It’s night 27 on the island and the Survivors are restless. Russell is pissed at Parvati for not telling him about the two immunity idols she gave away, and Rupert is angry at his fellow Heroes for not heeding his warnings about Russell. The players are plagued by mistrust, confusion and paranoia.
Our hero, Rupert, appears to be safe, but he knows things are often not what they seem in the game of Survivor. Later in the show, he advises some of his tribemates to bring whatever few belongings/souvenirs they want to keep to every Tribal Council, just in case they’re voted off. Rupert explains that on his first Survivor (Pearl Islands 2003), he was voted off quite unexpectedly, and left the island with only the clothes on his back.
(For those not familiar with Rupert’s Survivor history, his abrupt departure from the Pearl Islands made many viewers unhappy. The Internet was ablaze with “We love Rupert” and “Rupert got screwed” messages. Back then, I remember sitting with Rupert and his wife while they opened fan mail, much of which contained cash or checks from people who thought he should have won. It was this unprecedented fan popularity that brought Rupert back for the very next season, the All-Stars show.)
The first challenge randomly splits the tribe into three teams, with Rupert, Russell and Sandra thrown together. After all the torturous, physically grueling challenges so far, this challenge is — bar shuffleboard!? I’m guessing Rupert has played this type of game more than anyone on the island, and it showed, but the winners were Colby, Amanda and Danielle. The prize was a night at the former home of author Robert Louis Stevenson (“Treasure Island”). Once there, viewers were treated to a girl-fight as the two women struggled over a written clue found by Danielle, snatched by Amanda, then returned to Danielle after Colby intervened.
At Tribal Council, Amanda is voted off. But here’s the most interesting thing to me: as she prepares to have her torch extinguished, Amanda says to host Jeff Probst, “Okay Jeff, I know you’ve been waiting forever to do this.” On the jury, Courtney mocks him, whispering to Coach after Probst explains his next step, “You do that.” And on the very first episode, Sugar flipped Jeff the bird after completing a challenge. Based on these incidents, and on the blog entries I’ve read that he himself has written, I’ve come to the following conclusion: Jeff Probst is a giant douche-bag.