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Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins' (episode 6)

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Jeffprobst2_l_2Okay, first let me address Survivor not being on the air during theNCAA Basketball tournament. On behalf of our entire crew I’d like tosay…”We hate being interrupted!! We feel your pain. We have absolutelyno say. It’s a network decision and college hoops are big business, sothat’s that.

Moving on….

I’m gonna start with Coach. Tonight Coach got to me. Coach has a hardtime accepting any kind of blame yet he is always the first to blameothers. Tonight, had I been on his tribe, Coach would have irritated meto the point of me saying something that I would no doubt later regret.

Like, “Coach, shut up.” Or, “Coach, kiss my ass.” Or some otherunprintable but quite colorful fifth-grade schoolyard verballaceration.

Coach is also a martyr. Whoa, I thought my mom had that market cornered. Move over Barbara, Coach wants the throne. When they lose half a pot of their beans, it’s a big damn deal. There isn’t a craft services counter just around the corner with Red Vines and donuts. But Coach can’t just say, “my bad” and get on with it. When Coach says he’ll take full blame he doesn’t mean it for one second.

Nonetheless, Coach once again wins the quote of the night:

Coach: “I probably won’t make a second pot…for my beans.”

I know many of you hate that I love Coach, but you gotta admit that was a funny line. And hey, for at least one week maybe we can all come together and hate Coach equally. Okay, I’m done with that.

Brendan is now my pick as the smartest player left in the game. Brendan is one smart dude. Brendan could win. Brendan’s fate will come down to how he fares with Coach ’cause Coach wants him gone. Beware granola boy…the Dragon Slayer lurks….

Tyson is also a very smart player. He’s trying to hover in the middle and stay out of the way. It’s a good overall strategy but not for him. He’s too much of a threat. He needs to make a big move very soon and try to take this game over or he’ll get his throat cut.

J.T. is smart and certainly playing a very different game under the heading of “good ole country boy” but he almost blew it tonight. Voting out Taj would have been a huge mistake. You do not vote out someone from your alliance this early in the game. I now have to knock him down a couple of pegs. That was almost a fatal mistake.

Stephen is right there too, playing his own version of “Who me? I’m just happy to be here.” The jury is still out on exactly how shrewd he is, but one thing is clear…Stephen is a lousy liar. That conversation with J.T. about the immunity idol was uncomfortable to watch.

Taj is second tier smart. I know that reading this will irritate her but it’s how I feel. She’s very good, but she will only win if the others destroy themselves. And Taj, are you out of your mind giving up the idol? Of course you are. You are out of your mind woman. I am 99% certain that your man Eddie George was on the couch tonight saying, “You did what, baby?!!” That was a big time mistake and you better find a way to get that idol back A.S.A.P., ’cause your alliance partners are just dumb enough to vote you out.

In case you were wondering, yes, those pigs were ceramic and yes, they hurt when you caught them.

Damn, Joe’s knee. Whoa. That is ugly. Could anyone still doubt this game is for real? Just look at that little tiny nick and how bad it has gotten in just 72 hours. Joe is a hurtin’ dude right now. I felt for him so much that it made it hard to laugh when he found the fake idol. I really like Joe. Joe likes Sydney. Sydney has a boyfriend. Joe has a bad knee and a fake idol and likes a girl who has a boyfriend. Joe is in trouble. He’s on the outside of the alliance that he should be a part of. Poor Joe.

INSIGHT: At the end of the waterfall reward, you see a very big shot from high above looking down on the Survivors swimming in the water. That shot comes from our helicopter, which is standing by, ready for action 24/7. When a producer needs a shot, they call the chopper crew. Our helicopter cameraman, Mark Hyrma, and the helicopter pilot are up and spinning within 10 minutes. They communicate via walkie-talkie and within 20 minutes they have the shot and are heading back to base camp. This is a major luxury. It comes from Mark Burnett insisting from day one that this show have an epic look. The helicopter shot is a staple of Survivor and one of the many reasons the show looks so good season after season.

PERSONAL SHARING: Last weekend, I had dinner with Mark Burnett and his beautiful wife, Roma Downey. They invited some people over to their house and it was quite nice. Okay, reallllly nice. I mean the dude is quite successful, and Roma… anybody remember Touched By An Angel? Yeah, it was a little hit show that she starred in for over a decade, so they’re doing fine and what’s really cool is that they are good people. They’re fun to be around. They know how to throw a dinner party. In fact, they throw such a good dinner party that they even hired some musical entertainment for the night. But here’s the best part…they hired a piano player and singer named Mike Darnell to entertain us all. Now to most of you that name might not mean anything, but to Hollywood industry folks, Mike Darnell is a HUGE name. Darnell runs FOX reality. He’s the network head of  American Idol and every other reality show on Fox. Talk about successful. Darnell is a major player in the entertainment world…and here he is playing piano at Burnett’s for tips. He said he just really enjoys entertaining people, but I wonder if maybe he lost a bet or something. I can’t tell you who else was there, but suffice it to say that I was the answer to the question, “Who in this room does not belong?” Oh, I almost forgot one last part to the story – I wrote this part of the story on Wednesday.

Okay, back to Survivor. Joe is a major flirt. First Sydney, now Erinn, and Erinn likes it. Did you see that hug on Exile? If there wasn’t a camera, I think that hug had a chance to become a bit more intimate. Am I reading into it? What do you think?

NOTE TO ALL FUTURE SURVIVOR CONTESTANTS: We LOVE fake idols. We “decorate” your camps and tree mails in a way that there are always plenty of “items” you can use to get creative. So do it. It’s so enjoyable to see somebody think they have the real idol when we all know they don’t.

Finally we come to Tribal Council – you knew it was only a matter of time. Sydney is this season’s beautiful blonde who no one will remember by the end of the show. I’m sorry, Sydney, just being honest. She was destined to leave early. I’m not sure why but it always goes this way; the beautiful blonde always leaves too soon. We loved having you on the show and our crew HATED seeing you leave, but let’s face it, you never really had a shot at winning so it’s just as well before the bugs did too much damage.

I’m done. Talk next week everyone.

Now check out our exclusive deleted scene below and then read Dalton’s ‘Survivor’ recap.