Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins': episode 2

Jeffprobstblog_lFirst things first. Did you see our ratings? We went up from last year’s premiere! That doesn’t happen. Television ratings are crumbling all around us as the networks scramble to figure out how to combat DVR’s, kids watching on computers, and iPhones and the like. So when something like this happens to a show in its 18th season, it’s big news! And it’s all because of you — our loyal viewers. So on behalf of the entire crew and CBS, I say thank you for your amazing support.

Okay, on to the episode. I gotta mention it. Another blindside. We’re 2for 2 and I love it. Candace never saw it coming. I hated losingCandace. She was bound to provide lots of spark around camp. ButCandace, you picked a fight with the wrong guy….

You picked on Coach! Nobody picks on Coach. He’s a symphony conductorfor crying out loud. He’s a maestro! You don’t mess with maestros!They’re known for their Scorpio-like ”get even” mentality. You stunghim and he stung you back. Torch snuff. Bye-bye. Just like that,Candace is out.

I am imagining Candace reading this right now and she iseither…smiling and laughing along with me or…she is calling lovelyCorinne from last season and asking her for the address of my house andinstructions on how to light a Molotov cocktail. Ah, what the heck, gofor it. I’m insured.

I love it when the Survivors eat grubs. It takes me back to Season 1when we had a challenge in which they had to race to eat grubs andGervase couldn’t get his down. Ah yes, season 1. The good ole days.Back when I wore those silly safari clothes and said really cornythings like ”fire represents life.” Thank goodness those days aregone. Boy, was I a loser. I’m so much cooler now. Whew.

I have a question – do you think that Taj revealed she was the wife ofEddie George because she believes that honesty is the best policy? Ordo you think she absolutely loves telling people ”I’m married to EddieGeorge, Heisman trophy winner at Ohio State and former NFL footballstar!” I’m guessing the latter. But to be honest, I’d brag, too, if Iwas married to Eddie George. Heck, I’d pull a Heidi Klum and tattooEddie’s name on my forearm. Yes, Heidi has a tattoo of her husband’sname, ”Seal,” on her forearm. That beautiful supermodel forearm witha huge tat of the word ”Seal.” It’s there. I know. I saw it. Yep.I’ve seen Heidi’s naked forearm. Lots of times, in fact.

The problem with Taj’s revelation is that you give people a reason tovote you out. Taj just shouted at the top of her lungs – ”I don’t needthe money! I’m already rich!!!” That could be costly.

How great was that challenge? It was physical, it was in the water(which means bikini’s), and…it was pouring rain! I mean it wasdumping! Here’s a fact I’ve never admitted before. I secretly pray forrain every time we do a challenge. I love it when it rains. Not justbecause it turns me on a little bit, but also because it adds so much to thelook and play of a Survivor challenge. It amps up the drama, it makesthe shots look that much ”cooler,” and like I said, I just likebeing wet. Anytime it’s raining, just know that I’m happy…and yes, abit turned on. Is that wrong? Or weird? I recently had to take arequired sexual harassment course and I’m pretty sure merely writingthat last sentence constitutes sexual harassment on some level. Sorryif I’ve offended.

A lot of people ask me, ”Why do you only do one challenge in the earlyepisodes?” The reason is because we want to have more time in the showfor you to get to know the personalities of our Survivors. We figure inepisodes 1 and 2 we can build one big challenge, make it epic, and thatwill allow us a few more minutes in the show to focus on the Survivors.Question: Do you like that or would you prefer 2 challenges in everysingle episode?

Speaking of getting to know the Survivors — my two favorite people this week are:

From Timbira — Sierra. She’s a fighter and I like that. Wouldn’t thatbe weird if Sierra ended up married to a Survivor producer? How randomwould that be?

From Jalapao — J.T. He’s a great leader and he’s playing humble. But Idon’t buy it for a second. J.T. is a bona fide threat in this game.

It’s only episode 2 and trust is already playing a big part in thegame. It’s what makes this game so difficult to play but so fun towatch…ultimately you have to trust someone in order to survive, butconversely you really can’t trust anyone if you want to survive! Sowhat do you do? You have to trust people who are untrustworthy, andthen you have to cut them loose before they cut you loose. It’s likelearning Russian. Very complicated.

One of my favorite moments of the episode was the ”fire pit”cover-up. It was a great lie. Quick thinking. I absolutely love thosekinds of moments. The key to it all was Debbie. All you need is oneperson to validate your lie and you’re set, and let’s face it, youcan’t get better than a middle school principal to endorse your lie!Debbie bought it hook, line, and sinker, and she was no doubt watchingtonight’s episode and laughing herself silly. Debbie has a pretty goodsense of humor.

I would love to know why Brendan chose Taj. I would have never guessedthat and never dreamed he would share the Exile information with her.But it was an interesting move and now we have the potential for analliance that could wreak havoc later in the game.

The other relationship I am starting to enjoy is that of J.T. and Stephen. Theycouldn’t be more opposite and yet they seem to be clicking fairly well.

Okay, time for me to go to bed.

Hang in there with me on these blogs. It’s been a very busy past fewweeks for me, and so I haven’t had as much time for these blogs as I’dlike. But I’m committed to posting something every week, so I just askfor a bit of understanding if they’re not always everything you wantthem to be!!!

Talk next week!

Now check out our exclusive deleted scene below and then read Dalton’s ‘Survivor’ TV Watch.

More Jeff Probst:

Jeff Probst blogs ‘Survivor: Tocantins': episode 2

Best of Jeff Probst’s ‘Survivor: Gabon’ blog

Comments (363 total) Add your comment
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  • Kirb

    Please keep doing the 1-challenge eps early on, it really helps with letting us get to know the contestants better.
    I’d actually go a step further and say that on the 20-person seasons that you should do them for even longer.

  • Anne

    I like more challenges. It adds excitement. I also loved the fire pit lie and how spunky Sierra is turing out to be. I’d love to see her stay for a long time.

  • Elise

    Thanks for the blog entry! Jeff, are you saying that you end up dating/marrying Sierra? Or is that an inside joke that I missing? I honestly haven’t watched Survivor in a while (since seasons 1 and 2), but I am enjoying finding it again.

  • Jen

    Great read as always!! I am LOVING this season! I’m glad Sierra found someone she ‘may’ can trust-at least she doesn’t feel completely alone out there now. I agree with you about JT-not only fun to watch but definitely a contender. And I’m loving Tyson too-he’s so different from most other players we’ve seen! Finally-Great news on the ratings-if I had my way this show would last forever!!!!

  • Tobey

    Give me 2 challenges! Great blog Jeff always a joy to read with my Friday morning coffee.

  • Ronda


  • Laura147

    Thanks for the insight about the rain.
    Since you are asking, one challenge in the early episodes is fine with me.

  • Brandon

    I was dumbfounded when Brendan picked Taj, too… but, then I figured he was thinking “who is the least amount of competition for me to find the immunity idol?” Taj, you’re the winner. Of course, Taj quickly figured out that the idol was at camp from the not-so-cryptic clue while Brendan would’ve been searching forever for “tribal homelands”.

  • Jim

    I agree with the one challenge in the start of the season. I like Sierra too. She’s scrappy. I’m going to miss Candace’s amazing assets. Coach is a creep.

  • JillS

    I know fishing gear is essential but it is no longer a surprise. We know what they are playing for before you even reveal it. Boring! For once I’d like you to reveal a big bowl of Cheetos. Something bizarre. Maybe even a pet ferret.

  • Esme

    Shut up, Jeff.

  • Anonymous

    One challenge is much better! I love the ‘scrambling’ before Tribal & extending this footage is great!

  • Ken

    To answer the question in your blog, Jeff, I think episode 1 should be the combined challenge, but beyond that it should be two challenges per show (excepting if you do a “both tribes to tribal council” deal where the reward is food and listening in and possible immunity/kidnapping like Palau and Cook Islands).
    I think you said it best in the DVD commentary for the final Vanuatu episode (just rewatched it) where the pre-jury folks don’t tend to be remembered anyway, especially with your new credits where you removed eliminated people each week. Of all the past repeat players, you only had three that didn’t make the jury (Boston Rob, Shii Ann, and Bobby Jon) but they all had a “hook” to them to help us remember them. Even then, they were within one of the jury anyway, and in later seasons would have made it with larger juries/final 3.
    While I like the ease of iTunes, I do miss the DVD commentaries. And what about releasing seasons 3-6? Not the best ones, but complete the series!

  • Jack

    Am I missing something. This is the second comment where Probst mentioned that Sierra was married to a Survivor producer. I don’t follow people’s lives closely – even though it’s probably an open book on the ‘net – so can someone fill me in if this is true?
    I’m still not fully into the season yet, but things are getting interesting and I’m starting to better discern the different characters at play. Coach is a nut bag. Who licks people’s faces, ever??

  • Kellan

    I don’t mind the 1 challenge episodes. I have to admit I still only know about half of the contestants by name/tribe. For some reason, the men are interchangeable to me. I was sorry to see Candace go. Getting rid of a strong player early in the game isn’t a smart move. It could set a trend for eliminating the strong too early, and we’ve seen many a tribe destroyed by those decisions. Sierra would have been the petter choice, imo. She looks miserable all the time. Halfway decent in challenges, but not what I’d consider a strong player. Smart lie to Debbie though, so maybe she isn’t as lame as she appears.

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