Archive for November, 2011

‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Recap: The Albert Formerly Known as Prince

November 30, 2011

“Survivor” Hall of Fame Update: Voting for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame ends this Friday at 5 p.m. ET. ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Russell Hantz, Producer Jesse Jensen, and some dude named Jeff Probst have already cast their ballots. Don’t miss your opportunity to cast yours.

Last Regular Episode: Edna masterminded a plot that both eliminated Coach from the game and solved the world financial crisis. And, Rick did a 30-minute stand-up routine.

Just kidding, none of that happened. But, Keith and Jim lost the Redemption Island duel and Dawn and Whitney were booted at Tribal Council.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here is the tribe as it currently stands…

The Te Tuna Tribe (wearing yellow)
Albert – 26, Baseball/Dating Coach
Brandon – 19, Oil Tanker Crewman
Coach – 39, Slayer of Dragons
Cochran – 24, Harvard Law Student
Edna – 35, Anesthesiologist
Rick – 51, Rancher
Sophie – 22, Medical Student

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing the last hope for the Savaiian nation)
Dawn – 41, English Professor
Ozzy – 30, Challenge Destroyer
Whitney – 27, Country Music Singer

The festivities kick off after Tribal Council with the Upolutians gloating over their decimation of the Savaii crew. Edna and Cochran aren’t as elated because they both think they’re on the bottom of the totem pole.

The following morning, Cochran tells a story about how he tried to be a bad boy when he was younger by making dirty phone calls. However, he made those calls before he fully understood how sexual relations worked. The result was understandably hilarious.

And no, I’m not recapping what he said, this is a family site.

An Open Letter to Cochran:

Dear Cochran,

I love you, buddy. But, you know those guys that are following you around camp wearing backwards baseball caps? Those are camera men. The big boxes they keep pointing at you are called “cameras.” Those cameras make an audio and video record of your misguided-sex-talk and poop-in-my-pants stories. Other people (who aren’t following you around) then put those stories on national television. Just an FYI.

Your pal,
Gordon

Not everybody is amused by Cochran’s sexy tales. Sophie, for example, can see why Savaii became annoyed with him.

Meanwhile, Cochran is a little wigged out by Upolu’s cult-like qualities. Brandon in particular has him concerned. However, this doesn’t deter Cochran from calling a team meeting and requesting a Tribal Council stay of execution. His reason? Because Upolu owes him a debt due to his flippage and his birthday is right around the corner.

I’m not sure he has a point on the flippery, but I’d totally swipe the birthday excuse. It’s not like you have an ID out there and they can check.

This move rubs Sophie the wrong way as she feels like they don’t owe Cochran anything. Albert and Coach are open to keeping Cochran and booting Edna.

Redemption Island Duel: The players will balance dishes at the end of a pole. They’ll slowly add more pieces to their stacks. Last person with their stack standing stays in the game.

Not much to describe here except for some stackin’ and some wobblin’.

Dawn goes to yawn and almost finds herself gone. Yay, rhyming! She manages to save herself though.

However, my rhyming can’t save her a second time as her stack falls and she’s the first to go.

We get some tense editing for a bit…and then Whitney’s out. Ozzy stays in the game.

When it’s all said and done, Dawn says that “Survivor” has taught her that anything is possible. That’s the great thing about “Survivor,” it seems to change people’s attitudes about life. You never hear that from people leaving “The Bad Girls Club.”

Whitney lets us know that her family and friends will be proud of her. No word on how her secret husband will feel.

Back at Te Tuna, Albert doesn’t feel the need to help around camp. He’s more focused on coming up with strategies and working on his social game. Some people consider being useful around camp to be good for your social game.

Some guy named Rick is annoyed that Albert isn’t helping around camp. He dubs him “Prince Albert.”

Family site…family site…

Later, Edna asks Coach if she’s the next one to go after Cochran. The Dragon Slayer confirms this suspicion. Oh man, keepin’ it real.

Coach, however, admits that keeping Edna and Cochran would be good for his game.

The following morning, Coach and Cochran bust out some Coa-chi. Coach is positive that this will help one of them win the next challenge. Seriously? Coach’s been doing this stuff for three seasons and has never been a big challenge threat.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will throw bean bags onto a set of three boxes. The first three people to get bean bags on all three boxes will advance. From there it’s back to the ol’ coconut slingshot. First person to knock down all of the targets wins immunity and a spa/massage afternoon.

Albert, Rick, and Sophie advance to the next round. What?! Coa-chi fails?!

Uh-oh…Albert was good with the slingshot in the earlier challenge.

And sure enough, Albert wins immunity, just edging out someone named Rick.

Albert is given the opportunity to share his spa treatment, he chooses Coach.

Then, he asks J-Pro if he can give his spa treatment to someone else in exchange for their food if they win a future reward. Probsty agrees and Albert chooses to give it to Cochran as an early birthday gift.

I take it back! Coa-chi works!

Quick Aside: I hate this move. It always looks shady when someone gives up their reward. Also, does that mean Cochran is safe?

Cochran then tells us that he’s given his mom a massage, but never had one himself. What did I just say about the guys with cameras?!

Back at Te Tunisia, the tribe is greeted by two masseuses and two massage tables. I gotta admit, I love that they have to enjoy their reward in front of the tribe.

Also, Cochran admits that he lied about his birthday. Atta boy! He’s like Mini Fairplay.

After the reward, Cochran takes Albert aside to talk strategy. Albert doesn’t think Coach is ready to make a big move, but Cochran thinks they could try to vote out some fella named Rick. Cochran even admits that he heard that guy call Albert, “Princess Albert.”

Cochran takes this plan to Edna and Coach. Edna’s on board, but Coach is non-committal.

That night at Tribal Council, Coach admits that the scrambling around camp has been crazy.

Cochran thinks the jury will be happy to hear that he’s in trouble. However, he thinks the Upolu faithful owe him another three nights in the game.

Albert agrees, and thinks it looks bad for Upolu’s image to use him and vote him out.

Some mustachioed gentleman named Rick doesn’t feel safe and has brought his stuff with him.

Edna is freaking out because she thinks she’s the sixth person on the totem pole.

And now it’s time for Tribal Confessions with Brandon Hantz…

Brandon lets us all know that he’s voting for Cochran tonight and Edna the next time they’re at Tribal. This short burst exhausts poor Brandon.

Cochran then says that talking to Brandon about strategy is like talking to Probst about shirts that aren’t blue. They just can’t comprehend it.

WHOA! Alright, tell the guys with the backwards baseball caps to turn off the cameras. I think Cochran just won “Survivor.” Screw the voting, I’m inducting Cochran into the “Survivor” Hall of Fame tomorrow.

Cochran then shakes the world up by asking what’ll happen if Edna wins immunity next time. Sophie plays it off well by saying, “Then it starts.”

Voting Time: Rick votes for Cochran, Cochran votes for Rick, Edna votes for Rick, and the rest of the votes will have to wait.

One vote for Cochran, two votes for Rick, two votes for Cochran, and the thirteenth person to make a trip to Redemption Island is…Cochran.

Oh man, Redemption Island is going to be entertaining next week.

Verdict: One of the best episodes this season. The breakdown of Upolu is going to be super interesting. Every strategic instinct says people should try to take Cochran, Brandon, and Edna to the end, but Brandon the pitbull has everyone too afraid to get too far of line.

Who’s Going to Win:
Sticking with Sophie.

Power Rankings Update: Andrea picked it this week. She had Cochran in spot seven while I had him in spot five. We both predicted Ozzy would win Redemption Island. The current score is now Team Boehlke 145, Team Holmes 146.

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

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

November 30, 2011

As a member of the Executive Voting Committee, “Survivor” Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst (along with Producer Jesse Jensen, Hall of Famers ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano, Russell Hantz, and Sandra Diaz-Twine, and other “Survivor” luminaries) has an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2011. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you. So, be sure to cast your “Survivor” Hall of Fame vote.

Jeff Probst is a four-time Emmy Award winner for “Outstanding Reality Host,” the only winner since the award’s inception in 2008. He has traveled the world serving as both host and executive producer for this popular series.  Probst also received an Emmy in 2001 when the show won the first-ever “Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class).”

In 2007, Probst founded The Serpentine Project, a non-profit organization designed to help young adults transition out of the foster care system. In 2011, they joined forces with the larger non-profit organization Alliance for Children’s Rights, which has provided 100,000 kids in L.A. with free legal assistance and advocacy.  Each season, “Survivor” memorabilia is auctioned off and, to date, the auctions have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization.

Jeff Probst’s Hall of Fame Ballot

Cirie Fields – (“Survivor: Panama,” “Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites,” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): Though she has never won, Cirie is one of the most effective players in Survivor history.  Her asset is her disarming smile and her ability to make you forget that she is your opponent.  She also deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame because she epitomizes the person who got up off the couch to live their adventure and that’s what the show is all about.

Ethan Zohn – (“Survivor: Africa” and “Survivor: All Stars”): Ethan should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer.  He is one of the greatest winners of all time.  He played with integrity. People voted for him to win rather than to vote against someone else.  He took his celebrity and some of his money and put it towards making the world a better place, and he is still adored by almost everybody who meets him.  It was an oversight on my part not to nominate him last time.

Stephenie LaGrossa – (“Survivor: Palau,” “Survivor: Guatemala,” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): Though labeled by some as a whiner, there’s no denying she plays to win every time.  She’s a great physical player and a very good strategist.  Despite her weak showing in “Heroes vs. Villains,” if I was putting together an all-star tribe, she’d be on it.

Any Questions? Drop us a line on Twitter: @survivorhall and @gordonholmes

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‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Power Rankings – Week 10

November 29, 2011

The Rules: Each week our two combatants 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 Sophie is voted out this week, Andrea will receive 2 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. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: South Pacific” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Andrea had Whitney in spot eight and Dawn in spot nine. Gordon had Whitney in spot nine and Dawn in spot eight. However, Andrea picked Jim to win at Redemption Island and Gordon picked Ozzy. So, she gained seventeen points while he grabbed eighteen. The current score is now Team Boehlke 137, Team Holmes 140.

Wanna Play? Tag Gordon (@gordonholmes) in your own Twitter Power Rankings. If you do better than Gordon does, (which is highly likely) he’ll give you credit in his weekly recap.

teamboehlke . TEAMHOLMES
Current Score: 137

Got any advice for Andrea? Drop her a line on Twitter.

. Current Score: 140

Got any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter.

COACH . COACH
#1 Coach: As awkward as it feels to put a returning player on the top of the rankings, I seriously don’t see Coach going anywhere soon. He has this “Loyalty/Family” thing going on, complete with a tattle-tail system and there has been no mention of even voting him out!  To me it seems like everyone on Upolu thinks they are going to the end with Coach. It’s like season 22 all over again, just minus the crispy rice. . #1 Coach: Is this week’s episode going to come down to which side Coach chooses? Will it be Brandon, Rick, and Edna on one side and Albert, Cochran, and Sophie on the other? Faced with those two line-ups (and at this point we aren’t even sure if that’s accurate) Coach’s gotta be leaning toward Team Brandon. Who wouldn’t love to sit in front of the final jury with “Random Explosion” Hantz and “Permanent Residence on Coattail Island” Ma?
SOPHIE2 . BRANDON
#2 Sophie: Sophie could have mixed things up with Albert last episode but she chose not to disturb the BRACES quite yet. Hey, she can do what she wants, it’s “Sophie’s Choice.” Buh-dum-tssss.  I do wonder if people are going to open their eyes and see that Sophie is a major challenge threat. Two immunity challenges in one day, and usually very close in all the others. Who does that?! . #2 Brandon: Is it ironic that Brandon is this season’s Phillip Sheppard when he’s obviously a sheep? Or is it a goat? I get my “Survivor” terms mixed up.
BRANDON . RICK
#3 Brandon: I seriously think Brandon is in a great position to go to the end. If I were playing he would be my number 1 pick to sit next to at Final Tribal Council. Why? He’s like 15 and isn’t the best when it comes to Tribal Council speeches. I can’t see a jury awarding him the million, so there is a good chance we will get to see him at the end. . #3 Rick: What’s the deal, Rick? Mikayla says you’re just another number. Jim thinks you’re totally in Coach’s pocket. You’re the only one with an outside chance of making any serious moves. Are you going to settle for fourth place without a peep?
RICK . SOPHIE2
#4 Rick: Was there a secret scene that I missed where Rick swallowed a whole crab and it got lodged in his throat and now he can’t speak ever again? Maybe he is playing the ‘Silent Game’ and taking it really seriously? That could be it. . #4 Sophie: Sorry Sophie, you lose your top spot while I try to figure out which way the alliances are headed in the newly fractured Upolu tribe. I’ve got two strikes against you right now. First, you’re close to Albert who seems to scheme a lot and is a challenge threat. And second, after the last episode you’re obviously a challenge threat yourself.
albert . COCHRAN
#5 Albert: I was thrilled that Albert was trying to make things happen last episode instead of just riding the Coach train. He is at least attempting to take the game into his own hands, and for that I give him props. And a unicorn sticker. However, now he may be in trouble. With the tattle-tail system instilled, Coach may find out about Albert’s antics and not be too happy. . #5 Cochran: Oh Cochran, didn’t you notice the camera pointed at you when you were telling your poopy pants story?

Anywho, Coach likes Cochran. Brandon likes Cochran. Albert and Sophie seem to trust Cochran enough to share certain information with him. But, the fact remains that he was late to the alliance party. And, pitbull Brandon wants to keep every alliance agreement to the letter of the law…

EDNA . EDNA
#6 Edna: Although Edna is probably a great person to take to the end, the people on this season are thinking a little differently. It’s all about honesty, integrity and “who deserves to be there.” If people side with Albert’s logic of who deserves to be there, then Edna could be gone soon. . #6 Edna: On the other hand, depending how you interpret the Upolu Declaration of Allianceness, Edna could be the next to go. She wasn’t a part of the original late-night beach alliance and they did make a deal to keep Cochran around.
COCHRAN . albert
#7 Cochran: This will be a very telling episode for Cochran. How much Coa-chi does it take to be accepted into an alliance with Coach? If Upolu is smart, they will want to take Cochran to the end as a goat. However, this season seems to be all about loyalty shmoyalty and Cochran may be next to go. . #7 Albert: This might be a controversial pick, but Albert has been the Upolutian who has been trying to make the most moves.  Sophie has seen it first hand and Cochran has been in on some of the strategy sessions. But, who knows who else has been paying attention?
OZZY . OZZY
Redemption Island Pick – Ozzy: So last week I made a risky move and voted against Ozzy, thus losing a point to Gordon Holmes. Now that we are getting to crunch time, I have to be smarter. I can’t lose to Gordon Holmes. It would be so embarrassing and I would probably have to delete my Twitter account to avoid his inevitable gloating. Therefore, I am putting my money on Fish Boy. The Dawnminator aka Mama Meehan and Whitney “You Disgust Me” Duncan will likely put up a good fight, but I’m sticking with Ozzy. . Redemption Island Pick – Ozzy: Here’s a fun fact for all of you Boehlke boosters; she’s absolutely right. If she loses to me she will never (read: EVER) hear the end of it. The last person to lose to me was a guy by the name of Benjamin “Coach” Wade. And he had to travel to the Isle of Samoa to try to get his mojo back. Oh…and never bet against Ozzy in a challenge.

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‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Ballot – Sandra Diaz-Twine

November 28, 2011

The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is pleased to welcome 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Sandra Diaz-Twine to the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Sandra (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, and other “Survivor” luminaries) has accepted an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2011. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you. So, be sure to cast your “Survivor” Hall of Fame vote.

Sandra Diaz-Twine’s Hall of Fame Ballot

Todd Herzog – (“Survivor: China”): He took early control of his tribe with his social game and made his tribe trust him. He was instrumental in blindsiding James, Frosti, and Jean Robert, (making James the dumbest player at the time, going home with two idols in his possession). Plus, he had one of the best Tribal Councils where he admitted to lying and was still awarded the million dollars.

Rob Cesternino – (“Survivor: The Amazon” and “Survivor: All Stars”):
He was an aggressive strategic player who didn’t believe in loyalty, was effective at switching alliances to keep himself in the game, and always had several deals on the table. He went with whatever benefited him and kept him alive in the game.

Tom Westman – (“Survivor: Palau” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): He was respected by his entire tribe who recognized his leadership abilities. Tom was a challenge dominator. His physical strength ensured several tribe and individual immunity victories, and he maintained integrity and loyalty to his alliance.

Any Questions? Drop us a line on Twitter: @SurvivorHall or @gordonholmes

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‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Ballot – Russell Hantz

November 25, 2011

The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is pleased to welcome 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Russell Hantz to the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Russell (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, and other “Survivor” luminaries) has accepted an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2011. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you. So, be sure to cast your “Survivor” Hall of Fame vote.

Russell Hantz’s Hall of Fame Ballot

Amanda Kimmel – (“Survivor: China,” “Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites,” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): She struck me out more than anybody I have ever played with. She was so strategic. Anybody that strategic is dangerous. She went to the end twice in a row for a reason.

Ozzy Lusth – (“Survivor: Cook Islands,” “Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites,” and “Survivor: South Pacific”): There are a bunch of aspects to the game; social, physical, and strategic. The most physical player to ever play this game is Ozzy. You have to give him credit for that. He is the number one most physical player to ever play the game by far.

Stephanie Valencia – (“Survivor: Redemption Island”): I played with her and I played with all-stars. I played with the best of the best. She had what it took to be the best, but she was on the wrong season. She happened to align with the wrong people. She was great at the game but got on the wrong end of the deal. I think Stephanie could have been 10 times better than Parvati (Shallow).

Any Questions? Drop us a line on Twitter: @SurvivorHall or @gordonholmes

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‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Discusses Why We Love Villains

November 23, 2011

There really aren’t any guidelines when it comes to “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting. Like strategic players? Vote for them. Memorable characters? Go for it. People who changed the game? Why not? That’s who I voted for.

Because of that, we weren’t really sure what to expect when it came time to tally the votes.

But a funny thing happened on the way to last year’s induction acceptance podium*…all five of the nominees were villains.

I had a chance to talk to Jeff Probst about this bizarre phenomenon during my visit to Samoa this past summer.

Gordon Holmes: What were the qualities you were looking for when you cast your 2010 Hall of Fame vote?

Jeff Probst: I didn’t really give it a lot of thought in terms of “What are the qualities?” I just thought, “Who are the best Survivors of all time?” I mean, Parvati is one of the greatest players ever. She’s one of the greatest villains. It’s perfect that she’s also young and attractive. If this were a movie, she’s that black widow that you’re going to fall in love with, you’re going to want to sleep with, and while she’s sleeping with you she has an ice pick and she kills you. Same with “Boston” Rob. He looks at Grant, he tells him they’re buddies. He puts his arm around Natalie. And he’s got shivs in both of their backs. That’s just fun to watch, it makes for a good show.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: South Pacific” on Your Computer

Holmes: The executive vote and the fan vote were identical in 2010; Parvati Shallow, “Boston” Rob Mariano, Russell Hantz, Richard Hatch, and Sandra Diaz-Twine. Both sides had those five Survivors in that exact order. Do you think it’s weird that they were all at one time considered to be villains?

Probst: I didn’t even think about that when I was writing the names down. But I do think it’s indicative of what works on “Survivor.” Nice people? That’s who you want in your life. That’s who you want to play cards with, have drinks with, be the best man in your wedding. Villains are who you want to watch on TV. That’s just it. Parvati, Russell, “Boston” Rob, people like that who are manipulative and diabolical, those are the people you want to watch. That’s why when you have a nice person win everybody goes, “Eh.” “Boston” Rob wins and people say, “Love it!” or “Hate it!” He evokes that.

Here’s what it is for me, my favorite shows are “Weeds,” “The Shield,” “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” “Dexter.” All the main characters are evil people who are often breaking the law and certainly are immoral. They’re certainly the most fun to watch. I’m not interested in watching, I don’t know, “The Cosby Show.” That’s not fun.

Maybe that’s why Simon Cowell is such a huge star and I’m not. Because ultimately I’m really just a nice guy. (Laughs)

Holmes: Well, there’s no debating that.

*There is no actual “Survivor” Hall of Fame Induction Acceptance Podium.

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‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Ballot – ‘Survivor’ Producer Jesse Jensen

November 22, 2011

As a member of the Executive Voting Committee, “Survivor” Producer Jesse Jensen (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, and other “Survivor” luminaries) has an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2011. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you. So, be sure to cast your “Survivor” Hall of Fame vote.

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

Jesse Jensen’s Hall of Fame Ballot

Ozzy Lusth – (“Survivor: Cook Islands,” “Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites, and “Survivor: South Pacific”): He has not only played the game three times but is probably the most accomplished performer in challenges we have ever seen on the show. He is a power house both in and out of the water but also has a calm, focused way about him that keeps his mind clear to also dominate in the problem-solving and puzzle elements of the challenges. Not always the best strategist, but the fact he has consistently entertained us as probably the best challenge competitor and camp provider ever on the show alone should put him in the Hall of Fame.

Rupert Boneham – (“Survivor: Pearl Islands,” “Survivor: All Stars,” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”):
I admit he has never performed that well in either challenges or strategy…but he is such an iconic character for the show. This totally showed when America voted him the million-dollar winner on “Survivor: America’s Tribal Council,” a special episode to the “All Star” season. The vote was purely based on popularity and he received around 85% of the vote. I think as people look back at the show Rupert, especially in his earlier seasons, was such a big character and identity to the show and for that alone he deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Stephenie LaGrossa – (“Survivor: Palau,” “Survivor: Guatemala,” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): I’m going to nominate Stephenie again this year. Like the others she has played the game three times. Her first season in Palau she was extremely popular and she showed us what an amazing battler and physical competitor she is. She was such a good personality and player that we brought her back to compete in Guatemala. She did great in Guatemala and in my opinion could have gone a lot further on “Heroes vs. Villains” but, she seemed to be fighting an uphill battle the whole time. Great physical and mental player. In my opinion, one of the most well rounded and popular players never to win the game.

Any Questions? Drop us a line on Twitter: @survivorhall or @gordonholmes

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

November 21, 2011

The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is pleased to welcome 2010 Hall of Fame inductee “Boston” Rob Mariano to the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, “Boston” Rob (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, and other “Survivor” luminaries) has accepted an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2011. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you. So, be sure to cast your “Survivor” Hall of Fame vote.

“Boston” Rob Mariano’s Hall of Fame Ballot

Cirie Fields – (“Survivor: Panama,” “Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): She played a great strategic and social game all three times. She is super smart and definitely someone that is a threat every time. Cirie is someone you would want in your alliance and not outside of it.

Rudy Boesch – (“Survivor: Borneo” and “Survivor: All Stars”): He’s a legend in my mind. He was the first to speak his mind, you always knew where Rudy stood.  I don’t see how you can have a Hall of Fame and not have Rudy in it.

Tom Westman – (“Survivor: Palau” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): He’s an all-around great player; physically, socially, and strategically. Everyone loved Tom because he truly is a great guy and a fierce competitor.

Any Questions? Drop us a line on Twitter: @SurvivorHall or @gordonholmes

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WWE Superstar C.M. Punk Wants ‘Stone Cold’ at ‘Wrestlemania’

November 18, 2011

This year’s “Wrestlemania” is set to be one for the ages as a legend from the wildly popular Attitude Era is preparing to square off against one of today’s top stars. I’m of course, talking about The Rock going toe-to-toe with John Cena. But could the WWE be considering a similar scenario with a few other names in mind?

“I really like C.M. Punk. I think he’s one of the top workers in the ring. I love his promos. I love his style. There’s no smoke and mirrors. I like the straight-edge lifestyle stuff he does. You want to start pairing that against the beer-guzzling “Stone Cold” Steve Austin? I think you’d have an interesting feud to say the least. He would push me to the limits, I would teach that kid a thing or two, and there would be some wonderful promos going back and forth.” – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to XFINITY TV (April 2011)

I had a chance to talk to C.M. Punk about the possibility of a “Stone Cold” dream match, the significance of his upcoming title bout against Alberto del Rio at this Sunday’s “Survivor Series,” and the diet that helps him stay so skinny/fat…

Gordon Holmes: I have some good news for you.
C.M. Punk:
Did you save money on your car insurance?
Holmes: I have, but that isn’t specifically what I was referring to. I checked out the “WWE ’12” video game last night, which is a blast, and I played a quick round as you vs. Alberto del Rio. I pulled off a win with your GTS finishing move. I think that bodes well for you heading into this Sunday’s title match.
Punk: That is good news. Thank you.
Holmes: You’re quite welcome. Now, what I wanted to ask you is; your title match at “Survivor Series” will be held in Madison Square Garden. Does the Garden still hold the same significance with today’s superstars as it did in the past?
Punk: Yeah. It’s special to me. I can’t speak for many of the other superstars, but I’m not a religious guy, and this is the closest thing that comes to church to me. This is my Vatican. It’s my synagogue. I love wrestling at the All State Arena in Chicago. That’s a very special place to me, and I’m not saying that the Garden is on a different level, it’s just different.
Holmes: You grew up in Chicago, so you didn’t grow up going to MSG. So what is it? Is it the history? That Hulk Hogan beat the Iron Sheik for the World Title there? The Wrestlemanias that were held there? Or is it the way that it’s talked about in such revered tones by the older class of wrestlers?
Punk: I think it’s all of that. I know the Garden means everything to Vince (McMahon) because the Garden was everything to his father. This is a place that they used to run twice a month. They used to sell this place out with Bruno (Sammartino) on top. It was just a magical, special place. You walk down the hallways and you see posters on the wall or pictures or signs…I recognize doorways at Madison Square Garden because of the backstage segments they used to do. “Oh yeah, this is where Hogan walked through to get to the ring at ‘Wrestlemania.’” It boggles your mind all of the moments that have happened at the Garden. To be able to even have a chance to be one of those moments is pretty crazy.
Holmes: With all of that in mind; Madison Square Garden, a title match, the 25th “Survivor Series,” do you have anything special planned?
Punk: I plan on stealing the show and I plan on winning. That’ll be special. To be the punk rock kid from Chicago, where everyone said, “You’re not going to make it,” to be able to say, “Well hey, I just won the WWE Title, not only in my hometown in July, but to turn around and win it in Madison Square Garden.” That’s pretty badass.

Holmes: You’re a guy who gets credit for being old school and having respect for tradition. Recently, you gave a nod to one of the guys who paved the way with your “Macho Man” Randy Savage tribute attire. Do you have any plans for anything else like that in the future?
Punk:
I hope not, because I did the tribute to Savage because he unfortunately passed away. I don’t want anyone else to pass away.
Holmes: Understood, but to be fair you did a tribute to G.I. Joe and they’re all fine.
Punk: (Laughs) You know, I’m just a wacky G.I. Joe fan.

Holmes: You and me both. Speaking of old school, if you could have worked in any territory at any time, where would that have been?
Punk:
Man, it’s unfortunate that I don’t have 90 minutes to talk to you about this.
Holmes: Agreed.
Punk: Because that is, no lie, probably the best question I’ve been asked in the last year of doing this. Wow, what a question.  I’ve had old timers tell me, “Man, you would’ve been great here, or you would’ve been great here.” Pat Patterson says I was born 20 years too late. I could’ve done Memphis.  People have told me that Bill Watts would have loved me because of my mouth because in UWF the order of the day was getting heat. Heels got heat. It didn’t matter how big I was because he would have recognized, “Holy (expletive deleted), this guy gonna get shot, they’re going to set his car on fire.” I’ve had Michael P.S. Hayes tell me that I would’ve been a great foil for the Freebirds. But where I would’ve liked to work? I don’t know if I would’ve fit in, but I would’ve loved to work down in the Carolinas. I would’ve loved to work for the Crocketts.
Holmes: Straight Edge, with the no drinking and no drugs would’ve been the perfect foil for the hard-partying Freebirds.
Punk: Absolutely.

Holmes: You kind of set the world on fire this summer with your original “Pipe Bomb” interview. Was it tough keeping the momentum going after such a big moment?
Punk:
Yeah. I think comparatively speaking, getting to the top of the mountain is way easier than staying there. And that’s a great choice of words; I set the world on fire. And it’s hard to keep a fire burning that long, that bright, whatever. I keep my ear to the ground, I listen to what a lot of hardcore wrestling fans say, and they say, “Oh, they dropped the ball with the Punk thing. Man, he could’ve been the biggest superstar, blah blah blah.” Well, if you look where I was at this time last year and you look where I am now, I’d say that they haven’t dropped anything. Could they have done things differently or better? Of course they could have. Everyone’s an armchair booker and has their wishlist of how they wish things could have went. I have my wishlist too. I’d be wrestling Ricky Steamboat if it was up to me. When I went out there and delivered that interview, it was so shocking and eye-opening. But, if you do that every week it ceases to be eye-opening and shocking. It’s hard to maintain that same level and I don’t want to maintain that level because every day it becomes mundane. You have to have peaks and valleys so the awesome moments seem like awesome moments.

Holmes: Now I understand there’s a Go To Sleep Pizza?
Punk:
There is, there’s a GTS pizza brought to you by the wonderful pizza people at Ian’s Pizza.
Holmes: Now, what is on a GTS pizza?
Punk: The GTS pizza is…man, I’m going to get this all wrong…there’s smoked turkey, swiss cheese, some drizzled onions. It’s sort of like a Thanksgiving oriented thing because turkey has the tryptophan in it which supposedly puts you to sleep. Very clever. It sounded pretty weird to me at first, but then I had it and it is absolutely awesome.
Holmes: How do you stay so skinny/fat if you’re eating this concoction?
Punk: (Laughs) That’s why I stay so skinny/fat because I eat a steady diet of Chicago pizza.

Holmes: “Survivor Series” is generally the time of the year where the WWE starts the ramp up to “Wrestlemania.” Any talk of what you’ll be doing?
Punk:
I’ve broken through to new heights in my career, and I’m this crazy new top guy, so everyone’s expecting me to have this awesome “Wrestlemania” match. And I have no idea who I’m wrestling. People think I’m wrestling the Undertaker, people think I’m wrestling (Chris) Jericho. People are still crossing their fingers that Steve Austin is going to fight me. I really don’t know. I know who I want to wrestle, but I don’t know who it’s going to be.
Holmes: Who do you want to wrestle?
Punk: Steve Austin. I would love to poll everybody who’s either going to “Wrestlemania” or buying it on Pay Per View and ask them; who would you rather see? Dwayne (The Rock) vs. (John) Cena or Austin vs. C.M. Punk. I’d be so interested to see how that’d turn out.

WWE Survivor Series” airs Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Pay Per View.

“WWE ’12” will be released for the Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3 on November 22, 2011.

Any Questions? Drop me a line Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Jim Rice and Keith Tollefson

November 17, 2011

If John Cochran’s goal was to become a memorable member of “Survivor” lore, then he has succeeded. His flip to the Upolu tribe has left the former members of Savaii in shambles. Ozzy Lusth is gorging himself at Redemption Island, Whitney Duncan and Dawn Meehan are about to pay him a visit, and Keith Tollefson and Jim Rice are now on the exit interview circuit.

But while Cochran’s move was memorable, the question remains; was it smart?

I spoke with two of his victims the morning after their eviction from the game to get their take on the long-term impact of Cochran’s deception, Coach’s cult, and the Holmes pre-game jinx…

Gordon Holmes: Alright, I’m not psyched about interviewing you two at the same time. I don’t want to be bullied.
Jim Rice:
(Laughs) Keith’s the bully, not me!
Keith Tollefson: Yup, that’s right. Apparently that’s what happened.
Holmes: Now Keith, I’ve watched a lot of “Survivor” in my day and I know that if they have video of bad behavior, they’re going to show it. I feel like I didn’t see a lot of footage of you actually being a bully. Were we misled a little bit?
Tollefson: Yes. That’s what’s so disappointing is quite a few times I stood up for (Cochran.) And just like everyone, I’ve been bullied at times in my life. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small you’re going to get bullied. And I actually thought that he was a friend of mine. I respected the fact that he was such a fan of the game, and I’d said, “Hey man, I want to play the game with you and we can go to the end.” I liked him, I thought we had some fun out there.
Rice: Gordon, a big thing about that if you really pay attention to what made it to the air is the bullying storyline didn’t even come from Cochran. Coach is the one who made the assumption by looking at Cochran. Cochran just went along with it. Coach was the one that said, “Hey, you look like you’ve been bullied. I’ve been bullied before too.” And Cochran just rolled with it. I’ll echo everything Keith just said; we were all friends. Cochran was easily my closest friend.

Holmes: That’s actually an excellent point you make there, Jim. Speaking of Coach, what was your impression of him in the brief time you spent together?
Tollefson:
My impression of Coach was…Jim had the best comment on this when he said, “Everyone is drinking Coach’s Kool-Aid.” It’s a little cult. We were smart enough to get out every player that Ozzy wanted to keep because we knew that Ozzy was our biggest threat. We had a collective agreement that we vote Ozzy out before we vote each other out. With the other tribe, Coach had this little cult that honestly made me sick. I couldn’t even watch it.
Rice: I think Coach is a brilliant lunatic.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Rice: I think that’s the best way to put it. Man, he had all of those people convinced that if they did anything wrong or immoral that they’d have to live with those scars for the rest of their lives. He had his tribe running scared.
Holmes: Wait, the rest of their lives? How is that even possible?
Rice: He was always giving examples like, “I lied back in whatever stupid season I was on.”
Holmes: Whoa…stupid season? “Tocantins” was awesome.
Rice: Coach loves talking about himself and it got annoying after a while and he was always talking about things he’d done wrong in the previous seasons and how it’d stayed with him and how it scarred him for life.
Tollefson: He was using fear to keep a hold of the tribe. He’d say, “There are things I have done in the past that affected me out of the game and I don’t want you guys to make the same mistakes.” And, he somehow has them all believing that all six of them will go to the end and all six of them will win the million dollars.
Rice: Yeah, Coach’s master move was convincing everybody that all six of them are going to win. It’s like they’ve never watched the show.

Holmes: Having seen what you’ve seen in the episodes, don’t you agree that the first person to turn on this alliance is going to be subject to a Brandon Hantz freak out?
Rice:
Coach has his pitbull.
Tollefson: That was the one thing about trying to make a move is you can’t include Brandon. He’s already out of the equation because he’s a loose cannon and he won’t go against the family and  Coach has him hard-wired.

Holmes: What would the plan have been if Cochran hadn’t flipped and you’d have been able to get a numbers advantage on Upolu?
Rice:
We would’ve done what they did. We would have picked them off one-by-one and when it got down to seven or eight we would have used one of them to pick off Ozzy. Then pick off the last Upolu, then we’re down to five Savaii. And depending on immunities, we all had our own end games from there.

Holmes: Now Jim, I’ve been dying to ask you this; Semhar gets voted off and she says how she couldn’t stand you because you wanted to put the moves on your students.
Rice:
(Laughs)
Holmes: I talk to Elyse and she doesn’t like how you flirted with all of your students. And I’m thinking, “Jim doesn’t have any students.”
Rice: (Laughs)
Holmes: So please enlighten me on the many intricate details you’ve cooked up about your fake persona.
Rice: Here’s the thing, I have no problem telling people what I do for a living. I’m proud of what I do for a living. But I was playing this game before I ever got on the island. Because, who are you going to give a million dollars to at the end of this game? A mother with six adopted children or a marijuana dealer? I played for the jury. I didn’t think I’d get voted off for what I did, but I knew I wouldn’t win the million dollars based on what I did. There was no upside for me to tell. Unless there were nine marijuana smokers on the jury.
Holmes: Well, you never know.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. Let’s start with Ozzy.
Rice:
Competitor.
Tollefson: Arrogant.
Holmes: Coach?
Rice: Brilliantlunatic…all one word.
Tollefson: Manipulator.
Holmes: Elyse?
Tollefson: Vixen.
Rice: Vixen! Nice! I’ll go with politically correct.
Holmes: Here’s one…Whitney?
Rice: (Laughs)
Tollefson: (Laughs)
Rice: I’ll say sassy.
Tollefson: I would say beautiful. (Laughs)
Rice: (Laughs)
Holmes: By the way, there are no wrong answers here. But that was a good, safe answer. Let’s try Dawn.
Rice: Wonderful.
Tollefson: I love her, but crazy.
Holmes: Papa Bear?
Rice: Paranoid.
Tollefson: He’s a big teddy bear.
Holmes: Cochran?
Tollefson: Coward.
Rice: I’ll go with scared. I think he’s a scared person in every aspect of his life.

Holmes: The Cochran defection was obviously the big turning point in both of your games. Does something like that stick with you?
Rice:
I made the assumption that everyone was playing to win. Where Cochran was just playing for another’s day worth of facetime. The way I felt at the time, if we drew rocks there was only a 14 percent chance of going home. If you flip on your tribe at that time there’s a 100% chance of losing the game because there’s a jury of nine and five of those people are going to be people you screwed over. There’s no way to win the game. If he’d have said, “Ozzy, you’re an idiot, I’m keeping the idol,” that’s a ballsy move. There was nothing strategic, it was a move made out of cowardice.
Tollefson: He went to them and tried to play a double agent, and he was very excited about it. Coach called him on his B.S. and Cochran tells him everything. He told them who we were giving to the idol to. I’d respect it if he’d said he was flipping.

Rice: Oh, and thanks for picking me pre-game. Sorry I (expletive deleted) it up for you.
Holmes:
I feel horrible about that. I absolutely put my jinx on you.
Rice: I think it’s because I’m a Cubs fan and you wanted to jinx me.
Holmes: That’s true. You make fun of the Cardinals and you get put on my (expletive deleted) list immediately.
Rice: (Laughs)
Holmes: I’m sorry, I meant the 2011 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Rice: I know… But, if I play again, don’t pick me.

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