Archive for August, 2011

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Semhar Tadesse

August 22, 2011

Name: Semhar Tadesse

Age: 24

Current Residence: Los Angeles, California

Occupation: Spoken Word Artist

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: I’m told you have a strong aversion to liars. I’m worried that you chose the wrong reality show to take part in.
Semhar Tadesse:
I think the fact that I hate liars is definitely going to affect the game. It’s going to make me very annoyed and irritable when I see people backstabbing. But, I do understand that it’s a game and not a reflection of who these people are outside of the game. So, I’m going to do my best to mentally prepare myself that it’s OK to lie…people are going to lie.
Holmes: So within the game it’s OK to lie?
Tadesse: I’m going to try my hardest not to, but if necessary I will. I’m not very good at it. People say everything is written all over my face.
Holmes: OK, tell me two truths and a lie. Let me see if I can figure it out.
Tadesse: I’m double jointed, I love orange soda, and the only salad I like is Caesar salad.
Holmes: You don’t love orange soda.
Tadesse: No, I’m not double jointed.
Holmes: Darn it…that was a weird one, who’d make that up?
Tadesse: (Laughs) Usually the first one nobody suspects.
Holmes: See, now we’ve learned that you can lie. You’re going to do well.
Tadesse: Yay!
Holmes: Because it’s very rare that anybody gets something by me. Actually that’s a lie too.
Tadesse: (Laughs)

Holmes: Have some of your favorite players managed to stay honest?
Tadesse:
The people that I’ve liked haven’t had to lie or deceive very much. I like Sandra (Diaz Twine) and I like Fabio (Judson Birza) and they made it pretty far being honest.

Holmes: Any plans for that million-dollar check?
Tadesse:
When I win the million dollars I intend to travel the world. The first thing I want to do is go back to Africa and see my family. I haven’t seen them in quite some time. Then I want to travel the world and write lots of books.
Holmes: What kind of poetry do you write?
Tadesse: Spoken word mostly…romantic. There’s no specific subject that I follow but romance is definitely one of the top subjects.

Holmes: You’ve been around the cast for a few days. Have you made any observations yet?
Tadesse:
You can tell who seems to be polite, who smiles, who doesn’t. Who eats a lot, who finishes their food the fastest. I’ve been very observant. Who’s wearing a wedding ring, and who has a motherly attitude. But I refuse to judge anyone until we speak.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: John Cochran

August 22, 2011

Name: John Cochran

Age: 24

Current Residence: Washington, DC

Occupation: Harvard Law Student

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: I understand you won the Dean’s Scholar’s prize based on a paper you wrote about “Survivor.” What can you tell me about that?
John Cochran:
I was in this class in Harvard Law School called American Jury and for the final paper we got to write about whatever we wanted. And being a huge “Survivor” fanatic, I decided to write about “Survivor.” In the paper I compared the current American jury system with the jury system in “Survivor,” especially the final Tribal Council. There are certain lessons we can learn from “Survivor” juries in that the jurors get to ask questions to the defendants…who’d be the final two and final three. And they’re also kind of the witnesses to the “crime.” And my professor, who’s a pretty famous professor, loved it. It turns out he’s a huge “Survivor” fan and he gave me the Dean’s Scholar prize for the best paper in the class out of about 100 students.

Holmes: How big of a “Survivor” fan are you?
Cochran:
I’ve been a “Survivor” fan since day one. Actually since day one, 2000 in Borneo, well, I wasn’t in Borneo. I’ve never missed an episode. I used to wear a buff around my arm every Thursday in high school. I used to pass around a “Survivor” newsletter. My senior yearbook photo is me wearing three buffs; one around my head, two on my arms, and a “Survivor” t-shirt. And my quote just said, “The tribe has spoken.” So, I’m a lunatic about “Survivor.” This is absolutely a dream come true.

Holmes: I’m told you’re also a lunatic for the Beatles. Where does that come from?
Cochran:
I guess it started when my day played “I Am the Walrus” for me on the car stereo. I guess I was about ten years old. And over time I’ve progressed into being more of a Paul McCartney fan. “I Am the Walrus” is a John (Lennon) song. I’m almost as obsessed over the Beatles as I am “Survivor.” Not quite though. The hierarchy of things in my life goes; “Survivor,” Beatles, then I guess food.
Holmes: How do you think Sir Paul would fare in “Survivor”?
Cochran: There are several different elements; if people were aware he was Paul McCartney and that he’s worth a billion dollars that’d probably work against him. But he has a natural charisma, a natural charm. He’s a great PR man. Whenever the Beatles got into trouble for comments that John made or the drug charges against George (Harrison), Paul would always smooth things over. I think he’d be an excellent strategist on “Survivor.”
Holmes: Are you worried he might align with the wrong female.
Cochran: That is another legitimate concern. We have seen that he doesn’t always have the best taste in women. He had a great first wife. Linda (McCartney) was fantastic. But he had a rough patch a few years after Linda’s death. Someone like Parvati (Shallow), if she were on the island, there’s no telling what feminine wiles she could use to destroy his game.

Holmes: Your bio says you want to make the show better. How are you going to make “Survivor,” which I’m already fond of, better?
Cochran:
I’m confident I can make my season the best season ever, because in recent years I’ve noticed, with some exceptions, there’s been this dichotomy between strategic gameplay and social gameplay. And the players act like those two things can never intersect. So you’ll have someone like Fabio (Judson Birza) who I guess has this great social game, but has no strategy to speak of. Then there’s Russell (Hantz), who I’m not a big fan of, but was a very strategic player. I’m confident I can blend those two things in an entertaining way.
Holmes: So if “Survivor: South Pacific” sucks, that’s on you?
Cochran: Here’s the thing, I’m possessive of “Survivor.” I’d like to have a great season even if I’m not involved. I know what works in the way of entertaining strategy and entertaining actions. I’m not saying I’m going to be hamming it up, but I want it to be a great season.

Holmes: Any reservations as far as lying or backstabbing?
Cochran:
I’m prepared to be as deceptive as I need to be.  I’m not going to be deceptive for the sole sake of being deceptive. Like Russell telling people he was a fire fighter in Hurricane Katrina. That didn’t earn him any sympathy, he just seemed to relish lying. I wouldn’t do something like that because I don’t see the purpose. I’d only lie if it forwarded my game.

Holmes: Any first impressions on this year’s cast?
Cochran:
Generally the people have been really nice and behaved themselves, and I’d hoped there’d be some overtly horrible people that we could get rid of right off the bat. There are a couple of people I’m suspicious of. This one guy has “Loco” tattooed on his neck. That’s a red flag. Anyone who’s advertising the fact that he’s mentally unhinged isn’t somebody I want to be in an with. It’s not somebody I want having a machete.

Holmes: Any thoughts on the lovely ladies running around this beach?
Cochran:
I’m always suspicious of pretty girls in that, I know that if they come to talk to me in the game that it’s solely for strategic purposes. The great thing about not being that attractive is that you can see through the actions of attractive people with relative ease.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Mikayla Wingle

August 22, 2011

Name: Mikayla Wingle

Age: 22

Current Residence: Tampa, Florida

Occupation: Lingerie Football Player

Tribe: Upolu

Gordon Holmes: It’s been years since I’ve played lingerie football. What’s the league like these days?
Mikayla Wingle:
(Laughs) Lingerie football is awesome. Last year was great, I was playing linebacker. It was a great feeling to have a group of girls together on a team.
Holmes: Will your experience in that rough-and-tumble atmosphere help you in “Survivor”?
Wingle: Yes. I have had to be in the best tip-top position. Whether you’re O-line or D-line, you play a lot. So, I’m just so in shape. I think that physically for challenges this is going to help me a lot.

Holmes: Are you going to be a villain? You strike me as having slightly villainous ways.
Wingle:
I don’t think so. I think I’m not exactly going to be a hero, I’m here to play the game. But I’m not in it to try to backstab people or make a bad name for myself. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Holmes: Any issues bending the truth when you’re out there?
Wingle:
I’m probably going to be a little deceptive in this game. I have an issue with people who are very slick and try to do things behind people’s backs. If I catch something, I’m going to be the first to call somebody out. I’m probably not going to blindside people. I’m going to stay very true to my alliance.

Holmes: Along with our lingerie football background, you and I have something else in common. We both enjoy “Rocky.”
Wingle:
I love “Rocky.” “Rocky” is my favorite series ever.
Holmes: Could emulating Rocky Balboa’s strength and determination help you in the game?
Wingle: Yeah, he wanted something so bad, he worked his butt off for it. He didn’t have anyone to help him. I moved to Florida from New Jersey a few years ago. And I’ve counted on myself to keep a roof over my head and food in my mouth. I’ve boosted myself up. Not only have I done lingerie football, I’ve also done the cover of Playboy. That was also a huge accomplishment for me. I think a bigger accomplishment would be winning “Survivor.” So, I’m going to try to take it home like Rocky did.

Holmes: Whoa…rewind there. You were in Playboy?
Wingle:
(Laughs) The thing with Playboy was I was contacted through the league. I called my mom and the first thing I said was, “Mom, what do you think of this?” She said, “It’s a great opportunity to boost yourself and it’s a very reputable magazine. As long as you keep it classy and what you’re comfortable with.” And it just boosted so many things. That’s how I was found for this…I think. I was actually recruited for “The Amazing Race.”

Holmes: So, lingerie football, Playboy magazine…it’s safe to say that men might find you attractive. Are you willing to use your looks to your advantage?
Wingle:
Of course I’ll use flirtatious ways to get ahead. That’s why they have women in the game, that’s what we have over men. We can mess with their heads and do with them what we want. Like Brenda (Lowe), she toyed with people’s heads.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Elyse Umemoto

August 22, 2011

Name: Elyse Umemoto

Age: 27

Current Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada

Occupation: Dance Team Manager

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: Is it driving you nuts being out here with the cast around you and not being allowed to talk to them?
Elyse Umemoto:
Yeah, it’s like “Hurry up and wait.” I’m used to it. It’s like in a pageant, You’re herded like cattle. You don’t get to know anything or talk to anybody. All you can do is sit there and size each other up.
Holmes: And just start hating them.
Umemoto: (Laughs) Oh yeah.
Holmes: Make them feel self-conscious.
Umemoto: (Laughs) How can I use that for my strategy?
Holmes: Oh, you wore that on purpose?
Umemoto: Oh, your luggage didn’t make it? You found out right before you were coming? That must be why you didn’t work out.
Holmes: (Laughs) Evil. I approve. When you win with these tactics you owe me some credit.
Umemoto: Gordon gave me a lot of material to work with.

Holmes: I’m told you like to amass useless trivia and quotes.
Umemoto:
I do! My favorite quote is from the poet Anonymous, “Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we never cease to be amused.” And I credit that to why I’m such a happy person. I’m always doing things that are worth laughing at, and I’m always the first person to crack a joke at my expense.

Holmes: You were the second runner up in the Miss America Pageant, do those skills, other than the vicious insults we discussed earlier translate to “Survivor” at all?
Umemoto:
Believe it or not, my training and grooming in the pageant system was more than enough to prepare me for “Survivor.” With the reality show, (‘Miss America: Reality Check’) I finished in the top three there. With 52 girls we lived in a house for two weeks, had no outside communication, living in this menstrual empire, and we shared five bathrooms. And if I can do that, living on a beach for a few weeks is a walk in the park.

Holmes: I’m told you come from a long line of survivors.
Umemoto:
I do, my heroes and my she-roes. I’m a unique ethnic mix. I’m Japanese, German, Native American, and Hispanic. And throughout their whole lives they were faced with so much adversity whether it was racism, language barriers, cultural barriers, and no matter what they came out on top.

Holmes: Any concerns about bending the truth out there?
Umemoto:
I’m prepared to be as deceptive as I have to be. I’m not someone who wakes up and thinks, “Hmm…I’m going to pull the wool over somebody’s eyes.” But I’m willing to do what I need to do to get what I want. And the goal here is to win the million dollars.

Holmes: Are you willing to use your feminine wiles to get ahead?
Umemoto:
I’m prepared to use my feminine wiles or whatever means necessary to get ahead in the game. I do know that being bubbly and personable is going to be useful in gaining favor in gentlemen’s eyes. And that’s fine, I’ll play that up. But I have so much experience dealing with girls, I can navigate those waters too.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Albert Destrade

August 22, 2011

Name: Albert Destrade

Age: 26

Current Residence: Plantation, Florida

Occupation: Baseball/Dating Coach

Tribe: Upolu

Gordon Holmes: As a baseball coach, you have to deal with a wide variety of personalities. Will that help you in the game of “Survivor”?
Albert Destrade:
I think it’s true. The personalities I’ve dealt with as a coach will help me. I have a pretty extensive repertoire of hats I can change into. I can be the serious guy, I can clown around, I can be the leader.
Holmes: Coaches are leaders and leaders don’t do well on “Survivor.” Any concern that that could come back and bite you?
Destrade: I can be the follower. I think that’s an important skill because it’s a very dynamic game. You have to be flexible.

Holmes: Some people come out here with a belief that they can get through the game without lying. What’s your stance on that?
Destrade:
Man, I’m prepared to lie as much as necessary. The people that say they don’t want to contradict their morals, I don’t think those people truly understand what this game is about. This game is not real life even though it’s played with real people. It’s a game. And my strategy within the game is to do whatever it takes. I’m not here for fun, I’m here to win a game that’s played with strategy for a million dollars. I will not let anything jeopardize me reaching that goal.

Holmes: You seem very confident. So I’m not going to say “if” you win the million, I’m going to say “when” you win the million, what are you going to do with it?
Destrade:
Probably my favorite question so far cause we get to talk about a really positive thing. I want to help my family, I want to help my mother as I got into a profession that’s really not that high earning, they’ve been supporting me with that. Pay off my student loans. I had a baseball scholarship, but I racked up a pretty good amount of debt.

Holmes: You’re a handsome young gentleman. Are you going to use your looks to get ahead?
Destrade:
I’m not coming in here to create a showmance. I think those things can put a target on your back when you try to be too flirtatious, but I’m not going to shy away from trying to use that. I actually used to be a professional dating coach. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Hitch,” that’s exactly what I did. So, I know a little bit about the inner-workings of how to win over the opposite sex.

Holmes: What are your first impressions of the cast?
Destrade:
The fact that we can’t talk makes it stranger than I thought it’d be. They say, “Don’t talk,” but they never said, “Don’t smile.” A lot of these people have such a negative vibe. There are people who are totally closed off. And there really aren’t that many dominant alpha guys.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Sophie Clarke

August 22, 2011

Name: Sophie Clarke

Age: 22

Current Residence: Willsboro, New York

Occupation: Medical Student

Tribe: Upolu

Gordon Holmes: Now I understand you were named the prom princess in a school of 28 students.
Sophie Clarke:
(Laughs) I won prom princess in the eleventh grade, it was perhaps the most important moment of my life. (Laughs) It’s kind of a stupid thing. There’s ten girls in the class and five get on the court and five don’t. So, I think I felt pretty bad about it, actually.

Holmes: It says here that one of your pet peeves is smart women who pretend to be dumb. You see that a lot in “Survivor.” Are you concerned that you might run into some of that?
Clarke:
Definitely. I think that smart women often pretend to be dumb. It’s not unique to “Survivor.” It’s something embedded in our society that women are supposed to become subservient to men. I think that’s really common in “Survivor” because there are a lot of girls who want a free ride to the end. I can see why they want to do that, but I think men are intimidated by strong women. And I can already tell here a couple of girls who might be looking to do that as a strategy.
Holmes: So you’re already annoyed?
Clarke: It annoys me because there’s so much more to them and I think they either don’t know it or don’t care.

Holmes: I’m thinking you didn’t love what happened last season with Boston Rob (Mariano) and the Ometepe girls.

Clarke: It was pathetic. Especially Natalie (Tenerelli). I don’t even think she was looking to win. I think when he (Rob) said he’d take her to the final two that that was good enough for her, she settled. I mean Ashley (Underwood), she tried to do something in the end but she was kind of a (expletive deleted).

Holmes: Do you think “Survivor” is easy?
Clarke:
I’m sure it’s much harder than it is on TV. But that said, I hope it’ll be easier for me than for others. I’ve lived in poor conditions before. I lived in Africa for five months without running water or electricity. I’m not somebody who needs to have my curling iron every day. I think the social game is probably really taxing, although I don’t mind when someone doesn’t like me.

Holmes: Any reservations about lying in the game?
Clarke:
I can be pretty damn deceptive. I’ve been deceptive my whole life. I remember when I was five years old stacking the deck against my uncle when we’d play Uno. He was shocked that a five-year-old could do that. He was really hurt. But it’s a game. I think people’s feeling will get hurt.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Jim Rice

August 22, 2011

Name: Jim Rice

Age: 35

Current Residence: Denver, Colorado

Occupation: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: You must have the world’s best resume. Lay it all out for me.
Jim Rice:
I did the corporate thing for a while. Worked for Motorola, worked my way up the ladder. Then went back and got my MBA in mergers and acquisitions. And then I quit one day, much to the chagrin of my parents, and started playing poker. I won a World Poker Tour bracelet and about twenty other tournaments. But what I really like doing is starting businesses. I started a wine store; it ended up being the most successful wine store in Denver. I sold it and went on to a few other businesses. But the one that really took off is the medical marijuana business. I’ve been doing that for about two years, I currently own two dispensaries in Denver, Colorado and two grow locations.
Holmes: What are some of the misconceptions people have about someone in your business?
Rice: There are a lot of misconceptions about not only the people who run them, but the individuals that use marijuana. I’ll tell you this; I’ve never smoked pot. But I 100% believe in the medicinal value of it. When people get to me, they’re in such dire pain. And I’ve never once had someone say to me, “I wish I wouldn’t have tried it.” Everybody says, “I wish I would have tried it sooner as a viable alternative to pain killers.” But there are tons of misconceptions about me. I’m sure people expect me to have long hair and say “Dude” and “Man” a lot. But that’s just not me.
Holmes: So you’ve never smoked weed?
Rice: Never.
Holmes: I’ve never smoked and can probably count on one hand the number of people I know who haven’t.
Rice: Same here. Especially in my business.

Holmes: There’ve been poker players on “Survivor” before. Sometimes they overestimate their ability to read people. Are the games similar enough for your background to give you an edge?
Rice:
I think there are a lot of similarities between “Survivor” and poker. You have all of these different scenarios and you have to plan for each of them. There’s also being able to read individuals and question motivations. And to make a trap and fall into it.

Holmes: I ask this question to everyone, and I think I already know your answer; how deceptive are you prepared to be?
Rice:
I think that more than anything, on a macro level the game of “Survivor” asks the question, “Do the ends justify the means?” And I’ll answer that right now before I do anything, that the answer is yes. There’s not much I wouldn’t do.

Holmes: You claim to be the most unique person to ever play the game.
Rice:
I think I am. When you look at this cast you see a lot of people who fit into types. You line me up against them and I don’t have a type. How many MBAs that run dispensaries are playing this game? That also have a World Poker Tour bracelet?
Holmes: I think the answer is “not enough.”
Rice: (Laughs) I’d agree.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Keith Tollefson

August 22, 2011

Name: Keith Tollefson

Age: 26

Current Residence: Edina, Minnesota

Occupation: Water Treatment Tech

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: So wait, what do you do for a living?
Keith Tollefson:
I’m an environmental field technician. I quantify flow rates for the city of San Diego.
Holmes: So, basically you’re up to your waist in crap every day?
Tollefson: (Laughs) I’m definitely literally in crap every day.
Holmes: Can you apply that to the game of “Survivor”?
Tollefson: Yes, I hate my job, so I’m going to want to win more than anybody else. (Laughs) Cause I don’t want to go back to my job.

Holmes: It says in your bio that your mom raised you to be a gentleman. Gentlemen don’t have a great track record on “Survivor.”
Tollefson:
I’m going to struggle with the fact that I have to be honest because my mom will be watching the show. She will be judging me, my family will be judging me. But they all do know that it is a game and you may not be who you are in the game who you are in real life. You’re going to lie. You may change facts about you. But in the past there have been players who’ve gotten by without lying. Fabio (Judson Birza) is an example of that.

Holmes: It also says that you don’t like people talking behind your back. You may have been cast on the wrong show cause you’re facing 39 days of people talking behind you back.
Tollefson:
The thing is, I’m going to know that people are talking behind my back. And if you can decipher that they’re telling lies, that’s going to create good TV because I’m not going to allow somebody to spread lies about me and trying to get me kicked out for something that isn’t true. I’m going to have to watch myself and find people I can trust.

Holmes: You’re a handsome fellow, there are some lovely ladies running around this beach. Do you think flirting will be a part of your arsenal?
Tollefson:
Guarantee there will be some flirting going on. I know girls are the best at playing guys for fools. I have it in my head, I know it’s going to happen. They’re going to try to bully me. I’ve been known to play the game a little bit myself, so I think I can use that to my advantage.

Holmes: What are your early thoughts on this season’s cast?
Tollefson:
I haven’t talked to any of the cast members, but you see people drinking a lot of soda. People’s luggage, how big their luggage is. How much stuff they’re bringing. What they’re wearing. Can they go to the bathroom outside? Maybe some people have never swam in the ocean before? People are going to struggle. I’ll struggle too, but hopefully I’ll struggle the least.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Whitney Duncan

August 22, 2011

Name: Whitney Duncan

Age: 27

Current Residence: Nashville, Tennessee

Occupation: Country Music Singer

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: It says on your bio that your inspirations are Jesus and Elvis. Two kings.
Whitney Duncan:
(Laughs) Both ends of the spectrum. They’re definitely my inspirations. Elvis because of my career. He is what made me want to sing. I was three years old and I was obsessed with the man. And on the other hand, Jesus would probably not approve of Elvis’s hip swiveling. But at the same time, he is perfect, so he’s my inspiration.
Holmes: Who’d win in a fight between Jesus and Elvis?
Duncan: I’m going to go with Jesus. You’ve got to go with Jesus for the win on everything. Sorry, Elvis.

Holmes: Tell me about your music background.
Duncan:
I grew up knowing really early on that that’s what I wanted to do, so that’s all I’ve ever done. I went to Nashville when I was fifteen. I got my first record deal at seventeen. I just released my last…my first record last year in April and am currently working on a new one.
Holmes: Hopefully not your last record.
Duncan: Hopefully not my last record!

Holmes: What are your thoughts on being deceptive in the game?
Duncan:
I’m not super deceptive in my normal life. I have the problem of laughing when I lie (Laughs) so we’ll see how that turns out. But I think for a million dollars you can lie and not feel too bad about it. And my fans and my family know me and know I’m a good person, so I don’t think they’ll care.
Holmes: Now, when you said you laugh when you lie…you laughed. Were you lying about laughing when you lie. Cause that would mean you don’t laugh when you lie… Wait…
Duncan: I don’t know. (Laughs) You’ll figure it out.

Holmes: You’re a young lovely. Are you willing to flirt to get farther in the game?
Duncan:
Heck yeah! I have a boyfriend, but let’s be honest, if I come home with a million dollars he’s not going to care if I flirted here or there. It’s completely harmless.

Holmes: What do you think of the cast so far?
Duncan:
I like the guy in the cowboy hat. I call him “Wyatt Earp” in my mind. He reminds me of my dad because of his moustache. I already like him.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Mark Caruso

August 22, 2011

Name: Mark Caruso

Age: 48

Current Residence: Forest Hills, New York

Occupation: Retired NYPD Detective

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: Does your police experience translate into “Survivor” at all?
Mark Caruso:
Definitely, you can look at people and assess them quickly. You can decide who you want to be with and who you don’t want to be with real quick.
Holmes: You’ve been around the players already, have you assessed everyone already?
Caruso: I already know who I want to play with and who I’m going to vote off immediately. You can tell by what people are reading. Who opens doors for other people. Who’s stepping in line in front of you.
Holmes: Someone stepped in line in front of you?
Caruso: If someone’s willing to do that, they’re willing to cut your throat. Who jumps in the chair you were about to sit in. That person’s basically telling you, “Screw you, I’m taking what’s mine.”

Holmes: Your bio says you’re a very honest person. Are you going to stick with that heading into the game?
Caruso:
Depends. In life? Yeah. In the game? You do what you have to do to survive. I don’t need to lie to win this game, good people can win this game. You just cut your losses real quick and build on what you have.

Holmes: Do you have any experience living in the outdoors?
Caruso:
Basically, I worked in the morgue during the 9/11 disasters. We lived outside the morgue, we lived in lean-tos and trucks for six months. We had two beds there, a TV, a little kitchen.

Holmes: What do you do with the million dollars after you’re named the sole survivor?
Caruso:
When I win the million dollars, which I will win.
Holmes: Good attitude.
Caruso: I’d love life, but I’d also donate. I’d give to the Police Foundation, the Police Widows Foundation, AIDS foundations, anything that helps animals.
Holmes: Are you a nurturer?
Caruso: I am…and I will be. I’m going to be everybody’s daddy bear.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes


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