Archive for October, 2010

Poor, Trusting, Abused Linus

October 30, 2010

Sat down with the alliance partner this evening to watch the Halloween classic, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” It occurred to me that whenever I watch this special, I always ask myself the same questions…

Why doesn’t Charlie Brown tell Violet where to stick that marker when she draws on his head?

How does PigPen kick up a cloud of dust indoors?

Did Snoopy hallucinate the whole World War 1 sequence?

But this year I was hit with a new question…

Who told Linus about the Great Pumpkin in the first place?

Seriously. It’s not like he made up the story himself. Sure, kids are capable of coming up with some imaginative stories, but he’d know better than to pursue it if it was his own creation.

My bet is that some a**hole uncle told him about it as a joke. Sincere pumpkin patch? That sounds like the same ridiculous crap I tell my nephew.

Now I feel terrible.

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Straight Guy’s Shame

October 29, 2010

I love gay men.

I’m not even going to backtrack and say “Whoa…in a platonic way.” If you want to think I’m gay, go right ahead.

In fact, please think I’m gay. I’d consider it quite a compliment. I can count on one hand the gay men and women I’ve met in my life that I haven’t liked.

Unfortunately, I didn’t used to be so open minded about such things. Oh sure, I’ve always been fond of gay people and gay culture, but the fact that people would think I was gay used to bother me. In fact, a rumor that was spread about me and another guy in high school was downright distressing at the time. (more…)

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Jillian Behm

October 28, 2010

Jill was sitting pretty at Espada. She had Marty, Tyrone, Dan, Yve, and an immunity idol. Now, three episodes after the tribe swap she’s long gone (along with Tyrone, Yve, and the idol). For me, that makes Jane one of the great “Coulda Been” stories in “Survivor” history.

But, that’s how the water polo ball bounces after it’s pathetically thrown by a guy with two bad knees as he tumbles off a wall into a urine-filled pool.

I spoke with Jill the morning after her elimination to find out why Marty gave Sash the idol, if Fabio was given grief over relieving himself in the pool, and which player she finds “reprehensible.”

Gordon Holmes: Last night was kind of a weird episode in that they really focused on Marty, yet you were the one who went home. What were you doing behind the scenes to save yourself?
Jillian Behm:
Yeah, there wasn’t a lot to do. Once the tribe switch happened we were down three to five. And once Jane defected there it was two to six. Marty and I tried pretty hard to try to make inroads, or crack the nut with them, but we really didn’t. They were pretty secure in their alliance and they had Jane as a disposable vote. We tried talking to Sash, he strung us along, gave us sort of a hope that maybe things will work out. But it was pretty frustrating, there was nothing we could do. Even looking back at it I still think to this day there isn’t anything I could do to save my neck.

Gordon: Last night Jane mentioned that you and Marty had made her feel like an ugly duckling, but we never really saw anything like that. Can you give us any insight on why she would feel that way?
Jill:
You know, I can’t. I was shocked to see a lot of sides of Jane last night. We didn’t treat her badly at Espada. And Jane had a couple of medical things, minor, not enough to warrant medical treatment from the production staff, but minor medical issues that I helped her out with. And she kind of ran off and did her own thing. It’s not like she came to Marty and I and said, “I want to be in an alliance with you, “ and we said, “No.” She was in an alliance with Wendy Jo and Holly, she was loosely aligned with Jimmy T. She was picking bad alliances. But she never came to us. And for her to say we treated her badly, especially after I’d taken care of her was pretty shocking.
Gordon: I’d be much nicer to someone who was helping to fix me up.
Jill: I think Jane’s got a bit of a vindictive streak. I think she’s pretty easily pointing the finger at other people. She sees nothing wrong with what she’s doing by hoarding coconuts and fish. And I’ve seen people online who are like, “They’re her fish, she caught them.” And that might be, but while she’s catching fish I’m filling her canteen with water. She may be up at 5:30, but there’s someone up at 1, 3, and 5 a.m. stoking the fire. We all have our part, so it’s not like she’s the only one working. So she’s cheating, lying, and I think pretty reprehensible.
Gordon: Did you have any idea that those things were going on?
Jill: No, it wasn’t until I watched the show.
Gordon: How did that make you feel?
Jill: Honestly, I felt angry at first, but in reflecting and thinking about this person and how she abused me and Marty and how she conducts herself…I guess I feel pity for her that life has made her turn out this way.

Gordon: You and Marty were obviously very close, you were comfortable enough to give him the immunity idol. How did that all come about?
Jill:
That’s something that wasn’t shown. Marty, Yve, and I were on the beach during the Medallion of Power (challenge) that was the very first hour of the very first day. We looked at each other and said, “Yes,” and we were committed. I felt really good with the two of them. Yve and I tried to keep our alliance a secret because we didn’t want people to know we were a threesome, so we went out of our way not to be seen together.
Gordon: I wanted to give you a chance to address this; Jimmy T. had alluded that he felt there was a bit of a romantic attachment between you and Marty. Any truth to that?
Jill: I can assure there was nothing romantic about it. Marty and I have a lot in common.  We’re both married for many years with children, well, his children are younger. (Jimmy T.) said that to me, “It’s almost like you’re in love with him.” But, no, we just hit it off. I don’t know if Jimmy T. understands that you can have relationships with people without romance.
Gordon: Was it rough to be in an alliance with Marty when there wasn’t a thing you could do to fix his hair?
Jill: (Laughs) Yeah, he was starting to look like a little wild man. And I said, “Why’d you leave your hair so long?” He gave me some song and dance about it, but he does have an Amadeus thing going on, doesn’t he?

Gordon: How did you feel about Marty giving the idol to Sash last night?
Jill:
They told Marty that they were going to do that, force the decision on him. And he asked what I wanted him to do, and we made that decision together. And I said, “Either way, I’m gone, but at least maybe you can curry favor or stay alive another day.” Cause we didn’t know that Jane was so tight with them. So, maybe they’ll pick him over Jane next time, we didn’t know. But, Marty and Sash both told me I was going home.

Gordon: We’re just now getting to see Sash in action, what are your impressions of him?
Jill:
Sash is very bright, obviously. I actually realized that when we got to La Flor. It was obvious that he and Brenda were the only ones playing the game. Fabs…what you see is what you get with him. He’s not making any moves. So it was all Sash and Brenda. It was hard to watch last night with them being so cocky and vindictive. With me, it was never personal. I never took glee in voting someone out. It was like moving a pawn on a chessboard, but they’re sort of personalizing the game and doing some things that don’t sit well with me.

Gordon: Did Fabio face any kind of backlash from La Flor for peeing in the pool?
Jill:
(Laughs) No, it was just Fabs. And do you know what he got away with? He voted for Brenda in the first Tribal Council, and Brenda thought it was Kelly B. That’s why Brenda wanted her out so bad. So Fabs has had some luck in this game. And nobody was too bent out of shape about him peeing in the pool.

Gordon: We have heard next to nothing from Purple Kelly. What can you tell us about her, what kind of game is she playing? What’s she like? What’s her favorite color besides purple?
Jill:
I don’t know what her favorite color is besides purple, but it’s probably yellow. She’s a very sweet girl. She’s very nice. And don’t forget, she’s the youngest player out there. I actually liked her very well because she wants to go into nursing school. We talked about that. It’s a shame she’s not being shown more because she is funny…and she does have some blonde moments out there. But, she’s a really nice girl.

Gordon: OK, word association. I give you a name, you give me the first thing you think of. Let’s start with Fabio.
Jill:
Fabio, Duuuude.
Gordon: Brenda?
Jill: Sexy.
Gordon: Sash?
Jill: Crafty.
Gordon: Jimmy T.?
Jill: Family man.
Gordon: Jimmy J.?
Jill: Gentleman.
Gordon: Marty?
Jill: Brother.
Gordon: Dan?
Jill: Loyal.
Gordon: Tyrone?
Jill: Athletic.
Gordon: Jane?
Jill: Pitiable.
Gordon: And let’s finish off with Holly.
Jill: Caring.

Gordon: What do you take from your time in Nicaragua that you can apply to your everyday life?
Jill:
It was so much harder than I ever thought was possible. And I’m a student of the game and I’m pretty tough, I’m athletic, I have an outdoorsy background, but that place literally brought me to my knees at times. Every day now I thank God for a roof over my head, a bed under me, and food in my mouth. It is so amazing how the smallest thing like a tissue or a bar of soap or all of the little things that we take for granted, I hope I never lose that appreciation.

Gordon: When we talked in Nicaragua, you were very excited to get out there and beat some guys in the challenges. You had an opportunity to do that when you won that first individual immunity challenge. How did that feel?
Jill:
That felt so good. When I applied for the show, I applied on the platform of being tired of these little girls who suck at challenges. So, I’m like, “Please, put a kick-ass woman on.” So that’s the one part of my game that I’m thrilled about. Winning the challenges felt great. Even last night with the water polo thing I scored twice on Chase and Marty and Sash didn’t score once.
Gordon: If you had gotten to the merge, it’s safe to assume you would have won all of the individual immunity challenges, right?
Jill: That is an absolute fact, Gordon.

Follow Gordon on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news and updates.

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Episode 7 Recap: A Strategic Leap of Faith

October 27, 2010

Last Week: Dan said he wanted to leave, but stayed. Marty claimed to be a chess grand master, but wasn’t. And I wanted cuties Yve and Kelly B. to stay in the game longer, but they didn’t.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The La Flor Tribe (wearing yellow)

  • Brenda – 27, Paddleboard Company Owner
  • Fabio – 21, Student
  • Kelly S. – 20, Nursing Student
  • Jane – 56, Dog Trainer
  • Jill – 43, E.R. Doctor
  • Marty – 48, Technology Executive
  • Sash – 30, Real Estate Broker

The Espada Tribe (wearing blue)

  • Alina – 23, Art Student
  • Benry – 24, Club Promoter
  • Chase – 24, Race Car Jackman/Country Singer
  • Dan – 63, Real Estate Executive
  • Holly – 44, Swim Coach
  • NaOnka – 27, P.E. Teacher

We start off with our friends back at Espada, and Dan is comparing himself to Jon Gotti. Apparently Gotti was known as the Teflon Don. Dan wants to be known as Teflon Dan. That’s not very catchy, but it’s better than Barely Mobile Dan.

Chase lets us know that Alina will be next to go if Espada loses immunity. I’m betting it’s because they remember how close she was to that evil one-legged girl. One legged folk can’t be trusted!

Over at La Florida, Sash does a terrible job explaining to Marty why they voted for him. Marty uses his fake chess grand master skills to deduct that he might be in some trouble. He also deducts that Jane must’ve voted for him. Well, that’s what he gets for fluffing off a southern girl. (Still not sure what that means…anyone?)

The following morning, Marty tries to make peace with the fluffed-off southern girl. He accuses her of voting for him. She doesn’t deny it or explain it, she just laughs and walks off.

Wow, we’re five minutes into this episode and Sash and Jane are making some questionable moves.

Reward Challenge:
One member from each tribe will act as a goalie and stand on a perch in the middle of a pool. Members of the other tribe will then run, jump off of a wall, and try to throw a ball into the opposing team’s goal. First tribe to score five times wins a Nicaraguan farm experience that includes horseback riding and breakfast.

Jane will sit out for La Flor.

Fabio will defend for La Flor while Chase will defend for Espada.

NaOnka goes first and scores for Espada. Jill goes next and hits one for La Flor. Benry fakes out Fabio and scores for Espada. Marty throws the ball low and hits Chase directly between the legs in the pole position. (Sorry, one of the few NASCAR terms I know.) No score for La Flor.

Current Score: Espada 2, La Flor 1.

Holly goes next and Fabio bats her shot away. Purple Kelly Purple hits her shot for La Flor. (And for those of you scoring at home, she didn’t say a word).

Next up is Dan. Pull up a chair cause this is going to take a while. Dan hobbles down the ramp, gingerly throws the ball, and falls into the pool. Fabio bats Dan’s throw away. Sash goes next and bounces one off the crossbar, no score. Alina puts her next shot over Fabio’s head and into the goal. Brenda goes next and misses her shot.

Current Score: Espada 3, La Flor 2.

Fabio hops into the pool and announces that he has to pee. He then does just that.

Ew…

He assumes everyone pees in the pool. Probst takes a quick survey and nobody else was peeing in the pool.

NaOnka is up next and fires a shot past Fabio. Jokes on her though, she just jumped into a pool of Fabio’s urine. That’s what you get for swiping a man’s socks.

Jill then nails her shot for a La Flor point. Benry takes his turn and fakes Fabio out again, winning the reward for Espada.

Stop the presses! Purple Kelly gets to say something…

“Reward was for a horseback ride and breakfast and you get to milk…your own milk, I guess. I don’t know if that makes sense. You get to milk your own milk and that sounds amazing.”

Ahem…”Milk your own milk.” Maybe the “Survivor” editors have been doing us a favor with the lack of Purple Kelly coverage.

We meet up with Espada during their reward and they’re having a good old time riding horses. Chase gets a little emotional as horseback riding reminds him of his deceased father.

When they arrive at the farm, the first thing they have to do is milk their own milk. NaOnka gives it her best shot, but doesn’t have a lot of luck. She assures us afterward that she isn’t a farmer and she’s not used to touching an animal’s nipple.

Ready to move on? Excellent, let’s continue.

Back at La Flor, Jane has some success catching fish. However, instead of taking the fish back to camp, she sneaks off into the woods to cook one for herself.

“Survivor” Rule #1:
Hoarding food will get you kicked out.
During Espada’s reward breakfast, the emotion of getting to sit down and eat a meal has clearly gotten to the tribe as Holly and Alina start crying. NaOnka reads Alina’s emotional display as a reason to take her out. Is that NaOnka’s thing? Anything she perceives as a weakness is cause for scorn?

Immunity Challenge:
Two members from each tribe will stand on top of a tower and roll cannonballs down a chute. The other four tribe members will use ropes to try to aim the chutes toward the other tribe’s five tiles. First tribe to smash all five of the opposing tribe’s tiles wins immunity.

Fun Fact: They seem to be using the same set from the premiere episode’s gutter challenge.

Sash will sit out for La Flor.

Benry and Alina are on top of the tower for Espada, Brenda and Purple Kelly are on top for La Flor.

Not much to describe here, Benry misses the first shot for Espada while Purple Kelly hits hers. Alina hits the second shot while Brenda misses. Benry hits the third shot while Kelly Purple misses. Benry also accidentally pops Alina in the mouth.

Current Score: Espada 2, La Flor 1.

Alina hits her next shot while Brenda misses. Benry sings a little song about Espada only having little balls. I’m pretty sure he was referring to the cannonballs.

Quick Aside: For anyone who thinks there’s nobody left to root for, may I introduce Mr. Benry and Mr. Fabio. Those two are hilarious.

Benry hits his next, Purple Kelly misses hers. Fabio is worried that Purple Kelly and Brenda aren’t communicating. When Fabio’s giving you advice, you’re in bad shape.

Purple Kelly brushes it off, hitting her next shot, while Alina misses her.

Current Score: La Flor 2, Espada 4.

Espada switches to the larger cannonball and hits their final shot. Espada wins immunity.

Politicking around La Flor seems to center around a rerun of last week’s original plan – splitting the votes between Marty and Jill to flush out the idol.

Sash hatches a plan where he will try to get the idol away from Marty. It goes like this; Sash will guarantee Marty’s safety at Tribal Council if he hands over the idol. And if La Flor loses the immunity challenge after that, he’ll give Marty the idol back.

I give them credit for trying, but that’s a pretty stupid plan. Why would Marty want to make the leftover La Flors more powerful? Why give it to them in the first place if they’re going to give it back at the next immunity challenge?

And…Marty hands it over. What the hey?! He hands it over saying giving the idol to Sash will earn him one more cycle. Yeah, SO WILL PLAYING THE IDOL!

That night at Tribal Council, Marty calls Jane out for flip-flopping over to the younger side.

Jane doesn’t consider it flip-flopping, she considers it being true to her new tribe. Brenda agrees, saying that Jane is a very genuine person.

Sash admits that he has the idol, Marty says that it could go down as one of the stupidest moves ever. Fabio agrees that they could just vote him right out.

The youngins keep saying “we” have the idol. Probst reads this to mean that they have a lot of faith in Sash. He puts Sash on the spot and asks if he’d give the idol to Brenda. Sash looks like he’s seen a ghost. He says, “If that’s what we decide as a group, then maybe back at camp I might do that.” He then slips up and says, “If there comes a time where I lose trust in them…” Probst calls him out on it.

JPro asks Fabio if he’s familiar with Freudian psychology. Fabio lies and says he is.

Voting Time: Jane votes for Marty, Marty votes for Jane, Fabio votes for Marty, Jill votes for Jane, and the rest we’ll see in a minute.

A minute later Probst returns and reads some votes…two votes for Jane, one vote for Jill, one vote for Marty, one vote for Jill, one vote for Marty, and the eighth person voted out of “Survivor: Nicaragua” is…Jill.

Verdict: Wow, that was an impressive display of terrible strategy from the folks at La Flor. Kudos to the kids’ table for getting the idol off of Marty, but it wasn’t because of any sound logic. Marty may look at is as another episode on the show, but don’t go out handing an idol to the people who called you out last week.

I have a feeling a Parvati Shallow or a Rob Cesternino would carve this cast up.

Who’s Going to Win? Yikes. How’s this for a fearless prediction: Marty isn’t going to win “Survivor: Nicaragua.”

Power Rankings Results: Team Dragon Slayer had Jill in spot thirteen while I had her in spot eleven. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 85, Team Truth Seeker 89.

Follow me on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news and because I’m sick of Kim Kardashian having more followers than me: @gordonholmes

What Do You Think? What did you think of Marty’s move? Will Jane’s fish dinner come back to haunt her? Is peeing in the pool grounds for voting someone out of the game?

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Power Rankings – Round 6

October 27, 2010

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Tocantins” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” star Benjamin “Coach” Wade and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” recapper Gordon 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 players will earn. For example, if Sash is voted out this week, Coach will receive 3 points and Gordon will receive 2 points. At the end of the season, the person or team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Nicaragua” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: NaOnka got her Christmas wish early when La Flor sent Kelly B. packing, while the youth movement at Espada proved they have no interest in keeping their tribe strong by booting Yve. Team Dragon Slayer had Yve in spot 11 and Kelly B. in spot 12 for a total of 23 points. Gordon had Yve in spot 15 and Kelly B. in spot 10 for a total of 25 points. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 72, Team Truth Seeker 78.

Now, let’s have a quick word with our competitors…

Benjamin “Coach” Wade: Ode to the Truth Seeker…
He started out slow with nary a chance,
And lured us in to his little dance.
With cunning and wisdom and a bit of trickery,
He put us in place with his mind full of skulduggery.
But this isn’t over, nay not by a long shot,
But the King and I had better be on our toes, or win we will not.

Gordon Holmes: I’m not going to lie. That was beautiful. No Randy this week?

Coach: This week I am all on my own, with The King MIA. I am not sure where he is and if anyone out there has heard from him let me know. He has either A.) gone to Vegas and eloped, B.) on a Smuggler drinking scotch binge or C.) back on “Survivor 23: Brains vs. Brawn.” So, for this week as I am on my own I will be giving each player an adjective: one word only. And the order isn’t changing much, and I don’t think it will until both tribes merge.

Gordon: I can’t imagine my boss letting me get away with writing only one word, so I’ll be writing in typical Truth Seeker style. I wouldn’t mind writing in haiku form one week though…

And before we start this week’s contest, let’s honor the most recent castaway…

coach

Coach’s Requiem for Kelly B.: Something was not quite right from the start. You didn’t fit in, and were treated like a pariah. If it was because of your leg then a pox on your entire tribe for doing it to you. If it were for other reasons then, well, I guess we will never know. Sorry to see you go.

Coach’s Requiem for Yve: Sexy, smart, strong. What the heck. I think that you made that first alliance with Marty and Jill but then after that you did not change or work the second alliance. You seemed to be out of the loop in terms of the voting strategy and that was all it took. And that, my dear, is the key to “Survivor.” It is a game of evolution and change and you have to keep up.

TEAM DRAGON SLAYER

Current Score: 72

TEAM TRUTH SEEKER

Current Score: 78

brenda .. chase
#1: Machiavellian. #1: I can’t wait for the merge so the kids can start turning on each other. I think a lot of the game is going to hinge on if Chase is going to let Brenda push him around.
chase . sash
#2: Country. #2: What’s Sash up to trying to get the immunity idol from Marty? He isn’t in any real risk of Marty turning the tables, so it’s worth a try. And this show has a history of people doing stupid things with immunity idols.
sash . brenda
#3: Insidious. #3: I don’t think Brenda throwing Marty under the bus was a smart move last week. Sure, Marty’s probably not going deep into the game, but I could see him making it to the jury.
fabio . kellys
#4: Good hearted. #4: If I bet you $20 that Kelly Purple Kelly would say more than seven words in the next episode, would you take it? Didn’t think so.
benry . benry
#5: Methodical. #5: The show is going to be rough for a while. They’ll pick off older folks till the merge. Once the toddlers have to turn on each other, that’s when it’ll get interesting. Look for Benry to start making moves then.
jane . naonka
#6: Hick. #6: NaOnka’s super safe for now. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she starts to get that Russell Hantz immunity where people want to go to the finals with her because she’s so abrasive.
kellys . fabio
#7: Subtle. #7: Randy’s right, he really does have that Matty vibe where he’s just going to do what he’s going to do and people are willing to accept it. And if he does win, I’ve got a couple of bridges he can buy with the million.
alina . marty
#8: Chuckerish. #8: If I had to guess, I’d say the reason Marty stuck around last week was because Brenda and Sash were worried that Kelly B. could get Fabio to vote with her if she’d stuck around. Marty’s safe the next time he goes to tribal and that’s it.
holly . alina
#9: Enigmatic. #9: I’m still not convinced that NaOnka is super fond of Alina. NaOnka’s all buddy-buddy now, but once she gets Brenda back her tune could change.
naonka . holly
#10: Golden. #10: If Holly comes back and makes a run at this, it’ll be the biggest comeback since Chris Daugherty won Vanuatu after almost being voted out in the first episode. If she makes the merge, she could slide under the radar a while.
dan . jill
#11: Out of his element. #11: If the kids don’t see Jane eating that fish, then Jill’s a goner. They’ll split the vote between her and Marty to flush the idol and she’ll be on her way home.
marty . jane
#12: Shrewd. #12: What the what?! Jane, you were in a good spot in La Flor and now you’re sneaking off to eat cook a fish? That never goes well. That’s “Survivor” 101.
jill . dan
#13: Outsider. #13: Dan is the reason why I hate tribe swaps. There’s no reason for the youngins on either tribe to care about winning immunity because they have plenty of older fodder to go after. I only have Dan last because I think the kids actually like Holly.

Quick Note: Follow Gordon on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news and updates.

What Do You Think: Who’s going to win this round; Team Dragon Slayer or Team Truth Seeker? Are the older players done for? Where is Randy?

Is Best Buy Ripping Us Off?

October 24, 2010

Buckle your seatbelts, folks. Time to blow the lid off of what must be a far-reaching conspiracy.

Earlier today, I swung by my local Best Buy to buy my mother’s birthday gift. (A DVD/VCR combo…yes, she still uses VHS tapes.) I also purchased myself the WWE’s new “Wrestling’s Highest Flyers” DVD. (Yes, I still watch wrestling.)

When I got home and unpacked these goodies, I noted that not only was the receipt’s printing barely legible, but it was also horribly smudged. Is this some kind of ploy from the Best Buy people to prevent returns? Shady…

Has anyone else noticed this?

UPDATE: It’s been suggested by a few people that it could be a crappy printer. That’s possible (read: probable) but isn’t nearly as much fun.

Things That Should Exist

October 23, 2010

I’m OK with my hands. I did the tiling and some of the plumbing work in my bathroom, I meticulously painted my front porch, and I used to be quite good with a first baseman’s glove. But now that I’ve chosen writing as my profession, I’ve become more of an idea man. I prefer to let my creative juices flow and allow the movers and shakers of the world to use my thoughts as their inspiration.

Here are few freebies… (more…)

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interviews – Kelly Bruno and Yve Rojas

October 22, 2010

Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up in strings…those are a few of my favorite things.

What don’t I like? Tribe swaps.

Why? Because they make tribal strength way less important. In China the Zhan Hu tribe threw a challenge in order to get rid of one of their strongest players, while two seasons later in Gabon, the new Kota tribe had no problem sending their strongest player to the jury. What it boils down to is it doesn’t matter if your side loses because there’s fodder from the other tribe to eliminate.

At this rate, Dan could pick up an extra million to buy himself a few extra Ferraris. Poor Yve.

Kelly’s story is a little different. She’s had a target on her back since day one. Well, maybe not on her back. At the end of the day, she was the victim of an alliance that may have been thinking way too far ahead.

Note: I spoke to both of the castaways at the same time. However, since they didn’t share many of the same experiences, it was tough to include them both in the same questions. So, I split the questions up and what we get instead are two mini interviews. The crime in all of this is there wasn’t time for word association. I know, it hurts my heart too.

Kelly Bruno’s Interview:

Gordon Holmes: Kelly, why were you so mean to NaOnka?
Kelly Bruno:
(Laughs) I wish I knew! I’m still trying to figure that out. I think early on I didn’t like her attitude toward me, so I didn’t respond to her the way the other players did. I didn’t give her as much reinforcement and I think she took that very personally. I also think she came in thinking she was going to be a physical force on the team for the females and found that I was a little stronger than she expected. I think that didn’t sit well with her, because at one point she did offer to carry me on her back.
Gordon: Wow. How do you respond to something like that?
Kelly: I obviously didn’t respond agreeably to that because I didn’t need that. I didn’t want to be a charity case and that’s exactly how she was pitching that to me. So, we didn’t start off on the right foot and the rest was history.
Gordon: How well did your prosthetic leg hold up to the Nicaraguan wilderness?
Kelly: There were no problems with my prosthetic leg. It wasn’t a factor really. The only difficulty was keeping it clean. The environment was not conducive to silicone which is what my liner is made out of. It’d attract a lot of sand. It was some added stress, but I really feel like I could have gone the full 39 days and not have a problem with it.
Gordon: You performed very well in the Hay Mate challenge. How did it feel to show your tribe mates that you could really go?
Kelly: It was funny because they didn’t show that it took a while to decide who should sit out of that challenge. Na thought it should be me. And I was very adamant that I wanted to prove myself. So, I didn’t offer to sit out because I knew it was my chance to show them what I was capable of.

Gordon: Brenda seems to be calling the shots at La Florida. What was your relationship like with her?
Kelly:
Before the tribe swap it was pretty distant. We didn’t really communicate at all. It was a very separate and very divided tribe. It was me and Alina, and Benry would try to go back and forth, and Fabio. So, I didn’t really interact with Brenda. After the tribe swap I didn’t have anyone left that I was close with. Fabio…was Fabio and he kind of did his own thing. So, at that point I thought Brenda was my best shot at getting back in with that group. But I was unaware that Sash was as involved as he was with running things behind the scenes. I didn’t trust Brenda, but I didn’t really have a choice.

Gordon: You were in attendance for the awesome Sash vs. Shannon showdown in the second episode. What was going through your mind during that whole blow up.
Kelly:
A lot of us sitting there were just happy that the spotlight wasn’t on us. There was a lot of bad blood, and I was kind of part of it. Sash had come up to me and told me that Shannon told other people that I was going to be the second to go. And this was early in the game where you’re just starting to get to know people. It was kind of hard to know what was the truth and what wasn’t. So, I confronted Shannon and Alina and said, “This is what I’ve heard. If I’m in your alliance, I’m in your alliance, no (expletive deleted).” And I told Shannon not to say anything to Sash, and he did. And this kind of started this whole tense relationship between the two of them. And at Tribal Council when Shannon realized he was probably going to be voted out, he laid it all out there and said, “Look, I’ve never lied to anyone.” And he hadn’t. He’d been very honest and true to what he’d said. He was just trying to defend himself.

Gordon: Does it mean a lot to you to have a chance to be a role model for kids who are disabled?
Kelly:
Yeah, absolutely. I think I’ve been lucky to have a lot of support in my life from my parents. It’s nice to be able to give that back to other people who may have not had that support and show them what’s possible. I think a lot of people don’t even realize that since I’ve dealt with being an amputee my entire life that I’ve tested the boundaries of what you can do and there really aren’t any. I think what I wanted to do was get to the final three, but part of it too was the process and the journey of showing what disabled people are capable of. You don’t have to look at them and assume that you have to have pity on them and pat them on the head because that’s usually not the case.

Gordon: So, who am I supposed to root for now?
Kelly:
After I went out I was cheering for Alina because she’d been in my alliance. I was also rooting for Fabio, but after watching this last episode knowing he voted for me, it’s hard to continue rooting for him. But he’s the most carefree person out there and he’s fun to be around. He was always making light of the situation and you have to appreciate that.

Yve Rojas’s Interview:

Gordon Holmes: Now Yve, we didn’t get to see very much of you on the show.  What moves were you making that we didn’t see?
Yve Rojas:
Well out of the gate I aligned with Marty. You could see in the first episode that we had our whole conversation about joining forces. From there I brought in Jill. I don’t know why you didn’t see much of me, but I was definitely playing the game and was real comfortable with what was happening on the original Espada tribe.

Gordon: Did you have a chance to pair up with the younger people after the tribe swap, or did they completely shut you out?
Yve:
Immediately after arriving back at camp, Chase made a beeline for me as well as NaOnka. And I knew where each of them stood and where the thoughts were on Alina and Benry at that point. I had a strong relationship with Chase, so it was a surprise when things changed at Tribal Council. I may have hesitated in nurturing those relationships. But hindsight is 20/20. Holly was right on it. Kind of like in life in general, you shouldn’t hesitate. I was confident I was going in the right direction, but apparently I wasn’t.

Gordon: I spoke with Tyrone last week and Jimmy T. the week before that. During the word association portion, they had a few derogatory things to say about you, with Jimmy T. saying you have a lot of baggage and Tyrone saying you hate men.  We never saw anything like that on the show. Why do you think they’d say those things?
Yve:
That’s a good question. I was reading those comments. And I adore men, I love men.
Gordon: As you should, as we can be adorable.
Yve: (Laughs) Yeah! Men are adorable. When I was out there in the game it was never my intent to discuss my personal life or my personal relationships. And when I was politely refraining from that or they were getting more inquisitive, they misinterpreted that as “I don’t like men” instead of “I’m here to play a game and my personal life is nobody’s business.” I thought they were both respectable, very nice gentlemen and I was kind of surprised by their comments regarding me. I was shocked and disappointed by their comments.

Gordon: If I remember correctly you have two young daughters?
Yve:
Yes.
Gordon: What did they think of watching their mommy on “Survivor”?
Yve: They did enjoy watching it. My Helayna thought I was the first one voted out, so she’s been ecstatic watching me make it to seventh. My younger daughter, Savannah broke down in tears watching and was so heartbroken that I was voted out. One is older and looked at it as a fun adventure and the younger one wanted me to win.
Gordon: She wanted the million bucks, didn’t she?
Yve: (Laughs) She wanted it about half as much as I wanted it. I wanted to stay in the game though, it was more about going deeper in the game than the money.

Gordon: Who are you pulling for now that you’re out of the game?
Yve:
For me, I definitely want someone in the older tribe to win. And in spite of Holly’s turning on me, I was thinking Holly till the end. And I’d like to see Marty. And I highly respect what Jane did out there. I told her I’d never write her name down unless it was for the winner, and  I really meant that.

Follow Gordon on Twitter for Breaking “Survivor” News and It’ll Brighten His Day: @gordonholmes

What Do You Think: How do you feel about tribe swaps? Would Kelly have gotten sympathy votes from a jury? Can Espada afford to keep Dan around? Post your comments below.

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Episode 6 Recap: $#*! My Fabio Says

October 20, 2010

Last Week: The old vs. young twist? Gone! The Medallion of Power? Gone! Tyrone? Gone! Dan? Inexplicably still here.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The La Flor Tribe (wearing yellow)

  • Brenda – 27, Paddleboard Company Owner
  • Fabio – 21, Student
  • Kelly B. – 26, Medical Student
  • Kelly S. – 20, Nursing Student
  • Jane – 56, Dog Trainer
  • Jill – 43, E.R. Doctor
  • Marty – 48, Technology Executive
  • Sash – 30, Real Estate Broker

The Espada Tribe (wearing blue)

  • Alina – 23, Art Student
  • Benry – 24, Club Promoter
  • Chase – 24, Race Car Jackman/Country Singer
  • Dan – 63, Real Estate Executive
  • Holly – 44, Swim Coach
  • NaOnka – 27, P.E. Teacher
  • Yve – 41, Homemaker

We meet up with the Espadans the morning after Tribal Council and Dan is telling Holly that he’s considering calling it quits. Holly uses the lessons she learned from “Survivor” legend Jimmy Johnson to try to convince Dan to stick around.

Maybe he wouldn’t be so keen on quitting if someone hadn’t sunk his super expensive shoes.

Quick Aside: Will someone please come to my house and hide the Halloween candy?  Thank you.

Later, Yve confronts Holly about not being included in the Tyrone vote. Holly thought Yve was in an alliance with Tyrone. (If you read Tyrone’s exit interview, you know that definitely wasn’t the case.)

Meanwhile at La Flor, Marty tells us that he feels like he left a serious drama and joined “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” I’m thinking it’s more like “Fabio and Dumber.”

Jill is very concerned with how closely knit the younger tribe is. Brenda then confirms that concern by saying it’s still young vs. old. She then corrects the confirmation of the concern and says it’s the young and Jane vs. the old. Brenda wants to pull the ol’ split vote trick the next time La Flor goes to Tribal Council to flush out Marty’s immunity idol.

Immunity Challenge: Tribal immunity is not on the line, two sweet looking La Flor and Espada-themed individual necklaces are up for grabs. That means we’re in for two Tribal Councils tonight.

In the challenge, players will race to a digging area with a paddle. With that paddle they will dig for rope hoops. Once they have the hoop on their paddle they’ll have to toss it over their shoulder and into a basket that’s attached to their backside. From there they’ll run their hoop back to the beginning and place it on a post. First person to place all three hoops on their post wins immunity. The two winners will then compete in a ring toss, the first to hit three tosses receives a feast of chicken and beef kabobs for their team.

Espada goes first and…there’s not much to describe, although watching them toss the hoops into the basket is hilarious. Holly eventually wins individual immunity. As JPro places the sword-shaped Espada immunity idol around her neck, it promptly slips down her shirt. Awkward.

The La Floricans are up next and it’s more of the same. Jill, Marty, and Kelly B. are neck and neck at the finish, with Jill eventually pulling out the win. Also, her fleur de lis-shaped necklace stays out of her shirt.

The final round can best be described as Jill and Holly throwing hoops at a set of hooks. It’s close, if not very exciting, with Jill winning it for La Flor. I can’t wait for the pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey reward challenge.

Back at La Florida, Brenda is annoyed that Jill’s immunity win has thrown off their plans. Her and BBNY (Biggest Bachelor in New York) devise a plan to split the votes between Marty and Kelly B.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo…

Hey, nowhere in my “Survivor” recap contract does it say I have to be impartial.

Meanwhile, Marty is bragging to Fabio that he is a grand master in chess. Seriously. He tells Fabio this because he claims to have the rest of the game worked out, but he needs Fabio’s help.

Shortly afterward, Marty admits to us that he isn’t a chess grand master. Well heck, if he was fibbing he should have just told Fabio he was a former head prefect at Gryffindor.

Back at Espadakota, Holly’s trying to figure out where Dan stands. Dan isn’t concerned about staying in the game because he already owns a Range Rover and a Ferrari. I’m starting to feel less bad about the destruction of his $1,600 shoes.

Benry wants to keep Dan around because he knows Dan isn’t much competition. Chase agrees with Benry, then admits to us that the only person he trusts on Espada is NaOnka. Oof…that’s rough.

NaOnka wants Dan to go home because his legs are going to snap off and “He’s going to be walking on nubs.” Apparently she’s obsessed with people who don’t have legs.

Yve then digs her own grave by telling Alina and NaOnka that she can be valuable to them because of how well she knows Marty, Jill, and Jane. Yve may have meant it as “I know the dirt on them,” but that certainly isn’t how Alina took it. She thinks they’re in an alliance.

Over at La Flor, Sash takes Fabio aside to explain the split-the-vote plan. Fabio turns to Sash with a straight face and says, “Do we want to flush the idol from Marty?”

I love you, Fabio. Seriously, never change.

Later, Sash convinces Marty that they’re going to be voting for Jane. Marty agrees to go along with that plan.

Marty tells us that he’s going to sit on the idol as it would only buy him one more Tribal Council anyways.

That night at Tribal Council, the topic of Marty’s immunity idol is brought up. Marty argues that he revealed it to show what an honest game he’s been playing. Just like his days playing seeker at the Quidditch Cup.

Brenda thinks he revealed the idol so he could appear to be noble.

Probst then kind of outs the youngsters by asking if the kids will make Marty feel safe so he won’t play it and then vote him out. Marty admits that thought has crossed his mind.

Probst asks Kelly B. how comfortable she is within the tribe. She says that she feels comfortable.

JPro asks Brenda if Jane has anything to worry about. Brenda throws the chess master under the bus by saying that Jane has to worry about Jill and Marty voting her out.

Whoa!

Marty says Jane doesn’t have to worry about them because the two of them can’t vote her out without help from the original La Flor.

Marty then mouths to Jane to vote for Brenda.

Voting Time: Jane votes Marty and advises him to never fluff off a southern woman, Marty votes for Brenda because she’s the black widow, the king cobra, and the black mamba all rolled into one, Brenda votes for Kelly B., and the rest aren’t shown.

Probst does some solid tallying then returns. He asks if anyone wants to use the hidden immunity idol and Marty…doesn’t.

Three votes for Marty, two votes for Brenda, and three votes for Kelly B…a tie!

Tie breaking rules; Marty and Kelly B. won’t vote, everyone else votes for either Marty or Kelly B.

No votes are shown, Probst tallies yet again, and here we go. One vote for Marty, three votes Kelly B., and the sixth person voted out of “Survivor: Nicaragua” is…Kelly B.

Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Espada is then brought in as La Flor sits down to a delicious feast.

Probst rubs it in, asking Espada if it bothers them that La Flor gets to eat. Dan gets the line of the night saying if it isn’t a martini then it doesn’t bother him.

Yve is fighting for her life, pointing out that Dan talking about quitting is bad for the tribe’s morale. She also thinks Dan is a liability in challenges. She must be a goner.

Dan swings back, claiming that Yve is arrogant. Yve retorts by saying she isn’t always talking about her six cars like Dan does. Yeah, I’m over the $1,600 shoes.

Alina points out that it’s getting to be that part of the game where you might not want super competitive people to stick around.

Voting Time: Dan votes for Yve, Yve votes for Dan, and the rest are sacrificed in the name of creating drama.

JPro tallies for the third time in one night (a record?) and returns. One vote for Yve, one vote for Dan, two votes for Yve, and the seventh person voted out of “Survivor: Nicaragua” is…Yve.

Verdict: Kind of a dull episode until Brenda made her move at Tribal Council. I’m not sure I understand it either. If she’d kept her mouth shut, they could have hid behind the “Well, we wanted to flush your idol” excuse, but now they’ve got a ticked off pretend chess master on their hands.

Who’s Going to Win? I wonder if Brenda’s making some unnecessary moves. Maybe someone like Chase or Sash who’re more laid back are better bets.

Power Rankings Results: Team Dragon Slayer had Yve in spot 11 and Kelly B. in spot 12 for a total of 23 points. I had Yve in spot 15 and Kelly B. in spot 10 for a total of 25 points. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 72, Team Truth Seeker 78.

Follow me on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news and borderline witty remarks: @gordonholmes

What Do You Think? Should Brenda have called out Marty at Tribal Council? Would you buy a book of Fabio sayings? Has Jane become your favorite player?

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Power Rankings – Round 5

October 20, 2010

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Tocantins” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” star Benjamin “Coach” Wade and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” recapper Gordon 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 players will earn. For example, if Sash is voted out this week, Coach will receive 3 points and Gordon will receive 6 points. At the end of the season, the person or team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Nicaragua” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Three things disappeared last week; the Medallion of Power, Tyrone, and Team Dragon Slayer’s sizable lead. Coach and “The King of Gabon” Randy Bailey had Tyrone in spot three. While Gordon called it, having Tyrone in spot sixteen.

This Week: Two people are going home as both tribes will square off in individual immunity challenges.

Now, let’s have a quick word with our competitors…

Benjamin “Coach” Wade: As the Noble Knight and the Exiled King regroup and move back to the castle and barricade the walls, fill up the moat and lick our cursed wounds after a thorough drumming last week from the “Truth” Seeker. Time to get back in the game and back to war.

Randy Bailey: No comment on last week’s results except that karma can be a bitch.

And before we start this week’s contest, let’s honor the most recent castaway…

coach

Coach’s Requiem for Tyrone: Wow, what a shocker. It’s incredible how things can turn on a dime. Was Tyrone like that in the beginning and we just didn’t get to see that side of him, or was it the “not me” syndrome from the rest of the tribe? I can’t believe that Dan is still in there but hey, stranger things happen. As for the NaOnka/Alina alliance…politics makes strange bedfellows and boy is it political out there on the island.

Sigh, but alas, I digress. To Tyrone: Big, strong, calm, a leader, rational…hey that’s why they do the switch. And I’m not buying the chicken thing. You just reach in there and break off a piece. His relentless picking at the same bone is not fooling me. I think that’s just a decoy for the earlier soft guy that we saw.

The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: Gonna miss Tyrone, but just like always we see people taking out physical threats way too early and simply ignoring the dead weight.  Why should this season be different than the previous 20?

TEAM DRAGON SLAYER

Current Score: 49

TEAM TRUTH SEEKER

Current Score: 53

brenda .. chase
#1: Kickin’ ass in challenges, finding the immunity idol, flirting with the guys, I think she will start making more power moves in the future. She’s steppin’ up (and hopefully not steppin’ out).
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: Her edit showed a hint of cocky which means she will see Halloween but not Thanksgiving.
#1: He’s a cornerstone of the Minority Majority alliance, he’s the strongest guy on Espada, he’s clearly on NaOnka’s good side. He’s doing just fine.
chase . brenda
#2: See Benry’s comment below. Are you all in?
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: His emotional story to NaOnka had only one purpose…get the viewer to like him…first hint of a possible winner.
#2: I think Brenda is the most dangerous player this season. She saw right though Marty’s idol unveiling. She’s still my pick to win the whole thing. Her main problem could be her alliance realizing how smart and cunning she is.
sash . benry
#3: You look like every episode you are chillin’ on the beach without a care in the world. A wry smile and a non-threatening posture is getting you deep into the game.
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: You have been dealt a perfect hand.  Now let’s see if you know how to play it.
#3: Benry finally getting some face time. Nice to see him step up, too.  It looks like we’re heading into a youngster-heavy merge. It’ll be interesting to see how the dynamics work out now that they’ve been apart for a while.
fabio . alina
#4: I think you are just dumb enough to not make alliances and not be a threat. Good strategy whether it’s intentional or not. 🙂
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: I said before this guy reminds me of Matty from Gabon.  I think he will have a similar outcome…late jury.
#4: I think the swap worked out best from Alina. She went from being NaOnka’s punching bag to being her shoulder to cry on.
benry . kellys
#5: Keep it up. Just don’t go too strong in the immunity challenges to show your hand yet. You remind me of a good poker player.
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: I like this guy more than I thought I would.
#5: Purple Kelly Purple, you’re the best. I don’t know what you’re the best at, cause we never see you, but I adore you.
jane . sash
#6: Given the young ones the scoop on Marty the Mamba. Good one. That will lock in a vote or too. You might be on track to win this thing keeping in the middle like you are doing.
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: Saw some signs of the edit making her out to be more valuable than she really is…this means she is going deep.
#6: What’s the BBNY (Biggest Bachelor in New York) been up to? For someone who wants to be the next Russell Hantz, he sure does play under the radar.
kellys . naonka
#7: Just hangin’ in the middle. I think I didn’t give you enough credit the first go around. Is this another Natalie White?
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: Coach and I first fill in our list from the bottom and then from the top.  We had everyone assigned a position but we were missing one.  We could not think of Kelly Purple.  This is a very good sign to last a long, long time.
#7: I’m not going to lie, it went against every natural instinct I’ve ever had to feel bad for NaOnka last week. I’m sure she’ll be fine, but quitting talk can raise your alliance mates’ eyebrows.
alina . fabio
#8: Strange bedfellows…hmmm. But I think you are going to snap one of these days on NaOnka when the time is right!
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: You seem way too normal for this game.  How did you get by casting?
#8: Do we have any idea where Fabio allegiances lie right now? I was under the assumption that he was on the outside of the Minority Majority alliance. Have we seen him partnering with anyone?
holly . holly
#9: “You remind me of my sons, Tyrone reminds me of my great grandfather, King reminds me of my older brother.” Not faulting you for trying that line but were Benry and Chase really buyin’ that one?
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: I liked you better when you were nuts.  Again, what are they not showing us?
#9: Holly turned the swap to her advantage by becoming a swing vote. Smart move. And with Dan and Yve below her on the totem pole, she could hit the merge and coast for a while.
naonka . kellyb
#10: I think you are safe as long as you don’t quit. Of course Holly looked like she was going to quit when Jimmy J. was the hero for an episode.
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: No squeaking noises this week, wtf?
#10: It’s my instinct to think she’s safe because NaOnka was swapped to Espada…but is she? Have we seen her buddying up to anyone besides Alina?
yve . jane
#11: You are too quiet in this episode. Use your youthful good looks to sexify the younger guys and relate to the other girls.
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: Still trying to figure out the spelling of your name.
#11: I love me some Jane. I hope the youngsters see the value in her spirit and her sense of humor. But if they want to clean up the rest of the pre-merge immunity challenges, they may send her packing.
kellyb . marty
#12: You seem to be even more on the outs with the new tribe. I know they aren’t showing much but you seem to be deflated since NaOnka put the beat down on you. Come on, pick your head up and get back in the game.
King of Gabon’s Two Cents: Na is out of your hair now so let’s see you step up.
#12: I’d like to think that Marty would never be caught off guard with an immunity idol in his pocket. But it’s happened several times before…
jill . dan
#13: The queen will follow the king and will not relate to the younger kids. Fabio will be the key swing vote for the vote.
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: Lucky you have Marty in front of you…let’s see if you can dance out of his shadow before it is too late.
#13: I give Dan all the credit in the world for being able to stay in this game, but there has to come a point where Espada needs to win some challenges.
marty . jill
#14: You are starting to overplay things. The saying goes “too much of a good thing” can be a bad thing.
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: Unfortunately you were cast on a season of “Survivor” with a double-digit number (like me) you must throw away your playbook if you have any chance.
#14: The younger part of La Flor knows Marty has an immunity idol, and with Jane they have the numbers to split the vote. That’s bad news for Jill, which is a shame because I think she played a solid game.
dan . yve
#15: You are like a dingleberry that just keeps clingin’ on. Let go already.
The King of Gabon’s Two Cents: Would have liked to have seen you on a real season with real challenges.
#15: Everyone voted for Tyrone except for Yve. That can’t be good. Her only hope may be winning the individual immunity challenge.

Quick Note: Follow Gordon on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news and updates.

What Do You Think: Who’s going to win this round; Team Dragon Slayer or Team Truth Seeker? Which two players are going home next? Do you miss the Medallion of Power?


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