Archive for March, 2010

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings – Samoa’s Russell Swan

March 31, 2010

The Rules: Each week a member of our “Survivor” All-Star team and your beloved “Survivor” recapper Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes 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 two combatants will earn. For example, if Jerri is voted out this week, Fancast’s “Survivor” All-Star Team will receive 5 points and Gordon will receive 4 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.

Last Week: Both the Villains and the Heroes were forced to visit J-Pro at tribal council. Tyson Apostol was sent home for the Villains after what could be considered one of the dumbest moves in “Survivor” history while James Clement’s leg injury made him too much of a challenge liability for the Heroes to keep around. This earned the “Survivor” All-Star Team twenty nine points while Gordon racked up seventeen points.

Before we lay some smack down, let’s check in with one of “Survivor: Samoa’s” most popular players, the former leader of the Galu tribe, Russell Swan.

Gordon Holmes: Russell, here’s something I’ve always wondered; is it hard to get back into a daily routine after being out there so long?
Russell Swan:
Absolutely! I remember being in the LAX airport after flying back from the South Pacific and being completely freaked out.  The noises, the smells, all the people, it was unnerving.  Going back to work was funny because I had lost so much weight, so people were looking at me like I was a zombie.  It was a trip.

Gordon: You were forced out of “Survivor: Samoa” after passing out during a challenge. Was it rough to see them use that same challenge again in “Heroes vs. Villains?”
It was very hard watching that challenge again.  I almost walked away from my tv, but at the same time I was glued.  I kept expecting one of the players to fall down and die. My heart was racing! It was freaky.  And to be honest, to see the challenge completed by other people bothers me.  It makes me feel weak or something.  I guess I feel like I should have completed that challenge not them.

Gordon: You’re commonly known as “Good” Russell, how are you feeling about the “Heroes vs. Villains” performance of your counterpart “Evil” Russell?
Mini me aka Russell Hantz is doing what he does best.  His ego is just as big as it was last season, but I must say his game play is tight.

Russell Swan’s Picks
All-Star Team’s Current Score: 54

parvati #1 Parvati: Bell Biv DeVoe already warned us, “Never trust a big butt and a smile.” In this case, you have to go northward for the correct body part(s), but the smile is just as deadly.  She’s got troll man (Russ H.) wrapped around her finger.  She is in true Parvati form, and when she is, she is tough to beat.  That girl is poison!
bostonrob #2 Boston Rob: He is being a great Hero, which is somewhat confusing.  I think his overly aggressive play can come back to haunt him.  Personally freaked me out when he hit the turf, but glad, unlike me, he got back up to live another day.
sandra #3 Sandra: Man, she has been noticeably absent, which makes her even more dangerous.  That tongue still cuts to the quick, but she’s managed to keep herself in deep check.  Watch out y’all, my homegirl is on the prowl!
russell(2) #4 Russell: Mini me is back to his old tricks.  You know, talking about him is like trying to decide if you are going to kill a bug.  It looks disgusting, but yet, it’s part of nature.  Oh well, gotta give it up to him staying true to his formula.
jerri #5 Jerri: She’s still hot, and she’s still in the running.  I just think that she’ll have a hard time trying to hurdle Parvati.  Did I tell you that that girl is poison? Anyway, if Jerri can keep it together, my girl will vamp her way to the mil.
jt #6 JT: He has gone off his own reservation which is NOT a good look for him.  I think JT is his own enemy, and will end up beating himself.
amanda #7 Amanda: I really, really, really like Amanda, even though I’ve never met her.  There is just something about her spirit that is extremely endearing.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean jack for her game.  I think she already made herself vulnerable with her ties to “The Body” James.  She may have been burned as he went down in flames.
colby #8 Colby: I am really confused by my man Colby.  Granted it’s been some years, but mentally he just seems to be absent.  I hear “Taps” playing faintly in the background.
coach #9 Coach: I guess my man is getting in touch with his feminine side because he is definitely not in game mode.  I think he needs a good swift kick in the butt to get him going.  If he doesn’t get his act together, he’ll be gone.  The slayer is no more.
courtney #10 Courtney: The self-professed lame player is doing what she does best: being lame.  Nuff said.
rupert #11 Rupert: His toe is shot which I think is going to be his undoing.  It’s hard to be that larger-than-life player when you’re walking wounded.
danielle #12 Danielle: Her eyes smolder, and she seems focused, but I just don’t feel her social game is going to be strong enough to carry the day.  I must confess I just can’t feel where she is going and that’s why she is near the bottom of my list.
candice #13 Candice: Who? Who the hell is Candice? I mean, I really don’t want to offend her, but when she is voted out, people will be wondering the same thing I will:  who was Candice?

Gordon Holmes’s Picks
Gordon’s Current Score: 71

jt #1 JT: Kudos to James for admitting that he was hurt and letting his alliance off the hook for voting him off. Now the Heroes need to step it up if they’re going to do anything before the merge. JT needs to tap into some of that Tocantins challenge mojo.
parvati #2 Parvati: Here’s a question for “Survivor” fans: Was Parvati pretending to be shocked when Russell gave her the idol to make Russell look better in Coach’s eyes? If so, “Bravo.”
rupert #3 Rupert: Rupert and the Heroes made a tough call, but the right call in sending James home – even James agreed. Their next course of action has to involve winning some immunity challenges. Which leads me to wonder how Rupert’s toe is doing. He’s obviously getting around, but could it cost his team?
jerri #4 Jerri: As Boston Rob vs. Russell rages into Round 2, the other Villains are in prime positions to choose their spots.  If Russell is to get the best of Rob, he needs to get two people to jump. Coach could be one, and if Tyson is to be believed, Jerri could easily be the other.
coach #5 Coach: Once again, the true power in the Villain tribe sits with the Dragon Slayer. Was Russell’s speech enough to sway him? Boston Rob had better hope not. I wouldn’t be surprised if Coach’s next vote determines who dominates the rest of this season.
courtney #6 Courtney: It’s to be assumed during a season of big personalities that some players will get lost in the shuffle…but Courtney? I’m going to make the plea to CBS again that they should release a “Best of Courtney, Tyson, and Randy’s Unseen Sarcastic Comments” DVD once the season is over.
sandra #7 Sandra: Sandra could find herself in some serious trouble if Russell can somehow pull off another miracle. She has not been very subtle at all with her knocks on the King of Samoa.
danielle #8 Danielle: Danielle’s on Team Russell? News to me. Has she done anything this season besides look good in a bikini? If she Ambers her way to victory I’m going to kick my TV.
colby #9 Colby: Colby dodged a bullet last week. He’d better repay his fellow Heroes by going all out in the next immunity challenge. However, if he really has checked out, they may be better off without him.
amanda #10 Amanda: James being sent home probably destroyed Amanda’s game. What’s the point of keeping her around now? Tom Westman thinks she has Rupert on her side, but even Rupert has to know they need to start winning some challenges.
bostonrob #11 Boston Rob: Mark my words, if the Villains lose immunity either Boston Rob or Russell is going home next. The Villains are beyond the point where they’d vote off immunity liabilities and the beach is way too small for the both of them. So who gets the boot? My head says Russell due to Rob’s numbers advantage. But I’ll never count out Russell. So I’m ranking them both low.
candice #12 Candice: I think Candice’s time has finally come. I don’t think anybody really trusts her and the Heroes can’t afford to lose any more challenge strength.
russell(2) #13 Russell: What can you even say about Russell anymore? He pulled off another miracle and made Tyson look beyond foolish. However, he’s still down five votes to three. Can he pull another rabbit out of his Houston Astros hat? I’m thinking no…but I’ll never count him out.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: James Clement

March 26, 2010

There’s been a lot of talk this season about Heroes acting like Villains and Villains acting like Heroes. At the center of that storm is James Clement. The popular grave digger with the WWE-esque physique has come under fire in the past few weeks due to his heated confrontation with recently ousted contestants Stephenie LaGrossa and Tom Westman.

James was able to get the best of those two. Unfortunately, a leg injury suffered during the dreaded Schmergen Brawl challenge managed to get the best of him. James was voted out by the Heroes tribe because they were concerned that he couldn’t compete in physical challenges. I recently spoke with James about his feud with Stephenie, his alliance with Amanda, and the rules of proper banana distribution.

Gordon Holmes: James, were you blindsided when the rest of the Heroes sided with Colby?
James Clement:
Not at all. After the whole race thing with JT on the beach, I kind of realized that something might be wrong.  I do work with a shovel and I do need my legs. It really isn’t an option; it wasn’t worth risking the rest of my life. I said to Rupert and JT, “Forget all this alliance stuff, if y’all think you should keep Colby, then go with him.” And JT, Rupert, and Amanda were like, “This sucks, we don’t want to get rid of you.”

Gordon: You could argue that you’ve been sent out of the game twice due to injuries. Russell Swan who was forced to leave “Survivor: Samoa” due to an injury has said that he’s always going to wonder, “What if?” Is that something that sticks with you?
Kind of, sort of, but not really. I play the game to have fun, I play the game to the best of my abilities. And I’ve never been hurt before. I’m made of glass on “Survivor.” The first time for me ever being in a hospital was in Micronesia. I guess I’m getting old.
Gordon: I think I know what it is. You’re an amazing physical specimen, right? But they point a camera at you and you lose all your powers.
James: (Laughs) For me it’s like my Kryptonite.

Gordon: How important is proper banana distribution to the well being of a tribe?
(Laughs) That’s some (expletive deleted). If you’re hungry, get your own banana. They’re there for a reason. They’re there for everybody. You shouldn’t decide how many bananas one person should eat, nor should one person eat all the bananas.
Gordon: I have a theory that you’re using “Survivor” to land some kind of fruit endorsement. Last time it was “Don’t eat the apple.” This time it’s “Banana distribution.” Is there a future for you as a fruit pitchman?
James: (Laughs) I guess. If they offer me a fruit distribution thing I’ll do whatever, put a bowl of fruit on my head and dance for y’all. Grave digging is kind of rough, so anything else that will help out will be great.
Gordon: I hope this interview can open some doors for you in that respect.

Gordon: The argument you had earlier in the season with Stephenie has changed the way some of the “Survivor” fan base views you. Are you concerned that you’re viewed as a villain now?
James: I love the show, and I like the editing, and I like the way they’ve been portraying me. But if you really pay attention I’m being portrayed as a bully and all I’m saying is “us” and “we” and “teamwork.” You can’t do this yourself, especially in the beginning.
Gordon: And you felt Stephenie, Colby, and Tom weren’t working as part of the team?
James: Those guys are old school. They’re planning for the merge. We don’t know if we’re going to make it to the merge, we don’t know if there’s going to be a merge. So, it’s kind of cool the way they portrayed it. I loved it. It was kind of cool the way they said I was bullying people to work as a team. They want to work on their alliance and I say, “No y’all. The further we get as a team the further we’ll get.” I wanted our team to be so far ahead of the Villains. But we weren’t, so someone obviously wasn’t pulling their rope. And with Stephenie, she wasn’t a rope puller. I’m sure in real life you can just go out and make your mark and be like “Hey, look at me.” But if we all work together it’ll be so much better. You don’t have to stand out in a challenge. I wasn’t holding them down by saying, “Let’s work as a team.”
Gordon: You seem to be embracing a different reputation now, it’s kind of bad a–.
James: The only thing I’m upset about is it kind of hurt my mom’s feelings. (Laughs)
Gordon: Make sure your mom knows that I think you’ve been a pleasure to talk to.
James: (Laughs)

Gordon: Tom wasn’t thrilled with the way you were acting. Was the feeling mutual?
It was kind of upsetting. I thought he was a lot more than he was. It seemed like Tom would be more of a rope puller. But, Tom was out there hustling for himself.

Gordon: You and Amanda are obviously very close. What did it mean to you to have her by your side?
She’s like my rock on the show. Yes, she’s voted me off, but she’s my rock. I need her.

Gordon: We’ve talked about your differences with Stephenie and Tom, but the one competitor who never stepped up to challenge you, but it had been brought up, was Jeff Probst’s niece. Has there been any talk about a race between you two?
That’s a good question! (Laughs) I’ll race her. It’ll be funny. Set it up, we’ll do it. It’ll be fun.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Tyson Apostol

March 25, 2010

Some people are Villains because of their cutthroat game play or their enraged outbursts. Not Tyson Apostol. He’s a villain because he will smile to your face and then shred you to pieces with his razor-sharp comments during confessionals. That and, if he is to be believed, because he’s totally awesome.

Sadly, all the awesomeness in the world couldn’t save him from Russell Hantz’s latest jaw-dropping tribal council manuever.

I spoke with Tyson the morning after his shocking dismissal from the game to find out why he thinks Russell’s bold idol move was really his way of quitting, why he isn’t afraid to show his sensitive side, and who else is targeting Boston Rob on the Villains tribe.

Tyson Apostol: Hey, Gordon.
Gordon Holmes:
Hey, Tyson. I wasn’t sure if I was getting you or James, so give me a second to bust out my Tyson questions.
Tyson: I can be James, too.
Gordon: Really? OK “James,” so you got a lot of grief over your argument with Stephenie. Do you think something like that is going to hurt your reputation out of the game?
Tyson: (Imitating James) No, I got a really good edit the first two times and it’s good to finally see the real person I am. And I still get Hooters for free every time I go in, so it doesn’t matter.
Gordon: So there are some perks to being a “Survivor” contestant?
Tyson: (No longer imitating James) I guess so, I haven’t gotten that perk.
Gordon: Wait, was that Tyson or was the James?
Tyson: Oh yeah, sorry. That’s hard. This is hard, dude.
Gordon: Let’s try some Tyson questions.
Tyson: Yeah.

Gordon: Now that you’ve seen Russell play in Samoa and Heroes Vs. Villains, are you less shocked that he’d make such a bold move with the idol?
We all knew he was finding the idol. There was a twenty-foot trench around like ten trees. He took the shovel from camp, and he walked out, and he just started shoveling around for the idol. And we all watched him. And Coach came up to me and told me he had the idol.
Gordon: Do you think Russell knew that his idol trick was going to work and that he had flopped your vote?
Tyson: I don’t think up to that point he’d done anything really strategic. I think that last night he was ready to go home. I think it was a move of desperation and he knew that his alliance was on the bottom. And he also knew that we were splitting the votes like that. And I think that he was pretty sure he was going home, but out of one final hoorah he did something that would make him look good on TV which was be a gentleman and give the idol to a girl.
Gordon: Do you think that move moved Coach at all?
Tyson: In my closing statement I kind of alluded to him winning some alliances with that move. More so the fact that he told Coach that he was his inspiration for being honorable.

Gordon: During last night’s tribal council it became obvious that once the idol was played that if you had voted for Russell that your alliance could have rebounded to boot him. You mentioned your vote was motivated by hot dogs, and in the end your vote cost you some hot dogs.
(Laughs) Hot dogs really aren’t my favorite food. But I guess when you’re starving and hungry they’ll become your favorite food. When you get voted out of the game they give you food and it’s usually better than hot dogs.
Gordon: What’d you end up having?
Tyson: I think I had some ahi tuna, and…what’s that cake with like liquid in the center?
Gordon: Like a lava cake?
Tyson: A lava cake. I had like five of those. And then I had horrible, horrible diarrhea.
Gordon: This conversation has taken an awful turn.

Gordon: There’s been a lot talk about a possible Micronesia alliance. Had there been any talk of a Tocantins alliance with you, Coach, JT, and possibly Courtney (who is close with the Tocantins cast)?
Yeah, I think when you have any kind of connection it’s going to be talked about. The Micronesia alliance was definitely mentioned. The All-Star cast alliance was mentioned. Anybody who’d played together, anyone who lived in LA or on the East Coast. What I tried to do in the game was to stay as far away as I could from the possibility that I was aligned with Coach or JT.

Gordon: Last night the Boston Rob alliance appeared as if out of nowhere. Were there smaller alliances within that?
They don’t really show that at all, but it was originally me, Courtney, and Rob were an alliance. And then we brought Sandra in really quick so it’d be us four to the end. And because of my previous bond with Coach he knew he could come to me with stuff. And, he was tight with Jerri. Jerri wanted Rob out because of what happened during the All-Star season where she had to go home to keep Amber there.

Gordon: OK, let’s bust out some word association. Jerri?
Wannabe granola.
Gordon: Coach?
Tyson: This one’s so easy, dude. Dragon Slayer. A sensitive Dragon Slayer.
Gordon: Aww…that’s nice. Courtney?
Tyson: Catty.
Gordon: Sandra?
Tyson: Ooo…attitudinal? Is that even a word?
Gordon: I’ll check the dictionary. (Fun Fact: It is!) Russell?
Tyson: Russell? (Laughs) There are so many for Russell. Pig pen.
Gordon: (Laughs) Danielle?
Tyson: I guess I should say something about her ridiculous boobs.
Gordon: Well, I don’t know if you have to.

Gordon: One of the things we saw from you this season was you helping Coach out when he was upset over things Sandra had said at tribal council. Does it bother you that people might get a positive impression of you from that moment?
Yeah, that kind of ruins my hard a— image, doesn’t it?
Gordon: Yup, a little bit. Because before you were talking about winning the million dollars and getting a gold-plated car and a man fur and a man tiara, and now you’re a nice guy, you’re Coach’s buddy.
Tyson: I have all that now, so where do I go from there?
Gordon: So when people expect you to zig you should zag?
Tyson: Yes, that saying works perfectly. The thing is, there’s obviously more to me than they’ve shown on either season. And there’s more to everybody. They can’t show everybody’s most intricate details. So for them to show me and Coach having a genuine moment, I’m not opposed to it. But I’m thinking, “OK, these people are going to think I’m a tenderhearted person.” And it didn’t hurt, it just made the housewives like me for more than just my looks.

More “Survivor” Fun: Check back Friday for a live chat with James Clement at 3:30 p.m. ET.

‘Survivor: H.V.V.’ Episode 6 Recap: The Best Tribal Council Ever?

March 24, 2010

Last Week: The Dragon Slayer questioned his allegiance to Robert of Beantown after the King of Samoa presented him with a powerful idol. While in the Heroes camp the Champion of the Brazilian Highlands rejoined Rupert the Bearded Pirate and turned on Palau’s Fighter of Fires.

This Week: Jeff Probst claims we’re in for one of the greatest tribal councils ever. We shall see, Mr. Probst. We shall see…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The Hero Tribe (wearing noble blue)

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

The Villain Tribe (wearing devilish red)

Tyson Apostol – 30
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 meet up with the Heroes after tribal council where James offers Colby an apology hug. Colby declines.

Candice tells us that she voted for Tom for fear of upsetting James’s alliance. That’s smart, but if she’d voted against them she could have scored a sweet James apology hug.

Meanwhile, the Villains are sleeping soundly. Well, all of the Villains except for Boston Rob and Russell. Russell tries to make peace with Rob, but Rob lets him know that the rest of the tribe is still mad at Russell for searching for the immunity idol. They do however come to an agreement on one thing: they’re gunning for each other.

Boston Rob vs. Russell is on!

Wait a minute, Boston Rob vs. Russell and Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels in the same week?! I know it’s not Christmas, but it sure feels like it.

Quick Aside: Join me for a live chat with WWE Superstar Matt Hardy this Friday at 2 p.m. ET.

The following morning the Heroes are greeted with vague tree mail that doesn’t hint as to whether the next challenge is for reward or immunity.  When the Heroes arrive at this mysterious challenge, Parvati seems to be very happy that James is still around. Micronesia alliance, anyone?

Immunity Challenge: The players will be playing against their own tribe for individual immunity because both tribes will be going to tribal council.

Dun dun dun…

Each person will be attached to a long rope that is threaded around obstacles. The first person from each tribe to reach the end will receive immunity. After both tribes have competed, the winners from each tribe will compete again to try to win their tribe a delightful picnic that they’ll enjoy during the other tribe’s tribal council.

Fun Fact: Tyson won this challenge in Tocantins.

The Heroes play first and James is a total gamer, barreling through the course with a bad leg. Candice, JT, and Amanda manage to get through the beginning section first, with Candice finishing the second half first to win immunity.

JT lets us know that Candice was the only thing keeping Colby in the game.

As Candice retrieves her stylish immunity necklace she gives J-Pro a hug. Now Colby has two reasons to be jealous of Candice.

The Villains are up next and Boston Rob and Tyson are tearing through the course. Boston Rob and Tyson are the first two through the initial section with Boston Rob pulling ahead during the second half and winning immunity.

As Rob accepts his necklace he doesn’t get a hug.

In the final round Candice and Rob stay neck and neck for a while, but Boston Rob eventually takes the lead and wins it for the Villains.

Boston Rob is a challenge monster.

Back at the Villain camp, Boston Rob and his alliance (which seems to include Coach, Sandra, Jerri, Courtney, and Tyson) are pointing toward voting for Parvati for fear of Russell playing the immunity idol.

Coach lets us know that he’s being pulled in two directions, but he’s a man of his word and that he’s voting for Parvati. We’ll see if he sticks to that.

Later, Boston Rob tells Russell that if he doesn’t have the idol that he’d better go get it. Russell claims not to have it, to which Rob replies, “It’s been real.”

Seriously, who do I talk to at CBS about getting those two permanent immunity? Watching them butt heads is better than cherry-flavored Starburst jelly beans.

Russell isn’t buying Rob’s ploy. He tells Danielle and Parvati that Team Boston Rob is trying to flush the idol out and are going to vote for Parvati. His plan is to vote for Tyson and give Parvati the idol.

Back at the Heroes camp, Colby is frustrated that James had a better challenge performance than he did. Colby tells everyone that he knows he’s going home and there doesn’t need to be any drama over it. He wants to give the Villains as little actual information as possible at tribal council.

Wait, why would he care what info the Villains get if he’s going home?

Even with Colby’s proclamation, the other Heroes are debating keeping Colby around. One of the worries over James (aside from his obvious leg injury) is the fact that he’s been eating a lot of the tribe’s bananas.

Tip for Future “Survivor” Contestants: It always comes down to food. Always.

Amanda shares these concerns with James. She wants him to stop swiping bananas and to prove that he’s physically able to compete.

So, they decide to have a little immunity challenge of their own. James and JT decide to race down the beach in an obvious ode to the training montage in “Rocky III” (minus the half shirts and awkward hugs).   Unfortunately for James, the result is not pretty. JT even turns around and does the Apollo Creed running backward trick.

Back at the Villains tribe, Boston Rob tells his alliance that they need to split their vote between Russell and Parvati. This will force a three-way tie and then they can pick off the other member of the Parvati-Russell alliance.

Russell tries to stir it up a little more by telling Tyson that he’s going to vote for Parvati. Tyson seems intrigued by this, and is considering voting for Parvati too.

That night at tribal council, J-Pro asks Jerri how “Survivor” has changed since she originally played. She says that now actual survival takes a backseat to the gameplay. And back then you could buy a newspaper and a quart of milk for a nickel.

I may have made up that last part.

Probst asks the same question of Boston Rob who responds by saying there weren’t any hidden immunity idols in his day.

Rob then says that nobody knows who has the idol. Sandra disagrees saying, “We all know who has it.” She also tells Russell that if he doesn’t have it, he’d better go find it.

Voting Time: Parvati votes for Tyson, Jerri votes for Parvati, and Boston Rob votes for Russell saying, “Welcome to the big leagues.” Coach votes for Parvati, Courtney votes for Parvati, and Sandra votes for Russell saying “You need to get in the ocean and wash your a–.”  The rest of the votes aren’t shown.

J-Pro asks if anyone has the idol…the camera flips around…and…we get a…commercial.

A crummy commercial?  Now I know how Ralphie felt.

OK, we’re back and Russell has decided to play his immunity idol…but not for himself. He tells Coach that he’s staying true to his team and gives the idol to Parvati.

Parvati seems genuinely shocked. That makes two of us.

Two votes for Russell, four votes for Parvati that don’t count, two votes for Tyson, and the sixth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” is…Tyson!

The Villains are stunned.

Wow…Boston Rob welcomed Russell to the big leagues, and Russell took Rob’s best pitch out of the park.

During Tyson’s farewell, he admits that his booting was all his fault. If he had voted for Russell he would have easily beaten Russell in a tie breaker. But, it’s not all bad as he admits that he’s still awesome.

Another Quick Aside: The worst part about having both Tyson and Randy out of the game so early? Now I have to count on Courtney for all of my snarky comments. I have faith in you, Courtney.

The Heroes make their way in next, and they are not pleased that they have a front row seat for the Villains’ hot dog buffet.

The foot race is brought up, and James admits that he was schooled by JT. Amanda says that could be a big deal if the next challenge involves running.

James says that Colby was one of the best players when he was growing up. Colby takes offense to James inferring that he’s old. James continues his anti-Colby sentiment saying Colby’s Superman costume is really a fat suit. For some reason Colby doesn’t take offense to that.

James continues with his monologue, complaining about the confusing banana etiquette around camp.

Fun Fact: I’m thinking of naming my fantasy baseball team “Banana Etiquette.”

Afterwards, Colby admits that he has been disappointed with his performance in challenges.

Voting Time Part Deux:
James votes for Colby, Colby votes for James, and the rest of the votes are on the down low.

One vote for Colby, three votes for James, and the seventh person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” is…James.

As James walks away, JT tells James to have a shot for them. James responds by saying, “I’m going to be good and drunk in the next five minutes.”

The Heroes, ladies and gentlemen. Models for America’s youth.

Maybe I shouldn’t talk. I’ve downed an entire bag of Starburst jelly beans while writing this recap.

Verdict: One of the best tribal councils in “Survivor” history? Easily. Russell is an evil genius. And if that show of team unity is enough to get Coach to swing to Russell’s side, then Russell is a double genius.

Who’s Going to Win? Russell vs. Boston Rob can’t last forever, and when it’s all settled, the people who are left are going to want to get rid of the winner. I think Jerri will be left, so I’m sticking with her.

Power Rankings Update:
Bobby Jon Drinkard picked both of the booted players, earning the All Stars 29 points while I had Tyson in spot 6 and James in spot 11 earning myself 17 points. The current score is All Stars 54, Team Gordon 71. See…maybe I can cough up a big lead two seasons in a row.

More “Survivor” Fun: I had a chance to ask a bunch of former and current players who their picks are for the Biggest Hero in “Survivor” History. Also, don’t miss Fancast’s exclusive commentary from “Survivor: The Amazon” winner Jenna Morasca.

What Do You Think? Was that one of the best tribal councils of all time? Was keeping Colby a smart move? Are you on Team Boston Rob or Team Russell?

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings – Palau and Guatemala’s Bobby Jon Drinkard

March 23, 2010

The Rules: Each week a member of our “Survivor” All-Star team and your beloved “Survivor” recapper Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes 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 two combatants will earn. For example, if Jerri is voted out this week, Fancast’s “Survivor” All-Star Team will receive 6 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: JT switched sides yet again and helped to send “Survivor: Palau” winner Tom Westman packing. This earned the “Survivor” All-Star Team one point while Gordon racked up eleven points.

Ooof…two weeks without “Survivor” is too much. And if the previews are to be believed, we’re going to be treated to a double elimination episode. But, before we get back into the Power Rankings battle, let’s catch up with this week’s contender; “Survivor: Palau” and “Survivor: Guatemala” favorite Bobby Jon Drinkard.

Gordon Holmes: Thanks for stepping up to the Power Rankings challenge, Bobby Jon. What’ve you been up to since Guatemala?”
Bobby Jon Drinkard:
After “Survivor” I did the opposite of what most people do.  I moved from Los Angeles back to my home state of Alabama.  I had been tinkering in the television and modeling industry in LA for a while, and after “Survivor” I was ready to get a job and settle down.  Currently, I work in public relations in workforce development for the State of Alabama, and I also host a television show in Alabama that airs on Alabama Public Television called “On The Job.”  I also have a brand new niece, which arrived a few months ago, so life is going really good.

Gordon: Good to hear. How have you been enjoying “Heroes Vs. Villains” so far?
Bobby Jon:
I’m really enjoying it.  When you played with people that are out there, it’s fun to watch how they play the game again.  Also, by this point, I have had a chance to get to know some of the other cast members that are currently playing, so it has been really fun, watching this season.

Gordon: Was it rough to see your Palau buddies Stephenie and Tom go so soon?
Bobby Jon:
Yes it was.  Especially after losing Jenn Lyon, I really wanted to see someone represent Palau really well.  However, they may have gone a little early, but both Tom and Stephenie represented themselves and Palau very well, and to me that can go further than the money can sometimes.  Tom and Stephenie represent that “old school” “Survivor” that we don’t get to see that often anymore, which was before all of the immunity idols, exile islands, etc. They played when you just bare knuckled the odds that were thrown at you, and played the game, and may the best man/woman win.  I miss those days.  To be honest, I think Stephenie and Tom were exiled from their tribe before they even hit the beach, that’s not a bad thing…just another day in “Survivor.”

Bobby Jon Drinkard’s Picks
All-Star Team’s Current Score: 25

bostonrob #1 Boston Rob: Let me say that I’m “enjoying” watching Boston Rob play the game.  Rob is literally bringing that “old school” survivor mentality to the game, and that’s what the game needs.
amanda #2 Amanda: For whatever reason, Amanda does a great job of making friends, and an even better job of not making enemies.  She knows what battles to pick, and when to talk and when not to.  That can be very helpful on down the road.
courtney #3 Courtney: We haven’t heard a whole lot out of Courtney so far this season.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  She doesn’t draw a lot of attention to herself, but she seems to always be aware of the latest developments.  Call it what you want, but she seems to be in a good place right now.
colby #4 Colby: I think things are going to turn around for Colby.  He’s scrappy, and he’s loyal.  You can’t win “Survivor” alone.  You’ve got to have some help.  Colby would be a great alliance to do this with, and I think someone on the Heroes tribe is going to pick up on this.
russell(2) #5 Russell: His game play is strong – bottom line.  His moves are so strong, that at times it can be a bit of a distraction.  Remember…you can’t win “Survivor” by yourself.
jerri #6 Jerri: Yeah, Jerri might make an enemy or two out there.  But guess what?  She’s always playing the game, and I think her tribe underestimates her.  That’s a good thing for her, but probably a bad thing for them.
sandra #7 Sandra: FYI – if Sandra doesn’t talk to you then you’re probably going home.  One thing about Sandra is you always know where you stand with her.  If you’re in control of the game, someone like Sandra can be very valuable on down the road, and if you don’t latch on she can work against you.
rupert #8 Rupert: Like it or not, Rupert knows how to play “Survivor.”  It seems like he’s the one pulling the strings over on the Heroes tribe.  If he makes it to the merge I believe those strings are going to get a little shorter.
parvati #9 Parvati: Parvati has a unique advantage.  She doesn’t have to approach a lot of people about the latest developments of the game…people approach her.  Parvati is the GM of “Survivor,” because she “always” knows what’s going on.  If she didn’t have a big target on her back she would be ranked higher.
jt #10 JT: JT is in a pickle.  There are too many shot callers on the Heroes tribe, and ALL of them want JT to be in their alliance.  All of the flip-flopping he’s had to do has now become a distraction, and topic of tribe talk around camp. Making it to the merge, and forming a new alliance will be JT’s power play.
danielle #11 Danielle: Danielle is strong in challenges, works hard around camp, and is good at the social game.  Danielle is a natural leader, and I think she’s good at it.  However, she’s not doing it in “Survivor.”  I think she would be surprised how much people would listen to her, and how she could control the game if she did take a leadership role.  To stay in the game she’s going to have to do something…
candice #12 Candice: Candice has everything going for her to go far in the game, but she seems a bit lost and confused at times.  Candice is another one if she can make it to the merge, and form a new alliance she will be safe for a while.  But the clock is ticking for her on the Heroes tribe…
coach #13 Coach: I like Coach.  I’ve totally bought into the whole Warrior Alliance, Dragon Slayer, etc., and I really dig it.  But in a game of “Survivor” especially, an “all star” version, a lil dose of “Coach” goes a long way.  I really hope he goes deep into the game, but I’m afraid he’s getting set up for a blindside.
tyson #14 Tyson: Tyson can be trouble if he makes it to the merge.  The guy is an endurance freak when it comes to immunity challenges.  What sucks for him is everyone on the island knows it.  I don’t think he will be around much longer.
#15 James: If James didn’t have a bummed leg, he would probably be ranked a lot higher.  I think this could have been his year.  He’s another one that his fate in the game, lies in making a new alliance at the merge.  Unfortunately, if his leg doesn’t heal his time will be up very quick.

Gordon Holmes’s Picks
Gordon’s Current Score: 54

jerri #1 Jerri: Jerri’s playing a phenomenal game. She seems to be going with the flow and flying under the radar. She’s a cinch to hit the merge, where she won’t be seen as a threat, leaving her plenty of room to maneuver.
rupert #2 Rupert: I think Rupert’s solidly in the dominant alliance in the Heroes tribe. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s dead in the water once the merge happens, but he’s super safe for the time being.
danielle #3 Danielle: Whose side is Danielle on? She was one of the first people Russell approached when the game began, but we haven’t seen much from her since then.
sandra #4 Sandra: She’s safe, but only because the Villains have such a big number advantage over the Heroes right now. If the teams were even she’d be an obvious choice to send home.
coach #5 Coach: With the Villains being as dominant as they’ve been, Coach’s next vote could shape the rest of this game. Will he choose the King of Samoa who knighted him or the Puzzle Master who he hopes to emulate? I’m thinking he sides with Boston Rob.
tyson #6 Tyson: I think Tyson will vote the way Coach votes and will be safe for a while. Also, Tyson has a golden opportunity to sit back and make subtle moves while the alpha males in his tribe battle it out.
jt #7 JT: JT was a challenge monster in Tocantins, but that hasn’t really translated into success for the Heroes. Add that to the fact that nobody trusts him anymore after all of his flip-flopping and JT is in bad shape. I think he’s safe for now, then gone after the merge.
colby #8 Colby: Voting Colby off would be tribe suicide for the Heroes right now. That doesn’t mean the Heroes won’t do it. It would just be the next in a series of pretty questionable moves.
russell(2) #9 Russell: It looks the Boston Rob/Russell feud is finally going to blow up. My bet is that Team Boston Rob has to know that Russell has the idol and will plan accordingly. That’s bad news for Russell and worse news for his closest buddy…
amanda #10 Amanda: There’s a lot of talk about James or Colby going home on the Heroes side, but why are they keeping Amanda around? Could she take the hit due to Colby being such a challenge asset?
#11 James: Has anyone had a rougher time in “Heroes Vs. Villains” than James? Not only is his tribe being decimated and his leg is hurt, but his reputation is going to suffer due to the Stephenie blow up. Here’s hoping he can rebound and redeem himself.
courtney #12 Courtney: If the Villains decide to wait to have their Rob/Russell smackdown, Courtney might be a good choice to send home. She rarely participates in challenges, and doesn’t seem to be doing that much around camp.
bostonrob #13 Boston Rob: I’m betting that Parvati goes home for the Villains as Team Rob assumes Russell will play the immunity idol. However, I’m not confident in this bet, so I’m ranking Boston Rob low just in case Russell pulls off another miracle.
candice #14 Candice: If the Heroes are debating between sending Colby and James home, Candice could be a compromise. The Heroes need Colby if they ever want to win another immunity challenge and James is the head of his alliance so he isn’t going anywhere. This could leave Candice the odd person out.
parvati #15 Parvati: There’s a good side and a bad side to somebody in your alliance having an immunity idol. I have a feeling Parvati is going to experience that bad side when Team Boston Rob tries to flush out the idol.

More “Survivor” Fun: I had a chance to ask a bunch of former and current players who their picks are for the Biggest Hero in “Survivor” History. Also, don’t miss Fancast’s exclusive commentary from “Survivor: The Amazon” winner Jenna Morasca.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Tom Westman

March 12, 2010

“I think (Tom Westman) is the ultimate winner. I think he’s the face you’d like to have represent the show. He won the game by playing with integrity. He led his tribe, which is impossible to do these days and not get voted out. And, he was smart enough not to come back for an All-Star because he knew he would only damage his reputation.” Jeff Probst – September 2008

Yeah, maybe Tom isn’t as smart as Jeff thinks…

Tom learned the hard way that what worked during his dominating “Survivor: Palau” victory wouldn’t fly during “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains.” I chatted with Tom the morning after his elimination to get his real feelings about Rupert, James, and puzzles.

Gordon Holmes: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today, Tom.
Tom Westman:
What’s going on, Gordon?  How is everything?
Gordon: Not so good. My show is confusing me.
Tom: (Laughs) What’s the matter?
Gordon: They’re calling it “Heroes Vs. Villains” and most of the Heroes are acting like (expletive deleted).
Tom: (Laughs) I didn’t put too much stock into the whole being labeled either way. I’d have much rather been given some made-up tribe name. They put a tag on you and give the other tribe a reason to prove them wrong and it gave some people on my tribe the license to be a jerk. And you knew the fun was going to be the Heroes weren’t all going to be heroic.

Gordon: Heading into this season, Rupert had the reputation of being America’s favorite player. Were you at all surprised with how he’s been playing the game?
I wasn’t shocked. I’d always heard negative things about Rupert from people who’ve played with him. He’s kind of simple, and he’ll find someone who will take care of them, and he stays with that person. This time it was Amanda. He’s a tough guy to share a beach with. He has his way that things should be done which is sometimes so ridiculous that you’d just straighten him out if you weren’t on “Survivor.” But he’s just blundering along there.

Gordon: People also seem to be shocked with the way James has been acting. Again, was this a shock to you?
Both of those guys, as a fan of the show, I watched and rooted for both of them. And it was disappointing to get to meet them and to find out how shallow Rupert is and how brutish James is. It really wasn’t that enjoyable. There wasn’t too much conversation to be had. It was very superficial.
Gordon: And loud and insulting when it came to Stephenie.
Tom: His treatment of Stephenie…you’re in this game where you have to bite your tongue all day. But it was so ugly that two people could no longer bite their tongue. And Colby and I just…that was enough. I give Colby a lot of credit, he was the guy that jumped in first. I was the guy that just followed it up.

Gordon: If you had to put the “Hero” tag on someone in your tribe would it be Colby?
Yeah, but it’s kind of odd. I don’t buy too much into the labeling. We’re playing a game where we’re all trying to deceive each other. Is it anti-heroic to form alliances? No. Is it anti-heroic to blindside someone? No. It is anti-heroic to belittle and intimidate someone who already knows they’re going home. Yes. As far as the strategy of the game, I don’t think that makes anyone a hero or a villain.

Gordon: After last week’s Cirie vote, did you think JT was solidly on your side?
No, I was optimistic that we were going to make the swing, but I also knew that I needed to get Rupert to come on board too. I was trying to appeal to his ego. I was making the case, “Is it OK that you’re being led around by Amanda Kimmel? That she’s the leader of the Heroes tribe on the 20th season of ‘Survivor?’” And, I just couldn’t get him to shake. He couldn’t think it out enough. I’d say to him, “Do you know how you’re going to come off this time out? You’re going to be embarrassed.” But, I couldn’t get him to make the switch. Candice was firmly on board with us, but when I saw her and JT arguing I was like, “JT is not on board.” And Candice let me know. JT had a chance to be in a foursome with Amanda, James, and Rupert or me, Colby, and Candice. But we all suspect that Amanda and James have their crew on the Villains side. And JT’s close with Courtney and Parvati and Amanda are friends. It’s a potential six that they have right there and he knew with us he only had a foursome.

Gordon: A year and a half ago, Jeff Probst and I did a Q&A piece where we chose you as the best “Survivor” winner of all time. It was one of the very few things we actually agreed on. As the best winner, was there an extra target on your back because you were so dominant in Palau?
Yeah, you have to know that. That was the discussion that went on at home. If I was playing this game I’d take me out first too. It went well for me last time. Everything went well, I played a good social game and a good physical game. So, I’m a natural target. But I figured ability will get me to the merge and then I’ll scramble and do what I have to do. But I certainly didn’t think I’d be going home before the merge and before it became an individual game.

Gordon: Since you’ve been home, has there been a situation where you’ve been in a store and seen a puzzle?
Gordon: Would that give you the cold sweats?
I’m just one of those people who has never been entertained by doing puzzles. If I would have trained for the show it wouldn’t have involved going out swimming or things like that. I’d pick myself up a Rubik’s Cube.
Gordon: Why are puzzles the Achilles’ heel of the Heroes tribe?
Tom: It was really frustrating. I know we’re not bad at puzzles, we’re just not as good as Boston Rob. I guess we would have done better if we’d just done sumo wrestling for every challenge.

Gordon: It’s always nice to talk to former winners to get their expert opinion on important “Survivor” matters. So, with that being said this may be the most critical question you’re asked all day: if there was a footrace between James and Jeff Probst’s niece, who would win?
(Laughs) I’m putting all of my money, all of my winnings on Jeff Probst’s niece.

‘Survivor: H.V.V’ Episode 5 Recap: The King Gets a Dragon Slayer

March 11, 2010

Last Week: Coach wept over things Sandra said, Sandra crept over to where Russell was searching for the immunity idol, and JT leapt over to Tom and Colby’s side and booted Cirie in the process.

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
Amanda Kimmel – 24
James “JT” Thomas Jr. – 25
Tom Westman – 45
Candice Woodcock – 27

The Villain Tribe
(wearing red)

Tyson Apostol – 30
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 up with the Heroes returning to camp after tribal council. Colby lets us know that JT is a real American hero, just like G.I. Joe.

JT tells everyone that the vote wasn’t personal and that he was just trying to make the tribe stronger. Rupert and his toe don’t buy that explanation for a second.

The following morning, the Villains are found on the beach participating in some “Dragon-Slayer Chi.” His words, not mine. True to form, Coach takes it very seriously. Courtney and Sandra do not.

Everyone participates except for Russell. Russell is busy practicing his Find-the-Idol Chi. And true to form, he finally finds the hidden immunity idol.

Reward Challenge: Schmergen Brawl is back, baby! Between this and last week’s challenge, it’s like a clip show of challenges that have injured players.

In Schmergen Brawl, three players from each team will fight over balls. Once they have a ball, they’ll toss it to their teammates who are standing on platforms. Those players will then try to shoot a basket. First team to score two baskets wins a trip to Chocolate Island or something weird like that. Jerri almost bursts into flames at the mention of chocolate.

J-Pro tries to entice them with a little chocolate, but the Heroes aren’t into it, they want to rumble. Probst takes offense to them turning down his generous offer and lets them know that the challenge won’t start until he gets to say a few of his catchphrases.

Angry Probst.

The Villains will sit out Amanda, Courtney, and Parvati. Colby will sit out for the Heroes.

Round 1:
James does a very good job getting the balls to his team, but he goes down after a rebound attempt. Medical is brought in and James’s leg is in bad shape. Medical eventually pulls him out of the challenge.

Play starts back up with Amanda quickly scoring for the Heroes.

Round 2: JT and Rob get into it a couple of times with neither guy gaining an advantage. Eventually Tyson scores for the bad guys.

After the play Rupert smashes Jerri face-first into the retaining wall. It didn’t look intentional, but it did look violent.

Round 3: JT smartly figures out a strategy where he can use the ball to knock the Villains’ shots out of the air. However, he can’t stop Jerri from getting to her chocolate. She hits the winning shot for the Villains.

After the challenge, Medical decides to splint James’s leg up to see if he can walk. I’m sure this is all Stephenie’s fault somehow.

Meanwhile, the Villains are having a ball at Chocolate Island. Everyone is so busy eating they didn’t notice Augustus Gloop falling into a river in the background.

After the gorging, Coach, Tyson, Boston Rob, Jerri, and Sandra discuss strategy. It looks like Russell and Parvati are going to be in a bit of trouble the next time the Villains lose immunity.

Back at chocolate central, Russell admits to Parvati that he’s found the idol. They plot to make a move to get Coach to flip.

Russell approaches Coach in an attempt to bring him into the fold. Coach is touched that Russell trusts him enough to share the idol. Coach displays this by kneeling in front of Russell. Russell responds by “knighting” Coach.


At the Heroes camp, Amanda points out that this could be the second time James goes home because of an injury. Then she cries and says, “If James doesn’t come back, what am I going to do?”

And…why is she on the Heroes tribe again?

Fortunately for Amanda,  James limps his way back into camp. And fortunately for us, we don’t have to listen to her cry anymore.

Candice is less emotional about the injury, noting that James should be the next to go if they lose immunity.

Immunity Challenge: One person from each team will call out orders. The other players will be blindfolded. The blindfolded players will have to retrieve ten puzzle pieces. First tribe to put their puzzle together wins immunity.

The Villains will sit out Tyson and Danielle.

Jerri calls for the Villains (flashback to Australia) while James and his leg will call for the Heroes.

Hilarity ensues as the players stumble all over the course. Rob in particular takes a nasty shot to the midsection. Eventually the Heroes win the puzzle retrieval portion but not before James loses his voice (this isn’t his week).

Unfortunately for the Heroes, their trouble with puzzles continues as the Villains manage to complete the puzzle first and win their second straight immunity challenge.

Back at the Heroes camp, the players have come to the conclusion that they’re terrible at puzzles. See, the Heroes are observant. Too bad there isn’t an observing immunity challenge.

Politicking revolves around James’s alliance wanting Tom to go home because he confuses them during challenges.


Tom and his alliance want James to go because…you know…he can barely walk.

JT, in his effort to be trusted, tells both sides he’s voting for the other team’s guy. Colby sees right through this.

That night at tribal council, J-Pro tells us that his niece could beat James in a race right now. James disagrees. Wow…CBS, make this happen. James yelling at Probst’s niece would be ratings gold.

After that exchange, James accuses Tom and Candice of losing the challenge for them.

Tom thinks James is being kept around because he’s loyal to his alliance, not because he can help in challenges. Tom also thinks he’s going home unless some “good people” do the right thing.

Voting Time: Tom votes for James saying “All mass, no class” and the rest are kept secret.

At least if Tom gets voted out he can snag a sweet job writing for Hallmark.

J-Pro tallies the votes, then reads them; two votes for Tom, two votes for James, one vote for Tom, and the fifth person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” is…Tom.

Verdict: Wow, voting out Tom while they’re getting killed in challenges seems like a really bad move. JT and James’s alliance could have voted out Candice and kept their numbers if they were determined to keep James around. That being said, the season has been very entertaining so far.  I can’t wait until we get to see the Villains finally throw down.

Who’s Going to Win?
I’m going to stick with Jerri. I’m thinking she goes where the Dragon Slayer goes. And he’s in a good spot right now.

Power Rankings Update: “Survivor: Vanuatu’s” Scout Cloud Lee didn’t do the All-Star team any favors. She had Tom in the first position while I had him in the eleventh spot. That makes the current score All-Stars 25, Team Gordon 54. Who’ll step up for the All-Stars next? Bobby Jon Drinkard from “Survivor: Palau” and “Survivor: Guatemala.” I can’t blow a big lead two seasons in a row…right?

More “Survivor” Fun: I had a chance to ask a bunch of former and current players who their picks are for the Biggest Hero in “Survivor” History. Also, don’t miss Fancast’s exclusive commentary from “Survivor: The Amazon” winner Jenna Morasca.

Note: “Survivor” will be preempted by basketball next week. So, the Power Rankings will return on Tuesday, March 23.

Stupid basketball…

What Do You Think? Can Russell trust Coach? Should the Heroes have picked Tom over James? Are “Survivor” challenges getting too violent?

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings – ‘Survivor: Vanuatu’s’ Scout Cloud Lee

March 9, 2010

The Rules: Each week a member of our “Survivor” All-Star team and your beloved “Survivor” recapper 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 12 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: JT turned on his alliance and helped Tom and Colby vote out Cirie. This earned the “Survivor” All Star Team three points while Gordon chalked up sixteen points.

So, before we get into the rankings, let’s catch up with “Survivor: Vanuatu’s” second runner up Scout Cloud Lee.

Gordon Holmes: Thanks for playing this week, Scout. What’ve you been up to since we last saw you on “Survivor: Vanuatu?”
Scout Cloud Lee:
Bought ranches, sold ranches, ran cattle, sold cattle, moved to Hawaii and built a home, moved back to Oklahoma where I belong, bought another little ranch, wrote several books, captured lots of consulting contracts, traveled in and out of the country, done lots of keynoting speaking, continue to blog for the press and TV, kayaked, rode my horses, hiked, built a great addition to our ranch home, and met an amazing person and settled down.

Gordon: Wow! And I’m proud of myself when I get up before noon. How are you feeling about “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains?”
Evil Knievel’s cycle couldn’t jump over my pause…duh!  Great!  Best yet!  It’s really a new game in lots of ways because the veterans of “Survivor” just can’t have so much wool pulled over their eyes.  People always show up being themselves and nothing much has changed about any of the castmates.  I’m predicting that JT and Sandra are going to finish strong.  If wishing makes it so, we’ll get Coach out of this game so I don’t have to take anti-nausea meds to endure the episodes.

Scout Cloud Lee’s Picks
All-Star Team’s Current Score: 24

tom #1 Tom: He pulled off a miracle.  What an inspiring drill sergeant maturity can be. Tom immediately formed “a committee” to divine the use of the immunity idol, and was able to pull in JT.  “Tomorrow we make our apologies.  Tonight we make our move.”  This was one of the slickest “blindsides” in the history of “Survivor.”  Candice will be very wise to get on board with the really, really good guys.
bostonrob #2 Boston Rob: Rob gets all my votes tonight.  He is blistering, blindly smart.  His “Come to Jesus talk” with Coach almost had me turning cartwheels. “Pick your (expletive deleted) head up and act like a man!  For real!”  It’s like dropping a bucket of bleeding fish into a shark’s tank to piss off Rob.  Rob is also on to Russell: “He’s a bonehead that can’t be trusted; a hobbit on crack.”
jt #3 JT: This cowboy’s charm, charisma, common sense, and ability to align with tribe members will keep this cowboy in the saddle all the way to the final two.
colby #4 Colby: Colby continues to play with gentleman’s grace and lots of integrity.  Sometimes his boat needs to rock a little to bring about the change of direction that he and Tom pulled off this week.
#5 James: James all greased up is the finest show of arm candy on national television and his strategy remains the same:  I just want to win food, gifts, etc.
candice #6 Candice: She is way under the radar, but on top of the strategy game.  Her soft-spoken way of steering the vote may not have played out this week, but she’s keeping her emotions tucked in a straitjacket and will probably make any shift needed to stay in this game.
tyson #7 Tyson: Tyson’s game is all about Popeye physical strength this season.  I’m missing his obnoxious mouth.  He’s one of those little mysteries dropped on Earth and is undetected until now.  Can’t figure out why he didn’t hurl all over Coach.
sandra #8 Sandra: Sandra is bound to slide into the final two slot with the same game she has always played:  sassy, smart, and “I don’t care as long as it ain’t me”. You can mark my word the girl is as slippery as snot on glass.
danielle #9 Danielle: She just keeps showing up and showing ass.  What guy wants to vote that off!?
rupert #10 Rupert: He’s making a bit of a showing in the physical game, but I personally think he would have saved a lot of face by staying home this season.  His voice still sounds like it’s strained through Paul Bunyan’s underwear, but his slap knee humor is lacking and I know it’s hard to watch himself with a limp and a big Buddha belly.
russell(2) #11 Russell: Russell has met his match in Rob.  The God Father can’t be fooled by Russell’s delusions of grandeur.  You, Russell…Off my planet!
jerri #12 Jerri: Jerri is only staying in this game because others must go first.  Her alliance with Coach is actually a perfect match for two people who could make a preacher cuss.
amanda #13 Amanda: She’s a pretty girl, Ho Hum, Yawn, etc.  Just another girl hanging on to coattails.
parvati #14 Parvati: Parvati can’t seem to hook the guys with her sex appeal and manipulation.  Don’t really think she’ll last long, maybe not even to the merge.
courtney #15 Courtney: She’s a mystery to me.  I just suppose that the producers want to honor anorexic Barbie Doll wannabes.  She’s bound to go as soon as the Heroes win immunity. She’s about as useful as a pogo stick in mud.
coach #16 Coach: The curtain opens with Coach threatening to “quit” because Sassy Sandra hurt his feelings.  Waa Waa!  Pleeeeaaaassseee!  Since when is weeping, whining, wailing, and threatening to go home the mark of “A dragon slayer, the last of the Mohicans, a legend, a person of nobility, a King Arthur warrior, one of a kind!”  Barf, hurl, and puke!!!  Rob had it right:  Coach is not “much of a coach.”  The thick file of obvious reasons to vote out Coach grows fatter by the day.  Go ahead and wear your heart on your sleeve, Coach.  I love seeing the big, fat, pathetic cry baby in his transparent personality.  We shape our understanding of others by what we find memorable in them and I don’t think Coach will ever outlive this sob session and his cockamamie BS in front of 30 million people.

Gordon Holmes’s Picks
Gordon’s Current Score: 43

jerri #1 Jerri: Something’s brewing under the surface of the Villains tribe. It can’t be as easy as “Everyone vs. Russell.” I think likable, but non-threatening Jerri is playing it just right.
candice #2 Candice: She went from being next on the chopping block to having quite a bit of power over on the Heroes side. I don’t know which side she’s going to choose, but it’s going to have a huge impact on the rest of the game.
courtney #3 Courtney: I picture Courtney just hanging out in the background, occasionally trading sarcastic banter with Tyson. She might be my dark horse to take this whole thing.
sandra #4 Sandra: I thought Sandra was going to be in trouble after calling Coach out at the last tribal council. But it appears that she’s solidly in Boston Rob’s camp. She’ll be safe for a while.
tyson #5 Tyson: I’m thinking Tyson is in an excellent position right now. He’s obviously in good with Coach and the rest of the ladies in camp. And, he’s not viewed as a major threat in challenges, so he’ll have a chance to coast a bit after the merge.
colby #6 Colby: Dodged a bullet last week, but the numbers still aren’t in his favor. Something that is in his favor is the fact that the James’s alliance probably wants to get rid of Tom or JT first.
parvati #7 Parvati: With Russell on the outs with the rest of the Villains (supposedly), where does this leave poor Parvati? Surely there’s someone she can lure with her seductive ways.
rupert #8 Rupert: Boy, did J-Pro dress down “Survivor’s” favorite son at tribal council or what?! There are a couple of cases of less-than-heroic Heroes on the blue side and nobody’s feeling that more that the tie-dye pirate.
danielle #9 Danielle: Have we heard more than three words from Danielle this season? The only strategy we’ve seen from her is a brief talk with Russell. Did she join Russell’s dumb a—girl alliance, or is she on Boston Rob’s side?
bostonrob #10 Boston Rob: Boston Rob has been playing this game like a champ. Unfortunately, where the Heroes are whittling their tribe down by the weakest players, the Villains are in a position to take out some of their stronger players.
tom #11 Tom: No matter what happens from this point on, I want it to be known that I’m a Tom fan for life. I thought he was a machine in Palau and he’s living up to that billing in Samoa. But again, his time in the game probably hinges on what Candice does.
jt #12 JT: Was JT’s move to get rid of Cirie entertaining? Yup. Was it smart? Probably not. If Candice decides to stay with the other side of the camp, he, Tom, and Colby could be gone next.
coach #13 Coach: Jeez, Coach…sorry your woobie was hurt last week, but you’d better watch all of that quitting talk. That can land you in a world of trouble.
amanda #14 Amanda: If Amanda is smart, she’s trying to become Candice’s best friend right about now. Because if Candice decides to side with Team Tom, Amanda’s surely the next to go.
#15 James: Judging by the previews, it looks like James might be the latest victim of the dreaded Schmergen Brawl challenge. Hopefully it’s not serious and he can continue. Medical evacuations are the worst. That and Stephenie will make fun of him.
russell(2) #16 Russell: C’mon Russell. You didn’t really go for a walk and let Sandra catch you looking for the idol, did you? For entertainment value, I hope you stay. For that less-than-impressive move, you may have to go.

More “Survivor” Fun: I had a chance to ask a bunch of former and current players who their picks are for the Biggest Hero in “Survivor” History. Also, don’t miss Fancast’s exclusive commentary from “Survivor: The Amazon” winner Jenna Morasca.

‘Survivor’ Players Pick the Show’s Biggest Hero

March 8, 2010

To celebrate its twentieth season, “Survivor” has reunited some of the franchise’s most beloved Heroes and most hated Villains. Ten former players were chosen to represent the Heroes side of that equation, but who do former and current players consider to be the show’s most noble competitors?  We got their thoughts during this past January’s “Survivor” reunion party…

Who is the biggest hero in “Survivor” history?

“Me. (Laughs) I happen to love Amanda (Kimmel) from my season. She’s amazing and so sweet to everybody. And Rupert, he’s the biggest hero of all time. You can’t beat Rupert as far as that goes.” Todd Herzog – Winner of “Survivor: China”

“There are so many to choose from, but I’m going to go with James (Clement) because he’s the original China hero.” Courtney Yates – “Survivor: China” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains”

“I don’t think you can be a hero. And if you are you finish horribly. If you bring valor and honesty, go away. That’s not what it’s about.” Jon “Jonny Fairplay” Dalton – “Survivor: Pearl Islands” and “Survivor: Fans Vs. Favorites”

“The best hero has to be JT (Thomas). Great guy, great competitor, all around. Maybe the best player ever.” Stephen Fishbach – “Survivor: Tocantins”

“JT from our season. I’ve got to give kudos to JT.” Debra Beebe – “Survivor: Tocantins”

“I’d be crazy not to say Cirie, (laughs) because she is amazing.” Cirie Fields – “Survivor: Panama,” “Survivor: Fans Vs. Favorites,” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains”

“Yul Kwon maybe? I mean, it’s tough to define a hero. Real-life hero? Ethan Zohn, he’s battling cancer.” Dan Kay – “Survivor: Gabon”

“Chris Daugherty.” Chris Daugherty – Winner of “Survivor: Vanuatu”

“It’d have to be Tom (Westman) or Stephenie (LaGrossa).” Coby Archa – “Survivor: Palau”

“JT would be my biggest hero simply because he’s a cutie and I love him!” Tamara “Taj” George – “Survivor: Tocantins”

“Rudy (Boesch) is definitely the biggest hero. That man was like 75 when he played ‘All Stars’ and not once did he complain. I’ve never seen anyone that strong before.” Jerri Manthey – “Survivor: The Australian Outback,” “Survivor: All Stars,” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains”

More “Survivor” Fun:
Check out my exit interview with recently booted hero Cirie Fields and the latest insider observations from “Survivor: The Amazon” champion Jenna Morasca.

What do you think? Who is your pick for the biggest hero in “Survivor” history?

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Cirie Fields

March 5, 2010

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Yes, I totally lifted that from a shampoo commercial, but it absolutely holds true in All-Star seasons of “Survivor.” Heading into “Heroes Vs. Villains” the other players knew exactly what to expect from Cirie Fields. She isn’t a dynamo in challenges, but she can wrap the weaker players around her finger. So, when JT was looking to get rid of some of the more strategic players, Cirie was sent packing.

I talked with Cirie the day after her dismissal to get her thoughts on JT’s backstabbery (not a word), the rumored Micronesia alliance, the corporate slogan she lives by (not the one I used), and why she would have rather been on the Villains tribe.

Gordon Holmes: Good morning, Cirie.
Cirie Fields:
Good morning, how are you?
Gordon: Actually, not so good. You ever put on your shoes really quickly and your socks get really bunched up?
Cirie: Oh…I hate that!
Gordon: Yeah, and I had a train to catch so I didn’t have time to fix it. It’s been a total disaster.
Cirie: (Laughs) No no no no no no, I don’t care where, I will stop half in stride to fix that.

Gordon: Enough of my sock issues, let’s talk about “Survivor.”
Alright, let’s go.
Gordon: You were blindsided by JT last night, did you have any clue that was going to go down?
Cirie: No. We had a plan in place; we knew Tom had the idol. That’s why we split the vote three and three. I was always a little sketchy about JT and I knew he was setting himself up to be in the perfect position. And for some reason, even after being betrayed by JT, Tom and Colby still trusted him. And I knew that put him in the perfect position to be a decision maker.
Gordon: Did you express any of your concerns over JT with the rest of your alliance?
Cirie: I did. I always said to Amanda, “Why are you bending over backwards for JT?” It seemed like Amanda would do whatever JT wanted her to do. And granted, when you’re in an alliance you have to go with the flow. But you have to dissect the plan and see what it means for you.

Gordon: Earlier in the game you said you didn’t care who went home as long as it wasn’t you. Were there any regrets that you stuck your neck out for Candice and got away from your “Anyone but me” strategy?
If we got rid of Candice then that would leave our alliance, JT, Colby and Tom. So, who do you think would be next? If I let Candice go there goes my buffer. So, if Candice goes tonight I’d feel like a piece of meat surrounded by lions. The second things go wrong and we don’t win immunity who are they going to eat?

Gordon: In the pre-game interviews several people were saying, “You’ve got to watch out for Cirie because she’s so strategic.” Then during the show, Tom and JT both mention they need to take you out because you’re too strategic. Does it put you at too much of a disadvantage to be thought of as a smart player the second or third time around?
Absolutely. I’d rather not be thought of strategic and stay in the game because everybody’s worried about me. I’d rather be forgotten about really.

Gordon: Do you think the title of “Heroes” went to some people’s heads?
I don’t know if it was the title or the people themselves. A lot of the time out there I wish I was a villain. Because, being a hero you already have ego issues. And that just sent it through the roof. And I was with a bunch of nice people…let me say that first. But, I don’t know how all of those egos fit on the beach.

Gordon: You were there when James flipped out on Stephenie. Has that display made the other players start to view him differently?
I think the world is viewing James differently. You get a glimpse of a person’s personality, but spending time with people and living there with people, you see that people are human and they react. Sometimes you’re having a good day and sometimes you’re having a bad day. I just think that was a side of James that the world hadn’t seen yet. I’m living with him, so I know it’s there.

Gordon: On the Villains side there was concern over a Micronesia alliance between you, James, Amanda, and Parvati. Had there been any discussion of the four of you teaming up?
Stephenie told me they were afraid that we’d have an alliance, but that was crazy to me. That would make you assume that I’ve spoken to these people in the past two years. If there was an alliance, nobody told me. I didn’t get the memo on that one. I tried to explain to them that there is no alliance.

Gordon: OK, word association time. Let’s start with James.
Socially inept. (Laughs) That’s the villain coming out of me!
Gordon: Tom?
Cirie: Overconfident.
Gordon: Colby?
Cirie: Judgmental.
Gordon: Amanda?
Cirie: Blonde.
Gordon: Slipping and or sliding?
Cirie: Not fun.
Gordon: Candice?
Cirie: Candice…nervous Nelly. Damn, Candice!
Gordon: Russell?
Cirie: Satan. (Laughs)
Gordon: And let’s finish it off with JT.
Cirie: Dead to me. No, I’m just kidding. (Laughs) JT is a confused southern boy.

Gordon: Now, you’ve always been portrayed as someone who was a couch potato that went on this great adventure and now you’re out there living life to the fullest. What have you taken from “Survivor” and how do you apply that to your everyday life?
“Survivor” for me has broadened my horizons in so many aspects. Just do it. I hate to steal that from the Nike campaign. But go for it, don’t care what anyone else thinks, you never know what you can do until you try. And that one try could be something as fantastic as three seasons on “Survivor.”

More “Survivor” fun: Check out my recap of the last episode and the latest insights from “Survivor: The Amazon” champion Jenna Morasca.

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