Archive for March, 2015

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Round 5 – Corporate Merger? Edition

March 31, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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The Rules: Each week our three combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the three players will earn. For example, if Carolyn is voted out this week, Josh and Reed will each receive one point and Gordon will receive three points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Worlds Apart” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Josh had Joaquin in spot ten, Reed had him in spot twelve, and Gordon had him in spot nine. The current score is Team Josh 47, Team Reed 52, Team Gordon 53.

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Josh’s Score = 47

Any questions for Josh? Drop him a line on Twitter: @joshuacanfield

Reed’s Score = 52

Any questions for Reed? Drop him a line on Twitter: @thereedkelly

Gordon’s Score = 53

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

 1. Carolyn: Still making great choices with who she sides with.  I like her gameplay.  She has the idol, and most likely won’t have to worry about being a target at the beginning of the merge. #smartplay
  1. Carolyn: Is ruling from the middle right now.  She seems to have social sway within her tribes (both of them pre-merge) and an idol.  She needs to use her relationship with Tyler to her advantage while not being outfoxed by him.
 1. Jenn: This merge is a total mess. On one side you’ve got four No Collars (Jenn, Joe, Will, and Hali) where Jenn is packing an idol…
  2. Sierra: Did Sierra make the right choice?  I’m not sure, but we’ll find out as time goes by.  She now has Joe and Mike’s trust, so she is doing really well. #alwaysoptions
 2. Jenn: Ms. Thing has an idol that (as far as we know) no one knows about yet, plus she’s got some strong relationships coming into the merge.  Executed properly, these things add up to a lot of chips to play with in this game.
 2. Kelly: On the other you’ve got four Blue Collars (Kelly, Mike, Dan, and Sierra) where Sierra has just been brought back into the fold and Kelly is totally safe because she’s made ties to both sides.
  3. Jenn: Jenn is nestled safe in her No Collar alliance now and she has the idol, so as long as she doesn’t piss anyone off, other players will target Joe before her. #keepstrong
  3. Kelly: It’s nice when people are bending over backwards to help you win a challenge.  I feel like this undercover cop has got lots of options right now.
 3. Carolyn: And in the middle you’ve got two White Collars (Carolyn and Tyler) where Carolyn is toting an idol of her own...

  4. Kelly: Mike threw a challenge for her, and she must feel secure about that.  She won’t be the first target at the merge regardless if she is in the numbers or not. #loyalty
  4. Hali: Not too concerned for Hali at the moment.  She’s nestled herself under others who appear to be bigger threats to go after and her vote would be a useful one.  If it ain’t broke…
 4. Sierra: And finally, you’ve got two floaters in Shirin and Rodney who could go either way. (Note: I needed to call out our floaters to complete my thought, but in no way do I think they’re safe enough to put this high.)
 5. Hali: Hali should be fine.  No one feels threatened by her, and there will be no reason to take her out.  #sittinpretty
 5. Sierra: Sometimes it’s smarter to stick with people you have the history with even though they get on your nerves; it may not be particularly fun, but it’s part of the game.
 5. Hali: OK, back to actual ranking. Gold star to Hali last week for reaching out to Shirin after Max’s elimination. Carolyn might not have thought much of shunning Shirin back then, but every vote is going to count this week.
 6. Will: What will become of Will?  Who knows.  Joe, Jenn, and Hali are still his tight alliance.  He’s at the bottom, but at the merge, this isn’t a problem. #anotherchance
 6. Tyler: Politically he lost a bit of ground last episode.  He now needs to reconnect with Carolyn and make sure to capitalize on the use of her idol while further cultivating the relationships around him.
 6. Will: Will made it to the merge where sucking at challenges can be a plus. He’s someone who needs to start thinking of an endgame now. I don’t know if there are many jurors who are going to be impressed with his game at this point.

 7. Dan: The Blue Collar 5 are still around and I think Mike will want to use him for numbers.  Dan won’t win this game, but he may stick around a little bit longer. Someone get this man a lotto ticket, because he is lucky in this game.  #lucky1
 7. Will: He’s no power player right now, but he does seem to at least be in a group of numbers from his No Collar days.  They need to make it a majority or he could be in trouble.
 7. Dan: You’re a lucky man, Dan. If Joaquin and Rodney had a little more “Survivor” experience, I bet they could’ve offered you up to Sierra and she’d be on their side now.
  8. Joe: He worked his bun magic last week and stuck around, now he will be reunited with his No Collars.  With his charm, he just may be able to gain the numbers he needs.  Perhaps Carolyn, Shirin, and Tyler? #showusthepower
 8. Shirin: It’s going to be a little rough for Shirin right now.  She needs to make her vote an asset quickly or her socially awkward moments may be the death of her game.
 8. Shirin: Nobody needed this merge more than Shirin. And now that it’s here she has a million options. If I’m her, I’d let people come to me, figure out who’s going to win the next vote, and then stick with them for a bit.

 9. Mike: I worry a little bit for Mike this week.  He could be the target of another alliance once the merge lines are drawn.  He seems to be the obvious leader of Blue Collar, and as I found out last season, this often means you’re the one to go. #watchyourback
 9. Mike: Is at the head of a shaky alliance.  His reconnection with Kelly feels like it is an important and necessary one for his game.
 9. Tyler: The silent assassin ended up on the wrong side of the vote last week. Fortunately, the merge will erase all of that. He’s not out of the woods though, as he’s still a physical threat. (Well, he is literally in the woods all season.)
 10. Shirin: She played being on the bottom perfectly.  She realized there was a reason she was disliked and she calmed down.  She may get a second life as the merge will open up new possibilities for her.   #secondchances
  10. Dan: I don’t really see him having a ton of ability to jump social circles, so his best bet is to try to ride along with his alliance as they pick up some numbers.
 10. Joe: Joey Amazing dodged a bullet last week. And with his challenge prowess, he’s never not going to be a target. I think the biggest indicator for how far he’ll go and how strong his alliance is if Jenn uses her idol to help the No Collars at the next Tribal.
  11. Tyler: He was on the wrong side at the last tribal treehouse, but he still has an ally in Carolyn.  Will he be able to get back in some numbers?  He drops the most in power this week. #top2bottom
 11. Joe: Merge time is dangerous to all-around threats. I’m personally hopeful that Joe will reconnect with his No Collar compadres (plus a few additions) and be able to continue on deeper into this game.
 11. Rodney: I was tempted to put Rodney last seeing as he’s clearly on the outs with Mike and the Blue Collars, but the merge is going to open some doors for him. Yeah, he targeted Joe, and yeah all of Nagarote was making fun of him last week and…wait…is it too late to put him last?
  12. Rodney: I’m sure he feels betrayed by Blue Collar, but he has to realize that it was his own fault.  Actually, I don’t think Rodney would ever believe anything was his fault, that’s asking too much of him.  #hotheadwithoptions

  12. Rodney: It was a referendum against power couples last two votes and because of this, his brosef is now gone.  Overconfidence in this game can be a very dangerous thing.
 12. Mike: I think this week will turn into a No Collar vs. Blue Collar showdown. I don’t know which side the White Collars will join, I don’t know which side the floaters will join. But, I do know the No Collars have an idol.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Joaquin – “I Should’ve Done a Million Different Things”

March 26, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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“After you’ve watched four seasons, it’s basically the same (expletive deleted) over and over.” – Joaquin Souberbielle

That was Joaquin assessment of “Survivor” before the season started. And he’s right. Power couples are quickly divided over and over again.

I spoke with the recently eliminated member of Joaqney (Roquin?) the morning after his dismissal and asked him about the swap, his time as a White Collar, and his short-lived bromance…

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Joaquin Souberbielle: Gordon, my man.
Gordon Holmes: Good morning to you, sir. I did not see that coming last night.
Souberbielle: Yeah, well that makes (expletive deleted) two of us.
Holmes: And what’s this whole Rodney thing? Are you trying to make me jealous?
Souberbielle: Yeah, I was cheating on you brother. I’m sorry. Forgive me, please.
Holmes: I’m going to give you a pass. You were out there, you were alone, you were hungry.
Souberbielle: (Laughs)

Holmes: Were you 100% sure that Joe was going home last night?
Souberbielle: I thought it was perfect. I had Sierra, I came into the tribe, I made her feel great. She didn’t have to put up with those Blue Collars anymore. She literally hung out with me and Tyler the whole time. We threw the challenge and we were going to send Joe home with three other No Collars on the other tribe. That was…that was a (expletive deleted) mistake.
Holmes: Sierra seemed to really hate Dan. Had you talked about getting rid of him first to appease her?
Souberbielle: She hated Dan for her own reasons. But we knew Dan wasn’t a threat. We were like, “Let’s let Dan live a little bit longer.” It was really Joe the entire time.

Holmes: Joe realized pretty quickly what was up. I guess you and Tyler weren’t really speaking with him. Was there ever any talk of trying to deflect what the plan was?
Souberbielle: No. That was a big mistake. I rarely spoke to Joe when we were there. And Mike and Joe got really close. I would see Mike playing with Joe’s hair while they were laying in the sand. (Laughs) That worried me a little. To this day, I should’ve done a million different things.
Holmes: So, all this time they’re acting like you and Rodney were the bromance, when really it was Mike and Joe?
Souberbielle: Yeah, man. It was. There were two bromances. Ours…the Bash Brothers…we were better TV. Mike and Joe got pretty close, but at the end of the day, Sierra (expletive deleted) me.
Holmes: Wait, Bash Brothers?
Souberbielle: I made that up not too long ago. Gordon Bombay, “Mighty Ducks,” you know, the Bash Brothers. The other day I was like, “We’re the Bash Brothers,” and boom…it stuck.
Holmes: I was toying around with Roquin and Joaqney.
Souberbielle: Nah…we’re gonna stick with the Bash Brothers.
Holmes: And you two just hit it off.
Souberbielle: Yeah, it’s like he said, when you’re stuck out here with all of these people and finally there’s somebody you can relate to. Somebody that back home would be like your friend. You totally forget. I forgot about the game, I had someone I could connect to. At the end it was my downfall. And I told him we have to tone it down.  I said, “Your boy Mike is getting jealous. Like I stole you from him. It’s like you’re going out and now you’re cheating with me.” But, Rodney was like, “(Expletive deleted) him, I don’t even (expletive deleted) like him. You’re my boy.” Him and Tyler, those are my votes to win. They’re two of my greatest friends. Rodney came down here for New Year’s Eve. We spend a lot of time together. We’re waiting for that call for our spinoff show.
Holmes: When we were sitting on that beach, did you think you’d end up best friends with a mountain of muscles from Boston?
Souberbielle: I did. I saw what he’s wearing, I saw how he’s walking. And I said I could see myself hanging out with that crazy kid.

Holmes: We know Carolyn has the White Collar idol, we know Jenn has the No Collar idol. Was there any talk about the idol at Escameca beach?
Souberbielle: Yeah, we spoke about it. Everybody kept saying they had no idea. I didn’t believe it. I knew Rodney and Sierra didn’t have it. But, between Dan and Mike…I didn’t trust them.

Holmes: I was at the first Tribal and I thought Max, Carolyn, and Shirin were really tight. But by the time we hit the swap, it seemed like Carolyn was with you and Tyler. What happened there?
Souberbielle: After day three, Tyler, myself, and Carolyn just had a bond that was unbreakable no matter what anybody says. It wasn’t going anywhere. That bond just got stronger and stronger as Max and Shirin got crazier and crazier.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with So.
Souberbielle: Amazing, beautiful, smart, athletic, loyal.
Holmes: Tyler?
Souberbielle: Pretty (laughs), super cool, down to Earth, realist.
Holmes: Mike?
Souberbielle: The guy’s a lover. He’s enthusiastic. A smart guy. Great gameplay.
Holmes: Shirin?
Souberbielle: Cancerous, cynical, annoying, psychotic, delusional.
Holmes: Rodney?
Souberbielle: Hilarious, a clown, he’s a good person at the end of the day.
Holmes:  Joe?
Souberbielle: Ah…cool. I don’t even know. I barely spent any time with Joe. (Expletive deleted), Joe.
Holmes: (Laughs) Dan?
Souberbielle: Dan is annoying, repetitive, beyond enthusiastic. Everything he says is the greatest story ever.
Holmes: Sierra?
Souberbielle: Very smart. Loving, amazing, she’s a very strong woman.
Holmes: Max?
Souberbielle: Max is smart, narcissistic, delusional.
Holmes: Carolyn?
Souberbielle: Warm, loving, nurturer, extremely intelligent.

Holmes: You didn’t have the greatest love for “Survivor” before the game. Did you gain an appreciation for the show when you were out there?
Souberbielle: Yeah, man. I went into it…I was winging it. I didn’t know anything. But, it’s absolutely amazing. I hope I get the chance to do it again because now I know the ins and outs of how the game is really played. I’ll be a fan forever, honestly. I can’t wait to watch the rest of this season. I can’t wait to watch next season just to root these people on. It’s a cult. It’s a cult that I’m glad that I’m a part of.

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

‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’ Episode 6 Recap: Rocky Takes a Dive?

March 25, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Last Week: What do buffs, Lindsey, and Max have in common? They all got dropped.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog…

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

The Escameca Tribe (wearing blue)
Dan – Postal Worker, 47
Joe – Jewelry Designer, 25
Joaquin – Marketing Director, 27
Mike – Oil Driller, 38
Rodney – General Contractor, 24
Sierra – Barrel Racer, 27
Tyler – Ex-Talent Agent Assistant, 33

The Nagarote Tribe (wearing red)
Carolyn – Corporate Executive, 52
Hali – Law Student, 25
Jenn – Sailing Instructor, 22
Kelly – State Trooper, 44
Shirin – Yahoo Executive, 31
Will – YouTube Sensation, 41

The festivities kick off the morning after Tribal at Nagarote beach. Shirin asks Carolyn if they can still work together, but Carolyn doesn’t seem into it. She accuses Shirin of being Max’s puppet. Aww…if Max were still playing he’d have the perfect “Survivor: Fiji” analogy.

Later on, Hali tells Shirin that the others found her annoying. This reminds Shirin of her childhood where it was a struggle to get people to like her. Aww…Shirin… If it makes you feel better, I used to introduce myself to everyone as “Gordon Wood Holmes the Third” and then they’d call me “Gordon Wood Holmes the Nerd.”

We then head over to Escameca where Dan is telling his disappearing underwear story again. Rodney is sick of hearing these stories. He’s psyched that East Coast Joaquin is someone he can bro-down with. They vow to work together and vote for each other in the end. Ummm…so we’re not aligning till the end? These guys need to watch more “Survivor.”

Rodney then tells Joaquin that he doesn’t trust Mike because he doesn’t have sex. So that’s why nobody trusted me in college.

Reward Challenge Time: The teams will scramble to the top of a tower. Then they’ll launch sandbags at targets. The first tribe to hit all six of their targets wins a trip to a turtle sanctuary to watch a turtle migration and dinner.

Note: Joaquin was psyched that Max was gone.

Dan will sit for Escameca.

The challenge starts off and Rodney is a house of fire! He wants to see some turtles, bro. Escameca reaches the top of the tower first and starts launching.

Nagarote eventually joins them and it’s pretty even. In fact, it’s tied five to five when Jenn hits the winning shot for Nagarote.

As they celebrate, they chant “I believe that we can win.” It’s possible they were going to chant their tribe name, but they probably didn’t remember it.

Note: There’s a piece of paper at my side that reads “Nagarote = red, Escameca = blue.”

We meet up with the Nagarotans at their picnic lunch. They’re enjoying beef stew, macaroni and cheese, and other accoutrements.

Shirin is happy to get a chance to bond with the group and breaks out a solid Rodney impersonation.  Coulda used about 12 more “bros” though.

That night, they watch the turtles lay their eggs. It would’ve been so cool if production could’ve arranged for the turtles to lay an idol.

At Escameca, Sierra lets Joaquin know how much she dislikes Dan and the other previous Escamecans. He tries to get her to align with Rodney, but she isn’t sure if she can work with him. Hmm…so she holds herself to a higher standard than Joaquin…

Rodney swings by and seems to make peace with Sierra. He tells us that he can see his hand being raised in the end like Rocky Balboa. Um…back up there Rodney. You can have Tom Brady, but as a Philly guy, I’m going to need you to leave the Italian Stallion alone.

Fun Fact: “Rocky III’s” theme song was played by the band Survivor.

Later on, Rodney pitches the idea of throwing the next challenge so they can get rid of Joe. Mike is considering it as a way to keep Kelly safe. Wow.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will have to memorize a series of items, then recreate it. First tribe to win three rounds gets immunity.

Round One: Carolyn beats Rodney.

Round Two: Hali bests Sierra.

Round Three: Joe defeats Will.

Round Four: Dan tops Shirin.

Round Five – Part One: Kelly and Mike both get it wrong.

Then, Mike admits to Kelly that he’s throwing the challenge.

Round Five – Part Two: They both get it wrong again.

Round Five – Part Three: Kelly finally wins immunity for her tribe.

Yikes, that was like a slow-motion trainwreck. Although, I’ll give Kelly a break because she had a recent head injury.

Back at Escameca, Mike and Rodney sneak out to talk strategy and it looks like they’re going with the get-rid-of-Joey-Amazing plan.

After that,  Rodney and Joaquin hug about a dozen times.

Mike and Dan approach Joe and let him know that Rodney is gunning for him. Joe says he thought Sierra was the swing vote, but that she hates Dan. Dan claims that he’s been trying to get back on her good side. Is that what it is when you accuse her of being terrible at challenges and then give her crappy apologies?

Later on, Mike and Dan pitch getting rid of Joaquin to Sierra.

That night at Tribal Council, Joe says that the old Escameca wasn’t a big happy family.

Dan agrees that there was dysfunction within the old tribe.

Tyler thinks the bad blood centered around Sierra.

Sierra felt like she was being picked on. Mike makes it a point to say that he didn’t pick on her.

Rodney admits that there were problems, and he’s going to look for his best opportunity.

Joe thinks he’s on the bottom because he doesn’t have anybody.

Sierra brings up Dan attacking her after their last Tribal.

Mike hopes that he can believe in the people he trusts. That’s deep.

Voting Time: Joaquin votes for “Joe Cool,” Joe votes for Joaquin, and the rest of the votes are secret.

Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Joe, one vote for Joaquin, one vote for Joe, one vote for Joaquin, one vote for Joe, one vote for Joaquin, and the sixth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: Worlds Apart” is…Joaquin.

Verdict: Well, that was…odd.

This season, man. It’s awesome because so many big, entertaining things are happening. Strategies and counter-strategies and blindsides…oh my!

But, who are we rooting for here? Joe? Shirin? I need a little more positivity from this bunch.

Who’s Going to Win? The merge is next week, which means Joey Amazing will be back with his surfer babes. I’m thinking Jenn for the win.

Power Rankings Results: Josh had Joaquin in spot ten, Reed had him in spot twelve, I had him in spot nine. The current score is Team Josh 47, Team Reed 52, Team Gordon 53.

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

WWE’s Dolph Ziggler on WrestleMania: “This Could Be the Defining Match in my Career”

March 25, 2015

Dolph Ziggler (WWE)

When the WWE World Championship was dominated by big, bruising brawlers like Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and Sgt. Slaughter, it was the Intercontinental Championship that often boasted the more exciting, fast-paced matches.

So, who better to help return the Intercontinental Title to its previous show-stealing prowess than the “Show Off” himself, Dolph Ziggler?

I spoke with the former host of “WWE Download” (man, I loved that show) in the days leading up to WrestleMania and asked him about his upcoming ladder match, Sting’s return, and Roman Reigns’ arrival…

Contact Gordon Holmes on Twitter: @gordonholmes

Gordon Holmes: The term “WrestleMania Moment” gets thrown around a lot. This ladder match seems like a golden opportunity to make one of those happen.
Dolph Ziggler: I’m really good at talking about how great I am, but let’s talk about everyone else in that match. It’s jam-packed…I have a reputation for stealing shows when I’m not supposed to. Going above and beyond to make myself stand out. And every single person in this match is a person who gives everything he can possibly give. We have these Superstars, some are up and coming, some have been around a while, they have to find a way to define themselves and have a WrestleMania moment. I don’t think I’ve had a WrestleMania moment. And so this could be it. This could be the defining match in my career that sends me to that upper echelon level, and there are a bunch of other guys that feel that way. That’s what’s so great about it. If this match doesn’t steal the show, then we didn’t do our jobs. We’re going to pull out all the stops.
Holmes: Looking at this list of guys; yourself, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Wade Barrett, Stardust, R Truth, and Luke Harper…in my notes I just wrote “Guys with a grudge.”
Ziggler: (Laughs)
Holmes: And by that I mean, in the past few years WrestleMania has featured top matches with a lot of part-time performers.
Ziggler: Sometimes other people come in for a couple of weeks and get the giant matches. But if I had a career like that, I wouldn’t want this as much as I do now. I know I have to take it. And that’s what everyone in this match feels like.

Holmes: You mentioned elevating the Intercontinental Championship. When I was a kid, that was the belt that the quicker, more technically sound wrestlers held. Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Curt Hennig…and now it doesn’t seem to have that same prestige. Is this the first step toward returning that title to prominence?
Ziggler: The first step was a couple of months ago when I became champ and defended it not only with the Authority trying to take it off of me, but it almost felt like an old Saturday Night’s Main Event with it constantly being on the line and you thought this was the time I was going to lose it. This Smackdown I was going to lose it, this Raw I was going to lose it. I defended it twenty something times in thirty days or something like that. And I loved it because I knew every day I was making it mean a little more. I’m not going to pretend that it’s been this prestigious title. It’s been on the backburner a lot of the time with other storylines. But when I get an inch, I try to take it a mile. When I say, “I dare someone to try and pry this out of my hands,” I mean it. And now, all the sudden people are talking about the title. And that’s real. People are talking, and that’s the start.

Holmes: Were you a WCW fan back in the day?
Ziggler: Yeah, but I always felt a little disloyal because in my head since I was five I was WWE.  But I was such a wrestling fan that it didn’t matter. And luckily for me I didn’t sleep a lot. So, WCW would rerun right afterward so I could watch Raw, then when it was over I could turn to WCW.
Holmes: Was there ever an instance where a young Dolph Ziggler was running around in white and black face paint?
Ziggler: No, there never was. I wasn’t a face paint guy. I was a Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Billy Gunn…well, I did enjoy watching Ric Flair vs. Sting ten thousand times. That was awesome. And I mean that in the most positive way. I was a big Goldberg fan. I’d watch him beat someone in ninety seconds then flip back to Raw.
Holmes: I was more of a surfer Sting kind of guy.
Ziggler: Oh yeah, I loved 80s Sting. I wasn’t one of the young teens who loved the Crow Sting. But, obviously he’s an icon and I loved Flair so much that I had love for both of those guys.
Holmes: So, the hot pink, Sgt. Pepper’s jacket…the Bart Simpson haircut…
Ziggler: Yeah! (Laughs) Big fan! I didn’t even mind the rat tail.
Holmes: Must’ve been nice to get to be a part of his WWE debut.
Ziggler: It’s unreal. As a fan, it blew my mind that his first-ever appearance helped me win a match. That blew my mind. Period. Survivor Series down three to one, scratching and clawing, Triple H trying every chance he could to knock me out. And then Sting’s first-ever appearance…it was goosebumps down my back as he threw me on top of Seth Rollins. I couldn’t believe it. As bitter and with a chip on my shoulder and grunting every day to get an inch in the WWE, there’s a small part of me that is a huge wrestling fan who lives for moments like that. And it doesn’t matter how that match goes, it’s gonna be great because Sting and Triple H are in it. It doesn’t matter how it goes. The spectacle will be unreal.
Holmes: That had to kill you that for his big appearance you were knocked out.
Ziggler: (Laughs) Yeah, luckily when I woke up he was in the back for about thirty more seconds and I said, “Hey kid, thanks for everything.”

Holmes: Our main event is going to be Roman Reigns taking on Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I was in Philly for the Rumble, and the crowd wasn’t too kind to him.
Ziggler: Roman had a hell of a match with Daniel Bryan, so let’s give this guy a chance. He’s done nothing wrong but take advantage of every position he’s been in. I can’t be down on that for one second. And last year, I was one of the guys cheering for him to get rid of Batista out of the ring. Now they’re booing him because it’s cool to do. He has every possible ounce of respect from me. I want to see if he can prove himself because proving yourself at WrestleMania is one thing, doing it against Brock Lesnar? Nobody has been able to do that for the last two or three years now. My career has been built on being flashy, but I was the all-time winningest wrestler at Kent State. I can be a hard-nosed wrestler if I need to be. But nobody can do what Brock does.
Holmes: Seeing Lesnar in person is something else. It’s like if you were to create a perfect wrestler in a lab, it would be Brock Lesnar.
Ziggler: You can hit him with an object and I don’t know if he’d know it happened. There’s nobody like him. I saw him do that moonsault against Kurt Angle where anyone else’s neck would snap in half. He just kind of shook it off. They’re going to beat the hell out of each other and it’s going to be cool.
Holmes: It’s a shame that ladder match is going to steal the show.
Ziggler: It is absolutely not a shame. It’s exactly how it should be. Certain matches get the build, they get the time, they get the story, they get the creativity, you get everything. And then certain matches go out there with a chip on their shoulder and go, “This is the one we’re all talking about tomorrow.”

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Round 4 – Rodney Finds His Angel Edition

March 24, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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The Rules: Each week our three combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the three players will earn. For example, if Carolyn is voted out this week, Josh and Reed will each receive one point and Gordon will receive three points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Worlds Apart” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Josh had Lindsey in spot seven. Reed and Gordon had her in spot nine. Reed has Max in spot four while Josh and Gordon had Max in spot five. The current score is Team Josh 37, Team Reed 40, and Team Gordon 44.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Worlds Apart”

Josh’s Score = 37

Any questions for Josh? Drop him a line on Twitter: @joshuacanfield

Reed’s Score = 40

Any questions for Reed? Drop him a line on Twitter: @thereedkelly

Gordon’s Score = 44

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

 1. Carolyn: She is on fire.  She has the biggest balls on her original tribe and now on her new tribe.  She takes charge and people follow her.  She has the idol, she’s in the numbers…she’s good.  I just hope her alliance doesn’t realize she must go or she’ll beat all of them. #strongpowerwoman
  1. Carolyn: Is PLAYING this game.  I LOVE it!  She wanted Max gone before the swap and still made it come to fruition after it.  She needs to shore up some numbers and continue to quietly run them from the middle while keeping her game-head on a swivel.
 1. Jenn: She’s got an idol, she’s got the numbers on her current tribe, and her boy seems safe on the other tribe. Her tribe is the weaker of the two, but she has people she can eliminate until the merge. Everything is comin’ up Jenn.
  2. Sierra: Sierra is now the Jaclyn vote on her tribe.  The swap was the best thing for her, now she has options, and all the men are begging her to be in their numbers.  I’m interested to see if she will play this smartly, if she does, she could go really far. #thenewjaclyn
 2. Tyler: It’s great he sees the value of bringing together the downtrodden; it’s a very solid strategy. I could easily see him targeting Joaquin if no other options present themselves first.
 2. Hali: Hali is sooper dooper safe with her surfing buddy at her side. But, she’s going to eventually have to think of a way to avoid the “Jenn’s sidekick” label.
  3. Tyler: I don’t think this swap hurt him at all.  He’s more soft-spoken than most of his new tribe and since he can hold his thoughts inside, he is going to sail through until the merge. #undertheradar
  3. Jenn: Good for her for using the chicken murder as cover for finding that idol.  She has a cool-chic personality that I see continuing to be used as a successful tool in her new tribe.  Hopefully that idol wont hurt either.
 3. Carolyn: I thought Carolyn, Max, and Shirin were beyond tight. Why else would they not think anything of it when she didn’t go on idol hunts? Anywho, she’s good for a while and if she gets to the merge with her boys Joaquin and Tyler, she could make a long run.

  4. Kelly: Kelly skyrocketed to the top slots of favorite players on this season for me after last Wednesday.  She is strong, smart, calculated, and she’s here for the long haul.  #yougogirl
  4. Joe: He’s just that guy who can do everything that we consistently love to watch on this show.  Can see him keeping his head down and simply slipping into the numbers on this new tribe.  Go Joe, go!
 4. Kelly: Boy, did Kelly make the right call last week. She saw which way the wind was blowing and smartly went along with it. She’s going to be fine for a while and will have a ton of options after the merge.
 5. Joe: Hopefully Joe is still good on his new dominant tribe.  There’s a lot of testosterone going on there, but he should be able to lay low enough to not get the target on his back.  Will the other members of his tribe find him as too much of a threat? #manbunbeauty
 5. Kelly: #UndercoverKelly!  Loving her cool and collected game.  Making smart and decisive choices as she goes along.
 5. Sierra: Over the course of two episodes, Sierra received a knife in her back, a harsh critique, and the worst apology ever. However, here she is in possibly the most powerful position in Escameca. I wouldn’t be surprised if she said, “I’m in with you new guys as long as Dan goes home first.”

 6. Hali: Hali will be in the numbers on this tribe.  It’s Jenn, Carolyn, Kelly, Will, and Hali right now, I don’t see that changing.  She seems to be Jenn’s number 2, which is a great position for her to go far in the game. #numbertwostaysinthegame
 6. Hali: Her game seems to be percolating along well.  She doesn’t appear to be too threatening to others, is likely underestimated, and I think she works this to her advantage well.
 6. Tyler: I don’t know how it happened, but Tyler has become the master manipulator. He’s got Carolyn and Joaq already and he has all kinds of options on new Escameca.

 7. Jenn: Jenn is in the numbers on her estrogen-filled tribe, and along with Carolyn I see her as the leader.  She’s good for another vote or two, but will she and Carolyn butt heads for power? #blondeandstrong
 7. Sierra: Power couples are a threat and these savvy players know it, that’s why Lindsey went home.  Sierra is so lucky she’s gotten a new tribe. Some guys would be smart to utilize her because historically dudes can’t stick together.
 7. Joe: Who won the tribe swap? Joey Amazing won the tribe swap. If he’d ended up on the wrong side, he could be dead in the water. But, he’s on a tribe that might never lose and even if they do, there’s already a ton of internal drama that he isn’t involved in.
  8. Mike:  He’s great in challenges, and even though he speaks his mind a little too freely, he’ll stick around a bit longer because of the disaster of personalities on his new tribe.  It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top with this alpha male tribe.  #biggerintexas
 8. Mike: If I were him, I would start working my way into new numbers and put distance between me and Dan while still keeping up that relationship privately.
 8. Mike: Hey Mike, don’t tell Dan to apologize, he’s twice your age and has talked to way more girls than you.


CUT TO: Dan giving the worst apology in the history of apologies.

 9. Rodney: Oh Rodney (smh).  It’s amazing watching someone who has no clue how offensive he is.  To be that unaware is not good in this game, and it’s going to get him in trouble.  He’s pissed off Sierra and most likely will rub the rest of his new tribe wrong. #sexisttroubledman
 9. Rodney: He says he’s Tom Brady, but TB doesn’t panic under pressure.  Plus, if this bromance is to be believed, these knowledgeable players aren’t going to stand for another emerging power couple.  For your own sake (and your poor Mother’s), please stop talking so much.
 9. Joaquin: I used to think Joaquin needed the swap more than anyone, but Carolyn proved me wrong. Now he has to be careful with this Rodney bromance if he’s ever going to meet up with Mama C. again.
 10. Joaquin: Will Joaquin get lost in this tribe and be an easy vote out?  He thinks he’s slick and isn’t afraid to tell us, so let’s see it man, show us how amazing you are and get in the numbers. #tombradynotsomuch
  10. Dan: I kind of cringe any time he speaks.  Too many socially awkward things to address, too little space.  Right now I’m listening like a gay … that means I’m yawning over his stereotypically hetero-chauvinism.
 10. Dan: What is the point of bringing up Sierra’s shortcomings in challenges that your tribe won?! Dan has flashes of brilliance that are followed by forehead-slapping mistakes.
  11. Will: This guy keeps moving through the game when I always see him on the bottom.  He keeps sliding by, and has received so many breaks.  Thankfully he must be playing a great social game and his tribe wants to keep him around. #lucky
 11. Will: Ok, so clearly no one is looking at him as a challenge threat.  Week after week he always seems like he’s skating on thin ice socially as well.  Still not much working in his favor.
 11. Rodney: If Escameca loses immunity (and that’s a big “if”) will it come down to Sierra choosing sides, or will Mike convince the others to break up the Roaquin bromance? (Although, I’ll admit I’m dying for Rodney to get to the end and lose so I can break out a Patriots’ perfect season analogy.)
  12. Dan: He means well right?  But everything he says turns out to be disastrous for him.  The only way he will stay in this game is if the strong men in his tribe try and get out the other strong men in a power struggle. #whatiscomingoutofyourmouth
  12. Joaquin: He continues to compete for the bottom spot for me, I just think his tribe may be stronger currently (unless puzzles are a weakness).  He blasts through challenges, but not sure how he’s going to fit into the new tribe, especially if he he’s seen as a power couple with Rodney. These diehard fans know better.
 12. Will: To paraphrase Shawn Michaels; Will is like a piece of luggage. Nagarote has to carry him through every challenge. Is that enough to send him home next?

 13. Shirin: I had big hopes for her during pre-game, sadly, she proved me wrong. #adios
  13. Shirin: Her awkwardness in social situations has finally started to rear its head. She was too obviously aligned with one person (who is now gone for that reason).  With this group of players, subtly is key.  This might be too much to ask from Shirin, who may be whistling Dixie back at Ponderosa.
 13. Shirin: Things aren’t looking good for the nudist bunny murderer. She lost her closest ally and her tribe was decimated in the last two competitions.  Her best bet is some kind of whistling immunity challenge.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Lindsey – Rodney Is a “Two-Timing Scumbag”

March 20, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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One week it looks like you have an awesome girl power alliance with a Boston-based fourth and the next you’re screaming at people and threatening to feed them their own jaws.

“Survivor” is kind of awesome that way.

I spoke to Lindsey the morning after her elimination to get her take on the logistics of her jaw-eating plan, what happened at Blue Collar, and why people thought she might have an idol…

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: Worlds Apart”

Gordon Holmes: I thought you, Sierra, Rodney, and Kelly were running the show at Blue Collar. That obviously wasn’t the case. When did things split up?
Lindsey Cascaddan: For a little while we were a core four.
Holmes: Was it Rodney’s comment about women should  hold themselves to a higher standard that broke things up?
Cascaddan: You have to kind of choose not only who you’re going to play with, but also the type of person you’re going to play with. And I just wasn’t willing to play alongside Rodney and come home and have to explain that. I don’t want my friends and family to say, “You didn’t stick up for women, you didn’t stick up for humanity as a whole. What’s wrong with you?” And the Blue Collar tribe, Rodney aside, we kind of all came to that conclusion. Nobody wanted to go home and say I worked with Rodney. But, I think a couple of people decided to work with him because at the end of the day, who’s going to vote for a guy like this?
Holmes: If he is rubbing everyone the wrong way, it seems like he’s the dream person to take to the end.
Cascaddan: Right.

Holmes: I enjoyed our time together in Nicaragua, but I have to call you out on this; how can you feed someone their own jaw? They won’t have a jaw.
Cascaddan: (Laughs) You know, I think there are a couple of lines that just came so unfiltered because of exhaustion and starvation and…you know…you’re right. But, I stand by the fact that if I was his mother, I would’ve broken it and fed it to him for breakfast.

Holmes: Last week it seemed like everyone had an issue with Mike. Did you notice that Mike and Rodney were patching things up and seemingly getting along?
Cascaddan: No, Rodney and Mike weren’t pow-wowing around camp. Kelly, Sierra, and I sat Mike down at one point and said, “Dude, you’ve got to chill. We haven’t lost. Our camp is running flawlessly. You have to just take a couple of breaths and stop yelling at everybody.” And I think that Mike did the smart thing and adjusted his game. He didn’t want to piss people off all the time. But Rodney and Mike weren’t pow-wowing around camp.

Holmes: When you were discussing the fire with Mike, he was really offended by your statement that God hadn’t been tending to that fire. Have you received any feedback about that comment?
Cascaddan: I actually have not. I did get one email and all it said is “I hope you’re ready for what’s coming because of the comment.” And I’d like to reach out to that person and say, “Nothing has come to me because of that comment.” It wasn’t there to offend any religious people. It was there to say, “That’s great that you have God. We all can have God, and maybe we all do. But that’s not why the fire is being tended to. It’s being tended to because I’m tending to it.”

Holmes: Put me in your shoes for that challenge where you’re tied to a person who’s obviously injured, but you can’t even raise your buff to get a look at how serious it is.
Cascaddan: It was pretty awful. I asked her immediately after she was hit if she was OK and she said, “Yeah.” So we literally brushed it off and kept going. When I heard, “She’s bleeding,” we didn’t know who they were talking about. Kelly didn’t even know she was bleeding. It wasn’t until Jeff was like, “Blue team take a knee. Medics come in.” I asked if she was hurt and she said, “No.” Then she asked if I was hurt and I said, “No.” I think we just had so much adrenaline that when they said it was Kelly it was terrifying. You’re blindfolded, you’re wondering how bad it is. You’re also in the middle of a challenge and your game is on hold because your partner in crime is hurt. This is not good. And even in a challenge for chickens…chickens seem really important on day nine or day ten of not eating. So, I had concern for Kelly and our team.

Holmes: Did you ever think you’d become best friends with a barrel racer?
Cascaddan: I didn’t. But, I’m so happy I did. I love Sierra. I’m so Team Sierra. I can’t even tell you how much I love her.

Holmes: Help me understand Dan. One minute he’s making a savvy move and the next he’s calling everyone stupid for the way they’re building a shelter.
Cascaddan: Dan as a game player is extremely Switzerland. He’s right in the middle, he doesn’t want to have an opinion on things. He doesn’t want to form an alliance that’s actually an alliance. His outward opinion and what he said going into Tribal was, “I’ll vote for anyone who isn’t me. As long as I don’t go home, I don’t care.” I think that Dan is such a fan of “Survivor” that he doesn’t play as player, he plays as a fan. It’s really difficult to work with him. It’s difficult to play any kind of logic with him. He is funny and he is a good guy. He’s a great husband. But, he’s a little bit maddening.

Holmes: They split the vote last night between you and Sierra. Did they have a reason to think you had the idol?
Cascaddan: I played hard. I looked for the idol every single day. And for the most part, nobody else looked for the idol unless they were with me. So, they had every reason to believe that I had the idol. And if I had a clue I would’ve had it. I was relentless.
Holmes: Sometimes the clues will be found hidden in a reward. Were you looking through them?
Cascaddan: We searched high and low whenever we got a reward. The first time we kind of knew it wouldn’t be on our one little fishing gear. But, we still looked. And then when we got the comfort, I looked at that huge pile of stuff and said, “It’s in there, I’m going to find it.” I ripped apart that whole thing myself. And I’m telling you there was no clue.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Kelly.
Cascaddan: Quiet, in the middle…funny…but kind of irrelevant.
Holmes: Mike?
Cascaddan: Hard-working, annoying, funny, and he’s very blue collar.
Holmes: Dan?
Cascaddan: Dan is…annoying. (Laughs) He’s maddening. He’s extravagant.
Holmes: Sierra?
Cascaddan: Beautiful, smart, funny…she’s perfect. She’s what Rodney would say is an “angel.”
Holmes: She holds herself to a higher standard.
Cascaddan: (Laughs)
Holmes: Let’s finish with Rodney.
Cascaddan: Rodney is gross. He’s all for himself. He’s a two-timing scumbag.

Holmes: Did you learn anything about yourself during your time out there?
Cascaddan: I learned a lot about myself. As a mom and someone who runs her own business…as a daughter…I just learned that being away and being kind of lost and being with strangers and…really being alone. You’re around these people, but you’re really alone. I found out what was really important to me. Being away from my daughter was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Hands down. And I learned that ultimately in my life it is more important to stay true to who you are than to win a million dollars. I think that mindset is something that not a lot of people can say that they have. I really am a strong woman and I am proud of that.

Holmes: You were my pick to win.
Cascaddan: I know!
Holmes: And my pick always loses.
Cascaddan: (Laughs) You jinxed me! Jerk!
Holmes: And I feel terrible about it. So, I’m going to make the standard deal where if you play again…
Cascaddan: I promise you’ll see me again.
Holmes: And when we do, I’ll pick someone else.
Cascaddan: Yes! Do that.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Max – “The Reads I Had on Carolyn Were So Off”

March 19, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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I assumed Max had it in the bag. Surely he had some kind of tight alliance with Carolyn or he wouldn’t have been doing things to annoy his other tribemates.

As usual, I was wrong. You win again, “Survivor” editors.

I spoke with the bearded guy in the buff (take that either way) the morning after his elimination and asked him about what happened with Carolyn, his plan at the swap, and if his time in Nicaragua was everything a “Survivor” fan could hope for…

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: Worlds Apart”

Gordon Holmes: Oh, Max…
Max Dawson: Does this hurt my chances of doing Power Rankings?
Holmes: (Laughs) I assumed that was your first thought after Probst read that final vote for you last night.
Dawson: Well, hopefully Shirin will do better and if she does I’m happy to secede that honor to her because there is nobody in world who is a bigger Shirin Oskooi fan than I am.
Holmes: We’ve got two Survivors doing Power Rankings this season. Maybe we can arrange a three-way White Collar dance between you, me, and Shirin. We’ll see how it goes.

Holmes: I was at that first Tribal. I figured you, Carolyn, and Shirin were rock solid. When did that fall apart?
Dawson: You’re the one person, Gordon, thankfully who had an appreciation for how rock solid we were. Rock solid to the point where on day three I turned to Carolyn and said, “I will go to rocks for you at this first Tribal if it comes down to it.” And I meant it. No one was voting out my Mama C, not that day, not any day. What I didn’t realize was that the delicious “Big Brother” strategy of offering Carolyn up as a pawn to Joaquin and So would come to backfire and destroy my game in the long run. After the Tribal, Carolyn was livid that So and Joaquin had written down her name. She confronted Joaquin and he said, “Because Max told us to.” Of course I told them to, I was trying to blindside them. Carolyn was our pawn. Classic “Big Brother” strategy; put up someone you have no intention of voting out to get out a threat. Carolyn didn’t get that. Or maybe she didn’t like the fact that we used her as the decoy. From that point on she harbored a real animosity toward me. And it was amplified by the fact that she grew disdainful of Shirin. We’ve seen so many eye rolls from Carolyn while Shirin does the things that you and I love about her. She’s a quirky, off-the-wall individual. But Carolyn thought I was the Jim Jones of Nicaragua and it ultimately led to my downfall.

Holmes: That’s what got to me. The nudity,  your downtime, and Shirin needling Joaquin. I think you and Shirin are both savvy players and you wouldn’t be doing those things if you didn’t have the tribe locked down. Were you so confident in your three that you didn’t worry about rubbing people the wrong way?
Dawson: Yeah. Unfortunately, that assumption was incorrect and it made everything else I did completely horrible. If I had it correct that Carolyn, Shirin, and I were a rock-solid, 39-day alliance with Tyler as an accessory, as a big, beefy, meat shield accessory, then I have the capital to strip down and flaunt my beautiful bod on that beach. I thought I had the capital to work with Shirin to needle Joaquin and try to get him to lose his cool. The confrontation Shirin had with Joaquin over the idol search was very much motivated by a conversation that she and I had that Joaquin had done so well in the challenge that he was threatening to work his way back into the core of the tribe. Shirin and I set out to make sure he didn’t by putting him in a situation where he would be horrible and obnoxious to her. Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize that Joaquin calling Shirin a horrible woman and being obnoxious and sexist toward her, he would actually win the respect of Tyler and Carolyn. That was a head scratcher. Another misstep I made. We tried to cast Joaquin as the outsider, and it only cast Shirin as the person, as Tyler said, with a black X on her back and me as the guy who was using his cerebellum to make people do what they didn’t want to do.

Holmes: Did you and Shirin know that Carolyn had an idol?
Dawson: Oh no we didn’t. Oh, Gordon…there were so many moments that in retrospect were screaming indicators that she had the idol. But we took it as her being an old-school “Survivor” player. Carolyn kept saying how the idol would only bring divisiveness to the camp. And Tyler would agree. I was thinking, “How did I get on a tribe of people who think we’re playing in Vanuatu. How am I on a tribe with the casuals of all casuals who believed Boston Rob when he said they shouldn’t look for the idol?” A lot of assumptions I made based on the reads I had on Carolyn were so off. But, it’s tough to read someone like Carolyn who is incredibly smart and successful, but has that crazy motor, that crazy energy. She’d stay up all night tending to the fire, she’d barely eat. Then she’d go to challenges and kick butt. She had some inner fire that verged on mania. I thought, “This woman is pretty transparent. I can see where she’s going.” But I didn’t realize that she is a very multi-layered player.

Holmes: Once we hit the merge, everyone went for Kelly as the swing vote. Was there any talk of going for a No Collar who might be on the outs?
Dawson: Yeah, in retrospect I probably could’ve peeled Will off easily. Will approached me on the first day and said, “Man, it’s good to have another grown-up here.” I think he said the same thing to Carolyn. I think he’d reached the end of his rope, feeling like he was babysitting and not getting paid. But I had one intention going into the swap. Before I left White Collar beach, Tyler and I talked to the members of the group about how we’d reunite at the merge and be five strong. But our biggest priority was to remove the one I called, “Joey Amazing.”
Holmes: (Laughs)
Dawson: I watched that kid physically dominate. I watched him kill that first puzzle. All I could think about was, they’ve been wanting to give Malcolm a million dollars for a while. Maybe they’ll just give it to “Joey Amazing” instead. I saw Joe getting the winner’s edit as I was standing there playing “Survivor.” It was too obvious that this kid had all of the assets. I could already see the beautiful merged tribe flag that he was going to paint. It was too much. All I could think was I need to take the legs off of this kid’s table. And if I have to go to Tribal for the next three episodes and vote out first Will, because I know Jenn and Hali won’t play an idol for him. And then Hali and then Jenn, that is what I have to do. I have to take his legs and make sure my boy Tyler is there too because Tyler has so many of the assets that would make him a great ally and a big target on the new Escameca. I thought if we found a way to win a challenge, we’d come in and see Tyler gone. That would’ve broken my heart and thrown a huge monkey wrench into my game.

Holmes: Why do you think they targeted you over Shirin?
Dawson: Cause I’m more annoying.
Holmes: Fair enough, but you’re the tallest guy on your tribe and you lost a challenge where height is an advantage.
Dawson: This is the tribe that got rid of Vince and kept the guy who can’t swim and Nina. They’re clearly not making decisions based on thinking ahead.
Holmes: That’s so No Collar.
Dawson: We also knew that even though the first challenges privileged height and strength, pretty soon we’ll get to some that are balance, or puzzles, or something. They’d probably still lose a physical challenge with me.

Holmes: Let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Joaquin.
Dawson: Twenty four.
Holmes: So?
Dawson: Twenty six and or twenty two.
Holmes: Carolyn?
Dawson: Eleven.
Holmes: Tyler?
Dawson: Two.
Holmes: Jenn?
Dawson: Twenty one.
Holmes: Hali?
Dawson: Twenty three.
Holmes: Will?
Dawson: Twenty nine!
Holmes: Kelly?
Dawson: Nine.
Holmes: And we’ll finish with Shirin.
Dawson: Twenty eight.
Holmes: Is there a key for this?
Dawson: I’ll let you figure it out.
Holmes: It’s like “National Treasure.”

NOTE: Now that I’ve had time to think about it, maybe the numbers represent the season of the “Survivor” winner the person is most like? Let me know your thoughts.

Holmes: You’re a student of this game. What surprised you when you were out there?
Dawson: The good surprise was seeing the massive manpower and resources that goes into making “Survivor” one of the most astounding experiences that I’ve ever had. Seeing what goes into a challenge. Seeing what goes into producing the show. Seeing it up close and watching the men and women who make it happen only increased my appreciation for the game. The most unpleasant surprise was it’s really difficult to spend twenty four hours a day, seven days a week with reality TV contestants.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Dawson: They are highly unpleasant people who have been selected from pools of thousands. They possess qualities such as narcissism, exhibitionism…these are really unpleasant people for the most part. I  love my dirty thirty family, and I don’t keep myself out of that context, but we are all such lunatics. Just spending time with us is insufferable.

Holmes: How are you coming to terms with being the fifth one out?
Dawson: Imagine if someone came up to you and said you’re going to be starting pitcher for the Cardinals. You probably wouldn’t make it out of the first inning, but you’d have the experience of a lifetime. Maybe I didn’t make it out of the first inning, maybe I gave up fifteen homeruns, but I’m walking off of the mound, not hanging my head in shame. I’ve got the biggest (expletive deleted)-eating grin that somebody, somewhere made a mistake and let me play “Survivor.”
Holmes: Excellent analogy.

Holmes: After the challenge last night they cut to you and you’re saying that you’re glad you lost and you can’t wait to strategize. That is the classic sign that someone is going home. What was it like to watch that knowing what was coming?
Dawson: I love “Survivor” so much. And part of what I love is watching a cocky bastard who thinks he has it figured out get blindsided. It just so happens in this case it was me.
Holmes: We talked about seeing how the sausage was made affecting your love for things. Has being on the show enhanced your love, diminished your love?
Dawson: It’s totally enhanced it. The best part of it all is that I got to play “Survivor” with what I think is the best cast in the history of the show. I got to play in what I think might go down as one of the best seasons of this show. ‘Survivor” season 30 is going to be historic. If you’ve been unsatisfied, just give it time. This season will go down as massive.
Holmes: You’re making me giddy.

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

‘Survivor: Worlds Apart’ Episode 4 & 5 Recap: Swap Your Collar

March 18, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Last Week: A pair of monkeys showed Shirin how they mate, Lindsey and Mike had a theological debate, and Nina tried to get down with the cool kids, but she was a little too late.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog…

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

The Masaya Tribe (wearing yellow)
Carolyn – Corporate Executive, 52
Joaquin – Marketing Director, 27
Max – Media Consultant, 37
Shirin – Yahoo Executive, 31
Tyler – Ex-Talent Agent Assistant, 33

The Escameca Tribe (wearing blue)
Dan – Postal Worker, 47
Kelly – State Trooper, 44
Lindsey – Hair Dresser, 24
Mike – Oil Driller, 38
Rodney – General Contractor, 24
Sierra – Barrel Racer, 27

The Nagarote Tribe (wearing red)
Hali – Law Student, 25
Jenn – Sailing Instructor, 22
Joe – Jewelry Designer, 25
Will – YouTube Sensation, 41

We kick things off after Tribal where Hali is psyched to have Nina gone and embers in the fire. She takes this as a sign that they’ve been through the worst. So, No Collars’ glasses are half full?

Over at Blue Collar, Mike cuts off the head of a snake. Not figuratively, you know…alliance-wise…he literally cuts the head off of a snake. He roasts it up and shares it with Rodney.

Huh…this is early for an immunity challenge.

Reward Challenge Time: One person from each tribe will stand on a tower and call out instructions while their blindfolded tribemates stumble out to get items. They’ll then put the items on a platform and hoist them up. Finally, they’ll have to retrieve a flag. First tribe to raise their flag gets some hens and a rooster, the second tribe gets some eggs.


Tyler will sit for White Collar, Mike and Rodney will sit for Blue Collar.

Sierra, Joe, and Carolyn are our callers. Callers, not to be confused with Collars.

The challenge starts off and everyone is getting hit in the groin. It’s like an episode of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

The No Collars have a lead, but the platform raisers keep dropping the platform violently. Probst warns them to take it easy. Foreshadowing?

Yup, Kelly gets hit hard. Like really hard. You can see blood pouring out of her blue buff. Medical is called in…and we go to commercial.


It looks like she has a cut in her hairline. But, she’s so tough she doesn’t care. Go Kelly. They bandage her up and keep going.

The No Collars are the first to get their flag, winning the challenge. The White Collars claim second.

Man, that’s a lot of bruises for some eggs.

Back at No Collar, we learn that it’s Will’s birthday. Birthday poultry!

Jenn doesn’t want to eat the chickens. She goes off while Hali and Joe take care of business. Jenn makes the most of this opportunity by going on an idol hunt. That’s actually a very solid alibi.

Eventually she find a unique tree and finds herself a unique idol. Way to be, Jenn!

Over at Blue Collar beach, Kelly says she got six stitches, one for each member of their tribe. Good thing it didn’t happen at the merge.

Later on, Sierra, Rodney, and Lindsey are discussing the differences between the sexes. Rodney shares some sexist views and Lindsey says if Rodney was her son, she’d break off his jaw and feed it to him. How’s he going to eat his jaw without a jaw, Lindsey?

This conversation seemed to start off fun, but it gets heated. Rodney thinks women should hold themselves to a higher standard because men want angels. Or college professors…or babysitters. Lindsey gets mad and storms off.

At White Collar, Shirin tells everyone that she slaughtered a rabbit before coming on the show to practice. Hey, she’s prepared.

While Shirin is away, the other four discuss who to sit out in the next challenge. Max doesn’t want to sit Shirin because they don’t want her to feel like she’s on the outs. Carolyn doesn’t like this idea.

When Max leaves for a bit, Carolyn pitches getting rid of Max because Shirin is drinking his Kool-Aid. She says he’s the head of the snake. Figuratively, this time.

Immunity Challenge Time: All four players from each tribe will be tethered to a rope. One by one, they’ll travel along an obstacle course. Once all four members are at the end, they’ll use poles to create a staircase. From there, they’ll stand on a balance beam and use ropes to maneuver balls along a hole-filled course. The first two tribes to put three balls in their places will win immunity.

Dan and Lindsey will sit for Blue Collar, Shirin is out for White Collar.

The challenge starts off and Will is terrible. Rodney isn’t doing a great job either.

The Blues are the first ones to the ball maze, White Collar is right behind them. Joaquin gets the first ball in, he’s followed by Joe. Then Mike gets one in.

Carolyn gets White Collars second ball, Jenn sinks one for the No Collars, while Sierra hits Blue Collar’s second.

It’s down to Kelly, Hali, and Max.

Hali gets the third ball in and wins immunity. Kelly gets really close, but she loses her balance. Rodney takes her place.

Max lands the third ball to win it for the White Collars. KOOL-AID MAN! OH YEAH!

As we head to commercial, Sierra lets us know that she wants Rodney gone. Oh…didn’t see that coming.

Back at camp, Lindsey says that no matter what, she’s really happy that she ended up on a mat with them on day one. That’s kinda sweet.

Dan and Lindsey head out to talk strategy and she wants Rodney gone too. Dan says he’s going to listen like a woman, which apparently means emphasizing. He agrees with her.

He also says he’s smarter than he looks. I don’t know what to do with that.

Later on, it seems to be Dan, Rodney, Kelly, and Mike as a solid foursome. How’d that happen?

Rodney compares himself to Tom Brady, which is a cool comparison because they cheated in that first challenge.

That night at Tribal, Dan says that Sierra and Lindsey are super close.

Rodney admits that he doesn’t get along with Lindsey because they’re like chicken parm and tuna fish. She says “potato” and he says “(Expletive Deleted).”

Lindsey thinks Rodney has no morals.

Sierra thinks Rodney is vulgar and demeaning.

Kelly wants Rodney to shut up sometimes.

Rodney says he loves his mother and she thinks he’s a sweetheart. He also thinks women should be held to a higher standard and respect themselves.

Rodney had better hope his mom makes the jury.

Lindsey still thinks a Blue Collar is going to win the game. Mike finds that very inspiring. Well yeah, he’s a Blue Collar.

Voting Time: No votes are shown. Uh oh…

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Rodney, one vote for Lindsey, one vote for Rodney, one vote for Lindsey, one vote for Ciara (?!), and the final vote is for Sierra. Three-way tie!

Voting Time Part Deux: No votes are shown.

Jeff tallies again. We’ve got one vote for Lindsey and the fourth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: Worlds Apart” is…Lindsey.

In other news, my pre-game rankings always suck. There goes my pick…

Back at camp, Sierra is not pleased. Mike tries to make nice and calmly tells her why they split the vote.

Dan takes another approach by sitting her down and telling her all of the terrible things she’s done during challenges.

Challenges they won, by the way.

Reward Challenge Time: Psych…we’re swapping.

Buffs are dropped and it’ll be just Escameca and Nagarote from now on.

Probst hands new buffs out and we’ve got Joe, Dan, Sierra, Tyler, Joaquin, Mike, and Rodney wearing blue and Shirin, Carolyn, Jenn, Hali, Will, Max, and Kelly wearing red.


Reward Challenge Time: A player from each tribe will launch balls into the air, first tribe to catch five balls wins kitchen supplies. They’ll also win the White Collar tribe’s previous rewards.

Round One:  Max catches one, Joe catches the other.

Round Two: Joe snags one, Tyler gets the other.

Round Three: Joaquin lands one, the other falls to the ground.

Round Four: Will gets the first one, but Mike gets the other one to win reward.

So, all tall dudes were catching the balls. Great.

At Nagarote beach, Hali wants to get Kelly on their side immediately, but that’s not a very No Collar way to be. Dude, no more collars.

Shirin wants Kelly on her side too and it seems like Kelly is into it.

At Escameca, Mike is psyched that the former Blue Collars have a majority. Yeah, until Dan tore  Sierra apart last night.

When Sierra gets a minute alone with Joaquin, Tyler, and Joe, she tells them that she hates her former tribe.  Tyler smartly sees this as an opportunity.

Mike begs Dan to apologize to Sierra. Dan agrees and then does a terrible job. In fact, Sierra might be madder now.

Back at Nagarote, Shirin is singing the National Anthem for some reason. Then she whistles. Then she talks about poop.

Jenn does not love this.

Ooo…then Max gets stung by a sting ray. Good thing he was clothed. Jenn knows exactly what to do, putting his foot in a pot of boiling water. After a while, we learn that Max has a plantar wart on his foot.

Hali does not love this.

So, wait…you don’t want a contagious wart in the pot that boils your drinking water?

Heh…boiling warter.

Also, Carolyn is getting sick of Shirin and Max. Man, they were so close after that first Tribal.

Immunity Challenge Time: Two members from each tribe will drag pots on a sled through obstacles. Then they’ll put the pots on pedestals. Finally, a tribe member will use a wrecking ball to smash the pots. First tribe to destroy their pots wins immunity.

We start off and Escameca jumps out to an early lead…and a middle lead…and a late lead…

Dan smashes all of the pots looong before Nagarote even gets to swing a wrecking ball.

Sooo…can we just merge next week?

Back at Nagarote, Max is excited to start playing the game. Famous last words?

Jenn and Hali want to boot Shirin. They’re sure that Will is still on their side.

Max, Shirin, and Kelly want to target Will because he’s bad at challenges.

However, Carolyn doesn’t think Kelly is the only swing vote. She approaches Jenn with the idea of flipping.

Oh man, now Kelly’s having second thoughts because the No Collars are so tight and Carolyn isn’t tight with Max and Shirin.

Jenn thinks they should vote for whoever is the most annoying. Haha, you can’t vote for me.

That night at Tribal, Shirin thinks everyone gelled really quickly. Then she laughs because Probst is making a face. Dude, back up, that face has fourteen Emmys.

Max points out that the swap was a disaster. He compares it to “One World,” because of course he does.

Jenn laughs at him for his “Survivor” recall. But, Max is proud of his knowledge.

Max says he has to force himself to relax. This bothers Will because he thinks it’s a strategy.

Hali believes the vote will make camp life better.

Shirin and Will think it’ll be a blindside.

Voting Time: Shirin votes for Will, Jenn votes for someone she wants to stop talking, and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.

Probst tallies and returns for the third time tonight. He puts the “pro” in Probst.

Jeff asks if anyone wants to play an idol. Max pretends like he’s going to, but doesn’t.

We’ve got two votes Will, three votes Max, and the fifth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: Worlds Apart” is…Max.

Verdict: I’m not a fan of swaps. Especially when they end up as lop-sided as that one. And double especially when it was an even season and all three tribes had been to Tribal.

Here’s hoping we don’t end up with an Escameca sweep until the merge.

Who’s Going to Win? Well…with Lindsey gone…and the No Collars all safe…maybe…Jenn?

Power Rankings Results: Josh had Lindsey in spot seven. Reed and I had her in spot nine. Reed has Max in spot four while Josh and I had Max in spot five. The current score is Team Josh 37, Team Reed 40, and Team Gordon 44.

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

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Round 3 – Blind Man’s Buff Edition

March 17, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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The Rules: Each week our three combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the three players will earn. For example, if Tyler is voted out this week, Josh and Reed will each receive one point and Gordon will receive eleven points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Worlds Apart” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Josh had Nina in spot 15, Reed had her in spot 14, and Gordon had her in spot 16. So, the current score is Team Josh 25, Team Reed 27, and Team Gordon 30.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Worlds Apart”

Josh’s Score = 25

Any questions for Josh? Drop him a line on Twitter: @joshuacanfield

Reed’s Score = 27

Any questions for Reed? Drop him a line on Twitter: @thereedkelly

Gordon’s Score = 30

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

 1. Tyler: I’m putting Tyler on top because he and Carolyn were the ones who had the confessionals about Shirin being “annoying and obtrusive as a howler monkey”, and Max and Joaquin were not given screen time on the matter.  He is still in the best spot with every member of his tribe, including the outsider Joaq, as Tyler calls him. #Joaq+Tyler
  1. Tyler: We see him heavily involved in the goings-on within the tribe. He’s in an alliance, he’s supervising an idol hunt, and he’s narrating for us.  I feel he’s in a pretty good place as of now.
 1. Carolyn: OK, in three-tribe seasons there’s always a swap after the fourth Tribal. (See: “All-Stars,” “Philippines,” and “Cagayan.”) And ranking swaps IS THE WORST. Carolyn, you’re this high because you’re the only person we’re sure has an idol.
  2. Joe: Even though he made the wrong decision about the strategy of the challenge, his tribe didn’t blame him or even care, all they did was try and make him feel good.  This says a lot about Joe, everyone wants to be on his good side.  He is shown providing for the NC’s while others are out surfing.  He is controlling this tribe right now, no doubt. #MalcolmOzzyKiminone
 2. Carolyn: Feels nestled into numbers on her tribe and has an immunity idol.  She has a bit of a buffer between her and Ponderosa, but she needs to get out and idol hunt with the rest of them!
 2. Hali: It drives me insane when people get on me for having someone like Hali so high in the rankings. I’m not saying she’s going to win, I’m saying she is sooper safe this week. She ain’t goin’ nowhere.
  3. Hali: I think Hali has Jenn beat in the tight 3 alliance simply because I could see Hali maneuvering into another secret alliance once a swap or merge happens.  Other tribe members will want to approach her and get her in their numbers.  She will have options throughout this game. #surferbabe
  3. Joe: Catching lizards is no easy feat and of course he knows ASL!  What can this man not do?  He benched Nina, they lost, and it wasn’t his fault in their eyes.  He’s doing fine right now.
 3. Jenn: See Hali.

  4. Rodney: Rodney let too much of himself show in this last episode, and that’s not a good thing.  He’s short-tempered, arrogant, and has a hard time seeing other people’s POV.  But that being said, I don’t think this hurt his game play because it was made clear that the people he was frustrated with are the two who are at the bottom of the tribe.  The girls of Blue Collar are on #TeamRodney at this point.
  4. Max: Not a ton from our neighborhood “Survivor” expert this week, though I know that doesn’t mean he’s not up to things.  Keep on truckin, sir.
 4. Sierra: Things are getting ugly over at Maison Blue. Sierra and Kelly are the only ones who’ve managed to stay out of it. That’s a good place to be.
 5. Max: We didn’t hear or see a lot from Max this week, but I think it’s safe to say that he is in a good position.  I’d put him right in the center of the pecking order of his tribe and honestly, that is the best place to be pre-merge.  Sometimes those who are too visible in the beginning have the biggest targets on their back come merge (ex. the writer of this post). #middleground
 5. Sierra: Feels the way Lindsey does about things, has her back, but primarily lets Lindsey do the dirty work in confronting Mike.  I like it.  It’s smart.
 5. Max: Not much from Max last week. But that’s probably not a bad thing. He’d better hope his pre-challenge quips didn’t rub anyone the wrong way if there’s a swap.

 6. Sierra: The justification of putting Sierra this high is that she is the less outspoken between her and Lindsey, so if it came down to one of them going home, the focus would be on Lindsey.  These two girls are clearly tight with Rodney, and most likely with Kelly in their numbers, they are just fine. #justfine
 6. Kelly: What is it with us Kellys getting such quiet edits?? lol.  I do enjoy her when her confessionals get airtime.  I like how she stands back and lets others implode; solid gameplay happening.
 6. Shirin: What does it tell me that Carolyn didn’t go on the idol hunt? Well, Shirin and Max aren’t stupid. They’d notice her not hunting. So, she must’ve told them she has it. However, Shirin needling Joaquin might cause her trouble if Joaq finds some buddies after a swap.

 7. Lindsey: She has a mouth on her, that’s for sure, and while it makes great TV, I’m not so sure that her strong opinions will keep on being enjoyable to the people around her.  I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with her once a tribe swap happens. #truckermouth
 7. Hali: Quite frankly I have no idea how these girls had the energy to surf, but then again it’s only day seven.  Her relationships with the majority on her tribe can take her far in this game.
 7. Kelly: You said something last week! Hooray! Someone’s got to make sense of the terrible gameplay going on at Blue Collar Beach.

  8. Carolyn: You weren’t out looking for the idol with your entire tribe?!!!  What?!!  How do you not realize that by staying back at the camp it looks like you are comfortable?  She should have been out searching with everyone else, then there would be no reason to suspect she has the idol.  #rookiemistake
 8. Jenn: Has a good relationship with Hali and Joe, and let’s face it, relationships are everything in this game. A threat to her would be a tribe swap. Surfing anyone??
 8. Rodney: I was worried that you were the only one sparring with Mike, but apparently that isn’t the case. Lindsey stepped up in a big way during her little fire diatribe. If we’ve got a Rodney/Lindsey/Sierra/Kelly alliance, that’s a foursome that could go a long way.

 9. Jenn: Not sure about Jenn right now.  She’s obviously fine for another treehouse Tribal if her  team keeps their losing steak, but I worry about her future in the game.  She needs to hang on for dear life to Joe and Hali and find some good allies once the swap/merge takes place. #surferbabe2
 9. Lindsey: Is the mouthpiece for her tribe’s discontent.  This usually inkles a person feels comfortable enough to speak for the majority, that is if the situation doesn’t turn on them before they realize it.
 9. Lindsey: Oh…Lindsey. The…uh…the fire thing… It’s not cool to make fun of someone’s religion. That’s the kind of thing that could come back to bite you.
 10. Kelly: The #PurpleKelly edit right now for sure.  Still don’t know enough about her and her dynamics within the tribe to accurately assess her situation.  What I do think is that she is not on the bottom.
  10. Shirin: I’m getting a bit nervous for her as she seems to be getting on her tribe’s nerves. Behavior at camp can play a huge part in how long you stick around in this game.
 10. Dan: I have friends I’ve known for 20 years whose mothers I’m comfortable calling “(Expletive Deleted).” Would I say that to someone like Rodney after knowing him for a week? Probably not. Other than that, kudos to you for working to fix your disastrous first couple of days.
  11. Mike: Mike this is “Survivor” not your worksite.  It’s a social experiment, and if you have watched any of this show before you know that you can’t boss people around or tell them how they are supposed to be playing this game.  If you want to work hard, do it, but don’t push that on anyone else.  Calm down, and you’ll be fine, keep up the captain role, and torch snuff. #Dale
 11. Mike: Eek.  I get nervous for him with his complete lack of self-awareness.  You’re never going to “win” in those confrontations with tribe-mates.  Just smile and agree.
 11. Tyler: Everyone thinks Tyler is the man over at White Collar. I don’t believe it. I think there’s still a very solid Carolyn/Shirin/Max alliance and if Joaquin went out next, Tyler would be right after him.
  12. Joaquin: Everyone, including him, keeps saying that he is on the outs of his tribe, but from this episode it seemed as if Shirin was on the bottom.  Will this hold up?  Not sure, but he’s getting close to Tyler which is smart, and he’s essential in helping the WCs win challenges, I’d keep him around. #leaningout
  12. Rodney: His hot-headedness will be his undoing in this game.  Chill out, bro. He needs to deescalate and disengage, but I don’t think he can help himself.
 12. Joe: What?! Why is golden Joe so low? Because I only have one rule I stick to during swaps; the dominant challenge competitor in the tribe that is down numbers is always in danger. Now, this is less of an issue with three tribes, but I’m not risking it. Joe is in big trouble if there’s a swap.

 13. Shirin: I was hoping that Shirin’s quirkiness would help her in this game, but it’s gone the other way and her tribe just seems annoyed by her.  Not a good sign when your alliance members are saying that you would be next to go.  She needs to go invisible for a little bit so that the attention can go back on Joaquin. #monkeysex
  13. Dan: Treading water in his tribe, just trying to stay afloat.  His biggest savior is other people’s ridiculousness drawing the focus off of his awkwardness and rough edges.
 13. Mike: I blame myself. When Mike and I sat down before the game started I should have looked him in the eye and said, “Don’t ask people to vote you out.” Maybe a new tribe will give Mike a chance to reset.
 14. Dan: He’s desperately trying to fit in, but he doesn’t.  If he wouldn’t try so hard he could easily get the target on Mike and off of himself.  I don’t think he has the self-awareness to do this. #keepquiet
 14. Will: Looks like he’s really working to show his allegiance to his tribe, but he comes across as a shifty character to them and they’re uneasy … rightfully so.
 14. Joaquin: Remember when Joaquin wanted to keep So because she was better at challenges? How many challenges has White Collar lost since that Tribal?  Anywho, Joaq needs a tribe swap in the worst way.
 15. Will: I wouldn’t doubt the No Collars losing immunity again, once you’re on a losing streak it’s hard to stop unless someone “throws” a challenge (ex. the writer of this post’s tribe).  He is outside the numbers and it’s his own fault for when he voted out Vince instead of Jenn. #fourthout
 15. Joaquin: Tension rise between he and Shirin.  He’s hunting like crazy for the immunity idol and doesn’t care who knows it. This wreaks of desperation and isolation, two very unwanted things in this game.
 15. Will: Do-or-die time for you, buddy. If No Collar loses the next challenge, you’re done. If they win and there’s a swap, you’ll have plenty of room to maneuver.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Nina: “I Don’t Use My Hearing as a Crutch”

March 12, 2015

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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“I think Nina is overwhelmed and it doesn’t have anything to do with her hearing. She’s quite capable and a strong woman. I think sometimes you get out here and it becomes too real and you realize you’re not going home. I’m going to be eating bugs and sleeping with snakes. I think Nina probably already wants to go home.” – Jeff Probst

Well, Jeff was right that Nina would be an early exit, but she definitely didn’t want to go home.

I spoke with the latest castaway and asked about Probst’s assessment, how her disability affected her tribe life, whether or not Hali and Jenn were acting like bullies, and Joe’s odd challenge strategy…

Watch Every Episode of “Survivor: Worlds Apart”

Gordon Holmes: Do you think you would’ve done better if you were a bigger St. Louis Cardinals fan?
Nina Poersch: (Laughs) I don’t think so, Gordon. Believe me, I have already caught flak for that.
Holmes: Well, that was just a little more flak for you.

Holmes: OK, how did the Cochlear Implant perform out there?
Poersch: It performed very well. It performed as well out there as it does in my real life. Anyone who has it is going to have a little bit harder time communicating because it’s not 100% the same as normal hearing.
Holmes: Were Hali and Jenn being bullies?
Poersch: I’m not sure I’d say “bullies,” I don’t know. I think for both of them they really didn’t know how to react to someone who had a disability. Coupled with the fact that I’m thirty years older than them and maybe they couldn’t get that out of their head. Including me would be like including their mothers. When I was out there I didn’t feel like I was being bullied, I just felt like they were being mean. Not understanding. When you’re young and you haven’t dealt with someone with a disability, I guess it was tough for them.
Holmes: Jenn said last night, “We get it, you’re deaf…stop using it as an excuse.”
Poersch: I don’t use my hearing as a crutch. I’ve never, ever once told any of them I can’t do something because I can’t hear. All I did was ask them to look at me when they talk so I can hear them and watch their lips. And a lot of them struggled with that. And that gameplay is what you do when you get to the individual game. In the beginning it’s a tribe. You need to have everybody feel like they’re an important member of the tribe. That’s how you win challenges. You start making someone feel like an outsider? The emotions start to take a toll. It’s tough to be out there and think nobody wants to keep you around.

Holmes: It seemed like you, Will, and Vince had a solid plan to have the kids split the vote. Then it looked like Will flipped when he learned that Vince was worried about his challenge abilities.
Poersch: Vince asked me to talk to Will about it.  We had a long conversation. There was a lot that wasn’t shown. When it got to talking about his health and stuff, it got to a level where I was trying to be a friend. “Will, you need to not look like you’re struggling and don’t talk about being exhausted so much.” And the reason I talked to him about it is because he was in my alliance and I needed him in my alliance. I didn’t want Will to be voted out. In a way I was nervous that Vince might vote him out.
Holmes: Did you ever go to Joe, Hali, and Jenn after that vote and tell them how close they’d come to having Will betray them?
Poersch: Yeah. I did. I told them straight out that I would be much more loyal than Will. And as far as the physical part, I could swim better than Will and felt like I was stronger. I just felt like I had a better chance at helping them win challenges than Will along with the loyalty part.

Holmes: Jeff Probst didn’t think you’d do well with the elements out there. Was he right?
Poersch: I was having no problem with the elements. I’m not sure where he got that from. I’m an avid hiker. I go out all the time. I run, at one point in my life we had 30 tarantulas living in my house. I had friends that didn’t want to come over. I’m into all those creepy crawly things. We had snakes, scorpions, lizards, which is why I wouldn’t eat the lizard. I don’t eat my pets. If there’d been a gross food challenge I would’ve eaten a lizard. So no, the elements don’t bother me at all.

Holmes: Tell me about Joe’s challenge plan last night.
Poersch: When we first got on the beach, Joe asked me if I would be able to do the challenges. He was like, “You can’t hear. What if we have a calling challenge?” And I said, “Joe, I’ll be the caller.” And he said, “What if we’re yelling and you can’t hear us?” I said, “Joe, I can do that challenge. I have every confidence.” So, right off the bat he planted the seed that he was holding it against me.
Holmes: How did he pitch the strategy to have you basically not do anything?
Poersch: He looked at what we were going to do and he said, “Nina, we’ll put water in the bucket and you wait for us to come. You’re going to help us lift the bucket over.” And when they got to me and we had hardly any water, I knew I needed to help plug holes. When I said, “Let me help.” Him and Jenn were like, “No, no. Just go.” If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t even listen to them. I’d plug holes.

Holmes: Let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Vince.
Poersch: Loving.
Holmes: Will?
Poersch: Nurturing.
Holmes: Joe?
Poersch: Cocky.
Holmes: Jenn?
Poersch: Loud.
Holmes: Hali?
Poersch: Neutral. Because she was really hard for me to figure out.

Holmes:  Have you heard from people in the hearing impaired community who were inspired by your time on the show?
Poersch: I have so many stories. They’re inspired and they’re going to go out and do things that they didn’t think they could do or they were afraid to do. Watching me on TV has made them want to do it. I had one dad tell me that his nine-year-old daughter has always wanted to do “Survivor.” And after she saw me on TV she said, “I can do ‘Survivor!’” I don’t think you should let anything hold you back. And one of the things I took away from the experience is I don’t care what other people think about me. This is who I am.
Holmes: So, no matter how much I try to pressure you into being a Cardinals fan, it’s not going to happen.
Poersch: (Laughs) I’m not a baseball fan, but if I had to pick my favorite baseball team it would definitely be the Cardinals.
Holmes: I’ll take it!
Poersch: (Laughs)

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

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