From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
He had all the fish heads he could eat and a cabin with a working toilet. But during two seasons taping Survivor in Borneo and the Australian Outback, the shoe's host was denied some of the comforts of home. "In this business you're almost always protected by hair, makeup and lighting people," says Jeff Probst, 39. "But on Survivor, there's nowhere to hide. I would sweat off the makeup, or in Tribal Council it was always raining" He relied instead on exercise to look healthy and fit. "In the Outback all I did was run," he says. "My body totally changed and got more definition." The results have not gone unnoticed. "He's in great shape," says first-season alum Jenna Lewis, 23. "And he has this grin in his eyes whether his mouth is displaying it or not." Aw, but the 5'9" Probst has been hearing stuff like that since he was a baby. He won a beauty contest at age 2 in Wichita, Kans., where he was raised by Jerry, 62, a retired Boeing executive, and Barbara, 62, who recalls, "I was such a proud mother. We even got a little trophy!" As a teen, though, Probst's confidence wavered. "I tried to get my grandmother to give me a perm so I could look like Christopher Atkins in The Blue Lagoon," he says. "Thank God she only gave me a temporary one." Today he stays coiffed with Aveda Self Control. "I'm more aware of looking my best now," says Probst, who lives in L.A., where he recently filed for divorce from wife Shelley, 34. "I don't want people going, 'Man, I saw that guy from Survivor—what a bum!' "