Archive for February, 2010

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Randy Bailey

February 26, 2010

Randy Bailey might be one of the most misunderstood players in “Survivor” history. In Gabon he was portrayed as an angry, old hermit when he was actually forging lasting friendships with Corinne Kaplan, Charlie Herschel, Matty Whitmore, and others.

In last night’s episode, Randy was shown as a contributing member of his tribe. He attempted to feed his fellow Villains, offering the clam he’d found to everyone in the shelter. It was only when he was alone with the camera that he would show his true disdain for his tribe mates.

Fortunately for us, Randy also shows his disdain during exit interviews. I had a chance to chat with Randy the morning after he was voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” and get his no-holds-barred thoughts on Coach’s touching tribute, Boston Rob’s leadership style, and Russell’s machete-hiding antics.

Gordon Holmes: Randy…too soon.
Randy Bailey:
Tell me about it.
Gordon: So, tell me. What happened out there? Were you having trouble making inroads with the rest of the tribe?
Randy: I had some friends in our tribe from before we even started. Me, Tyson, and Coach…I knew almost everybody. But, it’s the oldest story known to man, (slang for female body parts deleted) rule.
Gordon: I’m not going to debate that policy.
Randy: I can live with it. I have to live with it.

Gordon: The Villains tribe has been having trouble getting things done around camp. It seems like Boston Rob is the only one working. Is that an accurate portrayal?
The people working; Boston Rob, Tyson, Coach, and myself put the shelters, and I said “shelters,” together on our own. The girls…Sandra and Jerri worked. The three girls Danielle, Parvati, and Courtney don’t do anything except work on their sun tan. Boston Rob was not working any harder than the other people that I mentioned. He was just frustrated because people…I mean…we’re not Amber. We’re not going to just say, “You’re right, King Rob.”

Gordon: How did the tribe feel about Russell? Were there any clues to the depths to which he would stoop?
No, we had not seen one second of season nineteen, so we had no clue what a dirt bag he was. We’d be working around camp and ten minutes later we’d be like, “Where’s Russell?” And Russell would be off making deals with girls or looking for idols in the same places where he found them in season nineteen. We figured out pretty quickly that he was up to something, but we didn’t know to what extent. If we’d watched fifteen minutes of the first episode of season nineteen you’d be talking to him right now instead of me.

Gordon: Was there any idea that he was responsible for the missing machete?
No, I just thought it was misplaced. The machete disappearing had nothing to do with me being voted off. Russell hiding the machete is just Russell’s way of getting more air time.
Gordon: Is that a line you wouldn’t cross, or is all fair in love and “Survivor?”
Randy: All’s fair in the game now. Eight, nine, ten years ago in Borneo, Australia, the first Africa that’s not the way the game was played. I’d never do something like that. It was frustrating when they accused me of it, but I told them several times I didn’t do it. I have friends left in the game and I don’t want them to starve to death. And they’d just kept bringing it up. Sandra and Danielle were like, “C’mon and tell us where it is, Randy.” And I’m just like, “Shut up.”
Gordon: (Laughs)
Randy: But the machete had nothing to do with me being voted out. It just gave Russell some more air time.

Gordon: Coach gave a very passionate speech on your behalf. Did you have any idea that Coach’s emotions ran so deep?
Yeah, watching that I hit the pause button. I was touched, it brought tears to my eyes. Coach and I have been good friends since and I didn’t doubt him for a second. I knew he was fighting for me, but I liked that scene.
Gordon: Do you know if Coach has decided what he’s going to do with the Oscar he’s sure to pick up for Best Passionate Speech?
Randy: I don’t know, I hope if there’s any money involved that he splits it with me. But that wasn’t acting, Coach is a loyal guy. And believe it or not, I think his stories are for the most part true. I’m a Coach fan.
Gordon: Did you get any poetry when you were out there?
Randy: (Laughs) No, he didn’t read us any poetry, just gave us bedtime stories. And that wasn’t Coach, that was Boston Rob saying, “Tell us another story.”
Gordon: Do you think Boston Rob was doing that so he could play Coach off as a fool later?
Randy: Probably not. I’ve got my issues with Boston Rob, but I think we were just killing time and Coach’s stories are entertaining and funny. And when you’re lying in a hut with a bunch of morons you’ll do anything to pass the time.

Gordon: Now I was warned beforehand that you were grossing people out earlier. And frankly I’m a little disappointed that this interview has been relatively free of gross-out moments.
I’ve been under the weather since my trip to the South Pacific. And, I went into some detail before. So, I’ve been told not to tell you about my massive diarrhea.
Gordon: Last time we spoke you went into detail about the “Diamond-hard rock pellets” that were covering your colon in Gabon.
Randy: This was the exact opposite of that.

Gordon: Did you and Sugar have a chance to patch things up at the Ponderosa?
There’s nothing to patch up. We’re just two different people. She was as cordial to me as I was to her. The last thing you want to do when you come out of a game like this is to continue it.

Gordon: Alright, let’s do some word association.
Oh no, you’re the word-association guy. I told myself for two weeks that I was going to prep for this, but I’m going in totally unprepared.
Gordon: I have faith in you. Let’s start with Sandra.
Randy: Floater.
Gordon: Courtney?
Randy: Caustic.
Gordon: James?
Randy: Simple.
Gordon: The bro-mance between Boston Rob and Jeff Probst?
Randy: Nauseating.
Gordon: Jerri?
Randy: Surprisingly fun.
Gordon: Coach?
Randy: Friend.
Gordon: Russell?
Randy: Midget.
Gordon: See, that wasn’t so bad.
Randy: You didn’t give me Rob! That was the one I practiced on.
Gordon: OK, Boston Rob?
Randy: (Expletive deleted)

Gordon: Last night after you were voted out you took the Villains buff off of your head and threw it into the fire. What motivated you to do that?
Actually, there were many meanings behind that. If you see the clip of us walking to tribal council I’m not even wearing a buff. I got in trouble for not wearing a buff, so they scrambled to find me one. And the producers lecture me, “Take care of these buffs cause we don’t have that many of them.”  So, it seemed like the thing to do to throw it in the fire. And then it has the symbolism to say, “To hell with this, to hell with this tribe, to hell with this game.”

More “Survivor” Fun: Check out my Episode Three Recap and the latest blogs from “Survivor: The Amazon” winner Jenna Morasca.

‘Survivor: H.V.V.’ Episode 3 Recap: The Villains Fight Dirty

February 25, 2010

Last Week: Boston Rob lost consciousness, James lost his cool, and Stephenie lost her shot at a million dollars.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The Hero Tribe
(wearing blue)

Rupert Boneham – 45
James Clement – 32
Colby Donaldson – 35
Cirie Fields – 39
Amanda Kimmel – 24
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Tom Westman – 45
Candice Woodcock – 27

The Villain Tribe
(wearing red)

Tyson Apostol – 30
Randy Bailey – 50
Sandra Diaz-Twine – 34
Danielle DiLorenzo – 28
Russell Hantz – 37
Jerri Manthey – 38
“Boston” Rob Mariano – 33
Parvati Shallow – 27
Benjamin “Coach” Wade – 38
Courtney Yates – 28

We start off with the Heroes after tribal council and Tom is trying to make peace with James. James manages to watch his language throughout the entire segment.

Afterwards, JT apologizes to Tom for going back on their alliance. There’s something about JT’s southern drawl that makes you want to believe him.

Meanwhile back at the Villains tribe, Parvati is discussing the logistics of cuddling up with Russell. Apparently her head rolls off of his chest. If there’s one thing Villains are known for, it’s cuddling.

Boston Rob then fills us in on the secret to “Survivor” politics. It all revolves around who’s sleeping next to each other in the shelter. Sound strategy coming from the guy who married his main alliance member.

Over at the Heroes tribe, Rupert is very concerned about the morale of the tribe. It’s almost like a series of toes where one of the toes has been broken off into an odd direction.

Fortunately, a chicken-catching exercise brings the tribe together. Unfortunately, nobody clotheslined themselves Galu style.

Back at the Villains camp, Coach lets Russell know that people are talking about his alliance with Parvati. Boston Rob joins the conversation and shares his concerns.

Also, now that they’re finally showing the Villains talking strategy, I’m going to bet you five “Survivor” points that the Villains lose immunity.

Note: “Survivor” points have no cash value.

Another Note: Fancast does not condone betting.

Russell lets Parvati know that the guys are talking about her. This worries Parvati because Russell is the only person she trusts.


Right now the cast of “Survivor: Samoa” is yelling at their television screens. Except for winner Natalie White, she’s relaxing on a pile of money.

That night, Coach breaks out one of his patented Coach Tall Tales. Russell takes this opportunity to bust out one of his patented moves; The Camp Sabotage. This time the Camp Sabotage takes the form of the old disappearing machete trick.

Tonight’s episode is like a “Survivor” greatest hits medley.

Russell then decides that the only thing Boston Rob would miss more than that machete is his Boston Red Sox hat.

I’m a big believer that Dre “Dreamz” Herd stabbing Yau-Man Chan in the back during “Survivor: Fiji” is the most despicable moment in “Survivor” history. If Russell loses Boston Rob’s hat I will change my vote.

The following morning, Randy finds a clam for the tribe. However, nobody seems interested. When Randy goes to open the clam he can’t find the machete…

Back at the Heroes camp, Candice is working on JT. She’s concerned that she was only let in on the Stephenie vote in the moments leading up to tribal council. This worries JT as he thinks she’s a smarter player than he had originally anticipated.

JT tells Cirie that Candice doesn’t trust her. Then Cirie tells Candice that someone told her that Candice doesn’t trust her. Then Candice asks everyone if they told Cirie that she didn’t trust her. Hopefully they get this worked out before study hall.

Immunity Challenge: The players will square off in a sumo-type match. However, instead of battling hand-to-hand they’ll be using a large pad. The first person to knock their opponent into the mud wins a point. First team to eight points wins. First player to get James to freak out earns my eternal respect.

I may have made up that last rule.

The winning team will also receive their team’s luxury items, coffee, sugar, and rice.

The Villains have to sit out two people, they choose Sandra and Courtney.

Tom vs. Russell: Tom makes quick work of the King of Samoa.

Parvati vs. Candice: Parvati gets off to strong start, but Candice eventually gets the best of her.

Rupert vs. Coach: Coach manages to get Rupert into the mud, but it doesn’t count because Coach took one of his hands off of the bag. Probst calls a do-over. The Pirate and the Dragon Slayer face off again, this time with Rupert winning quickly.

Current Score: Heroes 3, Villains 0.

Jerri vs. Cirie: Well, that was anticlimactic. Cirie bounces Jerri after two shots.

JT vs. Tyson: They brawl a bit, but JT gets the win. When it’s over Tyson gives JT a kiss on the cheek. Tocantins represent!

Current Score: Heroes 5: Villains 0.

Danielle vs. Amanda: And the beatdown continues as Amanda gets the best of Danielle.

Colby vs. Boston Rob: If I remember correctly, Boston Rob dominated Colby during the All-Star season. Fortunately for the Heroes that trend comes to an end as Colby wins a wild brawl.

Current Score: Heroes 7: Villains 0.

James vs. Randy: OK, seriously…who thought this pairing was a good idea? All it took was one shot and Randy was in the mud. The Heroes win immunity and the goodies.

And you owe me five “Survivor” points.

The Villains talk some smack afterward and an angry James responds with some profanity. Since it was a team effort I’m not quite sure who to reward my eternal respect to.

Back at camp, the Villains go to work cleaning their mud off. Tyson attributes the Heroes’ anger to “Steroid sandwiches.”

Randy worries that he’s on the chopping block. He thinks the other men are being won over by the ladies. Randy also shares his theory that they need to get rid of Parvati in case there’s a Micronesia alliance.

Coach lets us know that it will take more than Parvati in a skimpy bathing suit to win him over. It would take a majestic unicorn with the body of a fierce lion and the wings of a dove to lure the Dragon Slayer away from his goals.

I may have made that last part up too.

The tribe seems split between Randy and Parvati. Boston Rob wants Randy to go while Sandra will vote the way the tribe votes. Jerri is pushing for Parvati, going so far as to tell us how much she wants to punch Parvati in the face.

Well, that seems excessive.

Parvati lets us know that she thinks Jerri is a “Bitter, old cougar.”

Forget what I said earlier. Jerri, punch Parvati in the face.

Meanwhile Coach is disheartened that there aren’t any honorable people on his tribe. Did he get that whole “Villains” memo? He says he will do his best to keep Randy on the tribe.

That night at tribal council, Sandra tells J-Pro that when voting they consider who is a former winner, who has played the game three times, and who has friends on the other tribe.

Parvati must’ve loved that.

Sandra also names Boston Rob and Coach as the tribe’s leaders. Sandra then calls Coach out for not being around after he delegates work.

Coach gets his chi all up in a bunch and tells Sandra he resents her for that comment. He also says if she has an issue with him that she should put his name down.

Sandra seems frustrated. She lets Probst know that they haven’t had a machete all day.

Meanwhile, Russell giggles like a “Twilight” fan at Comic Con.

Voting Time: Parvati votes for Randy and that’s the only vote we’ll get to see…

Until now.   One vote for Randy, one vote for Rob, five votes for Randy, and the third person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” is…Randy.

Verdict: Boo…I love me some Randy. All the “Survivor” points in the world won’t cheer me up now.

Who’s Going to Win? I’m still going to stick by my Jerri pick. She seems to be blending in well with the Villains tribe. Danielle and JT are impressing me too.

Power Rankings Update: Natalie White vaulted the All-Star Team back into the game by picking Randy to go home and earning the full eighteen points. I had Randy in spot twelve. So, the current score is All-Stars 21, Team Gordon 27.

More “Survivor” Fun: Check out my exit interview with Stephenie LaGrossa and the latest batch on game insight from “Survivor: The Amazon” champion Jenna Morasca.

What Do You Think? How dangerous is the Micronesia alliance? Are you a Russell fan or a Boston Rob fan? What former players would you like to see try their shot at the Power Rankings?

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings – ‘Survivor: Samoa’ Champion Natalie White

February 23, 2010

She braved the violent storms of the Samoan wilderness, she overcame the dominant Galu alliance, and she became the only person to ever get the best of Russell Hantz.

And now she’s facing her toughest test.

The brave, beautiful, rat-assassinating champion of “Survivor: Samoa” Natalie White has accepted the “Survivor” Power Rankings challenge.

The Rules: Each week a member of our “Survivor” All-Star team and your beloved “Survivor” recapped Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of that Thursday’s episode will determine the number of points the two combatants will earn. For example, if Jerri is voted out this week, Fancast’s “Survivor” All-Star Team will receive 7 points and Gordon will receive 1 point. At the end of the season, the person (or team) with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Stephenie was verbally and vote-ally (not a word, I know) abused by “Hero” James Clement. This earned the “Survivor” All Star Team three points while Gordon scored an impressive fifteen points.

So, before our two combatants throw down, let’s check in with last season’s winner…

Gordon Holmes: Thanks for playing, Natalie. How have things been since Jeff Probst announced you as the winner of “Survivor: Samoa?”
Natalie White:
My life has not changed much since I won “Survivor.” I still live in the same place, eat and shop at the same places, and hang out with the same friends, (although I did make many new friends, which is awesome!) I have gotten the opportunity to do some public speaking, which I have really enjoyed.

Holmes: How are you enjoying “Heroes Vs. Villains” so far?
I have been a fan of many of these players for a long time, so I am very excited to see them all play again and against each other! Since I have gotten the opportunity to play the game, I look at it from a completely different perspective. I realize that there is so much more going on than what we actually see. When I saw how miserable everyone was in the rain, I could not help but feel their pain! It was as if I were out there all over again, freezing and feeling tortured by the relentless rain with no control. I am actually surprised that the Heroes have lost two challenges in a row and that they are already self-destructing. If they do not come together, they may be making more trips to tribal council sooner rather than later.

Natalie White’s Picks
All-Star Team’s Current Score: 3

bostonrob #1 Boston Rob: I am ranking Boston Rob in the number 1 position for several reasons. First, the entire tribe recognizes how strong he is in challenges and they realize they need him to win. Additionally, he is one of the best strategic players of all time and contributes more to camp life than anyone else.
jt #2 JT: Not only is he great at challenges, but he is in the core alliance on his tribe (James, Amanda, Rupert) and playing much more aggressively. I do not see him going anywhere for awhile.
russell(2) #3 Russell: I think Russ has a huge advantage…no one has seen his gameplay. He has already started making alliances with Parvati and Danielle, and I can see Courtney voting with them. Additionally, Russell has been far less aggressive this season and that is working for him so far. Glad to see he can let Boston Rob be in control, if they could work together they could go all the way to the end.
parvati #4 Parvati: She made a deal with the devil (Russell), which she wants on her side. She is a great social player, but has a strategic side as well. Between her social game and Russell’s strategic game, they could be dangerous if they stick together.
amanda #5 Amanda: She is in the primary alliance (JT, Rupert, James) on her tribe, so I think she will probably make it to the merge and she seems to be doing pretty good in the challenges.
danielle #6 Danielle: She seems pretty scrappy in challenges even though she is small. Not only is she possibly in with Russell, but she also seems to be in with the girls (Parvati and Courtney) from the looks of it.
jerri #7 Jerri: She was not shown a ton, but I think she is tough and pretty good in challenges. I cannot even begin to imagine how scary it must have been to walk up on Boston Rob when he was passed out!
rupert #8 Rupert: He is in the main alliance (JT, Amanda, James), which is a good place to be if they can stay together.
sandra #9 Sandra: I have not gotten to see enough of Sandra, but I think she can hold her own and she knows the importance of being in the majority.
coach #10 Coach: He really impressed me during the first challenge against Colby…great job! I think he is there to play.
candice #11 Candice: She does well in challenges, seems to assess the situation and her options well, which could help her in the future.
#12 James: Wow, after last episode, I am a little concerned for James. That negative attitude and yelling at people can get you voted out really quick. However, James has two things working for him: his physical strength and he is in the main alliance with JT, Rupert, and Amanda.
courtney #13 Courtney: I really like Courtney and I think she is hilarious! The only reason I am ranking her this low is because she is so tiny and has not participated in the last two challenges. I am afraid that if the Villians start losing and want to keep the stronger players, then they may want to vote her off.
cirie #14 Cirie: I am concerned that she is on the bottom of the primary alliance (JT, Rupert, Amanda, James) with Candice and will be viewed as being the weakest in challenges as well as a strategic threat.
tyson #15 Tyson: I am thinking he is probably in pretty good with Coach since they were on the same season, but not sure if he has any other alliances.
colby #16 Colby: Things are not looking very good for Colby at this point…the lines have been drawn and he is on the outs. I would like to give him a thumbs up for speaking up for Stephenie, although it was probably not the smartest.
tom #17 Tom: Like Colby, I am afraid that he put his head on the chopping block even more by speaking up for Stephenie and saying that the lines have been drawn. It was great to see him defending her, but she was more than likely going home, so for his sake in the game, he would have been better off to keep his mouth shut. If he does not do something quick, he could be gone.
randy #18 Randy: He is so entertaining to watch; he will say all those things that others are thinking, but won’t say. I think the first time the Villians lose, they will probably send Randy home…they will view him as the weakest and will want to try to keep the tribe as strong as possible.

Gordon Holmes’s Picks
Gordon’s Current Score: 15

jerri #1 Jerri: Is Jerri the mom of the Villains tribe? Could she be running an angle similar to the one Tina Wesson performed so well in Australia? I wouldn’t be shocked to see Man Eater Manthey become the Man Eater Millionaire.
coach #2 Coach: We still don’t have a good idea of what’s going on alliance-wise over at the Villains tribe, but I could see a Coach/Jerri/Tyson alliance causing some trouble. That is, unless Tyson’s still upset over that “Assistant Coach” nickname from Tocantins.
jt #3 JT: JT’s looking really good so far. There’s all kinds of tension in the Heroes camp, but he’s far away from it.
tyson #4 Tyson: Outside of his dig at Colby, have we heard a word from Tyson? Can I get a DVD of Tyson’s unaired confessionals when this is done? I’m betting he’s safe for a while.
sandra #5 Sandra: Is it possible for a former winner to win an all-star season? Probably not. But Sandra might have the best shot. She’s not seen as a threat. If she can get to the merge she could cruise.
#6 James: Whew…what a difference a week makes. If James was looking to make us forget about him being voted out with two immunity idols, mission accomplished. Now we’ll remember him as the guy who chewed out a woman half his size.
danielle #7 Danielle: As much as it pains me to say it, this non all star could be in this for the long run. She’s currently residing under the radar in the strongest tribe which is a fantastic place to be.
russell(2) #8 Russell: Sure, people don’t know that Russell is pure evil, but could it really take them that long to figure it out? They brought him back immediately and put him on a tribe labeled “Villains.” The only surprise he has for them is his ability to discover immunity idols. That is if there are any this season…
bostonrob #9 Boston Rob: After passing out, Boston Rob let us know there’d be no more Mr. Nice Guy and that it was time to whip the Villains into shape. That’s nice, but that also goes against Survivor 101’s “Don’t be a leader” rule.
colby #10 Colby: Dumping Colby over the Stephenie/James incident would be team suicide from a challenge standpoint. I think Colby’s safe for the time being.
rupert #11 Rupert: Rupert is really letting his toe get the best of him. From the sound of it all he’s doing is complaining and messing up their flint. He’d better pull it together or he’ll be the most popular player at Ponderosa.
randy #12 Randy: I stand by my belief that Randy is well liked over in the Villains tribe. He’s smart enough to read a situation and know when to keep his mouth shut.
parvati #13 Parvati: There was a lot of talk headed into this season about eliminating the Micronesia players. Being placed on the Villains tribe away from Amanda, James, and Cirie may have been the best thing to happen to Parvati.
candice #14 Candice: Candice is on the lower half of a super shaky alliance. If I were her I’d be keeping my options very open.
amanda #15 Amanda: James’s outbursts aren’t good for him, but they’re even worse for Amanda. They need him around for strength in challenges, but if they’re looking to send him a message it will be by booting Amanda.
tom #16 Tom: Would the Heroes dare vote off Tom when they’re in the midst of an immunity challenge losing streak? I doubt it, but stranger things have happened and he and James are not BFFs.
cirie #17 Cirie: Cirie’s “Anybody but me” strategy may not be noble, but it works for her. She’s someone who could hit the merge and make a strong run. However, she needs to get there first. The Heroes could still view her as a challenge liability.
courtney #18 Courtney: Courtney was annoyed that the Villains tribe don’t have a stable of studs like the Heroes do. But, at least they can figure out a puzzle. If the Villains lose and don’t go into take-out-the-threats mode immediately, Courtney is in trouble.

More “Survivor” Fun: Check out our exit interview with Stephenie LaGrossa and exclusive commentary from “Survivor: The Amazon” winner Jenna Morasca.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Stephenie LaGrossa

February 19, 2010

Note to “Survivor” casting: One of the guys on your Villains tribe brushed off a bout of Samoan flu to lead his tribe to victory while one of the guys on your Heroes tribe yelled at a woman half his size.

Unfortunately for “Survivor” favorite Stephenie LaGrossa, she was that woman. And to add insult to her dislocated shoulder injury, her tribe mates thought that James Clement’s angry rants and curses weren’t enough of a reason to send him packing. So instead she gets to spend her Friday morning talking to me about why “Survivor” Heroes Rupert and James aren’t as nice as they seem, which player she thinks is “Hot,” and her picks for the 2010 World Series.

Gordon Holmes: I’m going to try something a little different than you might be used to. I’m not going to yell at you, or curse at you, and I actually want to hear what you have to say.

Stephenie LaGrossa: OK?
Gordon: Because I heard there was a situation recently where that happened to you.
Stephenie: Oh yeah, you’re right! He might have been a very large, muscular man.
Gordon: So tell me, this large, muscular man. He seemed to lose it a bit. Was that a shock to you? Because he always struck me as very mild mannered.
Stephenie: You know what? I loved James the gravedigger. He was a fan favorite at one point and I loved to watch him. He was a gentle giant, a really nice guy. And then I meet him and he’s just not what he’s cracked up to be. It was really disappointing. And that large breakdown that we saw after we lost the challenge, he mainly took it out on me, but he was screaming at everyone.

Gordon: Do you think James has issues with strong women?
A lot of people have been saying that. He likes a girl like Amanda who depends on him, sort of. And she plays that up, “I need you, you’re a big strong man.” Where I’m an independent woman.

Gordon: What did it mean to you when Colby and Tom had your back?
It was amazing, I didn’t expect that. We’re already down in the numbers. We’re already targeted, and then to put themselves on the line even further. These guys truly are heroes, and they’re honorable, and they’re gentlemen, and they’re respectful. And them standing up for me and putting their necks on the line for me, I can’t even explain what that means. It was unbelievable.
Gordon: It was like something out of an action film where Colby had your back, and Tom stepped in and said, “Make that three!”
Stephenie: Even if you want to support someone you keep your mouth shut because you don’t want to be the next one on the chopping block. These are guys that are like “Yeah, vote me out. I’ll do my best, I’m not quitting.” But to play the game with a bunch of (expletive deleted), is it worth it?

Gordon: After your torch was snuffed, you and James had one last exchange where you told James he should watch his language and he said “Keep your mouth shut.” Did you expect that reaction?
My game was over, so I was getting my last word in regardless. You’re going to lose again, try not to flip out on your team mates cause that’s not going to help. And it just goes to show what kind of person James is. Because first of all, who talks to a woman like that? And even if you do, you do it the privacy of your own home. Not that that’s OK, but don’t do it on national television. It just proves my point of what a beast and bully he truly is. Russell is the most evil person out there, but even when Rob passed out he was concerned.

Gordon: How’s your shoulder doing?
The shoulder is doing well. My shoulder was a chronic injury that I’ve had since I was young. I definitely need surgery, but I’m trying not to have surgery because I’m getting married and I don’t want to have a scar.
Gordon: I’m sure that would look lovely with your dress.
Stephenie: (Laughs) I know, it would just match perfect.

Gordon: It seemed like there was some tension between you and Rupert. And from what we’ve seen Rupert isn’t the jovial giant we’ve come to know. What’s going on there?
On day one we get out there and Rupert said, “I’m the best Survivor, and I camp for a living, and we go on vacation and we don’t go to hotels, we go to campgrounds.” Which is great, right? But then we get out there and he’s taking 45 minutes trying to make a fire. He’s shaving all of our magnesium off of our flint and we’re all looking at each other. And nobody would say anything because when you’d say something he’d get so offended. He was not the Rupert that people saw before. People were getting very annoyed by him.

Gordon: OK, word association time. Let’s start with Parvati.
Gordon: Tom?
Stephenie: Hero.
Gordon: Colby?
Stephenie: Hot. (Laughs)
Gordon: Rupert?
Stephenie: Annoying.
Gordon: Cirie?
Stephenie: Intelligent.
Gordon: Russell?
Stephenie: Conniving.
Gordon: Amanda?
Stephenie: Dependent.
Gordon: James?
Stephenie: Bully.

Fun Fact:
Stephenie is engaged to Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick and Heidi Strobel Hamels from “Survivor: The Amazon” is married to Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels.

Gordon: Now, I’m a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan who lives in Philadelphia. All of my friends have been trying to get me to root for the Phillies, but I’m a St. Louis boy. The argument they always use is, “C’mon, there are more ‘Survivor’ wives on the Phillies.”
Stephenie: (Laughs) You’re from Philly? I have a restaurant in Philly.
Gordon: Oh really?
Stephenie: It’s called Gigi.
Gordon: Is there a Web site?
Stephenie: Yeah, It’s in Old City, it’s actually where I met Kyle.
Gordon: Now if I go there do I get the “Survivor” discount?
Stephenie: Sure!
Gordon: Now, my question was, is it going to stay just you and Heidi, or are you going to try to set up the rest of the Phillies with former contestants like Parvati and Amanda?
Stephenie: No, well Parvati has asked me, “Doesn’t Kyle have any single friends?” But I think there’s like one guy on the team that isn’t married and he’s such a nice guy I wouldn’t set him up with either of them.
Gordon: Well, I hope the Phillies do well this season, until they face the Cardinals in the NLCS, and then I hope they lose.
Stephenie: (Laughs) We’re getting another World Series, get ready.

‘Survivor: H.V.V.’ Episode 2 Recap: Boston Rob Passes Out!

February 18, 2010

Last Week: Stephenie’s shoulder was separated, Rupert’s toe was twisted, the Dragon Slayer became the Dragon Player, and the show got a little bit healthier as it is now 100% Sugar free…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes…

The Hero Tribe (wearing blue)

Rupert Boneham – 45
James Clement – 32
Colby Donaldson – 35
Cirie Fields – 39
Amanda Kimmel – 24
Stephenie LaGrossa – 29
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Tom Westman – 45
Candice Woodcock – 27

The Villain Tribe
(wearing red)

Tyson Apostol – 30
Randy Bailey – 50
Sandra Diaz-Twine – 34
Danielle DiLorenzo – 28
Russell Hantz – 37
Jerri Manthey – 38
“Boston” Rob Mariano – 33
Parvati Shallow – 27
Benjamin “Coach” Wade – 38
Courtney Yates – 28

We start off back at the Villains camp and Boston Rob is annoyed. Rain is pouring down, everybody is complaining, and nobody is helping him start a fire. It’s almost like he’s part of a tribe specifically made up of people with negative traits.

The next morning the villainous ones get to work crafting a new shelter. Randy lets us know that this is the fourth design for the shelter, and each new iteration has been worse than the one before it. Kind of like the Baldwin brothers.

Courtney fills us in on how annoyed Boston Rob is getting with the other members of the tribe who clearly don’t know what they’re doing. She hopes Boston Rob doesn’t drop dead or they’ll be in big trouble. I guess she hasn’t seen this week’s preview.

Over at the Heroes tribe everything is all unicorns and cupcakes. They are working together like a well-oiled machine.

Well, not everything is perfect. Rupert and Stephenie are having a fight over what all Survivors fight over – food. Forty years from now when I’m recapping “Survivor: Jupiter” you can bet they’ll be feuding over space coconuts.

Back at the Villains camp, Boston Rob is still peeved with how the construction of their new Death Star is going. On top of that he’s feeling sick and dizzy.

Meanwhile the villainous girls are complaining because the Heroes tribe got all the studs and the Villain tribe got Randy.  I’d say “Poor Randy,” but he doesn’t care, so why should I?

Boston Rob decides to take a break and take a walk. While he’s away he apparently passes out. I couldn’t really tell what happened because the cameras didn’t catch it.

Jerri discovers him and is understandably freaked out. He weakly tells her to get help and now I’m understandably freaked out.

The medical staff and Jeff Probst are called in. This is getting a little scary as Rob is even having trouble drinking water. It’s very reminiscent of what happened to Russell Swan last season.

Fortunately, they claim he looks worse than he actually is. He seems to be an emotional wreck. I’m not sure if he’s talking about how rough it is being out there or how hard it is being away from his new baby.

Finally, the real Boston Rob breaks through and he says he’s going to win the game. Yes! Boston Rob at his best is a good time.

Immunity Challenge: Two members of each tribe will race to roll a large tribe-colored crate across the field. When they’re done two more members of their team will go to retrieve another crate. Once all of the crates are at one end, they’ll stack them and spell their tribe’s name.

The first tribe to complete their puzzle wins immunity as well as a tarp and other camp goodies.

J-Pro lets us know that this challenge was used in Tocantins, so JT, Coach, and Tyson have some experience with it. To even the teams Courtney and Randy will sit out for the bad guys while Rupert will sit for the do-gooders. Rupert is displeased with this decision.

Quick Aside: Rupert is getting a terrible edit. All they show him doing is complaining. What’re they doing to America’s favorite “Survivor?”

The first pairings feature Danielle and Boston Rob against Cirie and JT. Cirie and JT utilize JT’s Tocantins experience to get off to a good lead. The Heroes maintain their lead throughout the cube rolling portion.

And in the “Ouch” portion of the challenge, Parvati catches a corner of a cube to the face courtesy of Russell.  Stephenie’s shoulder must’ve loved that.

During the puzzle portion the Villains once again make up a ton of time as the Heroes are getting very frustrated. At one point James yells at Stephenie.  Her shoulder probably didn’t love that.

Eventually, on the strength of Boston Rob and Russell’s backs, the Villains complete their puzzle and take their second straight immunity challenge.

When it’s over, James continues yelling at his teammates in a very unheroic fashion. Even going so far as to refer to Stephenie as his team’s “Kryptonite.” The Legion of Doom wearing the red buffs must’ve loved watching that.

Back at the Heroes camp, JT is annoyed because the plan going into the challenge was for JT to take charge of the puzzle and nobody was listening.

During a team meeting, James again lets everyone know that they aren’t working well together. He may have used some potty mouth to do this.

Tom lets us know that he doesn’t appreciate the way James is talking to the team. But James is built like a WWE action figure so they may need him for challenges.

Meanwhile, the Villains are enjoying their tarp. But true to “Survivor” form, nobody is happy with Boston Rob trying to be the leader. Not one to let anyone steal his thunder, Russell runs out and catches one of Shambo’s chickens.

Politicking around the Heroes camp involves James telling everyone that Stephenie should go home because her Ulong tribe didn’t win a single immunity challenge in Palau. That’s like blaming Julia Roberts for “Valentine’s Day” being terrible.

JT does us all a favor by breaking down how the alliances are shaping up thus far. He makes it sound like Cirie and Candice are on Team JT. While other factions include James, Amanda, and Rupert on one side and Colby, Tom, and Stephenie on the other.

Tom hatches a plan to let Cirie and Candice think they’re next on the chopping block after Stephenie.


That night at tribal council, James and Stephenie get into it almost immediately. James again brings up what happened to Stephenie’s tribe in Palau. He’s like a lawyer bringing up precedent.

As James continues to lay into Stephenie, both Colby and Tom come to her defense in heroic fashion. They don’t think Stephenie should be singled out. James sarcastically says he was referring to “Y’all.”

Amanda is very concerned that her past affiliations with the Micronesia crew could land her in hot water.

Voting Time: Stephenie votes for Amanda, Amanda votes for Stephenie, and the rest will have to wait.

Fortunately this is a written recap, so you only have to wait one sentence. One vote for Stephenie, one vote for Amanda, one vote for Stephenie, one vote for Amanda, one vote for Stephenie, one vote for Amanda, one vote for Stephenie, and the second person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” is…Stephenie.

Well, thanks for reading my “Survivor” recap I hope…

WAIT! As Stephenie is having her torch snuffed she says, “Next time Y’ALL lose a challenge, a little less cursing off your tribe might help.”

James responds with, “Keep your mouth shut.”

Nice of James to give Tom and Colby something to work with when they get back to camp.

Verdict: This season is off to a super hot start. Villain Boston Rob is looking like a million bucks while Hero favorites James and Rupert are looking like jerks.

Who’s Going to Win? We have no idea what’s going on alliance-wise over at the Villain camp, but they’re looking great thus far. So, shot in the dark…I’m feeling good about Jerri.

Power Rankings Update: I jumped out to a huge lead over our “Survivor” All Star team by scoring fifteen points while Tina Wesson netted her team only three points. One champion down, another coming next week as I go toe-to-toe with “Survivor: Samoa” winner Natalie White. Be sure to check back Tuesday for our picks.

More “Survivor” Fun: Check out Former Players Share Their Oddest Memories and special analysis from former champion Jenna Morasca.

What Do You Think? Is James on the wrong tribe? How long can Boston Rob last surrounded by evil villains? Who’s your pick to win?

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings – ‘Survivor: Australia’ Champion Tina Wesson

February 16, 2010

An 0-and-2 record in the “Survivor” Power Rankings Challenge isn’t something to brag about. But, whenever I start to feel too down about it, I’m reminded of a quote from a great American…

“Face your fear. You have a fear of heights? You go to the top of the building. You’re afraid of bugs? Get a bug.” – Joey Tribbiani, “Friends”

So here I am facing my fears. Instead of facing off against a single former “Survivor” contestant for this season’s Power Rankings Challenge I’m facing an entire All Star team full of them.

Who’s first? None other than the winner of “Survivor: The Australian Outback,” the lovely and gutsy Tina Wesson.

The Rules: Each week a member of our “Survivor” All Star team and your beloved “Survivor” recapped Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of that Thursday’s episode will determine the number of points the two combatants will earn. For example, if Stephenie is voted out this week, Fancast’s “Survivor” All Star Team will receive 3 points and Gordon will receive 15 points. At the end of the season, the person (or team) with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

But before we get into the battle, let’s check in with my brave opponent…

Gordon Holmes: Tina, you’re the first female champion, you’re the first champion who could be considered a hero. Why weren’t you asked to be on the Heroes team?
Tina Wesson:
I must admit I was heartbroken that CBS put Amanda, Sugar, and Candice on the show as heroes before me (though I never had a vote cast against me on my season).  I realize I don’t make for as good T.V. with body or personality as those three.  I do however have the strongest will and no one but Colby knows how deep my competitive nature goes. But unless you’re eye candy or a good character for T.V. you get stuck at home watching pretty people play a game while you mourn their adventure!  But no sour grapes, I had an amazing time on my two times up at bat and am thankful for the chance to play and for the challenge, and for the adventure.

Holmes: What’d you think of the premiere?
Not a shocker that Sugar was the first to go.  Sweet girl but on this tribe of “heroes” where Stephanie is getting her shoulder re-located, there is no room for weakness.  Tears on day three won’t fly.  You are in battle, girl. Come on! This is “Survivor” HEROES not kindergarten!

Tina Wesson’s Picks:

Rank Last Week Contestant Comment
1 james James: Congrads ole’ boy.  You are crazy strong so that will keep you safe the entire first part of the game. (A huge advantage most players don’t have). You are personable so people like you, that helps in the end. You have a strong work ethic and don’t tick people off.  You would have a hard time winning against Tom or JT but since they won’t make it to the end due to their prior wins, I believe all things considered you will take it all.
2 russell(2) Russell: Once again always the bridesmaid never the bride.  Russell thinks he is the greatest player ever, but he totally neglects the most important aspect of the game, human relationship.  You CANNOT win if you are out there hoo dooing everyone on the island.  Dummy!  He didn’t learn it the first time (even with Jeff trying to tell him why he lost) and until he does, his game play will take him far but NEVER as soul Survivor.
3 stephenie Stephenie: I think in the end James and J.T will ax her because she doesn’t have another strong female to align with.
4 jerri Jerri: I think she will form the right alliances and go far but she can’t beat Russell.
5 coach Coach: Coach will go before Jerri because she will sell him out.  Remember, she isn’t called “Man Eater Manthey” for nothing.
6 colby Colby: Though it BREAKS my heart, he can’t win.  Because he is too nice!  If the villains have any numbers they KNOW they can’t win against someone as HEROIC as Colby.  He is unbeatable against any villain!  Don’t think they don’t know that!
7 jt J.T: For the same reason Tom has to go, so do you.  You could have won if you hadn’t already.
8 tom Tom: The only reason why you won’t win is because you already have.  A previous winner cannot win “Survivor” when played with non-winners.  I’ve seen how much non-winners don’t want previous winners to win.
9 sandra Sandra: GREAT player, love the woman power, but Coach, Jerri, and Russell won’t let you stick around.
10 bostonrob Boston Rob: Rob or Sandra?  I’ll go with Rob because Sandra will outwit you!
11 tyson Tyson: Maybe you and Parvati could hook up and just lust yourselves into oblivion since you both think you’re so hot!!!
12 parvati Parvati: Regretfully she’ll last longer than I want.   I’d rather watch Sandra and her sneaky ways go further in the game than a girl selling sex to advance.  I’d like to think we have evolved a little since those days.  She reminds me we have a long way to go still!
13 rupert Rupert: Rupert will last a while as long as he is producing.  But he isn’t aggressive enough with his “game” to win.  He just waits on people to come to him to form alliances (I found that out on “All-Stars”).  You aren’t aggressive enough and that is going to cost you.
14 randy Randy: He doesn’t have a chance because he simply doesn’t know how to relate to people. A huge part of “Survivor” is about your ability to be relational.  That is why Russell will NEVER win “Survivor!”
15 candice Candice: She is up a creek because she formed an alliance with the wrong people.  She will be left without the numbers on her side.
16 danielle Danielle: She’ll go pretty early.   I didn’t even remember who she was.  How can someone I can’t remember have a chance with Villians like Russell, Jerri, and Rob?
17 cirie Cirie: She goes if the Heroes lose because she has a target on her back.  People know she will cut your throat and don’t trust her.  She won’t last long because she plays at all cost.
18 amanda Amanda: Amanda will go early because she formed alliances with the wrong people.
19 courtney Courtney: She’s next to go if Villains lose.  There is no room for 1/2 pints in the beginning of the game.  It is all about strength early on!  If you can’t advance as a tribe you can’t advance as individuals and she has nothing to offer to help her “team” advance.

Gordon Holmes’s Picks:

Rank Last Week Contestant Comment
1 james James: Right now I’m feeling James is the safest guy in Samoa. The only real risk he has right now is if some people are afraid of a Micronesia alliance. But, if that’s the case, Cirie or Amanda will go well before he does.
2 coach Coach: Coach really proved his worth last week when he was able to utilize his Dragon Slayer chi to get the best of Colby. He might not be everybody’s favorite person, but right now he’s too useful to send home.
3 jerri Jerri: I think Jerri’s in a great position in this game. Everyone knows her from the ratings monster Australian season, but nobody is particularly afraid of her game play. However, if she becomes the Slayer’s Sweetheart all bets are off.
4 tom Tom: Tom and the other winners are always in trouble when they come back. I’m sure he won’t have a chance to get too far into this game. But, they’ll want to keep the tribe strong for challenges, so he’ll be safe for a while.
5 jt JT: If you remember from Tocantins, JT is a challenge monster. He’ll be safe for a while, but unless there’s some kind of millionaire alliance I can’t imagine a former winner winning again.
6 sandra Sandra: After watching the premiere, I’m starting to think that Sandra is an extremely underrated winner. Did you see her buddying up to Boston Rob? She could make a run in this thing.
7 colby Colby: Colby is in the same boat with Jerri. He’s a “Survivor” legend, but he was marginalized during “All Stars.” This gives him more room to maneuver. Being slain by Coach may have been the best thing that ever happened to him.
8 tyson Tyson: Tyson is young, strong, good at challenges, and he knows when to keep his mouth shut. He’ll be safe for a while. Unless he busts out the Tocantins loin cloth, then he may be in trouble.
9 danielle Danielle: I still don’t think Danielle deserves a spot on an all-star season, but in her favor, the last person to win an all-star season didn’t belong there either. Sorry, Amber.
10 parvati Parvati: Some people like to think that Parvati’s dumb, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. She doesn’t know anything about Randy, but she can read him well enough to know that she doesn’t want to cross him.
11 randy Randy: People hate Randy for what he says during his confessionals, but the fact is he must be a likable guy. The former Onion Alliance in Gabon was crazy about him. I expect him to play under the radar for a while and adopt an “Anyone but me” strategy.
12 russell(2) Russell: I don’t know if Russell’s bullying tactics are going to fly with people who aren’t excited just to be on “Survivor.” If he’s too aggressive and makes too much noise he could find himself out early.
13 candice Candice: In a tribe that seems to be digging for swing votes, Candice may be the most likely candidate. She has no prior show-oriented affiliation with any other players, so she can pick and choose her alliances.
14 bostonrob Boston Rob: Boston Rob seems very off this season. I think he’s a tremendous player, but is his heart in the game? That, and next week’s preview points to him having a serious medical situation. I hope everything turns out alright.
15 stephenie Stephenie: She might have a target on her back for the sole reason that she was in Palau with Tom. If that’s the case, she’d better hope that Tom, JT, and Colby argue the case that she’s tough as nails and great in challenges.
16 rupert Rupert: I think Rupert is in big trouble. He doesn’t seem like himself ever since he broke his toe. He’s down on himself, he couldn’t start the fire. Maybe he senses that he’s not long for this game?
17 amanda Amanda: There are four players this season that were on “Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites” together; Amanda, Cirie, James, and Parvati. You can rest assured the other players know this and want to split them up as soon as possible.
18 cirie Cirie: See Amanda.
19 courtney Courtney: I’m putting Courtney at the bottom of this list for one reason: I don’t think she’ll be willing to play along when Russell swings over and gives her his “I want to go to the final two with you” speech. That always spells trouble.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Jessica ‘Sugar’ Kiper

February 12, 2010

I don’t think there’s an official “Survivor” challenge rule book. But if there were, you’d think they’d include something about tearing your opponent’s clothes off. After all, you don’t see Joe Mauer trying to pants Derek Jeter when he’s up at the plate.

That’s why it was good to see Jessica “Sugar” Kiper not let a minor inconvenience like having her top removed by villain Sandra Diaz-Twine stop her from scoring during the first reward challenge of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.”

Unfortunately for Sugar, showing her competitive fire (as well as a few other things) wasn’t enough to convince her tribe to keep her in the game. I had a chance to chat with Sugar the following morning to find out her thoughts on her revealing moment, what really went on with her and Colby, and why she was glad to see her old rival Randy on the Villains team.

Gordon Holmes: You’re obviously an accomplished actress. We’ve seen you on “Gilmore Girls” and in feature films. You also work as a pin-up model and a singer. Did you ever think you’d be able to add “Topless Wrestler” to your resume?
Jessica “Sugar” Kiper:
(Laughs) That’s funny. I guess it feels pretty good because it was one of my shining moments last night.
Gordon: Now, don’t you think that should be grounds for a disqualification?
Sugar: No, because she’s a villain and she gets to do whatever she wants. It should be grounds for her to stay, I think.
Gordon: I’m just glad she did it to a contestant with an appealing physique.
Sugar: Like if she’d undone Cirie’s bra, that wouldn’t have been cool with you?
Gordon: I’m not going to name names, but you’re more than welcome to. And I also hope that calling your physique “appealing” is the least romantic way someone has ever described you.
Sugar: Are we being romantic?
Gordon: I’ve had “Survivor” interviews that have gone in much worse directions.

Gordon: There was some talk in the pre-game interviews about you forming an alliance with JT, but that never seemed to come to fruition.  What happened there?
Who is JT?
Gordon: He won “Survivor: Tocantins,” I believe they called it “The Brazilian Highlands.”
Sugar: No idea what you’re talking about. The southern boy? No recollection of what you’re talking about.
Gordon: OK, fair enough. On the other hand it did look like you were trying to form an alliance with Colby.
Sugar: That was fancy editing. It was me grasping at straws. That’s alright, I guess I’m like Jerri #2 with Colby.
Gordon: So that was you scrambling?  Did you know your head was on the chopping block?
Sugar: Dude, I walked into this knowing I was D.O.A. My head was on the chopping block since I got on the airplane to go there.
Gordon: Do you think it earned you any points by showing your guts in the reward challenge?
Sugar: I thought that by rolling out of my bra that Sandra was holding onto and grabbing the bag and making the point that I would prove to my teammates that I was really trying harder in challenges. But I guess it did not help me.

Gordon: What was you initial response when you found out your old buddy Randy Bailey was going to be in the game?
Thank God it’s not Corrine (Kaplan).
Gordon: (Laughs) Did you and Corinne ever make peace?
Sugar: She tried to crash my birthday party a year ago and I went ballistic. I don’t think I’ve seen her since then. It’s cat scratch fever.
Gordon: You’d think something as innocent as what she said at tribal council would just be water under the bridge.

Editor’s Note: Corinne had some not-so-nice things to say about how Sugar reacted to her father’s passing during the “Survivor: Gabon” finale.

Gordon: What, if anything, did the players know about Russell Hantz?
Nothing, we knew nothing about Russell besides the fact that he did something so brazen or whatever that he was back already after two weeks. We also knew that he might be completely insane because he had just played the game. And when they put him on the Villains side, that should have put a little red flag up for those guys.

Gordon: OK, word association time. Let’s start with Coach.
Dragon slayer.
Gordon: Randy?
Sugar: Curmudgeon. I almost said “Sweet.”
Gordon: There are no wrong answers here, Sugar.
Sugar: He’s a sweet, old curmudgeon.
Gordon: JT?
Sugar: (Expletive Deleted)
Gordon: Oof. Tom?
Sugar: Aww…nice boy. I like him.
Gordon: Rupert?
Sugar: Argh!
Gordon: The crunching noise made by Stephenie’s dislocated shoulder?
Sugar: Oooo…
Gordon: Now was that a real noise or did editing put that in?
Sugar: I don’t know. I actually was there, but it was so insane at the time.
CBS Representative: I heard it, I was there.
Sugar: She’s a tough girl for going back in there.
Gordon: OK, let’s get back into this. Candice?
Sugar: Who?
Gordon: Candice.
Sugar: I know. Who?
Gordon: Well played.

Gordon: Do you learn anything about yourself or the game with such a short stay or do you feel like that was just the hand you were dealt.
No, I learned these people are way tougher than me. As much as I didn’t want to go home, there was a part of me that was thinking, “What the hell am I doing here?!”

‘Survivor: H.V.V.’ Episode 1 Recap: Now Featuring Topless Wrestling

February 11, 2010

Return, Revenge, Redemption…RECAP!

Before we get into this, I’d like to present a special poem that the Dragon Slayer himself shared with me a few weeks ago. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Benjamin “Coach” Wade.

“’Survivor.’ Going on a second time is like having sex for the first time. It’s always sweet, it’s always deep, it’s always beautiful, you always leave so rich and full. But, the second time things are old hat, you step up to the plate and hit it out of the park with a bat. The Dragon Slayer is back with a force, he may be more kingly but I guarantee you this, things are not always what they seem.”

Sorry, I’m only going to give you a second or two to wipe the tears from your eyes cause it’s time for…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes…

The Hero Tribe (wearing blue)

Rupert Boneham – 45
James Clement – 32
Colby Donaldson – 35
Cirie Fields – 39
Amanda Kimmel – 24
Jessica “Sugar” Kiper – 29
Stephenie LaGrossa – 29
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Tom Westman – 45
Candice Woodcock – 27

The Villain Tribe (wearing red)

Tyson Apostol – 30
Randy Bailey – 50
Sandra Diaz-Twine – 34
Danielle DiLorenzo – 28
Russell Hantz – 37
Jerri Manthey – 38
“Boston” Rob Mariano – 33
Parvati Shallow – 27
Benjamin “Coach” Wade – 38
Courtney Yates – 28

Quick Note: I loved “Survivor: All Stars” so I’m super psyched for this. And I’ve missed all of you, so consider me extra psyched.

We’re back on the beautiful isle of Samoa as we meet up with Jeff “J-Pro” Probst and his super sweet emerald green “Survivor” hat. In the distance, four choppers approach, and they’re jam-packed with both heroes and villains.

Rupert tells us that he tries to show that good people can win. Which is odd considering he’s never won.

Jerri lets us know that Man Eater Manthey is her favorite nickname. Ooh…looks like the Dragon Slayer may have some nickname competition this year. No word on if he has any poetry competition…besides me.

Russell is worried about being too star struck as he’s in there with a lot of big names (and Danielle and Candice). An important thing to remember is that this was filmed before “Survivor: Samoa” aired, so the other players have no idea how Russell plays the game. Maybe he can start pulling immunity idols out of thin air again.

The Hero choppers land first and all of the Heroes congregate on their blue mats. They exchange hugs like good Heroes should.

The Villain choppers land next and kick up sand on our virtuous Heroes.  Jerky Villains…

Jeff starts chatting it up with the players. Tom has an interesting observation as he expects both the Heroes and the Villains to do a 180 and play against type.

Jeff also brings up how popular Colby was back in the day. Apparently he was so famous that people were naming their children after him. My sister Vanna and I think that’s pretty stupid.

JT manages to offend his entire tribe by pointing out that he was in high school while everyone else was on “Survivor.”

Reward Challenge: The teams will split into pairs. One pair from each team will run to a section of the playing field. They’ll have to dig in the sand to uncover a bag.  The first team to get the bag back to their mat wins a point. First team to three points wins. There’s only one bag in the each section, so wrestling is going to happen. And seeing as they’re all wearing bathing suits, strategic blurring is going to happen too.

The winning tribe will receive flint and early bragging rights.

Round One: Stephenie and Cirie vs. Parvati and Danielle – The two teams sprint out to uncover the bag. Cirie finds the bag first and makes a break back to the mat. A huge four-way pile up ensues. At one point Courtney channels her inner Cobra Kai sensei and yells, “Break her shoulder!” And, I think Parvati may have obliged.  Stephenie’s arm is not looking good. Eventually Danielle (complete with strategic blurring) manages to wrestle away the bag and score for the Villains.

Uh oh…looks like Stephenie may have dislocated her shoulder. Medical is brought in to pop it back into place. And thank you to the “Survivor” editing team for adding a crunching sound.

Anywho, Stephenie toughs it out and stays in the game. She even uses her buff as a sling. Now that’s a hero. Philly girls represent!

Round Two: JT and Amanda vs. Randy and Jerri – Jerri manages to uncover the bag first which starts off another awesome wrestling match. For a second I thought JT was going to put Randy in a Boston Crab. JT eventually manages to snatch the bag and score for the Heroes.

Round Three: Colby and Tom vs. Coach and Russell – Coach and Russell?! It’s my dream team! Coach smartly hangs back while they’re digging for the bags. If someone finds it he’s gonna smother them with Coach power. Russell finds the bag and tries to toss it to Coach, but Colby manages to bat it away. Colby eventually gets a hold of the bag and starts to drag Coach toward the mat. However, Coach switches the momentum and drags Colby to the Villains mat for the score. Villains are up two to one.

Tyson lets us know that Colby might as well be a woman because of the way he was owned by Coach. Welcome back, Tyson.

Round Four: Sugar and Candice vs. Sandra and Courtney – Courtney’s bathing suit is designed to look like men’s underwear briefs. Awesome. Courtney and her five-star shorts manage to find the bag first. Sandra is a monster, tossing people left and right. Another part of her strategy is untying Sugar’s top. This doesn’t phase Sugar as she shrugs it off, grabs the bag, and wins the point topless. That sound you just heard in the background is the CBS executives high-fiving.

Round Five: James and Rupert vs. Tyson and Boston Rob – Tyson finds the bag first but is quickly swarmed by the Heroes. James eventually breaks free and Boston Rob isn’t able to stop him. It was literally like what would happen if Alf tried to stop He-Man. Heroes win the reward.

Oof…and Rupert has a broken toe. Best challenge ever.

Back at the Villains camp, Russell laughs that the bugs are swarming to Coach because, “They like that dragon blood.” Dragon slayers don’t have dragon blood, Russell.

But that’s OK cause Russell picks up right where he left off last season. He takes Danielle aside (wait, who’s Danielle?) and lets her know that he wants to go to the final two with her. He then has a similar conversation with Parvati.

The Dumb A— Girl Alliance Part Deux!

Meanwhile, the Heroes are building an orphanage. OK, maybe not, they’re swimming.

Sugar states that the oldest males should be making decisions. That sound you hear in the background is women around the world smacking their foreheads.

Amanda tells us that she feels lucky to be on the Heroes side. I think she’s lucky to be there too because I don’t remember her ever doing anything heroic. Maybe they had to put her there because there wasn’t a “People Who Are Good at the Game But Bad at Tribal Council Speeches” tribe.

During the shelter building process, four foolish chickens wander into the Heroes camp. I’m going to assume they are the ones that escaped from Shambo’s pen. The Heroes manage to catch all four of them in a net. Man, the Hero tribe is on fire.

That night the Villains are basking in the memories of the Heroes tribe’s many horrific injuries. If only they all had mustaches to twirl. Coach is also basking in the glow of having taken out Colby.

Jerri lets us know that she seems to be drawn to Coach. Coach seems to be drawn to her too. Must be the nicknames.

Back at the Heroes tribe, James and JT seem to be forming a bit of an alliance although JT knows he can’t beat James in a final vote.

Meanwhile, Colby and Candice (wait, who?) are worried that everyone else started alliances before the game started.

Stephenie and Tom sneak out and confirm that a Palau alliance is in effect. Tom smartly says that he needs another winner to go to the finals with and chooses JT to be that player. JT claims that he doesn’t care about being a hero, he just wants to win.

We meet back up with the Villains and Boston Rob is annoyed that everyone is slacking off. They all claim that the lack of water is hurting them. Rob then takes it upon himself to become one of the rare Survivors to build a fire without flint.

Meanwhile, Rupert is taking it upon himself to become one of the rare Survivors who can’t build a fire with flint. Fortunately, Colby and JT step in and get the job done. Rupert is displeased and is uncharacteristically depressed.

That night Sugar tells us that she needs a sexy, young male to be her protector. Unfortunately for her, Colby is not interested. Sugar’s just racking up the feminism points tonight, isn’t she?

Immunity Challenge: Six members from each tribe will race across sand dunes. Once they reach the shore they’ll have to assemble a boat. They’ll then paddle out to get a torch. When they return to the beach they disassemble the boat and run the planks over to a puzzle. From there, the other four members will put together the puzzle. Once that puzzle is completed, they can use the planks to create a ladder. The first tribe to reach the top of their platform wins immunity.

The challenge starts off very evenly, but the Heroes are able to get their boat together first. The Heroes build a huge lead and are able to retrieve their torch just as the Villains get their boat assembled. The Heroes hold on to their large lead as they disassemble their boat and run the planks toward the puzzle. However, once the Villains get to the puzzle portion Sandra and Boston Rob are able to tear through it. The Villains build their ladder and win the challenge as the Heroes continue to fumble with their puzzle.

And sure enough, Sugar starts crying. Good to see some things never change.

Colby doesn’t think Sugar adds anything to the team and doesn’t think she’ll be missed.

Back at the Villains tribe, Sandra thinks Cirie and Amanda must have an alliance. Parvati (who probably has an alliance with both of them) tries to downplay that possibility.

Politicking around the Heroes tribe seems to focus on Amanda vs. Sugar. They show a montage of everyone around camp agreeing that Sugar should go home. Oh, it can’t be that easy, can it?

Tom however has other plans, he thinks Sugar is a follower and Cirie is a threat.

Meanwhile, Amanda, Candice, and Cirie are discussing breaking up Stephenie and Tom’s Palau alliance.

That night we learn that tribal council is a huge Swiss Family Robinson-style treehouse! Jeff says something about fire representing life but I was too busy staring at the set to pay attention.

Jeff asks Tom if previous alliances matter, but Tom tries to downplay that notion. Sugar isn’t buying it.

Jeff also brings up that previous success could be a reason to get rid of someone. Amanda agrees that the previous winners do have targets on their backs.

Cirie and Sugar both think people shouldn’t be voted out for screwing up a challenge. I’d say the same thing if I was one of the people that coughed up that huge lead.

Voting Time: And…none of the votes are shown? Well alright. Jeff tallies the votes; four votes for Sugar, one vote for Amanda, one vote for Sugar, and the first person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” is…Sugar.

Verdict: Wow, I love me some all star “Survivor.” Strong start, can’t wait till next week.

Who’s Going to Win?: I honestly have no idea. It’s like a huge game of Jenga and you’re not sure which piece is going to set off the chain reaction. So…to start with…I’ll pick…uh…Candice.

Power Rankings Update: Be sure to check back next Tuesday for the return of the “Survivor” Power Rankings Challenge. Seeing as this is an all star season, it seems only right that I face an all star team of former players.  So, I sent out a challenge to all “Survivor” alumni. Who was the first to accept? None other than the winner of “Survivor: The Australian Outback” Tina Wesson!

What Do You Think? Do you like all star seasons? Should stripping your opponent be grounds for disqualification? What former players would you like to see compete in the Power Rankings challenge?

‘Survivor’ Rupert Boneham: ‘Russell (Hantz) Is Evil to the Core’

February 4, 2010

It didn’t take very long for Rupert Boneham to become a “Survivor” fan favorite.  In the first half of the first episode of “Survivor: Pearl Islands” Rupert embraced the pirate theme of the season by stealing and selling the shoes of the opposing Morgan tribe. From that moment on, America was in love with the tie-dye-wearing giant. Fans were so smitten that they voted for him to win a million dollars during the “America’s Tribal Council” special that aired after “Survivor: All Stars.”

And now Rupert, considered by many to be the most popular player in history, is headed back into the game for “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains.”

I had a chance to sit down with Rupert during the “Survivor” Reunion Party to find out how “Survivor” has changed his life, who his picks are for the biggest “Survivor” hero and villain of all time, as well as how he spent his million dollars.

Gordon Holmes: Other than the million dollars you won during the “Survivor: All Stars” reunion, how has “Survivor” changed your life?
Rupert Boneham:
The best thing that has happened from “Survivor” is, I’ve run a mentoring program now for eighteen years, for the twelve years before “Survivor” people would look at me and ask why I’m taking kids out of the system and putting them back on the streets. After “Survivor” they’re willing to look at the young men and women coming out juvenile detention, coming out of foster care, coming out of modern orphanages and say, “Wow, they’ve never been given a chance. They can’t read or write, they’ve never been shown how to make a living.” The American public is more ready to accept helping my kids after “Survivor.”

Gordon: “Heroes Vs. Villains” is just around the corner and I’ve been going around and asking former players who the biggest heroes and villains are, and overwhelmingly you’ve been named as the biggest hero.
(Cheers) Oh my, God. I’m so glad to hear that!
Gordon: What does that mean to you?
Rupert: Being able to show more that it counts how you play the game. Playing the game with honor, showing that you can give to yourself in a respectful way and give to others and not worrying so much about winning or losing. It’s how I play my life, and how I run Rupert’s Kids, and how I can show what really matters. And by doing that, by losing the game twice I was given a million bucks, so I am a winner.  But I’m really lucky. And I did steal everybody’s shoes and I did lie to people, but I’m still viewed as a good guy.
Gordon: Is there a Rupert’s Kids Web site we can plug?
Rupert: Oh gosh yes, We run a program that actually helps the community and the kids, saves everyone money, and costs nothing. Even before “Survivor” we ran a program that has never been given a government dollar, never been given a grant dollar, and has been showing successes every year.

Gordon: OK, this conversation is getting a little too warmhearted for me.
Gordon: Let’s talk about some gross stuff. What are some of the most disgusting things you’ve witnessed as a part of the game?
Rupert: There have been some really disgusting things. Watching little Jonny Fairplay lie about his grandmother. Playing the game where we were so hungry in “All Stars” and making a “Survivor” gumbo with bugs and worms and grubs. But, when I watched nineteen (“Survivor: Samoa”) and saw Evil Russell, he’s such an evil person. He has to be the most disgusting thing I’ve seen ever.
Gordon: I was just about to ask you who you think is the worst villain ever, but I think I just got my answer.
Rupert: Absolutely, Evil Russell is evil to the core.
Gordon: On the flip side, who’s your pick for the best hero of all time?
Rupert: Rudy Boesch. Rudy is the toughest, most honorable player I have ever met in my life. Rudy is why I fell in love with the game. I told my kids in my mentoring program, “I’m going to get on that show, and I’m going to play just like Rudy, and show that I can win that darn game.”

Gordon: Have you seen the “Survivor” slot machine?
I have, darn it! The “Survivor” slots, they even copied my voice.
Gordon: I’ve won some nickels on that machine.  “Survivor” gave you a million bucks and me about $12.15.
Rupert: Very, very good. And if you fill up the whole screen with me you get to see clips of me running around in my dress!

Gordon: If you could pick one moment from “Survivor” for people to remember you by, what would that moment be?
The moment people remember me by is stealing the shoes. But now, my favorite moment in “Survivor” history was on May 13th of 2004 when Jeff Probst was writing a check for a million dollars on my back on the same day my daughter turned five years old. That was a beautiful birthday and a wonderful day.
Gordon: Did some of that money go toward Rupert’s Kids?
Rupert: I tell people all the time, I won a million dollars that night, within a few weeks I had a million dollars spent. We gave a quarter of it to charity, half of it to the government, the other quarter to my wife, my daughter, my mom, myself. We met life goals for just six months of playing the game.

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