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puddin:
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': ep. 1
by Jeff Probst
Categories: Survivor
Welcome back, Survivor fans. Okay, enough small talk, let’s get to it.

Back in the good ‘ole days of the movie business, stars and starlets were often discovered having a malt at the corner drug store.


Well, not many folks drink malts anymore and the corner drug stores are long gone, but stars and starlets are still being discovered every week…on reality shows.

If you’re an actor you hate me for even suggesting such an idea. Reality shows responsible for discovering stars? Hogwash. “Reality shows” and “stars” are mutually exclusive ideas, you protest.

Hang on, cause I’m gonna take it one irritating step further. The truly great reality stars of today… often write their own material as well!

Go ahead, writers, pelt me with tomatoes. Throw stones at my head. I get it. I understand the frustration, but it doesn’t deter my beliefs.
In fact, I am going to challenge you to be honest with yourself and with me if and when you respond to this blog.

A new star has most definitely been born. He stands about 5 feet tall and when he slips that buff on top of his head, he transforms into a pirate, missing tooth and all. He was discovered on Survivor, the greatest reality show of all time, his name is Russell Hantz and in addition to being absolutely captivating on television, he writes and delivers some of the greatest material ever heard in 20 seasons of Survivor.

As long as Russell is on the show you are going to be talking about him and I am going to be writing about him. Instead of protesting like you did last season about my infatuation with Coach, why not try “riding the horse in the direction it’s going.” ‘Cause trust me, that is the direction this blog is going.

But for now, a brief detour.

I love Shambo! Shambo is the prototype for what we look for when casting Survivor. The voice, the walk, the hair! I think Survivor fans are going to adore Shambo and root for her to win. Who knows… maybe she will.

She is clearly a bit of an outcast on her tribe and that is part of her appeal. She moves to her own beat but she respects her leader, I’ll refer to him as the “Dreadlocked” Russell, (who is off to a great start leading Galu) and that’s commendable. If I had to guess, I’d say Shambo is already one of the most popular people of this season. While I’m at it, you’re going to like Dreadlocked Russell as well.

Ben is a bully. I don’t really like bullies but I also don’t want Ben showing up at my front door looking for revenge, so I’m going to call Ben the “likable Bully” but the truth is I don’t know him well enough to know if he is likable, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t. Likable, that is. Could be very likable. Probably is.

Marisa doesn’t like bullies. She also doesn’t appreciate anybody telling her what to do. I really liked what I saw of Marisa, but her reluctance to take a step back and “count to 10″ did her in. I was bummed to see her go so early. Attractive women are not in short supply on Survivor, especially this season, but attractive women with a strong point of view are few and far between. Marisa left too soon.

Back to Russell Hantz, let’s just call him “Evil” Russell to make it easy.

I must admit, I am instantly intrigued by a villain who spouts as his philosophy: “The most important thing is honesty.” Then proceeds to make alliances with everyone on his tribe.

Russell: “I have an alliance with the dumb short-haired blonde. I have another alliance with the even dumber long-haired blonde. It’s my dumb-ass girl alliance.”

INSIGHT: Keep in mind that the interviews you see on the show are done in private, away from all other Survivors. So last night when Ashley and Natalie were watching Survivor at home and heard Russell’s comments about them it was for the first time. Imagine watching with your family or your boyfriend as Russell refers to you as part of his “dumb-ass girl alliance.” Ah, this is going to be a fun season.

Without question, the most jaw-dropping sequence in last nights premiere episode of Survivor: Samoa was this one:

Russell: “I lived in New Orleans, right by the levee. The storm (hurricane) was a category five. When it hit… it broke the levee…. I was in my house. Me and my German Shepard, his name was, uh, Rocky.

I tried to get out of the house and realized I wasn’t gonna make it. So I grabbed my axe.

Because as a fireman, one thing you learn that if you go in something you have to be able to get out… The water was rushing in… I looked at Rocky, I couldn’t see him.. It was muddy water. He’s gone, I couldn’t find him.”

Cut to: Russell: I never lived in New Orleans. I’m not a fireman. I never even had a German Shepard. It’s crazy how you can break their hearts by telling them a lie.

In a span of 10 minutes, he emptied everybody’s canteen (his own tribemates) and burned Jaison’s socks in the fire. Not since Denzel Washington in Training Day have you seen someone this evil.

Ah relax, I’m just pushing your buttons. But be honest, your jaw hit your knee when you heard the New Orleans story, right?

Talk about using and abusing a national tragedy for your own good. With that lie alone, Russell earns consideration into the Survivor Villain Hall Of Fame.

Okay, a few more thoughts.

SHOW INSIGHT: You may have noticed, this episode did not have our normal “Survivor Open,” where we show you really sexy shots of all the Survivors. Not to worry, it does exist, we just had so much good material that we decided to use the time to put more content into the show. Look for it next week.

PERSONAL INSIGHT: Voting out Marisa over Mike Borassi? I think it was a mistake. I like Borassi a lot. He’s a great character, but Marisa was strong. Foa Foa made their first mistake and I think it will cost them in challenges.

TOURIST DESTINATION: At the beginning of the show I always say “39 days, 20 people, 1 Survivor.” The spot we chose this time is called “The Blow Holes” located on the island of Savaii in Samoa. I gotta tell you it ranks right up there as one of the coolest places we’ve ever shot the tag line. Those blasts of water shoot nearly 100 feet high. If you watch it again it looks like I must have been drenched by the water, but the truth is, I never got so much as a drop on me.

FINAL THOUGHT:
Betsy is a wise woman. She’s on to Evil Russell. You gotta love and trust the insight and wisdom of a cop. A female cop, no less. It’s a two for one deal. You get a woman’s intuition and the experience of a cop. Betsy is right. 100%. Don’t trust Russell.

The question is, will anybody listen?

Until next week…
http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/09/18/jeff-probst-blogs-survivor-samoa-episode-1/

Jobby:
A few leads you can get from Jeff's blog -


--- Quote ---I love Shambo! Shambo is the prototype for what we look for when casting Survivor. The voice, the walk, the hair! I think Survivor fans are going to adore Shambo and root for her to win. Who knows… maybe she will.
--- End quote ---

Hmmm, Shambo.. making far?


--- Quote ---PERSONAL INSIGHT: Voting out Marisa over Mike Borassi? I think it was a mistake. I like Borassi a lot. He’s a great character, but Marisa was strong. Foa Foa made their first mistake and I think it will cost them in challenges.
--- End quote ---

Foa Foa going to be really bad at challenges??


--- Quote ---TOURIST DESTINATION: At the beginning of the show I always say “39 days, 20 people, 1 Survivor.” The spot we chose this time is called “The Blow Holes” located on the island of Savaii in Samoa.
--- End quote ---

I ABSOLUTELY AGREE. I LOVE THAT LOCATION. IT WAS DARN DARN DARN PRETTY.


--- Quote ---Betsy is a wise woman. She’s on to Evil Russell. You gotta love and trust the insight and wisdom of a cop. A female cop, no less. It’s a two for one deal. You get a woman’s intuition and the experience of a cop. Betsy is right. 100%. Don’t trust Russell.
--- End quote ---

Betsy making it far too? :jumpy:

BamBam:
Really enjoyed the show last night!  Russell was just deliciously evil and will keep it entertaining for however long he is on.   :jumpy:

puddin:
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #2
by Jeff Probst
Categories: Reality TV, Survivor, Television, Things That Are Awesome!
Jeff starts off his blog with a major spoiler. Head after the jump to read on.
Betsy is gone. Major bummer. One of the most likable people on our show in a long, long time. More on that later.

First, regarding the ongoing conversation that this blog generates…let me say this: I love your comments. It’s one of the best things to emerge in recent years. I thank Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly for giving me the opportunity to chat with you guys. I should also note that people in television whose job it is to deal with unhappy viewers have a tested theory that people who “don’t like” something write in about 90% more than those who do. So a blog full of negative comments is not unusual and while your comments absolutely get my attention, I do take into consideration, there are people who feel differently.

Okay, let’s get to it… another feisty episode for sure, eh?

Jaison is so well spoken. We don’t often have contestants that can state their case with such efficiency. However, I’m not sure his attitude is flexible enough to win this game. He has very strong opinions, which he vocalizes often and he has a hard time letting others be who they want to be. I think Jaison is approaching this game like a courtroom trial. I state my case. You state yours. A judge decides. Only problem, it doesn’t work that way out here.

My wish for Jaison would be for him to laugh a bit more, get a little dirty (actually get dirty), and try to let some of the smaller stuff go, because he is a strong presence and could last a long time.

Russell finds the idol. Oh man you guys hated that, right? But come on. The dude found the idol with no clue. Let me repeat that…he found the idol with no clue. He told them he was looking for it. He dug in front of them. Nobody even questioned it. “Booh-yah.”

Jaison certainly did not like the fact that Russell was in possession of the idol, but Jaison HE found it. He got off his ass and found it. Like him or not, the dude hustles. Also, unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I can’t make Russell go home faster or stay longer. “It is what it is. It will be what it will be.”

PERSONAL INSIGHT: As Jaison walked away from Russell (who was holding the idol) he said in reference to the idol, “We’ll discuss it later.” This is what I’m talking about Jaison. There will be no discussing it later. Russell has it, you’re not getting it. This is not a conference room where you two will negotiate a fair and just settlement. He owns it and now he owns you. He does. You better change that and quickly.

SHOW INSIGHT: The Immunity challenge was called Schmergenbrawl. It came to be a Survivor challenge in a rather interesting way. Two seasons ago, our grip department (the guys who move all the heavy stuff) created a game they called Schmergenbrawl. They played it on their off days. It was very basic. There was a collection of different balls: football, rugby ball, soccer ball, basketball, etc. There were two trashcans about 15 feet apart. Each time you tossed a ball into the can you scored a point. It became a phenomenon on location culminating with a full-day (a day off) 15-team tournament that included bleachers, an announcer, lots of beer, and a total downpour. Yes, we do have some fun during our 39-day shoots on location.

It was so popular we started looking at it as a possible challenge. After a few modifications from our challenge department, it became one of the most physical challenges in the history of Survivor. In addition, Ben is thrown out of the challenge making more Survivor history and Mike Borassi is evacuated. Talk about epic. Whoa.

Back to the challenge…let me be really clear. The contestants were playing very aggressively and when I gave them the warning I was really clear. No more cheap shots. Tripping someone by putting your leg a foot in the air is a cheap shot.

SHOW INSIGHT: Ben was mad at me. He felt other people were doing things “just as bad as me.” He felt I was picking on him. I wasn’t. He just happened to do it right in front of me after I warned him. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t lose a moment’s sleep over the decision. It was a punk move. And yes, I am a bit worried that Ben might want to kick my ass, because he could. Of that there is no doubt. Tough dude. In fact, in case Ben is reading this, I should let you know that my house is on the market and the house that is supposed to be mine on the “Stars of Hollywood” map is actually owned by Ryan Seacrest.

I love Borassi. Man, I hated to see him go. The guy gave it his all. He really did. He was out there throwing down with all the other guys, some of them 30 years younger. He’s a good guy and it’s a bummer he had to be evacuated, but he was in trouble. Our medics don’t mess around. They don’t want to take anybody out of the game, but if a contestant’s vital signs are not good, they’re gone. We gave Mike about an hour to get stable and he wasn’t getting any better. Tough way to go, but he went out fighting.

Foa Foa is in trouble. This is probably the fastest that any tribe has been down 3 members in the history of the game. Galu is living the high life. Things are so good that the only thing they have to complain about is Shambo. When Shambo is your biggest pain in the ass, life ain’t too bad.

Shambo cracks me up. She is so sincere and so unaware. I love that she said, “Do you want the good news or the bad news?” Good news? Shambo, there wasn’t any good news. You came up empty handed with the fishing and you broke the gear. I love her. I know she bugs some viewers, and the entire tribe of Galu, but I still dig her.

Yasmin is her own story. Wow. Never before have I seen a monologue like the one she delivered to the Foa Foa tribe. Like a Mary Kay saleswoman. She had the best of intentions but nobody wanted what she was selling. And with those shoes, all she needed was a pink Cadillac. Anybody?

Yasmin: “And Ben, I’d like to talk to you in private…” I couldn’t wait for that moment. Yasmin and Ben in private. Bring it. Man, I love America. For the record, I am watching their conversation again as I write this blog. It’s sick, twisted, disgusting, disappointing, disturbing, uncomfortable, and completely compelling. Amazing Race should put them together as a pair for next season.

PERSONAL INSIGHT: I know my comments often frustrate you, so let me explain how I look at moments and people like this… I just observe. I’m a human being on this planet living just like you. People like Russell, Ben, Yasmin – they live here too. People fascinate me. We are all doing what we think is best for us at any given moment. It’s easy to judge. Others and ourselves. I do it all the time. When I first met Russell I said to everyone else in the room, “That guy is pure evil.” But he’s on this show, he’s doing what he’s supposed to do – which is play Survivor how he sees fit – and I respect him in that sense. Making up a story about Katrina is downright despicable but so is lying about your dead grandma. “It is what it is.” You can get mad at me or you can join me in taking a step back and just listening and observing and hoping that karma catches up and people get what they deserve. Then again, it is Survivor and sometimes karma takes a vacation.

Ben was looking for attention, at least that’s my take. He likes conflict, likes to challenge the norm. He certainly got it in this episode.

TRIBAL COUNCIL. I know, I know, the high-five between Ben and Russell made most of you scream. I get it.

CASE IN POINT: Regarding just “taking in” what people give you rather than getting all “up in arms” about it…. Ben’s comments to me at Tribal about “I didn’t know we were playing by your sissy rules.” In spite of the deep sigh you saw me give, they really didn’t get to me. What does get to me is not having enough time in tribal council to show everything that goes down. Ben and I went at it quite a bit that night. He may be able to beat me up, but in a game of Q and A, he’s all mine. But alas we only have a few minutes for Tribal so you only get the meat.

Say goodbye to Betsy. Too soon. Betsy was the only one who really understood Ben. She told the tribe everything they needed to know but nobody listened. Betsy’s gone. A nice woman, a true Survivor fan, and already a fan favorite. A lot of people told me they were already rooting for Betsy to win. Have faith, the game is long. Other rootables will emerge.

MOST UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENT: Ben shooting his imaginary gun at the “bad cop” Betsy. Now that was just wrong.

See you next week to discuss… The Russell seed.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/09/25/jeff-probst-blogs-survivor-samoa-episode-2/

Ray!:

--- Quote from: puddin on September 25, 2009, 07:27:41 AM ---Yasmin: “And Ben, I’d like to talk to you in private…” I couldn’t wait for that moment. Yasmin and Ben in private. Bring it. Man, I love America. For the record, I am watching their conversation again as I write this blog. It’s sick, twisted, disgusting, disappointing, disturbing, uncomfortable, and completely compelling. Amazing Race should put them together as a pair for next season.

TRIBAL COUNCIL. I know, I know, the high-five between Ben and Russell made most of you scream. I get it.

--- End quote ---

Yasmin? Yes. Ben? OH. HELL. NO. NOT. HAPPENING. EVAH. IN. THE. HISTORY. OF. THE. SHOW. Unless he gets kicked out while Phil does the start line stuff of course, and then gets replaced by Betsy/Marisa/Shambo. Then I'd oblige. :funny:

And UGH at Betsy going home. I can tolerate Russell, but Ben is just UGH. I actually expected Russell to be the one kicked out.

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