Archive for May, 2015

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Round 11 – First-Chance Edition

May 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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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 two points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Worlds Apart” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Worlds Apart”

Last Week: Josh had Tyler in spot four, Reed had him in six, and I had him in seven. So, the current score is Team Josh 79, Team Reed 87, and Team Gordon 88.

Josh’s Score = 79

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

Reed’s Score = 87

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

Gordon’s Score = 88

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

 1. Carolyn: She betrayed her closest ally Tyler this past week.  Was it the smartest choice at this point?  Would Tyler have done the same to her soon?  Regardless, she is killing it in this game.  She’s strong in challenges, has made big moves, and still has the idol.  If the others let her in to the Final, she will win the whole thing. #yeahbaby   1. Carolyn: I love that she made the push with Mike to take out the threat, Tyler; wise on her part.  Wondering if anyone else knows about her idol now.  She has several viable options and in addition to that idol.  Without an act of overconfidence, I don’t see her going home this week.
 1. Will: Oh man, Will’s such a lock to go to the end of this game. Seriously, why bother going to immunity challenges? Why go to Tribal?  Just jot down your vote on a spare piece of paper and let Rodney deliver it.
  2. Will: The best goat this season.  I can’t think of one reason that a jury member may vote for him. #golden
 2. Will: Are we just to assume that he is so ensconced in numbers and such a non-threat that he’s just going to sail to the FTC?  It’s always fascinating to me to watch this particular archetype get so far along season after season.
 2. Carolyn: Mama C stabbed her biggest ally in the back last week. Good move? Well, if Mike loses one of the next immunity challenges and they can finally send him home, she’s a genius. If Mike can run through a Tyler-less field and get to the end, she’s going to regret it.
  3. Sierra: She needs to do something, anything, so that she can have content in her FTC speech. #ghost
  3. Sierra: Wondering who is going to align with her to take advantage of her eager vote.  I feel like she is constantly poking around the edges, trying to find her way into a solid sub-alliance.
 3. Rodney: For the love of all that is good with “Survivor,” will someone please bring a birthday cake to the finale? Can Probst lead the audience in a chorus of “Happy Birthday”? I felt terrible. And in spite of his crushing disappointment, at least he was trying to come up with a way to trick Mike into not playing the idol.
  4. Rodney: Poor, sad, angry birthday boy seems to be the man that everyone looks to for decisions, which is really strange to me.  How did he get this position?  By being the loudest, or maybe the most sexist?  Perhaps.  Whatever the reason, it’s worked and he is in the final six eyeing FTC. #loudleader
  4. Rodney: Besides seeing him pout over it being the worst Birthday ever (which I don’t know how any other BDay could top one being celebrated during a game of “Survivor”), we didn’t see much from him in this episode.  Not sure if that means there could be a lot of him coming up in a boot episode or if he goes even deeper.
 4. Dan: Everyone is afraid of Dan’s advantage and this next Tribal is the best time to use it. It turns an even vote into an odd vote and as we’ve discussed before, odd votes are the best time to make moves. If I’m Dan, I pick my two partners and make my move now. If it works, the next vote will be final five and you’ll already have the numbers.
 5. Dan: He is paranoid after votes have been cast his way.  He will make some (more) mistakes this next episode as he tries to do anything to get the focus off of him.  #treadingwater
 5. Dan: I feel people (like Carolyn) would be smart to align with him to capitalize on his advantage and then sit next to him at the FTC.  He needs to start advocating to others the benefits of him being the perfect goat if he’d like to make it to the FTC.
 5. Sierra: So, the consensus among the exit interviews seems to be that most people want to go to the end with Rodney and Will. Makes sense to me, although, I think the jury might like Rodney more than they’ve been showing. But what about Sierra? It seems like she might not get points for her gameplay, but she’s been a prominent part of the Ladies Couch. The jury likes her. If Mike wins immunity, I’d target her.
 6. Mike: He successfully fractured the alliance by playing his idol and sending Tyler packing.  This guy is hanging on for dear life, and will do anything to stay in the game. #lastchance
 6. Mike: He is playing a balls-to-the-wall game right now because he has to and he caused the majority alliance to cannibalize one of their own.  As much as I love rooting for him as an underdog story, I’m not sure if he’ll make it past this week or next.
 6. Mike: Forget the “Second Chance” vote, Merica Mike can win “Survivor: Worlds Apart.” But, he’s gotta be perfect. He needs to find an idol or go on a perfect challenge winning streak, because anyone who decides to throw him a bone and vote with him is playing for second place.
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‘Survivor’ Castaway Tyler: “Had I Known, I Would Have Blown It Up”

May 8, 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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Every “Survivor” bio has a question that annoys me; “Which ‘Survivor’ Player Are You Most Like?” Now, the reason I hate this question is because the answers are usually terrible. It tends to be something like, “I’m a mix of Parvati’s flirting, “Boston” Rob’s social game, and Ozzy’s challenge skills.”

I was so busy hating the answers that I’d never really thought about which “Survivor” player am I most like? When I finally sat and tried to figure this out, it was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.

Until I watched Tyler.

Based on what I saw on my television, Tyler is a solid representation of how I’d like to play the game. While others were exploding, he was quiet and reserved. He kept an eye on everything. He kept lines of communication open with many people.

It wasn’t enough to blow up and be someone people would want to take to the end. It was about getting in front of the jury with a chance to take the whole thing.

Unfortunately for Tyler, this gameplay made him a target. And when his alliance was forced to boot someone, he was considered the biggest threat.

I spoke with Tyler the morning after his elimination and asked him about his gameplay, Carolyn’s blindside, and Will’s explosion…

Gordon Holmes: What happened last night? I wasn’t shocked to see you go out, I was shocked to see who voted for you.
Tyler Fredrickson: So was I, dude! So was I! She did me dirty. But good on her, she was able to get me before I was able to get her. So, I can’t blame her.
Holmes: Everyone is saying, “Tyler’s a threat”…which is true, but Mike’s the biggest threat to win out there. It makes sense to me to keep my challenge competitors on board until Mike’s gone. Was that ever part of your pitch to stick around?
Fredrickson: Honestly, I didn’t know they were coming for me. It was a complete #blindside for me. Looking back at the edit, were the signs there? Were they pointing to me? Yeah, but you’re not a part of that. From what I knew we had a core four. And we were going to rock and roll and push forward. We had to throw some votes at Mike in case he doesn’t play the idol. Of course he’s going to, but you don’t know that completely. We throw a few votes at Dan, then we move forward. Had I known, I would have blown it up. Gordon, I would have blown everything up. “The advantage is this, idols are here…here’s the core four. Mike, what do you want to do, bro? Let’s go. Let’s go the end. Me and you, two strong players.” Mike’s a strong guy, but Mike’s not unbeatable. I feel like I’m a pretty competent player too. I just hate stupid endurance challenges.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Fredrickson: It doesn’t play to my strengths as an athlete at all. Especially after I’ve lost almost thirty pounds. Looking at it now? You’re right. Will’s not going to do anything in challenges. Rodney is challenge kryptonite. Sierra has proven to be completely inept. And Dan’s just…Dan. So, Carolyn is going to compete against Mike? She’s great, but no offense, my money is on Mike. I’ll take that every step of the way. But, you’ve got to think eventually he’s going to lose and they can get him out, but you never know.
Holmes: Did you ever ask Carolyn to play her idol for you?
Fredrickson: It came up. We talked about it. I kind of beat around the bush about it. I didn’t want to say,  “Yo, if this happens, you need to hook me up. You need to play this.” I never wanted her to feel pressure. It got to the point where I wondered if she was avoiding talking about it too much. And she even said that she did not bring her idol to the Tribal where Mike and Shirin blew me up. When she didn’t throw it out there, I said, “Yo, if we’re in this together and you’re not willing to play this at that point, are we not in this together?”

Holmes:  You gave Carolyn kudos for getting you before you got her. How close were you to pulling the trigger on her?
Fredrickson: I knew she had to go, she had the idol, we’ve gotta make our move. Rodney’s pissed at her for not taking him on reward. Will’s wants her gone. Dan’s over it too. We’ve got all these people on board to get Carolyn, and then she wins immunity. Then I have to pull back. I’ve got to continue to trust our core four, get past this vote, then I’m going big. I’ve reworked the scenario in my head so many times. Do I tell them, “I’ll tell you something after Tribal that will blow your mind?” Everybody would say, “Tell us now or you’re going home.” All six of them wanted me gone and not a single person said anything about it. What can you do?

Holmes: You looked through Dan’s bag. You knew about his advantage. The game has never had something like it. What were you worried he might do with it?
Fredrickson: Because I didn’t have the extra vote, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about what I might do with it, or how I would get in Dan’s graces and then try to maneuver with it. Our core group was big and strong. What I tried to do was build it up to be something extremely powerful. “We don’t know what it is. It could be a vote doubler, it could let him rip up a vote, he could immediately send someone home. We don’t know what it is, all we know is it’s scary. And you don’t have it, right Will? Right Rodney? OK, so we’ve got to think of targeting this dude sooner than later.” But, when you’re dealing with people who are rather reactionary, things like that aren’t in the forefront of their mind. It’s more about being hungry and not having a reward.

Holmes: If  I gave you the booking power to write out how “Survivor: Worlds Apart” should have ended, what was your dream final three scenario?
Fredrickson: It was me, Will, and Rodney. I think you ask a lot of people and Will and Rodney are going to be there. At least in the top four. Will was just sitting back, he hadn’t made a lot of moves. Rodney is talking a massive good game. But, it’s all talk. So much talk. Where’s the strategic mastermind? Where’s the subtle good game? Where’s the puppetmaster? Where’s that strategy? We have a season where there are big personalities and people like to fight.
Holmes: Hold the phone there, you’re telling me Rodney’s not subtle?
Fredrickson: (Laughs) Not subtle. We were on a season where people yelling and fighting and arguing was apparently much more interesting than strategic gameplay. Maybe I have myself to blame for that. Maybe I was boring in confessionals. It was difficult for me to get out of a quiet, more subtle kind of gameplay on the island. It’s hard when you’re immersed. It’s hard when you’re hungry. It’s hard when you’re exhausted and beat up. Rodney’s good TV. He’s better TV than me, I’ll give him that.

Holmes: It was portrayed that you were somewhat responsible for Will’s meltdown, being that you were the person who told him about Mike, Jenn, and Shirin doubting his snack story. What is your take on that ugly situation?
Fredrickson: These are pretty complicated issues. They’re layered issues. They require educated discussions from people who have more degrees than I do. All the bullying, the victim, the passive bullying…bystandering or whatever it’s called. Shirin and Will are two of my friends. I get the way they’re feeling and I want to respect that. Here’s what I’ll say, Gordon…there was an argument between two people and it grew pretty heavy. I believe that Will took it much further than it needed to go and I actually encouraged him to apologize to Shirin after that. At Tribal she mentioned that I was the only person to do so, but that was edited out for some reason. I really think it’s now up to them to work through. Hopefully CBS will give them the chance to do that.

Holmes: I was there on day three when the White Collars voted out So. It seemed like Max, Carolyn, and Shirin were a pretty solid group. When was the decision made to partner up with Joaquin?
Fredrickson: Max and I bonded really quickly, but I could never trust Max. Max makes a horrible first impression. He’s an incredible dude. A caring, great, freaking smart guy. But on the island it’s like, when is Max going to make his own thing? I can’t trust him. I wanted a Carolyn or a Sierra. Someone I could lock in to. So, when Carolyn came to me I thought, this is more important than Max. Max had Shirin because they were geeking out over the whole situation. When So departed, Joaquin realized that this game is bigger than him and he’s playing with fire right now. What was great about Joaquin is I could walk up to him and say, “All we’ve got to do is win. Forget the strategy. We win and we never go to Tribal again.” We had the best streak of first and second finishes. We never went back again until the mix-up when we threw the memory challenge. And we still would have won that…and they got rid of Joaquin. Joaquin and I were on a streak of like five or six in a row.
Holmes: In the early going, you made it seem like you didn’t want to strategize at all.
Fredrickson: It wasn’t that I didn’t want to strategize. I strategized consistently. But, the reality was if you acted like you didn’t want to strategize, you came across as less threatening. People were already going to assume I was a threat based on my size and because I carried myself more quietly. All I wanted to do was be a meathead and talk about winning, it’s us vs. them. Shirin is still befuddled about that to this day, which I chalk up as a really great response in my favor.

Holmes:  Alright, let’s do some word association…
Fredrickson: You’re going to hate me, dude.
Holmes:  You wrote yours out in advance too?
Fredrickson: …I did.
Holmes: You people are monsters.
Fredrickson: I’m sorry! And I did everybody like Shirin did.
Holmes:
Fredrickson: Think about it this way; people know your work. We all talk about it. We all anticipate really great questions like this.
Holmes:  Well, that I like. In order, let’s start with So.
Fredrickson: Spike.
Holmes: Vince?
Fredrickson: Discovery.
Holmes: Nina?
Fredrickson: Outdoor Channel…closed captioned…
Holmes: (Laughs) OK…I get it. Lindsey?
Fredrickson: BabyFirst TV.
Holmes: Max?
Fredrickson: Adult Swim.
Holmes: Joaquin?
Fredrickson: Playboy.
Holmes: Kelly?
Fredrickson: Bravo.
Holmes: Hali?
Fredrickson: CW.
Holmes: Joe?
Fredrickson: Netflix.
Holmes: Jenn?
Fredrickson: MTV.
Holmes: Shirin?
Fredrickson: Lifetime.
Holmes: Mike?
Fredrickson: Showtime.
Holmes: Sierra?
Fredrickson: CMT.
Holmes: Carolyn?
Fredrickson: Esquire.
Holmes:  Dan?
Fredrickson: History.
Holmes:  Rodney?
Fredrickson: Food Network.
Holmes: Will?
Fredrickson: BET.
Holmes: Alright, anything for that guy Tyler?
Fredrickson: Amazon. Because I’d be trying to be cool and mainstream. But in the end, not known primarily for good TV.

Holmes: So, five of your “Worlds Apart” buddies are eligible for the Second Chance season. Assuming that Mike and Carolyn remain eligible, rank the players based on who you’d most like to see play again.
Fredrickson: As a viewer…you’re putting me on the spot with my Dirty 30…I’ll go Joe, Mike, Max, Carolyn, and Shirin. That’s from most to least.

Holmes: The Second Chance is a huge topic of conversation now. If given a second chance, what would be your strategy?
Fredrickson: I have no regrets in the game I played. Relating to people and forming relationships was really key. Listening before speaking. I probably would have approached my confessionals a lot more aggressively. I’d try to be who I really am, “I’m running this show and everybody’s got to listen to me.” I’d have taken more advantage of that opportunity. For the actual gameplay, I’d try to play slightly more aggressive. Or maybe try to anticipate blindsides a little better. (Laughs)

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

‘Survivor: Worlds Apart Episode 12 Recap: All My Axis Lose to Texas

May 6, 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: Tyler went through Dan’s stuff, Mike had a clever bluff, and the Axis decided Shirin had had enough…

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

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

The Merica Tribe (wearing purple)
Carolyn – Corporate Executive, 52
Dan – Postal Worker, 47
Mike – Oil Driller, 38
Rodney – General Contractor, 24
Sierra – Barrel Racer, 27
Tyler – Ex-Talent Agent Assistant, 33
Will – YouTube Sensation, 41

The bell rings and the fighters come bounding out of their corners. Dan throws the first cross saying that he voted for Shirin and you know that’s the truth because he put a pretty star on his vote. A PRETTY STAR, DARNIT!

Tyler counters saying he had to vote for someone else because he knew his name was being tossed around. Dan disagrees. Which is odd because he often says, “I can’t disagree with you.”

Will admits that he voted for Dan too because he wanted to split the vote…but Shirin and Mike were safe if Mike played the idol. So, split between Dan and Tyler? Why bother?

Later, Tyler lets us know that he has no problem voting for Dan again. Yeah Tyler, I don’t have a  problem with you voting for Dan again either.

Actually, Dan said he’d be in the bottom of the “cuddle puddle” during our pregame interview. Makes sense that he’d be on the bottom of this alliance.

The next morning…it’s Rodney’s birthday! I bet he gets so many Facebook messages today, bro. But, Rodney doesn’t care about Facebook messages, he just wants to go on a reward.

Reward Challenge Time: The tribe will be split into two teams of three. First, they’ll use maypole ribbons to release a key. They’ll then build a ladder and use the key to retrieve a bag of balls. Finally, they’ll launch those balls into five targets. First team to hit all the targets wins a trip to deliver supplies to an orphanage and a barbecue.

Yay! I love the charity-themed rewards.

They do a school-yard pick to see who doesn’t get to compete and Dan chooses Tyler and Rodney while Carolyn gets Mike and Sierra. Will doesn’t get to play because…you know…Will.

We start off and Mike, Sierra, and Carolyn get their keys first, they hold this lead until they get to the ball-launching stage.

Rodney forgets his team’s bag of balls and has to go back to get them. Birthday bummer.

Apparently Dan is some kind of ball-launching genius, because he’s able to catch up and pass Mike. Sierra wants to tag in, but Mike won’t let her.

Mike eventually regains the lead and wins the reward for his team.

Probst asks Rodney if he wants someone to give up their reward, but Rodney says it’s up to them. Mike declines and Rodney’s cool with it. Sierra and Carolyn decide to pass as well…and Rodney is not happy.

After the break, we join Sierra, Mike, and Carolyn at the orphanage. It’s a good thing Rodney wasn’t there. He’d have all those kids in line at a mall to buy him Jordan sneakers.

During the meal, Carolyn considers teaming up with Mike. Mmm…not likely, baby.

Back at camp, Rodney is raging over Carolyn and Sierra’s birthday diss. He swears that he’ll be the only person to go to the end. Umm…Rodney might not know how the end of “Survivor” works.

He approaches Tyler, Dan, and Will with a plan where he tells everyone that he wants out of the game and this will trick Mike into not playing his idol. Well, that’s something.

Tyler doesn’t think it’ll work because it’s “Survivor” and you “have to anticipate crazy.” Wow, that might be the best description of “Survivor” I’ve ever heard.

When Mike, Carolyn, and Sierra return to camp, Rodney puts his plan into effect. He rants and raves about not getting a reward and he tells everyone he wants out.

Mike doesn’t buy it. Apparently he anticipates crazy.

Over at the Ladies Couch, Tyler wonders if Carolyn would play her idol for him. She doesn’t say either way, but he convinces her to start taking it to Tribal. WHY WOULDN’T YOU ALWAYS TAKE IT TO TRIBAL?!

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will hold onto a rope and lean over a pier. As time goes by, they’ll have to move further down the rope. Last person standing wins immunity.

We start off and Rodney is in bad shape early. But, he still outlasts Will. Oh Will.

Will’s followed by Dan, Sierra, and Rodney.

It’s down to Carolyn, Tyler, and Mike.

They move down a knot and Mike is immediately out. Boo…

Shortly after, Tyler is gone too. Carolyn wins immunity.

Before we hit the commercial, Dan says there’s a lot of talk about his advantage. Use it or lose it, buddy.

Back at Merica Beach, Carolyn pretends like she wants to divide the vote between Mike and Tyler. But, she’s really targeting Dan.

Tyler approaches Will and they both agree that Dan should go. His hope is they’ll knock out Mike’s vote and Dan’s advantage in one Tribal.

Carolyn again considers joining up with Mike, but how does that make sense? Nobody can beat Mike in front of the jury.

That night at Tribal Council, Mike lets Jeff know that he has his idol with him and that one of the Axis is going home. He also thinks Dan and Tyler should both be worried.

Dan isn’t happy about the votes he received at the last Tribal, and he’s pretty sure that he’s on the bottom of his alliance.

Tyler says he didn’t scramble, but he touched base with his alliance. So White Collar.

Carolyn is worried about Dan’s advantage because she doesn’t know what it is. Yeah, you do…baby.

Dan says everyone has approached him about using it.

Sierra thinks there’s going to be a big, shocking move and she’s keeping her options open. Dude, stop saying that. Your alliance must hate that.

Tyler says he’ll be surprised if he goes home. Oh boy…

Voting Time: Dan votes for Mike, Mike votes for Tyler, and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.

Probst does his tally thing, then returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and Mike…totally does. To nobody’s surprise, he plays it for himself.

We’ve got four votes for Mike, one vote for Tyler, and the thirteenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: Worlds Apart” and the fifth member of the jury is…Tyler.

Oh…and then Probst drops the bomb that you get to help pick the cast of “Survivor: Second Chance.”

Verdict: So, Sierra and Carolyn voted for Tyler. Hmm…

That vote really feels like a mistake. Nobody will beat Mike if he gets to the final Tribal. And, Tyler was their best bet to beat Mike in physical immunity challenges.

Who’s Going to Win? Who can it be but Mike? Maybe Carolyn?

Power Rankings Results: Josh had Tyler in spot four, Reed had him in six, and I had him in seven. So, the current score is Team Josh 79, Team Reed 87, and Team Gordon 88.

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

‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Invites Viewers to Select the Castaways

May 6, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

Quick Note: XFINITY TV will be sending me deep into the wilderness to bring you all kinds of “Survivor: Second Chance” goodness. Before the season airs, I’ll have all manner of behind-the-scenes interviews, images, and more to share. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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For the first time in “Survivor” history, CBS is letting the fans decide who will be given a shot at the show’s million-dollar prize. The twenty competitors will be chosen by an online vote from a list of thirty two former players who meet these criteria…

1.    They have only ever played the game once. (Sorry, Rupert.)
2.    They have never won the game. (Sorry, Fabio.)

The voting will take place at cbs.com/survivorsecondchance from now until Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 9 p.m. ET. Fans may vote once a day for the ten men and ten women they’d like to see return. The winners will be announced by “Survivor” host, executive producer, and Emmy glutton Jeff Probst during the “Survivor: Worlds Apart” finale.

Note: Mike Holloway and Carolyn Rivera will be deemed ineligible if they are crowned the “Worlds Apart” sole survivor.

Name: Kelly Wiglesworth
Season: “Survivor: Borneo”
Finish: Finalist
Why You Should Remember Her: In the season of “Survivor” that first captured America’s imagination, Kelly went on an impressive individual immunity run (four straight wins!) and was the victim of Sue Hawk’s legendary “Rats vs. Snake” speech.
Name:  Kimmi Kappenberg
Season: “Survivor: The Australian Outback”
Finish: Twelfth Place
Why You Should Remember Her: Kimmi accidentally let Tina Wesson know that a member of her tribe had previous votes against him. That tribe member was…
Name: Jeff Varner
Season: “Survivor: The Australian Outback”
Finish: Tenth Place
Why You Should Remember Him: Jeff was eliminated from the game because of the old rule where tie votes are broken based on the amount of previous votes that were cast against the tied players.
Name: Teresa “T-Bird” Cooper
Season: “Survivor: Africa”
Finish: Fifth Place
Why You Should Remember Her: Teresa used the show’s first ever tribe swap as a way to get rid of her rival. She also cast a vote that caused Lex to freak out.
Name: Andrew Savage
Season: “Survivor: Pearl Islands”
Finish: Tenth Place
Why You Should Remember Him: The leader of the Morgan Tribe was sent home after eventual finalist (and one of two returning Outcasts) Lil turned against him.
Name: Shane Powers    
Season: “Survivor: Panama”
Finish: Fifth Place
Why You Should Remember Him: Shane tried to use “Survivor” as a way to kick his smoking habit and was able to score some smokes during a reward outing. He was also hilarious.
Name: Terry Deitz
Season: “Survivor: Panama”
Finish: Third Place
Why You Should Remember Him: Terry won five consecutive individual immunity challenges and was the first person to have a “Whaaaaambulance” called for him.
Name: Peih-Gee Law
Season: “Survivor: China”
Finish: Fifth
Why You Should Remember Her: Peih-Gee threw a challenge in China by tossing away a piece of the puzzle and then laughed about it. Classic.
Name: Stephen Fishbach
Season: “Survivor: Tocantins”
Finish: Finalist
Why You Should Remember Him: “The Wizard” orchestrated the show’s first-ever cross-tribe alliance but received no votes at the final Tribal Council.
Name: Monica Padilla
Season: “Survivor: Samoa”
Finish: Seventh Place
Why You Should Remember Her: Monica was offered a spot at Russell Hantz’s side at the merge, but she decided to stick with her eight-person Galu alliance. This ended up being a mistake when the Foa Foa four managed to overcome those steep numbers.
Name: Natalie Tenerelli
Season: “Survivor: Redemption Island”
Finish: Finalist
Why You Should Remember Her: Natalie partnered with “Boston” Rob Mariano to get to the final Tribal Council, but received no votes. That’s less votes than Phillip Sheppard received.
Name: Stephanie Valencia
Season: “Survivor: Redemption Island”
Finish: Fourteenth Place
Why You Should Remember Her: Stephanie is one of the few people in “Survivor” history to team up with Russell Hantz and not win a million dollars.
Name: Jim Rice
Season: “Survivor: South Pacific
Finish: Twelfth Place
Why You Should Remember Him: Jim’s Savaii alliance was in a good position to take over the game until Cochran’s flip led to him losing the numbers and the game.
Name: Mikayla Wingle
Season: “Survivor: South Pacific”
Finish: Fourteenth Place
Why You Should Remember Her: Mikayla’s time at Upolu beach was made very uncomfortable when Brandon Hantz got the impression that she was tempting him.
Name: Troyzan Robertson
Season: “Survivor: One World”
Finish: Eighth Place
Why You Should Remember Him: As one of two people with “Tarzan”-based nicknames that season, Troyzan was able to stand out by winning two immunity challenges. Also, IT’S WAS HIS ISLAND!!!
Name: Sabrina Thompson
Season: “Survivor: One World”
Finish: Finalist
Why You Should Remember Her: Sabrina was a key part of the dominant women’s alliance that owned “Survivor: One World.”
Name: Abi-Maria Gomes
Season: “Survivor: Philippines”
Finish: Fifth Place
Why You Should Remember Her: The Brazilian beauty is best known for stabbing her alliance-mate RC Saint-Amour in the back.
Name: Vytas Baskauskas
Season: “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”
Finish: Tenth place
Why You Should Remember Him: The brother of “Survivor: Panama” champ Aras Baskauskas made a strong showing for himself, but was quickly voted out after the merge when the brother pairing was deemed to be too powerful.
Name: Brad Culpepper
Season: “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”
Finish: Fifteenth place
Why You Should Remember Him: Brad might be best remembered, not for anything he did, but for Marissa Peterson’s “(Expletive deleted) you, Brad Culpepper!” catchphrase.
Name: Ciera Eastin
Season: “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”
Finish: Fifth place
Why You Should Remember Her: Ciera became the only person in “Survivor” history to vote out a family member when she sent her mother Laura Morett packing.
Name: Spencer Bledsoe
Season: “Survivor: Cagayan”
Finish: Fourth Place
Why You Should Remember Him: This “Young Lad” almost went the distance after “Survivor” host Jeff Probst (and…uh…someone else) went on record saying he had no chance to win.
Name: Tasha Fox
Season: “Survivor: Cagayan”
Finish: Sixth Place
Why You Should Remember Her: With her back against the wall, Tasha pulled off three consecutive immunity challenge wins.
Name: Woo Hwang
Season: “Survivor: Cagayan”
Finish: Finalist
Why You Should Remember Him: Woo probably would have won “Survivor: Cagayan” if he had chosen to take Kass to the final two over eventual winner Tony.
Name: “Chaos” Kass McQuillen
Season: “Survivor: Cagayan”
Finish: Third Place
Why You Should Remember Her: Kass earned her “Chaos” nickname by turning on her alliance and voting out Sarah Lacina. She also had a very dramatic come-from-behind win at the final four immunity challenge.
Name: Jeremy Collins
Season: “Survivor: San Juan del Sur”
Finish: Tenth Place
Why You Should Remember Him: Jeremy had a very impressive run in the game, but he might be best remembered for sending his wife to Exile Island after beating her in the opening challenge.
Name: Keith Nale
Season: “Survivor: San Juan del Sur”
Finish: Fourth Place
Why You Should Remember Him: Keith accidentally got his own son voted out of the game when he tipped Jon off by urging Reed to “Stick to the plan.”
Name: Kelley Wentworth
Season: “Survivor: San Juan del Sur”
Finish: Fourteenth Place
Why You Should Remember Her: Kelley and her father Dale ended up on the losing end of a family feud that pitted them against Baylor and Missy.
Name: Joe Anglim
Season: “Survivor: Worlds Apart”
Finish: Tenth Place
Why You Should Remember Him: “Joey Amazing” was a challenge stallion and he crafted the most impressive fake immunity idol this side of “Runaround” Bob Crowley.
Name: Max Dawson
Season: “Survivor: Worlds Apart”
Finish: Fourteenth Place
Why You Should Remember Him: The “Survivor” professor gave new meaning to the term “’Survivor’ buff” with his naked ways.
Name: Mike Holloway
Season: “Survivor: Worlds Apart”
Finish: To Be Determined
Why You Should Remember Him: He ate a scorpion. Oh…he also found a hidden immunity idol without a clue, caused a fracture in the Axis of Evil alliance, and choreographed a happy dance.
Name: Shirin Oskooi
Season: “Survivor: Worlds Apart”
Finish: Eighth Place
Why You Should Remember Her: Shirin got back at Will after his tirade by not allowing him to read his letter from home.
Name: Carolyn Rivera
Season: “Survivor: Worlds Apart”
Finish: To Be Determined
Why You Should Remember Her: Did she find an immunity idol without a clue? Yeah, baby! Did she form a solid final-four alliance? Remains to be seen, baby!

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

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Round 10 – Axis Explodes Edition

May 5, 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 two points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Worlds Apart” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Worlds Apart”

Josh’s Score = 75

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

Reed’s Score = 81

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

Gordon’s Score = 81

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

 1. Carolyn: I’m still on the Carolyn bus.  She has the idol, she didn’t betray any one at the last Tribal.  She is holding the wheel in this game and I will be a big decision maker in this upcoming vote. #Speed   1. Carolyn: Continues to crush this game.  She’s in an alliance with bigger physical/social threats she can point to, potentially has two sub-alliances set up, and has an idol.  It’s going to take something beyond crazy to knock her out this week.
 1. Mike: Mike killed it last week. The only possible tweak I would’ve suggested would be to let the Axis know he had the idol back at camp where it would’ve given them more of a chance to plot against each other. Now, if you lose immunity this week, don’t try to be cute and not play that idol again. You’ve already put it in their heads that you might not play it.
  2. Mike: Great job, Mike! Wow, what a fantastic play to fracture the opponents of 6, and boy did it fracture.  He has the ball, and he can change this game.  Don’t let us down. #Rudy
 2. Sierra: Is doing a good job stating what appears obvious to us outside the game: Tyler is a big threat.  I really respect this tactic.
 2. Carolyn: The Axis has no choice but to turn on itself this week. Everyone’s in danger… well…everyone except for Mama C. She’s got an idol in her back pocket and she isn’t afraid to use it.
  3. Sierra: Mike’s bluff didn’t cause her to stumble, she stayed strong.  I don’t see why anyone would vote her out right now.  She seems easy-going, and I’m sure everyone will want her to vote with them. #FarFromtheMaddeningCrowd   3. Mike: It’s hard to recover lost trust in this game, but so far him winning immunity has made that almost irrelevant.  Almost.  Loved the bluff at Tribal and completely support him keeping the idol for himself — it’s a better move long-term.  Looking forward to seeing the conversations that ensue back at camp after this.
 3. Will: Nobody’s voting for Will. They need his challenge prowess to help get Mike out of the…phffft…hahahahaha…almost got that out with a straight face. Will isn’t going anywhere because he’s everyone’s end-game goat.
  4. Tyler: Tyler has been consistent, but he realized how little power he had when he got called out at Tribal, and he showed his weakness when he switched his vote.  But I think Mama C will have his back and carry him up this Everest of a vote. #TheLordoftheRings
  4. Will: I’m just not that interested in his game right now, although that vote towards Dan may cause some interesting conflict.  We don’t see much of his strategy beyond that (which I know from firsthand experience doesn’t mean it’s not happening), but I’m still left with a bad taste in my mouth after the past two episodes.
 4. Rodney: Bro, I’m pretty sure you’re safe this week. Although, your talk about going home in the preview has me a little nervous. Unless you were impersonating someone wanting to go home, in which case you nailed it again.
 5. Rodney: Was he in the last episode? If the previews are to be believed he is ready to go and wants to be voted out, but somehow I just don’t see him letting go that easy.  He’s a hothead who will stretch his power to make it another day. #FantasticFour
 5. Rodney: Not a lot on Rodney in this episode so I don’t have a ton to say on this one.  It was just one of those episodes I guess.
 5. Sierra: Sierra is the last person to the Axis of Evil party and it’s pretty clear that she’s buddies with a lot of people on the jury. Add to that her little comment about not having enough votes to flip things at last week’s Tribal and you have the member of the six that is easiest to boot.
 6. Will: Of course Will got scared and flipped his vote to Dan.  He has no idea what he’s doing out there, and he’s just desperately trying to stay above the water. #LifeofPi
 6. Tyler: Got nervous and wrote down Dan’s name.  An understandable yet unfortunate slight that could have ramifications on his game — namely, now having to kiss some big, hairy Dan booty.
 6. Dan: The only reason I can think of to get rid of Dan is if that extra vote makes Tyler and Mama C too nervous. He can’t win if he gets to the end unless he’s sitting next to Will and a popcorn kernel that’s stuck in your teeth.
 7. Dan: Here we go.  Dan is not going to let Tyler and Will get away with voting for him.  He’s angry, he’s big, he has an extra vote, and he will make war in the tribe.  #TheHulk
 7. Dan: Tyler’s vote for him will likely snap him out of his complacency with being part of the “top six” alliance.  If he were smart, he’d start pointing out how dangerous and game-threateningly cunning Tyler is in this game — that is if he can see it.
 7.  Tyler: The seed has definitely been planted that Tyler is going to be a tough player to beat. But, the Axis is going to need all hands on deck to defeat a motivated Mike at the next few immunity challenges. Tough times for Tyler.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Shirin – “I’ve Offered to Donate $100 for Every Act of Misogyny”

May 1, 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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Usually my “Survivor” exit interviews take place over the phone in my office at the Comcast Center. This one took place in the waiting room of an Intensive Care Unit.

Quick Aside: Before we get too far into this, the procedure was a huge success. High fives!

My mother, my uncle, and I were the only ones in the room so the interview wouldn’t be bothering anyone else. And hearing from the recently booted player would take our minds off of the serious situation at hand.

As the interview went on, more and more families started to pour into the waiting room. And before I knew it, this little interview had turned into something of a live podcast.

When we finished up, everyone had questions about the show. They wanted to know how real it was, where the contestants went to the bathroom, why this guy Will was such a jerk to this nice woman. And from there, conversations continued with people saying how they’d play the game.

And while I think the one guy’s strategy of “hiding in the woods” probably wouldn’t pan out for him, it’s nice to think that “Survivor” could be a welcome diversion for him and for everyone else on what must’ve been a stressful day.

See…”Survivor” is awesome.

Fortunately, Shirin agrees with me. After the verbal abuse she suffered at the hands of Jay Leno’s favorite karaoke artist, she’s still high on the reality hit.

When life gives you bologna skin, you make bologna skin-ade.

Shirin Oskooi: Gordoooooooon!
Gordon Holmes: Whoa…holy cow.
Oskooi: Homie G!
Holmes: I love that enthusiasm.
Oskooi: Let’s do this. Come at me, bro.

Holmes: Alright, you’re in a supermarket somewhere. Maybe you’re picking out some produce or something. And then Bon Jovi’s hit “Living on a Prayer” comes on over the loud speakers. How do you react?
Oskooi: (Laughs) I sing along. I sing along louder, and more obnoxiously…with so much enthusiasm and love in my heart, because I’m living on a prayer.
Holmes: We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got.
Oskooi: (Laughs) Because we’re only half way there.
Holmes: I’m proud of you for not letting your island experience ruin that amazing song.
Oskooi: You can’t. Honestly, I don’t even know if we should get into this. But when the Will attack happened, all of the people who were in camp who were watching and were complicit in what was going down with the way I was being treated, they’re all incredibly religious people, including Will himself…I didn’t grow up Christian. I’m not religious. The reason Will always loathed me…he claimed that I didn’t have a soul. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know where that came from. I’m guessing there might’ve been some kind of religious tint to that. So after it all happened, my knee-jerk reaction was to look at Christianity. Did religion do this to me? But then I remember, no…Mike Holloway exists and Mike Holloway is a man of God. It’s his faith that made him step in for me. You can’t take these outliers and make them make you think ugly things. You’ve got to look for the positive. When you make yourself smile, if you eradicate the hate in your heart, then life is so much better. So, I’m not deeply religious,  but I love Christianity and Christians, I love Mike Holloway.

Holmes: Someone like Jenn would say that you’re annoying. Which isn’t a great thing to hear about yourself, but it’s such a far cry from something as malicious as “This person doesn’t have a soul.” What didn’t we see that led to such an escalation?
Oskooi: So, back at the tribe swap, it was clear that Will didn’t like me. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me. He’d rarely talk to me. So, I pulled him aside a couple of times and said, “Hey, I get the feeling that you don’t really like me. Can we work through it?” And he’d say, “No, it’s all in your head, baby girl. You’ve got to get that out of your head.” But once the merge happened he tried to blame his flip on me. He was trying to say that I flipped and not him. He was calling into question my integrity and telling people not to trust me. That’s when he’d say things like, “You can’t trust her because she doesn’t have a soul.” And so, it started to emerge that he loathed me because I don’t have a soul. And he never explained it further than that.
Holmes: Well, this is coming from a guy who thought he could make sandwiches out of ocean water.
Oskooi: (Laughs) They never got those sandwiches. I was never a part of the sandwich deal, but I can assure you Jenn was very upset that she never got those sandwiches.
Holmes: The argument was so weird and baseless. You have no family, you have no friends. That’s clearly not the case. Does that make it better that the world is on your side or does seeing again just bring you back to that place?
Oskooi: I can’t lie.
Holmes: Don’t lie to me. We’re better than that.
Oskooi: (Laughs)
Holmes: The game is over. Time for healing.
Oskooi: It was rough. I’ve been anxious for the last seven months leading up to this episode. It was a horrible thing to live through and watching it again…I knew I had to relive it. But, when I watched it I watched it with Mike and Jenn and Sierra and Hali. I was surrounded by so much love and support.  We all cried together and laughed. This brought us closer together. Nothing can break up the Ladies Couch. It was a weight lifted. I thought CBS and “Survivor”  handled it very well with the editing. And people are having the right reactions. We don’t want to focus on the ugly and the negative. We’re trying to make this a positive. We’re raising awareness with a “Raise Your Hand” campaign against bullying and abuse. I’ve offered to donate $100 for every act of misogyny on this entire season.
Holmes: You’re going to go broke.
Oskooi: I’m going to go broke. I’m donating to the National Network to End Domestic Violence. And the response has been so positive. That’s amazing! Let’s do this, right?! Even if I go broke, it’s worth it.
Holmes: Agreed. And when I spoke to Jenn she said it was a crime all three of you were guilty of. You, her, and Mike…but he focused on you. Why would he do that unless it was socially acceptable to pick on you? That’s Bullying 101.
Oskooi: He told Jenn…a couple of people actually…that, “I don’t speak to women that way, but she’s not a woman.”
Holmes: Anybody who saw you running around half-naked knows you’re a woman.
Oskooi: (Laughs) Tyler was there! He should’ve jumped in and said, “Yeah, she’s a woman.”

Holmes: Were Dan and Sierra your best bets to make a move last night?
Oskooi: Unfortunately, Dan just is…his judgment is clouded by his personal feelings for people. He just disliked me so much that he was never going to vote with me, even if it was strategically sound to do so. Which it clearly was. We know he’s on the bottom. And with Sierra it was a matter that she needed to know that someone was going to come with us. She wouldn’t come alone.

Holmes: What about Carolyn?
Oskooi: I worked really hard on her. She was out there hustling. She’s playing a really understated, but stellar game. She’s got that idol. She’s always in the majority. Even with this Axis of Evil thing, Tyler’s kind of on the outside of that. It was supposed to be Will, Rodney, Carolyn, and Kelly. Carolyn is always in control of her destiny and she’s determined to get to the end.
Holmes: What was your pitch to her?
Oskooi: You’re going to go to the end with these people, but you’re not going to beat them. No Collar people didn’t like her that much. The people who like Carolyn who would vote for her to win are the Axis of Evil. They’re her friends in the game. Those are the people she should be putting on the jury. She should be sitting next to me because they’re the ones who don’t like me. I genuinely believe when I was voted out that Carolyn lost the game and Sierra lost the game and even possibly Dan. I don’t know if they can win with the people remaining because Mike, Tyler, and Rodney are such big threats. And it’s unfortunate because the only people left that I want to win are Mike, Sierra, and Carolyn…in that order.

Holmes: Tyler unearthed Dan’s voting advantage last night. Had that spread around the camp while you were there?
Oskooi: At that point he had just shared it with Carolyn.

Holmes: Alright, we typically would do a word association exercise at this point. But, your Dirty 30 buddies are trying to mess with my happiness and are coming up with their answers in advance. Did you plan ahead?
Oskooi: I have planned ahead. I have a word for every single person on this season. Even people I didn’t play with. So, I want you to name everybody.
Holmes: I’m starting to hate the Dirty 30.
Oskooi: You love me so much! You are Team Shirin!
Holmes: I am, but I’m also Team Word Association.
Oskooi: And now you have to be Team Mike.
Holmes: Alright, you want everybody?
Oskooi: Everybody.
Holmes: In order…let’s start with So.
Oskooi: Pansy Parkinson.
Holmes: Vince?
Oskooi: Professor Trelawney.
Holmes: OK, I see where this is going. Nina?
Oskooi: Percy Weasley.
Holmes: Lindsey?
Oskooi: Sirius Black.
Holmes: Max?
Oskooi: Somewhere between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
Holmes: Joaquin?
Oskooi: Draco Malfoy.
Holmes: Kelly?
Oskooi: Katie Bell.
Holmes: Hali?
Oskooi: Luna Lovegood.
Holmes: (Laughs) Joe?
Oskooi: Cedric Diggory.
Holmes: Jenn?
Oskooi: Fred Weasley.
Holmes: Do you have one for yourself?
Oskooi: Hermoine.
Holmes: Alright, let’s hit who’s left. Mike?
Oskooi: Harry Potter.
Holmes: Sierra?
Oskooi: Seamus Finnigan.
Holmes: Carolyn?
Oskooi: Narcissa Malfoy.
Holmes: Tyler?
Oskooi: Lucius Malfoy.
Holmes: Dan?
Oskooi: Wormtail who’s spent his whole life thinking he’s Gilderoy Lockhart.
Holmes: (Laughs) Rodney?
Oskooi: Voldemort.
Holmes: And we’ll finish with your buddy Will.
Oskooi: Horcrux.

Holmes: I have a theory that people in the game like Rodney a lot more than people watching him on TV. What was your relationship with Rodney like?
Oskooi: He really is kind of how he appears on TV.  He’s a Boston bad boy. He’s whining a lot. He’s pretentious and reactive and explosive. But, he’s also comic relief. He’s the only person on the evil side who brings levity to the game and puts smiles on our faces with impressions. Rodney’s impressions I could listen to for days and days. And what you’re not seeing is that everybody wants to go to the end with Rodney and Will. They’re underestimating the power of humor in that swamp of (expletive deleted).
Holmes: Let’s not get too into this. But, I feel like your Jenns and Joes and Halis enjoy the guy and he could take it against the right competition.
Oskooi: A lot of people aren’t seeing that. Rodney’s a young, funny guy. The people on the jury are young dudes and dudettes who could support a funny guy. And the other thing is; he’s reactive and explosive, but he’s not vicious. He’s been kind to me on a number of occasions. He’s rarely proactively mean the way the others are. And that goes a long way.

Holmes: When a super fan goes on “Survivor,” there’s always the risk of hating something you used to love. Where are you with “Survivor” now?
Oskooi: I still absolutely love “Survivor.” I think it’s one of the greatest shows ever on television. I’m so grateful to be a part of the experience even though I had to go through some hardships. Those hardships did lead to some of the best moments of my life. Mike running in to save me, that was the first time anyone had ever stood up for me, let alone in a situation like that. For that to happen, I would take that attack over and over again just to relive Mike saving me.
Holmes: My mom already has a crush on Mike. You’re just making it worse.
Oskooi: That crush is valid!

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


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