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Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Gabon'!
Sep 26, 2008, 07:21 AM | by Jeff Probst

 The Emmy-winning host of 'Survivor' has agreed to drop us a line every week with his take on the latest episode and the behind-the-scenes action in Gabon. It doesn't get any better than this, folks. --PopWatch

So we let the Survivors pick their own tribes, which is always risky, and this episode only reinforces why it is probably not a great idea.

What were the people on the Fang tribe thinking? I am constantly amazed at the choices that get made on this show. Friday morning quarterbacking is easy to do on Survivor but some of the choices still make me scratch my head. It's not the last time they'll make questionable choices either.

I loved the opening-challenge dilemma of either selfishly racing to the top of the hill or selflessly staying behind to help your tribe. Actions speak louder than words. Marcus and G.C., good for you. Hope that first episode immunity really pays off for you 'cause it may cost you later.

Not sure what to make of Ace. I love him on the show. He's gold. But I have the same question everybody else probably has…is the accent real?  If not, how much effort does it take to keep it "on" all the time? 

Did you see Crystal hoofing it up the side of that hill?  Crystal is a former Olympic athlete. Wait, GOLD MEDALIST!  I thought for sure she was pretending to be slow as a strategy, but she wasn't. She said she was used to "lighter shoes." Fair enough. She was a track star not a rock climber.

Randy getting injured was a nice bonus for episode 1. Anytime there is an injury, along with blood or stitches, it's usually good for the show. Randy is going to be a star if he can last long enough. Everything he says cracks me up. I also think most of it is heartfelt. He's mean as an alley cat, and trust me they're mean.

But nobody can touch Corinne on the Bitch meter.  I only feel comfortable saying this because Corinne told it to me in person. She said it drives her nuts when somebody says she is "pleasant" or "nice," it's insulting.  She wears it like a badge of honor and I'll be bringing it up for as long as she is around. In her favor, Corinne plays the game hard, she knows how important alliances are, and if she forms a good one she could be around for a while.

Question: Is Corinne more or less hot now that you know she'd burn your house down if she got mad at you? Corinne, I hope you're laughing. You know I'm joking. If not, I sure hope you don't know where I live. 

One of my favorite moments is the "termite love scene" between Kenny and Michelle. Makes me laugh and smile every time I see it. They were both so earnest and Michelle so cute when she ate the termite. I was hoping something might develop there…

…but instead, Michelle disappeared.

Not sure what happened to Michelle's attitude. I had her picked as a favorite in my preshow picks. Yes. A favorite. Something happened and her zeal disappeared. A major disappointment. I'm sure it was tough for her as well.

Episode 1 is over. Kota dominating. Fang in trouble.

Episode 2

The mismatched tribes continue to haunt Fang. I kept reminding them, "Quit complaining. You did it to yourselves." I like being a pain in the ass. Sometimes, like today as I write this blog, that's just the kind of mood I'm in. 

The real truth is I would probably make equally foolish decisions if I had to step up and actually play the game. Instead I get paid to comment without ever having to put my money where my mouth is. Yes, I'm aware.

At the first tribal council, G.C. reluctantly accepted the leadership position. The question is how long will he last and how effective will he be? I would have never chosen him as my leader. This is the guy that raced ahead to get immunity for himself. It is a sign. Fang is in major trouble at this point. They're all afraid to do anything and coming from a place of fear is never a good idea.

Over at Kota, Ace is cracking me up. I love him! Doing yoga in his orange shorts with the accent and never ever breaking character. Major kudos.

Sugar cries a lot. Just warning you. But I think you're going to like her. Maybe even root for her.

Marcus is getting a lot of love from everybody. They love his leadership, they love that he's a doctor, and they love how calm he is. He drove us nuts as producers because he was telling everybody to act rationally! What?! What are you doing? Quit ruining Survivor, dude. Marcus is waaaay too good for this game. He could easily win. When we were out on location it seemed that every girl wanted him, even half of our production crew. That's just annoying.

Dan's visit to Exile Island tells you everything you need to know about Dan. He's lovable and extremely well-intentioned but he overthinks everything. He's Hamlet. Trust me when I tell you, finding the idol is not that difficult, as you'll see in upcoming episodes. He just plain overthought it. Too bad, the idol is a powerful weapon. I love that his tribe thinks that because he is overdoing it with his admission that he doesn't have it, that he probably does have it! If they only knew the truth, they'd hope for him to be sent to Exile every single time.

Another tribal council for Fang, and Gillian is gone. I have to say the truth about Gillian. And Gillian, if you're reading this, I say this with love. Gillian is a very nice person and she absolutely means well. She was so excited to be on the show, she had applied every season! She is originally from South Africa, and when she found out we were going back to her homeland, she was thrilled. I actually liked Gillian quite a bit during casting. But once the show started, became a little annoying. You simply talked too much without saying anything substantive. You were a cheerleader, and let's face it, cheerleaders are…well, annoying. We hated to see you go, but if you hadn't been voted out, we may have removed you ourselves. Gillian, you're smiling, right?  It's a blog. I'm just having fun. If you're not smiling and you're mad, please don't tell Corinne where I live.

Episode 2 done.  Fang down 2 members.  Kota still going strong.

Next week on…Survivor: Fang needs a win. Sugar needs a Kleenex.

Okay, that's it for this week. More next week. Reporting for Dalton Ross and Entertainment Weekly, I'm JPiddy.

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Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Gabon' (episode 3)
Oct 3, 2008, 12:45 AM | by Jeff Probst

Categories: 'Survivor', Reality TV, Television, Things That Are Awesome!

 When it comes to what is good for the show, as producers, we obviously look at it much differently than the Survivors. One of our biggest concerns is hanging onto our best “characters” for as long as possible. That is ultimately what keeps you, our loyal audience, interested. (Side note: Last week, a new study was released that surveyed audience loyalty relating to their favorite television shows. The number one show…the show with the highest viewer loyalty…of every show on television, was Survivor. Seventeen seasons and you are still with us. Thank you for keeping us on the air!) We now resume our regularly scheduled blog…

Unfortunately, we can’t tell the Survivors who to vote for, so all we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best. After three episodes of Survivor: Gabon, we’re very happy on that front.

First we lost Michelle, then Gillian, and now Paloma. Whew. Relief. Three people who will not be missed. I say that with all due respect to the aforementioned, although, as my buddy Lopez reminds me, whenever you say “with all due respect” you’re actually saying without any respect at all. Yes, I am aware that if I keep up this lippy attitude for the entire season that I may end up buried to my neck in sand at the live reunion show. The problem is I write these in the afternoon, typically when I’m most hungry and therefore a bit cranky. Not an excuse, just a fact.

G.C. continues to disappoint…himself. The reward challenge, which was called “Kicking and Screaming,” is one of my favorites, but watching G.C. give up was even more dramatic. His tribe was screaming at him to kick it into high gear. Granted, they are living on extremely small rations of rice, so energy is in short supply, but Matty and Dan certainly had energy and they’re living on the same rice. In fact, can I just be candid? I don’t think it’s the end result as much as the lack of effort that frustrates his tribe. G.C.’s heart just doesn’t seem to be into it. I’m sure he is wondering if he should have given more effort. What continues to amaze me is the impact this game has on the human psyche. Or vice versa. I can’t be sure which is right. Dalton?

Sugar goes to Exile Island and we learn a bit more about who she is and what drives her. She’s clearly still mourning the loss of her father, who seems to be providing beautiful inspiration. She finds the hidden immunity idol with very little difficulty. Dan, who was probably with friends last night watching this episode, must have taken a ration of it from his buddies. She found the idol in twenty minutes, dude!! She smoked you! Ah, Sugar…I told you, I think you’re gonna root for her.

The immunity challenge provided at least one bit of excitement -- bikinis! It’s just not Survivor if, at some point, the women are not in bikinis. Am I wrong? Is that sexist? I’m just saying what people on the street tell me. Just keepin’ it reeeel dawg. Why you gotta bring me down? I don’t believe you critics anyway. I think you like it.

Time for another question: “At this early stage of the game, who are you pulling for?” Since EW isn’t giving me a space for comments, even though I take time out of my extremely hectic and oh-so-important life to write this column, go to Dalton’s column and post your answer! [Editor's note: We would never deny Jeff his due comment space, so feel free to post your thoughts below. In fact, we insist!]

So, Fang has turned things around with back-to-back wins. Trust me, Marcus is not happy. He’s a doctor. Did you know that? He just lost to a tribe of misfits, many of whom do not even have college degrees! No way! Kota now going to feel the after effect of having to vote someone out. It’s not so fun anymore. Kelly is on the outs for voting against Ace. What will she do? Come on Kelly. Think. What would Lindsay do? Kota needs to get it back together.

Next week has a nice little twist conceived by our resident switch expert, Dan Munday. I love it when we come up with something new that catches them off guard. It’s so hard to do that anymore, so when it happens we celebrate. We really do. We go back to base camp, pop a bottle of champagne, and slap each other on the backs. I’m kidding. There is no hitting on Survivor.

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Gabon' (episode 4)
Oct 10, 2008, 08:54 AM | by Jeff Probst

 Ah...unscripted reality.  You just can’t write this stuff. I think the idea of having them rank themselves in order of importance was one of more inspired “switch” ideas of late. You can thank Dan Munday for that one.  Been with our show since season two and he’s brilliant. They simply didn’t see the switch coming and as you know that pleases me to no end when we pull one over on them.

Dumbest move: What blew me away was the fact that Bob was picked so late in the process.  Somebody is gonna pay for that one. Trust me, had you been standing in my shoes you would have been just as shocked. Bob is a worker and a competitor. To leave him up there that long tells me these guys are vulnerable for a smart player to wreak havoc on this game. That was a mistake. They’re under estimating him and that means they’re not paying attention.

Best move: Kenny choosing Kelly. Kenny is playing to WIN. He’s taking chances. Kelly seemed like a ridiculous choice and Kenny played it as such saying he chose her because “she’s hot.” Lie. He chose her because he sensed a lost puppy in need of a home and he believed he could use her vote to further his own game. Video gamers all over the world must be loving skinny little Kenny with the creepy long fingernails. Another one to watch out for down the stretch.

Favorite move: Ace ended up on one of the worst tribes ever – Fang. It’s perfect. I can’t wait to hear him wax on about all the problems on this tribe.   

Corrine is growing on me. Just sayin.

Ah, Matty swearing on his girlfriend. Will this come back to bite him in the butt?  Not sure I’d trust Ace.  Check that, I’m sure I wouldn’t trust Ace. I don’t think Ace trusts Ace. Matty is vulnerable. He plays this game too honestly to have much of a shot at winning. 

The immunity challenge: I’m so done with Fang right now. It had to suck major big time to have Randy dominate them the way he did. Ace got used, but in his defense, Ace had absolutely no help from anybody. I don’t think Crystal ever moved from her corner. It’s amazing to watch. No matter who goes over to the Fang tribe, they suddenly suck.

When it came time for tribal council, Jacquie was simply a victim of bad luck.  She had all her eggs in one basket with Marcus and thanks to Dan Munday, her game was shot.  Again, just being candid, as nice as Jacquie is (and she is extremely pleasant) she didn’t bring as much to the show from a character point of view….Why is it the attractive blonde women on our show are often the least interesting in reality? Jacquie was all about winning and she would have had a very good shot had she lasted a bit longer but we also need to entertain the audience and that wasn’t Jacquie’s strong suit.  So, if you have to lose someone, I guess Jacquie isn’t a bad person to lose.  Just being honest, better her than Randy or Ace.  Add Jacquie to the list of people who will not want to talk to me at the live show.

Okay. That’s all I have.  For all you critics just remember, you don’t pay anything for these blogs. I’m not a magazine writer. I’m just a simple little reality host trying to make his way in the world. Dalton asked me to write these blogs, “without thinking.”  Those were his exact words. He wanted an unedited account of what I remember about the episode.  So, that’s what you’re getting.  I’m not going back and rewriting or even checking the spelling. This is a blog and this one is finished.  See ya next week!

Ace is hilarious there! :lol: :funny:

This guy may be tad bit arrogant but damm he got personality! :waves:

ahh maybe this is where you thought you read Ace might be the title sayer Alan?

"Favorite move: Ace ended up on one of the worst tribes ever – Fang. It’s perfect. I can’t wait to hear him wax on about all the problems on this tribe."


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