Archive for October, 2013

‘Survivor’ Castaway Marissa – ‘My Mother Couldn’t Beat Me in a Challenge’

October 10, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (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 Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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The first Tribal Council of any “Survivor” season is usually a pretty simple affair. Either someone didn’t help around camp. Or someone is terrible at challenges. Or someone is too annoying.

This is the first season where someone was voted out because their uncle was too annoying.

I spoke with “Survivor’s” unfortunate niece, Marissa Peterson, the morning after her elimination and got her thoughts on her uncle’s trash talking, the politics around Tadhana, and her famous catchphrase…

Gordon Holmes: I have some good news.
Marissa Peterson: What’s that?
Holmes: You and I are going to be rich.
Peterson: How?
Holmes: Here’s the plan…we get t-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers…and we put “F*** You, Brad Culpepper” on them.
Peterson: (Laughs) People were hashtagging that!
Holmes: I think you’ve started a movement and we need to strike while the iron is hot.
Peterson: (Laughs) That’s a good idea, just send me the design layout.
Holmes: Will do.

Holmes: What is it about Mr. Culpepper that inspires that level of hatred?
Peterson: A lot of people are natural leaders. I feel like I’m a natural leader. But in this situation I decided not to step up. Brad did step up. He’d say, “I’m used to leading a household, leading a family, so I’m going to lead this tribe.” He was in the perfect situation to make these moves and make these calls. But, it was interesting how he’d back down in front of people. He’d be like, “Oh, I’m not calling the shots.” And then in his confessionals  he’d say, “Oh, I am calling the shots.”
Holmes: Candice last night mentioned him specifically shushing the women. Did he ever shush you?
Peterson: That was something I’d heard, but me personally I didn’t get shushed. He would just flat out tell me “No” or put his hand up when I was talking and say, “No, we’re not going to do that.” It’d be like, “OK, we don’t need your opinion right here, right now.” Nobody’s ever told me my opinion was wrong. We’ve been trying to make fire for two days and he told me not to help. Every time I made a suggestion he’s like, “No, we’re not going to do that.” That’s where I was coming from with the disrespect. I didn’t see him doing that to the guys so much. I did feel disrespected.
Holmes: Candice had a reason to be upset with him voting out her husband John, but she really rolled in there with the guns blazing…or maybe middle fingers blazing is more accurate.
Marissa: (Laughs) I wasn’t expecting that. It was more like, I knew I’d gotten on Brad’s radar when I said, “I don’t want you on my tribe if you’re thinking of giving up a challenge for your wife.” That was strike one. Gerv? That was strike two. I knew Candice was definitely upset that her husband was on Redemption. And I think maybe Monica voted for her in the beginning. I think that’s part of the reason she was feeling like that toward Brad.
Holmes: There’s just a heated Culpepper/Cody feud going on.
Peterson:  Right? (Laughs)

Holmes: I was there for Gervase’s disastrous immunity challenge. I love the guy, but it was a mess. Before the Tribal that sent you home, did you know Gervase had put you in a rough spot?
Peterson: Yeah…right when we got back to camp I was letting them know that I wasn’t OK with how he reacted in that situation. I was trying to separate myself from that. But, that’s a stupid reason to put a target on my back. Katie’s the reason the tribe lost that challenge. We had a head start and Gerv didn’t have anything to do with anything. Everyone was saying Katie has to go. So, I thought after Tribal Council I’d handle the Gervase situation again. But, it was too late.
Holmes: How hard did you try to get Gervase to replace you on Redemption Island?
Peterson: When I think about it, I don’t know what it would have been like if I was all of the sudden on Galang. Would I have a target right off the bat like Rupert’s wife or would I get to hang back?
Holmes: I would have given that man a serious guilt trip.
Peterson: (Laughs) You know, Brad has played football games and what Gervase did wasn’t even half the celebration or half the (expletive deleted) talking that people do on the field. Hayden’s played collegiate baseball and he’s getting upset by some 40-something-year-old man? Especially after that swimming performance? Why are you taking this so personally?
Holmes: Was it nice to watch Brad get the boot last night?
Peterson: I thought that was great.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Hayden.
Peterson: Glass of water. I don’t know…he seems bland. I guess I didn’t get enough from him.
Holmes: Vytas?
Peterson: Kumbaya in disguise. He puts on this front…it might be his real front. You don’t see him making moves, but later someone told me Vytas brought my name up.
Holmes: Katie?
Peterson: (Laughs) Bump on a log. I was really disappointed when I saw her get beat by her mother in the physical contest.
Holmes: Ciera?
Peterson: Lucky. She’s in jeopardy but she manages to point the fingers away from her. She got beat by her mom three times.
Holmes: Marissa, are you trying to tell me that your mother couldn’t beat you in a physical challenge?
Peterson: No, my mother couldn’t beat me in a challenge.
Holmes: Brad?
Peterson: Douchebag. I’ve never met anyone like him before.
Holmes: Caleb?
Peterson: America’s sweetheart. You have all these people who dislike Colton so much and Caleb doesn’t even care. Nobody’s opinion of Colton affects how he feels about his fiancé.

Holmes: Whenever someone is the first one out, it’s usually that person’s fault. That doesn’t seem to be the case with you. Do you feel cheated at all?
Peterson: “Survivor” is not real life. In real life I think all of the things I had going for me would have been seen and someone else would’ve been voted out. “Cheated” is not the word, I just got played by the game.

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


‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap: The Brad News Bears

October 9, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs Water' (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 Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Last Week: Colton threw in the towel, Marissa threw out some obscenities, Tyson threw out his shoulder, and Brad threw John out of Tadhana…

39 Days (well…technically 39.5), 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Galang Tribe (wearing yellow)
Aras – Musician, 31
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Kat – Full-Time Student/Sales, 23
Laura B. – Merchandiser, 44
Laura M. – Co-Owner of Morett Construction, 43
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tina – Motivational Speaker, 52
Tyson – Store Manager, 34

The Tadhana Tribe (wearing red)
Brad – Attorney, 44
Caleb – Post Office Manager/Farmer, 26
Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Vytas – Yoga Instructor, 33

Our evening’s fun starts off at Redemption Island where we learn that Candice can’t recognize her husband’s voice in the dark.

John is bummed that Brad would turn on him. Dude, you married Candice Woodcock. Anyone who’s watched her play should know that sometimes you’ve got to switch allegiances.

Back at Tadhana, Brad thinks they need to start focusing on an alliance that has loved ones on the other side. For some reason this worries Caleb which is weird because Colton wasn’t voted out.


Next, we’re off to Redemption (Still Not an) Island. Candice greets Brad with a one-finger salute. Nice to see that her and Marissa have found so much in common during their time together.

Monica tries to defend Brad saying he’s not the only one who’s voting. Candice responds to this by accusing Brad of shushing all of the women. John says he never saw that, but Tadhana should consider knocking the king off of the throne.

Redemption Island Duel (ahem…Truel) Time: The players will have to maneuver a key through a ladder bridge. Once they get to the end they’ll use the key to unlock a bag of puzzle pieces. The first person to complete the puzzle gets to stay and give away an immunity idol clue. The second person just gets to stay. The last person will be out of the game.

The challenge starts and Marissa and John are neck and neck. Candice is only slightly behind them. John eventually releases his bag first with Marissa only a second or two behind.

Candice eventually catches up and all three are working on their puzzles. Brad starts giving John advice in the hopes of someday winning him back.

John pulls away and completes the puzzle first. Marissa grows frustrated and this allows Candice to sneak by for the win.

Candice tells John he should give the clue to Monica so Galang will turn on her. Oh…that’s evil. I like that.

Brad tells Monica to burn the clue…and she does! Brilliant! This season is insane!

Also…and sorry for thinking this…with a married couple alone on Redemption Island (or Camp Cody) this could be the first time there’s some…uh…funny business during the game.

If this shelter’s a rockin’…

Sorry, I’ll stop.

Over at Galang, Monica has a bit of a breakdown because of the abuse Brad is taking. Her tribemates are cool though and try to cheer her up. Gervase puts it in a good context, reminding her that it’s a game and somebody has to run the show. That’s actually an excellent example of how solid Gervase’s social game is. He’s funny and personable, but he can be real when he needs to be.

At Tadhana, Brad is considering getting rid of Caleb because he doesn’t have a loved one on the other side who’ll be mad about it. However, we then learn that Hayden, Caleb, and Vytas are tight and Brad is on the bottom. Man, that Five Guys alliance really is out the window.

Later on, we meet up with Tyson and Gervase as they’re sneaking off to drink coconuts. C’mon guys, that’s a serious breach of banana etiquette. James would be livid.

Apparently the “Coconut Bandits” have bonded over this deception and are now an alliance.

Immunity Challenge Time: The teams will take a boat out on a mission to retrieve some huge crates. Once they have them all, they’ll return to the beach and build a staircase. Then two players will complete a puzzle to get the combination to a key. First tribe to climb the steps, use the key, and raise their flag wins immunity and their choice of coffee and treats or fishing gear.

Tina and Kat will sit out for Galang. Look at Tyson toughing it out.

The challenge starts off and Galang reminds us that they still suck at rowing boats. Things eventually even out and Laura B. is really proving that she’s a heck of a challenge competitor. Rupert must be beaming.

Tadhana retrieves all of their crates first, but their boat tips over and Galang takes the lead.

During the stair-building portion, Tadhana manages to regain the lead. But Laura M. and Tyson tear through the puzzle much quicker than Ciera and Vytas. Tyson retrieves their key, raises their flag, and sends Tadhana to their fourth straight Tribal Council.

There’s a serious Ulonging going on here.

Once again, Mama Morett laid the smack down on her daughter. Will this be the one that sends Ciera packing?

After the challenge, Brad tells Ciera and Katie that they’re going to target Caleb. But after Caleb’s gone, it will be “nut-cutting time.”


Caleb, Vytas, and Hayden are all ready to vote for Ciera, but the way Brad was talking to the girls has Caleb nervous.

That night at Tribal Council, Brad throws Ciera under the bus for being bad at puzzles.

Ciera admits that she isn’t as good at puzzles as she thought, but she’s not going to whine about it.

Brad admits that it’d be great to vote out someone without a loved one so he wouldn’t get heat at Redemption Island. Caleb didn’t love that comment.

Caleb feels like he’s the low man on the totem pole and didn’t like that Brad was campaigning against him.

Brad says it was just a discussion, not a campaign.

Caleb tells Ciera that he’s going to write Brad’s name down and everyone else is welcome to follow suit.

Brad tries to save face by saying he’s not going to vote for Caleb.

Voting Time: Caleb votes for Brad, Brad votes for Ciera, and the rest of the votes are lost to the magic of editing.

JPro tallies, then returns.  We’ve got one vote for Brad, two votes for Ciera, one vote for Brad, one vote for Ciera, and…one vote for Brad.

A tie! This season is the greatest train wreck ever!

Voting Time Again: Katie votes for Brad, Hayden starts voting for Ciera….then scratches it out! And that’s all we get to see.

Note: Hayden, buddy…just grab another piece of parchment.

JPro tallies, returns…and we’ve got one vote Brad, one vote Ciera, one vote Brad, and the sixth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Brad!

Oh his way out, Brad tells everyone that he isn’t mad at them. That’s actually a very smart strategy in this game.

Verdict: So basically, with his first strategic maneuver ever, Caleb made a better move that Colton did in two whole seasons. Good times.

This season is delivering in a big way. I’m hoping Jeff Probst isn’t the kind of guy to say, “I told you so.”

And who isn’t psyched to see Camp Cody square off against Big Bad Brad next week?

Who’s Going to Win? Buh…Vytas? Who knows…this season is nuts.

Power Rankings Results: Malcolm had Brad in spot 13, I had him in 12. Malcolm had both of the Codys surviving at Redemption, I only had Candice. So, the score for this round is Team Malcolm 15, Team Gordon 13. The current total score is Team Malcolm 56, Team Gordon 55.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Power Rankings – Wager Edition

October 7, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (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 Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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The Rules: Each week our two combatants 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 Tyson is voted out this week, Malcolm will receive 8 points and Gordon will receive 6 points. Also, each player will pick the players they think will win at Redemption Island. They’ll receive a bonus point for each correct pick. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

NOTE: If a current player decides to swap places with their loved one at Redemption Island, they’ll also swap places in the rankings. For example, if Gervase swaps places with Marissa, Marissa will take the 5th spot in Malcolm’s rankings and the 4th spot in Gordon’s rankings.

Last Week: Malcolm had Colton in spot 14, I had him in spot 16. Malcolm had John in spot 12, I had him in spot 11. Malcolm earned one Redemption Island bonus point for guessing Candice correctly, I earned two for guessing both winners. So, the current score is Team Malcolm 41, Team Gordon 42.

Before we get into this week’s festivities, let’s check in with the two combatants…

Gordon Holmes: Malcolm, thanks again for participating this season. What’ve you been up to since we saw you last?
Malcolm Freberg: As much as you want me to say I’ve been studying Power Rankings strategies all summer, fact is I am just putting the finishing touches on a memoir of the year I spent as a teacher in the Marshall Islands. I also launched a self-help website,, with week-daily updates.
Holmes: How are you liking the season so far?
Freberg: Really good so far. The addition of family members adds an element of emotion to what had evolved into a really strategic, Machiavellian experiment. The new layer of complexity from the twist throws a wrench in all the hardcore viewers’ preconceived notions of how the game should play out. Also, I will never be a ‘fan’ of the Redemption Island twist for reasons too long to list here, but I’ll admit that, if it HAS to be done, the family members season was the time to do it.
Holmes: Since I would obviously be your loved one, what strategies would we have discussed going into this season?
Freberg: Obviously you would sacrifice yourself for me whenever I asked. Duh.

Holmes: That’s not very loving. Alright, we’re going to be doing a weekly wager here to spice things up. We’ve put a variety of topics into a hat. The loser of this week’s ranking will have to incorporate the topic into next week’s picks. And, it looks like the topic will be…’80s Cartoon Characters.
Freberg: Not ‘80s, I’m not that old.
Holmes: Fine, then just cartoon characters. However, I’m going to point out that the Ninja Turtles did start in the ‘80s.

Malcolm’s Current Score: 41

Any advice for Malcolm? Drop him a line on Twitter: @MalcolmWHW

Gordon’s Current Score: 42

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

 1. Aras – Most of the action at Galang was Colton- and Tyson-centric, so the status quo hasn’t changed. I suspect Aras has used all this free time to construct an open-air bamboo yoga studio complete with a wheatgrass bar and wind chimes.
 1. Aras – My exit interview with Colton shed a lot of light on the politics around Galang and apparently it’s an Aras lovefest. Between that and the way he spoke openly and honestly with Colton before Redemption Island, it’s apparent that Aras is playing the exact game he wants to be playing.
 2. Tina – When she’s not signing up non-alliance members for pre-merge trial memberships at the Galang Hot Yoga, she’s calmly telling quitters to shove it and continuing to embarrass her child on national television. It’s actually been really impressive so far.
 2. Hayden – Sending John to Redemption Island made Hayden 100 times more valuable to Brad and the tribe as a whole. Best of all, Hayden doesn’t have any blood on his hands.
 3. Hayden – He’s now proved that he’s a vicious killer of Mormon’s dreams and is probably not safe in the state of Utah anytime soon, but he’s in good shape on Tadhana’s beach. He’s a strong guy on a bad tribe that’s involved in the strategy discussions but not sticking out for being a threat yet.
 3. Tina – This wasn’t on purpose, but I’ve got all of the former champs at the top of my list. Tina’s golden right now. She’s the least threatening member of the dominant alliance in the dominant tribe. She’s also smart enough to know that the only time it’s safe to trash talk someone is when they’re in the process of quitting the game.

 4. Vytas – If Aras runs a yoga studio, Vytas is the sensei of Cobra Kai. I support the taking advantage of a merciful enemy, but don’t get beat doing so or you create a hero out of your opponent – which, in this case, is the guy you already hate for being a hero. Ouch. Good things he’s still safe pulling the strings of Tadhana with Hayden.
 4. Gervase – Good for Gervase for being the cooler head at last week’s Redemption Island. It looks like he’s safe and sound in Galang’s old school alliance. Which considering how disastrously he performed in the premiere is a miracle. If Gervase makes the merge, and at this point I can’t imagine him not making the merge, he’s going to be a threat to win this thing.

  5. Gervase – Still not in love with the guy, but he’s safe working under Aras and Tina as loudmouth lightning rod/studio security. He’d be placed at the bottom of this list if murder was an allowable way to eliminate a castaway because Brad wouldn’t hesitate.
 5. Vytas – Brad booting John really opened the door for a lot of options at Tadhana beach. Could Vytas take the lead and send Brad packing? Absolutely. Is that the smartest move? Probably not. Best to let Brad keep on being Brad. As far as losing the immunity challenge to his younger sibling, that might turn out in his favor if they’re ever looking to get rid of the more-threatening brother.
 6. Monica – I thought it was interesting that she sat the challenge, though I’m not sure how much to read into it. It may have just been that the moms asked to crush their daughters? Either way, Colton leaving clears away any doubt arising from her comments about possibly playing with him, so I think she’ll sit comfortably in the majority for a while.
 6. Tyson – Lost in all of the craziness of last episode was Tyson’s shoulder injury. Hopefully it isn’t too bad, because he has been tearing up the challenges so far. Also, when you see how Tyson treats Rachel, there’s no possible way he belongs on a “Villains” tribe ever again.
 7. Caleb – His handling of Colton wanting to go home was perfect. Now he’s freed from that loud, pink polo-sporting burden and can quietly maneuver his way through the game. Oddly, we’re never hearing his take on all the chaos on Tadhana, which is worrisome for his odds of ever becoming an end-game force, but also means he’s not putting a target on his back early like some are.
  7. Monica – Welp…it looks like Monica is doing everything she should be at Galang. She seems to be well-liked and is in good with the cool kids. But how many times do her alliance-mates need to see their loved ones chewing out Brad before it starts to get to them?
 8. Tyson – Never let Rachel go. She should be awarded girlfriend of the year for telling her proven challenge-beast boyfriend to sit tight and trying to make a go of RI alone. Now, Tyson’s safe in his alliance and I really don’t think he’s in any trouble, but if that shoulder doesn’t get better quickly he may become a liability. But I hear some light stretching and breathing exercises may do great things for your recovery, speak to Tina for more details.
 8. Laura M. – There appears to be a five-person alliance in Galang, and Laura isn’t in it. Fortunately, there are a few more obvious cuts before they get to her. And the way things are going, it’s possible Galang might never lose immunity. If Laura can get to the merge, everyone had better watch out. She’s done well in the immunity challenges so far and she was a significant force in Samoa.
 9. Laura M. – I knew those hesitations at the challenge were just for show — you couldn’t wait to run over dear old daughter. The moms are having their way with their daughters and it’s hysterical. A whole lot of silence in regards to the drama this week, so no real change in opinion.
9. Caleb – So, Colton claims he quit because he knew he’d be voted out and Caleb would insist on taking this place at Tribal Council. That’s very sweet. But it makes me wonder if Caleb is going to be willing to make the cutthroat moves that are usually necessary to win this game.
 10. Laura B. – I’ve decided Rupert was never that good of a competitor, but that tie-dye imbues one with superhuman strength. She looked good in the challenge, but, just like her similarly named tribe mate, we didn’t hear much else, so this spot looks good I guess…
  10. Laura B. – Hey, I remember her! That may seem like a knock, but Laura is doing exactly what she needs to be doing. She’s being useful around camp, and she’s staying out of the drama. Once they hit the merge she’ll be able to coast and weigh her options.
 11. Katie – So the girls aren’t out of the woods by any means on Tadhana, but Katie gets a bump up because her loss to her mom was marginally less embarrassing than Ciera’s loss to hers, and Brad is doing everything in his power to get booted ASAP.   11. Katie – Well, the guys laid it out pretty clearly with last week’s vote. Katie and Ciera both did poorly in the challenge, but Katie helps around camp and Ciera doesn’t. The question is; is being the 2nd boot enough for Katie, or does she try to rally the guys against the now untrustworthy Brad?
 12. Kat – She’s so stealth mode you don’t even know she’s still at Galang until she appears in the challenge just long enough to one-shot one-kill Ciera. Her problem is Galang doesn’t need physical competitors — they haven’t struggled in challenges. And, outside Colton, she’s the only name we’ve heard kicked around by the majority alliance. Lieutenant Corporal Sniper Edorsson looks like the first boot of Galang.
  12. Brad – OK Brad, you’re taking all of the bullets at Redemption Island. That sucks, but it’s something your tribe mates probably appreciate. But then you decide to weaken your floundering tribe by getting rid of John? Then you suggest Tadhana all stab John in the back while you get to keep your hands clean? You’re playing too hard, too early and now I’m doubting you’ll make the merge.
 13. Brad – The Grand Poo-Poo of Tadhana is catching all the flak at RI and at camp for the decisions he’s making and the graceless way he defends them. Usually I’d insert something about not necessarily deserving it, but it’s starting to look like he deserves all of it and more. He’s the nail that’s sticking out the farthest, and he’s going to get knocked down sooner rather than later.
  13. Kat – There’s an older alliance at Galang and Kat just doesn’t fit in. Which is a shame, because she’s nice enough and has pulled her weight in challenges. Maybe she could use the Brad ill-will to turn people against Monica?
 14. Ciera – Because Tadhana won’t sacrifice more muscle if they lose again. Because she was the girl Brad threw a vote at instead of Katie. Because she left her pulse at camp during the last challenge. And finally, because I think I cursed her by putting her #1 preseason. I’m sorry, Ciera, I’M SORRY.
  14. Ciera – Your number is up on a tribe that isn’t winning immunities and just booted one of its strongest competitors. Brad did you a favor by turning on John. Now you should return the favor by getting everyone else to turn on Brad. An obvious angle you can take is, “He can’t be trusted after turning on his buddy.” But, you could also try “I saw Brad with the idol.”
 Redemption Island Picks: Candice and John – I don’t mean to constantly doubt Marissa – I mean I guess I do since I keep doing it — but she’s not exactly getting through these challenges in grand fashion. Also, Candice has proven to be the RI monster, and now she’s going to be able to help out hubby dearest once she’s done with the challenge three hours before the other two.
  Redemption Island Picks: Candice and Marissa – My first instinct was Team Cody all the way, but Marissa has proven she’s got some skills. I think I’m going to stick with this duo until they lose. Either way, I hope Candice wins the clue and then tosses it in the urn.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water

‘Survivor’ Castaway Rachel – Brad Culpepper Is a ‘Bonehead’

October 3, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (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 Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6541379645042428112″ program_type=”series” cid=”45576771592″]

Looking for more proof that this is the craziest season of “Survivor” ever? Here are the facts…

•    Rupert was eliminated without ever receiving a vote.
•    Marissa was voted out because her uncle was talking trash.
•    Colton quit the game because he knew he’d be voted out and his fiance would insist on replacing him at Redemption Island.

And then you have poor Rachel who was targeted in an attempt to lure her challenge stallion boyfriend Tyson to Redemption Island.

So weird.

I spoke with Rachel the morning after her elimination and had a chance to ask her about Brad’s leadership, Tyson’s influence, and Candice’s attitude…

Gordon Holmes: You two broke my heart last night.
Rachel Foulger: (Laughs) We didn’t mean to!
Holmes: You guys are a-dorable.
Foulger: Thank you. I’m sorry our conversation is not going to get as dirty (as the pre-game interview) because Tyson’s not here.
Holmes: And thank goodness for that.
Foulger: Thank goodness!
Holmes: Tyson is a terrible influence on me.
Foulger: Me too! (Laughs)

Holmes: Tell me about Tadhana. All we’re seeing is the five guys ruling the roost. What else was going on there?
Foulger: It was definitely very obvious with Brad. Brad wasn’t secretive about anything. He was dominating that tribe, telling everybody what to do. It was very obvious there was a guy alliance. I only had two choices; either get the girls and try to pull one of those guys which I thought would’ve been hard. Or, forget the girls and try to make a strong alliance with the guys.
Holmes: Let me get this straight; you’re saying Brad wasn’t subtle?
Foulger: (Laughs) Did it look subtle on TV?! He was obvious about everything.

Holmes: Before the game, Jeff Probst and Tyson both mentioned that they were worried about how you would do emotionally. From what we saw it seemed like you were doing a good job out there.
Foulger: Jeff told me before the show that I was his question mark before the game. I told him I didn’t know what I was going to do either.  I am a very strong person, but I have emotions too. When I got out there I was pretty strong actually. I did pretty well out there.

Holmes: Tadhana voted Laura Boneham out of the tribe immediately. We never found out why.
Foulger:  I didn’t even know everybody’s name. They didn’t show my vote. I actually voted for Katie. I had to put down, “Tina’s Daughter” because I didn’t know her name. It was very stressful. But I think at that point the only thing you can do is go by physical appearance. How good are these people going to be in challenges? With her being the older woman, looking like maybe the weaker of the girls, I think that’s why she was targeted.

Holmes: I was there for that first challenge and you guys dominated the water portion. The puzzle team blew it, but they’re all still there. Why wasn’t there any blowback from their performance?
Foulger: I still don’t understand that. Katie, Ciera, and Caleb did the puzzle and not only did we lose, but we lost pretty badly. There were three rounds to that puzzle and they didn’t finish the first round. For one of them to not be on the chopping block doesn’t make sense to me. But, that’s where Brad comes in. Brad likes that they volunteered for that part of the challenge because it is higher stress. He appreciated that.

Holmes: The moment you and Tyson shared last night was very heartwarming. I’m not used to that from Tyson. Tyson tends to be too-cool-for school. I’m worried that having you in the game ruined his reputation as a bad boy.
Foulger: (Laughs) I don’t think it ruined his reputation. I think it’s nice to see a different side of Tyson. It’s a sweeter side.

Holmes: Alright let do some word association. We’ll start with Brad.
Foulger: Bonehead.
Holmes: Hayden?
Foulger: Meathead.
Holmes: Marissa?
Foulger: Sassy.
Holmes: Candice?
Foulger: Bitchy.
Holmes: Ciera?
Foulger: Mousey.
Holmes: Katie?
Foulger: Sincere.
Holmes: Vytas?
Foulger: Sneaky.
Holmes: Caleb?
Foulger: Strong.
Holmes: John?
Foulger: Trustworthy.

Holmes: We need to jump back into that. Why is Candice bitchy?
Foulger: She just is! She’s super bitchy. Being out there on Redemption Island…she is pissed. They aren’t showing it, but she is pissed that her name was written down that first day. There’s the bitchy side there and you’re going to get to see it next week I think.
Holmes: It did look like that from the preview.

Holmes: It never occurred to me that one tribe would target someone in an attempt to get their loved one to swap out.
Foulger: That part of the game was a surprise. I went both ways with it. I thought I’d be targeted because they want Tyson out. Or, people who are on the chopping block are not going to want Tyson to be in the arena fighting challenges. I wasn’t positive which way it would go.

Holmes: See how clean this interview was?
Foulger: Yeah, it was pretty clean.
Holmes: That’s the thing; when Tyson and I talk it’s awful. When you, me, and Tyson talk it’s awful. When just you and I talk it’s super pleasant.
Foulger: (Laughs) I know! Is that OK with you?
Holmes: It is, I just wanted you to realize what the common denominator was.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Colton – ‘I’m Probably the Most Hated Player Ever’

October 3, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (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 Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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“Survivor: Blood vs. Water” has been an exercise in extremes.

They’re playing a cutthroat game against the people they love the most. The stronger, younger tribe has yet to win a challenge against the weaker, older tribe. The huge advantage a Redemption Island winner gave to her husband caused him to be booted from his tribe.

And now one week after interviewing one of the most beloved players the show has ever known, I find myself interviewing one of its most hated.

I spoke with Colton Cumbie the morning after he quit the game and had a chance to ask him about the decision he made, the berating he received from Jeff Probst, and his place in “Survivor” history…

Gordon Holmes: So…what happened?
Colton Cumbie: Well…I guess…I quit. (Laughs) What do you want to know?
Holmes: Let’s start with what made you come to this decision.
Cumbie: When they separated us, I was like, “I don’t want to be here anymore.” That was the starting point for me. I thought, I’ll tough it out, I’ll get to a swap or something. But then I kept thinking, when are they going to swap us? What ended up being the ultimate reason is I was trying to salvage Caleb’s game. That’s why I kept saying,  “I don’t know, I don’t know.” That’s why Jeff was irate with me. I wouldn’t answer his questions because I couldn’t tell him what I was thinking. What I was really thinking was; I know I’m going to get voted out. I know I’m going to walk into the arena, and have you met my fiancé? He’s like the ultimate hero.
Holmes: He is.
Cumbie: He’s going to come down, he’s going to take my place. There won’t be any discussion. He’ll convince me to go to his tribe. And these challenges are not his forte. He’s not going to win these duels. And then he’d have sacrificed his game for me. I didn’t want that. Caleb came to play for Caleb, not for me. I honestly think me leaving is going to be a kickstart for him. He realizes he doesn’t have to worry about me anymore.
Holmes: That’s the crazy things about this season is these twists are bringing up angles I’d never thought of before. You quit because you knew you’d be voted out and Caleb would put himself at risk.
Cumbie: I knew that beyond a shadow of a doubt and he’ll verify that. Whenever we saw each other again, the first thing he said was, “I’m glad you didn’t get voted out because I would have taken your place.”
Holmes: This season is crazy town with these twists.
Cumbie: Honestly Gordon, what it comes down to is bank accounts. With the couples the money is all going to the same place, with the exception of Hayden and Kat. If they stay together, maybe it will, I don’t know. But all the married couples, the couples that have been together a long time, the money is going to the same place. We only need one person at the end. A mother and a daughter…an uncle and a niece…it’s not the same. And, the longer you’re a pair in the game, you become a target. So I think for Caleb being single at this point is going to benefit him.

Holmes: I wasn’t there.  You have your story, Probst has his. A lot of people are going to read this and think you’re just saying all of this to cover the fact that you just wanted to quit.
Cumbie: Definitely.
Holmes: Either you didn’t like your tribe or it was too hot or whatever. Where’s your head as far as dealing with the inevitable fallout from all of this?
Cumbie: Honestly, I really don’t care. I’m really happy in my life. People say “quitters never win,” but have you met my fiancé? Clearly I’ve won.
Holmes: I have met you fiancé. You did win.
Cumbie: He’s awesome.
Holmes: We don’t have to debate that point.

Holmes: You are a “Survivor” mega fan. Covering “Survivor” is my job and I’m sure I don’t know the game as well as you do. I don’t have your recall of the facts. Have these experiences on the show made you hate “Survivor”?
Cumbie: A little bit. It’s the stuff we can’t talk about that makes me hate “Survivor.” The behind-the-scenes stuff that you don’t see. That’s what makes me hate it. It’s Jeff Probst standing in the arena before God and everybody saying, “I’m the main person who campaigned for you to come back and you’re just going to walk?” And then to turn around and say he never wanted me on the show.
Holmes: Being the ultimate fan, you know Probst doesn’t go easy on quitters. From Osten to NaOnka to Purple Kelly they all got some serious grief.
Cumbie: I don’t think he’s ever handled anyone like he handled me.

Holmes: As someone who knows the game extremely well, what do you think your place in “Survivor” history is?
Cumbie: I’m probably the most hated player ever, that’s a given. People despise me. And I think it’s for a number a reasons. It’s my fault. I did it. There was a fork in the road and I could have been the adorable little gay kid that everybody loves and I didn’t do it. And that’s on me.

Holmes: Did Galang just shut you down? They wouldn’t let you in?
Cumbie: Yeah, kind of. I did that to myself though. I was trying to get rid of Aras. Aras was in an alliance with everyone and it was so obvious to me. I didn’t understand why everyone was so bamboozled by him. I kept calling him Jim Jones. Everyone was drinking his Kool-Aid and following him blindly. I love Tina, I told her, “I’ve got Monica, I’ve got Tyson.” And what I should have done is kept my mouth shut. Let Kat be voted out first. Let Laura Morett be the second person. Then maybe get Monica and Tyson and Rupert’s wife and get out Aras.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word associatin’…we’ll start with Tyson.
Cumbie: Hilarious.
Holmes: Aras?
Cumbie: Annoying.
Holmes: Gervase?
Cumbie: Love him.
Holmes: Laura Boneham?
Cumbie: Who?
Holmes: Laura Morett?
Cumbie: Love her.
Holmes: Kat?
Cumbie: Meow.
Holmes: Tina?
Cumbie: She writes love all over herself, but the only person Tina Wesson loves is herself.
Holmes: And we’ll finish with your buddy Monica.
Cumbie: Goddess. I love her.

Holmes: I have some positives for you.
Cumbie: I’m very anxious to hear this. (Laughs)
Holmes: Three positives; you didn’t say anything racist. You didn’t say anything elitist. And you brought Caleb into our lives.
Cumbie: I appreciate that. You’re the first person who’s pointed that out. People keep saying, “The old Colton is back.” And I’m like, “Did you watch ‘One World’?” The Colton from this season is nothing like before. That Colton made people cry, he didn’t cry all the time. I feel like I have grown as a person in that regard. I have a lot more respect for people’s feelings. You can argue I lost it with Kat in the boat, but that’s because I don’t respond well to being yelled at. Kat and I talked about it immediately after it happened and then it was non-issue. You want me to enjoy the zen and the kumbaya? Then I need a plan. I’m a planner. I have my whole life planned down to a tee. I’m not a roll-with-it kind of a guy.
Holmes: Well, I know you already have planned a future Miss Alabama.
Cumbie: Really. I’ve already planned my kids. From my egg donor’s day of ovulation.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap: The Worst Player of All Time?

October 2, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (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 Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Last Week: Rupert had some trouble balancing his spools, Colton tried to treat Galang like they were a bunch of fools, and Rachel now has a chance to compete in Redemption Island duels…

39 Days (well…technically 39.5), 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Galang Tribe (wearing yellow)
Aras – Musician, 31
Colton – Student Teacher, 22
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Kat – Full-Time Student/Sales, 23
Laura B. – Merchandiser, 44
Laura M. – Co-Owner of Morett Construction, 43
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tina – Motivational Speaker, 52
Tyson – Store Manager, 34

The Tadhana Tribe (wearing red)
Brad – Attorney, 44
Caleb – Post Office Manager/Farmer, 26
Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
John – Physician, 30
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Vytas – Yoga Instructor, 33

Tonight’s festivities kick off over at Galang beach where Tyson bests his loincloth ensemble from Tocantins with a charming cupcake belt. Colton would rather talk challenge strategy or game strategy or any strategy, but people are more interested in Tyson’s adorable accessories.

Colton wants a second chance to get in good with Galang, but Aras isn’t going to give him one.

Next up, we join everyone at Redemption (not an) Island. Before the challenge gets underway, Tyson lets Rachel make the call about swapping. She tells him to stay because he has a better shot at winning. Tyson elects to stay, then warns Brad that he may be big, but that’s the worst thing to be in “Survivor.”

Brad tells Galang that they should stop talking smack because Tadhana has had to make the hard decisions of voting out their loved ones.

Marissa retorts by saying, “F!@# you, Brad Culpepper!”

Now that’s some trash talk!

Then Colton cries. When Probst asks what’s up, Colton says he doesn’t want to be there.

Probst tries to get him to admit to faking the appendicitis in “One World”, but Colton won’t own up to it.

Tina thinks Colton wants out because Galang won’t play his game.

Probst asks for confirmation that he’s quitting, and Colton officially throws in the towel.

J-Pro lays some reality on Colton about quitting twice and not growing up, but Colton can’t deal with it. He crosses over to Caleb and hugs him.

Probst says he can keep his buff because he doesn’t get the honor of throwing it in the fire. Someone seriously needs to put together a YouTube mix of Probst shaming quitters.

Quick Rant: A lot of people were upset when Colton was brought back for “Blood vs. Water.” I wasn’t one of them. I love a good redemption story and I’m a big believer that America loves to forgive people.

Unfortunately, that’s not what we ended up with. Fortunately, it only lasted three episodes.

That being said, I hope my beloved Francesca Hogi is smiling tonight. I’d much rather be known as the person who was voted out first twice than the person who quit twice.

Redemption Island Duel (ahem…Truel) Time: The players will place blocks on a wacky, tilted platform. They’ll then knock over the blocks in a domino-esque fashion. The first person to go the length of the platform and release a ball gets to stay and will get to hand out an immunity clue. The second person to go the length just gets to stay. The third person is sent packing.

Fun Fact: This is the challenge that sent Russell Hantz home in the original Redemption Island.

Not much to describe here except for domino stackin’. Candice completes the challenge in her first try. Rachel and Marissa are both having serious trouble. However, after 45 minutes Marissa manages to pull off the win. Rachel is eliminated.

Note: Marissa was about to pass out during this challenge. I’m not surprised because it is ridiculously hot in that arena.

Candice chooses to give the second clue to John.

Over at Galang, Tyson is uncharacteristically emotional when he discusses Rachel’s exit. Aww…nice to see that side of him.

He’s glad she had a good time because he thinks some people take the game too seriously and let it ruin their lives. Kinda like what’s-his-name who quit a few minutes ago.

At Tadhana, Brad asks everyone if he’s a tyrant. Yeah…a body-slammin’ tyrant!

Later, John decides to tell Brad about the clue. Smart boy. Those clues were the only thing making John stand out as a threat.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will square off in one-on-one battles on a platform. Victory is achieved by pushing your opponent off of the platform with your tribe-color-coordinated cushion. First tribe to get five wins gets immunity and luxury or fishing items.

Monica will sit out for Galang.

Round One: Gervase put up a respectable fight, but Brad pulled off the win. No body slams.

Round Two: Laura B. dropped Katie into the drink.

Round Three: John bested Aras.

Round Four: Kat destroyed Ciera. It seriously only took one push.

Round Five: Hayden quickly disposed of Tyson. Unfortunately, Tyson popped his shoulder out of place during the challenge. Medical technician Ramona (who is awesome) came out to make sure he was OK. She allows him to stay in the game.

Round Six: The Wesson Women had quite a brawl, with Tina getting the win.

Round Seven: The Baskauskas Brothers have the match of the night. Vytas resorted to dirty tactics, but Aras was still able to get the win.

Round Eight: Team Morett went toe-to-toe with experience eventually prevailing over youth. Galang wins immunity.

Oh wow, by winning that round Laura could have cost Ciera the game.

Also, more proof that newbies just can’t compete with returnees in challenges.

Politicking around Tadhana revolves around the Five Guys (Burgers and Fries) trying to figure out which of the girls has to go. The guys don’t like that Katie lost to her mom, but she helps around camp while Ciera did poorly in the challenge and doesn’t do anything.

However, as soon John goes off to find the idol, Brad tells the other guys that he has to go. His concern is that Candice will come back and be the one who tells John what to do. Oh man…you guys need all the challenge strength you can get.

Brad pitches this idea to the ladies, but with the addendum that he doesn’t have to vote for John in case he gets back into the game. This line of thinking makes everyone want to target Brad.

So, we’ve got four possible boots? Awesome.

That night at Tribal Council, Probst points out that the bros were the only ones to score points in the challenge.

Katie says it was frustrating losing to her mom.

Ciera thinks it’s embarrassing to lose to her mom.

Caleb is also in attendance.

Vytas doesn’t think it’s men vs. women. He thinks it’s about who you can trust.

Brad is tired of being the one people are blaming for the eliminations.

Vytas thinks having the clues puts a target on John’s back.

Hayden points out that John hasn’t shared the clues with his alliance.

Voting Time: None of the votes are shown. Oooo…

Jeffrey tallies the votes in private, then returns to read them. We’ve got one vote for Ciera, three votes for John, and the fifth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…John.


Verdict: When Probst told me about the billion twists, I said this season was going to be a mess, but it could be an entertaining mess. So far, it’s been a very entertaining mess.

Who’s Going to Win? Team Vytas, FTW.

Power Rankings Results: Malcolm had Colton in spot 14, I had him in spot 16. Malcolm had John in spot 12, I had him in spot 11. Malcolm earned one Redemption Island bonus point for guessing Candice correctly, I earned two for guessing both winners. So, the current score is Team Malcolm 41, Team Gordon 42.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ – Exclusive Pics from Tonight’s Intense Challenge

October 2, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (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 Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

[xfinity-record-button id=”6541379645042428112″ program_type=”series” cid=”45576771592″]

Jeff Probst seems like a nice guy on the surface. He’s the face of one of the most iconic shows on television, he has a mantle full of Emmy awards, and he’s done a ton of charity work. I’ve interviewed Jeff several times and on each occasion he has proven to be a scholar and a gentleman.

But if these exclusive photos of tonight’s violent immunity challenge are to be believed, then he is truly an evil, evil man…

SPOILER ALERT: The images below give the answer to one of the questions that was raised during last week’s preview. View at your own risk…

Team Morett explodes as mother Laura is forced to square off against her daughter Ciera! (CBS)

Tyson has some experience in this challenge from his days on the Villains tribe. OK, maybe this isn't so evil. Probst gets a pass on this one. (CBS)


It's Mother/Daughter Duel Part Deux as Katie faces Tina! (CBS)

And finally, Brad gets his wish as he's offered a chance to body slam poor Gervase. (CBS)

Don’t miss “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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

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