Archive for November, 2013

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap – Wesson Learns a Lesson

November 13, 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: Laura M. won redemption and returned to the show, Tyson found an idol and didn’t let anyone know, and the Kasama tribe found itself with one less Baskauskas bro…

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
Tina – Motivational Speaker, 52
Tyson – Store Manager, 34
Vytas – Yoga Instructor, 33

The shows kicks off immediately after Aras’s Tribal Council blindside and Vytas is playing it smart by congratulating Tyson on his big move.

Tina, on the other hand, can’t keep her anger locked up. She immediately goes after Tyson and Monica, saying they’ll never get jury votes because they stabbed Aras in the back. In a hilarious moment, everyone admits that they were in an alliance with Aras at one point. It was kind of like that episode of “Friends” where everyone admits to sleeping with Drake Ramoray’s evil twin Hans.

The next morning, Tina apologizes to Katie for setting her up with a doomed alliance. She tells Katie to do whatever she can to distance herself from her. Aww…good mom.

Katie says she doesn’t know how to approach the dominant alliance and say, “Keep me instead of her.” Even though…you know…she literally just did.

Immunity Challenge Time: IT’S A GROSS EATING CHALLENGE!

I have no proof of this, but I like to think we’re getting a gross eating challenge because Producer John Kirhoffer cares about my happiness.

Round One: Tyson, Vytas, Monica, Katie, and Laura will have to eat 40 mealworms, the first three will advance. Tyson and Monica finish theirs first. Vytas spits up half of his, picks them up, then swallows them to advance. Does the five-second rule apply to mealworms?

Tyson: “They’re just like gummi worms only grosser.” Can we all work together to make sure Tyson wins fan favorite?

Round Two: Same deal. Ciera immediately spits hers out and quits. Hayden, Gervase, and Caleb advance.

Round Three: The remaining six will have to eat pig intestines. The first two to finish will advance. Tyson spews. Monica has trouble, but gets it all down. She’s eventually joined by Gervase.

Final Round: Oh man! It’s grubs! Just like Borneo! These might be actual relatives of the grubs Gervase ate in season one! Needless to say, Gervase is not a happy camper. He gives it his best shot, but Monica wins immunity.

Politicking around camp has the dominant alliance splitting their votes between Vytas and Katie in case one of them has the idol. Tyson debates telling them he has the idol so they won’t have to bother, but he decides against it.

Vytas works on his former alliance buddy Hayden and tries to get them to target Katie instead. He even smartly decides to vote for Katie if it’ll keep him around.

Monica is worried about all of the scrambling going on. She thinks it’s because she was originally slated to go home before her immunity win.

That night at Tribal Council, Tina regrets calling out Tyson and Monica.

Vytas wanted to say that he wanted to get revenge for his brother, but he didn’t. But…then…he just did…like right now. Vytas is deep.

Vytas then accuses Monica of being paranoid. She accuses him of turning on her husband. Snap!

Katie is looking for cracks in the alliance.

Vytas thinks the women will turn on the guys if he goes to Redemption.

Voting Time: Monica votes for Vytas and throws a shout out to Brad, Ciera votes for Katie, and the other votes are secret.

JPro tallies, returns, and thankfully keeps his clothes on. (NOTE: Watch tomorrow’s “Two and a Half Men” if you don’t get that joke.) We’ve got one vote for Vytas, one for Katie, one for Tyson, three for Vytas, and the eleventh person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Vytas.

After the vote, Monica lets us know that she was supposed to vote for Katie but decided to vote for Vytas instead. Huh…there was a strategy to that vote, Monica. You know, in case he had an idol. Oh well, at least nobody knows who she voted for.

Oh wait, she tells everyone that she changed her vote to Vytas.

We’re then treated to a Baskauskas reunion at Redemption Island where Vytas blames Aras for their elimination. Aras isn’t worried because he’ll either come back and win the game or he won’t. That is an accurate statement.

Immunity Challenge Part Deux: Players will balance a sword on a shield. They’ll then balance coins on top of the sword. Last person with their stack of coins standing wins immunity. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think they did this challenge in Nicaragua.

Not a ton to describe here except for some very exciting balancing.

Monica is the first one out, she’s followed by Ciera, Tina, and Gervase. Next we lose Laura and Caleb.

We’re down to Katie, Tyson, and Hayden. Hayden and Tyson both falter, giving Katie immunity. Tina is super psyched for her daughter, which is nice considering that win probably means Tina is a goner.

Afterwards, Tina dedicates her time to finding the idol. The other players give her a patented Boehlke Block and start following her around.

Monica thinks they should split the votes, but she doesn’t know who’s on the bottom of her alliance. Well, Monica, if you don’t know who’s on the bottom, it’s probably you.

That night at Tribal Council, Tina flat out says that Monica is on the bottom of her alliance.

Monica thinks it’s OK if Tina thinks that, because she has relationships with everyone.

Tina points out that Monica is the last person to know who they’re voting for because she talks too much.

Monica brings up the vote-splitting fiasco and thinks it’s silly that they don’t have plan. They do. It’s you.

Tina thinks losing Monica isn’t crucial to the alliance’s gameplan.

Voting Time Part Deux: Katie votes for Monica, Monica votes for Tina, and the rest are secret.

JPro does his thing. We’ve got one vote for Monica, one vote for Tina, one vote for Tyson, three votes for Tina, and the twelfth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Tina.

Verdict: Were these eliminations surprising? Nope. But they were a necessary evil. Now that those votes are out of the way, let’s get to the meltdown of the dominant alliance!

Who’s Going to Win? Well, my boy Vytas is on Redemtpion Island. So, it’s not looking good for him. Tyson, on the other hand, is looking like a champ if he can avoid any “Heroes vs. Villains”-esque missteps.

Power Rankings Results: Malcolm and I both had Vytas in spot ten. He had Tina in spot nine while I 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.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaways Laura and John: Redemption Challenge Was ‘Not Fair’

November 13, 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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Normally when you go on “Survivor” you’re concerned with how well you’ll sleep, how well you’ll perform, and how you’ll deal with the lack of food. This season, those worries were doubled because players had them for both themselves and their loved one.

It was worse for returning players who also had to worry that their newbie loved ones might perform better than they do.

I had a chance to speak with Laura Boneham and John Cody, who both bested their more experienced counterparts, and asked them about the fateful Day One vote, the fairness of the final Redemption Island challenge, and whether or not it’s ever wise to tease Candice…

Gordon Holmes: I thought it was a little ironic that you guys left the game together, when on Day One your loved ones went to Redemption Island together. What was it like to see your spouses put at such a disadvantage so early in the game?
Laura Boneham: It was a terrible way to start the game. We’d gone through so much to get there and in the first five minutes to have me be the first one voted out, then to switch it up and have Rupert out of the game? It was crazy.
John Cody: For me seeing Candice get voted out and go to Redemption Island was the single hardest thing I did my time out there. It was the hardest for me to deal with. I felt so badly for her. I wanted nothing more than for that situation not to happen. Aside from seeing my wife leave the game, that’s not what I had planned. I became the one odd person out on my tribe. I was the center of attention five minutes into the game. I wanted to fly under the radar.

Holmes: Laura, before the game started you and I discussed how during “Heroes vs. Villains” some of the challenges were unfair because Rupert had to stay on a platform with only small footholds to keep him up. Here we are at the most important challenge up to this point in the game and there are those small footholds.
Boneham: I think the Redemption and all that is an interesting part of the game, but to get back into a game with a challenge that is completely unequal…John and I both had big shoes and here’s Laura with her teeny size-six feet. It’s not fair. It’s not fair. And those footholds were smaller than they appeared on television.
Cody: I totally agree. The wind came out of my sails when I walked into the arena. Going into the game, Candice and I talked about the one challenge that I knew I had no chance of winning…and it was that challenge. When I finally met up with Candice, I said, “What’s the one challenge that I have no chance of winning.” And she said, “The pole.”

Holmes: If you lose a team immunity challenge or an individual immunity challenge, you still have wiggle room before Tribal to save yourself. Redemption Island is literally “do or die.” Is Redemption Island the most stressful thing you can be involved with?
Cody: I really loved that aspect of Redemption Island. It was fun for me to get psyched up and do well. I do agree that when you have individual immunity challenges, and they’re not fair, and you lose, that’s no guarantee that you’re going to go home. But at Redemption Island, if that’s not fair across the board, I can’t go back and talk to my alliance. You finish first or you’re done. So, in a way it was very stressful. But at least it wasn’t a challenge I should have won and then choked on.
Boneham: Redemption for me was stressful. I wanted to get back into the game so badly. The hardest part for me though, was Tribal Council. I thought I was on the chopping block. Jeff would put me on the spot and say, “Do you belong?”
Holmes: He’s so mean.
Boneham: He’d give me a hard time. Redemption, it was hard because everyone was watching, but it’s an OK way to go out. You have another chance.

Holmes: This was Candice’s third season, it was Rupert’s fourth; what was it like to finally get in there and see what they’ve been yapping about all these years?
Boneham: Everyone who plays the game wants to do it again. It’s a great adventure. It’s life-changing. I didn’t get my dream to play with my husband, but I went a lot farther than I thought I ever would.
Cody: It was very fun for me to go out there and experience this with Candice. She goes out there and competes, then comes back to her normal life. “Survivor” is one thing she does, it hasn’t taken a huge toll on our lives, but it’s there. When we first got together I was watching her on “Cook Islands,” we had to push our wedding back a year for “Heroes vs. Villains.” It was nice to finally understand everything she’s gone through. It was unbelievable. It wasn’t everything I wanted it to be, I thought I’d be explaining my case to a jury, but it was a phenomenal experience.

Holmes: How much trash did you talk to Candice once you were able to point out that you lasted longer than she did?
Cody: (Laughs) Candice played 72 days, and I’ve only done 19, so she has a pretty solid track record. There wasn’t much needling once I made it to Ponderosa. I think we both did what we could with the hand we were dealt.
Holmes: You’re a better man than I am.
Cody: (Laughs) Candice isn’t one of those people you needle just for the sake of needling. And to be fair, I’m not either.

Holmes: Laura, did you ever feel comfortable at Galang?
Boneham: I did. They didn’t show, but I thought I was in an alliance with the guys and Tina. We’d go to the duels at Redemption and I’d look over at Gervase, Tyson, and Aras, and be like, “Is everything cool?” They’d be like thumbs up. They’d check in with me. I thought there was a strong Galang five alliance. But I thought I was more a part of the tribe than they were showing in editing.
Holmes: Now that we’re watching it on TV, it’s clear Tina and Katie had an alliance with Aras and Vytas. Was there any clue that that was going on at the time?
Boneham: No, I knew Tina was playing pretty hard. I know that the winners were targeted so they bonded together. But, she didn’t let on at all that Vytas was a part of it.

Holmes: People tend to leave the game having learned something about themselves. What did you learn?
Boneham: I learned that I can push myself to the limit. I can go without food and still compete in challenges. I put myself out there socially. I defied the odds staying on that tribe as long as I did. I felt good about that.
Cody: I think I gained an appreciation for how important perception is. I always knew it was important, but it’s really everything. How much of a threat people perceive you to be. How trustworthy people perceive you to be. It’s not about whether you think you’ve done enough to show you’re trustworthy.

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

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

November 12, 2013

'Ghostbusters'/'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (Sony/CBS)

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 6 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 had Aras in spot ten. Gordon had him in spot nine. Gordon picked Laura M. returning to the game for a bonus point. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 10, Team Real American Heroes 10. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 89, Team Real American Heroes 98.

Wager Update: Since Gordon lost the ranking portion of the competition last week, he’ll compare the players to lines from his favorite movie, “Ghostbusters.” The loser of this week’s rankings will have to compare each of the contestants to a drink.

Team Glamor and Glitter, Fashion and Fame: 89

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

Team Real American Heroes: 98

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

 1. Caleb – I don’t think his quietness is a choice; I now believe Caleb can only enunciate words when people try to vote him out. So as long as he’s silent, he’s safe. The minute he speaks, he’s in trouble.
 1. Gervase:“You don’t act like a scientist…You’re more like a game show host.” – Dana Barrett 

That’s the beauty of the game Gervase is playing; he’s part of the team that’s making the smart moves, but he isn’t taking any heat for it.

 2. Ciera – Holy role-reversal, Batman. I’m now convinced my girl, who only accomplished a whole lot of nothing pre-merge, has suddenly found her strategy sweet-spot as her mother’s keeper. I want to believe she muttered an expletive when mommy won RI, but then pulled herself together to wrangle in her blood and is now sitting pretty. Their being a pair will become an issue, but not just yet.
 2. Caleb: “If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.” – Winston Zeddemore 

Caleb was willing to make the big move when he felt his back was against the wall, but that was against an easy target like Brad. Can he pull off something similar against “Survivor” veterans when the time comes? Who knows. But for now he’s just going to go with the flow.

 3. Gervase – I see you, Gerv. He’s the voice in our new Glorious Emperor Tyson’s ear, which is the best place to be. He’s not perceived as the ringleader, he’s not a massive threat, but he’s got some control over the actions. Now burn that Eagles shirt and I may really be excited for you.
 3. Ciera: “My uncle thought he was Saint Jerome.” – Alice the Librarian 

And your mother seems to think she’s “Boston” Rob. Honestly, I never thought there’d come a situation where it would make sense for someone to vote out their loved one, but Ciera might be there. I think sticking with the Lonely Hearts Alliance is her best way to win and I don’t think Laura will be willing to take a backseat.


 4. Hayden – Sitting in a good spot, similar to Caleb and Ciera, and should be safe for a few votes. Only lower because the muscles and charm are going to make him more threatening.   4. Hayden: “All my data points to something big on the horizon.” – Dr. Egon Spengler 

Vytas has an obvious target on his back. Tina looks like she’s going to blow things up after Tribal. Nobody knows what Laura is really thinking. After all of those problems have been taken care of, Hayden’s likability and challenge strength are going to become an issue. If he wants to get to the end, he’s going to have to be responsible for the next big move.


  5. Katie – She’s so wildly innocuously on the bottom of the bottom alliance that she’s, logically, safe. She has the best chance to weather the storm about to be unleashed on the new group of outliers. Best bet is to bury her head in the sand somewhere – which according to CBS is all she’s been doing anyway – and hope the big alliance fractures before they do away with her.
 5. Tyson: “You are a legitimate phenomenon.” – Dr. Peter Venkman 

When you send the game’s most dangerous player to Redemption Island in the same episode where you discover an immunity idol using only second-hand clues, you’re having a pretty solid week. What’s next? I think you have to make everyone in your block feel like they’re the third person in your alliance with Gervase.

 6. Tyson – Our resident magic fan just pulled an idol out of his ass – er, I mean ground – with the driest ‘Ta-Da,” ever, and it was amazing. He finally pulled off his coup and has the power now, but when this oversized alliance starts splintering, he’ll end up in the crosshairs quickly. I think his best bet is to keep the pedal to the floor and try to power his way to the end (because that works really well, trust me…).
 6. Monica: “The neighborhood is like a demilitarized zone.” – Dr. Egon Spengler 

What does Monica do? She’s a swing vote in a situation that won’t require a swing vote for much longer. If I were her, I’d ruffle as few feathers as possible while listening to everything everyone has to say.

 7. Monica – Good on her for catching Tina’s fumble, though I suspect it played less a role in the flip than simple good judgment. I suspect Monica will either go in a few weeks or make it all the way to the end: everyone seems to be unsure of what to do with her and/or annoyed by her. Like the rest of her alliance, she’s good for a bit.
  7. Katie: “No offense, guys, but I’ve gotta get my own lawyer.”  – Winston Zeddemore 

Remember your buddy Ciera? It’s time to get on her good side. Fortunately, there are bigger fish to fry than you, so you’ll have some time to maneuver.

 8. Laura Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy you talking trash from ten feet above your tie-dyed namesake, but it seems like there may be too much mouthiness. Safe for a short while because the majority won’t turn on itself so soon, but you’re effusiveness + baby girl (who I, in the nicest way possible, hope turns on you) are going to paint a big shiny bull’s-eye on your back in a few votes.
 8. Tina: “I couldn’t help it. It just popped in there.” – Dr. Ray Stantz 

It’s not every day you get to call out “Australian Outback” winner Tina on a social mistake. But, she sure jammed her foot into her mouth last week with her fifth-place comment to Monica. And on top of that, it looks like she’s going to pick a fight with Tyson after Tribal. She needs to regroup and fast. If Vytas wins immunity, something he’s already proven that he’s capable of, she’s a goner.

 9. Tina – Whoa. One little thing goes against Tina and sweet old lady grows fangs and wings and starts swinging a red pitchfork at all ye damned souls. While not a challenge threat, it looks like her new awful tactic is to mouth off at everyone who wronged her, and the new power alliance won’t let her blow up their games for long.
  9. Laura: “It’s whatever it wants to be.” – Dr. Egon Spengler 

You’re never really going to fit in with the Lonely Hearts Alliance. That ship has sailed. But, that alliance has a great shot of propelling your daughter into the final three. So, do you make some moves and try to get to the end yourself? You could do that, you’re very capable. Or, could you be more valuable as a jury vote? Be everyone’s friend, then get voted out peacefully. Be Ciera’s advocate on the jury. This season is fascinating.

 10. Vytas Aras being gone should lower his threat level in the eyes of everyone else, but if it were up to me, I’d send both brothers to Redemption ASAP and let one eventually knock out the other. They’ll likely wipe out almost anyone who shows up, but eventually will have to eliminate one of themselves. Plus it’ll be fun to predict the RI victors each week as simply ‘The Baskauski’ — very Hogwarts.
  10. Vytas: “This reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole in your head.” – Dr. Peter Venkman 

Think of how big a blindside last week vote must’ve been to have Vytas boasting the way he was. That’s quite the lesson in “Survivor.” Unfortunately, it probably came too late for him to do anything about it.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap – Downed Dog?

November 6, 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: Kat was dumped from the game, but not her relationship, Tyson made an alliance without Aras, and Laura B.’s loose lips sunk her ship.

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)
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tina – Motivational Speaker, 52
Vytas – Yoga Instructor, 33

The Tadhana Tribe (wearing red)
Aras – Musician, 31
Caleb – Post Office Manager/Farmer, 26
Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
Tyson – Store Manager, 34

The show starts off with Vytas thanking the ladies for keeping him around. He tells them that Aras and Gervase will join them at the merge. The assumptions players are making about loved ones they haven’t been talking to are fun. It’s like when my mom assumes I still want Drakkar Noir for Christmas.

For some reason, Tina tells Monica that she’s the fifth person on the totem pole. This understandably freaks Monica out. That’s a Boneham-esque spilling of the beans there, Wesson.

Speaking of Bonehams, we meet up with Laura as she makes her way to Redemption Island. Once she’s there she lets us know that she can’t believe the women decided to keep Vytas around. I can’t believe Vytas didn’t afford Laura the same courtesy and tell her that her number was up.

Redemption Island Duel (ahem…Truel) Time: The players will climb a pole and…you know…wait there. The person to last the longest will get to return to the game. The other two players will be eliminated.

The winner will also get to give out a clue to the immunity idol. Wait…can’t they just keep it for themselves?

The challenge begins and Laura B. is already in trouble. She slides down and eventually manages to find a comfortable spot. Well, as comfortable as you can be hugging a giant pole.

John struggles, loses his grip, and is the first one out. Still, last Cody standing is something to be proud of.

Laura battle! Boneham vs. Morett! Two Lauras enter…one Laura leaves!

Wait, Boneham’s out.

Laura Morett will return to the game. But first, we have a merge. Blue buffs for all.

Fun Fact: Every “Survivor” season I have visited has used red, yellow, and blue buffs.

Probst gives Laura the clue and… SHE BURNS IT!  WHY?! ANGER!

Before we hit the commercial, Aras says that he’s hoping to stay Galang strong with Tyson, Gervase, Monica, and Tina with Katie and Vytas as junior members. Oh, Aras…is there a yoga pose that helps you pull a knife out of your own back?

During the tribe feast, Hayden is trying to figure out the numbers. He’s hoping his Aras-less Alliance is able to pull Laura M. over to their side. But, he’s also worried that Ciera could join an alliance of the three couples.

Ciera pulls her mother aside and lays out the details of the new alliance. Ciera is very concerned that having a loved one around could put a target on her back.

Meanwhile, Tyson uses the clues that old Tadhana was able to remember and manages to find the hidden immunity idol. He hopes that the idol is solid gold, but I know the art department doesn’t have that kind of budget. He smartly decides to keep it a secret for the time being.

Later, the Baskauskas Bros. decide to target Laura because nobody knows where she stands. Vytas thinks they’d have to be pretty stupid to not get to the end together. Oh man, they’re going to play that clip back during the finale.

Immunity Challenge Time: Probst will show the players a series of symbols. They’ll have to repeat the symbols back to him. Get a symbol wrong and you’re out. Last person standing wins immunity. It’s like “Survivor” Simon.

Round One: Monica’s the first out. She’s followed by Caleb and Katie. Tyson and Tina are the next to go. Next we get rid of Hayden.

Round Two: Laura goes first. Then we lose Ciera. Gervase is the next gone. It’s down to the Baskauskas Bros. (Way to not stand out as threats there, guys.) Vytas eventually pulls out the win.

Back at Kasama Beach, Vytas says he didn’t need to win immunity, but he did need to beat his brother. Wow…are they really this fooled? Kudos to Team New Tadhana.

Laura is worried that Aras might have an idol because he’s so confident. She pitches throwing votes toward Tina to split the vote.

That night at Tribal Council, Tyson says that if his brother was there, he’d want to work with him.

Aras thinks having a brother isn’t enough to have a majority. (He’s right.) They need to have relationships with four other people.

Probst points out that people who come back from Redemption Island are often sent right back. Awww…I still feel bad for Matt Elrod.

Tyson thinks it’s threatening that there are six people with loved ones.

Gervase thinks people have to be ready to take advantage of a situation when it presents itself.

Voting Time: Katie votes for Ciera, Gervase votes for Aras, Aras votes for Laura, and the rest don’t make the broadcast.

JPro tallies, returns, and flashes those million-dollar dimples. We’ve got two votes for Laura, two votes for Ciera, four votes for Aras, and the tenth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Aras.

Verdict: This season is pretty awesome. Jeff Probst gets a pass the next time he brings back a player I hate.

Who’s Going to Win? Things aren’t looking good for my pick Vytas. Maybe he can win the next forty seven immunities?

Power Rankings Results: Malcolm had Aras in spot ten. I had him in spot nine. I picked Laura M. returning for a bonus point. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 10, Team Real American Heroes 10. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 89, Team Real American Heroes 98.

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

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

November 5, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

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 7 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 Ciera switches places with Laura M., Laura M. will take the 1st spot in Malcolm’s rankings and the 2nd spot in Gordon’s rankings.

Last Week: Malcolm has Laura B. in spot five, I had her in spot nine. We both had Laura M. and John surviving at Redemption. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 7, Team Real American Heroes 11. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 79, Team Real American Heroes 88.

Wager Update: Since Malcolm lost last week’s competition, he’ll have to compare each of the contestants to a song title. Gordon decided to do it too because it sounded like fun. The loser of this week’s rankings will have to compare each of the contestants to a line from their favorite movie.

Team Glamor and Glitter, Fashion and Fame: 79

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

Team Real American Heroes: 88

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

 1. Ciera – “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone   – “It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new life.” All of the sudden I look prophetic (though not on a week-to-week basis with Power Rankings; I don’t think I’ve won a round in a month). My pre-game pick is the least threatening person on the beach, which is exactly where you want to be at the merge. She should actually be rooting against her mom at RI: should Laura M. get back in, the ‘pair’ threat can get applied and she becomes an easy boot.
 1. Gervase “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” by The Police – When everyone else wants to talk strategy, Gerv just wants to kick back and relax. He’s letting Tyson make all of the big calls, but he’s high-profile enough that he should be able to dodge any “Coattail Rider” or “Too Under the Radar” labels.
 2. Caleb – “Silent Night” by Anyone Who’s Ever Released a Christmas Album  – Remember when we all went mad for Caleb’s big move to get rid of Brad? I think there must be a secret scene on the editing floor of CBS where Caleb’s tongue gets in the way of a machete – which may just be the best thing at this stage of the game for him. His fading into the background is looking good right about now.
 2. Ciera – “Bring on the Night” by The Police – Actually, I only picked this title because Sting never wrote a song called “Bring on the Merge.” Ciera finds herself in an awesome spot right now. She’s isn’t super tight with anyone, so it’s not a game killer if she looks for a better deal. And, she’s done so poorly in challenges that nobody is threatened by her. Oddly enough, the worst thing that could happen to her is her mother getting back into the game…
 3. Katie – “Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson – According to her grandbaby-craving mother, she’s not really into the whole ‘flirting’ thing. Plus she seems to have a new fashion statement every time she goes to Tribal, which is disturbingly often. I don’t think she’ll be the first target of the inevitable pair-targeting, but she does seem like an easy boot for a post-merge alliance.
 3. Katie – “Wrapped Around Your Finger” by The Police – This works because of how tied you are to your mother and because of how hard she’s trying to marry you off. At any rate, you’re in a great position now, but you need to do something to stand out a little bit and not just be “Tina’s girl.”

 4. Hayden – “Smooth Operator”  by Sade  – The way he handled Kat was textbook, making her feel involved in the decision not to switch at RI. And he’s completely correct; not being a pair will bolster his strength moving forward. Merge is bad news for the fit charmer, but there are bigger, scarier, Baskauskvaskararas-er fish to be fried first.
 4. Tina – “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police  –  The big question coming out of last week’s episode was;  why let Vytas and Aras get to the merge together? Well, Tina’s pulling the strings at new Galang and she probably has some kind of secret alliance with the boys. She’s been killing it so far, no reason to think she’d drop the ball on a seemingly easy vote last week.

  5. Gervase – “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks  – NO I’M NOT CALLING GERVASE A BITCH. I just have no idea if he’s a bitch or a lover or a child or a mother or a sinner or a saint and I do not feel ashamed. My opinion on him changes weekly and I still am not sure how I feel, but he’s similar to Tyson in game position: they’re making other people targets which keeps them from becoming one, at least until everyone wises up to it.
 5. Caleb – “Invisible Sun” by The Police – Maybe this would be more accurate if it was  “Invisible Son.” Nobody’s worried about Caleb at this point. He isn’t bothering anyone. He isn’t a challenge threat. He’s got some serious room to maneuver.
 6. Tina – Pre-historical Caveman Mating Hymn  – Katie needs to start wearing a helmet or she may wake up with a lump on her head and betrothed. Tina has been rock solid thus far, and usually I’d say an older woman at the merge is perfectly safe, but being a past-winner and part of a pair may catch up to her soon.
 6. Monica – “One World (Not Three)” by The Police – OK, maybe I picked this song because it plays into an easy “One World” joke. But, this week Galang, Tadhana, and Redemption Island are all coming together. It’s going to become obvious to Monica quickly that she’s kind of a woman without an alliance. Fortunately, she isn’t an obvious target and will have a chance to get in good with other people.
 7. Monica – “The Lady Killer Theme” by Cee Lo Green  – In the past two weeks, she’s been a driving force behind knocking out two women who thought they were safe via girl power. Monica could care less about chromosomal matches, and is plowing ahead with making moves to get rid of unstable tribemates. No idea where she’s going to fit in come merge time, but don’t thiiiink she’s a target yet.
  7. Tyson – “Demolition Man” by The Police – He will blow up his alliance, he will eat all your food, he totally believes in magic. Tyson is awesome. So, we’re going to have eleven people at this merge and his new alliance has five members. Can they pull over someone else? Probably. Can they pull some voting shenanigans to lead Aras and Vytas to vote in another direction? Probably. A lot of options.
 8. Tyson – “Amish Paradise” by Weird Al  – It’s a hilarious song that’s actually incredibly intelligent. Tyson leading the charge come merge time should keep him safe for a bit, but he’s going to be all over other castaway’s radars after a few votes. His neck is officially exposed, though, so if the boys below catch wind of his schemes, he becomes a target.
 8. Hayden – “Message in a Bottle” by The Police – “Walked out this morning, don’t believe what I saw…a hundred, billion bottles washed up on the shore.” Hayden needs to be really careful. Yeah, he’s in the majority alliance and the Baskauskas Bros. are the obvious first target, but once they’re gone Hayden is next. Tyson has shown he’s willing to break alliances to set himself up the way he wants.
 9. Hayden – “Gaston” from the “Beauty and the Beast” Soundtrack   – This is actually my favorite Disney song ever; it’s smart and funny, but in reality it’s actually about the evil villain, and Vytas seems to be embracing that role. He could just play off his ability to build trust with women as a positive thing, but instead enjoys telling us every chance he gets about how brilliantly, calculatingly manipulative he is. Don’t get me wrong — it’s great for “Survivor” and seems to be working, but him and his brother are in trouble with the arrival of the merge.
  9. Aras – “Man in a Suitcase” by The Police  – Why this song? Because Aras is going to have to pack up and head to Redemption if he doesn’t win immunity. The new Team Tyson can easily pull over Laura B. or Laura M. if they come back from Redemption. And if John comes back and they can’t swing him, they can mislead Aras and Vytas into voting for a red herring.
 10. Aras – Gregorian Chant – Screw “Survivor,” all he wants to do is meditate on mountaintops, then throw in a celebration fail for good measure. Aras and his brother, who’s starting to look more and more like a Bizarro Aras, are now all over everyone’s radar. They’re going to have to be doubly crafty and probably need someone else to make a mistake if they’re to survive the next couple votes.
  10. Vytas – “Next to You” by The Police – “He couldn’t stand it for another day. His brother Aras was so far away.” Vytas managed to survive two very trying cycles and now he’s made it to the merge. Smooth sailing, right? Probably not. I’m betting the Baskauskas that doesn’t win immunity is going to Redemption. And, I’m giving Aras the edge because Vytas has no individual immunity experience.
 Redemption Island Picks: John – “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips – Because the RI challenge is about holding on… GET IT?!? Laura B is probably S.O.L. for this challenge, so no more tie-dye *tear*. It should come down to whether the very muscle-heavy John is able to hold on longer than the older but lighter Laura M. I think it’s a coin-flip, but what is certain is that Tyson –who won this challenge in Tocantins – will make some sort of ridiculous comment in the hours it will take to resolve.  Redemption Island Picks: Laura M. – “Mother” by The Police  – Tough call on this one. But, I went with Laura M. because it’s an endurance challenge and being lightweight seems like it will serve her well. I picked “Mother” because Laura M. returning could seriously mess up Ciera’s game. By herself, Ciera is a well-liked, under-the-radar member of the dominant alliance. With Laura M. back in the game, Ciera is tied to a very prominent challenge force. “Won’t she leave me alone?!”

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