Archive for May, 2012

‘Survivor’ Summer Book Club – ‘Survivor: Vanuatu’ Episode 1

May 30, 2012

Let’s hit on a couple of orders of business before we jump into this… first of all a big thanks to @Survivor_BUFF for hooking us up with the sweet graphic you see to the left. Hopefully my resizing didn’t screw it up too much.

Second, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that anyone willing to participate in something this nerdy is well aware of how “Survivor: Vanuatu” turned out. If you’re looking to avoid spoilers on a TV series that happened eight years ago, this might not be the place for you.

Third, our friends at True Dork Times are getting in on the fun with stats, awards, and more.

And finally, this whole Book Club process is kind of a work in progress. If you have ideas on how to improve the proceedings, please let me know.


A Farewell to Otters

May 29, 2012

Some people are dog people. Some people are cat people. The folks who live in the Holmes household are otter people. This should come as no surprise to frequent readers of this blog (do those exist?)  seeing as making an otter-shaped cake was one of my past antics.

Now to be clear, my otter affinity is not an inherited trait. It was something I accepted when I started dating my girlfriend, much in the same way she is now a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.


Would You Participate in a ‘Survivor’ Summer Book Club?

May 17, 2012

UPDATE: Alright, seems like enough people are into this to make it fun. So, pick up your copy of “Survivor: Vanuatu” from Amazon or iTunes or whatever. Then watch the first episode. I’ll post my thoughts and some discussion points on Wednesday, May 30th.

I’ll never forget that hot June evening; drinking cold beers outside of a tent in Gabon, Africa, listening to members of the press corps who knew way more about “Survivor” than I did.

I remember thinking, “Holy s$%t, I’m out of my league.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan since day one. But I’d never watched the show with a hyper-critical eye. So, I started rewatching seasons whenever I had downtime. Borneo, Palau, Micronesia, Australia, Guatemala…

It was during my December/January rewatch of “Survivor: Thailand,” that the idea was floated that this become more of an interactive project.

Here’s what I’m thinking. We set a date in the not-too-distant future to start. This will give time for interested parties to procure copies of “Survivor: Vanuatu” from Amazon or iTunes or whatever. Then every Wednesday I’ll post my thoughts on the episode. (Not a full-on recap, just some talking points.) Then we can discuss the episode in the comment section below.

Interested? Drop me a line below and let me know…

‘Survivor: One World’ Winner Interview – Kim Spradlin

May 14, 2012

Kim Spradlin and the Cast of 'The Talk' (CBS)

It’ll be interesting to see how history judges “Survivor: One World” winner Kim Spradlin. Sure, she faced a cast of players who didn’t seem to put up much of a strategic fight, but she can hardly be blamed for that, can she?

At the end of the day, the Texas-based bridal shop owner did everything a winner can hope to do. She found an idol but never had to use it, she won four out of the five final immunity challenges,  and she earned jury votes from people she had stabbed in the back.

And to top it all off, America appreciated her game enough to award her the Sprint Player of the Season award.

I spoke with the new champ (far too early) the morning after her big win. While I struggled to get my eyes to open properly, we discussed Kat’s post-elimination breakdown, Alicia’s delusions of grandeur, Troyzan’s bitter vote, and more…

Gordon Holmes: Good morning, Kim.
Kim Spradlin: How’s it going?
Holmes: It is too early for me.
Spradlin: (Laughs) It is way too early!
Holmes: Hopefully you had a chance to do a little celebrating last night.
Spradlin: A little bit. I tried not to celebrate too hard knowing this was in front of me.
Holmes: Well, let me be the…probably 40th person to congratulate you.
Spradlin: Yup, that’s the exact number. I’ve been taking notes on it.
Holmes: I have a knack for that.
Spradlin: That is unbelievable.

Holmes: Part of the drama headed into last night’s episode was, who is Kim going to take to the final three? For how long had you known that Sabrina and Chelsea were going to be the ones?
Spradlin: I feel like the yacht was the moment where I decided to choose something and just go with it. For so long I had been playing both sides and I wanted to be so logical, I didn’t want to like people so much that I couldn’t just sit down and see everything really clearly. But at that point I turned the corner and decided that’s what I was going to do. And, it felt really good not going back and forth every day.
Holmes: So, during the family visit when you told your sister you were considering taking Kat and Alicia, that was still a possibility?
Spradlin: Yeah, and that was my thing the whole time is I wanted to have choices. That day with Alicia and Kat, and you heard one side of that conversation, I’d mentioned Sabrina and Chelsea too. But to come back and hear, “We’re voting Kat out, “ I thought cool, I can go with Sabrina and Chelsea or Christina and Alicia.

Holmes: I’m a big believer in all is fair in love and “Survivor” and whatever happens on the island it’s all part of a game. However, when Kat was voted out, she broke down in tears. I don’t recall that dramatic of a reaction before. That had to be rough on you.
Spradlin: That was by far my hardest vote out the entire season and mostly because I knew she wasn’t going to get it. Kat and I were really tight in the game, maybe a lot closer than you saw. And Kat did not get it. She felt like I was her big sister and she’d say in her confessionals that “Kim is my only plan.” I thought she was never going to get over it, but to have her stand up at the very end and say what she said was incredible.
Holmes: Speaking of her speech, when we first saw the cast photos in January, her surgery scar was impossible to miss. Was that something that she had talked about before?
Spradlin: Definitely. She had hinted at it before that she was going to talk about it at the end.

Holmes: During the final Tribal last night, you said you’d pick Sabrina over Chelsea because you thought Chelsea would get more votes.  We later learned that Chelsea didn’t get any. Were you shocked?
Spradlin: Yeah.  I wasn’t shocked last night, but I was shocked during the final Tribal Council. I had thought for a very long time that Chelsea was the J.T. (Thomas) to my Stephen (Fishbach). And if anything people were going to say, “Screw you. At least she was honest and told us to our face.” That was always my greatest fear that if they were mad at me that they’d throw votes her way.

Holmes: Alicia seemed to have a very high opinion of her game.
Spradlin: (Laughs)
Holmes: Which is maybe the nicest way to put it. Whereas when I’m watching, I think she’s making enemies left and right. Did anyone else think she had a chance to win the game?
Spradlin: I don’t know. That was always a big part of my game was I knew how she saw herself so I’d speak into that. She’d say that to me, “I’m running the show.” And I’d say, “I know, it’s crazy! You’re doing awesome!”

Holmes: Something I want to give you an over-the-phone high-five for is, I always think that jury members want you to admit that you’ve lied, but not to apologize for it.
Spradlin: Totally. It was 100% true. I see it as a game, but you get attached to people and you feel badly, but I didn’t want to change one thing. I couldn’t say that I’d do anything differently. I took things into my own hands, I didn’t want to sit and wait for someone to hand anything to me.

Holmes: Troyzan said he’d vote for you if you could name the exact moment where you’d decided to turn on him. You said when you decided to get rid of Jonas. He voted for Sabrina, so obviously you were wrong. What do you think he was looking for?
Spradlin: I don’t know. I don’t think Troy would have voted for me if I’d read his mind out loud to everyone. I just think that was a vote for Sabrina no matter what.
Holmes: Leif also voted for Sabrina after you gave him a very honest answer. Do you think there was anything you could have said that would have won his vote?
Spradlin: You know, I don’t think so. Sabrina had prayed with Leif several times when he was low. And that was everything to Leif.

Holmes: Alright, championship word association.
Spradlin: Wait, I want to write this down!
Holmes: Nope, that’s against the rules. Let’s start with Kat.
Spradlin: This is horrible.  I totally should have prepared for this.
Holmes: That goes against the purpose of this exercise.
Spradlin: Kat…crazy.
Holmes: Alicia?
Spradlin: Fun.
Holmes: Tarzan?
Spradlin: Endearing.
Holmes: Troyzan?
Spradlin: Charismatic.
Holmes: Colton?
Spradlin: (Laughs) Misunderstood…young.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Spradlin: Awesome.
Holmes: Sabrina?
Spradlin: Just quality.
Holmes: Let’s finish this with Christina.
Spradlin: P.C.
Holmes: See, piece of cake.
Spradlin: I was afraid I’d say something mean on accident.
Holmes: This test is designed to provoke accidents.

Holmes: Last night you talked about how “Survivor” has helped renew your confidence since your divorce. You own a bridal shop. Is that the worst possible job to have while going through a divorce?
Spradlin: No, I think it‘s a cool place to sit and have relationships with all of these girls that are getting married and get to have great conversations. It’s not like I’m pro-divorce and counseling them not to get married.
Holmes: That’d be bad for business.
Spradlin: I have a different perspective now than when I was a 23-year-old who couldn’t wait to get married. I’ve seen the truth of what marriage is like and getting to share that with people who need to hear it is awesome.
Holmes: And you’re 28 now?
Spradlin: I’m 29 now.
Holmes: Did it bother you when Kat complained about losing to a 28-year-old? Cause it bothered me.
Spradlin: (Laughs) No, it was awesome. And actually while we were hanging there she was yelling, “Fall, you old hag, fall!”
Holmes: As a 35-year-old, I find that horrific.
Spradlin: I don’t think Kat has any friends that are older than her.
Holmes: And she’s not going to get any with that attitude.
Spradlin: No, she’s not.

Holmes: I know later today they’re going to give you a big check for a million dollars, then another check for a hundred thousand dollars. Any plans for the money yet?
Spradlin: I’ve been trying so hard not to think of the money because I didn’t want to go crazy if they didn’t read my name five times out of the nine, so I have some bills to pay and businesses that can use some help. But I’m looking forward to having some fun with it.

Holmes: We have had back-to-back winners who are strong, smart women.
Spradlin: It was cool watching last season and watching Sophie (Clarke). I know her edit was different because there were returning players, but I do think Sophie played a really good game.
Holmes: Without question you are the most dominant female winner ever. Tom Westman tends to be the measuring stick for first-time winners. “Boston” Rob Mariano arguably did as well during “Redemption Island” but I think that was his 50th try. You have to be talked about in these kinds of conversations now. What does hearing an accolade like that mean to you?
Spradlin: I honestly never know how to take it. Being such a big fan of the game, I can’t even put my name in a sentence with those people much less say I played as well as they did. So, I’m Kim Spradlin, I got incredible lucky, it went really well for me. But I have a hard time comparing myself to Tom and Boston Rob.

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

‘Survivor’ Headed to the Philippines, Boasts New Twist

May 13, 2012

Hot on the heels of crowning Bridal Shop Owner Kim Spradlin the winner of “Survivor: One World,” host and executive producer Jeff Probst announced that the influential reality show would be headed to the Philippines for their 25th season.

Also announced was a twist in which three players who had previously been removed from the game for medical reasons would receive another shot at winning the million-dollar prize. Each of those players will be placed on a separate tribe, meaning the show will feature three tribes for the first time since “Survivor: All Stars.”

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: One World”

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

‘Survivor: One World’ Finale Recap – Kim for the Win?

May 13, 2012

'Survivor: One World' (CBS)

Last Wednesday: Alicia finally figured out that Kim was the one playing both sides of Tikiano. She utilized her most unlikely ally, Tarzan, to send Kim packing from the game with an idol in her pocket. How embarrassing.

Just kidding…

Kim convinced Alicia that Tarzan was trying to play her and they both sent him swinging from the game.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the finalists…

The Tikiano Tribe (wearing black)
Alicia –  25, Special Ed Teacher
Chelsea – 26, Medical Sales
Christina – 29, Career Consultant
Kim – 29, Bridal Shop Owner
Sabrina – 33, High School Teacher

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: One World”

Quick Aside: If Kim pulls this off, she’s got to be considered the most dominant female in “Survivor” history, right?

The evening’s fun kicks off after Tribal Council, the Tikianians are proud of how the women have been able to finally eliminate all of the guys. I’ve never really understood that thinking. “Survivor” is an individual game. I wouldn’t care if I got to the end with a panda bear and a salt shaker. (Yeah, that’s random.)

Alicia, however, isn’t crazy about having to vote out her buddy Tarzan. I’m betting she’s going to be less crazy about it the next two Tribal Councils when she joins him.

The next day while gathering tree mail, Kim and Sabrina discuss who to boot next. They’d like to see Alicia go, but Kim is worried that Chelsea will receive a lot of jury votes. This caught Sabrina off guard. She worries that she might be in trouble if Chelsea wins immunity.

Immunity Challenge #1: Wow…this is an impressive structure. The players have to untie knots to open a gate. They’ll then race across a balance beam maze. Once they’re finished they’ll bounce across a rope net and untie bags of puzzle pieces. They’ll use those pieces to complete a puzzle. The completed puzzle will give clues to a combination lock. First person to open the combination lock wins immunity and a one-in-four shot at a million bucks.

It’s hard to tell who’s in the lead initially, as they all plow through the gate quickly and are wandering around the maze. Alicia and Chelsea are the first ones through with Sabrina right behind them. Alicia and Sabrina accidentally untie the wrong colored bags, giving other players an advantage. Chelsea is the first one with all of her bags, but the others are right behind her.

Kim completes the puzzle first, Alicia is right behind her. Kim goes to the lock, but her answers are incorrect. Alicia can’t figure it out either.

Kim heads down to double-check her puzzle. She still isn’t having luck. Chelsea’s taking a shot too, but can’t get it.

Finally, Kim manages to release the lock and win immunity.

I’m thinking if Kim was serious about getting rid of Chelsea, it would have made more sense to throw that challenge so Chelsea wouldn’t try to get her to hand over the idol.

Back at camp, Chelsea makes her pitch to Kim, saying that she thinks Kim is the strongest player in the game and they’ve had each others backs since day one.

Kim later admits that she wishes Chelsea didn’t know she had the hidden idol, because now Chelsea expects her to play it for her. Ooo…I was right about something for once.

Meanwhile, Alicia is confident that Kim is still on her side. She thinks it’d be foolish for Kim to want to sit next to Chelsea and Sabrina at the end. Well, she does have a point.

That night at Tribal Council, Alicia and Chelsea were shocked with the lack of scrambling after the immunity challenge.

Kim admits that it’s difficult to play the game because she enjoys all of the women in the final five.

Kim thinks loyalty is very important. Kat didn’t seem to like that comment.

Jeff gives everyone a chance to say one more thing to Kim before the vote. Alicia thinks she’s fine because she’s been with Kim from day one. Sabrina has nothing to say. Christina is confident in her vote. Chelsea thinks Kim will gain respect from the jury by sticking to her guns.

Voting Time: Chelsea votes for Alicia, Alicia votes for Chelsea, and the rest of the votes are…well…you know…

J-Pro gets his tally on and returns. He asks if anyone would like to play an idol…and nobody does.  Ooo…

We’ve got one vote for Chelsea, one vote for Alicia, one vote for Chelsea, one vote for Alicia, and the fourteenth person to leave “Survivor: One World” is…Alicia.

Fun Fact: For the second Tribal in a row, Kat has predicted who’s going home. She’s been wrong twice.

Back at camp, Kim apologizes to Christina to lying for her. To Christina’s credit, she appreciates that it’s a game and that it was a good play. Her next step is to play the I-can’t-possibly-win-this-game card. Although, if I were a jury member it would be worth it to vote for Christina just to see Colton’s reaction.

Tree mail arrives the next day and it looks like we’re getting a Fallen Comrades ceremony! Take that, Redemption Island!

Kourtney is remembered as a trooper and the sweetest girl. Also, she’s very fragile.

Nina was fierce and built the shelter.

Sabrina remembers Matt as being pretty fine. Well, we’re not debating that.

Chelsea remembers Bill as quite a character.

Sabrina aspires to be more like Monica.

Chelsea thinks the game would have gone much differently if Colton had stayed in the game. That’s an understatement.

Sabrina remembers Jonas as a sweet guy. Chelsea thinks he made the best food in the history of “Survivor.”

Ha! They don’t say anything about Michael. Poor Michael…

Chelsea admires Jay’s outlook in life.

Leif is small in stature with a giant heart. Couldn’t resist, could they?

Kim considers Troyzan to be the biggest strategic threat in the game. She might’ve misspoke, she probably meant the “only” strategic threat in the game.

Kat has a ton of heart and determination.

Kim thinks Tarzan grew on all of them. Well, his microbes surely did.

Alicia is their Puerto Rican mommy.

So wait…nobody was a “competitor”?! Have we forgotten how Fallen Comrades is supposed to work?!

Immunity Challenge #2: The players will use a pole to guide a bowl through a wire structure. Once the bowl is through, they’ll place the bowl on the top of the structure and start again with a new bowl. To make it more difficult, the structure is placed on a spring, so if you hit the structure it will wobble. The first person to stack ten bowls on top of the structure wins immunity and a spot at the final Tribal Council.

This challenge is very cool and totally different than what we’re used to. Well done.

Kim and Christina are in the lead early on. Chelsea is behind a bit and Sabrina is way out of it.

Christina and Kim are tied at eight bowls apiece when the wind starts a-blowin’. All of the structures are a-rocking.

However, Kim managed to pull ahead and win immunity yet again. The only thing that can stop her now are some bitter jurors.

Back at camp, Christina tells Kim that she’d rather not have it be a blindside. Kim fesses up and tells Christina that her number is up. I think that’s very smart. There’s no reason to lie at this point.

Christina doesn’t put up much of a fight, which on one hand I understand, but she does have an excellent point to argue in that she is not a jury threat.

That night at Tribal Council, Sabrina tells Jeff that everyone knows that Christina is the next person to go home.

Jeff is a bit disgusted that Christina didn’t scramble.

Sabrina doesn’t think Christina is there to play the game if she’s not trying her best to stay around.

Jeff makes the argument that unlikely people have won the game before.

Christina thinks breaking up an alliance that’s been together since day one wouldn’t have been possible.

Kim says that she would have done everything she could to stay around. She also thinks Christina could have made a few different arguments, but didn’t make any.

Voting Time: Christina votes for Sabrina, Sabrina votes for Christina, and I’m pretty sure everyone else voted for Christina too, but they’re going to make me wait.

Probsty does some solid tallying then returns. One vote for Sabrina, two votes for Christina, and the fifteenth person to leave “Survivor: One World” and the final member of the jury is…Christina.

The next morning, Sabrina breaks down a little as she never expected to make it this far in the game. Really? She seemed like one of the smartest people from the very beginning.

Later on, the Day 39 brunch shows up at tree mail. For those of you playing “Survivor” bingo at home, it seems like mimosas were on the menu.

Kim lets us know that she recently got out of a rough divorce and being a part of the game has helped her get her confidence back. A bridal shop owner going through a divorce? That had to make checking into work every morning kind of tough.

That night at Tribal Council, Chelsea decides to stand up for her opening statement. She claims that you can go very far in the game if you have someone you can trust, and Kim has been that person for her. Heh…a lot of people on the jury thought she was the one person they could trust.

Chelsea also claims to have checked herself out of the game emotionally so she could vote out people she liked. She’s worried that this may have cost her some jury votes as she isn’t as connected with the jurors as Kim.

Kim remains seated. She thinks the game was going to be like poker and you do whatever you can to get to the end. She didn’t expect voting people out of the game to take the toll on her that it did. However, she did it for her family and she hopes that everyone can forgive her and see it as a game.

Then, she does the one thing that I’ve been saying people should do for years when she says that she wouldn’t take back what she’s done. Jurors want you to admit when you lie, but that don’t buy it when you say you’re sorry for it.

Finally, Sabrina (also sitting) claims that her strategy was to have balance. She knew if she was too aggressive that people would put a target on her back. She also claimed to not try her hardest in immunity challenges because she knew that’d make her a threat.

Then, she drops a bomb and tells the jury that she was just laid off. Ooo…

I’m a big believer that what happens outside of the game, shouldn’t matter. But, that might’ve won her some votes that were on the fence.

Now, it’s the jury’s turn…

Jonas bats leadoff, he starts off pretending to be serious, but can’t keep it up. He says he loves Sabrina, but thinks she sucked in the challenges. Jonas thinks Chelsea is the hottest woman on the season (no argument there) but he wants to know what her biggest move was. She admits that it was her idea to take Kat out of the game.

Finally, he gives Kim grief for not taking Christina to the end.

Christina goes next. She wants to know who Kim would’ve kept if she had to choose between Chelsea and Sabrina. Kim thinks she has a better shot of winning against Sabrina.

Then, she asks Chelsea why she hates people. Ouch. Chelsea claims not to hate people, but that she was playing with her head instead of her heart.

Jay steps up next. He calls Sabrina out for taking it easy in the challenges. He also thinks that she took it easy around camp too. Sabrina thinks that it was important for her to step back. Also, she’d just learned to swim, so deep sea fishing wasn’t going to be an option for her.

Mike bats cleanup. He wants Kim to explain what a blindside is. She says it’s sending someone home who thinks they’re safe. She then explains that Michael was the only man Troyzan would send home over one of the women. Michael thinks that Kim took the blame for all of the blindsides. The question is, was that a smart move?

Tarzan goes next and thanks God for giving him such a wonderful adventure. Then he thanks the women for keeping him and allowing his wife to visit Samoa.

Before he can sit back down, Chelsea tells Tarzan that his romance has opened her eyes as to what love can truly be. Aww…

Leif has to follow that tough act. He wants to know how voting him out went down. Kim admits that she wasn’t sure if they could trust him. Sabrina says that Kim was the one calling the shots at that point and she “punked out.”

Kim is doing a fantastic job.

Alicia goes next. She realizes that she had her pawns and Kim had her pawns. She’s flattered because she didn’t’ realize she could be such a threat.

Troyzan congratulates the final three and claims not to hate their guts. He thinks that Kim played a great game, but he wants to know when Kim made the move to take him out. She thinks it was when they took Jonas out of the game.

Kat (and her eye makeup) gets to go last. She tells everyone that she had two heart surgeries when she was a kid, and if she ever wants to have children that she’ll have to have another surgery in the future. She claims that she doesn’t have time to be angry with them, she forgives them, and she’s going to vote based on who played the best game.

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

So…an eight-to-one Kim win?

J-Pro snags the votes and heads off to New York City. And…Mayim Bialik is in the audience! Random…

OK, one vote for Kim, one vote for Sabrina, one vote for Kim, one vote for Sabrina, two votes for Kim, and the winner of “Survivor: One World” is Kim!

Close, a seven-to-two Kim win.

Verdict: Well, at least this weak season had the right winner.

I really do like the “One World” twist. I hope how things turned out this season didn’t sour the producers on the concept.

Power Rankings Update: This season’s Power Rankings champion Dawn Meehan did a special finale rankings as an encore and she nailed it. She had all five of the women in the right spots. It’s probably safe to say that she is the most dominant Power Rankings player since the game’s inception during “Survivor: Tocantins.”

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

‘Survivor: One World’ Power Rankings – Dawn Meehan’s Finale Encore

May 11, 2012

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.

In an odd twist, 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 were forced to compete against each other until one sole Survivor was left standing…er…ranking.

That sole Survivor, with a perfect record of four wins and no losses, was Dawn Meehan.

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

However, in one of the most controversial moments in Power Rankings history, the men pulled some strings and were allowed to randomly pull names from a “Survivor” Hall of Fame coffee mug on behalf of the women’s team. It was one of the few victories the men were able to achieve.

In an effort to right this wrong, the executive committee has offered the new champion the opportunity to ultimately defeat the coffee mug with one final rankings showdown.

We had a chance to speak with Dawn before the rankings took place…

Gordon Holmes: First of all, congratulations. How does it feel to be a Power Rankings champion along with such legendary names as Charlie Herschel, Tamara “Taj” George, Matthew “Sash” Lenahan” and Gordon “The Hurricane” Holmes”?
Dawn Meehan: I’m honored to be a Power Rankings Champion (great company). I can hardly wait for the annual luncheon!
Holmes: As you should be, it’s very luxurious. Now, you’ve had some harsh things to say about the “Survivor” Hall of Fame coffee mug in the past. Is it nice to finally get a chance to put it in its place?
Meehan: As for my attitude towards the mug … I’m not usually one to curse, but that hunk of ceramic makes me wanna swear like a sailor. What the $#%^ is up with that mug? I just hope the “Survivor” Gods are with me come Sunday night and I can put that guy back in his place (the cupboard).

The Rules: The two combatants will rank the players based on how they think they will finish the game.  (Well, Dawn will rank them, the coffee mug will just have names drawn at random.) Each correct placement is worth one point. The person with the most points will win.

Note: There is no weighting for the two finalists who don’t win. They are considered tied no matter how many jury votes they receive.

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

The ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame mug still doesn’t have a Twitter account.

1. Kim’s in A League of Her Own this season. There’s no doubt in my mind: she’s taking home the million dollars. (And girl, you’ve earned it.)


Other Finalists: I love both Chelsea and Sabrina–and I think some members of the jury do, too. I just don’t think either one of them will earn enough votes to beat Kim.

4. I think Christina’s had an unbelievable run … but I don’t think she’s going to make Final 3. (She should be proud though—she definitely OUTLASTED her competition. Wow!)
5. Unless Alicia can win immunity, she’s definitely next to leave the game. Last week’s reward challenge confirmed it: Kim, Chelsea, and Sabrina are locked as a Final 3.

Play ‘Survivor: One World’ Finale Bingo

May 11, 2012

“Survivor: One World” is down to its final five as we head into this Sunday’s finale. In an effort to make what is sure to be a thrilling evening even more thrilling-er, we here at More Whatnot have put together a fun-filled game of “Survivor” finale bingo…

How to Play: Print out the BINGO game boards below. During the finale, fill in your spaces. The first person to complete a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal five-square line wins!


‘Survivor: One World’ Castaway Interview – Greg ‘Tarzan’ Smith

May 10, 2012

Greg 'Tarzan' Smith (CBS)

I’ve done quite a few “Survivor” exit interviews in my day. Most of them have been pleasant, a few have been contentious, and one was a complete disaster. But with all of them I had a pretty good idea of what to expect before they started.

With Greg “Tarzan” Smith I was flying blind.

Fortunately I found “Survivor: One World’s” cross-dressing enigma to be a delight. When I was able to get a word in I asked him about his hidden strategies, his feud with Chelsea, and the shocks on his now-famous jeep…

Gordon Holmes: You’ve been tough to get a handle on this season. It seems like your social game was very abrasive toward the women at times. Was that part of your game or was that Tarzan being Tarzan?
Greg “Tarzan” Smith: Actually, I’m a plastic surgeon, and 98% of my practice is women, so I understand women very well. However, I didn’t want to ingratiate myself to the females out of respect for my wife. In the beginning I felt that my best game would be to do nothing to cause any camaraderie with the women and just let the young boys do that. But my primary strategy, because it was men vs. women, was to organize the men. And I did that in a subliminal way because I realized that the smart way for the average person to advance in the game is to stay under the current so people don’t see you as a threat. And I think I deserve an Academy Award (laughs).

Holmes: You were very defensive of Colton early on. How did that work into your strategy?
Smith: The smart thing for me to do in the beginning was to coalesce all the men against the women. Which I did, and I allowed Colton to take credit for it. And in his immaturity and narcissism he was more than happy to seem to be the leader. And ironically, if it hadn’t been for me, Colton would have been one of the first people to go. I did the math, and I needed a coterie of five men to whip the girls and beat any straggling boys.

Holmes: You tried to warn Troyzan about Kim being in charge. Why didn’t you stick with him when he realized you were right?
Smith: You saw that Troyzan and I were the nucleus and we mostly stayed bonded. However, midway when I was betrayed by Troyzan he lost his compass, he thought he was part of Salani and that was his fatal error. It’s like in chess if you lose the queen early in the game you have to save as many pawns as possible, but in reality you’re probably going to lose. When I lost Troyzan, I’d been around long enough and portrayed myself well enough at that point I thought I could ingratiate myself with the women. I was able to ingratiate myself through my relationship with Alicia. And as you saw last night, Alicia ultimately betrayed me.

Holmes: Part of your strategy last night was to bow out at four and become a jury advocate. Was that something you were at all considering or was that just a way to move forward?
Smith: I’m an old guy, I’ve been successful in life, and I don’t need the money. But, I need the adventure. And, it’d been an adventure. But even with the guys I said, “When we get down to five, I’m willing to step down. But let me help you get to the five.” And I kept my word with everything, unlike Michael, if he’d kept his word he could have lasted longer.
Holmes: Why did Michael give you the middle finger after your farewell last night?
Smith: Toward the end the girls were worried that they had betrayed all the guys, but the guys didn’t know that they had done that with my help. I had kept that secret. So, the girls were worried that if I’d made it to the final three (that I’d have received votes). So, during Tribal Council I told them that I helped get rid of them. I told the guys that I helped get them eliminated. I told the Tribal Council that I’m a millionaire. And that’s the worst thing you can say in something like that because they’ll think I don’t need it. I did that on purpose. I denigrated myself in front of the Tribal Council.

Holmes: With the way the show was edited, sometimes it seemed like you were just there. Like you weren’t playing the game. What moves were you making that we didn’t see?
Smith: I told them I was a medic; I told them I was 52. But I got tired of that game, so I said, ”Even if you vote me out; I’m really a plastic surgeon and I’m really 64.” And everyone told me if I reveal I’m a plastic surgeon that I’d be the first one to be kicked out. But after 15 days, I felt like I’d been there long enough. And the Tarzan thing throws off that I’m a doctor. I’m Tarzan in the operating room.
Holmes: (Laughs) Oh really?
Smith: When a surgery goes fantastically I’ll call out the Tarzan yell in the operating room.

Holmes: Let’s do some word association. How about we start with…
Smith: Maybe I shouldn’t. I tend to be pretty frank. (Laughs)
Holmes: That’s the point of this exercise, Tarzan. Let’s start with Kat.
Smith: Young, naïve.
Holmes: Alicia?
Smith: The full complement of sexual dimorphism.
Holmes: Oh man, you’re going to make me bust out a dictionary. Chelsea?
Smith: Man hater.
Holmes: Troyzan?
Smith: Creative, intelligent, friend.
Holmes: Sabrina?
Smith: Intelligent, needs better syntax as a teacher.
Holmes: Kim?
Smith: Likable, persuasive, beautiful. First thing that came to mind is her eyes.
Holmes: Let’s finish this with Christina.
Smith: (Laughs) Sycophant.

Holmes: You and Chelsea didn’t seem to get along very well out there. What was your relationship like?
Smith: Every time the cameras were rolling I was made to look obnoxious. Admittedly for frivolity to lighten the mood, I’d done a few things that might be considered that, but she took every advantage to make me look bad. And you didn’t see what the real situation was. There were many snippets she took at me that weren’t shown…out of nowhere. And I couldn’t understand it. I hadn’t treated her bad. There are men that don’t like women and there are women that don’t like men. And my conclusion was she doesn’t like men. She needs men, and she needs them for certain things. But I think she’s a girl who’s probably abusive toward men, and she was certainly abusive toward me.

Holmes: It was touching getting to see you and your wife together at the reward challenge. Is it accurate to say that one of your main goals was lasting long enough in the game so she could visit?
Smith: Yeah. I wanted that so much. We’re a romantic couple. We have a map, and we want to set foot on the same soil wherever we are as a testimony to our soulmatedness. And we put a little pin wherever we are in the places we’ve been all over the world. And I wanted so much for her to get to set foot with me on that island. (Laughs) So we got to put our little pin on the map. I did not know how hurtful I felt not being near her, because we’ve never been separated. We’re together day and night, 24/7 for some thirty years. So, it was a poignant moment to realize that I’m addicted to her more than I realized.
Holmes: That’s amazing. Probably less important…did you ever get the shocks for your jeep?
Smith: (Laughs) The irony of this is that my wife knew I needed shocks and I was being so frugal that I hadn’t bought them for six or eight months hoping it would last. And while I was on the island she bought shocks for my car.

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

‘Survivor: One World’ Recap – Prelude to Kim’s Coronation?

May 9, 2012

'Survivor: One World' (CBS)

Last Week: Tarzan’s hopes to spend time with his wife were ignored, the wrong people were chosen to go on reward, and Kat’s elimination from the game left her floored…

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
Kim – 29, Bridal Shop Owner
Sabrina – 33, High School Teacher
Tarzan – 64, Plastic Surgeon

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

Quick Aside: Since Redemption Island is gone, is it possible we could get a fallen comrades ceremony this Sunday? Ah…classic “Survivor.”

The penultimate episode kicks off with a somber Tikiano tribe after Tribal Council. Everybody seems to feel bad about Kat’s blindside.

Tarzan lets us know that he has a plan to get into the final three, but part of that involves getting into the final four first. Mathematically, that is a sound strategy.

Later, Tarzan runs an idea by Kim where he offers to be Kim’s advocate on the jury if she keeps him until the final four. That’s actually very savvy. A lot of people think the Ponderosa set-up has too much of an affect on the jury’s votes.

The end of the discussion results in Kim giving serious thought to getting rid of Chelsea and Sabrina so she can go to the end with Alicia and Christina. Wow…who would’ve ever picked Christina in the final three?

Afterward, Tarzan makes a similar jury-advocate offer to Alicia. I’m not against this plan. If anything, he’s making it interesting.

The next morning, Chelsea offers to take Christina on the reward if she wins. Oh, c’mon. We know how this always turns out…

Chelsea does her best to get Christina to come on board, but, also claims she’s just talking out loud, (which is how most people talk.) She asks Christina to keep their conversation between them.

CUT TO: Christina telling Alicia and Kim what Chelsea just said. This, of course, concerns Kim because she’s been playing both sides.

Reward Challenge: Players will spin around a post to release a disc. They’ll then take the disc to the next station and do it again. Once they have three discs, they’ll use them to create a decoder wheel. First person to use the decoder to get a three-number combination and release their flag wins a lovely evening on a yacht.

Not a ton to describe here except for a lot of spinnin’ and disc retrievin’. This is actually hilarious as the spinning makes them all dizzy. Well done, John Kirhoffer. Should’ve made them drink beers first.

It’s all fairly even until they get to the decoder. Chelsea thinks she has the combination, but comes up short. Others join her, but aren’t able to get it to work either. Eventually, Chelsea figures it out and wins reward.

The part where she doesn’t take Christina on reward is coming in 5…4…3…2…

Probst gives her the opportunity to take someone with her, she chooses Sabrina.

Uh huh…

Probst lets her pick one more person and she goes with Kim.

BAHA! I’m a Survivor psychic! That, or I can decipher basic patterns.

We meet up with Chelsea and her buddies on the yacht. Kim lets Chelsea know that she thinks they can go all the way. Funny, she said something similar to Kat last week. I’m getting déjà vu.

Back at camp, Christina and Alicia are livid over Chelsea’s reward challenge choices. I’m getting déjà vu.

Anywho, Tarzan, Alicia, and Christina agree to vote for Chelsea if she doesn’t win immunity. They’re also going to try to bring Kim on board. If not, Alicia’s OK with pulling rocks. Does she remember that Kim has an idol?

EDIT: I was reminded by @Hugh310 that Chelsea is the only one who knows about Kim’s idol.

The next morning, Tarzan kicks back into bizarre Tarzan mode by being weird about random things. In this case, Alicia doesn’t want him to use his gross buff to filter food. He doesn’t think this is a big deal because they’ve been in the wilderness for over a month and microbes are everywhere.

Once the yachting team returns, Alicia and Kim have a discussion about how Tarzan told both of them that he’ll be their jury advocate. Dah…busted.

Alicia is not pleased that he tried to play a social game on her. She doesn’t approve because she’s the “Queen of the Social Game.” Oh boy…not sure where to even start with that comment.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will use large fish hooks to grab puzzle pieces. They’ll then use those pieces to (duh) complete a puzzle. And to make things more difficult, they’ll have to do it with one hand behind their back.

Kim and Alicia are both off to a strong start as they complete the beginning section of the puzzle first. Kim finishes the second section first and is building a big lead; Tarzan and Alicia are right behind her. Chelsea’s way in the back.

In the third and final stage, Kim has trouble with her hooks and can’t get her bags. She’s eventually passed by Alicia and Tarzan.

Kim, Alicia, and Tarzan are neck and neck in the end with Alicia finally pulling off the win by a matter of seconds.

Back at camp, there’s an uncomfortable moment where Tarzan calls Alicia a b—- for having the audacity to beat him. He was probably kidding, but it was awkward.

Politicking around camp centers around everyone going after Tarzan. However, Sabrina and Chelsea aren’t convinced that Alicia isn’t still gunning for Chelsea. Chelsea asks Kim to play the idol on her behalf, but Kim is noncommittal. (Or nonkimmittal)

In fact, Kim lets us know that if the others aren’t voting for Tarzan, that she’d rather get rid of Chelsea and use her idol to get to the final four. Dun dun dun…

Fun Fact: Everyone seems to think that Kim is super smooth, and everyone blames it on her blue eyes.

Before they head off to Tribal, Tarzan decides to wear someone’s panties as if it’s a headband. This grosses the women out. Oh jeez, they’re only microbes.

That night at Tribal Council, Tarzan thinks he’s still in the game because he helped the ladies get rid of the guys.

Sabrina thinks that the male jurors may want to give the million to a man.

Tarzan thinks he’s misunderstood and that he knows more about microbes than anyone. Also, apparently those were Kat’s panties that he was wearing on his head. Kat, as you’d imagine, was not amused. I’m assuming that’s one less jury vote for Tarzan…

Alicia thinks it wasn’t fair for Chelsea to take Kim on the reward as she’s been on like every reward ever.

Christina was frustrated that she wasn’t chosen for the reward.

Chelsea is OK with not taking Christina because she thinks Christina broke her word to her.

Voting Time: Tarzan votes for Chelsea, Chelsea votes for Tarzan, and the rest of the votes are super secret.

J-Pro tallies and returns…we’ve got one vote for Chelsea, three votes for Tarzan, and the thirteenth person to leave “Survivor: One World” is…Tarzan.

As Tarzan is leaving, he gives a very polite farewell. Michael responds by giving him the middle finger. Well, that seemed unnecessary.

Verdict: Kim deserves points for convincing Alicia that Tarzan is a threat.  Other than that…um…well…huh…

Who’s Going to Win: It certainly seems like Sunday will result in a Spradlin family celebration. However, in Gabon it was believed that there was a jury alliance made up of Randy, Charlie, Corinne, and Marcus that was going to award the million to whoever they wanted. Is it crazy to think the guys would do something similar? Just to mess with everybody? Probably not, but something to think about.

Power Rankings Update: Dawn Meehan had Tarzan in spot four while Sophie Clarke had him in spot three. Therefore, the winner of the “Survivor: One World” Power Rankings is bread-making maven Dawn Meehan!

Congratulations to Dawn and a huge thanks to Jim Rice, John Cochran, Sophie Clarke, Christine Shields Markoski, Andrea Boehlke, Benjamin “Coach” Wade, and a “Survivor” Hall of Fame coffee mug for participating in this season’s competition.

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

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