“Survivor” Castaway Dan: “It Was Upsetting, Obviously I Trusted the Wrong Person Out There”

November 26, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”

Gordon Holmes: What the hell is an idol nullifier?!
Dan Rengering: I had that same question a few months ago. (Laughs) It’s the Goliath killer. Can we call it that?
Holmes: I tried to put myself in your filthy Fijian shoes when that thing popped up. What can you even do?
Rengering: That was exactly what I thought. Nobody expected it, nobody saw it coming, especially me. Talk about being blindsided.

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“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Episode 9 Recap: David’s Encore

November 21, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week:

Oh, the Tribal Council target was placed, right where Christian was sittin’,

But, then along came Davie, with an idol that was previously hidden,

And somewhere fans are laughing, and somewhere the Goliaths shout,

But there is no joy in Slamtown – mighty John was voted out.

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“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Power Rankings Round 8: No Joy in Slamtown Edition

November 20, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Dan is voted out this episode, Bradley will receive eleven points and Gordon will receive nine points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”

Last Week: Bradley Kleihege had John in spot two, Gordon Holmes had him in spot five. So, the current score is Team Bradley 76, Team Gordon 86.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank players based on how safe you think they are in the upcoming vote.

Bradley’s Score: 76

Any questions for Bradley? Drop him a line on Twitter: @bradley_r_k

Gordon’s Score: 86

Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

1. Kara: She’s been a bit quiet but that’s good with Angelina sucking up so much attention. 1. Alison: Who knows how last week’s epic Tribal is going to skake out? The Goliaths could be mad at Alec for spilling the beans. The Davids can be mad at Mike for targeting Christian. The Davids are all still outnumbered. But, Alison? Alison is fine.
2. Alec: This guy’s strategic chops have pleasantly surprised me. 2. Kara: So, this is the week where you finally separate yourself from Dan? I’m fully on-board with this. You can’t win with him by your side.
3. Alison: Boring but smart. 3. Nick: You saved your Mason/Dixon buddy by turning to your Team (expletive deleted) pal. Well done. The only way I can see this biting you is if Alec is upset that you told Christian. But honestly, it seems like everyone will have bigger fish to fry.
4. Mike: Even if his shtick exhausts me, he’s a rational player positioning himself well. 4. AngelinaThings are about to hit the fan. And you’re smart enough to side with the winners. I still don’t think you can win over a jury, but you’ll be here next week.
5. Davie: His flashy idol play may make him a target. 5. Gabby: There’s no reason to target Gabby this week
6. Nick: His name isn’t getting tossed around and yet he’s calling shots, will it last? 6. Alec: Somebody floated the idea that you wanted Nick to tell Christian about the vote to get him to scramble and save himself. I’m not sure I buy that. But, now might be a good time to make the Strike Force happen…if people can get over Mike targeting Christian.
7. Carl: Solidly unspectacular. 7. Carl: I wanna know if you voted for Angelina because it was a split vote or if you were just left in the dark. That’s important.
8. Christian: People have caught on to just how big a threat he is. 8. Davie: “Purple” Davie no more! Last week’s big move sounded the horn that you’re not just a pretty face swinging a stick. Let’s see how you follow it up.
9. Gabby: Her strategic edit seems to have died, sadly, and with that her chances of winning. 9. Dan: I still think giving Angelina the idol was the right move even though John went home.  If you’d have hung onto it and the vote went the way it was going to go, Angelina would have every reason to flip and you’d be her top target.  That said, if Kara flips, everyone will learn about your other idol.
10. Angelina: I’ve decided I like Angelina. 10. Christian: Hell of a move last week, buddy. But, that doesn’t change the fact that you’re still viewed as the biggest threat in the game.
11. Dan: He’s got the freewheeling energy of a kid after cake at a birthday party. 11. Mike: I think this was the first time you’ve gotten any real dirt on your hands. It might cost you your spot in the Strike Force.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

“Survivor” Castaway John – “I Didn’t Trust Alec Because of the Way He Voted Out Natalia”

November 15, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”

Gordon Holmes: Oh…Johnny Blindside!
John Hennigan: I was shocked. (Laughs) Sometimes the way that I deal with stuff is I laugh at things because it’s better to do that than to cry. I was just really emotional. I wasn’t upset, I was just so surprised. I was so confident that we were voting for Christian and in retrospect I was over confident, and when I see how things went down, I almost should have expected it. Sometimes when you’re hungry and tired your brain is kind of foggy and you get set in one way of thinking and then a different Brachacho is getting blindsided that the one you thought. It’s surprising. And it was really well played by Nick and Davie and Christian.

Holmes: It’s interesting that you mentioned laughing instead of crying, because it was the most jovial blindside I’ve ever seen. There was an outpouring of love for you almost immediately. It seems like you made some really good connections out there.
Hennigan: I connected and got along with everybody a lot more than I thought I would. I was expecting to have a good time. I was expecting to have a life-changing experience, but being unplugged like that, getting back to old-school human skills was actually refreshing. It was really nice. I feel like I’m constantly compelled to be tweeting and posting things on Facebook and Instagram because it’s a big part of what I’m doing in the wrestling business. I’m the current Impact Wrestling champion. We’re on Pop TV tonight at 10pm. I had to plug that.
Holmes: That’s alright. Plug away.
Hennigan: I have an awesome match with Matt Sydal tonight. But that stuff is constantly floating through my head. Especially when I’ve got my phone. It’s almost like a gift that you get to not be able to do that. I was completely present in this moment on this beautiful island with these people. It was really fun, I liked everybody. Maybe I should have been more strategic and talked a little more game. (Laughs) Then people wouldn’t have liked me as much and I’d still be there. But, it was very rewarding.
Holmes: That’s the problem guys like you and I are going to have…we’re just way too likable.
Hennigan: (Laughs) There’s worse problems. I appreciate that.

Holmes: Was there any talk amongst the Goliaths that you wouldn’t want to go to the end with a David because they’d have that built-in underdog story?
Hennigan: Big time. And it was nice last night that Mike broke the fourth wall when he said that he felt like Christian has the potential to win this game and everyone who’s watching at home is going to think, “Why didn’t they get Christian out?” And that thought process wasn’t just what the audience was thinking, but also the jury at the end. So, big time, everyone was thinking of that. That’s why I wanted to stay Goliath strong. And I probably held onto that thinking a little too long. Not probably…definitely.

Holmes: When I saw your name on the cast list my initial reaction was challenge superstar. You’re a professional athlete, you have a parkour background, I’ve seen you wiggle your way back into a Royal Rumble or two. And yet, here’s Alec taking the solo parts of all of these challenges? Was that strategy or is he that good?
Hennigan: I did not want to be perceived as a big challenge threat. I knew no matter what, being a pro wrestling and coming in in really good shape that that was going to be a perception anyway. I didn’t want to add to it. I didn’t want to put the idea in people’s heads that I was going to be good at individual immunity challenges. So, I specifically didn’t want to highlight myself like that. And, Alec was really good. I don’t know if I could have done better than him. If Alec had sucked, I’d have wanted to step up and play a part, but he didn’t.

Holmes: Speaking of Alec, he’s starting this Strike Force, he’s the one who told Nick about the Christian vote. Did you know at the time that he was making moves?
Hennigan: I did. I didn’t trust Alec because of the way he voted out Natalia. I didn’t know what happened, but when Vuku showed up and she was gone, it just made no sense to me. And I caught a look from him. And, there was a real quick conversation where I tried to figure out what was going on, and I just didn’t get good vibes. I think he knew that I didn’t trust him. And that Natalia blindside was just a dumb move. He didn’t really think through what that was going to do to his tribe. I knew he was going to pull the trigger and jump ship. I didn’t know he was going to hit the ground running as soon as the merge feast was over. The way I was thinking about the game was a little too slow-paced.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with…Jeremy.
Hennigan: Hilarious.
Holmes: Natalia?
Hennigan: Motivated.
Holmes: Gabby?
Hennigan: Articulate.
Holmes: Mike?
Hennigan: Also hilarious.
Holmes: Carl?
Hennigan: Worldly.
Holmes: Kara?
Hennigan: Best smile ever.
Holmes: Alison?
Hennigan: A really good person.
Holmes: Dan?
Hennigan: Loyal.
Holmes: Davie?
Hennigan: Adventurous.
Holmes: Elizabeth?
Hennigan: Stubborn…in the best of all ways.
Holmes: Angelina?
Hennigan: Ambitious.
Holmes: Nick?
Hennigan: Intelligent.
Holmes: Natalie?
Hennigan: Opinionated.
Holmes: Alec?
Hennigan: Living the good life.
Holmes: Let’s finish with the Comptroller of Slamtown, Christian.
Hennigan: Quirky, funny, intelligent.

Holmes: There was a weird controversy this season where Jeremy accused Angelina of voting him out because he had made a joke about you and her being in a showmance. What was your take on the situation?
Hennigan: First of all, there was no showmance. What Jeremy did in my opinion was feeling the anxiety of the first Tribal, he threw out that there was a Dan and Kara showmance, Alec and Natalia, and John and Angelina. We were playing the game together, we had an alliance, we were talking strategy. He tried to get side conversations to stop. That’s because nobody was having side conversations with Jeremy. It’s kind of a bummer the way he lashed out.

Holmes: My wife is a new “Survivor” fan and she was bummed to see you go. My response was that you’re funny, good-looking, good TV…the kind of guy I’d invite back. So, if you get that call, what’s the answer?
Hennigan: I really love the show, so probably yes. But to do the show, there’s a really tight window because of wrestling.
Holmes: Yes, and I hear you’re facing Matt Sydal on Impact Wrestling tonight at 10pm on Pop TV.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Episode 8 Recap: The Scribe Has Spoken?

November 14, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: The merge came along and everyone was fed, the Goliaths were mad because of what Angelina said, and Elizabeth finally found a more comfortable bed.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Olakolak Tribe (wearing blue)
Alec, 24 – Bartender
Alison, 28 – Physician
Angelina, 28 – Financial Consultant
Carl, 41 – Truck Driver
Christian, 32 – Robotics Scientist
Dan, 27 – S.W.A.T. Officer
Davie, 30 – Social Media Manager
Gabby, 25 – Technical Writer
John, 38 – Pro Wrestler
Kara, 30 – Realtor
Mike, 47 – Filmmaker
Nick, 27 – Public Defender

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Angelina is trying her best to do damage control after last week’s dumpster fire. She tells everyone that Elizabeth cornered her and forced her to spill the beans. Good story. Too bad nobody buys it.

Would it have been so bad to say, “Yeah, I was trying to woo a juror”? It’s already obvious you’re not keeping all of the info on lockdown. Now you’re a liar, too?

Palm of Their Hands

Nick and Davie go advantage hunting…wait…they’re that close? This is news to me. They eventually locate a piece of paper that features the palm tree logo that was displayed at the merge feast. So…it’s safe to say nobody picked up on the hint? Hilarious.

They figure out which tree the image is supposed to represent. Then, Davie makes a karate diversion while Nick and Carl retrieve the advantage.

No seriously. He literally stands on a rock and swings a stick around. It was amazing…

Nick and Carl pop it open and it’s the ever dangerous Steal a Vote.

Reward Challenge Time: The tribe will be split in two. The players will have to hold sandbags over their heads. Every few minutes, one player will have to leave the game and hand off their sandbag. If one person drops a sandbag, their team loses. The winning tribe will get a dozen delicious pizzas.

The teams are chosen by captains. Gabby went with Christian, Alison, John, Alec, and Nick. While Mike picked Carl, Dan, Kara, Davie, and Angelina.

Quick Aside: I’m way too classy to make a “holding onto their sacks” joke, so get your mind out of the gutter.

Another Quick Aside: This challenge involves raising your hands in the air, unfortunately it doesn’t also include waving them like you just don’t care.

Result: Team Gabby won when Dan dropped one of his many sandbags.

Mike’s Making Moves

Mike is not happy with how upset Gabby was at Tribal Council. He makes the point that her Tribal blow-up makes it seem like she doesn’t trust the Strike Force alliance.

Note to Self: Start designing a “Strike Force” bowling t-shirt.

Mike is really uncomfortable with the idea of letting the Davids back into the game. He approaches Alec with a plan to send Christian home next. Ah…so the most Davidish Goliath wants to target the most Goliath-esque David.

The Goliaths are on board with this plan…even Angelina…who’s more than a little perturbed that she had pitched this exact plan last week. She also doesn’t love the fact that they’re intending to use her as the decoy. There’s got to be some way to leverage this whole thing into getting someone’s jacket.

Immunity Challenge Team: The players will stand on a beam and hold a buoy with two poles. The last person standing wins immunity.

Result: This was a quick one with people dropping out right and left. Dan beat Angelina to take the necklace.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

So, it looks like the Goliaths are going to tell everyone that they’re voting for Angelina, but they’re really going to boot Christian.

John says he’ll be sad to see him go, and that it’ll be a #brochachoblindside. Hmm…that sounds like #famouslastwords.

In other news, Dan promises Angelina he’ll use an idol for her if Christian uses an idol. If I thought Dan only had one idol, I would not believe him.

Alec is not thrilled to lose a Strike Force member, and specifically he doesn’t want to lose Nick’s trust. So, he tells Nick what’s up.

Oy…how could that possibly backfire?

CUT TO: Nick telling Christian that he’s the real target.

And then it gets really interesting. Nick asks Davie if they should use the vote advantage. Which leads to Davie wondering if the stolen vote won’t be enough and if he should use his idol.

Dun…dun…dun…

Tribal Time

This was a tame one compared to last week. The highlight being John saying…

Voting Time: Nick does not steal a vote…and no votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol…and Davie does! And, he plays it for Christian!

Oh wow…Angelina is rightfully losing it! She begs Dan to play his idol her for her…and he does!

Exclamation points!

Aww…someone finally gave Angelina a piece of clothing at Tribal.

Alright, we’ve got seven votes for Christian, two votes for Angelina, a vote for John, and the ninth person eliminated from “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” and the second member of the jury is…John.

#Brochachoblindside indeed.

Also, it seems like only Christian, Davie, and Nick were on the vote-out-John train. Interesting.

Verdict: Wow, that was a wild one. Although, I wish we’d had some inkling that Davie was so close with Christian and Nick before.

Also, look at all of these people sticking their necks out for others; Davie and Christian, Elizabeth and Lyrsa, Dan and Angelina…all signs of next-level thinking. Good job, guys.

  • Nick – You helped make that move happen and the heat isn’t on you. Let’s not forget this dude was almost the first one out. What a turnaround.
  • Davie – Shots fired, buddy. Well done. Your days as a background player are over.
  • Angelina – If you can be cool for a little bit, the game will find another target. Good job.
  • Christian – So, at some point you had to have had a conversation with Davie about that, otherwise, why vote for John?
  • Dan – It had to have KILLED Dan to use his idol to save Angelina, but it was the right move.
  • Mike – Your big move failed and it’ll come out that you were behind it.
  • Alec – It’s so unlike you to say something you shouldn’t. I’m shocked.
  • Kara, Carl, Alison, Gabby – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Bradley Kleihege had John in spot two, I had him in spot five. So, the current score is Team Bradley 76, Team Gordon 86.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Power Rankings Round 7: Time to Strike? Edition

November 13, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Dan is voted out this episode, Bradley will receive five points and Gordon will receive nine points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”

Last Week: Bradley Kleihege had Elizabeth in spot nine, Gordon Holmes had her in spot seven. So, the current score is Team Bradley 74, Team Gordon 81.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank players based on how safe you think they are in the upcoming vote.

Bradley’s Score: 74

Any questions for Bradley? Drop him a line on Twitter: @bradley_r_k

Gordon’s Score: 81

Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

1. Kara: I’m a big Kara fan. She’s playing great and fun to watch. 1. Mike: He’s got a foot in the dominant alliance and the potential dominant alliance. There’s no reason to target him and there’s no reason for him to School of Rock the boat.
2. John: Continues to stay off the radar. 2. Alison: You’re in the same un-rockable boat with Mike. And, it’s good to see you’ve got some challenge chops.
3. Alec: For seeming less than bright at times in the pre-merge, Alec’s social maneuvering impressed me this week. 3. Nick: There’s no reason for the Goliaths to target Nick at this time. And, if for some reason they think of one, Mike probably has your back Rock Star style. (Air guitar…”Wheaaaaar” noise.)
4. Alison: For all the crap I’ve given Alison about her quiet edit, I like her character now that we are getting to see more of her! 4. Kara: You’re an episode or two away from earning a coattail rider label. Your window of time to make a move is closing.
5. Dan: The target is getting bigger, will he correctly play his idols? 5. John: How is this guy not a target yet? He’s charming, he has a twenty pack of abs…and yet, the Christians and Dans are getting all of the attention.
6. Christian: Worried that his social overtures towards the brochachos may not have been as strong as he needs them to be if he’s going to make a run for Day 39. 6. Alec: Alec came to play! And if he maneuvers things perfectly, he could find himself alone with a tribe of people who can’t touch his speed and strength. Well done.
7. Mike: Feels like a second-string Goliath. 7. Gabby: I thought your crying at Tribal was to throw the Goliaths off of the Strike Force’s scent, but Elizabeth thinks those tears were very real. That’d make me nervous if I was in an alliance with you.
8. Nick: Problematic that his best connection to a Goliath is with Mike who doesn’t seem to have any power. 8. Davie: Why weren’t you invited to the merge episode? It was like “The Office” after Steve Carell left.
9. Gabby: Thank you for encouraging Elizabeth to wait to confront Angelina until Tribal. 9. Dan: You’re seriously asking why you’re being targeted while John is around?! John doesn’t have an idol that he let the world know about.
10. Carl: If you want to know what Carl thinks just give him some beer. 10. Carl: If things are still split between the Davids and the Goliaths, I could see you being another easy pick-off. That is, if Davie and his idol will let them pick you off.
11. Davie: Crickets this week, sadly. 11. Angelina: So much heat on you after last week. If you take a second to relax and remind people of why they should align with you, you should be OK. If you try to force through an agenda, you could be in trouble.
12. Angelina: Whew, what a mess. But I will admit, entertaining. 12. Christian: This one hurts me because I love me some Christian, but I could see you going if the Goliaths want to cement Angelina as an alliance member. If this happens, my heart will break into factorials. (See, I don’t use it right either.)

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

“Survivor” Castaway Elizabeth – “My Goal Was to Win and Jeff (Probst) Got Into My Head”

November 8, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”

Gordon Holmes: When Angelina approached you last night, did you get the sense that she wanted to work with you at all, or did this seem strictly like a jury management move?
Elizabeth Olson: I think she was playing “Survivor.” We had already had a bonding moment, a heart to heart. That maybe tipped the scale as to whether or not she should say that to me or not. But, in saying it, she was definitely working the jury. I’m glad Alison was intuitive enough to see that. I didn’t have to say it, they figured it out on their own. The Goliaths were pretty pissed at Tribal that Angelina was telling me their plans and trying to manage the jury already.
Holmes: Was there any chance to maybe use that information before Tribal?
Olson: Angelina did not tell me with time before Tribal. I had to do all of my blowing up at Tribal. I did not have time to talk to the Goliaths.

Holmes: The vote ended up being unanimous.
Olson: I know! What’s up with that?!
Holmes: What is up with that? Did you think the vote was going to be down David vs. Goliath lines?
Olson: Heading in I knew that people were gunning for me. I didn’t know that Carl was the lead charge on that. He had been throwing me under the bus. That was a little bit hard to watch. But, I don’t have hard feelings, he’s playing the game. I don’t blame him for it, that’s what you do. It was frustrating because I did have hope that we could send a Goliath packing. I did not know it was going to be unanimous, but it was not surprising. It was surprising that there was enough communication going on to get all the Davids on board with it. The Goliaths were forthright with everyone except for me.
Holmes: Did that feud with you and Carl start with the uncomfortable bed, or do you think it dates all the way back to the Jessica vote?
Olson: I think it’s just a core difference of who we are. We’re just like oil and water. Which is funny because we’re both from Texas. We have a lot of things that we should bond about. He’s very laid back and I’m very aggressive and crazy. I’m literally wanting to do something all the time. I cannot sit still. And Carl’s like, “Mmm…man…I’m gonna sit by the fire. You know? You wanna come talk to me? I’m by the fire.” And he’s the only one who caught a fish and he wouldn’t go out and fish. Man, I can’t even swim and I’m out there fishing. We were just very different people. The whole bed situation didn’t help. But, when I found out he was going to join my tribe, I thought of all the people, why does it have to be Carl?

Holmes: Alright, the post-merge word associations take a while, so let’s jump into this. Davie?
Olson: Hilarious.
Holmes: Pat?
Olson: Hard working.
Holmes: Jessica?
Olson: Teenager.
Holmes: Christian?
Olson: Friend.
Holmes: Natalia?
Olson: Smart.
Holmes: John?
Olson: Good.
Holmes: Gabby?
Olson: Amazing.
Holmes: Kara?
Olson: Beautiful.
Holmes: Lyrsa?
Olson: My buddy.
Holmes: Nick?
Olson: Complicated.
Holmes: Dan?
Olson: Sleezeball.
Holmes: Mike?
Olson: Interesting.
Holmes: Alec?
Olson: Surfer.
Holmes: Bi?
Olson: Quitter.
Holmes: Carl?
Olson: Lazy.
Holmes: Alison?
Olson: Smart.
Holmes: Angelina?
Olson: Smart…again.

Holmes: Bi left the game when her knee was injured. She wasn’t forced out of the game. Is that a popular sentiment that she’s a quitter?
Olson: Yeah, we were all kind of pissed at her. Jeff was too. You don’t get on “Survivor” and then quit, especially if you’re a fighter. I understand that she’s in a situation where she has a career where she has to have health, but we clearly told her she wouldn’t have to do anything else to risk her knee. She could sit out. Take one for the team and then go home at the next Tribal. She wasn’t willing to listen and try to understand the game enough or respect the players that she had suffered through the cyclone with to consider that. It was very frustrating.

Holmes: You also referred to Dan as a “sleezeball.” What’s behind that?
Olson: Dude! He’s just…I don’t even know. He’s childish. Very childish. He was pouting around camp. I don’t like people that pout. He was pouting because he had to work. And I was like, “Bro, look here…I’m out here swinging the hammer with you. That’s just life.” Grow a pair of balls and grow up. You’re not nine anymore.

Holmes: They briefly made it look like you and Nick were forming an alliance. I believe it was the “Thoroughbreds.” Did anything ever come of that?
Olson: I think that’s one of my regrets in the game is I didn’t reconnect with him as much as I should have at the merge. We did have a really good connection and we’d worked together to get out Jessica way back when. I was trying so hard to get new relationships that I did not focus on my secondary…Davids. My first big connection on the Davids was Christian. I was extremely close with Christian. But, I did not reconnect with my secondary…like Nick.

Holmes: Alec and Christian have formed a “Strike Force” alliance that’s half Davids and half Goliaths. Gabby is a part of that as well. She was very emotional during Tribal, because she thought she was on the bottom. Do you think that was genuine, or do you think she was trying to throw the Goliaths off of the Strike Force’s scent?
Olson: It was definitely genuine. It was irritating sitting at the fire and watching all of the Goliaths go down and talk like they were man-handling us and we couldn’t do anything about it. And she was like, “We really are on the bottom. This sucks.” And she had to vote for her good friend and it was like lambs being led to the slaughter. And during Tribal, I was getting hammered by Angelina and it must have been frustrating for Gabby. She was very upset.

Holmes: I want to be really careful with this next question so we don’t veer into spoiler territory. You’re the first juror, some people think that person sets the tone for the jury. Heading into this game, what kind of juror did you expect to be? Someone who respects strategy…social game…challenge strength…camp work ethic?
Olson: I’m pretty mathematical in my day-to-day life. I look at life as a math problem. So, for me it’s Outwit/Outplay/Outlast, one third, one third, one third. So, I look at each contestant that way. How did they play strategically? How did they play socially? How hard was their journey to get there? You add that up and figure out who played the best game trying to be as objective as possible. Not “Who’s my best buddy?” It’s who played the best freaking game all around.

Holmes: So, I’m going to apologize for picking you to win, because almost all of my winner picks have lost.
Olson: Yeah!
Holmes: I’m so sorry.
Olson: (Laughs) I was planning on winning, dude.
Holmes: Blame it on me.
Olson: My goal was to win and Jeff got into my head. A day before the game started he said, “We picked y’all because you’re going to make the best TV. You’re awesome. We love you. You being you is going to help you get the furthest in the game.” And I thought, yeah…that’s what I’ve got to do. I need to change my strategy. So, I decided I was going to be myself and have fun.
Holmes: There’s a lesson to take from all of that. And it’s not, “Don’t be yourself,” it’s “Don’t ever listen to Jeff Probst.”
Olson: (Laughs) For real though, bro! I love him to death. And he’s really cool in real life. The reason “Survivor” is awesome is because Jeff is passionate about it. He’s insane.
Holmes: Oh yeah, and the people who’ve never experienced it, might not appreciate that he’s not just the guy who shows up every three days and tells you what to do. He’s producing, he’s directing, he wears like a hundred different hats.
Olson: His passion for this game oozes out to everyone underneath him. They believe in it because Jeff believes in it. And that makes the players believe it. He doesn’t get enough credit.
Holmes: Well, I’m going to cut all of this out of the interview because I don’t want him getting a big head.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Episode 7 Recap: A Goliath in David’s Clothing?

November 7, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: Elizabeth thought the bed was too rough to bear, Dan was targeted by a Brochacha pair, and Lyrsa left with her outerwear…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Vuku Tribe (wearing orange)
Alec, 24 – Bartender
Carl, 41 – Truck Driver
Davie, 30 – Social Media Manager
Elizabeth, 31 – Kitchen Staff
Kara, 30 – Realtor

The Jabeni Tribe (wearing purple)
Angelina, 28 – Financial Consultant
Mike, 47 – Filmmaker
Nick, 27 – Public Defender

The Tiva Tribe (wearing green)
Alison, 28 – Physician
Christian, 32 – Robotics Scientist
Dan, 27 – S.W.A.T. Officer
Gabby, 25 – Technical Writer
John, 38 – Pro Wrestler

The Tiva Invasion

The Brochachos and Brochachas are enjoying a leisurely morning when they’re interrupted by boats filled with Jabenians and Vukuians. Sure enough, the merge is upon us.

Some fun tidbits that come out during the feast…

  • Carl still wants to target Elizabeth, but more than that, he wants a beer. I get that. He also spills the beans that Alec was responsible for sending Natalia home.
  • A very suspicious sign seems to have an advantage, but nobody picks it up. Gabby thinks about it, though.
  • Elizabeth comes up with the tribe name “Kalokalo” which means “Stars” in Fijian. Do we know that for sure? Is it possible Elizabeth’s mother’s name is “Olakolak”?

Reunited and It Feels So Good

The Mason/Dixon alliance finally picks things up where they left off, with Nick telling Christian that Dan has an idol. Well, he’s half right.

Meanwhile, Dan and Kara get to hugging. Dan decides to toss his plan to keep that second idol a secret almost immediately. She is his kryptonite. Later that night, Elizabeth sees them canoodling and somehow suspects that they like each other. Well, she’s half right.

Elizabeth starts making moves to draw attention to this showmance. As you’d imagine, this does not sit well with Dan.

All Alec’s Alliances

So, it looks like we’re going to start off with a standard David vs. Goliath battle with Angelina wanting to send Christian packing. But, things quickly shoot off into a different direction with Alec reaching out to Christian to start a partnership. His thinking behind this is that nobody will see it coming. I’d like to dub this duo “Smart Alec.”

From there, Alison, Mike, Nick, and Gabby come aboard.

Later on, Alec tells us that the merge is the real party and everything beforehand is just the pre-party. I like to think of it as like the NHL season, where twice as many teams get eliminated during the playoffs, than during the regular season.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will stand on a pedestal and swing a rope around a frame that is balancing an idol. If the idol falls or the rope stops, the player is eliminated. The last person standing wins immunity.

Result: Alison bested Elizabeth to take the necklace.

Post-Tribal Politicking

It looks like the Goliaths are fully in power with the Davids just hanging back to see which of them will go home. There is some debate between Angelina (who wants to get rid of Christian because he’s a threat) and Dan (who wants to get rid of Elizabeth because she’s blowing up his showmance.)

During the discussion, Angelina uses military terminology to fire up the troops. This does not sit well with Dan. He also doesn’t love the fact that she’s targeting his Brochacho.

Alec isn’t feeling Angelina’s plan either, because Christian is a key part of his secret “Strike Force” alliance. The other Goliaths agree that the Christian vote is too fancy, too early, and decide to go after Elizabeth.

Angelina is not a fan of this new plan.

Soooooo…Angelina tells Elizabeth what’s up, claiming that she attempted to target a different person. It doesn’t seem like she’s trying to work with Elizabeth, but maybe she’s trying to win favor with a future juror?

Anywho, Gabby encourages Elizabeth to tell the Goliaths that Angelina outed them at Tribal in an attempt to get them to flip. Wait, Elizabeth needed Gabby to tell her that?

Tribal Time

Christian wins my heart once again by correcting Alison when she says “exponent” when she should have said “factorial.” (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know the correct way to use either one of those terms.)

After that, Elizabeth promptly throws Angelina under the bus, telling everyone that she had revealed the Goliaths’ plan.

Then things get messy.

Dan thinks Angelina needs to tell them what’s up. Alison accuses Angelina of doing jury management. Everybody starts whispering. Gabby cries.

It’s a whole thing.

Voting Time: Elizabeth votes for Angelina, Angelina votes for Elizabeth, and the rest of the votes are secret.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to plan an idol and…nobody does. Alright, we’ve got one vote for Angelina, six votes for Elizabeth, and the eighth person eliminated from “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” and the first member of the jury is…Elizabeth.

Verdict: I’ve gotta be honest, I never suspected Alec would be the driving force behind post-merge strategy. Look at him go.

That being said, this episode didn’t have nearly enough Davie for my tastes.

  • Alec – He might be doing too much…but I’m liking his Strike Force alliance.
  • Gabby – Tell me you went looking around the feast sign. Did you? Please?
  • Dan – There was literally NO reason for you to tell Kara about your idol. She trusts you already.
  • Christian – Do you know how close you were to going home?
  • Carl – It’s probably never a great idea to get drunk during the game. Loose lips and all…
  • Angelina – You can make it to the final three, I can’t imagine a jury rewarding you.
  • Davie, John, Alison, Nick, Alison, Mike – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Bradley Kleihege had Elizabeth in spot nine, I had her in spot seven. So, the current score is Team Bradley 74, Team Gordon 81.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Power Rankings Round 6: Merge Comes to Slamtown Edition

November 6, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Dan is voted out this episode, Bradley will receive three points and Gordon will receive one point. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”

Last Week: Bradley Kleihege and I both had Lyrsa in spot twelve. So, the current score is Team Bradley 65, Team Gordon 74.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank players based on how safe you think they are in the upcoming vote.

 

Bradley’s Score: 65

Any questions for Bradley? Drop him a line on Twitter: @bradley_r_k

Gordon’s Score: 74

Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

1. John: The Mayor of the merged tribe. 1. Dan: Ah…there’s nothing quite as unfun (not a word) as ranking a merge. So many variables, so many people wanting to make their “big move.” Danny, you get to go first, because two idols should keep you safe.
2. Christian: Being John’s #2 was a smart strategy pre-merge but now he needs to start thinking of his resume. 2. Davie: There’s no real reason to target Davie just yet, and he’s packing an idol as well. He should be here next week.
3. Dan: Two idols. 3. Carl: Hopefully that whole Elizabeth thing will blow over and the smart Davids can hang back and let the Goliaths go at it.
4. Gabby: Nobody needed the merge more than she did. I’m cautiously optimistic she is now fairly safe. 4. Kara: It’ll be so nice to get back together with your buddy Dan and his idols. And, you’ll never have to worry about Alec getting you into trouble again.
5. Davie: One idol. 5. Nick: Who’s going to have more options than you? Mason Dixon, the Rock Stars, the Thoroughbreds, Level Six…
6. Carl: Idol nullifier. 6. Mike: I think you made the right call last week. An Angelina vote would have made a statement, where as you can brush off the Natalie vote.
 
7. Kara: She needs the merge. I like Kara, hopefully this reset will work to her advantage. 7. Elizabeth: I get that you’re hungry and you aren’t sleeping, but you’ve got to keep it together better than that. Fortunately for you, the merge is a big reset button.
8. Alec: With the merge upon us Alec will find out whether or not his gamble of voting off Natalia was a good strategy or a bad one. 8. Angelina: Nobody needed this merge more than you did. One more immunity loss and you’d have been Rock Star’d right out of this game. Now’s the time to see if John’s still a good meat shield or if you should make other plans.
9. Elizabeth: Did she get the shelter bamboo fixed? Is this what will determine whether or not she can make a deep run in the game? 9. Gabby: The merge came at the right time for you, but let’s not forget that Nick still has you in his sights.
10. Nick: Probably safe but he was a target earlier in the game and the merge Tribal sometimes gets funky with who ends up going home 10. Christian: You’re good at this game. Socially, physically, mentally, you’re totally holding your own. But…people are starting to notice.
11. Angelina: She showed she had strategic chops last week but she did it very visibly. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if people start targeting her. 11. John: It doesn’t matter how nice and funny John is, a fourteen pack of abs makes a wonderful target after the merge. He’ll never be safe.
12. Alison: She spoke. 12. Alison: One of my favorite underrated moments in “Survivor” history is in “Game Changers” when Sandra is asked who she wants to target. She never says a name, she just has a conversation. Alison shouldn’t have said Dan’s name.
13. Mike: Just not a fan. If you have read this far you have enough time to exercise your right to vote. Don’t take your liberties and freedoms for granted. 13. Alec: A challenge stud, who can’t be trusted, and who’s going to be making big moves? You seem like a likely first merge boot.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

“Survivor” Castaway Lyrsa: “To Be So Close to the Merge and to Not Make It Was Devastating”

November 1, 2018

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Bradley Kleihege, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”

Gordon Holmes: So, what did you think was going to happen as you were heading into Tribal last night?
Lyrsa Torres: I was really hoping to stay, and I have more lives than a cat. In the Spanish tradition, cats have seven lives.
Holmes: Only seven? What a rip off.
Torres: (Laughs) Well, that was my seventh chance to save myself and I didn’t. I felt like it was going to be me, especially because when you’re headed into Tribal you can feel the mood. I could feel it and I knew it was probably going to be me. My mama says you have to have two bags in life, one for winning and one for losing, and that’s what I had there. I had a bag for winning and bag for losing. And I lost, so I grabbed my bag…and my jacket…
Holmes: (Laughs)
Torres: (Laughs) And I left. I’m very happy that I got to play this game this far. A lot of people were not expecting me to play that long. And it’s a win/win. No matter the outcome, I played something that I always watched on TV. It’s the game I love. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.

Holmes: Mike is in this position where he likes and trusts you, but if he votes out another Goliath, he’s going to be in trouble at the merge. How did you try to counter that?
Torres: I tried to never lie. I lied as little as I could. It’s a game about lying, but that’s not me. It was difficult trying to be dishonest. When you don’t do that in your real life, it’s hard to lie to a lot of people at the same time. I said to Mike, “Hey, if you stay with me…” They didn’t know about all my connections. I only told them about my connection with Elizabeth. That wasn’t true, I had connections with Gabby and Christian. So, I was pretty much looking forward to the merge because I was going to be with my people and we were going to be able to play. So, I said, “I only have a little bit on the other side, but we’re going to do our best to keep you safe. Even though you’re a Goliath, you’re like the David of the Goliaths.” But, I understand where he’s coming from. If he makes the merge and they lost Natalia and Natalie and Angelina, it’s going to put a big target on his back.

Holmes: It seemed like Angelina was trying to work with you at one point, but you didn’t seem interested. Why did you resist partnering with her?
Torres: To be honest, as a person, Angelina is so nice. She’s a very good person. But in this game, right when she got off the boat I knew she was there to play and win. It was game on from day one with her. She was playing super hard and you can’t trust a person like that in the game. So, there was something telling me you can’t trust her in the game. Also, I didn’t feel like she was trying to work with me. Maybe she was…but I didn’t feel like that after the whole incident with jacketgate. So, when Nick tells me they want to vote for me, how can I trust you when you want to do this? I didn’t get the vibe that she wanted to work with me, or I would’ve given her the jacket, the pants, the socks, everything.
Holmes: Were you concerned that if she got a jacket she’d become too powerful?
Torres: She’d become more powerful and I was going to be voted out next anyway.

Holmes: OK, word association time. Let’s start with Elizabeth.
Torres: Sister.
Holmes: Bi?
Torres: Fighter.
Holmes: Carl?
Torres: Fire, he loved the fire.
Holmes: Pat?
Torres: Teddy bear.
Holmes: Mike?
Torres: Funny.
Holmes: Nick?
Torres: Flip flopper. (Laughs)
Holmes: Gabby?
Torres: Cheese. We were talking about cheese all the time. We love cheese. I’d say, “Ooo…I want some spicy gouda.”
Holmes: You guys would get along with my wife.
Torres: (Laughs)
Holmes: She obsessed. Christian?
Torres: I love Christian. Beautiful eyes.
Holmes: Davie?
Torres: Hilarious.
Holmes: Jessica?
Torres: Sweet.
Holmes: Natalie?
Torres: Powerful.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Angelina.
Torres: Latina-to-Latina conversation…jacketgate.

Holmes: You were an early target in the David tribe. The knock seemed to be that you were a challenge liability, but we didn’t really see anything to support that.
Torres: Thank you! Thank you so much! You guys are watching the game. I think it was my mistake. I was the person that got into the boat and said, “I’m chunky, I’m tiny.” That’s (expletive deleted) I know. It’s not for me to tell them in this game. So, I think I’m the person who put that target on my back. But, I watched every episode twice and I never felt like I was super behind at something. We’d lose a challenge, even the challenge from last night, I was a little bit late. Gabby and I were head to head, but the way it was edited, she finished first. So, I don’t think my game ability was a liability. I put every single piece of me into the challenges, because I think people saw me as the worst physically. So, I needed to double my game, because if we lose it’s going to be me. And looking back, I’m thinking, “You’re stupid, you said you were chunky, you said you were tiny. These are things they can see, you don’t have to tell them this.” But, I like to be honest and I like to tell it like it is.

Holmes: It looks like we’re hitting the merge next week. What would’ve been your plan if you had made it there?
Torres: I was going to go back to Elizabeth. I really wanted to get to the merge. I set some goals; don’t get eliminated first. People don’t remember that person and I didn’t want to be that person. The second goal was make an alliance and the third goal was make the merge. And to be so close to the merge and to not make it was devastating. I wanted to be with Elizabeth and Gabby and Christian. Christian and I had the longest conversations every day about taking power over Slamtown. I was going to be the Secretary of State and try to create a plan to defeat John and take over Slamtown. I was really looking forward to seeing my peeps and actually play the game. What people didn’t know was that I was doing kickboxing four times a week. I was practicing a lot for balancing. I have really tiny feet, so those balancing challenges…I could have rocked that (expletive deleted) because my feet are perfect for that.

Holmes: What’s it going to be like sitting next to Natalie at the reunion?
Torres: Natalie and I are going to have so much fun. We’re going to dance together, it’s going to be amazing. I feel really bad. I have no beef with Natalie, I actually sent her a message apologizing for what I said.

Holmes: It must’ve been cool to have that purple hair and then receive a purple buff.
Torres: I know! After a while I didn’t know what was my hair and what was the buff.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes


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