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Offline puddin

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Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« on: September 18, 2009, 08:40:08 AM »
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/


Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2009, 08:58:35 AM »
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.

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.

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.

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.

Betsy making it far too? :jumpy:

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Offline BamBam

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2009, 11:28:40 AM »
Really enjoyed the show last night!  Russell was just deliciously evil and will keep it entertaining for however long he is on.   :jumpy:

Offline puddin

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 07:27:41 AM »
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/

Offline Ray!

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 07:43:07 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.

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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Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 07:43:58 AM »
Quote
MOST UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENT: Ben shooting his imaginary gun at the “bad cop” Betsy. Now that was just wrong.

 (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;)

IS THERE A TWIST THIS SEASON TO BRING ELIMINATED SURVIVORS BACK?????

Offline Ray!

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2009, 07:47:28 AM »
Quote
MOST UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENT: Ben shooting his imaginary gun at the “bad cop” Betsy. Now that was just wrong.

 (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;)

IS THERE A TWIST THIS SEASON TO BRING ELIMINATED SURVIVORS BACK?????

PLEASE. Why couldn't they have done the Outcast twist this season? :groan: On the other hand, I like how Probst focused on other people this time in his blog. :)
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Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2009, 09:15:37 AM »
Quote
MOST UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENT: Ben shooting his imaginary gun at the “bad cop” Betsy. Now that was just wrong.

 (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;) (:;)

IS THERE A TWIST THIS SEASON TO BRING ELIMINATED SURVIVORS BACK?????

PLEASE. Why couldn't they have done the Outcast twist this season? :groan: On the other hand, I like how Probst focused on other people this time in his blog. :)

I guessed he really hates Russell too. I remembered he doesn't like villians, which is the main reason why he doesn't like Gabon because it turned really ugly.

Offline Alan

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2009, 11:25:47 PM »
Lol at Ben and Yasmine, just shut the hell up! :lol:

Seriously if I had to pick a winner now it would be Mick...Only Natalie seems to be an angel on that tribe.

As interesting as it is at Foa Foa, I agree Galu needs to have more time. But they only show conflicts so it has to be at Foa Foa.

Offline puddin

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2009, 12:14:47 AM »
I don't even know the names of the Galu tribe besides Shambo and now Yasmin, and whats his name Dave? Dave only because of his unnormally small penis. Sorry, but really, please give these boys some swim trunks.   :colors


Offline Ray!

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2009, 12:19:28 AM »
I don't even know the names of the Galu tribe besides Shambo and now Yasmin, and whats his name Dave? Dave only because of his unnormally small penis. Sorry, but really, please give these boys some swim trunks.   :colors

I know Russell S. (leader), John (flaked the swim) & Erik (the physical part guy) aside from the three you said. The other four, though, escape me still. :funny:
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Offline puddin

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2009, 12:22:47 AM »
Yes Dreadlock Russell! I like him but the girls on that tribe other than the hooker are invisibly to me, from what I could remember they seem like bitch's.

Offline Ray!

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2009, 12:43:02 AM »
Yes Dreadlock Russell! I like him but the girls on that tribe other than the hooker are invisibly to me, from what I could remember they seem like bitch's.

I know right? :funny: And they don't form that big an impression to me to even count as bitch's.
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Offline puddin

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2009, 12:44:26 AM »
The one was bitching about Shambo losing the gear, thats all I remember. I don't even know how many females are on Galu? 3? 4?

Offline s1

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2009, 09:49:03 AM »
Each tribe stared with 5 women 5 men.  Galu women are Kelly, Laura, Monica, Shambo & Yasmin.  Monica and Laura are both brunettes and I still get them confused, Monica is the youngest by 14 yrs. and was the one that sat out the challenge.  Kelly is the really blond, blond.  Talking hair color only, haven't seen enough of her to know if she qualifies as a blond otherwise.  And we all know Shambo and Yasmin now.

Foa women are Ashley (short haired dumb blond), Natalie (long haired dumb blond) and Elizabeth who is Asian.

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2009, 09:55:14 AM »
i was hopeing jeff would explain y he did not say if any one has the idol and would like to use it. that would have made every one squrim and russell, the only one who would have had it bc he was the only one looking would have been busted by the trib..
so y did't jeff ask??? huummmm????
tv junky needs help!!!!!

Offline s1

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2009, 10:06:20 AM »
i was hopeing jeff would explain y he did not say if any one has the idol and would like to use it. that would have made every one squrim and russell, the only one who would have had it bc he was the only one looking would have been busted by the trib..
so y did't jeff ask??? huummmm????

Not sure but I think the reason Jeff didn't ask is because Foa has not won a challenge to send someone to Galu camp to find Foa's hidden immunity idol.  The idol RH found was Galu's so it may be worthless to RH and Foa.  RH finding it could lead to his downfall.  He believes he's getting voted out at TC and doesn't campaign to stay knowing he's safe, plays the HII at TC only to hear Jeff say this isn't any good it belongs to Galu.  Would be great to see.  On the other hand it takes the HII out of play for Galu.  Foa won't have to worry about anyone from Galu having it after they merge.  Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2009, 01:32:50 PM »
oooh...I love THAT idea s1! :happy:
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline pledge

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2009, 01:37:44 PM »
ooooh  yes, s1     that would be a great twist
love it    :jumpy:

Offline bee1233

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2009, 07:34:05 PM »
I would love to see Jeff throw it in the fire saying it is the wrong idol Russell. :neener:

Offline Alan

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2009, 08:52:59 PM »
Haha that would be a great elimination for RH. Anyway yeah on Galu... Who's Brett? Laura and Kelly are the ones who complained about Shambo and they have been pretty invisible as well, maybe not so on insider videos...

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2009, 06:18:52 PM »
yea there r so many senaros that could play out , one thing is though russell does have the paper that goes with the idol so he no's it is the real deal, also it would make more sence if the idols were hidden in different places at each camp??? so depending on what that paper says that he found with the hii like who ever holds this has it  ect.  :wall: :torche :camping:
tv junky needs help!!!!!

Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2009, 10:14:00 AM »
If RH really got eliminated using the wrong idol which is actually an idol, it will probably top Erik's stupid moment of giving up immunity, BJ and a few others have the idol but didn't use it and a few others who used the wrong idol.

Heck, it will even top Randy and Corrine being voted off. At least Randy didn't know he's safe until Bob gave him the HII. But RH must have thought that he will be safe with the wrong idol he found and all his smugness and arrogance.. can't wait to see his facial expression if that indeed happens.

God, please let it happen. Make Survivor Samoa exciting for us fans!

Offline puddin

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2009, 12:02:35 PM »

 

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode 3
by Jeff Probst
Categories: Reality TV, Television, Things That Are Awesome!
I will be honest up front that this is going to be a unique blog because as I sit on my couch writing, my mind and my heart are with all the local Samoan families who are in dire straits as a result of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked the island of Upolu, just a few days ago. So much devastation, so many lives lost.

This is show business and the show must go on, so I will share my thoughts about this episode, but bear in mind my focus is somewhat challenged.

Here we go…

Last night’s episode was one of my favorites and tribal council one of the hardest to watch.  Jaison showed some real backbone. I was happy to see it. It is fascinating to watch someone reach their breaking point and then what happens as a result. Jaison threw down the ultimatum and in doing so earned a lot of respect. Certainly from me.

PERSONAL INSIGHT: Jaison struggled a lot these first several days of Survivor. There were many times that it appeared to me his heart was just not in the game. I now wonder how much his struggle with Ben had to do with his spirit, as it clearly was taking a toll on him. More on Jaison later…

WHO IS PLAYING THIS GAME ANYWAY?:  Russell made a big statement last night about being the only one playing the game. I think he’s wrong. Not everybody is playing as aggressively as Russell, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t playing.

For instance, when Russell approached Natalie and asked for her reaction to last week’s tribal council in which Betsy was voted out, she was very cagey with her response.
She stated only facts.

Natalie: “It was brutal. It was the majority. It was the plan.” She gave nothing away regarding how she felt about the outcome.

Her approach was a wise one. If you argue with Russell, or challenge a decision, or try to play him as aggressively as he is playing you, it will end badly. So instead, Natalie made a strategic move. She didn’t agree or disagree with the vote. She deflected. Well done.

Russell took it as a sign she was not involved in the game, I took it as a sign that Natalie understands this game more than it might appear.

I HEAR YOU!: Yes, I heard you yelling at your screen when Russell explained with devilish glee, “The Russell Seed.” I do admire the conviction. There is no doubt in Russell’s mind that “The Russell Seed” exists and that kind of belief in yourself can take you a long way. Not always the right way, but a long way.

OVER AT GALU:  I continue to be amazed at their winning streak. As they said last night, they’re so comfortable, they are not even in “game mode.” Instead they spend their free time doing yoga and watching the “hot” threesome of Laura, Monica and Kelly prance around in their bikinis playing Charlie’s Angels. Don’t get me wrong fellas, I’m not complaining. Laura, Monica and Kelly happen to be a very attractive threesome and let’s hope there are more swim suit challenges coming up… but from a “game” point of view I am surprised they haven’t crumbled yet. Typically when you get comfortable you get complacent and on Survivor that usually leads to disaster. Time will tell.

BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE EPISODE:  Dreadlocked Russell made his first leadership mistake. He took as a reward, a few soft fluffy cushions over… a protective tarp.

As we were standing there and I gave him the choice between comfort and function, I was certain he would choose the tarp and everything else that went with it. I was blown away by his decision. I expected it to be the easiest decision he’d had so far.

He supported the choice as his way of “taking care of his women.” I don’t buy it. I think it was a mistake and I think he knows it. One of the most valuable things you can have at your camp is a big tarp to keep you dry. The odds of Russell regretting that decision are enormous. In fact, if you can find odds at Vegas go ahead and put the pink slip down. Rain. Cold. Misery. It’s coming.

I HEAR YOU, AGAIN:  Yes, I heard you screaming at your screens again when Russell said, “This is what god made me for.” Notice I didn’t capitalize the word “god.” I’m not implying anything, it just feels better with a small “g”, that’s all.

SHAMBO VISIT:  Shambo was put on the wrong tribe. She should have been a Foa Foa member. She felt so at home that she gave away a lot of information about the dynamics of her tribe. As you all know, I like Shambo, but girl, sometimes you need to be quiet. Try counting to ten before speaking… you’ll go further in the game.

BIGGEST HERO OF THE NIGHT: Jaison at Tribal Council. Jaison elevated himself in the eyes of this host and I’m guessing a majority (but not all) of our viewers. I loved last night’s Tribal. As I said earlier, it was hard to watch at times, but absolutely compelling and completely honest. Two people from very different walks of life, going jaw to jaw with their personal beliefs.

Jaison was determined to not let the game or his pursuit of the million dollars get in the way of his personal integrity. Ben, on the other hand seemed determined to make sure his personal beliefs got in the way of his pursuit of the million dollars.

The conversation between Jaison and Ben offered another fascinating peek inside the psyche of humans. I have no doubt that Ben believed everything he was saying to Jaison about Yasmin was “accurate.” Not an opinion, but a fact. Just like I believe Ben did not intend to be chauvinistic when lecturing the women of the tribe on why they should not attempt to make fire: “Not to be chauvinistic… not to put you down. I wouldn’t even attempt it.”

But, that is not what is fascinating. What’s fascinating is his inability to measure how such comments would resonate with another person. Now he knows.

Jaison proved himself a worthy prosecutor with his ability to eloquently attack Ben for making what he perceived to be racist comments. Then after letting Ben state his case, he was able to reassess and attack from a different but just as impressive and damaging angle: “Okay, then you’re ignorant.”

TO BE FAIR: I gotta say I was impressed with one thing about Ben, his fire starting capability. Very smooth. I learned a couple of tricks from him. Build a nice pile of magnesium and then be very gentle with the flint. Two good lessons. Not enough to keep him in the game, but something I will definitely keep in mind the next time I actually have to start a fire using flint and steel. Which is hardly ever. Okay, maybe never.

Ben delivered exactly what he promised he would in casting. For that we owe him a thank you. He didn’t back down or cower in a corner and wait for someone else to drive the story. He came strong. Very strong. He is who he is and he wasn’t embarrassed about it. Some people are attracted to that kind of bravado, others are not. Survivor is a game about social politics and with this group of Survivors, Ben was never long for the game.

Russell impressed me last night at tribal council with his realization that the tide had changed and he had to change his vote to Ben. I would have bet good money that Russell, The Human Steamroller, would have tried to push his idea through and intimidate people into still voting out Ashley, in spite of everything that went down at tribal. The fact that he was able to read the situation and change his action surprised me. Up until now he has succeeded based on sheer aggressive play. Last night’s move shows another layer to his game.

Okay, it is later in the day now and I have moved location to a local Baja Fresh to sit in the sun and finish this.

I’m going to leave you by revisiting the thoughts I shared at the top of the blog. I am sad today. The island of Upolu, where we spent the summer shooting Survivor, has been devastated by an earthquake and a tsunami. Lives have been lost. Homes destroyed.

I’m happy to tell you that all of the Survivor crew on location are okay and unharmed. But for many others the news is not as good.

It was a week of devastation in the South Pacific, with Indonesia and American Samoa also getting hit hard. I am focusing only on Western Samoa because they are now a part of our Survivor family.

Tribal council was built by local labor. The posts that support the roof of Tribal Council were all carved by local students. The mats that are on the floor of tribal were woven by the women of the villages.

All of our challenges employed local labor, every department had locals working with us, our meals were cooked by local labor. We went to work together every day. They became our friends, we stayed in their homes, we ate dinner with them, met their families, shared stories of our lives.

It is heart breaking to see the devastation caused by an 8.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

It is another reminder that life is unpredictable. We all have to do our best to make sure we’re living the life we want, not the life we think we’re supposed to be living. I am saying this to myself as much as I am sharing with you.

If you want to help you can donate by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS and designate it is to help Samoa. You can also visit REDCROSS.ORG or HELPSAMOA.COM.

Check out an exclusive video of Jeff Probst conducting a run through of an upcoming challenge for Survivor : Samoa! Also, read Dalton Ross’s Survivor TV Watch and watch the exclusive deleted scene below.


http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/10/02/jeff-probst-blogs-survivor-samoa-episode-3/

Offline Ruth

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2009, 07:52:43 AM »
Hmm. The fact that Probst tried to highlight how Natalie was playing the game well despite her remaining so invisible to most of us, perhaps she goes far?

Yep, I liked Jaison for standing up strong during Tribal Council. Lol.
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