Archive for January, 2013

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Fan Hope Driskill: ‘I’m Not the Best Liar’

January 18, 2013

Hope Driskill (CBS)

I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Fans vs. Favorites” competitors the day before they left for the Caramoan Islands. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each contestant every weekday until we get through all of them. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for tons of updates.

Name: Hope Driskill
Age: 23
Hometown: Jefferson City, MO
Occupation: Recent Graduate of the University of Missouri

Note: The “Survivor: Caramoan” pre-game interviews are unlike the pre-game interviews we’ve done in the past. Usually, the interviews take place on location, this time they took place in Los Angeles before the players flew out. At this point, all the “Fans” know is that they’re flying out in the next few days. They have seen each other, but haven’t seen the returning players.  They don’t know for sure where they’re going, and they don’t know any of the season’s twists.

Gordon Holmes: Let’s get the most important question out of the way; are you a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals?
Hope Driskill: That is very important, and yes I am a Cards fan. Can I ask you a question?
Holmes: That’s unorthodox, but maybe just this once.
Driskill: Were you upset when Albert (Pujols) left us?
Holmes: I was sorry to see him go, but I think it’s best for the team that we didn’t pay him what he wanted.
Driskill: St. Louis was so devastated.
Holmes: As was I. There’s a Pujols Christmas ornament that isn’t going on my tree this year.

Holmes: Alright, let’s move on to less important things like “Survivor.”
Driskill: (Laughs) Yes, “Survivor”…go.
Holmes: It says here that you don’t like complainers. I’m willing to make a pre-game bet that you’re going to run into those kinds of people over the next 39 days.
Driskill: It does irritate me when people complain a lot. And it’s not to say that I don’t complain about things, because I do. I just don’t think it does any good to sit around and complain about things.
Holmes: What happens on Day 27 when you’re sitting around the fire and someone starts complaining?
Driskill: You know what? At that point if I’m hungry and tired, I’m just going to let them complain.

Holmes: Why do you think you were cast?
Driskill: I think it’s because they saw that I’ve had an interesting array of accomplishments. I think they thought I’d be a good competitor and a good addition to the cast.

Holmes: Do you have any issues lying in the game?
Driskill: Honestly, I’m not the best liar. I’m not that good at it. But, I am good with working with people.
Holmes: So you’re OK with lying, you’re just not good at it?
Driskill: I think to some degree it’s OK, but I’m no good at it.
Holmes: Alright, give me two truths and a lie.
Driskill: I competed in Miss USA, I’ve been skydiving, and I studied abroad in Europe.
Holmes: You never studied abroad.
Driskill: (Laughs) I have! I’ve never been skydiving.
Holmes: See, you can lie.
Driskill: This is getting me excited!
Holmes: That’s my goal in this interview.
Driskill: To get me pumped.
Holmes: We need more Missouri-based “Survivor” champions. Fabio is not enough.

Holmes: OK, you’re a lovely young woman.
Driskill: Aww…thank you.
Holmes: Keep your head in the game.
Driskill: (Laughs)
Holmes: Some people use flirting to get ahead. Is this a strategy you might use?
Driskill: I mean…yes. But I wouldn’t think, “I’m going to go flirt with this person to get ahead.” I’m a friendly person, I’m from the Midwest.
Holmes: Yes, we’re all delightful.
Driskill: Right, we’re friendly and that might come off as flirty. But no, I have no intentions of flirting to get ahead.

Holmes: You and the other players can’t talk to each other yet, what kind of first impression do you think they’re getting of you?
Driskill: I think people…especially since I’m wearing five-inch wedges.
Holmes: Wow, those are impressive. Those are some earrings too.
Driskill: (Laughs) Thank you, I love them. I think that people will underestimate me, but I think that’s to my advantage because I will prove them wrong.
Holmes: What are your first impressions of the cast so far?
Driskill: It seems like a younger group. I’ve honestly gotten a good, friendly vibe from everyone. So, I’m excited. I think we’re going to have fun.

Holmes: Are you a “Survivor” fan?
Driskill: Yes.
Holmes: How big of a fan?
Driskill: I think on a scale of one to ten, I’m an eight. I don’t watch much TV. I’ve been really busy.
Holmes: Doing what? Boring stuff like learning?
Driskill: Yes, but I’m done!
Holmes: Good, now you’ll have more time for TV. Now, as a “Survivor” fan, what are some mistakes you’ve seen that you’re hoping to avoid?
Driskill: Well, I think one of the biggest mistakes is being naïve and not being aware of your surroundings and that everyone is there to win. So, you have to make sure you’re respectful and get to know everyone.
Holmes: Did you watch “South Pacific” and “One World”?
Driskill: I did.
Holmes: We saw a lot of people on the bottom of alliances who weren’t willing or able to improve their place in the game. Why do you think that happens?
Driskill: I honestly don’t know. I think that being on the bottom you’re intimidated and you have to be competent and bold to step up and make a big move.

Holmes: When you win the million, what’re you going to do with the money? I mean, besides law school.
Driskill: Seeing as how I just got through four years of school, I’ve racked up some educational expenses and there’s more to come.
Holmes: What kind of law?
Driskill: I worked in the attorney general’s office for a few years and I also worked in the governor’s office. So, with my experiences there, I’m thinking more civil. But, we’ll see. I’m keeping my options open.
Holmes: Is law school something you’re going to keep a secret out there? Because when you’re facing the jury, you’ll be able to go all Perry Mason on them.
Driskill: I don’t think I’ll keep it a secret.
Holmes: Is there anything you’ll keep a secret?
Driskill: No, I’m pretty proud of everything I’ve done.

Holmes: Are you anticipating any twists this season?
Driskill: Yes.
Holmes: If there are any twists, what do you think they will be?
Driskill: Lord knows. I have no idea. I just know that when I flew out yesterday, the last report I read had Jeff saying he was a little let down with this past season with how Kim (Spradlin) dominated every aspect of the game. So, I think they’re going to throw in something. But, I have no idea what that’s going to be.
Holmes: So, Jeff Probst is not to be trusted.
Driskill: (Laughs) He seems like a trustworthy guy. But he’s going to throw in something exciting.

Don’t miss the two-hour premiere of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites,” Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Fave Brandon Hantz: ‘I’m Not a Punk, I’m a Beast’

January 17, 2013

Brandon Hantz (CBS)

I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Fans vs. Favorites” competitors the day before they left for the Caramoan Islands. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each contestant every weekday until we get through all of them. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for tons of updates.

Name: Brandon Hantz
Age: 21
Hometown: Katy, Texas
Occupation: Chemical Disposal
Previous Finish: Brandon came in 6th place in “Survivor: South Pacific”
Memorable Moment: Brandon was voted out immediately after giving his immunity idol to Albert Destrade.

Note: The “Survivor: Caramoan” pre-game interviews are unlike the pre-game interviews we’ve done in the past. Usually, the interviews take place on location, this time they took place in Los Angeles before the players flew out. At this point, all the “Favorties” know is that they’re flying out in the next few days. They have seen each other, but haven’t seen the new players.  They don’t know for sure where they’re going, and they don’t know any of the season’s twists.

Gordon Holmes: Mr. Hantz, what’ve you been up to since we saw you last?
Brandon Hantz: I’ve been up to great stuff. I’ve been taking care of my family. I’ve been chilling with my kids, my little boy. Teaching him how to swim, that’s been fun.
Holmes: How old is he?
Hantz: Two years old. I’m kind of doing it like my dad did it, just throwing him in there and then go get him after a couple of seconds. (Laughs)
Holmes: The second part of that method is very important.
Hantz: (Laughs) I spend time with my wife. We had a little rough spot there after the show. But, it helped us in the end. We’re actually stronger now than we were before. It’s actually excellent. Everything’s going great. Got some money.
Holmes: Was the rough spot because of the show?
Hantz: It was self-inflicted. I let it get to my head this whole TV thing. I said to myself, “I wouldn’t do that.” I hate people that get too big for their britches. And I did it. I got too big for my britches. So, I got some knew britches.
Holmes: Perfectly fitting, tailored, new britches.
Hantz: Keep the (expletive deleted) nice and tight.
Holmes: That might be more information than we needed.
CBS Representative: (Laughs)
Holmes: That’s how these interviews tend to go, in case you were wondering.

Holmes: The last time we saw you was at the “South Pacific” reunion show. And, on the broadcast, you didn’t strike me as someone who would be psyched to come back and play again. And yet, here you are. What happened?
Hantz: I’ve got a new attitude like that song. (Sings ala Patti LaBelle) I’ve got a new attitude.
Holmes: New britches, new attitude.
Hantz: New me, man. I’m happy with myself. I’m going to get better. But, in the process I’m going to enjoy life. I started off as a little tadpole, and then whatever is after a tadpole, now I’m a shark. I don’t know where it goes from there.
Holmes: …does a tadpole become a shark?
Hantz: It just depends.
CBS Representative: It’s all evolution.
Holmes: There ya go.
Hantz: Have you ever heard of Darwin?

Holmes: It’s great to see you having fun.
Hantz: Thank you.
Holmes: Because people would say, “Why is Russell’s nephew on ‘Survivor’?” They wouldn’t say “Brandon,” they’d say “Russell’s nephew.” And when we met in Samoa I thought, here’s this good-natured, almost innocent guy, he doesn’t seem like Russell at all. But then, it seemed like the game got the best of you and you were having a hard time coming to terms with everything.
Hantz: I allowed my past convictions to stop me from playing the game. I don’t know what I was thinking. I play chess all the time. I smash people in chess. It gets violent when I’m on a chess table.
Holmes: You don’t hear that often.
Hantz: No! That’s how competitive I am. Then to come out and play that game and look like a little punk? I’m not a punk. I’m a beast.
Holmes: You’re a shark.
Hantz: I’m a shark.

Holmes: So, in your time in the game you were someone who wasn’t comfortable lying. Does that change?
Hantz: I’m still not a liar. If you and I are walking down the street I’m not going to lie to you. If you ask, “How man, how do these look,” I’m going to say, “These look terrible. I still love ya, but you look terrible.”
Holmes: You think I look terrible?
Hantz: (Laughs) Don’t put me on the spot. I’m just kidding, you look great.
Holmes: Appreciate that. But in a game for a million dollars, does that change things?
Hantz: You play poker?
Holmes: Yes, poorly.
Hantz: I’ll be like, “Guess what, guys? You think I’m bluffing? It’s about to get all crazy up in this (expletive deleted). All in.”

Holmes: Last time you had some issues with Mikayla Wingle...
Hantz: Really? Who brings this up? Did you write these questions?
Holmes: I wrote these questions.
Hantz: What’s up?
Holmes: We’re talking about what went on in your season and how it will affect your gameplay going forward.
Hantz: Well, I’m going to be honest with you from here on out.
Holmes: I appreciate all honesty. What I’m asking is, if you find yourself in another situation with a young lovely…
Hantz: A young lovely? Well, that’s a hard question. If I find myself with a young lovely, then I’m in a room with a young lovely. I don’t understand the question.
Holmes: You felt like Mikayla was flirting with you and that was a reason to target her.
Hantz: I’m pretty sure that’s not how it went.
Holmes: Then how did it go?
Hantz: I’m pretty sure you just saw the edit.
Holmes: I did see the edit. But no matter what happened, she was targeted.
Hantz: This was the deal, Mikayla and I were aligned. The cameraman asked me the question, “Do you think that’s she intimidating because she’s pretty?” and I elaborated. But, people are stupid to the fact that, “This guy is sexist, he’s afraid of beautiful women.” Dude, I see beautiful women all the time. I’m a human being, I have to see pretty women. I have a job, I have a regular life. I’m not scared of a hot woman. My wife happens to be really hot, very young and robust.
Holmes: (Laughs) That’s a wonderful adjective.
Hantz: (Laughs) So, I’m not afraid of a beautiful woman. Actually, I have an idea. Ready to hear it?
Holmes: Absolutely.
Hantz: If a young woman wants to align with me, then I will do so.
Holmes: You’ve got to keep all doors open in this game.
Hantz: All the doors are open! I’m not going to allow my past convictions to interrupt the game. I know who I am. I love Jesus Christ. That doesn’t change. But, I’m a fun guy. I’m funny. I like to joke around. I like to be friends with everybody. And I shouldn’t feel bad for doing those things. And I was making myself feel bad for those things. I’m going to have fun. And I’m going to win a million dollars.

Holmes: It’s the first day in the game, I look across the beach and see Brandon Hantz. What do you think I remember about you?
Hantz: He’s no threat. He’s a crybaby. And, he’s very trustworthy. A girl might be worried like, “Oh my gosh, I’m pretty.” And I’d be, “Oh my gosh, don’t flatter yourself.”

Holmes: With Coach Wade and Ozzy Lusth, you got to see firsthand what it’s like for someone playing the game a second time. Did you learn anything about that from them?
Hantz: They’re smarter. You’re such a smarter person. I hope we have ten new people that we’re playing with…which I’m thinking we might. There’s always a twist. That’s why I’m here.

Holmes: What do you think of the cast members you’ve seen so far?
Hantz: I like them. Everybody starts off happy go lucky. I’m very open-minded. The person you guess you’re going to hate is normally the person you end up being best friends with. I could be best friends with a very pretty girl or a very ugly guy. You never know.
Holmes: Anyone you’re comfortable working with?
Hantz: I’ve played with Dawn and Cochran. So, that’s a comfort zone. But sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone to make things happen. And I’m here to make things happen. It’s not the same Brandon. (Sings) I’ve got a new attitude.
Holmes: Why do you think you were brought back?
Hantz: I think I was brought back, sir…because I made good TV. Whether it was positive or negative, people wanted to watch.

Holmes: Before “South Pacific” people said, “This kid is only around because he’s Russell Hantz’s nephew.” I would have agreed…
Hantz: Until you watched the season! This interview means nothing…you know why? Because I don’t even know what I’m going to do out there.
Holmes: Well, the game’s so fluid, it’s impossible to know. That’s why I try to ask broader questions.
Hantz: You know what I’ve learned about myself? Is that I might be like this now, but in a couple of minutes I might not be like this. You might walk up on me and I might be like, “Dude, get out of my face!”
Holmes: So, I should not step to you?
Hantz: Don’t step to me.
Holmes: I had no intention of doing that.
Hantz: It’s about to happen!
Holmes: I want to go on record…and we’re recording this…I have no intention of stepping to you.
Hantz: (Laughs)
Holmes: There’s a tattoo that says, “Loco.” I appreciate that that’s a guy you don’t want to step to. I don’t think that’s a tattoo you’d get all willy nilly.
Hantz: (Laughs) Oh my God, I love it.

Holmes: You’ve been a featured player on a nationally televised reality show. What’s the reaction you get from people on the street?
Hantz: I’ve had a lot of reactions. Most of them are little punks who don’t want to tell me their true feelings so they say, “Hey, it’s really nice to meet you. I was your fan.” Blah blah blah. And I’m like, “No dude, you were probably screaming at me the whole time I was out there.” I don’t buy it. I’m very polite and I’m like, “Yes maam, thank you very much.” But I don’t take that stuff to heart.
Holmes: Can’t some of these people mean what they’re saying?
Hantz: Yes, people I know. Have you ever had anyone give you an apology that you didn’t think was an honest apology?
Holmes: Yes.
Hantz: You could see that same thing in someone’s face when they say, “I was your biggest fan.” They won’t even look you in the eye. They want to smack me in the face.
Holmes: Interesting.
Hantz: Don’t call me your favorite, smack me in my face and see if this sweet little old guy will turn the other cheek.
Holmes: Do a lot of people try to smack you in the face?
Hantz: Metaphorically, yes.
Holmes: Ah…well done.

Holmes: It’s blowing my mind how much it seems like you’ve changed from when we met before “South Pacific.” It seems like you’ve been though a lot.
Hantz: Dude…
Holmes: I guess what I’m getting at here is, you didn’t seem happy during the reunion and I hope you’re happy now.
Hantz: I appreciate that. It’s building from here. I had to tear down that whole house that was built and rebuild it. My Bible says, David’s son Solomon was talking about how wise people get their wisdom from pain. A lot of wisdom comes from suffering.
Don’t miss the two-hour premiere of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites,” Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Fan Reynold Toepfer: ‘You Have to Be Cutthroat’

January 16, 2013

Reynold Toepfer (CBS)

I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Fans vs. Favorites” competitors the day before they left for the Caramoan Islands. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each contestant every weekday until we get through all of them. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for tons of updates.

Name: Reynold Toepfer
Age: 30
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Sales

Note: The “Survivor: Caramoan” pre-game interviews are unlike the pre-game interviews we’ve done in the past. Usually, the interviews take place on location, this time they took place in Los Angeles before the players flew out. At this point, all the “Fans” know is that they’re flying out in the next few days. They have seen each other, but haven’t seen the returning players.  They don’t know for sure where they’re going, and they don’t know any of the season’s twists.

Gordon Holmes: Alright, how does a guy who lives in San Francisco become a Tom Brady fan?
Reynold Toepfer: My first job posting was in Boston and I grew up in Ohio with losing teams, the Bengals in particular. And then I went there and worked with all Pats fans and drank the Kool-Aid. And, I have a respect for the game, I played. And I think he brings out the best in everyone around him. So many different rosters and he keeps winning.
Holmes: What level did you play up to?
Toepfer: High school, and I played rugby in college.
Holmes: Rugby? That’s a tough sport.
Toepfer: Yeah, I was good in Ohio, but then I played overseas in Australia and got my ass kicked.
Holmes: When did you live in Australia?
Toepfer: Let’s see…I’ve been back in the States for two years. So like 2007 to 2010.
Holmes: They have giant spiders there, right?
Toepfer: Yeah, but they don’t bite you. The huntsman spider, it’s big, it’s hairy, it’s the size of my hand.
Holmes: Screw that.
Toepfer: It’s the little ones that will kill you. The little brown and black ones.

Holmes: Why do you think they picked you to play?
Toepfer: I’ve always been told that I have an energy about me. I was recruited, Lynne found me on the street. I’m a big believer in fate and destiny and things like that. I was watching Season 2 when I was in high school, I was too young to send in a video. And, I was watching Colby Donaldson and I was like, “God, I could be that guy.” And I really could feel this connection. I was like, “That’s going to be me one day, but not yet.” I lived my life, I went to Boston, I went overseas, I traveled Europe, and I lived my life very happily and very fully. And I got spotted in LA.
Holmes: Just off the street?
Toepfer: Just off the street. It was one of those LA stories.
Holmes: For someone like yourself who believes in fate, that’s exactly how it would happen.
Toepfer: It was kind of magical, you know? It was meant to be. So I feel very comfortable.

Holmes: Let’s talk about your gameplay. How comfortable are you lying to people?
Toepfer: I’m not that comfortable lying. But, I have a slew of ex-girlfriends that would tell you otherwise. So, maybe I’m in denial about it. I come from a Midwestern Ohio upbringing. My dad is very big on honesty. So, it was funny talking to them about the game. My dad was like, “Be honest, no lies!” And my mom was like (whispering), “You’ve got to do whatever you’ve got to do.”
Holmes: (Laughs) So you have the cartoon angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other.
Toepfer: (Laughs) Yeah, and I’m really a hybrid of the two of them. My mother is a little more cutthroat and my father is a little more old fashioned.
Holmes: How do you feel about being lied to?
Toepfer: It’s a game. I think some people have made it personal, which I’m not cool with. Colton (Cumbie) was making personal attacks and there’s no need to go there. I will never go there. That’s where I draw the line. But as far as lying to play the game and win the game? I’m OK with that. That’s what we all signed up for.
Holmes: The only time lying bothers me in the game is when it doesn’t serve a strategic purpose. I think of “Heroes vs. Villains” where it seemed like Russell Hantz was riling people up without a real purpose behind it.
Toepfer: Saying, “We’re going to be the final two” to people that didn’t even fit his strategy. It was like this shotgun approach of just saying it to everybody. And a huge difference between he and I is that I would only do it for purpose and I’d get no enjoyment out of it. I’m not the “he he he, I really got you” type. I’m going to be more conflicted. I’ve formed a relationship with this person, but this is what I’ve got to do.
Holmes: Is there anything about your personal life that you feel you need to conceal?
Toepfer: No, I’m in sales and I’ve found that in sales people can smell honesty. So, even if I say, “I don’t have the best product, but here’s where I can help you.” People like that better. They like real. And I think the real me is a character that I would create to win this game.

Holmes: You’re a handsome gentleman, if you don’t mind me saying.
Toepfer: Thank you. But, I’ll be on TV looking my worst. (Laughs)
Holmes: Hey, some people get on that show and look better.
Toepfer: I know!
Holmes: Like Christina (Cha)? On day 30-whatever she was looking good.
Toepfer: I know. Chelsea (Meissner) was looking good too.
Holmes: We’re way off track here. My question was, are you OK flirting to get ahead?
Toepfer: Yeah, and I’ve been accused of being a flirt. It’s just my nature. And I do it playfully, usually in regular life without seeking anything. It’s fun.
Holmes: Is there a girlfriend or wife at home?
Toepfer: No wife. No girlfriend…well…it’s complicated.
Holmes: Is there anyone who’s going to be pissed off if they see you flirting?
Toepfer: Probably. But…not really. I don’t know. It’s not enough to stop me. She’d be all about me winning the game.

Holmes: You lived in Australia for three years. Did you take the opportunity to camp out, rough it a little?
Toepfer: Yes, but not to the extent of what I’m about to experience.
Holmes: Few people do.
Toepfer: (Laughs) Yeah.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it will be?
Toepfer: You’re thinking, one world, one camp, boys vs. girls, heroes vs. villains… I don’t know. All I know is that they’re wildly unpredictable. And within your strategy, you need to be planning for them to turn it on its head. Anytime you think you have the game under your control, they’re going to do something. I have no idea what it is, and I’m not going to try to guess because it will only screw me up.
Holmes: That’s a good attitude to have. One day you’re perfectly comfortable and the next Jeff is handing you a new buff. The person you were a jerk to could be part of the new dominant alliance.
Toepfer: Absolutely. So, it’s a juggle. Alliances are a necessary part of the game, but you’ve got to do your groundwork with the people who aren’t in your alliance.
Holmes: But, you can’t be too obvious about it or your alliance won’t trust you.
Toepfer: Yeah, I know.
Holmes: The game has gotten so complicated.
Toepfer: But a good defense there is, “We’ve got to play the game, we’ve got to keep up appearances. You should be doing it too.”
Holmes: Seems like you’ve been mentally preparing for this.
Toepfer: My biggest fear is being voted out first because they want to blindside someone who looks like a strong character.
Holmes: I don’t know, I feel like it’s tough to be voted out first. Now watch, you’ll be voted out first.
Toepfer: Yeah, thanks!
Holmes:  There’s almost always an obvious first person to target. Either they’re annoying or a big challenge liability. You’re a young guy in good shape, that’s very valuable to a tribe.
Toepfer: I feel like it’s a bit of an insurance policy until the merge. And then by then, I hope I have enough of a social game to carry me. It’s a fascinating game. It’s not like with Colby where you can be honorable. You have to be cutthroat and keep your head on a swivel.

Holmes: What are your first impressions of your castmates?
Toepfer: I like them. I like people. I like different types of people. I think they threw out some grenades in the form of beautiful women that I’m going to have to be careful around. But, I’m excited to meet them. I think that’s part of the fun of the game.
Holmes: What do you think their first impressions of you be?
Toepfer: I think I have my work cut out for me. I’m a bit over the top. I’m a big guy, I create a lot of presence. Like in the finals week in LA I was an embellished version of myself.
Holmes: What were you doing?
Toepfer: I was showing off in the pool a bit.

Holmes: What’re you going to do with that phat million-dollar check?
Toepfer: Being completely honest, I’m a minimalist. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. I live in San Francisco and that’s expensive. So, this will help alleviate some of that pressure. But, the most important thing to me would be to spoil my parents.
Holmes: Especially if you had to lie and upset your father.
Toepfer: Exactly. (Laughs) He’ll change his mind when he’s on a boat on the Mediterranean drinking some nice wine.

Don’t miss the two-hour premiere of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites,” Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Favorite Francesca: ‘I’m Not Thrilled to See Phillip’

January 15, 2013

Francesca Hogi (CBS)

I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Fans vs. Favorites” competitors the day before they left for the Caramoan Islands. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each contestant every weekday until we get through all of them. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for tons of updates.

Name: Francesca Hogi
Age: 38
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Attorney
Previous Finish: Francesca came in 18th place in “Survivor: Redemption Island”
Memorable Moment: Francesca’s opening-scene comment that the returning players were “sizing us up like prey” may have led to her early elimination

Note: The “Survivor: Caramoan” pre-game interviews are unlike the pre-game interviews we’ve done in the past. Usually, the interviews take place on location, this time they took place in Los Angeles before the players flew out. At this point, all the “Favorties” know is that they’re flying out in the next few days. They have seen each other, but haven’t seen the new players.  They don’t know for sure where they’re going, and they don’t know any of the season’s twists.

Gordon Holmes:  You are the first person to ever return to the game after being voted out first.
Francesca Hogi: Yes. “Survivor” history, baby.
Holmes: Indeed it is.
Hogi: This is my second bit of “Survivor” history. The first is I was the first person to go to Redemption Island.
Holmes: Oh…and the first person to get…eliminated from Redemption Island…
Hogi: I wasn’t going to throw that in there. (Laughs)
Holmes: So, that’s three firsts. And I’m just going to keep my mouth shut.
Hogi: (Laughs)
Holmes: But I’m not good at that, so let’s continue. Why do you think you were invited back?
Hogi: I have no idea. I find this all very surprising. I didn’t believe it was going to happen until yesterday when I got on the plane I thought, “I guess this is really happening.” I guess people in production felt like I got screwed. I guess some people liked watching me on the show. It’s very flattering.
Holmes: I remember thinking it was too soon. You and Kristina Kell.
Hogi: Thank you.
Holmes: It seemed like you were both very smart and had a lot to offer as far as gameplay. And, you were a very good narrator.
Hogi: Thank you. It’s great, I was extremely surprised by people’s reactions to me.
Holmes: You could be the first person to be voted out first, then come back and win the whole deal.
Hogi: That’s the plan.
Holmes: Right, I meant you’re going to be that person.
Hogi: That’s right. That’s what’s happening.
Holmes: Well great, then this whole thing is going to be anti-climatic.
Hogi: It’s like Dalton Ross said, “Worst to first.”
Holmes: You talked to Dalton Ross?
Hogi: I did.
Holmes: I hate that guy.
Hogi: (Laughs)

Holmes: What’ve you been up to since we saw you last?
Hogi: Plotting, scheming, working, playing, traveling.
Holmes: And it’s all going to pay off.
Hogi: Oh yeah.
Holmes: So there’s a basement somewhere with pictures of Jeff Probst and candles…
Hogi: It might be alarming for the outside person to see it, but it’s harmless. I’m not going to kill anyone, I’m just going to win “Survivor.”

Holmes: You have played with returnees before, I’m referring of course to “Survivor” Hall of Famer “Boston” Rob Mariano.
Hogi: “Boston” Rob.
Holmes: And now you are a returnee yourself. What did you learn from watching his approach to returning to the game that you can utilize?
Hogi: Well, if I’m on a tribe with new people, I’m going to employ my own version of the “Boston” Rob, “Who me?” Because “Boston” Rob said to us on the first day, “I know I have no shot of winning this game. I’m not here to win. I just love this game and I want to help you guys win.” And everyone was like, “Oh my God, he’s so nice.”
Holmes: You guys bought that?
Hogi: Yeah, he doesn’t mean that. He’s going to win this game if you let him. I thought, this tribe is going to give “Boston” Rob a million dollars because they want him to like them. Which is exactly what happened. It was like that from day one.
Holmes: Well, he is quite charming.
Hogi: Yeah, but I remember when he was saying it, I was thinking, “Nobody’s going to buy this.” And I looked around and everyone bought it. I think that I could more plausibly do that because I’m not “Boston” Rob.  I’m far from it. I’m the least successful returning player ever.
Holmes: Right now.
Hogi: (Laughs) Right now. So, no one should perceive me as a threat. I’m bad at “Survivor.” Or, I used to be. I’m going to say I just want to get a little bit farther because anything is an improvement from where I’ve been.

Holmes: You march out on the beach on day one, what do you think the other players remember about you?
Hogi: I guess they’ll remember that I have a big mouth. I don’t think there’s anything else to remember. You could probably answer that question better than I could.
Holmes: As a “Survivor” fan I remember you being smart and going home early because you were a threat. Didn’t you say something early on like, “They’re eyeing us like sharks?”
Hogi: Something like that, or “They’re eyeing us like prey.”

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it is?
Hogi: What I’m expecting, so it’s probably the opposite of what will happen, is that we’ll be returning players and new players all mixed together. I think people are thinking this will be like a Fans vs. Favorites 2 situation. I don’t think that’s what it’ll be. I think there will be mixing. But, I’d rather it be all returning players on one side.

Holmes: I feel like “Survivor” is very much influenced by the last season a cast sees before they play the game. In this case, with “South Pacific” and “One World,” people on the bottom of alliance have been content with their places and have been bounced one by one.
Hogi: It’s driving me crazy. I think not everybody plays “Survivor” to win. I think some people play to get as far as they can. It’s all the cliché stuff. You are out of your element. You are hungry, you aren’t sleeping well. Whatever it takes to get to the next day. It takes a lot to make a big move and not everybody has that drive. People get complacent.

Holmes: Everybody here has been asking themselves “What if” since they were voted out. Is there anything in there you can use? Mistakes they’ve made and if they’re likely to make them again?
Hogi: I’m going to assume that everyone is going to be smarter. You really learn so much from being out there. I assume everyone will be smarter. Whether or not they are, remains to be seen. But I’m not going to rely too much on my preconceived notions of people.

Holmes: You’ve been with the cast for a little bit today. What are your first impressions of the group?
Hogi: So far it’s been pretty good. Well, I’m not thrilled to see Phillip. But, I’m not surprised to see Phillip.
Holmes: Is that still a thing?
Hogi: You know, it’s not a thing for me. I have no relationship with him. I don’t think I’ve had one conversation since that Tribal Council. I’ve seen him and we’ve said, “Hello” and that’s it. I don’t like him. I don’t find him to be a likable person. I’m not looking forward to living with him. I’m trying to really go in very open-minded. Well, not open-minded like I’m going to align with Phillip. I’m not insane. (Laughs) But, I’m not like, “OK, Phillip’s got to be the first one to go.” I’m not thinking that way. I know he could be gunning for me.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all.
Holmes: Anyone else stick out to you?
Hogi: Other than Phillip I think it’s a pretty good group for me. I don’t know Corinne at all. I’ve never even met her. I met Brenda once. I definitely see Brenda as a big threat in the game, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to align with her, because I will try to. Corinne has a bad reputation for being really bitchy, but she was really loyal to her alliance. I have no problem with that. Smart, bitchy, loyal? Sign me up. (Laughs)  Let’s do it. Brandon makes me a little wary because I think he’s a little bit of a loose cannon. It’ll be interesting to see the people who learned from their mistakes the first time versus people who can’t help themselves and will play the same way. Is Phillip going to do what Coach did and go from being a complete raving lunatic his first season to being an eccentric his second season to a normal person his third season?
Holmes: I think Coach did it right. For Coach to have that crazy reputation, then be able to play against that and say, “What you saw on TV isn’t the real me. This is the real me.” That probably makes people feel closer because they’re seeing a side of him that most people haven’t seen.
Hogi: Yeah, is Phillip going to be Phillip 2.0? A toned-down…well…actually, I saw him today holding a feather, so it’s not looking good. (Laughs)
Holmes: I’ve heard about that. I’m not going to lie, I’m very excited to see it.
Hogi: (Laughs) I don’t see Phillip as being the kind of person who realizes how lucky he was the first season in that everybody was driven crazy by him on day one, but “Boston” Rob saw in him that potential to keep him around as someone he wanted to go to the end with. It took a lot of discipline to keep Phillip around because he’s not an easy person to live with. The rest of the tribe had a big problem with that. I don’t think Phillip appreciates that. I think he might give himself a lot more credit than he deserves for how far he went in the game. So, I don’t know if he’ll play differently.
Holmes: If he pronounces your name correctly, is that a step in the right direction? Will that help mend fences?
Hogi: The last time I saw him he came up to me and put his hand on my shoulder and said, “How are you doing, Francesca?”
Holmes: Oh! See, there’s hope.
Hogi: He was practicing. We’re going to be best friends. I love him. No…I don’t love him.

Don’t miss the two-hour premiere of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites,” Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Fan Sherri Biethman: Flirting Is ‘Part of My Arsenal’

January 14, 2013

Sherri Biethman (CBS)

I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Fans vs. Favorites” competitors the day before they left for the Caramoan Islands. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each contestant every weekday until we get through all of them. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for tons of updates.

Name: Sherri Biethman
Age: 41
Hometown: Boise, ID
Occupation: Fast Food Franchisee

Note: The “Survivor: Caramoan” pre-game interviews are unlike the pre-game interviews we’ve done in the past. Usually, the interviews take place on location, this time they took place in Los Angeles before the players flew out. At this point, all the “Fans” know is that they’re flying out in the next few days. They have seen each other, but haven’t seen the returning players.  They don’t know for sure where they’re going, and they don’t know any of the season’s twists.

Gordon Holmes: It says here that you’re a franchisee? What businesses do you own?
Sherri Biethman: I own six different franchises.
Holmes: Such as?
Biethman: I own a Wetzel’s Pretzels.
Holmes: (Laughs) I’ve never heard of that. I don’t know if we have Wetzel’s Pretzels in Philadelphia.
Biethman: They’re huge in California. We have two of those. You have Auntie Anne’s right?
Holmes: Yes, so good. Do you guys have the cinnamon pretzels?
Biethman: Oh yeah.
Holmes: What are your other franchises?
Biethman: We have a Cinnabon and a Haagen Dazs and two Jimmy Johns.

Holmes: You’re a big huge “Survivor” fan.
Biethman: Huge, since day one.
Holmes: And you named your son after Colby Donaldson?
Biethman: Yes. Season two I was eight months pregnant and it was coming to the end, and I fell in love with the way he played. He was just so sincere. I didn’t have a name for my boy at the time and Colby fit.
Holmes: It was that or Kentucky Joe?
Biethman: (Laughs) Or Chicken George.

Holmes: Your claim to fame is finding the right diagnosis for your autistic son. I’m unfamiliar with that process, isn’t that a doctor’s responsibility?
Biethman: He was diagnosed…autism is like a huge umbrella. We got a diagnosis that he’s PDD, pervasive development disorder. Which helps to isolate, he wasn’t like Rain Man where you could drop stuff on the floor, his was social. So, to find the right doctors, to find the right person to work with, that was the diagnosis…
Holmes: And that’s your responsibility to figure that out?
Biethman: Because they kept putting him under the big umbrella.
Holmes: OK, so you worked with him to find exactly what he needed.
Biethman: Right, he’s autistic, so they’d just put him in occupational therapy to work with his hands or how to grasp things.
Holmes: But he already knew that.
Biethman: Right, it was social. Answering questions, making conversation. He can talk, we can talk about anything, but you have to ask questions.
Holmes: What does he think of mom’s big adventure?
Biethman: I think he’s going to miss me. But he’s very excited to see me out there. On the finale when they showed the Philippines and they showed the sharks and the snakes at the very end, he was freaking out.
Holmes: Oh, so you think you’re going to the Philippines.
Biethman: I think so. It’s common sense. Do you know?
Holmes: I do know, but my lips are sealed.
Biethman: I think we’re going to the Philippines.
Holmes: Well, you’re welcome to think that.
Biethman: Oh, come on!

Holmes: One of your pet peeves is that you don’t like liars. Then, why did you sign up for “Survivor”?
Biethman: I’m talking about my real life. That’s my pet peeve in real life. Everybody’s going to lie. I’m going to lie.
Holmes: Some people have a line for how far they’re willing to go when it comes to deception. Do you?
Biethman: I won’t know until I’m out there. My gut tells me no. I’m going to lie.
Holmes: “Boston” Rob had a great point where he said you can’t put boundaries on yourself.
Biethman: You just don’t know until you’re out there. People ask me what my strategy will be and I don’t know. I won’t know until I hear people talking and making alliances.
Holmes: I learned to stop asking that question. Any gameplan you come up with today could be long gone once you meet up with Probst on the beach.
Biethman: Definitely.
Holmes: I also hear you hate laziness…
Biethman: That’s going to be hard for me. Hopefully I’ll be surrounded by hard workers.
Holmes: So, you’re spending your day tending the fire, or cutting fire wood, or plucking berries or whatever there is to do out there and someone is kicking back and getting some sun. Can you be diplomatic?
Biethman: I’ll be able to hold it in, but I will talk crap about them.

Holmes: When I don’t eat I become much more miserable than I normally am. Is that something that will affect you?
Biethman: I don’t think eating, I think sleeping is going to be hard for me. I get really grumpy when I don’t sleep. Heat won’t bother me, I don’t want it to be pouring rain.

Holmes: Are you married?
Biethman: Yeah, eighteen years. I’m going to be missing my anniversary because I’ll be on the island.
Holmes: One of the words you used to describe yourself was “sexy.” And, you are lovely.
Biethman: Thank you.
Holmes: You’re welcome. Are you prepared to flirt at all?
Biethman: Yes. That’s part of my arsenal.
Holmes: Is your husband cool with this?
Biethman: He asked me about spooning, who was going to be in the front and who was going to be in the back. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) I’m told that’s how you know who’s in an alliance.
Biethman: Spooning or sleeping by that person. The flip side is, now that everybody knows that it could get you in trouble. But, we have talked about it. I’m a huge flirt, but there’s a never been a question of infidelity. I think he’s OK as long as it’s respectful.

Holmes: Have you seen all of “South Pacific” and all of “One World”?
Biethman: I have, and they were all on the same island, right.
Holmes: Yes, those were both in Samoa.
Biethman: Oh…so you can say that. (Laughs)
Holmes: I’m just stating a previously documented fact.
Biethman: (Laughs)
Holmes: I feel like you’re trouble.
Biethman: (Laughs) I know. I am.
Holmes: Anywho, it seems like a lot of people get on the bottom of an alliance, and then don’t do anything as long as their name isn’t up next. And by the time they make a move, it’s too late. Why do you think people keep making that mistake?
Biethman: I think they’re scared that if they make too big of a move it’ll put a target on their back. I was talking with my husband and he made the comment that he’d rather me go out number five or six making a really bold move than to float to number three.
Holmes: That’s what I liked about Jim Rice from “South Pacific.” It seemed like he was fine going out when he did as long as he was doing everything he could to win. It wasn’t enough to get to stay around another three days.
Biethman: Yeah, I liked him too.

Holmes: Is there anything in your personal life that you will keep a secret?
Biethman: I’m actually forty. So, I was thinking of saying I’m thirty seven, because for some reason that sounds much younger because you’re still in your thirties. I see all of these young people and I don’t want to be viewed as motherly. I’m not the motherly type…or old. But then I have to back up everything because I have a seventeen-year-old son, and I’m not great at math.
Holmes: A thirty-seven-year-old can have a seventeen year old son. You just had him when you were twenty.
Biethman: Yeah, that’s true. I’ve been married eighteen years. I think I can do that.

Holmes: Any plans for the million?
Biethman: Invest in more businesses.
Holmes: More Wetzel’s Pretzels?
Biethman: More Jimmy Johns.
Holmes: Bring Auntie Anne’s to the west coast.
Biethman: There are some, but I don’t want one in my mall. They’re competition.
Holmes: Are you well off financially?
Biethman: Yeah.
Holmes: Is that something you’re going to keep secret?
Biethman: Oh yeah. I’m going to totally downplay that. We do fine, but I’m going to say we only own one business and that my husband is an accountant. It sounds boring. We were going to say a banker, but people would think we had money.

Holmes: Do you have any experience roughing it?
Biethman: No.
Holmes: Does that concern you?
Biethman: I don’t like camping, I know that. I’ve been camping and I don’t like it. I like to RV.
Holmes: That doesn’t count.
Biethman: Why not?
Holmes: You have walls and electricity.
Biethman: But you can walk outside and sit.
Holmes: You can do that in your house.
Biethman: You’re right.

Holmes: How are you feeling about the cast?
Biethman: They all seem pretty. A lot of pretty people. But, you’re thinking of some not-so-pretty people, aren’t you?
Holmes: I’m not thinking of anyone in particular.
Biethman: They all seem very polite. No one seems to want to step on anyone’s toes.
Holmes: What do you think their first impression of you is?
Biethman: Going by what I’m told? A strong personality.
Holmes: What you’re told?
Biethman: People always tell me I have a strong personality.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what is your best guess as to what that twist will be?
Biethman: Fans and favorites.
Holmes: If it’s fans and favorites, who would you want to see?
Biethman: I want to see Russell Hantz. (Laughs) Am I insane to want to see him? I don’t care if they bring back Colton (Cumbie). I thought they might do that for drama.
Holmes: Interesting.
Biethman: I feel like I’m on “Lost.” I’m in this weird world where everything is fake. And you guys are like the Dharma group because you know everything about us and we know nothing about you guys.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Biethman: You’re taking us to a (expletive deleted) island and you’re dropping us off.
Holmes: Namaste.
Biethman: We’re going on all of these flights. I said if I have to get on a submarine, I’m (expletive deleted) gone. I’m done.

Don’t miss the two-hour premiere of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites,” Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor: Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites’ Cast Revealed

January 11, 2013

'Survivor: Caramoan' (CBS)

The cast list for the 26th (26th?!) edition of “Survivor” was announced by CBS early this morning. The new season, which premieres Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8 pm ET, will feature a tribe of ten fans squaring off against ten of the show’s recent favorites. Included in this list are…

•    Two players from “Survivor: Redemption Island” who have a major grudge.
•    Two players who paid the price for giving away immunity at Tribal Council.
•    One of the show’s most notorious female villains.
•    Three former “Survivor” Power Rankers.

Quick Note: I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of this season’s competitors the day before they left for the Caramoan Islands. Starting next Monday I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each of them. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for tons of updates.

Name: Andrea Boehlke
Age: 23
Hometown: New York, NY
Occupation: Entertainment Host and Writer
Previous Finish: Andrea came in 5th place in “Survivor: Redemption Island”
Memorable Moment: Andrea is the only woman to ever come back from Redemption Island.
Fun Fact: Andrea loves unicorns more than you love anything.
Name: Brandon Hantz
Age: 21
Hometown: Katy, Texas
Occupation: Chemical Disposal
Previous Finish: Brandon came in 6th place in “Survivor: South Pacific”
Memorable Moment: Brandon was voted out immediately after giving his immunity idol to Albert Destrade.
Fun Fact: A Hantz has appeared in five of the last eight seasons of “Survivor.”
Name: Brenda Lowe
Age: 30
Hometown: Miami, FL
Occupation: Paddleboard Company Owner
Previous Finish: Brenda came in 10th place in “Survivor: Nicaragua”
Memorable Moment: Brenda is the very first person to wield the awesome responsibility of the Medallion of Power.
Fun Fact: Brenda choreographed the dance the La Flor tribe did on their way to their first immunity challenge.
Name: Corinne Kaplan
Age:
33
Hometown:
Los Angeles, CA
Occupation:
Pharmaceutical Sales
Previous Finish:
Corinne came in 7th place in “Survivor: Gabon”
Memorable Moment:
Corinne’s final Tribal Council speech to Jessica “Sugar” Kiper is a close second to Sue Hawk on the list of all-time most shocking finals moments.

Fun Fact: Corinne Kaplan was my original pick for the dream returnee “Survivor” Question of the Week. But, I didn’t want to ruin the surprise.


Name: Dawn Meehan
Age:
42
Hometown:
South Jordan, Utah
Occupation:
English Professor
Previous Finish:
Dawn came in 10th place in “Survivor: South Pacific”
Memorable Moment:
Dawn won an immunity challenge for the Savaii tribe by outlasting Stacey Powell in an impressive weight-holding challenge.

Fun Fact: Dawn is the most dominant Power Ranker in XfinityTV history, having defeated myself, Jim Rice, Sophie Clarke, Christine Shields-Markoski, and a “Survivor” Hall of Fame Coffee Mug.

Name: Erik Reichenbach
Age:
27
Hometown:
Santa Clarita, CA
Occupation:
Comic Book Artist
Previous Finish:
Erik came in 5th place in “Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites”
Memorable Moment:
Erik was voted out shortly after giving his immunity idol to Natalie Bolton.
Fun Fact:
Erik is the only person to ever go from being a “fan” to being a “favorite.”
Name: Francesca Hogi
Age: 38
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Attorney
Previous Finish: Francesca came in 18th place in “Survivor: Redemption Island”
Memorable Moment: Francesca’s opening-scene comment that the returning players were “sizing us up like prey” may have led to her early elimination
Fun Fact: Francesca is the first person to return to the show after being voted out first.

Name: John Cochran
Age: 25
Hometown: Washington, DC
Occupation: Harvard Law Student
Previous Finish: Cochran came in 8th place in “Survivor: South Pacific”
Memorable Moment: Cochran’s jump from Savaii to Upolu was his season’s pivotal event.
Fun Fact: Cochran is the only person in the history of the world to successfully give himself a nickname.
Name: Malcolm Freberg
Age:
25
Hometown:
Hermosa Beach, CA
Occupation:
Bartender
Previous Finish:
Malcolm came in 4th place in “Survivor: Philippines”
Memorable Moment:
Malcolm allowed Lisa Whelchel’s brother to visit the tribe’s camp. Lisa’s brother promptly told her to vote Malcolm out.

Fun Fact: Since the other Favorites hadn’t seen “Survivor: Philippines” before they left for “Survivor: Caramoan,” none of them knew who Malcolm was. One of them even thought that he was a lighting grip or a camera man.

Another Fun Fact: Before “Survivor: Philippines,” Malcolm told me that the former Survivor he’d most like to align with is Corinne Kaplan.

Name: Phillip Sheppard
Age: 54
Hometown: Santa Monica, CA
Occupation: Chief Executive Officer of Enter Software Sales
Previous Finish: Phillip came in 2nd place in “Survivor: Redemption Island”
Memorable Moment: Phillip’s feud with Steve Wright made for some uncomfortable times around the Murlonio campfire.
Fun Fact: Phillip listed Cochran and Andrea as two of the players he is most like.

Name: Alexandra “Allie” Pohevitz
Age: 25
Hometown: Oceanside, NY
Occupation: Bartender/Nanny
Fun Fact: Allie sent in her “Survivor” audition tape at the last possible moment.
Name: Edward “Eddie” Fox
Age: 23
Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ
Occupation: Firefighter/EMT
Fun Fact: Eddie intends to use the money to pay off school loans, buy a house, and open a bar that offers healthcare care for dogs.
Name: Hope Driskill
Age: 23
Hometown: Jefferson City, MO
Occupation: Recent Graduate of the University of Missouri
Fun Fact: Hope is a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, just like “Survivor: Nicaragua” winner Judson “Fabio” Birza.

Another Fun Fact: Cardinals fans are the world’s best people.

Yet Another Fun Fact: Hope named Andrea Boehlke and Brenda Lowe as former Survivors that she is most like.

Name: Julia Landauer
Age: 21
Hometown: Stanford, CA
Occupation: Racecar Driver/Student
Fun Fact: Things that drive Julia crazy; shoelaces that aren’t the same tightness, tan lines, and wall hangings that aren’t even.
Name: Laura Alexander
Age:
23
Hometown:
Washington, DC
Occupation:
Administrative Officer
Fun Fact:
Laura grew up in the same town as “Survivor: All Stars” winner Amber Brkich Mariano.

Another Fun Fact: Laura named Brenda Lowe as a former Survivor that she is most like.

Name: Matt Bischoff
Age:
38
Hometown:
Cincinnati, OH
Occupation:
Brand Manager of Two BMX Brands
Fun Fact:
Matt has a back tattoo that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s a thing of beauty.
Name: Michael Snow
Age: 44
Hometown: New York, NY
Occupation: Event Planner
Fun Fact: Michael considers himself to be someone who will say what’s on his mind, but won’t be a blabbermouth.

Name: Reynold Toepfer
Age: 30
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Sales
Fun Fact: Reynold doesn’t think he’s good at lying, but he thinks he might have some ex-girlfriends who disagree.
Name: Shamar Thomas
Age: 27
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Iraq War Veteran
Fun Fact:Both Shamar and his mother served in Iraq at the same time.

Another Fun Fact: Shamar earned national fame with his “One Marine vs. Thirty Cops” YouTube video.

Name: Sherri Biethman
Age: 41
Hometown: Boise, ID
Occupation: Fast Food Franchisee
Fun Fact:Sherri owns two Wetzel’s Pretzels, two Jimmy Johns sandwich shops, a Cinnabon, and a Haagen Dazs.

Another Fun Fact: Sherri named her son after “Survivor: The Australian Outback” runner-up Colby Donaldson.

 


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