‘Big Brother’ Star Jeff Schroeder to Host Two CBS Reality TV Recaps

Jeff Schroeder and Jordan Lloyd (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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OK, “Big Brother” is ending tonight and “Survivor” is beginning. Also, this Friday marks the premiere of “The Amazing Race.”

Wait, “Amazing Race” isn’t on Sunday anymore? And why are “The Amazing Race’s” Twinnies on “Survivor”? And why are “Survivor’s” Keith and Whitney on “The Amazing Race”?

So confusing. Fortunately, CBS’s new reality maven (although he doesn’t like that title) Jeff Schroeder will be able to clear up all of these mysteries and more when he takes the reins of CBS.com’s “Survivor Live” and the new show “CBS Reality Remix.”

I spoke with the former “Big Brother” and “Amazing Race” contestant shortly after the announcement of the new shows and had a chance to ask him about his new gig, his hosting style, and what the “Big Brother” house really smells like…

Gordon Holmes: Now what’s this I hear about you having a big announcement today?
Jeff Schroeder: Well, I have two big announcements, actually. I’m going to be doing two shows on CBS.com, one the “Survivor Live” show which is awesome because I’m a huge fan. And then, we’re going to be doing, kind of like a best-of thing for “Survivor” and “Amazing Race,” kind of like what’s viral for that week and the hot topics. I couldn’t be more excited.
Holmes: “Survivor” Hall of Famer Parvati Shallow was the previous host of “Survivor Live,” so you’re stepping into some pretty big shoes. What new things do you bring to the table?
Schroeder: I’m definitely not trying to fill any shoes. She was a master of the game, one of the best to play ever. And she brings a different angle than I do. I’m bringing more of a fan’s perspective. I’m a fan of the show; I’ve never played that game. I have an interesting perspective having played “Big Brother” and “The Amazing Race.” I think the questions that I have are going to be closer to the fans’ questions as opposed to being inside the game. I’m going to be more of a fan, which is great because we want interaction with the fans.

Holmes: What’re your early thoughts on the return of the “Blood vs. Water” twist?
Schroeder: The first thought that goes in is the layers to the voting. I’m a recent fan to “Survivor.” I watched the last five or six seasons and “Blood vs. Water” one with Hayden (Moss) from “Big Brother” was one of them. And I was a huge fan. But the voting process from “Blood vs. Water” to regular “Survivor,” it’s a lot different to have your loved one there. I could relate to that, because every reality show I’ve done with CBS, I’ve had my loved one there. I can relate to the thinking process.
Holmes: Say you’re out there with your new fiancee Jordan…you think you could vote her out?
Schroeder: (Laughs) No matter what happens she’d make it further than me. I don’t know if I could vote her out.
Holmes: Who do you like from the new cast?
Schroeder: I was a big fan of John Rocker. I’m an older guy, so I want to see his antics. That’s the big thing I’m looking forward to. I’m hoping he stays in the game a little bit longer and gets crazy like John Rocker does.
Holmes: As a Cardinals fan, you won’t catch me supporting John Rocker.
Schroeder: (Laughs) It’s reality TV! You want to see the outbursts. And I think John Rocker is going to bring those moments. And a younger audience, who may not know who John Rocker is, hopefully this gives them a bit of a surprise.

Holmes: Now speaking of Jordan, not everyone gets to propose on national television. What was that process like?
Schroeder: It was a couple of months coming. We had this idea floating around for a while. And working with CBS, and Fly on the Wall, “Big Brother,” and CBS.com, it was a team effort for sure. We finally whittled it down to a date and that last week was just craziness. It was a total surprise. Jordan thought we were going to host a competition. I had her family fly in, my family fly in, I was juggling all that. People are texting me, it was a super stressful day. And Jordan had no clue. I had no idea how she didn’t find out. Then the day of was just amazing. The yard looked awesome. She was totally shocked. Everyone did a great job. Then we had Brett Eldredge come in and sing that song. It was just a perfect song. It was the perfect day. We’ve watched it 100 times at least. The way it happened, we were so blown away that we almost missed the moment.
Holmes: I’m picturing the biggest day of your life. You’re very nervous. You enter the house for your special moment…and you come face to face with that smell.
Schroeder: (Laughs)
Holmes: Did that almost ruin the mood?
Schroeder: They’d just made lunch and they’d been in there a long time. The smell was a combination of sandwiches and feet. I’d been in there twice, I feel their pain. Other people have told me, “When you guys leave, it stinks in there.” I was giving them a hard time. Cody was mortified. But, it lightened the mood.
Holmes: This is perfect for you. “Survivor” players are used to smelling bad.
Schroeder: Exactly! The more I grow, the more I learn.

Holmes: Alright, break out your crystal ball. “Big Brother” finale tonight. What’s going to happen?
Schroeder: Derrick’s going to win that final HOH challenge. And I don’t think he’s going to take his boy Cody. He’s going to take Victoria and they’re going to be the final two. Cody is going to be bitter, but Derrick is going to reveal his inner workings in the house. He’s going to reveal that he’s a police officer. I don’t think Victoria has a chance against Derrick…or even Cody. So, I think Derrick wins the money. Cody will be upset that he takes third. Victoria will take second. And Donny takes home America’s Favorite.
Holmes: When it’s all said and done, where do you think Derrick will rank amongst the all-time champs?
Schroeder: In my eyes, in getting to know the game and watching him play. His moves were so calculated.  He’d walk into a room and someone would be thinking one thing, and he’d make them think what he wanted them think. I’ve never seen anything like it. Maybe the closest is Dan or Dr. Will. So, I’d put Derrick definitely in the top five of game players of all time.

Holmes: So, now that you’re the go-to guy for CBS reality, do you get an official title? Like a reality maven?
Schroeder: (Laughs) Just Jeff works for me. I’m a regular guy and I think that’s why I can relate to these shows and the people who watch these shows are like me. I can speak for them and ask the questions they want to ask. And with social media I can get their exact questions. And if the people have any questions for the “Survivor” castaways they can use the hashtag “#survivorlive.”

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” and the 90-minute finale of “Big Brother” starting on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

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