Archive for October, 2012

‘Survivor: Philippines’ Recap: Is Lisa Whelchel’s Secret Out?

October 31, 2012

Lisa Whelchel (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: Philippines”

Last Week: A reward challenge ended in a way that was lame, Carter slipped up and said the wrong name, and poor Miss Delaware was kicked out of the game.

Oh, and Jeff Probst put on a fake beard and wig and pretended to be a psychic. (OK, that wasn’t last week, that was earlier today on “The Jeff Probst Show.” I just wanted everyone to know.)

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Kalabaw Tribe (wearing red)
Carter – Track Coach, 24
Denise – Sex Therapist, 41
Jeff Kent – Former MLB Player, 44
Penner – Writer, 50

The Tandang Tribe (wearing yellow)
Abi-Maria – Business Student, 32
Artis – Computer Engineer, 53
Michael – Professional Speaker, Author, and Coach, 50
Lisa – Former ‘Facts of Life’ Star, 49
Malcolm – Bartender, 25
Pete – Engineering Graduate, 24
RC – Investment Banker, 27

We meet up with the Kalabatians after Tribal Council. Penner points out that Denise has been to every Tribal so far in the game. That has to be a record, right? Some kind of consecutive Tribal streak?

Penner is also wondering why Katie voted for him. He thinks it was a wake-up call that people could be lying to him. C’mon Penner, you’ve been around too long to need that kind of warning.

Kent knows that he’ll cut Penner’s throat or vice-versa, it’s a just a matter of who does it first. That might be the best way to approach an alliance in this game; assume you’ll have to turn, but hope you never have to.

The next morning at Tandang, Skup points out that it’s the day he fell in the fire. Happy Anniversary, Skup! The festivities are interrupted by a boat and a letter.

Psychic Jeff holds the letter to his forehead and says…

Sorry, couldn’t help it. I like to think that’s how Jeff would look after 39 days on the island.

Tandang is given a couple of minutes to gather all of their stuff. Fortunately, Malcolm didn’t forget where he buried his idol. That’d be embarrassing.

Same deal over at Kalabaw island. Penner hopes they can sway some Tandang folks over to his side. With Skup and RC on the outs, he might have a shot.

They all arrive at what I think is the old Matsing beach and are greeted by a feast. Ooo…and they get black buffs. Very slimming.

Later, Abi approaches RC with the idea of becoming a spy, but RC isn’t comfortable with that due to the unrest at the old Tandang camp. Gah…might’ve been smart to go along and be a double agent.

Uh oh…while Lisa was doing Malcolm’s laundry she accidentally stumbled upon his hidden immunity idol. Denise sees it happen and lets Malcolm know.

Malcolm takes Lisa aside and she instantly fesses up. She apologizes up and down, but he takes this as an opportunity to bring her into his alliance with Denise. Lisa agrees to join them, but lets us know that she thinks she might be being played. Dun dun dun…

Quick Aside: People groan when they see celebrities on “Survivor,” but Kent and Lisa both came to play. Go them.

Later that afternoon, Penner asks Lisa if anybody has recognized her from her popular ’80s sitcom. Wow…busy day for Lisa.  The two bond over the connection, but don’t discuss strategy. Penner promises not to out her, but that’ll last only as long as Penner feels safe in the game.

Then Penner plants the seed in Skup’s brain that they could both be targets because they’re returning players. Smart. RC’s interested in joining up with Kalabaw because Pete and Abi forgot the Survivor 101 rule of taking care of the people on the bottom of your alliance.

Back at camp, Kent’s making moves to get rid of Penner. What’s interesting is Kent doesn’t tell anyone that Penner has the idol. Apparently even Carter doesn’t know this piece of information.

Negotiating around camp has Tandang (minus RC and Skup) and Kalabaw (minus Penner) splitting the vote between Penner and RC in case Penner plays his idol. We haven’t even had an immunity challenge yet!

Oh wait…

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will hold onto a handle that is attached to a bucket. The bucket holds 25% of the person’s body weight inside of it. Last woman and man with a bucket in the air win a chic immunity necklace.

Skup’s the first to go, he’s followed by Pete. Next up we lose Penner. Probst makes a point of saying that Penner will be in trouble at Tribal. Whoa, maybe he is psychic…

Lisa and Malcolm go next. There are three men and three women left.

RC and Abi both drop out. Denise finally wins something!

We’re down to Artis, Jeff Kent, and Carter. Artis drops out quickly.

Carter and Kent hang on for another ten minutes. Kent tries to make a deal with Carter, but he isn’t having it. Kent drops…Carter wins.

On the way back to camp, we learn that the tribe’s new name is Dangrayne. Seriously, I plant the idea of a cool merge name every time I visit the set and it never happens. Dawson was my best hope.

RC lets us know that her and Skup are going to side with Kalabaw against Tandang. Skup’s a little weirded out because he’s never felt threatened before. I’d say that fire was pretty threatening.

Skup says he won’t team up with Artis, Abi, and Pete without some kind of divine intervention. Well, Coach isn’t playing this season…

Skup discusses the plan with Kent, and for the third time this episode, Kent says that he doesn’t want Penner to get farther in the game than him. That’s kinda strange. Getting to the end with a jury that likes and respects you should be the goal.

Kent’s concern is that on one side he’s teaming with returning players who he doesn’t want to win and on the other he and Carter are on the bottom. Quite a conundrum.

That night at Tribal Council, Tandang finally gets to see their torches. That’s just odd.

RC thinks Tandang fought each other a lot, but it’s cool because families fight some times. Good spin. Now let’s vote out Grandma.

Abi thinks that RC betrayed her by hiding the clue, so she moved on to another alliance.

RC denies hiding the clue. (Reminder: Pete totally moved the clue.)

Lisa argues that an alliance of flippers can’t be trusted.

Pete thinks there’s always a “mutiny feeling” around returning players. Yeah, that’s why those players always get to the end.

Pete also thinks there are two idols in the game because Matsing’s idol is gone. Dun dun dun…

Jeff Kent says it’s very likely there will be a blindside. Probst resists the urge to ask if it will be a “Major League” blindside.

Voting Time: Abi votes for Penner, RC votes for Pete, Artis votes for RC, Penner votes for Pete, Pete votes for RC, and the rest are secret.

Psychic Jeff tallies the votes, even though he already used his powers to see how everyone voted.

He asks if anyone would like to play their idol. Penner steps up. Blam!

Three votes for Penner, one vote for RC, one vote for Pete, two votes Penner, one vote for RC, one vote for Pete, one vote for RC, and the eighth person to leave “Survivor: Philippines” is…RC.

Skup voted for Penner?! Was there divine intervention and we missed it?!

Verdict: Well, so much for tribes always sticking together after the merge. That’s a welcome change.

This was a good, solid episode. It was nice to finally see Tandang get down and dirty in the voting cubicle. Can’t wait to see how all these weird alliances and sub-alliances and side-alliances work out.

Who’s Going to Win: My boy Malcolm’s in a good spot. Denise and Lisa too. When the Dangrayne hits the fan after tonight’s Tribal, they should be the least splattered.

Power Rankings Results: Kat is on a roll. She has picked the last six eliminated players perfectly. Kudos. She had RC in spot eleven, while I had her in spot ten. The current score is Team Kat: 91, Team Awesome Thunder: 95.

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

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Disney Owning ‘Star Wars’ Is Probably a Good Thing

October 31, 2012

Yesterday’s big announcement that Disney was acquiring LucasFilm has thrown all of nerddom into a bit of a tizzy. Personally, I can take or leave “Star Wars.” I enjoy the movies and culture for what they are, but have never bought into the hysteria that follows when they stamp the franchise’s logo onto a new random product.

However, some of my friends are still super huge hardcore fans. These people love “Star Wars” to the point that they have children named Luke, Leia, and Dengar. Now, child-abuse aside, some of them have greeted yesterday’s announcement with enthusiasm, while others have shown some apprehension. I thought I’d do my best to put those concerned fanboys and girls at ease with my take on why this acquisition is a good thing…

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‘Survivor: Philippines’ Power Rankings: Round Six

October 30, 2012

Michael Skupin and Jonathan Penner (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

The Rules: Each week Kat and Gordon 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 Artis is voted out this week, Kat will receive 10 points and Gordon will receive 8 points. The person with the most points at the end of the season will be crowned the ‘Survivor: Philippines’ Power Rankings champion!

Last Week: Blam! Kat and I called it as we both had Katie in spot twelve. The current score is Team Kat: 80, Team Awesome Thunder: 85.

Set Your DVR to Record ‘Survivor: Philippines

Kat’s Current Score: 80Any advice for Kat? Drop her a line on Twitter: @KatEdorsson Gordon’s Current Score: 85

Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

 1. Malcolm: This guy might not be the almighty sole Survivor, but I’ll tell ya in this crowd he sticks out like a sore thumb! Malcolm I believe is still in the best position as of right now in Tandang.  His idol, Denise in his back pocket, and Pete`s loyalty give me reason to believe his chances on winning the million only multiplie each day. At the immunity challenge the man was a BEAST! I’m assuming he learns well from “Mama Bear” (Denise).
 1. Malcolm: I seriously don’t know how to act. I’ve never had my pre-game pick be in such a good position at the merge.  Much like Jessie Spano after she took too many caffeine pills, I’m both “So excited” and “So scared.” Excited because Denise and Malcolm can team up and be the likable part of the constantly feuding (yet dominant) Tandang alliance. Or, they can snag RC and Skup and bounce over to the Kalabaw Crew. Scared, because what they do this next episode will have a huge impact on how they finish. Fingers officially crossed.
 2. Lisa: Again my beautiful “Lamb” is strictly on “CRUISE CONTROL.” When I see this strategy it dawns on me how some of our finest “Survivor” legends love playing this role. I refuse to mention by name the following who favor this, but it is a fantastic strategy. Ultimately this is what I would like to call the “Why should I play ‘Survivor’ when I’m having too much fun watching these bozos play it for me?” Keep it up, Lisa!  2. Penner: Penner’s another one who has a ton of options at the merge. If he sticks with his buddies in Kalabaw, he could work on the Matsingers. He also might have a previous relationship with Skup (all the former “Survivor” players meet each other during charity events and other get-togethers). Best of all, he’ll have a little longer to figure out his plan thanks to his idol. The question is; would he use it to save Kent or Carter? I’m thinking no.
 3. Abi-Maria: God, I hate this…. Okay, Okay, Okay, I’m just kidding. That was mean. But seriously I’ll tell ya this; I don’t care for taking players like Abi to the final three just because you know there’s a 100% GUARANTEE that nobody will vote in their favor. No offense Mamasita, but have you played in a challenge yet? Lisa is understandably on “cruise control” but she still killed it in the last challenge.  I would really like Abi to step up, chill out, and give someone a hug or someone hug her for crying out loud. Strategically she is playing and Pete is on her side but once “Jeff Prosit” starts to call you out, that’s usually a sign to GET IT TOGETHER!
 3. Abi-Maria: If I’m Malcolm, I’m trying to come up with ways to get to the end with Abi-Maria. If that’s the direction he chooses, then known Abi-haters RC and Skupin are probably destined for the jury. Add her ability to go off on people at a moment’s notice and her lack of challenge prowess and you have the perfect goat.

  4. Pete: Hi Pete, I enjoy watching you manhandle Tandang and you’re putting the work in, I’ll give it to ya. But, I only have two things; #1. They always chop the head off the snake. #2 Take off my sweater!
 4. Pete: Pete’s been playing a pretty solid game up to this point. The only thing I’d question is how quickly he gave up all of that info to Malcolm. If the Tandang alliance sticks together through the merge, it probably won’t hurt his game. But if Malcolm swaps sides it could be a disaster.

  5. Penner: Come on Bud, I think someone was really hungry during that reward challenge. Do you think it was really worth it? I am no all-star and I’m probably one of your biggest fans, however…#DUMBMOVE. In “One World” the ladies and I lived solely off rice because catching fish was never a guarantee and when you know your challenges are so many days apart how could you possibly think that was the best idea? I mean the real question is, since when is Jeff Probst stopping a challenge? I’ll admit, I totally understand you guys would have been there for hours, people really will never understand how much energy it takes to open a coconut, let alone sit up in the morning when you’re starving. I just hope this doesn’t decimate Kalabaw based on this decision.
 5. Denise:  Alright, so does Malcolm join Denise with the Kalabaw guys or does Denise join Malcolm with the Tandangers? Malcolm swapping alone won’t put Kalabaw in charge, they’d have to turn some other Tandang folk. The call with the least number of variables is Denise swapping sides, then trimming people like RC and Skup when the numbers support it. This isn’t ideal for Denise as this will put some Kalabaw people on the jury, but in her defense, she wasn’t aligned with them for very long.
 6. Carter: Sweet Carter is making a breakthrough after all! He doesn’t seem too intimidating so I believe he should be safe. But, I don’t recall Penner and Kent telling Carter they have an idol so ultimately I believe he is still on the outs in his own alliance. But, if he makes it to the merge he looks strong enough to hold his own. Well, if he stops complaining about his stomach! Poor kid, you could tell he was against Penner’s decision about the rice disaster but we will see how things unfold.
 6. Lisa: Is it going to blow everybody’s minds to see Blair Warner sitting at the final Tribal Council? Now that Lisa has made the merge, it feels like she’s going to be able to coast for a long while. If she can do it without making too many enemies, she could find herself with that million-dollar check. It’ll be weird…
 7. Jeff Kent: My three amigos seem to be as strong as they can be for the situation at hand. But if you ask me, I think Kalabaw was just “Low Balled.” Did anyone believe the immunity challenge was MADE FOR KENT!! Catching slingshot balls in the outfield??? Come on! I was really pulling for Kalabaw, after losing the rice and the immunity I hope they can still stay strong.
 7. Jeff Kent: Kent has a little bit of wiggle room, but only because I don’t see him being the first Kalabaw boot after the merge. However, he’s in some serious trouble if things don’t change soon. Every member of Tandang has seen Upolu and Ometepe stick together to get to the end. Maybe it’s time to out himself as a millionaire? That’d make me think twice about voting him out.
 8. Denise: Not too much to say about Denise this week. She busted her ass in the challenges. Her + Mud X take down Lisa = “Survivor” Gold. Denise might be the one to go if Kalabaw loses but I’m hoping for the best.
 8. Artis: A good rule of thumb on “Survivor” is to ask yourself “What do I have to gain from this?” Whenever you do something, think of the consequences. What did Artis have to gain from blowing up at Jeff Kent at the reward challenge? It shows Skup that he doesn’t approve of the move and shows everyone else that Artis is hot-headed. He belongs in the same category as Abi. They’re both going to make too many enemies.
 9. Michael: Angel Face Skupin! Don’t be down in the dumps because Artis is picking on you. He’s just grumpy and hungry. If the challenge was going to be ending that way anyway, you made the right decision. Taking their rice will make them weaker and adding…let me rephrase…“fixing” your problem that ultimately looked like the excuse why the rest of the tribe was targeting you about cooking all the rice, YOU FIXED! You added more rice to your tribe and you’re handling all of this tension very maturely. Wish I knew how to do that on the island. You’re down this low on the totem pole because the odds are against you. Fix this problem and you’ll sail to victory!
 9. Michael: I’m going to stand by my belief that the food swap was a good move for Tandang. They traded something they didn’t have for something that Kalabaw did. Not only that, but it could have crippled Kalabaw if the merge took longer than expected. That being said, I’m not sure if it was a good move for Skupin. RC and Artis seem to be hanging on to every reason they can find to send the Australian Phoenix home.
 10. Artis: Dude, we need to lighten up! I love your background, I love where you came from and what you have been through. That’s where people like you and I strive, from what we have overcome! But now you have shown Kalabaw your aggression at the challenge and no one will work with you with that attitude. Please try to work with your tribemates. You don’t have to be angry if you’re in the majority, they will probably go home anyway. Right now you need to work on your social game like asap!  10. RC: Nobody needed a merge more than RC. Abi and Pete have been trying to get rid of her for what seems like a couple on months now. Maybe her and Skup can make something work with the Kalabaw guys?
  11. RC: Wahh…sorry RC, but I think it might be one of those days. It looks like Abi and Pete are after you and it seems like Tandang is shaken up a little. I would rather lose points against Gordon knowing you would be safe this week then me be right and see you sent packing! Sometimes things just don’t work out the way they are planned. I still think you’re awesome though!
 11. Carter: Things never turn out well for challenge studs that are on the tribe that is down numbers when they get to the merge. Combine that with the fact that Carter was clearly rubbing some of the Kalabawians the wrong way and you have a recipe for disaster. Carter is going to need an individual immunity run if wants to stick around.

Watch ‘Survivor: Philippines’ every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor: Philippines’ Castaway Katie: Jeff Kent Is a ‘Dominant Male Force’

October 25, 2012

Katie Hanson (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: Philippines”

Somewhere in an alternate universe, Dana is 100% healthy. The Kalabaw women voted out Carter last week and Jeff Kent last night. When they’re not listening to desperate pleas from Penner, they’re trying to figure out how to get Malcolm to join them when they get to the merge.

Unfortunately for the Katie Hanson I spoke to this morning, she lives in this universe.

Instead, the former Miss Delaware and I got to chat about the weirdest reward challenge ever, the ladies’ lack of love for Carter, and Dawson’s indecent proposal…

Gordon Holmes: Good morning, Katie.
Katie Hanson: How are you?
Holmes: I’m sad.
Hanson: (Laughs) Aww…me too!
Holmes: Was your girlfriend voted off of “Survivor” last night too?!
Hanson: Oh…honey! You are so cute! I’m sad too, but I’ve had some time to get over it.
Holmes: What am I supposed to do for the next seven or eight weeks this show is on?
Hanson: I appreciate your sadness if that makes any difference.

Holmes: Alright, that reward challenge last night was a whole new brand of ridiculous. What happened?
Hanson: It almost looked like from out angle that things were going our way, and then they’d go back, and then it was just a stalemate. It went nowhere. And I was thinking, “OK, I’m never going to get to play in this challenge.” Which was alright with me because it’s a reward challenge in the mud, rolling around with these people. Rewards are awesome, but it’s not immunity. So, me not playing last night, kind of made me a little happy because the goal is to not get injured before an immunity challenge.
Holmes: I’m watching it…and Penner has his arm in one of Mr. Skupin’s…sensitive…areas.
Hanson: (Laughs)  Uh huh.
Holmes: And I’m thinking, “Jeez, at least buy him dinner first.” Next thing you know he’s literally trading dinner with him.
Hanson: (Laughs)
Holmes: How did you feel when that deal was being brokered?
Hanson: The last two rewards that were food went to Tandang, so we were starving. The idea of winning a full-on meal was absolutely amazing. At this point I was like “Give away the rice! Let’s do this!” The fact that they were bartering for it made my day. They went back and forth a lot. That was the best day of our lives.

Holmes: Artis freaked out a little bit, and I didn’t really understand what set him off.
Hanson: I think he just wanted to earn it. But, it’s easier for someone on the sidelines to say, “No, you guys can win this.” But you don’t know what they’re going through. And don’t you want your strongest players to have enough energy to perform well in an immunity challenge? He was very angry.
Holmes: It seemed like he was giving grief to you and Jeff Kent.
Hanson: He was giving grief to Jeff for sure, but Jeff knows how to get under people’s skin. It was kind of funny to watch, but I was trying to stay out of it.
Holmes: Did Jeff get under your skin?
Hanson: No, no, no…he just knows the right ways to get under people’s skin and he totally did it to Artis. Not me, I like Jeff. Jeff and I had a very good relationship.
Holmes: Did you know about Jeff’s baseball past?
Hanson: No one else to my knowledge knew. And I’m not a big sports girl, so I had no clue. I just really believed his story that he was a rancher. I totally bought it. He didn’t give any indication that he was some great athlete. He performed decently in the challenges but I would never know he was a pro.
Holmes: Dawson was pretty harsh when she was discussing Jeff’s social game. Do you think that’s accurate?
Hanson: I think that’s totally false. Jeff Kent was playing the game from the get go. He knew the right people he wanted to align with. He had Carter following his every move. He got Penner, who actually wanted to play with him. He was, in my opinion, the dominant male force on our tribe. So, I think Jeff has an excellent social game.

Holmes: Dana leaving really screwed things up for the Kalabaw ladies. Was there ever a chance for you to sneak back in with the guys?
Hanson: It just about broke my heart that Dana got sick. Not only for her health but me lasting in this game. And Denise wanted to be on the side with the numbers and why wouldn’t you want to be in an all-girl alliance? We would have had four. As soon as she got sick, what’s going to make Denise stay? We’re not strong anymore. That sucked for me. I think I was just getting played the whole time. People were giving me the run around because they knew I was going to be the next one out. Honestly, it makes sense, because not knowing when the merge is coming you want your strongest players. And let’s be honest, I’m not that. I’m not Denise and I’m not a man.

Holmes: Dana also had some harsh words for Carter. She called him a “chauvinist.” Did you witness any of that? Did you get along with Carter?
Hanson: I think all of us can agree on this; he had nothing to talk about. He had nothing to say. The only thing he had to talk about was the exercise. He was just so boring. He didn’t have much character to him. And I couldn’t respect him because all he’d do is follow Jeff around. I think all of us girls, if Dana had never gotten sick, Carter was our number one priority to get out of there. Because then Jeff wouldn’t be so powerful. He wouldn’t have this little tool he could manipulate. So, I definitely agree with Dana.

Holmes: Let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Dawson.
Hanson: Bubbly, out-going, wild, love her.
Holmes: Dana?
Hanson: Strong, powerful woman who takes no crap.
Holmes: Carter?
Hanson: Not that intelligent and a rat.
Holmes: Denise?
Hanson: Strong, smart, mother-like figure.
Holmes: Jeff Kent?
Hanson: Very intelligent, athletic, good manipulator.
Holmes: The first Survivor from the first state?
Hanson: (Laughs) She’s a sweetheart! The best player ever. We love Katie!
Holmes: We do. Let’s finish this with Penner.
Hanson: My father-figure on the island. But, he’s also a snake so you’ve got to watch your back.

Holmes: What the reaction from Kalabaw when you had to watch Dawson molest poor Jeff Probst?
Hanson: (Laughs) I think all of us were like, “What is she doing?!” But that’s totally her. She’s had the biggest crush on that man from the moment I met her. That’s one of the first things I learned about her. If anything, she did what she went there to do.

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

WWE’s Paul Heyman on Ryback: ‘Nobody Can Be Undefeated Forever’

October 25, 2012

Paul Heyman (THQ)

I don’t know if the Paul Heyman/CM Punk dynamic would work on screen. I don’t need a mouthpiece.” – CM Punk (August 17, 2012)

The Straight-Edge Superstar is right, he doesn’t need a mouthpiece. But he’s certainly benefiting from having a conniving advocate who lurks in the background.

I spoke with Paul Heyman, a man some consider to be the best creative writer in the wrestling business, in the days leading up to Punk’s big title defense at “Hell in a Cell.” During that chat we discussed how he’s enjoying his new on-air role, Brock Lesnar’s opinion of the wrestling business, and what’s best for Ryback’s career…

Order WWE: Hell in a Cell Today

Gordon Holmes: You’ve taken on a bit of a new role on TV in that you’re more of CM Punk’s advocate than his manager. Has that been challenging for you?
Paul Heyman: No, it’s just a different role to play. You know, with Brock Lesnar…Brock doesn’t like to speak so it’s natural for me to do the talking. And it’s very easy for me to advocate for Brock Lesnar because I’m a great believer in him. It’s not too much of a stretch to hype accolades about Brock Lesnar. With CM Punk, I don’t have to do a lot of talking for CM Punk. I would present the case that I’m more of a lobbyist for respect for CM Punk as being the best in the world. It’s a different role to play and  I love the challenge of it just because it’s not the same role I was playing with Brock. Like any other performer you don’t want to be pigeonholed everyday for the rest of your life.

Holmes: Speaking of Brock, I read his book that you collaborated on, “Death Clutch.” And it seems like his biggest problem with the wrestling industry is the travel. Now with the limited dates he’s working it doesn’t seem like that’s a big problem anymore. My question is; does he enjoy the business more? Because I really enjoy watching him wrestle. It seems like he was designed to do it. It’d be a shame if he wasn’t enjoying it.
Heyman: There’s an old expression in the professional wrestling industry; you spend 23 hours and 40 minutes of your day traveling and working out and eating properly and dealing with rental cars and hotel rooms and family situations and divorce lawyers. But, the 20 minutes a day you spend in the ring is not only the best part of the day but makes everything else worthwhile. I believe that is the case with Brock Lesnar. I believe that Brock loves to perform. And, I think Brock lives for the moments that he’s in the octagon or the ring. It’s getting to the octagon or the ring and all that it entails to get there and the time that he spends away from his family that he finds unbearable.

Holmes: CM Punk has a big title defense against Ryback this Sunday at Hell in the Cell. Anytime you have an undefeated character such as Ryback, it provides some unique storytelling challenges. If it was in your hands, how would you handle the Ryback character?
Heyman: I think Ryback is going to demonstrate to the audience on Monday exactly how he handles defeat. And, nobody can be undefeated forever, it doesn’t work that way in real life. And, it’s easy to look like the biggest tough guy in the world when you’re on such a winning streak. But, can you maintain that aura about you once you lose? Brock Lesnar did, and I don’t think that people look at Brock Lesnar today and think, “Oh yeah, I remember the night he lost to this guy.” I think Ryback will face the very same thing. Now, I know there are people out there who have presented the case that Ryback’s entire aura has been built on the fact that he’s undefeated. I think a stronger case can be made that once Ryback is defeated, he’ll be even a stronger character for WWE because you have gotten this out of the way.

Holmes: Probably my favorite thing you were involved with during your managing career was the Dangerous Alliance in WCW. You had Ravishing Rick Rude, some guy named Steve Austin, Bobby Eaton, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, Madusa…just an amazing line-up. If you were to recreate that stable in WWE, with CM Punk of course being the centerpiece, who would you pick?
Heyman: Wow…I find the fact that CM Punk and I are together…that makes us a Dangerous Alliance. I’d obviously never suggest that I should represent anyone else on television without first mentioning the name Brock Lesnar. As for rounding out the rest of the roster. I’d say we have the choice of cherry picking anyone. I’d certainly add Randy Orton to that group. And I’d take a young, hot, hungry tag team that is having an uphill battle with the system, someone like the Usos. I’d give them the stardom they deserve. And when it comes to the females. Since AJ doesn’t have the taste to accept my marriage proposal, I would probably grab someone like Nattie Neidhart who could probably tie everyone into a pretzel and make them tap out in 30 seconds of a legitimate fight.

Holmes: I understand you did some writing for the “WWE ‘13” video game. What did that entail?
Heyman: It entailed putting together the storylines for the Universe mode and for the Attitude Era. I have a viral marketing company called the Looking 4 Larry Agency and we were doing the viral marketing for this game anyway. And then THQ came to me about writing the actual storylines because I have a bit of product knowledge for that.
Holmes: A bit.
Heyman: Yeah. And so we were off to the races.
Holmes: As a writer, I feel like every time I branch out into a new format or genre I learn something new. Did you learn anything writing for the game? It must be much different than writing for a television show.
Heyman: The big difference between writing for WWE television and writing for the “WWE ‘13” video game is that once I wrote a storyline Vince McMahon didn’t yell at me about it.
Holmes: The guys at THQ didn’t chew you out?
Heyman: Who’s going to yell at me from THQ? I’m the guy they turn to to be the creative rabbi. Vince McMahon? He loves to yell at me.

Watch WWE: Hell in a Cell, Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on Pay Per View.

The “WWE ‘13” Video Game will be available for XBox 360, PS3, and Nintendo Wii on Tuesday, October 30, 2012.

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

‘Survivor: Philippines’ Recap: Of Rice and Men

October 24, 2012

'Survivor: Philippines' (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: Philippines”

Last Week: Matsing was rebuffed and split, Dana got sick and quit, and Dawson was voted out and tried to swap spit.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Kalabaw Tribe (wearing red)
Carter – Track Coach, 24
Denise – Sex Therapist, 41
Katie – Student, 22
Jeff Kent – Former MLB Player, 44
Penner – Writer, 50

The Tandang Tribe (wearing yellow)
Abi-Maria – Business Student, 32
Artis – Computer Engineer, 53
Michael – Professional Speaker, Author, and Coach, 50
Lisa – Former ‘Facts of Life’ Star, 49
Malcolm – Bartender, 25
Pete – Engineering Graduate, 24
RC – Investment Banker, 27

Our evening kicks off with the Kalabaw Nation returning from Tribal Council. Katie realizes that she’s up some kind of foul smelling creek without an implement that will help her navigate her boat. She talks to Denise and tries to convince her that Penner has the idol and should be the next to go.

Over at Tandang, Pete is annoyed with Skup for eating all of the tribe’s rice. “Survivor” always comes down to food. Always.

Also, Skup has been eating the rice without cooking it which sounds horrific. Does it even digest?

Reward Challenge Time: Three members from each tribe will try to push a giant wicker ball into their opponents’ goal. First tribe to score three points wins a trip to a hut that is filled with sandwiches, brownies, and other goodies.

RC and Artis will sit for Tandang.

Round One: Pete, Skupin, and Lisa vs. Penner, Carter, and Denise.

We start off and Lisa hits a big takedown on Denise! How do you like them Facts of Life!

Oh…and Penner has his arm in a very…sensitive…part of Skup’s body. We’re about to hit TV-MA territory here in a second.

Things eventually grind to a halt, with everyone holding someone else in position. Apparently this went on for a full hour.

Rather than continue the challenge, Penner and Skup start negotiating. Skupin offers to trade the reward for the rest of Kalabaw’s rice. Penner wants to make this trade happen because he’s confident he can catch some fish.

Artis thinks this is a terrible idea and says so in an unnecessarily tense matter. Yikes.

Kalabaw accepts this deal and the challenge is off. Honestly, anytime Skup can finish up a challenge without losing a limb, he’s gotta go for it.

Wow, that seems like a dumb move by Kalabaw. Tandang gave up something they didn’t have while the red tribe gave up their rice.

Afterwards we meet up with Kalabaw enjoying an impressive luncheon spread. While they’re eating, Penner realizes that letters from home are over on a separate table. Cue the sad piano music…

Back at Tandang, Artis is still ticked off over the lack of reward sandwiches. Abi isn’t thrilled about it either. RC uses this obvious tribal division as a way to try to motivate Skupin. She’s gotta do something.

Later at Kalabaw, Penner fails on his promise to catch some fish. The tiny specimens he returns from the ocean with are barely bigger than a McDonald’s hashbrown. Ozzy Lusth he ain’t.

Immunity Challenge Time: One member from each tribe will launch balls into a field while the other players try to catch them in a net. First tribe to score five wins immunity.

Skup and Abi will sit for Tandang.

Lisa and Denise will launch balls for their respective tribes.

Round One: Penner catches a ball.

Round Two: Pete and RC both catch balls.

Quick Note: How is Jeff Kent not awesome at this challenge?

Round Three: No catches.

Round Four: Jeff Kent catches one. Shows what I know.

Round Five: Jeff Kent catches another one. I’ll shut up now.

Round Six: Jeff Kent catches yet another one. Kent, I get it!

Skup tells Lisa to shoot them toward Malcolm.

Round Seven: Malcolm catches one.

Round Eight: Malcolm snags another one.

Jeff Kent covers Malcolm now. We’re tied at four points apiece.

Round Nine: Malcolm gets the best of Kent and catches a third ball. Tandang wins immunity.

Fun Fact: Denise still hasn’t won a challenge.

Politicking at Kalabaw centers around Katie vs. Penner. The argument against Penner is that they’re worried about what he’ll do after the merge. However, Katie obviously isn’t much help in challenges.

Carter thinks taking Penner to the merge is a good idea because all of the eyes will be on Penner. Hey, Carter’s thinking!

Wait, Carter isn’t thinking. He literally turns to Penner and says, “Penner…what do you want to do, Katie or Penner?” Really? Why don’t you just ask him how to spell his name? Seriously, even the monkeys that were grooming themselves around camp were shaking their heads.

Either Penner didn’t hear it or he was playing it off.

Later, Penner tells Katie that Denise is the next to go. Katie doesn’t buy it.

That night at Tribal Council, Denise and Katie both think they’re in trouble. Denise because she’s the new girl and Katie because she’s isn’t good at challenges.

Penner says he didn’t say he was vulnerable because he wants to seem confident.

Jeff Kent says every vote will be a blindside because everyone likes each other.

Penner agrees, because the votes aren’t personal, they’re strategic.

Jeff Kent thinks “Survivor” sucks because the game is a mix of surviving the elements and blindsiding your friends. He’s seen this show, hasn’t he?

Voting Time: Katie votes for Penner, Penner votes for Katie, and the rest of the votes remain a secret. Unless you ask Carter, cause he’ll straight up tell you.

Some tallying takes place. We’ve got one vote for Katie, one vote for Penner, one vote for Katie, and the seventh person to leave “Survivor: Philippines” is…Katie.

For some reason, Katie doesn’t take advantage of this chance to make out with Jeff Probst.

Verdict: Another interesting episode, but it’s getting too easy to predict the booted players. Thank goodness it looks like the merge is next. We’ve been waiting too long for this Tandang explosion.

Who’s Going to Win: I hate to jinx Malcolm more than I already have, but he is in an amazing position. He’s the Tandangian with the least amount of heat on him. Not only that, but he has an idol and is probably about to reunite with Denise. Team Malcolm FTW.

Power Rankings Results: Blam! Kat and I called it as we both had Katie in spot twelve. The current score is Team Kat: 80, Team Awesome Thunder: 85.

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

WWE Champion CM Punk: The Rock Is ‘Completely Underestimating Me’

October 24, 2012

WWE Champion CM Punk (THQ)

The best wrestling moments tend to happen when you have no idea how a match is going to end. The Undertaker and Triple H at Wrestlemania 28, CM Punk vs. John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011, Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1997…

And now, CM Punk vs. Ryback at Hell in a Cell.

In one corner you have the WWE Champion whose lengthy title reign seems destined for a date with The Rock at the Royal Rumble. In the other you have the undefeated newcomer whose “Feed Me More” chants have been erupting in arenas across the country.

I had a chance to talk to the “Best in the World” in the days leading up to his big title defense and asked him about the rise of Ryback, the return of the Rock, and the benefits to having your face plastered all over a video game store…

Order WWE: Hell in a Cell Today

Gordon Holmes: What you do on Twitter is your business, but if you could refrain from making fun of the St. Louis Cardinals during this interview, I’d appreciate it.
CM Punk: I cannot promise anything.
Holmes: And…we’re already off to a bad start.

Holmes: One of the most important parts of being a champion with a long title reign is being able to have entertaining matches with a wide variety of opponents. In the past year you’ve had to face big guys like Big Show and Kane, brawlers like John Cena and the Miz, and technical guys like Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho. Your opponent this Sunday, Ryback, is very different from all of those guys. Does facing someone with such a power-based offense change your approach to the match?
Punk: It doesn’t change my approach to the match. I’m still confident in my own abilities, but I’m not going to get arrogant because Ryback is a hell of a specimen. There’s potential for a title change on Sunday. There’s a potential for a title change anytime I get in the ring, but I always find a way to win.
Holmes: Is that a feather in your cap to be able to work with so many different styles?
Punk: Absolutely. I think the fans, whether subconsciously or consciously, know that whether I’m wrestling Rey Mysterio or Big Show or Kane or Daniel Bryan it’s going to be a good match.
Holmes: Sunday is Ryback’s first main event. What do you think he’s going through mentally as he prepares to take that next step?
Punk: I think he’s trying to get his head right. I’m positive he has butterflies. If he doesn’t, then something is wrong with him. It’s just what he does with those butterflies.
Holmes: Last time we talked you said one of your goals was to make more people into stars.  Do you think Ryback has what it takes to break through and become one of those top guys?
Punk: Absolutely. But, it relies a lot on what he does in the position he’s put in. We need guys. Make no mistake about it; we need guys. Hopefully he’s one of them.

Holmes: The “WWE ‘13” video game is being released next Tuesday with a familiar face on the cover. Have you had a chance to sit down and try it out?
Punk: The game is excellent. The cover has never looked as good as it does this year. There’s tons of new features. You get to play as Attitude era characters, you can collapse the ring, you can collapse the guardrail. There’s tons of sweet new things.
Holmes: Is it better to have your face on a video game than it would be to have it on a commemorative cup?
Punk: Oh yeah. I can walk into any video game store and my face is plastered all over it. That’s pretty wild.
Holmes: Probably makes it easier to pick up girls.
Punk: (Laughs) God knows that’s what I do when I go into video game stores.
Holmes: Good point.

Holmes: You’re a very goal-oriented guy. I think I’m also quite goal-oriented. However, I always think I’ll be able to relax once something is achieved, but that’s never the case. You’ve talked about having very few goals left in the wrestling business. When those are all done, I can’t imagine you just kicking back and relaxing in Chicago. Is there a plan for your next chapter once you leave the ring?
Punk: Yeah, of course. I can’t exactly tell you what that is yet…(Laughs)…that’d spoil it. I am a very goal-oriented person and one of the goals is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. One of the goals is getting out of the wrestling business with my health intact. I think that’s a very important goal. And if you don’t have that goal you’re not being realistic, because this isn’t going to last forever. And, I don’t think you’re being fair to yourself. I don’t want to be one of those guys who’s forty-five, fifty and wrestling.

Holmes: How has your “Best in the World” DVD been received so far?
Punk: It’s funny, I’ve only heard a couple of negative things and it was from people who were obviously trying to get a rise out of me on Twitter. You know, “I saw your DVD and it sucked.” Well, then you obviously didn’t watch it. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We worked really hard on that thing, and it was pulling teeth getting a lot of that stuff in there. But, I did it and I have zero regrets. I’m so proud of that, I think it’s the defining moment of my career.

Holmes: Whenever we talk, I like to bug you about how you’d fare in an old-school wrestling organization.
Punk: No, I love it. I appreciate it.
Holmes: I’m a big fan of ‘80s tag team wrestling. The British Bulldogs, the Hart Foundation, the Midnight Express…my question is…who’d be your ‘80s tag team partner?
Punk: Oh man…I don’t know… Paul Heyman always draws a lot of comparisons with Eddie Gilbert and myself. So, if it’s the ‘80s I’m tagging with Eddie Gilbert.

Holmes: If you make it to the Royal Rumble as the champion you’ll be facing a gentleman known as The Rock. Do you think it’s easier or tougher to get in the ring if you’re not working a full-time schedule?
Punk: He can lift a lot heavy weights and he’s got all those big muscles. But, all of those muscles need oxygen. And when you’re not in the ring every night like I am, you can’t keep up with the best in the world.
Holmes: He’ll have trouble keeping up with you?
Punk: Absolutely.
Holmes: One of the things…
Punk: 100%! I want to be very clear about that. I think he thought John Cena was going to be an easier target than he was. And I certainly think he’s completely underestimating me. He’s bitten off more than he can chew.

Watch WWE: Hell in a Cell, Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on Pay Per View.

The “WWE ‘13” Video Game will be available for XBox 360, PS3, and Nintento Wii on Tuesday, October 30, 2012.

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

‘Survivor: Philippines’ Power Rankings: Round Five

October 23, 2012

'Survivor: Philippines' (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

The Rules: Each week Kat and Gordon 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 Artis is voted out this week, Kat will receive 10 points and Gordon will receive 9 points. The person with the most points at the end of the season will be crowned the ‘Survivor: Philippines’ Power Rankings champion!

Last Week: Kat killed it last week. She had Dana in spot fourteen and Dawson in spot thirteen for a total of twenty seven points. I was right behind her with Dana in fourteenth and Dawson in twelfth for a total of twenty six. The current score is Team Kat: 68, Team Awesome Thunder 73.

Set Your DVR to Record ‘Survivor: Philippines

Kat’s Current Score: 68

Any advice for Kat? Drop her a line on Twitter: @KatEdorsson

Gordon’s Current Score: 73

Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

 1. Malcolm: Champ, Champ, Champ!! And the crowd goes wild!! Really enjoying watching Malcolm strive for victory within his new tribe. During the immunity challenge Malcolm proved to be a great asset and in addition to this, Pete tells Malcolm about his idol solidifying an alliance within the remaining six tribe members. His chances are looking great right now!
 1. Malcolm: Welcome back to the top, Malcolm. You probably would have been in good shape no matter which buff you pulled out of the bag, but Tandang is probably the best situation for you. Add an idol to that equation and you’ve got an impressive turnaround in the game.
 2. Lisa: Nothing out of the ordinary to say about Miss “Facts of Life”.  She is my “Survivor: Philippines” Lamb and I can’t tell you how important it really is to cruise under the radar at this point in the game. Still looking beautiful!  2. Pete: Wow, I was a little shocked at how quickly Pete spilled the beans to Malcolm. Malcolm doesn’t need to know that you guys have the idol. He just needs to know how to vote.
 3. Pete: Right now, Pete seems to have his tribe wrapped around his fingers. Believing Malcolm has joined his alliance, Pete seems to be sitting pretty. However, can someone please tell the man the “pink hoodie” has already been trademarked…by me!  3. Abi-Maria: Are we seeing a situation where Pete is going to make all the decisions while fiery Abi takes all the bullets? That’s a good way to get to the end, but not a good way to win.

  4. Abi-Maria: Her alliance and her idol will get her far, but pulling a “Hantz” will never give you the win. People have to eventually like you. Hopefully she will warm up soon, if not there is no hope! With her temper she would be great to take to the finals!  4. Jeff Kent: The power struggle in the red tribe is over and the Kalabros have won. Although, I’ll have to rename them now that Denise is on board. However, if Penner is already making moves toward some kind of returnee alliance with Skup, Kent will have to nip that in the bud. I bet he’ll have the votes he needs, too.

  5. Penner: How I love these three amigos! This tripod containing Penner, Carter, and Jeff Kent is fantastic, no offense, ladies, but I’m happy to see some strategy going on. I’d like to see how Penner wiggled his way out of being the first boot to now the strongest alliance with an idol and my favorite Denise!
 5. Carter:  We haven’t heard much from Carter on the show, but Dana had sure heard more than enough from him. That makes me wonder if he doesn’t have a great grasp on the way people view him.
 6. Jeff Kent: Jeff is making the moves and playing the game! Pulling Denise in was great strategy and just their luck, two girls were eliminated!  6. Lisa: Mark my words, Lisa Whelchel is going deep into this game. If Tandang hits the merge with numbers (and it looks like they’re gonna) she’s going to coast for a long time. Tootie would be so proud.
 7. Carter: Good Morning Sweet Carter, welcome to “Survivor”!! How in the world did he get to the safety zone! He could possibly have a shot at this game! Did you see how fast he hit that immunity challenge; they probably could have won if Katie wasn’t dragging that tail! I have high hopes for this kid if he makes the merge for individual immunity. However, his only downfall seems to be how gullible he is. This kind of a player might need a second round of “Survivor” to really understand the game. “Survivor” is mentally challenging, don’t forget! But it’s nice to finally meet you!
 7. Denise: Denise is going to have to walk a bit of a tightrope. It’s probably pretty safe to assume that Katie is going home the next time Kalabaw loses immunity, but then what? Can she relate to Kent and Penner better than Carter? She’d better hope so.
 8. Denise: This is my hands-down favorite woman in this game, and I believe she will come out harder and stronger than any competitor because of how self motivated she is. She never complains, keeps her head up, and is given her spot on Kalabaw that she so rightfully deserves. She has an alliance with Malcolm with an idol plus she has been invited to the three amigos alliance making it a newly found quad. So, I believe she will be safe and continue to play this game.
 8. Penner:  Oh boy, it looks like Penner and Skupin might share loving looks during this week’s immunity challenge. Not smart. Whenever it looks like you’re cozying up with the enemy it never turns out well. (See Elrod, Matt)
 9. Michael: Skupin, you’re still my favorite and I love how big of a competitor you are! But, with Pete with the upper hand you might need to look out! As of now the tribe remains strong and I’m hoping to see if Malcolm comes to you with some new information to cause a flaw and give you and RC a fighting chance!  9. Artis: Malcolm pulling the yellow buff was great for him, and less great for some of the other guys. If Pete trusts Malcolm enough to share the whole gameplan, what does he think of Artis? And, what’s going on with Artis flipping out in this week’s challenge?
 10. Artis: I still stand by how I felt last week. Artis might be on the strongest tribe which could be the only reason why he is still in this game. Let’s say it together . One, Two, Threeeee “SOCIALIZE!!!” Please before you’re out of this game!! Outwit, outplay, outlast!! Play the game and hurry!  10. Michael: Now that Malcolm’s playing for Team Tandang, the young ‘uns can send Skup packing without really losing any challenge strength. The only thing working in his favor right now is how badly Abi wants to boot RC.
  11. RC: Come on RC, do something! Anything! What a shame, RC is a great competitor and I’m sad to say but I think she’s a goner. Abi gives her the stink eye if she even looks at Malcolm which means they will be coming for her if their tribe loses this week. It will be RC hands down. Pete and Abi are in control and these are the times I feel lucky to have been blindsided because feeling isolated in “Survivor” like “TroyZan” is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
 11. RC: Sorry, RC…I can’t imagine Malcolm being “booty blinded” twice in the same game. You need a merge in the worst way.
 12. Katie: You’re so cute and I’m happy I was able to hear you speak last episode, but your tribe is targeting you as their weakest link. And, you’re the only girl because let’s face it; Denise is not a chick, she’s a beast and she’s rolling with the fellas!
 12. Katie: Dana’s illness really turned the tide of this game over at Kalabeach. If she sticks around and Dawson is right about Denise joining the ladies, then the Kalabros are in the minority. From there it’s up to Penner to pick the right person to protect with his idol. Instead, Denise joins the guys, and Katie and Dawson are lined up on the chopping block. I’ll be sorry to see my fellow Delawarean take the long, lonely walk.

Watch ‘Survivor: Philippines’ every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

What Is the Most Endearing ‘Survivor’ Moment? Jeff Probst Answers (Kinda)

October 22, 2012

'Boston' Rob Mariano (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: Philippines”

This Week’s Question: What is the most endearing moment in “Survivor” history?

Gordon Holmes: This might be a tough one to pick considering “Survivor” has a much better romance track record than “The Bachelor.” But, when “Boston” Rob Mariano asked Lex Van den Berghe to save Amber Brkich during “Survivor: All Stars” it seemed like much more than him looking out for an alliance member. A happy marriage and some wonderful kids seem to prove that point. I’d put Tarzan Smith’s loved one visit with his wife and the friendship between Richard Hatch and Rudy Boesch as close seconds.
Jeff Probst:
Ah…this one is really tough to answer because I find small moments all the time on “Survivor.”  Moments when people have their own individual triumphs, often while simultaneously losing a challenge or being blindsided at Tribal Council.  Everybody who plays has a different adventure they are seeking and it is so personal it is often hard to share their “moment” but I think the vast majority of our players would tell you they had a moment that moved them and often changed them.  
Holmes:
So your answer is…
Probst:
Not ducking the question, but I’d be here all day writing the answers and I have a talk show to work on! 

What’s Your Most Endearing Moment? Send your answers to me on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor’ Dawson Has Harsh Words for Jeff Kent, Loving Words for Jeff Probst

October 19, 2012

Sarah Dawson and Jeff Probst (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: Philippines”

Several months ago, Sarah Dawson and I were enjoying a delightful conversation in a charming gazebo located in the scenic Caramoan Islands. Then a picture frame fell off the wall and cracked her over the head. It was the first time I’d ever tried to murder a “Survivor” contestant.

Later, Sarah Dawson was enjoying a comfortable stay in the game of “Survivor.” Her tribe had a nice winning streak going and she was in the middle of a female alliance. Then Denise joined her tribe, her buddy got sick, and she was voted out.

One minute you’re fine, the next you’re wondering what the hell just happened.

I spoke with the quirky Kalabawian the morning after her elimination and had a chance to learn about how she used Jeff Kent’s secret, how Dana’s illness impacted tribe dynamics and the touching embrace she shared with Jeff Probst…

Gordon Holmes: Morning, Dawson. How are you doing?
Sarah Dawson: Well, my torch got snuffed, so I’m a little less on fire today. But I’m still blazing.
Holmes: Well, I’ll make your day a little better. I promise in no way will you be injured during this interview.
Dawson: (Laughs) I was wondering! Is he going to come in and throw a vase at my head?
Holmes: I wouldn’t dream of it. Any injuries you suffer in the next ten minutes will have to be your doing.
Dawson: Thank you.

Holmes: This might cheer you up; I think we have something in common. I think we both have a crush on Jeff Probst.
Dawson: I know I have a crush on Jeff Probst. You want to go to his house?
Holmes: I wouldn’t take it that far. I wouldn’t run up to the man and hug him and plant a kiss on his cheek after being voted out.
Dawson: (Laughs) I recommend it highly. It is the experience of a lifetime. Seeing the look on his face…he didn’t know if I was going to go crazy because of the intensity in my eyes. He’s thinking, “She’s going to go crazy, or she’s about to hump my leg.”
Holmes: For the sake of them keeping their rating, I’m glad you refrained from humping his leg.
Dawson: I would’ve done it classily, you know.
Holmes: Is there a classy way to do that?
Dawson: You know, bring me back for another season and I’ll give some demos.

Holmes: My first instinct when you were walking with your torch was that you’d turn around and out Jeff Kent’s baseball past. Why did you keep that secret?
Dawson: I’d watched Jeff Kent play for twelve days and I watched his social game. And, I gave him tips on his social game because it was so lacking. I knew if I didn’t out him he’d probably go down anyway.
Holmes: What was wrong with his social game?
Dawson: He didn’t socialize.
Holmes: Ah yes, a key component of a social game.
Dawson: If Kent finds a speck of dirt on his cowboy boots he’ll go out and pout about in on the beach for a day and a half. I tried to help him, but he didn’t want to work with me. I don’t want him to lose because he’s a millionaire, I want him to lose because his game wasn’t that good.

Holmes: Here’s an idea I had; what if you’d approached him and said, “Look Jeff, I know you don’t want to partner with me, but the second I’m voted out I’m going to out you.” It’d be like some hardcore “Survivor” blackmail.
Dawson: I actually did do that. You have to be in the mindset of being out there and hungry. At the point I was in the game, my brain wasn’t working on all cylinders. I didn’t want to out him, but I did blackmail him. But I didn’t take him down because I want him to be voted out, not because he has money. You’re going to go home because of your social game.
Holmes: So, he knows that you knew?
Dawson: Absolutely. That’s why he targeted me.

Holmes: Before Dana went down, did you try to bring Denise into your alliance?
Dawson: Denise was on board with a four-woman alliance. We were actually going to take out Carter. Once Dana left Katie and I lost a lot of leverage. And, the guys knew we were coming after them.
Holmes: Katie voted for you last night. Was that a blindside?
Dawson: No, Katie can’t blindside me. I knew she was voting for me and I begged her not to. I said, “I’m a huge fan of the show. If we’re going to go out, let’s go out big. Let’s make this a tie, let’s pull rocks, that hasn’t happened in years! And, if they kick me out, you’re going next.” Unfortunately I couldn’t convince her.

Holmes: Let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Dana…
Dawson: Badass.
Holmes: Jeff Kent?
Dawson: Awkward.
Holmes: Denise?
Dawson: Awesome. I love Denise.
Holmes: Carter?
Dawson: Who?
Holmes: Carter?
Dawson: Who?
Holmes: Gotcha. Well played… Katie?
Dawson: Delaware.
Holmes: Something wrong with Delaware?
Dawson: No, nothing’s wrong with it.
Holmes: I was going to say, Wilmington represent.
Dawson: (Laughs)
Holmes: Let’s finish this off with Penner.
Dawson: Oh man…brilliant player. In one word he’s masterful.

Holmes: Early on it looked like you guys were gunning for Penner. Was that in the cards?
Dawson: We never really targeted Penner. He actually isolated himself from us. He was so obsessed with the idol that he wouldn’t engage with us. He wouldn’t spend any time with us. He didn’t even know the girls’ names until day three. He kept calling me “sweetheart.” He kind of brought that on himself. Jeff Kent wanted him out.

Holmes: I’m super psyched we’re finishing this interview with you in one piece.
Dawson: Yes! In one piece and no one else has been kissed yet today. If you talk to Probst you can tell him I’m available all afternoon. We can finish what we started.
Holmes: He is a married man.
Dawson: I know. And I meant to ask him about that on the island…you know…if that was still going well.
Holmes: That’s terrible.
Dawson: No! I wasn’t hoping for something else…but…you know. You can’t blame a girl for dreaming.
Holmes: You’re only human.
Dawson: And so is he.

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


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