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 Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog

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PostSubject: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyThu Feb 17, 2011 11:28 am

'Survivor' Central by Dalton Ross

Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog Jeff-probst_2401

Image credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Okay, give us the lowdown on the helicopter ride to start the season. How did you not fall out of the back of that thing and plummet to your death? Not that we wanted that (even though it would have made for AMAZING television).
Hey, Dalton, Love the new Q&A and thanks for plugging my weekly episode vlog as well at Okay, let’s get to the opening shot from the helicopter. I have one safety strap that is attached around my waist under my shirt and is being held by one clip attached to the floor of the helicopter. The safety guys assure me that these straps never break and the clips never fail. Other than that there is no other back up. It is a bit of a risk but I go with the odds and the experts that I am relatively safe. Hanging out of the back end of a plane or helicopter is a rush and when the pilot banks hard to the left it is a real kick. I love it and selfishly I wish we could do it every season.
While there was obviously the puzzle part at the end, the first part of the Immunity Challenge was pure brute strength, as I know from lamely attempting it myself while I was out there. Was there a concern among you and the crew that Zapatera had an unfair advantage by having an extra man on their tribe, not to mention Julie, who is also strong as hell? If Rob the puzzle king had ended up on that tribe it could have been a flat-out massacre.
First of all, Dalton, I give you credit for always taking part in the opening challenge rehearsal when you visit location. You are able to give insight because you have actually done it. You’re right, this was an ass kicker. Yes, we were aware of uneven tribes but there just wasn’t anything to do about it. We were also reacting to the previous season where due to the theme of Old vs Young we were stuck with some “softer” challenges. We were ready to get out of the gates big with Redemption Island. I think we accomplished our goal!
This had to be the best first Tribal Council ever. What shocked you more: Rob asking for Kristina’s hidden immunity idol or Phillip’s inability to pronounce the name Francesca?
Let me start by giving my thanks to the Survivor gods for Phillip. He is one of my favorite all-time characters, even if he’s voted out next week. I love how earnest he is about his time serving as a former federal agent and how zany he can be with his logic. The trouble pronouncing Francesca was certainly humorous and we had some good laughs that night at Tribal Council. But, as always, you have to remember, it’s already been 3 days and they’re already physically exhausted and emotionally drained. As for Rob…I was initially shocked because it was so brazen, but upon reflection after Tribal I realized that Rob came to play. He is going to go big or go home or maybe both but he will not go quietly. I thought it was a tone-setting move and is an example of why I believe fans will really enjoy this season.
Finally, hit us up with a tease for next week’s episode!
Next week Phillip offers one of the most entertaining adventures when he goes crab hunting. It is both funny and touching. You will laugh and who knows, you may cry as well. Don’t miss it. Talk next week, D. Ross!
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyThu Feb 17, 2011 12:45 pm

Here is Jeff's blog from his site.

Survivor: Redemption Island Episode One Blog 2/17/11

Welcome to the first official episode blog on I know I promised you a video blog, but here’s the truth. I got home from New York at 1:30 am. I sat down in my living room five minutes after getting home and recorded a nine minute video blog. Was it any good? I have no idea. But as I loaded it to YouTube it.. was… too…long. I’m still learning and evidently there is a size limit.
So… you get the written blog once again. I know a lot of you want this to be a written blog anyway. The truth is doing a video blog is a helluva lot easier for me. So maybe I’ll vary it and on days when I have time I’ll write it and other times I’ll videotape it… just shorter.
For the record it is now 3:30 am. That’s 630 am NY time so I’m now at 24 hours without sleeping. Bear that in mind as you read this blog! But I promised you it would be here when you woke up, so here it is.
Feb. 17th, 2011
Well we are one episode in to our 22nd season and I’d say we’re off to a pretty damn good start.
Phillip: I’m a former federal agent. That’s right. Special Agent Shepard.”
Those ten words ushered in a new Survivor superstar. Phillip Shepherd.
I can already hear you guys complaining. Probst, you love Phillip. You have a hard-on for Phillip. (that was one of the quotes I read on Twitter.) I know many of you already hate Phillip. You think Phillip is crazy. Phillip is a loser. Those words fall on deaf ears. It’s as if I don’t have ears. They just bounce off and fall to the ground. I absolutely love Phillip and I’m pretty sure Jimmy Fallon does too!
But more on him later…
First off – flying out the back of a helicopter is a rush no matter how many times I get to do it. Here’s how we did it: I was attached by one safety strap that is hidden under my shirt and the strap is attached to one clip which is attached to the floor of the helicopter. That’s it. That’s all that stops me from falling out of the sky and to what I’m pretty certain would be instant death. But our safety guys told me that it was “almost completely safe…” so I said “Okay, strap me in!”
To get that awesome shot just after I say: “Thirty nine days, 18 people.. One Survivor” — two things have to happen at the exact same moment. The helicopter I was on has to bank to the right and the helicopter that is filming us banks to the left. If they both hit it at the right moment you get that epic moment where it looks like the chopper that I’m on is falling off the side of the earth. If the earth were indeed flat. Our chopper crew of Mark Hryma (photographer) and Ken Gray (pilot) are really, really, really good and their communication with my chopper was the reason that shot looked so freakin epic.
It’s an incredibly fun experience that I wish all of you could try just once. It’s a total rush. I wish we could use choppers or planes every time. Adds a lot of drama.
We had pitched Redemption Island to CBS for a few years but we could never get it past them because the creative wasn’t quite right. Last year we hit upon the magic formula and CBS said yes. They took a HUGE chance letting us change the format of our show. Survivor is a format that has worked all over the world and has allowed us to garner big ratings for over a decade here in the U.S.
Networks don’t mess with things that work. But Leslie Moonves and the guys at CBS take risks. I think this one is going to pay off nicely.
I will go on the record that I think we’ll be doing it again next year. We haven’t even officially been picked up for next year nor talked about creative for next year but I just can’t see going back to the old format. Afer the first tribal council I thought, “I can’t imagine voting someone out and then having them be “gone” from the show. We’d miss out on so much. The “losers bracket” which is what RI is, just opens up so many options.
I realize it’s too early to decide if you like it but I’ll ask you again in episode 5 after you’ve had a bit of time to try it on for size.
I woke up on day one with a really powerful and positive feeling about the season. No idea where it came from, but I knew it was real. It was still hours before we were going to put them on the chopper and I had an idea.
I took my boombox, yes I still have a boombox, and I gathered the Survivors around me in a circle. They still couldn’t talk because the game hadn’t yet started. I then put on LOSE YOURSELF by Eminem. I blasted it from the speakers. I had the words printed on a sheet of paper. I went from one person to another singing the song.. well talking the song… well actually just basically screaming the song. I wanted them to feel the energy I felt – that we were sitting on the edge of something really special.
If you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it? Or just let it slip?
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.
Not sure what they thought about my performance – if they thought I had lost my mind, (which was kinda true) was a lousy singer, (very true) or maybe they just didn’t care one way or the other (quite possible.) But it didn’t matter, I really thought we were onto something and I wanted to share it. In fact, the lyrics of LOSE YOURSELF influenced some of the language I ended up using at Redemption Island duels. See if you pick up on it as the season unfolds.
From the moment R and R exited the chopper the energy changed and it stayed that way for the entire 39 days. Having Rob and Russell ignited something in every other contestant. Like them or not, they are stars of Survivor and they bring something special to the season.
Their journey won’t be easy.
Both have huge targets. Huge. For obvious reasons. No need to waste the space we know the drill. We know their backs are up against the wall. So do they.
But give Russell 3 more days on that island and that one girl alliance could become the two girl alliance that he has used so successfully in the past and he’s off and running. Is it even plausible that he could do it a third time?
Give Boston Rob a few days to solidify an alliance and a few more challenges to prove his worth and he too could become unstoppable.
But if either of them lose many challenges in a row they are probably in trouble. Kristina is already onto Rob and the entire Zapatera tribe, save Stephanie, seems to be onto Russell.
Ah but Survivor is an ever changing game.
And even if they are voted out early… they have Redemption Island. They are guaranteed a second chance. Good luck beating Boston Rob at a duel, Francesca.
Natalie – our youngest competitor ever at 18. Huge adventure for a girl just out of high school. Think about it. Takes nerve just to show up. I root for Natalie.
Matthew, whose religious faith is going to be severely tested if he lasts very long at all. Survivor is a game where “turn the other cheek” typically doesn’t work very well.
Kristina showed herself to be a very strong contender by finding the idol in first few hours.
Ralph, as Mike said has the best man sweater in Survivor history and will need a full-time interpreter if we are to understand him. Or subtitles. Maybe both.
In addition, we have MANY other great characters that you will come to know. Have no fear if I didn’t mention your favorite or the person from your hometown. They’ll all get their chance to shine. This really is a great season. Great.
Our opening challenge is indicative of what to expect this season. Big challenges. Our challenge department had a lot of pent up energy left over from having to do smaller challenges during Survivor: Nicaragua (aka Old vs Young.) This one set the tone that you’ll be earning everything this year.
That was hands down the best first tribal council ever. It was yet another sign to me that whatever that feeling I had the morning of Day One was legit.
Poor Phillip, he really had trouble with Francesca’s name. I think he mispronounced it a few more times but we just couldn’t include them all because sooner or later we had to get to the vote.
It was funny the first three times. Really funny the next three and I nearly fell off my stump the last three. But as he mentioned, he did have dry mouth for which he was getting treatment, so we have to account for that. What wasn’t included was Phillip telling me at tribal council that he had dyslexia. I don’t think anybody believed him but honestly who knows who is telling the truth in this game. Certainly not me. I never know when someone is bullshitting or being straight up, but after he told me he had dyslexia I couldn’t laugh at the mispronunciation any more. He found my soft spot. If he was lying, it worked on me.
Have I told you how much I love Phillip. It’s his earnest nature. That’s what I responded to from the day I met him in casting. He lives this stuff. He believes it. For real. Just like another great Survivor character… Coach!
The moment of the episode had to be Rob demanding that Kristina show him the idol. HUGE MOVE. And it worked. She not only showed it to him she handed it to him. Damn, that is how you do it.
I say it all the time. To get to the end of this game – sooner or later you will have to make a big move. Rob isn’t waiting or wasting any time to make big moves. First tribal, first gigantic, intimidating move. I think Kristina was even considering giving it to him a sign of solidarity. It’s amazing what Rob can pull off. Boston charm.
Downside for Rob.. the target on his back just got a lot larger. Remember that huge red Target store logo from season one? Yes I know some of you were only three when we started… well the target on Rob’s back is that big.
NEXT WEEK TEASE – It’s a great episode. The tease: Phillip goes hunting for crab. You will laugh for sure and you may even shed a patriotic tear. It’s one of the best scenes of the season. Yes, he’s wearing his peach underwear.
OUR LIVE TWITTER EXCHANGE: For those of you who missed it. I was flying home from New York and while on the flight I tweeted live with fans who were watching the show at the same time. It was really kind of amazing. I was watching the show on the airplane at 30,000 feet and tweeting back and forth. It was quite the fun experience. I’ll see what the feedback is over the week and maybe we’ll try to do it again. I stole the idea from Howard Stern who did it recently while watching his movie Private Parts on television.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyFri Feb 18, 2011 11:19 am

Ahhh glad you found that. I went to looking for it and there wasn't even the vlog that he promised which I was looking forward to watching. Hopefully he will have one for next week. This is going to be one crazy season!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyThu Feb 24, 2011 12:29 pm

Survivor Redemption Island Episode 2 blog 2/23/11

by jeff.probst on February 24, 2011 · 82 Comments

Here’s the truth about Redemption Island. It’s hard. You are alone. You have flint. You have a bit of a shelter that is full of leaks. You have a handful of rice. Let that sink in. It’s not much. Never forget that in a world of “loosely scripted” reality shows, Survivor is still the real deal. Survivor will kick your ass. Redemption Island could bury you.
I do believe that for the moment Francesca really does prefer Redemption Island, but if she lasts long that will change. She will get lonely and exhausted.
I love how confident Rob is at this point in the game. Rob only knows one way to play and that is full out, aka “all in.”
Remember, back in Heroes v Villains, Rob had a great plan at Tribal Council and it would have given him control of the game. But Tyson momentarily lost his mind and blew it by voting the wrong way and Rob went home. Rob is determined to not make that mistake again. He keeps reminding everybody in his alliance – if we stick together, we’ll be okay… but tonight showed once again how difficult it is to keep your alliance together.
How hard can it be to keep your alliance together? It sounds so simple until you factor in that there is only ONE winner. That means everybody in your alliance has their own motive and their own plan for getting to the end. It’s incredibly complicated and that’s why alliance almost always break down. It’s part of the design of the game. The question is when to leave your alliance. You want to leave it before it leaves you.
As you saw from last night’s episode even with an experienced player like Rob – what was true at sunrise is not always true at sunset. You have to adapt. Rob adapted and now Matt, one of his original six, is gone.
This is why I love this guy. He is everything and I mean everything you could ever ask for from a Survivor contestant. He is so damn sincere, so earnest. I truly can’t get enough. I know a lot of you already hate him, save it for the comment section. I’m in Camp Phillip.
Philip is a real life version of “Del, the shower curtain ring guy” that John Candy played in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
If you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m talking about. Del is an overweight, loud mouthed, slightly inappropriate salesman that Steve Martin meets while both are stuck trying to get home during a snow storm. The entire time you’re watching the movie, you can see why Del drives Steve Martin nuts. He’s friggin annoying as hell! Del even says at one point, “I know I’m a easy target… but you know what? I like me… and my friends like me.”
By the end of the movie, you not only like Del, you are rooting for Steve Martin to see what you see – that Del is a really good person. He’s just different, that’s all.
That’s how I feel about Philip. Well at least the easy target part! And yes the comparison is already being made. Philip and Coach are clearly brothers from another… …they’re equally awesome.
When Philip was using his homemade spear to hunt for crab, his tribe was making fun of him. I get it. It was a funny moment, especially Matt impersonating the late, great Steve Irwin. (The scene went on much longer but had to be cut for time.) I laughed hard when I saw it the first time. But when I listened to Philips interview I found myself truly moved. I’m not kidding. I listened to the sincerity with which he talked about his patriotism and I was touched.
In Philips world, the hunting for crab was all about trying to provide for his tribe by channeling his inner primal self. His celebration when he finally snagged a crab by throwing a rock, was priceless. “Killed with a stone, baby!”
Ralph is another one-of-a-kind. It’s not just the man sweater, it’s his whole personae. Ralph and Philip and Rob and Russell – it’s guys like this that have kept Survivor on the air for so long. You may love to hate them but without them Survivor would be boring.
I think I said it last week, but the reason this season is going to be so stellar is that the rest of the contestants are equally great. I’m focusing a lot on Rob and Ralph and Philip right now but it’s only week two! You will see as the weeks unfold, we have some great people with big opinions who all want to win this game. I am so jazzed that we are only in week two!
Was there a more unlikely guy in the world? He wasn’t even looking for it!
Ralph: “That was as easy as wiping your hiney with toilet paper!”
It’s not half as funny when I write it as it is when Ralph says it.
Ralph does bring up a good question re the idols. If the idols are so easy to find that even a self-proclaimed dumb ass (Ralphs words, not mine) can find it, can it really be that difficult? Maybe Russell isn’t such an idol finding genius. Maybe we just needed a dumbass to show prove it.
Either way – Ralph has some major power. The big question is does he realize it? It’s not yet clear if Ralph knows exactly how best to use the idol It could be a bit of a waste – kinda like giving a Ferrari to someone who doesn’t like to drive fast. Time will tell if Ralph can handle the power of the idol or not.
It’s probably time for us to really switch up how we deal with idols and where we hide them. If you have an idea, please send it to me at under the “Ask Jeff A Question” category. Who knows you may end up having some influence on our game! No, I’m not paying for your idea. But if it’s good, I’ll certainly take credit for it and we might just take it and use it on the show! Welcome to Hollywood, baby!
Matt never saw it coming. How could he? He was smitten. He was thinking about a first kiss and Rob was thinking about another blindside. Think of Rob as the Godfather. The moment he saw that relationship forming he knew it was a problem.
As he referenced during the show, Rob made an alliance in Survivor: All-Stars with Amber and they rode it to the end. He then married her. They had a baby. And then another. So Rob knows that you can fall into an alliance that will extend beyond the game and that could spell disaster for Rob.
Side bar – Natalie is a very interesting contestant to watch this season. She is so young at only 18 years old (which means she was seven years old when we started! Seven!) but she seems to have a really great head on her shoulders. That’s the reason we put her on the show. She really impressed us during the casting process.
When I took the immunity idol from Ralph, he said, “I’ll get it back.” This kind of trash talking goes on a lot at challenges, but we only include it when there is a good story that comes as a result. Once again Philip provides the story:
Philip: I will outlast ANY man over there.
Jeff: What about the women?
Philip: That’s another day. We’ll see.
I am once again reminded of what I used to say about Coach – Who writes this stuff?!
Nicaragua didn’t provide a lot of water options for challenges because of the dangerous tides, so we built our own “swimming pool” which we have used for a few different challenges. The immunity challenge was a modified version of a challenge we have done a few times over the years and it works every time. It’s so much fun to do this challenge as a contestant and so much fun to watch.
One thing that emerged from the challenge – Grant is one helluva athlete. Ashlee is another one. I love contestants that go all out or as I mentioned earlier “all in.” I have a buddy whose nickname is “All In Jim” because he only knows one speed – all in. Contestants that go “all in” on Survivor are almost always memorable.
I’m a bit surprised that Ometepe is not doing better in challenges. They have a good group of people, but Zapatera really works well together. Very calm.
Immediately after the challenge ended, Matt walked over and shook hands with some of the Zapatera tribes. As much as I try to prevent this – typically by yelling something very witty such as: “Hey get outta there!” – it still happens. We don’t usually show it, unless… there is a story attached. This time there was… a big story.
That attempt at good sportsmanship really got to Rob. He’s no dummy. Those little “friendly” moments can often be the difference when it comes to a merge or even the final tribal council. Acts of kindness are so rare that when you do one it can have a real impact. Rob knows that Matt is a good kid and seeing him playing up the other tribe – worried him. When the Godfather gets worried, somebody is gonna end up with a horse head in their bed. Russell is much the same way. They both make BIG moves with one goal – get to the end.
You could really feel the air begin to let out of the Ometepe tribe. Back to back losses. Not a great way to start. Rob knows his tribe is in trouble. It’s one thing to be in a tight alliance and feel safe, but if you’re losing immunity challenges, that safety is only temporary as you will soon run out of numbers and it will be you who is going home.
It’s why it’s so important to win challenges. If you avoid tribal council you keep your tribe strong. When you go to tribal council, you rarely come out betber as a result. Ometepe has got to start winning or the morale will continue to drop.
This is a first. Russell is not in control. In fact, the joke is on Russell. I’m guessing that most of you love seeing Russell not in control. He has a clue to the idol but doesn’t yet know that Ralph already has the idol. He’s wasting his time.
For me though, the most interesting aspect of this moment was Mike’s comment about Russell:
Mike: “He’s the most untrustworthy person in this game.”

This comment came as Russell was sharing the clue with the two girls in his alliance, Stephenie and Krista. If you think about it, Russell is no less trustworthy than anyone else. He’s playing Survivor. He has an alliance and he immediately shared the clue with them. From their point of view, Russell is completely trustworthy.
Mike: If we’re in this together, then show me the clue.”
You’re not in this together Mike. You’re in a different alliance. Would you show Russell the clue?
It’s an interesting thing that often happens on Survivor. You justify your ethics. It’s okay when YOU lie because you’re playing the game. When someone ELSE lies, they’re a scumbag.
If Mike thinks he can survive this game without lying to someone… he is in for a shock. Lying is okay on Survivor. It’s called “outwit” and it’s a huge part of the game.
I’m not saying this because I love Russell, or don’t like Mike. I happen to think Mike is a great addition to this season. I’m saying it because it’s fascinating what is happening on Zapatera. So much energy is focused on Russell that there is a huge blind spot on their tribe and somebody is going to notice and take advantage of it. Zapatera is winning… but they are at risk at putting the cart ahead of the horse.
I have been waiting for this moment. Ralph v Russell. They met in the forest. The human sweater and the angry gnome.
Ralph: Russell there wasn’t no hidden clue in there was there? You didn’t win it. We all won it.
Russell: Calm down guys. This is how the game is played. You’re either with me or against me.

Ah Russell, he hasn’t changed a bit.
Russell: (to Ralph) I don’t like how you’re coming at me.
Ralph is really growing on me. He’s not quite comfortable talking to the camera yet. You can seem him a bit uncertain whether to walk away or keep talking but I like him. He’s certainly entertaining.
We decided to give them their luxury items because quite honestly we were afraid they might lose their minds without something to help pass the time or remind them of home. Luxury items don’t really make their stay any easier but emotionally I think it brings some sense of peace.
I’m not going to say anything about Philip saying “gallantry.”
But once again the gold star of the episode does go to… Philip. He is two for two. The explanation of his two tattoos was so good I had to watch it three times. Philip does not mess around. You can question a lot of things about Philip, but the man commits. Ink is forever. And not just one, but two tattoos. A gorilla and a lion. His explanation of their respective power and possible showdown left me a bit confused but damn I loved it. I want to put it on a t-shirt and sell it.
Rob played tribal about as well as it can be played. A work of art. Rob’s experience is really paying off right now. He lied to Matt and Andrea, got Kristina to play the idol, kept Philip in check, dictated how Phillip should vote and got rid of Matt. Wow. That was pretty amazing.
At this point, Rob is in control of his tribe. His problem is going to be staying in control of the tribe. At some point somebody on his tribe is going to say “enough already.” Andrea could be his biggest threat if she decides to go for revenge.
The rain at tribal came out of nowhere. It’s going to happen a lot this season. Thankfully tribal is covered otherwise they would have been drenched. The rain was, as Matt said, literally blowing sideways. If you know me at all, you know I LOVE it when it rains. The harder the better.
Yes those reactions were real. Yes, Andrea was ready to cry. Yes, Matt was completely shocked. Stunned. Think about it, you are a big competitor like Matt and you have just started the game. You’re only a couple of weeks into the experience. You idolize and trust Rob, you think you’re safe and wham… before you know it you’re on a boat heading to Redemption Island. It was a shocking vote. Only time will tell if it was the right move. Rob either cemented himself firmly in control or just hung his own noose.
Our first duel. Matt vs Francesca at Redemption Island Arena. It’s gooooooood!
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyThu Mar 03, 2011 12:53 pm

Survivor: Redemption Island – Episode 3 Blog 3/2/11

by jeff.probst on March 3, 2011 · 260 Comments

Historic Moments in time:
Jan. 10th , 1935 Canned Beer invented
May 6th, 1954 – First Sub-Four Minute Mile
July 20th, 1969 – Apollo 11 lands on the moon
March 2nd, 2011 – Russell Hanz voted out of Survivor: Redemption Island
Survivor fans all over the world will no doubt remember this day for decades, and if science hurries up, perhaps centuries to come. Those that missed the episode will no doubt tell their kids years from now, “I was there. I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting on the couch and yelling at the TV.” And Russell Hanz will no doubt be telling this story to his grand kids, “I was so good they had to purposefully lose a challenge to get rid of me!”
It happened.
After back to back seasons during which he was never voted out, lasting the entire 78 days, Russell Hanz finally met a tribe he couldn’t control.
Russell Hanz is gone.
More on that later…
More history was made as Matt and Francesca squared off in the first ever Redemption Island duel.
Some background:
We decided to use smaller versions of previous challenges as the duels because we knew they worked and we didn’t want any risks when it came down to a one-on-one duel.
The decision to let two members of each tribe watch was made just a few days before we began. That was Mark Burnett’s call. He was right. It created yet another layer by separating the tribe. The two people at the duel have valuable information but in exchange for it, they’re away from camp where alliances can shift quickly. The opposite is true for those left at camp. Information is king in this game so anytime you can create a situation in which some people have the info and others don’t, you increase your chances for great reality.
The idea for the Redemption Island Arena came early in the process but the design and execution of the Arena was still mind blowing. The first time I walked into the half finished Arena I knew it was going to be a good season. The creative team that is our Survivor Art Department really hit it out of the park with this one. They created a ruin that looks as though it has been there for hundreds of years. It was built small enough to remain intimate but large enough to accommodate our cameras. It is one of my favorite builds of all time. What will they do next year?!
From a producing point of view we were certainly nervous before the first duel. Remember, this is a massive format change. Survivor had worked just fine for 21 seasons and now we are changing everything. This was our first test of the twist that we had pinned the entire season around – would the duel work?
From a drama point of view we couldn’t ask for me. I really thought Francesca was going to win. She was ahead so quickly that it appeared over. But Matt never panicked. Not for a moment. He continued to take his time and re-work his stick until he had it just right and then he went on a tear and made history, winning the first ever Redemption Island duel.
Matt is now the guy to beat on RI and if he can continue to win, Matt will get a chance to come back into this game..
The possible threat of Matt returning is already causing Rob major stress. You saw him trying to soothe Andrea, but I don’t think she was buying it. If Matt gets back in the game and Andrea is still around, there will be trouble.
I’m guessing so many of you were finding a lot of joy when Zapatera lied to Russell about who lost at the first duel. It does seem fitting that everything Russell had done to others for two seasons is now being done to him.

What is most fascinating to me is the justification of ethics. My most favorite topic. When someone is taking an action that “we” support then it’s awesome, it’s fantastic, it’s brilliant. But when it’s someone that “we” don’t like taking the same action, they’re a villain, a loser, untrustworthy. I’m just sayin… the Zapatera tribe is acting as dickish to Russell as Russell has acted to his tribemates in the past. Is one action more acceptable than another? Amen Jeff!
Stephanie is no joke. She is a player. She’s smart and she’s feisty. Her idea for a fake idol, while not a new idea, was still a good one. It was a worthy performance as she pretended to protect her bag. The double team effort to get Julie to flip and join their alliance was a valiant effort. I give Russell credit, he chose the right person for his alliance as Stephanie is a barracuda. Stephanie’s problem now is quite obvious. She and Krista have nobody left. They must make a move or they’ll be gone soon.
Damn that was nasty. Note to future Survivors, if you’re gonna shave body parts that previously have not been shaved, please do it a few times before you leave for location. Let your body get used to the sweating and the clothing rubbing against the skin because nobody should have to endure that visually disturbing sight. So therefore you and CBS thought that the home viewers would love a zoomed in view of Russells armpit right? Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog 290276
As for the challenge itself, you might remember this from last season. It was a huge construction build and so unique that we decided to use it again. If you are one of the people strapped to the wheel it’s a bit unnerving to be spun round and round while going under water, having to take a gulp of water and then spit it into a tiny trough. You wanted to play Survivor, you got it.
Now to the more interesting aspect of the challenge.
It’s very easy to back seat drive in this game but if you examine Survivor history, throwing a challenge rarely works out well.
When you let the other tribe win a challenge you give them confidence. You give them what they need to begin to believe in themselves. You risk the momentum shifting to them.. Often, you are also giving up a valuable reward. All so you can get rid of one tribemember, which also reduces your numbers, potentially making you weaker when you go to the merge.
Zapatera was so focused on getting rid of Russell that they could see nothing else. From day one, their focus has been “get rid of the cancer.” They wanted him out so badly, they not only threw a challenge, but they gave up a TARP! Next to flint, a tarp is the most sought after item on Survivor.
The other big risk is that anytime you go to Tribal Council, regardless the plan, you risk being voted out.yourself. Blindsides are very common in this game.
That’s how badly Zapatera wanted Russell gone!
Having said all of this, I’m sure there are times when the risk feels worth the reward. Leaving Russell on your tribe is risky. He’s a proven player who can manipulate and if you go to a merge, and he’s on the bottom, it’s a given that he’ll flip.
I’m not second guessing Zapatera’s move, but it will be interesting to see if history repeats and Zapatera lives to regret their decision.
I don’t know if it’s my Midwest roots but I understood Ralphspeak almost immediately. Sure, it takes a moment, you have to let it roll through your brain, but as it makes it’s way across your neural pathways, it slows enough that you can pick up enough words to make sense. Ralph is a sharp dude, don’t underestimate him just because of the unique way in which he speaks.
Ralph’s biggest issue is not his manner of speaking, it’s his ego. Ralph is heading down the same slippery slope of ego that has consumed Russell. Ralph is not quite as smart a Survivor player as he thinks and his biggest liability is his mouth. He doesn’t think before he speaks. Ralph has the idol and he’s been strong in challenges. He has so much going for him but if someone doesn’t get his ego in check he’ll do himself in.
When the entire tribe knows they threw a challenge and they’re about to vote out the person that they threw the challenge to vote out… and that person knows they threw the challenge too… why do they still lie to me when asked, “Did you throw the challenge?” I never get this. Maybe it’s just a basic premise surrounding the idea that “saying less is more” at tribal council. But now that I’ve seen the interviews confirming that they absolutely threw the challenge, I am once again confused as to why they wouldn’t say – “Yes we threw it, so we could vote out Russell. Come on Probst, how hard is this to figure out?”
As I often do I refer back to the idea that maybe this is why I am only a host, not a player.
Did you think Russell had Julie convinced? Ah we’ll never know how close she was to flipping sides. A lot? A little? None at all?
After all was said and done, Julie stayed true to her alliance and just like that – Russell was voted out.
Were you happy? Sad? Are you rooting for him at Redemption Island or do you want to see Matt destroy him?
This is brand new territory for Russell but we all know that Russell can never be counted out. He is always playing. But he will have his work cut out for him with Matt. Matt has had a few days to adjust, Matt has been to the Arena before, Matt has already competed and won a duel. On top of it all, Russell thinks he is going to battle against Francesca, a far cry from the athletic abilities of Matt.
Will Russell try to intimidate Matt? Will he try to befriend him? Will Matt ask Russell to pray with him? Ah so many good questions.
You don’t want to miss next week – it is do or die time for Russell Hanz. You can’t get a better tease than that.

Nitpicking? Maybe but I think that Jeff should probably know how to spell the names of the people on his own show before blogging about them.....Its HANTZ Jeff. Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog 628807
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyThu Mar 10, 2011 1:10 pm

Survivor Redemption Island Episode 4 Blog 3/10/11


It’s still settling in. Russell is gone. The evil, tattooed, sock stealing, water dumping, idol finding Survivor gnome is gone. His reign is over.
For any of you who are already frustrated that I’m going to dedicate most of this blog to Russell, you might as well stop reading.
This time, let’s skip the beginning and save that for the end…
Am I still the only one who enjoys Phillip? I read your tweets and your comments on the site and I am surprised that Phillip annoys so many of you. Don’t you see any fun in watching him? It’s not like you’re stuck on an island with him. He’s on your tv. For my money he is gold every time he opens his mouth.
Even something as simple as grabbing the tree mail becomes an adventure as he peers through the rolled up scroll like a telescope.
My favorite Phillip moment of this episode was after the Duel when Phillip was walking with Rob and Grant – holding court, stretching out the story of what he learned at Redemption Island, much to the frustration of Rob.
Rob: Hey dumbass, aren’t you in MY alliance? Don’t you work for me?
Even simply writing that sentence makes me laugh.
Despite losing one of the biggest players of the season, the game continues and Boston Rob is on fire. On fire. This is why Rob gets invited back so often. He’s really good and he’s really fun to watch. After four times playing, Rob has his PhD in Survivor.
For those of you who complain about it being unfair because Rob has played before – let me remind you of the basic rule of Survivor – the tribe votes out whoever they want. Just like Zapatera did with Russell, Ometepe could have chosen to get rid of Rob early on, but they didn’t. They gave Rob a chance and now Rob is starting to prove his worth as a leader, while simultaneously playing a very good game and positioning himself as a threat to go deep. As many days as he lasts in this game, he earns them all. I feel that way about every contestant. Whether they sand bag it like Sandra or come out swinging like Russell. You earn it.
Rob searching for the idol while the rest of the tribe was playing “Sunday at the beach” was one of the most riveting scenes we’ve ever had. We had to cut it significantly for time. He was really hustling to make sure he got back before Grant and the girls realized he had been gone.
As I watched the first cut of this at home on my MacBook Pro, I was literally squirming in my seat. Remember, I’ve never seen this footage. I was screaming “Hurry up! Find it! They’re gonna be out of the water soon and wonder where you are!”
I’m really not as biased as I sound, it’s just that I love good drama. If it had been Ralph or Natalie or Russell or even Sarita I would have felt the same way – “Hurry! Hurry!”
Let me educate you about the future of television. Product integration. It’s a phrase you hear in every conference room of every advertising agency in New York and every television network in Hollywood.
On Survivor, product integration is when you take something like the Sears Craftsman tool kit or the Sprint Evo phone and you build it into a challenge or a reward. Lots of you guys complain about these product integrations. But here’s the thing – you are the same people who are DVRing your show to watch it later at a more convenient time. The problem is when you watch it later, you skip through the commercials. The advertisers know this, so their only option is to get their products inside the show so you can’t avoid them.
This is not going away. This is the present and the future of television. Product integration. Don’t waste energy fighting it. Embrace it.
While we’re talking about it, let me brag on Survivor for a moment. Nobody integrates product as well as we do. Last night you watched an incredibly dramatic challenge that was built all around tools from Sears. The tools were used to complete the challenge. The tools were necessary. It worked really well.
Many shows just shove product integration into their show. We work hard to make it work as well as we can even though the products don’t always lend themselves to the middle of a jungle.
But the bottom line is this…without Sprint, Sears and our other sponsors, we aren’t on the air. It’s that simple.
Fortunately, Zapatera won the challenge, because if they hadn’t I would have been on their ass for throwing the challenge in the last episode. But I will say this, if I was on the Ometepe tribe I would have a hard time not knocking Ralph right off that perch as he crowed like a Rooster. That is one annoying move.
Ralph’s ego is going to be his biggest obstacle. He’s not alone. It happens to a lot of people. They do something amazing, like finding the idol, but then they so badly want to share their brilliance with everybody else that they weaken their position by telling everybody.
I do it in my life all the time. I’m constantly giving away information that would be better off kept to myself. It’s so hard to just shut up. Ralph – shut up. You’ll go further.
On the other hand, the fact that his crowing annoys me, means it probably annoyed Ometepe, which means it’s working!
I offer proof once again that Survivor is the toughest reality show of all time. Note this conversation from Mike and Ralph regarding the food reward:
MIKE: I’ve never been this hungry in my life. I haven’t thought about sex in two weeks. All I’m thinking about is food.
RALPH: It tasted great. I sucked stuff out of my fingernails that haven’t been cleaned since I got here. And I asked any of the others ones if they wanted their fingers cleaned and licked, I’d work on them too.”
RALPH: Steve, can I lick that mustard off your nose? Your tongue ain’t long enough.
Once again Ometepe is back at tribal council and by a 4-3 vote, Kristina is sent to Redemption Island where she will have to face Matt in a duel.
Okay now to the guts of what made this episode historic. The Fall of Russell. It started with a late night arrival at Redemption Island.
Russell was not expecting to find Matt sleeping in the shelter. He was expecting Francesca. I think that tiny little “lie” that Zapatera told him had a big impact on Russell’s psyche. I think expecting to find Francesca and instead finding a young, very fit Matt threw him for a loop and began his downfall.
This duel was the closest thing we’ve ever had to Good v. Evil. Matt, the young man who puts all his faith in God, battling against Russell, the older man who many believe is a force of evil. It was historic before it began.
As many of you already know – challenges and duels are created and built weeks in advance. We had no idea who would be playing this duel but I couldn’t have been happier that it involved so many different skills: balance, patience and thinking ahead.
Everybody on the crew was invested in this duel. We all loved Matt, he was a favorite, he had been on Redemption for days and he was very likable. On the other side, you have Russell – a guy that has been such a polarizing force on our show that you couldn’t help but want him to win simply because it is such a huge story if he does. It’s also a huge story if he loses. So in that sense, it was a win-win.
The drama was fantastic. First Matt thought he had it… but he was short. Then Russell thought he had it, but he too was short. I was pacing back and forth, as excited as I’ve been at a challenge in a long time. Finally Matt, who never panics, got it together and won the duel. In doing so Matt single-handedly put an end to the Russell era. It’s over.
The tears that Russell shed were real. It was a very emotional moment for a guy who has spent most of the last two years of his life playing this silly little adventure game called Survivor.
It was emotional for all of us to watch him break down. It was a gift from Russell to let us see the emotion. We all knew the day would finally come –when Russell was finally sent home- and we all wondered how he would respond. I loved that he shared it with us. That’s how Russell did everything – full tilt boogie.
I’m guessing that a lot of the Russell haters were moved as well.
Like him, love him, hate him, despise him – there is simply no denying that Russell has given Survivor as much if not more than Survivor has given him.
If you are a fan of Survivor, then you too owe Russell a nod of the head. The dude brought it. Every single day he played – he brought it.
In some ways he reignited our franchise as he brought in a new kind of villain. An unscrupulous terror.
To give context… Johnny Fairplay is a clown… Russell is a villain. I’m not sure Russell is a nice person. I wouldn’t want Russell to know where I live. There isn’t much I would want to do with Russell outside of Survivor.
But within the world of Survivor, Russell is family.
When you make a deal with the devil, you must be prepared to get burnt. So complaining about Russell would be hypocritical. We put him on the show in Samoa, we invited him back in Heroes v Villains and he completed the trifecta with Redemption Island.
Russell will go down in history as one of the most notorious contestants of all time. Maybe THE most notorious.
For all he has given us, I have to take my hat off to him and say “thank you.”
Before the tears could even dry, the Russell of old was back, once again stirring up trouble. As with Rob, this is another example of why some players get invited back and most don’t. Russell played Ralph like a finely tuned fiddle. He baited the hook, dropped it in the water, let Ralph nibble on it and then hooked him. As charming as Ralph is, he was so outmatched it was hard to watch.
Russell suckered Ralph into bragging about the idol in front of the Ometepe tribe. They now know he has it and if a merge comes, and Ralph still has the idol, it may cause him more problems than it will help solve.
In that moment, Russell flipped the game once again and he did it after he’d already been knocked out of the game. That’s why he’s played three times and… despite his claims that he’s finished… that’s why he’ll probably end up playing yet again.
Thanks for the memories, RH.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyThu Mar 24, 2011 12:16 pm

Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 6 3/23/11
by jeff.probst on March 24, 2011 · View Comments Comments ....PREVIOUSLY ON

The “Previously On” is always edited by Eric Gardner and it’s interesting to me how much they have evolved over the many years. I sometimes battle with him over these becoming too soap operaish, but I am so happy with his great storytelling. These two minute stories always remind the audience of everything they need to know before the start of a new episode. It truly is an art in and of itself.


RI is starting to feel like Matt’s house. He now has a big home court advantage because he is so comfortable on the island and at the Arena. It’s like a sports team that has been to the finals taking on a team that has not been to the finals. The experience is often the difference.


The religious aspect of Redemption Island is not something we ever anticipated when we called it Redemption Island. Having a religious and very likable person like Matt last this long in the first season of RI was a fascinating development. It brings an entirely new texture to the island and one that has a lot of people in the church community talking.


The Bible was Krista’s choice for her luxury item. We gave them their luxury items when they arrived at Redemption Island because we knew they would be lonely and might need a pick me up. We did not plan it or decide on it because we thought it would give us extra story from Krista and Matt. It was already laid out.

I respect people who have faith in whatever brings them comfort and security.

When Krista gave her bible to Matt I was moved. It had nothing to do with my thoughts about the Bible. It was the human kindness shown in a game that rarely sees the good side of people. Despite losing and being out of the game for good, Krista still had the presence of heart to think about helping out Matt.

ANDREA GETS JEALOUS? (lol, I thought the same exact thing....really Andrea?)
Man this game is tough. Matt is alone on Redemption, battling as hard as he can to stay alive. A competitor gives him a Bible on her way out and as a result, his one ally in the game, gets jealous and turns on him. WTF? Were they going steady? Did I miss the engagement? It was a Bible, not a love note. Man. Survivor is a tough game.


Spa days and other seemingly mindless, wastes of time that seem to consume the girls days of late…aren’t as outrageous as they seem. The contestants do have a lot of free time on their hands. On days when there is not a challenge or tribal and their shelter is built they really have very little to do. However reasonable it may be, it doesn’t change the perception of others when they see you lying around.


Ah yeah, baby. The ego of the lion and the gorilla is coming out and I like it. Phillip’s explosion was not about the girls not helping with the fire. His frustration came from not being appreciated. That’s all he wants, is a little credit.

One of the lessons I’ve learned from Survivor goes like this:

If you have a goal, and your success in achieving this goal requires the support of other people, then you have to remove your ego from the equation.

In other words, when you’re playing a zero sum game, ie a game in which there is only one winner – and the losers of the game are the one who will decide who wins – leave your ego at home.

Otherwise your chances for success plummet.

I’m not saying it’s easy. Not saying I can do it myself. But from a back seat point of view it’s quite clear.

Phillip wants credit. Nobody is giving it to him. The more he complains the more annoying he will become… because Phillip – nobody cares.

Stoke the fire and stay out of the way. You’ll last longer.


Once again the wisest person on the tribe is Rob. I know you hate me talking about Rob, but the proof is in his actions regarding Phillips and the fire tending duties.

Four of them to be exact:

1. During the argument he was the only one still focused on the big picture. His biggest overall goal was to keep the tribe strong.

2. Simultaneously, he understands how beneficial the fight between Phillip and the girls can be to his game. The more they fight, the more likely he is to stay in control and the more they hate each other the better for him if he makes it to the end against any of them.

3. Rob then talked to Phillip to ensure that Phillip doesn’t do too much damage to the tribe dynamics while also letting Phillip know that he understands him.

4. After Phillip walked away, Rob then mocked him which in turn endeared Rob even more to the angry girls.

Mission complete. It was deft handling of a very delicate social situation.


Krista was no joke. Growing up on a farm she knew her way around the rope. Three tosses, three connects. It was amazing. I really thought Matt was going to lose. Krista gave Matt his biggest challenge so far.


One of my favorite exchanges of the season thus far was between Phillip and Steve when discussing the Gorilla and Lion tattoos. I really appreciate Phillips simultaneous earnestness and sense of humor. Is that even a proper sentence? What I mean is that he really believes everything he says and yet he has enough awareness to know that I’m poking fun at him for those same things he takes so seriously. Hmm, was that sentence any better than the first one?

Philip gets it. How bout that? He gets me anyway. Moving on.


We’ve done this challenge many times over the years and it never fails to deliver.

This challenge is both physical and frustrating. Ralph for one was clearly irritated that he wasn’t getting enough action. But the star of the challenge was Grant. Stud. Dude is the real deal. Mike did his best to defend but there was no stopping him, not even by ripping off his shirt. If Grant is allowed to stay till the end he could be a millionaire come mid-May.


I’m a broken record but Rob played this moment very well. So far this season he has done a good job of assessing, adapting and then executing very well. Letting Grant find the clue to the hidden idol was a great call as it further solidified Grant’s trust in Rob.

Getting caught with the note however, was a rookie mistake:

Phillip: Whatcha got there boys? I saw it.

Phillip: What’s it say?

Rob: Back at camp?

Phillip: What?

Rob: Back at Camp.

Phillip: (interview) I have been in an alliance with Rob, Grant and myself. In fact, I call ourselves Stealth Are Us. I’m… the specialist… Rob is the mentalist…and Grant… is the assassin.

Phillip: Remember boys. Stealth.

Phillip: (interview) And yet today when Rob and Grant found the clue for an idol they tried to hide it. Well,

Hell hath no fury like a… lion and a gorilla when he thinks he has been provoked.

Music transition. Patriotic. Strong. Preparing for battle.

Phillip: (interview) If you’re gonna make an alliance with me you better adhere to it because I am all about integrity. I served my country for four years, eleven months and thirteen days for duty, honor, country. That means something to me.

When you try to trash on that… me and the United States got something for you when you try that little baby…

I could dwell in the place of negativity right now based on what I just saw, but I’m not gonna do that.

I’m gonna smile and when the time comes…. I’m gonna kick a little ass around here.

Let it breathe. Gonna just let that little piece of poetry sit there. No comment needed.

But I can’t resist. F*&king genius. Phillip please grab Coach and come back and play again as soon as possible.


I think a lot of you are glad to see Stephanie out of the game. (not me)I’m not sure what it is about me that likes the spunky, lippy folks but I am bummed she is gone.(me too) She’s definitely a competitor and she’s a great interview.

I’ve said it before but I think Zapatera’s biggest problem is they are playing a “too cool for school” game and it’s biting them in the ass.

It’s the Russell factor. They are so happy to “defeat” Russell and his two “girls” – Krista and Stephanie – that they’re in danger of losing the big picture. (lol, I called it the Marty mistake..same thing but I am laughing at Zapatera....dumb assesssssss!!!)
David realized that tonight. I agree with David. I would have voted out Sarita. Nothing personal, Sarita, but I think Stephanie wanted it more and the tribe could have used her spunk.

Okay I know I’ve been ignoring everybody else in the game… so here we go.

DAVID – If memory serves I think David scored the highest on our IQ test during casting. He is a smart dude. We fought to get him on and I’m glad we did. He’s giving us great story and he’s a legit threat to win the game if he can get his alliance figured out.

STEVE – I like him. He’s laid back and probably a pretty nice guy in his normal life. He would drive me a bit crazy as a member of my alliance because he is so laid back! I want the guy who played in the NFL for 13 years. Maybe he’s saving that for the individual portion of the show.

SARITA – I think she’s too soft right now. I liked her in casting but I think the game is overwhelming her right now. She needs to get over the toothache and find that inner strength otherwise she is going to be seen as a pain-in-the-ass.

MIKE – How can you not like Mike? He’s strong, seems pretty bright. A major threat to win this game. If both are still in the game when they merge – he could prove a worthy adversary for Boston Rob.

MATT – The undisputed underdog. If he can win long enough to get back in the game, people better watch out. I have a feeling that even his faith will not be able to contain his desire to get even.

NATALIE – I’ve said it before I am so impressed. She is 18 years old. Think about the 18 year olds you know. How many of them could handle themselves this well in this cut-throat environment. Natalie is a long shot to win but IF she can get to the end the jury may feel like I do that based on age alone she has earned the money.

JULIE – Julie confuses me. I like her and I think she’s a fairly good player but I haven’t seen any moves yet that make me think she could make it deep. She’s a mom which helps in dealing with people and she’s very reasonable and that could take her a long way into the game. But a big move will be necessary.

RALPH – I love Ralph because he’s so fun to listen to and so fun to watch. He so very smart in his own way but his liability is that Ralph hasn’t found himself in this kind of social situation and it shows. If Ralph can figure out how to deal with the others in his alliance he could last.

ANDREA – She’s a bit wishy-washy regarding Matt but she is definitely a fighter and a player. She will not lie down for anybody. I like her but her problem right now is her status within the alliance.

ASHLEY – Dark horse to win the game. She’s very good in the challenges and come the individual portion of the game she will be a threat. She also has friends in the girls and will probably make more friends if she makes the merge. If I was Rob I’d be most worried about her in the end game.

GRANT – Grant is a bit ill equipped socially because he is so trusting. At this point he believes in Rob 100%. So long as that lasts, these two could go deep. But if that trust is ever broken, my hunch is that Grant will turn on Rob and vote him out.

NEXT TIME ON.. Survivor.

One of the greatest challenges of the season… and one of the funniest moments in our history.


1. If you haven’t been tweeting LIVE with me during the episodes, you’re missing out. Get yourself a Twitter account and start following me @JeffProbst. I tweet during the east coast and west coast feeds of each episode. We’re creating a “virtual living room” and it’s pretty amazing.

2. If you were diggin on Phillip this week, check out Grant’s un-aired interview about Phillip’s explosion and Natalie’s interview about Phillip being bi-polar in this week’s Secret Scenes.”

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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyThu Mar 24, 2011 6:44 pm

I am sooo disappointed my Girl Stephanie was voted out yesterday. Everyone besides david in the Zapatera tribe have blinders on. They are so hell bent on cutting the "fat", that they are ruining there own alliance that way. No true strategy is taking place and there way too comfortable. It is disappointing that the season is getting rid of the Personalities so early in the game (Steph, Krista, and Russ). The only people I actually enjoy watching are Rob, Phil, and David. it must be hard to for Mark Brunett to get good footage from these sack of potatoes. FYI 4 more tribals till merge.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyMon Mar 28, 2011 11:58 am

PJ, I agree. I hate the entire Zap tribe. I was hoping Steph would stick around as well because she's such a spitfire. Matt is on a winning streak at Redemption Island so I don't think Steph will have much luck there.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyMon Mar 28, 2011 12:08 pm

I agree with both of you, although I am sure thats no I liked Stephanie and was sorry to see her go from that trainwreck tribe. I absolutely love that Jeff called them out at tribal for throwing the challenge to get Russell out even though they denied it to him at the time. Dumb dumb dumb.....don't throw challenges.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyThu Mar 31, 2011 11:39 am

Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 7 3/30/11
by jeff.probst on March 31, 2011 ·
Thanks again to everybody that tweeted with me last night. If you’re still not on board, you should join us on Twitter at @JeffProbst. We’re having a fun conversation in ” the interactive living room” and a great shared experience.

Okay onto last night’s episode…


I like David. He’s the kind of player I’d like to have on the show every season. He’s playing a long-term game and he’s willing to make big moves. He came to win, not make the jury.

I don’t have much time for people who are satisfied with making the jury. I’m not convinced Sarita wants to make it to the end. So far I haven’t seen the killer instinct. Maybe it will come out next week on Redemption Island. I had huge expectations for Sarita. I loved her in casting, but I really believe the game was much more than she anticipated and ultimately just too difficult. Now she faces an interesting dilemma. Does she give it her all and try to beat Matt or just throw in the towel and call it a day?


What’s to say? Matt is unstoppable. Five straight duels without a loss. Our duels are scheduled long before we know who will be competing so whether it’s physical, mental or both, it has nothing to do with who is at Redemption Island. It’s just luck of the draw.


Watching this episode reminded me how damn hot it gets while shooting Survivor. Redemption Island was especially hot because there was absolutely no breeze. I always seem to sweat more than the Survivors and that’s annoying. I guess they acclimate since they are living in it, and maybe because they’re dehydrated most days, but I always notice when I’m the one dripping from the forehead and they’re not.


I continue to be impressed by Rob’s game play. Granted it’s his fourth time so he should have something figured out, but seven episodes in I think he has played as close to a perfect game as anyone ever has in our 22 season history.

He hasn’t missed a single opportunity to gain favor or advantage. He is squeezing every bit of juice out of every opportunity.

I’m going to take a moment for all the “Probst loves Rob” haters to scream at me… go ahead. Let it out. Let it breathe…

I like Rob. Always have. Going all the way back to Survivor: Marquesas when he told me after he was voted out, “Give me another shot. I’m not finished.” I liked him in All-Stars when he took advantage of Lex to keep Amber in the game and then asked Amber to marry him just before the reading of the votes, thus ensuring the million dollars would be his no matter what. I liked him in Heroes v Villains when he miraculously changed his stripes and went from the dark side to the light. Still not sure how that happened.

And yes… I still like him today. (ugh ok Jeff, we get it already) ass licker


While we’re shooting the show, I’m unaware of most of what goes on out on the beaches. I don’t know the nitty-gritty and truth be told I really don’t know all that much about how the individual players are playing the game. But when I get home and start watching the episodes, I’m no different than you guys – I find myself rooting for and against different players and different tribes. Right now, Zapatera is driving me nuts with their infighting and complaining. I know it must be frustrating to read this if you’re a Zapatera member but it’s really how I feel. I can’t take much more of their whiny-ass complaining.

Enough philosophical chats, for crying out loud. Do something. Change your fate.

I want someone to stand up and take control of the tribe and start leading them. Specifically…David. That’s who would get my vote for leader and the reason is I think he’s the only guy capable right now of making bold moves to get his tribe back on track. Ralph makes fun of him for being an attorney. (Ralph=idiot) The truth is, the guy is the only one right now who is looking at the “big picture” and is trying to right a quickly sinking ship. I would say a "sunk" ship. It started sinking the day they threw a challenge....dumbassessssss!!!! I am lmaosmiley @ The Zapatera tribe...what we are witnessing is stupidy in its truest form.
Zapatera is a great example of the psychological phenomenon “groupthink.” In Zapatera, you have a group of people who are making decisions that match the group consensus but without ever truly evaluating the worth or long term effect of their decisions. They so desperately don’t want conflict that they get rid of anybody who doesn’t peacefully agree with the group. It’s not working. You have to have the balls to stand up and tell the Emperor that he’s naked! Zapatera is naked!

I think they made a great move in voting out Sarita and that may just be the first move in the right direction.


The scene in which they debated about saving Rob some crispy rice was funny and caused great drama surrounding Phillip who was clearly picking a fight because once again he WANTED TO BE HEARD!

Beyond that though, it was a great visual reminder of how little they are living on every day. They are given a tin of rice on day one and told to ration it so it will last the entire time. They know from past seasons that if you run out, it will cost you something valuable to get more rice. So that is why they eat only a few spoonfuls each day.


I love this ongoing love/hate, mentor/student relationship between Rob and Phillip because it highlights the truth about how we treat each other in our society. Age doesn’t mean a damn thing. Nobody respects you simply because you’re an elder. Should we respect our elders? Hell yes! Do we? Hell no.

We respect you if you’re powerful or rich or famous or hot or really good at sports, but age? Ha! You’re just an old dude whose ass I can kick, so get the F out of my way before I run you over with my Prius.

There is a guy at my gym, Abraham. He’s a very nice guy who fancies himself a comedian and as a result he is constantly spouting one-liners. All day, long. He’s a bit of a wordsmith, I’ll give him that. He has a turn of the phrase or a corny joke for every moment.

The truth is if he was a twenty-something I’d probably give him some attitude and tell him “not everything is an anecdote.” But Abraham, is in his 80’s and because of that, I have a different attitude about the whole thing. I listen and I laugh and I always appreciate that this man has lived a lot longer than me and if he wants to tell a few jokes we should all be happy that he’s still sharp enough to pull it off and support him.

But Survivor doesn’t care. Outwit, Outplay, Outlast. Being older on Survivor is rarely a plus but instead just a great reason to get rid of you. Is it fair? Doesn’t matter? Would I feel the same way if I was in the game and had some “old dude” slowing my tribe down? Probably. Then again, I’D be the old dude. Maybe that’s the real truth. I’m just channeling my own frustration that on Survivor, I’D BE THE OLD DUDE!

Survivor blogs. Humbling and cheaper than therapy.


This was without question one of the greatest challenges in recent Survivor history. We had all the elements. Great stakes – a helicopter ride and afternoon picnic. Great weather – pouring rain and deep mud. Great competition – it was back and forth until the last shot!

A massive effort by both groups. This challenge was no joke. Busting through the hay, crawling through the mud, climbing through the sticks, over the net craw and finally through an amazing “brick” wall. It was awesome.


The brick wall was made out of wood and each brick was hand placed by our art department. It took hours to get the walls just right. We had to think long and hard before deciding to rehearse this challenge because of the amount of work required to set it up. I could see our art department team watching the rehearsal with equal amounts of excitement at watching their challenge play out and dread knowing they’d have to replace every.. single.. brick…brick-by-brick on the wall.

I loved this challenge. Look for it again next year.

When I see them at the end of a challenge like that, there is no question in my mind as to why so many of you want to play this game. It really is the ultimate adventure. A chance to test yourself on every single level.


Another great moment in this episode. A helicopter ride is still a special treat for most people as it’s not something many of us ever get the chance to do. When you add in that you’re flying over and then landing on an active volcano it makes it all the more special.

This reminded me of the old days when we had enough time in our show to have some amazing rewards. Strategy has taken over the game and so now our time is limited and that’s why you see fewer epic rewards.


Rob tossing the clue for the idol into the active volcano was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. All credit goes to Rob for that one. He could have just tossed it before getting back on the helicopter, but instead he saw the opportunity — ah forget it. Just refer back to my earlier comments about Rob.


Sarita, I know I have to see you at the live show so I hope you won’t be frustrated but this was the right move. Your heart wasn’t in it.

Unfortunately for Sarita, she doesn’t get to go home. Instead, it gets worse. She has to go to Redemption Island where the worst thing that could happen is that she beats Matt and has to stay in the game even longer.

Matt may have his easiest duel yet.

See ya next week!

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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyThu Mar 31, 2011 9:24 pm

Matt better win or this season is officially a fail.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyFri Apr 01, 2011 12:51 pm

MissChriss wrote:
Matt better win or this season is officially a fail.

It is very hard not to like this guy!! I think he goes back into the game next week. I just can't see dumbass Sarita beating him at anything. It should be interesting because you would have to be afraid of a guy who can't be beat in any challenge. Not only will Matt re-enter the game but the tribes will merge!! Should be good stuff. Matt, Grant or Phillip FTW!!! lol
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptySat Apr 02, 2011 9:55 am

Rob throwing the clue in the active volcano was hilarious and made for such good TV. The guy is a Survivor legend regardless if he doesn't win this season and regardless that he's never won. He's smart, funny, witty, and is always 2 steps ahead of everyone else. Boston Rob FTMFW!!!!!!! Oh and he's now on twitter @BostonRob

I totally get Probst loving Rob and his man crush. Probst really is more than just a host on the show he truly loves the game of Survivor and loves those who stand out from everyone else. Basically everything that Rob embodies as a player.

I loathe the Zap tribe EXCEPT David.

Matt is very much a fan favorite for keeping himself alive week after week and I would HATE to see him lose the final Redemption Island after saving his ass each week and to lose it to a slouch like Sarita. Matt does deserve to get back in the game. In saying that I take it all back if him coming back into the game is Boston Rob's demise. haha
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyFri Apr 08, 2011 12:55 pm

Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 8 4/6/11
by jeff.probst on April 7, 2011 · View Comments Comments ....Once again I enjoyed our “interactive living room” on Twitter. We’ve been tweeting live each week at 8pm EST/PST. You can catch the tweets @JeffProbst.


I am guessing that almost everybody, short of Sarita’s family, was pulling for Matt to win the last duel before the merge. It has nothing to do with Sarita and everything to do with pulling for the underdog. Matt earned his shot back in the game.

I’m surprised that some of you are not enjoying Redemption Island. I certainly get a lot of comments from people who are enjoying it but I do get some from people who think it’s a bore.

I’m shocked that anybody could be bored with the Matt/Redemption Island storyline. But hey, I get it, everybody has their likes/dislikes.

As I’ve said many times the duels are put on the grid and built long before we know who will be competing. So imagine Matt’s surprise when the one challenge he didn’t want – a challenge that involved using the side of his now injured food – was the exact duel that was on the grid. Crazy Survivor luck.

Had he lost, it would have sucked to lose due to an injury but it would have been completely fair.

Truth is, I thought he was in real danger of losing. These challenges so often favor women and with his cut foot I thought he might be in trouble.


Ah there is so much fun about the merge.

From a show point of view it’s a breath of fresh air as it almost always shakes things up. Solid alliances are now in danger. People on the bottom now have a new shot at moving up.

The Survivors get a merge feast, which always lifts their spirits and anytime you can lift their spirits it’s a good thing. That might sound counter to what you would think we want to have happen, but the truth is there is so much drama on a day-to-day basis, that a bit of happiness is always good. Balances things out.

They get new buffs, which invigorates them and often seems to refuel them.

And if I don’t have to be there, it’s an afternoon off for me!


Rob: (to tribe) Murlonio means from the sea, united.

Rob: (interview)“Murlonio doesn’t mean anything. It’s a joke between me and Amber.”

I’m laughing because I’m imagining the reaction of the rest of the tribe when they heard this for the first time last night while watching the show. It’s so 5th grade and it has absolutely no impact on the show, but it’s still funny. I’m sure Rob and Amber were cracking up last night every time “Murlonio” popped up on the screen. I’ll ask Rob to bring the stuffed animal to the live show.


As simple as this challenge is to recreate it’s still the same creative process as you have with an elaborate maze. You have an idea – let’s do something where they balance a ball on a plate. Then you play around with the idea and decide it’s too easy, we need to add a “wobble” element to it. But it’s still not hard enough, so we add another ball, and then another. Now we’re getting somewhere.

Most of our challenges first take shape months before we go to location. Our challenge team pitches us their slate of new challenges. In fact we’re doing this in two weeks here in LA in preparation for next year. The pitch is nothing more than ideas and sketches. After the pitch, some are approved, some are modified and some are sent back for re-tooling.

Once they’re approved they have to be built. This process can take between one to six weeks depending on the scope and size.

Once built they are then tested. During a test there are no cameras. Just our director, our dream team, our challenge producers and me.

Once we’re satisfied with the test block we move to a rehearsal. This requires our entire camera/audio operators, our director, challenge producers, dream team and all the support people.

We rehearse the challenge and give our final notes. Then the challenge is ready for the Survivors.

We do this whether it is a three person final episode endurance challenge or a two-tribe, 20 person boat race. We always follow the same process.


The second blindside of Matt was a great move by Rob and not a surprising one. Rob blindsided Matt the first time around so Rob had to believe he was a target. I’m not sure Matt had any real shot at surviving but he sealed his fate when he told Rob the truth that he considered switching to the other side. He just gave up way too many details. It’s like telling your girlfriend, “I was thinking about breaking up with you, but I decided not to.” What? You don’t tell them that. You either do it or you don’t — but sharing e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is not always the right choice.

It makes sense that Matt was honest. It’s in his nature. But like the tale of the frog and the scorpion, nature can work for you and against you. This time the “nature” of Rob worked against Matt.

Mike gave it a great shot. He said all the right things. Offering to sabotage his own alliance and join forces with Matt in order to further his own game. He made the only real move he had at that point and it’s exactly what I would have done. It was a big move. Just because it didn’t work doesn’t mean it wasn’t a smart move.

The big question I have with Matt centers around how this impacts Matt’s faith in people.

Blindsided two times by people you trust… I wonder if it has changed Matt’s view of his fellow man or is Matt wise enough to realize that Survivor is just a game. It’s an ugly game at times but it’s just a game.


Yes this was in the plan from the beginning. Redemption Island was going to resume immediately after the merge. In fact, when we pitched CBS one of the scenarios we gave them was the person on Redemption Island could earn their way back into the game and then be voted right out again. But nobody imagined that one guy would win six straight duels get back into the game at the merge and be the first person voted out again.

If there is a silver lining for Matt, it is the fact that if he can survive Redemption Island again and make it back to the final, his odds for winning are huge. At this point he is one of the biggest underdogs in Survivor history.

See ya next week!

And from

Did Matt deserve to go back to Redemption Island considering he might have jeopardized Andrea’s position within their tribe? Andrea vents some more about how Matt threw her under the bus in this un-aired interview:

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PostSubject: Re: Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog   Jeff Probst Survivor Redemption Island blog EmptyThu Apr 14, 2011 7:07 am

Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 9 4/14/11

by jeff.probst on April 14, 2011

Thanks once again to everybody who joined us for the “interactive living room” twitter session last night! It was our biggest yet!
Okay, onto the blog!
Today’s blog will be stream of consciousness, with no proof reading, so bear with me..

Was he a moron? What would you have done? I felt like he was in a really tough spot. Going against your old alliance and joining the other side is a risky move. Obviously, staying with someone as dangerous as Rob is also a major risk. I think the only mistake he made was sharing his inner monologue with Rob. That’s the lesson I learned – when playing a game like Survivor, you don’t have to be so honest, God will understand.
But I must say, his faith in his God is pretty impressive and inspiring. Love the absolute commitment.

Julie complained about how unfair it was for Ometepe to vote out Matt again so soon after coming back into the game. I do not believe Julie would have taken mercy on Matt if she were in the same situation. Not one bit. She didn’t hesitate to get rid of Russell. She would have done the same with Matt and it would have been okay, it’s part of the game.

When Ralph was trying to forge his way in with Ashley and Natalie, he was trying so hard to get something going. The only thing Natalie could safely offer, without risking saying anything wrong, was:
Natalie: It’s a hard game.
Damn! The insincerity of that lame ass line would have prompted a major response from me. There is no chance I could have contained myself at that point in the game.
“It’s a hard game.” Screw off.

They’re doing everything they can to try and find a way into the tight Ometepe group. That’s what you have to do in this spot. You have no other option. You have to stir things up, try to get someone riled, try to start an argument, anything at all.
Sitting back and saying, “I understand” is bullshit. It gets you nowhere.
The only problem facing Zapatera is Boston Rob. Without Rob, Ometepe would have no clue what to do. That’s clear by the way Rob is able to keep them in line.

For all the concern we had that both Rob and Russell would be voted out early – Rob has done an amazing job of not only staying in the game but staying in control. There are a few key factors to his success:
a. He has an incredible knowledge of the game and the key elements required to control your fate.
b. He’s a naturally gifted strategist. His “us” vs “them” while keeping himself clean is so brilliantly executed.
c. The luck of drawing the Ometepe buff. Rob would not have been as successful on Zapatera. He is relying on the naïve nature of his tribe. Everybody on Ometepe will take offense with me saying this, but without Natalie and Phillip, Rob is dead because Ralph, Julie, David and Steve would not have responded the same way.

The scene between Rob and Natalie where she reports on the actions of Ashley was straight out of the Godfather. Natalie just became “made.” That is what they call it when you earn your mafia stripes, right? Natalie just made a HUGE move. She locked in her alliance with Rob when she could have made a move and gotten him out of the game. From this point forward Natalie’s fate is linked to Rob.

Phillips story about his meditation with his great, great, great, great, Grandfather was 100% legit. Even the 99th mispronunciation of his own tripe, “Ometepe” was legit. There is nothing about Phillip that is a put on, at least as far as I can tell.
As for whether or not he was actually a former federal agent, I will get to the bottom of that during the live reunion show Sunday, May 15th. Mark it down.
I loved this challenge. I love individual challenges later in the game because there are always people fighting to stay in the game. I also love it when people let go of their humility and get in the mud.
Day to day motivation is a big factor in this game:
Grant & Rob wanted it from the word go but for different reasons:
Rob wanted to protect himself and remain in control because he understands you are NEVER safe unless you have immunity. Even with a hidden idol, if you don’t play it you can get blindsided.
Grant wanted it for his tribe because he is playing the “team game.”
The three Zapatera all wanted it because they needed it.
Ashley, Andrea, Natalie & Phillip – they didn’t fight because they aren’t worried and for now they don’t have to be.

When the low man on the other tribes totem pole tells you that he enjoys being the low man, you know you are in trouble.
Phillip embodies the loyal soldier. At this point I truly believe Phillip would fall on a sword for his tribe because in his mind he is part of an important group. What he doesn’t understand is he is being played by one of the best and the only way this ends well is if Rob gets blindsided and Phillip ends up in a final with himself.

Mike will be tough. Mike could be on Redemption for a while. He is an amazing competitor and from what I can tell an audience favorite.

I love these challenges as well! Love when we give them the chance to sit out and eat rather than compete for immunity.
I’m always amazed at who chooses to eat and why. You are so close to $1million dollar pirze. I would never give up a shot at immunity for a burger. But I think it makes perfect sense that Steve and Phillip did.
Steve knew he wouldn’t win and Phillip believes he doesn’t have to win. Turns out both are right.

Phillip is pure gold. Straight out of the river bed.
If there has ever been a more fascinating Survivor contestant, please share.
David brought up a great notion – that at this point, the best move for a Zapatera may be Redemption Island where you can control your fate.
I don’t think we’ve even touched what RI will bring to this game. For those of you on the fence, give it a chance. Let’s see where it goes.

Next week.. one of the most “water cooler” worthy tribal councils in quite some time.
From CBS : Some of you — okay, all of you — have said that you think Phillip is nuts, but he’s self-aware enough to realize that. He explains his strategy in this un-aired extended scene:
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