Friday, February 08, 2008

Conspiracy Theory: Did Jeff Probst Engineer Jonny Fairplay's Exit on Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites?

Let me be honest -- I am no fan of Jonny Fairplay. I have no problem when Survivor contestants lie and deceive, but I have no respect for the way Fairplay plays the game, and his appearances on other reality shows have shown him to be a real-deal headcase. Yeah, I'm just not into him.

But there's something fishy about the way he became the first tribemate eliminated on Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites. Within the span of what seemed like hours he went from being in a position of power (the swing vote between the two alliances of four), to the pawn in the plan of Parvati, of all people. There may have been some self-sabotage in there, and the feeling that he couldn't live up to his infamous name. Maybe he really did miss his now-wife and mother of his child Michelle (the lesbian from America's Next Top Model). And perhaps he had already convinced everyone to vote for him by the time they got to tribal council and it just was not shown on tv.

But then there's Probst.

It's been well documented that Jeff Probst and Fairplay don't get along, and that he objected to Fairplay's casting on the show. In fact, from the first moment the favorties were assembled, Probst shot a zinger at Fairplay ("I like to know that you have aspirations to get out of your current place in life") that was a personal assault, masked as playful jibe.

But at tribal council, it appeared to be his mission to call Fairplay out. 90% of the questions Probst asked (that were shown on tv) were to or about Fairplay, as he tried to uncover whether Fairplay was interested in quitting the game. In fact, he essentially challenged him to quit the game, forcing himself to defend his ability to be a good father. Consider the following (kinda hysterical!) exchange:

Fairplay: "All I think about is my little baby Piper okay. I mean, am I being a crappy father by being here?"
Probst: "'re not a father yet."
Fairplay: "Yeah, I'm this close."

Probst followed that up with "So you wanna go home?" and every subsequent question he asked was about Fairplay -- whether he was making an excuse and wanted to go home, or if his tribemates thought it was a scheme, peppered with comments like "Fairplay has a reputation of pulling scams and lying," which seemed to be subliminal suggestions to vote him out. And, of course, he asked Fairplay straight out "So it's a quit?"

Perhaps I'm just being a conspiracy theorist -- there is obviously a lot of footage that is not televised, and what happened in tribal council may have had no effect on the end result.

But still...I'm watching you Probst.

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