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Even if you give him the benefit of the doubt and believe everything he said in the pieces linked above, once the meltdown happened, he should not have turned that into a spectacle.
Jeff Probst’s deplorable decision to tear into Brandon, masking that as concern, was insane.
At the height of Brandon’s rage, Probst massaged Brandon’s shoulders, both attempting to calm him down and keeping him away from the others, and then brought up Russell Hantz.
Probst decided to turn into a talk show host and/or gotcha journalist, trying to get a reaction out of his subject.
Survivor Caramoan‘s fifth episode last night was the culmination of everything that has been wrong with Survivor in recent years, all magnified and held up into the light so that it’s deepest ugliness was clearly revealed.
The contrast is so striking, so profound, that it’s devastating. Drew and diagnose someone I’ve only seen on a heavily edited TV show, but the episode came close to doing so, trying to establish Brandon as crazy, but mostly by having the other cast members describe him that way.
We never let anybody on the show who can’t pass the psych test. He was also great in our interviews before the show began. Gordon Holmes reveals that pre-game, “Brandon was ready to flip out in an air-conditioned office.” If it was clear to a mild-mannered, nice guy of a journalist that Brandon was ready to freak out, that could not have gone unnoticed by producers.That was unforgivable, Probst at his worst, not being a stand-in for viewers but someone who’s creating the game in his own image based on his own values. Before this season, Jeff promised that “Season 26 is better than season 25.” While we have nine episodes to go, this episode is a huge mark on the season and franchise, and it’s sad that he’d prize a season with this episode over a season with such uniform strength.That Probst likes a season that had this awfulness may be problematic, but it’s predictable. Survivor probably will not, because under Jeff Probst’s stewardship, this is the direction in which Survivor has been moving: volatile personalities instead of strong personalities; drama over game play and character development; and a relentless focus on the things Jeff Probst values.–and more like they were told that’s what they should do, or had to do, to resolve this.And not bothering with a vote because Jeff Probst apparently actually feared sending Brandon back to camp made Tribal Council the stand-in for producer action.
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