Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #7

Image (1) jeffprobst2_l_21_2.jpg for post 1171

Fair Warning:
I haven’t been feeling too well for the past few days, so tonight as I sat down to write this I took a Zyrtec. It certainly cleared up my sinus issue but in doing so has made me really drowsy.  Major drowsy. So this is my first blog written under the influence of an “over the counter, readily available at any pharmacy” drug. Here goes…


Here’s my take on Foa Foa. If they lose again, I believe they will vote out Jaison due to his attitude and lack of motivation, and the three remaining tribe members (Mick, Natalie, and Russell) will pray for a merge. If there is a merge, Russell should be the first to go, and after that it doesn’t matter, they won’t have a chance. They need a miracle right now to have any shot of staying in this game.

The miracle would be making it to the merge and then making something happen. Big and immediate. Count on Russell to give it his best shot… If there is a crack in Galu’s armor he will find it and he will do his best to exploit it in the most beneficial way. Thus, Russell is Foa Foa’s only hope at this point. He’s just crazy enough to risk it all on a wild plan. Natalie is very sharp and if he holds onto her, together they could make something happen.

Yes, we were well aware at this point that we could have a Palau situation on our hands. If you remember in Palau, one tribe lost challenge after challenge until only Stephanie was left in her tribe. It was an amazing thing to watch as Stephanie overcame tremendous odds and made it deep into the show and is now considered an “all-star” as a result of her efforts. As to whether or not this season will have a merge, can’t tell you that. Not even under the influence of Zyrtec. Ambien maybe, Zyrtec no.

The election of Shambo as leader really impressed me. Great move by the men of Galu.

INSIGHT: I was not aware of the motivation for making Shambo the leader. I had no idea it was the guys’ idea nor did I realize the strategy behind it. Brilliant. They pulled a major fast move on the women and in doing so shifted the game. They also created a crack in the armor which could come back to haunt them if Russell and Co. make it to a merge.

Yes, I feel for Shambo. She is such an underdog. She is so sincere, so eager to lead her tribe. It’s hard to listen to the comments from her tribemates about why they elected her as leader.  They have absolutely no intention of ever letting her make an important decision. I hope she proves to be an amazing leader.

The memory challenge is one of those challenges that is not that exciting to watch, but usually creates great drama in terms of heroes and goats. That is why we do it. Truth be told, the best person to ever play this game is my favorite honorary niece, Skyleur. She’s younger than most of the pants I wear on the show but her memory is uncanny. She plays this game while watching the show and never ever misses. Just sharing.

I really thought Foa Foa had a shot at this challenge. A simple reward would have gone so far with them. But once again they fall short and as a result fall further behind in the game.

There is no doubt in my mind that Shambo sent Laura over to Foa Foa because Shambo just does not like having her around. Sometimes it’s nice to be Queen.


Sometimes I make the right call, sometimes I don’t.

INSIGHT: When explaining this challenge to the Survivors I always give them a chance to ask questions before we run the challenge. Someone asked if they could push their boat instead of using the paddles. Usually this is a terrible idea as the water gets too deep to do any pushing and the paddles are much more effective.

So, without even consulting John Kirhoffer our Challenge Producer, I said, “Sure. Knock yourself out.” Turns out I was wrong. That one little decision completely changed the challenge. It took out all of the drama of having to figure out how to paddle while fishing for the puzzle pieces. I knew it moments after the challenge started, but there wasn’t anything I could do – the decision had been made. It was still a fair challenge, so it didn’t affect the game, but my decision changed the design of the challenge and as a result it didn’t run as well as it should. That’s all on me. I blew it.

To his credit, John Kirhoffer, our Challenge Producer, never said a word. Then again, he didn’t have to — I was painfully aware.

That’s a tough one. I think Liz had a great attitude, but the trust factor was too much. I imagine this was one of those votes when you had to really trust your gut.

Question of the week: Will Foa Foa win another challenge or will they continue to crumble?

Thanks for understanding that I’m not 100% today, I’ll try to make it up to you next week but I’m done for tonight. Zyrtec wins.

Going to sleep.

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

[ewbrightcove “46418004001”, “46207519001”, “475”, “345”]

More Survivor:
Survivor: Samoa recap: Welcome to the Puppet Show

Comments (429 total) Add your comment
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  • Teresa

    If you want to have any mystery surrounding whether or not there will be a merge, you might want to talk to the promo department!

    • Rock Golf

      Yeah, that question got settled about 2 seconds after “Next time on… Survivor“.

      • Sydney

        It’s hard to watch foa foa keep wndering why they are losing its totally Russels fault for getting rid of the strongest players early on but surely the whole remembers voting off those people themselves? I think they lost because without food you are mentaly not sharp. VERY sad Liz is gone she IMO was the best player on this last challenge. Honestly you guys are giving away too much on the promo for next weeks episodes…quit it!

      • Elle

        Aww Shambo I do like her but dislike the “Dim” comment. I really don’t like that guy that said it so I want him voted off next!Shambo is definitely not my favorite player, I just hate mean people.I dont know his name but he looks like an ugly Kevin Spacey Ha Ha :)

      • Elle

        Oh yeah I forgot… Jeff I love ya and really hope you feel better soon!

      • Pamela

        YUP… Sydney is right! STOP IT!!!!

    • Dr Zechariah Zenith

      Yeah I really like that:

      Next time on (PAUSE ONE SECOND. STEADY. KEEP IT ONE SECOND)Survivor.

      Even as a preview they are really quite a tease.

      Galu clearly has the advantage going to the merge but with Shambo as their leader…not really sure if she can be swayed by Russell the Hustler.

      My power rankings post merge could be:

      1. Eric (with hidden immunity idol)
      2. Brent
      3. Dave
      4. John
      5. Shambo
      6. Kelly
      7. Natalie
      8. Monica
      9. Russell H. (H.I.I.2)
      10. Laura
      11. Mick
      12. Jaison

      The Male Galu controls the wheel if they play it right.

      Russell H is the wildcard.

      • Stanley Tang

        My ranking would be:

        I think its going to be Foa Foa Final 4 (maybe not Jaison). Galu will probably end up like last season where there’s gonna be a power struggle.

      • yeayyy

        Mine is:
        1. Mick
        2. Natalie
        3. Brett
        4. Russell
        5. Shambo
        6. Kelly
        7. Monica
        8. John
        9. Laura
        10. Dave
        11. Jaison
        12. Erik

        I think Erik is going to be blindsided next week..

      • Applesauce

        its going to be interesting to see what happens this year. i dont think any of foa foa are going out anytime soon. galu is going to eat itself and foa foa might join one side taking out the others just like last season.
        12. kelly
        11. monica
        10. laura
        9. Jaison
        8. Russle play idol eliminating eric and his idol
        7. along with shambo, foa foa votes out john
        6. Bret
        5. john
        4. Shambo
        3. natalie (mick wins immunity and takes Russle)
        2. Russle (even though he perfectly deserves to win everyone will se he is a snake)
        1. Mick
        i will not be surprised if all of mine are wrong. i doubt any are right but it might. you never know.

      • Applesauce

        my number 5 should be dave.

      • Steve

        My rankings. I don’t necessarily think Jaison will go next, but I feel 100% he will not last. I could see any one of the guys from Galu going home in a blindside though I ranked ‘em all high because I don’t know which one.

        1. Dave
        2. Brett
        3. Natalie
        4. Mick
        5. Erik
        6. John
        7. Russell H
        8. Shambo
        9. Kelly
        10. Laura
        11. Monica
        12. Jaison

      • Larry

        I have to disagree with Stanley Tang. I don’t think this season is anything like last season. As a matter of fact, I think it’s the complete opposite. Last season, the dominant tribe had all kinds of power struggle with Coach, Tyson and Brendan. I believe this power struggle was a result of distrust between Coach/Tyson & Brendan because Brendan lied about the immunity idol and was sent to Exile Island too many times. Plus, Coach & Tyson were jerks. I don’t see any of those things in the dominant tribe this season. There really isn’t that level of distrust amongst anyone in Galu. Plus, there really aren’t any jerks in Galu. If you think about it–the distrust (Russell’s distrust with everyone on his tribe) and jerks (Russell, Ben) are all on the losing tribe this season: Foa Foa. That’s why I think this season is actually the opposite of last season.

      • Mario

        I strongly believe that the conversation between Russell and Laura would be crucial to keep the former member of Foa Foa to be in the game for a long time. Many people thought that it would be Shambo who is going to flip whenever 2 tribes are merged, but I think that its going to be Laura. I think it’s going to down to Laura feels like shes betrayed by her male Galu members in regards to voting Shambo as new leader, and she’s going to come with a plan to include Kelly and Monica and to be sided with all four members of Foa-Foa.. Basically I’m thinking that four Galu male members are going to be voted out soon.

      • Mr. Nick

        I’ve got

        12) Erik
        11) John
        10) Brett
        9) Dave
        8) Monica
        7) Laura
        6) Kelly
        5) Jaison
        4) Shambo
        Go back with ALL FOA FOA:
        Mick, Russell and Natalie

      • puppy dog

        There’s no Brent on the show.

      • jeffwatcher

        wow! yeayyy was right on!
        Does he play the stock market too?

    • labrat

      But could it be one of those situations where they think it’s a merge but it’s really 2 tribes living together?

      • Eric

        I doubt it since they all got new buffs.

      • Mario

        it also could be like what they did in Fiji.. One merged tribe, but at first immunity and tribal council, they are separtated as two groups in one tribe..

    • Kimberley

      I’m trying to remember, in the preview for next week, if Probst said they merge or if the contestants assumed they were merging…maybe there isn’t a merge.

      • puppy dog

        Kimberley, the previews for next week show them all in new buffs. In the past that has only happened with a merge.

    • MS from Ottawa

      Come on give Jeff a break..he’s on Zyrtec after all. BTW…what is Zyrtec?

  • Bob

    Love Survivor, but where are the DVDs? Who do we need to contact about this?

    I have another question. Mike and Russell’s exits have negated the effect of the double tribal council. BUT were there any other plans in place that Mike’s exist affected? Was there a double tribal council planned for earlier than day 15, etc.?

    • Lauren

      I know they have a DVD of the All-Star Season – I have it. There’s a great little bonus documentary about how they create the challenges.

    • Sweet on Survivor

      I’m with you Bob. I would pay for Survivor DVDs – it’s one of those games you don’t mind watching again :o)

      btw, thanks Survivor producers for not making this the Russell show like it felt at the beginning of the season. Shambo has provided variety! STILL have no clue who’s gonna win!

      • Mark

        You can find the unofficial DVD’s for the seasons that have never been released by CBS on-line. You just need to find them. I bought them and my kids watched the seasons that they were to young to watch at the time.

      • puppy dog

        Sweet, I have every season on DVD. Bought them on Amazon. All but the 6 that were released, and the ones I’ve been recording sans commercials for the last 4 seasons. They are out there, you just have to look. The format is funky on some of them, but it doesn’t effect the show itself.

    • Jackie

      DVD’s are available for some seasons. Check I have owned Australia and Pearl Islands for quite a few years now. Listening to them with the audio commentary on was very interesting and insightful.


        It makes no sense that thye don’t offer “all” the season on dvd or that the Versus network stopped showing previous seasons – on Wednesday they use to show 3 hours back to back to back – and since I came late to the survivor party (my first time watchingwas Gautamala) it was so freakin sweet to watch 3 hours of Survivor in a row – here you have the most loyal fans and they are missing a golden opportunity – I saw Jeff play soccer in Milwaukee for chairity w Ethan, Lex & boy Big Tom leveled him once trying to steal the ball – was payback for Boston Rob’s comments I’m sure

    • Joel

      Agree 100% – I hope every season gets released on DVD soon! They should release a complete series box set

    • Ken

      The one thing I like about the DVDs is the commentary, especially when Jeff does them.

      DVDs are out for Borneo, Australia, Pearl Islands, All-Stars, Vanuatu, and Palau. Since Guatemala, though, they only do the complete seasons on iTunes, so you can get everything from Vanuatu on there…no extras, but you get the episodes. I also found an online source that sold TV recordings (most good, some out of sync) for the non-released seasons (Africa, Thailand, Marquesas, Amazon), but yeah, it’d be nice if CBS would close the loop on those, even if they mostly sucked…really, Pearl Islands was a resurgence, I thought.

      Of course, you could say the same about Amazing Race…they only did season 1 and 7 (the Rob/Amber season) on DVD, and only just started, from last season, to go on iTunes, so they have more of a gap to close. (Same online source has the other seasons of that as well.)

  • smokin

    I hope and pray Shambo is smarting street wise then the guys give her credit. I might be wrong but I believe Natalie is a lot smarter than anyone especially Russell gives her credit. When they merge time will tell. Hope you get to feeling better Jeff, and as many years as you have done this you deserve to mess up once in a while. We still love you.

  • Donknottz

    Hey Jeff they already spolied whether there was going to be a merge in next weeks promo they show the merge happen so no worries about letting the cat out of the bag or in Shambo’s case the chicken out of the cage.

  • Sara

    Jeff, I love reading your blogs and I love that you try to keep things under wraps, but that doesn’t change the fact that the teaser for next week shows the tribes merging. Nice try though:-)

  • metzmom

    Wow Jeff, that zyrtec really knocked you for a loop. You jumped from 5 people in Foa Foa to 4 people before even getting into the episode! You took Liz out of the mix before she even got voted out! Maybe try Claritin next time.

    I feel really bad for Shambo. She is really clueless. I think the boys will keep her in just so they can control the game. That is the only thing she has going for her at this point.

    As soon as Liz said she completely trusted the people in her tribe, I knew she was gone. Too bad though, Jaison is really getting on my nerves and it is just sad to see him give up so easily.

    • Snsetglaze

      Agreed with Jaison getting on my nerves. Liz grew on me and she really wanted to be there.

  • John

    Jeff, the Zyrtec must have made you miss the preview for next week. They already told us the merge happens next week (blue bandanas). I hope you feel better buddy! Love the blog!

  • Kim from Texas

    Kudos for your comments on the immunity challenge. When do stars/hosts in Hollywood takes responsibility when things go wrong? Jeff, you are a class act!

    • Leo

      I don’t think it would have altered the outcome any as Foa Foa have stronger swimmers and would have still messed up with the puzzle.

      • puppy dog

        I kept looking at the puzzle, and for the life of me couldn’t see how that could have been correct. An orange piece way down in the middle of the blue, and the blue totally out of balance. If they were correct, it was a ridonculous puzzle.

  • Lori

    Take Care Jeff – hope you feel better soon! Love the show and love reading your blog & Dalton’s recap with my coffee the next morning.

  • Anne

    Ummm Jeff we already know about the merge thanks to next week’s previews so I don’t think you are letting the cat out of the bag here

  • tdunf

    so you don’t watch previews, eh jeff? the merge better create some excitement. we need something to happen!! love the blog though, keep giving us the insights!!

  • Terry

    This week’s episode was kind of boring. But with the merge coming next week, I have faith that some interesting shenanigans will take place.

  • heartnsf

    Ambien and a glass of wine…you’ll be spilling secrets and won’t remember a thing! Are you available tonight?

  • KarenR

    Darn, was hoping Liz would make it to the merge. There goes my pick in the office pool!

  • Carys

    We’re pretty far into the season and there is still no one I care about.If this keeps up I won’t watch the final show.

    I’m so tired of lame women who look for men to lead them. I wish you would either cast more interesting women or give us a season of all men.

    • Jeanne

      Agree with Carys – I haven’t found anyone to really cheer for YET. Carys, I think the merge might give us a chance to find that cheer-worthy player!

      • Carys

        Jeanne, I sure hope so! In past seasons I have stopped watching before the last couple of shows if I didn’t care who won. Not too often—maybe two or three times. Would rather find someone to root for this season.

    • Pamela

      Yes… truly the cast for women is horrible. I believe that empty shelled bathing queens need to stay in the magazines… we need more outdoorsy types… that bring pizzazz to the mix.

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