This season, we’ve got a big surprise for you: Survivor host Jeff Probst will be stopping by each week to give us his thoughts on the show and the players.
This blog post is definitely written by Jeff Probst, host of Survivor, and not that guy who wrote the People’s Survivor blog posts last season. It is most certainly not a parody, but if it were it would probably have been written by John. You can follow John on Twitter @purplerockjohn or @purplerockpod. And you can follow me, Jeff Probst, on twitter @jeffprobst.
I’ve been lucky enough to host Survivor for sixteen years now. The babies that were born the year I started hosting are now old enough to be hit on by Russell Hantz on Twitter. It’s been an amazing run, even during the seasons Boston Rob didn’t win. But all of that has led to what is obviously my crowning achievement: being asked to write about this season each week for the Purple Rock Podcast.
The season premiere is always exciting for me, because we’ve got nine new men with a shot to win the game. It’s all brand new! And it’s also a reminder that some things never change.
But one of the reasons the premiere is so exciting is because of how hard we worked to bring the show to you. We half-heartedly watched dozens of videos, scoured Stephen Fishbach’s OKCupid matches, and talked to hundreds of former athletes to bring you the best cast we possibly could. And in the end, we still had one slot left to give to some guy from another CBS reality show.
By the time we hit the beaches in Cambodia, the cast was hyped. They had to do their best to contain that energy while we took press photos and filmed bio videos, but it was pretty clear everyone was excited.
I’ve said many times over the years that this show is a social experiment. We take a bunch of people from different walks of life- as long as they live in California and don’t have meaningful employment- and we put them together and see what happens.
This season we took that social experiment to a new level by casting a Barack Obama lookalike. We wanted to get Barack Obama himself so that America would be safe from his tyrannical reign for 39 days, but the White House turned us down. Sorry, America! We did our best.
Once the game started, though, the players gave us exactly what we expected from them: hundreds of hours of mostly boring footage, occasionally interrupted by something worth putting on TV. On the Brawn tribe we had what is probably our brawniest collection of players we’ve ever had, plus Alecia and Darnell. We also got a great shot of Jason lugging around a massive rock. It was an excellent metaphor for the first tribal council, where we learned that the Brawn tribe is totally fine with carrying useless dead weight.
We were also really excited about our Brains tribe, because we have some of the highest IQ scores we’ve ever had on that tribe. We also have two Ivy Leaguers and an MIT grad. And since IQ score or going to a prestigious university are the only things that matter when measuring intelligence, that means they are really smart!
But the Brains tribe member I was most excited about was Debbie. I love people that are willing to play hard in this game- the people that will lie, cheat, and make big moves. And Debbie has already proven that she’s a great liar, like the time she made false statements about the level of contamination in Hurricane Katrina flood waters. Next season, we’re trying to cast one of the people responsible for letting the people of Flint, Michigan drink lead. We love people with a killer instinct!
On the flip side, there’s Tai. He lives and works in San Francisco, taking care of the city’s trees. Since we already had an anti-vaxxer Trump supporter on the cast, we wanted a tree-hugging hippie to cover both extremes of the political spectrum.
Probably my favorite part of any Survivor season is interacting with the fans. And so far, the response I’ve been getting on Twitter from you guys has been great. The tweets have ranged from “Hey, cast me on your show! Here’s my video where I eat a bug!” to “Yo Probst, can I get a Buff?” Hahaha! You guys are great. I love Twitter. It’s definitely not a huge waste of time.
Anyway, that’s it for this week. I know Fishbach and John both liked to give out awards each week, but I’m one of those people that thinks trophies should only be given out when they’re earned. So I’ll pass out some hardware when someone does something that deserves it.
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia