That time I met Jeff Probst

If you’ve been following me on social media, you know that yesterday I went to a media screening event in NYC for the season premiere of SURVIVOR: Kaoh Rong.

You guys. IT. WAS. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Not only did we get to see most of the season premiere (they cut it off right before they showed who got voted out, to a chorus of groans from the audience), but we also were treated to a Q&A and meet and greet with host and executive producer, Jeff Probst, and two former contestants, Parvati Shallow and Steven Fishbach. (That more than made up for the way they left us hanging at the end of the episode.)

jeff talking

I’ve been a Survivor fan since the beginning. I think I’ve only missed two out of their 32 seasons, so when I got the invitation to this event, I was determined to make it happen.

Yesterday morning, my friend Sarah and I hopped a train in Hamilton, NJ, bound for Penn Station. After dropping our bags at our hotel, we cabbed it over to CBS Radio studio for the event.


I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew Jeff and Parvati and Steven “Fishbach” would be there, but I had no idea if we would have any time to talk to them one-on-one, or how many other people would be there vying for their attention.

As it turned out, it was a fairly small and intimate gathering, and after the official Q&A, Jeff, Parvati, and Steve hung out and mingled and chatted with us for almost an hour. They were so down to earth and nice and seemed genuinely interested in talking with us.

Of course I had to have my fan girl moment and hopped up on stage to get a picture with Jeff.

jl jeff

It was so much fun hearing them reminisce about past seasons, and I was surprised by how much they shared about their personal opinions — especially Jeff.

He admitted that his favorite season was the last one because every single person played hard. He talked about the evolution of the game over the years and even went into how they select contestants for the show.

One thing I found interesting and insightful is that he doesn’t think some of the winners of past seasons would be compelling today. I have to agree. The game has changed over the years, and the contestants have become smarter and more strategic about how they play.


I asked how it affects the contestants to hear Jeff’s commentary during the challenges, and Parvati and Fishbach shared some fun anecdotes about that.

Someone also asked about where Jeff and the camera crew and producers stay while they’re filming — hint, it’s not posh. They build little modular houses for them with air conditioning, but sometimes they don’t even have bathrooms.

“Not one single second of SURVIVOR is staged,” explained Jeff, when someone asked if the worms they eat are real.

At another point, he said, “We make the show for the fans.” His passion for the game is palpable. I think he could have talked about it for hours.

interview 2

Jeff also gave us a tease about what’s to come this season. Episode 4, he says, is “one of the most compelling episodes we’ve ever done — in terms of truly being scary and wondering what’s going to happen. We break the walls down and let you see behind the scenes about what happens if chaos strikes.” He assured us that we will see how good they are in crisis situations, so I can’t wait to see what THAT’S all about.

You can view the entire Q&A here, and I’ll also embed it below. It’s about 35 minutes, and I come on at 16:35 and stutter out a question that creates a lot of interesting conversation. (I’m awful on the spot. Even though I knew what I wanted to ask, I still got all tongue-tied. This is why I’m blogger, not a YouTuber!)

After the event, Sarah and I walked around SoHo for a while before grabbing a burger and a glass of wine at a B&B Wine Pub (HIGHLY recommend.)

I stuck out like a sore thumb in my bright pink coat. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE in New York City wears black or grey outerwear. I had to get a picture because I love the way the color pops against the dreary background of the city.


We stayed at a hotel overnight and got up bright and early this morning to grab a train back home. I can’t wait to tell my kids about the event and watch the season premiere with them tonight. Over the years, Survivor has become a show we enjoy watching as a family, and I’m anxious to see who got voted out. It comes down to a tie, so the season is already getting off to an exciting start.

The new season of SURVIVOR: Kaoh Rong premieres TONIGHT (2/17) at 8PM ET/PT with a special 90-minute episode on the CBS Television Network. Set your DVR right now! The theme is “Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty,” and it is supposedly one of the most physically grueling seasons in the history of the show.

Who’s watching with me??

Many thanks to Beth Feldman of BeyondPR Group for hosting this exciting event! We had a blast.

Join the Conversation

33 thoughts on “That time I met Jeff Probst

  1. Haven’t watched Survivor in years, but after reading this I think I may watch this season! Looks like you girls had a great time!

  2. What a fun trip that must have been. I love hearing about all the behind the scenes activity.I haven’t missed a season since it started! I have to agree that it just keeps getting better.

  3. I’m a HUGE Survivor fan! I love the sociology of the whole thing. I’m eager to see this new season, but I’m afraid NOTHING will stand up to last season! I’m thrilled for you that you were invited to this event and were able to meet Jeff in person! WOW!

  4. How exciting!!! I love Survivor too! Been watching on and off since season 1. Just wanted to let you know that I signed up with Trunk Club and Gretchen will be working on my 1st trunk this week! I can’t wait! With this trunk I am just hoping to find a great new pair of jeans b/c I am so frustrated in trying to find a pair that I like. Then next month she is going to help me find a few new pieces for Spring/Summer that I can take on vacation. We are going to Disney World in May!

  5. Love Survivor!! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Excited for the show tonight!
    I love your blog, it has helped me so much to begin to dress better after having lost some weight. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  6. You look adorable in your pink jacket! I’m so grateful for people like you who add much needed brightness to this world.

    I fell out of watching Survivor around Season 10, and a couple seasons ago, I resumed watching with my son. Besides last season, do you have a favorite? Now that they’re on Amazon, we’re trying to catch up!

    1. Hey Sarah, they are sort of all mingled together at this point. I’m not sure I could come up with one. I generally like the ones that bring back old contestants. I don’t know if it’s because they’re savvier from playing before, or just because I already feel a connection with most of them, but those seasons are my favorites.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing the YouTube video. You had a great question and did very well in stating it. I love Survivor and have watched every season. But, I love Jeff even more. I have had a crush on him from the start. He seems so down to earth and I would have cast him on the beauty team.

  8. Have not watched Survivor the past 2 years, but after reading of your adventure, I just set the DVR! How great was that trip! good for you!

  9. How exciting to watch most of the premier and meeting Jeff Probst!! Jo-Lynne, I’m right there with you as a faithful watcher of Survivor! Survivor and Big Brother are my faves! Can’t wait to watch tonight! Oh, btw, I purchased the Nordstrom raincoat from your link in the same primrose color as yours! I hope I don’t regret the color, since you said you “stood out like a sore thumb” ha! But that color looks great on you and it’s always better to stand out than blend in! Have a wonderful evening and enjoy Survivor tonight!

  10. Sounds like you had a blast. Glad you r home safe. The pink coat looked great for the dreary day. My husband and I watch Survivor every season.

  11. Totally love Survivor. We enjoy watching it with our teens and discussing the social interaction (great teaching moments). Jeff seems like a genuinely nice person. My biggest question I’d ask him if I ever met him is does he really tally the votes or does someone else working on the show do it? Regardless, so glad that you got to celebrate the show!

    1. He actually explained all that! But I was sort of tuning it out. He goes back to a little hut, and I know there was someone else involved counting. He told a funny story about the way it ended last season when someone got no votes. 🙂 They were all in shock. No one knew it was coming.

      1. Thank you for answering my long lingering question. Now my mind is free to ponder deeper things! Last season’s finale was amazing!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, my husband and I have watched Survivor every season. Love the show, so jealous! LOL

  13. I have never watched a single episode of Survivior. However, I am insanely jealous that you got to meet him. I would love to pick his brain about how he took the intense content in the show, and wrote some really great kids books. They are favs of mine to recommend to customers!

  14. My husband and I used to watch this regularly. I was obsessed with Boston Rob & Amber. I even went into labor one season finale and refused to go to the hospital until I saw who won! We stopped watching a few years ago, but after reading your post, just had my husband DVR it. Very curious! Sounds like you had a blast! Thanks for sharing.

  15. I am sooooooo very jealous. LOVE The show. This is one of the very few shows I actually sit down to watch. My job requires me to be on call 24/7 and everyone knows it better be a major crisis to call me during Survivor. Have never missed an episode. Jeff Probst,,,,,WOW

  16. My husband and I do not like reality shows but we have watched every season of Survivor and we are constantly amazed by how fresh they manage to keep it. We watched the first 60 minutes of last nights premiere but at 9 the Carolina/Duke game went on and our local channel switched to that (priorities here in Charlotte). They did broadcast the end of the show at about 1:30 am so we will watch that tonight.

Want More?

Jo-Lynne Shane on Instagram

Click an image below.

Follow @jolynneshane