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Archive => RFF Archived Boards => Survivor 21: Nicaragua => Topic started by: Cocoa on September 17, 2010, 01:37:12 AM

Title: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Cocoa on September 17, 2010, 01:37:12 AM
Taken from:

Hello Survivor fans! Hello Jimmy Johnson!! Hello Wednesday night!!

Episode one of our 21st season is complete and it turns out Wendy’s husband was right. More on that later…

I’m very curious to see how the audience responds to having Jimmy Johnson on the show. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably old enough to know that Jimmy is one of the most successful football coaches in the history of the game — both college and the NFL. Even if you’re younger, but still a football fan, then you no doubt know him as one of the most colorful Pro football analysts on television. I’m happy to say that I now know him as a Survivor contestant.

Jimmy was not recruited as some sort of a “stunt casting” idea. Jimmy applied…on his own… three times to be on the show. As he said himself, he hasn’t missed a second of the show… ever. The first two times he applied he didn’t pass his physical so he was turned down. But this time he not only passed his physical, he made it on the show!

The very first thing I noticed was the jealousy that Marty and Jimmy T have for Coach Jimmy. The younger guys would have loved to hang out with one of the greatest football legends of all time because they weren’t threatened. Marty was threatened. Immediately. Curious how our egos work. If I was in the game, maybe I would have felt the same way, who knows. But right now Marty and Jimmy T seem more concerned with Jimmy Johnson than they do anything else. That is not a good sign for the older group.


We are always looking for ways to ignite the opening moments of a season and the idea this year centered around finding the Medallion of Power, or as I like to say, “The Medallion of POWWWWWWWWWWER!”

INSIGHT: From a production point of view here is the dilemma with an opening scramble that involves looking for something that is hidden:
You want to be able to film whomever finds the Medallion so that means you need to have plenty of camera operators near the location of the Medallion. But if you put the camera operators all in one spot then you are giving away where the Medallion is located.

So.. we set up fake camera jibs, and brought in extra operators and put them on scaffolding and stationed them in various spots so that even the savvy player would not be able to figure out where the Medallion was hidden simply by studying the camera positions. It worked. The contestants scattered all different ways and Brenda was the one who spotted it sitting up in a tree and snagged it for her tribe.


This idea to divide Old v Young came straight from casting. Once we had Jimmy J, Jimmy T (from a Sears sponsored contestant search), Jane (the woman who started fiiiiiire!) and Marty we knew we had the beginnings of a great older tribe. So we just went with it and from that point forward we knew we had to create two tribes – one old, one young – that were as equal as they could be given the age difference.


The game is young but here is who popped out to me right away:

JIMMY T: “I just gotta say this… I’m not gonna be not be heard here, I’m not gonna be not be heard.” I love this guy. He won a Sears casting contest to get on the show and has already delivered as much of a wallop as a box full of their Craftsman tools. He is going to have to cool it though if he wants to last long. Jimmy, sometimes you are going to have to “not be, not be heard.” In your case, it might be a good thing if they don’t always hear you.
HOLLY makes me smile and laugh and tilt my head like a dog all at the same time. She’s a bit of an enigma to me at this point, but I know I like having her on the show. From the moment we met her in casting I felt there was a lot more going on than meets the eye.
JANE! You gotta love a woman who can start fire! Jane is tailor made for this show. She is no-nonsense, has a great work ethic and she personifies the idea of “where there is a will, there is a way.”
MARTY is a villain. He won’t see it that way and he’s probably already mad at me for saying this, but right out of the gate, he is a villain. Thankfully… Survivor loves villains!

SHANNON is fortunately…or unfortunately… the type of guy who often ends up on a reality show these days. He’s a muscular, good looking, hot headed “dude” who it turns out is a pretty funny interview:
*”It’s important we don’t let these girls take over. I mean we already getting owned in marriage. Pretty soon we’ll have a woman President.”
* “He’s just a dumb blonde. I’ve never called a guy a dumb blonde before, but that’s what he is.”
* “A guy needs to sack up and we need to win this.”
SASH – it’s not so much what Sash says, it’s how he says it and how he looks when he says it. I hope he’s around a long time.
FABIO is perhaps my favorite. I am a huge fan of Fast Times At Ridgemont High and Fabio is Survivor’s version of Jeff Spicoli who was played beautifully by Sean Penn. If you have never seen that movie, it’s worth a watch. Hilarious. Whether it’s the massive splinter he got in his arch moments into the show or the pincher on the finger, he’s funny. Best of all, he seems to have a really good sense of humor about himself. You gotta like that.
KELLY B, not to be confused with PURPLE KELLY is obviously an inspiration but that will not be enough to get her through 39 days. Her tribe is already targeting her.. not because they think she can win challenges, or will be great at the social game, or because she is crafty at tribal council. They’re voting her out because she has an artificial leg and it makes them uncomfortable because they think she’ll garner too much sympathy.
We humans are a nutty group. Certainly this group, anyway! Not one person has even considered the idea of “I wonder how she’ll do…” or… “I’d love to see what she can achieve in the challenges.” Nope. This is a cut-throat game for a million dollars. It’s survival of the fittest. Little do they know she has accomplished more athletic achievements than most all of them combined.
NAONKA.. relax. I didn’t forget about you. You’re pretty hard to forget. Yeah, I know. You already know that. Naonka will become more polarizing the longer she lasts in the game. You will either respect her honesty or absolutely despise her. One thing is certain people will have an opinion. She already knows that too.

The older tribe had the Medallion of Power and they decided not to use it. They’ll tell you they were smart to not use it because it wouldn’t have made a difference. While that is probably true, most of their confidence comes from back seat driving, or better yet, Monday morning quarterbacking because the challenge didn’t play out quite as planned. Let me explain…

INSIGHT: Despite testing our first challenge over and over, the Survivors did something that we didn’t count on. We expected the gutters to go from left to right, back and forth, because that is how the challenge was built to play. Instead, they simply formed one long gutter system, and it worked much better than what we had planned. As a result the challenge went much faster and because of that it reduced the amount of an ‘advantage” they would have had. Would the Medallion advantage have made enough difference for them to win? We’ll never know. But had the challenge been played the way it was tested and rehearsed, it most definitely would have made a difference.

If they resist using the Medallion of Power next challenge then we’ll know they’re not smart, just foolish.


First of all did you catch what Jane said!? She said she read an article in which I talked about the importance of making fire… and she listened! Who listens to anything I say? I’m an idiot. Never listen to me. I’m rarely right. I mean it. Especially when it comes to driving directions. If I say -“go right” – you should always “go left.” And when you turn left, invariably, I’ll tell you, “No, really this time I am pretty sure it really is right.” Don’t do it. Close the ears and put the pedal to the metal because it’s left all the way.

Nonetheless, Jane listened and she learned how to make fire and whadaya know it paid off big time for the older tribe. I love when the Survivors have a victory. They are so few and far between.

Okay now back to the older tribe’s biggest hurdle.. their ego.

JIMMY T – Dude. Get off the “I am jealous of Jimmy Johnson” bandwagon.
I am blown away. Blown away that Jimmy T and Marty are more concerned about being the top dog than they are about winning.
Jimmy T actually said: If he (Jimmy Johnson) leads so well.. the jury will let him win the game.” You nut! If Jimmy Johnson can actually lead THAT well… let him lead you! There will be plenty of chances to cut his throat later in the game.
Consider the dichotomy of the human existence for just a moment. We’ve made some amazing achievements in our time here on earth: The incredible breakthroughs we’ve made in science, the world we’re discovering under the sea, the machines we’ve built that allow us to communicate instantly all over the world, the ability to correct vision problems, reduce cholesterol, make artificial limbs and invent pocket sized cell phones! We sent a man to the moon for crying out loud.. and he came back! Hello…we invented Viagra! We’re even open to the idea of J-LO on American Idol, but we can’t get out of our own way when it comes to EGO. It’s fascinating.


Turns out Wendy’s husband was right. As Wendy said on the show: “My husband thinks I’ll be first out.” Yep. Smart fella.
Well Wendy, I hope your husband said it and meant it with love because despite the fact that you didn’t fit in with this group you are absolutely charming in your own unique way and just before the vote, you uttered my favorite line of the night:
“…and I don’t have any blisters on my feet. That’s an asset. ”
Sorry you left so soon, I’ll miss the accent and the hat!


If you’re feeling smart…CBS put the clue to the Hidden Idol Immunity online ( so you can take a gander and see if you can figure it out before the Survivors do!

See ya next week!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on September 23, 2010, 09:30:01 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 2

I have to start by saying… “Thank You!”

You guys are the greatest and most loyal audience a show could ever hope to have on its side!

After dominating Thursday night at 8pm for nearly 10 years, Survivor moved to Wednesday night. This was a big move. What would happen? Would our audience stay with us or would this be the beginning of the end?

Well, not only was Survivor the #1 show of the night in all the key demos, holllla…!… but our ratings actually went up from a year ago. That just does-not-happen in television these days.

It’s all because of you. You stayed with us. You changed your viewing habits. Whatever you were watching on Wednesday nights, you’re not anymore.

So.. once again, we say thank you.

Okay now onto the episode.

Hellllllo crazy woman #2! You thought Wendy was a little wacky, hang on, cause here comes Holly!

It’s only day 4 or 5 and already she is losing her mind. Let me preface all of this by saying that I actually really enjoy Holly. I think she’s a good person and she just had a very rough first few days, but man she was going bonkers.

As is so often the case, we didn’t have enough time to show you all the different ways that Holly was losing her mind, but I don’t think you need to see much more than her taking somebody’s expensive dress shoes, filling them with sand and tossing them in the ocean… for what appeared to be no good reason.

On second thought – what’s crazier? Sinking a pair of $1600 alligator shoes in the ocean… or paying $1600 for a pair of shoes?! Dan… sixteen hundred dollars? Really? For a pair of shoes? Alligator, no less? All of it just feels very wrong. Maybe Holly did you a favor sinking those things. Then again you’ve probably already replaced them and plan on wearing them at the live show in December!

Note to Jimmy T: – the reason nobody is asking you what you think is because you’re always telling everybody what you think. God gave you ears for a reason – try listening for a change. Man. I have a lot of patience but I will be honest, I’d be hard pressed not to vote out Jimmy T – regardless if he was in my alliance, if he had six idols, even if his uncle was Les Moonves, my boss. Okay, maybe I’d put up with him if indeed his uncle was Les Moonves. But I’d want proof first. Otherwise – el gonzo.

Hey Marty, don’t start patting yourself on the back. You’re not out of the Probst doghouse either. Granted, you are much more controlled, much more subdued and a far better listener than Jimmy T. But your determination to get rid of Jimmy Johnson is irrational. It’s envy. Pure envy, brotha. You know I’m speaking the truth. You should rethink it… the man can lead. He’s calm.

Did you see the way he talked Holly back into the game. He was very comforting and he did it without judgment. That’s leadership. He understands that people have ups and downs. No big deal. He knows the key is to simply get your head back in the game and everything will be okay.

Marty and Jimmy T – I’m gonna say it again – ease up on Jimmy J. There’s a time and a place for everything but don’t vote him out based on spite. You two should give “The New Earth” a read.

While we’re at it – Naonka, there’s still plenty of room in this doghouse, so come on in and plop it. I’ll even give you a bone to chew on since you’ve been yapping like a dog these first two episodes.

Naonka: (On Kelly Bruno and her artificial leg)
“If we have to race and that leg falls off… she’s outta here.”

And with that line, Naonka moves to the front of the line for “America’s Favorite Survivor.” Touching.

Naonka, did you see Kelly B work her way through that mud and the hay? You may wanna think twice about challenging her to a race! Personally, that was all I needed to see. Kelly’s leg is absolutely no disadvantage. The girl can move.

Naonka: “I don’t want anybody to think that I’m a B-I-T-C-H.”

Hmm… uh.. trying to figure out how to say this without offending… well, that might be tough, so I guess I’ll just say it straight up… no beating around the bush… gonna just lay it out the way I see it.

Naonka, as far as wanting to make sure that nobody thinks you’re a bitch…. Girl, it’s too late. That ship has sailed.

You might be able to turn it around, but for the time being, you are the “bitch” of the show, and the little that I know about you, I’m pretty sure you’re okay with that title.

In fairness to Naonka, as lippy and sassy as she is, she did make me laugh often. She does have a good sense of humor, she just needs to think a little bit before she speaks. Maybe her and Jimmy T should sit down for a little meditation together. Go to China. Meet a Monk or something.

And I’m not even gonna get into Naonka stealing somebody’s socks. These people are out of their friggin minds! It’s only day five!

Thank God Fabio is still sane.

Marty: (to Jill) “I got the idol. I got the idol baby. I got the first idol—(realizing the error of his statement)- WE got the first idol!”
Jill: (knowingly) We got the idol.

Damn Marty. You are out of control. Jill was the one who figured out the clue. She then came and told you where to look. Then she came and inspired you to keep looking and when you finally find it, the first words out of your mouth are… “I got it!?” I? I?

Maybe I should just send you “The New Earth” and not wait for you to get it yourself.

Chase, I know you prayed to God to bring you someone you could trust. But who are you kidding? You don’t “trust” Brenda because God sent her to you, you trust Brenda for the same reason every guy would trust Brenda – she’s hot. Just say it. Own it. It’ll feel so much better. Everybody can appreciate falling for a beautiful woman. No slight to God intended, I’m just saying that this decision didn’t need anybody’s blessing. It’s a slam dunk.

But to everyone else — if you’re in an alliance with Chase, you need to get out now! He’s crazy over Brenda and he’s going to tell her everything. Someone put a rope around his neck and drag him back into the shelter. Bring him here to the Probst doghouse. You’ve got to do something or he’ll bring you down.

That was not editing – I asked one opening question and Shannon just started talking. Much like Wendy, he just wouldn’t shut up. The more he talked, the more he influenced the tribe to vote him out. When someone is that aggressive it’s hard not to have a reaction. Shannon was aggressive.

I think he sealed his fate when he asked Sash, out of nowhere, “Are you gay?” And then followed it up with, “New York is full of gay people.”

Too bad the finale for this season is in LA, woulda been kinda fun to get a group and take Shannon out to a couple of gay bars in Manhattan.

When I saw the message Sash had for Shannon as he voted, I laughed out loud:

Sash: “You should have known better than to mess with the biggest bachelor in NY. As they say in Nicaragua, Hasta La Vista!”

I’m not laughing with or at Sash, I’m just laughing because it’s so damn funny. It’s just funny watching Sash with that confident grin of his proclaiming to be the biggest bachelor in one of the biggest cities in the entire world. Sash, we must hang. I want to watch you work your magic, baby! Maybe you, me and Shannon should all go to the Big Apple and party! Hollllla!

Shannon – it’s with mixed emotions that we say goodbye. Your one-liners were fantastic and had you lasted longer you would have given us many more laughs. But the longer you lasted the more unlikable you would have become. It’s true. Doesn’t mean you’re a bad guy, it just means that in this environment you… were… well.. unlikable. I’m only speaking about this game. I’m sure your life is full of love and great friendships. Survivor just wasn’t your destiny.

In closing, I will say what I say to all guys who are much bigger than me. Shannon, please don’t kick my ass when you see me again. I voted for you to be on the show – you delivered a lot, you left too soon, but you weren’t long for the game. You just came on too strong.

See ya next week!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Jobby on September 25, 2010, 03:27:30 PM
Jeffffff's commentary ROCKS!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: TexasLady on September 25, 2010, 05:08:27 PM
"Hellllllo crazy woman #2! You thought Wendy was a little wacky, hang on, cause here comes Holly.

Note to Jimmy T: – the reason nobody is asking you what you think is because you’re always telling everybody what you think. God gave you ears for a reason – try listening for a change. Man. I have a lot of patience but I will be honest, I’d be hard pressed not to vote out Jimmy T – regardless if he was in my alliance, if he had six idols, even if his uncle was Les Moonves, my boss. Okay, maybe I’d put up with him if indeed his uncle was Les Moonves. But I’d want proof first. Otherwise – el gonzo.

Hey Marty, don’t start patting yourself on the back. You’re not out of the Probst doghouse either. Granted, you are much more controlled, much more subdued and a far better listener than Jimmy T. But your determination to get rid of Jimmy Johnson is irrational. It’s envy. Pure envy, brotha. You know I’m speaking the truth. You should rethink it… the man can lead. He’s calm.

Did you see the way he talked Holly back into the game. He was very comforting and he did it without judgment. That’s leadership. He understands that people have ups and downs. No big deal. He knows the key is to simply get your head back in the game and everything will be okay."

He says what I want to say but ever so much better.  :lol:
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Cocoa on September 30, 2010, 10:15:54 AM
Taken from:

“Sorry bout smushing the bananas.”
Naonka, Survivor: Nicaragua 2010

Okay I need to preface this blog by saying that I’m very frustrated at the moment and therefore may very well write things that I later regret. Which really means that I’ve already considered if I’ll regret the comments and have decided I don’t care if I do regret them, which means I really don’t/won’t regret them at all. I know what I’m writing it and my intention is clear.

The two big reasons for my frustration:
1. Naonka
2. Marty

Naonka wins out because my frustration with Naonka touches on humanity. I was so disturbed by what I saw and heard in this episode that I could barely write this blog.

My frustration with Marty is much less emotional. It’s based on his out of control arrogance and ego and is probably just me talking to myself. That’s usually how it goes, right? It’s not ever about the “other person”… it’s always about you. That’s what my shrink says anyway. Yes, I’ve already emailed her for an appointment.


Before we get to my frustration, let me share my sadness that Jimmy Johnson is gone.

I’m probably just star struck but I really enjoyed having him around. I think he had a big target on his back from day one. He’s just too popular, too successful and too financially well off to really have a shot at winning this game. But he was a true Survivor fan. He applied three times to be on the show and I am so happy he hung in there and ended up on the show. It was a real treat for all of us and I’m guessing a real treat for a lot of fans as well.

I stand by my earlier statements that in voting him out the older tribe voted out a proven leader and the truth is they don’t have anybody to take his place. It damn sure ain’t you, Marty. I know you are very successful in your normal life, but on Survivor, the only thing you’re capable of leading are the lambs to the slaughter. Your tribemates are the lambs and the game is the slaughter.

Marty doesn’t understand Survivor 1/10th as well as he thinks he does. Never has. I’m not saying Marty can’t or won’t make it to the end, lots of people make it to the end, never fully understanding the game they are playing. But the only way Marty wins is if he takes a jury full of his older tribemates with him and at the rate they are losing challenges, that seems unlikely. (I warned you I was in a mood.)

Here’s the latest proof that Marty is being driven solely by ego and not the amazing game play as he keeps professing:

Marty: (To Dan) “Can you imagine what your friends in Manhattan are gonna say when you say you blindsided Jimmy Johnson.”

Yeah, I think they’re gonna say you missed the forest for the trees. You were conspiring about who to vote out with the one guy you should have voted out! Dan is still in this game. Now that’s amazing game play.


Jill is also disappointing me. Maybe it’s just a theme today: Disappointment. Could it be that I am just disappointed in myself? Maybe. I’m having a good hair day, so it can’t be that. I just had a big breakfast, so it’s not low blood sugar. Who knows.

Anyway, Jill is disappointing me because Jill should be doing much better. Jill understands the game as well or better than anybody on her tribe but she is too weak to take over.

First she gave the idol to Marty and now she’s giving her vote to Marty. She says “whatever” but I don’t buy it. I don’t know what is going on but she’s much tougher and stronger than she is showing.
I had such high hopes for her being a leader. She should have the idol in her pocket, nobody should know about it and she and Jimmy Johnson should be leading this tribe. Did you see how much fun they were having when they were all fishing together? Jill what are you doing?

Instead you have Marty, Jiimmy T and Tyrone doing the leading. If this is your fantasy Survivor line up, you’re screwed.

Marty, Jimmy T, Tyrone, if you’re mad at me, go back and read the opening paragraph – it’s all about me. This has nothing to do with you. Nadathing.

By the way, Marty, the other people are playing the game. Just because they’re not playing the way you want them to doesn’t mean they’re not playing.

I will give Marty credit for sharing the idol. Normally I’d consider this a monumental mistake, but given the vibe on this tribe, I think he was smart. It makes him look like a bit of a decent guy and nobody on this tribe (except maybe Jane) is smart enough to figure out how to make it work for them…or against Marty anyway. He’s safe for the moment.


The Howler monkeys are everywhere in Nicaragua. They make a very loud “howl,” they sit up in the trees and throw sticks at you.

Jimmy Johnson wasn’t the only one howling back at the monkeys.

After challenges the crew would drive back through the jungle, along a long, winding, bumpy road and you could often hear the monkeys screaming. We’d often pull over just to listen and watch. Sure enough you find yourself trying to speak to them by howling back. Sometimes they responded and you felt like Jane Goodall.


Yes I know I keep calling him Jud. Sorry. I’m not living with him 24/7. I didn’t realize how strongly the nickname had attached to him. If he lasts longer I’ll figure it out. But, how can you not dig Fabio…at least a little bit. I love that he wants to be kept around for more than “just being funny.” It’s like the hot girl who says “there is more to me than just my looks.” There probably is, but nobody cares!
Fabio, keep being funny and stop over thinking it. Funny can get you a long way in life, just like being hot. Look at Sarah Silverman… hot and funny = major success.


“I’m as strong as any of the women.” Uh, no you’re not. I don’t think Dan could beat anybody, including the unnamed “moose” he referenced. Dan, you’re a really charming guy who I like quite a bit but I am amazed you passed our physical. But you did and there you are still in the game and two other people from your tribe are gone. Okay, Wendy was justified. Ah heck, maybe Jimmy J was too.


Okay let’s get to it – the thing that is really bothering me today. It’s you, Naonka. I am so torn over what I saw in last night’s episode.


Whew. That felt good. I feel better already.

Here’s my dilemma. Naonka’s argument is simple: “It’s a game. I should use anything to my advantage and I did. Tough beans that Kelly B has an artificial leg. Not my problem.” I can’t argue against that. She’s right. Technically.

But man, my gut turned when I saw the scene. Keep in mind I do not watch tape on location so I had no idea this had gone down and how physical it got between Naonka and Kelly B.
Had I known, I’m not sure if I could have contained myself the next time I saw Naonka. Okay that’s a lie. Of course I could have contained myself, but I certainly would have looked at Naonka a bit differently.

And then to offer an apology to the tribe for “smushing the bananas…” That was the line that hung in the air for me. She made a conscious decision to apologize for the bananas but no mention of Kelly B. (And for the record, those bananas are the equivalent of gold bars on Survivor. She ruined a big chunk of the reward they just won.)

Naonka: “I got hood. Not ghetto.” I don’t even know what that line means, but the inference is that she knows what she did was rough and that makes it even worse.

For me it just comes down to fairness in life. Yes, you can argue that Survivor is a game and anything goes and if you say that I will nod and agree with you. This is just my own point of view. For me, there is a “fairness in life” philosophy that would prohibit me from taking that kind of advantage from someone like Kelly B. I know Kelly can take care of herself but an artificial leg is not a real leg. It does not and cannot do every single thing a real leg can and when it comes to balance Kelly B is at a disadvantage.

I really found it distasteful.

I will offer this, Naonka you should be writing for a television show. You would have to write alone, because nobody would last with you in the same room, but you spit out some of the most honest and compelling comments I’ve ever heard a person say. They’re not always pleasant but they are revealing of your character and that makes them on some level worth exploring.

Make no mistake, you are a villain. I don’t think anybody watching this season would disagree. Doesn’t mean you can’t get to the end, but I would bet my house and everything in my bank account you can’t win. Then again, I thought Sash would be first off. So what do I really know.
This is Survivor folks. Bringing together a cross-section of America. Forcing them to live together, while battling against each other. It can be a nasty game.

See ya Jimmy J. Hope to catch a game with you one day.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Janna74 on October 01, 2010, 11:26:33 PM
His blog is the first thing I find on Thursday morning now.  I love to know his insight to the show.  Sometimes I have read his blog before I have watched the show. 
I think that since doing his blog he has also shown more toughness during tribal, which I love!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Jobby on October 03, 2010, 12:13:24 AM
I really love the fact that Jeff has the same insights with me for this season... i remembered i used to hate him going ON and ON about Coach. :lol:
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on October 07, 2010, 09:20:28 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua' : Episode 4

Jimmy T: (To Marty) “You preppy little bitch. You wouldn’t last a minute in my world.”

You knew it was only a matter of time. Jimmy T wasn’t ever long for this game. I wonder if he understands why he was voted out? Does he realize the reason he was voted out is because it’s very difficult to be around him?

Jimmy T: “And I’m easy to get along with… I think.”

Hmm. Maybe not. Jimmy T, I know you mean well, I really do. You have a great spirit, but dude, you are tough to get along with. You were tough for me and I wasn’t living with you.

Had you been a major force in challenges, it certainly would have made you easier to tolerate, but it wouldn’t change the fact that it’s your inability to just listen… to just be….that really got you trouble.

INSIGHT: In case you are not aware, Jimmy T entered a Sears contest in which people applied online to be on the show. He won the Sears contest, so clearly a lot of people voted for him to be on the show. We were delighted he won, he’s a fantastic character. He was open with his opinions, he gave colorful interviews, and the sound of his voice and his look were quite memorable.

But still, I couldn’t do it. I just wouldn’t be able to do it. I would have voted him out too. This is yet another reason why Survivor is so difficult. It tests you on every level and your truth always comes out.

Consider the dilemma that the older tribe is facing. They have a major obstacle in Dan. Dan is of no use in any challenge and doesn’t do much around camp. But Dan isn’t a pain in the ass to live with. Dan is a pretty easy going guy and if he’s in your alliance he’ll vote whatever way you tell him to vote. In the world of Survivor this makes Dan more valuable than Jimmy T.

I’m a terrible analogy maker, but it doesn’t stop me … it would be like desperately not wanting a dog but being told you had to have one. No matter what dog you get, you know you will have to feed them, walk them, bathe them, etc.. but there is one choice you can make that will make a difference – you can choose between a dog who barks all day and a dog that doesn’t bark at all. Dan doesn’t bark. Jimmy T never stops.

That’s why Jimmy T is gone. He barks too much. There are so many life lessons offered up every week on this show. I really do find that I learn things about myself year in year out.

This season has forced me to go inward and study my own ego more than any season in recent memory.

Shannon, Jimmy T, Marty and Naonka have really caused me to consider my own annoying ego-driven traits. I often find myself wondering what I would do given the same situation. Would I behave any differently? How would I come across to the audience? Am I one of those “chuckleheads” Jimmy T referred to in his speech about Jimmy Johnson?

For all my criticism, I’m pretty sure I would have made the same moves as the older tribe has made. So why am I so annoyed with them as I write this? Well for one reason, I have a cramp. Hamstring. Right leg. My buddy told me to drink two ounces of pickle juice to get rid of it, so I did. Cramps still there. Now I’m wondering if he was putting me on.

Jane is one of the bright spots on her tribe. She “gets it” on a very basic level. She doesn’t hoot and holler screaming for attention, but she is definitely playing the game.

Another person I think is playing a pretty quiet but solid game is Sash.

Before the game started, we met with everybody just to check in with them. I boldly told Sash he would be the first person from his tribe to be voted off. Clearly I was wrong, as Sash seems to be pretty solid for the moment. He’s playing a very good social game. He pops in, checks to make sure the vote is going the way he thinks it should go and then he is gone. Doesn’t make for the most interesting character, but he’s safe for the moment anyway.

Just when I think all hope is lost… a Survivor miracle happens! Naonka finds the idol. Ya gotta love it, right?

Much like Jill did with Marty, Brenda practically gave the idol to Naonka by telling her where to look. Much like Marty did with Jill, Naonka took the information, found the idol and has no intention of sharing it with anybody.

Did it strike anybody else as odd that Brenda didn’t even really look for it? She just let Naonka find it. Am I missing something? Is this strategy? Do Jill and Brenda both feel it is better to not have the idol? It’s an interesting idea from a strategy point of view.

It really doesn’t matter if Naonka has the idol or not. You could give her immunity all the way to the end of the game. Wouldn’t matter. Naonka doesn’t understand a fundamental element of the game. In order to win, others must vote for you. It seems so basic but clearly it has escaped her thought process.

Naonka, at this point, has ZERO chance of winning the game. I don’t think she realizes that simply getting to the end is not the goal. Can she change? Absolutely. Could she become a hero and be forgiven? Absolutely. Do I think it will happen? Hang on, let me check my lottery ticket to see if I have a winner.

Nobody is going to vote for Naonka to win the million dollars, which, in another beautiful Survivor twist, makes Naonka a great person to take to the end.

Occasionally Marty makes a good move. Nominating Tyrone to be in charge of challenges was brilliant. I loved it. It pissed Jimmy T off, which is what Marty intended and provoked Jimmy T into another outburst that led to his ouster. Marty is definitely a very good pot stirrer. My only criticism is that he still doesn’t see the forest for the trees. Like I said earlier, I’d probably have made the same moves he did, but for different reasons. That’s the key difference. The reasoning behind the decisions. But Marty could still win the game. He is very well spoken and if he makes it to the merge with any kind of an alliance he could do very well.

Well, I have to give the older tribe credit. They practiced at camp for hours trying to figure out a way to communicate with each other. But at the end of the day, the performance of the older tribe was pretty pathetic. They seemed to have a good system but when it came to game time, they just fell apart.

To be clear, when the younger tribe won, the older tribe was nowhere close to finishing. It was a disaster.

By the way – to Tyrone and anybody else reading this, there is no such thing as 110%. It doesn’t exist. You can’t give “110%.” 100%. That’s all you can give.

That was petty. Picking on Tyrone for saying 110% — it’s petty. He’s just trying to motivate his tribe. I get the intention. The truth is, sometimes I just don’t have that much to write about so I just start picking on people for no good reason. Like the way Dan sits down. It’s petty to pick on him for something he can’t help. Watching him kneel down like the Tin Man from The Wizard Of Oz is actually quite charming. The guy is out there giving it his all and here I sit in my cozy little house with the rain pouring down making fun of him. It’s petty. But I still do it.

So what would you have done if you were Brenda and Chase shared the clue for an idol that you knew Naonka already had? Would you play along and not tell Chase that the idol had already been found? Or do you tell him the truth like Brenda did? It’s a tough spot. Two alliances. It’s a big risk to not tell Chase, but now that Chase knows, the chances are that everybody will know. Brenda made a big move. One that I think I would have made as well.

Once again, for all my criticism of everybody, the truth is… thus far, they seem to be playing a very smart game.

Chase said it best…

CHASE: ‘You really can’t trust anybody in this game, but sometimes you have to.”

They tried their best to rewrite history and convince themselves that they were much closer than they were in the challenge. But the real story of tribal council was the life lesson offered to Jimmy T.

Tribal council went much longer than we were able to air last night. It went for at least an hour and a half. I kept it going because Jimmy T was being given a real big dose of honesty by his tribemates.

There was some hard truth delivered to Jimmy T. I’m not sure if he took it to heart or not, but it’s rare when you get a group of people to tell you the absolute truth about how you are perceived. This group did that for Jimmy. It was a gift. They gave him the truth. I hope it landed.

It wasn’t ever going to save him from the vote. Even though a couple of them were starting to turn, I think it was too late for the majority. They’d simply had enough.

Maybe that’s what Jimmy T will take from Survivor – the life lesson that sometimes perception is reality.

Truth is, we’ll miss Jimmy T. It’s easy to complain about his non-stop bragging and annoying habits but that’s what made him so much fun to watch. He’s the guy you love to hate.

I’m so glad I’m the host and not a contestant.

See ya next week.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on October 14, 2010, 09:31:48 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 5

You knew the tribe switch was coming when Marty said: “It would take something extraordinary, off the charts and completely whacked out to destroy my plan.” Marty, did you forget what game you’re playing? This is Survivor. We invented the “twist.” The only thing you can count on with Survivor is to never count on anything.

You’re a little glad the switch happened because now maybe the challenges will get a bit more aggressive… and oh yeah, the Medallion of Poooowwwer is gone!

You shook your head in amazement when Tyrone started bossing his new tribemates around. Another unaware Survivor making a critical mistake.

You were annoyed when Marty and Jill started explaining the “protocol” at their old camp, hoping to influence the youngsters.

You yelled at your tv and jumped up and down in frustration when Naonka talked about how things have “changed’ between her and Alina, and that they are now tight.

You turned to the person you were watching with and said “What is he doing?” when Marty admitted to having the Immunity Idol.

You grew to like Brenda a little bit more when she gave a no holds barred lowdown on Marty’s idiotic move to reveal to the tribe that he had the idol.

You first laughed… and then after a moment, had a touch of sadness, followed by another fit of laughter when Naonka cried to her new best friend, Alina, about how tough it was to be out in the rain.

Initially, you wished Chase would have stayed quiet and not tried to talk Naonka into staying in the game. “Let her quit” you yelled at the screen.

Once you heard Chase’s story about his father, you forgot about Naonka and thought about your own dad and your family and those you love, and you liked Chase a little bit more afterward.

When Naonka said, “I’m not a quitter… I think I’m done” you jumped for joy and said, “Oh I hope she quits!”

You knew Tyrone was in trouble when the tribe said they wanted to kill the chicken and Tyrone said, “So we going with that?” But when he then followed it up with “I think we should keep it,” you knew he would get votes. But when he said “just be conscious of your neighbor” and then took the biggest piece of chicken, you knew he was done.

Thus far, this isn’t your favorite of all the blogs I’ve written.

Guys: From the Espada tribe, who do you find the most attractive? Alina? Yve? Naonka?
Women: Is it Benri? Chase? Dan?

The last question was pretty pathetic.

When Naonka shared her story of divorce, you had a moment of thinking “Hmm.. she does have a conscience. Maybe she’s not as bad as I thought.”

When Naonka said “there was not twenty-four hours in that day…it was like twenty-six, but it felt like forty-eight.” You laughed out loud, because that is a funny line.

The moment of the night was when Benri knocked over the bell at the voting booth after proclaiming “Benri’s here baby.” Instant classic.

You won’t really miss Tyrone. You’re glad Naonka is still around… and… you’re asking, “why didn’t you include Brenda in your “attractive” question?

Sorry so short, it was a busy week and now it’s late. I really do hope you are enjoying this season of Survivor!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Jobby on October 15, 2010, 12:35:57 PM
Jeff seemed like he didn't enjoy this season. Like Gabon.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: thespicdatum on October 18, 2010, 12:29:13 AM
Jeff seemed like he didn't enjoy this season. Like Gabon.

he stopped enjoying it after Jimmy Johnson was voted out.  :lol3:
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: TexasLady on October 19, 2010, 10:29:03 PM
You knew Tyrone was in trouble when the tribe said they wanted to kill the chicken and Tyrone said, “So we going with that?” But when he then followed it up with “I think we should keep it,” you knew he would get votes. But when he said “just be conscious of your neighbor” and then took the biggest piece of chicken, you knew he was done.

I laughed out loud and startled my hubby when I read this. Yes, I knew he was done for.  :lol:

Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on October 21, 2010, 11:33:03 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 6


Two people were sent home, and from my vantage point they were the wrong two people. More on that later.

Let me explain why we have to have double tribal councils. When the show first started we had 16 contestants. That is still the perfect number if you want to vote one person out each week and have a final two scenario at the last tribal council. To be clear — we LOVE starting with sixteen people.

Here’s the problem. Over the years, contestants have become okay with quitting. After Osten did it back in the Pearl Islands, it became acceptable to quit. Well, a quit really screws us up because then we don’t have enough people to finish the season. So, in an effort to make sure the game can play fairly and without interruption, we started bringing more people.

If you bring 18 people, which we have done, you have to consider the fact that you’ll have an uneven number of men and women on each tribe.

So, that often leads you to bringing 20 people. Twenty people is great because even if people quit, you are okay because you brought more people than you needed.

The two problems with 20 people are:
1. It’s a lot of people for the audience to get to know.
2. At some point you have to get rid of the extra players.

That’s where the double tribal councils come into play. To keep it a bit more fair, we now offer everybody a chance to win individual immunity, so you do have a shot to keep yourself in the game. But obviously if you’re the one in trouble, then you hate this facet of the game.

So anytime we have 20 people you can expect to see at least one double-elimination at some point.

Okay let’s review the four options for the vote:

Dan wants to quit. That should be enough. But this is Survivor and sometimes even though somebody wants to quit, their vote is too valuable to let them leave. But with Dan he’s also a major liability in challenges. On top of that he doesn’t help out much around camp. What are you doing keeping him in the game? Let him quit! Or equally effective, vote him out! They did neither.

I understand that Dan has had enough. He’s been successful in life. He’s proven to himself that he can get out here and hack it and so now he wants to go home. Fine. But here’s my wish… I wish we had a “Quit Chip Necklace” that every contestant had to wear. If you mention to someone that you want to quit, they have to pull off one of your chips. When you run out of chips, you have to go home. Period. You show up at a challenge, I see that you have no chips left, I take your buff, give you a friendly kick in the ass and send you on your way. Ah but that’s only a dream.

Here’s why it wouldn’t work – we hate it when people quit! We want you to stay in the game and play. We want you to try to win. We want you to make moves that improve your station in the game. We don’t want you to quit. Quitting sucks. Everybody regrets it and it just makes for a problem for us. So I would be shooting myself in the foot if I pressed for us to actually introduce the “Quit Chip Necklace.” But I do like the sound of it – much better than Medallion of Power.

I loved this. I always wish more people would play this game of making stuff up! Marty’s “Grand Master” play was fantastic. Brilliant to realize the age difference between him and Fabio almost guaranteed its success.

Everybody keeps saying Fabio is crazy, or maybe not the sharpest tool – but I wonder how crazy he really is? Is he playing everybody including us? That was my question from day one. I was never sure if his surfer boy responses were 100% genuine or a bit of a character he’s created. I’m guessing a bit of both.

Marty is a good strategist, he’s a threat in challenges, and he has the idol. He is an obvious target in this game. Plus he is on the wrong side of the numbers. That’s this biggest problem. If Marty had the numbers he’d be in the driver’s seat. But he doesn’t. So, if you have a chance to take him out then you do it, or at least get rid of the hidden immunity idol. That was the plan… but it didn’t play out that way.

I never really understood what happened with Kelly B. No idea why Naonka hated her so much and why the rest of the tribe shunned her. I don’t live out there on the beach with them so I miss a lot, but from the moment I met her she seemed like a very likable person who can clearly handle herself in challenges. Was it simply the threat of the artificial leg? Hard to know, but she didn’t seem to be a big threat at the moment.

Sometimes you just get off to a bad start. She never had a super strong alliance and the switch certainly didn’t help her. Yve was stuck in no man’s land.

Yve made a big mistake in sharing with Alina that she is tight with folks on the other tribe. Alina is smart. She “hears” things others don’t. In hindsight it was a mistake to share that with Alina. Man, Survivor is so difficult. You can never let your guard down. You have to think twice before speaking, you have to imagine what the best move for everybody else is and then make your move based on the assumption they’ll make their best move… it’s tough.

And yet, I still didn’t see Yve as a big enough threat to worry about right now.


They seem to be playing a fairly smart game. They’re very good at strategy, but tonight they went way left of where I thought they were heading.

They wanted Marty out. They even lied at tribal council trying to throw Marty under the bus by saying it was his idea to vote out Jane. Brilliant. Their goal was to get rid of him and/or the idol.

But Marty didn’t play the idol. Not playing the idol was a big, bold move and one that I respect. But because Sash and Brenda forced a tie and Marty didn’t play the idol in the first vote, he couldn’t use the idol in the tiebreaker. So they had him and the idol!! All they had to do was change their votes to Marty. But instead they voted Kelly B. I really don’t understand why Kelly B was seen as a bigger threat. Maybe I’ll ask them at the live show.

Sometimes Survivor… just like life…isn’t fair.

First Dan says he wants to quit, and then at Tribal Council he says he doesn’t. It can’t be as simple as not wanting to be seen as a quitter because he knows we already heard him tell Holly he wanted to quit. Hmm.

Dan is an interesting guy – he’s very combative but equally likable. I enjoyed Dan and he took a lot of grief from me, but he definitely sticks up for himself.

But come on…DAN IS A HUGE LIABILITY! He can’t run, jump, crawl, he can barely sit down for crying out loud. Likable? Yes. Helpful? No.

Why they voted out Yve instead of Dan is another mystery to me. I know there are many ways to play this game but I would have voted out MARTY and DAN tonight.

For LA FLOR , the Idol and Marty would be gone.
For ESPADA, their biggest liability would be gone.

Plus – two more “older” people would be gone from the game.

Ah who knows… maybe that’s why I host…

See ya next week.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Jobby on October 21, 2010, 11:52:22 AM
I am with Jeff fully this entire season. Just cut Marty and Dan away.. why Kelly B?????????????? And Yve? I don't even bother watching the episodes now. Missed the past 3 episodes and don't even plan to catch up on them. :(
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on October 28, 2010, 10:08:23 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 7

Sash: “That’s not what I meant to say.”

Ah, I love an unexpected gift… especially a gift at Tribal Council. It’s one of the truths at Tribal Council that sometimes it takes a lot of work to get them to share anything of interest, and other times… they just offer it up to you like a fastball straight over the plate. Whack! And it’s outta here!

More on Sash’s comment later.

With Marty, it’s all about Marty. He’s so certain he’s right that sometimes he almost convinces me that he’s right even when I know he’s wrong. I really enjoy the rivalry between Marty and Jane. At this point it’s fair to say that Marty is losing, but the guy is really fighting to stay in this game and I love someone who plays as hard as Marty is playing.

I’m really starting to like Jane. She’s a slow burn. She’s been through a lot in life and I think that is part of the reason why she is so headstrong and fearless. Jane just doesn’t care what you think about her and that’s one of the reasons that if I had to choose somebody to be my mate in the foxhole, Jane would be high on the list.

The biggest obstacle standing in the way of Jane winning this game is going to be… Jane. She said it herself — “I want the cake and I want to eat it too.” How often do all of us fall into this trap? We want it all. You can rarely have it all. There are almost always compromises you must make as you make your way through the ultimate reality show – real life. I think Jane could get far in the game but the chances of her self-destructing are very high. Still not sure I’d keep her around though – she is extremely likable and if she does get to the end – write the check.

One of my favorite moments of the season was Jane catching and cooking a fish for herself. That’s a Survivor! Nice work.

Man, Sash is becoming a force. If I were playing with him, he’d be driving me nuts with his cocky, insincere attitude. But he certainly has one element of this game figured out – loyalty. He knows where to put his energy. Marty could learn a few lessons from Sash. I know Marty is once again screaming at the screen if he’s reading this, but I think it’s true.

A lot of people are bagging on Chase because of his inability to make a decision or stick with an alliance, but when Chase starts talking about his dad and their relationship he sucks me right back into liking him. Don’t let him get deep into this game or he could win his way to the end.

Because of the rough water in Nicaragua we couldn’t do a lot of water challenges, so we built a large cement pool. It never ceases to amaze me what our art department can create and execute.

As far as the challenge, I loved this one. It’s fair for everybody, (okay with the exception of Dan) you could play it at home (Okay if you had a swimming pool) and it’s just fun to watch. But the best part of the challenge came once again thanks to Survivor‘s favorite comedy genius… Fabio!

Fabio peeing in the pool was a moment that still makes me laugh when I think about that day and the look on his face as he was doing it. I enjoy Fabio. He’s a charming young man who often speaks before he listens but is so open and shares so many thoughts that he’s endeared himself to me. No Fabio, not everybody pees in the pool.

The various emotional and intellectual reactions to the “reward lunch” were so representative of the game of Survivor as well as “real life” human dynamics.

First, you have Alina who cried because she felt joy, or so she said. Had I been there, I would have believed her because I think I’d probably feel something similar.

Then, Holly reacted like a “mom” and offered Alina a hug of comfort and safety. Once again I believe this was a genuine emotion.

And then… Naonka. Naonka reacts by saying she thinks it’s all a bunch of strategic baloney. She didn’t buy it for a second. Which then gets me to thinking… she could be right. It could be a bunch of strategic baloney.

If I had to play this game I would be constantly fascinated, endlessly uncertain and completely exhausted by the non-stop manipulation.

It’s not Marty. It’s not Jimmy T. It’s not Sash and sorry Fabio, but it’s not you either. From my vantage point, it’s Brenda. While she doesn’t have all the qualities of a player like Parvati, she’s close. Besides, it’s her first time playing, give her a chance. She reads people very well, she is smart enough to know when to back off and let someone else get the glory and she knows how to flirt without it being too obvious. What she lacks is the real killer instinct. I think she is so used to getting everything she wants in life handed to her that she hasn’t had to work hard enough to really know how to bury somebody. Put her and Parvati together and they’d be lethal. In fact, the two of them should sign up for Amazing Race.

Brenda and Sash are a pretty good team and right now seem tough to beat so long as they don’t turn on each other. Sash is very good at this game as well; what holds Sash back is simply the way he carries himself. He’s a bit shady. Whether he is shady in real life I have no idea, but his demeanor certainly causes me to think twice – even three times. Ever read Blink by Malcom Gladwell? He would tell you to trust your gut and if Sash told me he had a great piece of property for me to buy, I’d instantly question his motives because if it was truly “great,” Sash is the kind of guy who would buy it for himself.

They are a good team because they complement each other and if I had to decide who was truly leading it would be Brenda, but the one who is gaining most from the partnership is Sash.

Perfect example: Once again, Brenda has a great idea – get Marty to give them the idol. She is the one with the brilliant idea but she empowers Sash to be the one to make the deal happen. Great strategy… but no killer instinct to do it herself. Same as the time when she let Naonka find the other hidden immunity idol. Brenda could have two idols right now. If Parvati had been playing, she would have gotten the idol for herself and a kiss from Marty at the same time.

Instead, Sash gets the idol and now has the opportunity to win favor with Marty by keeping his word. It’s a huge move for Sash and a potentially big mistake by Brenda.

Brenda might argue that she is staying “clean” of everything so nobody is mad at her, but if the two of them make it to the final, Sash can play the “strategy card” and the “I kept my word card.” I give this round to Sash.

My favorite line of the entire pitch to Marty:

Sash: I think it makes sense, but I can’t tell you what to do with your own idol.

THAT’S the shady part I’m talking about! If Sash thinks it makes sense… don’t do it!

To Marty’s defense, I think Marty is right – he has to try something and the idol was going to get flushed out one way or the other. Giving it to Sash gives him a lifeline to Sash with the hope that something will happen to change things up.

“Jane’s a flipper.” Marty has such a double standard. He complains that people aren’t playing the game and he also complains when people do play the game. Jane is playing the game. There is nothing wrong with what she is doing, it makes sense to try and get with the majority. Man, I talk a lot about Marty.

It was the single biggest mistake of the game so far… a simple slip of the tongue. I was questioning Sash on why he was the one who had possession of the idol if indeed it was an idol for the entire “alliance.”

While defending himself, Sash uttered a phrase he would love to have back – “If there comes a time when I lose trust in them.” Ooops. He meant to say “When they lose trust in me.” A Freudian slip?

Freud believed that we reveal what is really on our mind by saying something we didn’t mean to say.

He believed that slips of the tongue provided an insight into the unconscious mind.

So… did Sash just reveal something? Of course he did! Anybody who actually believed that Sash was ever going to share the idol deserves to be voted out. His Freudian slip was only damaging in that everybody heard him actually say what they were already fearing he was thinking.

Sash has the idol.
Marty is in trouble.
Anybody who challenges Sash for the idol may be in trouble too.

But most of all, Sash may be in trouble. He has a weapon in the hidden immunity idol and he just revealed that he will use it if he ever feels he is in danger. In doing so, he just put a big target on his back.

See ya next time.

PS –I honestly, truly just realized that I didn’t say anything about Jill being voted out. That is mind-blowing. I LOVED Jill in casting. I thought Jill could win this game when I first met her. She was a favorite. I wasn’t intending to slight Jill in any way. There just wasn’t anything to say. She played a very quiet game. The numbers were never on her side. The tribe switch didn’t help and her alliance with Marty did her in.

I had written and proof read the blog and was literally attaching it to send to Dalton Ross at when I realized I had made no comment about the person who was voted out.

I do know this though… I’m so glad it wasn’t Naonka.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Jobby on October 28, 2010, 11:45:51 AM
It was the single biggest mistake of the game so far… a simple slip of the tongue. I was questioning Sash on why he was the one who had possession of the idol if indeed it was an idol for the entire “alliance.”

While defending himself, Sash uttered a phrase he would love to have back – “If there comes a time when I lose trust in them.” Ooops. He meant to say “When they lose trust in me.” A Freudian slip?

That was an amazing insight!!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on November 04, 2010, 09:41:37 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 8

I finally figured out Naonka.  At last.  After 7 weeks, it all makes sense now.

More on that later.  But first…

Every season we look for new ways to merge the tribe.  After 21 seasons I’m the first to admit that coming up with fresh twists or new wrinkles in the game is one of our biggest challenges.  We spend a lot of time talking, brainstorming – searching for those new little moments.

Since the contestants can always sense when the merge is coming, all we can really do with the merge is try our best to find a clever way to reveal it.

Using the combination of key and chest was a nice new twist.  Nothing earth-shattering but it lets the tribe know they are merging and yet still carries a bit of mystery.  What is the purpose of the key?  What’s in the box? In this case it opened a chest containing a merge feast along with their new buffs.  Which brings up another question…

Why do we give them food at the merge?  Why do we give them food at all?  Why not just let them find their own food.

We give them food because they need it… they deserve it… and most importantly, it’s good for morale.  When the contestants become too dehydrated or too hungry or too depleted overall, their morale drops and the game suffers.  That’s not good for us or them.

Trust me, you can give them all the food you want, so long as it only lasts for a few hours or even a day or two, it doesn’t make much difference.  The amount of calories they are living on is minuscule.  Typically, a few spoonfuls of rice.  Not much.

The merge itself represents a turning point in the game.  The merge is a reset.  The impact of the merge has changed over the many years Survivor has been played.

Initially, the merge signaled the beginning of the individual portion of the game.  You would compete in individual challenges for individual rewards.  If you were good you could win your way to the end and nothing could stop you.  But as alliances began to take hold, the merge began to morph into something else.  Now you needed the “numbers” in order to stay strong.

When the hidden immunity idol was introduced, the impact of the merge shifted again.  Now if you had the numbers and an “idol” you had a very good shot of getting very deep into the game.  It’s part of what makes Survivor fun, it is always evolving.

I’m so proud to tell you that the Immunity Challenge was created by Edwin Davis.  Edwin has been on our show for years.  He started as a Dreamteamer, testing the challenges.  He was a very nice kid.  He was heavy.  He was a little shy.  He spoke very little English.  Over the years, Edwin has changed quite a bit.  He has leaned out and gotten very healthy.  The dude is a stud.  His English is fantastic and from a career point of view, he has moved up the ranks and is now creating challenges!!  The career opportunities that exist on Survivor are one of the greatest aspects of being a part of the show.  We have so many young people that have started as Dreamteamers and are now full-fledged crew members.  Last count, 10% of our entire crew was made up of former Dreamteamers.  Awesome.  I love seeing young people bloom.

Speaking of blooming… are you falling in love with Jane the same way I am?  I like it all – from the comment about her shotgun…

Jane:  I’ve got dogs that live in the yard.  I feel very safe…. Plus I’ve got a shotgun.

…to how she trained for the show by running the stairs at her house… to doing P90X.  Have you ever done P90X?  Killer work out.  It will kick your ass for sure and you can do it from home with only a few bands.  I’m not preaching but your body is your temple.  You wanna live a long life, you have to take care of yourself.

Okay, back to Jane.  Her effort at the immunity challenge was one of the most inspirational and impressive things this season.  I think had we continued she would have defeated Fabio, too!

Jane has lived a hard life.  It shows in her face.  At times it shows in her attitude.  But if you want somebody in that foxhole with you, Jane’s not a bad choice.

Marty is hollering that they should vote her out, but nobody is listening.  He’s right.  If “the little old lady from North Carolina” gets to the end, she has a very good shot at winning.  Marty’s problem is… he is always hollering.

Okay as I said earlier, I’ve figured out Naonka.  I’m no longer surprised by anything Naonka says or does… because… did I say this already…? I finally figured her out! Eureka!

Are you ready…?  Here it is…

From a maturity point of view, Naonka is a seven-year-old. That’s it.  That’s my big discovery.

When dealing with Naonka you simply have to treat her as you would a first-grader.  Think about it.  She’s selfish.  She’s a know-it-all.  She’s defiant.  She’s a rule tester.  She denies everything and only apologizes when she is actually caught doing something.  She behaves in every conceivable way as though she were seven years old.

That’s why, at the end of the day, people like Brenda can still find her a little charming.  They see her like I do, like a small child.  Who can be mad at a small child?  It’s not the most flattering thing to say about a twenty-something, but I do believe it’s true.  I’m not defending her actions – not at all – but it does make it easier for me to relate to her at tribal council.

Even I have to admit…stealing the food was one of the most brazen things I’ve ever seen on our show.  Outright crazy until you remember, she’s only seven.

At first glance you could say that Alina made a bad move taking part in Naonka’s stealing of food, because it made it so easy to justify voting her out.  But was it anything more than basic human nature?  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs lists Physiological Needs (which includes food) as our most basic need.  You get really hungry and you’ll do pretty much anything to get some food.  At the lower end of the Hierarchy of Needs list is “Esteem” which includes… respect of others (which relates directly to Survivor.)   In other words, when you’re really hungry, food will blind you to common sense and next thing you know you’re stealing food even though your subconscious knows there is a consequence waiting for you just around the corner.  Alina’s not dumb.  She knew she would pay for that action.  Her hunger just won out.

My take on Alina:  She’s much sharper than most women her age.  She’s a player for sure and a good player.  Did Alina act shady?  No more than anybody else who has ever played Survivor.  She was just playing the game.  Everybody has a strategy.  Everybody is “playing the game.”

It’s a fascinating facet of humans.  Our ability to judge others for doing the same thing we would do in the same situation.  All of these knuckleheads are playing the game, but when anybody else does it – they’re shady.  By the way, I looked up “dirt squirrel,” which is what Benry called Alina when he voted for her – not a very nice term and not sure what it has to do with Survivor.  Either way, Alina is gone.

But the craziest thing of this episode…..?

Naonka is still in the game!!!!  Could Naonka make it to the end?   Time will tell.

See ya next week.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: TexasLady on November 06, 2010, 07:55:38 PM
Having the maturity of a 7 year old does go a long way towards explaining and understanding Naonka....  :umn:
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Jobby on November 06, 2010, 10:22:35 PM
Having the maturity of a 7 year old does go a long way towards explaining and understanding Naonka....  :umn:

And it is because of Jeff, i start to learn more about my friends as well.

WTG JEFF! I receive so many insights about life with all his commentaries! :hearts:
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on November 11, 2010, 09:50:03 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 9

Fabio: “I call it being cool.”

Ah Fabio. You’re awesome.

Fabio continues to crack me up…in the best possible way.. every single episode. More on Fabio and “being cool” later…

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Survivor is you truly never know what is going to happen next. For the reward challenge, we did a random draw and ended up with all men on one team and all women on the other. To make it even more dramatic the challenge was the most physical of the season. The women had very little chance simply due to strength. The “stick crossing” and the “brick wall” at the finish was extremely tough to get through. We never anticipated an “all men vs. all women” challenge but that’s just how it played out.

I was very impressed with the women. Jane was completely spent by the time the challenge was over because she gave everything she had. Remember they have been eating very little for nearly a month. They are already severely depleted. To then be tested with one of the biggest obstacle courses we’ve ever done was a major challenge. The women really gave a huge effort and made it much closer than any of us predicted.

Another fun aspect of hosting Survivor is that you are living in the moment along with the contestants. After the challenge was over, I was very moved by the effort of the women. Purple Kelly was crying she was so hungry and Jane was barely standing. So I took the opportunity to give the men a chance to step up and say “I’m gonna give up my spot on the reward to one of the women.”

The reason you ask this question is that regardless of the answer, it is guaranteed to reveal something that will move the story forward. In this case, none of the men were willing to give up a spot to any of the women. Fine. I don’t blame them for the decision. But their answer gave us a story. What this showed everybody was despite any alliances this was an individual game. It’s a small moment but it registered with everybody and will live inside their brains as this game continues to progress. Survivor-is-an-individual-game. Never forget that.

Another surprise from the reward challenge was Chase choosing to back the women. It was a very revealing move and definitely raised a few eyebrows. He let the guys know that he is pulling for the women, which means he probably has an alliance with a few of them. In addition, not being with all the guys on the reward challenge removes you even further from the men. That move could haunt Chase for a long time. You could argue it was a bit of a lose-lose, as no matter which side he chose the other might be upset, but in this case I think choosing the guys would have done less overall damage.

If Brenda represents “every woman,” then Brenda is giving a free class on what women look for in men. Her comment about Chase…

Brenda: “Chase is like a little baby who is always going ‘wah, wah, wah.’”

…said it all.

Women want a guy with some balls. Balls! Come on, Chase. Where are they? Your balls, that is. Women don’t like wishy-washy. Chase is wishy-washy.

Brenda is in charge of this game. She says it’s her and Sash together but it’s not. It’s her. Not Sash. If you remember, when Brenda asked Sash what his plan was, Sash said, “My plan is your plan.” There ya go. Brenda is in charge. Don’t misunderstand – Sash is a very good player. He is great at looking out for himself and that simple little strategy is how Sandra Diaz won this game twice… by looking out for herself and nobody else.

At this point in the game, the immunity challenges are really pressure filled. Everybody wants it and depending on where the alliances stand in each episode, a few absolutely need it. Tonight, Jane needed it, Chase needed it and Marty clearly needed it.

Memory Challenges always seem so easy when you’re sitting at home with your bag of Doritos and a Diet Coke. It’s kinda like watching Jeopardy. The answers are always so much easier from the couch. Okay that’s a lie. I could Tivo Jeopardy, watch it twice and still struggle to come up with the answers on the third viewing. But you get my point. It’s much more difficult to do these types of challenges when you’re actually out there with all the distractions, such as cameras and crew. You’re tired, you’re hungry. It’s hard to hold even the smallest thought in your head.

Whenever we do a challenge like this, I always ask the challenge guys to prepare lots of extra rounds because I am always afraid everybody will get every one of them right. In reality it never seems to go more than a few rounds. Pressure.

These types of challenges also tend to show whose mind is the sharpest. If you watched Marty during this challenge he kept running the list in his head, you could see him saying the words to himself over and over and over. It was clearly a pretty effective strategy, but in the end he lost to another very sharp mind – Brenda.

Benry and Fabio hanging in the shade, talking Survivor strategy. It was almost like a trailer for a new comedy:

Benry: You and I should just lay low… play stupid.
Fabio: I know dude, I hate playing stupid so much… but it’s like the smartest thing to do right now.
Benry: It’s easy.
Fabio: It’s… real easy.

Come on! That’s brilliant. That’s yet another beautiful element of reality shows. People forget the cameras are there, they stop thinking about what they are saying and they get so depleted that can’t even monitor what they are saying. Put those elements together and you end up with moments that wouldn’t be half as funny if you wrote them in a script.

Naonka deserves a special achievement award for still being in this game. That alone is one of the most most amazing achievements this season, maybe ever. She stole Fabio’s socks, she stole flour, she stole food, she tackled a woman with one leg, she yells at everybody whenever she’s in a bad mood and is one of the most despised contestants to ever play Survivor…but she is still in the game. Not only is she still in the game but she has a hidden immunity idol. In case there was any doubt, I am so happy Naonka is still in this game. In order to have a good season you need big polarizing characters like Naonka. Love her or hate her, she is a gift from the reality gods.

It’s so easy to backseat drive. I do it all the time. Every day. “Monday morning quarterbacking” is one of the great American pastimes. And while I do it every day, I hate it when people do it to me about something I did or said.

Case in point: It was the second episode of the first season of Survivor. We had just finished tribal council and Mark Burnett, the Executive Producer of the show, came up to me and started to make a suggestion about a different way I could have asked a question. To be clear, as EP he is fully entitled to not only suggest but to firmly encourage me to do something differently. But being a new host of a new show with a format that had never been done before, I was overly sensitive to being “back seat” driven during Tribal Council. I sensed that he was about to criticize the way I ran tribal and my brain (ego) quickly foresaw a problem. If he said something that made me think he was second-guessing me, how would that impact the way I’d run Tribal Council from there on out? So I stopped him and said something to the effect of “You can’t second guess me. I need to know you believe in me or I’ll never be able to fully run tribal council with confidence.” In hindsight, it was probably a major overreaction on my part but to his credit, Mark never said another word.

I’m sure there have been many times when he wished I might have asked a different question or handled something differently but he never lets on and in doing so, he instilled a confidence in me that has helped me do my job for 21 seasons over 11 years.

But like I said, that doesn’t stop me from doing it! Especially with Marty.

I’ve given Marty a hard time the entire season but I’m the first to admit, I’m really bummed he is gone. Marty is a story starter and a story finisher. He’s a good interview. He’s confident enough, even cocky enough to believe he is the best player in the game. He is willing to make big moves and say outrageous statements.

Marty is a pretty good player of Survivor but with a bit of tweaking I believe Marty could be a great player.

If Marty made a mistake it was in not seeing that maybe his best option would have been to just “back off.” Pushing to get Jane voted out seemed to me to be a personal agenda as opposed to a truly “big picture” strategic play.

I could be wrong, I’m not inside his head. I am merely backseat driving as I do every week in these blogs. I think his ego got too involved. If Marty played again I think he would play a better game. I’m sure he learned a lot.

I too have learned a lot from Survivor and one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that in any negotiation (and Survivor is a 39-day negotiation) the less you talk and the more you listen the better off you will be. Marty should have listened more.

So is that advice for future Survivors… or simply lippy “Thursday morning quarterbacking?” You decide.

SURVIVOR MEMORABILIA HEADS UP: I’ve opened up my personal stash of Survivor memorabilia and it will be up for auction immediately following this season’s live finale. I found some great items such as:
a. My “oversized” shirts and shorts from our first season, Survivor: Pulau Tiga. (Talk about a great Halloween costume!)
b. The rice tin that Tina pulled from the raging river in Survivor: Australia.
c. The pot they used to boil their water in Survivor: Australia
d. The original buffs from Survivor: All-Stars.
c. Some original Q/A cards from Survivor: Africa.

I’ll have all the details as we get closer to the finale.

See ya next week.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on November 18, 2010, 10:40:29 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 10

People often ask me “Hey Probst! What keeps you interested in the show after 21 seasons?”

Well, I’m guessing it’s the same thing that keeps you guys interested — human nature. At its core that’s what Survivor is really all about, isn’t it? Our nature as humans and how we behave in different situations?

Holly is a great example. Five days into the show and she wanted to quit; 22 days later not only is she still around, but she could win. What changed? Her behavior. After nearly losing her mind, she rallied. She gained a lot of respect and now is considered a threat to go to the end.

Brenda is another fascinating case study of human behavior. More on her later..

Tonight, the gold star goes to Naonka and Fabio for instigating and following through with a big move.

Let’s just be clear about this idol in Sash’s pocket. (I’m referring to the immunity idol… just to be really clear.) Sash isn’t going to use that idol to save anybody but himself. No chance. Listen up future players: If you don’t have the idol in your possession when you walk in to tribal council, it is very unlikely you will have it in your hand when I ask for it. Yes it has happened on rare occasions, as when Parvati had a bag full of idols, but in most situations, the idol will be used to save the person who possesses it.

This was old school Survivor. Barrels, planks and rope. Very few rules. A group of people forced to work together and get creative. I love challenges like this. Generally speaking they don’t favor anybody, they’re easy to follow, easy to judge and they reward teamwork.

My favorite moment in the reward challenge was Benry’s “ceremonial losers backflip.” Again, another fascinating moment for my little brain to comprehend. You just lost but you still have enough energy, sense of humor, and lack of concern to do a back flip. Then again, maybe if I could do a back flip I’d have done one too!

Yes, it really happened. While they were away at the reward challenge, back at camp their fire started to grow, and evidently it caught part of the temporary structure they had made to protect the fire from the rain.

It’s one of those great moments that make reality shows so unpredictable. It was just pure luck that the entire camp did not burn down. The juxtaposition of five people enjoying their reward by “pigging out” and volcano surfing while the other five were dealing with a disastrous situation back at camp was wonderful. Does that mean I’m some form of sadist? Or just a competent television producer? Maybe they’re just one in the same?

Love it. The immunity challenge was another very simple but very effective challenge. “Hang on for as long as you can.” At first glance you would guess that someone like Benry or Chase would be in it at the end. And they were. But so was Jane. The oldest woman in the game and the frailest of all the Survivors left. Okay, I’m excluding Dan.

The reason Jane did so well? It was will power. Pure will power. Once again, Jane surprised everybody and outlasted people a third of her age and two guys who were clearly much stronger.

For a moment Jane wanted to quit. The reason I encouraged Jane to stay in the challenge was because I hate to see anybody “give up.” I love when people surprise themselves by doing better than they thought they could. She’s been through hard times in life. She knows what she is capable of and she believes it. She just needed a little reminder. But at the end of the day…encouragement only goes so far. I can encourage people but I can’t do the challenge for them.

As I was saying earlier. Another fascinating case study of human nature. She’s very bright, strikingly beautiful, and owns her own business. She has a lot going for her in life. On Survivor she has been doing a fantastic job at managing relationships and forging alliances. She was really in a very strong position in this game.

But when things turned against her and she was forced to “scramble,” she wouldn’t do it. I was truly surprised that she never did. I believe the quote was “The last thing I want to do is start scrambling. It just shows that you are desperate.”

Uh… yeah. You’re desperate. Nothing wrong with feeling desperate in a million dollar game. You should feel desperate when you believe you are about to be voted out. That’s a very rational thought. Nobody is going to look at you sideways for feeling desperate when more than half the tribe is threatening to vote for you. Desperation is often a temporary condition on Survivor. It isn’t always fatal. Lots of people have been in trouble, aka “desperate” on Survivor, made desperate moves in response, and as a result survived the vote and ended up making it to the end. Some of them even won! That’s the game. You assess and reassess every moment of every day.

It’s a beautiful and vicious cycle. Even when you feel “comfortable” you know you’re not necessarily “safe,” and when you’re truly not safe, which makes you feel “desperate” and so you make a move to try and feel comfortable again. It’s why most Survivors need therapy when the game is over!

I wonder if Brenda even cares that she was voted out. I wondered it that night. I still wonder now. Could it be that Brenda is so used to things going her way that she doesn’t know how to scramble? Maybe that’s the answer to the riddle. Maybe that is one skill that Brenda has never tested. It’s a bummer she’s gone but proves once again that in order to win this game, you have to want to win and you have to be willing to make a move… even if it means acknowledging you’re desperate.

Like her or not, Naonka is playing the game. She’s a fair weather participant for sure, but when she wants to play she is a pot stirrer. Marty would be proud. Naonka could win if she ends up in the final with Purple Kelly. Even then she would need to pray.

Fabio is also starting to turn it on. Last week he was laying back, playing “cool.” This week he was part of a very big move taking out a major power player. I think Fabio is really starting to figure out this game.

Lurking in the shade is Jane. If things keep going the way they are, people may forget Jane is even in the game. If Jane gets to the end she would very likely be a millionaire.

The Redeemer is Holly. I’m usually a pretty good gauge of what the audience is feeling and I think a lot of you are starting to like Holly and have forgotten about those first five days.

The “no chance” is Dan. I just can’t see a scenario in which Dan could win this game.

The other “no chance” is Purple Kelly. Sweet young woman. I like her. But she hasn’t earned it and unless she really turns it on, her best finish is to make herself a great person to take to the end because she can’t win.

Sash is “in trouble.” He’s going to have to work hard to stay alive now that his partner is gone. If he can do it, he could make a strong case that he deserves to win. Otherwise he could be gone soon.

Benry is a “long shot.” He could make it to the end based on physical abilities but at this point he doesn’t have a strong enough case to win it.

The wildcard is Chase. Chase is likable enough to win this game and wishy-washy enough to screw it all up for himself and somebody else. Being in an alliance with Chase is risky.

Did I forget anybody?

See ya next week.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Jobby on November 18, 2010, 10:56:41 AM
Jeff sums things up so nicely, yet again. :lol:
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on November 25, 2010, 10:39:26 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 11

Hey guys, I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and/or your friends. If you are spending it alone, I hope you’ll have me at your table as a guest in “spirit!”

I’ll be spending it out of state with friends in a very sunny climate. So you won’t be hearing much from me!

I know that even die hard fans don’t always enjoy the “special scenes” episodes because you want to see somebody voted out! But hopefully you found some of the new scenes enlightening as we wind our way down to the finish.

We’re back with a regular episode next week and I must tell you… it is one of my favorite episodes of the entire season! From start to finish I think it is really top notch!

Here’s a clue: I think a lot of you are going to be really thrilled by the episode.

That’s it. That’s all you get.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on December 02, 2010, 10:18:49 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 12

Okay, I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that there is a bit of an implied contract when you agree to be on Survivor.

On our side, we promise you the adventure of your lifetime. Something you have never experienced before and will probably never experience again. It’s a multi-million dollar, life-changing thrill ride that will test you on every level. We promise, and we always deliver. Always.

In exchange we expect only two things from you: Show up… and play. That’s it. When you fail to do one or both of those requirements you are not living up to your end of the bargain. One might say you are in breach of our implied contract.

That’s my new philosophy regarding quitters on Survivor. You’re breaking your contract. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, such as medical evacuations and family emergencies, but I’m talking about the contestants who just decide they don’t want to play anymore. In this case, Naonka and Purple Kelly.

You’d think that by the time you have gone through the long arduous process of casting, meeting the executives at CBS, suffering through your immunization shots, getting your passport, arranging to leave your life for 39 days, getting on a plane, meeting with the press, and then lasting 28 days to give yourself a 1-in-9 shot at winning a million dollars, that this would be a no-brainer. Of course you’re going to finish; quitting would be foolish, right?

I’m not going to rehash the events of the quit, that’s just a waste of time and space.

I will however mention that when Naonka had the chance to walk away from the reward in exchange for tarp and rice, I truly believed she would do it. I was initially shocked when she didn’t move. Shocked. Naonka had just told everybody she wanted to quit. She knew she would be eating real food and sleeping in a real bed within hours, and all she had to do was stand up and say “It’s the least I can do before I quit.” She would have redeemed herself just a little bit.

But upon reflection I can clearly see that my expectation was flawed. Naonka has been consistently selfish for 28 days, and for her to stand up and suddenly do the “right thing” would not be consistent. Naonka went out the same way she came in, “Looking out for numero uno.”

In addition to not being a lawyer, I’m also not a psychologist, but it never seems to stop me from offering up an opinion. So here’s my take on whether they will regret this later in life:

I don’t think Naonka is going to regret her actions for one moment. I think Naonka has a lot of maturing to do and it doesn’t appear to be coming anytime soon. Quitting Survivor doesn’t make Naonka a bad person in my eyes, it was just disappointing. I’ll be curious to find out the reaction from Naonka’s family at the reunion show.

In the case of Purple Kelly, I think she will learn a lot from this experience and will at some point regret not sticking it out for 11 more days.

When you quit, when you give up and walk away from a task, even though you know you have some gas left in the tank, you are in a sense giving up on yourself. Purple Kelly had a lot of gas left in her tank. She’s a very strong and resilient young woman. Naonka gave her permission to quit and she took it and ran. I have a feeling the next time Purple Kelly is in the same situation she will think a long time before quitting.

I know a lot of you are angry right now because Naonka and Purple Kelly are allowed to be on the jury, so let me explain.

The reason they will both be members of the jury is because a precedent had already been set back when Janu quit in Survivor: Palau. Janu quit the game but was allowed to be on the jury, so we used the same reasoning with Naonka and Purple Kelly. It wasn’t an emotional decision, just an issue of fairness.

And yes…Marty, Alina and Brenda were very upset when they found out these quitters would still get to have a vote to decide who wins the million dollars.

Naonka and Purple Kelly quitting just blew this game wide open. It’s like we’re starting over. Their quit benefits some and penalizes others. The person who lost the most was Sash. He not only lost Purple Kelly, who would have voted any way he wanted her to, he also lost Naonka and her idol. He could have taken those two to the end with him and probably been a shoo-in for the million dollars. Instead he now must scramble to make something happen, and other than Dan, everybody else is a threat to win the game.

From a show point of view it’s an awesome turn of events. It changed everything and makes for an exciting and unpredictable finish.

Everybody left in the game has a legitimate shot to win.

Everybody except Dan. Dan’s best hope was to go to the final with Naonka and Purple Kelly. Now that they’re gone, I cannot think of a scenario in which Dan could beat anybody to win. This makes Dan a great person to take to the end. The dilemma is going to be who else do you take to the final?

I am not picking on Dan, I actually enjoy Dan quite a bit, and I could be wrong and Dan could win. If he does win, stay glued to your television because there is a very good chance that at the live show, as I read the last “Dan” vote, I will become light-headed and pass out on the CBS stage. Fortunately, Dancing With The Stars tapes nearby, so Tom Bergeron could run over and handle the rest of the reunion show.

Okay, so we are down to seven: Jane, Benry, Fabio, Holly, Sash, Chase, and Dan. There is going to be a lot of scrambling happening from here until the end. Here is my assessment of what each player needs to do:

Chase needs to form an alliance and stick with it.

Fabio, Benry and Jane need to start winning immunity or they are in danger.

Holly needs to keep mothering and nurturing and keep the attention on others.

Sash has the most work to do since his rug has been pulled out from under him.

Dan doesn’t need to do anything; it’s been working for 28 days. Why change?

It looks like we might have an exciting finish….

See ya next week.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Jobby on December 03, 2010, 11:43:54 AM
I can sense Jeff's very pissed off tone and disappointment from this entry. It seemed as though that he still has not got over the fact that NaOnka and Kelly has quitted the game.. the game which he put his life and heart into for the past decade as a host.

It's like a disappointment. It's like, i believe.. i feel that Jeff felt that he has not been a good host to get the two girls to not quit. You can sense it. And when they finally did, this is the first time.. not even with Janu, because we know he was hoping for Stephanie to go further and by quitting, Janu helped Stephanie to survived another few more days. But you can see this time, Jeff is angry. He's pissed. He just couldn't understand why would people quit on Day 27.. and i feel for him. Jeff, you've been a great host. Please don't feel bad about it. And i hope somehow you'll be able to read this.

And thank you, Thank you Holly for saving this episode. Thank you Jane for that very inspiring reasoning about life. In life, we just got to suck it up and move on forward. There's many people out there who's suffering much more pain and trauma as compared to what we're going through. We just cannot quit in life and have to remain mentally strong and keep fighting till the very end.

Thank you Holly and Jane, once again.

Dan, please just continue doing nothing. If there's a second person who should not go on this Reward, it would have been you.

Chase, i'm really disappointed in your game play. I just don't know what's wrong with you.

Fabio, i think you're ridiculously dim-witted and i hope that after Survivor, you've learnt to deal with people more.

Benry, please just.. shut up. You're no better.

Sash, you've been TOTALLY getting the Kelly edit this episode. I don't know why they're not giving you any face time, but your decision to not use the HII on Brenda shows your character pretty much as well.

I was so heartbroken, emotionally drained and disappointed as i watched on this entire episode. I don't know if anyone else got through this episode as hard as me, but this is definitely one hell of a memorable episode.. and i really hate it alot alot. This episode shows so much about the true human nature that is deep within each and everyone of us and i am just sad, just sad that i've to sit through 1 hour to watch NaOnka go on about her self-deluded life. But thanks to this episode too, i learnt an important life lesson. To never quit in life. I've been through alot in life and when Jane and Holly talked about quitting, i really sympathized and put myself in their shoes. It is hard out there.. but nothing can be compared to the challenges we have to face in life. I've been through a couple of really rough patches.. but i'm glad i've been through and i'm now fine. I'm not even gonna talk about NaOnka like Jeff.. i'm just hoping that at the end of the day, Purple Kelly will take and learn a life lesson out of this.

Until then, i'm only rooting for Holly or Jane to win. No one else, if they're not in the final three, then i don't really care who wins.

This has been a bad bad season of Survivor. And i account it to personalities like NaOnka and Marty. 89% NaOnka and 10% Marty. Maybe 1% for Kelly because she left the game.

I've never felt so emotionally drained watching one episode of Survivor and never have I had so much to take away from with just one episode of the show. Let's hope that this just gets better.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: georgiapeach on December 03, 2010, 04:31:25 PM

Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Jobby on December 04, 2010, 04:12:22 AM


Maybe, if better people are around on the island. The girls could have been motivated to stay. More for Kelly. NaOnka will continue to live in her own world i guess.
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on December 09, 2010, 11:39:00 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 13

Like a small town thief running from the local sheriff, this episode started with Sash on the run. Until last week, he had a great game going, but losing Brenda, Purple Kelly and Naonka put him in a deep, deep, deep hole.

I would have never believed that Sash would be able to get himself out of this mess and get back in the game, but he did. I continue to have to eat the words that I said to Sash at the beginning of the game, “Sash, you’ll be the first person voted out.”

Sash is not the most likable guy on the show and I’m not sure exactly why that is, but he is certainly one of the best strategists. More on that later…

Chase continues to be a threat to win his way to the end. It doesn’t mean he’ll win the game, but with Benry gone, his odds of immunity challenges and making it to the end just got a whole lot better.

He absolutely dominated the reward challenge. I said it during the challenge, “It’s like he’d done the challenge before.” It was crazy to watch. It was almost a perfect performance.


Chase may have made one mistake at the reward challenge and it may be a costly one. In choosing Jane and Holly to accompany him on the reward he really drew a line in the sand. He pissed off Sash, who thought he would be going on reward, and he left the four other guys behind to wallow in their unhappiness and possibly come together to form an alliance against Chase. Which it appears they did.

I’ve said this many times in these blogs, but winning a reward is sometimes a double-edged sword. On the one hand you usually get to eat some food and that’s very important on day 30 of Survivor. But the downside is you often have to choose someone to go with you and that means leaving others behind.

The distinction with Chase is that he didn’t seem to realize he was making a bad decision until hours later. It’s another reason why Chase needs to win challenges to get to the end because I’m not sure he’s got enough Survivor smarts to get there otherwise.

Yet another reason I love this show. The humanity! Jane was so honestly upset at the loss of the chicken that she had a funeral service for the little fella. We all have such different triggers. Some of you probably laughed at Jane for crying over the dead chicken while others probably cried along with her. It doesn’t matter to me who cries so long as somebody is crying.

We’ve been giving chickens as rewards for years and it almost always yields a similar result. A few people want to kill the chicken while at least one person thinks they should keep it as a pet. Either way it prompts discussion and creates conflict.  Two good elements for Survivor.

The chicken scene is also an example of the kinds of things that take place on the beach that I am not aware of while we’re shooting. I was actually surprised when I saw this moment. I figured Jane was the type of woman who killed chickens on a daily basis.

From here to the end the paranoia level will be 100%. Nobody left in the game can trust anybody else left in the game. There is just no way to anticipate who is going to stay true because everybody appears ready to turn on a dime.

Sash took advantage of this paranoia by trying to corner Chase…

He cornered Chase and made him promise on his mom. He even went so far as to try to get Chase to promise on his deceased father. Again, there will be many different feelings about this strategic approach. Some  of you will feel it was a slick and worthy move, while others may think it was taking advantage of a very sensitive topic for Chase. Either way, Sash got a result. Chase swore on his mom and now the question is will he keep his word? If I had to guess, I’d say yes. Despite his wishy-washy ways, I’d be wiling to wager that Chase keeps his word on this one.

That was one of the toughest puzzles we’ve ever done. It was extremely difficult to figure out how the stacks of coins fit together.

I’ll give you an example of how difficult it was. My dad was visiting location when we were testing this challenge and so we had him do it to see how long it would take him. It took him 23 minutes and this from a guy who had a full belly of food, a good nights sleep and an 40-year engineering background. While I don’t remember the exact time it took the Survivors, it was a lot longer than 23 minutes. In fact, I was worried that they may never finish…and then out of nowhere Sash figured it out.

The comeback is complete. Sash earned the gold star of the week. It was a masterful display of Survivor prowess. After going to tribal council with immunity around his neck, the hidden immunity idol in his pocket and being the swing vote, he was once again in control of the game.

He may be slightly socially uncomfortable at times but Sash knows his way around Survivor strategy. I think Sash is doing one thing very well and it’s a key to his success: Sash is doing a good job of consistently making his best move based on the assumption that everybody else is going to make their best move.  It’s a simple concept but a very good way to play Survivor.

It doesn’t always work.  Many times players are too stupid to make their best move, so instead they just…oh, quit for example or make an otherwise ridiculous move.  When they do that it screws up the game for somebody who is playing with a decent strategy. But it’s still the best way to play the game. In fact, it’s the only way to play the game. You have to assume that everybody is going to make their best move and then you have to make your move based on that assumed move. Did I just repeat myself?  Then it must be important.

My biggest surprise at this point in the game is that nobody is trying to flush the idol from Sash. It’s such a powerful weapon and he’s had it for so long. Then again, even with all this going for him, Sash will have a hard time winning the game because at the end of the day it’s about likability and as discussed earlier, I’m not yet convinced Sash has earned enough good will to pull it out.

Taking Benry over Fabio was a big vote. I think Sash made a good move to back the guys.

Jane is now in trouble.

Holly is in trouble.

Fabio is in big trouble.

See ya next week!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on December 16, 2010, 08:12:02 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua': Episode 14


We’ve been through this season after season.  I love the “loved ones” visit.  I fight to have it in the show every season because it always pays off.  Plus, Sprint loves it and Sprint is a major sponsor so if they like it, we really like it.

It’s almost always emotional and on the rare occasions that it’s uncomfortable due to an odd family dynamic, you always learn something new about the Survivors.  This season was pure emotion. Let’s review, shall we?

HOLLY – I think it’s clear that Holly and Charlie have a great love affair.  He was a very nice guy and so happy for Holly’s adventure.  Married for 25 years and obviously still going strong.  In fact, if given the chance, I think he would have stayed for the rest of the show just to be with Holly.

JANE – This was the first time her daughter Ashley had been on a plane.  She was feisty just like her mom.  She’s clearly a young woman who carries a lot of responsibility.  She was a bit nervous at the prospect of being on television, but I have a feeling that once she was back home she was bragging about her trip to Nicaragua!

CHASE – Yeah, sure he’s a big football playin, country music singing, good ‘ole boy… but bring a boy a hug from his Mom and he’s reduced to tears.  Connie was a delight to have out in Nicaragua and I think the loved one visit really connected Chase with his mom in a new way.

FABIO – I really liked Fabio’s mom, Anne.  She has an amazing sense of calm about her and clearly loves her son.  She was smiling the entire time she was there, she had nothing but positive things to say and it made me look at Fabio, aka Judson in a different light.

SASH – Leigh was so excited to see her son, Sash. I loved hearing Sash talk about what it was like growing up with not much money but a lot of love.  I think Sash needed that comfort.  He doesn’t have a lot of friends in the game right now.

DAN – My personal highlight.  You don’t see men share affection enough, especially father/son affection.  I was truly moved watching Matthew kiss his father so openly and so often.  There was no embarrassment, only love.  If you were watching in HD you could probably see that I was tearing up myself.  The entire crew thought it was pretty fantastic.  For a moment I considered not giving Dan a hard time anymore.  But only for a moment.

It’s hard to criticize Chase’s decision of who to take with him on the reward.  He certainly bought some goodwill with Sash and Holly.  And just as important, by not taking Fabio, he kept Fabio from putting food in his belly.  It was a smart move as it could have made a difference in the next Immunity Challenge. Turns out it didn’t, but strategically it made sense.

When Chase came back from the reward, I really respected how honest Fabio was about how he was feeling.  He was trying so hard to be “fair” about his frustration but he knew he needed to share that frustration with Chase.  Fabio grew on me a lot with that exchange.  I didn’t sense any game play, just a guy trying to get something off his chest and then go kick some ass in the next challenge, which he did.

These types of memory challenges are already difficult but add 30 days of no food and no sleep and they become extremely challenging.  You are trying to remember symbols and placement. Fabio came through big and it seems clear that without immunity he was next to go.  He’s too big of a threat to leave in the game.

After the immunity challenge, the gang goes back to camp and now has to decide who to send home.

The moment of Chase, Sash, Holly standing in a circle as Jane approaches was riveting.  It was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.  The other three knew they were going to “kill” Jane but didn’t know how to tell her.

Then… Jane starts to figure it out.

Jane: “So, is it me….?”

Cue the scary music…

Holly:  “This is not easy.”


Jane:  “So you all been conniving this whole time?”

Cue ominous bells…

Chase: “Yes, there has been discussion…”

Jane gives a not so subtle flip of the middle finger to the group.

Then tears.

Jane: “My alliance have turned on me.”

Then anger.

Jane: “ They’re liars. They’re cheats.  They’re backstabbers.  I’m most disappointed in my Carolina homeboy, Chase.  If I was Chase I wouldn’t show my ass back in North Carolina.”

Then the rage.

Jane grabs a bucket of water and violently dumps it on the fire.

Jane:  “By God I started it and I’ll put it out!”

And with that moment I think Jane solidified her spot as the most “root worthy” person on this season of Survivor.

I LOVED this moment.  Let’s pass out some recognition to the folks that made it happen:

Kudos to the team who shot this out in the field.  Great coverage of this scene.  Remember, there are no second takes.  What you see is happening in real time.  If we don’t get the shots, we don’t have it.  We got it.  All of it.

Don’t forget the audio.  Our sound team has to make sure they get every whisper without ever getting in the way of the shot.  When you’re shooting in a circle with four people, that is much easier said than done.

This was excellent work by the Survivor editing team.  This scene is brilliantly cut.  It’s cut so well you don’t even realize it’s cut.  Quentin Tarrantino would be proud.

Fantastic choice of music, which guided our emotions so seamlessly.

And finally, a huge nod to our producing team who oversee all of this.  This scene is yet another great example of why Survivor still shines above all the other shows in our genre.  We have the best of breed in every single department.

Whoa! Jane tore it up.  She broke it wide open.  Wow.  Fabio just got a huge wake up call.  Dan just got a huge wake up call.  Did either of them hear it?

At Tribal Council I always try to ask the questions I imagine you are asking at home.  Or in this case, the questions that I imagine my mom is asking at home.

When you looked at the scenario it was painfully obvious.  There are six people left.  Three of them — Chase, Sash and Holly — were hung out to dry by Jane when she exposed their alliance.  That leaves three others — Jane, Fabio and Dan.  Classic Survivor.  You wait for this moment because the game can change on a dime.  But did it?  Nope.

Even after discussing it, nobody changed their mind or their vote.  Now Dan and Fabio must win every challenge or they are gone.   That means one of them is gone next….

Unless of course something changes… ah, but that never happens on Survivor, right?

Okay – here’s where we sit.  Our final 5:

Holly – Could win.  She has made a dramatic comeback and seems well-liked.  A jury might respond to the underdog story.

Chase – Could win.  Especially if he dominates the last few challenges and takes the right people to the end with him.

Sash –A  long shot, would need to take the right people with him and do an amazing job at the final Tribal.

Dan – I just don’t see any way Dan can win, which is why I will be amazed if they vote him out.  Dan should be in the final.

Fabio – Could win but he will have to win every challenge because at this point if he loses, they’ll take him out.

Sunday is our two-hour finale followed by the Live Reunion show from CBS in Los Angeles.  I think it’s going to be a good one.

In addition to crowning a winner, I’m so looking forward to having Coach Jimmy Johnson back to chat.  Rumor has it he’s bringing a special guest with him. I’m very curious as to who will win the Sprint Award voted on by you guys.

And I can’t wait to talk to Naonka!  Yes I’m going to talk to her!  You’re crazy if you think I’d pass up that gold, especially during a “live” show!  Who knows what she might say or do?  I’ll be sure to have security close by in case she tries to take me out.

Finally, we have a big announcement regarding the next season of Survivor that I think you’re going to want to check out!  It’s.. EPIC.

I hope you enjoy Sunday’s finale!!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: Jobby on December 16, 2010, 09:39:50 AM
After the immunity challenge, the gang goes back to camp and now has to decide who to send home.

The moment of Chase, Sash, Holly standing in a circle as Jane approaches was riveting.  It was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.  The other three knew they were going to “kill” Jane but didn’t know how to tell her.

Then… Jane starts to figure it out.

Jane: “So, is it me….?”

Cue the scary music…

Holly:  “This is not easy.”


Jane:  “So you all been conniving this whole time?”

Cue ominous bells…

Chase: “Yes, there has been discussion…”

Jane gives a not so subtle flip of the middle finger to the group.

Then tears.

Jane: “My alliance have turned on me.”

Then anger.

Jane: “ They’re liars. They’re cheats.  They’re backstabbers.  I’m most disappointed in my Carolina homeboy, Chase.  If I was Chase I wouldn’t show my ass back in North Carolina.”

Then the rage.

Jane grabs a bucket of water and violently dumps it on the fire.

Jane:  “By God I started it and I’ll put it out!”

And with that moment I think Jane solidified her spot as the most “root worthy” person on this season of Survivor.

 :jam: Jeff!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: TexasLady on December 16, 2010, 03:35:20 PM
Loved LOVED Jane putting the fire out and the look on Fabio's face. Priceless!

And I can’t wait to talk to Naonka!  Yes I’m going to talk to her!  You’re crazy if you think I’d pass up that gold, especially during a “live” show!  Who knows what she might say or do?  I’ll be sure to have security close by in case she tries to take me out.

 :lol3:  And he could need security!
Title: Re: Jeff Probst blogs Survivor Nicaragua
Post by: RealityFreakWill on December 20, 2010, 09:26:01 AM
Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Nicaragua' finale

It’s late so this will be short:

I’m delighted that Fabio won.  He was the clear audience favorite. The crowd in the studio went wild when his name was announced. Kids seem to gravitate to Fabio. I think it’s his goofy honesty. He doesn’t filter much and though at times he is a bit scattered, there is an undeniable charm and it’s nice to have him on the list of Survivor winners.

I was really impressed. I’d never heard Chase play before but I just had a feeling it was worth a shot. He played once during our walk thru before the show and it sounded so good we asked the band to join in as well. I wish Chase well in his music endeavors.  I could see him having a lot of success in Nashville.

I think she held back a little bit from her true self during the live show. She had a bit more self-control last night, but she still came through with some colorful answers. I was most curious what her mom would be like and I was pleasantly surprised that her mom was so even-keeled and honest about her daughter.

That’s how you do an interview. His answers were great. That’s why he makes a lot of money working on television. He’s a pro. Loved what he said and that we were able to share the story of how Survivor helped save his life.

What a gift to have Bradshaw in the house and willing to let us ask him a few questions. Having Bradshaw gave us another element and a bit more insight into why someone like Jimmy Johnson would want to play Survivor.

As I said in the show, it was a BLOWOUT.  She had 60 percent of the vote. The next closest were Holly and Fabio at about 10 percent. I’m happy for Jane. I think she will use that money to help make her life a bit easier. Two years worth of salary is a lot of money. What I like most about this award is that it’s based on fan voting, nothing else.

I owe Rob an apology. I tried to squeeze in too much content before getting to Rob and as a result we were late on time, and so the band started playing as a cue for us to go to break and Rob did his best to rush through the story. That was my fault and I accept full responsibility. But damn, that baby is cute. That is three Survivor babies that have come from Survivor couples.  Rob and Amber have two and Jamie and Erik (from Survivor: China) have one as well!

I do believe this is our biggest twist yet.

I do believe it will change the game in a huge way.

I do believe you are going to love it.

Give it a chance.  Have some faith that we know what you guys want and expect from your favorite show.

If after 6 episodes the majority of you do not love what is happening with Redemption Island, you can let me know and I will vote myself off the show.

How’s that for stakes?

I hope all of you have a great Holiday!!

See ya Feb. 16 for Survivor: Redemption Island.