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Offline Ray!

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2009, 08:03:43 AM »
So Natalie's another INV person-turned-major character towards the end of the season? This is familiar. :funny:
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Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2009, 08:49:52 AM »
Natalie is hot to watch! :hearts:

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Offline Ruth

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2009, 10:59:36 AM »
Natalie is hot to watch! :hearts:

Lol. Hot or not I haven't really noticed, but I certainly know that she was so dumb in Episode 1 'cos she trusted Russell so much. Oh well. It'll be interesting if someone as invisible as her really goes far.
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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2009, 08:53:23 AM »
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #4
by Jeff Probst
Categories: Reality TV, Survivor, Things That Are Awesome!

Aren’t social dynamics fascinating? I’m guessing that a lot of you watching the show this season are enjoying Shambo. And why not? She’s got a great sense of humor and a great head of hair. So why does Galu dislike her so much?

Here’s my take. I think it comes down to the unpredictable nature of human interaction… social dynamics. You put a group of people together and natural relationships begin to form. Some people quickly connect, others not so much. But give it a few days and the tribe itself begins to form a personality.

As a tribe, Galu is a young, fit, hip group of people who are all feeling very good about themselves at this point in the game. They’re like the popular kids in high school. Really cool. In fact, at times, they’re too cool for school or in this case Survivor.

The odd person out is Shambo. For starters, her mullet hairstyle is older than most of her tribemates and the way she acts and speaks just throws everybody off. She’s former military, rides a motorcycle, is constantly excited by what the game throws at her… there is nothing about Shambo that fits in with Galu.

Trust me, if anybody from the Galu tribe is reading this right now they are screaming at me “You didn’t show how annoying she was! What a menace she was around camp!”

Oh, relax.

They can scream all they want, I remain committed to my thesis. I think if you put Shambo with a different group of people, say … Foa Foa… she would blossom. I think Foa Foa as a group is more forgiving and accepting than Galu. Chill. It’s not a criticism, it’s just my armchair psychology flaring up again.

I could also argue that if you took Kelly from Galu and put her on Foa Foa she too might behave differently because she’s around different people. Maybe she’d be less coy, less flirtatious, overall just less attractive. Oh go ahead. Take a moment and write me back about how sexist I am. I know it’s coming.

Let me ask you, would it sound better if I inserted the word JOHN instead of Kelly? Take a look…

“I could also argue that if you took JOHN from Galu and put HIM on Foa Foa HE too might behave differently because HE’S around different people. Maybe HE’D be less coy, less flirtatious, overall just less attractive.”

Do you like that better? Let me know. But don’t say you wish I didn’t say anything about anybody or the way they look or talk or act. That’s why it’s a blog. It’s my opinion. I have to write about something other than simply regurgitating what happened in the episode, right?

Back to the point at hand… social dynamics.

The members of Foa Foa are a completely different lot. They’re like the kids who were transferred mid-school year from that “other school.” There is always a story associated with “those” kids and try as they might, “those” kids never really ever end up fitting in with the other kids. They’re the ones you look at in the year book and say, “Ohhh, yeah… I remember that kid.”

Shambo is just on the wrong tribe. But then again, sometimes having someone you don’t respect can turn into a good thing. Just ask Eric and John. They were more than eager to befriend Shambo for a moment so they could take advantage of her good will.

Shambo is so unaware of how to play Survivor that she’ll gladly share anything with anyone. Even the clues to the hidden immunity idol. The one thing that can keep you safe in the game and ole Shambo is giving it away.

Ah, Shambo.

I did enjoy the look on Eric’s face as he was this close to getting all the information to the location of the hidden immunity idol… when John approached…with the same idea.

Eric: Shambo, you give ME the clue. If I find the idol…I’ll give it to you if you need it.

What? No way. Who on earth would make such a deal? Oh, that’s right. Shambo would. Ah, Shambo.

Shambo’s sharing of the information made me love her even more. The way she struggled to remember all the clues…and got so excited when she remembered the last line…verbatim!

But the line that summed it all up for me was the last thing she said after giving John and Eric every bit of information she had in her head.

Shambo: “And if I get to the final jury… you guys better give me your vote… and if you don’t, bad on you. Gotta go!”

If Galu are the popular kids, and Foa Foa are the kids from that “other school”, then Shambo (and I say this with absolute love) is the kid who just kinda wanders to her own beat. Wears different clothes than everyone else, has an unusual hair cut, probably odd shoes as well. The kid that may not have a lot of other friends either.

The kid that (if you are honest) you find yourself laughing at and then when you get home you feel badly that you laughed because you realize that kid isn’t doing anything to hurt anyone. They’re just living. They’re just being themselves. Expressing themselves. And they’re probably more pure and more honest than you have ever been in your entire life.

Ah, Shambo. They should make a Bobblehead of you, and if they did it would outsell mine 100-1. I would buy the first 50 for myself. That’s how much I like you. (Yes, they made a Bobblehead of me, yes, you can buy it through CBS.com, and no, I do not make a single penny off of it.)

HOST-LESS CHALLENGE INSIGHT – We have talked about doing something like this for a long time. A challenge in which nobody is there. Nobody tells them anything. We just watch to see what they do. This was a major experiment. How would it work without having me there to moderate and oversee everything? And for the record, I wasn’t hiding in the bushes, “just in case.” When we commit, we commit. I was back in my tent reading an old copy of Rolling Stone. Poor Michael Jackson.

And as you saw, the host-less challenge worked so well CBS is probably figuring out how they can do a “Host –less Tribal Council” as well! Hope not. I have not yet paid off my mortgage.

What do you guys think of an occasional host-less challenge? Let me know.

Regardless, Dave Ball came through big time! I root for Dave Ball. I really do. I think he’s a guy with so much potential and I think Survivor was a big risk and a big adventure for a guy like him to undertake. I was happy to see him pull out the win for Galu.

ERIC GOES IDOL HUNTING – You gotta love it, right? That “black short wearing, long black sock sportin’ excitable, shoulda been Galu leader” now has the idol.
Once again, he who works hard is rewarded. I hope he doesn’t tell anybody. For once, would someone just hold onto the damn idol and not tell anybody you have it! I like Eric. I think he has a great attitude. A little aggressive at times, but it comes from being a true competitor. I think Eric would be a humble winner and a good sport if he loses. He’s also a loyal soldier for Russell.

SHAMBO CLUCKS – Okay, now wait a second. You guys hate Shambo, but you put her in charge of the most valuable asset you have? You put the crazy woman in charge of the chickens! You guys did it to yourself. You watched her “cluck” with the chickens and yet you still left her in charge. Of course she’s gonna lose a chicken. It’s in her nature. You should apologize to your tribe, Russell. You’re the man in charge, what gives? Shambo is the kid with the helmet. You can’t give her a responsibility like this and not expect to have some drama. For crying out loud.

Russell and Natalie – in the final? Possible for sure. Probable? No. Russell is actually starting to seem like a parody of himself. Every time he talks I see Mike Myers with his pinkie in the side of his mouth.

FOA FOA WINS! FOA FOA WINS! FOA FOA WINS! It’s about damn time. Now that was an exciting challenge. A great finish and yes, I had to remind myself, “If yellow does in fact win, their tribe name is Foa Foa.” How great was it to see Jaison screaming, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5!”

Finally we get a chance to go back to Galu’s camp and hang out a while.

INSIGHT: You’ve been screaming at me for weeks that our episodes have been focusing too much on Foa Foa and not enough on Galu. I totally get it. Let me explain why that has been happening. After a tribal council we always follow the story of the losing tribe because they are the ones going to tribal council and ultimately the climax of the show centers around the question, “Who will be voted out?” So since Galu had not yet lost we didn’t have the chance to get to know them. Now we do.

PERSONAL INSIGHT: Kids, if you’re reading this…DO NOT LISTEN to Yasmin. Sorry, Yasmin, but your justification for not doing anything around camp was embarrassing.

Yasmin’s approach to the game seemed to be to avoid doing anything. Her reason being that if you don’t do anything then nobody can blame you for doing anything…wrong. That doesn’t work. Not in life, not on Survivor.

You have to be willing to step up. It’s why you have to respect Russell and Mick for taking on the leadership role. Of course they’re targets. But they were elected and to date they have stood up and made decisions. And whadaya know, they’re both still in the game.

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. But not being willing to contribute in all aspects of Survivor life is reason enough to get my vote.

Sorry Yasmin, I do love the shoes and the effort to look good at tribal council but it’s time for you to go. There is some good news… at least your body will get the rest you requested.

See you guys next week. Remember, it’s all in good fun.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/10/09/jeff-probst-blogs-survivor-samoa-episode-4/#more-32493

Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2009, 12:11:48 AM »
Natalie is hot to watch! :hearts:

Lol. Hot or not I haven't really noticed, but I certainly know that she was so dumb in Episode 1 'cos she trusted Russell so much. Oh well. It'll be interesting if someone as invisible as her really goes far.

Ruth, her testimonial comment last episode.. did it change your perception on her? :hearts:


Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2009, 12:23:48 AM »
I love Jeff's commentary this episode! :tup:

Offline Jeesan

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2009, 08:15:41 AM »
Natalie is hot to watch! :hearts:

Lol. Hot or not I haven't really noticed, but I certainly know that she was so dumb in Episode 1 'cos she trusted Russell so much. Oh well. It'll be interesting if someone as invisible as her really goes far.

Ruth, her testimonial comment last episode.. did it change your perception on her? :hearts:

It certainly did mine. I always liked her but now she's one of my favourites :hearts: it'd be awesome to see Ashley and Natalie, the ones who Russel called 'dumb blondes', team up and oust that !%# instead. :lol:

I'm really concerned about Liz though cause her fate doesn't seem good in the next episode's preview :ascared I hope that Russel doesn't target him and even if he does, I want it to backfire on him! :knuckles:

OR, it'd be better to see Foa Foa continuing to win immunity and so that they can show Russel without other way-better castaways having to suffer cause I can't deny that I love to hate him and that just makes it more fun to watch the show :lol: And after finally getting to know more about Galu tribemates in the last episode, I think I like Foa Foa better as a tribe.  It might be because of the brighter yellow collour of Foa Foa  :lol:

Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2009, 08:31:31 AM »
I love the fact that Jeff loves Shambo. Shambo's a nice and cool kid! :tup:

Offline Jeesan

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2009, 08:53:26 AM »
I have to say I'm on the fence with Shambo :res: I really liked her while she went over to Foa Foa  and while she was playing the 'Rambo-Shambo' provider role! But at other times, for example screwing up the snorkell gear, I thought, 'hmm...she's not quite what she says she is'. Actually her first confessional 'all the time people have gravitated towards me saying "this chick rocks"' seemed a 'full of oneself' comment to me. So I don't quite know whether I like her or not but I think she's better than some other contestants and deserves to make it to the Jury ;)

Offline Ruth

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2009, 12:16:45 PM »
Natalie is hot to watch! :hearts:

Lol. Hot or not I haven't really noticed, but I certainly know that she was so dumb in Episode 1 'cos she trusted Russell so much. Oh well. It'll be interesting if someone as invisible as her really goes far.

Ruth, her testimonial comment last episode.. did it change your perception on her? :hearts:

Lol! Yeah, it did. Like wow, she finally said something, with much sense at that. It's funny, Russell thinking that she's so dumb but she's really not as dumb as he thinks and we think. But I still feel that she's not doing much, so I hope she steps up her game, maybe backstab Russell later in the game, that would be awesome.
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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2009, 12:12:53 PM »
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa' episode #5

Man oh man. If you have any kind of a heart, you have to be feeling for Foa Foa. It’s been a long time since a tribe has performed this poorly. You’d have to go all the way back to Survivor: Palau when Stephanie’s tribe was decimated week by week until she was the only person left in her tribe.

I have to stand up for all of the Survivors from this season. It was a very difficult shoot. The rain was constant and it took a real toll on everybody, crew included. It’s so easy to sit at home and say ”oh just get over it,” but it truly is an extremely difficult experience to undergo.

99.99% of the people who say they want to play Survivor, couldn’t handle Survivor. It is an ass-kicking, humility inducing, physically exhausting, and mentally taxing test of the human spirit. In spite of all the challenging comments I make about the Survivors, at the end of the day, I take my hat off to them for embarking on this adventure.

I really do believe that at times the contestants are happy to come to tribal simply to get warm. It’s so hard to send them back to camp especially when it’s pouring down rain and you know their fire has been extinguished by the rain and they’re probably going to have another very wet and cold night.

REWARD CHALLENGE

Ah, I’m so glad I didn’t have to sample any of the Survivor Smoothie’s. They were chunky, smelly, nasty concoctions. The guts of a sea slug? Come on. What kind of a sick mind thinks of this stuff? Oh that’s right, we do. My bad.

INSIGHT: The foods that we use for these types of challenges are not just randomly selected. We always have a local person advising us on the types of foods that locals eat on a regular basis. Once we have a list, we then cull it down to the most unusual and ”gross” foods to serve to the Survivors. As disgusting as the food may seem, we always take precautions to make sure the food is ‘’safe” and is served as it would be to locals. Then again when it’s sea slug guts, there’s really not much you can do other than serve it up.

PERSONAL INSIGHT: The only times I have tried foods in the past are the grubs from Survivor: Borneo, (the crunchy head was the toughest part to get down) the cows blood from Survivor: Kenya (it came straight from the cow into our glasses and tasted like tomato juice), and finally the baked tarantula (I can’t remember which season it was from) which was disgusting. Other than that I always find a way to be ”busy” when there is testing to be done.

Dave Ball and Eric did a good job of getting to Ashlee by making gagging sounds and taunting her about what she was drinking. Challenges like this one are a great example of mind over matter. There isn’t anything in those smoothies that you physically can’t get down your throat; it’s simply a choice where you put your energy and what thoughts you allow in your mind. If you spend all your energy focusing on how bad something is, you are only making it that much more difficult. Ashlee wasn’t able to block it out and she paid the price. The ultimate price.

OVER AT GALU
Russell sent a huge signal to Shambo by sending her back over to Foa Foa, thus eliminating her from the reward feast. Three Galu members sat out of the Survivor Smoothie challenge and yet they all got to eat steak as reward. Shambo was one of the five who had to gut it out and she gets sent away again…? Being a leader is tough, but that move left a mark for sure and it also sent a big message to Foa Foa – Shambo is a free agent. If Shambo makes it to the merge, payback could be painful for Galu.

Russell is really starting to ”feel” the leadership role. The conversation with Russell and Dave Ball regarding making fire was about as annoying as it gets for me. Just step up and make the damn fire. Dave, quit being so passive aggressive. And Russell, when Dave offers to shake hands and make up, stick your damn hand out. Ah, but that is so easy to say when you’re not in the middle of the game of Survivor. Suffering through every minute of every hour of every day…for 39 days…if you’re lucky.

Did you see the rain during the immunity challenge? DUMPING. I love it.

PERSONAL INSIGHT: Nothing makes me happier than rain during a challenge. I am always hustling the crew when I see clouds coming. ”Let’s go, let’s step it up so we’re ready to shoot!” They usually remind me, ”Uh, we are ready to shoot Jeff. Been ready for an hour. You’re the one still fussing with your hair.” Okay that’s a lie, I don’t fuss with my hair, that’s part of the reason I wear a hat. I really do have the greatest job in the world. I throw on a shirt, shorts, a cap and some flip-flops and yell things like ”pick up your coconuts.” Who knew life could be this good? But I will say again here and now – the short sleeve shirts are gone after this season. It was an experiment that didn’t work. I look ridonkulous.

Liz is in trouble. Uh-oh. She challenged Russell. Wow, did you see him turn? He turned in a matter of three seconds. He is frightening. ”You’re walking on thin ice. Right now. Let me tell you. Thin ice. Period.” Whoa. That dude is scary. No wonder nobody votes him out. I wouldn’t. I don’t want him mad at me. Liz survived tonight because of the tremendous effort she gave at the Immunity Challenge. That is the only thing that will save her in the future. Big time effort. Russell has his sights set on taking her out and from what I’ve seen ‘ole Russell is not quick to forgive.

QUICK POLL:
For those of you who respond to this blog, I’d love to hear from you regarding your two favorites to make it to the end and the two you’d least like to see win and why. I’m always curious whom the audience is pulling for. Is it the people who are standing out the most? The most likable? Are there any dark horses in the running? Does anybody want Evil Russell to make it to the end?

TRIBAL COUNCIL
The most interesting thing about Tribal Council was the two very different reactions that Russell and Natalie had after voting out Ashlee. Russell was his typical joyful self but Natalie appeared truly sad to have voted out her friend.

It’s interesting because as the game continues, those little nuances begin to play a much larger role in the game. Russell had just said he trusted Ashlee and more importantly he sat there as Ashlee said she trusted him. Then he voted for her, they all did. As the votes were read, Russell was almost laughing he was so happy. That sends a signal to the others that ”trust” is a loose word with Russell. I think it’s one of his most glaring giveaways. He can’t control his reactions and sooner or later I think it is going to catch up to him.

NEXT TIME ON…SURVIVOR.

INSIGHT: Way back in 2000 at the end of our first episode of the first season, we were getting ready to record the very first ”Next time on…Survivor.” We were in the voice-over booth and we had a bit of a showdown as I was insistent that we leave enough time in the show for a dramatic pause between ”next time on… ” and ”Survivor.” It was one second. One silly second. But when you put a network show together, every single second counts. I’m not exaggerating. You find yourself trimming one second here, two seconds there. So to ”waste” a second for a pause was not something that was normally done, especially for a seemingly meaningless line like ”next time on.” But from the beginning Mark and I always we wanted the show to look and sound different and this was one of the many, albeit small, ways we endeavored to stay true to that philosophy. To this day the pause still lives…

NEXT TIME ON…SURVIVOR for real
Next week’s episode features one of the scariest moments I’ve had in my entire run on Survivor. Check that – the scariest. I’m not trying to over hype. I’m just giving you a tease. I don’t want you to get your expectations so high that you’re let down, but I am going to be honest that for a few seconds during next week’s episode I was really worried we were in danger of losing a contestant… forever.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/10/16/jeff-probst-blogs-survivor-samoa-episode-5/

Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2009, 09:43:35 AM »
Quote
TRIBAL COUNCIL
The most interesting thing about Tribal Council was the two very different reactions that Russell and Natalie had after voting out Ashlee. Russell was his typical joyful self but Natalie appeared truly sad to have voted out her friend.

It’s interesting because as the game continues, those little nuances begin to play a much larger role in the game. Russell had just said he trusted Ashlee and more importantly he sat there as Ashlee said she trusted him. Then he voted for her, they all did. As the votes were read, Russell was almost laughing he was so happy. That sends a signal to the others that ”trust” is a loose word with Russell. I think it’s one of his most glaring giveaways. He can’t control his reactions and sooner or later I think it is going to catch up to him.

That was really a very very very very good insight. I didn't think about it and... it's amazing how Jeff thinks about such stuff!!!!!

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2009, 08:18:53 AM »
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #6

Rain is a double-edged sword on Survivor. It gives and it takes. We love the layer of drama it adds when you see the contestants shivering, their fingers wrinkled like prunes, as they struggle to make fire. But rain can also bring with it severe, life-threatening problems as it did this week when Russell collapsed due to dehydration.

I’m going to focus this blog on sharing with you everything you didn’t see that happened when Russell went down.

INSIGHT:
During the early stage of the challenge when they were pushing the sphere, I was completely unaware that Russell was struggling. I noticed he was tired but that is not unusual during a challenge and so I thought nothing much of it.

Even when they reached the maze, I noticed it taking him a long time to get himself over to the maze, but he was blindfolded and I am watching 13 other people, so once again I wasn’t overly concerned because exhaustion is normal and in fact, the effort someone puts into a challenge is often a determining factor in whether they stay or are voted out.

Russell had always given 100% so it didn’t surprise me to see him exhausted.

It was when his head went down and stayed that it started to become clear that something wasn’t right. But because he was blindfolded and I couldn’t see his eyes, it was again very hard to determine if he was just tired or in some kind of real trouble.

When I watch the episode edited with the luxury of close ups, it seems much more obvious that Russell was not doing well and I wish I had gotten there sooner. I can only tell you that from my vantage point, in the midst of everything going on – 10 people running a challenge, 4 others on the sit out bench and a challenge to oversee, he was only one of the things I was keeping an eye on.

As a result, I had no idea that he actually had already passed out for the first time while he was standing at the maze, but that is exactly what our doctors think happened. They think he had already passed out once before I even got to him.

When a Survivor appears to be in trouble, our first rule is to give them the chance to save themselves or see if one of their tribemates can help them before we make any decision about sending in medical, safety, or our water rescue team. We do this because it is their game, their adventure and whenever possible we want them to make the decisions about their fate.

Let me be clear, we are watching them the entire time, they are never out of our sight, and our medical, safety and rescue teams are always on alert – but we would rather give the contestants every chance to handle it themselves before we move in to take over.

But in this case, it happened so fast that I didn’t even consider waiting. I just instinctively called for medical to come in and get to work. Because our medical team is so well run they were prepared for someone to pass out or get injured even before the challenge began. That’s what they do, they prep before the challenge about what could possibly go wrong so they are ready for it. They knew dehydration could be a factor and so when Russell went down they had a plan in place and were helping Russell within seconds of me calling them in.

As you saw, Russell said he was okay… and then immediately passed out again.

Once medical informed me that Russell was going to require some major time-consuming attention I called off the challenge because it seemed the only decision that made sense. There was no way we were going to continue — it was clear Russell was going to require too much time and because both tribes were going to tribal council either way, it didn’t seem to matter enough to consider an alternative. So we sent the tribes back to their camp and told them to await word.

In a moment like that you make a decision. Sometimes it’s the right one, sometimes it’s the wrong one, but you have to make a call. It’s one of the things that I most enjoy about doing a show like Survivor. It is for all intents and purposes, a live show. It would be great to go back and script out all my reactions and comments like a movie, but you can’t do that. All you can do is react and hope your decision makes sense. I’m sure many people will feel canceling the challenge was “lame” or “silly” but for me it was the only call to make as Russell was the priority and that’s that.

At this point our challenge crew led by our director and senior producer Dave Dryden became reality shooters and producers. Dryden quickly re-positioned them so they could cover the unfolding drama. Their ability to quickly reconnoiter is why we have such great coverage of everything that went down.

For the next 45 minutes we monitored Russell’s vital signs. We gave him water from his canteen. We gave him oxygen. We propped him up and gave him time to try to relax and get calm.

During that time Russell and I talked about a lot of things. He was very worried that he would be pulled from the game. He was worried how he would be portrayed and what his family would think. He did not want to be seen as a quitter.

That’s why I tried to recap everything that had happened up to Russell up to this point – how dominant he had been in the game, his leadership, his physical capability. I was trying to make the point that no matter what happens, he would never been seen as someone who gave less than 100%.

I explained to him that he had already passed out two times, but his recollection at that point was so foggy he didn’t understand. He thought he was fine and was demanding to be put back into the challenge. In fact, I don’t think he even realized that everybody else had already been sent back to camp and the challenge called off.

Even with all of this going on, our doctors assured him that if his vitals came back strong they would allow him to stay in the game.

Nobody wanted Russell to go home.

When Russell passed out for the third time, I got very worried. Then his heart rate dropped 30 beats in less than a second. I was watching the heart rate monitor and when I saw it move from 97 to 68, I was honestly concerned that we were losing him. Forever.

Even writing this brings back the same emotion.

Our doctors were not exaggerating or play acting when they started pounding on Russell’s chest and repeating his name, asking him “Russell, are you with us?” It seemed to go on forever, his eyes not moving, not responding to anything.

I have never been more proud of our medical team than I was in that moment. Heroic. Incredibly calm. Well practiced. They knew exactly what they needed to do and they didn’t waste a moment.

Telling Russell he was being pulled from the game was difficult. I understood that he didn’t want to quit. He was in a great position in the game and there was such a fire in his belly. Many people have been pulled from the game that didn’t want to go, for some reason this one really got to me.

What you didn’t see was that after Russell pulled off his oxygen mask in frustration, he experienced a lot of different emotions, all of them completely understandable. He was extremely frustrated at me, at medical, and at production in general for pulling him from the game. He yelled. Then, he got quiet. Then, he cried. Finally, he prayed. It was extremely emotional and simultaneously beautiful. He was in a very vulnerable state and to be a witness as he processed the situation and made peace with it was an honor.

I’m guessing that Russell had no idea how bad it was until he saw the episode last night. I think he will be surprised at how serious it was and will realize that he is not a quitter and there was no other decision to be made other than to pull him from the game.

After Russell was removed we then had to make a decision whether to continue with our double tribal council or cancel it.

SIDE LINE: For the record, I have always hated the “win or lose, you must vote someone out” twist, but it’s existence comes from necessity. Let me explain: We would prefer to start the show with only 16 contestants. It’s much easier for the audience to get to know 16 people. But it gives us no wiggle room if someone quits or has to leave the game due to medical emergency.

If we start with 18, that gives us a bit of breathing room in terms of numbers but also gives us an uneven number of men and women on each tribe.

If we start with 20, as we did this year, it gives us plenty of wiggle room for quits or medical evacuation, but because we have 4 extra people we have to get rid of them at some point. Thus the “win or lose, you’re voting somebody out” scenario. I am happy to say that we have since figured out a better way to do double eliminations. So should we ever need to vote out two people in one episode it will not be a “win or lose both tribes going to tribal council” scenario.

BACK TO INSIGHT: So… what to do? We gathered the creative team and the decision was made that due to the unprecedented canceling of the challenge, the medical drama, and incredibly difficult conditions the contestants had endured the past several days,  the best move was to make a gesture of good will and spare them from voting anybody out.

Was it was the right move? Depends on your point of view. It was certainly not a “clear-cut this is the only decision to be made” situation. We considered everything and we made what we believed to be the right call. You may disagree. In fact, I’m pretty sure many of you reading this right now are saying, “Hell yes I disagree. You should have voted people out. That’s what Survivor does!” Well, not this time. Sorry.

One thing was very clear, the canceling of the vote did seem to lift their spirits. You could see them begin to re-energize once they heard the news. You saw the rivalry between the two tribes reignite. Why is this important? Because at the end of the day if the Survivors lose their motivation to continue and it turns into a “group” funk, then the show is in serious trouble.

It’s probably hard to appreciate how difficult this season has been, so all I can do is repeat what I’ve said many times – this is a very tough season added to an already very tough game. Remember, we are not giving them food, we are not giving them water. We don’t offer them dry clothes or help them start their fire. We were worried about their welfare and did not want anybody else to be evacuated and certainly didn’t want anyone to decide to quit.

Okay – that’s it from my end. I hope you’re still enjoying the season. One thing that has always been true about Survivor fans, you are loyal. We appreciate it.

Until next week.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/10/23/jeff-probst-blogs-survivor-samoa-episode-6/

Offline tory

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2009, 09:56:19 AM »
thank you for the post will. jmo i would have like to seen them all get pizza last night a guy drops from dehidration and no one gets pizza???
i felt realy bad for russell and i rember y i did not watch suvivor un till the last 2 seasons i can't stand to see ppl in pain suffering eating bugs and now this rain i hope it gets better last season tas with the bug bites well all of them with the bug bites i wonder to this day if they have scars??? i am such a baby, but it is hard to watch..
tv junky needs help!!!!!

Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2009, 12:04:56 PM »
I think Jeff kinda know that people are not happy with this season of Survivor from the comments and remarks.. :(

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Offline tory

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2009, 01:18:14 PM »
i found out yd that they all got pizza that day !!!! i feel so much better.. :yess:
tv junky needs help!!!!!

Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2009, 09:58:48 AM »
i found out yd that they all got pizza that day !!!! i feel so much better.. :yess:

Really?!?! I'm so glad to hear about it too! Thanks for sharing tory!

Survivor editors should have shown it and make us viewers happier! (:;)

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2009, 03:25:22 PM »
Thanks for posting this Will. I thought it was the right decision to stop the challenge. Once they stopped they could not have restarted it and have it be fair. I was going to add that I hoped they would give the pizza to everyone and thanks to Tory, now we know that they did indeed get to enjoy it. The right move.  :yess:
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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2009, 09:22:48 AM »
Jeff Probst Blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #7

Fair Warning:
I haven’t been feeling too well for the past few days, so tonight as I sat down to write this I took a Zyrtec. It certainly cleared up my sinus issue but in doing so has made me really drowsy.  Major drowsy. So this is my first blog written under the influence of an “over the counter, readily available at any pharmacy” drug. Here goes…

FOA FOA

Here’s my take on Foa Foa. If they lose again, I believe they will vote out Jaison due to his attitude and lack of motivation, and the three remaining tribe members (Mick, Natalie, and Russell) will pray for a merge. If there is a merge, Russell should be the first to go, and after that it doesn’t matter, they won’t have a chance. They need a miracle right now to have any shot of staying in this game.

THE MIRACLE
The miracle would be making it to the merge and then making something happen. Big and immediate. Count on Russell to give it his best shot… If there is a crack in Galu’s armor he will find it and he will do his best to exploit it in the most beneficial way. Thus, Russell is Foa Foa’s only hope at this point. He’s just crazy enough to risk it all on a wild plan. Natalie is very sharp and if he holds onto her, together they could make something happen.

INSIGHT: Yes, we were well aware at this point that we could have a Palau situation on our hands. If you remember in Palau, one tribe lost challenge after challenge until only Stephanie was left in her tribe. It was an amazing thing to watch as Stephanie overcame tremendous odds and made it deep into the show and is now considered an “all-star” as a result of her efforts. As to whether or not this season will have a merge, can’t tell you that. Not even under the influence of Zyrtec. Ambien maybe, Zyrtec no.

SHAMBO LEADS
The election of Shambo as leader really impressed me. Great move by the men of Galu.

INSIGHT: I was not aware of the motivation for making Shambo the leader. I had no idea it was the guys’ idea nor did I realize the strategy behind it. Brilliant. They pulled a major fast move on the women and in doing so shifted the game. They also created a crack in the armor which could come back to haunt them if Russell and Co. make it to a merge.

Yes, I feel for Shambo. She is such an underdog. She is so sincere, so eager to lead her tribe. It’s hard to listen to the comments from her tribemates about why they elected her as leader.  They have absolutely no intention of ever letting her make an important decision. I hope she proves to be an amazing leader.

REWARD CHALLENGE
The memory challenge is one of those challenges that is not that exciting to watch, but usually creates great drama in terms of heroes and goats. That is why we do it. Truth be told, the best person to ever play this game is my favorite honorary niece, Skyleur. She’s younger than most of the pants I wear on the show but her memory is uncanny. She plays this game while watching the show and never ever misses. Just sharing.

I really thought Foa Foa had a shot at this challenge. A simple reward would have gone so far with them. But once again they fall short and as a result fall further behind in the game.

PAYBACK IS A BITCH
There is no doubt in my mind that Shambo sent Laura over to Foa Foa because Shambo just does not like having her around. Sometimes it’s nice to be Queen.

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE
Sometimes I make the right call, sometimes I don’t.

INSIGHT: When explaining this challenge to the Survivors I always give them a chance to ask questions before we run the challenge. Someone asked if they could push their boat instead of using the paddles. Usually this is a terrible idea as the water gets too deep to do any pushing and the paddles are much more effective.

So, without even consulting John Kirhoffer our Challenge Producer, I said, “Sure. Knock yourself out.” Turns out I was wrong. That one little decision completely changed the challenge. It took out all of the drama of having to figure out how to paddle while fishing for the puzzle pieces. I knew it moments after the challenge started, but there wasn’t anything I could do – the decision had been made. It was still a fair challenge, so it didn’t affect the game, but my decision changed the design of the challenge and as a result it didn’t run as well as it should. That’s all on me. I blew it.

To his credit, John Kirhoffer, our Challenge Producer, never said a word. Then again, he didn’t have to — I was painfully aware.

WAS LIZ THE RIGHT VOTE?
That’s a tough one. I think Liz had a great attitude, but the trust factor was too much. I imagine this was one of those votes when you had to really trust your gut.

Question of the week: Will Foa Foa win another challenge or will they continue to crumble?

Thanks for understanding that I’m not 100% today, I’ll try to make it up to you next week but I’m done for tonight. Zyrtec wins.

Going to sleep.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/10/30/jeff-probst-blogs-survivor-samoa-episode-7/
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 09:27:23 AM by RealityFreakWill »

Offline Jeesan

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2009, 09:58:58 AM »
I really hope that miracle happens, even if it means seeing Russel go a long way into the game provided that Mick & Nat can go along to the top 3! lol@ 'Russel & Co.' part.

Thanks a lot RealityFreakWill for constantly posting every week :D

Offline Jobby

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #45 on: October 30, 2009, 10:20:35 AM »
I'm totally rooting for the underdogs. And Brett continues to stay invisble.

Offline chill_sd

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #46 on: October 30, 2009, 10:47:08 AM »
I guess Jeff doesn't "stay tuned for scenes from our next episode."

CBS has spoiled the merge, Jeff.

Offline 2old4tech

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #47 on: October 30, 2009, 10:52:41 AM »
Jeff Probst Blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #7

 
INSIGHT: Yes, we were well aware at this point that we could have a Palau situation on our hands. If you remember in Palau, one tribe lost challenge after challenge until only Stephanie was left in her tribe. It was an amazing thing to watch as Stephanie overcame tremendous odds and made it deep into the show and is now considered an “all-star” as a result of her efforts. As to whether or not this season will have a merge, can’t tell you that. Not even under the influence of Zyrtec. Ambien maybe, Zyrtec no.



I guess Jeff doesn't watch the previews. :lol:

eta:oops!  ^^chill beat me to it. ;D

Offline Dawne

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #48 on: October 30, 2009, 10:55:30 AM »
I'm totally rooting for the underdogs. And Brett continues to stay invisble.
Yah, I just noticed that...
Love is like, like is love.

Offline puddin

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Re: Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa'
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2009, 01:38:17 AM »
Fall TV CentralNov 6
 
2009
 

Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #8


by Jeff Probst
 
So I’ve recovered from my Zyrtek cloud and yes I now realize that we promoted the merge. It was funny to be reminded of it by you guys. What can I say, I really was “loopy” when I wrote that blog. But yes I do see episodes and I do know what we promote, sometimes I just forget…

In honor of my slip up last week, I’m going to dedicate today’s blog to… what else… The Merge.
MERGE FEAST
Let’s start with the feast. Did you see how quickly their moods changed when they got some food in their belly? Think about it… I bet a majority of you had some sort of snack even while you were watching Survivor. Probably snacking on something right now while reading this blog. We like to eat. It feels good. When we don’t eat we get crabby. Laura didn’t give a hoot about her canteen once the feast started. Why would she? She was happy again. I love seeing them happy… momentarily. I more love seeing them in conflict. But you need a balance. Too much conflict, too many days without food, too many nights drenched from the rain and you just have angry people. Producing a good season of Survivor requires an ebb and flow of highs and lows. The merge is almost always a high, even if only for a moment.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Another fun thing about the merge is it’s like starting over once again. You have new people in your world and you get a second chance to make a first impression in the game.

Some people choose to stay in game mode, working their strategy. Not John. The ever cocky, always aware John was waiting for someone, anyone to ask him anything about himself. It resulted in one of my favorite exchanges of the season:

Jaison: So engineering school, huh?
John: Uh yeah, Mechanical Engineering degree.
Jaison: Congratulations.
John: Not a law degree. I contemplated becoming a patent lawyer.

It was the swagger in his walk and the tone of his voice when he said, “Uh yeah..” that really made it work for me. Nice.

PERSONAL INSIGHT: If I had a Mechanical Engineering degree I’d look for ways to bring it up, too. But since I don’t it’s fun to be a catty little stick-eating biatch and make fun of John.

WE’RE ALL ONE HAPPY FAMILY
It never fails. We merge and suddenly everybody pretends to like everybody else. I had the exact same reaction Erik did when I heard Brett’s suggestion for a new tribe name:

Brett: “AIGA, it means extended family.”

Extended family? Gimme a break. (Truth be told, Brett probably really means it and Brett is the kind of guy that outside of the game you’d be friends with, your families would dig each other, and you’d end up having a lifelong friendship. But this is in the game and that’s a different story.)

Plus, think about it, Brett had to research that name before he even left America, which is downright irritating. Not sure why it’s irritating, but it is. Maybe it’s because Brett is so likable.

Like I did last week, I’ll use one of my honorary nieces as an example of what I mean. Mackenzie, my niece, is really likable too. She’s so likable that I’m sure lots of boys would love to ask her to a school dance or an afterschool party because she’s so… nice… (just like Brett)… and also because she’s cute (okay, fine, just like Brett).

But what makes Macky really fun to be around is an extra layer of… sass. Yes, she’s nice but she’s lippy too and she’s not afraid to call someone out for something and that adds a whole new level of respect to a person.

So come on, Brett, gawk at Kelly like Ben would have or give Dave Ball a hard time for still wearing that out-of -tyle ponytail, or tell Laura to back off Shambo just a bit. Gimme something I can respect.

Please don’t write and tell me to lay off, Brett. Brett is doing just fine. Brett can handle these comments. He’s a big boy.

But Erik was right, this is not one big extended family. It’s not even two separate families. It’s 12 in-dah-vidge-you-uhls… all trying their best to figure out how to get rid of everybody else so they can grab the check from CBS for a million dollars. Before taxes. It’s a million dollars before taxes people.

THE SCRAMBLE
A merge also offers up a chance for new alliances to form and just like on day one, those new alliances need to form quickly. Enter Russell. He doesn’t care about the food, or the tribe name or what anybody does for a living. He wants to win the game. Period.

Sending his troops (Jaison, Mick, Natalie) out to make relationships with different people is further proof that this little pirate is a pretty darn good Survivor player.

And I know some of you think there is too much Russell in the game, but he’s the guy making the most moves so that is naturally who I am going to write about. With that in mind…

I love that Russell is telling everybody everything. It’s such a risky move. You gotta respect it. To go to everybody on the other tribe that you have the idol and offer them the same exact deal could so easily backfire if just one person opens their mouth. But Russell is counting on greed to be his ally. He knows that the people he is approaching are better served if they don’t tell anybody else. If he’s right it’s a major move. If he’s wrong he’ll soon be in trouble.

THE POSSIBILITY OF THE GAME TURNING
The most exciting element of the merge is that it offers a chance to completely turn the game around. Typically that requires somebody flipping sides, and usually the “flipper” is somebody who feels on the outs and is looking to improve their spot on the totem pole.

So many times in this game the people on top forget about the people on the bottom. They forget how dangerous the outcasts are because they have nothing to lose by switching sides and everything to gain.

Shambo is clearly one of those on the bottom and she knows it. Shambo is a major threat to change the game. Nobody on Galu is paying any attention to that fact. Crazy, right? Hindsight is always 20-20. It’s why I host and don’t play.

The merge is such a simple twist. Combine the two tribes into one. We do it almost every season, and yet it amazes me how many times it creates havoc. As Dave Ball states, from the outside looking in, Galu should just vote off Foa Foa four times in a row so they can all make it to the final eight.

But it’s not a team game. It never has been. It’s a game of individuals and that complicates everything because every single person has a different agenda. Even if they agree on whom to vote out it is always for different reasons. Always. Because at the end of the game only one person wins so every single time they vote they are voting to help ensure they are the last person standing… and that often means…

SOMEBODY COCKY GETS BLINDSIDED

Erik was such a fun guy to have in the game, he has a huge heart and that was fun to watch. It may also have been his downfall. He bled Galu purple to such a degree that I think he forgot that it is… an individual game. You have to make moves in this game based on the idea that everybody else is making their best move. Erik was a major threat in the game with a major attitude. He lost sight of how others saw him and never considered that the best move might be to get rid of him. Because not everybody on Galu bleeds Galu. He was so confident that he forgot to consider the other people in the game were also playing to win and they might not care about keeping Galu together.

And boy did it cost him.

Talk about a blindside. Wow. One of the biggest and most memorable in a long, long time. Erik could not have been cockier. He was absolutely certain the outcome was set. He never-saw-it-coming. Neither did Laura, nor most anybody else on the former Galu.

Russell’s HUGE move to play the idol is yet one more pencil in his jar of “this is how ya do it.”

RUSSELL: “Figure it I have it I might as well play it.”

NOTE: To all future Survivor players… You Don’t Hold Onto The Idol If You Have The Slightest Concern You Are In Trouble.

If you have it and you think you need it – play the damn thing.

Russell is playing to win. He doesn’t care about second place. He may not make it, but with each passing week you have to respect the game he is playing.

NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR
So where does the game stand now?

It’s an interesting thing that often happens in this game. You lose enough people from your tribe, your numbers get so low that you have absolutely no other choice but to rely on each other and stick together. Foa Foa is at that point. In order to have any shot at actually winning the game, they cannot risk betraying anybody on their tribe. This gives them four votes in the new tribe. That is significant because as we saw last night – within Galu there are lots of possible sub alliances and cracks to be exploited.

Give me your predictions. Will Galu regroup and get rid of Foa Foa? If so, what order do you predict Foa Foa will be voted out?

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/11/06/jeff-probst-blogs-survivor-samoa-episode-8/


 

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