Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Gabon' (episode 5)

Survivorgabon_l3Let’s start this week’s blog by going backwards to last week’s episode. A lot of people shared with me that they thought getting rid of Jacquie made absolutely no sense and that Kelly should have been the one voted out. Shows what I know. Maybe Jacquie was more entertaining than I gave her credit for! My bad.

Okay, it’s time for one final column focusing on G.C. When G.C. disappeared before the challenge it was slightly annoying. He really did leave. Just took off. We were at the challenge and received word from the producers that the tribe was out looking for G.C. We told them that if he wasn’t there when it was time to leave their camp for the challenge, they should just leave him behind. Secretly I was praying that would happen. You long for those "fresh" moments when something happens that has never happened before. I’m not really sure if G.C. was playing games with his tribe or not. It seems unlikely that he forgot there was a challenge, but to give him the benefit of the doubt…maybe that’s what happened. Either way, he made it back in time, and I hope he feels at least a little bad about returning too soon and thereby robbing the show of a potential great moment.

Does anyone else love moments like the catching of an "electricfish"? Sure, it won’t impact the game and will never come up at tribalcouncil, but it always reminds me of the authenticity of Survivor. I think sometimes we forget to tell that part of the story since so much of Survivor is based solely on strategy.

(I should probably point out that, as I write this, I just got homefrom a day of working and I’m really hungry. So, if I have an edge or ifmy thoughts drift, blame lack of food.)

Question: Why do Survivors continue to leave the idol in their bag? This makes no sense. There are millions, yes millions of spots you could bury or hide the idol. This one really confuses me. Survivoris not the time to test the trustworthiness of people. Sugar, hide thedamn thing. You go to all that work to find it and then you give itspower away by letting everybody know you have it. I suppose you leaveyour wallet in your unlocked car too. Actually I do that too, sowhatever. You get my point.

Okay, so…the highlight of the episode, IMO, (yep, using text speak.DWI) was when the Fang tribe came face to face with an elephant. It wasa Spielberg moment. Wide-eyed Survivors staring across the lake at abeautiful wild elephant. Keep in mind, this isn’t a zoo. It’s not evensomewhere like Kenya where the animals are used to safari groups. Gabonis remote. This was a big damn deal.

When this happened, I was back at base camp monitoring the realitychannel on our walkie talkies. I heard the producer come on in awhispered tone: "We have an elephant sighting. Survivors getting inboat to investigate. Great stuff. Dramatic."

You need to understand that we get more excited than anybody whensomething like this happens. This is why you go all the way to Gabon,in the hopes of a moment like this that is so good you know it will bein the show even before you take it home to edit.

Our camera and audio teams covered it beautifully and when Ace andMatty decided to get in the boat, it turned a home run into agrandslam. So happy we caught it all in HD!

Oh, yeah, G.C. got voted out.

Now check out our exclusive deleted scene from ‘Survivor’ and then read Dalton’s recap.


Comments (72 total) Add your comment
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  • AA

    But Jeff, to Dalton’s point, if people can’t keep their stuff (including the HII) in their bag, what happens if they get switched up to a different tribe? Could they go back and retrieve it? Seems risky to hide it in one location.

  • Robin

    Jeff,
    You spelled “drift” wrong.

  • Kevin

    So here’s a question — what would keep someone from STEALING that hidden immunity idol and using it as their own?

  • Eolra

    I found the “recap” at the beginning of last night’s episode interesting. In Your blog last week, Jeff, you described Ken’s choice of Kelly as a smart play, however the recap described it as “foolish”. Hmmmm…Very manipulative to your viewing audience – the producers nudging us to see Fang as poor players to help the story? Cool to see your take on it free from “storyline”. Love ya!

  • AliB

    I wondered that as well, but I bet there are rules against stealing the hidden immunity idol and using it yourself. But wow nothing to say agains GC Jeff? Dalton had alot to say. I think it sucks when things like this happen, but I always think these moments show just how challenging survivor is and how some people just can’t handle it.

  • Wallet Thief

    Where do you park your car Jeff?

  • Amy C

    I was wondering that about the idol, too. Why couldn’t someone else just steal it? Is there a rule against that?

  • Ebola

    I’d love for the producers to unleash a deadly virus upon one of the tribes, preferably Fang. They are dying a slow death as it is, might as well get some cool shots out of it.

  • Lene

    Love the inside scoop in these posts. And speaking of… please tell me you ended up doing a Palau, letting one tribe be decimated to the last member? Fang deserves the humiliation. Bunch of losers (except Ace, fake accent or no, at least he’s playing).

  • Sam

    I loved the comments on the elephant. Yes, it was likely not too bright to get that close (elephants can move very quickly–spent a night accidently parked to a herd-long story). It reminded me of the attitude in Canada to moose. You do not want to encounter a rampaging moose. Too bad that part of the object of the show is to tell bodes in skimpy costumes as parts of Canada could be a real challenge–fighting off killer blackflies, getting lost in the woods, shooting the rapids, trying to find a way to push up the Canadian dollar. The real survivors these days are on Wall Street. BTW the comment on the spelling–give me a break!

  • lovekenny

    why do you continually recruit people that dont even want to play the game? sugar obviously doesnt even want to play the game, shes just there to get some time off to think about her dead dad. get people on the show who actually want to play the game! stop looking for your alpha males so that you can drool over and obsess over each season!!

  • ilovmatty

    your unnecessary commentary during the recap is completely biased. why do you hate the fang tribe so much? your involvement in the game aspect is getting too much and you shouldnt be all up in their business.

  • Janey

    Jeff,
    You Rock!

  • CeeLee

    If I’d been in Sugar’s place, this 3rd trip to Exile, I would have foregone the comfort and searched for a second idol. Ya never know – what a coup THAT would be! Just fantasizing. Thanks for the blog, Jeff!

  • Hoodbury

    Nice recap. Glad to see GC out and Sugar still there.
    I’m all for the ‘electric fish’ and ‘Elephant’ scenes. I actually wish there was more coverage of what goes on at the tribes camps. Challenges are fun and all, but after 17 seasons, they are getting a bit repetitive sometimes so it’s nice to see the funny camp encounters.
    Any chance of a web only show; perhaps that is just watching the camps? I think someone said Big brother does this or something like it besides just the main show.
    I guess most of the camp life is actually pretty boring, but there’s gotta be a bit more fun stuff for us to watch.

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