"Jeff Probst Is A Bully!"--Survivor Nicaragua Episode 11
Dec 8, 2010
I'm going to begin this episode review with five simple words. "Jeff Probst is a bully." Plain and simple. But he wasn't always this way. The legendary Survivor host has been the face of this franchise since the very beginning. Jeff Probst has hosted every single season of Survivor since its premiere back in 2000 and he doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon. During the first few seasons, Jeff came off as a fair and impartial host. Even though he would stir things up at tribal council every now and then, he never seemed to let his own personal feelings get in the way of the game. He called most things right down the middle as it should be. However, as the years have gone by, Jeff has slowly begun to interject his own thoughts and opinions into the game. Apparently, our host got frustrated with seeing the contestants do things that he didn't agree with, so he made the decision to do something about it. With every passing season, Jeff interferes more and more in the game process. He constantly yells at contestants during the challenges and excuses it by saying that he's simply trying to motivate them. He has shown a huge tendency to favor one contestant over another while the game is in progress. He has flat out forced people to strategize in a different way even though he's not the one playing the game. He has even belittled people at tribal councils because he doesn't agree with how that person is playing the game. Jeff's antics have really annoyed me over the years, but for the most part, I've always let it go because I'm such a huge fan of the show in general. However, this time, I will use no such excuse. What Jeff did in this episode was just plain wrong in my opinion. Other fans have applauded Jeff's efforts in this episode, but I most certainly won't. There is a fine line as to what a host can and can't do on a show like this and Jeff Probst has clearly crossed it. It is now time to review Episode 11 of Survivor Nicaragua and by the end of this review, it'll become clear as to why Jeff Probst is nothing more than a bully when it's all said and done.
This episode begins with the Libertad tribe returning back to camp after their third tribal council together. Brenda has just been voted out of the tribe and as a result, the once strong core five alliance that Sash worked so hard to maintain has completely disintegrated. Everyone is confused about what to do next, but none more so than Purple Kelly. Purple Kelly voted for Benry instead of Brenda at the last tribal council and now, she is very concerned about her own place in the tribe. Now that Sash, Chase, and Nay have voted her good friend Brenda out of the game, she now realizes that she may be at the bottom of the pecking order. She's very worried that she may be the next to go. Later, Naonka and Holly talk privately. Holly praises Naonka for voting against Brenda at the last tribal council and now, Holly feels that she can trust Naonka 100% moving forward. Naonka says that Brenda threw her under the bus big time at the last tribal council, so she is very happy that Brenda is now out of the game because of what she did to her. A little bit later, Naonka and Chase talk to each other. Chase tells Naonka that he wants to form a new alliance which consists of himself, Naonka, Holly and Jane. He also says that this new alliance should go after Sash, Purple Kelly and Fabio next, but then he says that nothing is ever that easy in this game and he's prepared to try and deal with whatever twists and changes are around the corner. Many interesting things seem to be happening here. The most intriguing thing about this segment is the fact that Purple Kelly actually said something during this part. Up until this moment, Purple Kelly has been pretty much invisible this season. You rarely ever see her and you almost never get to hear any confessionals from her. Most fans couldn't even remember that she was a part of the cast until a couple of weeks ago, lol. The reason that Purple Kelly gets very little screen time is because the editors are purposely editing her out of the show as much as possible. Why would the editors do this to her, you ask? Well, that will all become apparent later on in this episode. Stay tuned.
The next day arrives and there is a massive flood in the river right by the camp. It has also been raining pretty heavily as well throughout the night and into the morning, so the tribe is all huddled together under the shelter in an attempt to stay warm. Jane says that all of the rain makes camp life miserable. Naonka says that she's anemic, so when the rain comes down really hard, her joints get stuck and it puts her in a lot of pain. Purple Kelly is really having a hard time dealing with the weather. She says in a confessional that she tells herself anything she can in order to tough it out, but she doesn't know how much longer she can put up with these conditions. Later, Benry and Fabio talk privately. They both want to vote out either Naonka or Purple Kelly next because they both seem to be on the verge of leaving the game because of the brutal weather forces at work. Naonka seems to confirm that she's had it with these weather conditions in a private conversation that she has with Chase later on. Naonka tells Chase that her heart is not in the game like it should be at this point and this leads her to do something very unexpected. Naonka then gives her immunity idol to Chase. She says that she is giving her idol to him because he has been her friend and she hopes that the idol will aid him in the game. Hmmm....this is very interesting. Meanwhile, Sash is approached by Holly, Jane, and Chase in order to form a new alliance consisting of the four of them. Sash isn't too big on this idea because he is still more loyal to Purple Kelly and Naonka than anyone else. However, Sash is now concerned that Purple Kelly and Naonka might leave the game sooner rather than later, so he might have to consider joining Holly and Jane's alliance after all. Basically, the main point of this whole segment is to reinforce the idea that Purple Kelly and Naonka are at their wit's end having to deal with the weather and are now seriously considering walking out of the game because of it. Naonka has given Chase her idol. Purple Kelly has said she doesn't know how much more she can take. These two girls look to be on the verge of quitting the game. But the question is will they both leave or will they stay and tough it out? One thing that is certain is that we will definitely get Jeff Probst's opinion on this subject since he never misses an opportunity to open his big fat mouth right when it's not needed. Let's continue on with this episode of The Jeff Probst Show (oops, I mean, "Survivor") and see what happens.
It's now time for the reward challenge. The tribe will be divided into two teams of four and all the members of each team will be tethered to one another with rope. There are two 8 foot stuffed dummies named "Gulliver" tied down to two different tables, one for each team. When Mr. Pompous Jerkface (a.k.a. Jeff Probst) yells "Go!", each team will go to a table and try to untie the huge "Gulliver" dummy. Once they've untied the dummy, the contestants must carry that dummy through an obstacle course. The first team to make it through all of the obstacles and reach the finish line will win this week's reward, which is a trip to the Survivor cinema. The winning team will get to watch the movie "Gulliver's Travels" starring Jack Black. While watching the movie, the winning team will get to chow down on nachos, hot dogs, popcorn, and candy. It sounds like a fun reward and a good challenge, so let's get to it. The tribe is divided into two teams. The Yellow Team consists of Fabio, Sash, Jane and Purple Kelly. The Blue Team consists of Naonka, Holly, Benry, and Chase. Dan is the only person not selected to be on a team. Dan now has the choice of choosing which team he wants to support and if he picks the winning team, he'll get to go on the reward with that team. Dan chooses to support the blue team. Now that the teams have been selected, it's now time for the challenge to get underway. But before we get going, Jeff has a little "friendly" advice for our contestants. Jeff tells everyone that "Your ability to draw from within is what will help you get through this challenge." It sounds like positive, encouraging advice on the surface, but what he really means is this: "No one is gonna quit my show, damn it!!!! Do you know who the hell I am??? I'm Jeff Probst!!! I own all of you!!! If anyone walks out, your ass belongs to me!!!!!" So much for being neutral, you jerk. lol. Anyway, the challenge gets underway and the yellow team has a good lead. Then the blue team catches up and we're suddenly neck and neck. Then right at the end, the blue team gets in the lead and pulls off the win. The blue team has won the reward challenge and now, they (along with Dan) will go chow down on some great grub while watching the movie gulliver's travels. This was a pretty intense challenge. I enjoyed watching it. What I didn't enjoy was what happened after the challenge, which we will get to right now.
Right after the reward challenge ends, Jeff tells the blue team once again about the reward that they've just won. As Jeff is talking, Naonka interrupts him and she announces that she has something to say. Naonka says that for the past 28 days, she has given it her all, but her body is simply wearing down too much to continue on. She then announces that today will be her last day in the game. Jeff Probst looks completely stunned and then asks if anyone else wants to quit the game. Purple Kelly then speaks up and says that even though it's been 28 days of adventures, she can't live off of one more day of rice and a couple of hours of sleep every night. Purple Kelly then says that it will be her last day in the game also. Jeff Probst is definitely NOT happy with this, to put it lightly. After going on some stupid rant about how much he hates quitters, Jeff says that he'll give both girls the afternoon to think about this and if they both still want to leave at the end of the day, they can do so at a "special" tribal council that he'll host later tonight. Basically, Jeff was throwing a hissy fit here because the game wasn't going the way "he" wanted it to go. I know many people have interpreted this incident differently, but I honestly felt that Jeff was truly trying to embarrass these two girls for wanting to "quit" his show. And I don't believe for a moment that Jeff just found out about this right at this moment. I think that the girls told the producers earlier that morning that they wanted to leave, the producers then told Jeff, Jeff got outraged, and he then decides that he's going to do everything he can to make these two girls look like "fools" and "morons" all because a) they had the "audacity" to quit his show and b) it'll make good ratings. So he makes the girls wait until AFTER the challenge is over to tell everyone that they want to leave and then, doesn't even follow through with it because he wants to make them "wait" and "think it over" first before they decide. Yeah, right. Jeff is milking this for all its worth because he is 100% determined to humiliate these two for committing the "unholy act" (rolls eyes) of quitting Survivor. But it doesn't end here. What Jeff does next speaks volumes of his childish bully like personality.
After it is revealed to everyone that both Naonka and Purple Kelly want to leave the game, Jeff decides to make an offer to the team that won the reward challenge. Jeff knows that the fire that destroyed the tribes' camp last episode was pretty devastating, so he says that he will offer up a new tarp and a new bottle of rice to the entire tribe if one person on the winning team will forfeit their movie reward and go back to camp instead with everyone else. This is of course all a set up to make Naonka look bad. Keep in mind that Jeff is well aware of the fact that Naonka is an extremely selfish person. I'm almost positive that he knew that she wouldn't give up her reward for the benefit of the tribe even though she's leaving. And of course, Jeff is right. Naonka doesn't give up her reward. But fortunately, Holly does and she decides to give up her trip in order to get the tribe some rice and a tarp. It's a nice gesture on Holly's part to do that, but at the same time, I don't blame Naonka one bit for not giving up her reward. I never thought I'd be defending Naonka, but I have to in this case. First of all, she DID work hard in that reward challenge and got the victory, so why should she give it all up just because she's leaving? I know other people want to eat and all and I also know that she'll be able to eat anyway if she decides to quit which makes keeping the reward kind of mean, but she did earn it and I don't think she's a terrible person for not giving it up (she's a terrible person for OTHER reasons, but not for doing this). Second of all, Jeff's role in this can't be excused. This smelled so much like a set up on his part. He was probably thinking "How dare her!!! Naonka wants to quit MY show???? She'll pay for this, I swear." And this was the plan he came up with. Jeff succeeds in making Naonka look even worse than she did before by creating a scenario in which Naonka comes off as a person with no soul all because she earned her win and wants to eat even though she's quitting. This right here is the main problem I have with Jeff Probst. There are so many legitimate reasons why Naonka is a bad person and yet, Jeff focuses in on her least offensive crime which is wanting to leave the game and eat some food and get out of the cold. It's utterly ridiculous. Plus, there was a scene shortly afterwards in which it appeared that Benry was mad at Naonka for not giving up her reward, but in actuality, he was upset at Dan, not Naonka. However, the editors made it look as if he was upset with Nay when that really wasn't the case. Again, Jeff and his producers are going completely out of their way to make Naonka look like scum all because she wants to leave the game. It's really pathetic. This didn't sit well with me at all and it gets even worse at this train wreck of an episode rolls on.
The tribe members that didn't get to go on the reward head back to camp. Everyone congratulates Holly for stepping up and forfeiting her reward so that the tribe can have some rice and a tarp. Later, Holly and Purple Kelly go to talk privately on the beach. Holly is not happy to hear that Purple Kelly is thinking about leaving the game, so Holly decides to give her some advice. Holly tells Purple Kelly that she needs to suck it up and deal with it. Holly also tells Purple Kelly that if she quits, she will forever be known as the girl that quit Survivor Nicaragua Season 21. Holly then goes into a story about how her daughters wanted to quit track when they were little, but she wouldn't let him because they needed to finish what they started. Later, her daughters went on to win the state championships. Purple Kelly hears what Holly is saying and she says she'll think about it. In a confessional, Holly says that Jimmy Johnson talked her out of quitting on Day 5 and she's grateful that she had that talk because it allowed her to stay in the game and make her family proud. Holly hopes that Purple Kelly will choose to stay in the game also. I liked what Holly had to say. She did a good job of trying to motivate Purple Kelly and keep her going. But Holly has to keep in mind that Purple Kelly doesn't think like she does. Purple Kelly is her own person and at the end of the day, she's going to do what's best for her, not what's best for Holly or anyone else. Holly does point out to Purple Kelly that she got them a tarp and rice now, so life should be easier from that perspective. But again, Purple Kelly has to make up her mind what SHE wants to do and that's the most important thing. Will Purple Kelly stay or will she go? That is the question. Stay tuned.
Now it's time to meet back up with the blue team as they enjoy their reward. The four blue team members arrive at the Survivor cinema and they load up on popcorn and other great foods. Dan is really enjoying the food they have there. We also see Naonka chowing down on some grub and Chase is not too happy with this. Chase says in a confessional that he feels that Naonka should have given up her reward for the tribe since it was the decent thing to do. We next see a confessional with Naonka in which she says that she has no regrets about keeping the reward. She earned it and therefore, she's going to enjoy it. Next, the four of them sit down and watch the movie "Gulliver's Travels" on a big screen. They all seem to enjoy the film very much. However, the celebration doesn't last long because after the movie ends, the four of them have to rush to a "special" tribal council that Jeff Probst has created about the quitting situation. The movie night looked pretty fun. The little lawn chairs they were all sitting in looked pretty cool also, lol. Well..... the movie is over and now, it's time to deal with business the Jeff Probst way which will probably involve more subtle bullying and self gratification. What joy (rolls eyes). The tribal council is next.
We have now arrived at our tribal council for this episode. But this isn't any ordinary tribal council, oh no. This is a "special" tribal council. You see, Jeff Probst has been throwing a baby tantrum all day. Da wittle game isn't going the way Jeffikins wants it to go, so he has created this "special" tribal council to deal with his frustrations. There's no point in giving any great detail as to what happens at this tribal council other than to say that it is basically a "Bash and Belittle Naonka and Purple Kelly" fest led by Probst. Jeff is so good at the subtle art of manipulation, I'll give him credit for that. He asks the other tribe members why they don't want to quit in an effort to make Naonka and Purple Kelly feel even more like garbage. Then he asks his supposedly "unbiased" questions that are actually laced to the brim with bias and judgment as to what these two girls are doing. Long story short, Naonka and Purple Kelly both decide to leave the game for good. But this is when Jeff gets really cute. He asks both of them what they should do with their torches now that they've both decided to leave. They both say that their torches should be snuffed. Jeff then mockingly calls him "quitters" in the most hateful tone possible(good job on being neutral and unbiased, Jeff!!! Keep it up!!!! (rolls eyes)) and says that he will snuff their torches, but he will keep both of their torches at tribal council as a reminder of the terrible decision they made (Oh no, not that, Jeff!!! Keeping the torches there!!!! How horrible!!! (rolls eyes)). Finally, Jeff snuffs their torches and gives them both a look of the utmost disdain as they walk out. Good god, Jeff. You act like their decision to leave is the most sinful, disgusting, revolting thing you've ever seen in your life. GET OVER YOURSELF!!!!! It's not like these two girls committed mass murder or anything like that. They just quit a show because they were tired and hungry. Is that the worse offense in the world, Jeff??? Really??? Did they really deserve to be humiliated like that all because you disagreed with what THEY wanted to do with THEIR own lives??? All of that just because they're cold and they want to eat??? Jesus mother of God!!! Anyway, Naonka and Purple Kelly are now out of the running and they are also the fourth and fifth members of the jury. Two down, seven to go.
Naonka was probably one of my least favorite contestants this season. The woman is a complete trainwreck. The moment she stepped onto the scene, she was mean, abrasive, and downright nasty. She yelled at Fabio on numerous occasions and called him stupid. She constantly made fun of Kelly B.'s prosthetic leg and treated her very poorly. She even went so far as to steal food from her tribe mates and hide it out in the forest. She went off on people at various tribal councils and she generally just has no empathy or compassion for other people. Naonka is a terrible person, but I will say that she was an ok game player. She got into a very dominant alliance with Sash at the beginning of the game and that helped keep her safe for a long time. Also, she was able to trick Alina into having her think that she was looking out for her back on Episode 8 and that was a good strategic move on her part. But what Naonka has in strategy, she lacks in basic human decency. I don't like her and I never will. However, I will not blame her for walking out of the game. She said several times that because she's anemic, her joints really become painful in cold weather. She decided she had enough and left because the brutal weather conditions were too much for her. I'm not going to judge her for that choice. She did what was best for her physically. I know other people have judged her for leaving, but I don't share the same judgment. While I will always judge Naonka harshly in regards to the really cruel way she treats other around her, I can't blame her for making a choice based on what her body is telling her. That's for her to decide. She made the best decision for herself and that's all that matters at the end of the day. Overall, Naonka will be a contestant that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. I highly doubt we'll see her again (due to Jeff's anger and outrage over her leaving), but you never know.
I liked Purple Kelly a lot in this game, but unfortunately, she became a major victim of editing. It seems as if the producers (and Jeff) were so angry with Purple Kelly deciding to leave the game that they have purposefully edited her out of this season as much as possible. That's why we have hardly seen her at all. They couldn't edit out Naonka's scenes because she was too important to storylines and too crazy to just be tossed to the side. If anything, they probably increased the camera time that Naonka got due to the quit because Naonka is the kind of person who continuously buries a deeper hole for herself just by talking, lol. But with Purple Kelly, she's nice and quiet enough to where the producers found it easy to just pretend that she didn't exist. I read a recent interview with Purple Kelly where she said that she was upset at her edit because she says that she did a whole lot more in the game than what was shown on tv. I believe her. The childish producers decided to act like babies and edit her out of everything all because she committed the "mortal sin" of leaving the game. It's preposterous and it's even a little irresponsible. It's hard to analyze Purple Kelly's gameplay since the producers made damn sure not to show us hardly any of it. All we know for sure is that Purple Kelly was a part of the core five alliance and that she was pretty tight with Brenda and Naonka. She survived as long as she did in this game because she voted with her alliance and that kept her safe. But when Brenda left, that threw everything into chaos. Purple Kelly has said in interviews that her reason for quitting had nothing at all to do with Brenda leaving. I haven't seen any evidence that contradicts this, so I'll believe her on this one also. Ultimately, the conditions were just too much for her and that's what did her in. But again, I won't condemn her for it. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes whether people like it or not (I'm looking at you, Jeff). Overall, she seemed to be an ok player from what little we saw of her. I'll miss seeing her, but then again, we didn't see her that much in the first place, so I'm not going to be missing much apparently, lol. It's a shame that the producers gave her a non-existent edit, but I'll still miss seeing her in the game (Also, for those of you that were wondering, she's named "Purple Kelly" for two reasons. One reason was to distinguish her from the other Kelly (Kelly B.) that got voted out of the game earlier this season and two, she has purple hair dye at the ends of her hair, hence the name "Purple Kelly").
And now, I will conclude this review with some closing comments regarding our esteemed Survivor host Jeff Probst. Jeff, you have clearly proven that you care a little "too much" about this show. You have this ridiculous notion that everyone should envision the show the way you see it and when someone deviates from that, they are shunned and verbally attacked by you. Grow up, Probst. People voluntarily leaving the game is not the end of the world no matter how much you may want it to be. Let me ask you a question, Jeff. Have you ever played Survivor? Have you ever had to be stuck out in the wilderness for 39 days playing a very stressful strategic game while at the same time battling harsh elements on a daily basis? What's that? No, you say? Well, of course not. You're in your little resort sipping on lemonade and being an obnoxious loud jerk at the challenges. You have no idea how hard this game is because you've never played it. So don't sit there and throw stones when you haven't even put your feet in the fire. Survivor is about the contestants first and foremost in my opinion. The advertisers, the sponsors, the host, and even the fans all come second to that. It's your job to treat all the contestants fairly, Jeff. Sure, there are times where you might not be able to do that for good reasons, but you at least have to have it on your mind at all times. Not only did you disrespect these two girls and show your unbelievable bias in not wanting them to quit, but you then create a "special" tribal council for the sole purpose of making them look like idiots and humiliating them all because of this one decision. Thankfully, Naonka and Purple Kelly have strong personalities and weren't too affected by it. But still, that doesn't make it right, Jeff. Plus, there have been other contestants that have quit in the past and you didn't criticize them (with the exception of one person). So why did you go after these two here? It's nuts. Anyway, I'll probably be much harsher on Jeff in the future now that I've seen this episode. Jeff Probst has clearly proven that he is a grade A bully in this episode and that's just the way it is.
Anyway, that ends my review of this week's episode of "It's Jeff's World. We All Just Live In It" (oops, I mean "Survivor Nicaragua"). I'll be back next week. Till then. :-)
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I'm a 29 year oldwhoenjoys reviewing certainreality tv shows and scifi programming. I also post reviews on other topics every now and then as well. I enjoy being here on Lunch and interacting with … more
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