Archive for November, 2010

Live Chat with ‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Host Jeff Probst

November 29, 2010

Hundreds of contestants…twenty one seasons…only one Jeff Probst.

Join us Monday, November 29, 2010 at 3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT, right here on XFINITY TV for a live chat with “Survivor” producer and host Jeff Probst. This Emmy-winning member of the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Executive Voting Committee will be on hand to discuss his Hall of Fame ballot, “Survivor: Nicaragua,” and any other questions you may have.

Bookmark this link or sign up for a reminder, then be sure to cast your vote for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame’s class of 2010.

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‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Ballot – Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer

November 26, 2010

As a member of the exclusive Executive Voting Committee, John Kirhoffer (along with host Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) have an awesome responsibility. Their votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you. So, be sure to cast your “Survivor” Hall of Fame vote.

As challenge producer for “Survivor: Nicaragua,” John Kirhoffer is the brain behind some of the most difficult and exciting challenges. After 10 years and more than 20 seasons, John continues to design and execute innovative challenges that never fail to impress. His commitment, attention to detail and dedication to creating some of the best challenges on TV are a critical part of “Survivor’s” continued success. With hundreds of challenges on his resume, he credits “Boulder Dash” from season three (Africa) and “Vertical Maze” from season nine (Vanuatu – Islands of Fire) among his favorites.

John Kirhoffer’s Hall of Fame Ballot

5) Sandra Diaz-Twine
I love Sandra. She entered both seasons, Pearl Islands and Heroes vs. Villains, knowing that she was not a physical force. She had to outwit and outlast. She’s the first player to vocalize the “As long as it’s not me” strategy, and more importantly…she’s the only player to win two seasons!

4) Russell Hantz
The guy you love to hate. I put him in the Hall of Fame because he is a master at the game of “Survivor.” His plan to establish chaos and take advantage of his disoriented tribe was evil genius. He had a solid plan and executed it almost perfectly twice. But, he didn’t account for the human factor; you need to respect others if you expect them to respect you.

3) Parvati Shallow
Parvati is simply one of the greatest players in the history of the game. She is a great social player and a brilliant strategist. Forming the “Black Widow” alliance during Fans vs. Favorites, ultimately winning the game…then making it to the final Tribal Council once again during Heroes vs. Villains with a HUGE target on her back from Day 1, was a Hall of Fame feat.

2) Rob Mariano
For me, Rob cemented his legacy during the All-Stars season being a strategic and physically dominating force in the game. He sacrificed friendship for love by blindsiding Lex and bringing Amber to the final two, effectively handing her the million bucks. His natural charm, sense of humor and masterful game play earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

1) Richard Hatch
Somehow it feels cliché placing Rich in the #1 Hall of Fame spot. Although I found him arrogant and often abrasive (I hated that he went naked, I simply found it offensive), but this is the “Survivor” Hall of Fame and Richard is the Vince Lombardi of Survivor.  He set the strategic standard for all who would follow.

Live Chat with Jeff Probst: Join us Monday, November 29, 2010 at 3pmET/NoonPT and ask your questions to the host of  “Survivor.”


Charlie Brown’s Disturbing Thanksgiving

November 24, 2010

As I mentioned in the “Great Pumpkin” post, we’re big huge “Peanuts” fans here in the Holmes household. That, “Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving,” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” are must-watch viewing during the holidays.

But, much like with the “Great Pumpkin,” I noticed a few disturbing things during this year’s screening…

The Browns Are Hoarders

During the scene where Snoopy is sent to the backyard to set up the Thanksgiving feast, he cracks open the Brown family garage.

Look at the inside!

And on the same note; what kind of weird negligent parents were in that neighborhood anyway? Did we ever see Charlie wearing anything other than the same yellow zig-zag shirt? Did the Van Pelts bat an eyelash when Linus bailed on them to go to Charlie Brown’s grandmother’s house? Why didn’t Peppermint Patty, Marcy, or Franklin have their own familys’ dinners to attend?

Woodstock Eats Turkey

Yeah, technically Woodstock isn’t a turkey (nobody knows what kind of bird he is) but at the end of the day, he’s still a bird.

What kind of Thanksgiving message are they sending over the closing credits as Woodstock goes all cannibal on his holiday dinner? And while we’re on the subject, did it bother anyone else that Woodstock had teeth?

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Ballot – Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst

November 22, 2010

As a member of the exclusive Executive Voting Committee, Jeff Probst (along with Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer and other “Survivor” luminaries) have an awesome responsibility. Their votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you. So, be sure to cast your “Survivor” Hall of Fame vote.

Jeff Probst, winner of the inaugural Emmy Award for “Outstanding Reality Host” in 2008, won his second Emmy for this same category in 2009, and again received the honor in 2010.  He has traveled the world serving as both host and producer for this popular series. Probst also received an Emmy in 2001 when the show won the first-ever “Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class).”

In 2007, Probst founded The Serpentine Project (, a non-profit organization designed to help young adults transition out of the foster care system. Each season, “Survivor” memorabilia is auctioned off and, to date, the auctions have raised tens of thousands of dollars for the organization.

Probst is also a national spokesperson for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is actively involved with St. Jude.  Probst is the Collegiate Spokesperson for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation (EGPAF).

Jeff Probst’s Hall of Fame Ballot

“Boston” Rob Mariano: If I had to put money down on one player every single time, it would be Boston Rob.  The best combination of smart, physical and cunning. Because he makes big moves he won’t win every time, but it’s because of those big moves that he’ll always have a shot.

Parvati Shallow: She comes in with a target on her back every time she plays and yet always manages to create a new strong alliance that she takes deep into the game.  Men hate to admit it, but they fall for her flirty ways and never see the knife coming.

Russell Hantz:
The jury is still out on whether Russell can ever play again at the same level, but there is no doubt he belongs in the Hall of Fame.  He had a major impact on the game and went to the final in back-to-back seasons.  One of the most popular “love to hate” players in our history.

Richard Hatch:
Today’s Richard Hatch would not stand a chance in today’s “Survivor,” but he was the first winner and that gets him a spot in the Hall of Fame.  Richard was the first to form an alliance. He was cocky, he walked around naked, he lied and manipulated everyone on his way to the million dollars.  We will never have another Richard Hatch.

Sandra Diaz-Twine:
You can’t be the only two-time winner and not be in the Hall of Fame.  How she does it, I’m still not sure, but Sandra has never lost this game.  That’s a major fact that can’t be disputed.  She plays a very subtle game that centers around “as long as it ain’t me.”  Easier said than done.

Disagree with Jeff? Agree with him? Join us for our live chat with Jeff Probst Monday, November 29, 2010 at 3pmET/NoonPT.


‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Ballot – Producer Jesse Jensen

November 19, 2010

As a member of the exclusive Executive Voting Committee, Jesse Jensen (along with Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) have an awesome responsibility. Their votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you.

Jesse Jensen has been with “Survivor” since 2000 working his way up from Art Department to Art Director to Producer. His creativity allows for some of the most visually stunning Tribal Councils that set the stage for those great dramatic moments that we love so much.

It was surprisingly difficult to choose a top five and I’m sure I have left out a few great players. Also some people were great one season then average the next. Anyways, here are five contestants who I consider great players. I tried to judge on overall game play…

Parvati Shallow: Great female player who always used her female attributes to her advantage, never claiming them as a disadvantage. She was also one of the best overall competitors in challenges, covering a broad range of both physical and mental skills. She has an extremely good sense of strategy and game play and always seems to just keep moving on through the game with a grin on her face, maneuvering quite well even under extreme pressure. Plus, she looks great in a bikini!

“Boston” Rob Mariano: Triple threat. He has the gift of the gab which helps him implement his great sense of strategy. He is a motivated player in camp life and a powerhouse in challenges being quite a sportsman and one of the best puzzle solvers we have ever had on the show…and who can resist that charm!

Russell Hantz: Well as much as we all love to hate him, Russell is undoubtedly one of the best players to play “Survivor” to date. He just can’t seem to grasp the idea of Jury management. I had to include him as I think he has changed the way contestants now play “Survivor.” He took things to the next level, although I do think he has a huge flaw in the way he plays. He is still a great player…just not a winner. However that man can sniff out a hidden immunity idol like no one else can…uncanny!

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Got to love her. Plays one of the best under-the-radar games ever while still speaking her mind and not really “riding coattails.” You can’t deny her a spot in the top five, just look at her track record. And boy she makes me laugh with some of her antics.

Stephenie LaGrossa: If nothing else, Stephenie’s first season in Palau showed us what an amazing battler she is. She did great in Guatemala and in my opinion had some bad luck on Heroes vs. Villains where I expected her to do a lot better. But, she seemed to be fighting an uphill battle the whole time. Great physical and mental player.


Reasons It’s Good That Harry Potter Magic Doesn’t Exist

November 19, 2010

Scientists in the UK have been working with a material known as Metaflex that has unique light manipulating properties. It is hoped that this will eventually lead to the creation of a functional invisibility cloak like the one in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe.

I know what you’re thinking, J.K. Rowling’s universe is so magical. What wouldn’t I give to plop down in Hogsmeade with a tankard of butterbeer!

I disagree. The day I have to worry about invisible punks running around my business is the day I start randomly kicking and punching the air whenever I walk into a room.

So, I want these UK scientists to know that I’m keeping an eye on them. And while I’m at it, here are five other Harry Potter-inspired things they need to stay away from.


‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview – Brenda Lowe

November 18, 2010

There’s been a lot of talk this season about the strategy of taking social train wreck NaOnka to the finals. The upside? You’re guaranteed to win if you’re facing her in front of a jury. The downside? You can’t trust her.

Brenda Lowe made that gamble…and lost.

I spoke with Brenda the morning after her elimination from ‘Survivor: Nicaragua.’ Hot topics of conversation included Sash’s immunity idol, Holly becoming a player, and the many moods of NaOnka…

Gordon Holmes: B-Lowe!
Brenda Lowe:
Gordon: I’ve gotta ask you, how can you trust NaOnka when she’s wreaking all sorts of havoc along the Nicaraguan coastline?
Brenda: Believe it or not, there is a nice side of her. We see the crazed roller coaster ride of her, but I trusted her 100%, more than anybody else out there.
Gordon: What about when she was knocking over Kelly B. and stealing things?
Brenda: The only day that I was like, “What the hell am I doing with this girl?” was the day she stole the food and the pots and all that stuff. That’s the time I thought, “This girl could really mess up my game.” But other that, I really did trust her.

Gordon: Last night there was a brief discussion about Sash giving you his idol. Was that ever seriously considered?
There was a little discussion about it. But this was the thing…my strategy to stay in the game was to show the people who could actually save me that they could trust me. One of the main reasons why I didn’t scramble, talk to Holly and Danny and all these people, was to say, “You guys can trust me. I’m loyal. I’m with you to the final five…Sash, Chase, NaOnka, and Kelly. I’m not going to take your idol and be like ‘Ha Ha! Vote you out!’” There was no discussion with the idol and Sash, because I knew he wouldn’t give it to me.
Gordon: Did you know Sash and Chase were going to vote against you?
Brenda: I had wishful thinking that in the end Sash would give me the idol and that my vote for NaOnka or Benry would work and I’d still be in the game. But I’m not surprised that they did that. And fine, when you have to go with the majority to stay in the game, you have to go with the majority. It’s kind of like the whole Marty vote. It didn’t feel right, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do for yourself.
Gordon: Was Purple Kelly’s vote for Benry in case you had gotten Sash’s idol and NaOnka had played her idol?
Brenda: No, the plan was to take out Benry. And I was going to vote for Benry too because he was the bigger target. But as I was holding the marker in my hand, I was like, “Why am I writing down Benry? My enemy is NaOnka!” And that’s when it changed. As you can see it didn’t matter. It was a futile attempt that didn’t work.

Gordon: I noticed you drew an impressive immunity idol on your vote. Was that freehand?
Thank you. It was freehand, there was no stencil. It was from what I remember from getting the idol for this girl. Some people didn’t know that she had an immunity idol, and I totally could have been like, “Everybody! She has the idol! Arghhhh!” But I wanted to show her, “Look, I’m not even outing you. I’m still staying loyal to you, you crazy girl.” The immunity idol drawing was my hidden way to get back at NaOnka without losing it at Tribal Council.

Gordon: When I interviewed you before the game, I remember thinking, “Brenda’s adorable. She’s fun and full of life. This game might be too cutthroat for her.” And then you got out there and were a total badass.
Gordon: Last week everyone was like, “Oh, stay on Brenda’s good side or she’ll rough you up.” Was that part of your plan to downplay your personality.
Brenda: No, it was not intentional at all. One of things I thought was, “Wow, people really thought of me like that?” Because I was happy and the way that I am now. But there was a side of me that was really focused. When you’re focused you’re just thinking about the way to the end and all the other stuff goes away. I think that’s what people saw. “I don’t want to talk about paranoia, I know my way to the end. Stop, get out of here with your nervousness. Let’s get it done.” I wanted to win that thing and go home. That was my attitude. It bugs me that it comes across as really cocky. I never did that on purpose and I’d never want anyone to look at me that way.

Gordon: XFINITY TV is hosting the “Survivor” Hall of Fame. Who would be your picks for the five best players of all time?
Best five Survivors…Boston Rob…Parvati…JT on his first try…Tom Westman…and…can I say Boston Rob again?
Gordon: It won’t count, but you’re welcome to.
Brenda: (Laughs) Let me think…even though Sandra won twice I’m not liking the whole under-the-radar thing. I like Russell, but he didn’t win. How about Todd? Todd from China.

Gordon: How close were you to Chase? It seemed like you were annoyed with him, but he was wrapped around your finger.
Chase is a sweetheart. He’s a gentle giant. I’ve never met a guy who uses his heart over his head. It was weird for me. I think that was a lot of my frustration with him. I was like, “Why are you not thinking? Why are you using your heart? This is ‘Survivor!’” Be he trusted me and stood by me. He didn’t have that killer instinct. I saw that in this episode that he didn’t want to take me out when everyone else did. He’s a very sweet, genuine, innocent person.

Gordon: Last night you said that you were the king and Sash was the queen. Was that comment for Shannon’s benefit?
No. Sash and I are the king and queen of the camp, but I feel more like I’m the king. What I meant by that is that I was more in charge. After I said it it sounded really funny considering the whole Shannon calling Sash gay thing. But that’s not what I meant.

Gordon: Did you know Holly was coming up with strategies?
I really underestimated Holly. I didn’t know it was her. I watched the show and was like, “Wow! Holly! Ouch!” I thought it was NaOnka the whole time.

Gordon: Let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Chase.
Gentle giant.
Gordon: Sash?
Brenda: BFF…and what I mean by that is “Best frenemy.” He’s like my partner, but at the same time my frenemy.
Gordon: Marty?
Brenda: Smarty.
Gordon: Fabio?
Brenda: Like a little brother.
Gordon: NaOnka?
Brenda: Roller coaster ride.
Gordon: Holly?
Brenda: Got me.
Gordon: Dan?
Brenda: Charming.
Gordon: Alina?
Brenda: Competitor.
Gordon: Flammable campsites?
Brenda: Flammable campsites! Hilarious.
Gordon: Purple Kelly?
Brenda: Also hilarious.

Gordon: Before the game you said you wanted to be as a “Deceptive as a Decepticon.” Do you feel like you’ve accomplished that mission?
(Laughs) I think yes and no. I think I was able to get by with some people not realizing how badly I wanted to play the game. But other people saw right through me.

Gordon: I underestimated you before the game, I thought this game would eat you up because you seemed super cheery. Is it nice to go out there and prove jerks like me wrong?
(Laughs) Yeah, that helps a lot when I look back at everything. I never felt like I had to prove anything because I never live my life like that. I’m not a wimpy girl who gets everything in her life or like a popular cheerleader like they put me out there to be. But the way that I played the game was the way I envisioned it. If people made assumptions about me, it’s because they didn’t know me.

Follow Gordon on Twitter for “Survivor” news, semi-witty comments, and more: @gordonholmes


‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Episode 10 Recap – A Campfire …Literally

November 17, 2010

Last Week: Chase sided with the ladies in a hurry, NaOnka unleashed some Tribal Council fury, while Marty was sent down to the jury.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here is the tribe as it currently stands…

The Libertad Tribe (wearing red with lovely white highlights)
•    Benry – 24, Club Promoter
•    Brenda – 27, Paddleboard Company Owner
•    Chase – 24, Race Car Jackman/Country Singer
•    Dan – 63, Real Estate Executive
•    Fabio – 21, Student
•    Holly – 44, Swim Coach
•    Jane – 56, Dog Trainer
•    Kelly S. – 20, Nursing Student
•    NaOnka – 27, P.E. Teacher
•    Sash – 30, Real Estate Broker

Quick Note: We’re working with Jeff Probst and the rest of the “Survivor” crew to elect the first class of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame. So, please swing over and vote for your favorite players of all time. Vote early, vote often!

We kick off the show with the Libertadians returning from Tribal Council. Brenda tells us that Benry, Fabio, and the InDanimate Object now know who runs the show. She claims that her and Sash are like the tribe’s king and queen. Except that she’s the king and Sash is the queen.

Somewhere Shannon just giggled.

Meanwhile, Holly’s trying to get Jane to get onboard with an alliance with her, Chase, and NaOnka. Wow…so much crazy in one group!

The next morning, the tribe decides to place their chests and other items around the fire to protect the fire from the rain. I can’t imagine how that could possibly go wrong.

Holly continues rallying the troops, making a play for Benry. They both agree that Sash totally stabbed Marty in the back.

Next we see Jane telling NaOnka Holly’s plan. Jane says that Brenda should go next because she doesn’t like to align with villains. The irony is apparently lost on Jane that she is saying this NaOnka.

Holly’s play for Chase isn’t as successful as Chase doesn’t trust Benry.

Reward Challenge: The teams will do a schoolyard pick to divide into two teams. (Guess they didn’t want to end up guys vs. girls again.) Using four barrels, two planks, and ten feet of rope, the teams will have to build a bridge to make their way across the beach without touching the ground. If one player touches the ground, the entire team has to go back. The first team to reach the platform wins a trip to an active volcano for some volcano boarding, pizza, and brownies.

Note: You know why I like this challenge? Cause they can pretend the sand is lava. I used to play that game all the time as a kid.

Another Note: Probst breaks away from his traditional color scheme and wears a green shirt.

The blue team is Chase, Purple Kelly, NaOnka, Jane, and Fabio while the yellow team is Sash, Holly, Brenda, Dan, and Benry.

The blue team decides to use only three of the four barrels. This strategy helps them get out to a big lead. The yellow team copies this strategy, but meets disaster when they all fall and have to head back to the beginning.

Unfortunately during the fall, Dan smashed his hand. Poor Dan, I’m convinced he had no idea what he was getting into.

The blue team kills this challenge, winning it easily. Benry does a flip off his barrel for fun. JPro calls this the “Loser dismount.”

JPro’s in rare form tonight. Must be his new green shirt.

A helicopter arrives to pick up our winners and give them a tour of a volcano. They enjoy a beautiful view before landing and partaking in some volcano surfing.

Yet Another Note: “Volcano Surfing” is somewhat of a misnomer. It was more like “Volcano Sledding.”

Back at camp, we get a lesson in what happens when you put wood really close to fire. Spoiler Alert: It burns.

The losing half of the reward challenge returns to the ashy aftermath. The chests are gone, the tarp on their shelter has melted away, and the machetes’ handles have burned off. Apparently one of the chests was holding what was left of their food.

Oh man, Colby’s gonna have to trade his Texas flag for a new container of rice.

Meanwhile…on a volcano…Fabio starts talking strategy. NaOnka, in a not-so-subtle move, (not that NaOnka’s known for her subtle moves) takes him aside and fills him in on the anti-Brenda alliance. As a peace offering, she hands him his socks.

Just kidding, she totally kept the socks.

When the winning side returns to camp, Chase makes a beeline to Brenda to give her the scoop. Brenda doesn’t seem very concerned.

NaOnka finds out that Chase talked to Brenda and quickly alerts Jane and Benry. Jane has a theory that Chase has a crush on Brenda.

Somewhere Shannon just giggled again.

Immunity Challenge: Each player will stand on a small platform that’s stationed over the pool that Fabio peed in. (I know, gross.) They’ll each hold onto a rope and lean back. After a while they’ll have to move further down the rope. When a person falls into the water, they’re eliminated. Last person standing (er…leaning) wins immunity.

Seriously? Another Note?: Jeff is back in a blue shirt. Classic Probst.

Not much to describe here except for leaning. Sash, Purple Kelly Purple, Holly, Brenda, Fabio, Dan, and NaOnka are all out before the first period is up. Benry, Jane, and Chase move down to the next knot. All three of them look miserable. Benry drops out first.

Looks like we’ve got Jane and Chase in the Battle of North Carolina.

Jane tells Chase that here fingers are hurting, Chase tells Jane that he’s doing well. Jane tells Probst that she’s going to quit. JPro talks her out of it.

Sweet talker.

The two go at it with Chase eventually falling. Jane wins immunity. Jane later tells us that clipping dog fingernails gives you strong hands. See, learn something new every day.

Politicking around Libertad is once again a case of Benry vs. Brenda.

NaOnka spills the Brenda plan to Sash. Sash tells us that this is the first time he’s felt worried in the game.

Chase tells Brenda that NaOnka is the one gunning for her. However, Brenda isn’t going to scramble because she’s worried her alliance mates will lose faith in her. She then makes a very smart move telling Sash that he will lose all of his numbers if they vote her out. She wants Sash to give her the idol so they can blindside NaOnka.

Sash contemplates giving his idol to Brenda, but NaOnka is convinced that he’ll keep it for himself.

The Mega Powers are exploding! (Sorry, that joke was just for the wrestling fans.)

That night at tribal council, Sash admits that he feels like he’s out of the loop.

Brenda tells Jeff that she regrets voting Marty out. Marty (complete with normal looking hair) nods his approval from the jury booth.

Brenda says she doesn’t have a problem trusting people, because she felt she had the strongest core alliance in the game. She then admits to being shocked that NaOnka would jump ship.

NaOnka could jump out of my TV right now, hide my cookware, smoosh my bananas, and steal my socks and I wouldn’t be shocked.

NaOnka denies that she was going to turn on Brenda. Chase disagrees.

JPro asks Kelly Purple to weigh in on these events with her “twenty years of wisdom.” Excited to speak, the purple one admits to feeling out of the loop for the first time.

Voting Time: Holly votes for Brenda, Brenda votes for NaOnka (and drew a sweet picture of the immunity idol she helped NaOnka find), and the rest of the votes will have to wait for the official reading.

Probsty tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play their idol…and nobody does.

One vote for Brenda, one vote NaOnka, one vote Benry, three votes for Brenda, and the eleventh person voted out of “Survivor: Nicaragua” and the third member of the jury is…Brenda.

Chase and Sash voted for Brenda. Kelly Purple Kelly voted for Benry…guess she was right about being out of the loop.

Verdict: OK, who had Week 10 for the meltdown of the Minority Majority Alliance in the pool? We’ve lost two of our smartest players in back-to-back weeks. Not sure what that means for strategy the rest of the way. I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that Fabio stays safe.

Who’s Going to Win? Did Sash jump ship early enough to make a difference? Maybe. If NaOnka’s next to go and then they start gunning for physical threats he could make a move.

Power Rankings Results: Team Dragon Slayer and Team Truth Seeker were both way off. Coach had Brenda in spot two, while I had her in spot three. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 109, Team Truth Seeker 114.

Follow me on Twitter for breaking “Survivor” news: @gordonholmes

What Do You Think? What did NaOnka do in the preview that has everyone so upset? Who’s the best strategic player left? Is Dan going to waddle his way to the million?


‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Power Rankings – Round 9

November 17, 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 9 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: Nicaragua” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Team Dragon Slayer and Team Truth Seeker tied again! They both had Marty in spot eleven. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 107, Team Truth Seeker 111.

Before we get into the battle, let’s check in with our two combatants.

Gordon Holmes: So, as I’m sure you’ve heard…we’re electing the first-ever class into the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame. I was interested in your top five. Although, you should know in my role as Senior Chairman of the Executive Voting Committee I can’t let any of your picks sway my vote.
Benjamin ‘Coach’ Wade:
Top 5 Survivors of all time…without question…no debates…Hatch, Hantz, Boston Rob, Rupert, Coach.
Gordon: Interesting.
Coach: Poetry gave me such a sweetness resonating from my senses last week I thought I would do some more, albeit not in Haiku form.
Gordon: Excellent.
Coach: Next week we will compare and give Arthurian Legend nicknames to the remaining members.
Gordon: Then I have some reading to do…


Ode to Marty:
Too smart,
But now we must part,
The game was better for you at the start.


Current Score: 107


Current Score: 111

fabio .. sash
#1: Ladies man, funny pan, no plan is the best plan. #1: While others are arguing over stolen fruit and fish dances, Sash was busy securing Marty’s jury vote. Well done, Sash.
brenda . naonka
#2: Backs might start to turn, as the money in the mind starts to burn, played well so far but lots to learn. #2: I’m done predicting NaOnka’s demise. It’s obvious this woman is bulletproof and everyone wants to go to the final three with her. Should we call this strategy “Hantzing” from now on?
naonka . brenda
#3: Keep giving sound bites, to the producers delights, you never get a vote because everyone of you is in fright. #3: What’s going on here? Are people around Libertad worried about upsetting Brenda? Careful, that kind of stuff can tear alliances apart when there are still swing votes lying around.
dan . kellys
#4: I’ve given up voting against you, your injuries were turning me blue, now I see just how tough you are to stick it through. #4: Kelly Kelly Kelly…I don’t even know what to say about you anymore. Are you going to coast into the finals Natalie White-style, then walk out with the million when nobody wants to vote for Brenda and NaOnka?
kellys . fabio
#5: Week by week you improve your game, silent at first now you are more a name, hope you make it all the way fly low and sane. #5: Fabio, you’re the king. You vote anyway you want, you do whatever you want, you say whatever you want, and everyone still loves you. Now, learn a fake British accent in time for the finale so you can pretend it was all an act.
holly . holly
#6: You wanted to quit once but now you are tough, don’t bail however once it gets rough, keep making friends all around and you have the right stuff. #6: Look at Holly go. She should’ve been outta here on week three. She’s playing the kind of game now that can coast into the finals.
jane . benry
#7: With eyes like Gollum and catching a lot of fish, Marty is out you got your wish, but hopefully in the future you won’t turn out to be the main dish. #7: Oh, Benry. If your plan is to play stupid, you’re in big trouble. Fabio does that way better than you do.
benry . chase
#8: Strength will make you a target, for weak players up the market, and don’t let others get a start up. #8: Chase’s defining moment may very well be how he bet in last week’s reward challenge. A vote for the guys says, “I want to eat.” A vote for the girls says, “I’m playing the game, and I’m siding with them.” The last thing anyone wants is a fit guy who’s playing the game.
sash . dan
#9: Sasha but I’m second from the bottom. Sasha pasha posh. About ready to enter the mosh pit of pride induced slosh. #9: Teflon Dan? Not anymore. By siding with Marty you’ve put a target on your head. And as the InDanimate Object, you’ll probably be very easy to hit.
chase . jane
#10: Insecurities are starting to show, hope this doesn’t mean you will start to blow, but show weakness now and you will be the next to go. #10: You got your way. Marty is long gone. But now what? All of those things Marty said about you being a threat are still out there. Sorry, Jane. Save the last fish dance for me.

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? Will people take NaOnka to the end because she can’t win? Will Fabio spend the million on magic beans?

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Ballot – Executive Producer Dave Burris

November 15, 2010

As a member of the exclusive Executive Voting Committee, Dave Burris (along with Jeff Probst and other ‘Survivor’ luminaries) have an awesome responsibility. Their votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame. The other 50% will come from ‘Survivor’ fans like you.

David Burris has spent the last seven years working on the Emmy Award-winning reality series “Survivor.”  From his early beginnings as supervising producer, to his current role as executive producer, Burris has put his stamp on the series that redefined a genre.  In his current role as executive producer, Burris serves as the show runner, overseeing all aspects of developing, producing, and delivering the show.

Okay, I’ll start off by saying that after 20 seasons you immediately have 20 different ways you can win this game (though Sandra Diaz-Twine’s strategy was admittedly pretty consistent). Beyond that, some of the absolute best players have not won due to the vagaries of luck. So trying to choose a top five is a Herculean task. My top five will include three non-winners, but three AMAZING non-winners. That’s one reason why this game is damn great – there are literally hundreds of ways to play it well and so far only 20 ways to win. So, here are the five ways to play the game that I think have been the most impressive…

5. Ozzy Lusth – This guy was genetically bred to play the game. NOBODY has hit the beach with stronger athletic skills and survival skills. He is the best athlete (half dolphin!), one of the best puzzle solvers, and easily the best fisherman in the history of the game. He is simply an amazing competitor whose brain remained calm and sharp in the most stressful of situations. Ozzy came within one vote of winning his first season – and only lost because he was up against another guy who appears on this list.

4. “Boston” Rob Mariano – A brilliant strategist, a charmer, the best puzzle solver, and a brutal competitor. Boston Rob is a guy who time and again has proven himself to have a shockingly acute understanding of every aspect of the game. Three seasons and three different strategies show his adaptability, which I consider to be one of the key elements to success in the game.  All this and he’s fun to listen to because he’s eloquent and hilarious.

3. Russell Hantz – The Lord of Chaos, The God of Mischief, The King of Confusion. Russell Hantz instinctively and intellectually understood that if he exploited the natural stress of the game on his competitors he could run up through them. He kept them confused and off-balance, using this to move forward time and time again. He has an unbelievable ability to read his opponents (theories abound that he used swamp magic to pursue his nefarious purposes in the game!), identify their weak spot, and tear them apart. His fatal flaw was not fooling the people he destroyed into liking him.

2. Yul Kwon – Yul is the master strategist, the best brain, and the most diplomatic player to ever play this game. If he had not been on a season with Ozzy he would have also been remembered as one of the best athletes. He played a game similar to Russell’s – kept a weak confidante devoted to him, exploited other people’s weaknesses, skillfully used the hidden immunity idol, and manipulated everyone into doing what he wanted them to do from start to finish…. BUT THEN HE WON – largely due to his skills of communication and diplomacy. He respectfully and clearly explained to people why he was cutting their throats so at the end they had no choice but to respect his play and give him the vote for the mil. Brilliant.

1. Parvati Shallow – The best all-around player ever. She was brilliant at most every aspect of the game and most every strategy. She used her skills as a physical competitor, a brilliant strategist, and a manipulative flirt to put together the most impressive C.V. in “Survivor” history.  She holds the record for most days played, got to the final three twice and won the million bucks. All this and she was never even remotely fazed by the difficulties of surviving on the island. I think this may have been the key to her success – no matter how hungry, thirsty, wet, cold, injured, hot, or exhausted she became she never lost focus and always functioned at an astonishingly high level both physically and mentally. Amazing…

Your Turn: Agree with Dave? Disagree? Cast your vote now for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame.

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