Archive for December, 2014

‘Survivor’ Castaway Baylor – ‘(Reed’s) an Actor and He Has to Have His Moment’

December 22, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” finale coverage with “all the fixin’s.” You’ll be able to watch every episode and read interviews with the final five. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

MEGA IMPORTANT NOTE: Check out the three members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

Gordon Holmes: Reed’s speech was certainly unique. Put me in your shoes as someone is just gleefully bashing the most important woman in your life.
Baylor Wilson: I’ll tell you what; it was definitely life changing and a shock.  I’ve never had to be the one sitting there watching my mom get bullied, verbally abused, right in front of me. I really went into shock and was having a panic attack. At that moment I was crying really hard and I had to leave the set for a minute. Jeff came up and comforted me. And then I had to go back there and sit with him. And then I had to go back to Ponderosa with Reed and my mom. It was not ideal at all. Looking back now, that’s who Reed is. He’s an actor and he has to have his moment.
Holmes: At that point you’d been at Ponderosa with Reed for a few days. Did you have any idea that this was coming?
Wilson: No. I knew my mom was going to get blasted a little bit from these guys that didn’t like her gameplay and weren’t respectful to her at all. But, I did not know Reed was going to prepare a speech and practice it the entire time until that night.
Holmes: Reed accused your mother of giving you extra rice and making sure you had the best place to sleep in the shelter. Is any of that true?
Wilson: What’s funny is, my mom gave everyone extra rice. She barely ate herself. I think his perception was a little bit flawed.

Holmes: I’m not sure it’s right to refer to you and your mother as villains, but there was definitely a negative sentiment around you two. Is that something that palpable while you were out there or is just now coming to light now that you’re watching the show?
Wilson: Oh no, I felt like I was hated from the get go. But I don’t know why my mom would seem villain-like at all. We’re very positive people. But, we don’t take BS very well. So, it was hard for me to be that target that people wanted out all the time. I have a great group of friends. I’m the life of the party, leader of the group. I had to shut my mouth out there and take the punches.

Holmes: When Natalie blindsided you, my jaw hit the floor.
Wilson: (Laughs) Mine too!
Holmes: You’re reaction was what I like to see; it hurts and it sucks, but well played. What were you thinking when she played the idol for Jaclyn?
Wilson: I had no idea she was going to do that. I figured she was going to play it for me or my mom. But, when she said Jaclyn’s name, I knew there was a twist. And I knew Natalie was very hungry for that million dollars. That’s what’s so cool about her, she’s so consistent and strong. She’s a crossfit trainer and it really shows. She was all the way until the end. When she voted me out I was like, “Dang girl, you’ve got this.” Even Jaclyn said, “Natalie is here to play.”

Holmes: One of the early feuds was between you and your mother and Kelley and Dale. I believe Dale and your mother had a tiff over food distribution.
Wilson: Honestly, the only thing I can say about that is Kelley and Dale are the opposite personality of me and my mom. They’re very…hermit…kind of people. They like to keep to themselves. I never connected with them on anything. The life that they live is very different from my mom. That’s what’s so interesting about “Survivor,” is you take people from all walks of life. People that you don’t understand. Like I truly do not understand how Dale lives in such a small town and never leaves. We just didn’t get along.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Josh.
Wilson: Oh my gosh…he’s the strongest player besides Jeremy.
Holmes: Natalie?
Wilson: Funny and a mess.
Holmes: Keith?
Wilson: (Laughs) Coon ass. He’s from Louisiana.
Holmes: Fair enough. Wes?
Wilson: Wes is like my mean older brother.
Holmes: Alec?
Wilson: That family friend that you hate and love, but he’s always there.
Holmes: Jon?
Wilson: Jon is like the really awesome big brother that I never had.
Holmes: Jeremy?
Wilson: One of the smartest guys I know.
Holmes: Jaclyn?
Wilson: Beautiful and underestimated.
Holmes: Reed?
Wilson: Reed is a professional actor.
Holmes: Let’s finish with some woman named Missy.
Wilson: Aww…mother dearest!
Holmes: (Laughs) See, but that’s like “Mommie Dearest.” That’s like “Wicked Stepmother.”
Wilson: No, no, that comes from her daughter who loves her.
Holmes: You need to rent “Mommie Dearest,” that is not a positive portrayal of motherhood.
Wilson: How about badass mama?
Holmes: That works. Much more positive.

Holmes: Like I said, there was a lot of negative sentiment toward you and your mother. What do you want the world to know about you two and your time out there that we might not have seen on TV.
Wilson: Me and my mom really had to go through this to completely heel from her third divorce. It was tough on her, but maybe tougher on me. I got really close to his kids. Our family was together for seven years. So, it was really tough to see another one fail. I guess out there we really got to hash it out in a weird way. We had a couple of conversations where we really talked about life. I got to see a different side of her. I got to see how strong she is. And I really respect her for all she’s been through.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

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‘Amazing Race’ Champs Amy & Maya: ‘(Jim) Didn’t Think We Were Worth Much’

December 22, 2014

'The Amazing Race' (CBS)

Note: XFINITY is the perfect pit stop for “Amazing Race” fans. You can watch every episode from this fun-filled season online. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for immediate updates.

Maya Warren: I’m sorry, Gordon. My voice is shot. So, I apologize.
Gordon Holmes: Were you excited about some recent event? We’re you screaming in joy too much?
Warren: (Laughs) Yeah, I partied a bit too much and screamed a lot. I don’t sound very sexy.
Holmes: Well, I told CBS I only want to talk to people if they sound sexy.
Warren: (Laughs) Well physically speaking, yes. But vocally, no.
Holmes: OK, I’ll make an exception this time.

Holmes: Amy, let’s start with you. The delivery challenge really took it out of you physically. You thought you were done. When Phil told you to keep racing, was your first though, “Awesome!” or “Oh no.”?
Amy DeJong: First of all, I was shocked. I was standing there and I didn’t know what to say or do. I was wrecked physically. I was dead. But, I was so excited to still be in it. We did not see that final twist coming. Just to know that we were still in it was indescribable. I knew I had to suck it up.

Holmes: I know the final challenge always seems to involve some grand recap of the entire season. Had you two been taking notes and studying?
DeJong: We had notebooks that we took with us through the entire race. We were taking very diligent notes on every single thing that had happened. When we were on the last leg at the airport we made lists of all of the memory challenges that we thought could happen and studied them.
Warren: We actually thought it was going to be like an island or water challenge. In our notebooks we had little countries drawn, bodies of water, we probably went overboard.
DeJong: Capital cities…you name it. We were ready for that last challenge.

Holmes: Maya, you might be the best judge of this. How much time passed from when you arrived at that final challenge to when you left? Because Jim had said something about it feeling like four hours.
Warren: It probably took a little over an hour from the time we got there to when we got in the taxi to go to the finish line. It didn’t seem that long. I was talking to Jim and Adam. We knew at that point that Brooke and Rob were gone. We were just recapping the whole season and reminiscing. And we were encouraging our teammates.

Holmes: Well, now that you’ve got that big check and you can sit back and look at your future, any thoughts of giving up science for stuntwork?
Warren: (Laughs) Why can’t I do both?
Holmes: Follow your dreams, Maya.
Warren: I wanted to do that. I was saying, “I love heights!” And then you see me stuttering up there. I did that jump about five times, but the first time I did it I got whiplash and my neck was throbbing. Those mats don’t take your impact like the boxes do. When you jump on the boxes, they collapse on themselves. But, maybe I do have a future in that. It was pretty cool.

Holmes: What was the time difference from when you arrived at the mat and the dentists and the surfers arrived there?
DeJong: Between us and the dentists it was a little under an hour. And then the surfers it was like an hour and a half.
Warren: It was like an hour and twenty. The dentists were like 40ish. We had a huge lead over them. I would’ve paid to see Jim’s reaction of us getting in the car. I would’ve loved to have seen that. He didn’t think we were worth much on the race.
DeJong: And another thing with the challenge, it took like five minutes for them to get the crane with the clue. So, we knew even if Misti had finished immediately, that they’d still have to wait for it.
Warren: And, their taxi driver wasn’t as good as ours. They got lost on the way to the crate challenge which is how we got there at the same time as them. Adam and Bethany had taxi problems too.

Holmes: Everyone I talked to said Jim was a very intense, very competitive guy. I’d have to imagine he’s got to be thinking, “We would’ve won if the Candy Girls had been eliminated at final four.”
DeJong: Probably! (Laughs)
Warren: It’s like we said to Brooke, we don’t make the rules.  It was about racing with the best, we didn’t need to bring anyone down. So, he might be saying it, he might be invited back for All-Stars. But we won fair and square.
DeJong: And we did it with integrity. We didn’t backstab. We didn’t talk bad about others.

Holmes: I actually wanted to talk about that. The wrestlers really tried to throw you under the bus that one time where you had to go to the five different locations. What was it like to learn about that after the fact?
DeJong: We knew that they had lied to us. It just wasn’t going to do us any good to fight with them. We had to stay focused and it was a new leg. We learned from our mistakes, we couldn’t trust them anymore.
Warren: It was our mistake, but it made for some great television. I’m very gullible. I trust until you give me a reason not to. They gave us a reason.

Holmes: So now that you guys are co-millionaires, what’re the plans for the check?
Warren: For me, I’m going to invest the money, be smart with it. I may not be a stunt person, I may open up an ice cream shop.
DeJong: I’m not sure yet, but I still have years left till my PhD, but it’ll be nice to not have to eat Ramen noodles. I have a lot of time yet where I’m making grad stipend money.
Holmes: Well, with my money I’m going to Maya’s ice cream shop.
Warren: Woop woop! (Laughs) We’re going to have “Amazing Race” inspired flavors.
Holmes: Like Keoghan chip?
Warren: Probably something with Detours, traveling the world…hopefully I’ll have an ice cream that looks like the world with blue and green and a little bit of white. We’ll see!

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

‘Survivor Castaway Keith – ‘It’s the Black Widows, They’re Gonna Kill Me’

December 21, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” finale coverage with “all the fixin’s.” You’ll be able to watch every episode and read interviews with the final five. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

MEGA IMPORTANT NOTE: Check out the three members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

Gordon Holmes: Last night Jaclyn wins final four immunity and your pitch to her was to target Missy over Natalie. It seem to me like Natalie was a much bigger threat.
Keith Nale: I was thinking, well I probably wasn’t thinking…
Holmes: (Laughs)
Nale: I thought Missy was going to get some sympathy votes out there. But looking back at it now, Natalie was the player. I thought I had Jaclyn, it was another lie, but I thought I had her thinking let’s get Missy out. But, it was a long shot. I was out there with four women, so what are you going to do? They took it to me.

Holmes: Natalie saved your bacon there with that Alec vote. Did that cause you to have any loyalty toward her?
Nale: Oh yeah. Natalie saved me a couple of times. Natalie was a player. I can’t take anything away from her. She knew the game. And she did tell me, “They want me to vote for you, but I’m going to vote for Alec.” I don’t know what her reasoning was, but I was fine with that. It gives me one more chance.

Holmes: During the “Stick to the Plan” Tribal Council, when Jon played his idol, you or Wes were going home no matter what. Would there have been any way to save the idol?
Nale: You’ve got about five seconds to make that decision. When Jon played his, I turned to Wes and said, “We’ve got to do something. I can give it to you.” I was going to give it to him cause he can run faster and jump higher. I’ll take one for the home team. Or give it to Wesley and he doesn’t have to play it. We were in a bad way right there. But, he said, “That’s your idol.” He gave me the go-ahead. But, I never should’ve said, “Stick to the plan.” What in the world was I thinking? But, Reed was hammering on me pretty good. And in Louisiana you don’t let people hammer on you like that.
Holmes: And Reed is a professional actor.
Nale: He’s a nut too! He’s good at the game.
Holmes: There must’ve been some redemption when you blindsided Jon and you had people digging into you and you stuck with the plan.
Nale: (Laughs) Isn’t that funny? Natalie was ramrodding this show. She said we’re gonna vote for Jon and we’re gonna do this, this, and this. I said, “Hey, I’m slick with that.” Jon didn’t see that coming, so he went to the house with an idol.
Holmes: What you should’ve done is turn to Jaclyn at the final four and say, “Jaclyn, stick with the plan!”
Nale: (Laughs) That would’ve been slick! Golly! When they sent Jon to the house I said, “Man, it’s the black widows, they’re gonna kill me.” I was happy there for a while, I said, “Rooster in a hen house. One rooster and four hens.” That’d be all fine and good if we were chickens. But I knew I was doomed. I knew I had to win out.

Holmes: After the premiere they showed a montage of moments from the season, and there was something where you said something along the lines of “I made the biggest mistake in ‘Survivor’ history” or something like that. I don’t think we ever heard you say that. What was it referring to?
Nale: You’re right. But unless they were talking about the “stick to the plan” deal. It was a stupid move. But, I think there might’ve been some worse than that through the years. But, it was probably top five.
Holmes: But you think that’s what you were referring to with that quote.
Nale: That’s probably it. I can’t think of nothing else that I did really dumb.

Holmes: Now that you’ve had a Nicaraguan massage, is that part of your daily regimen? Sneaking out to the spa?
Nale: (Laughs) Hey, I’m telling you, Gordon…I liked that. Maybe not daily, but I might have to slip off so nobody can see me. A guy from Louisiana slipping into some spa? The hardest part is they fed me so much and they had me laying on my belly. That was the pain you were hearing me groaning and everything.

Holmes: When you head into this adventure, it isn’t as simple as, “We’re just gonna dump 18 people into the wilderness.” There’s immunizations, and camera people, and a million other things. What about the process surprised you the most?
Nale: I’ve watched it. I’m not the superfan. But I was thinking these people are really in the bush. But, I’m an outdoors guy. I’d rather sit in the backyard than on the couch. I’ll hook up a TV in the backyard. Me and Wesley were thinking, “We got this.” But, it’s something you can’t practice. You can train, you can treadmill, but the food was the big deal. You’re going down on day one.

Holmes: What were you thinking during Reed’s big speech toward Missy?
Nale: Oh gosh. I remembered that from back, and Reed’s a good speaker. I think maybe he didn’t like Baylor and he was taking it out on Missy. But, he’s a Broadway guy. Dancing and floating around. Words just float off his tongue, unlike me.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. We’ll start with Josh.
Nale: Josh he was a player.
Holmes: Reed?
Nale: (Laughs) Reed was a speaker!
Holmes: Jeremy?
Nale: I like my brother firefighter, but he was a big threat.
Holmes: Jon?
Nale: Attitude? Mr. Michigan.
Holmes: Jaclyn?
Nale: Miss America.
Holmes: Alec?
Nale: Alec’s a good ol’ boy.
Holmes: Natalie?
Nale: Sly and cunning.
Holmes: Missy?
Nale: Kind of a coaster.
Holmes: Baylor?
Nale: (Laughs) Maybe a brat.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Wes.
Nale: Likable, naïve. (Laughs) He was a pretty good player.

Holmes: I’m watching this final immunity and there’s a firepole. How is that fair?
Nale: Golly, I said, “I got this!” But, I never made it to the firepole the second time. I liked it, it was pretty fun. But you saw Jaclyn needs a little practice.
Holmes: You need to take her down to the station and have her do a few reps.
Nale: (Laughs) She hit hard!

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

‘Survivor’ Runner-Up Missy – ‘Does Baylor Act Bratty Sometimes? Yes.’

December 19, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” finale coverage with “all the fixin’s.” You’ll be able to watch every episode and read interviews with the final five. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

MEGA IMPORTANT NOTE: Check out the three members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

Gordon Holmes: Reed’s speech was not subtle.
Missy Payne: It was completely out of left field and totally inappropriate. I know in my heart that Reed is a performer. That’s what he does best. I’m pretty sure he rehearsed that monologue probably in front of  a mirror. So, that was his big spotlight. I know on a human level that if he knew more about my personal life that he wouldn’t have labeled me like that. He still would’ve attacked me because he knew I could handle it. But, it was totally uncalled for. And to watch my kid be ripped apart was horrible.
Holmes: One of the things he accused you of was giving Baylor extra rice and saving her better sleeping arrangements. Was that accurate?
Payne: No. Like I was in control of the rice and where people slept? Give me a break. What’s ironic about this is Reed ate the most of anybody. And Reed slept in the middle of our shelter. He spread out and slept like a baby. I feel like we call people out for things we do.

Holmes: One of the things that frustrated me this season was when Reed called Baylor a brat and you jumped to her defense. As someone watching from the comfort of my couch, it doesn’t make sense to attack someone who seems destined for the jury. When that happened, were you thinking about the game at all, or did you just click into mom mode?
Payne: Of course the mama bear came out, that’s my kid. Does Baylor act bratty sometimes? Yes. I’m not going to lie to you. Every kid acts bratty. But, it’s so hard to look back and go “I wish I would’ve.” Because at that point Reed was so mad that I wouldn’t align with him. He tried so many different angles. The problem is; he was so inconsistent that you couldn’t trust him. He admitted it.
Holmes: Have you and he had a chance to mend fences?
Payne: We’ve talked a couple of times. Not about Baylor being a brat or the speech, because in the heat of the moment he believes it. I have a lot of respect for his talents, but I’m not going to send him a Christmas card. Everyone else in the cast, we’ll all be in touch. But, I don’t foresee that happening with Reed.

Holmes: A lot of the exit press sentiment toward you and Baylor was very negative. Were you aware of that during the game?  I wouldn’t say you two were villains because you weren’t making excessively underhanded moves. But did you anticipate how you were going to come off?
Payne: I think for me as a mom, nobody wants mom to be mad at you. Everyone opened up to me because I was that mom figure. And I’m super human and I’m super compassionate. But in the game, they say, “How can you do that mom?” So, I don’t get the negative feelings toward Baylor and I. We’ve had tons of positive feedback and amazing fans. Our social media has been both ways. In my lifetime, I don’t think people really can fathom how people can always be happy, and Baylor and I always are. We share the truth and we’re pretty humble people. And I think Baylor got a bad rap because people forgot about how young she was. She’s 20. She’s a kid. Hindsight 20/20, I’d like to play the game without her. It’d be less weight to carry and I wouldn’t have to worry about people picking on my kid. It was hard.

Holmes: Julie seemed very turned off by your approach with her. What do you think happened there?
Payne: Julie came to me. I was being honest, I said, “Why don’t you wait?” We were literally going to Tribal. The timing for most of these people was horrible. I felt like I was reining in kids all the time. I meant what I said to her. Was she our number? Yes. Did it hurt our game? No. I don’t think she understood much about the game. I don’t think she was a player at all. So, I don’t know how I would’ve made that better. Would someone else say, “Julie, suck it up.”? I was the last person she spoke to, so maybe that’s why she said that. But, I think perception is reality. So, maybe she thought I was going behind her back. But as you’re watching these edits, you get what you see with me. I’m not a liar. Julie’s a great friend, so I don’t know if you talked to her now that she’d say if I was believable or not.

Holmes: Did you and Baylor ever discuss one of you stepping down, so there’d be a definite vote and an advocate on the jury?
Payne: Absolutely. Baylor was going to step down because it was smarter for us to split up. It was concocted by Jon. But, as we got further in, Baylor was like, “Wait a minute, I want to go to final three. I played the game too.” So, at that point it got a little fuzzy. She was going to go to the jury so she could campaign for me.

Holmes: Natalie seemed like a slam dunk as a winner. How hard was the push to get rid of her at final four?
Payne: Jaclyn came to me, again, let’s talk about timing, we were literally leaving for Tribal. So, maybe if we talked about it in the game before.  But after my injury I wasn’t able to go off and talk strategy. Jaclyn came to me moments before we left and I said, “Jaclyn! Terrible timing!”
Holmes: So, your goal should be to get back on the show with cast members with better timing and two healthy feet.
Payne: Exactly! (Laughs)

Holmes: Word association time. Let’s start with Josh.
Payne: Josh…determined. He was a go-getter.
Holmes: Kelley?
Payne: She was wound up super tight. She was so serious.
Holmes: Natalie?
Payne: I think Natalie was a super tough athlete. The strongest woman I’ve ever met. Fun, funny, and charming.
Holmes: Keith?
Payne: Good ol’ boy. Can do anything in the wilderness. A gentleman. Not a great game player.
Holmes: Dale?
Payne: Oh…he’s the smartest man in the room and the expert on every topic. Not a great listener.
Holmes: Jon?
Payne: A very sweet young man. Super compassionate. Kind, giving, loyal, with an age-appropriate amount of arrogance.
Holmes: Jaclyn?
Payne: She had a sense of insecurity that would drive her decisions and cause a lot of paranoia.
Holmes: Reed?
Payne: (Laughs)
Holmes: You knew it was coming.
Payne: I knew. I think Reed is an unbelievable actor. I don’t think he is very genuine. It’s hard to figure out what’s real.
Holmes: Let’s finish off with Baylor.
Payne: Fun-loving, go-getter, a little bit of a wild buck. Sometimes needs some reining in.
Holmes: I did that exact same exercise with Baylor and for you she said, “Mother Dearest.” I’m thinking she’s never seen the movie “Mommie Dearest.”
Payne: (Laughs)
Holmes: Are you going after Baylor with wire hangers? Cause that’s terrible.
Payne: (Laughs) Yup, just out me here and explain how I became the wicked stepmother.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ Runner-Up Jaclyn – ‘………..’

December 19, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” finale coverage with “all the fixin’s.” You’ll be able to watch every episode and read interviews with the final five. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

MEGA IMPORTANT NOTE: Check out the three members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

Gordon Holmes: I gave your fiancé the comparison that he’s basically the trusting Sultan and you’re like Jasmine who knows that Jafar is up to no good.
Jaclyn Schultz: Totally. Jon’s a trusting guy, and I have a hard time trusting anybody. I’m always thinking, “What’s your ulterior motive?”
Holmes: Well, they say that the best couples have alternate strengths and weaknesses.
Schultz: We notice that a lot. He’s a more social player, he can make friendships with lots of people. And I’m more reserved off the bat. We definitely fill the voids.

Holmes: So, Natalie’s move at final five to save you bleeeew my mind.
Schultz: (Laughs) Me too.
Holmes: When she approached you with that, did you believe it could really happen?
Schultz: I knew I was at the bottom. I packed my stuff to go home. I talked to her and said, “Whatever you want to do, I’m down. Use my vote.” So, she came up to me ten minutes before Tribal and she was like, “Put Baylor’s name down.” And I said, “Why?! Are you and Keith voting for Baylor?” And she would not tell me. I had no idea she had an idol. But when that happened I was like, “Dang!”

Holmes: What’s it like for Probst to come out with an urn that you’re sure is filled with votes with your name and you get to go back to camp afterward?
Schultz: It was awesome. At that point it’s like, “One more day!” Because I can win the final immunity challenge. I have a shot now.

Holmes: At final four you got rid of Keith, which made sense because he had the underdog story and he had friends on the jury. But, Natalie’s resume of big, bold moves was really impressive. Walk me through that decision.
Schultz: Well, when I was in the game I didn’t realize Natalie was playing as hard as she was. Watching the edit I’m like, “Wow, girl. You totally got us.” I knew Keith would have the guys’ vote because they were all in his alliance and everybody loves Keith. So, I knew he was a shoo-in. Thinking of every option, I thought Natalie was a threat too, but I thought Natalie was my best shot. I didn’t think I had a huge shot at winning.

Holmes: I talked to Alec about the situation where Jon was at Exile. He said that he’s not a sexist person, but he’s not going to sit around and be quiet if someone isn’t pulling their weight. Were you doing enough around camp?
Schultz: That was the first time I’d heard anything. I did pull my weight. Nobody complained or anything. So, when he said that it totally threw me off guard. I was doing as much as Natalie. I’m up doing stuff. I’m getting firewood, I’m getting water. It threw me for a loop.

Holmes: So what happened on the final challenge with the fireman’s pole. It looked like it really hurt.
Schultz: Oh my gosh. It was wood. So when you slide down I was getting splinters and my reaction was to let go. Which, unfortunately means you fall.
Holmes: How unfair is it that there’s a fireman’s pole in a challenge with a fireman?
Schultz: (Laughs) I know!

Holmes: When Missy blindsided Jon, it was hard to get a feel about how you felt about her afterward.
Schultz: I was totally blindsided. Missy and Jon connected on like a religious, spiritual level. Talking about God all the time and she called him “Jon Jon” and he called her “Mom.” So, I was like, “OK, this is totally unshakable.” And I even said to Missy, “I know players in the past have used family as leverage or religion or God. But that isn’t gameplay to me, that’s real.” So, I was really hurt. And when I got back to camp that night it was a brawl and they were bashing Jon, saying, “Him praying before every challenge? That’s bullcrap. He’s the fakest person ever.” And I went in to defense mode. I don’t care about the million dollars. This is the man I’m spending the rest of my life with. This isn’t gameplay, it’s his character. So, that was…”OK, screw these girls. I don’t care if I’m voted out.”
Holmes: Jon seems like the real deal. Even when people were trying to vote him off, he seemed to appreciate the gamesmanship of it all.
Schultz: Yeah. People suck in this world and he’s just a good guy. It hurt. I think I take things a little more personally than Jon. Like when Reed tried to blindside Jon I was so mad and Jon was laughing.

Holmes: There was no chance for Jon to pass you the idol after he was blindsided?
Schultz: He slid it to me, but then production took it. He would’ve had to have given it to me before the votes were read.

Holmes: I’ve been a victim of the silent treatment a few times, but never with the stakes as high as a million dollars.
Schultz: (Laughs)
Holmes: And it’s easy to sit on my couch and be like, “Girl, you need to chill.” What was it like to watch that back?
Schultz: I was like “You didn’t even say anything. Why was I so mad?” But in the moment it was the cherry on top. The whole game, me battling for my voice to be heard. I’m making decisions on my own. And Jon saying, “I already knew that. “ And I was like, “What the hell! You’re saying this now too?” And I just lost it. Under the circumstances it was totally magnified.
Holmes: I’m always looking for ways to better understand the experience. So , I’d like to know what it’s like to get the silent treatment from a “Survivor” finalist.
Schultz: (Laughs) So, you don’t want me to talk.
Holmes: Right, starting now.
Schultz:
Holmes: Wow, that’s harsh. Coldblooded.
Schultz: I can go for like five hours. (Laughs)

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Alec.
Schultz: College bro.
Holmes: Reed?
Schultz: Great guy.
Holmes: Josh?
Schultz: Great guy.
Holmes: I’m sensing a theme. Jeremy?
Schultz: (Laughs) Um…a really good friend. I went to Boston and spoke at a children’s hospital and had dinner with Val and Jeremy. They’re just great people.
Holmes: Wes?
Schultz: Good ol’ boy.
Holmes: Keith?
Schultz: Reminds me of my dad.
Holmes: Natalie?
Schultz: Hilarious.
Holmes: Missy?
Schultz: Fake.
Holmes: Baylor?
Schultz: Spolied.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Jon.
Schultz: Marriage material.

Holmes: Reed’s speech…
Schultz: Oh my gosh, it was awesome.
Holmes: So you were ready to give high fives afterwards.
Schultz: Yeah, that was an incredible performance. During the game I didn’t see how she was treating people who weren’t in her alliance. So, it was almost out of left field. But after talking to Jeremy and Josh and Wes about all that, I was like, “Woooow.”

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

‘Amazing Race’ Host Phil Keoghan – ‘The Favorites Right Now Are the Dentists’

December 19, 2014

'The Amazing Race' (CBS)

Note: XFINITY is the perfect pit stop for “Amazing Race” fans. This Monday we’ll have an interview with the new “Amazing Race” champion. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for immediate updates.

Not many people know this, but “The Amazing Race” theme song has lyrics. It goes a little something like this…

“This race is…amazing!

See them race…amazing!”

There, now that’ll be stuck in your head tonight at 8 pm ET when you tune in to see the epic ending to the 25th season on CBS.

I had a chance to talk to the man who’s been there since day one, host Phil Keoghan, and asked him about the final four, Amy’s health, and how he feels about the show’s future…

Gordon Holmes: We’re heading into this finale and we’ve got four teams left. Put on your bookie hat, and tell me how you like each of these team’s chances.
Phil Keoghan: Well, based on their track records…I would say that the favorites right now are the dentists. They’ve won five legs. They’ve been attacking this race like a root canal. They’re going deep. They’ve got all their instruments out and their ready to inflict pain on the other racers. They want to win this bad and they think they deserve to win. I’d say the odds are in their favor.
Holmes: Good, I like the dentist analogy.
Keoghan: Then you have the most inspirational team with Adam and Bethany. They’ve had a very relaxed race. They seem to keep their cool like typical surfers. Everything is chill. They’ve brought that to the race and it’s worked for them very well. The pressure of a final challenge, we’ve seen the dentists and the other teams lose their composure, they seem to keep everything together.
Holmes: Who’s in third?
Keoghan: The wrestlers…they are very strong. Their strength and speed with which they move…their weakness is that they’re very flippant sometimes. They just charge in like a bull out of a gate without thinking things out too much. That could get them in trouble.
Holmes: And that leaves…
Keoghan: Yes, the least-favored to win would be the food scientists. I love these guys, but they’re the underdogs. Their strength is that they’re smart and Maya has so much energy. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone with as much energy as Maya.

Holmes: Why was the decision made to go with a final four and for them to keep on racing?
Keoghan: Just to throw them off their game. They’re expecting a final three and there’s been a final three for 24 seasons. The audience, looking at Twitter, they seem to like the idea.

Holmes: Was there any concern that Amy wasn’t going to be able to continue after how hard that delivery challenge was on her?
Keoghan: Yeah, there was. I knew they were OK because of the way the flights were going to be leaving after that stop heading back to America. I knew that there was a delay. It was a real concern. I pulled in a medic, we got her some hydration, we took her blood pressure, we looked at her vitals. We took our good old time. But, we were convinced that she was healthy and able to carry on.

Holmes: You’ve been doing something new this season that I really like where you’re doing a standup from inside the game. I think it’s really cool to have you explaining a challenge while a team runs by.
Keoghan: I also wanted to mix it up a bit. We always surprise people that we shoot 12 shows in 21 days. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but it’s been difficult to find the time to shoot what I need to shoot, then to be on the course as they’re coming through. I need to be ahead of the first team so we can drive the story forward. I think what people have liked about them is that it speaks to how the show is really shot as it’s happening. It’s not like, “Can you guys run back? I want to do one more take.” We’re catching them mid-race. It adds a different energy.
Holmes: It’s almost like a sideline commentator at a sporting event.
Keoghan: Well, what’s interesting is after all these years doing my introductions to the challenges, there are still people who ask if I go everywhere they go. Even though the shots show it. I think people disconnect that I’m actually there.
Holmes: They don’t green screen you in?
Keoghan: (Laughs) Well now people are saying, “Wow, you’re really on the course while they’re there.” And I have to say, “Yeah, I’ve always been on the course while they’re there.” We just shot a new season and we tried some new things again. But, I’m glad that you noticed that and appreciated it.

Holmes: OK, I said something nice, now I have to change the mood. How fair is it to have a surfing Fast Forward on a season with a pair of surfers?
Keoghan: Well, if you speak to anyone who does it, it’s different from regular surfing. One of our crew said it’s more like skateboarding than surfing. But, Adam and Bethany could have been eliminated in the first leg. They might have never gone for the Fast Forward. There’s always going to be the chance that something lends itself to a particular team.
Holmes: OK, but you have to promise me that when I go on the “Amazing Race” that there’s some kind of couch-sitting Fast Forward.
Keoghan: Yes, I’ve heard you’re the best at that.
Holmes: We all have our gifts.
Keoghan: The thing I love about the race is overall, it doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or a coal miner. At the end of the day you never know what you’re going to be doing or where you’re going to be doing it. You don’t know what skills are needed. Everything from milking a camel to walking on a tightrope. That, to me, is what makes it work.

Holmes: You’ve been there for all 25 seasons. What do you think you’re going to remember about this one when you look back at it when we hit season 50?
Keoghan: For me, I think it’ll be the way Bethany inspired our audience. I feel like she epitomizes the philosophy that I live by; no opportunity wasted. You focus on what you have and what you can do as opposed to what you don’t have and what you can’t do. She doesn’t talk about what she has. She doesn’t focus on the fact that she lost her arm. She wants to do something and she wants to do it well. It made our audience sit up and go, “Why am I talking about the fact that I’m short, or I can’t do this, when this woman is charging ahead and leading the way.”

Holmes: How do you feel about the future of “The Amazing Race.”
Keoghan: We’re still picking up audience members. And what I love now is that people are discovering the show and they’re going back and watching this body of work. It’s very addictive. If people sample episodes they’ll want to go back and watch more. So, be careful watching it, because it is addictive. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they’re new to the race and they’re going on binge-watching weekends. Which is crazy. There’s 25 seasons, close to a million racing miles.
Holmes: So there should be some kind of Surgeon’s General warning.
Keoghan: I think so. It could be hazardous to the life of your TV.
Holmes: And if you aren’t watching it with other people, it’s going to be hazardous to your social life.
Keoghan: It is a show that is about grandparents with grandkids and a broad range of demographics.
Holmes: My girlfriend and I will sit there and talk about which challenge we’d do, or which one of us would be better at the challenge. It’s like “Amazing Race” the home game.
Keoghan: I love that about our show. We’re blessed.

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

‘Survivor’ Champion Natalie – ‘If I Was Baylor I Would Have Punched (Reed)’

December 18, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” finale coverage with “all the fixin’s.” Starting Thursday, you’ll be able to watch every episode and read interviews with the final five. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

MEGA IMPORTANT NOTE: Check out the three members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

When a pair of twins plays “Survivor” and one is voted out first and the other wins the whole thing…I don’t feel so bad about how terrible my pre-season rankings are.

I spoke with the winning Twinnie the morning after her victory and have a chance to ask her about her big moves, missing her loved one, and Reed’s jaw-dropping speech…

Gordon Holmes: I was totally wrong. I thought Nadiya was going to win and you were going to be voted out first.
Natalie Anderson: (Laughs) Really?
Holmes: No. Nobody could’ve predicted one Twinnie going out first and the other winning.
Anderson: I know! It’s like Twinnie bookends.

Holmes: I have a theory that every season of “Survivor” is the product of the last season the cast saw before they went out. In your case, the last thing you saw was Tony being rewarded for making big moves in “Cagayan.”
Anderson:  Yeah. For my preshow interviews they asked which “Survivor” player you are most like, and I said Tony. I watched Tony and it was something that sticks with you, the way he played.  But, some of the (expletive deleted) he did was so reckless. I would never do some of the stuff he did. I took a lot from how Spencer played too. But Tony changed the way you look at “Survivor.” Do what you need to do and don’t be scared.

Holmes: I thought you were unbeatable against the final five if you could get to the end. But, going against Baylor and Missy seemed like a slam dunk.
Anderson: I had the option of going with Missy and Baylor, but it wasn’t a done deal because if I were them I wouldn’t take me to the final three. Now, I can’t assume the best, I have to assume the worst. They could say, “Forget Natalie, let’s go with Jaclyn.” I didn’t want to be greedy and try and get a unanimous win. Although, that seemed really attractive. I figured I could keep Missy as a shield and keep winning immunity. So, when Keith won it was a blessing in disguise because he was the perfect vote-off to get to the final three. If he wasn’t there I’d be exposed as the biggest threat.

Holmes: Was there any worry that they may have put Jon’s idol back on Exile and Jaclyn could’ve gotten it?
Anderson: No, I knew that was a done deal that that idol was dead. And she only had one night on Exile which was so much easier! But, I knew that idol was dead.

Holmes: Did Missy and Baylor discuss having one of them stepping down so they’d have a vote and an advocate on the jury?
Anderson: When I first put out the idea of them going to the end together, they said pregame that one of their goals was to make it to the final three together. Baylor was a wildcard to me. Baylor started getting this cocky attitude around camp and me and Missy both discussed it that Baylor was feeling like she deserved to be in the final three. And that was never something that I promised Baylor. So, the decision to get rid of Baylor was mainly because she was more of a wildcard moving forward.

Holmes: Reed’s rant was epic.
Anderson: If I was Baylor I would have punched him in the face right there. I would be so protective. It was really hard to watch, too. What Reed did was so weird. I was sitting there and me and Jaclyn were looking at each other like, this is so awkward. I’m trying to win the million bucks, so I couldn’t be my usual self and cuss him out. I thought it was unnecessary. But the things he was saying to Missy were the things him and Josh were guilty of. They’d save each other rice. I was over it. This guy is being a queen right now.

Holmes: Reed trusted Keith and we ended up with “Stick with the plan.” You trusted Keith and it worked out. Were you worried Keith would screw up again.
Anderson:  I was worried that he was going to blow the plan, but nobody expected anyone to be stupid enough to work with Keith. So, that worked in my favor. When me and Keith would go off, I was very open with him. I thought voting off Jon was a dream come true and telling Keith was a big gamble. But, Keith learned from his mistake. It was still scary. I was thinking, “Please Keith, keep it together!”

Holmes: Now that you’re a “Survivor” champ, do you consider yourself more of a Survivor than a Amazing Racer?
Anderson: I think Nadiya would say she wants to play “Survivor” again cause she got (expletive deleted). It totally sucks. I’d say because I didn’t win “Amazing Race” that I’d consider myself more of a Survivor. But I have such a close bond with my “Amazing Race” family. But, now I’m part of the “Survivor” family. But I’d do “Survivor” again.

Holmes:  Alright, championship word association time. Let’s start with Jaclyn.
Anderson: Naïve.
Holmes: Missy?
Anderson: Mom.
Holmes: Baylor?
Anderson: Sister.
Holmes: Jeremy?
Anderson: Oh man…basically my Twinnie.
Holmes: Alec?
Anderson: Such a bro.
Holmes: Keith?
Anderson: Keith’s a good guy.
Holmes: Wes?
Anderson: Wes is a funny guy.
Holmes: Josh?
Anderson: Josh is a drama queen.
Holmes:  Reed?
Anderson: Reed is totally fabulous.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Nadiya.
Anderson: She’s my Twinnie bestie and I love her.

Holmes: It was a “Blood vs. Water” season, but you had next to no time with your blood. What did the experience away from Nadiya teach you?
Anderson: We’ve always taken each other for granted, but we’ve been there for each other no matter what. Being apart from Nadiya, that missing feeling, and realizing how much I need her in my life…at the same time it was so hard for me. I had no idea how she was doing. When we did “Amazing Race” together, we did it together. Not being able to be there for her, it was so hard.  But, it was a driving force for me in the game.  I saw Julie complaining about missing John Rocker and she’s known him for three years. I wanted to be like, “I’ve been with Nadiya for 28 years. We’ve been together before we even met each other. Put yourself in my shoes.”

Holmes: “Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan said he wouldn’t talk trash to Probst if you won. Are you above that? Did you talk trash?
Anderson: Yeah! (Laughs) Before the season he said I was very unorthodox.  I don’t know what that means, but he didn’t expect me to win. “Survivor” people on “Amazing Race” this season were eliminated very early. What’s their name?
Holmes: Keith and Whitney.
Anderson: Yeah, they didn’t win. So if someone can come off “Survivor” and then win “Amazing Race,” then maybe Jeff can say something.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ Finale Recap – Jac the Giant Slayer?

December 17, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” finale coverage with “all the fixin’s.” Starting Thursday, you’ll be able to watch every episode and read interviews with the final five. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

MEGA IMPORTANT NOTE: Check out the three members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

Previously on “Survivor”:  Nadiya got nada, Val’s imaginary idols earned her an early exit, Johnny was rocked, Drew threw a challenge, then his tribe threw him, Kelley paid for the sins of her father, Dale failed, Julie quit and blamed it on the rain, Josh was squashed, Jeremy didn’t Reed the situation correctly, Wes’s dad didn’t stick to the plan, Reed was freed, Alec collected a seat in the jury, and Natalie gave Jon a reason to wine.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The #Huyopa Tribe (wearing blue)

Baylor – 20, Student
Jaclyn – 25, Media Buyer
Keith – 53, Fire Captain
Missy – 47, Owner of Cheerleading Gym
Natalie – 28, Crossfit Coach

We start off and are greeted by 37-time Emmy winner Jeff Probst. He encourages us to send him tweets. May I recommend the hashtag #twinnieforthewinnie?

The actual episode starts off back at camp after Jon’s dismissal. Jaclyn’s trying to play if cool, but  then she compliments them all on being fake. So, not a compliment.

Things break down and Jaclyn flips right out at Natalie.

Then they play some kind of weird “Survivor” theme song over an opening video. Cool idea.

The next morning, Baylor is psyched that she can go to the end with her mom and Natalie. Missy thinks this means they’ll have two shots at a million bucks. I think if one of them steps down they’d have a vote and a jury advocate.

Ooo…they could make “Survivor” history by being the first mother/daughter duo to get zero votes at final Tribal.

Reward Challenge Time: Players will be attached to a rope. They’ll climb around an obstacle to unspool the rope and assemble a bridge.  Once the bridge is done, they’ll use sandbags to knock over blocks. First person to knock over all their blocks will win an advantage in the next immunity challenge.

Missy will sit out due to the whole busted foot deal.

Survivors are ready, and then they go. There isn’t much to describe early on except for unspoolin’ and bridge buildin’. It looks like Natalie and Keith are in the lead. Keith is the first one across the bridge, but Natalie isn’t too far behind him.

They both get to work on tossin’ sandbags, but Keith tears right through it and wins the immunity challenge advantage.

Keith decides to send Jaclyn to Exile (still not an) Island.

Jaclyn arrives and finds herself a clue.  She doesn’t seem to be looking for it, which might be a mistake because they might’ve put Jon’s idol back out there. Or they might’ve put a dozen other idols out there just for funsies.

Over at #Huyopa, Natalie and Maylor agree to send Keith packing if he loses immunity. Natalie, however, is also considering bouncing her buddies. That seems like a mistake.

Keith goes off and reads his clue, which allows him to practice on a weird game table that’ll be used in the challenge. Huh…it’s actually really neat.  You have to pass a ball along a Rube Goldberg-esque contraption. He smartly decides to practice until it gets dark.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will do that thing I just told you about. First person to get three balls to the end wins immunity.

The challenge starts and Keith is the first person to score. Heeeeee’s also the second person to score. And whataya know, he scores all three before anyone else gets one. Keith wins immunity.

When we head back to LA, Probst introduces us to Make-A-Wish youngster Austin. Austin got to visit San Juan del Sur and pitch a challenge that was used on the show. He tells Probst that he just wanted to help the show and that Probst is welcome. Hilarious and adorable.

Back at the beach, Keith admits that he’s good with balls. I’ll do the jokes here, Keith.

Politicking around camp seems to have Maylor and Keith targeting Jaclyn. Natalie, however, is negotiating with Jaclyn. Apparently Natalie doesn’t think her moves have been big enough. I think Jon might disagree.

Quick Aside: What’d I say about “Survivor” being a product of the last season they saw before they left? The last thing Natalie saw was Tony being rewarded for making mega moves in Cagayan.

Later, Baylor asks Natalie to play her idol for her mom. Wha-huh? If you’re a solid three, why would you care where she plays the idol? That’s just going to make Natalie not trust you.

That night at Tribal, Jaclyn is glad she doesn’t have to worry about Jon, but is bummed that she doesn’t have anyone she can trust.

Keith was happy with the blindside because people weren’t mad at him.

Missy knows who has the idol, so she isn’t worried.

Jaclyn puts two and two together and realizes that Natalie or Maylor must have the idol.

Natalie thinks everyone assumes that her and Maylor are a team, but the game is more complicated than that.

Voting Time: Baylor votes for Jaclyn, Jaclyn votes for whoever Natalie told her to, and the rest of the votes are secret.

Probsty tallies and returns. He asks for any idols and Natalie serves hers up and plays it for Jaclyn!

Wow, that feels like a mistake.

We’ve got three votes for Jaclyn, one vote for Baylor, and the fourteenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” and the seventh member of the jury is…Baylor.

Back at camp, Natalie says that she was worried about being the outsider with a family. Well, not an outsider if there’s a final three.

She also says that Missy’s case is stronger with Baylor by her side. Yeah, but with Baylor on the jury Missy has a definite vote.

Natalie approaches Missy, and Missy claims to be cool with the vote.

So, let’s think about this. Natalie has saved both Keith and Jaclyn’s bacon in this game. Does that count for something with jurors?

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will race down a giant tower, then maneuver through obstacles while gathering bags of puzzle pieces. They’ll then use the pieces to solve a jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle will have three holes that will match numbers on a combination lock. First person to open their lock and release their flag wins immunity.

Missy’ll sit this one out too.

The challenge starts and it’s a whole mess of fireman poles, slides, and other whatnot. Wait, how is it fair that there’s a fireman’s pole?!

Keith and Natalie are neck and neck…once again. Natalie gets to the puzzle first, but Keith isn’t too far behind her.

All three of them are battling through the puzzle, but it’s hard to tell who’s digging deep.

Jaclyn actually manages to complete the puzzle first, but she wipes out on her way down the tower and has to stop. Probst checks on her, but she keeps going.

Natalie completes her puzzle and goes for her numbers, but it’s too late as Jaclyn returns with her combination, releases the flag, and wins immunity.

Back at camp, Keith wants to get rid of Missy because she has Baylor’s vote and a sympathy vote due to her foot.  Yeah, but you have Wes’s vote. Probably smarter to target Natalie.

Natalie wants Keith gone because he’s “scarier.” Yes, his banged up knee is very scary in HD.

Jaclyn says she’ll target Keith unless some crazy things happen in her head in the next four hours. This coming from the girl who gave her boyfriend the silent treatment during a game for a million bucks.

Later, Jaclyn asks Missy how she feels about getting rid of Natalie. Uh oh… Saving Jaclyn could be Natalie’s Erik/Woo moment.

That night at Tribal, Jaclyn knows she’s in the middle. Well, she’s been in the middle all game.

Natalie doesn’t think Jaclyn owes her for saving her, but it’d be a nice gesture.

Jaclyn doesn’t think she owes Natalie because she blindsided Jon.

Missy isn’t sure that Natalie is going to the end and that nobody should be comfortable.

Natalie thinks everyone loves Keith and that’s a reason to get rid of him. Keith agrees.

Keith says they should get rid of Natalie because she probably has a lot of jury votes.

Natalie thinks she could win the game. Oh…shhhhhh…don’t say that. Quiet. Stop…

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Keith, one vote for Missy, one vote for Keith and the fifteenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” and the final member of the jury is…Keith.

Alright, I still don’t love Nat’s move to get rid of Baylor. Seems like facing Maylor would be a slam dunk. And, I’m worried the jury might like Jon enough to reward Jaclyn.

The next morning, Missy isn’t worried about a jury of seven guys cause she’s been divorced three times. Why is this the first I’m hearing of these divorces?!

The Day 39 breakfast shows up, and Jaclyn can’t wait to rub it in Jon’s face that she got there. See, that’s why I could never do Blood vs. Water. My girlfriend beat me in Mario Party once and I never heard the end of it.

That night at Tribal Council, Missy starts off saying that the roles could be reversed and she could be in the jury. Yup, that’s how it works. She then compared them to a murder trial jury because their decision will affect the rest of her life. Yes, Survivor is as important as murder.

Jaclyn thinks she deserves to be sole Survivor because she was on the chopping block from day one. But, she fought to the merge and made alliances. And, she’s stepped it up once Jon was blindsided. She then brings up the fact that she was born without all of her reproductive organs.

Quick Aside: Am I awful that I hate that she brought that up?

Natalie thinks she outwit people by making risky moves. She outplayed them by volunteering to go to Exile. And outlasted them by adjusting once Nadiya was voted out. She ends it by saying that they made a mistake by not voting her out at the last Tribal. Nice. Well played at the end there, Nat.

I’m giving this round to Natalie, but Jaclyn is a close second.

The jury steps up to the plate. Jon starts by giving Jaclyn the opportunity to talk about a big move that she was responsible for making. She takes credit for getting rid of Josh because Wes and Alec were being rude to her.

Keith asks Nat how it feels that the last words she said to him were a lie. She feels bad about lying, but the only way she could get there was if she sold him as a threat.

Alec wants to know Natalie’s biggest move. Natalie says it was getting rid of him because nobody knew she was working with Keith.

He then asks Missy how she played in a motherly style. She says she was the mom who directed people how to vote. She also admits to getting rid of Drew because she didn’t trust him.

Baylor bats clean-up and is happy that it’s a girl power final three. She addresses her mother and talks about their hardships. Ow…I hurt my eyes by rolling them so hard.

Josh wants to know if Jaclyn really made the moves or if Jon was the one pulling the strings. Jaclyn claims to have taken the lead in many of the decisions. She again takes credit for voting out Josh.

Wes asks what it was like getting to play with their loved one. Missy loved it because it was crazy, and she also loves Wes’s dad. Subtle.

Jaclyn thinks it was different as a dating couple, but it’s been a great experience.

And, Nat says she’s never been away from Nadiya for so long. But, she’s proud that she did it alone.

Jeremy applauds them for getting rid of him. He then goes into business for Natalie, saying she was the best player and deserves to win.

Finally, Reed tells Natalie that he loved her gameplay. He then lets Jaclyn know that he liked Jaclyn even though they couldn’t work together. Then, he tells Missy that she was less of a mother and more of a wicked stepmother. He blasts her for giving Baylor more rice, the best place to sleep, and abusing the “help.” He finishes by saying that he loves fairy tales because they have a happy ending.

Heh, Reed the riot act!

Oooo…Baylor bursts into tears.

Voting Time: Jon votes for Jaclyn, Jeremy votes for Natalie, Reed votes for Jaclyn, Baylor votes for Missy, and the rest of the votes will have to wait until we get back to Los Angeles…

…and we’re already there! Probst cracks open the urn and starts a’countin’. We’ve got one vote for Jaclyn, one vote for Natalie, one vote for Jaclyn, one vote for Missy, two votes for Natalie, and the winner of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” is…Natalie!

Phew…

Verdict: Well, at least the right person won.

I’ve gotta say, this season never really clicked for me, but it had some big moments, some likable players, and an epic final challenge. Ultimately, it’s not the best and it’s not the worst.

That being said, I can’t WAIT for “Survivor: Worlds Apart.”

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Spills the Beans on ‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’

December 17, 2014

'Survivor: Worlds Apart' (CBS)

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Worlds Apart” scoop! I delved deep into the Nicaraguan wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily in the weeks leading up to the premiere, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.

Gordon Holmes: Alright, explain how this Blue Collar vs. White Collar vs. No Collar concept works.
Jeff Probst: The truth is; we had our cast together, but we didn’t have a theme. And everyone’s trying to think of a theme, and I just had the cards spread out on a table, and I kept coming back to Brains, Brawn, and Beauty. We had the perfect blend for that, but we didn’t want to do that again. So, kind of what you do is you just pair them together and you’re like, “We’ll these two could go together, and what about her? And this guy over here…”
Holmes: Because I feel like I’ve heard White Collar vs. Blue Collar tossed around a few times.
Probst: We never wanted to do White Collar vs. Blue Collar because it’s too flat. That’s very basic. That’s what “Survivor” is, we do it every season. But over here I had these cards that we couldn’t figure out what to do with and I said, “We’ve got these gypsies and beach people,” and then it just hit me. These are the No Collars, which wasn’t a term that I’d heard before but made sense to me. Our “Survivor” crew, we’re No Collars. Most of these people have spent the last 15 years on islands in the middle of nowhere doing a TV show. Then I thought of my boss, Mark Burnett. He’s a No Collar. Then I thought; White Collars make the rules, Blue Collars follow or enforce the rules, and No Collars break the rules.
Holmes: And you’ll get full credit when “No Collar” ends up in the dictionary.
Probst: I should get full credit. For me it was a discovery like discovering that the world was round. That’s how good I felt. I was jumping around my house going, “I got it!”

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur”

Holmes: This is the 30th season, I think people were expecting a big returning player showdown. Instead, we’ve got 18 new faces. How was the call made to just let the show stand on its own merits?
Probst: We didn’t start with the “let it work.” I wish we were that smart. We actually started about two years ago saying, “If we get to 30, let’s think about the big, blowout season.” We did pitch a few things to Mark and CBS that were fun and different. But even as we pitched them they felt predictable and tired. Nobody was getting excited. It was Mark Burnett who said, “Do we need to do an all-star season?” So, that gave us permission to get rid of the all-star strategy. Maybe it will be our last, who knows? Maybe when we get to 40 we’ll be asking the same question. But I’ll tell you this; not doing all-stars was the best decision because it would have deprived us of 18 of the most interesting people we’ve had on the show in a long time.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2014 Inductee – ‘Heroes vs. Villains’ Episode 10 Tribal Council

December 17, 2014

'Survivor' Hall of Fame 2014 Inductee: 'Heroes vs. Villains' Episode 10 Tribal Council (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” This Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the season finale, and starting Thursday you’ll be able to watch the finale and read interviews with the new champion and the other castaways. Be sure to follow Gordon Holmes on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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The candidates for the 2014 “Survivor” Hall of Fame were nominated by a panel of “Survivor” luminaries such as Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Producers Jesse Jensen and Matt Van Wagenen, the current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” dork Gordon Holmes. Those nominees were then voted on by fans like you.

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

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…

The Class of 2013 included Kim Spradlin, John Cochran, and Jonny Fairplay…

Earlier this week, we inducted the “Survivor: Borneo” Final Tribal Council and the “Survivor: Micronesia” Episode 13 Tribal Council into the Class of 2014.

And now, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to announce that the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” Episode 10 Tribal Council is the final member of the Class of 2014.

What the fans said about the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” Episode 10 Tribal Council…

“Queen Parvati makes a move that gives the advantage to the villains for the rest of the game. I think it was Candice saying if they have an idol they’re not going to give it to Jerri… and they did, well Parvati did.” – Ignas

“Parvati’s intuition and playing in the moment is why she is one of the greatest players of all time, Cook Islands not withstanding. Russell playing Ricky Ricardo treating Parvati like Lucy “you have some ‘splaining’ to do” is funny.” – Alexander

“JT deserves a special nod for his part in handing over his idol to poor, ournumbered Russell.” – Deborah

What the Executive Voting Committee said about the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” Episode 10 Tribal Council…

Kim Spradlin – “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2013 – “This was so amazing to me. Not only that she played them both, but neither one for herself – this move changed the game.”

Jonny Fairplay – “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2013 – “Any time the idol king Russell gets caught with his pants down and egg on his face is a great moment for me and the viewers. I’m not a fan of Parvati, but she is easily the lesser of two evils.”

John Kirhoffer – “Survivor” Challenge Producer – “Showing why she is a Hall of Famer, Parvati played two idols and gave them to Jerri and Sandra…and JT went home. The looks on the rest of the tribe’s faces was great…shock and awe! It changed the direction of the game. HUGE move.”

Don’t miss the finale of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” tonight at 8p ET on CBS.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.


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