Archive for December, 2010

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Inductee – Russell Hantz

December 15, 2010

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consisted of “Survivor” Host and Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Executive Producer David Burris, Producer Jesse Jensen, members of the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Guy Gordon Holmes.

The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

It was a squeaker. The third and fourth-place members of the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame were only separated by .4% of the total combined vote.

(Not that it matters, as they’re both Hall of Famers.)

With that being said, we’re proud to announce that Russell Hantz is the third inductee (along with Parvati Shallow and ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano) into the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

What the fans said about Russell…

“The most entertaining villain and smartest idol-finder.” – Bulldog

“Could be a James Bond villain.” – Kendall

“Never has someone used the idols in such a fashion that it gave them full power to dominate the game.” – Cameron

“Redefined the game, got robbed the first time despite absolutely dominating it (the jury should be ashamed).” – Jimbo

What the Executive Voting Committee said about Russell…

“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.” – Jeff Probst – “Survivor” Host and Executive Producer

“Was robbed in Samoa after finding every hidden immunity idol known to man and bringing his tribe back from an 8-4 deficit. He followed that up by outplaying Boston Rob in ‘Heroes Vs. Villains’ and making it to the finals yet again.” – Dalton Ross – Entertainment Weekly

“Nobody has ever fought harder for second (and third) place. His guerilla warfare transformed the game of ‘Survivor’ and should secure him a place in the Hall of Fame.” – Drusilla Moorhouse – E! Online

“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.” John Kirhoffer – “Survivor” Challenge Producer

Be sure to check back Thursday and Friday to see the final two members of the inaugural class of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

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‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Power Rankings – Round 12

December 15, 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 Fabio is voted out this week, Coach will receive two points and Gordon will receive four. 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 called it. Coach had Benry in spot seven while had him in spot six. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 132, Team Truth Seeker 134.

coach

Ode to Benry:
Should’ve goldbricked it in the challenges. But I was glad to see your character emerge as the season went on.

TEAM DRAGON SLAYER

Current Score: 132

TEAM TRUTH SEEKER

Current Score: 134

sash .. sash
#1: He’s got the idol, he’s playing both sides – although that’s a dangerous way to play as I found out in “Heroes vs. Villains.” He’s always thinking about the game. He’s not going to quit. #1: OK, Sash. It’s your time to shine. If you want to walk away with the million dollars you have to make your move this week. You need to get rid of Holly and Jane. And you need to do it in a way that makes them not hate you. It’s this week that’ll show if you’re Todd Herzog (a winner) or Russell Hantz (a runner-up).
fabio . chase
#2: His stupidity is becoming brilliant and he’s becoming smarter the more he is immersed in the game. #2: Chase has got to be a lock for the final three. Everybody likes him, but nobody respects his gameplay.
dan . dan
#3: I can’t say that he’s growing on me. But I see another Sandra (Diaz-Twine) and depending on who gets to the end he might win it because he hasn’t pissed anybody off. #3: Yeah Dan, you’re still safe. And you might be a good pick to take to the final three too. Why would anyone be threatened by you? You’re just a pleasant paper weight at this point.
chase . fabio
#4: He’s a scared little rabbit. I think people think they can manipulate him and he’s not a threat. He’s a paper tiger. He’s like James (Clement) in “Heroes vs. Villains.” #4: The only thing keeping Fabio safe at this point is the fact that Holly and Jane are more likely to get final votes. Which is good, cause I’m a member of Team Fabs.
holly . jane
#5: Her coaching personality is coming out. She’s one of my favorite characters this season going from wanting to quit and not being able to handle it to trying to help other people not to quit. Giving up her reward was very chivalrous, but unfortunately that’s going to come back to bite her. #5: This was a tough one between Jane and Holly. But in the end, I think Holly is better liked by the jury and Jane is more likely to win immunity. People like NaOnka and Alina have been looking at her as a Mom figure for a while. So, we’ll have fish dances until the finale.
jane . holly
#6: I just think Marty’s comment is going to resonate with everyone. “If she gets to the end, I’ll vote for her and you guys are the stupidest group ever.” So, if she doesn’t win immunity, I think she’s going home. #6: It’s been an interesting run for you, Holly. Not many people go from crazed villain to mother figure in one season. But, I think you’ll be able to look back at this season and be proud of how you’ve performed.

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Inductee – ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano

December 14, 2010

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consisted of “Survivor” Host and Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Executive Producer David Burris, Producer Jesse Jensen, members of the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Guy Gordon Holmes.

The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

We’re proud to announce that ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano has joined Parvati Shallow in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2010. ‘Boston’ Rob appeared on an impressive eight of the nine Executive Voting Committee ballots and received the second highest amount of fan votes.

What does it mean to you to be voted by the fans and “Survivor” luminaries such as Jeff Probst and Dave Burris as one of the top five Survivors of all time?
‘Boston’ Rob Mariano:
Being voted into the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is a great honor, especially because the votes came from the two sources that I respect greatly.  First, the fans, this really means a lot to me because I think it’s quite obvious that without the fans there would be no show.  The fans have actually allowed the show to stand the test of time.  Their loyalty has made “Survivor” what it is today; and in turn has allowed “Survivor” to be on television for more than a decade which has given me the opportunity to play this game that I love three times. So, thank you.  Secondly, the “Survivor” luminaries, these are the guys that make the show, the Host, Producers and Press.  They are also integral to the success of the show.  To be recognized by these guys as one of the best is also a very great honor because these are the guys and girls that know what we are going through out there.  They see the hardships that we endure and the effort that we put into playing “Survivor.”  Thank you.

There’s been a lot of talk about your progression  from “Marquesas” to “All-Stars” to “Heroes vs. Villains.” Why do you think you won over so many fans during the “Heroes vs. Villains” season?
‘Boston’ Rob:
I’ve always said that to do well in “Survivor” you need to be able to adapt well to changing situations.  I feel that each time I played “Survivor” I learned something new, and I’ve tried to make adjustments so that I did not make the same mistakes that I made previously.  At its core I believe that “Survivor” is more a social game than anything else.  At the end of the day, people just want to be treated with respect and play with people that have a good work ethic and a positive attitude.  I feel like I have grown a lot as a person since “Survivor: Marquesas” and I think it showed in “Survivor: Heroes vs Villains.”

What the fans said about ‘Boston’ Rob…

“Great mastermind but fell victim to a bitter jury.” – John

“He might not have triumphed in ‘Heroes vs. Villains’ but he created a very firm alliance, it was not his fault one of his alliance members made a huge faulty mistake.” – Cameron

“Greatest player to never win.” – Genwolf

“I count him as a winner alongside Amber for ‘All-Stars,’ because they played the game together as one entity. They were the strongest and most powerful alliance in the history of ‘Survivor,’ and I doubt they’ll ever lose that title.” – Tara

“Great at challenges and very entertaining; my favorite by far.” – Dee

What the Executive Voting Committee said about ‘Boston’ Rob…

“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.” – Jeff Probst – “Survivor” Host and Executive Producer

“In his third attempt, Awesome Rob was grossly outmatched by the super strong Heroes tribe but carried his Villains like Atlas to some important victories — and might have won if only his allies had half his smahts.” – Drusilla Moorhouse – E! Online

“A brilliant strategist, a charmer, the best puzzle solver, and a brutal competitor.” – David Burris – Executive Producer

“His natural charm, sense of humor and masterful game play earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame.” – John Kirhoffer – Challenge Producer

Be sure to check back every day this week to see the rest of the members of the inaugural class of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Inductee – Parvati Shallow

December 13, 2010

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consisted of “Survivor” luminaries such as Host and Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Executive Producer David Burris, Producer Jesse Jensen, members of the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Guy Gordon Holmes.

The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

We’re proud to induct Parvati Shallow as the first member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2010. Not only was Parvati the only player whose name appeared on all nine of the Executive Voting Committee’s ballots, but she also received more fan votes than any other Survivor.

We had a chance to speak with the newly crowned Hall of Famer to get her thoughts on this honor…

What does it mean to you to not only get the most fan votes, but to be the only person to get a vote from everybody on the voting committee?
Parvati:
To be recognized as one of the best by the guys whose job is to make the game as difficult and challenging as possible is truly an honor. I loved playing “Survivor” and was never content to let anyone play for me. It’s cool that all the producers and press could see how hard I was working out there on the island. I guess I’m going to have to thank them and the rest of the contestants for never taking it easy on me so that I could rise to the challenge. All the bug bites, busted lips, severed fingers and starvation were worth it since all the fans watching at home were entertained enough to vote me into the Hall of Fame. Thanks everybody. I’m a very happy girl. Now where’s my trophy?

There’s a lovely photo of a plaque for you at the top of this article. What do you think of “Survivor: Nicaragua”?
Parvati:
I’m wholly unimpressed with the current season. My highlights: Brenda was cute and we got to see Jeff Probst get hopping mad at the quitters.

Any chance we’ll ever see you on ‘Survivor’ again?
Parvati:
Sorry, guys. Dishes are done. You’ll have to go to espwellnesscenter.com to find me.

What the fans said about Parvati…

“I would’ve hated her in high school, but she’s crafty!” – Pia

“Could charm you, outwit you, outperform you in challenges and looked smokin’ hot in a bikini.” – Kendall

“Strongest overall in every aspect of the game.” – Andrew53069

“’Heroes Vs. Villains’ game was arguably the best for a runner-up ever.” – Adam

“Ultimate social game player; can charm basically anyone.” – Jimbo

“Seductive even without showering for 39 days” – Rico S.

What the Executive Voting Committee said about Parvati…

“Parvati is simply one of the greatest players in the history of the game. She is a great social player and a brilliant strategist.” – John Kirhoffer – “Survivor” Challenge Producer

“Not only has she mastered the social game (with both sexes!), but girlfriend dominates in those endurance challenges. And she gave the whiny Amanda the heave-ho. Woo hoo.” – Mara Reinstein – US Weekly

“The ultimate triple threat in terms of social, strategic and challenge domination. All hail Queen Parvati!” – Dalton Ross – Entertainment Weekly

“If Parvati’s the queen, consider me one of her subjects.” – Gordon Holmes – XFINITY TV

Be sure to check back every day this week to see the rest of the members of the inaugural class of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Ballot – XFINITY TV’s Gordon Holmes

December 10, 2010

As the Senior Chairman of the exclusive Executive Voting Committee, Gordon Holmes has an awesome responsibility. His vote (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer and other “Survivor” luminaries) will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame. The other 50% came from “Survivor” fans like you.

Gordon Holmes is an Assistant Managing Producer at Comcast and the lead “Survivor” know-it-all for XFINITY TV. He’s been hooked on “Survivor” from the moment he first saw Jeff Probst kick sixteen strangers off a boat and into the sea back in May of 2000. The rumor that Gordon once played a zombie Richard Hatch in a terrible Internet short film can neither be confirmed nor denied.

When I asked for votes for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, I never set any kind of criteria. I know that people watch “Survivor” for a wide variety of reasons and I wanted the voting to reflect that. This proved troublesome as when it came time for me to put my picks on paper (er…online) I changed my mind quite a few times as there are a wide variety of aspects I appreciate about the show.

If I’d gone with players who’d dominated a season you’d see names like Yul Kwon, Brian Heidik, Todd Herzog, Tom Westman and “Boston” Rob Mariano.

If I went with the players I found to be the most entertaining, this ballot would include Natalie Bolton, Tyson Apostol, Randy Bailey, Michael Skupin and Courtney Yates.

And if I was going by the players I found to be the most attractive you’d see Carolina Eastwood, Carolina Eastwood, Carolina Eastwood, Carolina Eastwood and Charlie Herschel.

But in the end, I pretty much mirrored the video I made with Jeff Probst that started this whole Hall of Fame mess. My ballot is going to focus on the players who truly changed the game with a chaser of players whose dominance was simply too amazing not to be recognized.

(The following votes are in no particular order.)

Richard Hatch: (“Survivor: Borneo” and “Survivor: All-Stars”)
– I remember when I first saw the casting call for “Survivor” a hundred years ago. My first instinct was, “I’d just get three or four people to team up with me and vote out everyone else.” Do I think that strategy makes me a genius? No, and I don’t think Richard Hatch is a genius either. However, I do think the Richard Hatch persona, that of the mastermind who controlled the game with his social maneuvers and sound (not brilliant) strategy, helped rocket “Survivor” into the pop culture stratosphere. I don’t think it’s overstating things to say that “Survivor” might not exist today without Richard Hatch.

Rob Cesternino: (“Survivor: The Amazon” and “Survivor: All-Stars”) – For as much as I love “Survivor,” there is a time when I started to become bored with the show. Around Thailand/Marquesas my attention started to waver. It seemed like too many people were afraid to venture outside of their alliances to make things happen. It made the show very predictable. In my eyes Rob Cesternino changed all of that. His strategy of whittling down alliances inspired the strategists that followed him and greatly improved the show.

Jon “Jonny Fairplay” Dalton: (“Survivor: Pearl Islands” and “Survivor: Micronesia”) – Oh…people are going to be annoyed with this one. But, you have to admit that Fairplay’s “Dead Grandmother” stunt changed the way people approach the game. It used to be anything about someone’s life outside of the game was taken at face value. Not anymore. Anyone who lies about their occupation, their income, or anything else has Fairplay to thank for raising (lowering?) the bar on how far people are willing to go to get an advantage in the game.

Parvati Shallow: (“Survivor: Cook Islands”, “Survivor: Micronesia”, and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”)
– The funniest thing about Parvati’s “Survivor” legacy may be that her win in Micronesia wasn’t half as impressive as her second-place finish in “Heroes vs. Villains.” She started the game with a huge target on her back and managed to make it to the end. Better than that, she wasn’t content to let Russell Hantz make all the moves and take all the shots, she matched him every step of the way. If Parvati’s the queen, consider me one of her subjects.

Sandra Diaz-Twine: (“Survivor: Pearl Islands” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”) – I’m a big fan of bringing winners back for all-star seasons. But I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed when I saw Sandra’s name on the “Heroes vs. Villains” cast list. But in the end, while I’m not particularly entertained with her gameplay, I’ve going to agree with Probst that winning twice should be an automatic inclusion in the Hall of Fame.

Be sure to check back Monday, December 13, 2010 for the first member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Castaway Interview: Ben ‘Benry’ Henry

December 9, 2010

Survivor” has taught me a lot over the years. Terms such as “Immunity Idol,” “Tribal Council” and “Dominant Alliance” were foreign to me before I became hooked on Mark Burnett’s reality juggernaut.

Ben “Benry” Henry can be credited with enhancing my “Survivor” vocabulary too.  I’d never heard of a “Dirt Squirrel” until he blasted Alina Wilson with the memorable nickname.

I had a chance to finally get insight into this unique term the morning after he was voted out of game. We also had a chance to discuss his faux alliance with Sash and Chase, how he could so callously stab Fabio in the back and how he feels about murdering Jane’s chicken friend.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor” on xfinityTV.com

Gordon Holmes: Alright, what’s a “Dirt Squirrel”?
Ben “Benry“ Henry:
A dirt squirrel is a two-legged female that scavenges for nuts and often displays moral inconsistencies. That is my exact definition.
Gordon: Why would you describe poor Alina that way?
Benry: I caught a lot of heat for that comment, but there’s a lot that the viewers didn’t get to see. I think everyone around camp would agree that she’s a dirt squirrel. A very nice girl, but she’s a dirt squirrel. Especially the night she went home. She was scrambling, she said, “Benry was stealing bananas. Back in week one, you guys didn’t even know about it.” And numerous people were telling me that she wanted me out. This fired me up a bit.

Gordon: Now, Chase and Sash didn’t seem to trust you at all. Were you shocked with how it went down with them leading you one way then stabbing you in the back?
Benry:
My biggest downfall was putting as much trust and faith as I did into Sash and Chase. Last night was sort of tough to watch. I had it on DVR and I had to rewind because it was like “Did Chase just say, ‘I haven’t trusted Benry this entire game?’ Or did he say, ‘I have trusted Benry.’” And he said, “I haven’t.” I was really surprised at that. I don’t know what I did to steer him away from trusting me, but I obviously did. I put a lot of trust in Chase, I saw the kid playing with his heart and emotions right off the bat. He had a tough time lying and being deceitful to people. So I saw him as a physical threat, but very honest. And we’d talked about not voting for each other unless it was for the million dollars.
Gordon: How about Sash?
Benry: Sash was shifty throughout this entire game. I knew that. But for some reason when we came back to camp that day and Holly and Jane and Chase were on that reward, I put a lot of faith in Sash. I thought he’d maybe swing that way. But they all agreed that I was a big physical threat, and I very easily could have won my way into the final three.

Gordon: I’m kind of on the fence with Jane right now. On one hand she’s funny and she’s tough and on the other she started a blood feud with Marty over perceived slights and she’s holding a memorial service for a chicken. How do people feel about her around camp?
Benry:
Watching that thing with the chicken last night was a trip. I saw the little memorial in front of the cage, but I never saw the little memorial service. I never saw her shed a tear.
Gordon: You missed the eulogy.
Benry: Yeah, I started laughing to be honest. I didn’t get to meet Jane until the merge and I found her obnoxious. Doing her fish dance…you’d be taking a nap, finally get your eyes closed and she’d come over and do the fish dance. But she grew on me. She’s an amazing lady. She’s got some super human strength in her. It was really cool to get to know Jane.

Gordon: Fabio’s my boy. We’re St. Louis guys. And you stabbed him right in the back. Was that hard for you?
Benry:
Dude, I felt so bad. I knew I was so screwed. But I sort of felt like I had Holly and Chase in my back pocket. And I felt like if I could get to one more Tribal Council that I could realign myself and weasel my way into a new alliance. And it’s a dirty game, and it’s for a million dollars. But it was tough for me to pull Fabio aside and lie to his face. And I can even see it in my own eyes, watching last night that it was tough for me. But Fabio’s my boy too. He’s a homie.

Gordon: Nothing this season has sent shock waves through the “Survivor” universe quite like the dual quitting last episode. What was your take on NaOnka and Purple Kelly throwing in the towel?
Benry:
We had to go to Tribal Council. It was pouring that night. And we got back to the camp and we were soaking wet. We could’ve been under our tarp and dry for the night. That was an annoying aspect of that. Also, there are a lot of people that apply to this game that would have loved to have been in their shoes. The jury would’ve died to still be in the game. It was frustrating to watch. But my initial instinct was, let them go home, we’ll have two less people to go through.

Gordon: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Brenda.
Benry:
Beautifully deceitful.
Gordon: Shannon?
Benry: Meathead.
Gordon: Sash?
Benry: Dirt rat.
Gordon: Fabio?
Benry: Fabio’s a one of a kind.
Gordon: Alina?
Benry: Dirt squirrel…have to do it.
Gordon: Dan?
Benry: Uncle Dan the man…he’s a passenger lucky to have a seat.
Gordon: Holly?
Benry: Big heart, just a huge heart.
Gordon: Let’s finish with Jane.
Benry: Jane has hidden superhuman powers.
Gordon: I noticed you called Sash a “Dirt rat.” Is that similar to a dirt squirrel?
Benry: Yeah, it’s a basically the male version. He’s a shifty little dirt rat.

Follow Gordon on Twitter for ‘Survivor’ news: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Episode 12 Recap: There’s Something About Sash

December 8, 2010

Last Episode: NaOnka and Purple Kelly quit, yet I press on…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 ‘Survivor‘ Blog

Here is the tribe as it currently stands…

The Libertad Tribe (wearing red with sharp white highlights)
•    Benry – 24, Club Promoter
•    Chase – 24, Race Car Jackman/Country Singer
•    Dan – 63, Real Estate Executive
•    Fabio – 21, Student
•    Holly – 44, Swim Coach
•    Jane – 56, Dog Trainer
•    Sash – 30, Real Estate Broker

Note: I want to thank everyone who voted for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame. Check back Friday for my official ballot and be on the lookout next week for the official announcement of the Class of 2010.

The mood is somber at Libertania after the first dual quitting in “Survivor” history. Well, not too somber as Benry decides to name the tribe’s chicken “Kelly-Nay” because, “They’re both chicken.”

Zing!

Sash thinks the throwing in of the purple towels affects him the most as he had close alliances with both of the Nay-bandoners.

Note: It was that or Nay-vacuators.

The following morning, Sash tells Chase, Fabio and Benry that he’ll be playing his idol at the next Tribal Council because he’s worried that people think he’s a threat.

When Benry and Fabio run off to chase butterflies, Chase makes a pitch to keep Sash on his team.

They then discuss making sure that Holly gets to go on the next reward challenge. They also both agree that Sash should go on the reward as he hasn’t had a reward meal in a long time.

And as if by cue, we’re taken to…

Reward Challenge: This reward challenge is a nod to all of the previous challenges. It’s like leftover night.

The players will start off diving into a mudpit, then they’ll have to dig through a bale of hay to retrieve a ball.

Wait, who set a course record in the mud-diving/hay digging challenge? Oh wait, that was totally me.

Note: I am going to keep boasting about that. It’s all I have.

From there they’ll bounce the ball off of a shield and into a barrel. The first four people to sink their shot will move on.

In the next round they’ll use a stick to retrieve a key from a post. Once they have their key they’ll unlock a chest that has four sandbags. They’ll then toss those sandbags onto a barrel while Jimmy T. yells at them.

I may have made up that Jimmy T. part.

The first two to get their bags on their barrel will move on.

From there, they’ll dig up rope rings with a post. Once they have those rings it’s ring toss time. (How come there’s never a Toss Across challenge?) The first person to get all of their rings on the board will enjoy an evening at a private resort.

There’s not much to describe in the first mud-soaked round. Chase, Jane, Benry, and Holly advance.

Alright, stop the recap! Dan didn’t advance?!

Holly and Jane both have trouble retrieving their keys in the second round. Chase sinks all four of his sandbags in a row and Benry is not too far behind him. They both advance.

In the final round, Chase quickly uncovers all three of his rope rings. He then makes quick work of the ring toss, winning before Benry can uncover all of his rings. Chase wins reward.

He offers Probsty a muddy hug, but Jeff turns him down. J-Pro’s got standards, yo.

Chase is given the opportunity to take two people with him. He chooses Holly as a thank you for her actions during the last reward challenge. He then chooses Jane because he doesn’t understand how “Survivor” works.

Sash is not amused.

When the muddy gentlemen return to camp, Fabio makes an insightful comment saying that Chase chose the two people who make the least strategic sense.

Sash then does his best Scott Boras impersonation by asking Team Benry/Fabio/Dan for their alliance pitch.

Dan doesn’t trust Sash a bit. That’s not the only thing Dan doesn’t do. He doesn’t run, he doesn’t speak much, he doesn’t belong on this show…

Meanwhile, Chase and his ladies are enjoying some watermelon at a luxurious resort. Holly points out that Chase picked the two oldest ladies left in the game. Also the only ladies left in the game, Holly.

Man, the producers must be kicking each other.

Chase later admits to Holly that he screwed up in picking Jane over Sash. Well, at least he realizes it.

Back at camp, the guys kill the chicken known as “Kelly-Nay.” Ironically, the chicken’s final few clucks were more than we heard from the actual Purple Kelly all season.

The next day we meet up with Jane who is crying because she loved the chicken.

Seriously.

Jane then tells us how she made a memorial for the chicken with a little cross and a little heart.

Seriously.

Where’s the memorial for all the fish you caught, Jane? And don’t you own a farm?

Later, Chase and Holly are trying to figure out what to do about Sash. Chase explains his mistake by saying, “I left Sash back at camp, the person I trust the least with three other guys who are waiting to pounce on him.”

Do you need a joke there or can we move on? Let’s move on.

Benry and Chase have a bit of a pow-wow where Benry tries to get Chase to vote for Jane. Chase plays along, but doesn’t trust Benry at all.

Chase and Sash have a discussion too. Chase tells Sash that he took Jane on the reward to prove to Sash that he trusted him with the other alliance.

Not the worst lie I’ve ever heard. Maybe Chase is learning.

Holly eventually joins the party and they all agree that they can’t trust Benry. Speak of the dirt squirrel (what does that mean?!) and he arrives. Benry siddles up and they all agree to go after Fabio if he loses immunity.

Immunity Challenge: The players will be attached to a hitching rail. The players will maneuver their way around the post, releasing rope as they go. Once they have enough slack, they’ll try to retrieve a bag of gold coins. The first three to retrieve their bags will move on to the finals.

In the final round, the three players will have to stack gold coins into a puzzle box. The first person to complete their puzzle wins immunity.

Gold coins? Is this a promotion for some Jack Black leprechaun movie I don’t know about?

Not much to describe in this challenge either, although Jane did have a nice wipeout. Fabio reaches the gold coins first (maybe he thought they were full of chocolate?) followed by Benry and Sash.

Jane manages to cheer for all three of the guys during the puzzle portion. Fabio apparently didn’t appreciate the encouragement as he whispered that she should shut up.

And in the shock of all shockers, Sash beats both Fabio and Benry in a puzzle challenge.

Back at camp, Sash claims to have been sandbagging challenges because he didn’t need to win. Yeah, I sandbag every competition I lose too.

Politicking around the camp is leaning toward Fabio and Benry.

Quick Aside: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Sash and Chase tell Benry that they’re going to vote for Fabio. Part of their plan involves telling Fabio that they’re voting for Jane. Benry has a problem with that because he doesn’t think Fabio will buy it. He thinks they should say they’re voting for Holly.

Aww…look at Benry…worried about outsmarting Fabio.

That night at Tribal Council, Probst is sure to call NaOnka and Purple Kelly quitters as they join the jury. They’re lucky he didn’t chuck his snuffer (or “smuffer” as NaOnka would say) at them.

Oh, and if you needed another reason to hate NaOnka and Purple Kelly, the hotel they’re staying at is beyond gorgeous. We did the pre-game interviews there and it is a-maze-ing.

Chase, Fabio and Benry being physical threats is brought up. Chase makes a counterpoint saying he may be a physical threat, but he hasn’t won immunity yet. He must be sandbagging it too.

When asked how confident he is that the vote is going to go his way, Benry says that he’s pretty confident.

Sash is very happy to have immunity as he feels that the person with immunity is often approached with the most strategy and information.

Wow, Tribal is kind of boring without NaOnka making ridiculous statements.

Voting Time: And…none of the votes are shown. That’s weird.

One vote for Holly, two votes for Fabio, three votes for Benry and the fourteenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: Nicaragua” and the sixth member of the jury is…Benry.

Verdict: Kind of a blah episode after last week’s barnburner. Here’s hoping Sash will shake things up as he has to know he’ll have trouble beating his alliance mates.

That being said, I was seriously concerned that Fabio and I were going to be talking about the Cardinals signing Lance Berkman during his exit interview Thursday morning.

Go Fabio.

Who’s Going to Win? Sash is in good shape if he makes the final three. Between Brenda, Marty, NaOnka and Purple Kelly he’s got to have a few votes.

Power Rankings Results:
Team Dragon Slayer called it. Coach had Benry in spot seven while had him in spot six. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 132, Team Truth Seeker 134. That’s closer than I’d like it to be…

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

What Do You Think? Can anyone beat Jane in a final three? Was keeping Fabio on board a mistake? Should Jeff call NaOnka and Purple Kelly quitters at every Tribal Council?

My Totally Biased Holiday Shopping Guide

December 8, 2010

We’re currently in the midst of the hap, happiest season of all. Now, if you’re like me, you’ve been busy running around trying to find the perfect gifts for your family and friends. If you’re stumped for ideas for a few of those folks, let me recommend the following sure-to-please items…

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‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Power Rankings – Round 11

December 7, 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 one point and Gordon will receive four. 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 had NaOnka in spot nine and Purple Kelly in spot seven. Team Truth Seeker had NaOnka in spot five and Purple Kelly in spot nine. The current score is now Team Dragon Slayer 125, Team Truth Seeker 128.

coach

Ode to NaOnka and Purple Kelly:
There will be no Requiem for the Booted Survivor this week because frankly: QUITTERS SUCK!!!

TEAM DRAGON SLAYER

Current Score: 125

TEAM TRUTH SEEKER

Current Score: 128

sash .. chase
#1: A new horse to back in the race. As much as I don’t like Sash’s ego, smarminess and flip flopping he’s got the idol so I don’t think he’s going anywhere. #1: He’s in the dominant alliance (for as long as they can stay together) and he’s holding an immunity idol. He’s safer than anyone who bets that I won’t be seeing ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’
jane . jane
#2: With Holly putting a major target on her back by doing the chivalrous things (and not taking part of the reward challenge) I think Jane is safe. But, lingering thoughts from Marty saying she would win a million dollars if she makes it to the end has to loom large next week. #2: After last week’s shocker, the players will need to restore some order. What that means is Holly, Jane, Chase and Sash will vote together. After that, popular players like Jane and Holly are going to become Sash’s top targets.
fabio . dan
#3: Still one of my favorites, his strength in challenges might be his downfall. He and Benry and Jane will be the next few to go along with Holly. #3: Oh Dan Dan the Immobile Man. I have a theory that Dan wanted to quit with NaOnka and Purple Kelly, but wasn’t able to physically get up and leave. Anywho, he’s safe until Benry and Fabio are gone.
dan . sash
#4: Steady as she goes. I have to hand it to him: you know he’s miserable but Dan is looking like the man after the other two quit last week. #4: Sash has got to realize that he’s in a can’t-win alliance right now. If he goes to the final three with Jane or Holly he’s not going home with a million-dollar check.
chase . holly
#5: Yawn. Not enough of a threat to be voted out yet. He might just make it to the end by slipping under the radar. #5: Somebody needed to sacrifice their reward to get that tarp. Unfortunately for Holly, those heroic moves are usually rewarded with a quick elimination.
holly . benry
#6: Major target on her back now that she tried to curry favor from the others. It will depend on whether or not people are thinking “get rid of the strong” or “get rid of the noble.” #6: It’s going to be Benry or Fabio this week. They need to get rid of the guys that can go on immunity runs. And if it comes down to those two, they have to know that Fabio is liked by everyone on the jury. (I think NaOnka may even have a soft spot for him.)
benry . fabio
#7: Without a clear-cut alliance, and being good in the challenges, I think this makes him the number one target. I like Benry and hope he wins immunity or gets into a strong alliance. At this point he should be using his good looks to flirt with everyone left, including Fabio, Jane and Holly!!! Oh and Sash too. I’m not too sure about that guy. #7: Fabio is the only person left to root for, so I’m hoping I’m wrong on this one. Fortunately, I usually am…

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Ballots – The ‘Survivor’ Press Team

December 7, 2010

As members of the exclusive Executive Voting Committee, the “Survivor” Press Team (along with Host Jeff Probst, 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% came from “Survivor” fans like you. Be sure to check back Monday, December 13, 2010 for the first member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

Note: Some of the press team decided to rank their votes in order, some didn’t. I decided to let them do what felt right. That’s the kind of alliance member I am. I try to go with the flow and not be too bossy.

Drusilla Moorhouse – E! Online

Drusilla Moorhouse is an Editor for E! Online, where she celebrates TV and celebrity gossip with a liberal dose of exclamation points. A fanatic of the “Eco Challenge” producer Mark Burnett’s O.G. reality competition, Dru carried a torch for “Survivor” even before the first pixelated images of Richard Hatch hit the airwaves.

Richard Hatch: The inaugural champion single-handedly shaped “Survivor’s” strategy with his Snake and the Rat (& Co.) Alliance. Is he the smartest player? No — just ask the IRS. Physically dominant? Absolutely not (although a certain shark may beg to differ). But without the bare bandit’s social scheme, it’s impossible to know how many seasons of random Sean Kenniff-style Tribal Council voting we’d see before competitors realized how essential alliances are to longevity in this game.

“Boston” Rob Mariano: In Marquesas, Rob was lazy at camp, gave an F for effort in the challenges and used strategy as an afterthought — it’s easy to see why he tended bar and worked construction after graduating from Boston University. But in “All-Stars,” Rob 2.0 played to win, establishing a, um…rock-hard alliance with Ambah and seducing his other tribemates with a custom-built luxury eco-lodge. Even though his aggressive style and deception cost him in jury votes, he still took home the million-dollar prize by marrying the Sole Survivor — and with the birth of their baby, became “Survivor’s” original Robfather. In his third attempt, Awesome Rob was grossly outmatched by the super strong Heroes tribe but carried his Villains like Atlas to some important victories — and might have won if only his allies had half his smahts.

Russell Hantz: The douche-hatted hobbit made a fool of every post-Guatemala gamer who waited for cheesy clues before searching the camp for the Hidden Immunity Idols. Russell’s sabotage was silly — avoiding Tribal Council should always be the first priority — and a smarter social game and some humility might’ve earned him a victory. Nobody has ever fought harder for second (and third) place. His guerilla warfare transformed the game of “Survivor” and should secure him a place in the Hall of Fame.

Tom Westman: The New York City firefighter’s win was also “Survivor’s” most gratifying. Tom’s alliance with Ian ensured that the season would finish with strong players, while his physical dominance in challenges kept his Koror tribe out of Tribal Council and, later, kept the immunity necklace around his own neck. He joined the game under the halo of a 9/11 hero but was awarded the million-dollar prize for his leadership, integrity and strength.

Parvati Shallow: “Survivor’s” Queen P has outlasted every competitor with a record 114 game days of serenity and bliss. Her siren call lures men and women to crash at her lovely feet, but flirting is just one of the weapons in the fierce physical competitor’s arsenal. “Survivor” is Parvati’s Hotel California, but she never checks out of the game — physically, socially or mentally.

Rob Moynihan – TV Guide Magazine

Rob Moynihan is the online editor for TV Guide Magazine. As a lifelong “Survivor” junkie, one of his greatest achievements was competing alongside XFINITY TV’s own Gordon Holmes on the winning press team for a “Survivor: Nicaragua” challenge rehearsal.

Richard Hatch: Richard Hatch was the first contestant to ever play “Survivor” both as a strategic game and in the nude. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying he will always be the best sole Survivor.

Parvati Shallow: At the “Heroes vs. Villains” reunion, Russell Hantz told me that Parvati is the best player to ever compete on “Survivor,” and it’s hard to argue with him. After cashing her million-dollar check for her second outing on “Fans vs. Favorites,” Parvati completely controlled Russell and the rest of the Heroes and Villains and came up a few votes short of her second win.

Russell Hantz: When Gordon first asked me to participate in the Hall of Fame, I tried to limit my five picks to only “Survivor” winners, because to be truly great at this game you must have the check to prove it, right? Well there’s no way I can keep Russell off the list because of the ways he single handedly changed how “Survivor” is played in Samoa. Burning socks, finding hidden idols and pissing everybody off landed him in the top three in both outings, but his ruthless social game and some bitter juries kept the prize money out of his reach. Still, Russell was the most interesting and fun Survivor to watch in 21 seasons.

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Say what you will about her under-the-radar strategy, but the woman has played the game twice and both times returned home a winner. Sometimes, making the right moves with the right people at the right times helps you along in the game, and there’s no better example than Sandra.

“Boston” Rob Mariano: The evolution of Rob Mariano in his three stints on “Survivor” has been pretty incredible. Always a strong personality, strategizer and whiz when it came to challenges, Mariano was always somewhat unfairly branded with a villain label for making bold moves like betraying his buddy Lex in “All-Stars,” even though he did land his million-dollar wife. But he rose again in “Heroes Vs. Villains” as the villain America rooted for until Russell snuffed his torch. For a three-time loser, there has never been a Survivor who’s played harder.

Mara Reinstein – US Weekly

Us Weekly senior writer Mara Reinstein has covered “Survivor” since the Richard Hatch era (title of her first article: “The Rat Pack.”) In 2004, she finally got the chance to travel to location for a set visit. Yay…Palau. Boo…Guatemala. She has made nine treks in total and lost a record-breaking seven consecutive press-run immunity challenges until the torch run in Samoa.

Shane Powers: That’s right, a dark-horse pick! I’m still in denial that the unstable, outspoken chain smoker from “Panama: Exile Islands” did not make the cut for “Heroes Vs. Villains.” Hello? Need I remind you that he frantically typed on a piece of wood as if it were a Blackberry — and that was during one of his saner moments?! Sorry, Shane. Should have been you over Tyson.

Tom Westman: It’s impossible to root against him. I’m not just saying that because he has the whole NYC firefighter hero thing going on. (Working for the NYPD didn’t get Ken very far during “Survivor: Thailand” in 2002.) He’s a genuinely good and caring guy. And if I’m on Tom’s tribe, I knew that we’re not going to blow a challenge for lack of effort or leadership. He kinda looks like John Slattery too!

Richard Hatch: The blueprint for all “Survivor” contestants, for better or for worse. Think back to the scene when all the castaways set foot on the beach for the first time, desperately trying to figure what the hell to do and who to boss around. The wily Hatch sat in a tree, taking it all in and fingering his future alliance-mates and targets. Mind you: This was years before Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse ever conjured up Benjamin Linus.

Parvati Shallow: I interviewed her in the Cooks in 2006 and dismissed her as another flirty, giggly boxer/model chick with amazingly white teeth. Never ever dawned on me that she would brilliantly use these traits to her advantage — three times over! Not only has she mastered the social game (with both sexes!), but girlfriend dominates in those endurance challenges. And she gave the whiny Amanda the heave-ho. Woo hoo.

Rob Mariano: Dear Ambuh: I totally get it! In the “Survivor” universe, Boston Rob outwits and outplays them all (with a wicked sense of humor too). Lest we forget that the guy double-crossed his friends during “All Stars” just to keep his girl in the game — then proposed to her on the live finale and they’re still married! (As an Us Weekly writer, I gotta respect this.)

Dalton Ross – Entertainment Weekly

Dalton Ross is the Assistant Managing Editor of Entertainment Weekly. He may have written about this show once or twice over the past 10 years.

5. “Boston” Rob Mariano: You want to put him higher than fifth…until you remember that in two of his three appearances he didn’t even make it to the jury. The best challenge puzzle solver in “Survivor” history.

4. Tom Westman: Dominated socially, physically and strategically in Palau. Also got wasted, which I could watch on a continuous loop for the rest of my life.

3. Richard Hatch: Taught everyone else how to play the game. Every time anyone says the word “alliance”, Hatch should get a nickel…and then not pay any taxes on it!

2. Russell Hantz: You may not like him, but you have to respect him. Was robbed in Samoa after finding every hidden immunity idol known to man and bringing his tribe back from an 8-4 deficit. He followed that up by outplaying Boston Rob in “Heroes Vs. Villains” and making it to the finals yet again. If you’re voting objectively—no way you can leave him off.

1. Parvati Shallow: She was the person everyone was gunning for before “Heroes Vs. Villains” started. And yet she STILL made it all the way to the end (and should have won). The ultimate triple threat in terms of social, strategic and challenge domination. All hail Queen Parvati!


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