Archive for November, 2013

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2013 Ballot – Parvati Shallow

November 29, 2013

2010 "Survivor" Hall of Fame Inductee Parvati Shallow (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

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The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have 2010 inductee Parvati Shallow as a member of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Parvati (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, and other “Survivor” luminaries) has accepted an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2013. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you.

Parvati Shallow’s 2013 Hall of Fame Ballot

Kim Spradlin – (“Survivor: One World”) I love a girl’s girl. Kim Spradlin provided the single greatest performance by any first-time player. It’s tough for anyone to play “Survivor,” make friends, betray them, and still earn their votes in the end. Kim managed to do it all with a smile on her face, including challenge domination. You’ve got to give her Hall of Fame credit for that.  And for the critics that would say that she beat a poor selection of players; that was not in her control.  She didn’t draft them.  The best she could do was beat them all.  And she did.

Benjamin “Coach” Wade – (“Survivor: Tocantins,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” and “Survivor: South Pacific”) I just love this guy and his metamorphosis through each of his three seasons competing on “Survivor.” He stole our hearts as the tai chi practicing man of the mountain in Tocantins. He let his vulnerability shine through in “Heroes vs. Villains” as he cried to Tyson in the night, saying, “I just want people to like me.” Although he didn’t win, he seriously amped up his play against Ozzy and the cast of newbies on “South Pacific,” making it all the way to a runner-up finish. He’s the warrior who recognized my excellent play with a vote in the end of “Heroes v Villains,” and for that, he has my vote now.

Eliza Orlins – (“Survivor: Vanuatu” and “Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites) The female version of Rob Cesternino, this woman has elevated “Survivor” analytics and fangirl-ism to an art form. If I have any question about anything that has every happened, or possibly happened or maybe not happened on a season of “Survivor,” Eliza is the one to ask. She made herself one of the most recognizable women of “Survivor” by her jury facial expressions alone. She was my nemesis on “Fans vs. Faves” and now, I am proud to call her my friend.

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

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‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2013 Ballot – Russell Hantz

November 28, 2013

2010 "Survivor" Hall of Fame Inductee Russell Hantz (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

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The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have 2010 inductee Russell Hantz as a member of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Russell (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, and other “Survivor” luminaries) has accepted an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2013. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you.

Russell Hantz’s 2013 Hall of Fame Ballot

My first nominee is a surprise to all. It is of course how I think, and I think out the box. He has tied for the most challenges won in “Survivor” history with Tom Westman, who is already inducted into the Hall of Fame. Even though Tom sat out two challenges they won a record setting 17 and he himself never once sat out a challenge. His social and strategic game was just as impressive. It got him to the final five. Just because you’re not a “popular” player does not mean you’re not Hall of Fame material. His name is Kenward Bernis. “Boo” “Superboo” “Survivor: Fiji” player. #Superboo

My next choice even shocks me. I do not like who he is as a person. I do not like who he is as a man, but you do have to respect some of the best moves in the game. He is the first villain that made a huge play. Jonny Fairplay (“Survivor: Pearl Islands” and “Survivor: Micronesia”) made an exceptional move that will be remembered for the rest of everyone’s life. This legend deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

She also may not be well remembered, but she may be one of the best players to ever play the game. Her social game was impeccable. Her strategic game was flawless. Her physical game proved to be her strength with 4 individual immunity wins getting her to the finals. Her name is Kim Spradlin (“Survivor: One World”). Again just because they are not extremely “popular” does not mean they don’t deserve to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap – Big Alliances Don’t Last Forever

November 27, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

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Last Week: Aras lost his shot at the mill, Monica let Kasama eat their fill, and Ciera was probably cut from her family’s will.

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

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Kasama Tribe (wearing purple)

Caleb – Post Office Manager/Farmer, 26
Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tyson – Store Manager, 34

Another Note: We’re flying without a DVR tonight; so anything that gets missed, gets missed.

It’s hugs all around for Ciera after her mom was sent packing. But, instead of looking like she’s part of the pack, now others think she’s super strategic. Jeez, a girl can’t even stab the woman who brought her into this world in the back without people getting all sensitive.

Over at Redemption Island, as Laura approaches the camp, she pretends to be Katie to throw off Tina. And it works! That’s mean, but hilarious. However, a more accurate Katie impersonation may have been saying, “I have the idol. OK, I don’t.”

Redemption Island Time: Players will race to move four cubes through a net. They’ll then stack them so that no side has two of the same color. The first two to complete the cube stack will be safe, while the last person will have to sacrifice their buff to the flames. The first-place finisher will also give away an immunity idol clue.

Before the challenge gets underway, Probst takes a moment to make Ciera feel bad about voting out Laura. But, Laura says it’s OK because she’ll come back.

The challenge starts and Vytas and Laura jump out to a solid lead. Tina’s seriously falling behind.

Laura is the first to correctly complete the challenge. She then gives Tina clues on how to finish the puzzle. Tina finishes her puzzle a second before Vytas and wins. As you’d imagine, Vytas is more than a little annoyed with Laura.

Laura gives the clue to Ciera and she burns it. Makes sense. According to Katie, Ciera already has the idol.

Back at camp, Tyson starts spreading the word that Katie has to go due to having three jury votes. However, Hayden and Caleb feel like they’re in the middle if they don’t make a move. And the move they want to make is taking Tyson out.

Dun dun dun…

Caleb approaches Katie with this plan, and she’s on board because…she really has no choice. Ciera pretends to be with it, but she’s worried that Caleb and Hayden are flipping too early.

CUT TO: Ciera tells Tyson what’s up. Oh man… She vows to vote any way he tells her.

Later, Gervase and Tyson discuss this new revelation. They decide to target Caleb at the next Tribal Council.

The next morning, Caleb and Hayden start to get paranoid because Ciera is acting differently around them. Maybe it’s because she wasn’t invited into the bro hammock they’re swinging in.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will hold onto a handle that’s holding onto a rope that’s holding onto a bucket that has 25% of their body weight in it. Last person holding up their bucket wins immunity.

Before it starts, Probst gives them the chance to forgo the challenge and enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch. Tyson, Ciera, and Gervase decide to take him up on that offer.

Not much to describe here except for some handle holdin’. Monica lets Jeff know that she wants to win to prove that there’s more than one bad ass in her house. He’s a Brad ass.

Katie’s the first one out after ten minutes.

Gervase and Tyson do an adorable “Lady and the Tramp” impersonation with sausage. Jeff then does an actual impersonation of a medieval king. I’m not going to lie, this whole thing is weird.

Caleb’s the next to go at the twenty-minute mark. Hayden and Monica battle it out, but Monica stays strong and pulls off her third straight win.

Back at Kasama, Hayden wants a full description of the meal. That’s actually pretty smart. Probably a good way to drive a wedge between the eaters and Monica.

Caleb and Hayden decide to ask Tyson if he’s planning on blindsiding them. That’s certainly unique. The hope is that they can claim Ciera is trying to play them against each other.

And…it…works…maybe? Tyson agrees to team with Hayden and Caleb to send Ciera packing.

Hmmm…I’m thinking it’s smarter to get rid of Hayden and Caleb and whittle it down to the four instead of booting Ciera and dealing with five.

Also, does Monica still do anything other than win challenges?

That night at Tribal Council the Baskauskas brothers sit in the jury box and gaze longingly at a season that should have been called, “Aras vs. Vytas”

Hayden thinks the people who ate the barbecue feel comfortable and there’s a little bit of jealousy.

Caleb isn’t shocked that Ciera feels comfortable. Probst thinks nobody should feel comfortable because there are seven people left.

Ciera says she didn’t feel safe, she just didn’t think she could win and wanted to eat.

Tyson says he’s surprised that others in his alliance didn’t eat because they are safe. Clever statement.

Gervase looks at Hayden and says he trusts the people in his alliance.

Tyson says he’ll be shocked if he’s voted out.

Caleb thinks there will be a blindside.

Ciera says she’ll be shocked if her torch is snuffed.

Voting Time: Caleb votes for Ciera, Ciera votes for Caleb, and the rest of the votes are sooper secret.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…Tyson digs in his bag for half an hour and eventually plays his idol.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Ciera, one vote for Caleb, two votes for Ciera, two votes for Caleb, and the fourteenth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Caleb.

Verdict: Wow, didn’t see that one coming.

People are going to give Tyson grief for playing the idol. But, he’s probably pretty locked in at the final four with this latest move.

And, why vote for Caleb before someone as strong as Hayden?

Who’s Going to Win? Tyson and Gervase are probably locks at this point. And between the two, Tyson’s the one who seems to be making all the moves.

Power Rankings Results: Malcolm and I both blew it. We both had Caleb in spot 1. We also both had Laura winning at Redemption Island. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 2, Team Real American Heroes 2. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 119, Team Real American Heroes 127.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs Water’ Power Rankings – Classic ‘Survivor’ Edition

November 25, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for news and updates.

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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 Gervase is voted out this week, Malcolm will receive 3 points and Gordon will receive 2 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.

Last Week: Malcolm and Gordon both had Laura in spot eight. They also both had Vytas winning at Redemption Island. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 9, Team Real American Heroes 9. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 117, Team Real American Heroes 125.

 

Wager Update: Since there was a straight-up tie last week, Malcolm and Gordon will both have to compare the players to past seasons of “Survivor.” The loser of this week’s rankings will have to compare the players to sitcom stars.

Team Glamor and Glitter, Fashion and Fame: 117

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

Team Real American Heroes: 125

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

 1. Caleb is “Survivor: Fiji” – No one really remembers, willingly or otherwise, that it exists. And that’s the spot our silent Alabaman hunter is sitting in. Clearly he’s no dummy – his response to Probst’s question about Monica’s reward sacrifice was shockingly good – and hopefully he’ll continue to sneak through the impending melee.
 1. Caleb is “Survivor: Fiji” – I haven’t rewatched “Survivor: Fiji” since the original airing. All I remember is Dreamz stabbing Yau-Man in the back over a car. That’s how I feel about Caleb. All I’m going to remember about him is getting the best of Brad.
 2. Katie is “Survivor: One World” – Remember how we were all shocked about how good looking everyone was? And then nothing happened for 39 days? Katie’s fashion sense is second to none on the beach (though she needs to step it up, I’ve been getting let down recently), but not a whole lot’s going on game-wise. That latter fact is a point in her favor – she should be able to sneak through a vote or two unscathed.  2. Gervase is “Survivor: Samoa” – If the Coconut Compadres can weather whatever happens this week, they’ll ride off into the sunset with Tyson getting grief from the jury and Gervase coming off scot-free. So basically, he’s the Natalie White to Tyson’s Russell Hantz.
 3. Gervase is “Survivor: China” – My favorite season of “Survivor” for the guy in the best spot to win. He’s not getting targeted, but is charismatic and has built a good resume for the final three. He probably needs one more big move to propel him to the end, but Vegas odds are shortest on the OG.
 3. Monica is “Survivor: Thailand” – There wasn’t much drama in “Survivor: Thailand.” It was pretty obvious after a while that Brian Heidik was going to run the table. I feel the same way about Monica. I’m pretty sure she’s either going to the end as someone’s goat, or she’s going to get taken out by the great Tadhana uprising.

 4. Hayden is “Survivor: Gabon” – Underrated season that’s kind of awesome in its own fun way. Everyone’s favorite houseguest-turned-castaway isn’t doing much except dropping emphatic cliché’s, but he’s clearly brilliant socially. That likeability is going to get him in trouble soon, but he’s done a good job of keeping himself out of the crosshairs thus far.  4. Hayden is “Survivor: Philippines” – He’s a young, good-looking, challenge threat with long hair who needs to commit to his original tribemates. If he doesn’t, he’s a goner. Sound like anyone else we know?

  5. Ciera is “Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites” – Lackluster in the first half, then mind-blowingly awesome after the merge. That’s how my girl’s game is going right now, especially after last week. Not only does she deftly behead her mom, but that little idol lie to Katie was beautiful. She’s starting to build her resume for the win, but others might be recognizing that too, and thus she’s not completely safe as a goat anymore. Her moving down this list reflects her becoming a threat, and thus is also a good thing for her chances to win. 
 5. Katie is “Survivor: The Australian Outback” – For my money, Colby taking your mother to the final two was the dumbest move in “Survivor” history. For “Blood vs. Water” the dumbest move might be someone letting you get to end. You’ll have a ton of friends on the jury and no real blood on your hands.
 6. Tyson is “Survivor: All-Stars” – There was once this guy named Robert who hailed from the metropolitan Boston area, and on his first “Survivor” season a billion years ago he was kind of loud and fun, but didn’t really impress anyone with stellar gameplay. Then that guy came back for “All-Stars,” blew everyone’s minds, and no one even remembers his humble beginnings anymore. Such is Tyson, who’s transformed from a guy who was happy to simply taunt weeping girls in Tocantins, into Machiavelli reborn. He’s on top of the pecking order and holding an idol, but he’s also wearing a target the size of Utah on his back. Shots across his bow are imminent.
 6. Tyson is “Survivor: Redemption Island” – Tyson’s buddy “Boston” Rob was able to learn from his mistakes and pitch an almost perfect game his fourth time around. Tyson now finds himself in a similar position. If he can use the idol at the right time, he can quell the Tadhana uprising and put himself in the driver’s seat.
 7. Monica is “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites” – I was there, and to this day I’m not sure if it was brilliant or a train wreck, but it was most certainly a mess. Monica sometimes does great things (immunity challenges) sometimes obnoxious things (referring to self in the third person) and sometimes dumb things (changing vote at Tribal). As 7 is a magic number for crazy Tribals, Monica’s going to be an untrustable wildcard that no one will be willing to stake their game on.  If everyone turns on Tyson and he catches wind of it, I’m suspecting Monica as an idol boot.
  7. Ciera is “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” – Is there a term for someone who is voted out immediately after flipping? I’m thinking specifically of Candice, but I’m guessing the same would hold true for John Fincher. And the irony is; Ciera’s going to get heat for her move, but technically she didn’t flip. Either way, I’m thinking she gets Finchered this episode.
 9. Redemption Island Picks: Vytas is “Survivor: Nicaragua” – Entertaining but slightly evil at the same time.
Laura is “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” –
Non-stop intensity. I’m honestly rooting for Tina now – her foul mouth has won me over — but I’m not thrilled about her odds against Bearded Yoga Hunk and Grandma Puzzle Beast.
  Redemption Island Picks:  Vytas and Laura are “Survivor: All-Stars” – Why? Because sending Tina home is their first order of business.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2013 Ballot – Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst

November 21, 2013

Jeff Probst (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

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As a member of the Executive Voting Committee, “Survivor” Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst (along with Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer and other “Survivor” luminaries) has an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2013. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you.

Jeff Probst’s 2013 Hall of Fame Ballot

I have to start by saying that this is always a very difficult task.  There are so many players who deserve to be and will end up being in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.  But, since I am limited to three choices I am going to spread them across three different categories and I hope former players appreciate that I realize there are many of you who deserve to be in here!

John Cochran – (“Survivor: South Pacific” and “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites”) I’m nominating Cochran because I think more than anyone who has ever played the game he best represents the idea of “on any given day, anything can happen.”  This was one of the big hopes we had for the show from the beginning — that in the right situation — anybody, even the most unlikely person, could win “Survivor.”  I found Cochran’s story to be very inspiring.   He went from the “zero in 90210” the first time he played — to the winner of “Fans vs. Favorites.”  And yet, despite winning the game, his self-deprecation remains intact.  If you congratulate him for winning, he’ll say “Yeah but it took me two times, so I can’t be that good.”  You are that good, Cochran and you deserve a spot in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

Malcolm Freberg – (“Survivor: Philippines” and “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites”) I’m also nominated Malcolm because he’s such a fan favorite.  Men want to hang with him, women want to sleep with him, kids want to be like him.   He’s got it covered.  I also like what Malcolm represents and that is the idea that in life – being likable can get you a long way.  There are definitely better “Survivor” strategists but Malcolm plays with a heart and a drive to win that is undeniable and I find that worthy of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

I’m also nominating … wait for it… COACH!

Benjamin “Coach” Wade – (“Survivor: Tocantins,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” and “Survivor: South Pacific”) At first glance, Coach may seem an unlikely candidate given there are still so many winners (JT, Sophie, Kim, Yul, just to name a few) that aren’t yet in the Hall.  But, hear me out.  Coach represents yet another idea that is a big part of the success of “Survivor” – and that is his “bigger than life” approach to everything he does.  I liken Coach to the guy who wears the Laker jersey and sits in his lucky chair because he truly believes if he does, the Lakers will win.  It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not – he believes it to be true, so in his soul, in his cells, it is true.  I gave Coach a hard time nearly every day he was out there, but I thoroughly enjoyed him because he brought it every single day.  He never gave up.   In fact, when he was down is when he would give you even more.  Who can forget the epic scene from Exile Island!  Coach is easy to mock but the truth is he is one of our most popular players for a reason – he’s fun to watch – and that makes him worthy of a spot in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Aras: ‘I’m Either Getting Blindsided or I Have a Virus’

November 21, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

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I don’t wonder what it’d be like to be Chandler Bing trying to come up with hilarious quips when I watch “Friends.” And I don’t wonder what it’d be like to flambé my handmade gnocchi* when I watch “Top Chef.”  But, I try to figure out how I’d react to every situation when I watch “Survivor.”

I’d want to be someone who’s strong in challenges but not overwhelming. I’d want to be someone who never causes a stir around camp. I’d want to be someone who always keeps his emotions in check.

I’d want to be Aras Baskauskas.

I spoke with my “Survivor” role model the day after his elimination and had a chance to ask about being stabbed in the back by Gervase, the plan he never got a chance to implement, and his recent engagement…

*I have no idea if it’s even possible to flambé gnocchi.

Gordon Holmes: Congratulations on your engagement, sir.
Aras Baskauskas: Thank you very much.
Holmes: Kat was worried that Hayden was going to dump her because she didn’t make it to the merge. Did you propose because you were worried your fiancé wouldn’t want to marry the first member of the jury?
Baskauskas:  My engagement was a direct result of Kat’s fear of not making the merge. (Laughs) No, no that had nothing to do with it.
Holmes: You don’t want to take any chances with a moment that big.
Baskauskas:  (Laughs) Exactly. But, the engagement was certainly a direct result of my experience on “Survivor.” I will say that. It puts everything in perspective when you’re out there. I came back and couldn’t wait to see her.
Holmes: You’re out there for two months or so, you’re thinking, “I don’t want to go another day without this woman.” Then you get home and pop the question.
Baskauskas:  Yeah. One of the beautiful things about “Survivor” is it makes you appreciate the things you have back home.

Holmes: Both you and Vytas seemed very confident before you were voted out. Were there any signs that a blindside was coming?
Baskauskas:  I feel a little bit like I suffered from guilt by association with that confidence.  I will say I was confident in my relationship with Gervase because we were friends before the game. But I wasn’t going around saying,  “This season should be called ‘Aras vs. Vytas.’” Things were not feeling right to me. I was very worried about that Tribal. I had this bad pit in my stomach and I told medical “I’m either getting blindsided or I have a virus.” Obviously I didn’t have a virus.
Holmes: Right. What was making you uneasy?
Baskauskas:   It’s hard for people to maintain a straight face when they’re voting you out, and Gervase was starting to be a little bit ruder to me that he normally was. Even at Tribal Council, Monica answered some questions that… Jeff asked Monica who she’s voting for, and she said, “I’m voting for the person that has the best relationships on the island.” And that was obviously not Ciera or Laura Morett.
Holmes: Is there anything you can do at that point?
Baskauskas:  Jeff asked at the end of Tribal, “Is there anything else anyone wants to say?” I was ready to say, “Jeff, I know it’s me.” But I was so paranoid of being paranoid that I didn’t say anything. I regret that because I think I could have potentially flipped that Tribal on its head and convinced the Moretts to comes with Vytas and I and the Wessons.

Holmes: I have a theory about Gervase that he is made of Teflon. Season one he says that women are dumber than cows and it doesn’t come back to bite him. You literally have to drag him to the boat in the first challenge. He stabs you in the back and the first thing you do is let him know you’re not mad at him. It seems like the things that would sink other players roll right off him.
Baskauskas: Gervase is a really likable guy. He has a lightness about him. He’s funny and he rarely takes things very seriously. I think it’s a testament to the kind of guy he when he does something, people don’t want to be vindictive.

Holmes: What was the plan going forward if the vote had gone your way?
Baskauskas:  Take out the Moretts first. That would get us to nine. Then we’d take out Caleb and Hayden, which would get us to seven. Then Monica would go. At that point, things get tricky for me. I wanted to go to the end with Gervase and Tyson. I also really loved Tina. But, my commitment was to Gervase and Tyson and Vytas’s commitment was to Tina and Katie.  If we’d gotten down to the six, that could’ve been very challenging.
Holmes: Wait, so you weren’t planning on taking Vytas to the end?
Baskauskas:   No, no, no…my brother would’ve been right next to me. He was a lock. The final four would’ve been Aras, Vytas, Gervase, and Tyson or Aras, Vytas, Tina, and Katie.

Holmes: When Tina had her outburst after you were eliminated, everyone raised their hands, saying they’d talked about being in an alliance with you. Were you worried that that strategy was going to set you up with some bitter jurors?
Baskauskas:  No, not at all. It’s funny, the person who was in more alliances than I was was Tyson. He was saying, “Aras was in an alliance with everybody.” Which is funny to me. It was a smart move on Tyson’s part. He made everyone afraid of me. And so everybody in the game at that point was thinking, “Oh man, Tyson saved me. He’s got my back.” That saved him for a few Tribal Council until he was picked up as a threat. It looks like in this next episode that they’re finally going to wake up and realize how powerful Tyson’s position is.
Holmes: He’s doing a great job of making it seem like these eliminations are just business.
Baskauskas:  Yeah, Tyson’s played three times in four or five years. He’s got a lot of practice. I think in order to win you have to treat it like a game. You can’t make it personal. That’s really hard to do. He’s also doing a great job of making people feel like they’re coming up with the strategic ideas that are in his best interest. He’s getting people to come to those conclusions using really subtle, manipulative suggestions which I think is quite powerful.

Holmes: OK, let’s get into some word association. We’ll start with Hayden.
Baskauskas:  Beef.
Holmes: Ciera?
Baskauskas:  Bug bites.
Holmes: Gervase?
Baskauskas:   Back stabber. (Laughs)
Holmes: Tyson?
Baskauskas: The messiah.
Holmes: Caleb?
Baskauskas:  Teddy bear.
Holmes: Monica?
Baskauskas:   Motherly.
Holmes: Katie?
Baskauskas:  Hilarious.
Holmes: Laura Morett?
Baskauskas:  Masseuse.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Vytas.
Baskauskas:  My brother. That wasn’t very good.
Holmes: Yeah, c’mon. I say there are no wrong answers here, but you can do better than that.
Baskauskas:  OK… friend, rival, better looking of the brothers.
Holmes: Am I a bad person for laughing when he took a cheap shot at you during the sumo challenge?
Baskauskas:  (Laughs) No, I think you’re required to laugh.

Holmes: You can’t watch “Survivor” without wondering how you’d do if you were in the game. You’re someone I always hoped I would emulate. This was cemented when I saw your reaction to being eliminated from the game. I’m a big believer in; if you get the best of me, even through devious means, I’ll tip my cap. I’m sure it’s easier said than done. How’d you do it?
Baskauskas:  Probably the same thing that the narrative of the show credited for my downfall; my meditation. Take all of the spirituality out of meditation, and it’s really a practice of awareness. I think in order to leave the game tipping your cap you have to be very aware of the emotions that come out when you’re voted out and be willing to process them. I think a lot of times when you’re voted out, anger and sadness comes up and instead of processing those feelings and taking responsibility for them, they want to put them on the people that voted them out.

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap – The Parent Trap

November 20, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

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Last Week: Monica’s ability to follow a plan was lacking, Caleb proved he wasn’t good at tracking, and Vytas and Tina were both sent packing.

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

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Kasama Tribe (wearing purple)

Caleb – Post Office Manager/Farmer, 26
Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Laura M. – Co-Owner of Morett Construction, 43
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tyson – Store Manager, 34

We meet up with our merry band of Survivors after Tribal Council, and everyone is offering condolence hugs to Katie. She accepts them, but lets us know that the seven-person alliance is uncrackable. Wrong attitude, every alliance that big is in danger

The next morning, Ciera takes her mother for a walk and again tells her to keep her head down and avoid strategy talks. Ciera thinks her stronger place in the game makes her a better player than her mother. Well…that’s like comparing cute apples to hot oranges. Ciera is playing under-the-radar while Laura is more of a leader.

Ciera then sets the tone for the night saying that her mother may have to go. I’m sensing some awkwardness at the Morett family Thanksgiving.

Redemption Island Time: Players will use a grappling hook to retrieve three bags of balls. Then they’ll have to maneuver one of those balls through a table maze. The first two people to get their ball to the end get to stay. The loser will become the first member of the jury. The winner will also get to watch whoever they give the immunity idol clue to chuck  it into the fire.

The challenge starts off and apparently Tina is some kind of grappling savant. She quickly nabs all three bags. Vytas and Aras eventually join her at the table maze.

There’s not much to describe in the final stage except for some shaky ball maneuvering. (Grow up.)

Tina gets super close, but loses it at the last possible moment. Vytas is the first to complete the maze; that means one former champ is going home.

Tina gets to the end again and wins it. It wasn’t close. Aras is eliminated. Someone get that man a cheeseburger.

Before Aras is allowed to burn his buff, Probst makes the brothers talk about their feelings.

After that mushiness, Vytas gives the clue to Katie. She smartly keeps it.

Back at Kasama beach, Katie goes idol huntin’. Unfortunately, she’s several episodes too late.

Tyson approaches Hayden and some guy in a red baseball cap with the idea of getting rid of Laura. Tyson even has the math figured out so Ciera doesn’t have to stab the woman who brought her into this world in the back.

Later, Ciera tells Laura that having her mother around is hurting her chances. She thinks if Laura goes before the final six, that she’ll have a clear path to the final three. Laura admires Ciera for her courage even if she doesn’t like all of this talk of her making a return visit to Redemption Island.

In unrelated news, someone is chopping onions in the Holmes household.

The next morning, Katie sets off bright and early to continue her idol hunt. Laura, realizing that an idol-less Katie is the only thing keeping her around, follows her and digs with her. Boehlke Block!

Then, Tyson takes Ciera aside to let her in on the Laura elimination strategy. She pretends to be cool with it even though she isn’t sure what she’s going to do. Smart.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will hold onto a rope and lean over a pier. At certain times they’ll have to move further down the rope. Last person standing wins immunity, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and soda.

Round One: Hayden’s the first out, he’s followed by the guy in the red hat.

Round Two: Gervase goes immediately. Next we lose Ciera and Katie.

Probst: “You want immunity tonight.” Well, he’s got a point.

Laura drops next and we’re down to Tyson and Monica. They battle it out (well, as much as you can battle while you’re holding a rope over a pier) and Monica wins her second straight immunity.

Monica is allowed to choose a lunch date. Instead, she asks to give the food to the others. Probst is cool with this decision and everyone except for Monica chows down. Hmmm…I don’t like those moves. It tends to come back to bite people.

Back at camp, Ciera tells Katie that she’s going to tell her something, but she can’t turn on her. Well, that’s a unique strategy. They pinky swear, and Ciera lets Katie know that Laura is on the chopping block.

Katie says she’s going to play her idol anyway. Ciera calls Katie’s bluff, saying that she already found it. Katie immediately folds. Are we sure she’s Tina Wesson’s daughter?

Ciera goes back to Tyson and tells him that she tricked Katie. This worries Tyson because he hadn’t been giving Ciera much credit as far as being a game player.

That night at Tribal Council, Tyson thinks having a pair of loved ones around is dangerous.

Red hat doesn’t think Laura will lay down for Ciera the way Tina was willing to lay down for Katie.

Hayden believes that Ciera and Laura are both competitive and are willing to take each other out, but their bond is stronger than any other bond out there.

Laura thinks it’s an asset to keep them around because if you’re in an alliance with them, you have two votes. Laura also says it’s good to align with a pair because the other people won’t have a loved one on the jury. Ooo…smart.

Voting Time: No votes are shown. Drama!

We’ve got one vote for Laura, one vote for Katie, three votes for Laura, and the thirteenth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Laura.

Oh man, the last vote said “Mom” in parenthesis. Ciera’s a cold-hearted snake.

Laura and Ciera hug it out. Laura says, “I’ll come back for you” which is exactly the opposite of what Ciera wants.

Verdict: I never, ever thought there would be a situation where loved ones would vote each other out. I assumed it was a lock that the major alliance would be made up of pairs of loved ones. This season is a kick-posterior mess of unpredictability.

Seriously, this has to be the best season since “Heroes vs. Villains,” right?

As for Ciera, she made the right choice. If I’m Caleb and Hayden or Gervase and Tyson, I’m looking to make her my third. While Monica’s lack of a loved one on the jury might make her an attractive choice, I wouldn’t be able to look past her  unpredictable behavior with the Vytas vote.

Who’s Going to Win? Tyson’s clearly in the driver’s seat, but can he win a jury? I’d like to think his backstabbing is earning more respect than bitterness, but you never know.

Power Rankings Results: Malcolm and I both had Laura in spot eight. We also both had Vytas winning at Redemption Island. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 9, Team Real American Heroes 9. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 117, Team Real American Heroes 125.

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

‘Survivor’: Exclusive Photos of Wednesday’s Redemption Island Challenge

November 19, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for updates and news.

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Redemption Island is back in business this Wednesday when for the first time ever, two former champions will square off in a Redemption duel. It will also be the first time two brothers will face each other in a Redemption duel. So, Blood vs. Blood vs. Water!

The first two to finish the challenge will live to see another day. The loser will finally get to eat when they get back to Ponderosa.

Let’s see what we can learn about this important bout from these exclusive photos…

Aras, Vytas, and Tina will battle for the right to stay in the game. (CBS)

Jeff Probst was kind enough to put on clothes after his half-naked appearance on "Two and a Half Men" (CBS)

The players will use grappling hooks to retrieve... (CBS)

..bags of puzzle pieces? (CBS)

No wait, I'll bet they're bags of balls. First two to get all of their balls through the maze gets to stay. OK, what do I win? (CBS)

 

Don’t miss “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” this Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. And catch up on any episodes you’ve missed on XFINITY TV.

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

November 19, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

NOTE: “Survivor” Hall of Fame voting is underway! Let us know who you think should be in the Class of 2013 and follow us on Twitter (@SurvivorHall) for news and updates.

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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 3 points and Gordon will receive 5 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.

Last Week: Malcolm and Gordon both had Vytas in spot ten. Malcolm had Tina in spot nine while Gordon had her in spot eight. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 19, Team Real American Heroes 18. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 108, Team Real American Heroes 116.

 

Wager Update: Since Gordon lost the ranking portion of the competition last week, he’ll compare the players to drinks. The loser of this week’s rankings will have to compare the players to past “Survivor” seasons.

 

Team Glamor and Glitter, Fashion and Fame: 108

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

Team Real American Heroes: 116

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

 1. Gervase – I’ve watched that Hot Dog eating contest every 4th of July, so I know that Gervase’s crazy leaping at the challenge was a carefully crafted strategy to take advantage of kinetic energy to help the grubs down his throat. For this brilliant gamesmanship, he get’s my top spot.
 1. Caleb Is a Glass of Water – A glass of water is always an option. It’s always there. It isn’t impressive, but it’s reliable. I’d bet Caleb is going to get to the finals, but he’ll find himself there with two players who have much more intriguing stories.
 2. Caleb – He’s like a monk sworn to silence. A monk who can’t track old women, sports flannel and — I only just realized this – wears a cap with his initials sewn in.   2. Gervase Is Sweet Tea – There isn’t a drink on this planet I’d rather have than a properly prepared sweet tea (no lemon!) and there isn’t a better place in this game than being in Gervase’s shoes. He’s making calls, but Tyson is taking the bullets. If the tide turns against the Coconut Compadres, Tyson’s elimination will be Gervase’s early warning system. The man who was present for the first day of “Survivor’s” first season is making a strong case for being the last man standing on the last day of their most recent season.
 3. Tyson – Everything’s going his way, which I couldn’t be more thrilled about. Only problem is that it seems everyone is aware he’s calling the shots, and sooner or later he’s going to be targeted. That idol may make things fun in the near future.
 3. Ciera Is a Vegetable Smoothie – Yeah, it sucks to drink something like this, but it’s going to be good for you in the long run. For Ciera, voting her mother off is the best move she can make. It immediately takes a target off of her back and makes her an attractive third for either the Caleb/Hayden or Gervase/Tyson alliances.

 4. Ciera – I obviously sympathize with shaky hands, and thus am rooting for her more than ever. Now please oh please go after your mom – it helps your positioning moving forward, plus it gives you something (FINALLY) to boast about if you make it to the end.  4. Hayden Is a Caffeine Free Diet Vanilla Cherry Coke – Why such a complicated drink? Because nobody has more decisions to make at this point than Hayden. The Coconut Compadres are going to come for him. He’s too nice, too fit, and too unscathed at this point. He needs to solidify with his old Tadhana buddies and make a solid four-person alliance.

  5. Monica – With the amount of negative reaction she’s generated around camp – last week it was panicking when she had immunity, then changing her vote for an emotional reason – Monica is going down soon for being uncontrollable, or getting taken all the way to the end.
 5. Tyson Is a Fruit Punch Capri Sun – You’re so darn fun. Just a pleasure to watch. Tyson’s always been the king of the one liner and a solid force in challenges, but watching him orchestrate his gameplan has been great fun. Here’s hoping he can navigate the dwindling down of his alliance.
 6. Katie – Her surviving last week was a lot closer than I thought it’d be. That being said, she poses no threat anymore and should be able to limp into the big alliance posing as more stable as Monica, then work her way into the new endgame majority that will have to form soon. Also, bonus points for her ability to ignore her mother’s wholly unnecessary support during the challenge.
 6. Katie is a Strong Cup of Coffee – No rest for you, Katie. Not yet, anyways. The alliance is going to split. You just have to stay on your game until it does because you’re an easy, non-offensive target.
 7. Hayden – His two best traits are social maneuvering and dramatically stating the obvious. I think that, if Aras and Vytas start dominating RI, he may get cut so as to knock one of the fit brothers out.
  7. Monica Is a Bottle of Tequila – Why tequila? Because that’s where a lot of bad ideas start. And swapping your vote at Tribal was a bad idea. What if Vytas had played an idol? Your alliance would be done. A worse idea? Telling your tribe you changed your vote to stick it to Vytas! How can they trust you to follow a plan? Was it worth it to get a dig at Vytas that he won’t see for another 5 months?
 8. Laura Whelp, this is an easy choice. It’s in Ciera’s best interest for you to go because she needs to appear as weak as possible. No one wants a blood pair left in the game, so everyone else is excited for it to happen. And you’ve already proved you can knock competitors out of RI, giving the remaining safe-feeling castaways another reason to send you packing. Sorry Grandma.
 8. Laura Is Whatever Drink She Likes Best – Colton claims that he quit to save Caleb’s game. Whether or not you believe that is up to you. Laura has a genuine chance to make a big difference in her daughter’s life. As a member of the jury, Laura would put her daughter at least 1/5th of the way to a win. And as an advocate on the jury, she could be even more powerful. So, when Ciera cashes that million-dollar check, make sure drinks are on her.
 9. Redemption Island Picks: The Baskauskai – I really want them to win just so we can watch façade-free Vytas blame it all on his little brother some more. If we get a puzzle at RI, Tina could challenge the boys, but then I remember that fish puzzle she epically fumbled a few weeks ago, let out a small giggle, and put all my money on the boys.
  Redemption Island Picks: Aras and Vytas Are a Pineapple Margarita – Aras is the sweet inside and Vytas is the salty outside. Perfectly paired with a post-game hamburger. However, I’m not positive that this pick is a slam dunk, because Tina has shown to be good at puzzles and was able to hold her own in the sumo duel with Katie.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water

Vote for the 2013 ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame

November 18, 2013

'Survivor: Hall of Fame'

UPDATE: Voting for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2013 has ended. Please come back Wednesday, December 11, 2013 to meet the first inductee.

Yeah, winning the million-dollar sole survivor prize is cool, and picking up that $100,000 check for being the fan favorite must be nice, but only one “Survivor” accolade will land your favorite players exclusive coffee mugs, water bottles, and other knick knacks…and that’s the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

Over the years we’ve honored eleven of the show’s all-time greats, and now it’s time to induct three more.

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The Rules
Fifty percent of the vote will be based on the ballots of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel will consist of “Survivor” luminaries such as Host and Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, members of the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Loud Mouth Gordon Holmes.

The other fifty percent will come from fans like you.

There are three ways to vote…

Voting will end Friday, November 29, 2013 at 5 p.m. ET. Only one vote a day per voter will be counted.

Who’s Eligible?
Every former “Survivor” cast member is eligible except for…

  • Current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame – Parvati Shallow, “Boston” Rob Mariano, Richard Hatch, Russell Hantz, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Cirie Fields, Ozzy Lusth, Tom Westman, Rob Cesternino, Ethan Zohn, and Amanda Kimmel.
  • “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Cast Members – Rupert and Laura Boneham, John and Candice Cody, Brad and Monica Culpepper, Aras and Vytas Baskauskas, Gervase and Marissa Peterson, Tyson Apostol, Rachel Foulger, Colton Cumbie, Caleb Bankston, Tina Wesson, Katie Collins, Laura Morett, Ciera Eastin, Kat Edorsson, and Hayden Moss.

Once all of the votes have been counted, we’ll unveil the members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2013 in the week leading up to the “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” finale.

So, cast your vote today. And, follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates and breaking news.


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