Archive for December, 2013

‘Survivor’ Castaways Laura & Hayden: ‘It’s Not Redemption Island, It’s Laura’s Island’

December 20, 2013

Hayden Moss and Laura Morett (CBS)

Quick Note: Thank you for joining us for our “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” coverage. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news on February’s “Survivor: Cagayan.”

You know why I love “Survivor”? Because if you showed someone a picture of Hayden Moss and Laura Morett and said, “One of these two is great at challenges, and the other has a really amazing social game,” most people would guess wrong as to which was which.

I spoke with the two Redemption Islanders who found no Redemption the morning after the “Blood vs. Water” finale and had a chance to ask them about Ciera’s shocking vote, Hayden’s amazing scrambles, and why “Survivor” is head and shoulders above “Big Brother”…

Gordon Holmes: Laura, is Ciera out of the will?
Laura Morett: (Laughs) No, are you kidding me? That child has done worse things to me in her life than vote me off.
Holmes: Yeah, but that’s the worst thing she’s done in front of a national audience.
Morett: That’s true. But, there’s nothing that girl could do to get voted out of my will.

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Online

Holmes: Hayden, you had a hell of a run at the end there. I was crazy impressed with the way you got Ciera to flip and almost got Monica to flip. I spoke with Monica, she said she was pretty solid with the Bandits, but do you think she was leaning even a little?
Hayden Moss: That last Tribal, I thought we were really close. I thought we had a real shot at it. But, for whatever reason she decided to stick to her alliance. I would say I thought there was like a 33% chance.
Holmes: And was the scariest moment of your life the second where you realized you’d have to face Laura at Redemption Island?
Morett: (Laughs)
Moss: (Laughs) It’s not Redemption Island, it’s Laura’s Island. When I saw the challenge I knew I had a chance, but Laura and Tina crushed it.
Morett: It was that darn drop of sweat that came down Hayden’s face. It got in his eyes and if you get distracted for one second, that’s it. And I think it was like 120 degrees that day. He was not moving. I could see him and Tina out of my peripheral vision and they were solid. I was so shocked when his vase fell.
Moss: It was one of those things that’s super unfortunate. Literally one drop of sweat got in my eye, I went to wipe it and I lost my balance.

Holmes: Now that you’ve played “Survivor” and “Big Brother,” are you prepared to say that “Survivor” is way better?
Moss: (Laughs) I am…no…not prepared to say that. I love “Survivor” and I love “Big Brother.” Clearly “Big Brother” is my roots, and “Survivor” was amazing. The experience was unreal. But I love both shows.
Holmes: Laura, you’re prepared to say “Survivor” is way better, right?
Morett: Absolutely. “Survivor” is way better. On “Big Brother” you’re in a bed, you have a refrigerator full of food. But, you do have to stay there 90 days.
Moss: It’s apples and oranges, two totally different games. “Survivor” physically is way harder, I don’t know if that makes it better.
Holmes: It’s like comparing amazing, outdoor apples to not-as-good, indoor oranges.

Holmes: When Ciera voted the woman who brought her into this world out of the game, you said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back.” Did you not get that that was the opposite of what Ciera wanted?
Morett: (Laughs) It’s really funny watching it back now, she must’ve been like, “Stop saying that!” I’m thinking my daughter needs me and she’s like, “Woman, you are ruining my game for me!” That conversation on the beach was by far the hardest day. It was a strict heart-to-heart and her saying, “This is where your game sucks” and me saying “This is where your game sucks.” It was hard as a competitor to hear my name brought up. And then to hear it from my daughter? I didn’t feel betrayed so much as it was panic of how do I get back into the game. But, I was so proud of her.
Holmes: Hayden, on the other side of that vote, when you see Ciera make that move are you thinking, “Sweet, she’s on our side” or “Oh crap, this girl came to play”?
Moss: It’s like, she’s a gamer. If she’s willing to vote out her own mother, she won’t bat an eyelash to vote me out. That’s everybody’s mindset. She was in my alliance and she said she was going to prove to us that she was loyal by voting her mom out.

Holmes: I’m not a Redemption Island fan, I don’t like idea of someone winning the entire game after they’ve been voted out. If Tina had run the table with those last two challenges and gotten to the final three, would you have voted for her?
Moss: I would’ve voted for Tyson still.
Morett: Up against Tyson and Gervase, as much as I love Tina, I still probably have given it to Tyson. But, it would have depended on what Tina presented. But, based on what we know, Tyson.
Moss: Yeah, it’s hard to give a million dollars to someone who has been voted out. And Tyson played really good.

Holmes: Monica had a rough, rough final Tribal. What was it about her that made the jurors feel like they didn’t know her?
Moss: Monica is a very selfless person. And every question she got she gave a perfect answer. We’re thinking nobody is this nice of a person. So, we all thought she was a little fake. But knowing her outside of the game, she’s legitimately an amazing person.
Morett: I agree. I think for me the frustrating this is I wanted to have a close relationship out there and bond with her, but she wasn’t very open out there. She kept me at a distance. It’s hard to get personal with someone when they don’t open up.

Holmes: Hayden, you came on like gangbusters at the end, you’re a strong player, you’re a really nice guy. Is it hard to stay in a relationship with someone who didn’t make it to the merge?
Moss: (Laughs) Believe it or not, Kat’s next to me right now. And no, our relationship is great. We’re long distance, so it’s a little tougher. But no, just because she didn’t make the merge doesn’t mean it’s hard to be with her.
Holmes: You know I love Kat. But, man…
Moss: (Laughs)
Holmes: Back me up on this, Laura. If your significant other had been out there and he didn’t make the merge, he’d be a goner, right?
Morett: Oh, absolutely. Twenty five years is nothing. You don’t make the merge? Papers are filed.
Moss: Give him the axe!

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

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‘Survivor’ Castaways Tina & Ciera: Why’d They Vote for Tyson over Gervase?

December 19, 2013

Tina Wesson and Ciera Eastin (CBS)

Quick Note: Be sure to come back throughout the week for interviews with the rest of the final seven. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Two of the big questions Jeff Probst was hoping to answer this season were; would someone sacrifice themselves for a loved one? And on the other hand, would someone vote out their loved one?

Ironically, the answers to both ended up being eliminated from the game in back-to-back Tribal Councils.

I spoke with Tina Wesson and Ciera Eastin the morning after the “Survivor” finale and got some insight into Probst’s two questions, whether Tyson and Gervase were really even steven, and more…

Gordon Holmes: So, good news, Ciera. I spoke with your mother and you’re not disowned.
Ciera Eastin: (Laughs) Good news!
Holmes: Going into this I thought there was no way it would make sense for anyone to get rid of their loved one. And then it made total sense for you to vote out your mother. Walk me through the thought process.
Eastin: I totally agree with you. Coming in I said I’d vote my mom out, but I didn’t see a scenario where it would make sense. You have a built-in person you can trust and someone you can talk to. But then to be out there and to have a scenario where it made sense to me, it was so unreal. But, only one person can win this game. And I’d put so much energy into the relationships that I’d built with these people. And she was away at Redemption Island. She wasn’t able to do that. I had a fear that I’d keep her around and then when they’d want to split us up, she’d go on a challenge winning streak.
Holmes: Tina, what do you think about this? Was Ciera a cold-hearted snake?
Tina Wesson: Not at all. Ciera has definitely established herself as a player in this game. And to be so young and to have that savvy…everything she said about why she did it was spot on. She was out there to run the game. She wasn’t out there to ride her mom’s coattails.

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Online

Holmes: Tina, you squared off against your lovely daughter a few times, and it seemed like you got the best of her each time. Is this something that will be brought up at family dinners forever?
Wesson: (Laughs) Oh never, Katie is not a competitive person at all. And she’s not the most athletic person. She did this for me. It was nothing she ever aspired to do. So, this is nothing I could rub in her face.
Holmes: Now, you asked Katie if it was OK if you won the challenge. And Katie did what most people would be expected to do and said, “Yes.” But, what if Katie had said, “No”?
Wesson: That would’ve been a toughie. But, her key was really deep in the sand. We would have been out there all afternoon. (Laughs) That’s why she said, “Mom, go ahead.” It wouldn’t have been close.
Holmes: Well, if that helps you sleep at night.
Wesson: (Laughs) Yes, thank goodness. Katie and I talked about it before we went out. And we agreed that our love transcends this thing. Nothing’s going to make us love each other more, nothing’s going to make us love each other less.
Holmes: You wouldn’t love Katie more if she had a million dollars?
Wesson: No I would not.
Holmes: Then you’re a better person than I am.
Wesson: Do you have a kids?
Holmes: I do not. I haven’t given my mother any grandbabies.
Wesson: (Laughs) Then just you wait, mister.

Holmes: Ciera, I think you impressed a lot of people, me included. You gave up a secure fourth spot and ended up going out fifth, but you gave it up for a better chance to win. My question is, why did you wait till final six? Did you just not appreciate your standing at that time?
Eastin: The only way I can answer is to say, you’re seeing an hour out of two or three days. When Hayden and Caleb came to me and said, “Let’s get rid of Tyson” I was all for it. But then the plan kind of shifted, and they weren’t really 100% on board. And then I’d see Hayden walk away with Tyson and paranoia hits you. I just felt like I wasn’t willing to show all of my cards unless it was something concrete. And it wasn’t, it was kind of a wishy-washy plan. And I don’t have any regrets of what I did. But you’re right, at sixth I didn’t come all this way to end up fourth. So, I’ll make a big move and maybe win some jury votes.
Holmes: The people behind the ads seemed to like the idea of you being a villain, but that characterization never clicked because everything you did made sense.
Eastin: Yeah, I totally agree. I definitely got flack for that. People were saying, “What heartless person could vote out their mom?”
Holmes: I would’ve.
Eastin: (Laughs) But strategically, I think maybe people would’ve thought differently.

Holmes: Tina, the last time you played “Survivor” was during “All-Stars.” That seems light years away from the new-fangled “Survivor” we’re seeing today. Did you have any trouble adapting?
Wesson: To be honest, I was not prepared for what they’re calling “new school.” I was still in the “old school” mode. So, adapting was very challenging for me. Also, it was physically harder for me. So, I have to say that it kicked my butt in ways I wasn’t prepared for.
Holmes: How grueling was that last challenge? It looked exhausting.
Wesson: Oh my gosh, my little legs were just aching. And up and down those stairs 1,400 times. When I walked into it I was like, “Oh dear, I’m in trouble here.”

Holmes: The big question going into final Tribal seemed to be; how mad are people going to be at Tyson? The only real knock against him was his comment to Katie. Was there ever any real ill will toward Tyson?
Eastin: I had none at all whatsoever. I think Tyson played an amazing game. I was going to vote for the person who deserved it the most, not the person who didn’t hurt my feelings. It was an easy vote for me to make.
Wesson: It was a little harder for me. I was stuck at Redemption Island for half of the game, so I didn’t see things that were going on. There were things that bothered me, because you have to vote people off, but you have to make them feel like there’s no animosity. It’s the hardest thing in the world to do. And I think Tyson did a few things out there that left a bad taste in people’s mouths. He was eating all the food. He was making a few comments here and there. And everyone that came through Redemption was a little upset. So, when I was at Ponderosa, I relied on Katie. I said, “I don’t want to vote for anybody. I don’t know what to do.” So, she walked me through why she thought Tyson should win. And it made sense. And then when I watched the game, I was so glad that I voted for Tyson. I thought he was so deserving.

Holmes: Gervase made the comment that he and Tyson were making choices together. Did it seem like they were both making the calls?
Wesson: Ciera was out there longer than I was. I would say, no. But I’ll yield to Ciera on that one.
Eastin: I’d say no. I don’t think it was 50/50. Watching Tyson and then rewatching on TV, Tyson was the one finding idols, being proactive. I didn’t have as strong a relationship with Tyson as I did with Gervase. And Gervase didn’t have a relationship with Hayden like Tyson did. So, from relationships alone Tyson really took the time.

Holmes: Ciera, you made it so far in the game and made some really big moves. Which is amazing considering how close to elimination you were in the early going. I feel like that story somehow got lost in the mix.
Eastin: Thank you. I knew in the beginning that I was going to be bad at challenges, so I tried to play under the radar until the merge. And then at the merge I knew I had to make big moves to win. I think I followed and executed my plan really well. So it sucks to make it that far and not make it to the final three. But, my family is so proud of me, and I’m proud of myself. It was fun and I’d do it again.
Holmes: I hope you do. And Tina, it was great to see you get so deep and to see you come out swinging after your short stay in “All-Stars.”
Wesson: “Survivor” has been such a long journey. I had to wait four years after Australia to do the second one. Then I had to wait eight years for them to call me back for this one.

Holmes: So, are you going to be ready to go in twelve years?
Wesson: I’m ready. They’re going to have to make those challenges wheelchair accessible, but I’ll be ready.
Holmes: Could you imagine a wheelchair on that slide?
Wesson: (Laughs) That sounds like something out of “Jackass.”

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

Get Ready for Superhero Sunday on FX

December 19, 2013

'Iron Man 2' (Marvel)

Sick of navigating packed malls and crowded supermarkets? Need something to play in the background while you wrap packages?

No problem! FX is coming to the rescue Sunday, December 22, 2013 with six high-octane superhero movies.

Watch FX Live on Your Computer

Check out the day’s full lineup of claw-slashing, hammer-swinging, repulsor firing action…

‘Green Lantern’ – 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. ET
‘X-Men – The Last Stand’ – 10 a.m. – Noon ET
‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ – Noon – 2:30 p.m. ET
‘X-Men: First Class’ – 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET
‘Thor’ – 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET
‘Iron Man 2’  – 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. ET
‘Iron Man 2’ – 10:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. ET

Watch FX Live on Your Computer

‘Survivor’ Runner-Up Gervase: ‘Nobody Knew Monica Was With Us’

December 18, 2013

Gervase Peterson (CBS)

Quick Note: Be sure to come back throughout the week for interviews with the rest of the final seven. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

A lot has changed in “Survivor” over the years. Exile Islands have given way to Redemption Islands, hidden immunity idols have given way to barely-hidden idols, and Medallions of Power have cruelly been left in the Nicaraguan wilderness.

But, it’s good to know that one thing that was true in the first season of “Survivor” is still true today; Gervase Peterson will always hate eating live grubs.

I had a chance to talk to the ‘O.G.’ Survivor the morning after the “Blood vs. Water” finale and asked him about his seemingly unstable alliance with Monica, his feud with Hayden, and what his original “Survivor” pals think of his second outing…

Gordon Holmes: You were there in person for the iconic Sue Hawk final Tribal Council dress down. Were you disappointed that you didn’t get chewed up like that this season?
Gervase Peterson: I’m disappointed that I didn’t chew into someone like that. (Laughs) I’m glad it wasn’t that ugly of a Tribal Council. I think everyone got their point across. They were well-made points. You don’t have to be mean and nasty all the time.
Holmes: Was there anyone you were worried would’ve reached those levels?
Peterson: I don’t think me, Monica, or Tyson deserved that. We played a great game. That’s just bitterness. Even Vytas, his speech was borderline, kind of going there, especially with me. But I laughed at Vytas saying I coasted through the game. I’m like, “Vytas, you were doing the same thing with Brad. You had Brad in front of you as your shield.” That’s a smart way to play the game. But for some reason with Vytas on the jury it wasn’t the best idea.

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Online

Holmes: It seems like you were branded a bit of a “coattail rider” by the jury. What was happening that the jury didn’t see?
Peterson: I guess it’s hard for people to believe that every decision we made, we talked about. I’d tell him my opinion, then he’d tell me his and we’d work it out. If I said, “Nah, Tyson, I don’t think that’s a good move.” He’d be like, “OK, cool, let’s not do it.” Everything we did was mutual. Half the ideas were me, half were Tyson. It was my idea that after he played the first idol, “Let’s tell everybody we found the idol back on Galang beach so they won’t want to vote for you, they’ll vote for me.” And it worked, they threw two votes for me, we threw three votes on Hayden. It worked.

Holmes: You were involved in some heated Tribal Councils, especially with Hayden, were there any worries that you were going to rub some jurors the wrong way?
Peterson: The only person I should have pissed off is Hayden.  I’m only arguing with Hayden. But, that’s taking things personally. That was a controlled, planned-out event that I wanted to happen. I knew Tyson was well-liked. The only way for me to beat Tyson was for him to be more hated than me. If I argued with Hayden, he’s going to tell people that Tyson is the man making all the moves, pulling all the strings. That’s going to make Tyson defend himself, because he’s only going to take it for so long. And it worked because when Katie was voted out he said, “Good job, and that’s your seat over there.” And everyone was pissed off about that because they thought it was uncalled for and dirty. I was like, “Yes! It worked!”

Holmes: I talked to Monica earlier, and she said that she was with the Bandits the whole way. Did you guys intentional give her leeway to go out and plot with the other factions?
Peterson: We had an original Galang five which was me, Tyson, Monica, Aras, and Tina. When Jeff did the tribe switch, I looked at Monica and said, “Stick with the plan.” Which to her meant, keep Galang together until we can get back together at the merge. So when the merge happened, Monica wasn’t in with us anymore because we’d made a deal with Hayden and Caleb. But we saw how people were treating Monica, nobody was showing her any love, and she’d come back and tell us everything that was going on. So, we were like, this is perfect, nobody knew Monica was with us and people keep dissing her all the time. She was with us that whole time.

Holmes: I spoke to all of you guys before the game and Aras said that nobody knew that you two were really good friends. You orchestrated his elimination. Is there any bad blood there or were you two able to patch things up?
Peterson: We patched it up. Aras has never been voted out of the game before, so to get voted out hurts. To get voted out by your best bud? Hurts even more. It was like a I took a grenade, it took out Aras, but the shrapnel took out Vytas, Tina, and Katie. So, I knew I lost four jury votes right there. That night we came back to the beach after getting rid of Aras, and Tina lost it? She was cursing out Tyson and Monica, she didn’t say anything to me. But Tina didn’t know. She thought I was still with her. But the next day someone told her and she said, “You will never get my vote.” I was like, “Oh my God! I lost another vote!” But I felt like Aras only cared about Vytas, so I needed to get rid of him before he got rid of me. He’d even admitted it. So, how can you be mad at me?

Holmes: I was there for that first immunity challenge, that was kind of a disaster for you. A few of the Tadhana members referenced your trash talk when they voted out Marissa. What was the conversation like when you and her finally had a chance to talk about what happened?
Peterson: It was good. Marissa understood that it had nothing to do with me. Day one on the beach when Laura B. got voted out, Marissa had three votes. It was Laura B., Ciera, and Katie. Right there she was a target. And when Brad said if he won a tarp he’d give it to his wife, I was like, “Marissa…don’t say anything.” And she’s like, “You’d better not do that if you’re on my team!” So, she put a target on her back early. I think Brad felt like he had to get rid of her.
Holmes: Speaking of Brad, what’s it like to hear a former NFL player say, “I’m going to bodyslam the (expletive deleted) out of Gervase”?
Peterson: (Laughs) That was awesome. But the funny thing is, that challenge was best out of three. I won the first round. I knocked Brad in in like five seconds. And as I did it I said, “E-A-G-L-E-S! EAGLES!” He won the next two. But, if they’d shown me winning that round everyone would have went bananas.
Holmes: You’ve got to stay on Probst’s good side, because he can probably get you that footage.
Peterson: Yeah! That would be pretty awesome.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Monica.
Peterson: Loyal.
Holmes: Ciera?
Peterson: Liar.
Holmes: Laura M.?
Peterson: Disconnected. Meaning that we never talked strategy when we were in Galang.
Holmes: Hayden?
Peterson: Mr. No-show.
Holmes: Katie?
Peterson: Who? Was she in the game? Wallflower.
Holmes: Caleb?
Peterson: Good old country boy.
Holmes: Brad?
Peterson: Mr. Football.
Holmes: Tina?
Peterson: Veteran.
Holmes: Tyson?
Peterson: My left-hand man.
Holmes: And Marissa…
Peterson: That’s my salty niece. (Laughs)

Holmes: Have you gotten any feedback from any of the members of the original “Survivor” cast?
Peterson: Yeah, they loved it. Ramona loved it, everyone loved this season. They said it was pretty cool.  Joel said to tell Jeff that he wants to play. They all want to get that phone call.

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

‘Survivor’ Runner-Up Monica: ‘I Don’t Think Anyone Dragged Me Anywhere’

December 17, 2013

Monica Culpepper (CBS)

Quick Note: Be sure to come back throughout the week for interviews with the rest of the final seven. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

One of the things you always hear in “Survivor” exit interviews is how a lot of moments end up on the cutting-room floor because the editors are cramming three days of video into a 42-minute show.

Unfortunately, it seems like we missed some solid strategy from the final threesome.

I had a chance to talk with first runner-up Monica Culpepper the morning after the “Blood vs. Water” finale and got to learn about how she faked knowing about the idol to try to win Tina’s support, how her and the Coconut Bandits never discussed strategy during the day, and the controversial strategy she had in her back pocket that she never used…

Gordon Holmes: You had a really rough Tribal Council last night and the sentiment from the jurors was that they didn’t know the real you. Was that something you had anticipated?
Monica Culpepper: You know, Gordon. No matter what I did I was going to get it. Being called paranoid? That’s a negative word. Cautious? Yes. Paranoid? No. After I’d been blindsided before I wasn’t going to let it happen again. A doormat? That’s crazy. A lapdog? I was prepared for anything going in there. They said I talk too much, so I stopped talking. Now I go to final Tribal and they say they don’t know me. Yes, they do, it’s just that they’ve never met anyone like me. You’ve never met somebody that’s just genuinely nice. I’m not the type of person to run people over. The life I’ve had with Brad has been awesome. And I’m in a position to not jeopardize my integrity. The Tribals before were foreshadowing what I was in for.

Holmes: Ciera and Hayden were on you to flip, then Ciera and Tina. And obviously you were solid with Gervase and Tyson. But…and I know how editing can twist things…you’d say things at Tribal like Ciera and Tina “told me the truth” about Tyson and Gervase. Were you considering swapping at all?
Culpepper: No, when Hayden and Ciera were fighting over me, that would have been a dumb move. I’m guaranteed the final three. You’ve got to be in it to win it to pitch to win. If I go with them I’m fourth at best and maybe five. I’d be the most selfless player out there, as Hayden had said, I’d won the most immunities, and now I’ve made the biggest move in the game by splitting up Tyson and Gervase? I’d have been the next to go. I had to go with the guys and at that point the lightbulb went off that not everybody likes Tyson and Gervase. I thought the best move was to drag the gangsters to the end and put their feet to the fire. It didn’t work out, but in the end it really did. Second place for me, a forty-three-year-old scrappy mom, is awesome. And let’s not forget that Tyson played a really good game.

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Online

Holmes: Were you upset when Tyson played the idol for Gervase?
Culpepper: I knew he had the idol, he’d told me. I knew he was going to play it for Gervase. We’d talked about it.
Holmes: So, when you approached Tina and said you were upset about it, that was just a ruse to try to win her jury vote?
Culpepper: Correct. At that point Tyson and Gervase were relaxing in the hammock, so I was trying to work those jury votes as best I could.

Holmes: Before the game, you, me, and Brad sat in a gazebo…
Culpepper: I wanted to tell you, Brad and I’s favorite interview was sitting out there in that little hut.
Holmes: That’s very kind of you. I enjoyed it too. When we were out there you two told me about a very controversial strategy where you’d tell the other members of your alliance that they should take you to the end because you don’t need the money and you’d pitch for them to win. Did that strategy ever come into play?
Culpepper: You know, it would’ve 100% come into play, except when Tyson played the idol the first time, Gervase did know about it. Tyson played it and I turned around and was blown away. I went back and said, “I’m crushed that you have that idol and you didn’t tell me.” We made a final three pact when we got to the merge. And the pact was, “We’ll never be seen by the light of day.” A threesome voting the same way is so hard to break up. Nobody knew that we were together. We’d talk at night when everyone was asleep. I’d play the poor mouse role and say, “I’m the last to know, what do you guys think.” And as long as they said what we’d talked about the previous night, we went into Tribal feeling pretty good. So, when Tyson played that idol I felt like a second-class citizen in that alliance. I went to bed thinking, you know what? I’m going to grab Katie and I’m going to grab Ciera and we’re going to dump these guys. And I woke up and got a clear head. Katie and Ciera both have their mothers on the jury. It’s almost a flaw in “Survivor” that jurors go back to Ponderosa and can talk and be persuasive. So, I didn’t want to go to the end with someone with a loved one. And I wasn’t going to pitch Tyson or Gervase to win because I didn’t think they were as true to me as I was to them. And that’s why I didn’t. And I also felt like I deserved to win. I don’t think anyone dragged me anywhere.

Holmes: This is kind of a silly question, but a friend of mine was watching “Survivor” for the first time, and she refused to believe that you weren’t wearing make-up.
Culpepper: (Laughs) That’s a nice question. I’ve been asked that a lot of times. I’m very flattered that people say that. All I can say is it must be the bug spray and SPF combination that they give us out there. I credit that or maybe I need to stay on that diet of unripe coconuts and plantains.
Holmes: No, no…you were looking dangerously skinny, and that’s with the camera adding ten pounds.
Culpepper: I lost about 23 pounds, that’s over 20% of my bodyweight, so that’s a lot for me.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. We’ll start with Tyson.
Culpepper: Misunderstood.
Holmes: Ciera?
Culpepper: Kind.
Holmes: Katie?
Culpepper: Misplaced.
Holmes: Laura M.?
Culpepper: Gritty.
Holmes: Candice?
Culpepper: Lacks self-control.
Holmes: Marissa?
Culpepper: Lacks self-control again.
Holmes: Gervase?
Culpepper: Just a heart of gold.
Holmes: Hayden?
Culpepper: A caged lion.
Holmes: Caleb?
Culpepper: Nervous.
Holmes: Tina?
Culpepper: Gentle.
Holmes: And Brad?
Culpepper: A meteor. He’s a super stud.

Holmes: How did the Culpepper kids react when they saw mom down a shot glass full of worms?
Culpepper: They weren’t surprised. They said, “Mom, we’ve always known that you’re tough and awesome.” But that’s a typical day at the Culpeppers. Look who I’m married to with Brad. He’s so much fun. He’ll go fishing and the guys are like, “I double dog dare you to eat that mealworm.” That challenge meant so much to me because no woman has ever won it. I just think, it’s the epitome of “Survivor.” And they eliminated the cow eyeball round.
Holmes: Bleh…thankfully.
Culpepper: It was the most disgusting. You chew into these eyeballs and they explode. It’s just this viscous…thick fluid. And then chewing it is like chewing tire rubber.
Holmes: You certainly paint a picture.
Culpepper: I felt bad for Gervase to go through all that and get the big goose egg. But it was such an empowering moment for me.

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

‘Survivor’ Winner Tyson Apostol: ‘I Might Have to Go on a Fourth Time’

December 16, 2013

"Survivor: Blood vs. Water" Winner Tyson Apostol (CBS)

Quick Note: Be sure to come back throughout the week for interviews with the rest of the final seven. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Here’s a fun little snippet from a moment “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” champ Tyson Apostol and I shared about four and a half years ago after he’d been voted out of “Survivor: Tocantins”…

Tyson Apostol: I figured I had the game all sown up. I was already spending money out there.
Gordon Holmes: I know, you were going to buy a fur, you were going to buy a tiara…
Tyson: And I was also going to get a Ferrari and dip it in gold.
Gordon: That would be awesome.

I had a chance to speak to the newly crowned Sole Survivor the morning after his win and asked him about his dominant victory, his early injury, and his extravagant tastes…

Gordon Holmes: And how is it going, Mr. newly-minted millionaire?
Tyson Apostol: (Laughs) It’s crazy, right?
Holmes: It is truly awesome. I actually dug back into the archives and you said that you’d “get a Ferrari and dip it in gold.” Let’s get on this.
Apostol: Man…gold’s at an all-time high now. We might have to go with a silver or…I don’t know…a nickel?
Holmes: It’s breaking my heart to hear you depriving yourself so soon after your triumph.
Apostol: That I can’t get the one dream in my life, the gold-dipped Ferrari?
Holmes: This ruins my whole afternoon.
Apostol: Gordon, I don’t want you to feel this way. Get CBS to give me more money and we’ll definitely do it. Actually, we might be able to do one of the smaller models. I just think with gold prices where they are it’s getting more scarce.
Holmes: Alright, we started off on a bad note.
Apostol: Let’s reach out to the readers to send in their gold coins and their gold teeth. Let’s get it done.
Holmes: We can do this.
Apostol: We should start a kickstarter.
Holmes: I like that it’s not even gold-plated, it’s gold-dipped.
Apostol: I’m imagining these giant tongs. You grab the car and then dip it in this vat of gold. You let it dry, then put it in my front yard.
Holmes: Then you just toss out the excess gold.
Apostol: You just pull the plug at the bottom of the gold vat.

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Online

Holmes: You had to have a good feeling leaving that Tribal Council. When you see Rachel, what did you say to her?
Apostol: I told her I had a pretty good shot. And that was really it. I didn’t have a real great feeling of how I did until after the Tribal Council. Leading into it I thought the jury was so upset with me that there was no way. And then, when I heard everyone’s questions I was like, “I’m probably going to win this thing.” And it’s funny because every time I’ve played I’ve come back fatter than when I left. In Tocantins I was 165 when I started. When my family saw me I was 185.
Holmes: So they’re thinking first boot.
Apostol: Yeah. So “Heroes vs. Villains” I left at 175 and came back at 190. So, this time I came back 15 pounds lighter. Rachel had a pretty good idea, and I definitely told her there’s a good chance. My parents, I let them believe what they wanted. My brother told me that my dad said, or he alluded to because my dad doesn’t talk like this, “Well, I think he’s second or third because I don’t think they’d vote for him to win.”
Holmes: (Laughs)
Apostol: So basically my dad thinks I’m too big of an (expletive deleted) to win this show.
Holmes: I said the same thing in my pre-season rankings. You had all these things going for you, but I didn’t know how you’d do in a final Tribal Council. Apparently you do pretty well. You told the story of how you felt when Rachel was voted out. How much of that was real and how much of that was to gain sympathy from the jury.
Apostol: It was all genuine, but it was also to get on the jury’s good side. It was calculated, but it was genuine. Going into it I needed to show the jury that I was human. So many people were like, “You’re like a god, Tyson. You’re so gorgeous and perfect in every way.” I needed to bring it down a level.
Holmes: I wouldn’t give the million dollars to someone who has so much genetically.
Apostol: Exactly.
Holmes: That’s smart.
Apostol: I was thinking I need to show I’m human. I can be there. That helped a lot, but even more than that was Gervase and Monica talking.

Holmes: The moment where you asked Rachel if she’d had fun was awesome. But, it kind of killed your reputation.
Apostol: (Laughs) What reputation did I have?
Holmes: People might start to think you’re a nice guy.
Apostol: Yeah, I really hope it doesn’t go that far. (Laughs) We’ll see. I might have to go on a fourth time to bring the bad-boy reputation back.
Holmes: Nice, kick babies, punch puppies.
Apostol: I really don’t cry that much. For some reason this time with Rachel leaving and then getting closer and closer was emotional.

Holmes: We didn’t hear about your shoulder much after the original injury. How was it holding up towards the end?
Apostol: At the very end I had the full range of motion, but it was tender. I didn’t have the strength in it. Now, I have all the strength and it only aches a little bit. I went and had an MRI and it is going to be 100%. There’s no cartilage damage. It’s just going to be a little sore for a while. I’m 35, so things don’t heal like they used to.

Holmes: Gervase said a few times that he thought he could beat you. What made you think you could beat him?
Apostol: It wasn’t so much that I thought I could beat him, I just thought I had the best shot with Gervase and Monica. We’d all committed the same crimes since day one, pretty much. And, the underdogs are always the heroes. They get the cheers and the praise, so if one of them got to the end they’d have a great shot at winning. Seeing how the votes played out, maybe I could’ve gone with different people. I really thought it’d be close with Gervase until we got through the final Tribal Council.

Holmes: Monica spent a lot of time with other factions. Had you just given her leeway to appease the people on the bottom or was she actually worrying you guys?
Apostol: I felt like she was really solid. But she’d just go off. And we’d tell her time and time again, there are four people here, just stay in the shelter with us. It’s going to make us more comfortable, it’s going to make you more comfortable with us. And then she’d be like, “OK, I’m going to go talk with Ciera by the beach for three hours. We’ll have a great time, then you’ll see us hugging and crying and smiling. But don’t worry about it.”
Holmes: (Laughs)
Apostol: It was hard, but she was always with us. But she did like to spend time with everybody. But you could tell her loyalty was with me and Gervase.
Holmes: The jury knock against her was they didn’t know who she was. Do you feel like you and Gervase got to know the real Monica?
Apostol: Um, I think so. Yeah, we knew the real Monica. What we saw on TV was the real Monica. She might be more reserved than people would like her to be. That’s just Monica.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association…
Apostol: Is that a new thing you do?
Holmes: Nope, this guy’s a one-trick pony.
Apostol: Just kidding.
Holmes: You cut deep. OK…Gervase?
Apostol: Mouthy.
Holmes: Hayden?
Apostol: A lot of people said “teeth” but I think mine are better. I don’t want to pay him that compliment when people didn’t pay me the compliment I deserve. But, let’s just say “teeth.”
Holmes: Monica?
Apostol: Scrappy.
Holmes: Ciera?
Apostol: Did I say “hell raiser” before? (Laughs) That’s what old people call kids on Halloween night.
Holmes: She’s a whippersnapper.
Apostol: (Laughs) Yup! That little carpetbagger.
Holmes: Laura M.?
Apostol: Massage.
Holmes: Tina?
Apostol: We have to be positive with Tina here…
Holmes: I agree.
Apostol: She deserves a positive word. Let’s try “loving.”
Holmes: You’re killing that rep.
Apostol: I don’t need a rep, dude. I’ve got a million dollars.
Holmes: Vytas?
Apostol: I told you he’d beat me in a stretching competition. Let’s just say yogi. These are too hard for me. I need full paragraphs.
Holmes: I’m not here to tell the Sole Survivor what to do. You do whatever your comfortable with.
Apostol: And then you’ll bend my words to make me look like an (expletive deleted).
Holmes: And to make me look awesome. Precisely. Let’s try Rachel.
Apostol: Aww…sweet, sweet angel.

Holmes: Before last night, people remembered Tyson for the blunder during “Heroes and Villains.” Now they’ll remember him as a champ. How are you going to respond when people bring up the “Heroes vs. Villains” incident from now on?
Apostol: (Laughs) I don’t know. I don’t really care. I’ll say “That was stupid.” I’ll just jump in my gold Ferrari, and it’s not going to go anywhere because it’s too heavy. I’ll just sit in it and be like “Suck it.”

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

‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Recap – And the Winner Is…

December 15, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

Quick Note: Be sure to come back Monday and throughout the week for interviews with the winner of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” and the rest of the final seven. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

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Last Week: Katie lost to her mother, Monica almost left her alliance for another, and Ciera said “farewell” to her Big Brother.

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)

Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tyson – Store Manager, 34

Another Quick Note: I interviewed Tyson after “Survivor: Tocantins” and he told me if he had won the money he would, “Get a Ferrari and dip it in gold.” If he wins, I’m going to hold him to that.

Tonight’s super-sized episode kicks off after Wednesday’s wild Tribal. Ciera is in good spirits because she knows whoever returns from Tribal will be in her corner.

Later, Tyson smartly brings Monica into the fold permanently by offering her the idol. She seems to turn it down. Her thinking being that she can go to the final three with either side. Yeah, that’s all well and good, but I don’t think she can beat either side.

Meanwhile at Redemption Island, the Mom Squad is not thrilled to see their buddy Hayden. However, Laura is giddy when she learns that challenge prowess seems to run in the Morett genes.

Redemption Island Time: The players will stand with one foot on a teeter totter board. On the other end is a vase. Last person standing with an intact vase will return to the game. They’ll also receive an idol clue.

Note: This is the same challenge that Power Rankings fave Andrea Boehlke used to get back into the original Redemption Island.

Not much to describe here except for a bit of teeterin’ and a fair amount of totterin’. Laura has some trouble early on, but she manages to keep it together.

Fifteen minutes later, Hayden is the first one to go.

Laura begs Tina to give up, but Tina won’t hear of it. Laura wavers, but Tina seems rock solid.

Thirty minutes in, Laura wobbles, wavers…and eventually drops. Tina will return to the game. Didn’t see that one coming.

Probst asks Hayden how “Big Brother” differs from “Survivor.” He says that it makes him appreciate his life and his pre-merge girlfriend. (OK, he didn’t say “pre-merge.”)

Laura doesn’t feel like a success at this time, but she might later. Probst gives her credit for finishing strong. She did “dig deep.”

Ciera reassures her that she was amazing. And then the waterworks start. Meanwhile in Delaware, the DVR pauses as water starts to randomly pour out of my eyes.

Tina, to nobody’s surprise, decides to hold onto the idol clue.

Back at camp, Tina and Ciera rush off to look for the idol. Next thing you know, Tina’s up the Tyson tree. If my mom scaled a tree like that I’d have a heart attack.

Later on, Tina tells Monica that all of the jurors are pissed at her. Ciera disagrees with this course of action and tells Monica that they think she’s a great competitor, she just needs to prove that she’s not a lapdog.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will pull on a rope that levels a table. They’ll then go out to get wooden blocks and then return to place them on the table. If the rope slackens, their blocks will fall and they’ll have to return to set them back up. First person to get all the blocks on the table will win immunity.

Wow, this is tough, the blocks are falling like crazy.

Monica, Ciera, and Tina have a slight lead. Tyson is right behind them.

Tyson eventually pulls ahead and grabs the lead. Gervase and Monica are slightly behind him, but it’s too late. Tyson wins immunity.

Awesome challenge. It was original, it was tense, and anyone could have won. Good job, Mr. Kirhoffer.

As Tyson receives the immunity necklace, he kneels like he’s being knighted. Although, it was more like in “Caramoan” when Probst gave Brandon Hantz a neckrub.

Politicking around camp involves Gervase wanting to get rid of Ciera and Monica wanting to get rid of Tina. Monica wants to oust Tina because she hasn’t upset anyone on the jury. Gervase’s argument is that Ciera has made a big move.

For some reason, this argument gets really heated with Gervase kinda getting intense. Way to add some credence to Ciera’s lapdog theory there, Gerv.

Later on, Monica approaches Tina and Ciera with the idea of getting rid of Gervase. She won’t say she’s on board though, which makes me think this isn’t happening.

That night at Tribal Council…Hayden has a mustache! REPEAT! Hayden has a mustache!

Monica feels like she in the middle of the two alliances. She thinks the women were honest with her and said they could take out the villains.

Gervase doesn’t know why they think he’s a villain because they’ve both played the game and he kept his word to his alliance.

Ciera says that the guys have been calling Monica an easy vote and a lapdog.

Tyson says he’s never called Monica a lapdog, but he has said that she’s in his alliance.

Monica feels bad because everyone is digging (“dig deep!”) into her. But, tonight will be her big strategic move because it’s good for Monica. You know she means business because she referred to herself in the third person.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

J-Pro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone would like to play and idol and…we’ve got a commercial. Curse you, Probst!

Alright, we’re back. Tyson hands the idol to Gervase and he plays it. Honestly, good for them. Monica was being too wishy-washy.

We’ve got two votes for Gervase, one vote for Ciera, and the seventh member of the jury is…Ciera.

The votes are shown, and we learn that Monica did, in fact, vote for Ciera.

Back at camp, Monica is annoyed that Tyson and Gervase didn’t trust her. Dude, you approached Tina and Ciera about getting rid of Gervase. Solid alliances don’t do that.

The next morning, Tina lets us know that winning the challenge is her only way to get to the end. Yup, unless Colby somehow wins.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will race through a series of obstacles gathering bags of puzzle pieces. They’ll carry them to the top of a tower, then use a water slide to go get more. They’ll use the puzzle pieces to get a combination. They’ll use the combination to raise their flag. First person to raise their flag gets immunity and a guaranteed spot at the final Tribal Council.

The challenge starts off and there are so many weird obstacles that it’s hard to follow.

Gervase and Monica are in the lead, but Tyson isn’t too far behind them. It eventually even ups with Tina way out of it.

Tyson, Gervase, and Monica seem to all start their puzzles at the same time. Tina eventually joins them.

Tyson finishes his puzzle first. He has to count the puzzle pieces, the stairs, and the letters. Tyson smartly goes down the slide so he can count the stairs on the way back up. He puts in the code and wins immunity.

He’s gotta be a lock to take this whole thing right? He pulled rocks, he played idols, he won challenges. The others will pick him over hot-head Gervase and emotionally…awkward Monica.

Back at camp, Gervase isn’t happy that Monica checked him while they were doing the challenge. He’s annoyed because they had the same goal, defeating Tina.

Later on, Monica tells Tina that she’s annoyed that the Bandits didn’t tell her that they were going to play the idol. Tina wants Monica to vote for a tie so that it’ll come down to a fire tie-breaker. Yeah…but Monica can’t beat Tina…or anyone else at this point.

Tina also says that she thinks more people like Gervase than Tyson. Really? Are we watching the same show?

That night at Tribal Council…Hayden’s glorious ‘stache is gone. Sad…

Monica doesn’t feel bad for checking Gervase because he talks smack.

Gervase says he was surprised because they were kind of on the same team.

Monica says she’s here to win and she realizes that she’s still kind of a swing vote. She then tells everyone about her conversation with Tina.

Gah…don’t say things like that before the vote! What if Gervase and Tyson change their minds? You vote for Tina, Tina votes for Gervase, and the boys vote for you?

Monica is kind of bad at “Survivor.”

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

Probsty tallies, then returns. We’ve got two votes for Tina, one vote for Gervase, and the eighth and final member of the jury is…Tina.

Fun Fact: There have been three seasons where an even numbers of newbies and returnees squared off. Of those three seasons, seven of the eight finalists were returnees.

The next morning, the final three is greeted by the Day 39 feast.

Tyson says he can’t believe that he made it. Gervase says that he has come full circle as an original player who came back to play a totally different game and get to the end. Monica refers to herself in the third person, then cries.

That night at Tribal Council, Gervase says that he meshed new-school and old-school “Survivor” to get to the end. He says Aras wouldn’t have been blindsided without him.

Next, Monica says that everyone thinks that she’s a lapdog, but she made the choice to be a lapdog. Oof…that isn’t going to play well.

Quick Aside: Nobody has brought up that Monica is loaded, but that’ll probably weigh on jurors’ minds.

Finally, Tyson feels like he had a target on his chest, so he was going to have fun and have no regrets. He then breaks down when he says that seeing Rachel at Redemption Island changed his mind because she left because people thought he was a threat.

Hmm… Tyson probably won that round, but none of them knocked it out of the park.

Juror #1: Vytas gives Tyson credit for getting before he got got. Vytas then says that he promised Tyson that he wouldn’t vote for him, and he’s going to stick to that. He then says that Tyson carried Gervase. He finishes it off by saying that Monica turned on him and he doesn’t know who to vote for. Hmmm…no question from Vytas.

Juror #2: Katie asks Tyson why he told her that she was going to end up on the jury after they pulled rocks. Tyson says that’s the one thing he regrets and that his mouth worked faster than his brain. He hopes she’ll vote for who played the best game.

Juror #3: Caleb asks Gervase what his biggest move was. Gervase says it was getting rid of Aras. Everyone thinks Tyson was making the moves, but a lot of the ideas came from him. He then asks Monica to be vulnerable and tell him something from the heart. She says her whole life has been about Brad and she wants to be Sole “Survivor” for her. She then breaks down and says she’s proud of herself. Wow, that was vulnerable.

Juror #4: Ciera asks Tyson if he sees himself as a hero or a villain. Tyson says he doesn’t see himself as a villain because his moves were strategic, not personal. She then asks Gervase if he was ever going to vote out Tyson. He says he was waiting for the right moment, but that he worried he’d be the next to go. He also thinks he can beat Tyson. Well, that makes one of us.

Juror #5: Laura tells Monica that she doesn’t know who Monica really is. Monica says that she feels out of place because people think she’s a puppy dog and that she talks too much.

Juror #6: Tina wants one word from everyone that describes the core of who they are. (Hey! That’s my gimmick!) Monica says “Generous.” Gervase says, “Honorable.” Tyson says, “Fun-loving” even though he’s worried that that’s two words.

Juror #7: A mustache-less Hayden asks Tyson if he had the idol when he drew rocks. Tyson says he did and he found it in a bird nest that was right under Hayden’s nose. Hayden shows some love for Kat by responding “Touche.” Adorable.

He then tells Monica that she comes off as fake and he wonders what she thinks the jury thinks of her. She says she doesn’t know how to respond because they’re beating up on her. She pleads with them, asking if they’ve ever met a nice person before. Hmm…that could come off as arrogant.

Juror #8: Finally, Aras asks Gervase to prove that he has game awareness and tell him to vote for either Tyson or Monica. Gervase says he’d vote for Tyson because there were so many facets to his game.

He then asks Monica who made the best moves of the Bandits. Monica says Tyson because he found idols and won challenges.

Tyson then gets the same question. He goes for Monica because she kept her distance during the game. She wanted people to think she was on the bottom when she wasn’t.

Hmm…Tyson was good, Gervase was meh, and Monica’s breakdowns could go either way. I could see some people feeling sorry for her. Sorry enough to vote for her? Probably not.

Voting Time: Caleb votes for Tyson, Vytas votes for Monica, and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.

No votes for Gervase? Not shocking.

And…next thing you know we’re back in Los Angeles and someone in the audience has a glow stick. OK…

Also, Tyson is wearing a tuxedo shirt. Please give him the money so he can afford some tuxedo shorts.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Monica, three votes for Tyson, and the winner of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” is…Tyson!

Verdict: I remember standing on a beach with Jeff Probst at 3 a.m. in the Philippines and having him tell me the 47 ridiculous twists that were going to happen this season. I thought it was going to be a train wreck.

After seeing the first three days of shooting, I was ready to upgrade it to an entertaining train wreck.

I’m now prepared to call it the best season since “Heroes vs. Villains” and maybe in the top five seasons of all time.

Simply awesome.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2013 Inductee – Jonny Fairplay

December 13, 2013

"Survivor" Hall of Fame 2013 Inductee Jonny Fairplay

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consists of “Survivor” luminaries such as Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Producer Jesse Jensen, the current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Minion Gordon Holmes. The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

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The Class of 2010 included Parvati Shallow, Russell Hantz, Rob Mariano, Richard Hatch, and Sandra Diaz-Twine…

The Class of 2011 included Cirie Fields, Ozzy Lusth, and Tom Westman…

The Class of 2012 included Amanda Kimmel, Rob Cesternino, and Ethan Zohn…

Earlier this week, Kim Spradlin and John Cochran became the Hall’s newest members…

And now, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to induct Jonny Fairplay as the third and final member of the Class of 2013.

Jonny Fairplay’s Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech

First of all; I would like to say thank you to my fellow Hall of Famers, press, and fans that chose to vote for me. To the others; I’m an acquired taste. It is an honor to be recognized as one of the greatest at what you do and I feel that I did “Survivor” best.

My dream as a little kid was to be the greatest “bad guy” wrestler of all time. That never exactly happened; I was a few vitamins short of the physique needed. I did however become the greatest heel in the history of reality television on the greatest show of the genre.

My experience on Pearl Islands is one of the most special moments of my life. For the record, my favorite episode is the one in which I voted out Rupert; not the “Dead Grandma” lie. However, the “Dead Grandma” lie was an incredible moment that captivated pop culture and changed my life forever.

I would like to personally thank: Lynne Spillman – for seeing me at the gas station that fateful day, CBS and Mark Burnett – for giving me the opportunity to be the “bad guy,” Thunder D – for being a big enough scum bag to come through and lie with me to others during a very emotional Reward Challenge, my “Dead Grandma” – for staying alive, Rob Cesternino – for giving me the blueprint, and to all my other “Survivor” brothers and sisters – for giving me the greatest extended family anyone could ever ask for!

And a special thank you to everyone that makes “Survivor” what it is; you have honestly made me one the luckiest and happiest people alive! Thank you, you changed my life forever!

What the fans said about Jonny…

“He changed the game by bringing the outside world into the game. Worked back and forth between alliances and had the trust of many different people in the game.” – Eric

“You just love to hate the guy.” – Colleen

“Should Fairplay’s grandmother do the induction speech or should Thunder D?” – Tricia

What the Executive Voting Committee said about Jonny…

“His calculated, pre-planned lie about his grandmother’s death was brilliant and opened the door for future A-holes to use this strategy to get ahead. Not everyone can be the nice guy, right?” – Ethan Zohn

“Whether you loved him or whether you hated him, he kept things interesting and he changed “Survivor” and Reality TV forever.” – Rob Cesternino

“He is the first villain that made a huge play. Fairplay 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. – Russell Hantz

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

Watch the ‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Finale this Sunday, December 15, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water.”

Let’s Play ‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Finale Bingo!

December 13, 2013

BVWFINALEBINGOOh, c’mon…you didn’t think I was going to spend all this time writing recaps, dominating the Power Rankings, conducting exit interviews, counting Hall of Fame votes, reaching out to Executive Committee Members, ordering thank you gifts, sending out thank you gifts, creating a very impressive Excel spreadsheet, being berated by the “Survivor” fan base, and forget to do “Survivor” Finale Bingo did ya?

OK, maybe you did. I might need a nap.

(more…)

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2013 Inductee – John Cochran

December 12, 2013

"Survivor" Hall of Fame 2013 Inductee John Cochran

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consists of “Survivor” luminaries such as Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Producer Jesse Jensen, the current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Minion Gordon Holmes. The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

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The Class of 2010 included Parvati Shallow, Russell Hantz, Rob Mariano, Richard Hatch, and Sandra Diaz-Twine…

The Class of 2011 included Cirie Fields, Ozzy Lusth, and Tom Westman…

The Class of 2012 included Amanda Kimmel, Rob Cesternino, and Ethan Zohn…

Yesterday, we inducted Kim Spradlin into the Class of 2013…

And now, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to induct John Cochran into the Class of 2013. John received more Executive Committee votes than any other nominee.

We had a chance to speak with the newly crowned Hall of Famer to get his thoughts on this honor…

Gordon Holmes: The fans, production, the press, your peers…everyone’s loving them some Cochran. How does it feel to be considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history?
John Cochran: One of the greatest players in ‘Survivor’ history might be overstating it, but it’s an honor to be recognized like this.  I’m first and foremost still just a huge fan of “Survivor,” so to have other fans respond positively to me is a great thrill and very gratifying.  It’s also surreal to have “Survivor” icons like Cirie and Sandra, whom I’ve admired for so long, select me as a player they enjoyed watching.  And to have the support of producers and challenge designers and the people who make “Survivor” what it is – well, it’s just a wonderful feeling!

Holmes: Your year has been beyond amazing. For those who haven’t heard, can you catch us up on what you’ve been doing since your win last spring?
Cochran: The day after the Season 26 finale, I got a call from Probst saying that Greg Garcia, the man who created “Raising Hope” and “My Name Is Earl,” had been watching “Survivor” all season long, thought I was funny, and was interested in meeting with me about possibly writing for his new CBS sitcom.  A couple weeks later, I graduated from law school, moved out to LA, and now I’m a staff writer for “The Millers” (CBS Thursdays at 8:30!).  Writing jokes for Will Arnett, Beau Bridges, Margo Martindale, and more?  It’s a dream job, and it’s all because of “Survivor.”

Holmes: This new season is crazy town. How do you feel about all the twists and turns?
Cochran: I’ve been loving “Blood vs. Water.”  The loved ones twist made the stakes feel so much higher for each vote, and Redemption Island really established itself as a legitimate factor in the game, instead of just being a detour on the way home.  I also think it’s a testament to the quality of the season that, when I’ve asked people who they’re rooting for, viewers seem to have a variety of favorites; there’s a lot to like.  It’s a great cast, a fresh twist, and there have been some really fun, exciting moments.

What the fans said about John…

“One of the few who really learned from his mistakes and improved his game.” – Sue

“(Cochran) expertly navigated a season with returners.” – Ryan

“Proof that nerds are sexy!” – Melissa

What the Executive Voting Committee said about John…

“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.” – Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst

“Cochran miraculously won 4 individual immunity challenges. His strategic and social game won him all the jury votes.  If I ever play again, I wanna be just like Cochran and win an Immunity Challenge. He’s my hero.” – Sandra Diaz-Twine

“His superpower was not in his physical prowess, but in his intellect. He went from student of the game to master of the game, and along the way gave the audience an abundance of great sound bites, sage revelations, and hilarious insights.” – Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer

Be sure to check back Friday to meet the final member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2013.

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

Watch the ‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ Finale this Sunday, December 15, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water.”


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