Jeff Probst is a great television host. He was the perfect choice for hosting Survivor, and he has stuck with the program since its debut in 2000. By now, Jeff is an integral aspect of Survivor’s DNA, and many fans couldn’t imagine the show without him.
Part of what makes Jeff such a stellar host is his enthusiasm for the game. Unlike other reality hosts who clearly in it for the money, it’s obvious that Jeff cares deeply about the game of Survivor, its future, and its gameplay. As such, he tends to be highly emotional, and sometimes this emotion comes out in the form of anger.
10: Jeff Varner Outing Zeke
Jeff Varner is now regarded as one of Survivor‘s most notorious villains after he outed Zeke Smith as transgender on Game Changers. Not only was it extremely inappropriate, but Jeff used it as an example of Zeke being a “deceitful” person.
Everyone – including Jeff Probst – attacked Jeff for his highly insensitive and personal comments, with Probst harshly explaining that he just outed Zeke in front of millions of people. While Jeff didn’t raise his voice, it was obvious that he was fuming, and he essentially kicked Varner off the show with a cold “just grab your torch.”
9: The Nicaragua Quitters
If there’s one thing that Jeff Probst really hates, it’s quitters. Jeff loves when people fight to their last breath and do everything they can to remain on Survivor, even if their actions are ultimately fruitless. To him, quitting the game is the worst offense a player can possibly make.
Unfortunately, Nicaragua saw two quitters in NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn, and Jeff was not happy. Never has Jeff been angrier, coldly calling them “quitters,” keeping their torches at tribal council “as a symbolic reminder,” and saying, “You want to go, then go” while snuffing their flames.
8: Colton’s Quit
Blood vs. Water was home to one of the most memorable quits in Survivor history. And also one of its most frustrating. While most people quit for personal reasons or because they physically can’t go on any longer, Colton Cumbie essentially quit because he wasn’t getting his way.
This rivals the departure of NaOnka and Kelly in terms of Jeff’s frustration. He even makes some personal attacks, saying Colton “never should have got off the couch” and denying him the chance to throw his buff into the fire because “that’s reserved for people who compete.”
7: Osten’s Quit
Osten Taylor from Pearl Islands is the first person to quit the game, and it directly fueled Jeff’s hatred for quitters. This scene is quite different from the Nicaragua and Blood vs. Water quits. In the Nicaragua quit, Jeff could barely contain his frustration, whereas here he’s far more composed.
And in this quit, he forgoes the verbal attacks that he levied against Colton in Blood vs. Water. However, it’s clear that he was incredibly disappointed, and this is evident in the extremely cold “go home” he gives Osten while snuffing his torch.
6: “Bye Bye Denver Diva”
Thailand is one of the worst seasons of Survivor, and Jeff has made it abundantly clear that he hates the season as well. Most of the criticism is levied against the season’s unlikable and vitriolic cast, and Jeff’s hatred of them is clearly evident in the Ghandia exit.
During the tribal, Clay Jordan wrote down “Bye Bye Denver Diva” instead of “Ghandia,” which greatly annoyed Jeff. He openly criticizes Clay for his cute vote and closes it with a curt “In the future, write a name down. No more nicknames.”
5: Kicking Out Ben
Samoa is mostly known for the villainous actions of Russell Hantz, but many fans think that he looks like a saint next to Ben Browning. Ben is widely remembered for his antagonistic behavior and racist comments towards Yasmin Giles.
He played very dirty during one particular physical challenge, including hitting women and tripping others. His violent actions got on the nerves of Jeff Probst, and he ended up kicking Ben out of the challenge. This makes Ben the first contestant to be kicked out of a challenge based entirely on Jeff’s discretion.
4: The Villains Vote Out Rob
It’s no secret that Jeff Probst is a big fan of Boston Rob. He clearly respects Rob’s strategic game – so much so that Boston Rob has appeared on Survivor six different times (five times as a competitor).
It’s clear that Jeff had high hopes for Heroes vs. Villains, but Rob was prematurely voted off before the merge. It’s obvious that Jeff was disappointed in the decision, even though he didn’t get mad or outwardly criticize the villains.
3: The Attack Zone
Another example of Jeff’s hatred towards the Thailand cast can be found during the attack zone challenge. A few people clearly didn’t listen to the rules of the game and attacked others while not in the “attack zone.”
Jeff grew increasingly irritated with the contestants and kicked a few out for breaking the rules. Perhaps the funniest moment comes when Stephanie Dill dragged Ted Rogers underwater, prompting Jeff to yell, “Stephanie, what are you doing!? You were in the water!” By the end, a clearly frustrated Jeff could only state, “Come on guys, I’m like a broken record!”
2: Max “Holds Up” Jeff
Worlds Apart is another season fiercely criticized for its unlikable cast. While never doing anything outwardly villainous, superfan Max Dawson clearly got on Jeff’s nerves when he pretended to have a hidden immunity idol at tribal council.
Max tells Jeff to “hold up” and feigns grabbing an idol before stating, “I just always wanted to say that.” Jeff is hilariously annoyed with the waste of time, as he simply hangs his head and offers a very disappointed and dejected “OK.”
1: When People Can’t Make Fire
Aside from people quitting, nothing grinds Jeff’s gears more than contestants not being able to make fire. Jeff gets clearly annoyed during failed and prolonged fire-making challenges and isn’t afraid of making some pithy comments along the lines of “We’ve been here for 30 days, you should be able to make fire!”
A frustrated Jeff can be seen in the Worlds Apart fire challenge, but the worst instance is clearly the Cook Islands battle between Sundra and Becky. It’s an iconic Survivor moment and easily one of the weirdest challenges ever seen in Survivor.