Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains': episode 5

survivor-jeff-probstImage Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSLet’s call this one THE DUMBEST DECISION YET.

But before we get to Survivor… for all of those concerned, my cushions… are dry.  Hallelujah.  Such a big relief. You really don’t know how good you have it until you undergo a major crisis such as wet outdoor patio cushions.  I didn’t even share that when I called Pottery Barn – I mean when my assistant, actually my free intern, called Pottery Barn – they said those cushions were not being made anymore.  Say what?!!

I truly thought for a moment, “What am I gonna do?”  But then like a gift from the Universe, the sun came out.  That beautiful ball of heat, the most important part of our incredible solar system revealed itself to Southern California and those cushions… that were once so wet…miraculously dried.  I still marvel at the power of nature.

Okay onto Survivor…and THE DUMBEST DECISION YET.

RUSSELL:  “HERE IT GOES AGAIN”

Admit it.  Go on, admit it!  You smiled when he found it.  You turned to whomever you were watching with and said, “I don’t believe it.  He found another idol!”  I know I did.  How can you not?  It’s not Survivor if Russell isn’t looking, finding, or playing an idol. Now that he has it, this season is officially on, and things are about to change dramatically.  How can they not, ‘ole Russell is now back in charge.

REWARD CHALLENGE – A TASTE OF CHOCOLATE

Ah, so much to talk about at what started out as a simple little Reward Challenge.

First, the chocolate tease.  Occasionally when we really want to whet their appetite, we’ll tease the tribes with a small taste of the reward.  So, I handed each tribe a plate with some very tiny pieces of chocolate. Enough for one bite for each tribe member.  They were very small, but when you haven’t had much of anything to eat in a long time, even a tiny sliver of chocolate looks pretty good to most people.

But not Colby, or any of the Heroes for that matter.  They wanted nothing to do with that damn chocolate.  I get what the Hero tribe was doing.  They were trying to psyche themselves up by staying focused.  Fair enough.  They were also trying to intimidate the villains a bit, which clearly was wasted energy.  The villains are on a roll, they’re dominating the game and they’re not intimidated by anything at this point.

But the part that I’m sure a lot of you are talking about was my interaction with Colby when he instructed me, in no uncertain terms, to get the challenge started.

To which I replied:

Probst: “I got the message brother, and we’ll go when I’m ready.”

Don’t go reading too much into it.  I was merely holding my ground as host, nothing more.  I would have had the same response to anybody who attempted to tell me what to do.  Because like it or not… “We WILL go… when I’M ready.”  That’s what 20 seasons and the title of host gets you.  The ability to go when you’re damn good and ready and not a moment before.

SIDE NOTE:

Oh, and one more bit of housekeeping from last week’s blog.  I read many of your comments implying that I was hard on “America’s Favorite Survivor” Rupert because I was trying to save my buddy, Colby.

Let me be really clear about a few things:

1. The first time I had seen Colby in several years was at the start of Heroes v Villains.  I have no more loyalty to Colby than anybody else.

2. If I wanted to, do you really think I could influence a vote by asking a simple and legit question?  You think these players are so easily influenced?

3. If I could indeed influence the game, do you think I would risk losing a job that allows me to buy beautiful outdoor patio cushions by doing so?

Get a clue.  Buy a vowel.  Phone a friend.  Whatever it takes, but pull your head out.

I was hard on Rupert because his logic made no sense.  He was clearly voting with an alliance and trying to convince me he was voting based on keeping the tribe strong.  Every Survivor knows I ask tough questions.  That’s my job.  He could have answered any number of other ways and got me off his back.  He didn’t.  Rupert dug his own hole, all I did was offer him the shovel.

REWARD CHALLENGE – SCHMERGENBRAWL

This is a challenge that was created by our grip department.  These are the guys who build the scaffolding that makes it possible for us to shoot out in the water or put cameras high in the air.  These guys are hard working and keep us all safe.

During a day off they created a simple game they named Schmergenbrawl.  It evolved into a major day-long tournament where our crew divided into teams.  They had T-shirts made and some even had their own mascots.  It was full-on.  The game was so popular with our crew that our challenge department stole the idea and with a few modifications turned it into a Survivor challenge that we premiered in Survivor: Samoa.

You may remember it as the challenge that resulted in me tossing somebody (Ben) out of the challenge for unsportsmanlike behavior and also resulted in the evacuation of Mike Borassi due to dehydration.  We should have known that it was too rough, even for Survivor.

But instead, we brought it back again this season. Once again it was physical and once again it resulted in a major injury as James was removed from the challenge after wrecking his knee.

This challenge will NEVER be played again.  It was officially retired after last night’s challenge and those of you who love justice being served will be happy to know that the grip that created the challenge was fired.

He wasn’t really fired.  He was sacrificed.  It turns out the Samoans have an ancient ritual that saved our season from becoming a disaster.  We gave him over to the Samoan gods to do with him as they must and in exchange they were able to bless us and insure us a very good finish to our 20th season.  A small price to pay if you ask me.

One grip in exchange for a really good season of Survivor.  We’ll make that deal every year.  Plus, one of the younger guys in the grip department got to move up and take his spot.  That’s what you call a “win-win.”

I think my favorite part of the challenge was when Rupert threw Jerri up against the side of the course:  “Like I meant to do that!”  And Jerri responded by draining the winning bucket for the Villains.   You think it was the chocolate that made the difference?

RUSSELL FINDS THE IDOL

I loved the exchange between Russell and Parvati:

Russell: Just grab onto my coattails.

Parvati: I don’t ride coattails, baby.

Russell: You’ll ride these.

Russell is very good at using the idol.  I’d say he’s as good at using it as anybody.  He really understands how to leverage its power and he completely changed the game by securing Parvati in his alliance and then bringing over Coach.

IS PARVATI RUSSELL’S ACHILLES’ HEEL?

Do you think Russell made a wise move?  Or is he falling prey to one of the most deadly flirts in Survivor history?  Both Russell and Parvati pulled out their big guns and told the other everything they need to know.  Russell believes Parvati will ride his coattails.  Parvati told him very clearly she does not ride anybody’s coattails.  It may be the showdown of the season thus far, even more so than Russell vs Rob.

Parvati and Russell have both proven they can play this game very well.  It’s a deadly duo if they stay teamed up but there is no way this relationship ends peacefully.

JAMES’ TRIUMPHANT RETURN

I was blown away by how emotional Amanda was regarding James and his injury.  I guess I just assumed that after playing together three times that maybe she could handle it a bit better.  Amanda’s affection for James is endearing but speaks to how complicated this game can get.  Showing her loyalty and concern for James is a big, bold move and can’t help but separate her from the rest of the group, at least a little bit, no matter what is said or not said.

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE

I love blindfolds.  Yes.  Read into that anything and everything you want.  They just make life… and Survivor challenges… more interesting.  Once again the challenge comes down to a puzzle, once again the heroes blow a huge lead and once again… the villains, led by Boston Rob, come from behind and win another challenge.

TRIBAL COUNCIL
Okay, straight up – as the Heroes headed into Tribal Council, how many of you thought James would be going home?  Me too.  It seemed like a no-brainer.  NO-BRAINER.

But then I reminded myself, “oh yeah, this is the Hero tribe.  They’ve made more silly decisions than Tiger Woods.” The consistently lousy decisions made by the Heroes have been one of the biggest surprises of this season.

But the biggest surprise of the entire season (for me anyway) has been James and his newfound social game.

Set aside his lousy and increasingly agitated attitude –the gravedigger has learned to play the social game.  How else could he still be in the game?  He has influenced more than a few votes by talking to other people and manipulating them with his arguments.  You have to give him credit.  I was really impressed that he was able to convince the majority to keep him in the game over Tom.  Yes, I know it had to do with alliances as much as anything but when you consider how many challenges the Heroes have lost – to keep a guy with a bum leg was a really crazy move and you have to give James some of the credit.

Once again, Rupert tried to sell his vote based on keeping his tribe strong.

Rupert: (referring to James’ bad leg).  “He’s still stronger than Tom.”

Rupert, if you really believe that James, with his bad leg, is still stronger than Tom, then you need to stop drinking that pirate grog because you’ve lost your friggin mind.

Ah, but that isn’t what Rupert believes.  Rupert is doing what he needs to do to keep his alliance strong.  Once again, let me, “Mr. Back Seat Driver,” point out why this makes no sense.  Your own personal alliance may be intact, but your tribe is dwindling and if and when there is a merge, you are putting yourself in a very weak position because you will have fewer members than the Villains.

You know how I feel.  James has been a problem from day one.  First it was his attitude and now it’s his physical limitations.

And no, I’m not friends with Tom, nor am I enemies with James. I’m just sharing what I feel and I’m guessing what the audience feels as well.

FINAL WORDS

For the record, my niece most definitely could have beat James in a foot race. I just didn’t want to push the point for fear of him hobbling across tribal council with that bad attitude and messed-up knee, and thoroughly kicking my ass.  Cause that’s something James could definitely do, even with two bad legs.

NEXT WEEK

Due to the NCAA college basketball tournament, SURVIVOR WILL NOT BE ON NEXT WEEK!  I know, we hate it too.

THE FOLLOWING WEEK

Survivor will be on for a special Wednesday night episode:  WEDNESDAY MARCH 24TH

BACK TO NORMAL

On April 1st we return to our regular Thursday night time slot.

Spread the word.

More Survivor:
Survivor: Heroes vs Villains recap: Adding injury to insult

Comments (1090 total) Add your comment
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  • Steve

    I agree, Jeff. Worst decision yet.

    • Jenn

      You’re such a BSer, Jeff.

      1. You whine every time someone who is alligned with Colby is eliminated.

      2. You say “If I wanted to, do you really think I could influence a vote by asking a simple and legit question? You think these players are so easily influenced?” YES, YOU LIAR. AND you just don’t do it to influence them. You do it to try and influence us.

      3. If I could indeed influence the game, do you think I would risk losing a job that allows me to buy beautiful outdoor patio cushions by doing so? YES, YOU WOULD, BECAUSE YOUR JOB IS NEVER IN DANGER. You can play favorites no problem.

      • watergirl

        Jenn can tell your not a true Survivor fan because if you were you would know Jeff doesn’t whine. You would also know that at tribal he ask questions not to influence votes but to make a good tribal council for us to watch. Which he does an excellent job at. Plus most of the tribe has already made up their minds who they are voting out before Tribal. If Jeff really had that much power to influence votes he would of helped the Heroes make smarter votes by now.
        Jenn you need to chill…go have a glass of wine and relax.

      • Joe

        You’re only fooling the naive Jeff. You didn’t give Rupert a shovel, you pushed your agenda down his throat and all the viewers. I don’t even like Rupert or James, but your BS about how an alliance vote automatically means a vote against challenge strength was completely illogical. The 2 may be compatible but in this case they weren’t. Tom and Colby have lost to Coach and Tyson!! Really?! You’re really going to try to act like the Heroes are losing some great challenge strength by voting 1 of them off? Uh no. Oh yeah, and the Heroes don’t really need strength at this point anyways.

        Yes you can influence a vote by asking a question. Although you didn’t just ask questions, you made all kinds of other non-objective comments, implications, and inserted your biased opinions. It’s not that you’re going to convince somebody to change their vote, it’s that you give them a justification to do something and then they can act like you swayed them.

      • Scott

        Naive? Naive? The man can barely walk! They sent home Tom one of their stronger players. What happens if the next challenge requires running? This could be qualified as the dumbest move in Survivor history, why knock Jeff for pointing it out.

      • earl warren

        And to top it all off,it was Probst that realy shot JFK!

      • AJ

        You’re delusional if you think the tribe members have come to tribal council without their minds made up and their votes solidified. There is nothing Probst or anyone else could do or say to change a vote once the tribe is already sitting in front of that fire.

      • Chris

        why anyone would spend time reading Jeff’s blog just to post the stupidest comments I’ve ever read is beyond me.

        Get a life.

        Jeff you’re the best host ever. I think so. Everyone I know thinks so. The Academy thinks so. I’m sorry “Jenn” doesn’t think so.

      • Liz

        Wow you need to back off Jeff. He is 100% right. As much as I want to root for the Heroes it gets harder and harder each week. They are playing their game backwards. Keep your strong player until the merge and that is when you need your alliance. I guess I am naïve because going into this season I thought the Heroes would blow them away! Jeff you ROCK and you do an excellent job! Don’t ever listen to the haters. Oh yeah and Rupert…”accident” my Aunt Fanny! The Heroes team seems to be full of Villains.

      • Linda

        Wow. Just … wow. Come on, Jenn, if anything, Probst is laying out for them the boneheadedness of any potential moves they might be making. His comments have nada to do with Colby (or Tom, or Cerie, or JT — or anyone else for that matter). His comments have everything to do with, “Hey, vote the way you’re gonna vote but don’t friggin’ delude yourselves that this vote is going to work the way it does in your effed-up fantasy world.” As I said in a different post, it’s going to be *hilarious* to see the Villains react when they see the Heroes come back without Tom, but with a hobbled James. Colby isn’t on the Villains team, but if the roles were reversed and the Villains voted out, say, Rob in favor of a weaker player on crutches — don’t you think Probst would allude to the futility of alliances over physical strength as well?

      • soony

        I think it wasnt bad vote from strategic view. Numbers are crucial. Tom is propably still great competitor at individual challenges and could play solo. JT as well but play without Tom is easier than against. Numbers are still possible. 4 people is good core and Villains arent united. JT didnt know but its expected. About Jeff act. When i saw this epi i thought you pushed on Rupert little more than usually what affect that…. dont know.

      • terry

        Was a stupid decision. JT is fourth at best after James-Amanda -Rupert, at least going the other way he’d have been in a 3 way, I just know if they vote off Colby I will have no one to root for on the Heroes team. Rupert, James, JT, what happened? I used to like them.

      • CP

        Don’t these Tribal Councils take hours? I bet that Jeff asks everyone the same question, pushes different people different ways, knowing that some parts of it will be used after the final votes… leading the viewers some direction. I don’t think he influences Rupert or anyone, and I dont think Rupert has the brains to be manipulated. I used to love the guy, but he’s an idiot this season.

      • Melissa

        This might be the dumbest comment on here. Jeff does not play favorites nor does he lie. That’s so ridiculous. Also, any question he asks would have NO influence over the way these folks are going to vote. Jeff may ask them questions to get them to think….but i guarantee you, once they reach Tribal Council, their minds are made up.

        Jeff is a wonderful host and I hope he is with Survivor always.

      • Melody

        Obviously you have NEVER watched a season of survivor and here’s a few reasons how I know it:
        1. If you had ever watched a season of Survivor before you would know that Jeff ALWAYS asks these kind of questions and points out the obvious mistakes. Jeff has the wonderful technique of pouring salt on the open wound and then washing it out with alcohol. He asks the questions that might start the debates against the obvious alliances and the leaders of those alliances, thereby breaking the tension that’s already there, but he’s just saying what all the viewers are already thinking and want to know. All Jeff is doing is not making it easy on them. Which he shouldn’t b/c most of these people are doing this for the third time, so they should know better and they really need to toughen up.
        2. You’ve obviously never seen a season with James and/or Rubert on it. Neither one of them are very good players of this game. Don’t get me wrong; I love Rupert, and I have since Pearl Islands, but he has never played a good game and has definitely never been a good bluffer. And James, the ONLY survivor to get voted out with not one, but TWO hidden immunity idols in his possesion. James might be playing the best social game that he’s ever played but that won’t last long and if he makes it to the merge, he’ll get eaten alive by those villians.
        3. And finally, Jeff has been doing this job for 19+ seasons and has won multiple Emmy’s for it….Nuff said.
        **Jeff: I think that you have been and are doing a wonderful job, please keep it up. Thank you for being one of the best, if not the best, parts of this show. :)

      • kyle

        Your bolgs are, Zzzzz…boring.

      • Pam

        There are not that many hosts out there who can fill Jeff’s shoes. He is a natural. He adds so much dimension to this game. He just keeps getting better at his job with each season. He leaves no stone unturned. That is evident with the live reunion shows. He always knows the perfect questions to ask that will ultimately lead to great interaction. As for this season, Jeff is just scratching his head, like the rest of us , wondering how these brainless so called heroes can’t make a smart decision. Jeff, you truly are the best host out there!!! Jenn, if you don’t have anything smart to say, keep your lame opinions to yourself.

      • Kel S

        isn’t the whole point of tribal council to lay everything out there for everyone? so if there votes switch, their votes switch.
        Jeff is not in the wrong.

      • Jan

        Good lord are you like 12

      • Mary

        and you Jenn are an idiot

      • Ted

        By the you’re arguing it seems that you have a problem with authority. You probably have problems with your boss,husband,cop,mayor,president…

      • TONI

        I agree with you Jenn

      • dk

        Get a grip, Jenn, this isn’t the Bachelor & you aren’t reality Steve. The beauty of survivor is that these people are thrust into a complete alternate reality where they make bonehead decisions that they think they’d never make in the outside world (but probably would) Now leave jeff & his adorable dimples alone!

      • Lisa

        Jenn, Jenn, Jenn. Don’t you read the credits? Jeff Probst is NOT Chris Harrison, liar extraordinare. Jeff is there for good theatre. TC lasts hours sometimes, and we only see minutes. You have no idea what other questions he asked that weren’t shown. dk–I completely agree with you.

      • tijuana

        boston rob! boston rob! boston rob! he won every challenge for the villains! he’s smart! hes charming! Im rooting for him all the way! hes out – im out!

        russel’s getting boooring. one trick pony. so ya hes going to idol every damn tribe member of his until he gets beaten again and cries like a little loser in the finals! sounds very dull to me. Id rather watch my grandaunt watering the plants. Ciao!

      • Anne

        Jenn, you must only watch select episodes of Survivor. Jeff constantly asks tough questions of ALL the contestants, not just a certain few. I think YOU have favorites and are upset that they are playing like morons. Jeff, keep up the good work; you make tribal council fascinating each week!

      • RAIDERN

        Jeff that was hilarious lol… i love the part about how we will start this challenge when I am damn ready, and not a minute before :D

        glad to hear the pillows are dry again.

        and the part about your niece and fearing james hobbling over and beating you up is also pretty true… well said hahah :)

      • Kerry

        Jenn, It’s a TV show. Why are you so bitter? Calm down.

      • todd

        Wow, you need to relax. Its a tv show….
        Get a grip idiot.

      • Casey

        I agreed with Jenn and Joe. Jeff,remember you don’t have a torch.

      • bud

        Poor Jenn…She flunked her Rational Thinking class and we all are now subject to her idiocy. She also probably marches for the rights of serial killers and child molesters. Jeff is the best host of all shows and asks the hard questions of everyone. If you can’t handle it, don’t watch this show that perturbs your ridiculous and out-of-whack sensibilities.

      • David

        I have to agree with the person that told Jenn to get a grip… Perhaps you could join the one sacrificed in Samoa?

      • Shel

        Not only is Jeff THE BEST at what he does, but we are only getting to see a fraction of what he does. Any fan of the show knows by now that Tribal Councils last for hours. Jeff does not, I’m sure, waste his time asking the same thing 30 times to fill those hours. lol He skewers everyone, and then the editors & producers decide which skewering we get to see. It is a winning formula, with a winning host – a host who knows his job inside & out and is a pleasure to watch at the top of his game. ***Jeff, I don’t care if I sound like a kiss-up, I think you ARE the best at what you do and I can’t imagine this show without you. It doesn’t mean I always agree with you – heck no. But no one could do your job better. Thanks.

      • paul

        Jenn == major fail!

      • sam

        Jenn, I think you should understand that Jeff has his personal opinions as well. He, just like all of us, is a fan of this game which he had helped create.

        If you look through the past tribal councils carefully, you could see that Jeff has tried to stand at a neutral stand point as much as he can.

        Maybe you should do a little bit more careful research, cross-referring and calm down a little before making such offensive comments.

    • Stan

      Who let you out of the kitchen?

      • ichorwhip

        who let you out of the shed?

      • stan

        Must of been the same peson

      • Summer

        *must have

        “must of” is not correct

      • Dave

        Summer- Ever hear of slang and dialects? Go to university before you play linguist.

      • Sue

        What do slang and dialects have to do with incorrect grammar? Slang does not equate to stupidity. Summer is correct. “must have” = “must’ve” and not “must of.”

      • @ichorwhip

        Who let you out of the toilet bowl?

      • Dave

        Sue- Thats cute. Done now? Ok go and make your husband a sandwich now and continue you to do what ever jobless house wife like you do. Screw the mailman I assume.

      • Sarah

        Wow, Dave, it’s amazing that you gleaned all that information about Sue based on only her name. I guess trying to attack her personally is the only strategy you have left since you can’t make a logical rebuttal against her argument.

      • Dave

        Sarah- Since her argument is completely wrong and I know that a house wife like her thinks that she could never be wrong ever, logic would be wasted. Maybe you two should run away together and form some feminist group of something, you both seem better suited to ranting your childish beliefs in the street where you don’t need to back up your bullsh*t.

      • Sweetpea

        Dave – um, hate to tell you this buddy but Sue is right. It was gramatically incorrect. YOU are wrong. I know that’s tough for you to hear since Mommy made you think you were right all the time because Daddy was drunk and screwing her best friend. I get it. It’s okay. You have nothing to be ashamed of. IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. It is however, Mommy’s fault for leading you to believe that you can never be wrong, causing irreparable damage to your psyche regarding women, and last but certainly not least, I do believe Mommy is the one to blame in the end simply because she obviously didn’t help you with your homework or you would KNOW that Sue was indeed right in her correction of the grammatical error. Now, the fun part – how does it feel to be picked apart on a message board about something as silly as a grammatical error and whether someone is right or wrong? How do YOU like the personal attack based on assumptions…from her NAME? Really? So sad that there are actually people like you who exist. What is that saying…what goes around comes around? Yeah, that’s it. How ya like them apples Dave? ;) Next time try keeping your own personal issues out of your comments – and MAYBE I won’t have to tell you how horribly wrong and inaccurate you are. My job here is done! Moving on…

      • Stan

        You expect anyone to take the time to read that?
        Lol this is what happens when uneducated women get it in their head that they know are experts on something. Maybe sweet pea could take an adults education lesson to better her unfulfilled life hmm? Might I suggest a beginners course in linguistics?

      • Dave

        Sweet pea- do your parents know you got on the computer?

      • meetpetlovers

        jeff is awesome, large johnson and all – meetpetlovers

    • JC

      Hahaha, props for that rebuttal. Seriously, the only one I see whining is you woman.
      It’s so obvious the heroes are playing a detrimental strategy that killing them PRE-MERGE. With idiots like Rupert and James, I’d be thoroughly embarrassed if I were associated with the Heroes tribe. They are going to get their asses handed to them by the villains, and I’m going to enjoy it as much as Jeff enjoys blindfolds.

      • Manny

        Amen to that JC.

        And may I saw Jeff, I find your “newly” found sarcasm very diverting. I say “newly”, because I doubt you developed your sense of humour in your past two posts, but rather have had more of a let go and allowed it to come through.

        Now I find the sacrifice idea VERY interesting. But forget the grip, their lives aren’t worth enough…no, we need to go bigger. I suggest you give the gods the entire Hero’s tribe, starting with….oh hell, all of them together please!! I’m sure that will ensure at least 5 more good survivor seasons.

        Onto my feelings. I admit it, I have my arms thrown up high for both of the Villain’s victory. That’s right, despite Coach being in the tribe, I was rooting, and rooting hard. I might even have slipped a “well done” to Coach himself at some points. Honest!

        Ah, the knighting scene was the best 30 seconds of the whole episode. Brilliant! Russel knew exactly who he could go to in order to secure a vote. But I’m not certain if Coach could hold it in were he faced by Boston Rob directly about it. As for the “sneak peaks” of next episode’s face-offs between Russel and Rob, I can only say: take them out and measure ‘em boys, I’ll even provide the blindfolds ;) While on the Rob topic, deleted shark killing scene – yeah, kinda hot.

        Anyways! Moving on. Do keep handing players shovels Jeff, it’s very entertaining. You know, as I was watching the whole “JT in the middle” party, I couldn’t help but think: what happened to the strategy of get rib of the swing. It would have been perfect…but no one in that tribe seems to be able to take their head out of JT’s *** long enough to think for themselves. Except for Cerie, who JT intelligently decided to get rib of as soon as possible. What did JT say? Something like: “I know Cerie’s strategy, she would have flipped in the merge”. ? Something like that. JT is the one who will be forced to flip at the merge, he has NO choice, none. He wanted to keep Tom because Tom has won the game before, now that he is gone, he’ll have to find someone else who’s one…which means someone from the other tribe. That is, of course, if the Hero’s tribe even makes it that far.

        Well, my husband’s now wondering what kind of novel I’m writing here. So I’ll take that as a cue that I might have written too much. Then again… I might be giving birth at any time now, so this might very well be my last comment for a while. If so…know that I’ll still watch the show, between naps and nappies. :)

        All hail Dry Cushions!

    • Pat

      I REALLY hope the next challenges involve running and swimming…..then they will regret their decision for keeping James when they get their asses handed to them.

      • Linda

        Agreed. And even if it’s not a physical challenge, let’s see how they like James berating, yelling at and belittling the person *he* perceives to be the reason a challenge was lost. James’ hobbled leg is NOT his only shortcoming, remember ;)

      • Nina

        Couldn’t have said it better myself! I can almost bet that it will!! Serves them right!

      • Julie

        What I don’t understand is that no matter what James does or doesn’t do as far as healing what makes anyone think that the first challenge that has any contact the “Villains” are not going to go directly for that knee. It’s a million bucks, heck even Jeff’s niece would take a shot at it. Stupid move Heros.

      • Kim

        So what if James attempts a physical challenge before his knee can take it and gets hurt again and then gets pulled from the game? Then they will have thrown away Tom for nothing but the numbers. The numbers are not gonna help them once they merge. It doesn’t make any sense.

      • sandy lewis

        Me too….I want to see James crawl…Karma is a bitch….

    • karen

      That decision was the STUPIDEST one I have seen in 20 seasons!!! So Pissed!! I am no longer a fan of the Heroes tribe after last night! They are going down and they deserve every minute of it voting that way!!!

      • Debaloo

        Karen I completely agree. The Heroes had me in their corner until last night. I cannot support stupidity. I look forward to seeing that decision bite them in the butt.
        On the villians tribe…. I was never a Russell fan but I’ve got to give the guy credit for agressively playing the game. Let someone else play Dragon Slayer Tai Chi – Russell is in it to win it.

      • MattColorado

        I agree 100%. Makes NO sense based on what we saw. Either they are SO DUMB, or something happened that didn’t air. I blame JT. Candace only voted for Tom because she must have known ahead of time that JT would also, and didn’t want to make a stand on the wrong side. So…why would JT vote to be in the bottom of a tight and worthless alliance, rather than Tom’s right-hand-man in a strong alliance. Insane in the membrane.

      • scrabblequeenbe

        I agree too. Not rooting the the heroes anymore. Coby will be voted out the first chance they get.
        Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.
        I’m rooting for Boston Rob all the way now. I can’t stand Russell. Get him Rob…

      • lmw

        I agree 100%!!! I’ve been mad all day. When this season was announced, I was so excited! I wanted to see two teams of strong, smart, experienced players really compete…go neck and neck…back and forth every week…make you wonder who would win. Instead we get this? Idiots vs. Villains

        The glimmer of hope that was last week has now gone out.

        Seems like JT without Steven can’t keep his head on straight.

        Rupert has turned into “Mr. Excuse.” (where is the player I once loved?)

        And for the 3rd time Amanda is playing a weak game in the shadow of a “best friend.”

        It’s like they all took a look at James’ muscles and turned into whimpering cowards–even when he has a bum knee!

        If Colby can somehow survive I’ll continue to root for him, but I spent last night scowling at the TV–turning into a Villain fan!

      • Sweetpea

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but we don’t know how Candice voted right? Tom only needed 4 – James, Rupert, Amanda – JT. It is highly possible Candice voted w/Tom and Colby and wrote down James. I too look forward to the next challeng – I have a feeling this is only the beginning of the downfall for the Hero tribe. James w/a bum knee better than Tom? No way! I just KNEW JT was going to write down James and use the excuse that James threw the option out there! Why didn’t he?! HELLO – you’re there to WIN the game and if you don’t make it through the merge you can not possibly win.

      • Salamander

        Sweetpea, did you not see the end credits when they showed the votes? There was sweet Candace holding up her “TOM” vote!

      • Sweetpea

        @Salamander – NO I DIDN’T!!! I can’t believe they BOTH voted for Tom!! There is no hope! LOL Thanks for the info!

      • Sweetpea

        Ask for my e-mail if you want to “get together” ;)

    • paul

      It makes no difference who the “Zeros” vote out. They can’t solve a puzzle to save their lives.

      • Patricia

        Ha ha ha…. I loved this one! You got that right… Ha ha ha!

      • Rock Golf

        Hey, Heroes!

        See if you can solve this puzzle:

        M O R _ N S

      • paul

        Rupert: Morns? What’s that?
        Amanda: Can we have a hint?
        JT: Wait I’ve done this one before!
        James: Shut the F@#$% up!

      • Juneau

        @ Rock Golf – single best post EVER on Jeff’s blog.

      • Dallas

        I loved Paul’s reply! Too funny. And how nice that the comments switched to the game instead of Jeff!

      • Harrington

        Sweetpea, Candice is not lost yet, She voted for Tom because she knew he was going home and she didn’t want to be in the outs. She’s just trying to save herself and it’s correct. Also, if you’ll see her voting confessional, she said that this is the dumbest move to boot Tom, but she has to do that. I blame JT for Heroes fall.

      • andre

        u make my day, paul. so funny and accurate at the same time. lmao

    • Me

      hey Jeff, in ten years of Survivor my favorite quote is in Pearl Island:
      You to Osten in TC : GO HOME.
      anyway Julie from Vanuatu was a nice piece of a$$ , your old dog.
      Lucky devil.

    • Jim

      Actually, Jeff, when Russell found the hidden immunity idol, I turned to the person sitting next to me and said, “Oh god, not more of his cr**.” No smiles for Russell here. I know Survivor loves Russell because he says insulting things and has an ego the size of the Pacific Ocean, but to this viewer, he’s a loser, through and through.

      • Sabrina

        Amen.

      • Jenny

        Totally and completely agree.

      • Billy

        Totally disagree. Russell is THE KING! …And he’s fun as hell to watch lol

      • David

        I love tivo so I can ff through all of that toothless, backwoods troll’s idiodicies. The best day of my life will be when he get’s voted out. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed anyone as disgusting in my life. Go Jerry for the win!

      • OopsyDaisy

        You can hate Russell all you want. But, King Russell is back! And to top things off, he has just knighted Sir Coach. Wow, are we back in the Camelot now?

      • Argonut

        Russell is doing a great job using his advantage that nobody there knew how he played the game. Had Rob (for example) known him at all … he’d be playing him much differently.

      • Ulee

        Russell is so awesome and hilarious. He’s the only one I can think of who has created a game persona and used it as a major part of his strategy. Makes for very very fun viewing. GO RUSSELL!!

      • Jayne

        Totally agreed with Jim.
        I don’t understand Jeff’s undying love for this man. I know Russell can play strategy but finding the idol in this case wasn’t that difficult. They had a clue (the Heroes all knew where to look for theirs) AND he had no competition as the rest of his tribe decided not to look for it.

      • Allison

        Agreed. He doesn’t make me smile. Every time his voice comes through the TV, I actually cringe, because he’s just so awful to watch. Samoa was unbearable. I’m hoping Rob beats him, but with my luck… it won’t happen.

      • julie

        I just loved how with all those specific clues it took Russell 3 days to find the Idol and Tom found it in what was prbably a couple of hours. I hope it blows up in his face, I’m sick of Russell this season (and I liked him last one). I really hope Rob gets him out soon so we don’t haveto keep hearing him call himself King over and over again. He’s just becoming boring and predictable to watch.

      • alex

        disagree…if he plays it and uses it well…hes playing survivor…the GAME…this isnt life where you must obey to a strict moral code…who cares about what he says when talking about coach, or others? seriously? its a game, let the best win

      • lara

        Right you are Jim. that idol means we are going to have to listen to Russhole’s hyperbole for the next month or so. Regardless, the villains know what a loser he is, and will probably keep him around, because once again, no one can stand that bonehead, and he gets no votes if he ever makes it to the end.

      • Trav

        Why does everybody have to bash Russel? He plays an excellent game because he knows just how much to push everyone’s buttons. I thought it was hilarious when he “knighted” Coach. Go KING RUSSEL!

      • Sophist

        On day 1 Russell gets out there and starts playing the game hard like he has TC later that night… His persona really works in the game and its entertaining to watch

    • SurvivorMan

      The Hero’s all Brawn no Brain! Can’t do puzzles, make dumb decisions in Tribal. Looks like the Villains got this wrapped up already!

    • Michelle

      I hate March madness.

      • Chuck

        Basketball is a terrible excuse for a sport.

    • Paul

      All the posters on here who suck up to Jeff Probst! Kinda makes you sick. Jeff Probst is very clearly trying to influence the game – he wanted Tom and Colby to stay. And he wanted to kick out James and Rupert.

      He and Colby have been friends for years, they are “poker buddies”. He is dating a former Survivor contestant. You think he is still all “unbiased” and the straight man?

      Please. Give me a break. All the posters on here who keep on trying to suck up to the host reminds me back in high school and all the no-names trying to suck up to the cool kid.

      P.S. Get your own life.

      • Juneau

        Well – I wanted Colby and Tom to stay, too. He knows what the audience wants and had I been sitting where Jeff was I’d have called out Rupert, too. He clearly had NO influence over the vote, because Tom WENT HOME! Are you really saying that Jeff shouldn’t question anyone on their game play? Would make for really boring TCs.

      • JfromCanada

        @Paul: I think most of the people who post here enjoy Jeff’s blogs and believe him to be a great host, that does not mean they are suck-ups. FYI, Jeff is no longer dating a contestant, and though he may be friendly with some of the former survivors outside the game his first loyalty is to the show. What we see of tribal council is just a few minutes of what may be hours of Jeff provoking the survivors to try to make good TV. He asks the questions we as viewers want to ask… that’s what makes him a great host.

      • Victor

        Sensitive much? For you to get all hissy about this shows how emotionally immature you are. Oh, we agree with Jeff therefore we are kissing his butt? WHO GET A LIFE LOSER, if you were in front of me right now I’d punch you in the face for that comment.

      • Did You Climb In From Space

        I actually got a tingle when Jeff said he reads the posts. Suck Suck.

      • Rob

        and remember, who knows what else went on at TC, because it’s not like we see the whole thing, and another thing, it was totally ridiculous to get rid of Tom when it comes to challenge strength. Does nobody remember back to Palau and how much he owned the hell out of that season. I personally, think Rupert should go. He’s way passed it, every time he’s on screen he looks like he wants to kill himself, and from the sounds of it in Sugars interview he just goes around telling everyone about how famous he’s gotten since Pearl Islands.

      • julie

        What purpose would it serve Jeff to try to influence the game? He’s getting paid handsomely no matter what happens. I think he’s been doing i long enouh to know that there is no sure way to predict what people will do no matter how hard he tries. And also, it seems like peoples minds are made up at Tribal and they aren’t influenced (for that vote) by what happens there. Not many of these people make a decision without discussing it with their alliance first.

      • Greg

        He has no incentive to pick favorites. He has an incentive to make the show popular and the Heroes shooting themselves in the foot week after week will make the show very boring soon, hence, unpopular. These things are heavily edited from (it sounds like) a very long taping. Relax.

    • JD

      Getting so sick of Jeff’s BS and clear biased.

      This is NOT THE FIRST TIME strong people get voted off. It’s still a game, how does it make ANY sense to vote off people you are aligned to over people that are threats and would vote for you if they could?

      There is no right or wrong decision.

      Jeff needs to be replaced with somebody that can see that.

      • Dan

        Dude, You can say there is no wrong or right decision but keeping a player who is in a full leg splint with an unstable knee that will buckle and shred the ligaments and cost the heroes another player if he takes a hit to it or stains it is a dumb decision. You may disagree with Probst but he is right. The heroes have had their edge of strength taken away by James’s injury and not voting James off. That strength was the only thing that helped them win their single immunity challenge. Its hard to see anything but the heroes dwindling away.

      • MattColorado

        What people are overlooking is that just because Tom is such a great physical competitor, does not imply that he isn’t good at puzzles. it does not have to be one or the other. Or, put another way, who do you think is better at puzzles…Tom or James? Who is better physically, Tom or injured James? (heck, Tom is probably better physically at age 50 than James when healthy…outside of only physical combat. Tom is like ATG at challenges…dont think James is).

      • Angie

        Your logic makes absolutely no sense. It may not be the first time that a strong player has been voted out, but when your tribe is consistently getting stomped in challenges, it’s stupid to vote your alliance at the expense of your tribe. So their core alliance is strong, who cares? It’s not going to do them one bit of good after the merge when they’re facing being picked off by the much larger, and much savvier Villians tribe. Voting off Tom was a ridiculous move last night.

      • Sophist

        I think the logic of voting your alliance is that the merge is probably only 2 or 3 challenges away and the core hero alliance needs a buffer of expendable players. Sugar was an easy choice and the 3-way alliance of colby tom and steph are more expendable than JT and candace b/c JT/candace will at least play ball with the cirie/james/amanda/rupert alliance. All they really need to do is make it to the merge with james/amanda/rupert/candace (possibly JT but they shouldnt trust him at this point) and a 4man voting block like that can cause chaos between the internal factions of the villians.
        Think about it, these are all experienced players so there wont be any real “tribe loyalty” (especially since that is an oxymoron for the villians anyway) and there is the extra dynamic of old alliances that will also make infiltration of the villians easier for the remaining heros. When you look at it like that it sounds like a good idea…
        Personally I never liked Tom or Colby or Sugar so I dont blame the other alliance for targetting them, especially considering Tom was targeting Cirie instead of Sugar. Too bad Steph got caught on the wrong side of the numbers and James had roid rage b/c I think she would have been much better to keep over Tom Colby or Candace.

    • Idol grabber

      Okay first time to post here, Jeff your blog is great. You are bold and very funny. It has added to my watching the show because I look forward to see what insight you have to share. If some people feel you influence the game, well then those who play this game should contend that you are a factor they need to consider in their game play of outwit. Good luck to them because you have 20 seasons of observation behind you.
      I think that Russel is playing to outplay and outlast by grabbing the idol and mixing it up. He is going to go head to head with Rob, than Rob has to start to play more of a social game, i.e. by wooing Coach and playing to his neediness and not worry about being a macho man. If he wants this he has to outwit Russel and potential followers. The thing is I am not sure that Russel is his arch enemy, I find it is the unlikely ones that turn out to surprise you in this game (hence JT’s flip on Cirie). The Heroes are weak for their decision making, Tom’s oust was dumb given James lame leg.

      • Liz

        I really like Tom-he’s always been one of my top Survivors. I’m sorry he;s gone. He plays with integrity. I think the Heroes are shooting themselves in the foot every week and when the merge finally comes they will have nothing to stand on. I also hope Boston Rob gets the best of Russell – it would serve him right for his meanness. I don’t buy that he just likes to create tension-he’s just not a nice person.

    • Daniel

      The Heroes has to be one of the dumbest tribes I have ever seen.

      • Anonymoose

        I don’t know… Galu would give them a run for their money…

      • Daniel

        @Anonymous: In theory, Colby is gonna be voted off next, so that leaves the tribe with two incredibly dumb guys who can’t even run, a dumb guy that has no idea of strategy whatsoever, and two dumb women waiting for the merge. That tribe has no chance. Galu messed it up only after the merge.

      • Bad Robot

        Someone from each tribe will be voted off. Colby, and Rob

    • Daniel

      Agreed. I really hate this basketball thing btw.

    • seattleellen

      I cannot believe how stupid these “heroes” are. I hope it bites them in the butt with keeping James. They should of gotten rid of him and his horrid attitude when they had the chance. And JT putting an exclamation point by Tom’s name with this vote. I don’t like anyone this time around on the Hereos team. I want Boston Rob to win. They need to somehow get Russell out of there. I wanted Russell to win on his season, but this time I am just finding him annoying. And Rupert really seems out of his element this time around.

      • Jan Hus

        Am I the only one who doesn’t think JT made a bad move??? I understand that keeping james might be bad for the chalanges; but that isn’t what this vote is about. You have to look at this vote from a long term perspective. JT had to chose between two aliances: James, Amanda and Rupert or tom, candance and colby. Whatever alliance he chose there would bring a rupture in the tribe (if there wasn’t one allready). So even if they would win every immunity from now of on they woudn’t go as a unified group to the merge and people would flip. Keeping james over tom is the smart thing to do because of a couple of reasons.
        1: Amanda James and Rupert are more loyal (or stupid). So the risk of them turning on JT would be smaller then with people like candace.
        2. Amanda is probably aligned with parvati from the start so at the merge they have a shot of joining forces with parvati and whomever is aligned with her. This is a scenario i see happening. It’s not in a villain’s nature to stay loyal to their tribe. And since parvati and russle are a bit on the outs… Plus if russles continues his ‘dumb girl’ alliance tactic he would be smart to bring amanda rupert and james with him. (Is there anyone more stupid then them??) So that would make an alliance of 6, then they would just need to flip one villain more (or heroe if they have any left) or play an immunity idol on the right time to get the upper hand. ( i see coach flipping, ’cause he is probably in love with rupert james and JT from watching their season’s, and by that time russle would have total control over him)
        3. JT has a better chance of getting to the final two by keeping rupert and james (both injured). It would be easier for JT to win individual immunity challenges then if colby and
        4. If he makes it to the final and he takes someone like amanda along he has a bigger chance of winning the money even if he’s a previous winner.
        5. losing more challenges thanks to james wouldn’t be a bad thing to do. like that they can get rid of candace and colby who can be dangerous at the merge. Ofcourse they can’t lose to manny challenges eather. But i expect probst won’t let that happen. It would make for boring tv if they let the villains continue to slaughter the heroes. I expect some strenght and endurance challenges (where people don’t have to walk) or even a little premerge twist.

        P.S. Sorry for my english, I live in Europe and english is my forth language.

      • Shel

        I also agree that this wasn’t necessarily a wrong or stupid decision on JT’s part. I think voting out James, left 2 people mad at him. Voting out Tom, left just Colby (this assumes Candace stays with JT no matter what). A mad Rupert & Amanda are too much of a risk of flipping the rest of the tribe over against JT. I said it Dalton’s blog – JT is playing for the merge. He just sees those villains as more possibilities for himself. lol

      • Sophist

        I can see the logic in JT’s move and I think that his decision to target Cirie was brilliant b/c it protects him from her strategy. However, I think that he is playing too hard right now and everyone can see it already. His zig-zag movements identify him as an obvious threat and they would still have Candace to fall back on either way.

    • Annie

      Jeff-
      First off, ignore “Jenn”, she, like Rupert has been on the juice and calling someone a “Liar” is just plain RUDE.

      The Heroes are the “Little Rascals” of all tribes. Boobs, every last one of them. Including Colby, who SAT OUT a physical challenge. I can’t wait until they are all gone.

      I hate basketball.

      • k

        Um, the Heroes HAD to sit out a man in that challenge. If not Colby, then who? I’m sure the tribe discussed it and Colby not participating does not say anything bad about him, it just means that the group decided he should pass on that one. I’m positive he would have loved to participate, but not everyone could. Among Colby, JT, James (pre-injury), Rupert, and Tom, that’s a really tough group and picking which one should not play… well, scoffing at Colby for not playing is crazy.

      • D

        It made sense for Colby to sit out the reward challenge. You can’t sit out back-to-back, so he would be available for the immunity challenge that way.

    • gorob!

      oh ridiculous. I hate this season so far. I will tell u what the BAD DECISION WAS – to put all those damn micronesia ‘LA’ ppl in the game again! together for the third time. Everything is so skewed. messed up. Parvati clearly knows something about russel beforehand. so obvious. atleast the previous allstars had them discard their pre-season alliances once in the game!
      THIS SEASON IS TERRIBLE! ARRRGH IM SO ANNOYED WITH ALL THIS SEASON 15+ CASTING. PLS PLS PLS NEXT TIME BRIGN BACK THE OLD TIME SURVIVORS. THEY PLAY BECAUSE THEY LOVE THE GAME (NOT FOR THE FRIGGING MONEY LIKE THESE CLOWNS).

    • Musica1

      I 100% agree. I can see Amanda and idiot Rupert staying with James, but why did JT and Candice? I thought they were smarter than that. I guess not. I was hoping JT would win, but now I’m looking forward to Boston Rob winning the whole thing.

      • A.A

        Tom said that he asked Candice to vote against him after they realised JT will anyway.

    • SurvivorFreak

      Jeff, I don’t really care about your pillows. Also, James & Amanda have played on the same team together for THREE seasons. Ddid you really think they might not team up in an alliance again? In my opinion, the cast is designed to give Amanda and Parvati an advantage if all their friends make the merge. Probst had as much effect on the game with his influence over the selection of cast. So far, everyone who has been voted off is outside of the L.A. social scene. Most alliances were formed before the game even started.

    • Mary

      This was the second worst decision yet.

      Steph was the first.

      The Heroes are not thinking right!

    • Old School Survivor

      Jenn your wrong wrong.

      Probst just doing what he does best — being “our eyes and ears” and voicing it to the players. Like with Rupert — Jeff like us has seen enough him to see that he isn’t that honorable gruff giant we saw in past– he’s also quite surly, arrogant, boorish, and dumb. Jeff’s calling him out on his stupidity on our behalf. Same for ‘Roids James. Keep doing what you’re doing Jeff – you’re great at reading the players in the game.

      Now that my all-time favorite survivor is gone (Stephanie), and my next favorite (Colby) is on the outs, and the last honorable good guy (Tom) was axed, I’m switching my rooting interest to the villains side and root for Boston Rob to team up with Sandra to kick ass on the remaining malignants from both of these sorry tribes. As much as I’ve hated Rob’s wise-ass attitude in the past, for my money Rob is truly the best survivor player of all-time and because he’s shown that he can influence and dominate even in an “all-star” — twice! Win Rob.

      Probst, You rock! No other host like you. Another Emmy is on the way. Great job!

    • KEH

      Ok.. Tom has rubbed me the wrong way this season. So I liked seeing him go. But not sure it was smart. Now we all know the real thing we want to see is Russel vs ROB.. and I want ROB to win. My hope is the little troll goes out with the idol in his pocket because he thinks he can save if for later.

    • Greg

      People, be nice on Jeff. Remember WAY back when Bryant Gumbel hosted the reunion show and clearly hadn’t watched the show and thought the whole thing was stupid? If we’re too mean to Jeff he subject us to that again, and that was even worse than Rosie hosting. The man knows and loves the show and he’s talking to them for HOURS, which is edited down to 10 minutes. Chill out. It’s way better than many on this board deserve. (Insert ass-kissing sound here.)

    • Patrick

      Jeff, you’re the man. I couldn’t agree more with you. Hey, I’ve got an idea that I would love to share with you, but I don’t think I want to make it public in this forum, just in case you guys decide to utilize it in the future. So, how do I get that idea to you?

      Patrick

  • Chuck

    James is a credit to his race

    • Linda

      Yes, he is. And that changes what?

      • darclyte

        The human race? He’s an excellent physical specimen sure, but he’s no Ghandi, MLK, or Roosevelt.

    • whatever

      race? who cares about race??!! The heroes have turned out to be real idiots. Really – you keep someone with a messed up leg when you’ve been losing most of the challenges. Can’t root for dumb a@@es. Jeff Probst – you are truly the man. Love your blog and your writing – mad skills!

  • Sybil

    Russell……………Hantz

    • Dr Zechariah Zenith

      That was amazing. Russell the Hustler finding immunity idol once again. I hope he gets far. But pretty sure the villains tribe will go after him.

      Heroes are on a downward spiral.

      Loyalty first. But that has doomed their tribe. I guess to go down fighting with those you aligned will be better than those you don’t.

      Poor Candice, she is probably out next week. Or even Colby, if Heroes lose once again.

      Survivor Heroes vs Villains. This season is absolutely fantastic.

      I though Samoa was the best, but that was only the appetizer or the prequel for this season.

      • lara

        how is it amazing that it took him 3 days, with no one in the villains bothering to even look for the idol, to find the idol? I say, it’s amazing it took Russhole so long to find the idol!

  • fernan115

    that was a stupid move :/

    BTW: We want a bluray boxset of all survivor seasons!!!!

  • Sven

    I Sacrifice someone once a year too, Jeff. FAFNIR MUST BE SATED!

    • MattColorado

      hh

  • Mark in FL

    Jeff, I believe you’re making the same mistake a lot of fans are by treating this like a typical season of Survivor (vote out the weakest ASAP, keep your tribe strong & win challenges until the merge to have numbers). However, pregame relationships are clearly playing a big role this season. When you look at the Villains tribe, Tom and Colby have zero potential allies in that tribe whereas Amanda & James have the ‘in’ with Parvati & Courtney. I think Rupert & JT have figured out that aspect of this unique season and know they’ll have more options later if they stick with Amanda & James now. I also think Russell and Boston Rob have figured this out. I may be completely off the mark here but I think the KEY players in each tribe for any post-merge strategy are Amanda (Heroes) and Parvati (Villains). Otherwise, you are leaving any post-merge strategy to chance and likely chaos. In this light, JT’s vote to remove Cirie last week makes a LOT of sense. If Cirie had remained to the merge, then those options would have been closed to JT. Just my 2 cents but I think there’s method to the madness, more than people are giving credit for.

    • lou

      Nope, there is no method to their madness, you just have the advantage of observing from afar.

      • Mark in FL

        Maybe but clearly this is not a typical season of Survivor because of the pregame relationships so conventional wisdom can be tossed out the window. Does anyone seriously think Heroes or Villains are going to remained tightly loyal by tribe post-merge? If the answer is no then the biggest indicators are: 1) who are potential allies and 2) who do I take to final tribal council. The best answer for a lot of people to those questions (especially the second) is Parvati, and then the dominoes fall accordingly from her (i.e. Amanda, James, Courtney, Candice etc.)

      • lou

        No, defiantly not a typical season but I’m having difficulty believing the heroes are thinking through their votes logically. If anyone, it will be Russell to break up the current alliances.

      • Mark in FL

        Everyone’s best chance to win the million dollars is to take Parvati to final tribal council (because she already won), especially for people who also won (JT, Sandra, Tom, Rupert, who won the fans’ million, and even Boston Rob, who ‘married’ the million dollars). Parvati’s best chance to win final tribal council is to go with Amanda and hope for another meltdown (and even that might not be enough), so where Parvati goes, so goes Amanda. Follow the money, which will lead you to how the dominoes are most likely to fall.

      • Mark in FL

        I disagree. I think Russell wants to take Parvati to final tribal council for precisely the reasons I stated above… and that means taking Amanda to the final 4, at least.

      • JC

        Parvati and Russell are definitely playing each other. It would be in Russell’s interest to take Amanda over Parvati as he has been shown to take coattail riders, although Russell cannot win because his own ego and social game would be suicide if he makes it to final TC. On another note, I was a big Amanda fan but I’m not impressed with her this season. It’s like Cirie said in her interview, she’s not the sharpest tool and it leads me to believe it was definitely Cirie and Parvati calling the shots back in Micronesia.

      • Carl

        I disagree with Mark FL, you don’t need Parvati at the end with you, to have a chance of winning. His logic is off, quite idiotic if you ask me.

      • Mark in FL

        Carl: We shall see.

    • SK

      Mark in FL, I agree that pre-game relationships appear to be more important to the ‘Heroes’ but as Jeff P points out you ignore conventional game wisdom at your own peril. I personally find Rupert’s ‘pick & stick’ approach myopic and ego/attitude grating. I am suprised he is so popular.

      • Frank Marshall

        I cannot stand Rupert! He’s just such a doofus. When he was talking about how there was no way that James would be coming back after his injury I turned to my friend and said that seals it, James is definitely coming back now, cause that guy is ALWAYS friggin wrong. And sure enough, in hobbles James. Rupert is completely useless, and I’m so tired of his bs at tribal council. Honestly, tonight’s vote at tc was almost a relief, because now there’s nothing left to tie me to the heroes tribe and I can root for the villains in earnest. James, Rupert, and JT can all suck it.

      • Mark in FL

        Pregame relationships do not appear important to the Villains only because they’ve been to tribal council once. However, the one time they did go speaks volumes (keeping Parvati and getting rid of Randy).

      • MB

        Rupert was a dope his first time out, but it was refreshing. His second time, not so engaging. And now he just seems stupid.

    • Majk

      I agree – just like Coach “changed the game” by putting forward an agenda of keeping the strong players, so did Russell change the game last season with his tactic of “I don’t care if my team loses because I’m running the show”. Merges rarely work out the way we expect them to, and Tom was a much more dangerous player to have around. If JT hadn’t voted Tom he’d be the next one to go, that’s another important point. I think the potential for Parvati teaming up with James and Amanda is a lot less than everyone here seems to think, but JT getting together with Coach and Tyson is very realistic, and if Coach is still tied to Russell and Parvati, that’s a ****ing strong bloc right there.

      • Lauren

        Have you seen how Coach nods to JT when they meet up at challenges? I agree they have more of a chance at being alligned than anyone else.

      • Carl

        I disagree

      • Facepalm

        State reasons or GTFO

      • D

        @Lauren-Tyson even KISSED JT at one of the challenges.

      • Mark in FL

        I just don’t see a strong alliance emerging between JT, Coach and Tyson. Coach is too irrational and Tyson isn’t as clever as he thinks.

      • Lu

        I would be stoked if a Coach/Tyson/JT alliance merged if only because I think they are all well connected enough to go far and I look forward to more time with Coach. When I heard this season was going to be returning players he was at the top of my list of players I wanted to see back. Long Live COACH and his stories!

    • Sue

      I honestly don’t think the Heros (Amanda, Rupert) are that smart to think ahead. Seriously – last night was hard to watch them be so stupid.

      • sandy lewis

        You are so right…

    • MattColorado

      MARK in FL- that is an intelligent post and insightful. I respectfully disagree however, as staying with Amanda and James might help them post-merge, yet it would still put them at the bottom of that post-merge alliance. Moreover, by keeping strong with Tom/Colby/Candace…they could still possibly outnumber the Villains post-merge….whereby immediate post-merge alliances are less important.

      • Mark in FL

        MattColorado: I don’t think there are enough immunity challenges left before the merge for a 4 person alliance to have any impact after the merge. If they keep losing, Colby goes and then Candice. JT would probably outlast Rupert as well (James, Amanda, JT) if it went on that long, which I would be very surprised if it did. Even then, add Parvati and Courtney and maybe Russell and you have a 6 strong post-merge alliance to control the game. I don’t think James is really thinking that far ahead but I firmly believe Amanda and JT are. NO ONE plays 96 days & counting of Survivor without getting voted out (Amanda) without knowing what they are doing IMO.

      • Mark in FL

        “I don’t think there are enough immunity challenges left before the merge for a 4 person alliance to have any impact after the merge.” I should add unless they have ready-made allies in the Villains tribe. I don’t see ANYONE in the Villains tribe allying themselves with Colby and Tom.

      • KWise

        Mark in FL – I love that you are engaging in intelligent strategy talk here. I agree that pre-game alliances matter big-time. But I do agree with MattColorado, though. IF JT had aligned w/ Colby/Tom/Candace, at their next loss they could have voted out Amanda (4-3). Then James next. Then they’d have gone into the merge with the micronesia alliance powerless. As it is, JT is the low man in the Amanda/James/Rupert alliance – and it will only get worse post-merge.

      • KWise

        Furthermore – JT kept saying he couldn’t double-cross Amanda/James/Rupert again or he’d be in trouble. Who cares? If he had sided with Tom/Colby/Candace, he’d have a majority over them anyway.

    • Old School Survivor

      Great post Mark. Well thought out analysis. Made me stop and think. I agree with most of what you stated. The players who have the dual-tribes relationships are thinking ahead and using that as strategic linchpins to their pre-merge strategies and post-merge end-game.

      However, for my money though, don’t count Boston Rob yet in favor of the Microsnesia/Tocatins players. We’ve gotten a couple of quotes from already him that imply that he has his eye on the cross-tribe relationships and strategies. Rob is very aware and cunning and has the ability to influence people like few others who have played survivor — and because he gets much respect for his leadership and competitive skills in challenges in the end players end up swinging to his side. He will strike at Russell/Parvatti while the tribe is still large enough and will get Sandra, Jerri, Tyson, Danielle, and maybe even ex-star-struck disciple, Coach to vote first Parv, then Russell. He will then make it into the merge with some power. We we will see how it plays out.

      Great post and insight Mark.

    • Sophist

      I think the logic of voting your alliance is that the merge is probably only 2 or 3 challenges away and the core hero alliance needs a buffer of expendable players. Sugar was an easy choice and the 3-way alliance of colby tom and steph are more expendable than JT and candace b/c JT/candace will at least play ball with the cirie/james/amanda/rupert alliance. All they really need to do is make it to the merge with james/amanda/rupert/candace (possibly JT but they shouldnt trust him at this point) and a 4man voting block like that can cause chaos between the internal factions of the villians.
      Think about it, these are all experienced players so there wont be any real “tribe loyalty” (especially since that is an oxymoron for the villians anyway) and there is the extra dynamic of old alliances that will also make infiltration of the villians easier for the remaining heros. When you look at it like that it sounds like a good idea…
      Personally I never liked Tom or Colby or Sugar so I dont blame the other alliance for targetting them, especially considering Tom was targeting Cirie instead of Sugar. Too bad Steph got caught on the wrong side of the numbers and James had roid rage b/c I think she would have been much better to keep over Tom Colby or Candace.

  • K

    Bring on Rob vs Russell. I can’t wait.

    • Wade Kwon

      Bring on Russell vs. everyone.

      Just wanted to say that Jeff points out taking James over Tom was the dumbest move. But we’re back to that old question of what matters more at challenges: strength, brains, leadership, remaining calm. James may not win a footrace, but he did well as caller.

      And even though the Heroes are showing up a lot at Tribal, at least JT is managing to remain as the swing vote each time.

      http://bit.ly/jt-survivor5a

      • Al

        “strength, brains, leadership, remaining calm”. James has none of these, at least now that he is hobbled.

    • Kim

      GO ROB!!!

    • lara

      Russhole is only trying to outlast Rob. His whole game is to beat Rob, because then he thinks everyone will think of HIM as the best player. He is so small minded, that he doesn’t see the big picture. Once again, he wins the battle, but loses the war.

  • Angelina

    AAAwww…I’m sad it’s not gonna be on next week! I feel as though things are just now starting to get interesting. Hopefully by the time the show does return the heroes will have won an immunity challenge. Things are starting to get interesting over on the villain side and I am sure a tribal council would light a fire to all of the conflict. Also I like to point out that J.T. is screwing himself over in the end, by betraying EVERYONE without being very sly. At least try to pick one group that you are loyal to (Or maybe even one person for that matter). I really don’t understand his strategy and sometimes I wonder if he really knows what he’s doing either.

    • Olivia

      J.T.’s hidden immunity idol was Stephen Fishbach. Without Stephen there to push and guide him from behind J.T. wouldn’t even be capable of differentiating his ass from his elbow, let alone successfully traverse through the Survivor labyrinth. J.T.’s days are numbered.

      • Nancy

        You’re not giving JT quite as much credit as he deserves or he wouldn’t have won the first time around. You are definitely right, though, about JT missing Stephen as his immunity idol.

      • Lu

        @Nancy I think part of the reason JT won the first time around was because he played the good guy while Stephen played the schemer and if there is one thing that we can all agree on it’s that teh schemers tend to get hurt because people don’t want to admit they were duped.

      • Sophist

        I agree. JT rode Stephens coattails and even then the only reason he survived the merge is b/c of Coaches retarded “warrior alliance” which screwed up the whole dynamic of the game.
        JT got lucky and his move against Cirie was the most strategic one I have ever seen him play… too bad it will cost him alot of trust down the long run to switch sides so often

    • D

      Doesn’t matter who betrays until after the merge, I think. They won’t be on the jury.

    • Old School Survivor

      Agree with you Olivia. Fishbach masterminded the post-merge game strategy and protected J.T. from being picked off by the physically weaker players. In the end being the strategist cost Stephen as he was seen as the dishonest bad guy when it came to the million-dollar vote. I liked Stephen — he was cut out of the same mold as Rob Cisternino.

      Sadly, we now see the real J.T. – forced to be dishonest himself and go back on his word because he can’t figure it all out on his own — he’s getting played and is unsure and indecisive. These days he’s looking more like a weak girl than a strong alpha-male.

      Good call Olivia.

      • Sophist

        Dont forget about the “warrior alliance” and Coach’s stupid vendetta against his own tribe leader. The warrior alliance strategy was a fluke and more of a gimmick then a viable way to play the game… look what it got Coach, a blindside.

  • Jennifer in San Diego

    Hi Jeff – as always, enjoy your blog. No episode of Survivor is complete without your insight and backstage skinny. After being a huge Russel/immunity idol fan last season, I find myself dreading him using it against my favorite, Boston Rob. Solver of puzzles, maker of fire, defender of the groin region – he is a Survivor Triple Threat! When (if) he leaves, my enjoyment of this season will lesson.

    I also wish you guys would show a little more Tyson, his confessionals are usually snarky good fun. I don’t necessarily want him to go deep in the game, but he’s a hoot!

    Thanks again :)

    • Bex

      Agreed! So glad someone else loves Boston Rob as much as me. I wish they would team up instead of trying to get the other voted off. I really really really hope Boston Rob doesn’t get voted off as it will just not be as good a season if he goes.

      • Django

        I wasn’t a huge Rob fan before, but must say that he’s got his stuff together for this one!

    • Teresa

      agree completely. God, I love Boston Rob! Didn’t so much his originial season, but this year he’s perfection.

      • Me

        Count me in as well! I hated Rob, and I hated the Rob/Amber alliance (couldn’t believe that no one broke that up!)…
        That changed when I saw them on the Amazing Race…which I watched to “boo” them, and ended up cheering for them.

        Rob has ROCKED this season…he should have been a hero (how strange is that!!)…sadly, I think Russell will take him down.

        Rob, you rock! (Jeff, you rock too…I’ve watched all 20 seasons of Survivor…you never played favourites)

      • terry

        I hated Rob as well. And I really hated him on The Amazing Race. I figure he’s won his reality show(he got amber) so let someone else have a chance. And didn’t care for him on it. But he’s grown on me this season. Which means his days are numbered.

      • D

        I liked him on TAR too.

    • Frank Marshall

      Boston Rob walking around blindfolded with one hand over his crotch was the funniest thing I’ve seen since…well, since Amanda’s stupid little run to James after he returned to camp. And it just goes to show that he really is the smartest guy on his tribe, cause no one else was thinking ahead like that. However, I don’t want to start rooting for Rob, because that’s a sure fire way to get him sent home. So…go Rupert, you incompetent buffoon.

      • Kim

        Hahaha, that’s hilarious! Go Rupert!

      • LLona

        Gotta LOVE that word….buffoon!

    • Marnolia

      Russell has to go and Boston Rob has to stay. This show will be lifeless and boring without Boston Rob – he is the best player!

      • Angie

        Agreed. I’ve been fangirling Rob all season, and I’ll be pissed if Russell manages to take him out. Russell was entertaining last season, but since he can’t seem to try anything new, he’s become completely boring to me. Ride my coattails Parv! Ugh. She’s not Natalie, don’t treat her like she is.

    • Old School Survivor

      Agreed Jennifer.

      Boston Rob IMHO is the best survivor player ever. I used to despise him for in-your-face Godfather style in Marquesas and I hated that the he had an unfair advantage with Amber in his back pocket during All-Stars. Still though, you have to admire that he has the skills and the ability to influence people that is needed to win the game. Now that he’s proved it twice in an All-Star setting I have to give him props.

      Since all my “old school” survivors favorites (Stephenie, Colby, Tom) are (or appear to be) out of the game I’m rooting for Rob to take it all. I’m especially looking forward to seeing him and Sandra stick it to new punks Russel and Parvatti in a really mean and nasty way. (There is no honor among thieves!)

    • Sophist

      Yea Rob is definitely my favorite player of all time for entertainment value and b/c of his gameplay. His strategy is to be the leader and the center of the tribe; normally this is a dangerous position but he is so charismatic that noone can lead a revolution against him without him hearing about it and taking down the conspirators. Hes like the godfather and that makes him a villian for sure.
      Russell is the only player who really has what it takes to take out Rob b/c Russells style of gameplay is different than everyone elses (except Fairplay but even then Jonny is a more social player).
      I predict a Russell/Pavarti/Coach/Jerri alliance being formed around that HII and it being the death of Rob. I dont want it to be true… I am scared for Rob.

  • Smeagol

    HAHAA Love it Jeff.
    If I was on the show, I would try and name the merged tribe ‘Probst’
    Probst: “Common in Probst”

    Awesome Rob clip!

    • Golem

      GRRRR Hate it Jeff.
      If I was on the show, I would never try to name the merged tribe “Probst”
      Probst: “Uncommon in Probst”
      Terrible Rob clip!

      • Frank Marshall

        so cute

      • Hank

        You should of called yourself Grinch instead of Golem, it would be more fitting.

      • Facepalm

        It’s a lord of the rings reference you dumb sack of sh*t.

      • Gandalf

        Then the spelling should be Gollum, you dumb sack of Sh*t.

  • john jacobs

    jeff there is no need for US to read more into that exchange with Colby than appeared onscreen. Ive never seen a more badass display of “im in charge and dont you forget it” Loved it!!

  • PR

    I wasn’t surprised at all that they passed up the chocolate. Guys just don’t seem that into it. Hamburgers would have been better.

    Wonder if JT has a plan? Love Rob and Sandra. I will miss Tom.

    • Dana

      I have to admit, I am a woman and I do not care for chocolate and I would not have been too thrilled for that reward. I guess if I hadn’t had much to eat in that long though even chocolate would probably look pretty good to me. I do think the water hole was awesome looking though and would have loved to swim in there!

      • Stacey

        I’m not a chocolate fan either. I would have been annoyed that chocolate was the reward. And I probably would have passed on the sample.

      • Tina

        I like chocolate but can you imagine eating sugar after being out there w/out real food? They probably had stomach aches, a huge spike in their glucose levels and then what a drop! UGH I would have passed on that chocolate because the after affects and coming out later wouldnt be pleasant at all! LOL

      • alex

        never, ever, ever pass up a chance for some free energy.

    • Lauren

      It was stupid to pass it up. Even that little taste was carbs that they would need for the challenge! Not a good portion but better than nothing! It was stupid to play macho.

      • D

        There is also the placebo effect.

    • terry

      I wouldn’t have taken it either, or hamburgers. Not when I’m about to do something physical in the sun. I doubt that would’ve supplied much as far as carbs go. Now if it had been a piece of fruit, maybe. I also would have worried, since I used to wrestle and would go for long periods without food, put a little something in your stomach, BOOM! WHERE’S THE BATHROOM!

    • tennisfan

      It’s too bad they chose to pass up on the chocolate — even that little bit can actually give an energy boost for a physical challenge. I’ve seen a tennis player go from being down and out to turning around a match and winning after eating some M&Ms at a change over…

      • Sam

        so?

      • Hank

        @Sam – So! It gave the Villains a boost to out muscle, out throw the Zeroes. Get your head of your A#$!It’s great that JERRI is the one that put the final nail in their coffins.

      • Sam

        Don’t be such a c*nt hank. You sound like your balls dropped off.

  • PR

    BTW, thanks for the heads-up about the programing schedule. It is much appreciated.

  • Sir Vivor

    Russel, parvarti and sandra last 3, i really hope sandra doesnt win like predicted in the leaked list

    • PR

      Such gossip from a Knight? Not a good move.

    • Peter

      A rascal told me, but the finale is live. My money is on Sandra.

    • Moonbeam

      Wow, are you freaking kidding me?!
      Can we please NOT post spoilers here, it defeats the purpose of watching the show!!!

      • alex

        yeah, sucks they had to release the spoilers during the last season…its why russ was so upset at the reunion…he just had finished the second season.

  • Margaux

    No more Tom? No more good looking guys -except Colby-but Tom is Sexy and a Strong player
    what are Us ladies left with? Rupert,Coach? Tyson..ICKKKKKKKK
    James needs to go home,Simply cause his ego is too much and he is too damn loud

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