR, damn it). I love Survivor and Jeff Probst, I think he's a great host. He's gotten extremely cocky over the years, but I still like him. Great blog!
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Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Apr 23, 2010 5:17 pm

tj2377 wrote:
I'm not even watching this season (wish I was, I just don't have time or DVR, damn it). I love Survivor and Jeff Probst, I think he's a great host. He's gotten extremely cocky over the years, but I still like him. Great blog!

wow TJ, you aren't watching? Can you get the episodes "On Demand" or maybe go back and watch them on the CBS website? Because this season has been awesome!! I could not agree more about Jeff, Love him but he is verrrrry cocky.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri Apr 30, 2010 11:17 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' episode 11

by Jeff Probst
Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Survivor-jeff-probst_320

Last week, Parvati played not one but two idols. Russell had no idea she had the second idol or he never would have given her his idol in the first place! You knew the fallout was going to come and the anticipation of it reminded me of my youth, growing up in the wheat fields of Kansas.
In Kansas, tornadoes are common and they often cause major damage. But just before the tornado strikes, there is an eerie calm. The wind doesn’t rustle, the rain doesn’t fall. It’s just calm. You see neighbors rounding up the bicycles or putting away the lawn mower, cause they know the storm is a comin’ and it’s gonna be bad.
Russell is like a tornado. A tornado that is lingering just outside of town, slowly swirling, building momentum and gearing up to do some major damage. You could feel his anger growing, you could feel the emotions beginning to gather steam as they worked their way through his body.
Swirling. Faster and faster…
If Russell is a tornado, Parvati is the tornado chaser. She loves being in the eye of the storm because she doesn’t fear a tornado but is in fact is drawn to its ferocity.
It’s a bit like a Spielberg movie, right? The world’s greatest and sexiest tornado chaser taking on the world’s biggest and most destructive tornado… in 3D!
Although Russell’s tornado turned out to be a false warning, it doesn’t mean it has gone away. The anger inside him is still swirling. He is still lurking just outside of town and Parvati knows it. Russell will not soon forget, check that, Russell will never forget that Parvati betrayed him and since Danielle was a part of that betrayal she better put her bicycle away too, cause this is only the first act and Spielberg always finishes with a bang.
Warning: For those of you who find my “adult themed” comments offensive, please skip down to the section titled “BACK TO PG.” Otherwise, read on at your own risk.
Colby, Danielle, Amanda. Could you have put together a more perfect group to sleep together on one bed? Colby -The rugged heroic cowboy. Amanda, the pretty and often shy cheerleader. Danielle, the sexy tomboy who despises cheerleaders. All together in one room with one bed for one night. Toss in a bowl of popcorn, a movie and a clue to the hidden idol and you have yourself the makings of a very interesting night. It feels, looks and sounds like Showtime, but it’s just another great moment in a season of great moments on Survivor.
Wow. Wouldn’t you like to see the left over footage from that scene? Let’s set the stage. Amanda dressed in bikini bottoms with a hoodie on top is surveying the room, looking for the clue. Danielle, dressed much the same way, is on the bed eating popcorn and also wondering where the clue might be. Colby is the only one actually watching the damn movie and he downs a handful of popcorn.
Danielle finds the clue in the bowl of popcorn. She carefully removes it and then tries to hide it from the others by dropping it on the floor next to her. As Amanda continues her hunt for the clue she spots it on the floor.
Amanda grabs it. Danielle tries to grab it back. The cat fight is on.
Two women, dressed only in bikini’s who haven’t showered in weeks fighting over a small piece of parchment in a hotel room while the seemingly oblivious cowboy from Texas continues to watch a movie on the television. (Take a moment, and let that sink in. Go ahead and read it again if you want, because that is exactly what happened.)
Amanda has it. Danielle wants it back. So now we have an interesting situation. Who does the note belong to? I am not there to referee or make a decision so this is left to them to figure out. Does it belong to Danielle because she found it? Does it belong to Amanda because she found it after Danielle dropped it on the floor? Should they have to share it? Or does it go to the winner of The cat fight? Of course I would opt for the last scenario – let them fight it out and the winner gets it, cause let’s be honest, that would be fun to watch.
INSIGHT: From a rules point of view, there is no rule that covers something this unique. Neither Danielle nor Amanda had a clear-cut case of possession, so it was up in the air.
My call would have been to have them “work it out” which probably would have resulted in all three of them sharing it together. That’s definitely what I would have said if I had been Amanda or Colby, “Let’s work it out together.” I would never have let Danielle walk away with it by herself. Never.
But then the most amazing thing happened. The seemingly oblivious cowboy from Texas suddenly wakes up and turns into a pretty decent game show host and without asking permission declares himself the arbiter of the dispute. Colby then states with an amazing sense of authority that the clue belongs to… Danielle. Well executed. Nicely done, dude. You should host your own show. Bravo.
And then… even more jaw dropping… Amanda, acting like a 5 year old whose daddy just told her to give the toy back to her sister, hands over the clue to Danielle! She gave it to her! Are you kidding?
It was one of the most fascinating moments this season. Human dynamics at play in the oddest context imaginable.
Amanda gave the clue back because she wasn’t strong enough to stand up for herself. It continues to be Amanda’s Achilles heel in life. Standing up for her self. I know she is watching this at home and frustrated once again because she could easily still be in this game if she had only stood up for her self and said, “I’m not giving it back. I have it. I’m not letting go. You were foolish enough to set it aside and I grabbed it. Now back off before I do one of my favorite high schools cheers and toss you over my back and down the stairs.” But instead she was intimidated and obediently did as instructed by Colby.
That is what Survivor is all about. No rules. Work it out. The person who makes the most compelling argument often wins. In this case it was Colby, a guy who didn’t even have a stake in the issue.
CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM TO COLBY: You did a very nice job of handling the moment. You took charge and you were clear. You only made one mistake. When you fell into the host role, you forgot you were also one of the contestants as well. You should have made a decision that included you getting to see the clue. At the very least you should have let Amanda see it. She’s on your tribe!!! Giving it to Danielle was a mistake.
What do you guys think? What should have happened? What would you have done?
“I am the king of hidden immunity idols.” I’d have to agree. Over the last two seasons Russell has proven that he has an uncanny ability to find the idols. In fact, he’s so good at it that he’s forever changed how we will handle idols in future seasons.
INSIGHT: Next season it will take more than just looking under a rock to find a hidden idol. I won’t give away what we’re doing, but in planning our creative for next season we coined a phrase, “The Russell Factor” and it influenced how we will play the hidden idol next season.
She’s a slick one. She knows when to listen and when to talk. Sandra is smart. Who else could tell Russell to walk away and get away with it.
I also appreciate Sandra’s ability to know when to give up the fight and go with the flow.
This is why Sandra is so good… her last question to Candice: “Tell me who you want out, please.”
Sandra is smart enough to know when she is fighting an uphill battle. Asking that question was her way of giving in without giving up. She was offering her vote to the majority to ensure she stays in the game at least one more day. If you’re in the game you have a chance.
Candice is getting herself into a sticky situation. When you don’t pull the trigger, people start to doubt you. When they start to doubt you, they stop telling you things. When they stop telling you things, you’re in trouble. Candice needs to make a bold move and soon.
I think the wear and tear of Russell playing back to back seasons may be taking it’s toll. Far be it from me to criticize how he’s playing, but I think he’s talking too much.
Again, I’m not playing so it’s easy to back seat drive but Rupert’s grudge with Russell seems personal. Let it go. Stay focused on staying in the game. Keep your eyes on the prize.
I love these types of challenges. Taking a basic idea like “House Of Cards” and turning it into a challenge is what our challenge department does best. It’s a great challenge because anybody can win and it’s also fun for kids watching the show because this is the kind of challenge you can easily replicate for a Survivor themed birthday party.
By the way – Congrats to Jerri for her first individual immunity challenge victory!
Russell’s quote about Amanda is something I could have lived my entire life and been okay not hearing:
Russell: She’s kinda like Boston Rob in a girl’s body. It’s a quote I don’t need to hear, an image I don’t need in my mind. But it lingers. It’s like when you hear an annoying song by Air Supply as you’re just waking up and the song stays in your head all day. Now all I’m imagining is Amanda in a white tank-top with a Red Sox cap on—- … hang on a second. Maybe this isn’t such a bad image after all.
I wish we had more moments like this because they remind me of the reality of what the Survivors lives are really like. They have hours upon hours of idle time where life is absolutely boring. The fire is stoked, the water is boiled, they’re taking a break from strategy and they’re just hanging out. This is why, when all is said and done, that so many former Survivors become friends. It’s a bonding experience that few of us in life will ever get the chance to experience. I miss these moments in the show. I wish we had more, but the show is about strategy these days and so that’s where most of the stories lead.
I have to admit and I’m surprised to be saying this… but I found myself a little bummed that Amanda is gone. As frustrating as she can be at times, she’s a tremendous player. One of the best. She only lacks one thing from being an absolute dynamo and that’s the killer instinct. As stated earlier, it’s the confidence to stand up for her self and claim what is rightfully hers. Had she done that with Danielle in the hotel room she’d probably still be in this game.
PS. Sorry I forgot to remind you we were back to the PG rating.
Next week is a biggee. Two immunity challenges. Two tribal councils. Two people gone.
See ya then.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri May 07, 2010 8:38 am

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' episode 12

by Jeff Probst

Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Jeff-probst-survivor_320Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Rupert: “There are no other heroes.”
Oh Rupert, I still love you, but after this season concludes you need shave the beard and create a new persona. The one has grown tired. The lovable pirate who always puts integrity ahead of winning has served you very well and you will always be one of the most popular Survivors ever. But it’s time for a change. Listen, to be fair – I know I could take the same advice myself. Get me a new haircut, a different colored shirt and maybe some new dialogue, cause I’m sure the same argument could be made for me. The Probst act has grown tired.
But, I’m the one writing the blog so that means I’m going to continue to focus my attention outward on everyone else… and leaving the inward thinking for my therapy sessions.
There were a few themes this episode. Morality, hypocrisy and exhaustion. All three of them in full force.
It started with Rupert and Colby’s character assassination of Candice.
The reason we brought Candice back as a hero in the first place was because she stayed loyal to her alliance in the Cook Islands. This time she is playing a different game. Surprise, she wants to win. But to listen to Rupert and Colby you’d think she had committed treason or some other terrible crime against humanity.
Colby: “Candice is so weak. She’s so pathetic.”
Rupert: “Self centered, greedy, manipulative. She killed us. Candice is a pitiful player.”
Really? Isn’t she just playing Survivor like everybody else. This exchange really stood out to me as a stunning example of what happens when you are tired and frustrated and looking for someone or some thing else to blame it on. I don’t really think Candice is all those things anymore than I think Rupert is the savior he believes himself to be. It’s all part of playing Survivor and the game is simply taking its toll on these intrepid but exhausted folks.
Case in point…
There is no doubt left in my mind. The enormous emotional wear and tear of back-to back Survivors is severely impacting Russell’s game. The man is flat out tired. The kind of tired that makes you irritated just to be awake, but so tired you can’t fall asleep. The kind of tired that lets you know you’re gonna bite somebody’s head off before they even say a word, you’re just waiting for them to so much as breathe… like a snake in the grass. As a result, the microscopic filter system that Russell had been utilizing when in social situations is gone.
The ugliness that came out of his mouth while sitting across the fire from Rupert just made Russell one of the best candidates to take to the end because his chances of winning just took another nose dive. I’m not saying he can’t pull it out, but the odds are plummeting. It wasn’t even so much what he said it was how he said it. It was mean spirited, even for Russell.
I’m not making excuses for Russell when I say he’s exhausted. He’s done a very good job of showing his true colors. But I do believe that the emotional drain this show exacts is hard for the audience to truly understand.
The truly great players are “focused” on this game every single second of every single minute of every single day. That kind of intense focus is so exhausting that once the game ends, many Survivors take months to get back to normal. Think about it…you are in an environment that takes you out of your comfort zone, no creature comforts, where you cannot really trust anyone, where you have to watch your back at all times and on top of it all, you have to be thinking several moves ahead or you will lose the plot and your torch will be snuffed.
As I’ve said many times before, I’m eating and sleeping every day while we’re shooting and even I am exhausted at the end of a season. I was a disaster after our back to backs in Samoa. This game is nuts. This season has been the most intense season we’ve ever had. I’m amazed at the level of game play from these contestants. We may never see something like this again. It’s truly been a treat, but it’s taken its toll. Look at their faces, their body language.
On my list of players that are still 100% focused on the game and only the game, there are four: Parvati, Sandra, Russell and Danielle. All villains. I know that offends everybody else left in the game but here’s my rational:
Colby is certainly a good strategist but his head has been in and out of the game this season and leaves him vulnerable.
Rupert is a decent strategist, but he gets too lost in the morality of what he deems to be appropriate behavior. It’s wasted energy.
Candice is very smart but she doesn’t commit fast enough and it’s a fatal flaw.
Jerri just doesn’t have it in her DNA to only focus on the game. Jerri will take time to enjoy a moment or stare at a sunset… I mean really stare at the sunset…and though it’s a great quality in life, it’s not one that works well in this game.
This doesn’t mean Colby, Rupert, Candice and Jerri can’t make it to the end and win. I’m only pointing out that right now there are four people who are truly focused on this game and with each passing day the toll of the game will make it harder and harder for each of them to focus. Those who hold it together the longest have the best chance of winning.


I continued to be amazed at how quickly people will step out of a challenge for food. It happens season after season. People voluntarily stepping out of a challenge for immunity. Nuts. They always blame it on “I wouldn’t have lasted long anyway.” But after 20 seasons I believe it is simply evidence of Maslows Hierarchy Of Needs: Physiological needs – breathing, food, water – will always win out. Playing Survivor does not even make the top five.
Much like Russell can’t help himself from saying ugly things with true malice, when you’re as hungry as these guys are, the desire to eat overpowers the less immediate desire to win a game show and a million dollars.
Sometimes I understand that people believe in their alliance so strongly that they do not feel they are in danger so they take the food. But Colby was a surprise. I’m sure by now Donaldson figures I’m picking on him but I’m really not. Well, a little. But come on, this is Colby Donaldson. There are expectations that come with being the original hero. One of them is you never give up. The Colby of old would have stayed in that challenge until his arm fell asleep, then held on as it turned blue and only would have given up when the doctors pulled him out due to gangrene setting in. But the Colby of 2010 is tired. He stepped out of another immunity challenge despite knowing he is a major target to be voted out.
Rupert & Parvati were the only two that hung in there. Parvati represented the villains, and her job was to defeat Rupert so they could vote him out at Tribal Council. Rupert knew his job – win the challenge so he could stay in the game. He did an admirable job, finally falling out due to a momentary loss of concentration. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Rupert, for all of my making fun of you becoming larger than life, I admire your effort in challenges.
Parvati wins another immunity challenge. Parvati is a player. She fights hard on all levels and she always wants to win. Always.

After Russell played the idol at the last tribal council it was put back in play and boy what fun it was to be able to read the clue to the contestants. You could anticipate the craziness that was going to take place back at camp.
And whadaya know, Sandra the lippiest Survivor in history finds the idol. The moment just after she found it – where she is trying to hide it on her person and then ultimately hides it in the jungle – is the kind of moment that makes all of us on the production side smile with glee and jump for joy. Those real moments are fantastic.
But even better than the Sandra moment was Rupert deciding to put a rock in his pocket and pretend it’s an idol. And it worked. If not for this brilliant decision and subtle Emmy worthy performance, Rupert was a shoo-in to be voted out. This gave him life and a chance to stay in the game. Sometimes that is all you need. A chance.
Rupert’s acting was a performance that nobody could appreciate more than Russell. Ironic, given that Russell is the one that fell for it the hardest. I’m telling you the man is exhausted. But it was fun to see Russell fail, right? It’s always fun to see the guy on top… drop. It reminded me how many times Russell has been right in the past. Not this time. He is slowly crumbling and if he doesn’t get it together quickly and wake up, Russell will not make it to the end.

Colby was on Candice again at Tribal Council. I really don’t get it. His lecture at tribal council was an admonishment. Like a parent scolding their child for misbehaving. It could be the wear and tear alone or it could be that Colby isn’t used to losing and is having a difficult time accepting it. Either way it seemed misplaced. Candice is not even top ten of the dirtiest players in this game. If she were, she’d probably still be in the game.

Oh-oh. Russell is not happy.
Russell: “I’m not fully in control of this game right now. But you know what, I’m gonna take control of this game so fast they’re not gonna know what hit ‘em.”
Russell …just woke up.

I loved this challenge. It’s exciting, it’s big and anybody can win. Parvati continues to impress me. I don’t know that Parvati and I would ever be great friends and I’m pretty sure she’d be a tough woman to date, but if I’m in a fox hole, with the enemy approaching, I’d be very confident in our chances if she was the one who had my back. The girl plays to win… at everything she does.
Remember how I said Russell woke up. Well, he is wide-awake now. With immunity around his neck, he can now attempt to get back in control of this game.
Russell’s attempt to break up his own alliance is a huge move. Big moves can cost you the game. Big moves can also get you to the final. They’re risky, that’s why they are big moves. Russell wants to win and he’s afraid that he may get left behind. This is what you call “going for broke.” It will either work or it won’t, but there will not be any middle ground.
I appreciate the move. Whether it works or not, Russell’s game play continues to be one of the big reasons this season is so good. But he’s going up against Parvati and Parvati as stated earlier, does not back down, from anybody.

Russell and Parvati’s argument in the jungle was their first lovers spat. Go watch it again. They are behaving like a couple and they are arguing. Even their language is different. It’s the language of a couple. I know a lot of you are laughing at my ridiculousness, but I’m serious. I know they’re not a real couple per se, but their bond has gotten to a point where the language reflects something different from mere Survivor play.

Russell’s decision to bring in Colby and Rupert is a perfect example of the hypocrisy in this game. Russell who moments earlier had sarcastically called Rupert, “the second coming of Christ” offered to align with him so they could take out Danielle. First he approached Colby, who had no issue aligning with Russell. Then he approached Rupert, the man who despised Russell so much he had called him a “disgusting terrible human being.” They bumped fists like brothers, without so much as a word and just like that… they’re allies.
That’s Survivor. Right there. Leave your morality at home. Save your speeches for the shower. Here’s the thing though. Russell’s move doesn’t surprise me at all. He has always said, “I’m a villain who is playing a game.” Rupert on the other hand has made his name and a decent living off being the morally superior one. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t stand on a pedestal and proclaim yourself the most moral of all only to hop off the pedestal the minute a better situation presents itself. Changing sides and changing your mind is fine – that’s basic Survivor. But you can’t have it both ways.
Let me be really clear about something. I do not root for Russell. I do not root against Rupert. I do not root for or against anybody. I merely observe and comment. Russell makes no bones about how he plays. Neither for that matter does Parvati or Sandra. They play hard and they know it could cost them in the game. What is annoying me (now I’m the one losing my mind!) is the holier than thou crap spewing out of people’s mouths. Rupert just proved the point better than any rant I could ever make. He’d team up with Russell right now if he thought it would get him to the end. To repeat, there is nothing wrong with changing strategies, but the lectures about right v wrong have grown tired.
Okay, thank you. I feel better now. I think I need to go stand in a good rain storm. Anybody wanna join me?

Wow. I have to gather energy to continue because what happened at this tribal council was damn near historic. A breakdown. The wear and tear that I’ve been talking about this entire blog showed itself again. Danielle has played so hard. She has been so focused. She has given tremendous effort. But she lost it tonight. While Parvati remained calm, Danielle panicked and it cost her. She lost focus. She took Russell’s bait and he got inside her head. If only Danielle could have hit pause on the Tivo she could have gotten it back together. But Survivor doesn’t have a pause button. It goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. I would never criticize somebody for being tired. It’s a result of playing a very difficult game. It’s just the way it goes. There was a showdown. Russell won. Danielle lost.
She played a heckuva game but she came up short. See ya on the jury Danielle.

At the live reunion show in NY on May 16th, we are going to crown one Survivor the winner of the “Dumbest Move” in the history of Survivor. You will decide who wins the trophy! Cast your vote at:

See ya next week!
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyFri May 14, 2010 2:14 pm

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' episode 13

by Jeff Probst

Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Survivor-jeff-probst_320

Sandra (to Rupert): “Loose lips sink ships.”
And just like that, Rupert is gone and we are down to one remaining hero left in the game.
Colby. Like the cowboys of old he stands alone, atop the mountain. Weathered skin from years of being on horseback, he props a Winchester rifle against his shoulder. This battle could get ugly. Then again, the way Colby has played this year, he might just set the rifle down and surrender to the opposition.
It’s been an interesting season for Colby. He was asked back for this season because he was the first and many (including myself) would say quintessential hero of this game. But this season has been rough on Colby. He has not performed up to his or anybody else’s expectations and yet here he is heading into the final episode with a one in five shot at winning the million dollars. Colby is a great example of why you should never quit in this game or any other game. You gotta be in it to win it. He’s still in it. He could still win it.
You know I love these moments. I’ll always be a fan of love. It was fascinating to watch the relationships between loved ones play out during the challenge. It always reminds me these are real people who have signed on for an extraordinary adventure and an incredibly taxing game. Rarely on Survivor do you see someone at their best. Their loved one visit usually illuminates a part of their personality we don’t often see.
It’s clear that Parvati’s relationship with her dad Michael is solid. He’s a proud Dad who loves his daughter. They’re both competitive and Dad was doing his best during the challenge, but even in the end I think he was just happy to see that his daughter was healthy and still in the game. That’s the love of a parent and it’s a beautiful thing.
Jerri’s sister traveled all the way from Germany to get to Samoa and it was clear how happy Jerri was to see her and hug her. Jerri is obviously a woman who has worked hard on herself and strives to live her life a spiritual way. Watching them in the challenge was fun because Jerri wanted to win but she also wanted to have fun competing on Survivor with her sister. Whadaya know, she achieved both.
Colby’s relationship with his older brother was also revealing. It’s the kind of relationship that only brothers can have. You can yell at your brother in a way you wouldn’t yell at a sister or even a good friend. Colby was clearly frustrated with everything about the situation (like he has been all season) and his brother Reid, was a very good sport about it. That’s also indicative of a brother relationship. When one bro senses the other is struggling, you give them some slack.
Russell’s wife, Melanie must be a strong woman because as we all know by now Russell is a major strategic game player who never takes his eyes off the prize. Even though I know he wanted to see his wife, he wasn’t going to let his emotions cause any hiccups in his game. His entire time with his wife was spent strategizing and updating her. Even their goodbye was about strategy, when he referred to Jerri’s choice of who to bring along on the reward. Russell: “She screwed up.”
Rupert’s wife Laura has one of those faces that make you want to smile. For all of the grief I give Rupert for being a bit over the top, when I see him with his wife, I can’t help but smile at the true love they seem to share. It’s not her first time to the island and she has been a delight each time she has visited. Their goodbye was out of a movie. If their life is truly that romantic, that’s pretty kick ass.
But the one that got me and still gets me as I write this was Sandra’s visit from her Uncle, Fernando. Their chat about the loss of her mother was extremely touching. On top of that, Sandra’s husband couldn’t visit because he is serving in Afghanistan. Her uncle was a wonderful substitute and while watching them play the challenge together you saw that they share the same sense of humor that Sandra displays daily along with the same absolute lack of concern for winning something as silly as a reward challenge.
When we get to this point in the game, our rewards usually come with a complication – a consequence. Jerri was forced to choose two and only two couples to join her on the reward. Without hesitating she chose Parvati and Sandra. That left Rupert and Colby and Russell to go back to camp. You don’t need a Magic 8-Ball to guess what happened next.
Russell, Rupert and Colby all started talking about what a dumb move Jerri made by not choosing them. The truth is there is no good move when you’re in Jerri’s spot. No matter whom you leave behind, they’re going to be upset.
So, Russell reaches out to make a deal with Rupert and Colby. I love it. A complete 180. Is it real? Will it last? Can anybody trust anybody? Ha! That’s the greatest part. Nobody can trust anybody and everybody knows it.
What the heck was Rupert thinking? Was that ego that he wanted everybody to know he was working? Rupert, nobody cares. Was it anger that he wasn’t chosen to go on the reward? Rupert, nobody cares. It accomplished absolutely nothing and it certainly contributed to him being voted out and losing his shot at the million dollars.
I can’t believe I am saying it again but once again Colby Donaldson was first out of the challenge. If I had told you at the beginning of the season that the biggest letdown would come from our most celebrated hero, nobody would have believed me. Yet, as mentioned earlier… Colby is still in the game and if he makes it to the final is probably the odds on favorite to win the money. Crazy.

On the flip side – Rupert fights until he has nothing left. He doesn’t quit because he thinks someone else might outlast him. He doesn’t step out because he’s hungry. He goes as long as he can and not a second less. Once again he made it a long time in the challenge but came up…. short.
Parvati continues to impress, winning yet another challenge. I’m running out of ways to say it. Win or lose this season, she’s in the Survivor Hall of Fame and will go down as one of the greatest to ever play.
Wow. They’re all losing their minds.
Sandra: Rupert, loose lips sink ships.
Rupert: Yes, they do.
Sandra: Yes, they do and they just did.
Russell: Are you with me or against me?
Sandra: I’m against you, Russell.
Parvati: Who invited Boston Rob back to the party. Are you with me or are you against me?
Russell: What are you all doing… you’re being dumb. Go ahead and keep playing around. Holler out whatever you want, you’re diggin a deeper and deeper hole.
For a moment it was like an episode of Lost – nothing made sense. Everybody was all over the map going into Tribal Council. Just like I like it…
And the craziness continued at Tribal Council. What happened to these guys? They’ve lost their bloody minds I tell you. It was fantastic.
Parvati was the highlight: From her worthy impression of a cigar lounge, burlesque dancer, nightclub singer with a stoagie dangling from her lips to her 180 degree head turn toward Russell when asked about the “top villain” question. It was all money.
The most telling moment was when Rupert asked Parvati:
Rupert: “You don’t think you’re the top villain?”
Parvati: “Nope I don’t. I’m a hero on the inside.” Yeah. Right. Trust me, Parvati believes she is the top dog of the Villain tribe and that she is calling all the shots. Likewise, Russell believes he is the top dog and calling all the shots. If you’re Jerri, Colby or Sandra, this is great news because nobody wants to go to final tribal council with the moniker of “top dog” of the Villains. Those heroes will eat that person alive.
BIGGEST MOVE: Sandra’s decision to play the idol will have consequences. Had she not played it, nobody would have ever known. By deciding to play it she revealed that she had kept a secret from everybody in her alliance and everybody in the game. Curious to see how that plays out, but it was a big, risky and ultimately wise move. The idol had no more use after tonight.
Rupert lasted a long time in a very tough season and once again he came up… just short.
Thanks for the great times, Rupert. You have served Survivor very well.
So, we now head into the final two-hour episode followed by the one-hour reunion show live this Sunday, May 16th from New York City. There are 5 Survivors left. One hero and four villains. At this point I honestly believe it is anybody’s game.
COLBY: If he makes it to the end, he wins. Too many heroes on the jury that have too much animosity for the Villains. Despite not earning it, Colby could soon be a millionaire.
SANDRA: She has to make it to the end with Russell and/or Parvati to have any chance. Jerri and Colby will both beat her.
PARVATI: Could become the first two-timer winner. She’s that good and has played that good of a game.
RUSSELL: Could become first time back-to-back loser. He’s that good and that despised. For Russell to win it will take a jury that appreciates great game play and let’s go of the social, which Russell simply doesn’t have. One thing is for sure, he won’t have JT’s vote. Probably won’t have Rupert’s either.
JERRI: I think Jerri has a very good shot to win this. If she gets to the final with the right person/people she just might get rewarded for all of her growth and overall pretty decent strategic game play.
See ya from NYC!
I’ll try to post a finale wrap-up blog later next week.
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Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Empty
PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains   Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains EmptyTue May 18, 2010 10:52 am

Jeff Probst blogs the finale of 'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains'

by Jeff Probst
Categories: Reality TV, Survivor, Television

Jeff Probst blogs Survivor: Hereos vs Villains Jeff-probst-survivor_320 I type this I am on the plane flying back to Los Angeles less than 12 hours after Sandra became first two-time Survivor winner. So bear in mind I’m a bit fuzzy headed and therefore may say things I later regret or later realize aren’t funny or even interesting.
I’m not going to argue whether Sandra should have won or not. I’ve learned from last season that it’s a bit pointless. The jury is in charge and the jury made their decision.
Having said that… I will go on record and say that I would have voted for Parvati. No question. (AMEN JEFF)
Not taking anything away from Sandra. Sandra is a very good player and she does one thing very well – she avoids the vote. Two times played, two times won, two times never voted out. Hard to argue against that record.
Had I been given a vote, I would have voted for Parvati because she played her ass off. She zigged and zagged her away through the Samoan jungle like nobody’s business. I was truly impressed. She handled Russell in a way nobody else could have. The double idol play was bold. The subtle social game she played was spot on. I think she played an overall better game than Sandra.
However, I do believe the jury lumped her in with Russell and if that’s the case, then Parvati misread the vibe of the group and it cost her the money. Then again, I’m just the host and as a contestant recently reminded me at a tribal council, I don’t have a vote, so I don’t count. Truer words never spoken. I don’t have a vote. I don’t count. So let’s move on…
Russell was too hyped up last night at the live Reunion show for me to get much of anything out of him. I’m sorry I didn’t do a better job because he had a lot of very interesting things to say about the game and the wear and tear it took on him. All I could do last night was to try to keep him seated in his chair long enough for us to get a shot of him on-camera. In fact the entire night it felt a bit like a fight might break out at anytime. In case you’re wondering what I would have done…? I would have just let it happen. I wouldn’t have gone to commercial but instead would have launched right into good ole fashioned Survivor play-by-play. But it didn’t. Instead these guys did what they were put on the show to do, they did their best to entertain.
I feel for Russell. I do not believe he is aware of how out of balance his life is right now. He is still stuck in “the game” and it was uncomfortable for me to watch him squirm so much last night and scream so loudly for respect. He doesn’t need to ask for respect. He has won the Sprint Player of the Game two times. He has also proven to be extremely good at getting to the end by being a great strategist and intimidator. There is no question that Russell is an excellent player of Survivor.
But my opinion of Russell changed when he admitted to Boston Rob that he did not play to win. You can’t be the best if you’re not playing to win. He can hoop and holler all he wants about “America choosing” but that’s not this game. This game is about convincing a jury of your peers that you are the most deserving person. He didn’t do that. But my problem is not that he didn’t accomplish that goal, it’s that it wasn’t his goal in the first place.
Boston Rob plays to win. The fact that he hasn’t won doesn’t change the fact that he plays to win. It’s a philosophical approach to the game and if Russell truly doesn’t play to win then he has no claim to greatest player.
Here’s the rub… I am not convinced Russell truly feels that way. Stay with me. I think Russell did play to win. 100%. I think he just misjudged and didn’t fully understand the game well enough to achieve his goal. So now he is changing history. I believe that last night he was scrambling to make sense, scrambling to defend, scrambling to justify another loss, so he decided that all he ever wanted to do was get to the end.
That’s what I mean about “out of balance.” The man needs a break. He needs a retreat somewhere far away where he is not allowed to talk about Survivor, not allowed to talk at all. He needs a rest. I don’t imagine he’ll take one. I imagine he’ll let the anger stir inside him and it will haunt him for a long time to come.
Russell, if you’re reading this and I know you are – I hope, I truly hope you will give yourself a break and let the game go… at least for a while. Come back and revisit it with a fresh mind and see if you can find ways to improve your game. Otherwise you are doomed to be frustrated by this game and continue to make silly suggestions like “let America vote.”
Onto other thoughts:
I was happy to hear that Coach has gained some personal insight into how he is perceived as a result of his time on Survivor. As most of you know, I like Coach and his stories don’t bother me but I love anytime someone changes for the better as a result of their time on our show. Side note: Coach really wanted to play trumpet with the band during the Reunion show. He sent me a clip and he’s pretty damn good, but we just didn’t have any extra time and couldn’t work it out.
I was very surprised at the Sprint Player of the Game vote. I thought Boston Rob was a shoo-in but evidently he was just gone too long. I also never thought Rupert would be one of the two top vote getters, not only that but it was really close. Less than 2,000 votes separated the two.
Candice never looked more beautiful than she did last night. I think it’s the ring on her finger. That girl is in love and so proud. This may surprise those of you who read this blog, but the truth is I really like Candice quite a bit and I’m so happy for her happiness.
Man, I don’t exactly know what is going on with Colby but he still seemed mad last night.
I’m not sure what was going on with James either but word on the street is that he was on some pain medication for his knee and as a result was a bit out of it.
Boston Rob and Amber – who knew they’d make such a cute baby. I saw Amber before the show and she looks great. All smiles. She seems very happy being a mom and Rob is about as proud of his family as you can be without being corny and Boston Rob is rarely corny.
Ethan Zohn also stopped by last night to say hi before the show. I had recently hosted Larry King and he was on as a guest to talk about his cancer being in remission. It was so good to see him in person, give him a hug and tell him how happy I am that he is healthy again. I’d love to see Ethan back on the beach playing Survivor again one day. What an inspiration.
Okay the plane is about to land and I’ll be honest, like I always am… I am ready to put this season to bed.
Heroes v Villains will go down as one of the greatest seasons ever and that’s thanks to the 20 people who played.
It is so easy to sit at my desk in my office with my patio doors open and make fun of these guys all season, just like they could make fun of me if they had a blog. But most of them don’t. So in fairness, after a season full of lippy blogs, I think a bit of redemption is in order.
The 20 people who came out and played Survivor again this year did their very best every damn day they were out there. Survivor is unlike any other game on television. No other show kicks your ass the way this one does. No other show taxes you mentally the way this one does. And no other show puts you in situations that challenge you to be your best but often result in highlighting your worst qualities under the most unflattering conditions.
I tip my hat to the group of heroes and the villains for not only giving us 13 weeks of amazing television but also for everything they put at stake: reputations, family time, personal plans and careers to name a few. They put all this at risk while exposing themselves to the ridicule of lippy bloggers, like myself and Dalton Ross. They knew that was part of the game coming in but it doesn’t make it any easier. This was not an easy season for any of them. Every single player endured some kind of pain and/or hardship. I hope you are all reading this and I hope that at some point in the very near future you raise a glass and toast yourself. Well done.
Writing this blog and getting your feedback was, for the most part, an enjoyable experience. I won’t lie, there are days I am not in the mood to write it but then I remember that for those who do read it, you look forward to it and that always compels me to finish.
I am happy to be back for two more seasons of Survivor and we start shooting very soon. I hope you will come back and stay with us even though we have a lot to live up to following Heroes v. Villains.
To all the people I met in NY this weekend on the streets, in restaurants, at the hotel, at the airport – thanks for the loyal support all these years. I’m sorry we couldn’t accommodate more people at the live show. Maybe CBS should open it up to a bigger venue again as they have in the past.
To those of you still applying who have yet to get on the show – I hope you keep applying. We miss good people all the time, don’t give up the dream.
To those of you who think I suck as a host or as a blogger… kiss it.
Nicaragua.. here we come!
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