Archive for December, 2014

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame: Host Jeff Probst Names His Top Tribal Councils

December 5, 2014

'Survivor' Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst (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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As members of the Executive Voting Committee, “Survivor” Host Jeff Probst (along with other “Survivor” luminaries) will nominate his 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.

Jeff Probst’s “Survivor” Hall of Fame Nominations…

“Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs Favorites” – Episode 13 Tribal Council: Erik gave up his immunity necklace to Natalie and moments later was voted out. 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.

“Survivor: Blood vs. Water” – Episode 12 Tribal Council: Ciera goes for broke and forces everyone to draw rocks. The drawing-rock tie breaker is so severe that it rarely happens because the risk is so high and nobody wants to go home simply because they drew the wrong colored rock! Especially when they were safe to begin with! Ciera earned the right to call herself a “big time player” by making this move because this is the kind of move winners make. You must play big. Yes, it may fail. It probably will. But you have no shot to win without going big. This moment was so shocking I literally heard the yells of crew members who were watching on a monitor thousands of yards away. I kid you not. I heard the gasp. Fortunately none of the players did.

“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” – Episode 10 Tribal Council: Parvati plays two idols for Sandra and Jerri. She didn’t even tell her closest ally, Russell about the plan. This is number one for me because it was a massive game changer and illustrated why Parvati has been so successful on the show. Advantages are very hard to come by on “Survivor” so when you have one, or two in this case, the key is how to maximize their value. Most players would have held onto those two idols and used them to save their own hide at two different Tribal Councils. That wouldn’t be a bad move, it guarantees you to get pretty deep in the game. But Parvati wasn’t going for deep – she was going for the win. By sacrificing her own safety she flipped the game and made it to the final where she lost to “Survivor’s” only two-time winner, Sandra Diaz-Twine.

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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‘Survivor’ Castaway Alec: ‘I Don’t Not Like Baylor’

December 5, 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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There are only about 44 minutes in an actual “Survivor” episode. Once you get through the challenges, Tribal, and Baylor hatred, there isn’t much time to show meat collecting.

But rest assured, meat collecting was happening.

I spoke to the show’s first ever meat collector the morning after his elimination and had a chance to ask him about his relationship with Baylor, his flirty ways, and the accusation that some of his actions were sexist.

Gordon Holmes: First and foremost; what’s a meat collector?
Alec Christy: (Laughs) That’s great. Me and my buddies are exactly that. Our fridge is filled with venison, tuna, mahi mahi…we kill stuff, we fillet it, we put it in our fridge. We collect it, we cook it. That’s what we do. We’re big on killing things that were once living and putting them in our fridge.

Holmes: You and Baylor…one second she’s sitting on your lap, the next you want her to smell your farts.
Christy: (Laughs) That’s great, man. Oh my gosh. It’s just tough to be out there with someone for that long. Every little tendency Baylor would have would start to frustrate me. I don’t know. But, at the same time, I like Baylor. Baylor’s a sweet girl. I’m still frustrated with her. Her running to her mom, and then she’s crying…there were a lot of factors about her that frustrated me. She’s still just a little 20-year-old girl. She’s still growing up and stuff. I don’t not like Baylor. When you’re out there and you can snap so easily because you’re hungry or tired or whatever, I think my frustration toward her just shined more.

Holmes: When Jon was away at Exile you were accused of flirting with Jaclyn. Was that part of a strategy, or was that just everyday Alec?
Christy: I think it’s a little of both. It could fall under everyday Alec. But, I needed Jaclyn and I needed Jon. I thought, “Let’s go see what you can do here.” I was being nice, trying to talk to her. It was nothing past playing the game for me.
Holmes:  Your brother didn’t last long into the game. It’s got to feel good to have those bragging rights.
Christy: I think Drew knew that I was going to beat him. Drew’s a little bit more high maintenance. Drew doesn’t rough it the way that I do. I’ll get my punches in because I beat him in “Survivor.” I’ll be able to hold onto that forever. I’m proud of Drew. We’re glad we did it together. But, I’ll be able to say, “You got voted out on day nine after you threw a challenge. How does that feel?”
Holmes: The big question is; who has the more impressive meat collection?
Christy: Oh, no way. Drew is not a meat collector. Everybody loves that quote, “Meat Collector.”
Holmes: I’m thinking it’d be an outstanding title for a horror flick.
Christy: (Laughs) “Meat Collector!” Like with a chainsaw or something.

Holmes: Drew said some misogynistic things, calling people a “b—h.” There was the situation where Jaclyn thought you, Keith, and Wes were being sexist. Were these things you were cognizant of at the time or has it just come to light now that it was viewed this way?
Christy: I said it like it was. If you want to call me rude because I tell you how I really feel about you when you do nothing all day and the reason you’re surviving is because of me and the other people that are making the fire, collecting wood, getting water? I’m busting my knuckles open to get clams off of these rocks while you sit and then you eat more than me? That’s not cool. If you want to vote me out or call me rude, whatever, do it. But, I can’t live that way. I wasn’t raised that way where I can watch people work while I sit on my ass. That was not OK.
Holmes: So the accusation that your behavior was sexist…
Christy: Oh, I am not sexist. I have nothing against any of those women except that I was carrying more weight than I needed to because you’re not carrying enough.

Holmes: We didn’t get to see much of you out there due to the edit. Is there anything you were doing that you want us to know about?
Christy: I had a pretty strong gameplan with Josh, Jon, and Jaclyn. And Jon and I had a big conversation they didn’t show with Josh about getting Jeremy out when Julie was still in the game. So, that was going to be a huge move. It was going to set up a lot of things for me. After that I was still working with Jon to get Missy out or Natalie or whoever. I really was trying to play with Jon and Jaclyn because I knew Missy and Baylor were all over the board and I didn’t want to play with them. But, Jon was too hesitant to make a big move.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Jon.
Christy: A little bit naïve.
Holmes: Keith?
Christy: Man, country boy.
Holmes: Jaclyn?
Christy: Miss Michigan.
Holmes: Missy?
Christy: Conniving.
Holmes: Baylor?
Christy: Young.
Holmes: Natalie?
Christy: Natalie was a bad ass.
Holmes: Wes?
Christy: He was outgoing, he was funny, he had this awesome accent. And that kid loves “Survivor.”
Holmes: Let’s finish with Drew.
Christy: Drew was overconfident and maybe full of himself.

Holmes: If Julie hadn’t quit and you’d been able to bounce Jeremy, what would’ve been your goal for final three partners?
Christy: It would’ve been tough to go to the final three without Natalie or someone like that. But I would’ve tried to get there with Jaclyn and Baylor.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Famer Rob Cesternino’s Top Three Tribal Councils

December 4, 2014

2012 'Survivor' Hall of Famer Rob Cesternino (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 2012 inductee Rob Cesternino as a part of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Rob (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, and other “Survivor” luminaries) will nominate his 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.

Editor’s Note: If you are missing out on Rob Cesternino’s “Rob Has a Podcast,” you are missing out on the best non-wrestling podcast on the Internet.

Rob Cesternino’s “Survivor” Hall of Fame Nominations…

It’s once again an honor to be included in this year’s proceedings for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.  While there have been a plethora of amazing Tribal Councils in the storied history of “Survivor” – I’m going to focus exclusively on moments from the first couple of seasons.  I suspect you’ll get plenty of coverage from the recent seasons but I want to make sure that classic “Survivor” is well represented in the Hall of Fame.

“Survivor: Borneo” – Final Tribal Council (Snakes & Rats)

“But if I would ever pass you along in life and you are laying there, dying of thirst, I would not give you a drink of water.  I would let the vultures take you and do whatever they want with you with no ill regrets”

Sue Hawk’s speech at the final Tribal Council is a transcendent moment not only in the history of “Survivor” but also in the history of television.  It’s a moment where tens of millions of people could tell you where they were at the exact moment that she said it.  It’s amazing, it’s insane and it’s everything that we love about “Survivor.”

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.  I got to play with Sue Hawk on “Survivor: All-Stars” and asked her about it every chance I got.  In a related story, she voted me off the first chance she got, but I’d like to think she’d still give me a drink of water if I was lying on the road, dying of thirst with vultures circling.

“Survivor: The Australian Outback” – Episode 7 Tribal Council (Jeff Varner Gets Screwed)

Back in 2001, people wondered if “Survivor” could do it again when the show launched its second season “Survivor: The Australian Outback.”  This time around, the players had seen the game before and both the Kucha and Okagor tribes knew they had to come in to the merge with numbers.  After Mike Skupin got burned in the fire, Kucha and Okagor came in to the merge with five members each.  Following an all-day immunity challenge, the merged tribe went to Tribal Council completely divided.

Each original tribe voted in unison with Kucha putting all their votes on Colby and the former Okagor members voting for Jeff Varner.  At this time in “Survivor,” a tie was broken based on previous votes and Jeff had a vote cast against him at the first Tribal Council by Debb Eaton.  Smartly, Tina Wesson asked Kucha member, Kimmi Kappenberg, about who Debb voted for and Kimmi revealed it was Jeff.  Tina filed that piece of information in her pocket and targeted Varner for the first vote after the merge.

After the tribes got to a stalemate at five votes a piece, Jeff Probst asked Colby and Varner to reveal their previous votes.  Colby had none and Jeff had one (that he knew of).  It was enough and Jeff Varner became the first player voted out after the merge.  This one vote sealed the game for Okagor as they controlled the numbers and picked off the rest of the Kucha tribe over the course of the season.  Props to Tina, Colby, and the rest of the Okagors but it was a great loss to lose Jeff Varner, who I think is one of the great underrated players.

“Survivor: Marquesas” – Episode 13 Final Four Tribal Council (The Purple Rock)

All through “Survivor: The Australian Outback” and “Survivor: Africa,” the prospect of a tie vote loomed over the game.  After this one Tribal Council, “Survivor” players would never think of tie votes in the same way.  In “Survivor: Marquesas,” they were down to only four players by Day 37 with Neleh and Paschal joined as a tight two, Kathy as the third member of their alliance and Vecepia on the outside looking in.  After Vecepia won immunity at Final 4, Neleh and Paschal realized the vote should be for Kathy and Kathy did too.

Kathy asked the now immune Vecepia to vote with her.  With nothing to lose, Vecepia agreed to work with her.  For Kathy, the strategy makes all the sense in the world.  Since Vee has immunity, and Paschal and Neleh won’t vote for one another, Kathy will be voted out of the tribe.  Kathy is willing to join Vee and risk her 100% chance of being voted out of the game in exchange for a 66.66% percent chance of STAYING in the game by picking a yellow rock.

For Paschal and Neleh, either of them could have guaranteed their own safety in the game by offering to join Vee and Kathy in voting the other one out.  Obviously, Neleh or Paschal don’t want to do that because of their friendship so instead they will gamble on the 33% chance that Kathy pulls the purple rock out of the bag.  Furthermore, if their gamble is correct and Kathy pulls the yellow rock, they’ll control the votes heading in to a final 3 vs. Vecepia.

Jeff instructed the three rock-pullers to take a rock out of the bag one at a time without looking at it.  He would have them all open their palm simultaneously for the results.  Neleh went first, then Kathy and finally Paschal.  “That feels like Purple, Jeff”, Paschal joked as he took his rock out of the bag.  However, Paschal soon found out that the purple rock was not a joke.  After 37 days, Paschal was voted out by picking the wrong colored rock.

The purple rock was a transformative moment in the game that would change the way players play going forward.  Sure, we’ll still have ties at the final four in a few seasons but other than the 2-2 stalemate, no vote will go to rocks again for another 23 seasons!  Ultimately, the fear of getting Paschal’ed (with all due respect to Katie Collins) will usually get one of the players to flip and avoid the purple rock scenario entirely.  It’s because of this, I think this Tribal Council deserves a place in 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’ Castaway Reed: ‘I Let a 20 Year Old Get My Goat’

December 4, 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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Every “Survivor” fan dreams of going on the show, winning challenges, swinging votes, orchestrating a brilliant blindside, and walking away with a big, fat check.

Well, Reed will have to settle for four out of five.

I spoke to one half of the Broadway duo the morning after his elimination and asked about Keith’s blunder, Alec’s flirting, and Missy’s wrath…

Gordon Holmes: Why were you flirting with Jaclyn when her boyfriend was at Exile?
Reed Kelly: (Laughs)
Holmes: Wait, those are my questions for Alec.
Kelly: (Laughs)
Holmes:  I can salvage this…why was Alec flirting with Jaclyn?
Kelly: That’s just Alec. It’s who he is. How can you not love that face? He’s trying to work his game. I give him props.

Holmes: You’re a Broadway talent. On a scale from one-to-ten, how do you rate Jon’s Disney singing ability?
Kelly: I have to say, I was really impressed. His singing I’ll give him like a six, but his character work is definitely a nine or ten, Gordon.
Holmes: That’s been a popular opinion that his character stuff is scary good.
Kelly: Within the Broadway community we have a special appreciation for people like Jon. He’s passionate about his Disney movies.

Holmes: Are you going to be watching “Peter Pan Live!” tonight?
Kelly: Absolutely. All of my friends are on it. I’m so excited for them.

Holmes: It looked like you had Jon and his idol out of the game and then Keith…uh…he had his moment.
Kelly: Stick to the plan, Gordon!
Holmes: Have four words ever been more disastrous?
Kelly: What happened was, there were so many plates spinning to make it happen. And I told Wes and Keith, “We can make this happen, this is going to be epic. Just don’t get spooked. I’m going to have to come after you at Tribal and draw attention to the fact that you guys have an idol. Don’t let this throw you. The only reason I’m doing this is I have to make the majority alliance believe that I’m really with them. Don’t freak out.” But, apparently I’m too good of an actor because I really freaked them out.
Holmes: In their defense, you are a professional actor.
Kelly: (Laughs) It was one of those moments where he said, “We need to stick to the plan” and I wanted to step outside and light myself on fire.
Holmes: There are many convenient ways to do that at Tribal.
Kelly: I know, right? But it happened, and I adore Keith and Wes. It’s just interesting when you’re working with people who aren’t huge “Survivor” fans and they don’t behave in a predictable manner.
Holmes: When Josh wants to get your goat, does he say, “Stick to the plan?”
Kelly: (Laughs) There’s so many other ways that I can get back at him, that we kind of don’t do that. When you beat someone in a sumo challenge, that’s always good material.

Holmes: I like players who appreciate good moves, even if they’re against them. And it seemed like Jon had a positive attitude after you almost sent him home.
Kelly: I think Jon is just good-natured in general. Almost to a point where it gets frustrating because you get a lot of nice things with Jon and you say, “OK, you’re very sweet. But, I need you to stand up for something right now.”

Holmes:  Jon said he trusted you last night, then Natalie swung over and he was like, “You scoundrel, I can never trust you.” Did you have a chance to address that again after his fight with Jaclyn?
Kelly: No Gordon, that was it. I had to sneak off into the woods and circle around just to have that conversation with Jon and Jaclyn. Missy and Natalie were guarding Jon. They were watching him like a hawk. I feel like Jaclyn was down with the plan, but when you have two people who start fighting with each other for five-to-six hours, it doesn’t make for the best gameplay. I felt like Jon was open to the idea for a minute.
Holmes: Jon and Jaclyn always find themselves in the middle. Is this a larger strategy or do they just go where the wind takes them?
Kelly: Yes. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs)
Kelly: They really were in the middle. It was because they were playing for opportunities which can be a strategy. But, it’s frustrating when you’re wondering where they’re going to be this time. I’m not sure if it was a strategy for them, or if it was just the circumstances they found themselves in.

Holmes: You and Missy had it out after you called Baylor a brat. I found this annoying because I’m thinking at this point you’re headed for the jury. Terrible jury management.
Kelly: Absolutely. And the moment if flew out of my mouth I thought, “Why did you do that?” You’re not only attacking Baylor, but you’re attacking her parenting style. I regretted it. But what you didn’t see is Baylor had been ragging on me all day. You’re starving, you’re exhausted. It is what it is. I knew there was no coming back from that. But, I tried to extend an olive branch after they returned from the reward. I kind of got this thing from Baylor where I’m apologizing and she said, “You know, Reed. You just really need to learn to tame your tongue.” And I was like “OK! I’m not going to go any further with this.” My mom raised me better. I’m a little frustrated that I let a 20 year old get my goat.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Jon.
Kelly: Wine.
Holmes: Rocker?
Kelly: Big.
Holmes: Jaclyn?
Kelly: Pageant.
Holmes: Missy?
Kelly: She-wolf.
Holmes: Natalie?
Kelly: Hysterical.
Holmes: Baylor?
Kelly: No comment.
Holmes: Alec?
Kelly: Bro!
Holmes: Wes?
Kelly: Road house.
Holmes: Keith?
Kelly: Spit.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Josh.
Kelly: Aww…love.
Holmes: Adorable.

Holmes: So, nobody has given a positive answer for Baylor yet.
Kelly: Really? That’s unfortunate. I don’t dislike her as a human being, but it was rough out there with Missy and Baylor.

Holmes: You are a super fan. You got out there and made some major moves. What is your takeaway from the experience?
Kelly: I get really mushy about it. It really is a dream come true. You’re out there and you’re miserable, but for me I was so loving and hating it. Jeff Probst is like “Reed is doing this!” and “Reed is doing that!” and I’m thinking, “Jeff Probst is saying my name right now!” It’s so epic and beyond words and such a blessing because there are so many super fans who want to do the show. I hope we gave the super fans some hope.

Holmes: You and Josh are abstaining from sex until marriage.
Kelly: Yes, it is a daily commitment.
Holmes: Are there any plans for a marriage?
Kelly: I think at this point we would say we’re seriously dating with intent on marriage. It’s something we talk about quite frequently. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was on the very near horizon.

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

‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ Episode 11/12 Recap: The Silent Assassin

December 3, 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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Last Week:  Reed performed a split, Team Jacljon’s vote were split, and Wes just split.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The #Huyopa Tribe (wearing blue)

Alec – 22, Student
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
Reed – 31, Broadway Performer

Quick Note: We are flying without a DVR tonight. So, if I miss anything, I apologize.

Jon is a happy camper after last week’s crazytown Tribal. He claims he was going to play the idol, without Natalie’s pleading. Whatever dude, you owe Natalie a mega hug.

Later, he discusses things with Jaclyn and says that they should take as much credit as possible to look good in front of the jury. After he explains to her what a jury is, she thinks she deserves some of the credit for him playing the idol and they have a little spat over it. This is kind of a stupid thing to fight over. If my girlfriend wins a million dollars, I can still get the gold-plated back-scratcher I’ve had my eye on.

Later, some guy named Alec is really upset at Keith for giving away his alliance’s plan.

Reward Challenge Time: The players will answer questions about their tribemates. If they get it right, they’ll get to chop a tribemate’s rope. If a person loses three ropes, they’re out. Last person standing gets a horseback ride to a resort.

Round One: Natalie and Nadiya are twins. Who else has a twin? The correct answer is Jeremy. Everyone gets it right except for Keith.

Natalie cuts Reed, Jon cuts Reed, Alec cuts Natalie, and Missy eliminates Reed.

Jaclyn and Baylor both cut Alec. Reed cuts Missy.

Round Two: Who owns a tanning business? Everyone knows this was Julie.

Jon eliminates Alec.

Alec cuts Jon, Missy and Jaclyn cut Keith, Keith cuts Missy, and Baylor eliminates Keith.

Natalie discusses her swing with the rest of her alliance.

Probst interrupts them and asks if they’re wasting everyone’s time. They all agree that Missy will get the reward, so Probst cancels the rest of the challenge. What?! But the art department worked so hard!

Jon volunteers to go to Exile. Missy decides to take Baylor and Natalie on the reward.

Probst points out that the five-person alliance looks like a three-person alliance now.

Reed’s cool with it though, because he likes Jaclyn. Reed and Baylor get into it and he calls her a “brat.” Missy does not approve of this and flips right out.

Way to butter up those future jurors, Missy.

The trio heads off and Jaclyn is not happy. She feels like Jon sacrificed by going to Exile and she got nothing. And still no credit!

Jon is psyched to be back at Exile because two of the forty idols were played at the last Tribal. He takes about five minutes to look around…and finds another one.
Yup.

At the resort, Natalie points out that it might have been a mistake not taking Jaclyn on the reward. I swear, her and Reed are the only players left.

Natalie also tells Missy that her and Baylor have an idol. Missy is very proud of her daughter for finding an idol.

NOTE: Baylor totally didn’t find that idol.

The trio agrees to take each other to the final three. There’s no way Natalie would lose.

Back at #Huyopa beach, Reed and Alec begin Operation Suck Up to Jaclyn. This is smart because Jaclyn is still mad about the reward snub.

When the trio gets back to camp, Missy tries to get back on Jaclyn’s good side. Because that worked so well with Julie.

Later, Jaclyn tries to figure out the Baylor/Alec relationship. He says he wouldn’t go on a date with her. He doesn’t say whether or not he still wants to fart on her.

Natalie believes there’s some flirting going on between Jaclyn and Alec. She doesn’t think the body language they’re showing to each other is appropriate. Could you imagine an affair during a “Blood vs. Water” season? The producers’ heads would explode with joy.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will balance a paddle on a stand. They’ll roll a ball down the paddle and try to get the ball to stay in a hole. First person to fill their holes with balls wins  immunity. (I feel awful for having typed that last sentence.)

Not much to describe here except for ball rollin’ and paddle balancin’. Jon jumps out to a lead, but Keith manages to pass him and win immunity.

The howler monkeys greet the tribe as they return to camp. Or, so editing would have us believe.

Jaclyn is debating between voting for Missy or Reed. She approaches Jon with this news and he’s bummed because he just wanted to cuddle. They have yet another spat and she walks away from him.  She breaks down because she thinks what happened to her doesn’t matter to him because he has it all figured out.

Reed approaches them and Jon says that he still trusts Reed in spite of what happened at the last Tribal. Then Natalie comes over and Jon says he can’t trust Reed ever again.  Master strategist.

Next up, he admits to Missy that he found an idol. Jaclyn doesn’t like this because Jon asks his mom for advice in real life and now Missy is his new mom. OK, I need to make sure my girlfriend never goes on “Survivor.”

Jon tries to talk to Jaclyn, but she’s just not having it. Five hours later, she still not having it. This is kind of awesome.

Reed is very concerned that he might go home because of Jaclyn giving Jon the silent treatment.

That night at Tribal, Jon explains the tiff he and Jaclyn had. Oh man, Probst can’t wait to play relationship counselor.

Reed thinks it was frustrating because he didn’t get as much of a chance to scramble.

Jon laughs because they’re in the middle again. That just might be a sign that you’re wishy-washy.

Missy doesn’t think she should be a target because she’s not the leader. Also, they shouldn’t trust someone who just targeted Jon.

Missy then calls Alec out for flirting with Jaclyn.

Jon thinks it’s a little weird the way Alec and Jaclyn flirt. Seconded.

Jaclyn admits that she was hurt that she wasn’t chosen to go on the reward.

Missy says she knew choosing Natalie would be an issue. Then why not take Natalie and Jaclyn and leave Baylor?!

Voting Time: Missy votes for Reed, Reed votes for Missy, and the rest are secret.

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

Back at camp, Jon and Jaclyn kiss and makeup. Adorable.

Alec is upset because he doesn’t have anyone to talk to. Sad Meat Collector.

The next morning, Jon admits to Alec that he trusts his alliance and that Alec probably won’t find any cracks.

We’re hearing a lot from Alec. That can’t be good for his future.

Reward Challenge Time: Players will stand on a small block while stabilizing a ball against a post with a piece of wood. Last person standing will have a bed delivered to camp. They’ll also get to have all kinds of delicious food.

The challenge starts and there isn’t much to describe except for block standin’ and ball stabilizin’.

Alec’s out quickly. He’s followed by Missy, Keith, and Baylor.

We’re down to Jon, Natalie, and Jaclyn.

Jon struggles for a while, then drops out.

Natalie should consider throwing this. If she wins, who would she choose?

And just as I type that, Jaclyn fall out.

Natalie chooses Alec to go to Exile. She then picks Jon and Jaclyn to share her reward with. Smart.

Missy’s annoyed because she wasn’t picked. Missy, shut up. Do you understand how this show works? (Unless you’re acting up so JaclJon doesn’t think you have a final three alliance. In that case; well played.)

When the bed is delivered, Missy, Baylor, and Keith immediately head off to get water. Jon and Jaclyn don’t like that one bit, but Natalie tells them to chill out.

Natalie thinks that Keith is probably the next target, but she wants to get rid of Jon. Apparently she wants revenge for Jeremy.

Hmm…Baylor got rid of Nadiya. Where are your priorities Natalie?!

Jon proves that he doesn’t see Natalie’s wrath coming by admitting to her that he has an idol.

Natalie approaches Baylor with her idea, but she doesn’t want her to tell her mother. Oh man, too soon.

Baylor’s into this because she gets nervous around any man that her mother gets close to. Uh… This is like the deep relationship episode of “Survivor.”

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will hold a rope that’s attached to a wobbly table. They’ll have to gather blocks and stack them on the table. If the blocks fall, they have to drop the block they’re transporting, and put the blocks back up. First person to stack all of their blocks wins immunity.

The challenge starts and Keith gets an early lead, but Jaclyn and Jon both manage to pass him.

Eventually it comes down to Jon and Keith with Jon managing to pull off the win.

Politicking around camp centers around Keith vs. Alec. Jon wants to split the vote with the majority of the votes going toward Keith.

Natalie is bummed that she can’t get rid of Jon just yet. Dude, too soon.

Alec tries to sweet talk Baylor and she seems to like it. She tells him to be patient.

Keith gets in Natalie’s ear and tries to point her toward Jaclyn. She’s considering swaying the vote in Alec’s direction to keep Keith around. She thinks he’ll be loyal to her.

Natalie pitches this idea to Baylor and Baylor isn’t completely sold because she looooooves Alec.

That night at Tribal, Missy says she’s voting based on who’s strong in challenges. Jon agrees with her.

Keith admits that he’s good at challenges, but bad at other things…you know…like not blowing up your alliance’s secret strategies.

A rat runs across the Tribal set and everybody freaks out. Well, everyone except Alec. He says he’d eat it.

Ooo…a rat…symbolism? Just like “The Departed.”

Jon tells everyone that the wine at the reward reminded him of his dad who is dying of brain cancer.

Probst asks Keith if Jon’s tragedy could work against him. Keith thinks all’s fair in “Survivor.”

Natalie is confident that there won’t be any surprises in her alliance tonight.

Voting Time: Alec votes for Keith, Keith votes for Alec, and the rest of the votes aren’t for our eyes. No, they’re only for those who stick around through the credits.

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

Oh…Jon and Missy are not amused.

Verdict: Wow, two hours of “Survivor” and the best moment was in the last minute.

Who’s Going to Win? If Natalie can get to the end with Baylor and Missy, she’s gonna take it. Buuuuut…Jon’s got a hell of a resume. Should be interesting.

Power Rankings Results: Spencer had Reed in seventh and Alec in sixth. I had Reed in eighth and Alec in sixth. So, the current score is Team Farm Guy 92, Team Corinsanity 109.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame: Producers Name Their Top Three Tribal Councils

December 3, 2014

"Survivor" Hall of Fame

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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As members of the Executive Voting Committee, “Survivor” Producers Jesse Jensen and Matt Van Wagenen (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, 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.

Jesse Jensen’s “Survivor” Hall of Fame Nominations…

Man, it’s hard to remember them all or decide on what is the best, there have been so many great Tribals. But, if I were to pick, my three would be…

“Survivor: Borneo” – Final Tribal Council: I don’t think you can ignore  Season 1’s final Tribal for a classic. That “rats and snakes” speech from Sue Hawk was amazing and the shock of Richard winning makes it one of the greatest and most memorable of all time.

“Survivor: Cook Islands” – Episode 2 Tribal Council: It may be my warped sense of humor, but for sheer entertainment value when Billy Garcia declared his true love for Candice to Jeff at Tribal…that was pretty awesome.  Not a huge strategic Tribal Council but one of those great “Survivor” moments that you just don’t expect and that makes you laugh. I know from being on set that night it was really hard not to laugh out loud when it all happened.

“Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs Favorites” – Episode 12 Tribal Council: I think the Tribal when Amanda pulled the hidden Idol out after spending the day on Exile, busting her ass to find it was awesome. Everyone thought she was going home and she smugly pulled it out with such perfect timing, blindsiding everyone to save herself. A perfect “Survivor” moment.

Matt Van Wagenen’s “Survivor” Hall of Fame Nominations…

Okay, I’m partial to the seasons I worked on but here goes in no particular order…

“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” – Episode 10 Tribal Council: Parvati is considered one of the best players ever and this move is one of the reasons.  She played an idol for Sandra and an idol for Jerri and left herself vulnerable.  She guessed correctly and shifted the power of the entire game to the villains as JT was voted out.  Russell had no idea that she was going to do it and JT was sent home because of an idol that he gave away. I could watch the reactions of the jury, the Heroes and the Villains over and over and over again. Priceless.

“Survivor: Blood vs. Water” – Episode 12 Tribal Council: Normally castaways walk into Tribal Council fairly too committed to a decision.  Occasionally you see someone change their vote on the spot which is always exciting, but Ciera not only switched her vote, she forced a tie and went to drawing rocks.  It was a massive, bold move that could have taken Tyson, the eventual winner, out of the game but instead sent Katie packing.  To witness it live is still one of my favorite moments while working on the show.

“Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs Favorites” – Episode 13 Tribal Council: Eric giving up his immunity necklace will go down as one of the dumbest moves in “Survivor” history.  However, the fact that Cirie, Amanda, Parvati, and Natalie were able to bamboozle him into giving up the necklace in the first place should go down as one of the most brilliant and improbable moves of all time.

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: San Juan del Sur’ Power Rankings – Double Elimination Edition

December 3, 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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Important Announcement: The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is honoring the show’s most iconic Tribal Councils.

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

Last Week: Spencer and Gordon both had Wes in spot seven. So, the current score is Team Farm Guy 79, Team Corinsanity 95.

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

Team Farm Guy’s Score = 79

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

  Team Corinsanity’s Score = 95

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

 1. Jon – There looks to be trouble in paradise in this week’s “Survivor” double-header, as Jon and Jaclyn are seen fighting. They’ve both proven solid game players, though, and I trust the couple to keep their eyes on the prize even whilst hangry.
  1. Jaclyn – Natalie totally saved the day last week. If she doesn’t speak up at Tribal, Jon doesn’t play his idol, he’s sent packing, and you’re probably next. Now, don’t let that move make you feel too warm and fuzzy toward your new favorite Twinnie. With the exception of possibly Reed, Natalie is the last person you want to be sitting next to at the final Tribal.
 2. Jaclyn – With the numbers down to eight, Jon, Jaclyn, Missy, and Baylor have it within their power to face nothing worse than a tie at Tribal Council. If a dice roll comes, Jon and Jaclyn at least have an idol going their way.
  2. Baylor – I can’t imagine a scenario where Baylor could win at this point. She could get to the end against acne on prom night and yellow snow and still not get any votes.
 3. Baylor – In “Survivor,” any press is bad press, so it’s bad news that Reed is seen calling Baylor a brat. Whether he’s targeting her or trying to rustle her feathers, I felt better about Baylor when she was flying under the radar / Missy’s wing.
  3. Missy – I think you’re in the same boat with your daughter. You just haven’t done enough for a jury to award you the big prize.

 4. Natalie – Natalie’s in an excellent spot this week. She has an idol, and the Jon/Jaclyn/Baylor/Missy coalition need her vote. While shaking things up Ciera-style might be risky and mean a nonzero chance of going home, it could be the play she makes to have a shot at winning.
  4. Natalie – “Survivor” champions Ethan Zohn, Jenna Morasca, “Boston” Rob Mariano, and Amber Mariano have all played the “Amazing Race” and lost. Are we prepared for what’ll happen if Jeff Probst has to hand over a million-dollar check to one half of the Twinnies? (Also, what convenient bookends it’d be with Nadiya being the first out.)
 5. Missy – If Natalie decides to make something happen, and we end up in a gridlock, idols will become paramount. Natalie will have one. Jaclyn or Jon will have one. Missy will almost definitely not have one.
 5. Jon – You dodged a major bullet, buddy. And I’m betting things will finally calm down so you can cut the excess players from the tribe. But, don’t think for a second that because Natalie doesn’t have a loved one that she’s the right person to take to the end. I feel like people respect her game more than yours.
  6. Alec – “Survivor” teases that this week, contestants will willingly give up reward in the middle of a challenge. Surely they’re not talking about our beloved meat collector? Alec hasn’t made waves in a while, so hopefully two hours will be long enough to see something interesting from him.
 6. Alec – Hey…weren’t you on “Survivor”?
  7. Reed – You have to feel for someone who constructed a plan that was going to work – going to shake the game – and fell apart with four small words: “Stick to the plan.” Reed has fought the good fight, but he’s nearing his last lifeline, and has little hope of establishing long-term trust anywhere.
 7. Keith – Wow…just wow. That was… I can’t believe… Of all the… You know, when they talk about the biggest mistakes in “Survivor” history, people lean toward the showier ones like people being voted out with idols or Erik giving up his idol. But Keith’s has to be up there. If he’d played it right, he’d have the numbers and an idol right now.
  8. Keith – Talk about screwing the pooch. Keith claims not to understand “mathematics and all that mess,” and paid for it last week when he let the cat out of the bag regarding “that mess.” I’m rooting for more soundbites, but fear this is the week an idol-less Keith finally takes his last spit in San Juan Del Sur.
 8. Reed – Oh, Reed. You deserve better. It’s not your fault that Keith dropped the ball…and the ball rolled into the street…and a gasoline truck ran over the ball…and the truck swerved and hit a tree…and the gasoline doused the remnants of the ball…and an errant spark ignited the ball and burned it to dust…and then a dog relieved itself on the ashes...

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Famer Sandra Diaz Twine’s Top Three Tribal Councils

December 2, 2014

2010 "Survivor" Hall of Famer Sandra Diaz-Twine (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 Sandra Diaz-Twine as a part of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Sandra (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, 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.

Sandra Diaz-Twine’s “Survivor” Hall of Fame Nominations…

“Survivor: Borneo” – Final Tribal Council: Sue’s “Snakes and Rat” speech. After that people always brought the drama to Tribal Council. Put it all out there. Sue made you wanna make a difference and matter at Tribal Council. “Say what you mean and mean what you say.”

“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” – Episode 10 Tribal Council: The Double JT Idol takedown. I wanna thank the princess herself Ms. Parvati Shallow for giving Jerri and myself her JT idol and sending him packing and also using Russell’s idol and pissing him off and making his paranoia surface.

“Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs Favorites” – Episode 13 Tribal Council: I know Erik is tired that he can’t catch a break and put this ordeal behind him but when he gave Natalie his immunity and these Gangsta Girls sent him home it really opened eyes. No one ever wants to be another Erik!

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’ Castaway Wes – ‘My Dad Got Scared and Blurted It Out’

December 1, 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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Life is like a chicken nugget-eating contest. One minute you’re devouring delicious fried goodness and the next your dad accidentally spills vital information to the enemy and you’re a goner.

Wow, that analogy didn’t work out the way I had planned.

I spoke with the Wes in the days after his elimination and had a chance to ask him about his dad’s major error, the relationship between Alec and Baylor, and his poultry eating prowess…

Gordon Holmes: So, it seemed like everything was going smoothly last Wednesday until your dad mentioned sticking with the plan. Was that as big of a moment as it seemed on TV?
Wes Nale: Yes. It affected everybody’s game play. Reed told them not to worry, not to get nervous. So, my dad got scared and blurted it out.

Holmes: When your dad played his idol, he offered it to you, which is very nice. But had you ever discussed whoever had the lower number of votes hanging onto it?
Nale: If I had just kept it, he would’ve went home with three votes, and I’d have the idol. We talked about that. But, at the time we just didn’t do it.

Holmes: Jon and Jaclyn have been in the middle of three huge votes in a row. I’m not getting a great read on how they’re playing the game. I asked Jeremy this; are they secret geniuses or are they easily swayed?
Nale: I think Jaclyn is easily swayed. I don’t think she’s doing much in the game. She never came up to me and talked strategy, so why should I talk to her? Same with Alec. She’s calling us out for the guys not talking to her? We talked to Jon because he talked to us. I don’t think she’s playing too smooth of a game.
Holmes: Would Jon have held onto his idol if Natalie hasn’t talked him into it?
Nale: I think so. But it’s a throw up in the air. I have no idea.

Holmes: Last week Reed went into your dad’s bag and outted his idol clue. I figured that was it for you guys aligning with him, but you did. Were you worried about trusting him?
Nale: Yeah, I thought why would he do that if he’s in our alliance? I didn’t think he could be trusted. I didn’t know why he would do that? And giving up his reward for Missy? I thought that shouldn’t have been done.

Holmes: What was the relationship like between Alec and Baylor? One moment he wants her to smell his farts, the next she’s sitting on his lap.
Nale: I don’t think nothing would’ve ever sparked from that. They were just on an island together flirting with each other. I don’t think that possible alliance would’ve ever kicked off.

Holmes: Did you guys have any clue that Natalie had found a third idol?
Nale: No, I had no clue about that.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Alec.
Nale: My boy.
Holmes: Jon?
Nale: Liar.
Holmes: Jaclyn?
Nale: Lazy.
Holmes: Natalie?
Nale: Good player.
Holmes: Missy?
Nale: Useless.
Holmes: Baylor
Nale: Annoying.
Holmes: Reed?
Nale: Sneaky.
Holmes: Keith?
Nale: One liners.

Holmes: Did your time in the game help your relationship with your father?
Nale: It’s made it better. It was fun playing with him. It’s an experience we’ll always remember.

Holmes: And finally, fifty eight chicken nuggets?
Nale: (Laughs) You just eat as many as you can in five minutes. I was representing my high school.
Holmes: Did you win?
Nale: Yeah! Definitely.
Holmes: No sauce? Just dry nuggets?
Nale: Just dry nuggets.
Holmes: That’s my worst nightmare.

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


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