Well if you can’t beleive what you read in a comic book, what can you beleive?

Stratagy will now come into play, it’s time to warm up your Lying machines and lets party! He’s gone but Russell was making some bad moves before he left!

Shambo needs some friends, I think she is losing it!


The Hulk is simply in the best shape going into this weeks superhero fight. The X-Men are questionable and in need of an infusion of power. Superman was dropped by some kryptonite. Batman is hiding in his tree trunk bat cave. Catwoman and her kittens are busy purring and tucking their tails. Shambowomen is looking to team up with the X-men and fight to the death. The coming collision of superpowers is ready to be a big explosion of energy. The last person standing will be determined and the game will come to an end!   BOOM

Jeff Probst blogs ‘Survivor: Samoa': episode #6



Rain is a double-edged sword on Survivor. It gives and it takes. We love the layer of drama it adds when you see the contestants shivering, their fingers wrinkled like prunes, as they struggle to make fire. But rain can also bring with it severe, life-threatening problems as it did this week when Russell collapsed due to dehydration.

I’m going to focus this blog on sharing with you everything you didn’t see that happened when Russell went down.  

During the early stage of the challenge when they were pushing the sphere, I was completely unaware that Russell was struggling. I noticed he was tired but that is not unusual during a challenge and so I thought nothing much of it.

Even when they reached the maze, I noticed it taking him a long time to get himself over to the maze, but he was blindfolded and I am watching 13 other people, so once again I wasn’t overly concerned because exhaustion is normal and in fact, the effort someone puts into a challenge is often a determining factor in whether they stay or are voted out.

Russell had always given 100% so it didn’t surprise me to see him exhausted.

It was when his head went down and stayed that it started to become clear that something wasn’t right. But because he was blindfolded and I couldn’t see his eyes, it was again very hard to determine if he was just tired or in some kind of real trouble.

When I watch the episode edited with the luxury of close ups, it seems much more obvious that Russell was not doing well and I wish I had gotten there sooner. I can only tell you that from my vantage point, in the midst of everything going on – 10 people running a challenge, 4 others on the sit out bench and a challenge to oversee, he was only one of the things I was keeping an eye on.

As a result, I had no idea that he actually had already passed out for the first time while he was standing at the maze, but that is exactly what our doctors think happened. They think he had already passed out once before I even got to him.

When a Survivor appears to be in trouble, our first rule is to give them the chance to save themselves or see if one of their tribemates can help them before we make any decision about sending in medical, safety, or our water rescue team. We do this because it is their game, their adventure and whenever possible we want them to make the decisions about their fate.

Let me be clear, we are watching them the entire time, they are never out of our sight, and our medical, safety and rescue teams are always on alert – but we would rather give the contestants every chance to handle it themselves before we move in to take over.

But in this case, it happened so fast that I didn’t even consider waiting. I just instinctively called for medical to come in and get to work. Because our medical team is so well run they were prepared for someone to pass out or get injured even before the challenge began. That’s what they do, they prep before the challenge about what could possibly go wrong so they are ready for it. They knew dehydration could be a factor and so when Russell went down they had a plan in place and were helping Russell within seconds of me calling them in.

As you saw, Russell said he was okay… and then immediately passed out again.

Once medical informed me that Russell was going to require some major time-consuming attention I called off the challenge because it seemed the only decision that made sense. There was no way we were going to continue — it was clear Russell was going to require too much time and because both tribes were going to tribal council either way, it didn’t seem to matter enough to consider an alternative. So we sent the tribes back to their camp and told them to await word.

In a moment like that you make a decision. Sometimes it’s the right one, sometimes it’s the wrong one, but you have to make a call. It’s one of the things that I most enjoy about doing a show like Survivor. It is for all intents and purposes, a live show. It would be great to go back and script out all my reactions and comments like a movie, but you can’t do that. All you can do is react and hope your decision makes sense. I’m sure many people will feel canceling the challenge was “lame” or “silly” but for me it was the only call to make as Russell was the priority and that’s that.

At this point our challenge crew led by our director and senior producer Dave Dryden became reality shooters and producers. Dryden quickly re-positioned them so they could cover the unfolding drama. Their ability to quickly reconnoiter is why we have such great coverage of everything that went down.

For the next 45 minutes we monitored Russell’s vital signs. We gave him water from his canteen. We gave him oxygen. We propped him up and gave him time to try to relax and get calm.

During that time Russell and I talked about a lot of things. He was very worried that he would be pulled from the game. He was worried how he would be portrayed and what his family would think. He did not want to be seen as a quitter.

That’s why I tried to recap everything that had happened up to Russell up to this point – how dominant he had been in the game, his leadership, his physical capability. I was trying to make the point that no matter what happens, he would never been seen as someone who gave less than 100%.

I explained to him that he had already passed out two times, but his recollection at that point was so foggy he didn’t understand. He thought he was fine and was demanding to be put back into the challenge. In fact, I don’t think he even realized that everybody else had already been sent back to camp and the challenge called off.

Even with all of this going on, our doctors assured him that if his vitals came back strong they would allow him to stay in the game.

Nobody wanted Russell to go home.

When Russell passed out for the third time, I got very worried. Then his heart rate dropped 30 beats in less than a second. I was watching the heart rate monitor and when I saw it move from 97 to 68, I was honestly concerned that we were losing him. Forever.

Even writing this brings back the same emotion.

Our doctors were not exaggerating or play acting when they started pounding on Russell’s chest and repeating his name, asking him “Russell, are you with us?” It seemed to go on forever, his eyes not moving, not responding to anything.

I have never been more proud of our medical team than I was in that moment. Heroic. Incredibly calm. Well practiced. They knew exactly what they needed to do and they didn’t waste a moment.

Telling Russell he was being pulled from the game was difficult. I understood that he didn’t want to quit. He was in a great position in the game and there was such a fire in his belly. Many people have been pulled from the game that didn’t want to go, for some reason this one really got to me.

What you didn’t see was that after Russell pulled off his oxygen mask in frustration, he experienced a lot of different emotions, all of them completely understandable. He was extremely frustrated at me, at medical, and at production in general for pulling him from the game. He yelled. Then, he got quiet. Then, he cried. Finally, he prayed. It was extremely emotional and simultaneously beautiful. He was in a very vulnerable state and to be a witness as he processed the situation and made peace with it was an honor.

I’m guessing that Russell had no idea how bad it was until he saw the episode last night. I think he will be surprised at how serious it was and will realize that he is not a quitter and there was no other decision to be made other than to pull him from the game.

After Russell was removed we then had to make a decision whether to continue with our double tribal council or cancel it.

SIDE LINE: For the record, I have always hated the “win or lose, you must vote someone out” twist, but it’s existence comes from necessity. Let me explain: We would prefer to start the show with only 16 contestants. It’s much easier for the audience to get to know 16 people. But it gives us no wiggle room if someone quits or has to leave the game due to medical emergency.

If we start with 18, that gives us a bit of breathing room in terms of numbers but also gives us an uneven number of men and women on each tribe.

If we start with 20, as we did this year, it gives us plenty of wiggle room for quits or medical evacuation, but because we have 4 extra people we have to get rid of them at some point. Thus the “win or lose, you’re voting somebody out” scenario. I am happy to say that we have since figured out a better way to do double eliminations. So should we ever need to vote out two people in one episode it will not be a “win or lose both tribes going to tribal council” scenario.

So… what to do? We gathered the creative team and the decision was made that due to the unprecedented canceling of the challenge, the medical drama, and incredibly difficult conditions the contestants had endured the past several days,  the best move was to make a gesture of good will and spare them from voting anybody out.

Was it was the right move? Depends on your point of view. It was certainly not a “clear-cut this is the only decision to be made” situation. We considered everything and we made what we believed to be the right call. You may disagree. In fact, I’m pretty sure many of you reading this right now are saying, “Hell yes I disagree. You should have voted people out. That’s what Survivor does!” Well, not this time. Sorry.

One thing was very clear, the canceling of the vote did seem to lift their spirits. You could see them begin to re-energize once they heard the news. You saw the rivalry between the two tribes reignite. Why is this important? Because at the end of the day if the Survivors lose their motivation to continue and it turns into a “group” funk, then the show is in serious trouble.

It’s probably hard to appreciate how difficult this season has been, so all I can do is repeat what I’ve said many times – this is a very tough season added to an already very tough game. Remember, we are not giving them food, we are not giving them water. We don’t offer them dry clothes or help them start their fire. We were worried about their welfare and did not want anybody else to be evacuated and certainly didn’t want anyone to decide to quit.

Okay – that’s it from my end. I hope you’re still enjoying the season. One thing that has always been true about Survivor fans, you are loyal. We appreciate it.

Until next week.




93 thoughts on “Well if you can’t beleive what you read in a comic book, what can you beleive?”

  1. No more survivor win or lose tribal council double evictions. So how will the numbers be dwindled down with 20 (not the original 16) survivors in 39 days without more injuries or dropouts? I suggest introducing “Americas’ Vote” at the time of the merge. If there are too many players in the game at a designated week for the merge, America votes to determine who becomes a member of the merged tribe that includes the future jury members and two finalists.

  2. AR comments: I sympathize with Mika whose fear of the water slide resulted in Mika and Canaan being eliminated from the race for a million bucks but for a different reason than hers.

    My wife would have been screaming at me, “That’s the 50th time you’ve gone down that damn water slide so what is more important, a million bucks or staying here until the water slide closes for the day?”

  3. Another AR comment: Meghan and Cheyne, my week one favorites to win the race, are living up to my expectations.
    They are both game smart, in shape and work very well as a team.

  4. M & C do look good to win, however, they struggled a little on that one puzzle also. Sometimes the littlest mistake on this show can cost you the game

  5. If you read closely, Jeff said they had a better way to do double evictions! Not sure what it is but he hinted at it.

  6. I really think Dave or Erik OR JOhn , WOULD BE GOOD LEADERS FOR GALU ,Jeff made the right decision to take Russell S out of the game, the guy probably would have died if he stayed. shambo might also surprise them, they shouldnt sell her short She seems like a pretty strong woman, regardless of alot of her screw ups.Man, that Mika, was pretty sickening on the Ar, I would have been so pissed if she were my partner. Can you imagine ,water slides are fun i cant imagine somebody actually refusing too go down one. most people on there are scared of alot things bu tthey do it anyway. I wouldnt be surprised if their relationship doesnt last.

  7. To the dwts fans It will possibly be louie or Melissa this week at least thats who should be going, unless they pull another surprise again.

  8. Two couples will be dancing their last dance tonight on DWTS. The time to go pool should include Louie, Michael and Melissa. Louie is still thinking he’s running the half pipe, Michael can’t catch the beat, the steps or the scores and Melissa needs more than a witche’s spell on the judges to move on in the competition. But wait… America gets to vote so it may be Joanna just because she looks too good for her own good in a bikini, with or without a bag over her head.

  9. PHILLIP, It goes to show you alot of women do the voting on that show, because alot of times the attractive women get voted out, even somebody really good, it has happened before. Thats why everybody needs to vote you can do that at ABC.COM

  10. PHILLIP… it’s Survivor not American Idol. I do agree with you about Barbie and Ken though.

    Very funny intro, SNAKE!

    42 and Sunny!

  11. Good Morning all! I believe DWTS is a popularity contest and it’s a shame that some contestants are voted off early. Unfortunately, people like Michael have a radio program and he tells everyone to vote for him. He should have been gone awhile ago but the “voters” keep him in. Cloris Leachman stayed way way too long because of her popularity. I’m not sure it’s women who vote women off.

    I really think it’s the popularity of the person whether they can dance or not. I still enjoy the show and Louie really did better last night. It’s the first time I saw him actually perform a dance step. LIke I said before, he’s used to his feet being strapped together on a board. :D

    As for Melissa, yea, she also should be one of the bottom two.

    If it’s not Michael, Louie or Melissa tonight, then IMHO, it’s their popularity keeping them in. Maybe all snow boarders are voting for Louie and all Halloween witches are voting for Melissa. :lol: My bet is Melissa will go for sure.

    Overcast and 60 degrees in Dana Point, CA. TTFN

  12. DWTS- Michael Irving will no leave any time soon. He is really really bad but he might be the most famous of them all. And maybe all of Dallas is voting for him.
    Cant stand Donnie, he makes me tired.

  13. I dont agree with america`s vote to get rid of any extra survivors. We all know how screwed up that can get.

  14. Murray… America’s vote has worked on Big Brother and there are many similarities between BB and Survivor, both of which have nothing in common with DWTS, American Idol and America’s Got Talent.

  15. Hope there is no America’s vote because people like Russell, Shambo, Liz and Dave would get the short end of the stick.
    And people like John, Jaison, Monica and Natalie will benefit because of looks. Personally I dont think it worked out too well on BB.(sour grapes)

  16. Sports Info….

    Sunday, for only the second time ever, we will have the
    four biggest sporting events playing. Football, Basketball,
    Baseball, and Hockey. Which will you be watching?

  17. DWTS….I think Melissa will be eliminated tonight. I haven’t
    decided the 2nd person yet. Louie did make a big improvement
    over last week, but was it enough? It’s so hard to say since the
    fans get to vote. As stated by Starfish, it’s how popular they
    are. You know the stars know that….so how discouraging for them.

    Did anyone get a chance to tape & watch So You Think You Can
    Dance? The show last night just showcased their different styles.
    They were all really good. Tonights show is when the actual
    competition starts. Hopefully you all will get a chance to watch it.
    Unfortunatley, there are other shows on at the same time. Set your
    VCR’s, Tivo, DVR’s or whatever….just check it out. You’ll be glad
    you did. Who knows….you may even like it better than DWTS.

    Need to go build an ark soon if it doesn’t let up. Well, I
    guess it could be worse….it could be snow or even worse, ice.

  19. ………..The Rams and the Raiders were playing a game of
    football….a train went by, the whistle blew, the Raiders left,
    and two plays later….the Rams won the game. You gotta
    love it.

  20. Now I like DONNA P, who recognizes the worth of Russell H.! She is so right as to how ‘America’ votes.

    No I’m here FRANNIEP2… you never told me what the 2 is for… And, no one will be watching Hockey!

  21. donna p is right. bad Russell would be gone and he is probably playing the game the best…. like him or not.

  22. Sorry, meant no disrespect MURRAY… of course you do, I would too if I was Canadian… but, I was taking the viewpoint of American TV where almost no one watches hockey. Glad to see one of our friends to the North on here!

  23. Hey Murray… I’m American born in DC and raised in DC area and Utah and I played hockey in the winter and lacrosse in the summer as a kid. I still have a good pair of CCM hockey skates and several sticks in storage just in case a nasty fight turns into a hocky game even here in Mobile, Alabama.

  24. Ted, I love hockey… and I even get American tv. :lol: In Mn it’s much like murray said… hockey first.. basketball last. I get your point though, the viewing numbers don’t lie. However, Sunday I’ll be watching football and the World Series. It’s way too early for me to get excited about hockey. I prefer college hockey to the NHL anyway.

  25. FRANNIE, your probably right about dwts, its possible it willbe melissa but look what they did last time. so who really knows. It could possibly be louie also . I keep meaning to watch sytycd but never get around to it ,sooner or later i will though.

  26. Ok, I’m not a Survivor expert. I was reading all the talk of an America’s vote and was thinking…. how do you have an America’s vote for a show that finished shooting months ago? I guess you must have been talking about future seasons.

  27. fp2. I liked the Rams-Raiders joke. Then I couldn’t help but think of Super Bowl titles….. the Raiders won Super Bowls XI, XV, and XVIII. The Rams won SB XXXIV. The Vikings…. nevermind.

  28. Hey JT, the Vikings won Ireland, England, Iceland, Greenland and most of the rest of Northern Europe. Oh! You’re talking football, sorry…

  29. True PK, and I think they “won” all of those more recently than the last time the NFL Vikings played in a Super Bowl! :roll:

  30. JT… America’s vote on Survivor wouldn’t work with the advance shooting schedule even if it were a good idea which apparently it isn’t by popular blog vote.

  31. I guess I should be happy that the Vikes made it to Super Bowls… at least we have that over the Browns, Lions, Texans, Jaguars, hmmm… that’s all that comes to mind.. if I think of more, I’ll add them later.

  32. I agree with Donna P (was it Palmer?) on the fact that Russell H might get voted out in an America’s vote. He would have been voted out early. I wonder if he would still get voted out now though? I think people are seeing that he is playing the game more than anyone.. and it would be boring without him. After all the whining and shivering, I think America would keep “Evil” Russ around. I think Shambo would do well with America. I’d vote for her to stay.

  33. Once my dream team, now just a dream of better times gone by. Maybe tomorrow just after tomorrow they will come back on the warpath… Go Skins!

    Hail to the Redskins!
    Hail Victory!
    Braves on the Warpath!
    Fight for old D.C.!
    Run or pass and score — we want a lot more!
    Beat ‘em, Swamp ‘em,
    Touchdown! — Let the points soar!
    Fight on, fight on ‘Til you have won
    Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!

    Hail to the Redskins!
    Hail Victory!
    Braves on the Warpath!
    Fight for old D.C.!

  34. As for the Redskins… wins in SBs XVII, XXII, XXVI… I think that’s all.. still 3 more than us.

  35. That is correct Sal… I know too well. I was 11 the last time we were in and the Raiders smoked us 32-14.

  36. America would be stupid to vote RUSSELL H out ,even though I dont like him ,he will always make the show at least interesting, vote out the boring players .The ones that shouldnt be there in the first place.

  37. Notice that we were in 3 out of 4 years. The one year that we didn’t make it was the Drew Pearson hail mary play when he pushed off the defender. Vikings fans still think that “would have been the year” that we would have won it all. I laugh and think.. No, the Steelers would have just beaten the Vikes instead of Dallas that year.

  38. We played Dallas 3 times and beat them twice. Outplayed them in SB XXX but O’Donnel through 3 interceptions, 2 by Ronnie Brown that killed them, especially the 2nd one with 4 minutes left and only down by 3 points

  39. I loved Cohwer’s (sp?) reaction towards O’Donnel on the sidelines after that pick. hmmmm 27-17… reminds me of a recent game with that same final score!

  40. Six teams have made only one appearance in the Super Bowl and lost: San Diego Chargers (XXIX), Atlanta Falcons (XXXIII), Tennessee Titans (XXXIV), Carolina Panthers (XXXVIII), Seattle Seahawks (XL), Arizona Cardinals (XLIII)

  41. Sal, I hope you are looking at a cheat sheet. I hope I’m the only one pathetic enough to know all 43 Super Bowls (winners, losers, and score). I don’t try to remember them, they have just stuck in my head since I was a kid. People accuse me of being full of “useless information”… I think they are right! :lol:

  42. It’s funny, I remember the first 36 without any problem. It’s the last 7 that I have to think about. You’d think I would remember the most recent ones easier!

  43. My view on tonight’s show… It is only half way through the show, but I think a terrible mistake is being made. Linus should have gone Trick Or Treating instead of waiting in a pumpkin patch for this “Great Pumpkin” character. Nothing like getting “hung out to dry”. I hope Sally will forgive him. They could have had fun after collecting candy at the Halloween party….. we’ll see. :lol:

  44. DWTS- The right people went home. Melissa.and Loise sucked also Mr NFL but as I said before he will be there for awhile because he is popular..Taylor Swift is a beautiful girl can’t say the same thing about her singing.

  45. PHILLIP… That was a good one with the Vikings in Euro…

    SAL… Penguin Fanmail here… Get Real! I did enjoy watching the Blackhawks when I lived in Chicago, but can’t get into it on TV.

    Doesn’t Mika remind you of some of the people who come on Survivor who have never watched the show?

  46. Hello good people of SS Blog land. :lol: Just wanted to drop in & see what was up tonight. It will be interesting to see the “new” way they have of doing a double elimination eh??

  47. I’m fine on one hand & sick on the other. Fine you know about. But the other day I seemed to have caught a “flu bug.” Had to quit drinking coffee today as it was just wrong when it hit my stomach & I REALLY HATE THAT cause I LOVE coffee. So now I’m drinking Sprite & doing better. My fever is down so I’ll be good in no time I hope. Thank you sweetness for asking.

  48. Is anyone here familiar with AOL’s “desktopdating” thingy?? The reason I ask is because while I was checking my e-mails I found one from my sister’s ex-husband that “invited me to join him” on this “desktopdating”—WTF???

  49. No I won’t sign it. I was just googling “AOL’s desktopdating” & it seems to be a phishing site. So apparently HE went somewhere doing God knows what & it got into his contacts & sent mail out like it was from him. Sad for him BUT I feel MUCH better. It kind of freaked me out that my sister’s ex would even THINK about sending me something like that!! So he didn’t actually send it–I’m hoping & praying. Whew—that was a bit of a bad rush!!

  50. JT, if you are really watching Taylor Swift on DWTS, you must turn in your man card immediately and return to watching Dr. Phil (or Tivoing it daily). FrannieP2 and i will continue to update you on DOOL and the baby switch and now Chloe may not be able to conceive and her ex-husband (by annulment) is going to be getting out of rehab. I told you about Lucas before, he was also Sami’s ex husband and father of one of her twins. So far so good?

    BTW, am i wrong about remembering Jerry Rice in Superbowl 1990 (January). that’s all i remember about that. i do remember being in Chicago when the Dolphins took out a full page ad on what they were going to do to the bears in that superbowl. (do i have to turn in my girly-girl card, yet?)


  51. btw, there was a P2 (paraphernalia2) on BB11. are you related to her, frannie? same last name and all – lol?

  52. JT, at least your Vikes made it to the Super Bowl, and is a regular in the playoffs. My Saints went 2 straight decades before we had our first winning season. :shock: And how bout 34yrs before our first playoff win. So lets not talk about Super Bowls…… yet. :wink:

  53. Hulk = Russell H
    Superman = Russell S
    Batman = Eric
    X-Men = Dave, Brett, John?
    Shambowoman = Shambo
    Catwoman = Laura?
    Kittens = Monica, Kelly?

    Is that right? You’re missing a few characters Sal….

    Liz = Wonder Woman
    Jaison = Aquaman
    Mick = Captain America
    Natalie = Invisible Girl
    Yazmin = Storm
    Mike = Sandman
    Ben = Human Torch
    Betsy = Rogue
    Marisa, Ashley = Powerpuff Girls

  54. I have been enjoying this season of Survivor. Like the other seasons, it is such an entertaining and informative show.
    Jeff Probst, I do not blame you (and don’t you dare blame yourself) for not spotting Russell S. right away when he started to get disoriented. You were watching many players at the same time and they were all (except for the ones in the spheres) wearing blindfolds. That makes it a complicated situation right there. In spite of that, when you noticed Russell S. collapsing, you immediately had the medical team check him out. Russell S. is no quitter. He gave it all he got and more. With what was going on in his body, You did the right thing taking him out of the game. When a person’s body gives out on him/her, he/she has no choice but to back down and recover (I know, several times it has happened to me). I wish Russell S. well. Hopefully he can get well enough to try out/go on a future Survivor season. I will keep my fingers, toes, arms, legs, etc., crossed. So Jeff, the Survivor producers, contestants (even the troll Russell H :-[) I wish you all the best.

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