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Thread: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

  1. #91
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Re: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks;3734438;
    Before the challenge, Jeff said both teams would attend TC and the winning tribe would eat hot pizza in front of the losing tribe. After the challenge was interrupted by RS' collapse, Jeff said both tribes would attend TC and each vote someone out. At the end of TC Jeff said there would be no vote. So Jeff changed the rules twice.
    I doubt HE changed it the 2nd time.

    I think he's got a producer co-credit, nevertheless he's still got bosses. THEY made the decision (perhaps collectively if Jeff got a voice too).

    "You don't rehearse Mr. T, you just turn him loose."
    -----Sylvester Stallone, on Mr. T-----

  2. #92
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    Re: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

    Links to Jeff's blog, there is also a video at the bottom that is an interview with Russell.

    Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #6 | EW.com

    Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #6
    by Jeff Probst
    Categories: Survivor, TV Recap, Television, Things That Are Awesome!

    survivor-Probst_lRain 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.

    Iím going to focus this blog on sharing with you everything you didnít see that happened when Russell went down.

    INSIGHT:
    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 wasnít 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 didnít surprise me to see him exhausted.

    It was when his head went down and stayed that it started to become clear that something wasnít right. But because he was blindfolded and I couldnít 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 Ė 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 Ė 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 didnít 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. Thatís 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 okayÖ 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 ó it was clear Russell was going to require too much time and because both tribes were going to tribal council either way, it didnít 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 itís the right one, sometimes itís the wrong one, but you have to make a call. Itís 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 canít do that. All you can do is react and hope your decision makes sense. Iím sure many people will feel canceling the challenge was ďlameĒ or ďsillyĒ but for me it was the only call to make as Russell was the priority and thatís 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 Russellís 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.

    Thatís why I tried to recap everything that had happened up to Russell up to this point Ė 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 didnít understand. He thought he was fine and was demanding to be put back into the challenge. In fact, I donít 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 Russellís chest and repeating his name, asking him ďRussell, are you with us?Ē 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 didnít waste a moment.

    Telling Russell he was being pulled from the game was difficult. I understood that he didnít 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 didnít want to go, for some reason this one really got to me.

    What you didnít 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.

    Iím 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 ďwin or lose, you must vote someone outĒ twist, but itís existence comes from necessity. Let me explain: We would prefer to start the show with only 16 contestants. Itís 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 ďwin or lose, youíre voting somebody outĒ 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 ďwin or lose both tribes going to tribal councilĒ scenario.

    BACK TO INSIGHT: SoÖ 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 ďclear-cut this is the only decision to be madeĒ situation. We considered everything and we made what we believed to be the right call. You may disagree. In fact, Iím pretty sure many of you reading this right now are saying, ďHell yes I disagree. You should have voted people out. Thatís what Survivor does!Ē 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 ďgroupĒ funk, then the show is in serious trouble.

    Itís probably hard to appreciate how difficult this season has been, so all I can do is repeat what Iíve said many times Ė 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 donít 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 didnít want anyone to decide to quit.

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

    Until next week.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  3. #93
    Living Vicariously via RT Fierce Critter's Avatar
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    Re: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

    I agreed with how everything went down. This just reinforced my stance. Thanks for posting that, Bearcata.

  4. #94
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    Re: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

    Another link:

    TV Guide Magazine | The Daily Review | Surviving Adversity and Dummies

    Surviving Adversity and Dummies
    By Matt Roush October 22, 2009 08:40 AM EST

    Backstage on Emmy night, reality-host winner Jeff Probst told reporters he thought maybe it was time for seven-time champ The Amazing Race to step aside and let another reality-competition show get a chance at the big prize. My reaction was that maybe the other shows should raise their game. Survivor: Samoa has done a pretty good job of that so far this season, introducing a memorably scheming villain (Russell Hantz, who’s relishing every moment) while subjecting both tribes to some of the harshest conditions imaginable.

    For the first time in a while, Survivor truly feels like it’s living up to its name. Surviving, let alone winning, this season is going to be quite the accomplishment. This week’s emotionally grueling episode (Thursday, 8/7c, CBS), which if submitted to Emmy voters could conceivably upset Race next year, is accurately and prophetically titled “This Is the Man Test”—quoting Jaison’s lament about being pounded for five straight days by relentless rainstorms that have shriveled his feet and shrunken his soul. The misery, exhaustion and hunger are palpable, leading to a dire event during a physical challenge that Probst later describes as “the scariest moment I’ve ever had on this show.” (And that presumably includes when Michael fell into the fire during the Australian season.)

    CBS has given away part of the twist in its too-revealing promos—if you’ve managed to miss them, I won’t give it away here—but what befalls one overtaxed player is among the most heart-rending sequences you’re likely to see on any reality-competition show. Probst’s command of the situation on the scene and later at a unique tribal council reaffirms why he has two Emmys. The subsequent fallout between (and within) the tribes represents a clear turning point for the season, and serves as a reminder of the power this series once had on the culture at large. It’s a true watercooler episode.
    Love Roush's comeback about other reality shows raising their game.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  5. #95
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    Re: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

    What Jeff describes is classic heat fatigue/exhaustion.

    It's why people die in the desert--their metabolic situation causes them to lose the ability to have rational thought and make reasoned decisions.

    It's the result of dehydration which causes circulation problems which lead to organ failure--especially impeding nromal brain function.

    And I can't imagine WHY the show allowed him to get this bad.
    I don't care how many "excuses" Jeff tries to make.

    Their lack of attention to the physical condition of their contestant could easily have cost him his life.

    Jeff's "excuses" are merely his attempt at a sop to his conscience.



    (Bearcata--thanks so much for posting that info.)

  6. #96
    PWS
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    Re: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

    I guess I'm still confused about the dehydration. I mean both RUssells were out in the rain, and Russell H certainly was collecting rainwater to drink. Surely someone on Russell S's team was doing that, too? I can see being cold, being hungry, being sleepless, but not being dehydrated with all that pure water pouring from the skies. I guess that should be a question for whoever gets eliminated next....

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    Re: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

    PWS--I am wondering if they meant that Russell S got dehydrated during the challenge?

    That's the only thing that would make sense in light of his collapse which really had all the earmarks of heat fatigue/exhaustion due to dehydration.


    I can't imagine that anyone got "dehydrated" during 5 days of continuous rain....

  8. #98
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    Re: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

    Each contestant was issued a canteen, I would think each person or at least one person would have set out the canteens on a daily basis to get filled with fresh rainwater. If fact this was the perfect opportunity to collect as much fresh water as possible.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  9. #99
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    Re: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

    Why didn't anyone make funnels to direct water into the canteens and/or cooking pots? I was thinking Fill'er up! when all that rain came, didn't need to worry about boiling it first.
    "Quotes on the internet may not be accurate." - Abraham Lincoln

  10. #100
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    Re: 10/22 Show Discussion *Spoilers*

    Quote Originally Posted by Wind Dancer;3736842;
    What Jeff describes is classic heat fatigue/exhaustion.

    It's why people die in the desert--their metabolic situation causes them to lose the ability to have rational thought and make reasoned decisions.

    It's the result of dehydration which causes circulation problems which lead to organ failure--especially impeding nromal brain function.

    And I can't imagine WHY the show allowed him to get this bad.
    I don't care how many "excuses" Jeff tries to make.

    Their lack of attention to the physical condition of their contestant could easily have cost him his life.

    Jeff's "excuses" are merely his attempt at a sop to his conscience.



    (Bearcata--thanks so much for posting that info.)

    I agree with you Wind Dancer except one thing - it's quite possible they didn't know something was wrong until Russell passed out. Some people - and this is scary - DON'T show signs of severe problems until this happens.

    Unfortunately, I've suffered something similar to him - my case altitude sickness brought about due to being in Denver and wearing a hot mascot costume. I got dizzy but didn't physically pass out, but to this day I think I partially mentally did.

    No one - not my cheer coach, not the volleyball coach, no one thought I was ill. I didn't look it, nor show the normal signs of someone who was dehydrated. Yet, I was telling my coach that I LIKED the idea of me going to the movies while they go clubbing... and I was the wallflower, by the book person (meaning, they should've known I wasn't all right because I was saying to leave me alone in a large city - my mental status was impaired).

    This isn't saying that they did everything they could - they could do better; however, I can't fault any of them because simply put - none of us will show the same signs of distress. Some can show it physically prior to passing out, others it's not until they actually do it.

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