TV Article

Fairplay It Again

Jeff Probst and Jonny Fairplay's feud -- The ''Survivor'' host and ex-contestant are reunited in the reality show's fans vs. favorites season

Jeff Probst and Jonny Fairplay's feud

The Fans vs. Favorites battle is merely the undercard to the main bout in Survivor: Micronesia — Jonny Fairplay versus Jeff Probst. Bad blood between the two extends back to the 2004 Survivor: Vanuatu finale after-party, when the reality TV villain (who has since appeared on shows like Fear Factor and Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge) got into a heated argument with the host's brother and was subsequently tossed from the soiree and banned from all Survivor events. ''Do I hate him?'' asks Fairplay. ''Absolutely. And I think he would say the same about myself.'' So the question remains: How did he make the cut for Micronesia? He certainly wasn't on Probst's short list. ''My first vote was we don't need him,'' says Probst. ''Send him home. Make a point that there is a level of participant that we don't need on this show. CBS said, 'That's interesting, Jeff — you can leave now.' So my vote doesn't count for anything.''

Fairplay, predictably, is ready to push Probst's buttons. ''I heard he didn't want me here. If that's the case, I will enjoy making his life more miserable.'' ''He can take all the shots he wants,'' responds Probst. ''I just have to make sure that all my shots are retaliation. I will never shoot first. I'm not that dumb. The game needs to be fair. I get that.'' As much as Probst may loathe Fairplay the person, he appreciates what the villain brings to the game as a ''character,'' especially since the host is confident he can handle the rabble-rouser. ''I hope he lasts,'' says Probst. ''Fairplay is fun to go at because I feel like I can eat his lunch all day every day and pack it for him and steal it again.'' Game on!

Originally posted Feb 01, 2008 Published in issue #977 Feb 08, 2008 Order article reprints