Archive for February, 2012

‘Survivor: One World’ Recap: Girl Power Outage?

February 29, 2012

'Survivor: One World' (CBS)

Last Week: An alliance among Manono’s misfits began to take root, Kat blew a challenge and released a controversial toot, and in the end poor Nina was given the Tribal Council boot.

What?! “Toot” is putting it delicately. And my little nephew will appreciate the term.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s see where the two tribes currently stand…

The Salani Tribe (wearing teal)
Alicia –  25, Special Ed Teacher
Chelsea – 26, Medical Sales
Christina – 29, Career Consultant
Kat – 22, Timeshare Rep
Kim – 29, Bridal Shop Owner
Monica – 41, Ex-NFL Player’s Wife
Sabrina – 33, High School Teacher

The Manono Tribe (wearing orange)
Bill – 28, Stand-Up Comedian
Colton – 21, College Student
Jay – 25, Model
Jonas – 37, Sushi Chef
Leif – 27, Phlebotomist
Matt – 33, Attorney
Michael – 30, Banker
Tarzan – 64, Plastic Surgeon
Troyzan – 50, Swimsuit Photographer

Set your DVR to record “Survivor: One World”

Quick Aside: Before we get into this mess, it’s important for me to say that the Super Dude alliance knows that Colton has the immunity idol. This was revealed in a bonus scene last week.

“Country Club” Colton and “No Nickname Yet” Jonas start the evening off on a classy note by inviting the SaLadies over to their camp. Why the invite? Because a major storm is on its way. The women decide to stick it out.

CUT TO: The women freezing and starving in their tiny tarp-less shelter.

The next morning, Troyzan and Colton take pity on Salanians and allow them to warm up by their fire. At first, Kim wanted to be tough and Girl Power-y, but her coldness won her over.

Matt returns from crab hunting and is not pleased to see the ladies all up in his camp. They owe him a chicken, durnit!

Reward Challenge: The teams will square off in head-to-head memory contests. A curtain will be raised over a series of items. When the player feels they know the order of the items, they’ll drop the curtain and head to another station to recreate the item lineup. First person to get the items in the right order wins. The first tribe to win five rounds wins fishing gear and momentum. They will not, however, receive a momentum idol.

Tarzan and Leif will sit out for Manono.

Round One: Sabrina defeats Matt.

Round Two: Monica gets the best of Colton.

Round Three: Alicia beats Jay.

Round Four: Troyzan bizarrely drops the curtain immediately. Of course, both he and Kat get it wrong. This happens seven times before Kat manages to topple Troyzan.

Round Five: Christina gets the win over Bill. Salani wins reward and momentum.

Quick Note: Former “Survivor” Power Rankings champion Tamara “Taj” George is this week’s “Survivor” original. Love her.

Back at camp, Salani uses their newfound confidence to try to fix up their shelter and start a fire. Unfortunately the dampness around camp necessitates another fire-bargaining session with the boys. Matt must hold his spare embers in high regard as he isn’t happy about giving one up so easily.

Oddly enough, Colton agrees with him. Colton lets us know that he’s a Republican and does not believe in handouts. Meanwhile in Philadelphia, smoke starts to pour out of my computer as I try to type too many jokes at once.

Quick Aside: The tribes are so at war over every little thing. It seems like very short-sighted strategy to me. I’ve got to wonder how differently this season would’ve turned out if Michael hadn’t gone on his early looting spree.

Eventually, the guys decide that they will trade some time with the Salani boat in exchange for fire. Chelsea takes this offer back to her tribemates and has a bit of a breakdown during the discussion.

Kat tries to make Chelsea feel better by saying, “We’re just girls, we’re not meant to be beaten down this way.” By the way, that sound you heard in the background was every female “Survivor” fan in the world simultaneously punching a wall.

Things seem to pick up the next morning as three of the women do their best Ozzy Lusth impersonations and participate in some successful spear fishing.

Immunity Challenge Time: One person from each tribe will act as a caller, while the other members will be split into pairs and blindfolded. The caller will have to lead the pairs through an obstacle course. Once they’re through the course, they’ll release bags of puzzle pieces. Once they have all five bags, the caller will then complete the puzzle. First tribe to finish their puzzle wins immunity. And momentum…probably.

Colton and Jay will sit out for Manono.

Bill will call for Manono while Sabrina will call for Salani.

Fun Fact: Tarzan and Troyzan are paired together. How could they NOT be?

Not a ton to describe here except for some stumbling and puzzle-piece recovering. The men jump out to a super-huge lead as they have all five bags while the women are still struggling with their third.

Eventually, the women recover all of their bags and Sabrina manages to gain some serious ground on Bill. This is a very tough, very cool, tree-shaped puzzle. They’re both tied with one piece left and Sabrina manages to win it for Salani!

Now who are “just girls?”

Back at camp, the guys are trying to make Bill feel better about blowing the huge lead he was given. Colton, however, isn’t a Bill-leaver. He even calls him “ghetto trash.” Uh oh…

Colton calls his misfit clique together and tells them that Bill should go home first. Others would rather see Matt go home first.

Jay swings by their little pow-wow. They let him know that he backed the wrong horse and is welcome to join their clique. Matt also pays them a visit, but he isn’t offered the same invitation.

Matt pulls Troyzan aside later and tries to get him to join the Super Dudes. If I were Matt, my pitch would’ve included, “I want you to be the last Tarzan-themed nickname guy standing.”

Troyzan doesn’t seem to be buying it though. He immediately spills his guts to Colton. Colton seems to be OK with this because Matt is the head of the snake and you’ve got to keep the snake from…you know…wiggling.

OK, if anything, I hope that exchange helped the women feel better about their gender. The men on this show aren’t looking so great either.

That night at Tribal Council, fire equals life…etc…

Colton lets us know that he’s comfortable because he has an idol. I’m pretty sure the word “subtle” isn’t in this kid’s dictionary.

Colton goes on to say he’s not going to be a James (Clement), he’s going to play the idol immediately. Ooo…gravedigger burn.

Next up, J-Pro gives Colton grief for spending so much time with the girls.

Bill thinks Colton assumed the guys wouldn’t accept him because he’s gay.

Tarzan believes it’s good to have Colton on their side due to the connections he’s made with the female tribe.

Matt thinks tonight’s vote will set the course for the rest of the game.

Voting Time: Colton claims that someone “pissed off the wrong queen,” and that’s the only thing that was shown.

Jeff tallies and returns. Colton does not play the idol. I actually kinda like that move. Although, I’d wager that you can only play that card once.

One vote for Colton, one vote for Bill, four votes for Matt, and the third person to leave “Survivor: One World” is…Matt.

Verdict: Much better this week. I don’t know if it was the lack of seeing the guys’ strategy, or the weird no-Probst reward challenge, or the way the women were being decimated, but this season has been missing a spark. Here’s hoping this is a step in the right direction.

Who’s Going to Win: Jonas FTW.

Power Rankings Update: Oh crap… “Survivor: South Pacific” champion Sophie Clarke had Matt in the fifteenth spot while Jim Rice had him seventh. That extends the women’s lead to 31 to 19. Hopefully John Cochran can score some points for the guys next week when he faces Christine Shields Markoski.

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

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A Look at John Cena’s New T-Shirt

February 28, 2012

Click to Enlarge

You’re probably wondering, “Why did you doodle an otter t-shirt on your John Cena drawing, Gordon?” Good question. What really happened was I had doodled a picture of an otter.

THEN I doodled a picture of John Cena’s head.

THEN the meeting I was in went long and John Cena ended up getting an upper torso. It just so happened that the two works of art overlapped.

However, the catchphrase, “Hustle, Loyalty, Otters?” That’s only because the slogan “You Can’t See Me and My Two Layers of Fur That Keep Me Warm When I Swim in the Winter” didn’t fit.

Even More Whatnot…

‘Survivor: One World’ Power Rankings: Sophie Clarke vs. Jim Rice

February 28, 2012
Jim Rice vs. Sophie Clarke (CBS)

Jim Rice vs. Sophie Clarke (CBS)

In honor of “Survivor: One World’s” men vs. women theme, it has been decided that XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” guy Gordon Holmes should lead a team of  “Survivor: South Pacific” guys against a team of “Survivor: South Pacific” gals.

Stepping up to the plate for the gentlemen this week is Jim Rice. He’ll be squaring off against the winner of “Survivor: South Pacific” Sophie Clarke.

Let’s check in with our two combatants before we get into this week’s rankings…

Gordon Holmes: So, I blew it last week, giving up four points to Dawn Meehan. I think it was because the sun was in my eyes.
Sophie Clarke: I like the idea of you being blinded by her radiance/brilliance.
Holmes: That’s probably more accurate. Jim, any ideas on how to get us back into this?
Jim Rice: The first week is always a tough one to pick. To get us back in the lead, I’m betting against Colton’s ability to execute any type of plan that involves secrecy, betting on the natural tendency of “Survivor” to even itself out with a female victory this week, and counting on Sophie to be way too overconfident with that four-point lead!

Holmes: That’s a lot of betting. But I guess that’s what you get when you have a poker star on your team. How have things been since coming back from Samoa?
Rice: I have been loving life in Denver! Life couldn’t be better.
Holmes: Good to hear. Sophie, what’ve you been up to?
Clarke: I went back to school in the beginning of January and am in the throes of exams right now. Just took an exam on Kidney and Respiratory Physiology and Histology today and am moving on to Digestion stuff next.

Holmes: Glad you’re taking time away from medical pursuits to focus on something as super important as the “Survivor” Power Rankings. How are you enjoying the season so far?
Clarke: I love the twist. I am not so keen on the characters yet. I need a bit more time to get to know them. It’s also hard seeing what happens in the episodes through my tears of nostalgia.
Rice: I love the concept of this season!  I think each week will get more intense as the decision of who to vote out depends more and more on who has tighter alliances with the opposing tribe.

Holmes: Alright, let’s cut with the niceties. Jim, let’s hear some trash talk.
Rice: Soph, you never defeated me in any individual immunity challenge on the island, and I don’t see that trend changing this week!
Holmes: That’s the spirit! Go Team Guys! Sophie, how do you respond to that?
Clarke: I won “Survivor”?
Holmes: Yeah…that is a tough one to beat.

The Rules: Each week a representative from each team 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 Troyzan is voted out this week, Sophie’s team will receive 10 points and Jim’s will receive 9 points. At the end of the season, the team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: One World” Power Rankings Challenge Champions.

Wanna Play? Tag Gordon (@gordonholmes) in your own Twitter Power Rankings. If you do better than the male team does (like @Hawk_941 did last week) you’ll get a special shout out in the Power Rankings and the warm fuzzy feeling that goes with a job well done.

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

Current Score: 16

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

Current Score: 12

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

   
1. The female tribe let Kat stay last week despite her poor challenge performance and aggressive flatulence. If this didn’t send her home, what will? Kat is safe for now. 1. Often, the first person to go home on “Survivor” is the person who messes up the first challenge.  However, Kim was smart enough to put her alliance ahead of voting off dingbat Kat.  If Kat would have gone, Kim and her alliance would have lost control of their tribe.
   
2. Kim is my early favorite. I would put her at number one, but I think Kat has overcome much more (albeit self-induced) adversity.  Like the “Survivor: South Pacific” winner, Kim has a good head on her shoulders and seems to be the stabilizing force of her alliance. 2. After this week, we will see which group of guys has control of the tribe.  Either way, Jonas is safe, and seems to have a good grasp of the game.
   
3. Was the scene of Chelsea holding a pair of chickens by the neck clever foreshadowing of her dominant win over a couple of goats at the final tribal council? OK, maybe not. But, Chelsea is a member of the dominant female alliance, so for now she’s safe. 3. I like this guy and it seems like everyone on his tribe does too.  I think he is safe for quite a while no matter what happens this week.
   
4. Sabrina was tactless in her banishment of Colton from the female camp. To succeed on “Survivor,” you must be able to tolerate such trivial annoyances and hold your tongue. Jim, my adversary, knows this only too well—his game fell apart after he flew off the handle and yelled at his goat, Cochran, for a poor challenge performance. If Sabrina managed Colton properly, he could be the perfect final Tribal Council goat—her Phillip Shepherd! For now though, by virtue of her membership in the dominant alliance, Sabrina is safe. 4. Not making many waves and could see her and Kim going far together.  Then again, crying in the rain in the previews makes me question whether or not I should put you so high in the rankings.
   
5. Alicia is the least safe of the dominant alliance members. Like Sabrina, she seems to have an issue holding her tongue (remember her catfight with Christine in the first episode?) However, if she can confine her bitchiness and her urge to watch her tribemates drown to her confessionals, she should be around for a while. 5. Even if his alliance doesn’t take hold, he isn’t a target.
   
6.  Colton has the idol. But, unless he can use this fleeting power to strengthen his alliance of misfits, the idol will not keep him safe for more than one Tribal Council.  6. Hey Jay, do you have any flint? It would be a lot cooler if you did. (Sorry, I had to throw in one “Dazed and Confused” reference!)
   
7.  Leif is in the misfit alliance, hasn’t made any enemies, and proved himself a worthy challenge competitor last week. I can’t see anyone gunning for the little guy. I am worried, though, that Leif is too nice of a guy. Leif needs to start thinking about being more of a jerk soon or the castaways are going to boot this final Tribal Council pity vote magnet! 7. First, you never want to think you are “sitting pretty” in “Survivor,” especially when you think you are in a dominant alliance…of 4…in a tribe with 9 people.
   
8.  Jonas the Chef is another member of the misfit alliance who is safe this week. He is comfortably cruising along and hasn’t made any enemies. But to make it deep in this game and win, Jonas will need to make some friends too. I think he needs to start putting his culinary skills to good use and make those girls some peanut butter and chocolate! 8. I like this girl. “Managing the airheads.” Ha! You never want to be the leader of your tribe, even if the others appoint you, but you’re handling it pretty well.  If you can fly a little more under the radar in the next couple weeks, I think you’ll be near the top of the Power Rankings.
   
9. Last episode we saw Tarzan fire dancing in a speedo and moseying around camp seemingly in the buff. However, his outlandish behavior and almost nudity caused almost no discomfort at camp. In fact, it incited childish giggles from the girls and broaughter from the dudes. I think the last person who wore so little clothing while maintaining the friendship and respect of his tribe was Richard Hatch. Things are looking good for Tarzan. 9. Another person giving themselves their own nickname ala “Cochran.” You had better hope Colton can use his idol to get rid of Matt or Michael.  Otherwise, you’ll be following the other selfnicknamegiver Tarzan off the island.
   
10. Troyzan is safe this week because he is in Colton’s misfit idol-holding alliance. However, Troyzan needs to stay on good terms with the macho men—Jay, Michael, and Matt— who will be useful in challenges down the road. 10. Unlikable enough that a lot of people would want to take her to the end.  Plus, she is in the dominant alliance. And I love people who make up their own sayings like “bag of rocks” and go on to acknowledge that they don’t even know what they meant by their own fabricated saying. “You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister!”
   
11. Bill isn’t in the misfit alliance and I worry that it is only time before the tribes get bored of speedo-clad Tarzan and his fire dancing antics and turn to Comedian Bill for entertainment. If you have seen his cringe-worthy character reel on YouTube (or cringed yourself when he read tree mail in a British(?) accent), you know this can’t be good for him. Let’s hope he has some Taylor Swift jokes up his sleeve or King Colton might banish this joker. 11. You’re safe this week because there are a couple bigger targets on your tribe…and you can “stay strong in the core.”  However, you didn’t want to try and talk anyone into voting off Kat because it would make you a target.  Too often, people in this game wait too long to make a move.  That will be you within a few weeks
   
12.  Jay might be the victim of Colton’s revenge of the misfits move this week. I doubt it though. Jay seems to be staying out of trouble and is less abrasive than Matt and Michael. 12. Four days in, and you already want to “walk off this island”?! The odds of Colton winning this game, as Artie Lange quoting Dean Wormer would say…”zero..point…zero.”   Colton, I can’t wait to see how you mess up having the immunity idol this week.
   
13.  If the girls lose, Monica or Christina is going home. I think the girls are more likely to keep tough, motherly, challenge-goddess Monica over Christina, the girl who dared to “flirt” (negotiate) for fire. 13. I really don’t know what to say.  I watched the last challenge for a third time just to watch Jeff crack up as you jumped in the water for the third time for absolutely no reason.  Then, at Tribal…Jeff: “What is upsetting?”Kat: “ My communication skillz” (I’m going out on a limb and assuming you spell it with a “z”).You’re cracking me up.  I hope you stick around.
   
14. If the girls lose, Christina’s days are numbered. She has spent too much time making nice and handshaking with the boys and not enough time brown nosing the girls in control. 14. Well, I know you think you have the “best camp in history”, but you are making too many enemies too soon, and those enemies are in both camps.  What happens this week will tell whether you are a pre-merge or post-merge boot.  Then again, you are definitely unlikable enough that someone would love to take you as a goat to the end.
   
15. Colton and the misfits (hey, good band name!) are going to boot one of the macho men. I will be sad not to see Matt on my screen every Wednesday, but there are about 24 abs to spare on this season. 15. If the girls lose this week, you are going home because the most vocal person in the dominant alliance doesn’t like you (and if that happens, I’m guessing that we will see a tribe swap in the near future).
   
16. RIP Michael’s abs. 16. The game of “Survivor” tends to ebb and flow.  That means the guys should lose this week’s challenge. While Colton’s plan of getting the 4 amigos to vote for him, play the idol, and shift the balance of power in Manono (dramatically changing the game in week three) is a solid plan and the best move he could make,  I don’t have any faith that Colton can pull it off. Guys lose, and Tarzan goes home.

‘Survivor: One World’ Castaway Interview – Nina Acosta

February 23, 2012

Nina Acosta (CBS)

Chelsea pretty much said it all last night when she admitted to regretting Salani’s first-day alliance. Maybe it isn’t the smartest move to make the game’s biggest decision based on first impressions.

Those first impressions are why Kat Edorsson is still in the game and Nina Acosta was sent packing.

I spoke with Nina the morning after her elimination to get her thoughts on what Salani has to do to turn things around, the misconception that she wasn’t doing well out there, and this season’s under-the-radar villain…

Gordon Holmes: Last night we heard that you were suffering around camp, but I never saw anything that backed that up. Was that assessment inaccurate?
Nina Acosta: I’m not sure why those comments were made. I was a little surprised. I was participating and helping with camp. I wasn’t tired. I was out there like everyone else. So, I don’t know why they were saying those things.
Holmes: So you were an asset around camp, and with the exception of coming face-to-face with a net, you were doing well in challenges.
Acosta: Right! I’m sure it was just an excuse. If I had to guess, I think when younger people look at someone my age they just assume that we’re old and frail, which is ridiculous. I think that’s what the expectation is.
Holmes: Correct me if I’m wrong, but as a former member of law enforcement, don’t you have to be pretty bad ass?
Acosta: Well, I certainly can hold my own. I’m not intimidated by much. I keep myself in good shape. I don’t have the body of a 25 year old, but I’m still pretty tough. I know I was stronger than most of the women out there. I mean, Monica is a force to be reckoned with too, but the oldest women out there were probably the strongest.

Holmes: What can the Salani women do to turn things around? Because it has been a disaster so far.
Acosta: They are going to have to figure out how to be good teammates. And I don’t know if that’s possible. I think men are engrained with it. For the most part growing up they participate in sports and team things. And women don’t do that. Girls play differently than boys. We were a bunch of girls out there working against each other. Anything can happen though. Some dumb luck could come their way. I think the only way they’re going to survive is if they get a lucky break. It certainly won’t be by anything they do intentionally. They’re really disorganized.

Holmes: Last night…how do I put this…it appeared that Kat approached her teammates and farted on them. Was that accurate?
Acosta: I tried to focus on the game, but it didn’t surprise me. She’s kind of crass.
Holmes: I appreciated how you used that moment to make a move on Chelsea. Did you think you had a chance to get her or Kim over to your side?
Acosta: I felt like there was a chance to bring them around, I just needed a little more time. I think it was going to be very difficult to break up that alliance. And that alliance was formed so quickly I couldn’t believe it.

Holmes: We haven’t seen very much from the guys. What can you tell us about them? Are they doing as well as they seem?
Acosta: I tried to keep my contact with the guys to a minimum. We needed to focus on us. Chelsea believed that, I believed that. But, I will tell you they seemed to have it together. They were really relaxed. There wasn’t much drama. Colton spent a lot of time with us. I felt like that wasn’t going to help him at all. Although I also thought that maybe the guys were sending him over to gain information.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Alicia.
Acosta: Mean.
Holmes: Monica?
Acosta: Rock star. Love Monica.
Holmes: That seems to be a popular sentiment. Sabrina?
Acosta: Wow…she was the leader, but she was a little lazy.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Acosta: Can’t figure Chelsea out.
Holmes: Kim?
Acosta: She is a villain. Manipulator.
Holmes: Christina?
Acosta: Very smart. Liked her. Can be a little annoying, but really liked her. Very nice.
Holmes: Let’s finish this with Kat.
Acosta: Dumb as a rock. Very young, immature. Had no business being out there.

Holmes: Let’s jump back into that. What was Kim doing that lead you to believe she was a villain?
Acosta: I think Kim is acting like she’s everybody’s friend. She’s a gamer. You can tell that she’s really involved. She was grilling the guys. She’s smart and I think she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it to the end of the game.

Holmes: There’s been a lot of talk about how poorly the Salani tribe has been doing. What do you hope young women can learn from Salani’s mistakes?
Acosta: That’s a really good question. It reminds me of what I witnessed with my own kids, what goes on in elementary school. I think girls really need to learn how to be good friends. They need to respect each other. You don’t have to like everybody, but have a mutual respect. It’s really important. It’s a good lesson. Decide for yourself what kind of adult woman you want to be.

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

‘Survivor: One World’ Recap: Katalyst for Change?

February 22, 2012
Alicia Rosa and Kat Edorsson (CBS)

Alicia Rosa and Kat Edorsson (CBS)

Last Week: Matt and Chelsea feuded over fowl, Alicia and Christina fought over fire, and an immunity challenge left Kourtney with an unfortunate fracture.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s see where the two tribes currently stand…

The Salani Tribe (wearing teal)
Alicia –  25, Special Ed Teacher
Chelsea – 26, Medical Sales
Christina – 29, Career Consultant
Kat – 22, Timeshare Rep
Kim – 29, Bridal Shop Owner
Monica – 41, Ex-NFL Player’s Wife
Nina – 51, Retired LAPD Officer
Sabrina – 33, High School Teacher

The Manono Tribe (wearing orange)
Bill – 28, Stand-Up Comedian
Colton – 21, College Student
Jay – 25, Model
Jonas – 37, Sushi Chef
Leif – 27, Phlebotomist
Matt – 33, Attorney
Michael – 30, Banker
Tarzan – 64, Plastic Surgeon
Troyzan – 50, Swimsuit Photographer

Set your DVR to record “Survivor: One World”

 

We start off with the SaLadies returning from Tribal Council. Michael is quick to point out that he helped keep their fire going while they were away. He also brought in their mail and watered their plants.

Later, Christina pulls Alicia aside to discuss their Tribal explosion. They seemed to make peace, but Alicia later explains that she wanted Christina to blow up so she’d be an easy first target.

The following morning we meet up with the ladies as they’re trying to get their business in order. As a group they decide that Sabrina should be the leader. Sabrina oddly seems to embrace this new responsibility. Um…has she ever seen this show? Sabrina as the Saleader will result in her Saleaving the show quickly.

Tree mail shows up in the form of a super huge box. The Manobros carry the box to camp for free, which seems foolish as they probably could have gotten the women to trade woven fronds for it.

Inside the box is this season’s first non-Probst reward challenge. I’m not comfortable with this…

Reward Challenge: The teams will race to untie a series of knots. The first tribe to free a ring from the knots wins a tarp.

Michael will sit out for Manono.

There’s not a lot to describe except for some frantic untying. This whole no-Probst thing is weird. How are they supposed to know who to blame when they lose?

Anywho, the Manobros pull out the victory and are now the proud owners of a tarp.

Sabrina’s upset because they needed that tarp like a “fat kid needs cake.” Well, I wouldn’t say a fat kid needs cake…

Next up we…WHOA! WHAT’S UP WITH TARZAN’S SPEEDOS! Seriously, they’re so tiny. “Tarpanties” might be a better description.

As the men are trying to avert their eyes from Tarzan’s thighs, they notice that Colton isn’t doing anything around camp.

Actually that’s not true, he is helping around camp…the Salani camp. I take that back, he’s only 10% helping and 90% annoying. Aww…nobody loves Colton.

That night, the Manonoans prove how starved for entertainment they are by encouraging Tarzan to dance in his underwear. Although in their defense, I’d much rather watch that than “Glee.”

Later, Colton lets Troyzan, Jonas, and Leif know that he has an immunity idol. Troyzan immediately pegs Matt as the most likely target. Has Tarzan joined the Super Dudes? Because if he hasn’t they don’t need an idol to boot Matt.

Immunity Challenge Time: The two tribes will…WHOA! JEFF’S WEARING A GREEN SHIRT AGAIN. That, or the color is off on my TV.

The two tribes will line up on a balance beam. The person on the far end of the beam will have to maneuver past the other tribe members to get to a platform on the other end. If they fall in, they have to start over. If they touch more that one player at a time they’ll have to start over. Once the first player makes it over, the second player will do the same and so on. First tribe to get all of their members onto the platform will win immunity.

Tarzan will sit out for Manono.

Fun Fact: There’s quite a bit of groping going on in this challenge.

Leif goes first for the guys and makes it through easily. The women, on the other hand, are doing a terrible job understanding the don’t-touch-two-people-at-once rule. Colton and Jonas make it over with no problem.

Kat’s having a rough time. At two points she misunderstands the rules and jumps in the water for no reason. Meanwhile, Bill and Jay make it to the other side.

Finally, Monica makes it to the platform for Salani, but by then it’s too late as all of the other Manonoans have crossed over. Manono wins immunity.

Kat blames the loss on it being too difficult to get around her tribemates’ boobs. Whoa…do not speak ill of boobs ever.

Politicking around camp centers around Kat’s terrible challenge performance vs. Nina’s not being a part of the dominant alliance.

Monica knows she’s on the wrong side of the numbers, so she isn’t too keen on going to the majority and suggesting they vote out their buddy Kat. That strategy worked super well for the people on the bottom last season.

Now, I’m not sure if I understood this next part completely, but it seemed like Kat intentionally approached members of her tribe and farted on them. I’ll give her this; that’s a unique strategy.

Nina uses Kat’s gaseous stratagem as motivation to get Chelsea on her side. Nina makes a fantastic argument that the women should be embarrassed by their challenge performance and Kat’s juvenile behavior.

That night at Tribal Council, J-Pro lays down the law, telling the Salanis that they’re off to one of the worst starts ever.

Nina breaks down the alliances, claiming Christina and Monica are on her side and Alicia, Kat, Chelsea, Kim, and Sabrina are on the other.

Nina goes into detail about her law enforcement life experience, then asks Kat what she brings to the table. Kat doesn’t have a great answer. She is smart enough, however, not to claim to be the person who both dealt it and smelt it.

Nina stays on the offensive, saying that Kat isn’t much of an athlete because she can’t perform under pressure.

Chelsea thinks she would form a different alliance if they could start over.

Probst gets the line of the night saying that there aren’t any women at home that are particularly proud of the women’s tribe.

Kat admits that it’s her fault that they lost the challenge. She then does her best Brandon Hantz impersonation and breaks down a little.

Kat then throws Christina under the bus, claiming she doesn’t want to play the game. Wait, what? That’s news.

Voting Time: Kat votes for Nina, Nina votes for Kat, and the rest of the votes will wait for Probsty’s tallying eyes.

Speaking of, Jeff tallies those same votes and returns. We’ve got one vote for Nina, one vote for Kat, one for Christina, two for Nina, and the second person to leave “Survivor: One World” is…Nina.

Verdict: It’s still early, but a lot of interesting characters are coming out. I can’t wait till we get to see more from the guys.

Also, don’t tell Probst I said this, but the reward challenges lose drama when he’s not around. I admire their willingness to try something new, but the challenge in “Survivor: Samoa” was a dud, and tonight’s reward challenge was a dud.

Who’s Going to Win: Jonas is my boy. If things stay the way they are now, the guys are going to have numbers headed into the merge and he’s going to be a part of the dominant alliance.

Power Rankings Update: I let the guys down! Dawn Meehan had Nina in spot sixteen, while I had her in spot twelve. Next week it’s going to be Jim Rice stepping up to the plate for the guys and “South Pacific” champ Sophie Clarke batting for the gals.

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

‘Survivor’ Math: Why the New Immunity Idol Twist Is Evil

February 22, 2012
'Survivor: One World' (CBS)

'Survivor: One World' (CBS)

Before last week’s “Survivor” premiere there was a great deal of uncertainty regarding the new hidden immunity idol twist. It turns out that if a Salani tribe member finds the Manono immunity idol, she must give it to a Manono member before the next Tribal Council (and vice versa).

Watch Last Week’s Episode of “Survivor: One World”

At first, I assumed a savvy tribe member would simply use the idol to curry favor with a member of the opposing squad. Now, while Salani’s Sabrina did just that when she handed the Manono idol off to Colton, she also did something much bigger.

By giving the idol to the person who is perceived to be Manono’s weakest member, she potentially blew Manono’s game apart.

What adds to this style of gameplay is the probability that the idol will find its way into the hands of the player most like to shake up his or her tribe.

Think about it, if the tribes were on separate beaches, Colton (the person who supposedly needs immunity the most) would have had a one-in-nine shot (11.1%) at finding the idol. However, as we saw last week, there’s value in someone giving the idol to the most disruptive member of the opposing tribe. That new wrinkle gave Colton a possible ten-in-eighteen shot (55.5%) at getting it. If this style of gameplay stays constant, the weakest challenge competitor or the player who is on the outs socially has a better chance than not of receiving an idol.

Well played, “Survivor” twist thinker-uppers. Well played.

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

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

Dawn Meehan Accepts the ‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Challenge

February 21, 2012

Dawn Meehan and Jeff Probst (CBS)

In honor of “Survivor: One World’s” men vs. women theme, it has been decided that XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” guy Gordon Holmes should lead a team of  “Survivor: South Pacific” guys against a team of “Survivor: South Pacific” gals.

Stepping up to the plate to face Gordon in the first round is Dawn Meehan!

Gordon Holmes: Dawn, thanks so much for playing. What have you been up to since coming back from the South Pacific?
Dawn Meehan: Survivor has shaped my life in so many positive ways. Not a day goes by where I don’t draw on my experience in the game; and I love that. Since the show aired, I’m back to being a mom to our 6 kids and teaching at BYU. And … if you can believe, I’m also giving a few motivational speeches at universities and professional conferences (Eeek!).

Holmes: Are you enjoying “One World” so far?
Meehan: I love the “One World” twist and cast! First, there are a number of REALLY strong players on both tribes—and that makes for great competition. And second, having both tribes on one beach just makes good sense! (I’m all for anything that encourages cross-tribal alliances. I’m also hoping there will be a tribe swap, too–to really shake things up.)

Holmes Are you jealous the One Worldians won’t have to burn their buffs?
Meehan: Heck yes, I’m jealous. Have you seen the picture of me taken just before I threw my buff into the fire (after professing my love for Jeff Probst)? It’s so sad! I look like I’m at a funeral for a friend. [Cue Elton John.]

© CBS, Monty Brinton, 2011.

Holmes: Look at the joy Probst is taking in your sorrow.
Meehan: You’ll be happy to hear that CBS did give me a new Savaii and Te Tuna buff after the finale’. I wore them for 28 days … to give them that “lived-in” look.

The Rules: Each week a representative from each team 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 Troyzan is voted out this week, Dawn’s team will receive 15 points and Gordon’s will receive 13 points. At the end of the season, the team with the most points will be named the “Survivor: One World” Power Rankings Challenge Champions.

Wanna Play? Tag Gordon (@gordonholmes) in your own Twitter Power Rankings. If you do better than Gordon does, he’ll give you 25 “Survivor” Points*.

* “Survivor” Points have no cash value and cannot be redeemed for anything, ever.

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

Current Score: 0 Got any advice for Dawn? Drop her a line on Twitter.
Current Score: 0 Got any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter.
   
1. I always root for the home team—and Jonas is my home team. There’s no doubt in my mind, Jonas is going to play a smart game. I thought he was hilarious in his first confessional, talking about how hard it was trucking everything to camp–while giving his tribe the impression it was a cake-walk. And I don’t know if you noticed this,  but he carried that Hawaiian Sling/spear like he knew what he was doing. My hunch: this sushi chef is going to be feeding his tribe. And maybe Salani’s, too (if he keeps up the bartering w/ Christina).  GO Home Team, go!  1. Strong first episode from Leif. He’s an asset around camp, he’s obviously getting along well enough with the Zans (Troy and Tar) to participate in their yelling contest. My only worry is that he’ll end up with an early target on his back because of his height like Kelly Bruno (“Survivor: Nicaragua”) had for her leg.
   
2. Kim’s in a good spot. She’s athletic, level-headed, beautiful … and part of The Salani Five Alliance (Alicia, Kat, Chelsea, Sabrina, Kim). Based on her confessionals in episode 1 (about “Girl Power”), I won’t be surprised if Kim creates a second alliance of five/six/seven this week. But even if she doesn’t, Kim’s safe for now. 2. Michael’s thievery really set these two tribes down an ugly path. They’re so at odds, it seems like they’re fighting over the stupidest things. Jonas gets five “Survivor” gold stars for appreciating that you catch more jury votes with honey than with vinegar. (Or, something like that.) If Colton upends the Super Dude alliance with his idol, Jonas could be in the perfect spot to pick up the pieces.
   
3. Chelsea-the-Chicken-Handler was one of my favorites last week. Having chased a chicken or two myself, I was crazy-impressed with her ability to snatch those pollos. Part of The Salani Five Alliance, Chelsea has proven that she’s here to PLAY the game. (I loved that she kept both of the chickens–and didn’t back down when Matt pressured her to “honor” their agreement.) Chelsea will definitely outwit, outplay, and outlast this week. 3. It amazes me that after 24 seasons of this mess, some people still go out there not knowing how to create fire. Good on you, Jay. You’ve restored my faith in humanity. It’s the other seventeen players I’m not so sure about. Anywho, even though I have doubts about his Super Dude alliance, I think Jay will be safe for quite some time.
   
4. You can tell Sabrina is a teacher … because she is definitely in charge of her game. She’s in the majority alliance on Salani (The Salani Five), she’s found Manono’s hidden immunity idol, and by giving that idol to Colton, she’s forged a cross-tribal bond that may prove helpful down the road. I think my favorite thing about Sabrina is that she seems so relatable. She’s the kind of female player I love to watch: strong, charismatic, and intelligent. I hope we have many more weeks of Sabrina.  4. Anybody who’s getting caught up in the guy vs. girl drama is playing a very short-sighted game. Thumbs up to Sabrina for not only being above that mess and being a part of the dominant female alliance, but for setting up a member of the opposite team to take out some of their strongest players. Well done.
   
5. “Fire Starter” Jay isn’t going anywhere this week. In addition to making camp-life easier for his tribe (starting fire w/out flint), Jay is physically strong, a member of The PYT Alliance (Pretty Young Thing = Jay, Matt, Mike, Bill), and he hasn’t ruffled any Salani chicken feathers. I’d say Jay’s in a good position to make cross-tribal alliances down the road. We’ll see more of Jay next week.  5. The Super Dudes might be in for a rude awakening if they decide to make Colton their first target. I’m not convinced that’s the way they’re going to go, but Bill should be safe either way. A guy with a military background and a sense of humor should have no problem blending.
   
6. We didn’t see much of Bill in episode 1, but we didn’t see much of Sophie in episode 1 either … so I think that’s a good sign. I just plain LIKE Bill. And I think he has some depth. He’s both a veteran and a comedian. (I’d keep him around for 39 days just to tell stories and jokes. Camplife can be so monotonous.)  Now, if his PYT Alliance can find a 5th member, Bill’s in for the long haul. Or, at least safe for this week.  6. Sorry, Mikayla. You can’t be my “Survivor” girlfriend for a season that you’re not appearing on. It’s not you, it’s casting. Anywho, Chelsea caught two chickens with her bare hands and is a member of the First-Day Alliance (FDA, for short). She’s super safe.
   
7. Colton is such a character; I would have LOVED to play the game with him. Now, even though the previews for episode 3 hint that Colton’s buggin’ people on both tribes, he’s got the Immunity Idol. And immunity buys you 2-3 more days in this game. So, I think it’s safe to say that for this week Colton’s sitting pretty. 7. I’m not totally convinced that Colton is in as much trouble as they make it seem. Why wouldn’t he work with Matt and the rest of his Cobra Kai buddies to get intel on the SaLadies? Why would Matt be happy with his non-majority alliance of four when adding Colton to the fold makes it a solid five? Something’s up.
   
8. If you’ve seen Monica, then you know 41 is the new 21—because I’m tellin’ you, this sister is fitter than any woman that’s played the game in a long time. Wow. That’s Girl Power! Even though she’s not part of The Salani Five, Monica does seem to be close with Christina (partners in fire crime)—and I think the two of them could EASILY align with Nina and some of the Non-PYT Alliance (Jonas, Leif, Colton, Troyzan or Tarzan) on Manono and take control of the game. 8. I’m putting Kim in the same category as Sabrina and Chelsea right now. She’s in a good spot in that if something goes wrong with her alliance, she won’t be the most obvious choice to boot first.
   
9. Don’t underestimate Kat. Not only is she downright likeable, she got some fire in her. I liked how Kat got involved in Tribal Council last week. (That’s not easy to do when there’s conflict. It’s also not necessarily smart, but it does show strength/fight.) In the preview for next week’s Immunity Challenge, it looks like Kat’s holding onto Christina—helping Christina maintain balance? If that’s the case, then I’m sure we’re going to see more of Kat. She’s a team player. And for now, that’s the name of the game. 9. Not sure what to think of Kat at this point. According to Alicia she’s in the FDA, but she seemed to take it personally when Alicia and Christina were arguing at Tribal Council. She’s going to need to pick a side and toughen up if she’s going to be in this for the long haul.
   
10. Matt confuses me. I want to like him. I really do. He reminds me of one of my favorite tribemates–Jim Rice: intelligent, charming, and passionate about the game.  Matt’s the kind of player who makes the game fun to watch. BUT, last week, I didn’t love his bravado/confidence/attitude. I’m hoping Matt mellows a bit this week … and considers adding some women to his PYT Alliance (because 4 people do not a majority make). That being said, Matt’s safe this week. 10. Sure, stealing from the women was hilarious, but it could come back to bite you. If I’m someone like Leif and I need to curry favor with the SaLadies, I’d happily rat him out.
   
11. Oh Mike. Mike. Mike. Mike. Mike. Mike. Why did you have to throw Salani’s love away? Yes, the game is outwit, outplay, outlast, but it’s Day 1, not Day 32! You have to build SOME trust with people in this game. And I’m just not sure Salani OR Manono will trust you after your five-finger discount on the camp supplies. But I will hand it to you, you’re in a solid alliance (PYT)–and you’re not going home this week. You’ll have plenty of time to mend fences. (PS: Are you related to TV Personality Adam Carolla? Holy striking facial features, Bat Man.) 11. Kourtney adored Monica…you know…before she broke her arm in 40 places. That leads me to believe that Monica is on the outs with the FDA. And unless an idol is found soon, being outside of the FDA might be a bad deal. (Also, as a “Mean Girls” fan, can I propose the nickname “The Plastics” for the FDA?)
   
12. Forgive the Flight of the Conchords reference, but every time I see Leif, I have to sing: “I’m a hip-hop-phlebotomist.” Okay, not that funny. Well, kinda funny. But seriously, the first half of this game is all about keeping your tribe strong and unified. And from what I’ve seen of Leif, he’s going to keep Manono strong and unified. We’ll see Leif next week. 12. Did Nina do anything last week other than get a Wile E. Coyote-style net mark on her face? If alliance-lines are already set, then she’s somebody who needs to hang back and try to get everyone else to start feuding.
   
13. I like Alicia because she had her alliance of 5 SET before Salani even reached their camp! And I’ll admit: The Salani Five Alliance looks solid. But my main concern is this: it takes time to forge solid bonds/alliances.  And this early in the game, I can’t be sure that Kat, Kim, Chelsea, and Sabrina are locked. (In fact, my guess is that Kim and Kat aren’t 100% locked.) Hopefully my worry is unfounded—because Alicia’s gameplay is fun to watch. 13. If the Super Dudes are safe, that means they’re probably going to try to bounce one of the more annoying Manonoans first. I’m looking at you, Troyzan…
   
14. Christina gets things done! I mean, first she and Monica steal embers from Manono’s fire–in an attempt to start a fire for Salani. And when that doesn’t work, she negotiates a deal with Manono–and GETS THE DANG FIRE! If I were a betting woman, I’d put money on Christina for Final 3, but that’s only IF she can make it past these first Tribal Councils and align with Monica, Nina and/or some key Manono members. (Because after last week’s Tribal Council “banter” with Alicia, I’m concerned that The Salani Five may push for her early departure.) 14. And you too…
   
15. I like Troyzan. He’s a strong physical player. And I know from his pre-game clips, he’s got a real passion for the game. BUT, he’s also got a lot of “alpha male” in him—and there just isn’t room for 3 or 4 leaders on one tribe. So, where/how does Troyzan fit in? Right now we don’t see him aligned with anyone on Manono (he’s not part of The PYT Alliance). And, will any of Salani align with him after he consistently mocks them? Remember his words to the women at the start of game? Or again when Alicia and Monica tried to barter for fire? Troyzan’s probably safe this week, but I’m hoping we see his kinder gentler side here soon. 15. Is Matt smart enough to see how valuable someone like Colton could be to his alliance? If he is, he may get an idol out of it. If he isn’t, he could be sent packing. Also, it’s way too early in the game to let something like Chicken-gate bring you down
   
16. First of all, let me just say that I’m pretty sure I was ranked 18th, 17th, and 16th in the first three Power Rankings last season. So Nina fans, don’t take my ranking as an indication that Nina’s not in this to win it. I just think–based on what we’ve seen so far–she’s in trouble this week. She doesn’t seem to be part of any solid alliance and I think she may have an injury (the cargo net to the face—ouch!). Unless Nina’s working on a separate alliance with 4 other members of Salani and/or some of Manono, I think Nina may be the next female sent home.  16. Why do I think Alicia is probably safe? Because the last thing these women saw before leaving for Samoa was Boston Rob taking a solid alliance from the beginning to the end. Why do I think Alicia might be in trouble? Because if I were a guy who found the Salani idol, I’d do the exact same thing with it that Sabrina did; give it to the other tribe’s most vulnerable player. That player is Christina and Christina would happily use it to boot Alicia.
   
 17. If Manono loses this week’s Immunity Challenge, I’m fairly certain Tarzan is going home. I just haven’t seen any reason to suggest that he’s an asset to the tribe (physically, strategically, camp-wise, etc.). And forgive me for saying this, but Tarzan looks like he may need the R&R. (Or at least a wardrobe consultant. That shirt is so Tom Selleck, circa 1980s, no?) If/when Jeff does snuff Tarzan’s torch, I hope he at least gives a Tarzan “Ahhahhahhh” on his way out.  17. Bad news, Christina.  You’ve really ticked off the leader of your tribe’s dominant alliance. Oh well, maybe your negotiating skills will serve you well on Redemption Island. Wait…there’s no Redemption Island? Better hope an idol saves you, and quick.

‘Survivor: One World’ Castaway Interview: Kourtney Moon

February 16, 2012

Kourtney Moon (CBS)

Last night was easily the weirdest first episode to a “Survivor” season ever. The two tribes were fighting like cats and dogs at the One World beach, there wasn’t a complete immunity challenge, and nobody was voted out of the game.

One of those things was because of the producers’ brainchild. The second and third were due to Kourtney Moon’s ill-fated leap into a cargo net.

I had the chance to speak with Kourtney the morning after her unfortunate accident to find out what went wrong during her jump, why the women of Salani are underperforming, and which of her tribemates was “obnoxious”…

Gordon Holmes: So what happened last night during your jump?
Kourtney Moon: I thought I had my arms out far enough. And once my butt hit the net I was going to grab onto the net to stop the bouncing. But I guess what ended up happening is I didn’t have my arms outstretched far enough. Once the net hit its lowest point my arm absorbed the impact in a not-so-pretty way. I heard the crack. And, I’d never broken a bone, so I thought, maybe I just popped something. But, it was broken. And I didn’t know it was broken until I looked at my hand and it was just dangling. I thought, “Oh (expletive deleted).”
Holmes: What’s the status of your arm now? Did they have to amputate?
Moon: Oh God, no. They didn’t have to amputate.
Holmes: OK, good.
Moon: They ended up having to move it back into place and they weren’t so successful the first time. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It hasn’t been quite the same ever since.

Holmes: It had to have been disappointing to be derailed so quickly.
Moon: It comes in waves. I think of what the possibilities could have been if I hadn’t broken my arm. It wasn’t a situation where I was voted out. Throughout the first three days I was approached by a lot of the male tribe members and I was making some really good connections with my own tribe members, so I was pretty optimistic.
Holmes: What deals had you been working out?
Moon: I wouldn’t say “deals.” My approach was that it was still early in the game and I was trying to feel everybody out.

Holmes: A lot of people think the women did not come off well last night.
Moon: As a female tribe I thought we should at least try to do things on our own at first before we ask the boys for anything. In that respect, I very rarely went over there to ask them for anything. At the same time, it was frustrating when some of the girls, that was their plan A.
Holmes: Was much effort made to create your own fire?
Moon: Actually, I set Kat up to make fire, because I was making the fire pit. They would work on it for maybe five or ten minutes at a time and then one of the guys would walk by and they’d be all “Oh…help me, help me.” It was frustrating to watch that. The cute girls were just running around, flirting with the boys, trying to get them to do whatever they could for them.

Holmes: Did you know Mike was responsible for stealing the items at the beginning of the show?
Moon: I didn’t until it was too late. I’d look down at the pile and think that we had more over there. I did remember having the axe and the pots. But there was so much going on. At one point Kat had her hand stuck in a jug and one of the guys was pulling on it and almost broke her hand. I was so preoccupied with that that I didn’t see anything.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association…
Moon: That’s evil!
Holmes: Oh, I’m aware. Let’s start with Nina.
Moon: Nina…quiet.
Holmes: Christina?
Moon: Assertive.
Holmes: Monica?
Moon: Light, I can’t say enough about Monica. She just emanated light like an angel.
Holmes: Kat?
Moon: Frustrating.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Moon: I didn’t trust her.
Holmes: Kim?
Moon: She seemed warm, but I didn’t trust her either.
Holmes: Colton?
Moon: (Laughs) Emotional.
Holmes: Adorable fuzzy hats?
Moon: That’s actually my son’s hat! I have a small head and he has a normal head, so he asked me to wear his favorite hat on the show. It was a really big thing for him.
Holmes: Alicia?
Moon: Obnoxious.

Any Questions? Follow me on Twitter for “Survivor” news, updates, and more: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor: One World’ Recap – One World Isn’t Enough for All of Them

February 15, 2012
Michael Jefferson and Christina Cha (CBS)

Michael Jefferson and Christina Cha (CBS)

Quick Aside: So…last season was named after a Broadway musical and this season was named after a Police song. If they name the next two seasons “Survivor: St. Louis Cardinals” and “Survivor: Wrestlemania” they will have covered all of my interests.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s meet the two tribes…

The Salani Tribe (wearing teal)
Alicia –  25, Special Ed Teacher
Chelsea – 26, Medical Sales
Christina – 29, Career Consultant
Kat – 22, Timeshare Rep
Kim – 29, Bridal Shop Owner
Kourtney – 29, Motorcycle Repair
Monica – 41, Ex-NFL Player’s Wife
Nina – 51, Retired LAPD Officer
Sabrina – 33, High School Teacher

The Manono Tribe (wearing orange)
Bill – 28, Stand-Up Comedian
Colton – 21, College Student
Greg – 64, Plastic Surgeon
Jay – 25, Model
Jonas – 37, Sushi Chef
Leif – 27, Phlebotomist
Matt – 33, Attorney
Michael – 30, Banker
Troy – 50, Swimsuit Photographer

Set your DVR to record “Survivor: One World”

This party gets started with J-Pro hovering above our 18 new castaways in a chopper. He gets a chopper, they have to travel by rickety old truck. I can appreciate this. Let ‘em know who’s boss.

Colton lets us know that women adore him and men aren’t threatened by him. Alicia lets us know that any man that falls for her is in big trouble. While Jonas lets us know that he has mysterious sushi chef skills.

Maybe he’s gonna roll over the competition? Roll…you know…like sushi. Gimme a break, it’s been a few months…

They all arrive in the same location and Kourtney (complete with million-dollar smile and ten-cent hat) thinks she doesn’t fit in with the rest of the women. Well, that’s a wonderful way to make friends.

Colton is psyched to be on a season with so many handsome fellas.

Greg tells Jeff that he wants to be known as “Tarzan.” Then, Troy makes it known that he’s to be referred to as “Troyzan.” Wow, we’re three minutes into this season and I’m already annoyed with two guys.

Probsty then breaks the news that the tribes will be divided by gender. Colton is not pleased. Do you need a joke there or can we move on?

Note: The male tribe has orange buffs and Jeff is wearing an orange hat. Hmm…

Next up, the tribes will have 60 seconds to take whatever they can off of the rickety truck. Just like the beginning of “Survivor: Tocantins.”

During the mad dash for gear, Michael decides to steal the ladies items. Chivalry isn’t just dead, Michael just beat it to death with a axe.

Fun Fact: Michael is a banker. Feel free to make your own “thieving banker” metaphor.

I can’t say I’m a fan of this move. Even if the ladies don’t know immediately who took all their stuff, one of the other guys will eventually rat him out when given a chance. But hey, it worked for Rupert Boneham.

Anywho, the guys have a ton of stuff and the women are left with some coconuts and a broken X-Box controller. Jeff gives them both maps and sends them on their merry way. But wait…aren’t they supposed to be on the same beach…

On the way to the camp, Alicia breaks down her five-person alliance. She has it pegged as herself, Sabrina, Kim, Chelsea, and Kat. Man, they don’t waste any time.

The ladies arrive at the camp first and are a bit shocked to see the two tribe flags waiting for them. Dun dun dun… It takes some time, but eventually everyone figures out that the words “One World” on their buffs probably means that they’re living on the same beach.

A pair of chickens foolishly wanders into camp. Chelsea shows that she’s not to be messed with by capturing both of them single-handedly. The men think they should get one, but she disagrees. She’s willing to give one up in exchange for something. Matt doesn’t like this deal because he claims they agreed to split the chickens during some pre-chicken-chase agreement.

Both tribes get to work building their shelters. Well, everyone except Colton. He makes it a point to become besties with the SaLadies. This doesn’t seem like a smart move because, you know, they can’t vote him out.

Matt thinks Colton had better bond with the male side quickly or he’s going to be the first one gone. He also already has an alliance with Jay, Michael, and Bill. Your math is a bit off their, Matt, you’re going to need one more.

Jay manages to get a fire going later that day. Sabrina makes an offer to trade fire for a chicken. Matt turns down this offer because he thinks the women already owe him a chicken.

And it just gets worse from there…Alicia literally tries to steal some fire. Then Tarzan and Troyzan (I hate typing that) say they can have fire if they strip and do a pole dance.

Wow! So much bad strategy and it’s only the first day. I’m ready to call “One World” a success.

That night, Christina and Monica go all “Ocean’s 11” on the guys’ camp and steal an ember. However, they weren’t able to keep the fire going. In other news, Salani’s ineptitude is making my girlfriend bang her head against the wall.

So, Christina makes a deal with the guys; fire in exchange for twenty woven fronds. As Kevin Costner would say, “Good trade.” Alicia doesn’t dig Christina making nice with the guys and pegs her to be the first one to go.

Later, Sabrina does a little idol hunting. In pure Hantzian fashion, she manages to find one immediately. Unfortunately for her, it’s a Manono idol. The rules state that she has to hand if off before the next Tribal Council. She decides that it’s best to use it in a way that hurts Manono, so she’s considering giving it to Colton.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will jump from a tower into a net. They’ll then race across a balance beam and a rope bridge. The first team to get all of their players to the end wins immunity and flint.

The challenge starts off and the men jump out (no pun intended) to a solid lead. Also, it looks like Kourtney did a number on her wrist while falling into the net.

Probst decides to stop the challenge when she lets him know that she’s dizzy and can’t stand up. Medical is called in, and they think that her wrist is possibly broken. They need to take her out of the game for an X-ray.

Once she’s gone, Probst declares that since the rules require nine people to finish the challenge, the men have technically won. However, he’ll let the men ignore that rule and continue the challenge. Probst also not-so-subtley points out that continuing the challenge could help them win favor with the women.

The guys have a bro-pow-wow and decide to take the win.

This is already one of the weirdest episodes ever.

Back at camp, Sabrina gives Colton the Manono idol. He claims he’s going to use it to cut Matt’s throat faster than Taylor Swift can write a song about her ex-boyfriend.

I didn’t make that up. That’s an exact quote.

It feels like we’re running out of time here. I’m thinking Kourtney and her smile and her hat aren’t coming back.

That night at Tribal Council; Jeff, fire, equals life, you know the drill.

Probsty also says they’ll talk about Kourtney later. Yeah, she’s done.

Quick Note: The Tribal Council set looks awesome.

Christina and Alicia get into it over the fire-for-fronds trade. It’s kind of hard to understand what exactly Alicia is upset about. However, it wasn’t hard to understand Christina when she said, “It’s because you’re wrong. So, shut up!”

While this is going on, Kim buries her face in her hands like she’s an eight-year-old and mom and dad are fighting at the dinner table over burnt meatloaf.

Finally J-Pro tells us that Kourtney’s wrist is broken in a few places and she’s out of the game. Since she’s gone, they won’t vote somebody out.

Verdict: One World is weird, right? Not bad weird, just needs-some-time-to-get-used-to-it weird.

Who’s Going to Win? Every season I curse someone by making them my pre-game pick to win the whole thing. This season, it’s poor Jonas. I expect he’ll be voted out next week.

Power Rankings Update: In keeping with this season’s women vs. men theme, I’ve drafted some “South Pacific” gentlemen to go head to head with a trio of “South Pacific” ladies. To start off, next Tuesday I’ll square off against the lovely and talented Dawn Meehan.

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

The Many Twists of ‘Survivor: One World’

February 15, 2012
Greg Smith and Leif Manson (CBS)

Greg Smith and Leif Manson (CBS)

Redemption Island has not been redeemed.

Former players have not been issued invitations.

“Survivor” the way classic fans like it has returned for the 24th season. But, that doesn’t mean the producers don’t have a few twists up their sleeves. So, before tonight’s festivities get under way, let’s take a quick look at what Probst & Co. have in store for us…

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

The Twist: Two Teams on One Beach

How It Will Work: Both the Manono and Salani tribes will camp on the same beach.

It’s Kinda Like: “Survivor: Thailand” when the Chuay Gahn and Sook Jai tribes lived on the same beach for a few days before the merge.

How That Twist Worked Out: That was actually a bit of a dud. The two tribes were already pretty solid in their alliances, so there wasn’t much in the way of cross-tribe strategy after Shii Ann was voted out.

How “One World” Is Different: The two tribes will be living on the same beach from day one.

How I Think It’ll Turn Out: The two tribes will have access to each other before any deep-rooted alliances can take shape. Also, there’s the possibility that the two sides could fight over resources.

Pre-Game Twist Ranking? A ten out of ten. I love this idea. Here’s hoping it will help break up the rock-solid merge alliances of the past two seasons.

The Twist: Men vs. Women

How It Will Work: The tribes will be split up by gender. The MANono tribe will be all dudes, while the Salani (or SaLadies) will be all female.

It’s Kinda Like: “Survivor: The Amazon” and “Survivor: Vanuatu.”Actually, it’s exactly like “Survivor: The Amazon” and “Survivor: Vanuatu.”

How That Twist Worked Out: Meh. In both cases the male vs. female twist didn’t make it to the merge.

How “One World” Is Different: It isn’t.

How I Think It’ll Turn Out: I’m assuming the reason this twist exists this seasons is so we can easily tell the tribes apart when they’re running around the same beach. If that’s the case, hopefully they’ll let the tribes stay intact until the merge.

Pre-Game Twist Ranking? If they shuffle the tribes after four episodes? A three out of ten. If they let the tribes stay intact until the merge? A seven out of ten.

The Twist: Cross-Tribe Immunity Idols

How It Will Work: If you find an immunity idol around the campsite, you can’t use it for yourself. You have to give it to a member of the other tribe. EDIT: The idol situation hasn’t been made completely clear. There may be tribe-specific idols. And, if you find your tribe’s idol, you’re free to use it.

It’s Kinda Like: “Survivor: China” when Fei Long member Todd Herzog gave his immunity idol to Zhan Hu’s James Clement.

How That Twist Worked Out: Ultimately, Clement left the game holding two idols, so it didn’t have that much of an impact. But, the move did help Herzog gain favor with the He-Man-esque gravedigger.

How “One World” Is Different: Todd didn’t have to give up the idol. The One Worldians do.

How I Think It’ll Turn Out: There’s sure to be some drama in picking the right person to grant the idol. I could also see someone in trouble desperately trying to find out which member of the rival tribe has the idol.

Pre-Game Twist Ranking? Hard to call this one. It could have huge pre-merge implications or it could be a dud. Let’s call it a five out of ten.

Survivor: One World” premieres, Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Any Questions? Follow me on Twitter for news, updates, and more: @gordonholmes


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