Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode 3

I will be honest up front that this is going to be a unique blog because as I sit on my couch writing, my mind and my heart are with all the local Samoan families who are in dire straits as a result of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked the island of Upolu, just a few days ago. So much devastation, so many lives lost.

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

Here we go…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ewbrightcove “29888952001”, “43183465001”, “525”, “470”]

Comments (468 total) Add your comment
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  • Hitts1

    New favorite player: Jaison!! That boy rocked last night!!

    • wtf

      Why are you calling him a “boy”? Do you know how racist that comment is? He is a man.

      • goodgrief

        How is calling someone “boy” a racist comment?? Disrespectful maybe, but racist?!?! WTF indeed!!

      • JenR

        To Good Grief. It is racist because white people used to refer to black men as “Boy” as a way too demean them and keep them down. While many people may not know this now, enough do still react to the word that you have to be careful with its use.

      • Rich

        “boy” is not racist or disrespectful. Hitts1 was giving a compliment. You are reading something into it that’s not there. Hitts1 said that Jaison “rocked” what’s the hidden meaning in that since he wasn’t playing rock music last night. There isn’t one just like there is no hidden meaning in the word boy.

      • Neil

        JenR, that’s looking into something WAY too closely. How can it be racist when saying he’s your favorite player? Hello!?

      • johnmichaels

        PLEASE stop being so sensitive!!!
        It is 2010 and “boy” does not mean a black man to me!

      • Scooter

        Wow! How ’bout that John on Galu…that boy sure looks good running around in his tight, wet underwear! (Ooops! Did I say something offensive by using the word “boy”?)

      • Caryn

        jenr is actually right… to many referring to a black man as ‘boy’ is meant to be condescending. Perhaps the OP didn’t mean it to sound bad but that’s the sensitivity that Jaison was referring to.

      • Jeff K

        It kind of depends on the age of the person saying it. I tend to call all people younger than me boys, and girls, so I don’t feel so old. I see it as a compliment.

      • Jara

        Once again, ignorance isn’t aware of itself and is, therefore, obnoxiously self-righteous. “Boy” is a considered a demeaning and RACIST term. Just because you don’t mean it that way doesn’t change it’s meaning for some of us reading it. Why not say “that MAN rocked!”? Hmm…

    • Kristi

      My goodness, “boy” can also be a term of endearment! Get a grip.

    • JB16

      mmmmm. Baja Fresh.

  • Ken

    Jeff, first off, my sympathies to your Samoan friends that got hit by this. Maybe it’s because of Hatch, but one of the first things I thought of when I heard this was “I wonder if they’re filming Survivor 20 and got caught in this” – I doubt you’ll tell us if you guys have finished 20 or have yet to start, but I’m glad all the Survivor folk are okay.

    BTW, congratulations on making your first ever Survivor opening! I saw the opening for the show and I think that’s the first time you’ve ever appeared in it.

    Jaison gets some props for making his stand, though I would’ve been interested to see if Ben hadn’t been voted out. Jaison would’ve really been on the spot then…all his statements at Tribal vs. his confessional that he was bluffing about walking out. If Ben doesn’t go, Jaison almost has to walk or folks would know he’s not a man of conviction truly when it comes to a million dollars.

    On the preview for next week, I wonder how much of the idol clue Shambo shared. Given the clues have been written very specifically for Foa Foa (how could production know where the fire would be ahead of time?), this is one case where clues at once camp don’t seem to translate to the other. At least they’re thinking “hmm, second idol” and looking! Still, I don’t think Galu will be Koror Revisited…Koror didn’t have as many “down” days as we’ve seen Galu have, and they had Tom making them work; Shambo doesn’t have that influence on her tribe.

    • johnmichaels

      Tired of hearing about Saint Jaison. If he was so insulted and outraged by the “ghetto” comments Ben made to Yasmin why didn’t he step up IMMEDIATELY and challenge Bem? Why wait? I agree Ben’s comments were out of line but Yasmin wouldn’t up and I guess Ben was just trying to get a word in – maybe to shock her into shutting up. Someone please explain the phrase “the wood is in the hood”…
      Also…as soon as Russell told Jaison he found the idol Jaison should have IMMEDIATELY told the rest of the tribe so that they could blindside ER at the next tribal council. Do these people ever watch the show before they become contestants?

      • tdunf

        didn’t she say “the wood isn’t the hood”? someone told her that if she can make it in detroit she can make it anywhere, to which she replied, “ya, but the wood isn’t the hood”

      • MsK-Swiss

        Well Johnmichaels, I beleive that Jaison didn’t speak up immediately, because he thought be fore he spoke, if a LOT of other players did that they would have still been in the game, also Jaison did mention how those comments made him want to do something to Ben, but he just held back which i think was an excellent decision, also I do not think that Jaison had to tell everybody that ER has the HII, I’m quite sure he will use this information to his advantage when needed.

      • 90210fan

        Hollywood liberals drink heavily from the well of white guilt.

      • puppy dog

        Yeah, I have a feeling were going to see just how whimpy Jaison really is next week. I hated seeing Ben go, because he was the only one there that has a real backbone. I’ll take a person who speaks their mind over sneaky, spineless, whimps every time. I hope Foa Foa gets down with dehydradion because they can’t build a fire to boil their water. Then they’ll wish they had kept Ben around. AND what’s this with ER? If a woman goes up against his plan, she’s GONE NOW! If it’s a man going against him, well maybe he’d better change his plan. That’s real backbone Russell.

    • Victor

      Actually, I believe he appeared (albeit in the background) in the Micronesia opening…

  • Bob

    After hearing the comments on the deleted scene; I believe Jaison was correct in telling Ben he is ignorant; his lifestyle and attitude is heading in a direction of self destruction. Hopefully after viewing his performance on the show he will make the changes in his life to prolong it.

    • wtf

      I just notice that Jaison had no problems with the homophobic nature of Yasmin’s comments about “real men”. It’s sad and hypocritical to get on your high horse about what one person has to say in a petty argument (especially when you are just using it as a tool of manipulation) and not about what the other person had to say that was every bit as bigotted.

    • 90210fan

      Jaison is a whining agitator, who uses the race card as a weapon. He wasnt personally offended for Yasmins sake…he doesnt even know her.

      • puppy dog

        Got that right. I have a feeling his whining will get him voted out soooon. At least I hope so. I don’t like spineless people.

      • lbj

        And a homophobe to boot.

    • puppy dog

      No Bob, I read an interview done after the show, and he sticks to his “guns”. He’s who he is, and is proud of it. As I feel he should be.

      • Itchy

        Kind of sad when you’re hero’s an idiot. Has nothing to do with being a racist. The guy is just a pure idiot.

      • rebecs

        ITA, Itchy. He’s a JERK even with his oh-so-strong spine! LOL

  • Mario

    I am glad this Ben voted out this early in the game.. However, its episode three now and I still havent seen the focus on the other side of the tribe, I mean, come on, I’d like more time focus on Galu come onnnnn.. for three straight weeks now its all be centered around for Foa Foa, which basically, Suck. I’d like for Brett or Kelly to open their mouths and say something and prove they’re there playing the game of Survivor..

    • Susan

      yea, but when they did focus on Galu, it was boring…yoga, come on!

      • Mario

        i was just hoping two or three of the people in galu to speak the hell up.

      • Julie

        I liked to see the yoga. What’s wrong with it.. I see an alliance being formed that could come in handy down the road. 4 people can be persuasive.

        I really wish there was more of Galu. Some viewers like to see happy things.

      • puppy dog

        Susan,& Julie, did you even notice how rude Russell Swan was to Shambo? The other girls were prancing around in their swimsuits, and Russel said “Shambo how YOU feelin’?” She said “hey, rock & roll man, I got my jogger on.” Then what did Russell do? He snickered. He also kept her out of the challenge, which you could see made her unhappy, and she would have been good in that type of challenge. But…I guess she came in last place in his swimsuit contest. Apparently Yasmin didn’t make the cut either, as he sat her out too. But…the really ridiculous thing was when he chose to take the comfort items as the reward. It was obvious from the looks on their faces that Dave, John, Erik, Brett, AND Shambo didn’t agree, but apparently keeping the “girls” happy is first on his agenda. Big mistake, which probably will come back to bite him. Not surprisingly when Jeff asked their opinion on Russel’s choice, the only one to say anything was….yes, Yasmin. I hope they all find their voices when the time comes. They should vote Russell out of the leader position, and elect someone who uses the head on their shoulders instead of the other one. Or even better elect someone with only one head.

    • Derek

      We will see more Galu when Foa Foa is wiped out like in Survivor Palau.

      • leo

        Exactly what I’m thinking, Derek. I couldn’t even remember some of their names or what they were like on that tribe but I suspect we’ll get to know them all soon enough.

        I worry that Jaison has expended so much mental energy dealing with Ben that he has nothing left to keep playing the game. I REALLY want him to make it to the merge but if he keeps whining like he does next episode, he could disappoint me and quit or get booted. One thing is fairly clear though – only one or two of them will make it to the merge.

    • Jill

      I’d like to see more of Galu, they have some yummy lookin fellas over there….I’ve had enough of ER

  • atlanta

    This season of Survivor reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode where Billy Mumy can hear everything that people are thinking, and if they think “bad thoughts” he magically vanishes them to the corn field. For Russell, if anybody doesn’t trust him, or if he doesn’t like them, he gets them voted out. Even though he wised up on this tribal council and went with the majority, he doesn’t seem bright enough to realize he is destroying his own tribe. And his tribe, bless their hearts, doesn’t recognize how manipulative and small Russell really is.

    • Lorrie

      come ON Atlanta, Russell IS this game. He is sneaky and manipulative and wonderfully devious, I laugh and laugh at his antics each week. I love him as a character. I would hate to see him voted off because the show would be so boring I might not continue to watch it.

      • Fiona Bloemker

        I completely agree with you about Russell. His antics had me fall off my chair. I love to hate him, he is such a character. I admire his leadership skills, and his ability to recognize when to its time to step back. He knew if he went against the tribe he would loose their respect and trust.

      • Wynne

        You come on, Lorrie. So much for Russell and his ingenious, aggressive play. Look how fast he backed down the minute Jaison challenged him. He’s REALLY controlling this game–ha ha! What a loser.

      • Anna

        Listen, I’m just grateful the guy put pants on.

      • puppy dog

        Wynne has it exactly right. There’s nothing there but hot air, and ugly hot air, at that.

    • Tom

      Come on, he’s not THAT powerful. He couldn’t sway people to keep Ben. This shows me that he doesn’t have the game wrapped up like he tells us in his confessionals.

      • leo

        Anna you just made me spit out my tea!! Can the guy please get some swim trunks? :)

        I don’t admire Russell but I did laugh at the Russell Seed monologue and so long as he stops the water tossing/clothing burning and outright destruction of his tribe on purpose, I could learn to quite enjoy him.

        Can’t help thinking though that I wish Jaison had given that speech last week and kept Betsy instead of Ben. Ashley hardly seems worth fighting for in the game, frankly, but Betsy? She was awesome. Still bummed she’s gone.

      • gymnosapien

        I’m reluctantly warming up to Russell’s energy and remorseless diabolical glee. As long as he stops pouring out water and burning socks – that s… was a real turnoff.

      • Julie

        I also wonder what his strategy is. He says he’s going to make them miserable so he can conrtol them, but what good is that if the other team is 10 strong and fairly united (although they don’t get enough air time to know for sure) from not having the stress of tribal council?
        Russell also looks very defensive when a Galu member visits. He isn’t trying to control them, in fact his face looks very intimidated by an outsider coming into “his” mess.
        Where is he going with this? He forgets there are two tribes, one of which he has no control over.

        All that said, I like him better than Coach last season. At least Russell is honest to the cameras, Coach really believed his own crap.

      • gymnosapien

        The benefit of making his own tribe miserable eludes me too. Plus that’s a great point how (in the editing, anyway) he seems to clam up and disappear when they have a guest.

  • gary

    Great show last night. Jason really stepped up in my opinion. Nice to see a bully get put in his place. Ben deserved to be taken apart like that in front of a national tv audience. Russel is growing on me more and more. He made a very smart move last night by supporting what Jason wanted. He may be evil, but he is making all the right moves.

    • russell

      If Russell really wanted to cause a lot of angst in the tribe, he would’ve kept Ben around and let them all fight with each other. Isn’t that what the burning socks & empty canteens were all about?

      • puppy dog

        russell, the thing is, it wasn’t HIS choice. He isn’t as in control of the game as he claims to be. He’s a legend in his own mind.

    • 90210fan

      Russell and Jaison are all talk

      • S

        Nope….it sounds like maybe you are all talk…90210fan…lol

  • Sara

    I’m not impressed by Russell. For all the talk that’s been shown of him supposedly running the tribe and planting Russell seeds and other such inanity, this episode showed that he’s only greatness in his mind. It was easy for him to say that he was in charge simply because, as Survivor history shows, women and/or older contestants are voted off in the first couple of Tribal Councils anyway. The reason for that is because the tribe is very much operating under a “as long as it’s not me” vibe in the beginning. So, yeah, Russell got his way there.

    However, tonight’s episode made me very happy. One, because I liked Jaison from the moments the bios were put up on cbs.com, long before the first episode. And two, Russell did not get his way. All that talk about how he runs things, and what happened? He was confronted with hard facts–Ben sucks at challenges; he’s a drain on the tribe–and Russell couldn’t do a damn thing about the turning tide. Not so much power after all, I guess. For that, I disagree with you, Jeff; I believe that prior to sitting on the stoops at Tribal, Russell knew that there were no votes to save Ben.

    Jaison had already laid out the plan: Natalie (?) and Ashley, especially Ashley, were already on board to vote out Ben. I believe that Mick is more allied with Jaison than with Russell, and he would have gone with Jaison even after his meeting with Russell. So, really, the tribe members that were on the “outs” were Russell and Liz. Russell, I’m sure can count. Two votes (or three) on a tribe of seven means that you’re on the losing end.

  • Terry

    I am completely enjoying this season so far. I agree, the Ben/Jasion dynamic was borderline epic. But I need to be a little critical about this episode…are you kidding me with those swimsuits? You couldn’t have given them tops that would have contained the ta-tas during challenges? And they had those rings and whatnot…I found them a little ridiculous. I’m sure your male audience has no issue with them, but Holy Impractical, Batman. But that is my only criticism so far. I am looking forward to seeing if Foa Foa can ever win ANYTHING.

    • leo

      The swimsuits are their own. They bring luggage – not to their camp but sometimes clothing is dropped in like the bathing suits shown. At least that has been what was done in the past. As a female who is totally straight I still thought Laura looked amazing in her bikini (most of the women did) and come on Jeff has to have something to look at other than Russell’s dirty underwear :)

      • Anonymous

        then it’s pretty remarkable that both tribes have completely color-and-pattern coordinated wardrobes that just happen to match the color assigned to their tribe

      • SurvivorFreak

        The producers of the show tell the contestants what color clothing to bring with them, to include swimsuits.

      • K

        I’m pretty sure the episode showed them getting a bag of something at their treemail with the challenge clue, which turned out to be swimsuits. I could’ve made that up though, I watch way too much tv.

      • Jennifer

        You’re right K, they were given the swimsuits via treemail. Pay attention, people!

    • marge

      Don’t you think they bring their out swimsuits?

    • a.e.

      I have a friend who was on Survivor – production asks them to bring their own swimsuits (and water shoes, sneakers, etc.) and they hold them till they are needed for challenges. So it was not production who supplied the bathing suits, but the contestants themselves, who obviously were not thinking about function.

      • Lori-689

        If I remember from previous communications on the clothing subject, the contestants are now being asked to bring two sets of clothes in the two tribe colors and then once the tribes are chosen, they wear the color for that tribe.

  • North

    Jeff, if there is an Emmy or similar award for bloggers you have my vote this week. It is always sad to see or hear of individuals and communities devastated by a disaster, natural or man-made, but this one seems to hit so close to home since Samoa was host to my favorite reality show. I’ll dig deep to try to find some spare bucks to help the victims in Samoa and surrounding area. It is gonna be tough for me to scrape by in the coming weeks, but I know it will be nothing compared to what the folks over there are going thru, and will be going thru in the foreseeable future. I hope everyone who is a fan of the show and/or your blogs will dig deep to help as well. Thanks for a heartwarming and touching blog this week.

  • Teresa

    I was impressed with Jaison, and I was impressed that Survivor did not edit out racial tension and pretend it is not a factor in the game like some other reality shows. I can actually tolerate Russell, because he is actually backing up the big talk with playing very well. I knew he didn’t want Ben to go, mostly because Ben deflects attention from himself, but he read the tribe, and if he had pushed his own agenda again, they might have noticed that he is running the show.

    • Hutchy

      I agree, the idea that it wasnt racial slurs is laughable. How does Ben know where Yasmin is from? “Ghetto Trash”? She could be from the suburbs of Milwaukee for all he knows. He didnt seem eager to call Ashley ghetto trash and he hated her. I actually hate Yasmin on the show, shes overbearing and annoying. However, call her overbearing and annoying, her “Ghetto” origins or lack thereof dont appear to have any bearing.

      • TC in NJ

        Although Ben wouldn’t know it, that obnoxious Yasmin said “the wood is not the hood” so Draw your own conclusions about her.

      • D

        That is just the point. Ben didn’t know about that so he is prejudiced.

      • Jules

        That’s the point.. He DIDN’T know she said it.. and even Russell couldn’t get behind Ben at that point.. Props to Jaison for being strong enough to address it at Tribal Council – where he could have easily been the one sent home. Foa Foa now has the chance to become stronger because of Jaison’s move.

      • Rich

        Ben could have easily known where Yasim is from. She was running her mouth the whole time she was at the other camp.She was there for the whole day, we only saw a couple of minutes of it.

      • carrie

        I totally agree. jaison played it well – hung back, pondered the sinuation, and determined a plan of moral action. I love a man who uses his mind but still has a great body. I was so proud of the entire tribe. Whether you believe Ben was racist or not, you cannot convince me he is not a bully and I hate effing bullies. Even at tribal, when he was trying to get the Natalie(?) to agree that he hadn’t spoken disrespectully to the women in the tribe, he did it by poking her in the arm. It’s a form of intimidation – a violation of space (a purely sociological interpretation – sorry to be over sensitive to all of you Ben lovers). Russel – gotta say, dislike you immensely but you’re playing a hell of a game (as your willingness to vote for Ben proved at tribal). Definately want to see more of Galu – could be some interesting players over there but we’re not getting the chance to find out.

      • Madam_P

        I listened to an interview with Ben, and he said that Yasmin herself was the one who brought up the word “ghetto” first – he said that when she was introducing herself to Foa-Foa, she kept going on and on about living in “the ghetto” and being from “the ‘hood” so according to him that’s how the word was put into his head. But because the editors can make us think what they want by what they leave out, we TV viewers didn’t see that part and so it looks to us as if Ben pulled that phrase out of his own prejudices. Whatever. Anyway, he did know she was from “the ghetto” — because she told him herself. So you can’t say “it’s obvious he’s racist because he assumes that just because she’s black she lives in a ghetto” because that’s what she herself told him. Now, adding the word “trash” to it was just observation of how she was acting, in my opinion, but it wasn’t nice and it wasn’t smart, and it got him out of there fast.

    • Jake

      Seriously, how is Russell “running the show?” And come on, Probst, his complete about-face as to who to vote out “shows another layer to his game”? He’s just a wimp who ultimately couldn’t back up his ridiculous boasts and delusions of grandeur. Can’t wait until this cretinous midget is gone.

  • Robin

    Jeff ~ As I read your blog I can feel the sorrow and pain in your words. I can only imagine that, as you tape each season of Survivor, the local people do become part of your family. Thank you for sharing and for reminding us that we can help from far away by donating to the Red Cross.

    On to the show: My dad and I are seperated by many, many miles, but each Thursday night we watch Survivor “together” over the phone. I look forward to every episode, sharing it with Survivor’s #2 fan, as I am #1. We both have said that we’re getting a little tired of the “Russell Show”, but last night did show a different side of him. I don’t think he has the power that he once thought he did, nor do I think he will make it much past the merge. With Ben gone, Russell’s over-powering persona will not go over as well. I think his tribe is onto him and his antics won’t be tolerated and I think he knows it. The power has shifted. I really do hope that Shambo can hang on to the merge and get away from her fluffy tribe and play the game a little more on her own.

    Until next week…..

    • Julie

      I like the fluffy tribe.

      • puppy dog

        Yeah, I think there’s only a few that are “fluffy”. If they ever lose an immunity challenge, we will see the real tribe. I’ll bet it isn’t so “fluffy”

  • chantal

    Well this is week 3 and i can’t seem to get going with this season…it should be called “The Russel show”…there is something missing with this season….i know Russell seems to be the only one playing the game here but im already tired of his voice and very tired of seeing him in his underwear…come on man put some shorts on…lol i hope it gets better in the next few weeks…btw Jeff good job as always!!!!!!!!!

    • spikesgrl

      Completely agree with every word you wrote chantal. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • lettie

      I think this is the best season in years. Just a straight on Survivor between two tribes. Low on gimmicks. More time spent at camp than on boob shots at endless challenges. Survivor is back!

      • GurlieGirl

        There are two tribes? Hmmm, from the editing and what they have been showing I could have sworn there is only one tribe. And it keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller.
        Jeff, why so much airtime for one camp and barely any for the other?

      • Rich

        This season has been interesting since they only have one challenge each week. I like watching the social game more than the challenges. Just be patient folks, as soon as some happens at Galu that affects the out come of the show they will air it.

      • gymnosapien

        It’s just as well that they’ve only had one challenge per show, the challenges have been pretty weak. And the whole buildup to the momentous “someone gets kicked out of a challenge (gasp!)” turned out to be a whole lotta nuthin.

  • Abby W

    I just don’t understand something about Russell- what is he strategy coming into the merge with seriously low numbers? The immunity idol will only help you once!

    Jeff, I can’t believe this is one of your favorite episodes! I found it completely and totally boring until Jaison spoke his mind. Other than that the episodes have been all the same- Russell figures out who he wants gone and manipulates everyone. One of my favorite things about Survivor are the people, the “characters” if you will. Coach drove me mad, but at least he was interesting in his madness! Russell is so evil he’s actually boring people because they don’t want to root for him, but y’all spent so much time on him and Foa Foa that I’m missing the other “characters”. And the reason I say we is that we discuss Survivor on my scrapping blog and everyone was bored, not just me.

    • Hutchy

      My wife would agree, she said upon credits rolling “That was one of the most boring episodes I’ve ever seen”. 3 points: 1. Russell isn’t playing well. It’s just that his team is terrible. Any other season, he would have been gone already for playing the game too hard (Would Yul have allowed this?). He simply is on a team of mental midgets that allow him to play the game this way. Destroy your tribe so you can get decimated at the merge? Fantastic strategy. 2. They arent showing Galu because they are boring. Whats to show? 3. This season is over. They will show lots of teasing clips at the merge to make you think someone is going to pull something out of their hind-quarters, but this is over and every veteran Survivor viewer knows it. No one comes back from 10-6 down. The only way the producers can salvage it is a total re-shuffle and re-tribing, which is of course complete game manipulation and defeats the purpose.

      • dawnomite

        Agreed; I was bored!

      • Rich

        “No one comes back from 10-6 down.” You must not have watched other seasons of Survivor. You only have to go back to last season to see that it is totally possible to come back. Just after the merge it was 6-3 and those three went all the way.

    • orville

      I’ve been thinking about this too. I, like Jeff, was a little impressed with the way ER upped his game by recognizing the tide was turning away from his preferred vote at the tribal council. But I would have been evenmore impressed if he would have recognized that his tribe probably isn’t going to even up the number before the merge. He should be making some headway into making nice with the other tribe when they have to send members over to “observe.” Or at least trying to get some good dirt on how to divide and conquer once the merge comes.

    • davey

      You DO know that millions of people watch this show and not just the few on your “scrapping blog”. I for one thinks it’s the best season in a while – and I’m loving the Russell character.

  • Mother Goose

    I would like to make a suggestion, that at the end of this seasons Survivor, when $100,000.00 is given away to a voted fan favorite, that the money be given to the Samoan families instead. It would be a more fitting tribute to the games title.
    Interesting episode. If it is true that Jaison was distracted from the game by Ben’s slurs, it appears me that it would be a flaw. Why would you let a guy like that get to you so much? If he attacked him to get him out of the game, then – nice play, but, if it really affected Jaison that much, he needs to toughen up. Russel’s choice to decorate with pillows will be his downfall as soon as it rains. However,as his tribe will be around so long, they may forget about it by then end. Foa Foa, its like shootin’ fish in a barrel.

    • orville

      I agree, Mother Goose. An excellent suggestion. I’d also suggest that the auction of Survivor props and other goodies that they usually have at the end of the season starts early this year. And all proceeds go to the Red Cross or other involved charities.

      • Mike

        That could set off too many spoilers.

      • Sabrina

        What a great idea! How could it set off spoilers? Auctioning off parts of tribal council doesn’t give away who was voted off when…the whole season is wrapped by now. (I assume…)

    • Raven

      I like you idea of what to do with the $100,000 or else have the network/sponsors send the money an annouce it at the finale.
      I’m glad Jaison stepped up and really said what he felt. I was wondering though with his statement that he couldn’t continue if Ben was still around would he have left the game, too, if Ashley had been voted out?
      Does anyone else feel, like me, that Russell is still sabotaging FoaFoa to just get to the merger where he can play his individual game, not that he isn’t playing it now?

      • D

        The mistake there is that he doesn’t know anything about the other tribe. He is assuming they are as “stupid” as Foa Foa.

    • Robin

      Great idea. I totally agree.

  • Ashlyn

    Hey Jeff, thanks for blogging every week :)
    It’s sad to hear about the tsunami, my heart goes out to Samoan people. I’m glad to hear everyone from the crew is okay, though.

    Anyway, I haven’t been able to watch the episode yet since I’m an international fan and I can’t find it anywhere online, except for the CBS website… but I can’t see it there since I don’t live in the States. That sucks :(
    From what I read, I’m glad to see Ben go. He just wasn’t playing the game. I would definitely like to see more Galu and I hope there are some big moves coming up later in the season. I hope it doesn’t become predictable. I want to see strong alliances and bold blindsides.

    • leo

      ashlyn, try greatstufftv.com

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