Archive for January, 2015

‘Survivor’ No Collar Will – “I’m Not Going to Compromise Who I Am”

January 30, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

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

Name: Will Sims II
Age: 41
Current Residence: Sherman Oaks, California
Occupation: YouTube Sensation

Gordon Holmes: It says here that one of your hobbies is karaoke. What’s your go-to jam?
Will Sims II:
My go-to jam is “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Last year me and my wife got pranked at the gas station by Jay Leno. I sang “Living on a Prayer” and she did “Sweet Dreams” from the Eurythmics.  And we had 25 million hits on YouTube.
Holmes:
What was it like to have that level of notoriety for something so odd?
Sims:
It was crazy. That’s just what we do. We have fun. Going to the gas station and singing? And 25 million hits later Bon Jovi sent us a video message. When patrons come to the bar they keep looking, then they finally figure out who I am. They take a picture, I give them a drink, and they leave me a nice tip.
Holmes:
And if you get in trouble in the game you can be like, “You can’t vote me out because the union’s been on strike and I’m down on my luck…it’s tough…”
Sims:
(Laughs) So tough. I don’t know if I’ll sing, but I’ll use my people skills to maneuver. It’s hard to vote someone off that you like.
Holmes:
Are you going to share your adventures at the gas pump with your tribemates?
Sims:
If they ask I’ll indulge. But if they don’t, no. I just want them to know me as Will.

Holmes: Are you a “Survivor” fan?
Sims: I am a “Survivor” fan. Probably not as big as everyone else, but I do enjoy the show.
Holmes: How often have you watched?
Sims: I’ve probably seen seven or eight seasons.
Holmes: Your bio says the “Survivor” you’re most like is Rupert, but it doesn’t expound on that. What Rupertarian characteristics do you possess?
Sims: Rupert was just a fun-loving guy. He took things as they came, he never really got stressed out.
Holmes: Fairplay might disagree with that.
Sims: (Laughs) Well, he stayed true to his self. That’s the kind of game I’m going to play.
Holmes: If you could align with any past “Survivor” who would it be?
Sims: I liked Tony, I liked Fairplay, and I like Rupert.
Holmes: How would they help your game?
Sims: Rupert and I would balance each other out. He’s a bigger guy. Fairplay, he’d bring out the sneakiness in me. I’d have to dig deep in my soul. The way he played it with his grandma, that was a little bit extreme for me.
Holmes: But ten years later we’re still talking about it.
Sims: Yeah, and Tony played the game well. Tony was just smart.

Holmes: There’s quite a bit of deception in this game. Are you comfortable lying or is that a line you won’t cross?
Sims: You have to. This game is about Outwit, Outplay, Outlast. Whatever I need to do, I’m going to do.
Holmes: Are you a good liar?
Sims: I’m a great liar. (Laughs)
Holmes: Are you able to detect when other people are lying?
Sims: Most of the time. There’s a difference between manipulating and blatantly lying. People who blatantly lie and you know they’re lying? That’s my pet peeve. But, if you embellish a little, that’s fine.

Holmes: Is your wife going to be upset if you need to get close to some of these ladies out here?
Sims: I’m a bartender, so I flirt to make tips. That’s not a problem. I just have to know the level of flirtation.
Holmes: Do you and your wife have a level that’s acceptable?
Sims: No, she trusts me. At the end of the day I am married and I’m faithful to my wife. I’m not going to be this male chauvinist and be like, “Hey…baby!” I’m going to…
Holmes: Is that you’re game? “Hey, baby!”
Sims: (Laughs)
Holmes: Cause what I do does not work. I might steal that.
Sims: (Laughs) I’m not going to compromise who I am just to get a million dollars.

Holmes: Do you have any experience roughing it?
Sims: Not like this.
Holmes: Nobody does.
Sims: (Laughs) Yeah, nobody does it like this. I’ll go to the beach, I fish, but nothing to this extreme.

Holmes: I’m gonna throw out some things that are in your future and you tell me how well you’ll deal with them. Let’s start with excessive sun.
Sims: That’s going to be tough. The sun is not my friend. I’ve got sensitive skin. I’m not worried about dehydration or starvation, I’m worried about the sun killing my skin.
Holmes: What about lack of sleep?
Sims: I’m used to going on three or four hours of sleep because I work nights. That’s not going to be a problem.
Holmes: Lack of food?
Sims: That’s no problem, I get sleepy.
Holmes: What about paranoia? People running off into the woods to talk about who knows what.
Sims: I think it’s something I’ll have to deal with as soon as we get into the game. You get a good sense of people. Hopefully I’ll get a good read and I won’t be too paranoid.

Holmes: If there is a twist to this season, what do you think it will be?
Sims: I think the only twist that could be a downfall for me is if I trust someone and they backstab me.
Holmes: That’s not a twist, that’s just something that happens. Often.
Sims: (Laughs) Yeah, but because I’m playing it, I’m going to take it personally.
Holmes: That does happen. There are friends who never talk again after the show because of something that happens out here.
Sims: It’s for a million dollars!

Holmes: What do you think of the cast so far?
Sims: I think we’ve got a good mix. I’m getting a good read. There are a couple of parents like me. I’m getting a good vibe from them. There’s one dude, I think he’s military, I’m getting a good vibe from him. Then we’ve got a couple of artistic people. We’ve got a guy that I call Fabio Jr. He’s got these feathers in his hair. I think it’s going to be a great season.

Holmes: I always feel like being a bartender is a great job to prep you for “Survivor.” You meet a wide variety of people and you need to make them like you.
Sims: Yeah, I think that’s going to be my strength. I think most of the gamers here know the game. I’m not as well adapted to the game as they are. I’ll have to use my people skills to know when to zig or to zag.
Holmes: You’re a bigger guy. How are you feeling about these challenges?
Sims: I’m excited. Puzzles I’m not too good at. So, hopefully during the single immunities  I won’t have any puzzles.

Holmes: What’re you going to do with that million dollar check?
Sims: I’m going to cry.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Sims: And then me, my wife, and my daughter are going to go on a vacation to South Africa for a few weeks.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

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‘Survivor’ White Collar Joaquin – “I Love Women, But I Love Money a Lot More”

January 29, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

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

Name: Joaquin Souberbielle
Age:
27
Current Residence:
Valley Stream, New York
Occupation:
Marketing Director

Joaquin Souberbielle: So, this is your job? You come to a beach and interview people?
Gordon Holmes: It’s not all I do, but it’s part of it.
Souberbielle: Do you have any openings? Need an assistant?
Holmes: You’ll have to get in line behind my mother and my girlfriend.
Souberbielle: Alright. (Laughs)

Holmes: It says here that you are “the best bull (expletive deleted) artist you’ve ever seen, hence my job.” How does that artistry tie into your job?
Souberbielle: I basically bull (expletive deleted) all day. I bull (expletive deleted) with the girls at the front desk to try to break down that barrier to find out who I need to get in contact with. And after I get into the office, I bull (expletive deleted) the doctor to let him know that he needs the services that we offer when the majority of the time he’s perfectly fine without them.
Holmes: And you’re very successful in this endeavor?
Souberbielle: Yeah, I’ve been doing sales my whole life, but I’ve been doing this since I graduated college in 2010.
Holmes: So you aren’t concerned about squaring off against some potential liars in this game.
Souberbielle: No, no I can tell when people are lying just by their mannerisms. The way they conduct themselves, the way they conjure up sentences. I have a really good way of telling. I’ve got like a lie meter.
Holmes: But how can you trick other people’s lie meters?
Souberbielle: Umm…
Holmes: It’s just a gift?
Souberbielle: Yeah. Sometimes I catch myself bull (expletive deleted) when I don’t need to bull (expletive deleted). Just to get one over on people when I shouldn’t be doing it. It’s fun for me, honestly. This is going to be a lot of fun for me. I honestly don’t think people have been working their whole entire lives to be a bull (expletive deleted) artist like I have.

Holmes: Derek Jeter is your inspiration in life, not because of his accomplishments on the baseball diamond, but for his legendary status as a ladies man.
Souberbielle: He’s a champ on the field, man. But you should see his resume of women he’s running through. He’s an all-star in my eyes. The guy’s a stud.
Holmes: Yankees fan?
Souberbielle: Yeah, I’m from New York.
Holmes: Cards fan.
Souberbielle: Oh, sorry to hear that.
Holmes: This interview is over.
Souberbielle: (Laughs)
Holmes: And in the rest of my interviews I’m going to tell everyone everything about you.
Souberbielle: (Laughs)
Holmes: Joaquin is a billionaire puppy murderer.

Holmes: You list “women” as one of your hobbies.
Souberbielle: I love women.
Holmes: Some people do puzzles and you…
Souberbielle: And I do women. I love all kinds of women. Short, tall, skinny, fat, dark, light…
Holmes: Life’s a buffet, my friend.
Souberbielle: It is, but I prefer brunettes. I don’t really do blondes. They were never really my cup of tea. I love women, but I love money a lot more. I won’t be blinded by the booty on this show.
Holmes: But flirting is in your arsenal.
Souberbielle: It’s key! It’s key to everything. In my job it’s the number one thing I have to do to get into these hospitals. The young girls, the wrinkly grandmothers, it doesn’t matter. I have no shame in my game. I do whatever I have to do to get what I want.
Holmes: Is there anyone at home who’s going to get annoyed if they see you flirting on “Survivor”?
Souberbielle: No, Joaquin is single. And, I like it that way. It keeps me out of trouble. I can do whatever I want. I’m going to have fun with these girls, I’m going to play with their minds. I’m going to play with their hearts.

Holmes: I like that one of the three things you’d take on an island is condoms. It shows you’re responsible.
Souberbielle: I’m a gentleman at the end of the day. Unfortunately we don’t have any on the island.
Holmes: I think there’s some kind of first aid kit.
Souberbielle: I think so, so maybe a rubber glove or something.
Holmes: Talk to Jeff.
Souberbielle: They want us to stay safe.
Holmes: The last thing they want is an island pregnancy.
Souberbielle: (Laughs) They might want that. It’s a nice story.
Holmes: You show up at the reunion with a little bundle of joy.
Souberbielle: The reunion is in June, that’s in nine months.
Holmes: For a reward you have pre-natal vitamins.
Souberbielle: (Laughs)
Holmes: This conversation went to a very weird place.
Souberbielle: That’s OK. I’m comfortable.
Holmes: That’s my goal.

Holmes: If there’s a twist, what do you think it’ll be?
Souberbielle: Oh man… Who the (expletive deleted) knows? Maybe they swap players? Maybe they bring back Redemption Island? I don’t know. No immunity idols? Who knows? Who cares? I’m here to win this thing regardless of what they decide to do.

Holmes: So, you aren’t like any “Survivor” player ever?
Souberbielle: It’s such a bull (expletive deleted) question. I’m from New York, Tony’s from New Jersey. He’s a sly bastard just like myself. It’s so cliché cause he’s the last one and he won it.
Holmes: I like to ask; who would you align with? That gives me a better idea of what you’re looking for in an alliance mate.
Souberbielle: I’m a very social guy. I can make friends with all walks of life. I’ve traveled, I’ve been to 23 different countries. I’ve seen all different kinds of people. I’m not afraid of new things. I’d align with a social butterfly. Someone who can speak to anybody. You can know everyone’s information. I’m going to be that guy that everyone thinks is very trustworthy.

Holmes: In the game, if two people walk off to get water. They aren’t really getting water. They’re plotting, they’re looking for idols, or whatever. Are you ready for 39 days of paranoia?
Souberbielle: I wouldn’t say paranoia. But I’ll have my eye on them. If I leave with someone, I’m doing the same thing. It’s something you have to deal with, you signed up for this game. If you see that, don’t be a fool. They’re here for the same reason I am.

Holmes: Why do you think you were cast?
Souberbielle: I’m very outspoken. Very social. Obviously everyone here is a good-looking person. And my background in sales and bull  (expletive deleted). I can talk to anyone.  I can find something compatible with each person.
Holmes: What do you think of this cast?
Souberbielle: They’re a bunch of (expletive deleted) characters. I love it. You have beautiful women of all walks of life. The guys are super cool, some of them are a bunch of (expletive deleted). It’s what I expected, honestly. These people are from all over and are from every walk of life. It’s typical of every single “Survivor” cast.

Holmes: What’re the plans for the money when Probst hands you that check in May? Besides diapers, of course.
Souberbielle: (Laughs) I’ve already planned yacht week. The first week of July in Croatia. I’ll spend a nice amount of it there. I’ll buy a house, give some away to my family. And then invest a lot of it. I dunno, after taxes it’s chump change. You can’t live off of it.

Holmes: Any experience in the outdoors?
Souberbielle:
No, I’m your typical Long Island boy. I like the lavish life. Fast money, loose women, expensive champagne. I’ve been camping once and that was at a music festival.
Holmes:
Alright, let’s talk about some of the things you’re about to experience and how you’ll handle them. Let’s start with the sun and the heat.
Souberbielle:
Not a problem. I’ve been practicing. I’m fairly tan right now. I’ve been at the beach every single day. For a solid month I’ve been sitting in the sun.
Holmes:
Lack of food?
Souberbielle:
Hmm…I’ve been training my stomach. I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I’ll be irritable every morning. But I have to wake up every morning and tell myself what a blessing it is. Look at how beautiful it is where you are. People would die to be in the position I’m in. I didn’t apply to be on this show. They found me when I was on vacation in L.A. So, like the rest of my life, I’m winging it.
Holmes:
So, you’re not a “Survivor” fan?
Souberbielle:
No, I watched four seasons between the end of May and the middle of July. I wanted to see what I was getting myself into. And, after you’ve watched four seasons, it’s basically the same (expletive deleted) over and over.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

‘Survivor’ Blue Collar Kelly – “I’ll Buy My Girlfriend a Nose Job”

January 28, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

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

Name: Kelly Remington
Age:
44
Current Residence:
Grand Island, New York
Occupation:
State Trooper

Gordon Holmes: Kelly, I read something troubling in your bio…why are you using your nightstick, taser, and pepper spray before you leave the house?
Kelly Remington: (Laughs) You don’t know my girlfriend.
Holmes:
No, but I want to.
Remington:
She doesn’t listen, so I have to bring down the law.
Holmes:
I don’t approve of any kind of partner abuse. But as long as it’s between consenting adults, I’m all for it.
Remington:
We get bored easily.

Holmes: Your pet peeve is commitment? I need a commitment before I let someone pepper spray me.
Remington: It’s not my pet peeve, I’m just scared of it. To stay with someone for the rest of your life? To be with one person? But once you find that true person it won’t be that difficult.
Holmes:
How long have you been with your partner?
Remington:
A year. I’m getting close. I’m thinking this is maybe, possibly the one.
Holmes:
Maybe, possibly. Sort of…kind of.
Remington:
(Laughs)
Holmes:
Does that mean flirting is off the table, or do you and her have an agreement?
Remington:
Anything is on the table. She knows this is a game. We’re strong, we’re solid. Whatever it takes, she’s good with it. She’s not one of those jealous freaks.
Holmes:
Well, she definitely knows you won’t commit to anyone out here.
Remington:
(Laughs) She definitely knows that!

Holmes: Are you going to let people know about your sexual orientation?
Remington: I’m not, because guys think with their penis, and if they think they’re going to score, I’m definitely going to let them think that. And I get along better with guys than with women, so I think I’m going to get along fine. And I don’t think they need to know because that could play against me. I’m just going to be low key.
Holmes:
Does that ever cause you problems at your job?
Remington:
No. The guys respect me and I respect them. We talk about things…like…
Holmes:
What things?
Remington:
You know…different things about women. We have fun.

Holmes: You refer to yourself as someone who’s good at lying.
Remington: I can lie with the best of them. I can tell when they’re lying and I can make them believe things.
Holmes:
Are you going to go the Tony route and hide the fact that you’re a police officer?
Remington:
I’m not going to let them know what I do for a living. I’m going to look them right in the eye and I’m going to swear on my children, which I don’t have, and I’m going to make them believe something that’s completely not true.
Holmes:
You’re going to tell them you have children?
Remington:
Actually, I’m not. I’ll swear on my nieces, maybe. I don’t want to get caught up in a big lie.
Holmes:
What is your pretend occupation?
Remington:
Bartending and I’m going back to school and I’m in the military.
Holmes:
And you know enough about those fields to be convincing?
Remington:
Yeah, I think so. I’m going to say I work at a corner bar. Beer and shots, nothing extravagant.
Holmes:
So, if someone’s like, “Boy, I could go for a Tom Collins,” you’d know what was in that?
Remington:
Yes.
Holmes:
Good. Cause I don’t.

Holmes: Are you a “Survivor” fan?
Remington: Huge! Since the beginning.
Holmes:
Is it an advantage to come in with that much knowledge or is it better to trust your gut?
Remington:
Being a fan is a huge advantage. From Richard Hatch to when Tony just won, you’re trying to get to their emotions. It’s more of a mental, social game. Who’s good at a party is going to be good out here.

Holmes: What’re we doing with this million dollars after you win?
Remington: First, I will buy my mom a nice little place because she doesn’t live in the best place. Then I’ll buy my girlfriend a nose job because she snores at night and I don’t get any rest. (Laughs)
Holmes:
Man, I wish my girlfriend would win “Survivor.”
Remington:
(Laughs) Then we could get some sleep!
Holmes:
You should try ear plugs.
Remington:
I do! It’s horrible. But, she’s tried everything. She’s a tall 5’11” beautiful blonde, but she snores like a man. I’ll wake up and think, “Did I get drunk and go to sleep with a guy?”
Holmes:
She must love that this is going to be a part of our interview.
Remington:
(Laughs) Every word of this?
Holmes: 
Every word.
Remington:
I love you! You’re my lover!

Holmes: It doesn’t say which “Survivor” you’re like, which is good because I hate that question.
Remington: Right.
Holmes:
I want to know which “Survivor” you would align with.
Remington:
Definitely with Tony.  He knew how to play the game and how to focus on people’s best interests. He knew how to play people’s emotions. He was so in tune with what people were doing.

Holmes: One of the big things in Tony’s season is when he swore on his badge. Sarah really hated that. Is that a big deal?
Remington. No…he did a great job. Sarah was just pissed because…Sarah’s young. It’s for a million dollars, who gives a (expletive deleted).

Holmes: How do you do without food?
Remington: I’m good.
Holmes:
I’m the worst.
Remington:
Nah, I’m fine. PMS is the worst for me.
Holmes:
I don’t have to worry about that. What about paranoia? Thirty nine days of people wandering off into the woods and talking about me seems like a nightmare. I’d imagine as a police officer, you have to be aware 24/7.
Remington:
Yeah, being out here now…when we got together…the game’s being played right now. We’re in it. You’re thinking of who’s smiling at who, who isn’t doing anything, who’s laid back, who’s giving eye contact? It’s game on.

Holmes: What are your early thoughts on the cast?
Remington: I already know who I’m aligned with. I already know who I want to get out first. I know who the strong people are, who the weak people are.
Holmes:
Alright, spill it.
Remington:
It’s obviously Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn. I already know the six I’m with. The military, maybe one of the older ladies. I know who the beauties are because they’re beautiful. And, I know who the brains are cause their noses are in books. I know who I’m aligned with, I know the annoying ones, I know the ones who are arrogant and who think they’re going to win this.

Holmes: Do you have any experience roughing it in the outdoors?
Remington: Yeah, I’ve been in the military. So, being out here is not a big deal. Sleeping in these tents has not been a big deal.
Holmes:
Yeah, but there are no tents in your future.
Remington:
I think it’s going to be fine. We’re gonna have a good shelter, lots of firewood, we’re the strong tribe. We’re the brawn tribe.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

‘Survivor’ No Collar Jenn – “I’m Super Not Honest”

January 27, 2015

"Survivor :Worlds Apart" (CBS)

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

Name: Jenn Brown
Age: 22
Current Residence: Long Beach, California
Occupation: Sailing Instructor

Gordon Holmes: So, why can’t I call you Jennifer?
Jenn Brown: Only my dad calls me Jennifer. And if I hear that name, I know I’m in trouble. So, it’s either my dad or the cops saying that.
Holmes: You seem like a straight-laced, saintly…
Brown: (Laughs)
Holmes: …perfectly behaved citizen. Why would the cops have a reason to call you Jennifer?
Brown: People have used the word “saintly” to describe me many times. I’m like a perfect, straight-laced, straight arrow angel. I’ve never gotten in trouble. I’m really a do-gooder in my community.
Holmes: I feel like you’re lying.
Brown: I’ve never lied in my life.
Holmes: Now I know you’re lying.
Brown: (Laughs)
Holmes: People end up with nicknames on this show; “Boston” Rob, “Fabio,” “Purple” Kelly. Are you hoping to end up as “Saintly”?
Brown: I’d go for “Saint” Jenn. Or maybe “J-Breezy” which is my pimp name.
Holmes: Pimp name? It doesn’t say “pimp” on your bio. I was under the impression that you were a sailing instructor.
Brown: Technically pimping is not always legal in the country.
Holmes: My understanding is that it’s a tough occupation. I think the saying goes, “Pimping is difficult.”
Brown: The correct saying is, “Pimping is most difficult.” But I don’t think I’m going to have that hard of a time pimping, because I listen to a lot of Snoop Dogg and I do own some fur.
Holmes: We’re way off topic.

Holmes: You’ve watched “Survivor” since the 3rd grade. That makes me feel like the oldest man alive.
Brown: Well, you are the oldest man alive.
Holmes: That’s untrue. Jeff Probst is much older than I am.
Brown: I know you’re old because you’re unfamiliar with how hard it is to pimp.
Holmes: Off topic! Although, I’m very proud that we’re two minutes into this interview and we haven’t cursed yet.
Brown: (Expletive deleted)
Holmes: Two minutes and fifteen seconds. We might have a record.

Holmes: Alright, let’s get back on track. I’m gonna blow your mind.
Brown: I’m ready.
Holmes: People lie in this game.
Brown: What?!
Holmes: It’s happened a time or two.

(Jenn stands up and leaves)

Holmes: Sit back down.
Brown: (Laughs)
Holmes: I know you’ve never lied before.
Brown: “Saint” Jenn does not lie. She’s not sarcastic. She’s never told an untruth.
Holmes: “Saint” Jenn is a breath of fresh air in this horrible game. Are you a good liar?
Brown: I’m a great liar. You can’t play this game and not be a great liar.
Holmes: That’s not true.
Brown: OK, you don’t last long if you’re not a good liar.
Holmes: That’s a much more accurate statement.
Brown: I’ve been lying to you the whole time. My name’s not even Jenn.
Holmes: (Expletive deleted), it says so right here.
Brown: Nice, I made you curse.
Holmes: I hope you’re proud of yourself.
Brown: I am!

Holmes: Are you comfortable flirting to get ahead in the game?
Brown: I’d be totally comfortable with that in a normal situation and I normally am comfortable with flirting. It’s fun. It’s not necessarily flirting, I like talking to people. But people misconstrue it that way. I’m young. I’m not a two on the scale.
Holmes: So modest.
Brown: (Laughs) People think I’m flirting to get drinks. No, I’m talking to someone and they buy me a drink. It’s not my fault. However here, I’m definitely one of the least attractive girls. There’s not even a question in my mind. There are two chicks in there who look like Barbie. Proportions…everything! They look like (expletive deleted) Barbie. I’m not even going to try to compete with that. With flirting, sometimes people go too far. They’re cuddling, or they kiss a little. And then when that happens, when a couple forms, the girl is the first one gone. And, I’ve seen every season. I’m not stupid.

Holmes: Do you think it’s an advantage to be a hardcore fan or is it better to trust your instincts?
Brown: You can’t not know the game and then come in to play it. That’s like playing Dungeons and Dragons and just rolling the dice.
Holmes: How often do you play Dungeons and Dragons?
Brown: Let’s not talk about it.
Holmes: Are you a level 12 Paladin Mage?
Brown: You just made that up.
Holmes: I did.
Brown: You’re wearing that shirt and I expect a little more nerdiness out of you.
(Note: Gordon was wearing a “Lost” shirt.)
Holmes: Were you a “Lost” fan?
Brown: I watched it all, but I hated it. Why did you even make the show? What the (expletive deleted) was half that stuff? (Expletive deleted) explain it.
Holmes: I agree.
Brown: Seriously, (expletive deleted) “Lost.”

Brown: There’s a snakeskin in that tree. Look at that (expletive deleted).
Holmes: It’s yours if you want it.
Brown: Hey!
Holmes: There are benefits to these interviews.
Brown: I can be the pimp of “Survivor” with a nice snakeskin boa. Maybe find another snake and get some snakeskin boots.
Holmes: I like that you have goals coming into this game other than, “I wanna win.”
Brown: That’s boring. I want to start my own ring of elicit…
Holmes: The first house of ill repute on “Survivor.”
Brown: (Laughs) My own tribe out on my own.
Holmes: You’ll show up at challenges and be like, “Nah…I’m good. I’m making thousands of dollars, I don’t need fishing gear.”
Brown: I’ll just look at Jeff and be like, “Nah, son.”

Holmes: What’s a deal breaker for dating someone?
Brown: Liking peanut butter. Just kidding. But, it’s Satan paste. It ruins everything.
Holmes: You’re a crazy person.
Brown: It ruins foods! You ever seen a chocolate chip cookie and you’re like, “(Expletive deleted) yeah! A chocolate chip cookie!” You walk over, put it in your mouth and it’s a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie?! You might as well…
Holmes: Say it.
Brown: No.
Holmes: Say it.
Brown: No.
Holmes: Why are you even here?!
Brown: Because I was about to say something terrible. There’s a line. I don’t need that on the Internet.
Holmes: Tell me off the record.
Brown: (OFF THE RECORD)
Holmes: OK, I’m glad there’s that line. Smart. I’m glad there’s a tiny net that catches some of that stuff.
Brown: I generally don’t, but if it’s going out into the world, I don’t need hate mail.
Holmes: Nobody reads this anyway. But seriously, what is the weirdest reason for dumping someone?
Brown: Um…texting a winky face.
Holmes: The monster.

Holmes: Are you used to camping, living outdoors?
Brown: Yeah, my major in school was Outdoor Recreation and Leisure.
Holmes: That’s a real major?
Brown: (Laughs) It’s a real major. It’s underwater basketweaving. One of my classes was camping. You went camping for a week and got credit for it.
Holmes: What are you like when you don’t eat?
Brown: I get so hangry. I’m a very hangry person. Between me saying “I’m hungry,” you’ve got about a five-minute window before I get very upset at people. However, this is when I know there is food to be had. If I’m on a sixteen-hour plane ride, I sure as hell don’t want to pay eighteen dollars for stale cheese. Not that cheese isn’t my favorite food.
Holmes: OK, we had to agree to disagree on that peanut butter thing. But cheese is awesome.
Brown: Between final casting and now, I gained like eight pounds because all I did was eat cheese. I was like, “Cheeeeeese!”
Holmes: So, that was a strategy so you’d have weight to lose out here?
Brown: Yeah. Now I have weight to lose.

Brown: Do you ask everyone the same questions?
Holmes: Some of them. I cover the basics with everyone to get a feel for their gameplay. Lying, flirting, dealing with the conditions…
Brown: What does my bio say about me?
Holmes: A lot of stuff. I think it’s stuff you wrote.
Brown: Oh yeah, it is.

Holmes: What do you think is going to happen once you’re dropped on a beach?
Brown: I know we’re going to be split into three tribes, which I prefer. It seems like my odds of staying are better. I don’t have a 50/50 chance of going to Tribal, I’ve got a 66/33 chance. Well, 66.6666…
Holmes: You sure that wasn’t a math degree?
Brown: (Laughs) I’m really good at school actually. I graduated early.

Holmes: They always ask you guys which “Survivor” you’re most like and everyone says they’re either Parvati or “Boston” Rob.
Brown: I don’t like returning players. When they keep coming back and coming back, I’m like “Give us a chance!” They already know what they’re doing. It’s no fun to watch people who know how to play the game play the game.
Holmes: I feel it gives me a better read to ask; if you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Brown: I liked Rudy, the old guy, he reminded me a lot of my dad. The people that seem the most honest, I would like to align with because I’m super not honest. So, at least I’d know I could trust them.

Holmes: What are your first impressions of this cast?
Brown: Dances with Wolves is my favorite human being here. I’m sure you met him yesterday.
Holmes: I can’t say.
Brown: I know you have, with the feathers?
Holmes: I can’t say.
Brown: (Laughs) I hope he’s on my tribe because I feel like he’s going to Feng Shui the entire shelter. And, he seems like the most like me. I think I’d get along with him. The tall, younger guy with brown hair. I like him. I’d like to play with him. Actually, let me rephrase that…I’d like him to be on my tribe. And then, the lady with the shorter blonde hair, she’s older. She seems like me in 25 years and I like that too. It’s scary to see where I’m going, but our personality seems the same. There are a couple people that I already hate because of their antics. There’s a chick, that when we were getting ready for press, she straightens her hair and takes 45 (expletive deleted) minutes. Oh, there’s a crab.
Holmes: What’s wrong with straightening your hair?
Brown: We’ve got one plug in the whole place so we have to take turns. She spends 45 minutes straightening all of her hair. We’re in the middle of the humid (expletive deleted) beach. And then, we’re all standing there like, “Are you serious?” We’re all hating her. When she’s done, she ties it up. And we’re thinking, “What was the purpose!” If she’s on my tribe I will vote her out just for that action.
Holmes: You’re holding up the vote and saying, “You’ll get plenty of hair-straightening time now.”
Brown: This is because of that incident, (expletive deleted).

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

‘Survivor’ Blue Collar Rodney – “If You Come After Me, Bring a Hammer”

January 23, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

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

Name: Rodney Lavoie Jr.
Age: 24
Current Residence: Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation: General Contractor

Gordon Holmes: Your inspiration in life is a gentleman by the name of Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots. And, you refer to his wife Gisele Bundchen as a “slampiece.”
Rodney Lavoie Jr.: (Laughs)
Holmes: Could you do me a favor and define the word, “slampiece”?
Lavoie: No, she’s a dimepiece!
Holmes: Alright, the bio I was handed says, “slampiece.” What is a dimepiece?
Lavoie: You can be good looking, but you’ve got no personality. You’ve got no gift for gab. But she’s a businesswoman, she’s a superstar, she’s a model. And you can tell she’s not one of those trashy pigs who’s sleeping with everyone. She’s with Tom Brady. She’s with the G.O.A.T. Those two are like lamb and tuna fish. They’re grilled cheese and a (expletive deleted) cup of (expletive deleted) joe.
Holmes: So, dimepiece is the highest possible compliment. Where did “slampiece” come from?
Lavoie: That bio must be wrong. Brady, I ain’t calling your girl a slampiece.
Holmes: Watch Brady’s a huge “Survivor” fan and is going to come after you.
Lavoie: (Laughs) Yeah, he’s like, “This (expletive deleted) kid!”

Holmes: So, you’re not a big “Survivor” fan. How’d you get dragged into this mess?
Lavoie: I was at “The Hero” casting for the Rock and they’re like, “Listen, ‘Survivor’ is for you.” And it’s actually better because people who have seen all the seasons, they think this strategy will work or this strategy will work. I’m coming in with a fresh mindset. I’m coming in with my strategy and how I do (expletive deleted). Not how three seasons of people play the game.
Holmes: So, you think it’s better to trust your instincts than to know what’s worked in the past?
Lavoie: I think this game is all instincts. It’s a mixture of instincts and luck. It’s like a football game, if it bounces your way you’re going to win the game. You’re going to get hit, and you’ve got to get back up.

NOTE: Rodney had writing on his hand.

Holmes: What’s going on with your hand there?
Lavoie:  I’ve just got some notes for the interview. (Laughs)
Holmes: You’re not trusting your instincts?
Lavoie: (Laughs) I’m always prepared.

Holmes: You’ve seen your competition. Are you comfortable deceiving them?
Lavoie: I’m a (expletive deleted) salesman. My product…there’s 150 other people who sell it, and maybe they can sell it cheaper. Why do they go to me? Cause they trust me. They know I’m going to bang the job out the right way.
Holmes: Do you consider yourself a good liar?
Lavoie: I’m a great liar.

Holmes: Tell me about these tats.
Lavoie: This is “The King.” Cause what does a king do? He runs (expletive deleted). He ain’t a follower. I never followed nobody my entire life. I got this when I was sixteen. I’ve been hustling, I’ve been grinding since I was sixteen. Anybody who sees me, they look up to me and they respect me. That’s how I grew up. When I was younger, say I banged my knee on a rock? My father would see me crying  and he’d be like, “Are you bleeding? No? Then get the (expletive deleted) back up. You (expletive deleted).” That’s how I was taught. There are no tears. One of the guys said that 80% of the people cry on this show. You’re not going to see a single tear out of me.

Holmes: On your left you have tattoos of your father and your mother. Are they still around?
Lavoie: Yeah. My grandfather was a World War II hero. He was over in Italy and he saved over 51 men who were trapped. There’s a street named after him back in my hometown. He’s one of the realest dudes you’ll ever meet. My mother was 19, and my grandfather died. A year later, my grandmother died. So I never got to meet them. My mother lost both her parents and she had my brother. She was by herself. She’s one of the realest people I’ve ever met in my entire life. She’s a soldier. So, I got this tattoo because you only have two parents and you never know when they’re going to go. I was a young kid and that’s how wise I was. I’m not going to put something (expletive deleted) on my arm. I’m going to put my family on my arm.

Holmes: And what’s the tattoo on the inside there.
Lavoie: That’s my sister. I found her dead two years ago.
Holmes: That’s Natalie?
Lavoie: Yeah.
Holmes: If you don’t mind going into this; what happened?
Lavoie: The tattoo says, “Dear Natalie, even though I’ll never see you again, you’ll always be my big sister. Love Bubba.” That’s a nickname she used to call me. She was a lesbian. I was at one of the first gay weddings ever. They were playing (Sings) “I kissed a girl and I liked it!” And I had a great time. I had my shirt off, I was grinding with her fiancee’s mother. It was a great time. Shortly after that she moved to New Mexico. And she didn’t tell us, but she was living on the streets of New Mexico because they broke up. She didn’t tell us that. She was living in her car, she was doing drugs. So, she finally called my father and came back home. And one day we go to knock on her door. No answer. So, me and my father break through the window and we see my sister face down on the ground. She must’ve choked on her vomit, smoked some crack. It’s tough, man. People ask if I can survive out here. I say, “You got a sister? You got a mother or a father? You ever pick them up to see their dead body?” Until I got this tattoo I didn’t shed one tear because I had to stay strong for everybody. I’m a strong (expletive deleted). If you come after me, bring a hammer and knock me the (expletive deleted) out. You talk (expletive deleted) about my family? I’m coming after you.
Holmes: I can’t even imagine that.
Lavoie: It all stems from who you’re raised by. I was raised by an awesome mother. Her mother wasn’t there for her.
Holmes: How does your mom feel about you being out here?
Lavoie: (Laughs) My mother, when they took my phone, she was like, “Don’t hang up! Leave a voicemail!” She thought I was going to Iraq to fight the war. She didn’t want me to go. She’s happy for me, but she’s going to miss her baby boy.

Holmes: Her baby boy is going to be around some attractive women in the near future. Are you open to flirting to get ahead?
Lavoie: When you look on the Internet, people who watch pornos…
Holmes: There’s porn on the Internet?
Lavoie: (Laughs) That’s good. The number one thing you see is someone (expletive deleted) their college professor. I banged my professor.
Holmes: C’mon, Rodney. “Made love” to your professor. Let’s keep it classy.
Lavoie: (Laughs) She was awesome. She was a good girl. She took care of me. She calls me “The Italian Stallion.” I also banged my babysitter. Older women love me for some reason.
Holmes: Whoa…back up. Your babysitter? How old were you?
Lavoie: I was like 17 or 18.
Holmes: OK…so it wasn’t like you were literally in need of a babysitter at the time.
Lavoie: (Laughs) Yeah! It wasn’t like I was twelve.

Holmes: You ever go camping?
Lavoie: Not really. My idea of camping is you go see the Red Sox, you see the Patriots. You go to New Hampshire and you’ve got jet skis and a lake house. It’s going to be funny to watch me adapt to that kind of (expletive deleted) because that’s not my lifestyle.

Holmes: If there is a twist this season, what do you think it’ll be?
Lavoie: You’ve got special idols. Maybe they’ll send a past player back on the show. There could be something with the merge. It’s like Jeff says, they keep the format, but they want to keep you on your heels. I’ve just got to adapt once it happens.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Lavoie: It would be Russell or Boston Rob. If I’m looking for an idol, I’ll be like, “Oh, I was looking for my earring piece.”  Rob would do stuff like that. But other than that we’re not alike. I’m good at hiding what I’m really doing. I’m aware of everything that everyone is doing.

Holmes: Leaders don’t fare very well on this show. They tend to be the first target. You’ve got a big personality. Are you worried about falling into the leader role or would that be something you’d pursue?
Lavoie: I sell Jordan sneakers back home. I have kids who don’t even make a profit line up outside of the mall. I have 20 of them buying sneakers for me. I hand them the money and they buy them for me. They resell for a lot of money. Now there are no more sneakers left in the mall. Now they’re in my (expletive deleted) trunk. I’m the store. Instead of them being $150, I make a thousand or two off of each pair.
Holmes: Wait, how are these kids not making a profit?
Lavoie: They respect me. They love me. I give one kid $100 and he gets all of his crew and I hook them up with beers…lounge chairs…a turkey sandwich. I take care of them.
Holmes: These kids need an agent. If you’re making thousands, I’m gonna want more than a turkey sandwich.
Lavoie: (Laughs) I’ve got a good personality! I can convince someone to do something so dumb, but I make it sound so good. I’m gonna give the camera the real Rodney, but when I play the game I’m gonna fall back. I’m gonna let everyone else dig their holes. You see people telling people what to do. Who’s the whack job?
Holmes: You’re going to have to be way more specific.
Lavoie: Phillip. He’s all up on people. You’re in the heat and you’re frustrated. You’ve got to lift people up. I remember it was three days out and the girl at Tribal says she wants cookies. Malcolm answered it perfectly. He said, “You know what? It may not have been my answer, but that’d be nice.”

Holmes: What do you think of your future tribemates?
Lavoie: I’m very comical. I love busting people’s balls. You’ve got Mike Tyson, the girl with the face tattoo. You’ve got Colonel Sanders with the beard. Harry Potter’s grandfather. You’ve got Pocahontas with the (expletive deleted) feathers in his hair. With his food he does this trance thing every time he eats. Some weird cult stuff, I don’t know what he’s doing. You’ve got the two older women who I love. Mark it down, I think me and them are going to pair up. I’ve got a solid two in my back pocket. Older women have experience. They’ve got to last longer. The young women after five days? The estrogen is going to boil up. And they’re not ready for this game. I can tell these girls are real soft.
Holmes: So no potential professors or babysitters?
Lavoie: I think they picked the perfect cast for me not to fall in love with any of these broads. They’re so mediocre, it’s not even funny. There’s no (expletive deleted), there’s no (expletive deleted). So I’ll be flirting, but I’m not into these broads at all.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

‘Survivor’ White Collar Shirin – “Morons Are Great to Play With”

January 22, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

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

Name: Shirin Oskooi
Age: 31
Current Residence: San Francisco, California
Occupation: Yahoo Executive

Gordon Holmes: I’m told there’s some special significance with your last name?
Shirin Oskooi: (Laughs) You may notice that my last name has three Os in it for Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.
Holmes: Hmm…my name has two Os in the first name and a third O in the last. I might steal that before this interview goes to press.
Oskooi: Doesn’t count!
Holmes: I’m stealing your gimmick.

Holmes: Yahoo Product Manager sounds super important. What does it entail?
Oskooi: It means that you’re like the CEO of your own product. You do everything from conception to launch to post launch. You have an idea and a vision and you work with designers and engineers. You work with marketing and PR. You work with users to collect their feedback. You figure out what’s missing in people’s lives, then you fill that gap for them.
Holmes: Much like someone would want to do on “Survivor.” How many people are under you?
Oskooi: (Laughs) I run the org of Yahoo Answers, so while I’m not their direct manager, I’m probably running a hundred people. A hundred people are executing my vision.
Holmes: Keeping a hundred people focused can’t be an easy task. Can that leadership apply to the game?
Oskooi: Oh yeah. Another thing about being a product manager is that you don’t have people reporting to you, so you have to lead by influence.

Holmes: How can you win people over in a situation where there is no corporate structure and there’s a goal that everyone shares, but only one person can achieve?
Oskooi: That’s very similar to how it was at Google. There’s nobody I can go to and say, “They’re not doing what I want them to do.” At the end of the day the engineers were king and they could do whatever the (expletive deleted) they wanted to do. It’s really about a couple of key things. My style is really befriending people and getting them to believe in me and trust in me. Not that they really can or should, but at the end of the day if you win someone over on a friendship level they’re going to have a much harder time (expletive deleted) you over. And you’re going to be able to have more frank conversations to get them to do what you want them to do. I don’t want to be bossy and tell people what to do. These people are going to be very type-A.
Holmes: Oh…so you’ve watched this show?
Oskooi: I’ve watched a ton. I want to have a one-on-one relationship with every player in this game. At best, that would be an actual friendship with all of them. And at worst, I want to have a working relationship with them. I don’t give a (expletive deleted) what I feel about them. I wanna have groups. A threesome here and go-to twosomes over here. I’m going to be constantly running these numbers in my head and adjusting as necessary.

Holmes: What are your early thoughts on this cast?
Oskooi: I’m pleasantly surprised and excited. There are a lot of fun, high-energy, youthful looking people. And when I say “youthful” I don’t necessarily mean age. There’s a positive energy here. And for me, I was hoping to play with people who are fun rather than a cast full of Phillips and me. (Laughs)
Holmes: That would be an adventure.
Oskooi: It would be challenging, but not enjoyable. There’s a girl here with a tattoo on her face. There’s a guy here with feathers in his hair. There’s a guy who’s like a beautiful specimen of man. He’s got Greek goddess hair and he’s tall. And beyond that, he’s friendly and gentlemanly. He’s got a first class ticket to the end. Because in spite of being attractive, he’s also so nice. You can tell that he’s outdoorsy and skillful and has an artistic side. He’s the kind of guy I want to work with. I want him to trust me. But, I’m going to have to (expletive deleted) him over. In JT’s season, everybody just wanted him to win. Nobody talked about voting him out. I think we’ve got a couple of people that if I want them out that nobody is going to be on board. I’m going to have to do some shady (expletive deleted).

Holmes: First thoughts on Nicaragua?
Oskooi: It’s beautiful. The weather has been perfect, which is a downer for me because I was hoping for pouring rain for days on end. I think that it’s going to break everybody down.
Holmes: And it won’t break you down?
Oskooi: I’ll be miserable. But I’ve been miserable plenty of times, including in cold, wet weather. And I can help people get out of a dark situation, or I can push people over the edge if I want them to quit.

Holmes: You don’t like “morons.”
Oskooi: It depends on the kind of moron. Morons are great to play with. You figure out what their needs are and make sure that they’re being met. It’s the stereotype that you get a couple of young girls who don’t know what they’re doing. They’re looking for mommy/daddy figures. As long as you’re keeping them happy and keeping them fed, they’re don’t realize they’re playing a game and will vote the way you want them to vote. It’s easy to get them to hate somebody. There’s one girl, she’s got a nose ring and short blonde hair, she reminds me of Kat. She walks and she will kick a rock and then be like “(expletive deleted)!” and then keep going.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Oskooi: And that just happened. I want her on my side. There’s no way that girl can win. She’s going to be a sore loser, she’s going to be a sore winner.

Holmes: Any issues with lying?
Oskooi: Lying comes easy to me. It’s like my first language. And because I’m such an expert at lying, I don’t believe in frivolous lying. I think people are going to come in thinking they need to make a big move and they’re going to lie a lot. It’ll be really easy to catch them in those lies. The easiest way is to let them run their mouths. And then a couple of days later you pick on a bunch of small things. And when you see their reaction you can see if they remember.

Holmes: You have a boyfriend at home, will that influence your ability to flirt?
Oskooi: I’m totally OK with flirting. But because I’ve had a boyfriend for four years, and we’re practically married, I haven’t had to be a sexual being to the world.
Holmes: You feel like a partner.
Oskooi: Right. And furthermore, for the majority of my adult life I was overweight by a lot…I was fat. I wasn’t attractive enough to use flirting to get ahead. And then there was a turning point where I lost a lot of weight and I learned how to flirt and how to use sexuality to get free drinks at a bar. So, I’m not opposed to doing that. I just don’t see myself in that way. I don’t think that I need to do that. It’s a tool that’s buried deeper down.

Holmes: You compared yourself to Jonny Fairplay and Rob Cesternino. I’m assuming that makes you an old school fan. Is it better to be a fan or to come in blind and open to more diverse possibilities?
Oskooi: I think if you know how to use the information that it’s an advantage. So for me, it’s an advantage. My boyfriend who watches the show because I make him, the more he watches, the worse the information he gives me. And he’s a brilliant guy. He has social aptitude. But for him, he does worse with more information. I think that’s a personality type. I know the twists and turns that have happened. I know what to read into and what not to read into. I know all the places the immunity idols have been hidden. As long as people don’t feel like I’m dangerous because of how much I know about the game, then it’s a tool. What I love about Rob Cesternino is that he had a one-on-one relationship with every single person at his camp. It wasn’t necessary friendship, but he had a relationship with everybody. That’s why he was able to flip as often as he did and as effectively as he did.
Holmes: He changed the game.
Oskooi: And another way where we’re alike is he was a big goofball.
Holmes: He still is.
Oskooi: (Laughs) But, I’m a big goofball.

Holmes: Any guesses as to what kind of twists Probst and his buddies might have in store for you?
Oskooi: It would be a twist to not have twists at this point.
Holmes: “Survivor: 30 – Twistless!”
Oskooi: Twistless! Back to season one. Pure…old school. That could happen. I just don’t think that will happen. I think they want to see people really squirm. I have a feeling that they might change the twists based on how the game is turning out. If they see one tribe that is way too successful, like maybe they’d do something to (expletive deleted) that tribe.
Holmes: So, “Survivor: 30 – (expletive deleted) Over Everybody.”
Oskooi: “(Expletive deleted) Over Everybody Constantly”…yeah.

Holmes: If you had your choice of any past player to align with, who would it be and why?
Oskooi: Amanda. I absolutely hate her.
Holmes: Amanda Kimmel?!
Oskooi: Yeah. To be clear, personally…I do not like her. But, she is loyal to a fault. She’s not quite as emotional as Dawn, but she’s emotional to the point that it makes you sick and alienates other people. If I could align with her I’d never have to worry about her deceiving me. She’d annoy lots of people. And, she’s good enough in challenges to not weigh me down, but she’s not always going to win.

Oskooi: I want to bring the chest bump to “Survivor.”
Holmes: That’s random.
Oskooi: (Laughs) No, it’d be like, “Yay! We won.” Chest bump. So, keep an eye out.

Holmes: So, I’m told you have a unique strategy for a fire-making challenge.
Oskooi: I’ve grown my hair particularly long so if we’re in a fire challenge I can cut off a ton of my hair, and it catches fire really easily, especially if everything else is really damp.
Holmes: That is hardcore.
Oskooi: I hope they have a gross food challenge. I’ve eaten every “gross” food item they’ve ever had except for a tarantula.
Holmes: I beg for that every season. Hopefully Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer will come through for us.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Explains the First ‘Worlds Apart’ Twist

January 21, 2015

'Survivor: Worlds Apart' (CBS)

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

Oh…what would a season of “Survivor” be without a curveball to wing at the starving, sun-burnt contestants? I had a chance to chat with the man himself, host Jeff Probst, to find out what he has in store for “Survivor: Worlds Apart.”

Gordon Holmes: What can we expect twist-wise for this season?
Jeff Probst: Twists this season…I think are going to surprise the players because of how simple it is. We don’t have a lot of twists planned. Our big twist out of the gate hinges on one change in the game. We’ve often done something where we say, “Pick one person to make a decision on behalf of your tribe.” That’s worked well. The nice thing about having one person is that no one knows your lie. So, what we’re saying is you have to share your lie. Two people have to decide whether or not to deceive the tribe. And now you’re linked with them. If you lie, they know your lie and you know theirs. What do you do? Do you get rid of them because they know or are you linked with them to the end? And part of the lie is a clue to an idol. Who gets it?
Holmes: In “Survivor: Cagayan” the chosen players had to decide between a bag of rice and a clue. To differentiate this twist; if you take the clue, you still get a smaller bag of rice to throw the rest of the tribe off of your scent.

(EDIT: To clarify, the way the twist works is two people from each tribe will have to make a choice between a big bag of BEANS and no immunity idol clue or a small bag of beans and an immunity idol clue.)

Probst: We’re hoping at least one tribe takes the bait. Cause when we have our switch, which we always do, people start comparing stories.  In a perfect world, the White Collar tribe lies. They live up to their name and they deceive.

Holmes: Why do you assume White Collar people will deceive?
Probst: (Laughs) They play the game the way it’s meant to be played. You make up your own rules. Given the chance to lie, and I don’t know about it? You will lie every day, all day. Maybe I’m wrong, but if I’m playing “Survivor,” that’s what I assume you’re going to be doing.
Holmes: With the economy in the state it’s been the past decade, is there any concern that the White Collars might be viewed as villains? Could this put them at an immediate disadvantage?
Probst: I don’t think any category puts you in an advantageous position. I think it’s a great crutch if you want to do that. Look at Cagayan, Morgan could have easily said, “What? Don’t just call me a pretty girl!” Instead she said, “I should be on the beauty tribe. I am hot and hot opens doors.” Anyone who doesn’t see that is being disingenuous or is blind to how the world works. In the same way, they all have things that are good qualities or bad qualities. If I was the White Collar tribe I’d say, “Damn straight I make the rules. I intend on making a few out here.  But, I have the work ethic of a Blue Collar and the ‘eff you’ of the No Collars.” If being called White Collar makes you uptight, then you probably are.
Holmes: They aren’t villains, but you’re expecting them to lie.
Probst: Lying on “Survivor” isn’t a villainous move. Lying is gameplay.
Holmes: You can get voted out for lying.
Probst: Sure! You can get voted out for lots of things. This is how I play “Survivor,” I go for the home run. I’m not interested in third or thirteenth. You’ve got to take a big swing. If I’m on a tribe and I get paired off with you and I say, “Dude, what do you think?” And you say, “Absolutely not, we’re telling the truth.” I say, “Just what I was thinking.” If you say, “I don’t know…” I say, “We’re lying, brother!”
Holmes: (Laughs)
Probst: That’s how you play! We’re giving you the opportunity for an idol! You can win the whole game based on the alliance you make with the power of an idol. Or, you can become a target. Are you going to sit in the shade or play in the sun?
Holmes: I’m not knocking lying, I’m just questioning why one group is more likely to lie.
Probst: You know what? Then I’d vote you out.
Holmes: But we had a deal!
Probst: I’d make a lie with you and then I’d get rid of you as fast as I could. Hopefully before the merge.
Holmes:  Soulless. Man without a soul.
Probst: So in a perfect world, the White Collar tribe lies, the Blue Collar tribe tells the truth, and the No Collar tribe debates it.

Holmes: Are we going to see the return of the Tyler Perry idol?
Probst: The Tyler Perry idol is not coming back this season. But, you say that with a little bit of a…did I sense something there?
Holmes: I wasn’t a fan because it reminded me of “Cook Islands” where Yul had the super powered idol.
Probst: I still submit; look at history. Look at the live show. When I said, “Would you have liked it if Spencer had found it?” And it was a standing ovation. It just fell into the wrong guy’s hands.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

Meet the Cast of ‘Survivor: Worlds Apart – White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar’

January 21, 2015

'Survivor: Worlds Apart' (CBS)

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

Get ready for a clash of the classes when Jeff Probst and Co. return with “Survivor: Worlds Apart.” The 30th edition of this legendary show, which will premiere Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS, will feature a special three-tribe format that will pit White Collar players against Blue Collar players against “No Collar” players.

What is a “No Collar?” Well Probst himself describes it as, “We’ve got these gypsies and beach people…these are the No Collars; which wasn’t a term that I’d heard before but made sense to me.  Then I thought; White Collars make the rules, Blue Collars follow or enforce the rules, and No Collars break the rules.”

Name: Carolyn Rivera
Age: 52
Current Residence: Tampa, Florida
Occupation: Corporate Executive
Personal Claim to Fame: Maintaining a 36-year relationship with my husband, raising three successful kids, and getting my master’s degree while working full-time. I have also been able to mentor others and guide them to complete their education.
Hobbies: Sports, karaoke, and shopping.
Pet Peeves: I hate to be lied to (so this should be interesting on “Survivor”). Do what you say you are going to do. If something is wrong, you need to tell me, because I can’t read your mind. Don’t ask the question if you are not ready for the answer!
Three Words to Describe You: Competitive, funny and passionate.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like:  I want to play like Sandra because she is two for two. I also loved Denise because she was smart, in good shape and used her psychology background to help her. She was able to hang with Malcolm and the older crowd. I am going to play like that.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: My primary motivation for being on “Survivor” is for the adventure of a lifetime! It is my dream. Every time I watch an episode, I picture myself in the situation, and I know I can win. I am also motivated by money, so the prize is very attractive. And then I will have a new favorite topic for dinner conversations!
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: “Survivor” is about three things: You have to be athletic, strategic and build relationships. This game was made for me. I push myself to do things. I am highly competitive and I know how to influence others. But I do need to keep my Queens attitude in check. You have to be a leader and know when to make the big move. And look, I am a New Yorker and good TV! A true winner for all!


Name: Joaquin Souberbielle
Age: 27
Current Residence: Valley Stream, New York
Occupation: Marketing Director
Personal Claim To Fame: Living a life that has allowed me to overindulge and experience so much of the beauty the world has to offer.
Hobbies: Traveling, sports and fitness.
Pet Peeves: People who have no common sense.
Three Words to Describe You:  Outgoing, charismatic, and social.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: I’m not like any prior contestants.  It’s the first time you’ll ever see anyone like me. I promise you will enjoy this.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: I’m taking my talents to “Survivor”, to show the world my athletic skills and relentless will to win at any cost. Obviously.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: I’ll be the sole “Survivor” because I have all the attributes it takes to win this game. I’m smart, social, and unbelievably athletic.
Name: Max Dawson, Ph.D.
Age: 37
Current Residence: Topanga, California
Occupation: Media Consultant
Personal Claim to Fame: I taught a college class on “Survivor” at Northwestern University.
Hobbies: Going to the beach, swinging kettlebells, and collecting vinyl records.
Pet Peeves: Waiting
Three Words to Describe You:  Outspoken, brilliant, and bearded.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: Jonathan Penner. We are both opinionated, outspoken, truth-telling Jews who make our livings with our words. Like him, I love “Survivor” and all that it stands for.  I believe that the game deserves to be honored by the individuals who are fortunate enough to play it.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: First and foremost, I am playing to win. That said, I’m also strongly motivated by the prospect of hearing Probst say, “All the fixins.”
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: I am a natural salesperson, and the product I am best at selling is myself. I’ve aced every interview I’ve been in, received every job I’ve applied for and sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of research to major corporations. In recent years, I have consciously worked to hone my abilities to read, understand, and influence others, learning and refining new techniques that I’ve employed to great effect in my career and personal life. I have no doubt whatsoever that I will enjoy an equal level of success in “Survivor.”
Name: Shirin Oskooi
Age: 31
Current Residence: San Francisco, California
Occupation: Yahoo Executive
Personal Claim to Fame: Made Google Calendar the #1 online calendar in the world, and helping take care of my mom financially.
Hobbies: Traveling, exotic food, whistling champion, and mind games.
Pet Peeves: Quitters and morons.
Three Words to Describe You:  Competitive, clever, and quirky.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like:  Sandra as a sassy brown woman who doesn’t take crap from anybody. Rob Cesternino as a witty, sharp, know-it-all “Survivor” nerd who keeps tabs on everybody.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”:  I want to win the ultimate social game, my favorite game in the world.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: I practice “voting people out” in real life and succeed. I’m a fighter and risk-taker. I’m super smart, observant, and don’t let my emotions govern my actions at work, let alone in games. I have no qualms with using people or their secrets to get ahead.
Name: So Kim
Age: 31
Current Residence: Long Beach, California
Occupation: Retail Buyer
Personal Claim to Fame: Having the courage to reinvent myself. Last year, I turned 30, went through a divorce, moved across the country, and changed jobs. It was simultaneously one of the best and worst years of my life, and I’m a stronger person for it.
Hobbies: Laughing, adventuring, traveling, dancing, and LIVING.
Pet Peeves: Indecisiveness, “princess” attitudes, narcissism, procrastination, losing, and complacency.
Three Words to Describe You: Spirited, charming and brutally honest
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: I am a combination of Ozzy (physically capable, agile, a bit self-righteous), Parvati (cute, flirty, coy), and Cochran (self-deprecating, paranoid, and devious).
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: I want to win and become the legendary female sole “Survivor” who made big moves and didn’t play it “safe!” The million bucks doesn’t hurt.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: People who know me say I’m the strongest girl they know – physically, mentally and emotionally. Physically, I would kill it in challenges. Mentally, I am extremely analytical and approach things objectively. Emotionally, I know how to laugh at myself and make the best of any situation. And I would have no problem being manipulative in order to further myself!

Name: Tyler Fredrickson
Age: 33
Current Residence: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Ex-Talent Agent Assistant
Personal Claim to Fame: Kicking the game-winning field goal against #3 USC on National Television.
Hobbies: Doing what others won’t, traveling and dressing up as a bearded hobo and jumping out at children in downtown Pasadena.
Pet Peeves: Quitters, apathy, people with horrible work ethics, and whiners.
Three Words to Describe You:  Achiever, competitor, and manipulator.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: Boston Rob, because I’m a flirt with a relentless passion to win and will cut my tightest ally at the last minute.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: To win and to prove I still got it. I’m a huge fan, never missed a show and now that I’ve had time to build my life experiences, I have all the skills to dominate. I can’t wait to prove myself.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?:  I worked two years at the top agency in the world – I can outwit. I have two master’s degrees, one from Berkeley and one from USC – I can outsmart. I played on seven professional football teams – I can outlast.

Name: Dan Foley
Age: 47
Current Residence: Gorham, Maine
Occupation: Postal Worker
Personal Claim to Fame: I had a terrible fear of heights, so I faced it head-on. I went on my first airplane ride…and jumped out at 13,000 feet. Heights don’t really bother me anymore.
Hobbies: Anything with my wife, Erin, disc golf and working on my properties.
Pet Peeves: People who drive too slow in the fast lane and won’t get out of the way.
Three Words to Describe You:  Opinionated, adventurous, and gregarious.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: I think I have Stephenie’s competitive spirit, Tony’s cunning and scheming gameplay, and Rupert’s strength, love of family and stunning good looks.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: To claim my rightful place amongst the elite winners of “Survivor!” Second, to challenge myself in the greatest psychological and sociological challenge ever!
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: As a landlord, I am excellent at reading people and controlling some pretty out-of-control situations.  As an Irishman, I have a glorious stubborn streak and I hate to lose. As a technician, I have a very analytical mind, so I’ll be great at puzzles. I’m also very good with my hands so I’ll be a big help around camp. I am the entire package. Also, I am not above taking the rules of fair play in a spirited competition and grinding them to dust beneath my heel.


Name: Kelly Remington
Age: 44
Current Residence: Grand Island, New York
Occupation: State Trooper
Personal Claim to Fame: My career, because I get to use my pepper spray, handcuffs, night stick, and Taser before I even walk out of the house.
Pet Peeves: Commitment
Three Words to Describe You: Compassionate, adventurous, and spontaneous.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: The million dollars and the adventure of being on “Survivor.”
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”: I am smart, witty and have the drive/need for the $1 million.
Name: Lindsey Cascaddan
Age: 24
Current Residence: College Park, Florida
Occupation: Hairdresser
Personal Claim to Fame: I’m proud of me in general. I think building a human being is a pretty cool landmark. I’m proud of the fitness competition I’ve won. I’m proud of the success I have built in my career. I’m just proud.
Hobbies: Working out, cooking, and anything artistic.
Pet Peeves: Know-it-alls, people that talk too much, laziness, annoying accents, people who push their beliefs on people.
Three Words to Describe You:  Crazy (in the best way!), competitive, and quirky.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: I most relate to Ciera from “Blood vs. Water” because she’s a young mom, a hairstylist, and I think she made big moves when it mattered most. She’s hard-working and competitive. I’m all that, plus strength!
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: I want to be on the show because I want to win! I want to show America that you can’t judge a book by its cover! I want to have the time of my life.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: I’ll win because I am the perfect storm of smart, strategic, and strong. I’m well-versed in people-pleasing when I need to. I’m tough as nails and people will underestimate me!

Name: Mike Holloway
Age:
38
Current Residence:
North Richland Hills, Texas
Occupation:
Oil Driller
Personal Claim to Fame:
Paying off my house in 2 ½ years. It took a lot of Ramen noodle nights, but to see the focus and drive pay off, was priceless.
Hobbies:
Disc golf, running, and picking up the ladies! Haha!
Pet Peeves:
People who are bad at time management. If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, be there! Also spelling, I can’t stand it when someone can’t spell.
Three Words to Describe You:
Loyal, Ambitious, and Clever.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like:
Cochran, because he knows the game and how to move pieces; Ozzy because that dude has the best posture of anyone and he’s a badass; and Rob because he takes over and gives 110% at everything.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”:
There’s a competitive fire inside me.  I can’t get enough. I live to compete daily in my own life. If you guys let me loose on the challenges you will see. Also, I want to see if I am as good of a manipulator as I think I am.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?:
My life is constantly changing. At work, I must adapt to what the oil well is doing and sometimes drastic measures need to be taken. In my personal life, I have had to overcome being molested and bullied when I was young and not having a father.  Learning to be influenced by the right people has been no easy chore. I have grown into my own skin – I know who I am and what I am about.  My faith has made me whole, my family and friends have made me strong, and my experiences have made me adapt.  Let’s get it on!!
Name: Rodney Lavoie Jr.
Age: 24
Current Residence: Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation: General Contractor
Personal Claim to Fame: I was captain of the Boston high school all-star football team and the basketball team. Also, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
Hobbies: Going to the gym, working out, playing basketball, video games, popping bottles at the club, and going to sporting events and concerts.
Pet Peeves: When guys take kissy-face selfies on social media and poor driving etiquette.
Three Words to Describe You:  Loyal, passionate, and amusing.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: No one! Nobody is going to play this game like how you’re about to see me play!
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: To show the world I am the total package. I’m not just an athlete or hustler, but I can beat out everyone for the million.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: With my smarts, athletic ability, hustle like a salesman and personality, I think I can make it, baby!

Name: Sierra Dawn Thomas
Age: 27
Current Residence: Roy, Utah
Occupation: Barrel Racer
Personal Claim to Fame: I was the national champion barrel racer and all-around cowgirl in high school rodeo and also a national champion in college rodeo rankings.
Hobbies: Rodeo, basketball, football, hunting, and fishing.
Pet Peeves: Being late because it’s so disrespectful, when people loudly chew their food, and underachievers (at least give it an honest try).
Three Words to Describe You: Competitive, athletic, and outgoing.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: Parvati Shallow, hands down, because she’s not overly aggressive and uses her female traits to her advantage, she’s a very intelligent woman.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: I truly believe there is little I cannot do. My physical, mental, and emotional capabilities are of a man’s level.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: I am a 6’1” model and most people just see me as a pretty face, but I’m a cowgirl and rancher who doesn’t mind doing a man’s job. I am also an extreme athlete. I played basketball, volleyball, and ran track and cross-country in high school (got offered a full ride scholarship for college basketball but decided to take the rodeo scholarship). I am a college student who’s going to school for a master’s in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Corrections. I believe in strategizing and I am not afraid to push myself mentally and physically.

Name: Hali Ford
Age: 25
Current Residence: San Francisco, California
Occupation: Law Student
Personal Claim to Fame: Catching a huuuge wave last winter in Kauai.
Hobbies: Surfing, jiu-jitsu, motorcycles and whatever comes my way.
Pet Peeves: Not maximizing time and resources.
Three Words to Describe You:  Tenacious, free, and focused.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: Parvati Shallow, because she is fun and vivacious, but more than meets the eye, always planning, calculating risks both strategic and social. She is physically strong and undaunted by rejection and resistance. We also have matching tats.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: The game itself. It is the ultimate personal challenge and something to tell the grandkids.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: I grab everything I do by the horns and don’t let go until I get what I want. “Survivor” will be no different.


Name: Jenn Brown
Age: 22
Current Residence: Long Beach, California
Occupation: Sailing Instructor
Personal Claim to Fame: Traveling the world solo on a whim.
Hobbies: Surfing, kickboxing and hiking.
Pet Peeves: Sleeping with sleeves or socks on.
Three Words to Describe You:  Outgoing, resilient/savvy, and candid.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: Malcolm. He’s just like me in guy form, or maybe Kate, as she had a strong personality.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: I’ve wanted to be on the show since I watched the first season in third grade. I would absolutely kill it in the game and I could use the bucks.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: I’ve seen every season. I know how to win and I know what strategies work and for how long/when in the game they are best to start using. Also, I’m mean enough to make it to the end but likeable enough to still get the jury’s votes. Plus, I can B.S. my way through just about any situation.
Name: Joe Anglim
Age: 25
Current Residence: Scottsdale, Arizona
Occupation: Jewelry Designer
Personal Claim to Fame: I am most proud of winning a state championship for basketball my senior year of high school. In college, I played indoor volleyball at Northern Arizona University. After four years of being self-coached and self-funded, we upset the #1 team in the nation in the finals of a Vegas tournament.
Hobbies: I enjoy anything that allows me to work with my hands. These include metalworking, painting, drawing and welding. I also love the outdoors- you name it: Hiking, climbing, hunting, camping, etc.
Pet Peeves: Bad hygiene, rude, inconsiderate people, that person with really nasty coffee breath who has no idea what personal space is, when the last person to use the bathroom doesn’t replace the empty toilet paper roll, and when someone is telling a story and every other word is “like.”
Three Words to Describe You: Creative, compassionate, and charismatic.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: There are so many players that I relate to in different ways. In terms of game play, I would have to say it’s a combination of Malcolm and Ozzy.
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”: With every season I watch, I can’t help but imagine that I’m actually in the game playing. My brain goes into game/strategy mode as I put myself in the shoes of the current contestants and analyze how I would deal with the conflicts each is faced with. Of course, it’s different when you’re sitting at home on the couch and know what every player is thinking. However, I feel that I am well rounded enough, athletic enough and mentally strong enough to adapt to the people I’m put with. I am confident in the life skills I possess and I feel I can maintain my focus despite all of the other personal and crazy things the game may and will throw my way. After being such a huge fan for so many years, I truly respect how complex and challenging the game is. I am ready to battle and I want my shot in the ultimate arena that is “Survivor.”

Name: Nina Poersch
Age:
51
Current Residence:
Palmdale, California
Occupation:
Hearing Advocate
Personal Claim to Fame:
Overcoming my deafness. At no point did I let it rule my life. I did not let it bring me down. I have been able to educate people about the Cochlear Implant. I am very proud to say that I have inspired people to not let life’s unexpectedness beat them up, to find the positive, and to live life like there’s no tomorrow.
Hobbies:
Running, hiking, reading, and photography.
Pet Peeves:
Laziness, rudeness, and people who can’t park between the lines.
Three Words to Describe You
: Persuasive, resourceful, and funny.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like:
I would say that I can relate to Tina Wesson because she played the game how I would – strategically and with integrity.  She’s also physically fit, active, and enjoys adventure, much like myself!
Reason for Being on “Survivor”:
My primary motivation would be for the million dollars. I’d buy my parents first class tickets to Japan! My secondary motivation would be for the adventure and to be able to show people that you can overcome anything life throws at you. I would love for more people to know about the Cochlear Implant!
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?:
I have always said that to win “Survivor” you need to sell yourself. That is something in my favor because of my own persuasive abilities. I also feel strategy is important and I have always been a proactive person. I don’t like surprises and therefore I am always thinking one step ahead.
Name: Vince Sly
Age: 32
Current Residence: Santa Monica, California
Occupation: Coconut Vendor
Personal Claim to Fame: Traveling through 39 countries; all done on whim, wit, and self-actualization.
Hobbies:  Dancing, storytelling, and art of all kinds.
Pet Peeves: Snoring, people who are lazy, passive and entitled. Also, junk stuck in my teeth!
Three Words to Describe You: Magnetic, unconventional, and intelligent.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: I’m flirty and use my sex appeal like Parvati. I also have a bit of Coach and Fabio too.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”:  This is possibly the greatest challenge that I’ll face in life… and YES – a million bucks is a plus!
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: I can find a way to connect with almost anyone. I’m fit in body and mind. The “challenges” will be fun!

Name: Will Sims II
Age: 41
Current Residence: Sherman Oaks, California
Occupation: YouTube Sensation
Personal Claim to Fame: Being a husband and father.
Hobbies: Basketball, karaoke, and traveling.
Pet Peeves: People who can’t admit when they are wrong and people who don’t tip.
Three Words to Describe You:  Funny, loyal, and caring.
“Survivor” Contestant You Are Most Like: Earl.
Reason for Being on “Survivor”: Money! Money!
Why Will You Be the Sole “Survivor”?: Because no one will be able to outplay my social game!

Olympic Medalists, New Kid on the Block to Try ‘The Amazing Race’

January 20, 2015

'The Amazing Race' (CBS)

Note: XFINITY is the perfect pit stop for “Amazing Race” fans. Every Monday after an elimination leg, we’ll have an interview with the team that was sent packing and the most recent episode. And, you’ll be able to watch all of the previous episodes. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for immediate updates.

As if racing through foreign countries while competing in grueling challenges wasn’t stressful enough, now some players are going to have to do it while on a blind date. For the 26th season of the Emmy-winning juggernaut “The Amazing Race,” five of the game’s eleven teams will be made up of people who have never met before. To add to the fun, the teams will have a chance to win a special “Date Night” reward that will allow them to enjoy a special one-on-one activity.

CBS announced the cast for this unique new edition this morning and it includes a professional wrestling promoter, a pair of Olympic medalists, and a member of the legendary boy band New Kids on the Block.

Name: Aly Dudek
Age: 24
Hometown:Milwaukee, WI

 

Current Occupation:Athlete and Global Spokeswoman

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Winning an Olympic bronze medal and competing in two Olympic Games.

Name: Steven Langton
Age: 31
Hometown:Boston, MA

Current Occupation:Olympic Athlete

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? I’m most proud of winning two Bronze Medals at the Sochi Olympic Games in Russia and double Gold at the 2012 World Championships.

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Relationship: 7 months

Name: Harley Rodriguez
Age: 41
Hometown: New York, NY

 

Current Occupation:Group Fitness Trainer

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Uprooting my life on the West Coast and starting a new chapter with work on the East Coast.

Name: Jonathan Knight
Age: 46
Hometown: New York, NY

Current Occupation:Entertainer

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Being fortunate to have the same career for 30 years that I started when I was 16.

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of relationship: 7 years

Name: Jeff Magee
Age: 57
Hometown:McCall, Idaho

 

Current Occupation: Airline Pilot

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Finishing my experimental (kit) airplane. (It took me 10 years!) Now I love flying it.

Name:  Lyda Grawn
Age: 49
Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Current Occupation:Flight Attendant

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? I am most proud of my family and trying to be a good daughter! We are all very close!

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Relationship: We’ve known each other for 20 years and been dating for 4 years.


Name: C.J. Harris
Age: 
26
Hometown: 
Tuskegee, AL

 

Current Occupation:Information Technology

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Being the first male in my family to graduate from college in 4 years and being only the second male period to graduate from college in my family.

Name: Lebya Simpson
Age: 25
Hometown Tuskegee, AL

Current Occupation: Medical Support Assistant

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Relationship: Known for 15 years, dating for 10.

Name: Matt Cucolo
Age: 30
Hometown:Scarsdale, NY

 

Current Occupation:Master Hairstylist

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Being a very successful hairstylist. It’s much more than just hair. It’s an amazing feeling making people happy.

Name: Ashley Gordon
Age: 28
Hometown:Scarsdale, NY

Current Occupation:Hairstylist

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Relationship: Known for 10 years, dating for 3.


Name: Rochelle Nevedal
Age: 29
Hometown: Kalkaska, MI

 

Current Occupation:Contract Engineer

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Raising an 8-year-old son who is creative, unique and absolutely amazing!

Name: Michael Dombrowski
Age: 26
Hometown:Traverse City, MI

Current Occupation: Pro Wrestling Promoter and Truck Stop Manager

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Booking WWE Hall of Famers Mick Foley and Scott “Razor Ramon” Hall in my hometown of Kalkaska, MI. It was front page news here.

Relationship Status: Dating
Length of Relationship: 8 months

Name: Bergen Olsen
Age: 23
Hometown:Sunnyvale, CA

 

Current Occupation:Human Resources Project Manager

3 Words to Describe You:Energetic, driven and empathetic.

Favorite Hobbies:Watching and playing sports, especially volleyball. I love to cook and bake – my favorites include chocolate chip cookies, meatballs, pasta and mashed potatoes!   So naturally, I love eating all of my favorites! I also love to travel, even though I haven’t done much of it!

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Not to sound cliché, but coming out and being proud of who I truly am to my friends and family, especially in a conservative Minnesota county, was one of my proudest accomplishments.  I’m also really proud of where I am at with my career at only age 23.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? I can’t date anyone that smokes, does drugs, has poor personal hygiene or has a tendency to cheat and lie.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? A good personality, has a good sense of humor and someone who makes me feel special and loved.  I love nothing more than for my partner to make me laugh and smile each and every day!


Name: Blair Townsend
Age:
31
Hometown: Amelia Island, FL

 

Current Occupation:Physician

3 Words to Describe You:Versatile, brave and inventive.

Favorite Hobbies:Ironman competitions, sailing, scuba diving and golf.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Being a good son to my parents and a good brother to my sisters.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship?Lack of curiosity in the world, complacency and dishonesty.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Razor-sharp wit, bold confidence and a contagious smile.


Name: Hayley Keel
Age: 28
Hometown:St. Petersburg, FL

 

Current Occupation:Registered Nurse

3 Words to Describe You:Genuine, witty and passionate.

Favorite Hobbies:Going to the beach, anything active (biking, paddle boarding, working out), cooking, traveling, attending Cleveland/Tampa Bay sporting events and exploring new places (cities, restaurants, local attractions).

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Becoming a registered nurse. It is simply amazing to be able to help people and make a difference in their lives.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship?Poor communication, lack of goals, no motivation, boring, bad attitude and laziness.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Confidence, loyalty and happiness.


Name: Jackie Ibarra
Age:
27
Hometown:
Las Vegas, NV

 

Current Occupation:Professional Dancer

3 Words to Describe You:Passionate, positive and adventurous.

Favorite Hobbies:Dancing, working out, cooking and traveling.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Other than being on “The Amazing Race,” when I was 18 years old, I headed out to Miami and auditioned to become a Miami Heat Dancer. Went up against about 300 women for a spot on the team and I made it!

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? Deal breakers for me would be a man who does not want marriage or children, who is disrespectful or dishonest, or who does not take care of their appearance and body. Also, if they smoke cigarettes, stay away from me.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? I am looking for a respectful gentleman who is passionate, motivated and confident, with a good sense of humor. Being attractive with a great body doesn’t hurt either!

Name: Jeffrey Weldon
Age: 26
Hometown:Tampa, FL

 

Current Occupation: Account Executive/Sales

3 Words to Describe You: Outgoing, charismatic and intelligent.

Favorite Hobbies: Fitness, professional networking, spending time with family/friends and anything outdoors.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Launching a startup company with colleagues – Internet marketing/consulting firm.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship?Dishonesty, communication issues and cheating.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Great sense of humor, a woman who has passion/drive for success and a great-looking face.



Name: Jelani Roy
Age: 
32
Hometown: 
New York, NY

 

Current Occupation:Lawyer

3 Words to Describe You:Loyal, intelligent and fun.

Favorite Hobbies:Playing/watching sports, cooking and bar hopping.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Passing the New York bar exam the first time I took it.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? They have to be compassionate.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Pretty, laid back and fun.


Name: Jenny Wu
Age:
32
Hometown:
Los Angeles, CA

 

Current Occupation:Blogger/lawyer

3 Words to Describe You:Feisty, bubbly and adventurous.

Favorite Hobbies:Photography, attending music festivals and hiking.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?Coming to terms with who I am and what I want in life while letting go of my fear of being alone.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? Selfishness, laziness, settling for the status quo and aversion to desserts.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Excellent banter skills, quick wit and a striking resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio.

 

Name: Kurt Jordan Belcher
Age: 24
Hometown:Butler, KY

 

Current Occupation: Pageant consultant

3 Words to Describe You: Gifted, abrasive (sometimes) and funny.

Favorite Hobbies: Karaoke, volleyball and pageants.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? Honestly, probably coming out as a gay man in high school. I’m from a very small town.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship?Controlling and lazy! I want somebody that’s loving and a hard worker.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Family oriented, funny and stability.


Name: Laura Pierson
Age: 
29
Hometown: 
Los Angeles, CA

 

Current occupation:Talent Booker

3 Words to Describe You:Outgoing, ambitious and positive.

Favorite Hobbies:Cooking delicious and healthy meals, going on adventures (hiking, exploring and traveling), yoga, DIY crafting projects and anything that has to do with fashion.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of?That I don’t snooze through my alarm clock on Monday mornings for my big girl job.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? Unmotivated, emotionally inept, selfish, untrustworthy and cheap.

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate? Loving, genuine and optimistic.


Name: Tyler Adams
Age: 
26
Hometown: 
Santa Monica, CA

 

Current occupation: Co-Founder HORSE

3 Words to Describe You: Enthusiastic, adventurous and a dreamer.

Favorite Hobbies: Fishing, surfing, traveling, reading and cooking.

What Is the Accomplishment You Are Most Proud Of? This year I won Startup Weekend LA and decided it was time to quit my job and venture out on my own. Trying to start my own business has been incredibly challenging yet rewarding.

What Are Your Deal Breakers in a Relationship? If a girl has a negative/pessimistic attitude it is an automatic deal breaker. Life is too short – enjoy it!

What Are the Top 3 Qualities You Are Looking for in a Mate?  I’m looking for a girl that approaches life with a positive attitude. She must be up for any adventure and confident and comfortable in her skin.

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “The Amazing Race” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS.


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