Archive for December, 2014

‘Amazing Race’ Host on Natalie’s Possible ‘Survivor’ Win: ‘What an Upset, Right?!’

December 17, 2014

'Survivor'/'The Amazing Race' (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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Former “Survivor” players have been ripping open “Amazing Race” clues for years.  “Boston” Rob and Amber, Jenna and Ethan, and Keith and Whitney have all traded in their colored buffs for giant backpacks. And while their journeys were very different, they all ended with “Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan telling them that they were the last team to arrive and that they have been eliminated.

No team had ever gone the other way until “Race” favorites Natalie and Nadiya, “The Twinnies,” signed up for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water.”

I spoke with Keoghan on the eve of the “Survivor” finale and had a chance to get his thoughts on what could be an “Amazing Race” win if Natalie can make it to tonight’s Tribal Council and get the votes she needs…

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor:  San Juan del Sur” and “The Amazing Race

Gordon Holmes: The “Survivor” finale is tonight and Natalie of “Amazing Race” fame is in a decent position to win the whole thing. If she pulls it off, are you going to give Jeff Probst some grief?
Phil Keoghan: (Laughs) No.
Holmes: Cause I love to give Probst grief.
Keoghan: I think it’s amazing. It’s the first time, if I’m not mistaken that an “Amazing Race” player has gone over to another franchise like that. Goodness knows we’ve done it a few times. She’s representing and she’s there. What an upset, right?! Nobody saw that coming.

Holmes: I was debating this with some friends; Probst gets to go to one location for 39 days while you get to go to many locations for 21 days. He gets to know one place better, while you see a wide variety of places for shorter periods of time. Who has the better gig?
Keoghan: I’m sure we’d both have our arguments. I love that he owns his gig, he has a passion for “Survivor” and he’s really made that show his own. I can’t imagine that show without him. I was up for that show and now I can’t imagine having done it because I’ve been so involved in “Race.”
Holmes: But is it better to see many places quickly, or to take your time and get to know one place really well?
Keoghan: Well, what I like about my gig is I do get to see more and that it’s this frantic…I love the pace of the shooting. It’s without a doubt the toughest job I’ve ever done in my life as far as trying to stay on top of my game. It’s not easy. But, I feel really lucky that I’ve had this opportunity. I feel like it came in my career at the right time. There are very few gigs that would appeal to me like this. I think “Survivor” would be a fun thing to do, I was very excited about it when it was a possibility. But, ultimately it’s worked out for the best.

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

And, don’t miss the finale of “The Amazing Race” this Friday, December 19 at 8p ET on CBS.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2014 Inductee – ‘Survivor: Micronesia’ Episode 13 Tribal Council

December 16, 2014

'Survivor' Hall of Fame 2014 Inductee: Episode 13 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…

Yesterday, we inducted the “Survivor: Borneo” Final Tribal Council into the Class of 2014.

And now, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to announce that the “Survivor: Micronesia” Episode 13 Tribal Council is the second member of the Class of 2014.

What the fans said about the “Survivor: Micronesia” Episode 13 Tribal Council…

“It was like watching a car crash in slow motion. I was screaming at my TV ‘Dude! What’re you doing?!'” – Thomas

“My all-time favorite Tribal Council and episode where the women masterfully blindsided Erik in one of the greatest moves in “Survivor” history.  I have rewatched this Tribal so many times through the years.” – Matthew

“Erik seems like such a nice guy, but that move was so mind-blowing that you can’t even really be mad at Parv, Cirie, Amanda, or Natalie.” – Patricia

What the Executive Voting Committee said about the “Survivor: Micronesia” Episode 13 Tribal Council…

Cirie Fields – “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2011 – “We’re coming up on our 30th season and prior to the gazillions of idols floating around how many people gave away immunity at TRIBAL COUNCIL and were voted OUT IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS?”

Parvati Shallow – “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2010 – “I was so glad I was sitting behind Erik, and he couldn’t see my face. I think if he saw how hard my jaw hit the floor he would have changed his mind and kept his necklace. Thanks to the team of superhero women I was working with in Micronesia, this became one of the most incredible Tribal Council blindsides of all time.”

Jeff Probst – “Survivor” Host and Executive Producer – “You can’t have a Tribal Council Hall of Fame and not include this memorable moment because it speaks to a part of “Survivor” that often gets overlooked – “Life Lessons.” I don’t remember this as Erik making a dumb move, I put it in the same category as my first girlfriend, Rhonda Smith whom I gave all my Halloween candy to simply because she said she liked me. It’s a lesson every boy has to learn: “Don’t get blinded by the breasts!” Poor Erik had all these beautiful women working him over emotionally and he just fell victim to it all. The saddest part for Erik is he really did have a legitimate shot to win the game.”

Be sure to check back Wednesday to see the final member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

And, don’t miss the finale of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” this Wednesday at 8p ET on CBS.

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

‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ Power Rankings – Finale Edition

December 16, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (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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Important Announcement: The “Survivor” Hall of Fame has announced the first member of class of 2014.

Another Important Announcement: This season’s Power Rankings competition is over and Gordon Holmes has claimed his fifth straight victory. We at the Power Rankings Regulation Committee would like to thank Spencer Bledsoe for being such an entertaining and insightful competitor.

Yet Another Important Announcement: The following rankings are based on where our two competitors think the individual Survivors will finish the season.

And One Final Important Announcement: This edition is for exhibition purposes only. Betting on the “Survivor” Power Rankings is frowned upon.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” on Your Computer

Any questions for Spencer? Drop him a line on Twitter: @SpencerBGM

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

 1. Jaclyn – Top 5! Top 5! This week, my rankings are simply a stab at exactly how this final 5 will go down. Gordon Holmes dominated Power Rankings this season like Probst dominated flint negotiations. However, I’m going for redemption with an unconventional winner prediction: Jaclyn Schultz will take down the $1M prize Wednesday night. She’s shown the game insight that Jon didn’t have. She has a great shot of making the final three against Missy and Baylor. She has a story at the end that she needs the money to start a family. As long as Jon gives her credit for her great plays, she’ll have a case to make.
  1. Natalie – You’ve gotta do it, Natalie. You’ve gotta win this thing. And, I really think you can. I think you’re taking home the check no matter who you go to the end with. But, your best bet is obviously against Missy and Baylor. Neither will have a family member on the jury and the other jurors aren’t their biggest fans. The trick will be making sure they don’t realize what a mega threat you are.
 2. Missy – She’s no Phillip Sheppard, but Missy seems to have made herself an appealing person to take to the end. She’s not a threat in challenges anymore, but she has a final three deal with at least Natalie, so I don’t envision Nat, Keith, and Jaclyn unifying against her. To Missy’s credit, despite the middle fingers and blowouts, she’s played a strategic game, keeping herself in the majority, and I see her carrying more winner equity than most realize.
  2. Missy – Missy’s going to the finals. With a broken foot and her Bay (or “Bae”) by her side she’s going to the finals. She may even pick up a vote or two if someone appreciates her strong strategies, big moves, or her gutting through an injured foot. But, she won’t be winning.
 3. Baylor – Everyone and their mother, including Baylor and her mother, wants these two in the final three. I see no reason they can’t pull it off, but based on Baylor’s recent word associations in XFINITY exit interviews, I worry about her chance to win.
  3. Baylor – What do Gervase Peterson, Sherri Biethman, Dawn Meehan, Chelsea Meissner, Albert Destrade, Natalie Tenerelli, Matthew “Sash” Lenahan, Russell Hantz, Mick Trimming, Stephen Fishbach, Jessica “Sugar” Kiper, Cassandra Franklin, Dre “Dreamz” Herd, and Becky Lee all have in common?

 4. Natalie – If Natalie makes final Tribal Council, I think she completes the season as a mirror image of her twinnie and wins it all. For that reason, and the fact that she has an idol, I can only see her getting two places: First or fourth. She’ll be in a solid spot at final four as the best challenge competitor. If Missy is there, she could even have over a 1-in-3 shot at immunity. Still, I think it’s a bit more likely she gets cut right before the end.
  4. Keith – Here’s where it gets iffy. I’m thinking that Natalie and Maylor (Baysy?) are going to go after Jaclyn first because she’s going to be annoyed about them sending Prince Ali Fabulous He Ali Ababwa to the jury. That would be a mistake. Jaclyn hasn’t done anything challenge-wise this whole time and Keith has held the necklace on a few occasions. And if Keith can get to the end, he can win. Probably not against Natalie, but against anyone else, he can win.
 5. Keith – A Keith win would be one for the ages. As an event, it would instantly ingratiate itself in “Survivor” lore as one of the biggest upsets ever. The sky could come crashing down as Keith performed his signature maniacal laugh. Sadly, I think he’ll be the biggest non-immune jury threat at final 5, and without any real close allies, he may not have any solid plans to stick to.
 5. Jaclyn – Shouldn’t there be an 80s metal song called “Blindsided”? Man, I’d use its lyrics in every headline. “Blindsided! Ooo, baby you cheated. Blindsided! My heart has been defeated.” Anywho, I can’t imagine Jaclyn being cool with the remaining ladies after last week’s vote. Can she keep a cool head long enough to convince Maylor that Natalie is the real threat? Probably not.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” on Your Computer

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame: And the Best Tribal Council of All Time Is…

December 15, 2014

'Survivor' Hall of Fame 2014 Inductee: The Final Borneo Tribal Council (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, 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 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…

And now, for the first time ever, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to honor a Tribal Council…

The nominee with the most votes was…the “Survivor: Borneo” Final Tribal Council!

What the fans said about the “Survivor: Borneo” Final Tribal Council…

“I remember quoting Sue’s ‘Rats and Snakes’ speech with my coworkers for weeks afterwards. Iconic!” – Kathy

“Sue’s speech remains one of the most cutthroat moment in reality TV history. Never before have we witnessed someone lash out such an intense speech on our television sets before. Iconic and one of the biggest moments in the show’s history.” – TJ

“If the Borneo Tribal doesn’t make it into the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame, the voters deserve no water. They should just lay there and let the buzzards do what they will with them.” – Erin

What the Executive Voting Committee said about the “Survivor: Borneo” Final Tribal Council…

Dalton Ross – Entertainment Weekly – “Over 54 million people watched the season 1 finale in which Richard Hatch faced off against Kelly Wigglesworth with a million dollars on the line. And 54 million mouths dropped wide open when Sue Hawk delivered her infamous ‘rat and snake’ speech. And they dropped even wider when the show’s villain — Hatch — walked away with the loot.”

Rob Cesternino – “Survivor” Hall of Fame: Class of 2012 – “When I was in college, we forgot to pay the cable bill and our TV service was shut off.  I had a VHS tape of the finale of the first ‘Survivor’ and we watched it over and over.  At one point, I had Sue’s whole speech committed to memory.”

Parvati Shallow – “Survivor” Hall of Fame: Class of 2010 – “The very first season of ‘Survivor’ rocked my world even though I didn’t see it until a week before boarding my plane to the Cook Islands. When Sue Hawk tore into the final two, describing her desire to ‘watch the snake eat the rat,’ she spoke to the raw emotion people feel upon being voted out or betrayed. That was my first glimpse into the heavy reality of competing in the ‘Survivor’ arena.”

Be sure to check back Tuesday to see the second member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

And, don’t miss the finale of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” this Wednesday at 8p ET on CBS.

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

“Survivor” Castaway Jon – “(Jaclyn Is) a Better ‘Survivor’ Player Than Me”

December 11, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, 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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MEGA IMPORTANT NOTE: Cast your vote for the best Tribal Councils ever in this year’s “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

One thing is for sure about “Survivor: San Juan del Sur.” If your name is Jon (or John), you’re leaving with an idol in your pocket.

I spoke with the latest member of the “Survivor’s” Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda Club the morning after his elimination and had a chance to ask him about broken alliances, missed idol opportunities, and his campfire renditions of our favorite Disney movie…

Gordon Holmes: I know you had a rough evening, so I wanted to do something to cheer you up. Are you ready?
Jon Misch: (Laughs) Ready.
Holmes: (Singing) Gotta keep, one jump ahead of the breadline. One swing, ahead of the sword. I steal, only what I can’t afford.
Misch: (Laughs) That’s everything!
Holmes: That’s all I’ve got for you.
Misch: You’re the man! That is awesome! (Laughs) I can’t believe everybody knows that about me now.
Holmes: Even if doesn’t end up on TV, your fellow Survivors will tell the world about your Nicaraguan “Aladdin” performances.
Misch: (Laughs) Did Jeremy say that he thought I was faking because of that?
Holmes: No.
Misch: When I was voted off, Jeremy told me that he thought when I was doing all of these skits and singing Aladdin, and Genie, he thought, “This is an act. Nobody is this goofy.” And then he said the moment he realized it was real was after the merge and Jaclyn saw me doing this and said, “He’s going to be a great father.” And Jeremy realized it was real.
Holmes: I like the idea that you’re being entertaining around camp, but then in your aside interviews you’re like, “I got all these jerks fooled.”
Misch: (Laughs) It’s all part of the game.

Holmes:  So, Missy stabbed you in the back last night. Put me in your shoes when you’re so close with someone and then they send you home.
Misch: We were even closer than people could see from the show. Since the tribe swap, Missy and I talked about being in the final three together. Regardless of “Survivor,” we just talked about personal issues. We had a very close friendship out there. You probably saw how confused I was when I saw Jaclyn’s name twice. I was so oblivious to the fact that I was going to be blindsided. Then I was like, “Oh yeah. They’re splitting the votes, stooge. You have an idol.” It was a huge shock, but I can’t say I was mad at her. It was very upsetting. I preached it more than anybody else that we’re playing a game. I blindsided Jeremy. I have so much respect for him. He’s a huge role model for me. It’s part of the game.

Holmes: You and Natalie were on the original tribe together. What was your relationship like before the swap?
Misch: Before the swap, Jeremy did a good job of selling me on me, him, and Drew and Missy was going to help us out as a fourth. So, before the swap I felt very good with those four. But, I was trying very hard to talk with Kelley and Julie and Natalie, but I didn’t have a lot of success. Maybe because I was so hyper they were just like, “Get away from me. Stop doing ‘Aladdin.’” (Laughs) I didn’t really have a huge alliance with her before. Jeremy was the centerpiece.

Holmes: Everybody I’ve spoken to thinks that if Julie hadn’t quit, that Jeremy would have gone home at that Tribal. Is that the way you and Jaclyn were leaning?
Misch: It was. I was so mad when Julie quit because I had finally gotten up to the courage, and Jaclyn too, to vote out Jeremy even though he’s a friend of ours. As soon as we did that, Julie quits and we’re like, “Oh no! Please let us go to Tribal anyways!” It ended up being a huge game changer. After Exile, we decided to go another way.

Holmes: I heard that Jaclyn is now your fiancée.
Misch: She is. We were engaged October 22nd.
Holmes: Congratulations, sir.
Misch: Thank you.
Holmes: I think you two kissed more than any two Survivors ever.
Misch: (Laughs) I’ve heard that. I don’t know why… But I think they showed every single kiss.
Holmes: I don’t blame you guys, you’re both very attractive. But after 30-some days without a toothbrush, I might just go in for a fistbump.
Misch: One of the strangest things…after “Survivor” I went in for a dentist appointment. My dad’s a dentist, so I just kinda went in to get my teeth checked out. This was five days after so I’d been brushing my teeth. My gums were back to normal. They said it was the best checkup I had ever had because we weren’t having any sugar, there was nothing to cause decay or anything like that. And, I didn’t notice her having terrible breath. We both smelled like campfire.

Holmes: Is there any update on your father’s health issues that you’re comfortable sharing?
Misch: He’s still fighting.
Holmes: Good.
Misch: He does chemo once a month because the type of cancer he has they have to be continual. There’s no remission for this. So, during his chemo it’s a little harder. But about a week after he’s done, he’s my normal dad. It’s great to have this time with him.
Holmes: How does he feel about his kid and his future kid-in-law running around Nicaragua?
Misch: (Laughs) He loves it. I actually did not want to go.  I didn’t want to miss that time with him. We knew about the prognosis and the diagnosis and all that. But he was insistent that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and “I don’t want you holding back from that because of something that I’m going through.” He was excited before the show was on. The fact that we got to watch some episodes together made it all worth it.

Holmes: When you and Jaclyn had your tiff on the island…
Misch: (Laughs) Yeah.
Holmes: I’ve been there, my friend. I’ve never been there in the midst of a game for a million dollars. Can you say, “I know you’re mad, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry” or would that make things worse?
Misch:  I was saying that. I said, “Jaclyn, you can be mad, but we need to talk about what’s going on tonight.”  And…it’s very hard to stay emotionally stable when you’re starving and you’re around a group of people you can’t trust very much. I just trust people. She’s a better “Survivor” player than me. She’s wary about things. That’s why you saw her saying, “What if Natalie’s blindsiding you.” And I’m saying, “No, I’m not worried about that.” So, for her being around that group for so long was very hard. She never trusted anyone. It was a different perspective for her, that’s why I think the argument was harder on her.
Holmes: So you’re like a trusting Sultan, buddying up to Jafar and she’s more of a skeptical Princess Jasmine?
Misch: (Laughs) Yes! Definitely. That’s perfect.
Holmes: You need to share that with her later.
Misch: I definitely will.

Holmes: You guys were always in the middle. But it never really seemed like it was by design. Was staying the swing vote the plan or was this a situation where you were easily swayed?
Misch: I’m really glad you asked that. I’m good friends with Dan Gheesling, one of the winners of “Big Brother,” and he gave me a few tips. One of them was to not talk strategy with people until they bring it up. In doing that, we maintained friendships with both alliances. Our goal was to be friends with our alliance, but don’t shun the other alliance because they can be very helpful to you. Missy had a lot of people who didn’t like her on the other alliance. So did Baylor, so did Natalie. We were the only two people that played both sides. Not in that we were always talking strategy, but we maintained the relationships so they felt comfortable coming to us to talk about the game. On social media people said we were so lucky, but it’s not luck. You have to position yourself to be approachable.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do word association. We’ll start with Wes.
Misch: I’d say frat boy hunter.
Holmes: Reed?
Misch: Honest.
Holmes: Alec?
Misch: Friendly.
Holmes: Josh?
Misch: Intuitive.
Holmes: Drew?
Misch: Bro.
Holmes: Natalie?
Misch: Sneaky.
Holmes: Baylor?
Misch: College.
Holmes: Missy?
Misch: That’s a hard one…genuine.
Holmes: Keith?
Misch:  Absent minded.
Holmes: Jeremy?
Misch: Role model.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Jaclyn.
Misch: (Laughs) Love of my life.

Holmes: You’ve entered the unfortunate fraternity of people who have left the game while holding an idol.
Misch: Gah…
Holmes: Does that stick with you? Are you going to be able to move on? Should we hold an intervention?
Misch: I’m dying over here, man. (Laughs) It’s hard. The thing that’s more frustrating is that they didn’t show a lot of conversations where I said I was having trouble trusting Natalie and Missy together. There were a few times leading up to that Tribal. We went back and forth about it and I said, it’s stressing me out too much. We’re going to pick one now and we’re going to go with it and keep it until the end. And at that moment, we decided we trust them because we didn’t think Missy would be swayed. If Missy wouldn’t, then Baylor wouldn’t because she just does what Missy does. It sucks to be in that group, but I don’t hate it. I made it to the final six. It was a fun game and I don’t regret anything. If I trusted someone to much, then I don’t consider that a flaw.

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

‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ Episode 13 Recap – Who Got the Boot?

December 11, 2014

'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, 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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MEGA IMPORTANT NOTE: Cast your vote for the best Tribal Councils ever in this year’s “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

Last Week:  Jaclyn and Jon huffed and puffed, Natalie’s attempts to make a move were rebuffed, and Alec and Reed’s torches were snuffed.

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
Jon – 26, Financial Assistant
Keith – 53, Fire Captain
Missy – 47, Owner of Cheerleading Gym
Natalie – 28, Crossfit Coach

Team Jacljon is very confused after Tribal as to why Alec went home. Natalie acts like it was a mistake and everyone seems to buy it.

Feel free to make your own joke about Jaclyn and Jon being confused.

The next morning, Natalie confesses to Keith that she saved his bacon. She pitches her, him, Missy, and Baylor as a solid unit. As someone who was just on the outs, Keith definitely goes for it.

Quick Aside: I don’t like this move as I think Keith is the only person who could possibly beat Natalie in front of a jury.

Reward Challenge Time: The players will be divided into two teams and then tethered together. They’ll go through hay and under a hitching post. They’ll then fill a bucket with water and go over a teeter-totter. They’ll use the water to fill another bucket and lower a wall. The first team to complete the puzzle that lies beyond the wall will win a trip to a spa.

It’s Keith, Missy, and Jon in blue vs. Jaclyn, Natalie, and Baylor in yellow.

The challenge starts and Missy isn’t having a great run of it. She headbutts the hitching post more than a few times. Then, she twists her ankle on the teeter-totter. This slows her team down considerably.

The yellow team has a major lead when they get to the puzzle. Probst tells the blue team they need to move. He doesn’t elaborate on whether or not they should dig deep.

The blue team finally makes it to the puzzle and manages to catch up and win the challenge.

But, Missy’s in bad shape. She tells Probst she’s fine.

Jon tells Missy that the spa will make her feel as young as she looks. This annoys Jaclyn because Jon is so happy. I’m no relationship expert, but if the sight of your partner’s happiness annoys you, that can’t be good.

Jon decides to give Baylor his reward so the mother/daughter duo can have an afternoon they’ll never forget. Ugh…this season.

Meanwhile, Natalie volunteers to go to Exile. Ugh…this season.

At the reward, Keith admits that it’s OK being at a girly spa as long as there’s food there. He doesn’t mind the massage either.

Quick Aside: I kinda wish they’d flown in the torture masseuses from “The Amazing Race.”

Back at #Huyopa, Jaclyn is still talking to Jon so they’ve got to consider that a win. They discuss Natalie’s voting “mistake.” Jaclyn brings up the idea that Natalie might be working with Keith. Jon doesn’t believe it though, because he can’t see Natalie flipping.

#famouslastwords

Over at Exile, Natalie laments on being a twinnie left all alonie.

Immunity Challenge Time: Wait…not yet.

Keith and Baylor have to practically carry Missy in.  Missy breaks down because the pain has gotten much worse. Probst calls medical in. The doctor is concerned that the foot could be fractured because it isn’t getting any better. He wants to do an x-ray, but he’d have to pull Missy from the game to do it.

However, the doctor thinks she can stay in the game if they immobilize the foot. Missy sucks it up and decides to stay in the game.  Way to be, Missy.

Also, Baylor brought rice for Natalie which is an awesome gesture. Way to be, Baylor.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will hold onto handles with their hands while standing on a teeter-totter that has a vase attached to it. Last person with their vase standing wins immunity.

There must’ve been a sale at the teeter-totter store this episode.

Also, Missy will obviously forfeit the event.

The challenge starts and Jaclyn is out first. She’s followed by Baylor.

A while later, a gust of wind claims Keith’s vase.

Nat and Jon go toe-to-toe, with Natalie eventually pulling out the win.

Jon’s cool with it though, because it’ll give Natalie a chance to finally vote for Keith. Oh Jon…you’re so pretty.

Back at camp, Natalie wants to split the votes between Jon and Jaclyn. Then if Jon doesn’t play his idol, they’ll vote for him.

Natalie asks Keith to not freak out when they pretend to target him. Yeah Keith, stick to the plan.

Jaclyn is a little worried that there could be a blindside, but Jon doesn’t think it’ll happen.

#famouslastwords

Baylor approaches Missy about voting for Jon and it does not go over well. Missy says that she has given her word to Jon and she won’t break it. Baylor brings up her mother’s divorces for the 40th time this season, saying that her mom always puts men first.

That night at Tribal we’ve got an all-dude jury. I bet the Ponderosa toilet seat is always up.

Keith says that he’s been trying to pierce the five, but there are no cracks. Nice, Keith.

Jaclyn believes it’s natural for people to think of different scenarios, but she doesn’t think her and Jon are going anywhere.

#famouslastwords

Natalie thinks anything can happen in the two days she was gone, so she’s glad she won immunity.

Missy says she loyal and she doesn’t waver.

Voting Time: No votes are shown. Oh man, it’s so on.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Keith, one vote for Jaclyn, one vote for Keith, one vote for Jaclyn, one vote for Jon and…one vote for Jon! Three-way tie!

Voting Time Part Deux: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns a second time. We’ve got  one vote for Jon and the thirteenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” and the sixth member of the jury is…Jon.

So in the end, Natalie was the one who always knew when Jon should have played his idols.

Heh…Jon forgot his torch on the way to Probst. But, he had a good attitude about it. Good guy.

Verdict: I don’t get this season. There are big interesting moves, but it doesn’t feel right. It just doesn’t pop.

Who’s Going to Win? Natalie or Keith, right? I’m thinking Nat’s got it.

Power Rankings Results: Spencer had Jon in spot five while I had him in spot four. So, the current score is Team Farm Guy 97, Team Corinsanity 113.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame: ‘Survivor’ Press Names Their Top Tribal Councils

December 7, 2014

'Survivor' Hall of Fame Press Corps

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, 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 “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have the “Survivor” press corps as a part of the Executive Voting Committee. As members of this exclusive committee, these gentlemen (along with Host Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) will nominate their three favorite Tribal Councils.

Then, from Monday, December 8, 2014 at 10 am ET through Friday December 12, 2014 at 5 pm ET, the top three Tribal Councils will be chosen by a fan vote.

NOTE: All of the nominations were requested at the same time, so some Tribal Councils may be nominated more than once.

Gordon Holmes – XFINITYTV.com

Gordon Holmes is a Managing Producer at Comcast and the lead “Survivor” know-it-all for XFINITY TV. He’s been hooked on “Survivor” from the moment he first saw Jeff Probst kick sixteen strangers off a boat and into the sea back in May of 2000. Gordon has visited the set of “Survivor” on five separate occasions (“Gabon,” “Nicaragua,” “South Pacific,”  “Philippines,” and “Blood vs. Water”) and boasts an Ozzy-esque 5-1 immunity challenge record.

“Survivor: Borneo” – Final Tribal Council: In my book, there’s only one MUST VOTE pick for this whole shebang, and it’s Sue Hawk’s classic “Snake vs. Rat” speech from the original “Survivor.” It’s an iconic TV moment, it helped shape reality TV, and it set a bar for jury venom that has only been approached (but not surpassed) by Corinne Kaplan.

NOTE: I know moments such as Erik coughing up his idol and Parvati’s double idol play are going to be nominated. So, my other two picks are going to be moments that I don’t think will win, but deserve some recognition…

“Survivor: Gabon – Episode 9 Tribal Council: “Payback’s a b—tch.” “You are a disgusting old, hot-headed, alcoholic.” “You need to grow up before you die alone.” “This vote is not strategic, it is strictly personal.” Those things were all said during the voting process BEFORE Crystal screamed “Forget you, go home, bye!” loud enough for everyone to hear it. That had all of the makings for a memorable Tribal Council before Randy was duped by Runaround Bob’s phony idol. I love me some Randy, but this entire Tribal was amazing.

“Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites” – Episode 10 Tribal Council: They billed it as the “Craziest Tribal Council ever” and it didn’t disappoint. Malcolm wanted “Fun sponge” Phillip out of the game, and he made it happen despite his alliance being down in the numbers seven amigos to three. Idols were played, an alliance had to immediately turn on itself, and bros were held up. It was awesome.  

Dalton Ross – Entertainment Weekly

Dalton Ross is an Editor at Large at Entertainment Weekly. He’s also the host of EW Morning Live on Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105). He may have written about this show once or twice over the past 14 years.

“Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs Favorites” – Episode 13 Tribal Council: “I wanna give individual immunity to Natalie.” And with those words, Erik Reichenbach entered “Survivor” immortality. Erik’s move was so shocking that producers did not even attempt to mask who was going home as a result — showing every single vote cast against him, and every single befuddled look from the jury along with it. “You’re crazy,” said Parvati while casting her vote. “You will officially go down as the dumbest Survivor ever in the history of “Survivor”…ever!” She’s not wrong.

“Survivor: Borneo” – Final Tribal Council: Over 54 million people watched the season 1 finale in which Richard Hatch faced off against Kelly Wigglesworth with a million dollars on the line. And 54 million mouths dropped wide open when Sue Hawk delivered her infamous “rat and snake” speech. And they dropped even wider when the show’s villain — Hatch — walked away with the loot.

“Survivor: Cook Islands” – Episode 15 Final Four Tribal Council (“We Didn’t Start the Fire”): With the votes deadlocked going down from 4 players to 3, Becky and Sundra went to a fire-making tiebreaker to see who would move on to the final 3 with Yul and Ozzy. Just one problem: Neither could make fire. After an hour of futility — and most of the jury falling asleep — Jeff Probst finally announced “We’re gonna go to matches.” But wait, it gets even better…which is to say, worse. Because then they STILL couldn’t make fire! After another 30 minutes, Sundra ran out of matches and Becky finally won. Ineptitude has never been more comical.

Tom Santilli – Examiner.com

Tom Santilli is the “Survivor Examiner,” having covered “Survivor” for Examiner.com and TheTVKing.com since 2009 and having been a rabid fan since the very beginning.  He is also a film critic and appears weekly on the syndicated TV show “Movie Show Plus.”  (follow him on Twitter, @tomsantilli and at TomSantilli.com).  He claims to own his own “Medallion of Power” that gives him a slight advantage in writing “Survivor” recaps.

I’m assuming everyone is going to put the final Tribal Council from Season 1 (Sue Hawk’s “rat and snake” speech) as well as Parvati’s double-idol play (from “Heroes vs Villains”)…those two should be Hall of Fame moments. But to liven things up a bit, here are three of my favorite OTHER Tribal Councils

“Survivor: Marquesas” – Episode 13 Final Four Tribal Council: Who can forget the bum deal Paschal English got when he drew the purple rock that sent him home? The final four players first competed in an immunity challenge right at Tribal Council. Then future All-Star Kathy Vavrick-O’Brien pleads with immunity holder Vecepia to force a tie vote…which indeed happened, with two votes for Kathy and two for Neleh. After they couldn’t come up with a unanimous vote, they were told to pull rocks and Paschal pulled the unlucky purple rock despite not having one single vote cast against him the entire game. It’s still controversial to this day and definitely needs to be in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

“Survivor: Pearl Islands” – Episode 7 Tribal Council: “Per your wishes, Go home.” Those were the parting words of Jeff Probst to Osten Taylor, the first person to ever quit the game. It was a big moment because nobody had ever quit on “Survivor” prior to this, and I remember watching it, screaming at my TV, “You can’t QUIT ‘Survivor!’” Other than medical emergencies, it was the first time someone had their torch snuffed at Tribal where the famous “the tribe has spoken” line wasn’t uttered.

“Survivor: Samoa” – Episode 9 Tribal Council: “I ain’t finished playin’ just yet.” You can hate on him all you want these days, but there was nothing in “Survivor” history like watching Russell Hantz go from interesting underdog to “Survivor” Legend. In one of many amazing Tribals, his “Legend” status was solidified when he played his second immunity idol of the season during this episode, completely blindsiding the wide-eyed Galu tribe, and sending Kelly home instead. It also put an exclamation point on the “always split your votes” strategy, used meticulously to this very day by every majority alliance. It was at this precise moment that real “Survivor” history was made, and it deserves strong consideration for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates and Tribal Council nominations.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Famer Parvati Shallow’s Top Tribal Councils

December 7, 2014

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

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, 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 “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have 2010 inductee Parvati Shallow as a part of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Parvati (along with Host Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) will nominate her three favorite Tribal Councils.

Then, from Monday, December 8, 2014 at 10 am ET through Friday December 12, 2014 at 5 pm ET, the top three Tribal Councils will be chosen by a fan vote.

Note: All of the nominations were requested at the same time, so some Tribal Councils may be nominated more than once.

Parvati Shallow’s “Survivor” Hall of Fame Nominations…

“Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs Favorites” – Episode 13 Tribal Council: Erik gives Natalie the immunity necklace. This moment blew my mind. I was so glad I was sitting behind Erik, and he couldn’t see my face. I think if he saw how hard my jaw hit the floor he would have changed his mind and kept his necklace. Thanks to the team of superhero women I was working with in Micronesia, this became one of the most incredible Tribal Council blindsides of all time.

“Survivor: Borneo” – Final Tribal Council: Sue Hawk’s snake and rat speech.  I’m throwing this one in there so they’re not all about me. 🙂  The very first season of “Survivor” rocked my world even though I didn’t see it until a week before boarding my plane to the Cook Islands. When Sue Hawk tore into the final two, describing her desire to “watch the snake eat the rat,” she spoke to the raw emotion people feel upon being voted out or betrayed. That was my first glimpse into the heavy reality of competing in the “Survivor” arena.

“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” – Episode 6’s 1st Tribal Council: Russell gives me his idol and saves me in “Heroes vs Villains” and Tyson votes himself out. I knew I was in trouble at this Tribal Council. I also did not know that Russell was prepared to generously sacrifice his own safety in the game for me. In the moment, it was all a blur. But, when the dust settled and I was eating hot dogs on the other side, I was ecstatic. This move was a huge risk for Russell, and it paid off HUGE by granting us both the opportunity to fight all the way to the end.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates and Tribal Council nominations.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Famer Kim Spradlin’s Top Tribal Councils

December 7, 2014

2013 'Survivor' Hall of Famer Kim Spradlin (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, 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 “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have 2013 inductee Kim Spradlin as a part of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Kim (along with Host Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) will nominate her three favorite Tribal Councils.

Then, from Monday, December 8, 2014 at 10 am ET through Friday December 12, 2014 at 5 pm ET, the top three Tribal Councils will be chosen by a fan vote.

Note: All of the nominations were requested at the same time, so some Tribal Councils may be nominated more than once.

Kim Spradlin’s “Survivor” Hall of Fame Nominations…

“Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs Favorites” – Episode 13 Tribal Council: Erik R. giving his idol to Natalie on “Fans vs. Favorites”…um, oh my, I know everyone balks, but it seems like he could have easily won the rest of the immunity challenges and the game if he’d just sat tight with his idol. Hard lesson learned, I guess.

“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” – Episode 10 Tribal Council: Parvati with her two idols in “Heroes vs. Villains”…this was so amazing to me. Not only that she played them both, but neither one for herself – this move changed the game.

“Survivor: Fiji” – Episode 14 Final Four Tribal Council: Dreamz going back on the truck-for-immunity deal he made with Yau-Man. A crazy moment where you find yourself being appalled at Dreamz, but really it is a game and everyone lies like crazy so I guess that was really Yau’s own fault.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates and Tribal Council nominations.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Famer Cirie Fields’ Top Three Tribal Councils

December 5, 2014

2011 "Survivor" Hall of Famer Cirie Fields (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” coverage with “all the fixin’s.” We’ll have Power Rankings with “Cagayan” fave Spencer Bledsoe, 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 “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have 2011 inductee Cirie Fields as a part of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Cirie (along with Host Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) will nominate her three favorite Tribal Councils.

Then, from Monday, December 8, 2014 at 10 am ET through Friday December 12, 2014 at 5 pm ET, the top three Tribal Councils will be chosen by a fan vote.

Note: All of the nominations were requested at the same time, so some Tribal Councils may be nominated more than once.

Cirie Fields’ “Survivor” Hall of Fame Nominations…

“Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs Favorites” – Episode 13 Tribal Council: So my first pick… for obvious reasons would be Erik giving his immunity necklace to Natalie at Tribal. We’re coming up on our 30th season and prior to the gazillions of idols floating around how many people gave away immunity at TRIBAL COUNCIL and were voted OUT IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS?

“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” – Episode 10 Tribal Council: My second pick would be Parv’s amazing display of ultimate control when she did not panic and use either of her idols on herself, but used not one, but both of them for the advancement of her entire team. Bravo, Parv!

“Survivor: China” – Episode 7 Tribal Council: My third pick should at least get an honorable mention. It is Jaime Dugan playing the very first fake immunity idol. Hilarious and brilliant.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates and Tribal Council nominations.

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


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