Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nobody wanted Russell to go home.

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

Even writing this brings back the same emotion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next week.

Check out our exclusive deleted scene below and then read Dalton Ross’s TV recap.

Comments (767 total) Add your comment
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  • Jim from BoxOfficeProphets.com

    My only complaint about not having the tribes vote someone off is that when Borassi was med-evac’d…Foa Foa still had to vote.

    Seems to me there needs to be a consistent ruling on med-evacs…either the tribe votes or they don’t.

    I don’t think they should vote…so I’m not whining about the decision last night…I’m more whining about the decision to let Foa Foa vote after losing Borassi. From a mental standpoint…you’re getting your butt kicked all over the place and then you lose 2 folks in one day??

    • puppy dog

      Jim, that’s exactly right. I just can’t stand to watch one tribe get all the advantages. No wonder Foa Foa is so down in members. When they did win an immunity challenge they weren’t told to send a member to Galu to look for the hii, and sit in on tribal. Also one of their members was kicked out of a challenge for tripping someone, while a Galu member choked Ashley, but was allowed to continue. It’s all way too one sided. AND I totally agree with Pam, and Caitie. I would have loved to see all of them get to share the pizza. Now that would have warmed them, and the fans.

      • NC

        I don’t think it will be that big of a deal.

        Russell, Mick and Natalie are the final 3 this season. Russell is in the final 3 next season for the new All Stars.

      • KD

        NC–assuming you have some actual inside information, uh, SPOILER MUCH???? Don’t post stuff like that, please, without a warning. Some of us want to watch it unfold as it happens.

    • Mike

      I totally agree…if someone has to be med-evacted, that should count as the “vote” for the episode. It was not fair that Foa-Foa lost two people in a 3 day span when they were only supposed to lose one.

    • Laurin

      I noticed that too…. not fair… not consistant

      • Jodi

        I totally agree with all of you. I think Foa Foa has got the short end here and it isn’t fair that they had to vote after their member left.

        I was also hoping that they would all get to share the pizza.

      • lovesurvivor

        They hadn’t been rained on for days without break before. You could tell from the footage that the survivors were really, really struggling last night. So to make a different decision to help morale across the board…I have no problem with that. The numbers in each camp are the same as they would have been if they had each voted someone out. But I really liked Gabon with the constant switching of tribes…wish they would do more of that. I don’t like to see one team get wiped out.

    • Lee

      I seem to recall that attention to Borassi’s injury happened AFTER the challenge. So there was no reason for Probst to call off the vote since there was already a winning and losing team. Now in the case of Russell, he collapsed BEFORE the challenge was even over. That’s entirely different circumstances. For the record, I felt Probst handled Russell, the challenge and vote situations very well.

    • tonya

      Yes, but the difference in this circumstance was that in the last instance where someone was removed from the game, one team WON the challenge that preceded the evacuation. No one won or lost this challenge.

      • frogger

        Tonya is right, and the fact that one team had actually already won the challnge the first time is only one difference. Another is that Mike didn’t pass out. While his tribe members were worried about him, I doubt that they were as flat out scared as everyone was about Russell. I think that the crew made the right decision not to vote anyone out, and I am very relieved to know tht Russell is ok.

    • Loni

      I also agree and hadn’t even thought of that until I read this. This season does seem to have inconsistencies.

    • Jenny

      I think in that siutation they still had so many players that they took advantage of the opportunity to let another one go. Now that the numbers are down they have a little more wiggle room.

    • mama d

      I still think that eachperson should have gotten 1 piece of pizza as they walked off..THAT would have been the right thing to do..

    • chrissyo8

      if you think about it…
      they had to vote two people out (one from each tribe) so the two med-evacs, mike and russell, were the two voted out.

      • puppy dog

        Chrissyo8 that’s the way it SHOULD have been. But for some reason Foa Foa has been dumped on this whole season. Mike was med-evaced out, and still Foa Foa had to go to tribal, and vote out a member. Which was Betsy. This time, that didn’t happen. Now, that’s fair. And when Foa Foa DID win an immunity challenge they didn’t get to send a member over to Galu to get a hii clue, and sit in on tribal with them. HMMMMM do you think it was an oversite? NO WAY! This season, so far, is a sham.

  • Pam

    All I want to know is WHO ATE THE PIZZA? Come on, why not let both tribes share the pizza? Get some food in them after a brutal last couple of days!

    • Caitie F

      Exactly. Let everyone have some pizza Jeff!

      Other than that, I think you and everyone on your team handled things perfectly.

      • Mother Goose

        YES! I know, that Jeff had a lot on his mind and I also agree that he handled things properly with Russel’s health in mind. So we should give him a break on the pizza. BUT – at least give them the pizza at tribal! Come on !!!

      • sdm

        Agree, agree and agree. Jeff you did good.

      • sdm

        FYI – page 3 or 4 in the comments Jeff writes in that they did get pizza but due to editing didn’t get a chance to show it.

      • D

        @sdm If they all got the pizza, which I agree they should have, then that was very poor editing.

      • Radar

        D, I think it was more than poor editing. I mean, they film every minute of the show, and since they had all kinds of time to show lovely sea shots of turtles, and fish at the beginning, there was plenty of time to show the pizza feed. I don’t buy that they gave them the pizza, and didn’t show it. It’s just too fishy. Pardon the pun.

    • Zan

      1. Agreed. I was shocked that Pizza was not offfered to everyone.
      2. I can’t stand to watch the physical challenges where the contestants brutally attack each other (i.e. like football players) and hope to never see that ruby-come-football challenge ever again. People get hurt. Men go after women. It’s not enjoyable to watch. I prefer the physical challenges where the teams race against one another, but don’t touch each other.
      3. We don’t watch Surviovor to see the contestants starve and whittle away. We watch for the group dynamics and the character flaws of each contestant. Please have more “food” reward challenges, and give them some rice.

      • FloridaTom

        I disagree. The lack of food adds to the dynamic. It makes losing fish hooks (Shambo) and chickens (Shambo) very important. If the contentants are well fed, the Samoan smoothy competitions are less likely to be finished. The physical contact competitions are likewise important (imo) as they give the teams the chance to build and resolve some real dynamics, and to build a good rivalry and grudges.

      • Rob Instigator

        I watch it to see people waste away and malnourish! That is the best part! it plays into everything they do, the hunger, the weakness, the pain your body feels when it starts eating it’s own muscle mass.

      • just me

        They should have given the tribes a choice: they could have pizza if they agreed to vote someone off, or they could have kept all their tribemates and had no pizza. It would have been interesting to see that they would have done.

      • Erika

        This is Survivor….rice is a bonus. A real survivor has to make do with the elements. That means finding food.

      • Eolra

        I believe it’s in “A Little Princess” that the Sara wonders if she would be as agreeable a person if she had more hardships in her life, and that perhaps hardships bring out people’s true selves. I don’t watch Survivor to see people starve, but I do think that being tired, hungry and cold makes people less agreeable, and more irritable and in some cases, lazier. Lack of food therefore adds to the overall drama, so I approve. If everyone was happy, comfortable and getting along all the time, there would be no show.

      • puppy dog

        Florida Tom, Shannon didn’t lose fish hooks, or chickenS. Please watch the show. If anyone else had stepped up to do the taskes, the result might have been far worse, but, guess what. Everyone else was too busy doing yoga, and sunbathing. Darn! I guess she should have stepped back, and refused to try.

    • cj

      Nah – I’m glad they didn’t all get the pizza. They didn’t have to vote anyone off – that was reward enough.

    • Dr Zechariah Zenith

      Yeah, me too. I was wondering what happened to the pizza. After watching the show I decided to order pizza. Too bad no pizza commerical was in place to brainwash me.

      Seriously, I am glad that Russell the Leader was ok. He looked like a zombie back there. His eyes were blank. Kudos to the Survivor Medical Staff.

      Good call for no voting out this episode. This is more of a cease fire episode and I am glad that Survivor showed some heart. A truly emotional episode.

      I expect next episode will be back in business with fierce rivalry and may the Lord of the Flies rules.

    • lbj

      This is Survivor not “I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here” – if you can’t take the conditions, don’t play the game.

    • Laurin

      I was thinking the same thing.We all just witnessed what happens due to malnutrition. I just knew that Jeff was going to say everyone gets the reward!

    • DC

      Ummm…guys. If you look further down in these posts, you’ll see Jeff tells us that they gave the pizza to all the Survivors, but it was edited out.

      • D

        Very poor edit. Probst could have mentioned it briefly at some point during TC. We didn’t have to watch them eat it.

      • SaffronsHuman

        Too bad Jeff didn’t include that bit in his blog so we weren’t all wondering.
        I think there should be a consistent rule that people being medivacked out should be their tribal vote – if it’s their turn for TC. Other seasons they’ve done that. I think this time it’s all about the numbers, like Jeff explains in his blog. I don’t remember them voting people off both tribes- win or lose – I wonder how they were going to pull that one off.
        And pizza for all would have been nice, a bit too nice perhaps. I hope it didn’t go to waste.

    • Belladee

      I totally agree about the pizza. They should have shared it, what a bummer. Even half would have been nice

    • KD

      I am so with you! I was all for the double tribe pizza party idea. I mean, it’s a level playing field if everyone eats. The weather is miserable, you just sent someone to the hospital for SEVERE dehydration. I know it’s “Survivor”, but we don’t want anyone to actually die, do we? Not blaming you, Jeff–I know you’re not the boss of everything. Just saying overall I wish the powers that be had made that decision.

  • Twain

    As a loyal Survivor fan (every season!), I have ZERO problem with the canceling of the vote. It makes a lot of sense and is consistent with what you’ve done with other medical evacs. My only disappointment is that you could’ve given them some pizza. We like our survivors to feel the elements but you’re not even giving them rice or beans this year.
    And maybe offer the Tarp as a prize more than once….

    • tdunf

      not so…earlier this season foa foa lost someone to medical AND had to vote someone out. until this time, it was consistent.

      • FloridaTom

        EXACTLY!

      • Denise

        That’s what I didn’t like Foa Foa lost someone to medical just after an immunity challenge and still had to vote another out. In this case, it helped them because they are behind but I don’t like the inconsistency.

  • bondfool

    Why couldn’t both teams get pizza?

  • nichole

    Thanks for the insight Jeff. It is always interesting to hear the behind the scenes stuff. I didn’t mind the decision to not vote anyone off. Love the blog!

    • yeayyy

      to be honest with you, I think that the decision to cancel the tribal council vote was because of the latest circumstance in regards to the medical evacuation of Russell.. The producers must’ve thought that it would be simply not good to lose three castaways in one episode, and it’s still early, still episode 6. I feel so sorry for Russell anyway.. An emotional episode I must say.

    • Jodi

      Totally agree Nichole. I was happy no one was voted off and I thought Jeff handled it all really well.

      • Indy

        Agreed!

  • Rae

    The compassion and concern you expressed towards Russell reinforced why we love you as a host (and a person).

    It was a great episode.

    • Kim

      Yes Rae,I agree with you 100%. I also wish that they would have given both tribes the pizza.

  • torrence5

    Last night epidose was a waste of my time as a tv watcher. Russell’s medical emergency (and I am happy he is ok) was not the scariest thing to happen as was hyped all week- that was Michael falling into the fire- and then since it was announced that the challenge was pt less (winners get pizza) & both tribes vote out someone the show should have ended with its double elimintion. Instead we get Jeff’s quizzing of the players & the announcement there will be no elimination b/c of the unprecedented act of cancelling a pointless challenge – what a waste of time this show was!!!! The double elimination was the show & the chanllenge did not matter so eliminate someone – why else bother with the episode. This was a complete SHAM & I am done with Survivor for this season, maybe I’ll give it a try next time but for the rest of the year I’ll watch ABC or NBC but no more BS of Survivor. SHAME on Survivor & Jeff for trying to convince me that this episode was anything other than a waste of time & a major letdown.

    • Spaz

      Boo hoo. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

    • Deb

      to have someone go down in a dead faint 3 times in quick succession is a medical emergency. There was definitely something more going on than we were seeing. A simple case of dehydration does not make a person faint 3 times like that. I hope he is okay and while we all have the contestants we like and dislike I hope no one really wants to see someone end up in a true medical emergercy.

      • puppy dog

        Deb, I don’t know if you’ve ever been terribly dehydrated, but I assume from your post that you haven’t. Dehydration, along with malnourishment is a life threatening condition. He could easily have died, and if they hadn’t had a medical team there I think he would have. He was weak, and unsteady back at camp. If he had been smart he would have quit trying to be macho. Listened to his body, and given it a rest.

      • Doremifah Solatido

        Why the hell is anyone dehydrated with all that rain? Hasn’t anyone seen “Castaway?” Use some big leaves, coconut shells as cups, & collect the rainwater into stone reservoirs. Are they all as stupid as Shambo?

      • R

        Here Here Deb – I watched a loved one die from something similar. I never want to see anyone maimed or killed on Survivor…Hope that Russell is okay.

      • puppy dog

        Doremifah. He wasn’t only dehydrated, he was suffering from near hypothermia. In mammals the two most important things for survival is warmth, and hydration. I think it was stupid not to keep hydrated. (Rain water is potable), but letting yourself get cold to the core to keep your tribe indebted to you. STUPID. He didn’t play smart. He tried to play macho, and that’s a bad game plan. He’s gone because he didn’t play smart. Shannon is staying warm because she’s smart enough to make herself a warm shelter. (Unlike the others), she can make fire, she can collect firewood, she can boil water to drink. Oh, crap how much stupider can she get? I’d want her on my side any time. You don’t think she’s the first Survivor to lose fishing gear, or a chicken do you? Or maybe you haven’t watched Survivor like a real fan. She isn’t stupid. If any other tribe member had stepped forward for the tasks, I have no doubt, the results would have been as bad or worse. Too bad she’s a worker. I’d like to see her win the mil.

    • Tara

      While I appreciate your opinion, I have to respectfully disagree with your outlook. At this point in the season, you do get to know and perhaps Love/hate certain survivors so it shows the dynamics of the game by doing this type of an episode. The tribal council with Evil Russell and Eric doing battle was well worth it! A merge at that point would have made it even better! I think the point to last night’s show was to break it down to those who think, THIS SHOW IS A NO BRAINER! Its rough and at times can be life-threatening! Keep an open mind that not every show will be filled with thrills and chills and sometimes, you need to realize that these are necessary for reasons! I hope you do come back, at some point this season to see how it turns out.

    • lee

      torrence5: I agree with you 100%

    • R

      Waaaa. Get over yourself…

  • LoveThe Show

    Jeff

    You should have given EVERYBODY pizza!!!! Why wasn’t that an option?

    • jay

      it is SURVIVOR. i can’t believe all these people posting on here are saying they should have gotten pizza. no, they should NOT have gotten pizza.

      • Kim

        Boooo Boooo Jay.

      • Curt

        Yah – boo boo jay. pizza would have been nice. majority rules.

  • katlou

    I’m with Pam and Twain. All I could think about while watching is, `why not just give them all the pizza to lift their spirits?’ That rain was relentless and watching poor Russell pass out … well, their spirits must have been totally shot. Nothing like a little pepperoni, then, to put some spring back into their step. And Probst, you were totally right to end it.

  • Kiki

    i understand that this is survivor, but after that very scary moment i say: let them eat Pizza!

  • Loulou

    I think you handled the situation exactly the right way. It was a frightening moment to watch. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to see it unfold live. What you wrote about witnessing his emotional state and the respect that you gave him, both last night and in your blog is a testament to your character. I have always had a little crush but now (sigh…). As for the show, evil Russell surprised me last night with his comment about wanting to beat him, not have him taken out due to medical reasons. Evil Russell may not be as evil as we think, but he is conniving and is playing a brutal game. He is fun to watch! I am glad to know that good Russell is going to be fine.

  • Tom

    Jeff, great episode last night… i’ve watched every season of survivor and for sure, this one has to be one of the toughest season ever… not just phyiscally, but mentally. I can’t imagine the mental stress and anxiety created with the nonstop rain.. constantly being wet, cold, the constant patter of rain in your ears and having to be cooped up with the rest of the tribe… enough to drive a person crazy just thinking about it… Your camera crew did an excellent job capturing how the survivors reacted to the rain starting back up during tribal council. You could literally see their shoulders slump … I’m sure a few of them were like “WTF… more rain?” Priceless. I think that the decision not to vote anyone out was fine… I like how fired up both tribes got… should make for an interesting rest of the season. Thanks for a great show!!

  • twinmom

    I didn’t mind the fact that no one was voted out. But I also thought you were going to merge the tribes right there at Tribal! Great season.

    • Jillz

      For a moment there I thought so too!

      • Joel

        Yeah, I was pretty sure when I saw that both tribes were there (which was weird) that they were going to merge, and I thought (okay, it’s kinda early for a merge, but whatever0.

    • TsuKata

      Ditto, especially when Jeff kept asking about tribe rivalry stuff. I’m like, how awesome would it be if Jeff got them all riled up and disliking each other and then said, “Now you’re one tribe. Have fun! Here’s some pizza!” And even if the plan had gone off normally, that would have been a great outcome: making the tribes merge when one tribe just ate pizza in front of the other AND got to hear their intra-tribe dynamics? That turns a mediocre reward into a HUGE reward…plus a huge source of fun drama if the winning tribe really are jerks about having won. :)

  • AA

    Jeff, you rock. I agree with all the decisions you guys made in this ep (except for CBS spoiling who it was in promos for the show).

    I really am wondering though: why aren’t these teams improving their shelters? It seems like they built them on day one and then nothin’. Really odd.

    • Tennisfan

      I totally agree — I kept saying all episode, “why aren’t they chopping more palm branches to layer on the shelter roof?”!!!!

      • cj

        Same here! If your shelter stinks, keep working on it!!!! Don’t just sit under it getting wet! I don’t understand why Evil/Awesome Russell was the only one on that tribe that got that.

      • sdm

        I was thinking the same thing. I said to my TV, in the hopes it could go back in time and tell the survivors. “get off your lazy butts and fix your damn shelter!”

    • Kristin

      Agreed on both points! A big BOO YOU SUCK to CBS for ruining who was going down in all their promos!

  • SG

    I think it would have been a really good idea to give them pizza at tribal.

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