Former MLB player didn't get recognized while on ‘Survivor’

Published: Sunday, Nov. 11 2012 3:00 p.m. MST

Jeff Probst exstinguishes Jeff Kent's flame during Tribal Council on the eighth episode of "Survivor: Philippines," one Wednesday, Nov. 7 on the CBS Television Network.

CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Even though Jeff Kent was successful in keeping his identity as a National League MVP a secret on “Survivor: Philippines,” he had a few baseball analogies when he was voted off the island by his fellow castaways on Day 22 of the 39-day game.

“I’m a Game 7 World Series loser,” said Kent, who played Major League Baseball for 17 years on a half dozen teams. “I’ve played in the biggest games in the world and the worst games in the world. …

“I wanted to win this game,” the 44-year-old said of “Survivor,” which he has been a longtime fan of, jumping at the chance to be on the show.

The game of “Survivor” didn’t turn out the way he thought it would for him.

Kent knew 15 minutes before Tribal Council on Wednesday’s episode that his name was being thrown around to be voted off the island.

“I was scrambling,” said Kent, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Austin Texas Oak Hills Stake.

He said during a conference call he had tried in the previous day and a half to talk to people and form some sort of offensive plan, but most people wanted to wait and see what happened.

In those 15 minutes, he talked to others whose names were being thrown around and they quickly devised a plan to vote six for 24-year-old Pete Yurkowski.

Had he known earlier, “no doubt I would have pulled out everything” to save himself.

But Kent said the numbers weren’t there to split the vote.

When it came down to the last vote and host Jeff Probst looked at Yurkowski, Kent said he knew the last vote was for him.

“I was in a laughable shock,” Kent said of the experience of being voted out.

As Kent walked away, “that whole game ran through my mind.

“I got home and was going through the names,” Kent said. “I figured it was (returning players Michael) Skupin and (Jonathan) Penner and I figured out who it was.”

And it was 50-year-old Skupin’s vote to send Kent packing that was a surprise.

But Kent never voted for Penner at any Tribal Council meetings, and shared information with him, including when Penner might need to play his idol.

“Penner tried to play both sides of the fence,” Kent said. “But I got burned.”

Several underestimated 49-year-old Lisa Welchel and her relationship with Skupin as she found out about 25-year-old Malcolm Freberg’s immunity idol and quietly used that to her advantage.

Both Freberg and Abi-Marie Gomes, 32, admitted they had the immunity idols at Tribal Council. Kent wasn’t surprised when Freberg announced he had an idol as a move to deflect any potential votes in his direction. And Gomes’ reveal was likely an emotional decision to not be outdone, he added. Neither played their immunity idols that night.

It was 28-year-old Sarah Dawson who came the closest to recognizing Kent from baseball, and she constantly made needling remarks about sports. Kent didn’t realize that Dawson knew who he was until he watched the show.

But he was worried that Penner might have recognized him.

“Penner said one of his favorite teams was the Dodgers,” said Kent, who once played for Los Angeles.

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