Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' episode 9

survivor-jeff-probstImage Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSHEROES V. VILLAINS – IT JUST KEEPS GETTIN’ BETTER
Man oh man.  Episode eight and this season has not slowed down one bit.

I know I use a lot of hyperbole in my blogs, it’s in part just so I can read your comments criticizing me for doing so, but sometimes the hype is justified.  That’s certainly the case with what I’m about to write….

JT made perhaps the biggest and boldest move in the history of our show last night.  It will go down as one of the most controversial decisions ever made by a player.  Some will call him flat out dumb, while others… like myself …see the wisdom in what he was attempting to pull off.

More on that later…

I have loved this challenge every time we’ve done it in the past, but this time we added a great twist.  We made it a tribe challenge pitting opposite tribe members against each other and the twist yielded great results.  It was no longer a challenge based simply on strength and will-power, now it mattered who you matched up against.  That changed everything.

It’s very clear that Rupert truly believes he is the strongest person left in this game. I love you Pirate Man, but on this note you’re delusional.  Maybe you were one of the strongest players back in the Pearl Islands, but not this year.  You’re not the strongest.  You’re not even top three.  In a head to head match up in most challenges I’d take Amanda, Candace, Parvati, Jerri & Danielle over you, and I’m just starting.  Most every player left in this game is strong (both physically and strategically) and that’s why it’s going to be an exciting finish.

I think this challenge was won in large part because of the people that had hurt the Villains in earlier challenges.  Sandra and Courtney were shoo-ins to win their match up.  Courtney’s small stature made this an easy one for her to dominate, in fact she won a similar type of challenge in China.  As for Sandra, these challenges play right into her wheel-house because they rely on pure will-power and nothing else.  Sandra has an endless supply of will power.  Like she said during the challenge, “two kids and not so much as an asprin!”  That gave the villains 2 guaranteed points right off the bat.
When I saw the match-ups, I didn’t think the heroes had much chance at all.

Amanda and Parvati have both reached 100 days in the game of Survivor.  You have to tip your hat to that amazing feat.  Both of these women are fantastic players.   You do not last that long in this game three times in a row without doing a lot of things very well.  There are many things you could find to criticize about both of them, but it will never outweigh the fact that they’ve lasted longer than anybody else who has ever played.   Now the question becomes who will have the most days played when the game is over?  Will it still be a tie?  And will either one of them have a million dollars as a result?

The way Parvati handled the finding of the clue and the idol is just one of the reasons Parvati has been so successful in this game. Parvati is playing to win.  Her instant decision to hide the idol note from everybody except Danielle speaks to her prowess in this game.

Parvati: “We’ll fill Russell in on a need to know basis.  Right now he doesn’t need to know.” If she chooses to keep this a secret from Russell and then surprises him with it, there will be repercussions, unless of course she uses it to vote him out.

I’ve said it many times this season because I believe it.  Parvati has found a weakness in Russell and it’s a weakness that haunts most men – our ego when it comes to the opposite sex.  I know some of you don’t like to talk about sex or the relationship between men and women, but there is no denying it plays a part in Survivor and in our daily lives.  Parvati is a good flirt and there is zero doubt in my mind that she senses that she has just a slight edge over Russell so long as she can keep him dancing.

Parvati isn’t kidding when she says she wants to see Russell squirm a bit, she wants it to be very clear to Russell that she’s in charge.  It’s a bold move and I respect it, but whoa girl, watch out if and when Russell finds out what you’ve been doing.  You better use that idol to vote him out or use it to save him in a way that you can sell as an “alliance” move later in the game.  Otherwise this could get really ugly and all the flirting in the world will not save you.

Okay, let’s get down to it.

JT…wants… to… give… a hidden immunity idol… to Russell.   What?!

JT wants to give Russell an idol.  He wants to hand him a get out of jail free card and along with it the power to change the vote at Tribal and decide who goes home.   No amount of hyperbole could over sell this decision.  This is JT.  The guy who won this game in Brazil now wants to give away the single most powerful weapon in the game to the single most untrustworthy person left in the game?

It boggles the mind.  It’s one of the most jaw-dropping decisions I’ve heard in the last 769 days of Survivor.  (My math may be a day or two off, but I think that’s how many days the game has been played.)

It’s jaw-dropping but was it really crazy?  That’s up for debate.  What I like about the move is that it’s a big move and typically (not always) big moves are required if you’re going to have a shot at winning the game.

It’s easy to say it’s a silly idea when you’re watching from home and you know what everybody else is saying and doing.  All JT had to go on was the mistaken belief that Russell was in trouble was probably going to be voted out.  JT reasoned that if they merged then the female alliance would take over the game.  But, if he could save Russell then Russell would be free to join the heroes and they would have the numbers at the merge and JT and his alliance would be in good shape.  Based on the information JT had, it was actually a pretty inventive idea.  If JT was right, it could have swung the game 180 degrees.

And if indeed there was an alliance, it didn’t matter that Russell wasn’t trustworthy because as far as JT knew, Russell had no other option so that made Russell need the heroes as much as the heroes needed Russell.

There’s been a lot of debate about whether Russell had an advantage or a disadvantage since nobody knew anything about him coming into this season.  My take is that he had neither.  We told everybody at the start of the show that they should read a lot into the fact that while they hadn’t seen Russell play, Russell was selected as one of the 5 most notorious male villains of all time.  These are seasoned players, they knew this meant that Russell was a bad dude.  On the flip side, when we asked Russell to join the H v V cast, we told him there is a very good chance you’ll be voted out early because nobody knows you, nobody has played with you and therefore nobody can trust you.  Russell knew that was a risk going in.  So both sides had fair warning. They were just as likely to vote him out in episode one for fear of the unknown as they were to keep him.  Once Russell survived a couple of votes and showed what kind of player he is – intimidating, calculating, cunning – all bets were off.

JT’s hand-written letter to Russell is the kind of moment that reality producers dream about.  You just can’t believe it’s really happening and you hold your breath that he won’t change his mind.  (By the way, you’re no doubt wondering where they got pen and paper?  It was part of Amanda’s luxury item that they won in an earlier episode.)

When the hand-off of the idol and the note finally happened the entire producing team popped a bottle of champagne.  Okay that’s a lie, we don’t drink while shooting the show.   But when we got back to basecamp. Whoooeee, it was party time!  Actually, that’s another lie.  When we get back to basecamp, most of us fall asleep at catering.  Okay, fine… that too is a lie, a lot of us avoid catering because it’s not the kind of catering you’re imagining.  It’s more like Army catering.  Hold your plate out and take what’s given to you.  So there wasn’t really any formal celebration.  But inside, we were really jazzed.

At the end of the day, hindsight is once again, 20-20.  Turns out there isn’t a female alliance and as a result JT and the heroes just made a huge mistake.  A monumental mistake.

Once again the credit for this goes to the Villain tribe with “special recognition” to Russell for a Golden Globe worthy performance.

Hopefully you were so enraptured that you didn’t even notice the amazing camera and audio coverage during the challenge in which all of the idol drama played out.  So let me pat our team on the back.  We were all over it.  First, our crew captured Colby telling Russell the plan as the two stood out on the platform during the challenge.   Then, our producers and editors found a beautiful way of letting the moment play within the challenge by fading the audio of the challenge and bringing you right into the moment of their conversation out in the middle of the water.

Then, we got a little love from Mother Nature when she brought us a heavy rain which added to the drama… and you know how much I love me some rain during Survivor.

Finally, our camera crew captured JT giving Russell the idol when they hugged after the challenge.  All of this was done without giving anything away to any of the other players.  It appeared to be just another challenge.

For all of my lippy comments and for all the times I take credit for things that I have nothing to do with – here’s the real truth… It’s humbling to be a part of this team.  Ten years ago I got the greatest break of my career when I stumbled onto this show.

If I may…  Survivor: Heroes v Villains is as good as it gets when it comes to storytelling in the reality world and even a lot of the scripted world for that matter.  We’re twenty seasons in and the show is as strong as ever.

I hold no hope for any love from the Emmy’s but I would be lying if I said I didn’t think the show deserved to be recognized again for outstanding achievement.   Am I biased?  Sure.  Do I believe it?  Absolutely.

I’m sure most of you have noticed that I’ve been more vocal and more aggressive at Tribal Council this season.  The reason is pretty simple – these 20 players are very experienced and as a result very good.  To get anything out of them you have to be more direct and more relentless.

I hope you all understand that I never bring up anything at Tribal Council that hasn’t already been discussed or isn’t already known.  I would never betray or reveal secret information.  When you hear them fighting back with me, that’s just part of the game and often, the words they are saying to me, are actually intended to send a signal to someone else.

It’s a very elaborate game of cat and mouse and the reason this season is so good is because we started with 20 fantastic players who continue to deliver week after week.  I bust their chops on this blog every week because that’s the fun part of writing a blog, but since I’m feeling very “confessional” today – the truth is we painstakingly hand selected every person this season and we’re really pleased with the results.  Every single player gave us something, even Sugar.  Every single player left in the game has a legitimate shot at winning. Even Candace.  Ah, I love to kid Candace.

You may find this hard to believe but I miss her.  I really dig Courtney.  One of the reasons I enjoy her is her laser sharp wit.  She could talk me under the table (as you saw at many a tribal council) but I still like taking my swings.  I think Courtney enjoyed herself out there more than she likes to admit.  I look forward to seeing her on the jury.  I expect interesting wardrobe choices and lots of dramatic facial expressions during Tribal.

While we’re on it…

I would be remiss if I did not comment on Coach’s wardrobe as the first jury member.  Love him or hate him, the man owns his “personae” and I dig it.

Until next week.

More Survivor: Heroes vs Villains:
Survivor: Heroes vs Villains
recap: Take my immunity idol, please!

Comments (902 total) Add your comment
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  • Abigail

    Definitly best season of Survivor ever!

    • darclyte

      It may not be the best, but it’s certainly up there. As for JT’s move, if there really was an “all women alliance,” then it would have been genius to give Russell the HII. Since there wasn’t, it does look stupid. But compared to the Top 5 bonehead moves that Dalton posted on his blog, this only ranks # 6. Nobody got sent home because of it, and the Zeroes can still “recover” from their error. From the home viewer’s perspective though (and the fact that the Zeroes “assumed” what was going on with the Villains) it was a very foolish thing to do. Always remember what “assume” means.

      • J.

        “Boy do I love Outback Steakhouse! I go there like 14 times a week. I especially love talking to the camera about how much I love it, in hopes that they will provide me with money and/or steak once everyone hears me praise them!”

        Is it just me, or did J.T. look significantly dirtier than ever this week? Jump in the ocean, dude! You’re staring to look like Sandra!

        And Amanda… Wow. Was that some repugnant, brown, stanky cameltoe or what? They could probably air a close-up of her naked crotch and pass it off as Rupert’s face.

        Also, Danielle should consider getting teeth reduction surgery. She looks like a little girl wearing her grandma’s dentures.

      • David S.

        JT’s move smart or dumb? As I said in the past I know how to play this game inside and out, I just can’t find a way to get on this show. I had the best online video submission, but was robbed of my chances, because they mad us believe that it was legit. Anyhow, here’s the answer from the one that knows this game the best! Sorry to say I’d go with dumb move. Was it the dumbest move of all time? Not even close. Here is why it was dumb! It was actually on the brink of being a smart move. 1st of all JT has no clue who Russell is and it seems obvious that it is an all girls alliance, (even thogh it’s not) and Russell is a goner. JT thinks that they will be merging next time (this is the 1st reason it is a dumb move) Maybe they will merge, but there is still a chance that they will not (like in the season where Stephanie was by herself. If they do not merge and the heros lose the next challenge. JT just gave away his Idol which he can use. Dumb? I think so. Heres another reason. Ok lets say JT was right and they do merge. In JT’s mind ok now we have Russell on our side and they only have four women 6 against 4. We pick them off one by one. This is where it had some logic and that is why it was not close to the dumbest move. If I were playing, I would say that sound good, but do I take my chance of the unknown or do I go with Russell out and we have 5 girls and 5 heros. I say we go 5 against 5 and the other team doesnt know we have the idol. We play the Idol( find out who they are voting for by one person on the Heroes team by pretending that He/She wants to flip to the Villians side).WE play the idol instead of taking our chances and GIVING IT AWAY. We play the idol at 5-5 and then it will be 5-4 our advantage. They let Russell play it (which made sense) but wouldn’t we rather play it instead. My way sounds better and less risky. Once again would you rather play the idol now and give away to Russell, in which you are taking a big risk but not knowing the unknown or would you rather play it when we merge at 5-5 and none of the votes will count for us and one of the villians will go home. I analyze every game and Jeff if you are reading this my way sounds a lot smarter. I’m not just saying I’m so smart I can do anything. I am going with JTs logic because I would be thinking the same way. Yes I think this is an all girls alliance. But Id rather keep control rather than give it away to the other team. That is why JTs move was dumb. Sorry that was not an all star move even though it was logical.

      • David S.

        People are saying that it was the dumbest move of all time that JT gave the idol away – and of all people to Russell. That is easy to say because we know whats happening behind the scenes. JT does not. Yes, it was a dumb move (please read my explanation as to why). But it was by far not even close to the dumbest move.

      • SuperDan

        Agreed, JT’s move is hardly anywhere near the top of the bonehead list. I think besides the Heroes’ assumption about the girl-alliance and the strategy of trying to swing Russell over, JT was looking for a way to look like a team player to make up for getting busted trying to keep the idol for himself. If he had managed to keep it secret, no way he makes that move.

      • Dan

        That’s the thing, we have yet to see the repurcussions. If it leads to the heroes demise, then it should be a lot higher than six, especially since it was a group mental malfunction.

      • SurvivorFan

        I wish that the villian’s gals would have taken a clue and they really could have made an all woman alliance. But they had their own little high school rivalry going among themselves.

      • rmsrmsrms

        For all those who have written “oh no, Russell does not have an advantage because none of the other players has seen his previous gameplay” . . . this is proof-positive, do you think there would have been any chance AT ALL that JT would have given Russell the immunity idol, if JT (or the other players) had seen the last season?

      • Argonut

        Being voted a top 5 villain doesn’t mean people know WHY you’re top 5.

        JT never saw Russell play. If he had he never would have made the move. Advantage Russell yet again.

      • Sean

        Well Dan it does lead to their demise. As it stands now it was a bold me. When you see the rest of the season play out it’ll go down as one of the dumbest moves. If you don’t like the Villians stop watching now. They take control of the game at next weeks merge.

      • Jack

        This was first time i see them hugging after immunity challenge ?

        is this after every immunity challenge??

      • KEH

        JT’s Move only look stupid if you forget the Producers Fixed the show by not showing Russle’s Season to other players Giving him an unfair advantage in an All-Star Format

      • Chris57

        I completely agree with rms and argo. Let’s go back to the original boneheaded move of this series from Tyson. If he doesn’t trust Russell (and who would, after seeing him play?) he stays with the TC plan and votes him out. Then we have a solid Villain alliance of Rob, Sandra, Courtney, Tyson, Coach and Jerri for the rest of the show. They would likely have continued to dominate the immunity challenges and only a couple of Heroes would have made it to the merge. Tyson’s move changed the whole game. It never would have happened if he had seen Russell in action. Sorry, Jeff, the “unknown factor” only worked for Russell, not against him.

      • alex

        agreed…I dont think you can call it the dumbest move…even if they knew about russ, they wouldnt think that he on his own, got rid of the 3 strong guys…Its obvious that if russ had really been on the outs(which he kind of is) then the heroes would pick off the villians one by one…

        but because its not…JT prob goes home next week

      • Andrew

        Because Russells season has never been shown, JT shouldn’t have giving him the idol for that reason. If you don’t know how a player plays, but know they are a huge villain, why would you think you could trust him? And Chris57, you say not showing his season hasen’t hurt Russell? You just wait. The reason Russell lost his last season is because he was a jackass to people and had a horrible social game. If he had seen his season, he would know to play a better social game. He’s playing the same one and as a result has pretty much no chance to win. Out of the 10 left, Russell probably has the best chance to make it to the finals, but at the same time imo I would pick his dead last to win it at this point. He’ll probably get second, maybe third.

      • SoleSurvivor

        Jeez, give them a break. How about you spend that amount of time out there without soap, razor, toothbrush, lets see how you look! I bet you aren’t too pretty to begin with lol

      • @Andrew

        Do you really think if Russell saw his season he would’ve changed his social game? I doubt it. As the saying goes: you can’t teach an old dog (and Russell is old compared to the others) new tricks.

      • @Andrew

        Another thing. Russell gives the HII to Pavarti and he’s a hero. JT gives it to Russell and he’s a zero. That makes no sense. I think both Russell and JT are zeroes for giving away their HII. Russell was just lucky that Tyson was stupid enough to vote out Pavarti instead of Russell. It could’ve easily backfired and Russell would’ve looked like a fool. JT may have made a mistake too by giving Russell the HII but then Russell & His Angels were equally stupid to vote out Courtney instead of Sandra. Sandra is a dangerous player. She won her season. Courtney is easily manipulated. According to the previews, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sandra joins the Heroes and they start voting out Russell and His Angels one-by-one–even with the idols.

      • Natalia

        This season has been AMAZING. I’m really hoping that the powers that be (Come on, Jeff!) will put this season out on blu-ray or dvd. I’d love a complete 20 season box set. Please, Jeff! Make it happen!

      • TTThunder

        JT giving the idol to Russell is a very dumb move…


        As Russell said, you just don’t give out idol to the enemy!!!

        (However, there are a few exceptions, you can do this if the one you will give the idol to has ‘good’ history with you, eg.

        Rupert to Sandra (or vice versa)

        Amanda to Courtney (or vice versa)


        In addition, giving it to someone you had no background knowledge before may be OK if he is one of the TOP 10 Heroes!, But common, Russell is a Villian!!!

      • Dr Zechariah Zenith

        Courtney is really entertaining. Her snazzy comments are fun.

        It was wrong for Russell to pick her over Sandra.

        Sandra didn’t win Pearl Islands by doing nothing. She is good in dodging bullets and to keep herself under the radar.

        This could be a fatal mistake for Russell.

      • Duude

        Those who think it wasn’t a tremendously stupid move, are ignoring one huge point. It was going to be 5-5. The heroes had many other options other than giving away HII to a completely unkown. Rupert has a relationship with Sandra, as does Colby with Jerri, and Amanda with Courtney or Parv. They had so many options, that makes this so hard to believe.

      • Flint

        O.k. – here’s what I don’t get about the supposed “all girl alliance” – shouldn’t the guys on the Hero’s side be worried about it – because they still have 2 girls on their side?

        Shouldn’t they be more worried about their two girls joining up with 4 or 5 girls from the Villains side – and then dominating them game?

        If if it does play out the way JT hopes – that still gives them 4 guys to 6 girls.

        If I were Amanda & Candace – I’d be a wee bit annoyed that the Hero boys were making assumptions about you…

      • TickTock

        Heroes had the Idol, a merge was a probability–they should have waited for the merge to see whether JT’s all-girl alliance theory was true and handed the idol off at TC. Common sense! Giving it away was about JT pre-forming an alliance , he got a little power hungry…

    • Gat

      Survivor is my favorite reality show, and Heroes versus villans is the best reality show EVER!!

      RIP Courtney, your snarky comments will be missed.

      • Ricky G

        For the last time Jeff its CanDICE!!!

        As in Can-dice chick be any awesomer?!?!

      • David S.

        TTThunder – You do not give the idol away for any reason except if it benefits you. JT had a logical reason how giving the immunity would help him, but he could have put it into better use. Therefore it was a dumb move, even though it was logical. Russell giving the immunity to Parvati would benefit Russell if it played out the way he wanted. Even though I love Russell and believe he is the best player, I also felt that this was a dumb move because it was too risky. Here is a situation where I would give the immunity idol away: If I were JT I would have kept the immunity idol and not have given it to Russell. If they merge at 5-5 I would tell someone on my team (candice) to pretend to flip. She goes to the villians and they tell her, Ok lets vote out Amanda. At that point it would be smart for JT to give the immunity idol away to Amanda, because ultimatly it benefits JT. With the heros up 5-4, they could pick the Villians off one by one. This would be going through my mind if I were JT. This is not going through my mind now because I know that Parvati also has an Immunity Idol.

    • Dr Zechariah Zenith


      Is it Candace from Tocantins or Candice from Cook Islands? I thought we have Candice with a big “I”.

      H vs V will go down as the Clash of the Titans meets Avatar meets Iron Man 2. They are all here.

      J.T. giving the idol to Russell the Hustler is simply the dumbest move in Survivor History. Barnone. Regardless what the outcome of it in the future.

      Kudos to the producers in capturing the moment from Russell smiling with the thunder effect (was this done by ILM n a green screen) after Colby told him that JT will give him something. Plus the secret hand off was so KGB espionage type.

      Parvati is the Black Widow not Jerri. She is cunning enough to get the idol and bringing an ally like Danielle onto it. Made me laugh Danielle hid the clue on her big boobs.

      Sad to see Courtney goes, but Sandra is more dangerous than her. Villains picked the wrong person.

      I say it again Survivor is the SUPERBOWL OF REALITY SHOW. Keep them coming.

      • Snsetblaze

        I totally agree. Dumbest move no matter what the outcome. J.T. only had a handshake (without any words) and a feeling to base his trust on. His tribemates – even dumber. And though I love Sandra, Courtney was the wrong one to go. Courtney – who is always funny and was just not shown enough being funny this season – never really plays the game. Sandra does and people underestimated her (even on her original season).

      • P Diddily

        It’s Candace from the Cook Islands. She was on the tribe of white

      • Dr Zechariah Zenith

        Yeah I know from Cook Islands.

        But both CBS and wikipedia spell Candice Woodcock not Candace.

        Being the host of the show, it is only proper to know the correct spelling of your Survivors. Heck, most Survivor fans can name all 301 Survivors who played the game.

        It’s Candice with a Dice.

      • Anoopfan

        Yeah. From Cook Islands.

        But it is spelled Candice, as in ICE and not ACE.


        Where are those PA’s to check for spellings.

        Jeff Porbst is really poor at best.

      • Tre

        Candice is the correct spelling. Jeff has been getting it wrong for a few weeks now. :P Silly Probst!

      • @Anoopfan

        I love Anoop’s new single called “My Name.” I like it more than anything Kris, Adam, Danny or Allison has done. Anoop should’ve won last year. He is by far the most talented recording artist. (Adam may be the best performer of the season.)

      • TTThunder

        I think people still under-estimate Sandra even in this season!

        I love Sandra, but between Sandra and Courtney? It is 100% Sandra!


        1. She already had 1 million.
        2. Courtney will not convince jury to vote for her, but Sandra will.

        Go Sandra!!!

      • Argonut

        I think Russell kept Sandra because she “saved him” from Coach. He doesn’t trust Courtney or Sandra but Sandra stroked his ego while Courtney did not.

    • David S.

      I usually like to see new players, but this season-WOW!

    • David S.

      I like season with new people. But this season all I can say is WOW!

      • Flaming Moe

        Hey Dave do you like to see new people and players? WOW

      • WHOA

        Hey dave!!! WOW indeed

      • Bubbles


    • David S.

      So who do you think deserves to win if Russell and Parvarti make it to the end? It’s not as clear as last season when Russell desreved it and was robbed. He can’t just say she took his coat tails and rode with it. She is also playing a great game. I go with Russell. And if he does go with her he does have a leg up on her. He better mention if it werent for him she wouldn’t be there. She was voted off but he saved her with his immunity idol. Eventhough it worked out great for him, I still think that was sort of dumb. Too risky and too many unknowns.

      • Dan

        Enough with the Russell was robbed. Is it really anyone else’s problem that he didn’t have a good social game? He was abysmal at final tribal councel; if he wants to blame someone, he should look in the mirror.

      • hannah

        It’ll be a final 3 and Danielle will win b/c everyone hates Russell and Parvati.

      • RCB

        Sandra will win this. Mark my word.

      • Katie

        Russell was robbed. He IS the best Survivor player in 726 days of Survivor relying on Jeff’s math (thanks, Jeff.. Love you always, especially in the rain!)! He has outplayed, outwitted, and outlasted everyone he has come against until he was robbed and then the people voted in his favor! And the players were warned about him. You know I live within a hundred miles of where JT lives and it is his personality and regionalism to trust people and give them the benefit of the doubt sometimes to the extent of being stupid about it It’s the Southern way! BUT, I have a funny feeling he will be robbed again this year for similar reasons as last year! Kudos to Russell’s wife for being such a good sport as Jeff and everyone else teases about Russ and Parvati!

      • Katie

        Evidently Jeff agrees. Did anyone read this from a past blog:
        What does Jeff Probst say about the Survivor finale? And the fact that nice little Natalie won? He writes in an EW blog post:

        “If I were playing Survivor, no matter how much I despised someone, if they kicked my ass in the game I would give it to them. Period. Outwit. Outplay. Nobody outwitted or outplayed Russell. Not even close.”

        And he says:

        “I think Russell was the victim of a jury of bitter people. I am not taking anything away from Natalie, she clearly did a great job of reading the group dynamic of the jury and as a result she deserves the money.” But, is nice the reason to declare a winner?

        “This season was so lopsided in terms of one person (Russell) completely dominating the game that to not give him the money and the title is a bit silly.”

      • Daniel

        You read my mind Katie

      • Allison

        Russll wasn’t robbed last season. In fact, no one who has ever lost Survivor was robbed. Why? Because, like theoretically free markets, the survivor jury is always right. Always. Had Russell had time to see his Samoa season, he might have been able to learn and tweak his game. He’s certainly savvy enough. But he didn’t have time, so he’s making the same error again.
        Remember what he called the women last season, the Dumb B– Alliance? That’s the kind of gratuitous nastiness people remember.

      • bradwj32

        As soon as Russell made his jury statement in Samoa, I knew that he was done. Amanda might be bad at tribal council, but Russell absolutely sucks at tribal council. I would argue that your game play at tribal council is just as important as performing in immunity challenges or strategizing. I also am confident that Russell will not win this season because the dude has zero humility, and will stick his foot in his mouth again. In stead of giving the check to Natalie he’s giving it to Parvarti this time.

      • Bubbles

        Jeff said it was 769 days and he is right. If you notice, 18 seasons so far have had 39 days. Multiply 18 by 39. Then add that by how many days Season 2, Australian Outback, had which was 42. Then add 25 days to that because we are at 25 days in Heroes vs Villains. It has been 769 days and not 726 days. :)

      • MK

        Since it’s going to be a F3, and based on what I’ve read it’s not going to be either of them. If it did come down to those 2, I think he’ll once again get caught up in a bitter jury & due to the fact that the jurors have all known each other for years Russell will once again not win. So the answer to your question if it game down to Russell & Parvati it would be Parvati, though I would disagree with that as viewer.

        It seems obvious based on Samoa’s finle when Russell didn’t win, he also knew he didn’t win in this Samoa either. Concensus is he knew that finale was his only chance of winning between the 2 seasons (the 2nd season of course having been done filming in mid September 2009). Though I think he’ll make the F3 again, he knew perhaps from reaction at the final TC in S20, or by chit chat later that he didn’t have the votes to win even before the finale of S19 was aired.

      • @dan

        Dan, Russell was robbed. Social smocial. Hatch was a first class @ss in his season, cutting peoples throats and brazenly manipulating everyone along the way. All the Russell haters forget that Hatch was ruthless and I think most of were surprised that he won, because we assumed everyone would vote against the bad guy…some voted against his opponent (e.g. Susan), but he got votes, because he played so well.

        That’s why Russell deserved to win.

        This season? Tough call. Unlike last season, Russell’s primary partner is more than a pretty social butterfly (though she is that too). Parv could win this game again if he takes her to the end. With that said, I’m not sure who he can beat….Candice? Perhaps. Colby? maybe. No matter what, however, I think Russell makes the horse race more interesting. I just wish Rob was still there. Rob, Parv and Russell. 3 of the best players.

      • maxamillion the original, before the beginning

        Russhole loses Survivor fair and square, because he is Russhole. He can blame no one but himself. He’ll probably cry like a baby if he loses again this season.

      • mikep

        This talk of Russell deserving to win last time is stupid. Russell plays 1/2 the game. The object is to win the game. You win by making good moves and decisions to survive to the end…AND…be able to win the biggest vote, the last one. Russell is blind and stupid to not understand that. Even if he makes it to the end, he has zero chance to win a million. He didn’t learn that lesson before, he just thought he got screwed by the jury. No, how can you be considered a great player when your moves eliminate you ultimate chance to WIN THE GAME?

      • Duude

        Sorry @dan:

        Hatch was never the ass that Russel has been in S19, or is about to be in S20.

      • atlasbelched

        @Katie – Does it not occur to you that this is television? Of course Jeff is going to say that Russell is the victim of a “bitter jury” because he wants to ensure that people at home continue to believe that being gratuitously nasty is the best way to win the game. But this is likely not because he actually believes this will help one win the game, but because this sort of behaviour makes for GREAT TELEVISION and the last thing he or the producers want is for the kind of people who enjoy burning other people’s clothes, wasting drinking water and referring to all women as “dumba** girls” to start thinking that maybe this isn’t such a smart way to play…

    • Annie

      The awesomeness that is Survivor just keeps coming. Thank God we have something clever,intelligent, interesting and fun to watch on Television.

      Jeff-people who criticize you for being to snarky or pointed or opinioned at tribal haven’t watched you develop your skills over 20 season. In the beginning you were a non-factor in the appeal of the show. Now, my husband I continually comment on how FANTASTIC you make the show. You subtleties are always enjoyed and often are the best part of the episode!!!

      So, read the comments, but don’t change a thing. You’re great!

      • Katie

        ABSOLUTELY! Jeff is 60% of the show! I have NEVER missed an episode and Jeff is just as important as the Survivors. We all got to see a challenge without him, it was stupid!

      • KF

        For the last time, Russell was not robbed! Every person has strengths and weaknesses. Women are physically weaker players in general and must use other assets sometimes to get far into the game, whether it be flirting, riding coat tails, and the social game is crucial. Russell is not that smart because in the real world, just because you are cunning and strategic, you also need to be liked to get votes. Jeff Probst has never played the game himself. I am willing to bet that if he had to endure weeks of hardship, starvation, and all the unpleasantries of living like an animal with unpleasant people who cannot be trusted, he would use emotion as a factor in the deciding vote. It is a fact. People vote (like for presidents) with their emotions, not logic. Natalie deserved to win. Russell did not. He will not win this time either.

      • S

        Love Jeff as well!
        I’m impressed that the team was able to capture all those shots of them when giving the idol. I mean, Colby and Russ talking in the rain. And when Russ is all alone on the platform, and says wow to himself with a smirk on his face with with rain and lighting in the back…awesome!

      • @kf

        KF, Natalie did not deserve to win anymore than Tina deserved to win in season 2….then again, Colby was dumb to take her instead of the unpopular Chef.

        No matter, Natalie did not deserve to win.

    • Rosalie

      Russell did not get robbed in his season, after all Survivor is a game of social skills. Sandra is a freaking bitch. She is mean to her tribemates. Even at tribal council she is reckless and pretty much told Jerri and Danielle to FCUK off! She also told Parvati and Russell that she wanted them gone. She needs to go! She said her alliance is gone, but pretty much doesn’t care. This are suppose to be cream of the crop players, yet they let her get away with it? Russell is stupid, he voted Courtney out because he doesn’t like her instead of Sandra who is beyond evil. This is why Russel lost last season, because he brought the wrong people into the finals. Anyhow, Sandra will win this fair and square and deserves it. She is playing the game of survivor completely on her own. Go Sandra! Keep being disrespectful to your tribemates. Apparently it will get you far.

    • aj

      Parvati: you did your biggest mistake
      keeping Sandra.

      • Tyler

        Parvati wanted to keep Courtney and vote out Sandra. It must’ve been Russell who wanted to keep Sandra. Another stupid mistake by Russell. I don’t understand why people think he is one of the greatest players of all time. He’s an idiot with no social skills.

      • starbbycat

        It was a huge mistake on her part – I think it will cost her the million.

      • starbbycat

        Sorry – also want to add – why werent they all over getting rid of Sandra – she has also already won once – they are crazy to keep her around.

      • TickTock

        Russell may have thought hmmm, The Parv and Sandra have both won before–so it’s better for me to keep them since I haven’t won. I bet he’s banking on the jury preferring to hand the $$ to someone who hasn’t won before? He’s always looking to the end, which is smart, but he’s too egotistical to consider personalities – he obviously considers himself charming, which may be true when you’re trapped on an oil rig, but not in real life…

    • Scooter

      the show is definitely worthy of some Emmy love for this season; and I certainly see a three-peat coming for Probst!

    • KRibbons

      People seem to forget that the only reason JT made it as far as he did in Brazil was because of Stephen. Without Stephen, JT never would have won. Stephen was the brains and JT was the charm. Thats why he beat out Stephen in the end, but he never would have made it without S.

      • MK

        Absolutely, and it’s looking more and more that Stephen should have won Tocantins, not JT. To think Stephen didn’t get one vote. I assure you had Stephen been there, that idol would not have been passed to Russell. What part of being told “this person is one of the top 5 most villanous people we’ve ever had on Survivor” and shouldn’t they have questioned was Russell was the last man standing? Logic would say in an all girl alliance the “new guy on the block” would have been the to go IMHO.

        I really think JT having alredy won a million & has likely not spent a dime of it other some investments with Stephen, he just figured “i have nothing to lose, i’m just gonna make a bold move & whatever happens happens”. Little did he know at the time what the trickle down of what he did was going to be.

      • maxamillion the original, before the beginning

        Righty Right. Stephen was the brains of that duo. As we can see clearly now, JT is a bonehead, and that was a bonehead move. Why no one on the Heroes, other than Amanda, questioned the move is almost as stupid.

      • TickTock

        Oh, so now Stephen wuz robbed too? Please!

    • wanderer08

      It wasn’t JT’s HII, it was the tribes idol. Not that big a risk then. He took a shot. The note was a bit much tho.

    • MK

      Yeah, i’m enjoying the season. As a dedicated Survivor fan since S1 it’s still my #1 favorite Reality show. Emmy, sure why not (and not another for its host as well).

      Oh I see you’ve already mentioned that JT likely has not spent a dime of his million, sorry I mentioned that further down. We’ll find out in less than a week if what JT did can actually be called “the dumbest move ever”; the fallout of it all will be known soon enough but, come on you know its true :)

      You weren’t tweeting last night during the east coast viewing, wondering if you were watching the #survivor tweets; funniest episode of Survivor ever but when JT brought out that pen & paper & started with the Dear Russell, it was a huge ROFLMOA moment on twitter to be sure.

      Have a little bone to pick though; perhaps we can discuss your use of the word NOW issues; you’re really killin alot of us playing Survivor Fantasy; Amanda NOW Kimmel just mest up alot of scores. Perhaps in the future you’ll spread out the NOW’s a little better? Oh, and that Colby/Russell overdub, yeah not good for fantasy as you were still calling the challenge :-D

      Not sorry to see Courtney go, not happy that Parvati is still there, nor Sandra & who the hell is Danielle again? Not happy that so few men are left, I prefer watching men rather than woman. Here’s a kicker, right now i’d give Jerri my favorite player award votes, hows that for a twist. Imagine if she won that?

      Anyway, Survivor wouldn’t be Survivor without you IMHO. Hopefully that day won’t come.

    • W. Scott

      Glad you put the comment about your comments at tribal. It had seemed like you were manipulating the votes.

    • Stu-meister

      yes it is…certainly hope that “Dr. Evil”(Ruseel) gets blind sided by Parvati before HE blindsides her…

    • David S.

      Yes, It is one of the best seasons. As far as JT’s move do you think it was smart or dumb? I, being the smartest player to never get a chance to play the game say it was a dumb move. I analyze everything on the show and this is the reason why it was a dumb move. First of all, the game always changes. The 2 teams were supposed to merge already but have not. There would be no guarentee that the 2 teams will merge next time. By giving away the idol, JT will not be able to use it if the Heros lose the next challenge and there is no merge. Dumb? I think so. Let’s say there is a merge. JT is thinking OK, we save Russell, he then flips to our side and it will be 6 against 4. We then pick the Villians off one by one. This is logical and does make sense, that is the reason this move, in my opinion is not the dumbest move. It is actually on the brink of being a smart move. However, JT is assuming that the villians team is an all girls alliance. While it appears that way, you can never assume anything. You know what the say about when you assume? You make a blank out of u and me. That is what JT and the rest of the Heros did. While it seems logical to save Russell and to have him flip, wouldnt it have been smarter to keep the idol in your possession and you control what happens? I think it would have made more sense, If I were JT, to say OK it is an all girls alliance. They will vote out Russell, but it will be 5-5 when we merge. Let’s have someone pretend to flip to their side when we merge because they will need someone to flip. The will think that they have the numbers now 6-4 but in reality it will still be 5 of us against 5 women villians. The one that pretends to flip will know who they are voting for. We then give that person the immunity idol and all the votes for us won’t count. Therefore all the votes for them will count and we will knock one of them off. It will then be 5- 4 our advantage. While JT’s move was logical, this makes a lot more sense and is a lot less risky. This is the reason why I believe JTs move was a dumb move and not an all star one. I should be on this show, because I know how to play better than most of these “so called all stars”.

    • Suzanne

      Agreed, best season. I’m loving it! When I saw last week’s episode, I had to send my friend a teaser saying “well this is another Survivor FIRST!” I hope Russell wins it all just for having them all fooled :) It’s funny b/c at the start I was cheering for the Heroes, but the last few weeks I’ve switched to the Villians b/c they are more entertaining for sure.

    • David S.

      Inside Information?

  • CJ

    First comment! Love your recaps, Probst. This season beats a lot of the scripted crap out there. Great job to your crew. Go Villains!

    • voluptuousdate

      great package and nice guy

    • Dr Zechariah Zenith

      Merge is coming.

      For the record, (correct me if I am wrong).

      Only 4 people who had won Individual Immunity 5 times namely: Colby, Tom, Terry Deitz(should be included next time) and Ozzy Lusth.

      Only two females who won Individual Immunity 4 times namely Kelly Wiglesworth and Jenna Morasca.

      Let us see if H v V will break any more records.

      • Tiana

        you’re wrong!

        Bob from Survivor Gabon tied the record too.

      • Dr Zechariah Zenith

        Bob Crowley only had won 3 Individual Immunity back in Gabon.

        In order at Gabon:

        Too bad he was not here.

      • bradwj32

        I’m wondering if Parv and Amanda get together again this season. I think that it’s weird that up to this point neither woman has really acknowledge the other yet, and they seemed to have a pretty good connection still after Micronesia. Just saying…

      • StrawBerryCutie

        bradwj32 watch the secret scenes on – especially watch the ones with amanda in them and you will clearly see what hers plans are.

      • aj

        Boo in Fiji won 3 or 4 Individual Immunity C .

    • AA

      Jeff, Survivor wouldn’t be the same without you. Once you’re gone, so am I. I love that you mix it up at TC, and I’ve gotta say that these blogs are just icing on the cake.

      Now, my two Survivor wishes: 1) a summer shoot in Northern Canada (lots of bugs! lots of wildlife! lots of lakes/bikinis!) and 2) an all-Villians season. Will either of my wishes come true?

      • LAB

        What about this:
        Russell vs. Hatch with each handpicking their teams. Let’s see who is really the best Survivor EVER!!

      • AA

        Ohhh LAB, I like that idea!!

      • KF

        I believe I read that they wanted to get Richard Hatch, but he is in legal trouble or something and would not be able to participate. Just a rumor.

      • S

        How great would it be to have Hatch in this season too. I’m quite satisfied with Russ, Parv, Rob and Sandra – all different strategies. Heroes are so so boring. They make history as the dumbest players, while villains are doing the opposite.
        It’ll be really hard for Russ to play again though, now that everyone knows his game too well.

      • Allison

        I hope you stay, Jeff, you’re the anchor of the show. The only replacement, possibly, quick enough and slick enough might be…Richard Hatch?

      • Becky

        Jeff, what’s all this talk about you going? You’re going to keep doing survivor, right?

      • maxamillion the original, before the beginning

        Best all round survivor player ever- Boston Rob, and I hated him before this last season.

    • Danny

      What makes Probst so great and why he keeps winning the Emmy is that he genuinely loves the show and can see that on screen and in his blog. If he wasn’t the host (and that should never ever happen) he’d never miss an episode at home. Phil on TAR is the only other host that has as much love for his show. Heidi enjoys doing PR but it isn’t in her blood the way it is with Jeff and Phil.

      • Daniel

        I want an Emmy for Survivor this year. TAR is great but the past seasons have been boring compared to Samoa and HvsV.

    • JaCa

      To: CJ Fri 04/16/10 7:48 AM
      My first post as well. & I love Survivor! My co-workers and I have such a good time talking about it next day!! Do you really think there’s no script? B.S. I don’t kid myself that there isn’t. There is. It’s a fact now of ALL reality shows.

  • JenR

    This season is going to have the best after-finale question and answer session ever! I can’t wait for that!

    • Dr Zechariah Zenith

      Yeah, I agree. Lots of Q&A. Here is the questions Jeff should ask them on the reunion show.

      1. JT – what were you thinking?
      2. Tyson – what were you thinking?
      3. Coach – I no longer need to ask what you’re thinking. The reunion show is just for an hour.

      • David S.

        Tyson probably the dumbest move of all time. There was no logic to his vote. Jt had some logic to his vote but, yes it was dumb please read my reason above. Even the people who were tricked into giving away their immunity or the people who were voted out with immunities in their pocket had some logical reason. Tyson – sorry you got my vote for dumbest move. You did not deserve to be an all star with that move.

  • betsy

    JT was very wise to get rid of that idol. He was going to be the target at tribal council if he held onto it.

    • Wade Kwon

      But what happened to his impromptu plan for the Heroes to share the idol and use it against the Villains after the merge?

      The Heroes guessed, and they guessed wrong. Oh, well, it’s only a million bucks.

      More on JT’s note and move:

    • I’MNotHereToMakeFriends

      Totally agree, necessity being the mother of invention.

    • Dr Zechariah Zenith

      I reckon it is not. Villains could still target JT during the merge knowing he no longer has the idol.

    • David S.

      Sorry, I cant agree with you. And I would be the smartest player. If they merge, he WILL NOT be the target. If they merge he gives the idol to the person on the Heros tam that will be voted off (see my explanation above). If they do not merge, I agree that he will be targetd. So what does he have to do? Use it Duh!

    • AK

      No, he should have kept on to it so that the Heroes could have used to it the advantage of the whole tribe. If they saved the immunity idol for the merge, they wouldn’t have need Russell’s vote anyways! So glad to see that everyone is seeing how stupid and slimy JT really is. I never liked that guy back in Tocantins and I was so disappointed to see him undeservingly win.

    • MK

      Exactly what do you think is going to happen at this weeks tribal councel; he put a STUPID target on his back as big as the state of Texas. The repercussions of what he did will indeed make it “the dumbest move in Survivor History”.

  • Just a Thought

    Last week I commented that the producers were just dropping a teaser about J.T. giving up the immunity idol and that we should not be gullible and believe it. In the past the producers have misled the audience with false teasers. now the producers have come full circle. Just when we think the producers have called “wolf” too many times, they throw us off track by telling us the truth. Way to go Survivor.

    • KC

      I wish they hadn’t teased the truth at all imagine if we were surprised with what happened? That would have been better.

    • Dr Zechariah Zenith

      Agree too. But it was too good to be true sometimes you are not sure if the producers wanted to give us a ruse.

      Anyway this format is so great perhaps we could see a similar one in Survivor 25. But give others a chance and no more triple appearances allowed like Parvati, Amanda, James, Jerri and Rupert.

      Well include Boston Rob and Rupert for their third and final stint. You could title it:

      Survivor: Warriors vs Kings & Queens.


      Survivor War of Kings

      We demand a rematch of Boston Rob and Russell but this time on opposite tribes.

      • @Dr Zechariah Zenith

        Doc, I have no problem with bringing back Rob or Parv. They’re both great players. If Sandra manages to stay in the game, I may feel the same about her. For the last couple of weeks she’s played a good game. Unlike past reunion shows, I think it’s quite possible that we’ll have a 2x winner. I’m pulling for Russel, but this isn’t last season, where he was one of the only ones playing.

  • Maserda

    With Pavrati in charge, I don’t feel so sure about Russelll making it to the end. I think Pav will use that charm on the Hero men and aid her to get Russell out. Eek. I like Russell. :-(

    • Lil Tuts

      Nah, Parvati will take Russell to the finals with her.

      • EC

        I don’t know. Based on Russell’s reaction when he didn’t win last season (which he should have), something tells me he doesn’t make it to the end here. And this season was filmed before last season’s finale.

      • irish

        Did anyone else notice that Russell was lurking in the trees when Parvati and Danielle finished their conversation about the clue? He knows what’s going on and I really believe that he will take her down.

      • Dana

        I agree EC; I thought right away evil Russell must not have made it to the end on Heroes vs. Villains because he was so devastated at loosing that he must have known his shot at winning either was gone because he had already filmed H vs. V when they aired the reunion show. I am holding out ohope that maybe he made it to the end in H vs. V too and was just upset at the thought of not being able to win two back to back?

      • sandy lewis

        Irish…I did and I hope he does..I want to see this guy go to the end and win…that would be the best ending of all !

      • Danielle

        Irish, I agree with you, he knows they have it. It was so obvious that Parvatti had the clue when she left the table at the reward dinner. He watches everyone like a hawk, I’m sure he noticed which is why he was in the trees close by when they found it.

      • maxamillion the original, before the beginning

        If hey get to the final, Parv, or anyone for that matter, would be wise to take Russhole to the end. He has no friends, no alliances, and no one is in awe of his”superior gamesmanship”, so he’ll get ZERO votes

    • SympathyfortheDevil

      Beast Show Ever, absolutly awsome.

      Cheering for Russell to see past his own ego, and what Parvati is up too, before it is too late.

      Parvati, Amanda, and Candice getting together with the merge, may be too much for my favorite villian.

    • BWV

      Russhole overrated moron, say hello to the Quenn Parvati.

      • KF

        I love Parvati (she really lives up to her name which means Goddess of the Universe). Probst is right on about her being Russell’s Achilles’ heel. He really believes she digs him. Parv is such a good actress to flirt with him like that. I could not do it (even for a million dollars). There is no way that Russell will outplay Parvati because of his school boy crush. I feel bad for his wife – so humiliating!

  • The Curse of Winning

    JT’s move is brilliant in another way: no one from the hero’s alliance would give their jury vote to Russell if he makes it to the finals because he will have betrayed all of them.

    • Kim M

      Awesome! I hadn’t even considered that!

      • Heather

        What do you mean Russell would have betrayed them? Russell made no promises to the Heroes. The Heroes made the all girl alliance assumption and they decided to give Russell an idol as a result. And they also assumed he would come on board with them. At no time did Russell approach them and he certainly isn’t going to say no to an idol or make them believe any different. That’s not betrayal…that’s smart game play by Russell vs. dumb game play by the Heroes.

      • rmsrmsrms

        I think “The Curse of Winning” is right. Even though Russell really has not betrayed the heroes, it will be perceived that way (wrongly) by the heroes

      • JRE

        Or he and his alliance will tell the Heroes that he did write Parv’s name down but two other girl’s flipped on Courtney making the vote 3 Russell, 2 Courtney, 1 Parv. They think he’s used the idol.

      • StrawBerryCutie

        JRE, that won’t work because Russell will have to use his idol against the Heroes now and when he does that the Heroes will know he lied about using it before the merge. Plus, Sandra is not a part of the Villain tribe alliance. So she will definitely tell the Heroes what is really going on.

      • AshleeLasha

        OK SO STRAWBERRCUTIE SORRY BUT UR WRONG.. russel can make the scenario work bc he can still tell the story and say he used the idol to save hisself then when he plays the idol for real he can say he found another one on his own camp.. once they used theres for parvati a new one was hidden and he found it! then it would work!!

        RUSSEL IS BY FAR THE GREATEST SURVIVOR HE HAS OUTPLAYED EVERY PERSON TO DATE AT LEAST ONCE, AND HIS USE OF IT TO SAVE HIS BUTT PLUS HIS ALLIES BUTT (PARV) WAS BRILLIANT!! HE SEREVE THE TITLE OF THE ULTIMATE SURVIVOR.. I THINK LAST SEASON PROVED THE ONE FAULT OF THE GAME.. he outplayed natalie for sure and should have one.. I LOVE PARV so i hope one of them win! she is defiantley playing her best game yet! she one once wiht a semi-great game and this blows that one out of the wateR!!! go parv and russel!

      • KF

        I love Parvati (she really lives up to her name which means Goddess of the Universe). Probst is right on about her being Russell’s Achilles’ heel. He really believes she digs him. Parv is such a good actress to flirt with him like that. I could not do it (even for a million dollars). There is no way that Russell will outplay Parvati because of his school boy crush. I feel bad for his wife – so humiliating!

      • @AshleeLasha

        I don’t agree with your post. If Russell told JT that he found the HII, then JT could ask him then why did you take the HII that I gave to you? You obviously didn’t have one if you took mine. And if Russell tells JT that he did have one but took his anyway–well, that makes Russell look like an even bigger jerk and more of a reason for none of the remaining Heroes to vote for him in the end. Again, Russell is an idiot.

      • Free

        Russell didnt see the letter and agreed on it before he grab the idol. Actually he didnt even grab it, he just accepted it. You dont need a reason to accept a free offering. A deal is what the Heroes was betting on, but there was no deal. These guys are seasoned players and they should be able to see through this, so i dont think it will contribute greatly to Russell’s lost in the final FC.

    • Chad

      I agree with what you just said, Russell made no promise. But the HEROS could still hold him accountable, basically saying, “we put you on the spot…now you HAVE to live up to it or face the consequence of losing our jury votes.” They have to make him realize his back is to the wall by just accepting the idol. Good stuff going on!

      • maxamillion the original, before the beginning

        Forgeet it all. Once there is a merge, Sandra will tell the heroes that no immunity idol was played to ge rid of Courtney.

    • Cris

      I also never thought of that – brilliant!

      • Katie

        Sandra is already running her mouth! She’s is talking as fast as her mouth will go! They merge! I hate Sandra!

    • StrawBerryCutie

      It sucks, but you are probably right. If Russell makes it to the finals, the heroes will perceive it as a betrayal and they will not vote for him. He will end up losing at the Jury vote again. Although, unlike last time, he won’t be robbed because Parvati is playing just as good a game – or maybe even better than Russell.

      • TickTock

        Just MO of course but Parvati is smoking Russell.

  • Anne

    Oh J.T. really????? I am loving Parvarti’s game!

    • Rebecca

      Jeff is backing down from the promo talk of calling this the dumbest move to saying it’s up for debate. Is it that Jeff can’t call one of his favorite players an idiot? That was a stupid move. Heroes should have kept hold of the idol until after the merge.

      • Sue

        Never EVER give an idol to the other team – I just can’t see how that would help regardless if JT’s thinking was correct – they don’t know Russell at all and you can never assume. Yeesh! Loved Russell’s face when he got the idol and had to act normal in front of everyone!

      • StrawBerryCutie

        Jeff isn’t backing down from that – he’s just explaining why JT did what he did. Whether it was stupid or not is going to remain to be seen when we see the consequences of that move.

    • Ashley

      I agree, I came into this season rooting for Parvati even though she already won because she’s such a strong player. It would have been really interesting if Russell found them looking for that idol, but I think it could have been a catalyst for Parvati and Danielle to organize a vote against him.

      • Garden Gnome Lovah

        I think Russell did see the girls find the idol….that very sneaky camera shot of Russell slinkin’ back to camp right before commercial as the girls were wrapping up the HII is very, very telling in Russell world. And Probst, you are dead-on giving props to the camera crew this season….they have been absolutely BRILLIANT. We all thank you!

      • Ashley

        I know, I wasn’t entirely sure what went down there but I assumed he didn’t see them when there wasn’t anything more about it.

      • StrawBerryCutie

        I don’t think Russell saw them find the idol. He’s not the kind to keep his mouth shut when it comes to immunity idols whether it be him finding them or someone else.

      • KF

        I love Russell’s magnetic force field for attracting HIIs. That guy is LUCKY!! Like the Lucky Charms leprechaun. Also, how fortuitous for the producers and the show that Parvati was the one to find and hide the secret scroll. You can’t write stuff like this.

  • innerjuju

    Don’t kid yourself, Jeff. Russell had a major advantage which he continues to exploit. It’s one thing to be told ‘He’s a bad dude’ and another to witness 40 days worth of Emmy-caiber acting, lying, cheating, stealing, and overall nasty behavior. “One of the five worst”?? Yall lied to the others. He is hands-down the biggest, baddest, meanest to ever hit the beach.

    • kmags1428

      I have to agree–while I enjoy Russell and rooted for him to win last season, he most definitely has an advantage in this season. Although members were warned, they did not see the manipulations/lies that occurred and that makes a big difference. He’s considered the top 5 villians, but so was coach and the two of them are not even close as far as type of players. I don’t think Boston Rob would have allowed russell to stay even one day if he had seen his season.

      • Sabrina

        I completely agree. Not to mention that Jerri’s whole reason for voting out Rob was how he had played previously. If she had seen Russell’s season there’s no doubt that she would have sent Russell packing instead. He’s a smart player, I will of course give him that…but I think that he’s being canonized for a lot of things that he’s just gotten lucky with. I wish I could say that I love to hate Russell…but I really just hate him. He’s creepy and I hope that he’s gone soon. But no doubt that he has an enormous advantage given the type of lying player that he is.

      • Parrish

        If you had seen Russell’s season, you would want to keep him to ride his coattails to certain victory – just as happened so that has never been an advantage. Now if you had seen his season, I don’t think you would have given him the HII.

      • Alan

        While I certainly think this is an advantage, I think he has at least an equal (if not larger) disadvantage as all the other players already knew each other and had established alliances coming into the game. Without those pre-existing alliances it should have been impossible for him to succeed. Best season ever

      • David S.


      • StrawBerryCutie

        Well said David S.

      • KF

        I bet you a million dollars that Russell will not win. No one that polarizing (except for maybe Richard Hatch) ever wins! That is the beauty of it. You can be 1) lucky – check 2) strategic – check 3) make a great TV villain – check, but he cannot have it all. He will not win.

    • rick

      Jeff- How do you keep it together season after season? Gotta say man, being around all of this backstabbing, sometimes just outright bottom of the barrel behavior, it can get to you. It seems you have good people surrounding you. Its hard enough out there- trust me, I’m a lawyer and without my wife and family, i would be lost. Truly great women are rare. Take care man.

      • heath

        whatever Probst- just get laid as much as you possibly can!! Take advantage of being on TV!

      • Jeb

        heath- i take it you’re 22? and destined to be alone and miserable?

      • Garth

        Probst aint 22.

    • stlcardsfan

      who watched the deleted scene? he “found” the machette. now the girls are better equipped to take care of him!

    • Daniel

      Please read Rob’s exit interview, he says Russell didn’t have such an advantage. He wanted him gone first because he knew he was the most dangerous.

    • maxamillion the original, before the beginning

      Russhole had a huge advantage over all the others. If only because of Tyson’s bonehead play. If he saw Russhole’s gameplay, he wouldn’t have voted against his alliance (and himself- duh) and the whole game would be totally different with Boston Rob and Coach calling the shots.

  • Marc

    Now that is a blog post! I’ve been missing these in the past few weeks.

    Very well done Probst.

    • Soap On A Rope

      I agree with you. Good blog Jeff.

      • D

        Yes, no flights of fancy this week. Good job Probst.

  • Kim M

    I think it remains to be seen whether it was a dumb move or not. If Sandra is successful in warning the Heroes about JT’s monumental blunder, then they should be able to work around it.

    I think the biggest mistake last night was voting off Courtney over Sandra. Apparently, Sandra is once again beautifully flying under the radar.

    • Heather

      Kim, I completely agree. I said it last night to my husband that I thought it could be the nail in their coffin by not voting out Sandra. She is much more dangerous than Courtney.

      • I’MNotHereToMakeFriends

        Never saw the Pearl Islands so Sandra is new to me, but….much respect to her. It’s funny, both she and the Parv really understand how Russell’s ego works and how to manipulate it, but they use different methods. My take is, Russell’s already half way out the door and he doesn’t even have an inkling. Yet.

      • Brandy

        I totally don’t like Sandra. Her win was one of the worst. I couldn’t believe it. The jury was bitter.

      • Sergio

        You thought Lil should have won??? Sandra’s win was great. Well deserved IMO.

    • Dawn

      I agree…I thinkt he outcome of all that happened in this episode is that Sandra will win it all.

  • Marc

    Jeff – regarding the Russell factor, I always wondered why no one (read: you) held his feet to the fire about the “Dog floated away in Katrina” comment. I thought for sure that would come up in the finale, that was a much dirtier lie than Fairplay’s grandma.

    Was it to avoid public backlash because he was deep into Heros/Villians?

    • Erm

      Yeah definitely that was the case, they’re also trying to groom Russell as the “new Rupert” so to speak, hence the force feeding/raming of Russell down our throats week after week for 2 seasons in a row.

    • Newman

      I agree that the lie Russell had in Samoa was worse than Fairplays however Fairplays gets more notoriety because it happened late in the game and presumably saved him at that tribal council whereas Russell pretty much just said that first episode for no real reason.

      • maxamillion the original, before the beginning

        alot of Russhole’s antics are for no apparent reason: burning socks, emptying canteens, hiding machete, dead dogs in new orleans hurricane, fireman(?) I think that is what is known as a sociopath.

    • Paul

      1836 people died from Katrina. Thousands of lives were shatterd. To use this tragedy for your own personal gain is a slap in the face of all the victims.

      • Marc

        Exactly right Paul. Hence my surprise that ‘story’ was
        1. Aired on an episode in the first place
        2. Let him slide about it

      • Dark folk

        I don’t know why we died, They said evacuate so I went up to the bathroom and dropped a deuce. Boy are we stupid.

      • Dark folk

        That’s cool, help me carry this TV.

      • Daniel

        You’re right, some people lack empathy. But politicians use misfortunes for personal gain the whole time. They’re just better actors than Russell. Except Blagojevich, no wonder why he got busted.

      • TickTock

        It was bizarre that no one called Russell out on this particular lie. Then again, the producers were probably just more personally disapproving of Fairplay’s grandma lie. Maybe they just had more empathy for losing a grandmother?
        Btw, I have a suspicion that while Russell resides in TX he is actually from Louisiana. Listen to his accent closely.


        It was the lowest move in the series history. Inexcusable. Even his mea culpa for his deceptions which he told later in the season (“how I explained to my children that Daddy’s only playing a game”) was inadequate to the perversity he was willing to commit for wealth.

    • David

      Russell used the lie to get sympathy and become a “member of the team” who people liked. Fairplay used the lie to get sympathy and have a reward handed to him. Fairplay profited much more from his lie, which is what makes it more notorious.


        Fairplay’s lie was in a completely different category being a fib about his family to gain sympathy. It was audacious but not abhorrent.

    • KF

      I love dogs; however, I believe that grandma trumps a dog.


        Comments by human named Dark Folk and Dark Dude need to be removed immediately.


        Please note that my screen name has been used without my permission in this group of comments. If a statement under my name is obnoxious is was put there by a thief.




        I l0ve black c0ck t00!


        No I don’t!


        Yes I do!

  • ky

    can’t wait to see how russel explain his ‘reasons’ to the heroes

    • KC

      But Russell never TOLD them there was a girl alliance – they thought that up all on their own and didn’t stop to think they may be wrong. What is he supposed to say “No guys I’m the one really in charge here”

      • Lexie

        That’s not true. Colby asked Russell if Russell was going to be voted out at TC, and Russell told him he was.

      • StrawBerryCutie

        LOL. The Heroes came to Russell and handed him the idol ON THEIR OWN. They thought up the whole womens alliance ON THEIR OWN. If your enemy asks you what’s going on on your tribe are you going to tell them the truth?? Absolutely not!
        How stupid would you be if you told the heroes ‘no, you guys are wrong, the guy you think is on the outs is actually running the show’.

    • Troy

      If Russell tells the hero’s that Courtney had a HII and he saw the opportunity to blindside her it will buy him some time with the hero’s

      • David

        Much easier lie. They split the votes, just in case he found an idol. 3 votes Russell, 2 votes Courtney, 1 vote Parvati. Parvati and Sandra are running the game, and made that decision.

        That keeps them from trusting Sandra, and is totally plausible.

      • apostrophe nazi

        For goodness sake, it’s “heroes” not “hero’s”!

      • StrawBerryCutie

        This is what Russell and the girls are going to say: The team voted, and Russell played the Hidden Immunity Idol that the heroes gave him. As soon as he got up and played it, Parvati got spooked and played her own hidden immunity idol. When the votes were revealed, it was 5 votes Russel, 1 vote Parvati, and none of the votes counted because they both had hidden immunity idols. So there was a revote where both Parvati and Russell could not be voted for and the result of that vote was Courtney going home.
        Watch the extra unseen footage that is on the website…you will get all your answers…

      • TTThunder

        I love Sandra, but Russell should have voted her out…


        1. She is much more dangerous that Courtney…

        2. He can tell the heroes that, Sandra is, in fact, the one running the girl alliance, not Parvati, so he decided to vote her…

    • seattlejohn

      the thing is Russell & cohorts are now positioned to totally take advantage of the heroes’ mistaken assumptions & playing them to their advantage & Sandra could find a way to bolster her status with the villains or heroes depending on her joining in or working against them…the blindside factor the next few episodes should be off the charts!!!

  • atlanta

    It’s shocking to me that all I hear about is “Dancing with the Stars” these days, when Survivor is on one of the Best.Seasons.Ever. I had to admire J.T.’s guts in giving the idol away, but his reasoning was faulty. Even if there was an all-female alliance over at the Villians’ camp, it still made no sense to give away your insurance in case of a merge. In the words of Julia Roberts from “Pretty Woman”: Big mistake. Big. Huge.

    • Allison

      I don’t agree JT’s reasoning was faulty–he had to hand off that idol since he was caught finding it. I think JT’s position in Hero’s is more tenuous every day, he had to do something to distract Heros and maybe regain some trust…

    • Ian Edrich

      I think he believed that Russell would leave behind five airtight girls who would pull in Candace and become invincible. Had he been right, this would have been lauded as one of the most genius moves in the history of the game. However… he was JUST SOOOO WRONG! Nice Pretty Woman quote.

    • KF

      I loved Parvati’s comment “JT, I can’t believe this kid won!”

      • maxamillion the original, before the beginning

        I second that emotion, JT what is wrong with you?

  • meandjeff

    LOVE YOU JEFF!! *screams crazy fan from the audience* I just thought I’d add that, seen I got to your blog rather quickly tonight!!

    • BewareStalkers

      Okay “meandjeff” your comment was really just creepy, especially with your added name. Poor Jeff…I would be scared of you!

      • meandjeff

        It was a joke, you fool!

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