By Jeff Probst
Updated May 14, 2010 at 10:00 AM EDT

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSSandra (to Rupert): “Loose lips sink ships.”

And just like that, Rupert is gone and we are down to one remaining hero left in the game.

Colby. Like the cowboys of old he stands alone, atop the mountain. Weathered skin from years of being on horseback, he props a Winchester rifle against his shoulder. This battle could get ugly. Then again, the way Colby has played this year, he might just set the rifle down and surrender to the opposition.

It’s been an interesting season for Colby. He was asked back for this season because he was the first and many (including myself) would say quintessential hero of this game. But this season has been rough on Colby. He has not performed up to his or anybody else’s expectations and yet here he is heading into the final episode with a one in five shot at winning the million dollars. Colby is a great example of why you should never quit in this game or any other game. You gotta be in it to win it. He’s still in it. He could still win it.


You know I love these moments. I’ll always be a fan of love. It was fascinating to watch the relationships between loved ones play out during the challenge. It always reminds me these are real people who have signed on for an extraordinary adventure and an incredibly taxing game. Rarely on Survivor do you see someone at their best. Their loved one visit usually illuminates a part of their personality we don’t often see.

It’s clear that Parvati’s relationship with her dad Michael is solid. He’s a proud Dad who loves his daughter. They’re both competitive and Dad was doing his best during the challenge, but even in the end I think he was just happy to see that his daughter was healthy and still in the game. That’s the love of a parent and it’s a beautiful thing.

Jerri’s sister traveled all the way from Germany to get to Samoa and it was clear how happy Jerri was to see her and hug her. Jerri is obviously a woman who has worked hard on herself and strives to live her life a spiritual way. Watching them in the challenge was fun because Jerri wanted to win but she also wanted to have fun competing on Survivor with her sister. Whadaya know, she achieved both.

Colby’s relationship with his older brother was also revealing. It’s the kind of relationship that only brothers can have. You can yell at your brother in a way you wouldn’t yell at a sister or even a good friend. Colby was clearly frustrated with everything about the situation (like he has been all season) and his brother Reid, was a very good sport about it. That’s also indicative of a brother relationship. When one bro senses the other is struggling, you give them some slack.

Russell’s wife, Melanie must be a strong woman because as we all know by now Russell is a major strategic game player who never takes his eyes off the prize. Even though I know he wanted to see his wife, he wasn’t going to let his emotions cause any hiccups in his game. His entire time with his wife was spent strategizing and updating her. Even their goodbye was about strategy, when he referred to Jerri’s choice of who to bring along on the reward. Russell: “She screwed up.”

Rupert’s wife Laura has one of those faces that make you want to smile. For all of the grief I give Rupert for being a bit over the top, when I see him with his wife, I can’t help but smile at the true love they seem to share. It’s not her first time to the island and she has been a delight each time she has visited. Their goodbye was out of a movie. If their life is truly that romantic, that’s pretty kick ass.

But the one that got me and still gets me as I write this was Sandra’s visit from her Uncle, Fernando. Their chat about the loss of her mother was extremely touching. On top of that, Sandra’s husband couldn’t visit because he is serving in Afghanistan. Her uncle was a wonderful substitute and while watching them play the challenge together you saw that they share the same sense of humor that Sandra displays daily along with the same absolute lack of concern for winning something as silly as a reward challenge.


When we get to this point in the game, our rewards usually come with a complication – a consequence. Jerri was forced to choose two and only two couples to join her on the reward. Without hesitating she chose Parvati and Sandra. That left Rupert and Colby and Russell to go back to camp. You don’t need a Magic 8-Ball to guess what happened next.

Russell, Rupert and Colby all started talking about what a dumb move Jerri made by not choosing them. The truth is there is no good move when you’re in Jerri’s spot. No matter whom you leave behind, they’re going to be upset.

So, Russell reaches out to make a deal with Rupert and Colby. I love it. A complete 180. Is it real? Will it last? Can anybody trust anybody? Ha! That’s the greatest part. Nobody can trust anybody and everybody knows it.


What the heck was Rupert thinking? Was that ego that he wanted everybody to know he was working? Rupert, nobody cares. Was it anger that he wasn’t chosen to go on the reward? Rupert, nobody cares. It accomplished absolutely nothing and it certainly contributed to him being voted out and losing his shot at the million dollars.


I can’t believe I am saying it again but once again Colby Donaldson was first out of the challenge. If I had told you at the beginning of the season that the biggest letdown would come from our most celebrated hero, nobody would have believed me. Yet, as mentioned earlier… Colby is still in the game and if he makes it to the final is probably the odds on favorite to win the money. Crazy.

On the flip side – Rupert fights until he has nothing left. He doesn’t quit because he thinks someone else might outlast him. He doesn’t step out because he’s hungry. He goes as long as he can and not a second less. Once again he made it a long time in the challenge but came up…. short.

Parvati continues to impress, winning yet another challenge. I’m running out of ways to say it. Win or lose this season, she’s in the Survivor Hall of Fame and will go down as one of the greatest to ever play.


Wow. They’re all losing their minds.

Sandra: Rupert, loose lips sink ships.

Rupert: Yes, they do.

Sandra: Yes, they do and they just did.

Russell: Are you with me or against me?

Sandra: I’m against you, Russell.

Parvati: Who invited Boston Rob back to the party. Are you with me or are you against me?

Russell: What are you all doing… you’re being dumb. Go ahead and keep playing around. Holler out whatever you want, you’re diggin a deeper and deeper hole.

For a moment it was like an episode of Lost – nothing made sense. Everybody was all over the map going into Tribal Council. Just like I like it…


And the craziness continued at Tribal Council. What happened to these guys? They’ve lost their bloody minds I tell you. It was fantastic.

Parvati was the highlight: From her worthy impression of a cigar lounge, burlesque dancer, nightclub singer with a stoagie dangling from her lips to her 180 degree head turn toward Russell when asked about the “top villain” question. It was all money.

The most telling moment was when Rupert asked Parvati:

Rupert: “You don’t think you’re the top villain?”

Parvati: “Nope I don’t. I’m a hero on the inside.” Yeah. Right. Trust me, Parvati believes she is the top dog of the Villain tribe and that she is calling all the shots. Likewise, Russell believes he is the top dog and calling all the shots. If you’re Jerri, Colby or Sandra, this is great news because nobody wants to go to final tribal council with the moniker of “top dog” of the Villains. Those heroes will eat that person alive.

BIGGEST MOVE: Sandra’s decision to play the idol will have consequences. Had she not played it, nobody would have ever known. By deciding to play it she revealed that she had kept a secret from everybody in her alliance and everybody in the game. Curious to see how that plays out, but it was a big, risky and ultimately wise move. The idol had no more use after tonight.


Rupert lasted a long time in a very tough season and once again he came up… just short.

Thanks for the great times, Rupert. You have served Survivor very well.


So, we now head into the final two-hour episode followed by the one-hour reunion show live this Sunday, May 16th from New York City. There are 5 Survivors left. One hero and four villains. At this point I honestly believe it is anybody’s game.

COLBY: If he makes it to the end, he wins. Too many heroes on the jury that have too much animosity for the Villains. Despite not earning it, Colby could soon be a millionaire.

SANDRA: She has to make it to the end with Russell and/or Parvati to have any chance. Jerri and Colby will both beat her.

PARVATI: Could become the first two-timer winner. She’s that good and has played that good of a game.

RUSSELL: Could become first time back-to-back loser. He’s that good and that despised. For Russell to win it will take a jury that appreciates great game play and let’s go of the social, which Russell simply doesn’t have. One thing is for sure, he won’t have JT’s vote. Probably won’t have Rupert’s either.

JERRI: I think Jerri has a very good shot to win this. If she gets to the final with the right person/people she just might get rewarded for all of her growth and overall pretty decent strategic game play.

See ya from NYC!

I’ll try to post a finale wrap-up blog later next week.