Archive for May, 2011

Requiem for a Macho Man

May 21, 2011

“That’s back when wrestling was real? Right?” – Bob Trate

My buddy Bob likes his nerdy stuff, I like mine. While he’s watching sci-fi epics, I’m watching guys in spandex pretend to beat each other up.

But what got me started? Why does anyone decide to watch pro wrestling? Some will say it’s the pageantry, others will say it’s the larger-than-life personas, some think it’s the death-defying stunts. I disagree. I think everybody who tunes in was originally hooked by a great storyline.

This was mine…


The Top 36 Characters in NBC’s Thursday Night Line-up

May 20, 2011

UPDATE: Every Oscar’s “Recently Deceased” montage has a ridiculous exclusion.  I have made a similar error. Ron Swanson from “Parks and Recreation” is that exclusion. I apologize.

It’s often said when somebody prominent leaves their field that, “Everyone else moves up a spot.” If that’s true, then everybody in NBC’s Thursday comedy line-up was bumped up a spot a few weeks ago when Steve Carell left “The Office.”

So, who’s the new number one? Keep reading to find out…

Note: I had originally considered doing a “20 Least Funny Characters on ’30 Rock'” list, but Tina Fey has contacts in the Philadelphia area and I didn’t want her coming after me.

Another Note: As with any list I make, this is based on my tastes today. This could very well change within the next few minutes. So, if you think Creed Bratton was robbed, don’t worry. This is all one a–hole’s opinion anyway.

Yet Another Note: If you’re a fan of Rob Cesternino’s “Rob Has a Podcast,” you may recall that he and I discussed this list a few weeks ago. We’re bouncing around a similar (and in my opinion better) idea for an upcoming podcast. And if you’re not a fan of Rob’s podcast, you should be.


‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Winner Interview: ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano

May 16, 2011

Jeff Probst once said that “Survivor: Palau’s” Tom Westman was the most dominant “Survivor” winner ever. He believed that the New York fireman’s victory would probably never be topped.

Well, last night “Boston” Rob Mariano topped it.

I had a chance to speak with Boston Rob the morning after his impressive victory to find out the best way to handle bitter jury members, if he and Grant have made peace, and what Federal Agent Phillip is really like…

Gordon Holmes: So, this smart-a–, know-it-all writer said there was no way Russell or Rob would get to the merge, much less win the million dollars. What would you say to a person like that?
‘Boston’ Rob Mariano:
Who was that? Was that you, Gordon?
Gordon: Uh…it might have been.
Boston Rob: (Laughs) I would say, I’m often underestimated, and I love to be the underdog and have the deck stacked against me. That’s when I’m at my best.
Gordon: A group of players, who know who you are and who’ve seen you on TV, allowing you to play your game boggles my mind. Did that hold you back at all when they pitched the idea of you and Russell coming back?
Boston Rob: Literally there wasn’t a lot of time. I was in Las Vegas playing in the World Series of Poker when the phone rang and it was Mark Burnett. He basically said to me, “Hey, what are you doing in a few weeks? How would you like to go back? We want to do this with you and Russell.” And just being a competitor and someone who loves the game, it didn’t take long. All I had to do was get the OK from my wife. From the time he called to the time I was on a flight to Nicaragua was less than three weeks time. So, there are no guarantees in “Survivor.” It can or cannot go your way. Luck plays a part of it, but I also thought I had a good enough foundation, and if I was able to get my foot in the door and build relationships I’d be able to exploit those to my advantage.

Gordon: There were some bitter jury members last night, I’m thinking of Julie in particular. Is there anything at all you can say to somebody who can’t see that you just view “Survivor” as a game?
Boston Rob:
It was sad at that point. I thought it was pretty pathetic, actually. I’m happy that Julie gave me her vote, but I didn’t like the way she ripped into Natalie. She said Natalie’s parents wouldn’t be proud of her, but at the same time, what kind of example are you setting for your daughter? It was pretty ironic, I thought. And with Grant, some people set their own pace. He’s gonna take longer than others. Some people never get over it. I view it as a game. I’m not going to draw a line in the sand and say I’m not going to cross it when I’m playing for a million dollars, cause all you’re doing is handicapping yourself.
Gordon: Do you think Julie went too far by telling you how to raise your daughters?
Boston Rob: At that point she could be fishing for me to give her a reaction. And I think the best reaction I can give her is no reaction. I’m smarter than that.

Gordon: Speaking of your daughters, there you have two young ladies who are being brought up by “Survivor” champions. Are they being raised to be “Survivor” machines?
Boston Rob:
(Laughs) You know what? They love the show, we watch every Wednesday night. Who knows, if the show is still on in twenty years, Mr. Burnett may give them a spot on the show.
Gordon: Are they old enough to appreciate that Daddy’s on TV, or are they still too little?
Boston Rob: The older one, she knows. And the live show was exciting for her. She saw Daddy on stage. She hasn’t fully grasped it yet.
Gordon: You need to hold onto those DVDs for them.

Gordon: You mentioned your issue with Grant and in the past I know “Survivor: All Stars” created a rift between you and Lex Van den Berghe, was that bridge ever mended?
Boston Rob:
The bridge with Lex was never mended. I reached out to Lex, I flew to California to have lunch with him, but it was something he wasn’t able to get past. Maybe he has gotten past it now, but our relationship was never mended and we don’t have any contact. As far as Grant goes I reached out to him on numerous occasions. I don’t know what to attribute it to. I feel like I did form a relationship with Grant, and out of everybody I thought he’d handle it the best. He’d be able to see it as just a game.
Gordon: That’s a shame. Hopefully you two will be able to make peace.
Boston Rob: Apparently it’s affected him on a personal level. Hopefully he’ll come around. I like Grant, I think he’s a good guy.

Gordon: On the opposite end of the spectrum, you seem to have won an advocate in David. What was going through your head during his jury speech?
Boston Rob:
It was great. Good to have a lawyer in my corner! He definitely surprised me. I always knew David was an intelligent player. I was happy that he respected the game I played. I can’t thank him enough, it was great. I’d like to think I would have gotten the votes anyway, but it definitely didn’t hurt.

Gordon: It seemed like Mike or Matt could have slipped back into the game with a lot of friends in the jury. Did that concern you?
Boston Rob:
Very concerned, it was a real possibility. If Mike or Matt gets back into the game they win hands down. I think the only situation in which I’m a winner is to have the final three exactly as they were. And to do that was a lot of work. It looked easy on TV, but I was constantly working and strategizing.
Gordon: Do you really think Ashley could have beaten you?
Boston Rob: I think Ashley had a good enough relationship with other people on Zapatera that they would have rather voted for her. So yes, I do.
Gordon: Obviously I wasn’t out there, but it seemed to me like Ashley would’ve been painted with the same “Coattail Rider” brush that Natalie was.
Boston Rob: Here’s the thing, I would agree with you, but at that point Ashley had won two immunity challenges, and if she had won the third she could say she was a competitor. If I’m in her situation, that’s the case I would make, I was saving it all for the end and I won the final three immunity challenges.

Gordon: Let’s do some word association here. We’ll start with Ashley.
Boston Rob:
Ashley’s a sweetheart.
Gordon: Andrea?
Boston Rob: A competitor and a hard worker.
Gordon: Grant?
Boston Rob: Grant was a friend.
Gordon: Ralph?
Boston Rob: Funny.
Gordon: Julie?
Boston Rob: Julie was disappointing.
Gordon: Phillip?
Boston Rob: A goodhearted guy.
Gordon: Natalie?
Boston Rob: Natalie is like a sister to me.
Gordon: Alright, let’s finish this off with Sole Survivor “Boston” Rob Mariano.
Boston Rob: Thank God, it’s about time. Now I can rest.
Gordon: Is there more elation over the victory or more relief that you’re finally done with it?
Boston Rob: Let’s just say we’re on an even playing ground in my house.
Gordon: Was that being held over your head?
Boston Rob: (Laughs) Amber’s going to get the check anyway, I’m just happy to have the title. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time.

Gordon: What side of Phillip didn’t we see?
Boston Rob:
This guy just wants some love and he wants some attention. If you took a minute to listen to him, he came from a big family and had to do a lot on his own. And people were afraid to get close to him because he was abrasive. But, at the same time, he’s still a human being and I realized if I was able to give this guy some love that he would work for me. And I’m telling you, I get the whole he’s nuts, he’s crazy stuff, but at the same time, he’s a good guy. I don’t know how to explain it other than that.

Gordon: Jerri Manthey and I talked about a multi-season character arc where she went from being a young villain, to someone who had problems with her notoriety, to a woman who is finally happy with herself. You’ve gone through something similar with your transformation. If your “Survivor” journey is now complete, was last night the perfect ending?
Boston Rob:
It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to do. I love the game of “Survivor.”

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Recap: Fourth Time’s a Charm?

May 16, 2011

Last Episode: Andrea discovered there were no vacancies at Redemption Island, Ashley treated her buddy Natalie to room service, and Grant experienced an unexpected early check-out.


Will “Survivor” Hall of Famer Boston Rob finally claim the title of Sole Survivor?
Will Phillip become the first federal agent (?) to win the million dollars?
Will Natalie become the second Natalie to ride someone’s coattails to victory?
Will Matt be the second Fabio-looking dude in a row to win?
Will one of the 40 other people on Redemption Island have a chance to return to the game and take the title?
Will Ashley…no…she definitely won’t.

Alright, I’m psyched. Buckle up…let’s do this…

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Murlonio Tribe (wearing black)

Ashley – 25, Nurse
Natalie – 19, Dancer
Phillip – 52, Former Federal Agent?
Rob – 35, “Survivor” Hall of Famer

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing an eventual ticket back into the game)

Andrea – 21, Student
Grant – 29, Yoga Instructor
Matt – 22, Pre-Med Student
Mike – 31, Former Marine

We start this show off with the kids at Redemption Island. Apparently Grant isn’t sure if it was Rob or Phillip that broke up Stealth R Us. He never saw it coming. C’mon, Grant! Of course you didn’t see it coming, “Stealth” is right there in the nickname.

Andrea isn’t happy to see Grant as she feels the challenge deck is stacked against her with three studs. She’s got a point.

Tree mail let’s the gang know that the winner of the next Redemption Island challenge will return to the game. Mike is excited that his Redemption Island purgatory has come to an end, but annoyed that the tree mail message wasn’t a pizza.

Redemption Island Challenge Time: The players will place one foot on the end of a teeter-totter. The other end has a vase on it. If their foot drops, their vase will smash and they’ll be eliminated. Last vase standing returns to the game.

Yes! I love “stand in one place forever” challenges.

Twenty minutes into it and everyone is still going strong. They should let the Murlonians tickle the players. Or at least throw water balloons at them.

Grant’s vase drops after forty minutes. Rob gives himself a mental high five.

Matt’s vase drops an hour into it. Wow…I tip my Cardinals hat to the kid, he lasted forever on Redemption Island.

Mike and Andrea wiggle around a bit, with Mike eventually losing his balance and his vase. Andrea returns to the game.

Whataya say, guys? Hottest final five since Fans vs. Favorites?

Back at camp, Andrea immediately goes to work on Natalie and Ashley, telling them that the Redemption Islanders are considering voting for Phillip out of spite. Smart.

Natalie comes up with the strategy of “relaxing today and figuring it all out tomorrow.” Less smart.

Immunity Challenge Time:
Players will race across a balance beam collecting bags of tiles. The players will then place those tiles in numeric order. First person to get all 100 tiles in place wins immunity and a spot in the final four.

Not much to describe here except for some balancin’ and some tile placin’.

Rob got off to a slight lead early on, but Ashley was able to pass him and win immunity.

When the tribe returns to camp, Rob flat out tells Andrea that she’s the next to go. He gathers his alliance and they all agree that Andrea’s return to the game will be short lived.

Ashley and Natalie then take a break to discuss what to do next. Ashley wants to make sure that Phillip is the next to go home. Natalie agrees and they pinky swear on it. Whoa…that’s serious.

Phillip breaks out some secret agent flavor and tells Rob that he doesn’t like that the girls are talking strategy without him.

As the boys are talking strategy about the girls talking strategy, Andrea goes to Ashley and Natalie and tells them that the remnants of Stealth R Us are talking about voting out the girls. Andrea tells them she’s voting for Rob and if they want to make their move that now is the time.

Andrea is earning some mad “Survivor” respect from me tonight. She doesn’t have much to work with, but she’s doing her best.

Rob lets us know that he’s tempted to not use his immunity idol because he likes to gamble. Yeah, I watched the reality show where he tried to become a professional poker player. Gambling didn’t work out so well for him.

That night at Tribal Council, Rob tells Probsty that paranoia is high around the camp.

Phillip the Undercover Specialist has been keeping his eyes and ears open.

Ashley admits that people would love to be the one to take Boston Rob out. Well, he is a first-ballot “Survivor” Hall of Famer.

Andrea thinks the girls haven’t done anything strategic at this point. She thinks taking out Rob would earn the jury’s respect.

Rob thinks Andrea is a real threat because she’s likable and she does well in the challenges.

Voting Time: Andrea votes for Rob…and that’s the only vote we’ll see.

Probst gets his tally on and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an immunity idol…and Rob does. One vote for Rob (doesn’t count), two votes for Andrea, and the sixteenth person voted out of “Survivor: Redemption Island” and the eighth member of the jury is…Andrea.

Wow…with Natalie and Ashley not making a move, Andrea’s got to be considered a Rob vote if he makes it to the end, right?

Back at camp, Rob tells Ashley and Natalie that he’s taking them both to the final three. And seriously? He should. I know it seems smart to take Phillip, but Andrea’s going to be talking trash on those two ladies like crazy.

Immunity Challenge Time: Whoa…this set-up is impressive. The players will race through a giant maze and collect four bags of puzzle pieces. Once they have all four bags they’ll race to the top of a platform and put together a word puzzle. First person to complete their word puzzle wins immunity and will go on to the final Tribal Council.

Wait a minute…we didn’t get a fallen comrade march? How will I know who was a “competitor”?

Rob gets the four bags first, but Ashley is right behind him. They seem to be working on the word puzzle together, but it’s hard to tell if Ashley is being honest with Rob. Rob eventually figures it out and wins immunity…and he is ecstatic! He tells us that it doesn’t matter if he wins anymore because he’s done Amber proud.

That brings up a question; is Rob going to propose to both of the other members of the final three at the reunion show?

Back at camp, Rob explains that he wants to get rid of Ashley, but realizes it’ll take some convincing to get Natalie to go along with it. With immunity on his side, I don’t know why Rob needs to blindside anyone.

But Rob’s right, Natalie is very concerned about losing Ashley as a friend. I’ve got to say, a friend who’ll sniff your armpits after you’ve been in the wilderness for four weeks doesn’t come along every day.

That night at Tribal Council, Ashley says losing the challenge was a “Bummer.” Ashley’s deep.

Phillip doesn’t think he’s a big threat because he hasn’t won any challenges. Isn’t that the argument Probst made a few weeks ago?

Ashley says she could have thrown Rob under the bus a few times but didn’t. She also says she has a better shot to win than Natalie or Phillip. Not a great argument to keep you around, Ash.

Voting Time: Phillip votes for Ashley, Ashley votes for Phillip, and the rest are lost to the magic of editing.

One vote for Ashley, one vote for Phillip, one vote for Ashley, and the seventeenth person voted out of “Survivor: Redemption Island” and the ninth and final member of the jury is…Ashley.

The following morning, Phillip gets dressed up in his finest feather and lets us know that he’s going to let the jury know why they’re there and why he’s in the final three. Oh, color me giddy.

Rob gives Natalie a course in Jury 101. He tells her that instead of apologizing to the jury, she should tell them to kiss her a–. Rob claims he’s doing this because that’s how he wants her to act. I think you should never apologize to a jury. But, that’s easy to say from the comfort of my couch.

Then, Phillip burns his famous salmon-colored undies. What?! That’s eBay gold!

That night at the Final Tribal Council, Natalie tells the jury that she played the best game she could. She felt like her strength was her social skills and that she was loyal to her alliance from the beginning.

Phillip (wearing his feather) tells the jury that his original strategy was to vote Rob off. However, he changed his mind and Rob saved him.

Rob tells the jury that he won four individual immunities, he made several alliances, and he was a hard worker around camp. However, none of that matters because it’s all in the jury’s hands now.

Andrea goes first, she asks Phillip which Phillip is the real Phillip. He says that if she doesn’t know the real him she shouldn’t vote for him. Yeah, that sounds about right. Andrea then asks Natalie why she’d stab her best friend in the back to ride Rob’s coattails. Natalie says her and Rob had an alliance from the beginning.

Ashley goes next. She doesn’t want to ask Phillip a question because she doesn’t want to hear his voice. You can imagine how well that went over. She thanks Phillip for helping her to become more patient. Phillip did not take that as a compliment. Ashley then digs into Natalie a bit. She then tells Rob that she doesn’t know who he is and after being voted out, doesn’t want to know.

Then, Grant asks Natalie what the dynamic of the alliance was. She again says that her and Rob have been aligned since the beginning. Rob says that Natalie came up to him and said, “Tell me what to do.” He also says he stayed with Grant until he became too much of a threat.

Ralph and his hat are the next to go. Ralph thinks that the relationship between Natalie and Rob was creepy. Ralph also thinks Natalie never talked to him because Rob told her not to. Ralph is also disappointed that Phillip isn’t wearing a whole chicken on his head. Phillip then tells Ralph that they would have been friends if they were on the same tribe.

Matt follows that up by saying Rob has been duplicitous, manipulating, deceiving, and a liar. Wow, they must’ve had a Thesaurus at Ponderosa. He then asks where the line is drawn after ten years of “Survivor.” Rob says the line is drawn at his real life. He admits that everyone thought they were going to the end with him until he voted them out.

Julie doesn’t think anyone played a respectable game. She wonders if Natalie’s parents will be proud of her. She then tells Phillip that the reason he made it to the end is because nobody on the jury respects him. Phillip says he wasn’t there to earn her respect, he was there to kick a little a–.

Oh man, put that on a t-shirt and I’ll buy it.

Julie follows that up by saying Rob should teach his daughters to be strong women and not to be treated the way Natalie was treated.

Yikes…bitter jury.

Mike gives it a go next. He wants to know if the final three have learned anything about themselves. Natalie says she’s learned that’s she’s stronger and more capable than she thought she was. Rob thinks he needs to stop playing games and this’ll be his last day on “Survivor.”

Uh oh…”Survivor” producers didn’t like that.

Phillip says he is a beacon in the Sheppard family.

Steve congratulates Natalie and Rob for their games. He then tells Phillip that he’s sorry that Phillip has become a shameful man. Wow…and no response from Phillip on that one.

David finishes it up with a speech to the jury. He tells them that there is really only one choice, Boston Rob. He says Rob played the best strategic game in the history of the show.

And I would have to agree with him. If Rob doesn’t win it will be a crime.

Voting Time: David votes for Rob, Ralph votes for “Phile,” and the rest will wait till Probst makes a trip to New York.

And we’re transported to New York. And soon-to-be Power Rankings champion Matthew “Sash” Lenahan is in the audience!

Let’s count some votes; we’ve got one vote for Rob, one vote for “Phile,” three votes for Rob, and the winner of “Survivor: Redemption Island” is…Rob.

Verdict: Jeff Probst said this season was in his top five. I’m going to disagree. Too many obvious votes for too long. But, it did have some entertaining characters, and I think Redemption Island has some promise with a few tweaks.

I will say this though, I never thought Rob or Russell would survive past the merge. I was wrong. So, congrats to Rob for the most dominating victory since Tom Westman in “Survivor: Palau.”

Power Rankings Results: I pitched a perfect game with the last round of the Power Rankings, with Andrea, Mike and Matt winning Redemption and Grant getting the boot. However, that wasn’t enough to stop Matthew “Sash” Lenahan from winning with a final score of 253 to -16. Congratulation, Sash!

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

A Salute to Snopes

May 9, 2011

The Internet has been a part of my life for seventeen years. It’s amazing the impact it has had in that time. It’s helped me reconnect with childhood friends. It’s provided me with the first glimpses of my niece and nephew. It’s given me the ability to pursue my dream career. Go Internet.

The Internet also amazes me with the ways it has changed over the years. Scoops used to be my first stop every day for wrestling news. I used to live on my Friendster page. I must’ve checked Cardinals Diaspora every five minutes during the Cards 2006 World Series run. But now? Tastes have evolved, trends have evolved. Some sites went out of business, some are now obsolete.

Except for


‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Power Rankings: Round 12

May 9, 2011

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Nicaragua” finalist Matthew “Sash” Lenahan and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” loudmouth 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 Ashley is voted out this week, Sash will receive 5 points and Gordon will receive 4 points. Also, each player will pick who they think will win at “Redemption Island.” If they choose correctly they will receive a bonus point for each player. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Redemption Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Sash and I both had Matt and Mike as our Redemption Island picks. So, we both earned two points. Sash and I both had Andrea in spot six. So, we both earned six points. The current score is now Team Sash 137 to Team Gordon 124.

Note: I won’t be doing a recap for this Wednesday’s episode. However, be sure to check back late Sunday night/Monday morning for my recap of the “Survivor: Redemption Island” finale.


Current Score: 137



Current Score: 124

bostonrob . natalie
#1 Boston Rob – Quite possibly the most dominating performance in “Survivor” history…as long as Matt doesn’t come back into the game. . #1 Natalie – Still the safest person in Nicaragua. Time will tell if she’ll take the mantle of “Natalie Who Slipped Under the Radar and Won the Million.”
natalie . phillip
#2 Natalie – Not a single move, not a single mistake…well played Natalie. . #2 Phillip – If Rob has kept you around for this long, he’s going to take you to the end. Dying to hear this amazing argument you’re going to bust out at Final Tribal.
grant . bostonrob
#3 Grant – Like many contestants this season, Grant has all the makings of an incredible player, but like most contestants this season he fell short of making any strategic moves. . #3 Boston Rob Time for me to eat my words. I thought there was no way Rob or Russell would be allowed to compete. But Rob has dominated. Could he still be blindsided? Maybe…but doubtful.
phillip . ashley
#4 Phillip – Like his Cherokee warrior ancestors, Phillip’s perseverance may actually make history. . #4 Ashley – You wouldn’t be a bad choice to take the end. I think people like Natalie more than they like you. But, Rob likes Natalie more than he likes you.
ashley . grant
#5 Ashley – Breaking up any duo is “Survivor” strategy 101.  Ashley deserves to be let go if she didn’t take notice when Andrea was blindsided during the last Tribal Council. . #5 Grant – Rob has to be worried that Grant could make an immunity run. That, and he could make the argument that he wants Grant to go to Redemption to eliminate Matt and Mike.



. matt



Redemption Island Winners – Ralph’s survival skills may work wonders when spending the weekend camping, but when it comes to the game of “Survivor” his strategy is still as incoherent as his words. . Redemption Island Winners – No offense intended to Ralph here, but, I’d be dumb to bet against Mike and Matt, and Andrea has shown a ton of fire.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Steve Wright

May 5, 2011

Some people take to “Survivor” like a fish takes to water. The lack of food never really seems to bother them, they have little trouble getting along with others, and the stress of the game doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Steve Wright took to “Survivor” like a fish takes to molasses. The 51-year-old former Dallas Cowboy had trouble dealing with the lack of food, he participated in a shouting match with Double-0 Phillip, and thanks to Boston Rob, he never really had a chance to maneuver within the game.

I spoke with Steve the morning after he was eliminated from Redemption Island to get his take on his controversial argument, how he views Boston Rob’s dominance, and if Redemption Island is a break from the game…

Gordon Holmes: Last night Phillip claimed that he’s only acting crazy, he’s just pretending so people will want to go to the end with him. Do you buy that?
Steve Wright:
No, not at all. I think when the cameras are on you 24/7 you can only hide so much.  The real you will come through, and I think America’s seen the guy he is. A Looney Tune. The question mark behind his name as to if he’s a federal agent? Nobody in that position would brag about themselves. They’re very humble people. I don’t think he’s really stable.
Gordon: A couple of episodes ago, you and he had an altercation where he accused you of being a racist. What was going through your head when you clearly had one intention in calling him “crazy” and he took it another way?
Steve: It was pretty sad. He obviously has a huge chip on his shoulder. And I’m learning a lot as I’m watching this show. He’s calling himself a “red-headed stepchild.” He felt paranoid because of Grant and Boston Rob. I haven’t walked in his shoes, so I’ll go easy on him, but he’s got a log on his shoulder. I called him “crazy” just like I’d call you “crazy” or anybody else. I’ve got probably over a dozen texts from black former teammates and buddies saying, “Racist, my ass.” I’ve got a black brother-in-law. There was no ulterior meaning behind it.
Gordon: Were you comfortable with the way it was portrayed in the episode?
Steve: Yeah. And I think Probst did a great job opening it all up and getting it all out on the table. Like I’ve said, I’ve gotten a lot of great comments from around the country. They say I took the higher road and I came off well.
Gordon: Probst did a bang-up job. He brought both sides of the issue to light and alleviated some of the tension.
Steve: Yeah, Jeff’s amazing that way. He’s a sharp guy that really knows how to open you up. He’s like a therapist. He gets things exposed and settled, then you can move on. But I thought we’d put it behind us, I had no idea that Phillip didn’t believe me. That’s how narrow-minded the guy is.
Gordon: Yeah, but in hindsight you’re not that shocked, are you?
Steve: No, I’m not. I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for his 16-year-old son having to take the pressure of all his buddies talking about his dad. When I was voting for him, I said I hope he finds peace in his heart some day.

Gordon: You seemed to be having a tough time out there. Did the thought of quitting ever cross your mind?
It definitely passes through everybody’s mind. It’s a pretty cold slap in the face. The first night you know you’re not going to be eating much the next day. You go through some pretty dark times out there. You’ve got to get each other through it. We all made a vow not to complain. We hung together and supported each other through some pretty tough times. Julie was missing her girls and her home was being foreclosed on. She helped me through a lot. But, quitting does cross your mind.
Gordon: As a former NFL player, how would you compare surviving in professional football versus surviving the Nicaraguan wilderness?
Steve: That’s a good question, but in the NFL training camp they make sure you’re eating like a king, that you have a soft bed, and an air-conditioned room. They’re going to take care of you. My body is used to eating every three hours. There’s nothing to compare “Survivor” to. It was rough beyond my wildest dreams. It’s rough and it’s real.

Gordon: Boston Rob seems to be running the show. How did that affect your feelings toward him? Was it respect? Was it resentment?
It was a little of both. It was respect for how well he was playing the game and watching him control his tribe. And then on the other side you can’t believe how his tribe mates are under his spell and drinking the Kool-Aid. We were working like crazy trying to infiltrate the girls or Grant. We felt sorry for them in a way. We had plenty of fish and we offered it to them, and Rob wouldn’t let them eat it. Also, anybody that plays the game three times, I respect. And he’s not a bad guy, he’s a likable guy who plays a really tough game.

Gordon: What was the mood at Redemption Island when you arrived?
It was really friendly. Matt’s a great kid and Ralph, Mike, and I were close. It was a great evening sitting around the fire.
Gordon: Without having to worry about strategy, does it make Redemption Island feel like a break from the game?
Steve: Yes it was. It was a huge break from the game. But it was a break from the game the last week or so. We knew our days were numbered no matter how hard we tried. It was like the game was over at that point. There was no cracking them.

Gordon: Word association time, let’s start with Matt.
Love him, great kid.
Gordon: Mike?
Steve: Big heart, warrior.
Gordon: Ralph?
Steve: Simple and loving.
Gordon: Andrea?
Steve: Wacky.
Gordon: Natalie?
Steve: Just sweet and innocent.
Gordon: Boston Rob?
Steve: Very intelligent.
Gordon: Phillip?
Steve: (Laughs) CRAZY!
Gordon: In the non-racial way, of course.
Steve: No racial in there, just crazy.
Gordon: Julie?
Steve: Warrior.
Gordon: Ashley?
Steve: Very sweet.
Gordon: Grant?
Steve: How about…follower.

Gordon: I feel like you had a rough run out there. Was there a time when you were enjoying yourself or found yourself inspired?
Just having my solitude time after the merge, meditating out on the rocks. That was really inspirational and lifting.
Gordon: What do you take from the time that you bring back to your everyday life?
Steve: No complaining, happy with what I have, not wanting more, and appreciating who you’re with without distractions.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Recap: Boston Rob’s Scary Moment

May 4, 2011

Last Week: Phillip recovered his shorts, Andrea regretted turning on Matt, Grant rewarded Rob’s friendship with cake, Ashley and Natalie refused to do anything that required strategy, and Steve and Ralph were sent to a place that offers redemption.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Murlonio Tribe (wearing black)
Andrea – 21, Student
Ashley – 25, Nurse
Grant – 29, Yoga Instructor
Natalie – 19, Dancer
Phillip – 52, Former Federal Agent?
Rob – 35, “Survivor” Hall of Famer

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing a population boom)

Matt – 22, Pre-Med Student
Mike – 31, Former Marine
Ralph – 45, Farmer
Steve – 51, Former NFL Player

Writer’s Note:
I hate spelling “Murlonio.” For some reason the proper spelling doesn’t stick in my head. Who do I talk to about having them go back to “Ometepe”?

We start off this week’s show with Ralph making his way to Redemption Island. He’s only there a few minutes before Steve joins the party. They shake hands and exchange hugs.

I find this troublesome. There’s no stress at Redemption Island other than “Who’s going to win the challenge?” There’s no backstabbing or strategy. Are we going to end up with a situation where the person who goes back into the game is BFFs with the entire jury?

Steve does the math and points out that the majority of the jury will be former Zapaterans. Oof…I don’t think I like this.

Meanwhile over at Murlonio, Natalie breaks down a little because she misses her family. If only “Survivor” would do something where a player’s family member could come visit them…

The following morning Tree Mail arrives in the form of a box marked with a Sprint logo.

Sprint…The Now Network

Sure enough, the box contains a Sprint Epic 4G phone that is full of videos from home.

I’m putting the “Proud” count at three.

We get to hear from Natalie’s mom (proud), Andrea’s dad (not proud), Phillip’s sister (not proud), Rob’s sister (proud), Grant’s sister’s husband (not proud), and Ashley’s mother (not proud).

Only two prouds?!

However, the Murlonians weren’t the only ones to receive a phone. It seems like the Sprint folks made a special delivery to Redemption Island too.

Proud count at two.

We see videos from Ralph’s buddy (proud), Michael’s mom (not proud), Steve’s brother (not proud), and Matt’s brother (not proud).

One?! One lousy proud? I’d be proud of my sister for surviving 31 days in the wilderness.

Redemption Island Challenge Time:
Each player will try to break a series of four tiles with a ball. First person to break all of their tiles gets to spend time with their loved one. The last person to break all of their tiles will be eliminated.

Round 1: Matt, Ralph, and Steve miss, Mike hits one.

Round 2: All four guys break a tile.

Round 3: Matt, Mike, and Ralph break a tile. Steve misses.

Round 4: Matt, Ralph, and Steve miss. Mike hits his final tile winning “Love” from a family member.

It always weirds me out a little to hear J-Pro refer to it as winning “Love.”

Round 5:
Matt and Ralph break their third tiles, Steve misses.

Round 6: Matt and Ralph both break their fourth tiles, Steve is eliminated from the game.

Before Mike can claim his “Love,” J-Pro tells Mike that he has a choice between the Redemption Islanders spending time with their loved ones, or the Murlonians spending time with their loved ones.

Mike quotes some scripture, then decides to do right by the most people and allow the Murlotians to visit with their loved ones.

Probst is shocked, but Mike’s mom isn’t. She knows her son is a hero. Yeah, the military is having a good week.

Back at camp, Ashley is showing her mother around the hut. Apparently it’s Ashley’s responsibility to mark the calendar every day. That’ll shut up those people who think she doesn’t do anything.

Andrea’s dad asks the question that America has been wondering; how does she still look so good after 30 days out in the wilderness? So unfair.

Rob breaks down his strategy to his sister…wait…where’s Amber?! Anywho, he tells her that Grant and Natalie both think they’re going to the end with him, and if they’d just talk to each other he’d be in trouble.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will race to retrieve a set of puzzle steps. They’ll then place those steps on a giant staircase. First person to place all their pieces and get to the top wins immunity.

Andrea, Grant, and Rob jump ahead with the first set of steps. Grant gets a bit of a lead after the second set but Rob and Andrea are right behind him. During the final set, Rob manages to take the lead, but his legs start to give out on him. It’s ugly. He’s literally using a step as a crutch to get up the stairs. Somehow he manages to complete the final set and win immunity.

Wow, Rob’s a mess. His legs are cramped and he’s dehydrated. Natalie brings him water. He nearly passes out while drinking it.

Yikes, Probst must be having “Heroes vs. Villains” flashbacks to Rob’s collapse.

Politicking around camp seems to be focused on lovely young Andrea. However, Phillip isn’t going to let them have a leisurely afternoon without sprinkling a little crazy on it.

Phillip wants us to know that this has been his plan all along. He wanted to NaOnka his way to the finals. I don’t believe this for one second. Phillip was very close to being the first person out of Ometepe. I think he’s trying to make himself look good in hindsight.

Phillip is also convinced that he has a Final Tribal Council argument to use against Rob that nobody else has thought of. Oh geez, let’s see…

1.    Rob’s already been on the show thirty times?
2.    Rob’s wife is a millionaire and he doesn’t need the money?
3.    Rob will eventually have to stab most people in the back?
4.    Rob lied about where the term “Murlonio” comes from?

Sorry Phillip, those arguments have already been thought of. Unless you’re going to argue that Rob doesn’t deserve votes because he’s a Red Sox fan. That’d totally sway my vote.

That night at Tribal Council, Andrea claims to be confident with the relationships she has formed.  Hmm…

Jeff asks Phillip if it’s a benefit to not be good at challenges. Phillip disregards the questions and goes on about how good he is at challenges. J-Pro’s working for you, Phillip. Keep quiet for once.

Grant thinks being yourself is the best thing you can do in the game, because it’s easy to see through people. How Rob kept from giggling I’ll never know.

Probsty asks if anyone feels nervous about the night’s vote. Nobody raises their hand. That’s amazing. Sorry, that’s AMAZING. How does everyone feel safe? That’s unpossible. (‘Survivor” points for whoever gets that reference.)

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

Probst does his tallying duties and returns; we’ve got one vote for Andrea, one vote for Phillip, two votes for Andrea and the fourteenth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Andrea.

Verdict: No shocker there. In fact, we haven’t had a shocking vote since Matt was voted out the second time.

Redemption Island is scaring the crap out of me. I can’t help but think the season will fall flat if the ultimate winner comes from there. When it was one-on-one duels it was cool, but now you can stick around by coming in third.

Who’s Going to Win? As if Rob’s argument about leading and manipulating Ometepe wasn’t impressive enough, now he has a series of immunity wins to back it up. It’s going to be a crime when he loses.

Power Rankings Update: Sash and I both had Matt and Mike as our Redemption Island picks. So, we both earn two points. Sash and I both had Andrea in spot six. So, we both earn six points. The current score is now Team Sash 137 to Team Gordon 124. I pitched another perfect game and still can’t gain ground on Sash! Unfair. However, none of the readers did better than I did. Although @truedorktimes gets extra credit for picking all three of the Redemption Island winners correctly.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Power Rankings: Round 11

May 4, 2011

The Rules: Each week, “Survivor: Nicaragua” finalist Matthew “Sash” Lenahan and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” loudmouth 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 Ashley is voted out this week, Sash will receive 4 points and Gordon will receive 5 points. Also, each player will pick who they think will win at “Redemption Island.” If they choose correctly they will receive a bonus point for each player. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Redemption Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Sash and Gordon both had Matt and Mike as their Redemption Island picks. So, they both earn two points. Sash had Steve eighth and Ralph seventh. Gordon had Ralph eighth and Steve seventh. So, both earn fifteen points. The current score is now Team Sash 129 to Team Gordon 116.

Wanna Play? “Survivor” fans have been posting their own Power Rankings on Twitter. Tag Gordon (@gordonholmes) in your own Twitter Power Rankings, or post your picks in the comment section of this post. If you do better than Gordon does, (which is highly likely) he’ll give you credit in his weekly recap.


Current Score: 129



Current Score: 116

bostonrob . natalie
#1 Boston Rob – Rob still has an idol, still has control of the tribe, and still can pretend he’s Phillip’s best friend…that’s impressive! . #1 Natalie – There’s a good reason to vote every member of the tribe out…except for Natalie.
natalie . phillip
#2 Natalie – Natalie is a prime example that in “Survivor” you don’t have to be the best at survival skills, you just have to be the best at being loyal. . #2 Phillip – They’re hinting that Phillip may be pretending to be crazy. Possible? Yes. Probable? No. Crazy nearly got him voted out in the first episode.
phillip . bostonrob
#3 Phillip – Phillip’s antics are outrageous and perfectly designed to make it to the end…but is he outwitting the tribe or himself? . #3 Boston Rob Rob’s strategy has worked perfectly up until this point. If he can finish strong this’ll have to go down as the most dominant performance since Tom Westman in Palau.
ashley . grant
#4 Ashley – Ashley’s abrasive tone has impeded her ability to make any strong alliances, and with the game nearing the finish line, she needs a strong ally. . #4 Grant – Rob Cesternino made an excellent point on his podcast that it’s much easier to make a big move at five than at six. The big move is coming to get rid of you, Grant. And it’s coming next week at five.
grant . ashley
#5 Grant – If Grant can oust Boston Rob, he can win this game.  Unfortunately for him, that’s easier said than done. . #5 Ashley – Ashley isn’t interested in making any moves. In fact, the only move she’ll make this week is to pray that Andrea doesn’t win immunity.
andrea . andrea
#6 Andrea – Andrea has the whole package to make it far, but she has already shown her hand and will be immediately on the chopping block because of her obvious strengths over the other women. . #6 Andrea – I think your number is up, Andrea. Which is a shame because I never felt like you had a good opportunity to make a move.


. matt


Redemption Island Winners – Knowing they are fighting for a chance to spend time with their loved ones, Matt and Mike will continue to dominate on Redemption Island. . Redemption Island WinnersHow many people are left on Redemption Island? Fourteen? I guess I’ll go with these two guys again, they’ve been lucky for me.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘WWE Extreme Rules’ Results

May 2, 2011

Hope you’re ready for some Wrestlemania leftovers! We are live and in high definition from Tampa, Florida. Our hosts for the evening are Josh Matthews, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T.

Last Man Standing Match: CM Punk wasn’t able to answer the ten count after Randy Orton and his five o’clock shadow gave him an RKO off of the top rope.

Wait, is Orton’s five o’clock shadow ripping off Kurt Angle? Uh oh…

Before the match, the anonymous Raw General Manager banned the New (and not terribly improved) Nexus from ringside, thus robbing Randy of the opportunity to single-handedly wipe them all out again. Kendo sticks were the flavor of the match with both guys taking some violent shots. Other highlights included Punk side-Russian leg sweeping Orton onto a steel chair, Orton RKOing Punk onto the announcer’s table (which didn’t break), and Punk giving Orton the GTS onto the steel ring steps. Overall a decent match, but the crowd didn’t seem that into it.

Afterward, Teddy Long, (Holla!) told Sheamus that he’d be defending (and I assume losing) his U.S. championship against Kofi Kingston in a table match. Sheamus isn’t cool with this as he doesn’t think Kofi is from the United States. He wants to see Kofi’s birth certificate. Well, Sheamus’s hair is as ridiculous as Donald Trump’s.

Table Match for the United States Championship: Kofi won the United States championship after putting Sheamus through a table with a boom drop off of the top rope. It felt something was off with the color on my TV as I’m not used to seeing Sheamus wearing red, white, and blue, and Kofi looked like a pack of Hubba Bubba with his hot pink/florescent green attire.

Wait, are Sheamus’s USA colors ripping off Kurt Angle? Uh oh…

Some cool stuff included Kofi doing a double foot stomp onto Sheamus’s chest, Kofi managing to keep himself from going through a table by straddling it, and the final boom drop off of the top rope to the floor was pretty awesome. But again, a decent match with a silent crowd. Weird.

After the match, R-Truth visited Todd Grisham to let him (and us) know how he feels about being pushed out of the main event. As you’d imagine, he’s not happy about it. He thinks it’s a conspiracy. He tries to spell conspiracy, but only gets halfway through before deciding to move on.

Tag Team Country Whipping Match:
Michael Cole and Jack Swagger won after Cole was able to schoolboy Jim Ross. Michael Cole wore bubble wrap at the beginning of the match in an obvious nod to The Cat. (Yes, I’m aware that that joke dates me.) That didn’t last long though as Jerry Lawler quickly ripped it off of him. The story of the match revolved around Lawler and Ross trying to get their hands on Cole, but Swagger kept cutting them off. When Ross was eventually able to get ahold of Cole, what followed was pretty brutal.

Oh, that’s brutal as in sloppy, not as in violent.

This whole match was a bit of a trainwreck, and with Cole winning, sadly I think we’re in for more of this feud.

Note: WWE has a history of making matches with non-wrestlers entertaining, this just isn’t one of those times.

Next up Jonathan Cena had some interview time. He let us know that his long 10-month title drought ends tonight.

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Rey Mysterio defeated Cody Rhodes with a  springboard splash after a 619. Before the match, Cody Rhodes had his representatives hand out paper bags to the uglier members of the audience. This bout went everywhere like an old-school Hardcore match. At one point they even ended up in a concession stand. Cool moments included Rey dropping the dime off of the rampway, Cody wheelbarrowing Mysterio onto the steel steps, and Mysterio spraying Cody with a Great Muta-esque mist. Pretty good match and the crowd seemed into it. One odd thing though, what’s the point of a falls-count-anywhere match where the fall takes place in the ring?

Afterward, Layla apologized to the other Divas for being rude to them. The Divas forgave her because for as much as they don’t like Layla, they like Michelle McCool much less.

Loser Leaves WWE Match:
Lay-Cool explodes, brother! Why isn’t this the main event? It was the main event when Shawn Michaels retired!

Anywho, Layla won the match after reversing a pin out of the Faith Breaker. Not much to call attention to here. I guess the best thing I can say about it is it was way better than any match involving Michael Cole and Jim Ross.

When it was over, Kharma (who for those of you who are unfamiliar with the former Awesome Kong should know is HUGE) destroyed McCool with a double-underhook face breaker.

Next up, Alberto Del Rio is giving his personal ring announcer some tips on how to announce him as the new champion.

Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship:
Christian claimed his first World title after Edge drove into the arena in a jeep and distracted Alberto Del Rio. At one point it looked like Christian was on his way to victory, but Brodus Clay snuck in and swiped the ladder out from under him. Big moments included Christian being pushed off of the top rope, landing on a standing ladder on the outside and hitting Del Rio with a crossbody, Del Rio hitting an armbreaker off of a tiny Hornswoggle-esque ladder, Christian hitting a spear in honor of his buddy Edge, and Del Rio nearly killing himself by missing a legdrop off of the top rope and through a ladder. Really good match, and the crowd really heated up toward the end.

After that we meet up with The Miz and Alex Riley. Alex is annoyed that the numbers are against The Miz in his Triple Threat Cage Match. The Miz isn’t interested in what Riley has to say. That makes two of us.

Lumberjack Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Kane and the Big Show defeated Wade Barrett and Ezekiel Jackson after Wade Barrett tagged himself into the match and ate a Show chokeslam. Not much to call home about here in this very short match, but it was impressive to see Ezekiel Jackson bodyslam the Big Show.

Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship: John Cena won his 53rd World Championship by pinning The Miz after an Attitude Adjustment off of the top rope. At one point R-Truth interjected himself into the match, keeping John Morrison from escaping the cage. He also hit Cena with an axe kick. Memorable moments included Morrison and Cena (Johnx2) suplexing Miz off of the cage, Morrison hitting a C4 on Cena, and Morrison hitting a Starship Pain from off of the top of the cage. Decent match here, but I’m sorry if seeing Cena with the belt for the 10th time doesn’t inspire much interest from me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Cena hater, but after he lost it the last time, he didn’t seem that concerned. So, why should I care when he gets it back?

Final Thoughts: The show boasted some really solid matches that may have been held back by a quiet crowd. And, what was bad was relatively short. Worth checking it out on a replay if you get the chance.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

%d bloggers like this: