Archive for March, 2013

‘Survivor’ Castaway Laura: ‘Shamar Tried to Quit the Day Before’ His Injury

March 8, 2013

Laura Alexander (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, “’Survivor’ is not a fair game.”

Case in point, if Laura Alexander had been on Bikal, or Tandang, or Kalabaw or any number of other tribes, her place in the dominant alliance would have kept her safe until the merge where her savvy strategy would have helped her get to the end.

But alas, she was placed on the “Survivor” equivalent of the Washington Generals and was sent to packing. Gota simply couldn’t afford to lose any more challenge strength.

I spoke to Laura the morning after her elimination and got her take on Shamar’s dramatic exit, Eddie and Reynold’s attitudes, and the person behind her backstabbing…

Gordon Holmes: Were you blindsided by last night’s vote?
Laura Alexander: Yes. I probably would have been more than they showed. My alliance didn’t let me in on the fact that they were trying to get me out. The whole time I thought it was just Reynold and Eddie throwing me under the bus. I had no idea that Matt was leading the whole thing. I think by the time he went to Michael it was set because they were desperate at that point. So, they had numbers no matter which way Sherri or Julia voted. I don’t know for sure, but I think Sherri and Julia didn’t have much of an option. But, I had no idea. We had this majority and we thought a swap was coming up, why screw it up at this point? And Eddie and Reynold weren’t exactly polite around camp.

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Holmes: Did you think Shamar was looking for a way out when he went down with the eye injury?
Alexander: Absolutely. Shamar tried to quit the day before. Any time Shamar left the shelter he was injured in some shape or form. It was just something else to bitch about. When he got a couple of grains of sand in his eye I was like, “Are you kidding me?” And then when Jeff came to the island I think they thought, “Here we go, let’s give Shamar a big dramatic exit, just like he wants it to be.” I was pretty shocked at that time though because Shamar was a big part of my strategy, a big part of my alliance. He was a guaranteed vote for me no matter what.
Holmes: They made it seem like Sherri was protecting him. How safe was he? Because it seemed like he was, for lack of a better term, a “cancer” around camp.
Alexander: He was a cancer around camp to everybody else, even to Sherri and I. It was difficult to live with him and deal with him on a daily basis. But, Sherri and I saw him as an opportunity. The more Shamar caused havoc, the greater it was for Sherri and I because he soaked up attention. Nobody looked at me and said, “We need to get the weakest link out.”

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Sherri.
Alexander: Sherri…smart, cunning, ally.
Holmes: Matt?
Alexander: Wacky, eccentric.
Holmes: Michael?
Alexander: Witty.
Holmes: Julia?
Alexander: Julia is organized.
Holmes: Eddie?
Alexander: (Laughs) Eddie was amusing.
Holmes: Reynold?
Alexander: Egotist. Am I going to get in trouble for that?
Holmes: Nobody reads this stuff. Let’s finish with Shamar.
Alexander: Dramatic, disrespectful.

Holmes: Did you learn anything about yourself during your time in the game?
Alexander: I don’t think it dramatically changed my life in any way. I haven’t changed that much. But, I think you come back and you appreciate subtle things. You appreciate your family and your loved ones. Things that you might take for granted in your day-to-day life. You get to know people from a lot of different backgrounds. I think I won’t make assumptions about people based on first impressions.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Shamar: ‘I Do Not Take Any Crap from Anybody’

March 7, 2013

Sgt. Shamar Thomas (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Doing the pre-game “Survivor” interviews is one of the best parts of this job. I truly enjoy getting to speak to these people before they go out on their big adventure. There’s just something intoxicating about the mix of nerves and excitement that is flowing through them.

I remember when I met Sgt. Shamar Thomas before “Survivor: Caramoan.” My first instinct was; “America’s going to love this guy. He’s like a big, bad-ass teddy bear!”

My instincts are not always awesome. I’m the same guy who picked Michelle Chase to win “Survivor: Gabon.”

I had a chance to speak with the controversial Sgt. Shamar after we was removed from the game due to an eye injury and asked him about the fighting, the lounging, and the “No Talking” list…

Gordon Holmes: First off, how’s the eye?
Shamar Thomas: The eye is doing quite well. Thank you for asking. I appreciate it.
Holmes: Good to hear. You hate to see someone leave with an injury, especially something as serious as an issue with their eye.

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Holmes: You had already discussed quitting earlier in the game. Were you looking for a way out when the eye injury occurred?
Thomas: I don’t think I was looking for a way out. I had actually injured my hand and the pain that I was going through, I didn’t show it because I’m a big, tough Marine, but the pain along with elements, the dehydration, the starvation, it angered me a little bit. I knew I wasn’t going to be the challenge monster that I was. And that’s where my anger came from, I was kind of demoralized. Because if I don’t do well in these challenges, then I’m out of here.
Holmes: That’s why it seemed like you were always on edge.
Thomas: That’s a tough show, man. I was psyching myself out because I was dealing with the pain all day. And in “Survivor” you don’t have anywhere to go, so I just had to deal with it. It was tough.

Holmes: Before the show started you said your goal was to make people uncomfortable so they would quit. Then the show starts and every time they cut to you, you’re in a fight with someone. Was that intentional or were the elements getting the better of you?
Thomas: I wanted people to be miserable, but what I meant by that is I wanted the game of “Survivor” to be rough for them. I wanted them to quit. But it wasn’t my nature, it was trash talk. I wasn’t serious. It isn’t in my nature to actually harm people. Going into the game I told people that I’m a nice guy, but I do not take any crap from anybody. What you saw was, me being combative because people were saying things to get under my skin. I put people onto the “No Talking” list for a reason so I wouldn’t get into confrontations, but they kept talking to me. I said, “Oh my God, leave me alone! I don’t want to argue with you! Especially because you’re not in my alliance!” (Laughs)

Holmes: Before the game, you struck me as a super positive guy. Your plans for the money if you won involved creating businesses in your neighborhood to help employ troubled teens. Now “Survivor” comes out and you’re portrayed in a negative light. How’ve you been dealing with that?
Thomas: I don’t really take everything that everybody says seriously. I got a lot of positive feedback, I try to stick to that. I love freedom of speech and I’m glad people are watching the show. I’m a really big fan, I appreciated the opportunity so much. I wish they could have shown a few light moments.

Holmes: Do you know how much weight you lost while you were out there?
Thomas: I lost eighteen pounds in eleven days.
Holmes: That’s no joke.
Thomas: The funny thing is, I didn’t want the rice. People would offer me coconuts. I wanted the water. I was so dehydrated.
Holmes: Is that why you spent so much time in the shelter?
Thomas: That’s why you see me laying in the shelter, it’s because I knew the challenges were my strong point and if I spent my energy climbing rocks I wouldn’t have any energy for the challenges. Dehydration was my biggest enemy out there.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Sherri…
Thomas: A great player.
Holmes: Matt?
Thomas: Weak in challenges.
Holmes: Michael?
Thomas: Don’t really know.  (Laughs)
Holmes: Julia?
Thomas: Don’t really know. (Laughs)
Holmes: You’re not doing this right, but we’re short on time. Eddie?
Thomas: A great guy. He’s somebody that I respect.
Holmes: Reynold?
Thomas: He’s an awesome “Survivor” player.
Holmes: Laura?
Thomas: Laura…not really sure. (Laughs)

Holmes: It’s unfortunate, but sometimes bad blood remains after the show. But, it seems like you had some nice things to say about Eddie and Reynold in the word association. What do you think you relationship will be like with Eddie and Reynold in the future?
Thomas: I’m sure that we’ll all be cordial. Because of being a “Survivor” now, I know what the elements can do, I know how the game is played. So, I don’t really take anything personal. There were a few comments that I didn’t like, but other than that I have no issues. I hope those guys do so well. I don’t hold any grudges with anybody. I live a really, really good life. I’m trying to inspire, so grudges are the furthest thing from my mind.
Holmes: There’s the positive Shamar I remember!

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

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Episode Recap: Reeling Fans

March 6, 2013

"Survivor: Caramoan" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Last Week: An idol was found, Hope was lost.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Bikal Tribe (wearing purple)
Andrea – Entertainment Host and Writer, 23
Brandon – Chemical Disposal, 21
Brenda – Paddleboard Company Owner, 30
Cochran – Harvard Law Student, 25
Corinne – Pharmaceutical Sales, 33
Dawn – English Professor/Power Rankings Champ, 42
Erik – Comic Book Artist, 27
Malcolm – Bartender, 25
Phillip – Chief Executive Officer of Enter Software Sales, 54

The Gota Tribe (wearing orange)
Eddie – Firefighter/EMT, 23
Julia – Racecar Driver/Student, 21
Laura – Administrative Officer, 23
Matt – Brand Manager of Two BMX Brands, 38
Michael – Event Planner, 44
Reynold – Sales, 30
Shamar – Iraq War Veteran, 27
Sherri – Fast Food Franchisee, 41

The evening’s fun starts off after Tribal over at Casa de Gota where…

(OK, if you’re not sitting down, I’m going to need you to sit down.)

…Where people are arguing! Shocking, I know. This time however, it’s Sherri, Michael, Laura, Eddie, and Reynold. Remember when everyone thought the Faves were going to be mega dysfunctional?

The next morning, Phillip is giving the members of Stealth Rn’t Us nicknames so they don’t feel left out. Henceforth, Brandon will be known as the “The Conqueror” and Erik will be known as “The Silent One.” Andrea does not approve of all of this unauthorized nicknaming, but she’ll deal with it as long as Brenda doesn’t receive a nickname.

CUT TO: Phillip giving Brenda a nickname. She’ll be known as “Serenity.”

Quick Aside: During the nickname montage, a clip is shown of Andrea giving Brandon a headlock takedown. Why wasn’t more of this wrestling match shown?! Give people cool nicknames and all the sudden they start acting like Hulk Hogan.

Reward Challenge Time: Six members from each team will run out to a platform where a tribe member is stranded. When they get there, they’ll untie steps, then hold the steps so the stranded member can walk across them to a second platform. On that second platform is a second stranded member. The two stranded members will then use the steps to get to a third platform. From there, the first tribe to get everyone onto a tower wins an afternoon with a bushman.

Cochran will sit out for Bikal.

Not a ton to describe here, except for some nervous, dainty stepping. It’s very even in the beginning, but the Faves eventually grab the lead and win it.

In an odd moment, Shamar starts screaming as if Gota had won. Phillip doesn’t have a problem telling him he’s wrong.

When the bushman arrives at Bikal, Brandon refers to him as a “little guy.” Do we need a joke there? Can we move on?

Oh, Brandon wasn’t kidding. Tata the bushman is teeny tiny. He gets to work immediately and starts showing them how to prepare food and improve their shelter.

Later on, Tata got his dance on with the ladies of Bikal. They even gave him a five-way kiss. Man, that’s a foursome of lovely ladies. I’d try not to think about the fact that they haven’t brushed their teeth in weeks.

Over at Gotavia, King Shamar pronounces that he will stay in the game if someone brings him rice once a day. Sure enough, Sherri does it. Seriously, the Boston Rob/Phillip thing has got to be a new red flag. People are going to see it in future seasons and want to break it up like they do showmances.

Somehow during his busy afternoon of lounging and eating, Shamar managed to scratch his eye. Medical is brought in and they find two divots in his eye. The doctor wants to pull Shamar from the game and he doesn’t seem to have much of a problem with that.

And then there were seven…

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will swim out to a platform, climb to the top, jump off, and break a tile. The tile will release a key. The players will grab the keys and swim back. Once five keys are returned, two tribe members will unlock a chest to retrieve sandbags. First tribe to use the sandbags to knock all of their blocks off of a beam wins immunity.

Man, no puzzles this season?

Corinne and Dawn will sit for Bikal.

The Faves jump off to a huge lead when Sherri is unable to break her first tile. Embarrassing. The Faves are able to maintain the lead throughout the key-gathering portion of the challenge.

Phillip and Cochran are the lock team for Bikal. They release their bags and Phillip starts knocking down the blocks.

Reynold and Laura eventually get their keys. However, Laura seems to be winded by the task of unlocking a crate. That can’t be good. Reynold starts tossing for Gota and makes up some serious ground, but it’s too little too late as Phillip wins it for the Faves.

Oh, and for those of you scoring at home, the Fans are now 1-and-5 in challenges.

Politicking around Gota beach starts off with people gunning for Eddie and Reynold. However, Matt appreciates that they’re dead in the challenge water without those guys. He proposes getting rid of Laura.

Michael doesn’t love this idea because he trusts the alliance they already have.

Matt approaches Reynold with this plan, but Reynold is giving him grief because he doesn’t trust him. Reynold, what choice do you have? When someone offers a starving man a BLT, he shouldn’t complain because he doesn’t like mayo.

Sherri doesn’t like this plan for obvious reasons. She just lost her Phillip, don’t try to get rid of her Natalie.

That night at Tribal Council, Matt thinks the tribe has less tension now that Shamar is gone.

In other news, “Duh.”

Sherri misses Shamar because he was a part of her alliance. Remember when “alliance” was a dirty word? The worst thing Richard Hatch did was start an alliance. Now it’s a necessity.

Laura thinks tonight’s vote comes down to strength versus loyalty.

Reynold doesn’t think trust matters when your tribe keeps losing.

Sherri isn’t sure keeping Eddie and Reynold will help them win because they haven’t been winning with them.

Eddie thinks Sherri and Laura are the weaker players. He thinks Julia is one of the stronger females. Who the hell is Julia?

Laura thinks Reynold and Eddie might not be loyal if there’s a tribe swap.

Eddie says he’ll like the tribe better if he’s still around in twenty minutes. What, during “Criminal Minds”?

Voting Time: Eddie votes for Laura, Laura votes for Reynold, and the rest of the votes will wait for some quality JPro tallying.

Probst does that tallying and returns. He asks if anyone would like to play an idol…and Reynold does.

Alright, we’ve got two votes for Laura, one vote for Reynold, one vote for Laura, and the fifth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites” is…Laura.

Verdict: The Fans made the right move in getting rid of Laura. They’re already at a major disadvantage playing against an experienced tribe, they simply couldn’t afford to lose any more challenge strength.

And Shamar…well…I don’t get Shamar. He was one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet during the pre-show interviews. Sometimes the game just gets the best of you.

As for this season, it’s getting a little boring watching the Fans suck. But, if next week’s trailer is anything to go on, things are about to pick up…

Who’s Going to Win? Whatever is “The Silent One” going to do with all that money?

Power Rankings Results: Michael and I both had Shamar in spot seventeen. Michael had Laura in twelve, while I had her in spot thirteen. So, Michael gets 29 total points, and I get 30. That brings our current score to Team Skupin: 50, Team Lighting Punch: 66.

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

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Power Rankings: Round Three

March 5, 2013

The XFINITY TV 'Survivor' Power Rankings Alliance (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

The Rules: Each week Michael 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 Cochran is voted out this week, Michael will receive 5 points and Gordon will receive 2 points. The person with the most points at the end of the season will be crowned the ‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Power Rankings champion!

Last Week: Michael had Hope in spot thirteen, Gordon had her in spot seventeen. That brings our current score to Team Skupin: 21, Team Lighting Punch: 36

Before we kick off this week’s rankings, let’s check in with our competitors…

Gordon Holmes: We were definitely treated to “The Gota Show” last week.
Michael Skupin: Back to one challenge for the second week in a row, how Season 25 of them :(. We were spared Phillip’s nickname game, we were “treated” to his new island workout routine. I’m not confident we’ll begin seeing “buns of steel” developing out there as energy conservation will become a necessity shortly.

Holmes: Any parting words of advice for lovely Hope?
Skupin: Goodbye, Hope. Is it fair to say now that the CKLTA (Cool Kids Lunch Table Alliance) is now as extinct as minty fresh breath out there? Shamar served you up your seven-figure safety net but you said you wanted to play the game with integrity…yet you participated in trying to blindside Shamar in week one. Note to fans: there’s no honor in honor on “Survivor,” especially when on day one, you’ve already dishonored your honor. I applaud your attempt to stay in the game by throwing Shamar under the bus…you went out fighting!

Skupin: Why are so many so afraid to make big moves in this game? Fear is an amazing motivator.
Holmes: It’s that. Some people aren’t that strategic. Some people can’t see past the next few rounds.

Holmes: We can’t talk about last week’s episode without talking about Shamar.
Skupin: I realize there’s a “get rid of Shamar” fan club out there but remember the game he’s playing. Weakening your tribe this early is strategically questionable and keeping Shamar keeps the heat off some other type As out there (Sherri). If Reynold could only see what an easy path he could have to the merge, but like our famous returning player hater Jeff Kent, he’s forgetting that while he’s busy sparring with Shamar, there’s a game going on that he’s missing out on.

Holmes: Looks like this next episode is going to be a wild one.   
Skupin: In scenes from our next show, they showed everyone freaking out when the rats arrived in the shelter, and all I can think about is they’re getting served breakfast in bed.  What a treat!

Set Your DVR to Record ‘Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs Favorites”

Michael’s Current Score: 21

Any advice for Michael? Drop him a line on Twitter: @mikeskupin

 Gordon’s Current Score: 36

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

 1. Brenda: Can’t say enough about how impressed I am with her evolved game. She knew how she would be perceived and she’s so far under the radar, she’s in submarine territory.  She definitely is here to win this game.  In the challenges, she’s an asset and still found the energy to work out on the beach.  Her ability to avoid the drama is extraordinary. Don’t be fooled, she’s playing really hard!
 1. Malcolm: Hidden immunity idols are attracted to Malcolm like lovely ladies are attracted to Malcolm. Now, some people may think that finding it with Corinne wasn’t his ideal situation, but Corinne has proven to be very loyal in the past.
 2. Malcolm: In Russell Hantz-like fashion, Mr. Hidden Immunity Idol finder has success two seasons in a row without a clue (but Malcolm really does have one).  Although he was beat by Reynold again in the carnival game portion of the challenge, he’s still a positive factor in the challenges. I’m worried that he said “game-set-match” when he found the idol, isn’t that what he said last time? I hope he realizes it can help you but it certainly guarantees nothing. Spending too much time with his favorite female out there (Corinne) has the other favorites worried now. I’m smelling a blindside at Corrine’s expense if the Favorites lose and Malcolm goes along with it.
 2. Cochran: Andrea hatches a plan to do some restructuring within Stealth R Us Too and who does she go to? Our good buddy Cochran. Cochran’s everyone’s BFF. Nobody’s worried about good ol’ Cochran. Which is exactly what he wants. Nothing to see here...
 3. Dawn: We saw a quiet week from Dawn but a strong underwater performance from the 42-year-old mom. No tribe will get rid of her as a challenge weakness. “Survivor’s” favorite mom is in a good place once again.  3. Michael: Man, the Fans are just a mess. Everybody has a reason that someone could target them. Eddie and Reynold are the remnants of the non-dominant alliance. It’s obvious that Sherri is protecting Shamar. Julia has health issues, Laura is a challenge liability, Matt hasn’t been able to stay out of fights. And Shamar is…well…Shamar. Everyone has a target except for Michael. Well played, sir.

  4. Sherri: Dropped four spots only because we saw Eddie finally get to her in the scenes from episode four. Her brilliant strategy saw a crack as her type A+ personality is finally let out. Also, Hope was one strategic move away from disrupting all her plans. I love your looks at Tribal Council each week as your plans unfold perfectly and talking Shamar off the “quit” ledge shows you really understand the game.
 4. Erik: Brandon, you could learn a lesson from your new buddy Erik. The reason you don’t burn down the shelter when things aren’t going your way is because you never know when things are going to be shaken up. You never know when there’s going to be a tribe swap or when an alliance is going to turn on itself. Sometimes it’s best to wait for some cracks to appear and then make a move. And if all else fails, then you urinate in the rice.
  5. Cochran: Living his Wednesday night at 8pm may be a first ever reference to CBS by a castaway and this actually being a show. I’m not sure how him being around beautiful girls is a Freudian picnic (I even Googled it) but it was funny nonetheless.  He’s still positioned perfectly strategically. 
 5. Dawn:  Alright, Dawn. From here on out you’re like a bottle of baby shampoo…no more tears. Cracks are forming in Stealth R Us Too, but Dawchran seems like they’ll be fine no matter which way the pieces fall. Slow and steady, guys. Slow and steady.
 6. Michael: They haven’t shown any real relationship or alliance with Sherri but I see one brewing here. He moved up two spots because it appears he’s beginning to follow the power in his tribe.
 6. Matt: I’ve got to hand it to the Bearded Wonder, he has a lot more strategic fire than I had anticipated. My only question is; how good is he at hiding it? Eddie and Reynold already know that he can be shifty. It might have been best just to side with Team Sherri without pretending to be with the Cool Kids. However, this is all just nit picking at this point. Matt’s in good shape with his current alliance.
 7. Andrea: Many have questioned the strategic logic of her going to Brandon with her plan but it’s a proven “Survivor” method; go the person on the bottom of another alliance to gain traction. She’s also made sure that the budding showmance of Malcolm/Corinne has been noted by all. She’s playing this game as hard as anyone strategically. The reason she’s not ranked higher is too many people know how hard she’s playing and I haven’t forgotten all those votes in episode one.
  7. Sherri: A lot of people think Sherri is playing a perfect game over on Gota beach, but the world’s hottest Cardinals fan Hope said that everyone knows that Sherri is protecting Shamar. That’s not good. In the same way showmance couples are quickly disposed of, the new trend could be to get rid of any Boston Rob/Phillip dynamics.
 8. Corinne: She dropped a few spots because she’s broadcasting her alliance with Malcolm in front of very strategic players, yet has the distinct disadvantage in that pair of having her game seen before. If one of them has to go, it’ll be her first.  She believes Malcolm would share the idol if she was in trouble but we all saw that Malcolm had two idols last season and wouldn’t give one to Denise, which cost him the seven-figure payout. I’m not sure a two-person alliance with the newbie on the Favorite’s team is her best game play.
 8. Phillip: I’m interested to see how he feels about Andrea going into business for herself with that little recruiting mission. Phillip has made it clear that Brandon isn’t worthy of a slick nickname and a stylin’ red Power Rankings graphic just yet.
 9. Matt: Matt dropped three spots as he again decided to pick a fight after Tribal Council with Shamar. Aside from his verbal head-butting with Shamar, he’s playing a pretty solid game. Picking a fight with Shamar is a strategic blunder.  Shamar may not understand the game the best, but he’s smart enough to expose parts of your game the others may not see.
 9. Andrea: Is Andrea playing the game too hard, too early? Time will tell. I’ll give her this though; there isn’t a duo I’d rather take to the final three than Phillip and Brandon. However, keeping those two in line is probably harder than pushing smoke into a Coke bottle with a baseball bat. (Special thanks to Dr. Peter Venkman for that analogy.)
 10. Erik: The only thing we saw on Erik was his rear end during the challenge and there was only one of them. It appears his alliance with Brandon and Brenda won’t stay a threesome in the long haul.  His best bet is to stay buddied up with Brenda and let Phillip continue to think he’s the CEO of coconut land.   10. Corinne: Buh. I hate to see a target on your back for something as innocent as buddying up with Malcolm. But, that’s the game we’re playing these days. Anything that looks like a showmance or an over-aggressive strategy is going to raise eyebrows. That, or maybe Andrea doesn’t like that you’re not acting like a pain-in-the-ass like everyone was probably expecting.
 11. Phillip: I doubt Phillip’s coconut bench-pressing work-out will ever make it to retail and if getting “all-air” (which means missing the basket completely) is now a good thing in basketball…I’m watching the wrong channels (or was the all-air comment about his nicknames and corporation?) …And this has what to do with “Survivor”?  Unfortunately, this is what we’re subjected to when there’s only one challenge. Don’t get me wrong, I find Phillip entertaining; I just want my Wednesday nights at 8pm to be filled with “Survivor.”
  11. Eddie: I’m pretty sure you and Reynold are safe. At this point there is no way Gota can afford to lose any challenge strength.
 12. Laura: I’m still trying to decide if she’s playing a good game or not but I do like the fact that she is playing. After threatening to defect with the Reynold-Eddie-Hope group, she stuck with her original alliance. That would have put her on the bottom of a five-person alliance instead of near the top of a six-person alliance.  When she said there was a fun part to Shamar, it leads me to believe there is a fun side to Shamar that we’re not seeing. Her swimming weakness was exposed as a factor and made her a potential liability, but I did chuckle when I saw a person who can’t swim try an advanced stroke like the back-stroke…butterfly would have been a much better option.
  12. Reynold: It’s time for you and Eddie to wheel and deal. Promise to play nice with Shamar. Remind them that they’re dead in the water if they go against the Favorites down in the numbers. Then do your best to get to the merge or the tribe shuffle. (C’mon, we all know a tribe shuffle is coming, right?)
 13. Brandon: Although it sounds like an oxymoron, we actually saw a calm Brandon for an entire episode. Watch out when they lose a challenge and Phillip goes on a rant, I bet we see the Mad Urinator resurface. Although he’s a beast physically in every challenge, his torch will only remain hot if his temper doesn’t.
  13. Laura: Laura is playing a very smart game. However, she is a challenge liability on a team that is being beaten badly. The Fans have lost three out of the four challenges and the one they did win was extremely close. If they lose again, loyalty is going to take a backseat to challenge strength.
 14. Eddie: Eddie finally ruffled the feathers of the kingpin or queenpin (Sherri) during the scenes from episode four. His cocky has turned to funny and he’s now less of a threat than his bro-mance (Reynold). We’re potentially seeing a strategic side to him and if he can turn on Reynold quickly, he can make it to the merge and create an entirely new game.   14. Brandon: “Survivor” is a funny game. Just when you’re about to unleash a yellow flood of vengeance on those who have wronged you, a blonde angel from America’s Dairyland descends from the heavens on a winged unicorn and offers you a lifeline. Even if that doesn’t pan out, the very fact that Andrea approached you with a deal could be enough to break Stealth R Us Too wide open.
 15. Julia: The burns are healed and we’re seeing the Julia that casting saw emerge slightly… Although strategically, she’s not in a good place, if she can just get to the merge, she may make it to at least mid-game. Fear of a big move may hold her back.   15. Julia: Julia is in the same boat as Laura. Julia is probably better at challenges, but she’s had some health issues with her severe sunburn. While she may be over it now, things like that can linger with people who are scrambling and looking for a reason for someone else to go home.
 16. Eddie: It’s been since season two (“The Australian Outback”) that we saw someone go back for a contestant with sub-par swimming skills (Rodger Bingham and he made it to 5th place.) But, Reynold’s temperament and Shamar-bashing is getting him in hot water. Even the idol isn’t going to save this guy. “Survivor” is a social game and making friends is paramount.
  16. Brenda: Brenda is still this low in the rankings because I’m not convinced that Andrea’s plan to get rid of Corinne was set in stone. If Bikal loses and Brandon hasn’t had his Hantz-brand meltdown, Brenda will stick out as the most strategically threatening member of Stealth Rn’t Us.
 17. Shamar: I believe the entertainment we’ve enjoyed from Shamar may end soon. It seems no-one but Sherri understands him so it’s gotta be pretty lonely out there.  His demands for calories and water have to be 3-4 times that of the rest of his tribe and it’s going to take a toll on him physically and emotionally.  Sans fishing kit, the fans are weakening by the minute and when they lose Shamar a Pagonging is in their future. The “no-talk” list will be talked about for seasons to come.   17. Shamar: Alright, Shamar. If all of this is an act, if you’re just trying to upset everyone so they’ll quit, then you need to clue us in during a confessional because America is hating you. As far as the game goes, you’re getting to be too much of a liability for Sherri to keep around. Eventually they’re going to have to pull together as a tribe and start winning challenges.

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