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Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Gabon' (episode 8)

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Survivorgabon_l

Survivorgabon_lDeep breath. Take it in, let it out. Once more. Deeeep breath. Take it in and let it out. On the rare occasions when we manage to pull one over on the Survivors, this is the ritual I go through immediately following. I just take a moment and let it fill my soul.

This group of Survivors were certain they knew when we were going to merge and they never backed off from their prediction. They kept saying it at tribal council. They’d gloat about it at challenges. “You always merge on the same day, Probst. It’s not hard to predict.” I kept my wits about me knowing they were off. Barely off, mind you, but off enough that we knew it was gonna bite them in the ass.

We set it up so it looked like a traditional merge feast. Theybought it hook, line, and sinker. I think the key to it all was the boxthat said, “Open after you have finished the feast.” They were certainit contained their merge buffs. They were wrong.

We strategically placed the hidden immunity idol note so that it wasvisible enough that someone would see it but not so visible thateveryone would see it. We obviously had no idea where anyone would sitbut we hoped that maybe someone would be able to sneak it out withoutanyone else noticing. What happened instead was better than we could have ever hoped for! They find the idol…as a group…and then the unthinkable happens.

Marcus convinces the group to get rid of the idol.

He convinced an entire group of million-dollar seeking contestantsto get rid of the one thing that can help them win the money. Amazing.For that single achievement alone, Marcus deserves some kind of specialSurvivor recognition. Some kind of a trophy that says “specialachievement.” It’s the kind of recognition you get when you don’t win,but you did “really good.” Yes, I know the correct phrase is “reallywell,” but in Kansas we say “good.”

At this point you can be sure that Marcus, Corinne, Charlie, andRandy, along with Susie and Bob, are certain they have this gamelocked. A merge is next, they have the numbers and it’s over for theremaining Fang members. Screeeeeeeeeech. Not quite.

No merge. Another switch. The good news for Kota is that they stillhave the numbers on both tribes. Things are still looking good forthem. Fang is in trouble. Matty and Sugar are all alone on one tribe.Crystal and Kenny are all alone on the other.

The only chance Fang appears to have at this point is to get someoneto switch over. Susie and Bob seem most likely, only because theyappear to be on the bottom of the totem pole. But getting someone toswitch from a strong alliance is very difficult to do. People oftenforget to play to WIN, and instead they play safe.

Kenny, Crystal, Matty, and Sugar are definitely in a hole.

I love that Corinne and Sugar are on the same tribe. Sweet and souralways makes for a tasty treat. Corinne hates Sugar. Sugar thinksCorinne is evil. This is going to be fantastic.

Another immunity challenge and another absolute disappointment forCrystal. I will give you some insight, a bit of behind the scenes.Whenever we start a challenge in which people must do some certainthing for a long time, I always give them five seconds to getthemselves situated and then I officially begin the challenge. Crystalcould not hold onto those poles for even five seconds. She kept tryingbut was literally unable to hold these extremely light poles for fiveseconds. After a few attempts I finally said, “Crystal, the next timewe do this, the challenge will begin the second I say go and you’re onyour own. I can’t give you any more chances.” She lasted less than afew seconds. I feel for Crystal because there is a certain expectationof an Olympic gold medalist, and I’m sure she wants to scream out, “I’ma sprinter! I’m not great at everything.” Fair enough. But come on! Imean seriously, come on! My niece Amanda isn’t even 10 years old andshe would have outlasted you! Even my younger niece Abby would havedone better. It’s just unfortunate for her because it’s starting tomake people question the gold medal more than Ace’s accent. I likeCrystal but it’s hard to defend. Anyway, it came down to Bob and Matty,and Matty won.

Side note: Bob starting to grow on you? He is on me. He’s consistentand he stays out of the way. Great strategy. Nobody is thinking aboutBob at all. He’s no dummy. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Go, Maine.I love Maine. It’s getting cold in Maine right about now. Shout out toLes and Judy! What up!

Tribal Council awaits…and in one of the biggest blindsidesyet…Susie turns on her tribe. Marcus is gone. A complete shocker. Thegame has just flipped and Susie is now a major player.

Teaser for next episode…just wait until Corinne gets her firstlook at the new Kota. Marcus voted out at the last tribal council. Sheis gonna blow.

Now check out our exclusive deleted scene from Survivor: Gabon and then read Dalton’s recap.