[There was a video here]
It's the middle of the night and you startle awake to a loud buzzing and a bright square of light on the ceiling. You roll over and check your phone:
It's Tyler Perry again. He's been thinking about you and he wants to tell you about some things that he wants you to do. As always, his ideas involve tattered swimwear, pungent body odor, powerful jewelry, and psychosexual intrigue. Do you heed the ever-beating jungle drums that accompany the texts from one of Hollywood's greatest talents? Or do you roll over and cuddle your new bride whom you don't see for fully half the year? Nobody ever said being Jeff Probst was easy.
After 28 seasons, it's hard for Survivor to surprise us anymore, but during last night's finale and live reunion special, host and producer Jeff Probst unveiled an intriguing secret: He receives late night texts from none other than producer, filmmaker, and noted drag performer Tyler Perry.
According to Probst, this e-pistolary bromance has been going on "for years" and this season (inconsequentially subtitled Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty) saw the implementation of at least one of Perry's Survivor-inspired brainstorms. The idea had something to do with a hidden immunity idol that could be played after Probst revealed a tribe's votes at tribal council, but the unpopular twist didn't go over well with fans, nor even Perry. Despite the fact that Perry "loves cops and firefighters" he wasn't happy when eventual winner Tony came to possess Perry's fabulous necklace; no, Perry been hoping it would be discovered by lithe 21-year-old geek twink Spencer. Alas and alack.
Perry's appearance in the finale occurred only after eagle-eyed viewers spotted his unmistakable visage smiling primly in the studio audience (sitting beside Community's Yvette Nicole Brown for some reason), but Probst later acknowledged the enormous man's presence with a segment devoted to their extracurricular relationship. As you can see in the clip above, the loaded, fraught-with-tension exchange between Probst and his longtime casual text partner left both men titillated and frazzled and climaxed with Perry's scathingly Tennessee Williams-esque "happy birthday" wish to Jeff Probst's conspicuously absent wife, an act that rendered Probst "speechless."
As for the just-concluded season itself? It was fine overall. A couple of shocking tribal councils. No truly engaging personalities. Unlikable final four. Still though, this franchise remains VERY watchable all these years later and next season's Nicaragua-set Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water promises to bring back the family pairings that made the original Blood vs. Water season so excellent. Yeah, I said it: Survivor is still good. And apparently we may have Tyler Perry to thank for it.