Archive for March, 2014

‘Survivor’ Castaway Brice: ‘They Can No Longer Call it the Beauty Tribe’

March 6, 2014

Brice Johnston (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to be for all sorts of “Survivor: Cagayan” back-stabbin’, torch-snuffin’ fun. On Mondays we’ll have Power Rankings with “Blood vs. Water” competitor Ciera Eastin, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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Nobody ever said “Survivor” was a fair game. Sometimes a well-liked player who helps around camp and pulls his weight in challenges is voted out before a shelter-destroying, fire-dousing, rice-burning liability.

I spoke with Brice Johnston the morning after he found himself on the wrong side of the numbers and asked him about immunity idol clues, why he didn’t side with LJ and Jeremiah, and the mental state of the Brains tribe…

Gordon Holmes: So, is it right to still call this tribe the “Beauty Tribe” now that you’ve been eliminated?
Brice Johnston: Absolutely not. That name has been stricken and they have to find another name. Now that Brice is gone they can no longer call it the Beauty Tribe.
Holmes: Any thoughts on what they should go with?
Johnston: Country bumpkins, maybe? (Laughs)

Holmes: We didn’t see a lot of how the tribe ended up with you and Morgan on one side and LJ, Jeremiah, Alexis, and Jefra on the other. Could you break it down for us?
Johnston: It’s not hard to explain. I felt like LJ and Jeremiah felt comfortable because they were two heterosexual men and they were uncomfortable with me. Honestly, that’s just what I felt. And they went with the two weak girls who were not playing the game. I came on “Survivor,” day one I was playing the game. So, LJ and Jeremiah were not only threatened that I could play a social game, but I was physical and I could survive. They were immediately threatened by that. They ostracized Morgan, so I went to Morgan because maybe we could use her bosoms to get someone else. But it didn’t work, because I don’t think those guys are interested in bosoms…if you know what I mean.
Holmes: Oh, I do. Was there anything specific that they did that made you feel like your sexual orientation was an issue for them?
Johnston: Being out there on the island you could definitely feel it. Or, maybe they wanted to stay away from it for other reasons. (Laughs)

Holmes: It seemed like Jeremiah was considering flipping to you and Morgan. Was that ever a realistic scenario?
Johnston: Absolutely, I just think that Jeremiah is not smart enough to think on his own. I felt like LJ beat it into his head. I don’t think Jeremiah can process that LJ is a huge threat. So, why keep him? But Jeremiah is used to cutting lawns and taking pictures, so he couldn’t process what was going on. I don’t fault Jeremiah for that. He doesn’t understand the game too well.

Holmes: LJ was selected as the leader on day one. Did he maintain that role once you got to the beach?
Johnston: He definitely did. He wanted to make himself dominant for those girls who were very weak so he could seem like a leader. I think what surprised him is, I was a leader as well. I was doing a lot of things around camp, I held my own in the challenges. I was funny to be around at camp. So, I think LJ was so threatened by  me.

Holmes: What was your relationship with Alexis like?
Johnston: On the island, we got along well. Everyone, for the most part, got along. However, when it comes to strategic moves, I know who’s talking to me and who is not. I know who’s a pawn, and who’s just a number. And I felt like Alexis was just numbers to them.

Holmes: The Brains Tribe had a titanic meltdown last week. Did you have any idea how bad it was over there with J’Tia dumping the rice?
Johnston: We did not know how bad it was. But, when we would come to the challenges we could see in their eyes that it wasn’t going well. We didn’t know how bad until last week. They looked drained.

Holmes: Did Morgan tell you about the immunity idol clue?
Johnston: I don’t think we needed to have that conversation. When we walked up on the beach it was pretty obvious what was going on. We just knew, “Why are you coming out of the water looking like a ‘Baywatch’ hottie?” We never had that conversation because I didn’t want to pressure her.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Now, I know this is going to be hard for you because you don’t remember their names, but let’s start with Morgan.
Johnston: Hottie Ba-tottie.
Holmes: LJ?
Johnston: Horse whisperer.
Holmes: Alexis?
Johnston: Bootie shaker.
Holmes: Jeremiah?
Johnston: Dummy.
Holmes: Jefra?
Johnston: Who’s that?

Holmes: What’s your takeaway from this experience?
Johnston: Growing up in Philadelphia being a gay, black man, I definitely was not always so secure with myself. But like I said at Tribal Council, the last couple of years of my life I’ve just been so proud. Just taking my life by the horns. So “Survivor” confirmed that for me. Everything I knew about myself; that I’m amazing, I’m smart, I’m talented, I’m good-looking, I’m funny…coming on “Survivor” confirmed it. And moving forward I’ve got a lot of good things coming up. Being on that island, I smelled so funky, I never want to smell that funky again. I went back to Philly and I started my own fragrance company.  Fragrances by Brice Izyah will be available this May.

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

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ Episode 2 Recap: Cops Rock

March 5, 2014

'Survivor: Cagayan' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to be for all sorts of “Survivor: Cagayan” back-stabbin’, torch-snuffin’ fun. On Mondays we’ll have Power Rankings with “Blood vs. Water” competitor Ciera Eastin, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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Last Week: Morgan proved to be a good liar, David and Garrett were booted with votes that came down to the wire, and J’Tia threw her tribe’s rice away.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Appari Tribe (wearing orange)
Cliff – Former NBA Star, 46
Lindsey – Hairstylist, 29
Sarah – Police Officer, 29
Tony – Police Officer, 39
Trish – Pilates Trainer, 48
Woo – Martial Arts Instructor, 29

The Luzon Tribe (wearing green)
J’Tia – Nuclear Engineer, 30
Kassandra – Attorney, 41
Latasha – Accountant, 37
Spencer – Economics Student, 21

The Solana Tribe (wearing purple)
Alexis – Student, 21
Brice – Social Worker, 27
Jefra – Miss Kentucky Teen USA, 22
Jeremiah – Model, 34
LJ – Horse Trainer, 34
Morgan – Ex-NFL Cheerleader, 21

The party kicks off after last week’s Tribal Council. Spencer’s mind is blown that the ladies chose the great rice liberator over Garrett. You and me both, buddy.

J’Tia says the Brains tribe is a disaster, but it’s entertaining. That might be the first logical thing she’s said all season.

Meanwhile over at Brawnyville, Tony admits to Sarah that he’s a cop. This is enough to get her to align with him. He tells Sarah that they should team up with Lindsey and Cliff as “Cops R Us.” Eh…I don’t love the name, but it’s catchier than “Cops, Forwards/Centers, Hairdresses R Us.”

However, we later learn that Tony is feeding Sarah false information about things he has overheard Lindsey and Cliff saying. For someone who’s mega-perceptive, Sarah seems to buy right into Tony’s lie.

Then the rain starts. And holy cow is it no joke. Tony says it’s what he envisions hell to be like. A rainy jungle? Has he ever seen a cartoon?

Things are even less cheery over at the Beauty Shop. Jefra is not dealing with the weather or her prune hands very well. She’s also not dealing well with helping to build the shelter.

Later on, LJ wanders out to where Morgan was caught looking for the immunity idol. He searches around a bit and…finds himself an idol. Way to be, LJ.

Tree mail shows up, saying the players will be “mazed and confused.” Spencer quickly deduces that there will be a maze. That’s why he’s on the Brains tribe.

Latasha wants to practice immunity challenge techniques, but everyone else has other ideas. Tasha makes it a point to tell Spencer that he should want to win immunity more than anyone. Subtle.

Immunity Challenge Time: Tribe members will use buckets to toss water to each other. The last person will use the water to fill a container that is attached to a teeter-totter. Once the container is full, the teeter will totter (or something like that) and release a ball. They’ll then use the ball in a super-cool swiveling maze. First two tribes to complete the maze will win immunity. The winning tribe will also win blankets, pillows, and a tarp. While the second-place tribe will just win a tarp.

Lindsey and Tony will sit for the Brawnies. Jefra and Alexis will sit for the Beauties.

The challenge starts off and the Brain tribe immediately falls behind. I hope Russell Swan is laughing somewhere.

The Beauty tribe is the first to release their ball, they’re followed by Team Brawn. Jeremiah, LJ, Woo, and Cliff all pull puzzle duty.

Eventually Kass and Spencer join the fun.

Woo and Cliff figure out the puzzle quickly and win immunity.

It’s neck and neck between the Beauties and the Brains, but the Brains finally live up to their name and complete the maze.

Back at camp, Tony again digs through the reward to find the immunity clue. Seriously, way to go, Tony. However, I wonder if it’d be better for him to leave the clue there and pay attention to who finds it. If Sarah finds it and she doesn’t share it, can she be trusted?

Later, Sarah tries out the hammock and it promptly falls apart. Well, they didn’t have a nuclear engineer to set it up.

Politicking around Beauty Town starts off with LJ informing us that Brice and Morgan are on the outs. He wants to target Brice because he seems like more of a threat. Also, voting out Morgan would make me super sad.

Jeremiah tells Brice about LJ’s plan and Brice tries to point the vote toward Alexis. Wait, that’d make me extra super sad.

Then, Morgan approaches Jefra and tells her that Jeremiah wants to get rid of LJ. OK, that’d make me less sad.

Later on, Alexis pitches the idea of splitting the votes in case Brice or Morgan has the idol. Jeremiah likes this, because he’s considering flipping and voting for Alexis. Dude, don’t. It’s way too soon. There’s no reason to be the target of two members of your tribe.

That night at Tribal Council, Probst breaks out some algebra saying how fire = your life.

Brice is psyched to be on the Beauty tribe because he’s a butterfly that comes “out of a caterpillar.” I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.

Jefra thinks the rain killed the tribe’s momentum because nobody was talking strategy before it starting pouring. Oh sweetie, they were.

Brice doesn’t like that Alexis has never talked strategy with him. Good point. He also doesn’t think she’s pulling her own weight.

Brice says there’s “talk of the town” that Morgan could have the idol because she got to the camp first.

Jeremiah says he knows where the vote is going and it’s going to suck.

Voting Time: Morgan votes for Alexis, Alexis votes for Brice, LJ votes for Morgan, and the rest of the votes are lost to the magic of editing.

J-Pro does his thing with the votes.  He returns and we’ve got one vote for Alexis, one vote for Brice, one vote for Morgan, one vote for Alexis, one vote for Brice, and one vote for Morgan…a tie.

Voting Time Again: No votes are shown.

J-Pro tallies yet again. We’ve got one vote for Brice and the third person to be voted out of “Survivor: Cagayan” is…Brice.

Sorry, Brice. Back into the caterpillar.

Verdict: This season continues at a solid pace. Interesting players, awesome challenges, and no tribe is getting the Matsing treatment. Good times.

Who’s Going to Win? Cops R Us is looking good, but Tony’s got to keep track of the lies he’s telling Sarah.

Power Rankings Results: Ciera Eastin had Brice in spot 10, I had him in spot 12. So, the current score is Team Ciera 10, Team Gordon 12.

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

Ciera Eastin Accepts the ‘Survivor: Cagayan’ Power Rankings Challenge

March 4, 2014

Ciera Eastin (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to be for all sorts of “Survivor: Cagayan” back-stabbin’, torch-snuffin’ fun. On Mondays we’ll have Power Rankings with “Blood vs. Water” competitor Ciera Eastin, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the two players will earn. For example, if Woo is voted out this week, Ciera will receive 7 points and Gordon will receive 2 points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Cagayan” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Ciera’s Score = 0

Any advice for Ciera? Drop her a line on Twitter: @cieraeastin

Gordon’s Score = 0

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

 1. Sarah – I love this girl so far. She performed great in the challenges and even pulled out the puzzle skills saving her tribe from Tribal Council. She obviously has great intuition and awareness to recognize that Tony is a fellow police officer. She might need to tone it down moving forward… maybe pull a Tyson Apostle and fake an injury early on to make her not too large of a threat.   1. Sarah – Blam! She’s in the heart of the dominant alliance on the dominant tribe, she killed that puzzle, and she got a memorable quote when she said she should’ve been on the Brains tribe. Love her. Wait, scratch that…LOVE HER.
  2. Cliff – My Rip City blood runs deep for Cliff Robinson. Since my state of Oregon and the Portland Trail Blazers love Cliff Robinson, I do too!!! Not to mention he obviously handles his own physically and seems to be even a social threat according to my girl Sarah. I loved the bromance between him and Woo, but he can’t put all his eggs in Woo’s basket, he needs to start working the rest of the brawn tribe or he could be an early boot.
  2. Woo – Why’s Woo so high on this list? Did he have a strong first episode? Not necessarily, but he’s harmless and well-liked. He should be super safe until the merge.
  3. Alexis – This girl is really using all the cards that she was dealt. She is using her good looks and her sweet personality to charm the men, and she’s also smart enough to know a girl’s got to have her BFF. Keeping Jefra close is a good move for her because not only do you need numbers this early on, but you don’t want the guys forming an alliance and getting rid of the women (trust me).
  3. Latasha – Well Latasha, you’re the big winner from last week’s Brain tribe disaster. J’Tia super owes you, Kassandra is sticking with you, and Spencer desperately needs you.  You’re in the best situation on the worst tribe. Kinda like being the smartest person in remedial math. It’s good, but I wouldn’t brag about it.

 4. Latasha – LOVED her desire to actually play the game!!! She made the right move keeping J’Tia over Garrett at this point, but being aligned with a loose cannon like J’Tia could bite her in the butt down the road.   4. Cliff – I think more people would be willing to believe that I’m an eighteen-year NBA veteran than would believe that Cliff is in marketing. Luckily for him, nobody seemed too offended by his ill-advised ruse.

 5. Spencer – I was pleasantly surprised by Spencer. Watching his pre-game interviews I really did not expect a whole lot from this guy, but so far he’s shown he can lay low, stay cool, and let J’Tia and Garrett make all the dumb moves. If he can get in with the girls this week I could see him making it far into the game.   5. Jeremiah – It’s tough to tell what’s going on with the Beautiful People. Will Jeremiah be drawn into a Brice-facilitated showmance with Morgan? If so, could you blame him? If not, does he pair with LJ and Alefra? Too soon to tell, but either way he’ll be here next week.
  6. Jefra – Jefra almost seemed like the black sheep of the Beauty tribe to me… I’m not sure why… and I could be speaking too early, but it was refreshing to see a girl being a girl’s girl vs. a guy’s girl. Like I said I hope her and Alexis hold their own… but we’ll see…
  6. Alexis – Again, not enough information to know what’s going on with the Beauties. Best for Alexis to see where the Morgan/LJ feud ends up and side with the winner.
  7. Woo – I don’t really have a whole lot to say about Woo… I like him and I am really rooting for him but I haven’t seen much strategy from him yet. If he just sticks to Uncle Cliffy and doesn’t start expanding his relationships he will be an early boot like Cliff.   7. Jefra – See Alexis.
 8. Morgan – This girl really surprised me. Within the first 5 minutes of the episode when she was almost caught looking for the idol I thought this chick was screwed for sure, but she thought quick and covered her tracks well. Kudos for that, Morgan. She’s definitely not going anywhere this week but if I were her I would start getting in with those ladies.  8. Tony – Sarah’s claim that you were a police officer was so weirdly specific that you probably should have just owned it. But, you did a fantastic job sniffing out the clue and locating the idol. It might not be the worst idea to use it to try to buy some allies.
 9. Tony – The decision to tell people you’re a construction worker and not a police officer was so pointless in my mind… it’s not like you’re Batman and you want to lay low and be Bruce Wayne…you’re a police officer. Not only that, you’re risking a lot considering you are with these people for possibly 39 days. Chances are you’re going to slip up and have to cover your lies. In the game of “Survivor” that’s just one more lie to worry about.   9. Lindsey – So, you’re in with the cool kids at the Brawn tribe, but you’re not doing enough work to get Trish off of your case. Might need to step it up a bit if you’re going to stick around.
 10. Brice – Brice showed he is aware of his surroundings, which sounds so easy, but early in the game when you’re getting to know people it’s easy to think the game hasn’t started. You’re busy just building your shelter and getting to know each other. He saw people pairing up and decided to get a pair of his own. I saw some over strategizing though, if he doesn’t reel that in he will be an early boot.   10. Kassandra – Tough call for you last week. You decided to keep J’Tia so you could be the #2 person in your tribe’s dominant alliance. However, that tribe is going to be decimated the next time immunity is up for grabs. You’d better hope John Kirhoffer has lined up a Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit challenge next.
 11. Jeremiah – Simple country boy with good looks is my kind of guy. With a good alliance he could be the one to beat. I put him this low because I don’t really have too much of an opinion on him yet.  11. Trish – Oh Trish, you came off way passive aggressive with your comment to Lindsey last week. And it seems like she’s got more friends around camp than you do. It’ll be bad news for you if the Brains tribe ever figures out how to complete a puzzle.
 12. LJ – He really rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t like how he talked about Morgan and he came off super cocky to me. Cockiness can be one of the BIGGEST mistakes you make in this game. I hope Alexis and Jefra use him for votes and then toss him to the side. He is safe this week, and I hope he redeems himself.  12. Brice – Brice the puppet master, who woulda thunk it? The first vote the Beauty tribe has to make should be an interesting one. The question is; has Brice successfully set himself up as the silent power behind Morgan’s maneuvering?
 13. Lindsey – I really loved this girl in her preseason interviews, and I am still hoping she pulls it together. Not helping out around camp is an obvious no-no. She could be in trouble because she seemed to have an attitude and maybe even a little lazy?  13. Morgan – Slick move by Morgan with her lie about the decision she had to make. And with Garrett gone, the only way it can bite her is if Trish says something. Now she’s moving on to getting revenge on LJ. The Brains tribe meltdown should work in her favor, as the other tribes might be more likely to get rid of their stronger players.
 14. Trish – I feel like these people are making some of the most obvious mistakes ever and Trish is another example of one. Calling Lindsey out for not helping out around camp was not smart. Even if she wasn’t helping it is too early in the game to start making enemies. She clearly feels the need to speak her mind and that could get her sent home if the Brawn tribe loses.  14. LJ – David made the mistake of not immediately making peace with the person he sent to camp. LJ needs to learn from that. It may sound weird, but you’re the old guy on a young tribe. You need to get on Morgan’s good side quickly.
 15. J’Tia – She showed signs of being a little unstable. She made so many bad choices so early on. Her only good choice was aligning with Tasha. One thing I hope she learned is that the game is not over until your torch is snuffed. Crazy things can happen at Tribal Council. She gave up so fast to me, throwing the rice in the fire was a sign of defeat, when she should have been making things happen to save her spot in the game, not pissing everyone off.  15. Spencer – You’re down, but you’re not out. If you’ve got the chops you claim to have, you’ll be able to convince Kass and Latasha that J’Tia is simply too unhinged to drag to the end.
 16. Kassandra – I would be very surprised if the Brains won this week, and if they lose I think Kass is the next to go. I really appreciated her sticking with the girls, “GIRL POWER.” But I HATED that she told J’Tia that she may be the next to go. Survivor 101, you never tell the person being voted out they are the next to go. That could have really blown up in her face. Also I believe Spencer has shown way more game than her and the Brains need a guy for the challenges, and Kass is just dead weight.
 16. J’Tia – Wow…that was just…wow…I can’t even…like, seriously…can we all agree that…I mean…I just…wow.

Don’t miss “Survivor: Cagayan” this Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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

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