Archive for April, 2012

Gordon Holmes Is a Selfish Jerk

April 30, 2012

I take the SEPTA train into the City of Brotherly Love every weekday morning. Now, being a bit of a night owl, I’ve managed to train myself (no pun intended) to be able to sleep on the way in. In fact, sometimes the only thing that gets me out of bed is the fact that a nice little nap is waiting for me.

Another thing waiting for me is Carol. She’s the attendant who covers the R2 into Philly. She’s the best. Since we’re buddies, if I’m already sleeping by the time she comes into my car, she won’t even wake me up to see my train pass.

(more…)

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WWE World Champ Sheamus on Daniel Bryan’s Popularity, Brock Lesnar’s Return

April 27, 2012

World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus Is Ready for Sunday's Extreme Rules (WWE)

You can’t watch a television commercial in eighteen seconds. You can’t make a bag of microwave popcorn in eighteen seconds. But at Wrestlemania 28, WWE Superstar Sheamus was able to win the World Heavyweight Championship from Daniel Bryan in eighteen seconds.

Understandably, Mr. Bryan would like a rematch.

I spoke with the Great White in the days leading up to his two-out-of-three-falls rematch at Extreme Rules and got his opinion on his opponent’s new-found popularity, the grudge match between John Cena and Brock Lesnar, and his work with the Be A STAR anti-bullying campaign…

Watch WWE: Extreme Rules, Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on Pay Per View.

Gordon Holmes:  At Wrestlemania you defeated Daniel Bryan in only eighteen seconds. At Extreme Rules you’ll be facing him in a best-two-out-of-three-falls match. Is it your goal to end this match in thirty six seconds?
Sheamus: (Laughs) Absolutely. The first person to get two falls wins. Who knows what’s going to happen?
Holmes: I couldn’t tie my own shoe in eighteen seconds.
Sheamus: It wasn’t what I was expecting. Daniel Bryan beat Big Show, Mark Henry, Randy Orton…he went through a lot of guys. And he’d been using AJ or any means necessary to get himself disqualified to hold onto the World Heavyweight Championship. And the Monday before on Raw, it was me and Randy Orton taking on him and Kane and I was preparing to kick his head off when AJ figured into the match. It basically cost me the match. So, when I saw him kiss AJ (at Wrestlemania) I wasn’t sure if he would try to use AJ again, so when I saw the opportunity I kicked his head off because I wasn’t going to let him screw me out of the World Heavyweight Championship. He got too cocky and that’s what happened.
Holmes: Since then, Daniel Bryan has amassed a huge cult following with his “Yes” chants. Are you worried that you’re going to be facing a hostile, “Yes”-crazy crowd in Chicago at Extreme Rules?
Sheamus: I wouldn’t expect anything else other than a hostile crowd in Chicago. That’s what makes performing so fantastic. The crowd makes up their own minds, they’re as much a part of the show as we are.
Holmes: How does the Windy City usually react to you?
Sheamus: Chicago is a fantastic place to perform. The first time I ever got the crowd behind me was at Money in the Bank last year when I put Sin Cara through a ladder. The more unpredictable the crowd, the better. I’m expecting a hostile crowd. I’m expecting lots of “Yes” chants. I’m expecting it to be a great night, and me and Daniel Bryan are going to steal the show.

Holmes: The other big match this Sunday is of course John Cena squaring off against the returning Brock Lesnar. It seems like Cena’s had a rough run lately with a large portion of the fans turning against him and his Wrestlemania loss to the Rock. What’s your take on what he’s been going through lately?
Sheamus: You know, John raised his game in taking on the Rock. Cena’s done everything in about eight years in the WWE. He’s created an incredible foundation. People come to see him whether they want to boo or cheer him. And everybody has ups and down. But Cena always bounces back. I think he’s going to bring it Sunday against Lesnar, I think it’s going to be a great match. It’s exciting times for everybody.
Holmes: You’re excited to have Brock back in the fold?
Sheamus: I think it’s great, man. It creates a buzz around what we do. It brings attention from outside of the WWE Universe back in, like people who have strayed away, it brings them back. And I think that’s only a positive thing. People will tune in to see Brock Lesnar taking on John Cena, but guess what, there’s going to be a two-out-of-three-falls match between two of the most exciting superstars right now in the WWE, that’s Daniel Bryan and Sheamus. And we’re also two of the most hard-hitting superstars.
Holmes: John Cena had given the Rock some grief about being a part-time wrestler. The same could probably said for Brock Lesnar. When people like the Rock and Brock come back and don’t go on the big tours, is that something that bothers you at all?
Sheamus: It doesn’t me in the slightest, fella. These guys coming in are bringing attention to the WWE and attention to the product. I thought Rock coming back was great. As far as I know, I think it was the highest grossing Wrestlemania ever. How positive is that? That’s incredible. For me, it’s fine, it happens. People come and go.

Holmes: You’re in a fascinating business. You’re backstage and you’ve got people in crazy costumes and guys like the Big Show and guys like Hornswoggle. What’s been the most surreal moment for you?
Sheamus: It’s kind of funny, you see all these people and they’re kind of like family now. We see each other more than we do our families. But I remember when I first started, I came up to UK for a tryout and I remember walking back and seeing everyone from Triple H to Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Big Show…all the superstars there. It was unbelievable. It was very intimidating. You try not to say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. It’s very important to make a good first impression. But now it’s business as usual. They’re a great bunch of guys and I’m happy to be working with them.

Holmes: You’ve been on the main roster for about three years now; you’ve held two WWE Championships, the World Championship, King of the Ring, Royal Rumble. All of this, and you’re still a young guy. Are you worried that there are less stories to tell or less places for you to go?
Sheamus: I don’t worry about that at all. I’ve had a lot of success early, which is fantastic. But there are a lot of superstars I haven’t really mixed it up with yet. Like Punk or Jericho really, a lot of superstars coming up from FCW like Claudio Castagnoli and Ryback. Lord Tensai has come in, Brock is back, Alberto Del Rio is back. I don’t see any shortage of stories. There will always be interesting stories. And that’s all that matters.
Holmes: Which superstars do you think have the potential to break through and be the next big thing?
Sheamus: It’s difficult to say, there are a lot of guys on the cusp. Alberto Del Rio, he’s got an incredible resume. I think you’ve got some tremendous talents like Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes has a lot of promise as well. Wade Barrett is coming back. There’s potential in Drew McIntyre too. His work is incredible. Of course Claudio, Ryback, Lord Tensai…it literally could be any one of them. Whoever steps up. All of those guys could bring it.

Holmes: You’re a super huge guy. Like a big, walking muscle with pale skin and bright red hair. What’s something you could tell me about yourself that would shock me? Do you knit?
Sheamus: (Laughs) I’m a pretty laid-back fella. I know it sounds like a cliché, but when I get home I chill out and relax, I’ve got two dogs. I like reading Celtic mythology or chilling out to music. I literally am enjoying every moment of this job because I scraped so hard to get to it. It’s funny, and this might be going off topic, but when people talk about ROH (Ring of Honor, a popular independent wrestling organization) they talk about Claudio and they talk about Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, the indie darlings and stuff like that. But funnily enough, myself and Wade Barrett and Drew McIntyre, we were on the indies in the UK. Obviously we didn’t get the exposure that they did in ROH, but we worked for free and we paid for flights to the UK and Ireland. We worked as much as we possibly could to get experience. But now that we’re here we appreciate everything we do and we’re loving every minute of it.

Holmes: You do a lot of work with the Be A STAR anti-bullying campaign. What inspired you to get involved with that initiative?
Sheamus: It’s very important to me. I volunteered for that program because of my experiences as a kid being bullied.  I didn’t always look the way I look now. I was a small, chubby kid with red hair. I was an introvert so I was an easy target. I had a tough time. I can relate to a lot of the cases that are going on now. I see some tragic stories with kids taking their own lives. I’ve met some kids at the schools, I had one kid actually who had a stroke as a teenager. He was being bullied and was pushed down some stairs by three or four guys. Having a stroke as a teenager? How tragic is that? These things are happening to kids. We feel like we have the ears of these teenagers and we’re trying to bring a positive message. A lot of bullies don’t know what they’re doing because they’ve never been in these situations themselves. So, we’re trying to educate them and we’re trying to teach kids to stand up to bullies in a non-violent way. We’re trying to tell these kids not to be ashamed of themselves because they’re not the problem.

Holmes: You recently returned from an international tour of Europe. What was it like to compete in front of your hometown crowd?
Sheamus: That was unbelievable, man. It took a lot for me to hold back my emotions. It was an incredible feeling. I used to stand in that arena, the O2 Arena in Dublin, working security or whatever. And just to see the superstars up close was like a parallel world. And to go from that to working in front of a packed house as World Heavyweight Champion, that was just a really special thing for me. It was probably one of the highlights of my entire life.
Holmes: Are Irish fans any different than US fans?
Sheamus: They did those “Ole Ole Ole” chants that were made popular by the Irish football team, or soccer team as you call it. It was incredible. I can’t tell you how proud I was.
Holmes: You aren’t a tiny guy. Those international flights have got to be rough.
Sheamus: (Laughs) Yeah, but you kinda feel bad when you look around and see Khali and Big Show. I don’t know how those guys do it.
Holmes: Not to get too graphic on you, but can you guys even fit into those tiny lavatories?
Sheamus: It’s a struggle, fella. But, it can be done.

Watch WWE: Extreme Rules, Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on Pay Per View.

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

‘Survivor: One World’ Castaway Interview – Troy “Troyzan” Robertson

April 26, 2012
Troy 'Troyzan' Robertson (CBS)

Troy 'Troyzan' Robertson (CBS)

Many people consider “Survivor” Hall of Famer Ozzy Lusth to be the greatest challenge competitor in the show’s history. But even he couldn’t pull off the “win every immunity challenge until the end” strategy.

Troy “Troyzan” Robertson had little choice but to try a similar strategy after his alliance with Kim Spradlin went up in flames. Ultimately he was unsuccessful. But in fairness to Troyzan, immunity doesn’t always go to the fastest or the strongest. Sometimes it goes to whoever’s the best on a slip n’ slide.

I spoke with Troyzan the morning after his elimination and found out why it was so hard to break up the Spradlin Six, what he really said after last week’s heated challenge, and why anyone would ever request time off from taking pictures of bikini models…

Set Your DVR to Record ‘Survivor: One World’

Gordon Holmes: Now, I understand it’s best not to (expletive deleted) with you, so I’m going to do my best to stay clear of that.
Troy “Troyzan” Robertson: (Laughs) Well, they bleeped out the word “eff,” because I never said (expletive deleted). I wanted it to make the show.
Holmes: I think the point gets across either way.
Robertson: I agree.

Holmes: You were eliminated in the first round of last night immunity tournament, and instead of watching the rest of it, you kind of just stared off at the beautiful Samoan beach.
Robertson: First of all, I didn’t like those kinds of challenges. I wanted it to be me against everyone where we’d do something at the same time. Especially a physical challenge, like something Navy SEALs would do. And I didn’t like that I was paired with Tarzan because it’s one ring toss, it could be a lucky toss and you’re done. So, I was hurrying to try to get stuff done. And then when I heard his name I was distraught because I knew that was it. I couldn’t even look at the challenge, I was just beside myself. I couldn’t look at these people. But then I realized that they thought I might still have an idol, so I can’t act completely bummed out. I was disgusted. Disgusted with them.
Holmes: So, you’re trying to say that Navy SEALs don’t use slip n’ slides?
Robertson: (Laughs) They would laugh at that. I wanted something like swimming or something in the water. And we never did one! I was jacked up for serious challenges. But in my mind, I thought I’d win every challenge. I was going to win out. I was 100% sure. So when I heard, “Tarzan wins,” I just walked away.
Holmes: That’s a shame, because hearing Jeff Probst’s melodious voice should always be a good thing.
Robertson: It was brutal, it kept ringing in my head. And I could hear those girls celebrating, and they were so smug to begin with. I could’ve killed them.

Holmes: Speaking of things you could have killed; what happened with the pig?
Robertson: We had enough food. And those girls were talking stupid stuff like, “Let’s kill the pig and have ham sandwiches for dinner and bacon for breakfast!” And I’m thinking, “You guys are stupid.” First of all, you don’t know how to kill a pig. It’s going to be squealing and bleeding and suffering. I’m not into that. If we had a way to kill it quick and we were starving, I’d be for it. Christina was like, “Knock if over the head with a pan!”
Holmes: Like a cartoon.
Robertson: I don’t even know where to start with the mentality of the women.

Holmes: What is it about this season where people are afraid to make moves until they’re specifically in danger? Is it really that bad strategically out there?
Robertson: Yes, it is. They’re totally clueless. I don’t know if it’s because the majority of them have never watched the show. They’re all afraid, and when people are afraid they just want to be safe and they want to be told what to do. The single most difficult thing to do out there is to change someone’s mind who is in fear. You can starve and be tired and strategize, that’s easy. Changing someone’s mind is difficult. They weren’t playing to win, they were playing to stay around.

Holmes: When you thought you were still tight with Kim, she told you that Michael was gunning for you. Did you trust her that much that you took that at face value or did you talk to other people and try to find out if that was the case?
Robertson: I’d been told that for weeks on end. It started back when it was just the men. He’d been saying things about wanting to get rid of me. I walked by him one time and he called me, “Your highness.” I didn’t appreciate where he was coming from. We were on the outs from day one. He was constantly saying things to perturb me. It wasn’t a thing where Kim said one thing and I blew up; it was the culmination of weeks and weeks of him annoying the crap out of me.

Holmes: After you were voted out last night, you got all Obi-Wan Kenobi with Kat. You told her to “Do it.” What was the motivation behind that?
Robertson: I feel like Kat is an underdog. All the girls play her. OK, Kat isn’t the most intelligent person based on what comes out of her mouth. But, she’s an underdog and I always root for the underdog. I got tired of Kim and Sabrina and Chelsea and Alicia’s smugness. So I said, “Kat, you’re smart enough to figure this out, so do it. Don’t let these people get to you.”

Holmes: The reward challenge we saw last night has been used in past seasons, and I’m pretty sure it only exists to hurt people’s feelings. Last night it was said that you’re the biggest poser and that you’re someone people would never want to see again after the show. How do you take that?
Robertson: I just take it as those girls showing their true colors. They are who they are, they’re smug. And they think that they’re only like that on “Survivor,” but that’s who they are deep down. Every single one of them. What you saw is who we are deep down inside. So, if you see someone who’s deceitful, they’re deceitful in some ways in their real life. Just like me; I lied to Matt, and I can do that in my real life. What you saw of me is 100% me and it’s 100% of everyone out there. And if they don’t want to see me out of the game, I have no problems with that, because I have no plans to be friends with them. We’re not going to be singing “Kumbaya” around the fire.

Holmes: Let’s get into some word association. We’ll start with Kim.
Robertson: No comment.
Holmes: Kat?
Robertson: A goofy innocence.
Holmes: Sabrina?
Robertson: Insecure.
Holmes: Tarzan?
Robertson: (Laughs) An eccentric alien.
Holmes: Alicia?
Robertson: (Laughs) Hairy.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Robertson: Split personality.
Holmes: Christina?
Robertson: Oh my, God…Christina? Boobs.

Holmes: A lot of people describe “Survivor” as their ultimate adventure. And I agree, it must be an amazing experience. However, you’re a swimsuit photographer, which also seems like an amazing adventure. Why would you ever leave that job for a minute?
Robertson: You have no idea how much I love “Survivor.” From the first show with Richard Hatch with all the people running around naked and starving and doing all of these crazy challenges, I thought, “Whatever this is, I need to be a part of it.” I had to do “Survivor.” And people say it’s hard to pull myself away from shooting swimsuit models, but at this point I love “Survivor” more. So, it was easy to do. Although Kate Upton and Brooklyn Decker were tough to break away from, but they knew how much I wanted to do it, so they gave me their blessing.
Holmes: OK, I was sorry to see you go, but now I’m finding myself hating you.
Robertson: (Laughs) Hey, you’ve got to play your cards right, you could come on a shoot with me.
Holmes: You misheard me; I meant that now I adore you.
Robertson: Oh, alright. Wait, you’re with Comcast, when am I going to get a special deal on my cable?
Holmes: I’ll get to work on a cable-deal-for-bikini-outing exchange.
Robertson: Exactly!

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

‘Survivor: One World’ Recap – Is the Women’s Alliance Slipping Away?

April 25, 2012

Kat on a Wet, Gross Slide (CBS)

Last Week: Troyzan was just too darn loud,  Leif made like a tree and got out of there, and it seems like winning the game is Kim’s density.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s see where the tribe currently stands…

The Tikiano Tribe (wearing black)
Alicia –  25, Special Ed Teacher
Chelsea – 26, Medical Sales
Christina – 29, Career Consultant
Kat – 22, Timeshare Rep
Kim – 29, Bridal Shop Owner
Sabrina – 33, High School Teacher
Tarzan – 64, Plastic Surgeon
Troyzan – 50, Swimsuit Photographer

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

OK, I said this on Twitter, but anyone who thought Troyzan and Tarzan would be the last two guys standing is a liar.

The show kicks off with Tarzan pledging his allegiance to the ladies. Quite a switch from the guy who was screaming “Cheaters!” at them in early challenges.

Kim doesn’t like being called out as the mastermind. She wants to get rid of Troyzan ASAP. Whoa…looks like she’s not going to heed his warning not to !@#$ with him.

Tree mail arrives the next morning and it sounds like the winner of the next reward challenge is going to get a trip. Kat makes a deal with Kim that whichever of them wins, they take the other. This never turns out well.

Reward Challenge: The players will be asked questions about their tribemates. They’ll then have to guess what the other players said. If they get it right, they’ll get to chop a rope for an opposing player. Once a player has three chops against them, they are eliminated. Last person standing wins a helicopter ride to a picnic.

Quick Aside: “Food in your belly” is my least favorite Probstism.

Question One: Who does not deserve to be here? The consensus is Christina. Kim, Chelsea, and Troyzan got it right.

Christina is shocked that she was chosen.

Troyzan goes for Kat, Kim hits Troyzan, and Chelsea hits Tarzan. Ooh…undiegate rears its ugly head.

Question Two: Who would you trust with your life? The answer is Kim. Christina, Chelsea, and Alicia got it right.

Christina hits Chelsea. Alicia and Chelsea both hit Troyzan, thus eliminating him. Alicia earns some respect by jokingly saying, “This is my island!”

Question Three: Who most needs a wake-up call in life? The answer is Kat. Everyone guessed that except for Kat. That’s awesome.

Sabrina and Chelsea eliminate Tarzan, Tarzan hits Chelsea, Christina hits Sabrina, Kim hits Christina, and Alicia eliminates Chelsea.

Question Four: Who is the biggest poser? The answer is Troyzan. Everyone got it except for Alicia who said Christina.

Kim hits Sabrina, Christina hits Kim, and Kat and Alicia hit Sabrina.

Question Five: Who does the least for their tribe? The answer is Sabrina. Oof… Kim, Christina, and Alicia got it right.

Christina and Alicia eliminate Kat, while Kim eliminates Sabrina.

Question Six: Who would you most like to be stranded with? The correct answer is Kim. Kim and Alicia both got it right.

Fun Fact: Kim voted for herself.

Kim and Alicia both eliminated Christina.

Question Seven: Who do you hope to never see again after the game? The answer is Troyzan. Kim and Alicia both got it right. Kim eliminated Alicia and won reward.

Kim is allowed to bring someone with her and she chooses Alicia. Although in fairness, Kat may have forgot that she wanted to go.

Probst lets her pick someone else and she goes with Chelsea. Ooo… Kim plays it off by saying that Chelsea hasn’t eaten in a while.

Troyzan takes the opportunity to point out that Kim’s picks were representative of the pecking order.

I think it’s amazing that there’s a reward like this every season and people still mess it up. I seriously think it might be sound strategy to throw any reward challenge.

Back at camp, Troyzan hammers home the point that everyone who isn’t at the picnic is on the bottom of the totem pole. Kim’s sick of hearing it and plans to bring it up with Kim when she returns. Troyzan seriously has all the subtlety of a punch in the face.

Sabrina tries to play if off by saying that Kim left the two people she trusts the most behind. Kat doesn’t care because she wanted to eat. She breaks down a bit, saying she doesn’t want to go down as a weak player, and if that means voting out Kim, she’ll do it.

Later, Sabrina pitches the idea of turning on Kim to the larger group. However, she only did it to determine who can’t be trusted. That’s smart. Christina immediately went for it…dun dun dun.

When the picnickers return, Kat tells Kim that she’s hurt because people think she’s a follower. Kim says she wishes she’d never won the challenge because it’s much more fun to be picked than it is to pick. Tell that to a booger, Kim. (That’s easily the worst joke in eight seasons of recaps. I apologize.)

A little while later, the dumbest pig in the world moseys his way into camp. They chase him with ropes and various tools but aren’t able to catch him. Where’s Michael Skupin when you need him!

Immunity Challenge Time: Two players will slide across a slippery course and grabbing rope rings along the way. They’ll then toss the ropes onto a post. First person to get a ring on the post advances. Last person standing wins immunity.

First Round: Chelsea defeated Alicia, Kat topped Sabrina, Tarzan bested Troyzan (and the women freak out), and Kim went over Christina.

Second Round: Chelsea beat Kat and Kim got the win over Tarzan

Note: Troyzan didn’t even watch the second round. He just stared off into the distance.

Third Round: Kim was victorious over Chelsea.

On the way back from the challenge, the pig just laid there watching them. Good, I was waiting for someone to root for this season.

Politicking around camp is pointing toward voting for Troyzan but throwing a few idol-insurance votes at Christina.

Sabrina tells Christina this plan, AND SHE SEEMS OK WITH IT! SHE SEEMS OK THAT IF  TROYZAN PLAYS AN IDOL, THAT SHE WILL BE GOING HOME!

(Sorry to get all Caps Locky on you there.)

Then…she goes to Troyzan and tells him that she’s going to get the insurance votes. So, Troyzan gets the bright idea to vote for her too.

That night at Tribal Council, Troyzan tells Probst that the Spradlin Six + Tarzan are gunning for him. Well, doy.

Another Quick Aside: The jury is all men. They should start a barbershop quartet.

Sabrina says that the Spradlin Six isn’t that tight. Probst jumps on that and asks Christina if she feels close with the girls. She doesn’t.

Kim admits that she was thinking of her top three on day one.

Christina thinks she’s still in the game because she’s a lucky girl. Alicia totally agrees because the tribe said during the reward challenge that Christina doen’t deserve to be there.

Kim thinks that Troy’s a brilliant guy, and he probably used the reward challenge to get into people’s heads.

Voting Time: Troyzan votes for Christina, Christina votes for Chelsea, Kim votes for Troyzan, and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.

J-Pro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Chelsea, three votes for Troy, three votes for Christina, and the eleventh person to leave “Survivor: One World” is…Troyzan.

As Troy is leaving, he leans in to Kat and says, “Do it.”

Verdict: I have to admit, I was pulling for Troyzan in the end, if only so I could feel like the people out there were finally recognizing that Kim is owning this game. But alas, it literally took Sabrina telling Christina that she was being voted for to get her to act. Strategically, this season has been a disaster.

Who’s Going to Win: You never know which way a jury will swing. I’m hoping this is one that respects gameplay and strategy. And if they are, Kim deserves every one of their votes.

Power Rankings Update: Dawn Meehan had Troyzan in spot eight, while Christine Shields Markoski had him in spot seven. Therefore, Dawn will advance to the finals where she will face the winner of next week’s bout between “South Pacific” champion Sophie Clarke and Power Rankings legend Andrea Boehlke.

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

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Semi Finals – Dawn Meehan vs. Christine Shields Markoski

April 24, 2012

Christine Shields Markoski vs. Dawn Meehan (CBS)

In honor of “Survivor: One World’s” men vs. women theme, XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” guy Gordon Holmes captained a team of “Survivor: South Pacific” guys against a team of “Survivor: South Pacific” gals.

However, the Power Rankings imitated life and the women’s team ran away with the game. In fact, the men were mathematically eliminated with three weeks still left to go.

So, the executive “Survivor” Power Rankings committee decided that the Power Rankings should continue to imitate “Survivor,” and the women should be forced to compete against each other until one sole Survivor is left standing…er…ranking.

Note: The “Survivor” Hall of Fame coffee mug was disqualified for failing a drug test.

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

The Rules: Each week a pair of the remaining women 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, Christine will receive 7 points and Dawn will receive 8 points. The person with the most points will advance to the next round.


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

 

 

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

 

1. Kat. Is. Not. Going. Anywhere.  Would you send her home? Kim needs to take her to the end and then explain that the ‘B’ in BLT does not stand for ‘bread’ (not even if it’s Dawn’s really good bread). 1. Kim is safe for these two reasons this week: 1) she has the idol. 2) she seems to be calling the shots with her Original Salani alliance. That being said, I keep wondering, “Is it possible for her to keep this #1 position the entire season? Can Kim WIN it?”
 
2. She is certainly the brains of the Spice Girls Alliance. (I bet she knows what CBS stands for and FBI and DNA and even ESL) and that makes you a target. That’s why she’s not in spot number one. 2. Chelsea may not have the idol, but she’s clearly Kim’s right-hand woman when it comes to the Original Salani alliance. Chelsea isn’t going anywhere this week. In addition, I think Chelsea has it in her to win individual immunity.
3. She’s safe for now. If her position changes I hope she’ll understand that it’s just a game and takes it like a woman. 3. Sabrina is one of my favorite players this season. She’s physically and mentally strong. She speaks her mind–and yet she’s very aware that she’s PLAYING a game for a million dollars. And I think the difference between 6th, 7th, 8th and Final 3 in this game (when a Day 1 alliance dominates the second half of the game): The Final 3 typically have a laser-like focus on their purpose for being on the island (to win the million dollars).
4. We saw the spicy side of Sabrina last week. Standing up to Troyzan and “not raising her voice.” Being part of the Spice Girls Alliance she’s safe for a bit but I don’t know if she’ll make it to the F3 being a major competitor to the acronym savvy Kim. 4. Part of the original Salani alliance, Kat’s safe this week. BUT, as the power players start thinking more and more about Final 3 and jury votes, I’m thinking Kat has to go. Anyone who gets giddy when they find BACON on their B.L.T. is a definite threat to win a jury over.
5. Should she stay or should she go, now? 5. If I think back to Day 1 in this season, I’m SHOCKED that Alicia is still in the game. And if I recall some of the more difficult days in the game, after the tribe swap and Colton’s reign on the Nu-Manono, I’m even more SHOCKED that Alicia’s still in the game. BUT not only is Alicia still in the game, I think she’s in one of the best positions to make F3 AND win favor with a jury.  (I mean, at this stage, she’s on good terms with the original Salani AND the remaining original Manono, Troy and Tarzan.) And after last week’s auction, we learned that Alicia has a really sensitive side—and believe me, that’s important for everyone to see/hear.
6. Her unrequited devotion to the Spice Girls is undying and painfully obvious. She’s safe until all of the testosterone is removed. 6. I’m still not sure about Tarzan this season. Do I love him or am I annoyed by him? Is he crazy like a fox or just plain crazy? On the one hand, he was crabby to my Hometown Favorite, Jonas; on the other hand, last week he endearingly washed paint off of Leif’s face. He’s worn Monica’s cute red shirt (and bikini, so I’ve heard). He’s performed well in some of the challenges. He’s coined one of the most hilarious phrases this season, “The game is afoot, Jeff.” And yet, he nearly opted out of the auction last week in order to pocket $500.00 to repair the shocks on his Jeep? What the what? SO, where do I stand? Honestly, this week, I’m stumped. BUT, I think Tarzan’s safe. I think the Original Salani has kept him around for a reason (hello foil).
7. I can understand this guy’s emotions last week and know how hard it is to keep them in check but the “don’t *&% with me” outburst might have hurt any chances of splitting up the Spice Girls despite what the coming attractions teased us with. 7. If anyone “deserves” the million dollars this season, it’s Christina. I honestly have NEVER seen someone respond to such disrespect with true tolerance and kindness. Remember her rubbing Colton’s head when he was sick? AFTER he’d ridiculed her, told her she was going home, and made really offensive comments about her? Christina’s reply was nothing short of incredible. Anywho, I don’t think Christina’s in positions 1-5 on the original Salani tribe, and I’m not sure she’s a threat to go on an individual immunity run, but I think she’s safe this week.
8. A “vote out” is afoot. 8. I know he has it in him to go on an Ozzy-like immunity run. BUT, based on his mental/emotional state last week (which, I think was completely understandable), I’m worried he won’t have the wherewithal to win individual immunity this week. And he needs it—because Troy is really the only thing standing between Sabrina, Chelsea, and Kim’s “Final 3” goal.

How to Make Angry Hulk Hands

April 22, 2012

“The Avengers” movie is right around the corner, and with it comes the return of the coolest toy created in the last 20 years, Hulk Hands. These spongy appendages are a fantastic way to beat on your little sister without landing yourself in a world of trouble. Two green, cushioned thumbs up.

However, as with all inventions, it’s wrong to think that there isn’t room for improvement. The Hulk is a manifestation of one man’s unbridled rage. So, I took it upon myself to help the big green guy better express himself. Best of all, this is something you can do in your own home…

 

(more…)

‘Survivor’ Villain Russell Hantz on ‘Flipped Off,’ ‘One World,’ and His Softer Side

April 20, 2012

Russell Hantz (A&E)

When you think of “Survivor” uber-villain Russell Hantz, you probably picture the trash-talking, sock-burning juggernaut who dominated back-to-back seasons of the popular reality show. When you place that whirlwind into the setting of a house-flipping show, you end up with big personalities, big arguments, and the occasional big disaster.

But what you also get is a fascinating look into how sudden fame can wreak havoc on marriage.

I had a chance to speak to the “Survivor” Hall of Famer in the days leading up to the premiere of “Flipped Off” and asked him about what it was like to open up a new side of his life to reality TV cameras…

Set Your DVR to Record “Flipped Off”

Gordon Holmes: Right off the bat in the premiere of your new show, your brother Shawn Hantz decides that you don’t need to pay for a home inspector.
Russell Hantz: He wanted to be an inspector. I was like, “OK, is that what you want? I guess you can do it.” So we let him do it.
Holmes: What are Shawn’s qualifications for being a home inspector?
Hantz: Shawn has no qualifications pretty much for anything. The reason I have Shawn as my project manager is because he has the drive. He has to learn, and we are learning the hard way, that’s for sure. But he has the drive. We have the same bloodline. I’m successful; I just need to bring it out of him.
Holmes: And you’re younger than he is?
Hantz: I’m the little brother, but it seems like I’m always the big brother.
Holmes: So, you and Shawn will butt heads, then your realtor, Kristen Bredehoeft, gets to be the voice of reason. Does she get an extra cut of the profits for having to rein you two in?
Hantz: (Laughs) No, she just gets her regular commission. That’s it. You know, sometimes I’m scared that she’s going to walk away from us.
Holmes: I wouldn’t blame her.
Hantz: She’s definitely good for the team. I get upset with Shawn and she’s always calm and collected and able to calm us down. She’s a really smart young lady and Shawn thinks that she’s bossing him around. She’s not, she’s just thinking of something better to do.

Holmes: There was a cameo from your mother, Meemaw Hantz in the first episode. Is she going to be a reoccurring character?
Hantz: I hope so. I hope she’s in it quite a bit cause she’s my mama. She’s probably one of the only people that can contain me.
Holmes: So, if you get out of line she’s not afraid to smack you back into shape?
Hantz: Oh, no no no, she’ll let me know real quick, my dad would too. They keep me in line, so it’s a good thing to keep her around. That’s why it was good to do it in Houston, because that’s where we reside. She pops up on the worksite all the time, my kids pop up, and I don’t want them to see me too upset or aggressive.
Holmes: I’m sure they saw you on “Survivor.” Did they have any issues with how you acted there?
Hantz: The thing on “Survivor” is, I was fan favorite two seasons in a row. I thought when I was out there my family, my grandparents, the people I respect the most in my life, I thought they would be upset. But when I got home, everybody was excited. I went out there to play the game and I played it as strategic as I could possibly play it. And that’s like this new show, I’m driven by success. You set your mind to do something and you don’t let anything stop you. And that’s why I’m successful, I just keep going forward.

Holmes: What are you learning about the home-flipping business?
Hantz: It’s not as easy as it looks when you’re watching the home-flipping shows on TV. It’s real life. Once you have all that money invested it gets kind of hectic. Now I can lose money and embarrass myself on national television. I talk a big game and I need to back it up.

Holmes: One of the things I think that separates you from the other house-flipping shows is how personal it gets with the marital problems you’re having with your wife Melanie. What was it like to open up that part of your life to the cameras for the first time?
Hantz: Our show is real life. My show is based on what’s going on in my life. I might go flip a restaurant or a car wash. We might not do nothing one episode. We might be fighting the whole time. But the thing is, it’s my life. I’m not an actor, that’s not what I do. The cameras are rolling and we just settle things. It’s hard to do it, because it’s personal stuff, but I am who I am. A lot of people are going to be upset that I bring that into the TV world. But, like I said, I am who I am. She’s OK with it. As long as we talk about it like adults and we get through it.

Holmes: You’re a very polarizing character in the “Survivor” community. When we did the original “Survivor” Hall of Fame, there were those who thought you were a no-brainer, first-ballot inductee and others who thought you should never be inducted. There’s almost no middle ground, people either love you or hate you. For those that don’t love you, do you think “Flipped Off” is a chance for them to see the real guy?
Hantz: This is real life. People are going to see the softer side of me…well…not always. I get pretty aggressive sometimes. But, my kids are here, my family is here. People show up and the cameras are there. I think that people are going to see the real me, especially when it comes to my kids. Little Gracie, my baby girl, she’s almost four years old, it’s amazing watching her. When the cameras are filming her, she just doesn’t care. She’s kind of like her daddy. I think that people are going to see a different side of me. And you’re still going to have people that hate me. (Laughs) Well, you’ve seen the show what do you think? I think it’s going to be a big success.
Holmes: Alright, here’s my ten-cent review. I’m a homeowner. I find home-flipping shows to be informational even when they’re not entertaining. I’m also a “Survivor” fan, and I enjoyed watching you on the show. So, there are two selling points for me. However, what really interested me was getting to see your personal life and learning how your new-found fame has affected your family.
Hantz: It’s not the normal house-flipping show. And I want something different. It’s like I did on “Survivor,” I changed the game. So, I don’t like to do things that other people do. I wanted it to be more personal, that’s why I let that into it. So they can see me on a different level. Is it the right thing to do? I don’t know. As long as it doesn’t hurt Melanie or my kids. I talked to them off camera about if they’re OK with this, and everyone’s OK with it.

Holmes: Have you been watching “Survivor: One World” at all?
Hantz: I watched a few episodes. I know that people were trying to compare me to the guy Colton (Cumbie).
Holmes: Are those comparisons fair?
Hantz:  You can’t compare me to him. I went out there to play a game, I didn’t go out there just to be a butthole to everybody. I went out there to play a strategic game.  I said I was going to play a certain way and I did exactly what I said I was going to. But it wasn’t my fault I didn’t win. It was the juries’ fault for not doing their job.
Holmes: Here’s one I’m sure you get all the time; any chance we’re going to see on “Survivor” again?
Hantz: That question is a tough one now. I have a lot of people that I talk to. So let’s say I get the call, I can’t just say “Yeah, I’ll go.” I have to consult with a lot of people. Especially if we get a second season, which I think is going to happen.

Holmes: I’ve only been to Houston a handful of times, and those times were very brief. Are all real estate agents in that area as attractive as Kristen?
Hantz: No way. It took a little bit to find her. But it’s not just her looks. She’s very smart, she has her own broker’s license and her own firm. She knows what she’s doing. And she’s pretty. She’s easy on the eyes. It’s easier to sell a house with pretty people. It just is. I’m not the prettiest thing in the world, I couldn’t sell the house.
Holmes: And as we see in the opening episode, she can swing a sledgehammer.
Hantz: She’s a tough broad, that’s for sure. If she can deal with us, then she can deal with anything.
Holmes: I don’t think you’re paying her enough.
Hantz: (Laughs) I probably ain’t.

Flipped Off” premieres Saturday, April 28, 2012 on A&E at 10:00 pm ET.

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

What Sex with Zooey Deschanel Is Probably Like

April 20, 2012

 

Even More Whatnot…

‘Survivor: One World’ Castaway Interview – Leif Manson

April 19, 2012

Leif Manson (CBS)

If you’re a contestant on “Survivor: One World” and you have a Y chromosome, I have some bad news for you…

Your days are numbered.

I spoke to Leif Manson, the latest man to be given his walking papers by the Spradlin Six, the morning after his elimination to find out why Christina and Alicia didn’t take his offer, how he feels about Colton’s offensive comments, and the benefits of sleeping in a coffin-like box…

Gordon Holmes: You and Troyzan were doing your best to get people to vote for Kim last night. How close were you guys to finally getting someone to flip sides?
Leif Manson: He and I were definitely really trying to get as many people as we could on board with that plan. But, trying to convince anybody at that point was really tough.
Holmes: Alicia and Christina are clearly on the bottom of the female alliance. Why wouldn’t they go for it?
Manson: There’d be times where you’d see something in their eyes, but at other times…yeah. (Laughs)

Holmes: Christina is the one who always has me shaking my head. Last night I’m watching the auction and as soon as the challenge advantage comes up I’m thinking, “Just bid all of your money.” There’s no need to get in a bidding war, lock that thing down. But Christina didn’t go for it. Did she get any heat from the other women for that?
Manson: Oh yeah. Definitely a lot of the women were pushing for her to buy it. She was just very easily manipulated by the girls.

Holmes: We didn’t see much of your strategy when you were out there. What moves did you make that we didn’t see?
Manson: I was trying to make as many big moves as I could. I wish they would’ve shown a little more. I definitely feel like I was giving it my all all of the time. I was giving my all, especially in the games, I just wanted to win immunity every time and prove that I was giving it 100%. And the strategy…it was hard. It was hard to get strategies going with a lot of the people.
Holmes: Is it fair to say you were more into the adventure of the show than the actual gameplay?
Manson: Yeah. There were some points where I got a little too comfortable and I should’ve been playing the game more instead of thinking it was one big happy family camping trip.

Holmes: Last night Troyzan went off the deep end with his accusations and his ranting during challenges.

Manson: He was just going to go all out and try to get some things happening. He and I were completely on board with trying to get something else going. It was hard though, because once those women had their mind set on something, there was no changing them.
Holmes: Was it obvious that Kim was the kingpin?
Manson: It was really hard to tell…
Holmes: Sorry, the queenpin.
Manson: (Laughs) The queen of the women. It was hard to tell.

Holmes: One of the more uncomfortable moments this season was when Colton was using a lot of derogatory terms to describe you.
Manson: Yeah.
Holmes: And “Little Person” is the proper term, right?
Manson: Yeah, little person.
Holmes: As you’re watching that at home, what’s going through your mind?
Manson: As I was hearing what was being said behind my back, it definitely brings a whole other view of people. I just didn’t realize Colton could be that sinister. He really started turning into a monster.
Holmes: As a little person, did it mean a lot to you to go out there and show that you can be an asset around camp and hold your own in challenges?
Manson: Yeah. Going into the game I really had to prove myself to all of those people that I could do anything that they could do and I was going to be staying there for a while. I showed them that I’m not weak…I’m very strong.
Holmes: What kind of feedback have you been receiving from other little people?
Manson: It’s been amazing. Just so much positive output from the little people community. So many people have told me that I inspired them. That they just look at life in a totally different way. And they see that we can do anything that anyone else can do. It really makes me feel really good.
Holmes: Excellent. That’s good to hear.
Manson: It’s just been really great.

Holmes: Word association time. Let’s start off with Troyzan.
Manson: Amazing
Holmes: Chelsea?
Manson: Hmmm…yeah. I don’t have any words for her.
Holmes: Kim?
Manson: Sneaky.
Holmes: Sabrina?
Manson: An anchor.
Holmes: Tarzan?
Manson: Like my dad.
Holmes: Alicia?
Manson: Out there.
Holmes: Kat?
Manson: Blessed one.
Holmes: Christina?
Manson: Sweet.

Holmes: Alright, let’s jump back a second. When you said you had no words for Chelsea, was that in a positive way or a negative way?
Manson: Let’s just go with negative.
Holmes: Was something going on there that we didn’t see?
Manson: Her and I would butt heads. And I’m a tough person, but I really don’t like conflict. She definitely would push my buttons a lot.

Holmes: Vampires are huge these days what with the “Twilight” movies and “The Vampire Diaries.” Have you given any thought to marketing the coffin you had been sleeping in while you were out there?
Manson: Yeah! I wish I was able to take that home with me. (Laughs) It was one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in.

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

‘Survivor: One World’ Recap: Troy Meets World

April 18, 2012

'Survivor: One World' (CBS)

Last Week: Let’s do this limerick style, shall we?

There once was a guy named Jay Byars,
Who was worried the women were liars,
Troy tied to warn,
But poor Jay was torn,
So Probst got to snuff out his fires.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s see where the tribe currently stands…

The Tikiano Tribe (wearing black)
Alicia –  25, Special Ed Teacher
Chelsea – 26, Medical Sales
Christina – 29, Career Consultant
Kat – 22, Timeshare Rep
Kim – 29, Bridal Shop Owner
Leif – 27, Phlebotomist
Sabrina – 33, High School Teacher
Tarzan – 64, Plastic Surgeon
Troyzan – 50, Swimsuit Photographer

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

The fun starts off this week with the Tikiatians returning from Tribal Council. Troyzan, as you’d imagine, is not thrilled that he’s the next person on the chopping block. He’s also digs into Christina because he though she would be on his side. Wait, what?

The others come to her defense (even Alicia!) and it’s obvious that his days are numbered. Troyzan realizes that he’s going to need an Ozzy-esque immunity run to stay in this game.

I’ve met Ozzy. I’ve interviewed Ozzy. Troyzan, you’re no Ozzy.

The next morning, Troyzan resumes his bulldozer persuasion technique by telling Chelsea that he deserves to be there longer than three or four other people. She comes back with the perfect response by saying, “It’s just the game.” She’s right, nobody deserves anything out there.

She then makes a point that he should take it like a man like Jonas did.  Oooo…sushi burn.

Tree mail arrives in the form of a bunch of envelopes full of money. Oh, you know what that means…

Reward Challenge: “Survivor” auction time! Troyzan smartly decides to save his money for an immunity challenge advantage.

Chelsea wins donuts and iced coffee for $160.

Fun Fact: “Survivor” production’s iced coffee is legendary. I’d consider paying $160 for a glass right now.

Sabrina wins nachos and a margarita for $400.

Leif wins a protein shake and bananas for $100.

Kat proves she has no idea how auctions work by bidding the exact same amount as Alicia. She’s so cute.

Kim wins a shower for $40.

Kat wins a BLT and an iced tea for $180. When Kat goes to claim her sandwich, she exclaims, “There’s bacon on there!” Yes…on her BLT.

J’adore Kat.

Kim sprints out of the shower to win some chocolate and peanut butter for $240. What is it about the combination of chocolate and peanut butter that makes women strip on this show? I’m bringing a jar of Skippy and a Snickers bar to the finale.

Tarzan claims he’s saving his $500 to buy some new shocks for his truck. What’re the odds Jeff will put that up for bid?

Next up are letters from home. Alicia breaks down crying and bids all of her money. Oh man, who knew Alicia was so sensitive?

Alicia lets us know that it’s a letter from her dad who has never written her anything in her life. Aww… There’s a lot of pollen outside, I think some might’ve gotten in my house…

Jeff allows the others to buy their own letters for $500. Tarzan takes him up on the offer. He also decides not to share his letter with the others.

Then, Troyzan breaks down because he feels alone after last night’s Tribal. He’s tempted to buy his letter, but doesn’t.

Smart move, because the immunity advantage is next. Troyzan and Christina get into a bidding war as they’re the only two with $500 left. The women try to convince Christina to bid all of her money…but she doesn’t.

Sorry, that’s a dumb move by Christina. The person with the auction advantage always (or almost always, I’m not an encyclopedia) wins immunity. That could put the target squarely on her back.

Kat wins a mystery item and a note for $160.

(Please be swamp water, please be swamp water…)

Oh wow, it’s a super huge cake. The note says that the cake is for the entire tribe and they have 60 seconds to eat it. What follows is pretty gross.

That’s the end of the auction and Christina still has all her money. She should be able to buy some nice shocks.

Back at camp, Troyzan starts another immunity idol hunt. He doesn’t even bother hiding it from the others. In fact, he pulls a Rupert by putting something in his pocket and pretending that it’s an idol.

Immunity Challenge Time: This challenge will be broken into three different stages. Troyzan will automatically advance to the second stage. First, the players will have to untie a series of knots. First three people to release a ring will advance. From there, they’ll bounce coconuts off of a trampoline and attempt to break three targets. The first two to do that will slingshot coconuts into a wall. First person to knock out three targets in a row wins immunity.

Round One: Tarzan, Kim, and Christina untie their knots first.

Round  Two: Troyzan and Tarzan destroy all three targets.

After Troyzan hit his shots, he screamed, “This is my island, you can’t beat me!” This resulted in some negative comments from the peanut gallery and some groans from my couch.

Round Three: Troyzan hits three targets in a row to win immunity.

During his victory celebration, Troyzan looked at the rest of Tikiano and said, “Don’t !@#$ with me.” Oh boy…even if you pull off the immunity run of a lifetime, most of those kids are going to be on the jury.

So much dumb strategy this season. So much!

Back at camp, Tarzan asks Troyzan to be noble in victory. And we’ve officially reached the point where Tarzan is the voice of reason. The Mayans were right, 2012 truly is the end of days.

Politicking centers around taking out Tarzan or Leif. Chelsea and Kim smartly don’t want to target a woman yet for fear of shaking up their alliance.

Troyzan wants to get Tarzan, Leif, Alicia, and Christina on his side by telling them that they’re on the bottom of the alliance. Yeah, but that plan makes sense.

That night at Tribal Council, Troyzan explains that his taunting at the challenge was because he’s a competitor.

Sabrina thinks Troyzan has morphed into a terror.

Troyzan points out that Sabrina is not his mother and shouldn’t tell him what to do. He then outs her for lying to Jay.

Probst just shakes his head, which is funny, because I know he’s loving this.

Troyzan then points out that Tarzan, Christina, and Leif are at the bottom of the totem pole. All they have to do is vote with him and vote out Kim.

Kim thinks Troyzan is making a lot of assumptions as to what the pecking order is. However, she doesn’t deny Troyzan’s assertion.

Christina says it’s simple math. I’m going to remember that if she doesn’t flip. Cause right now simple math says she’s sixth.

Voting Time: Troyzan votes for Kim, Chelsea votes for Leif, and the rest of the votes didn’t make the cut.

J-Pro tallies and returns. Three votes for Leif, two votes for Kim, three votes for Tarzan, and the tenth person to leave “Survivor: One World” is…Leif.

Verdict: This has to be the most strategically mind-numbing season since “Survivor: Gabon.” Kim, Sabrina, and Troyzan are the only ones playing, and Troyzan is making stupid moves left and right.

This season makes my think muscle hurt.

Who’s Going to Win: That was Alicia and Christina’s only chance to make a move and they blew it. We’re going to see Kim, Sabrina, and Chelsea at the end, and that jury seems to be the type that respects gameplay. Enjoy the money, Kim.

Power Rankings Update: Dragon Slayer! Benjamin “Coach” Wade had Leif in spot nine while Sophie Clarke had him in spot eight. The current score is now Team Salani 80, Team Manono 61. It’s probably too late for a guy comeback, but at least we have a two-week winning streak. (Yes, I’m aware that one of those wins was against a coffee mug.)

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


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