Archive for October, 2015

‘Survivor’ Castaway Woo: ‘The Doctors Said They Could Pull Me from the Game’

October 30, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

When the last decision you make literally costs you the million dollars, that’s gotta be the tied for first-place in the “worst moves of all time” competition. So, if anyone needed a second chance, it was Woo Hwang.

Unfortunately for Woo, only one of these Second Chancers is truly going to fulfill the dream of taking home the big check…and it won’t be him.

I spoke to the master of “Ninja Stealth Mode” the morning after his elimination and asked him about his brutal blindside, his relationship with Abi, and his top skee-ball tips…

Gordon Holmes: Did you see last night’s blindside coming at all?
Woo Hwang: No, Gordon. Not at all. Hashtag blindside.
Holmes: When there’s no indication that you’re going home, does it just drive you insane until you can question someone who was part of that vote?
Hwang: A lot goes through your mind. You’re just kind of whacked out. It’s an out-of-body experience. I think that night, that blindside, my name was written down more times than my whole career in “Survivor.” Just the suspense of one vote left and it could possibly be me. I’d never been in that situation. Handing my torch to Jeff and having him snuff it. And him saying, “I’ve got nothing else for you. Get out of here.” I walked away and I glanced back and realized, wow…my second chance opportunity is finished. It’s a really empty feeling.
Holmes: Does it change how you feel about the game? You played with Tony Vlachos so you’ve seen some blindsides. But this is your first time going through that.
Hwang: Yeah, it changes my view in many ways. When I watched the blindside and remembering the conversations that had happened before Tribal. If I had done this, or said this… If I had aligned with Spencer would this have changed? But, you just go with your gut. Everything was set to have Ciera be the decoy, we told Spencer we wanted to get rid of someone who’s not going to be strong in challenges. It didn’t turn out that way. It’s unfortunate because I’ve been sitting here, the game’s been over, but reliving that whole experience is a tough breakup with the show.

Holmes: I was trying to figure out why they’d target you when Ciera is annoyed with Savage. Was it to not send the wrong message to the other classic Bayon members?
Hwang: I don’t think it was entirely Ciera’s call. Kass had a big hand in the decision making. I remember being at the old Angkor and Savage saying, “Stick with us. When we hit the merge I’ve got all the numbers with Bayon.” He said, “I’m really close with Jeremy, Fishbach, Joe, Ciera, Tash…and if you jump on board you can be our man too.” I just remember him never mentioning Kass. And when we were the new Ta Keo tribe, I was talking to Kass and I said, “I feel great with Savage.” And she asked how I felt about Tasha and I said, “I feel great with Tasha. I feel like a part of this big alliance.” Walking away from that and looking back, I realize Kass didn’t feel close with Savage and now I’m part of this alpha male alliance. She was probably thinking, Savage wants Spencer out, so I can get him on our side. So, it’s better to get rid of Woo now because  if he makes it to the merge he’s going to lined up with Jeremy, Joe, Savage…Keith was mentioned…Fishbach. So, I think Kass was instrumental in that vote. So, I don’t think it was entirely on Ciera.

Holmes: On day one, actually hour one…your feet were injured on one of the boats. What happened and how did it affect your game?
Hwang: Unfortunately on my way to swim to the rice, the ladder that led to the boat…I don’t know if there were nails or pieces of wood, but I managed to cut up my feet pretty well. My right, big toe there’s a big chunk missing. A couple of more lacerations on the other side of the foot. And when you’re out in these isolated jungles, you don’t know what kind of infections are rolling around. The doctors checked it out because it was so bad. They usually don’t come out. They said to keep it clean because there’s not much they can do. The doctors said they could pull me from the game because infections were rampant, so I had to keep it dry and clean. That was a big downfall to the beginning of the game. A lot of strategy talk was being conducted in the water. People were walking here and there and I had to stay in the sleeping quarters.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Varner.
Hwang: Hilarious.
Holmes: Wiglesworth?
Hwang: Mom.
Holmes: Wentworth?
Hwang: Question mark.
Holmes:  Shirin?
Hwang: Interesting.
Holmes:  Spencer?
Hwang: Crafty.
Holmes: Peih-Gee?
Hwang: Friend.
Holmes: Terry?
Hwang: Proud father.
Holmes: Kass?
Hwang: Random.
Holmes: Ciera?
Hwang: Question mark…no comment.
Holmes: Vytas?
Hwang:  Yoga instructor.
Holmes: Abi?
Hwang: Fireball.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Savage.
Hwang:  Great guy.

Holmes: You had a very contentious relationship with Abi.
Hwang: I started the game with Abi and we hit it off really well. She came up to me and said, “Hey, Woo. I have this weird crush on you. I think you’re adorable and super cute.”
Holmes: Yeah, she said similar things in her pre-game interview. Hubba hubba.
Hwang: (Laughs) I was flattered and I was thinking this will really help my game. After that first vote, we got back to camp and I tried to apologize to her. And she forgave me. And she said I have to give her my loyalty and never write her name down again. I said, “Yeah, sure. I just want to make sure you’re in a good mood and I’m on your good side.” Because you know how she is.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Hwang: So, I write her name down twice and she still forgave me. She voted out Jeff. She really had some trust in me. Honestly, the relationship wasn’t as bad as you’d think. If I was Peih-Gee I’m sure it would’ve been terrible.
Holmes: Are you willing to admit now that you put Abi’s necklace in Peih-Gee’s bag?
Hwang: (Laughs) That’s so funny.
Holmes: That’s not a denial.
Hwang: (Laughs) Any one of us could’ve accidentally picked up her bag. She was so fixated on Peih-Gee, she wanted her out. Abi’s a great “Survivor” player, character, she’s great entertainment.
Holmes: You were talking about your mother last week and Abi countered by comparing it to her knee surgery. How did that sit with you? It seems like a case of comparing apples to nothing.
Hwang: I don’t hold it against Abi. How do you blame her?  She doesn’t know my real story. All she knows is I might’ve made that story up to get in favor with Tasha and Savage. She’s just thinking of the game. What did happen to my mom is true. But that’s old news because she is healthy and strong. That’s all I’m thinking about. Do I hold anything against her? Absolutely not.

Holmes: You have the best attitude.
Hwang: (Laughs)
Holmes: Seriously. Between seeing Abi’s side of things and your farewell last night…
Hwang: How can I not? These experiences we go through…I’m just so grateful. I try to stay positive as much as possible. Any negative thoughts or regret…there’s not much I’m going to be able to do.
Holmes: One positive is; now that you’re back home you have more time for Chuck E. Cheese.
Hwang: Right?! My fiancée and I get to hit up more skee-ball. It’s best on the weekdays around nine when all of the kids are in bed. The skee-ball section is wide open! No distractions.
Holmes: Are you a straight-up guy or do you try to bank it off of the side?
Hwang: Straight up. The big left and right corner pockets have the most points. That’s my main move. I’ve been getting 34 tickets every token. I’ve been coming out with some pretty nice prizes.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Terry: ‘Danny’s Heart Is Pumping Like a Champ’

October 29, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

“I’ll do anything to play ‘Survivor’ again,” was a popular comment from people trying to win last Spring’s “Second Chance” vote.

On a starlit night in the Cambodia wilderness, Terry Deitz learned the truth about that statement. When host Jeff Probst told him there was a medical problem with his son Danny, Terry didn’t think twice before hopping on a boat and leaving the game behind.

I spoke with Terry the morning after this episode aired and we didn’t talk about “Survivor” much at all.

Gordon Holmes: You guys took us on a roller coaster last night. Did you know Danny had any issues before you took off for Cambodia?
Terry Deitz: Not at all. The day before we were out on the astroturf throwing bombs and he was like, “I’m a little short of breath.” I’m like, “Don’t worry about it. You’re probably out of shape from lacrosse or whatever.” Two days after I left, everything in his system started breaking down. He was throwing up. Cold, they thought he had bronchitis. The last thing she got him was an echocardiogram. It’s like an ultrasound for the heart. From that they can tell what your ejection fraction is. That’s the percentage of blood coming out of your heart. We walk around with a 50-65. He had an ejection fraction of eight. The doctor comes running back into the room. He says, “Mrs. Deitz, you’re not going on vacation. I just called 911. An ambulance is coming to take your son.” He went to Hartford Hospital, they wanted him to see a specialist. They put him in an ambulance immediately and took him to Boston Children’s Hospital. They’re the best children’s hospital in the world. And thank God they did. He shouldn’t have been walking. They had doctors coming in the room just to look at him. “There’s the kid with the EF eight.” There are athletes who have enlarged hearts and fall down on the field and never get up. Fortunately my wife got him a bunch of checkups because nobody was catching it. And all of this is going on while I’m doing challenges in Cambodia.

Holmes: There’s never been anything like it on the show. Jenna Morasca left “All Stars” but that was based on her intuition. I kept thinking about your mindset on the journey home. Because from the boat you boarded at Ta Keo beach it was another boat, and a three-hour car ride, and three or four flights. It must’ve been a nightmare.
Deitz: (Laughs) I can’t thank Jeff and his team enough. Everything was set up perfectly. Dr. Eliza, the company psychologist even came with me. It was wonderful having somebody with me. As soon as we got on the boat, Jeff gave me his phone and said, “Call Trish (Terry’s wife).” And Jeff didn’t really know what was going on with Danny because of HIPAA rules. I was able to fill him in. The game is the game and it can go on by itself. My tribemates were thinking about me. Jeff was constantly in touch while he was producing the show. It was really cool. But it was small boat to big boat. I was able to Facetime with Trish. I got to see my son. I got to see my daughter. That made my heart sink anymore because I could see how bad of shape he was in. He was one step away from dying. We boated back to the mainland. I got a shower. Four hour drive to Phnom Penh in an SUV. Flight to Hong Kong, layover where I got to talk to them again. And then a sixteen-hour flight with no communication to Boston. “Survivor” had a limo waiting and the limo’d Eliza and I right to Boston Children’s Hospital. Trish and my daughter met me out there. We had a little cry, then we got strong again for Danny. And when I went up and saw him the first thing I said was, “Dan.” He’s a big strapping athlete. 6’2”, 195 pounds and he’s now lost 25 pounds. He’s got all this (expletive deleted) hooked into him and everything. I said, “Look, nobody loves you for Danny Football. Nobody loves you for Danny Lacrosse. They love you for Danny Deitz, and I love you. And I want to see you get better, grow old, have kids, and have them give you the joy that you’ve given me. And we’re going to kick ass on this thing.” And that’s what we did. Two heart procedures and two open heart procedures within a month. God bless the organ donor, because Danny’s heart is pumping like a champ.

Holmes: Damnit, Terry. I’m not supposed to get weepy during exit interviews.
Deitz: (Laughs)
Holmes: I’m a professional!
Deitz: My wife and I have had 79 days in the hospital. We’ve truly had the worst days of our lives. But, we’ve stayed solid as a team. And Danny knows this. And the love and support that we’ve gotten from you and everybody out there. It meant the world to us. It was sad watching the show last night, especially with Kass and Ciera, they have kids. It was tough on them. We’re exhaling. We’re thankful for a lot of things.

Holmes: When’s he going to be ready to go for a “Blood vs. Water” season?
Deitz: (Laughs) He’s only seventeen, so it’d be a couple of years. But even then, it’d be a reach. He’ll never be 100%. But, you never know.
Holmes: The show is going to be on for another fifteen years anyway. He can play in his thirties.
Deitz: Yeah, but the way things are with research and development…the type of rejection drugs that are not only good for his heart, but good for his system are right around the corner. Twenty five, thirty, forty years down the line when he needs another transplant, it’s probably going to be a mechanical heart where there is no rejection. Or they build a new heart out of his own stem cells.
Holmes: So, he’ll need another heart transplant in the future?
Deitz: Yes. It all comes down to the match and how well the body gets along with the new heart. And a lot of them can get along for a long time.
Holmes: My father had serious heart issues in the past year. We were in and out of the hospital for weeks at a time. And the doctors would talk about advances and say things like, “If this had happened five years ago, he wouldn’t be around.”
Deitz: You’re exactly right.
Holmes: It was heartbreaking to watch, but it helped knowing there was a happy ending.
Deitz: Wait, did your father turn out OK?
Holmes: Yes. Sorry. He’s up and about and cranky as ever.
Deitz: (Laughs)

Holmes: What’s Danny’s day-to-day like?
Deitz: He gets up in the morning, he takes his rejection drug, he’s got about eight pills he takes in the morning and in the evening. He’s got to go to Boston Children’s at least once a week. He’s got physical therapy three times a week. He can’t go to school because his immunity system is squashed. He can’t go into a petri dish of a high school. That’ll happen next semester. He’s a teenager so he’s eating like a madman. He does his workouts, and he hangs out with his football team. Whenever he goes in public he has to wear a mask. He has clinics he has to go to. He’s being tutored, he has a girlfriend, and we’re hanging out a lot. He’s actually back driving, which is scary.
Holmes: In all fairness, it’s always scary when a teenager is driving.
Deitz: (Laughs) When Jeff pulled me off, I thought it was my mom who’s 85 or my mother-in-law who’s 85. What happened to them? This is not going to be good news. And when he said, “Danny” the first thing I thought was he had a car wreck.
Holmes: You really wanted to come back after Panama. But the way you left, and the bigger picture it provided you, I feel like there can’t be too many regrets.
Deitz: I don’t spend any time projecting myself into the future of the show. It’s not worth it. It’s fun because Eliza and Jeff both said the same thing. They’re like, “You’ve been here two weeks, these are the goals you’ve talked about. You wanted to do better in the challenges and you wanted to be better socially.” I think I hung with the young guys and on the social side I felt I was involved in one of the big strategic move of getting rid of Shirin. I did those two things in two weeks. And I have no regrets about the show. It’s weird, the whole summer has been such a compelling story. It’s more exciting and more meaningful than anything “Survivor” can give.

Holmes: And where can we go to donate to the Danny Strong Foundation?
Deitz: People can go to You’ll see the whole story there. There are donations that can be done and t-shirts. It all goes to pediatric cardiomyopathy.

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

‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Episode 6 Recap: Ciera Missed?

October 28, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

Last Week: Kimmi didn’t ration because she wanted Whole Foods, Stephen hit someone else’s Target, and Monica saw her GameStop.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog…

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

The Angkor Tribe (wearing yellow)
Abi – Philippines
Andrew – Pearl Islands
Tasha – Cagayan
Woo – Cagayan

The Bayon Tribe (wearing pink)
Jeremy – San Juan del Sur
Kelly W. – Borneo
Kimmi – The Australian Outback
Spencer – Cagayan
Stephen – Tocantins

The Ta Keo Tribe (wearing teal)
Ciera – Blood vs. Water
Joe – Worlds Apart
Kass – Cagayan
Keith – San Juan del Sur
Kelley W. – San Juan del Sur
Terry – Panama

We start things off back at Ta Keo Beach…which is weird because they weren’t at Tribal.

The reason for the odd beginning is quickly made apparent as Probst arrives in a boat with bad news for Terry. Jeff tells him that his son is in the hospital and it’s serious enough that he should go home. Terry says his goodbyes and takes off.

Poor Terry. Just imagining the questions he must have while he goes on those looooong flights seems like a nightmare.

Note: Terry’s son received a heart transplant and is doing well. #dannystrong

The next day, Probst breaks the news to the other tribes. Savage says that he loves the game, but he would run to the airport if he were in Terry’s shoes. Kelly gets really emotional as she agrees with him.

Aaaand…it’s a little dusty in my living room.

Joe thinks the news took the wind out of their sails, but they’re going to make Terry proud.

Once we’re ready to start the game back up, Probst shocks them with another buff dropping. They’re going to become two tribes; Bayon and Ta Keo. Angkor will no longer exist. I’m sure it’ll be remembered as fondly as Ulong.

Alright, we’ve got Jeremy, Kimmi, Tasha, Stephen, Keith, Joe, and Kelley on Bayon and Savage, Kass, Spencer, Abi, Woo, Kelly, and Ciera on Ta Keo.

Oh man, new new Bayon is going to murder new new Ta Keo.

Immediately, Kass lets everyone know that she’s worried about being on a tribe with Spencer due to lingering Luzon issues. Also, Kelley is nervous about being the only classic Ta Keon on her tribe.

Reward Challenge Time: One member from each tribe will race down a slip-and-side and retrieve a hoop. First person to toss their hoop onto a post wins a point. The winning tribe gets a picnic.

Round One: Jeremy barely beat Savage.

Round Two: Kass defeated Stephen.

Round Three: Abi topped Kimmi.

Round Four: Joe scored against Woo.

Round Five: THE KELL(E)Y ROUND! Wigles bested Went to win reward.

We meet up with Ta Keo back at camp as they sit down to their huge picnic.

Spencer asks what middle-era Ta Keo was like and Kass assures him that they were cool because they’re not very dramatic. Kass. Chaos Kass. Not dramatic. Still doesn’t sound right.

Savage is feeling good because he has two classic Bayonians, Woo, and Abi on his side. He also knows that Kass hates Spencer. Well, we all know that.

Savage wants to throw Spencer off of his scent by telling him that they’re targeting Ciera. As you’d imagine, Ciera does not love this idea.

At Bayon, Joe wants to find a way to save Kelley. He thinks the way to go is to say that she’s stronger than Stephen and Kimmi.

Man, a lot of pre-challenge strategy.

Joe tells Stephen that he wants to target Kimmi and Stephen doesn’t like that one bit. He immediately rats Joe out to Jeremy. This concerns Jeremy, but he likes the idea of one-man-show Joe being his meat shield.

Later, Stephen gets really emotional talking about his second chance. It’s really dusty tonight!

Immunity Challenge Time: GROSS EATING CHALLENGE! First tribe to four wins immunity.

Round One: Woo and Spencer ate tarantulas faster than Tasha and Kimmi.

Round Two: Jeremy and Keith devoured water beetles faster than Savage and Ciera.

Aww…Savage gave Ciera a big fatherly hug.

Round Three:  Stephen and Kelley finished the pig snout before Abi and Kass.

Round Four: Kelly downed deep fried frog quicker than Joe. Joe lost?!

Round Five: Kimmi forfeited to Woo when she was asked to eat pig brains.

Round Six: Kelley gobbled a scorpion before Ciera. I did that once.

Round Seven: Tasha swallowed a balut faster than Kass to win immunity for Bayon.

Oh man, now Kass is crying. This episode is sponsored by Kleenex.

Back at camp, it looks like Spencer is the target. Savage takes Spencer aside and tells him to vote for Ciera.

Savage then goes on and on about what a great blindside it’ll be. Uh oh…foreshadowing?

Later on, Ciera pitches getting rid of Woo over Spencer. Wait, why Woo over Savage? So as not to upset classic Bayon?

Kass and Spencer go for a  little chat and Kass admits that Savage targeting him. She pitches teaming with Abi and Ciera to get rid of Woo.

Oh man, Kass can get rid of Spencer and…she’s debating not doing it? Calm Kass vs. Chaos Kass!

That night at Tribal, some folks still need to get fire! Joe and Keith have yet to have fire!

Woo says he’s learned that you need to be cutthroat to win.

Kass thinks it’s hard to manage all of the levels of relationships.

Probst asks if she’s Chaos Kass or New Kass. She says she doesn’t know.

Savage admits that he’s only known “loving, loyal Kass.”  Needs better alliteration there, Savage.

Ciera thinks it’s weird that Savage has grown close to Woo.

Savage doesn’t worry when he hears his name being thrown around because he trusts his judgment. And worst case, he goes home to his hot model/lawyer wife.

Ciera points out that somebody’s plan will not work out.

Voting Time: Savage votes for Spencer, Spencer votes for Woo, and the rest are secret.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Spencer, one vote for Woo, two votes for Spencer, two votes for Woo, and the sixth person eliminated from “Survivor: Second Chance” is…Woo

Well, Abi got her wish.

Verdict: What a roller coaster this episode was. From the heartbreak of Terry’s news, to the swap, to a legitimate blindside. This season is picking up.

Who’s Going to Win? My girl Kelley is in trouble, but I’m staying Team Wentworth until her torch is snuffed.

Power Rankings Results: OK, Jenn (or whoever did her picks) had Terry in first. Max had him in tenth and I had him in eleventh. Jenn and I both had Woo if spot fourteen while Max had him in spot twelve. So, the current score is Team Jenn 72, Team Max 80, and Team Gordon 74.

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

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Round 5: Everything’s Coming Up Jeremy Edition

October 28, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

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 Abi-Maria is voted out this week, Gordon and Jenn will each receive fifteen points and Max will receive fourteen points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Second Chance” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Jenn had Monica in ninth place, Max had her in fourteenth, and Gordon had her in thirteenth. The current score is Team Jenn 57, Team Max 58, and Team Gordon 49.

Important Note: These rankings are not based on who is most likely to win the entire season. Players tend to rank the players based on their safety in the next episode.

Jenn’s Score = 57

Any questions for Jenn? Drop her a line on Twitter: @jenncantdance

Max’s Score = 58

Any questions for Max? Drop him a line on Twitter: @fymaxwell

Gordon’s Score = 49

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

 1. Terry: Terry is number one because I (expletive deleted) like him. He’s just a good solid guy just like my dad. Plus he’s good at challenges. I don’t see him going anywhere anytime soon.   1. Jeremy: Everyone should have Jeremy at the top.
 1. Jeremy: A medical emergency and a tribe swap in the same episode?! Are you kidding me, Probst?! Normally I’d just pull names out of a “Survivor” Hall of Fame coffee mug. But, anyone with an idol should make it through OK.
  2. Jeremy: Jeremy is a likable guy. Good at challenges. Has an idol. There is zero chance in hell that he is going home anytime soon.
 2. Ciera: I don’t know how Jenn keeps forgetting about Ciera.
 2. Kelley: See Jeremy.
  3. Kelley: I like her. She’s good at challenges and she has an idol and she likes Terry. She’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
  3. Spencer: Spencer is just like me and that’s why I put him here. I like people who love the game.
 3. Tasha: And now I have to redo the colors on all of these Power Rankings graphics?! Before a merge?! Again, Tasha and Savage don’t have the challenge strength, but they have plenty of deadwood to vote out.
  4. Ciera: I didn’t watch Tocantins so I don’t even really know who this is. She hasn’t made any waves so she’s probably safe for now.
  4. Kelley: Kelley is in a great spot because she has an idol and a sense of wits about her. 
 4. Andrew: See Tasha.
 5. KEITH NALE: I really like Keith. He’s great. I think that great guys that people really like aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
 5. Joe: This is as high as I will ever put Joe.
 5. Stephen: When you kinda blow a challenge and your tribemates just laugh about it? That’s a good place to be. Kudos to Stephen for turning around his disastrous start.
 6. Andrew: Savage has a really good social game and I think he’s calling the shots at Angkor. I don’t think he’s going anywhere.
 6. Keith: Keith is doing great. What a likable guy. I think he will make it far, just not to the end.
 6. Kimmi: Kimmi went to Tribal for the first time in fifteen years and she totally called her shot. Was it a good call? Meh… Probably won’t matter in the long run. I’m thinking Kimmi is the least-threatening person out there. She’ll go a long way.
 7. StephenJust shut the (expletive deleted) up, man. Stop talking. Guys like this really drive me crazy. All they do is talk and think. Come on, man. I’m just like “Chill. I don’t care about anything. I just want to get drunk and eat cheese on a boat and pet Sunnycat.” And all they do is have ideas and talk about (expletive deleted) and worry about life and take Hali’s bed.   7. Tasha: Somehow her tribe avoided Tribal last week. This week they will be incredibly lucky if they do the same. However, her and Savage are somehow running it still.
 7. Ciera: We joke a lot here about not knowing what to write about people who aren’t getting a lot of camera time. But…for reals…we’re hitting episode 6 pretty soon. Give us more Ciera!
 8. Tasha: Tasha is not as in the loop as Savage but she’s good at challenges. I haven’t seen her make strong alliances with people. This should be fine.
  8. Stephen: This guy just likes to shoot himself in the foot. How do you go with Spencer and still come out more of the “Survivor” nerd outcast?
 8. Kass: Remember when everyone thought Kass would be the first target? She still could be, if she ever goes to Tribal.
  9. Joe: Joe. You win all the challenges and cook all the food and make camp life great for everyone and still find time to brush your hair 100 times before bed with a comb that you made from a (expletive deleted) abalone shell. Did you have to go and tell them that YOU ARE THE BIGGEST THREAT IN THE GAME? STOP BEING SO GOOD AT EVERYTHING. STOP BEING SO LIKABLE. STOP MAKING ME LOVE YOU. I really like Joe so I think he’s fine for now, but if he makes the merge he is gone.
  9. Andrew: This guy is pissing off people. That’s how I got voted out. That’s how he’s going to get voted out.
 9. Spencer: Nothing but question marks for young Spencer. He proved he was loyal by voting with Jeremy. But really, what choice did he have? Also, how many alliance members does Jeremy need?
  10. Kimmi: Eh. I haven’t seen that much from her lately so she’s probably going home soon. I don’t see her going home anytime soon.
  10. Terry: I don’t know why I’m putting Terry below Andrew but I am. He’s still doing good for his alliance though. Even though his tribe will probably lose this week.
  10. Kelly: Kelly, Kelly, Kelly Kelly, Kelly… I’ve learned more about Kelly from Woody’s birthday song than I have by watching this show.
 11. Kass: Kass is really growing on me. She’s making friends with Kimmi and doing really good in the challenges. After the season maybe she and I will eat cheese together. She’s probably fine for now.
 11. Kimmi: She did something this week. Congratulations, you finally made it on TV.
  11. Terry: It’s bad news when a tribe of six people makes a final five deal and you’re not a part of it.
 12. Kelly: I don’t even (expletive deleted) know who this is.
 12. Woo: I think his tribe is going to lose and he or Abi are on the chopping block.
 12. Joe: You’re never safe, Joe. I still say you’re done the first time you lose an individual immunity challenge.
  13. Spencer: Dude got lucky. If he didn’t catch that fish he was probably going home. Guys like him talk too much. He just needs to chill and do good at challenges and he’ll probably be fine.
  13. Kelly: I don’t think we’ve seen any more footage of Kelly since Borneo.
 13. Keith: Maybe this is mean, but Keith strikes me as the Ta Keon most likely to have a medical emergency.
  14. Woo: He’s not doing that much so he could be going home.
  14. Abi-Maria: She has to be next out on her tribe. She got so lucky last week. But this week, I don’t think the cards will be in her favor.
 14. Woo: Tasha has got to realize that she can’t control Abi for another 20+ days. And, seeing that her buddy Spencer is safe means she has some options. Keep Woo for “challenge strength” even if it’s really to maintain your sanity.
  15. Abi-Maria: Abi. You have to chill out. You can’t make every story about you. Ummm…you have another person’s (expletive deleted) body part inside you? You have to get over your drama. BTW Monica was right – you can’t just take all of the clams. They don’t just reappear the next day. (Disclaimer: I work on boats so I know about the ocean.)
  15. Kass: Kass.
 15. Abi-Maria: The more time Savage and Tasha spend around Woo and Abi-Maria, the more they’re probably going to gravitate toward him.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Monica: ‘I Thought Kimmi Was My One Friend’

October 22, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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 Whether it’s Kel’s beef jerky, Sugar’s cookie, or Julie’s trail mix, “Survivor” always always always ALWAYS comes down to food.


I spoke with the latest victim of a food related targeting the morning after her elimination and asked her if there was more to Kimmi’s betrayal, if Stephen got heat for his shot that went wide left, and what was really going on in the early days of Bayon…

Monica Padilla: How are you, Gordon?
Gordon Holmes: I’m willing to wager that I’m feeling a little better than you are right now.
Padilla: (Laughs) Oh my God, I’m dying right now.
Holmes: You get a pass, you had a rough night. Should I ask all the questions now, or should I save some for later?
Padilla: (Laughs) You can ask them now.
Holmes: I don’t want to deplete them all.

Holmes: What happened with Kimmi? Did that come by surprise or did you know she had it out for you?
Padilla: It really did. I had no idea that she had it out for me. How crazy! I got the invisible edit from the get-go, which sucks. I don’t know which producer I pissed off. I have no idea. If you know me, do you think I hit the beach and didn’t say anything?
Holmes: I figured you’d be a delicate flower. Quietly swaying in the breeze.
Padilla: Mmm…probably not. I have a really big mouth!
Holmes: You wouldn’t upset a soul.
Padilla: I’m a delicate flower who goes and makes her alliance on day one. The first person I made an alliance with was Kimmi. She has a big mouth, she’s a New Yorker.  I was born there, I grew up there, awesome. I aligned with her on day one. I thought, this is sick, this is great. I aligned with Jeremy. Then we made good with Keith. So, the three of us set that with Kimmi. We said, “All the way to the end. Let’s go.” I was trying to play an old-school game and not overkill that. I don’t know where Kimmi just lost her (expletive deleted) against me. I don’t know if she had a chicken flashback or what. (Laughs)

Holmes: They showed the thing with not depleting the seafood and the female alliance. But that’s really all they gave us.
Padilla: They made it look like Kimmi was the mastermind of my blindside. But, I don’t know if that’s entirely accurate.
Holmes: Then who was it?
Padilla: I don’t know. I wasn’t there for the Monica-blindside discussions.
Holmes: That seems smart.
Padilla: I know that if we’d gone to Tribal the first night, Kimmi is the one they said they had wanted to send home. I tried to protect her. So, they knew I was close to Kimmi. I don’t know if they turned that against her to try to separate us. I thought that Kimmi and I were tight. When she pissed me off with the clams, it was like, “It’s fine, we’re good. We’re girlfriends.” I didn’t think that was a turning point. But anytime you attack someone over something stupid you can become a target.

Holmes: So you, Kimmi, Keith, and Jeremy were an early alliance. But, they showed us that Jeremy, Tasha, Savage, Keith, and Joe were an alliance as well. What were the early days at Bayon like?
Padilla: Oh my God, the early days of Bayon…people were so scared to even say the A-word. The A-word was like the F-word. “Don’t talk about alliances, we’re a happy tribe.” And I’m like, “Hi, guys. We’re on ‘Survivor.’” So, the early days I did not want to align with Kass or Tasha…and I was even wary of Ciera. I didn’t know her going into the game. I was really nervous.  I didn’t want to align with everyone. But, they’re all like, “We’re a happy-go-lucky tribe and everything is awesome!” I was on Galu, so I knew how great and awesome everything could be until somebody plays an idol on you. I’d say, “At some point we’re going to have to go to Tribal.” I don’t know if I was the Bitter Betty of the tribe. Savage was talking about his wife. Kass was telling a million one-hour stories. That woman can tell stories. The whole time I never connected with anyone. I thought Kimmi was my one friend. It sucks for a second chance. Nobody really wanted to play hard. Maybe if I was on a tribe with Wentworth or Peih-Gee.

Holmes: Any clues that you were the target last night?
Padilla: I really didn’t see it coming. When you have a majority like that and people who are clearly on the bottom? You’re going to have to wait until one of the Bayon members is voted out. But, the minute I walked on that beach I was targeted for being Russell Hantz’s friend. I’ve heard that. Apparently voting out Kimmi might’ve been a blindside and I would’ve gone home. I heard that from Stephen. So, I don’t know what went down or how it went down. I trusted Kimmi and I trusted Stephen. The three of us were on the bottom, so it was wise of us to stick together. Because early on I saw the bro-out alliance. I saw that Stephen was on the outs of that. So were Kimmi and I . Ciera, Tasha, and Kass were just kind of floating through. Maybe they were sticking together, I don’t know. I didn’t click with Kass or Tasha. I don’t care to hear what Kass is saying any time of the day.
Holmes: She trying to play a better social game. Did that come off as fake to you?
Padilla: To me it seemed like an act. She used to carry that stupid book at Ponderosa, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” I was like, “OK, Kass…alright.” I don’t handle people who just keep talking talking talking very well. What (expletive deleted) are you trying to push?

Holmes: What about Ciera? Did you ever try to make inroads with her based on your relationship with her mother?
Padilla: That was another thing that screwed me. Everyone thought I was aligned with Ciera going in and I never once had a conversation with Ciera until we were on Bayon beach. So, we got along great. And when I thought I was on the outs I’d check in with Ciera. But, since we never went to Tribal, I have no idea.

Holmes: Alright, word association time…
Padilla: I told myself I was going to  prepare for this and I didn’t. (Laughs) I drank too much last night.
Holmes: What?! I had no idea.
Padilla: And now I’m sick.
Holmes: What could possibly encourage you to drink too much?
Padilla: Because I was voted off of that TV show.
Holmes: That show is the worst. Jerks.
Padilla: Why did I want to go on there again? They don’t even feed you. They don’t even have craft services.
Holmes: Probst calls “Cut” and then they wheel out a turkey.
Padilla: Oh my God, I’d be a whole new girl.
Holmes: Let’s start with Jeremy.
Padilla: Huge threat, ruling the game.
Holmes: Savage?
Padilla: Very sweet, take him out while you can.
Holmes: Spencer?
Padilla: “Survivor” superstar.
Holmes: Kelly?
Padilla: You shoulda watched a few seasons before you played.
Holmes: Ciera?
Padilla: Ciera is cool. She’s cool, political. She hates challenges. She always sits out.
Holmes: Kass?
Padilla: If I have to hear one more one-hour story from Kass? Please vote me out first.
Holmes: Tasha?
Padilla: Fake.
Holmes: Joe?
Padilla: Joe is awesome.  I don’t have a bad word to say about Joe.
Holmes:  Stephen?
Padilla: Stephen came in thinking he knew how to play.
Holmes: Keith?
Padilla: Keith is really, really cool. Love Keith.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Kimmi.
Padilla: Kimmi is the real snake in the grass. Learn alliances. I hope you win.

Holmes: Did Stephen get any heat last night when he hit the Angkor target?
Padilla: Not really. They teased him about it. But, I heard rumors they threw the challenge to get me out. They didn’t show any of that. Maybe that’s why he didn’t get a lot of heat for it.
Holmes: Not the most subtle way of going about it.
Padilla: I don’t know how much of that is true.

Holmes: With Second Chances, there was always the chance that you could do worse than you did before. Does that change how you feel about the game?
Padilla: I never thought I wouldn’t make it to day 33, which is probably a very naïve way to look at it . I think it’s a very different game than when I played. The first time I played it was just play and we’ll see where it goes. I think a lot of forces changed people’s views.  I don’t know if it was the pressure of playing a second time and people wanting to hit it hard. But, I’m a lot more resentful of the game. Another thing is; I feel like my story wasn’t told. It made it obvious that I was going to be voted out. I had no arc, they showed nothing of my original alliance. It’s all of the sudden; I went home because of clams. I’m just annoyed. You didn’t see anything I did from day one. You saw a ton of Varner. So, why not show who I was loyal to?

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

‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Episode 5 Recap: See Ya, Padilla?

October 21, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Last Week: Monica wished she could trust Spencer Samoa while Abi sent Varner Outback.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog…

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

The Angkor Tribe (wearing yellow)
Abi – Philippines
Andrew – Pearl Islands
Tasha – Cagayan
Woo – Cagayan

The Bayon Tribe (wearing pink)
Jeremy – San Juan del Sur
Kelly W. – Borneo
Kimmi – The Australian Outback
Monica – Samoa
Spencer – Cagayan
Stephen – Tocantins

The Ta Keo Tribe (wearing teal)
Ciera – Blood vs. Water
Joe – Worlds Apart
Kass – Cagayan
Keith – San Juan del Sur
Kelley W. – San Juan del Sur
Terry – Panama

We start things off back at Angkor beach where Woo is happy to have survived his fourth challenge. Quite a switch for a former Brawn member.

Savage says Varner is in a better place. Wha-huh? Ponderosa? He’s not dead, Savage. No wonder he takes this game so seriously.

The next morning at Bayon, the women folk are out a-fishin’. They manage to find some crabs and some clams. They’re halfway to an Admiral’s Feast.

Monica, however, is worried that they’re depleting the supply. Dude, you’re only there for 39 days and the way things are going you could be swapped to Angkor at the next challenge.

Kimmi is starving though and believes they should eat while they can. She thinks Monica should chill out and condescendingly calls her “pumpkin.” Ooo…sarcastic and seasonal.

Reward Challenge Time: One player from each tribe will stuff themselves in a barrel while other tribe members roll them around a course. At different intervals, they’ll hop out to retrieve bags of balls. Once that have all of the balls, they’ll roll them up a ramp and into some holes. The first tribe to sink all six of their balls will win comfort items like chairs, pillows, blankets, a tarp, and some refreshments. The second tribe just gets a tarp.

Fun Fact: I won two challenges in one day when I visited the set of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water.” This was one of them.

Terry and Kass will sit for Ta Keo while Stephen and Kelly will sit for Bayon.

Woo, Monica, and Kelley pull barrel duty and I have nothing but sympathy for them. That looks crazy uncomfortable.

Woo and Kelley do well during the first portion, but Monica has serious trouble retrieving her tribe’s balls. C’mon, be a Monican not a Monican’t! #Gellerjokes

In the second half, Woo and Keith go to work rolling for their respective tribe. Jeremy eventually joins them.

Jeremy isn’t having any luck, so Spencer tags in.

Keith is the first to sink all six balls. Spencer manages to catch up, but it’s too little too late as Woo wins it.

Angkor must be psyched, that tarp looks delicious.

Back at Ta Keo, Ciera pitches a final five while Terry is out fishing. Kelley’s elated that her throw-Terry-under-the-bus strategy has paid off. SneakyX2!

Joe then said something, but I couldn’t hear it over the sound of America sighing.

Keith’s so excited to be included in an alliance that he refers to himself in the third person. Gordon isn’t sure if he likes that.

Over at Bayon, Jeremy and Spencer go fishing in the weird, giant bowl. Hmm..a fire fighter and a chess champ go fishing in a dish…there’s a joke in there somewhere…

At Angkor, Woo is happy that his time playing skee-ball at Chuck E Cheese has finally paid off. That’s true. Do you know how many tickets you have to win to get a tarp?!

The mood absolutely changes when he gets emotional while talking about his mother’s heart transplant.  Aw…Woo…

Abi of course takes this as Woo’s way of getting sympathy from the others. She feels bad for him, but she did have knee surgery. So…uh…yeah.

Tasha lets us know that she’s learning the same lesson Shirin and Varner learned about how much work it is to be in an alliance with Abi.

Immunity Challenge Time: A player from each tribe will race up a tower through a series of obstacles. When they get to the top, they’ll launch sandbags toward targets. First two tribes to knock down all of their targets will win immunity.

Fun Fact: Joe lost this challenge in “Worlds Apart.” Wait, Joe lost a challenge?!

Ciera and Kelley will sit for Ta Keo. Jeremy and Monica will sit for Bayon.

Bayon jumps out to an early lead, but it’s pretty close across the board until Fishbach accidentally hits an Angkor target.

Oh man. That may have been the most Stephen Stephen-thing ever.

This flub lets Angkor claim the easy win.

It’s neck-and-neck between Bayon and Ta Keo for second, but Keith manages to win it for Team Teal.

Quite an episode Keith is having.

Over at Bayon, Jeremy is wondering which of the two former Ta Keons he trusts the most. He and Monica have a chat, and she doesn’t think either has the idol.

Later, Spencer touches base with Fishbach and Jeremy. They both tell him they’re targeting Kelly.

Monica isn’t sure if she wants Kelly gone because she has hopes for a female alliance. Kimmi tells her they need to stick with classic Bayon.

Kimmi lets us know that she’s worried that Monica could be a flipper. She tells Jeremy and Stephen about Monica’s female alliance comment. That does not make them happy…you know…cause they’re not female.

Before they head to Tribal, Stephen makes a good point about it sending a bad message to classic Bayon if they send Monica home. He does know-it-all.

That night at Tribal, fire equals life for like the hundredth time this season.

Stephen says that Tribal helps you prove trust.

Monica thinks that the former Ta Keons are in trouble.

Kelly is under the impression that it’s either her or Spencer.

Spencer admits that he’s new-school and always playing hard, but he finally feels like part of a real tribe.

Jeremy is happy to hear that, but Kelly is loyal too.  He plans to vote based on loyalty and challenge strength.

Kimmi believes the original Bayon ten were close and as long as they get rid of a former Ta Keo, they’ll be good.

Monica thinks the vote is locked in. #famouslastwords

Stephen finishes it up by saying you need to build real bonds to build real alliances. Ooo…that’s good. Like a campaign slogan.

Voting Time: Monica votes for Kelly, Kelly votes for Spencer, Spencer votes for Kelly, and no other votes are shown. Oof…goodbye, Monica.

Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Kelly, one vote for Spencer, one vote for Kelly, two votes for Monica, and the fifth person voted out of “Survivor: Second Chance” is…Monica.

Oh man, you knew Monica was a goner when they showed her vote.

Verdict: Nice to finally see a non-Abi team go to Tribal, but for some reason this season isn’t clicking for me just yet. Maybe I’ll feel better once we see more from the people that’ve yet to vote someone out.

Who’s Going to Win? Team Wentworth, yo.

Power Rankings Results: Jenn had Monica in ninth place, Max had her in fourteenth, and I had her in thirteenth. The current score is Team Jenn 57, Team Max 58, and Team Gordon 49.

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

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Round 4 – Dragon Angkor Down? Edition

October 20, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. 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 Ciera is voted out this week, Gordon and Max will each receive seven points and Jenn will receive twelve points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Second Chance” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Jenn and Gordon both had Varner in spot seventeen. Max had him in fifteen. So, the current score is Team Jenn 48, Team Max 44, Team Gordon 36.

Important Note: These rankings are not based on who is most likely to win the entire season. Players tend to rank the players based on their safety in the next episode.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

Jenn’s Score = 48

Any questions for Jenn? Drop her a line on Twitter: @jenncantdance

Max’s Score = 44

Any questions for Max? Drop him a line on Twitter: @fymaxwell

Gordon’s Score = 36

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

 1. KEITH NALE: I’m gonna put Keith up here cause I like him. Likable guys aren’t leaving the game right now.   1. Jeremy: Jeremy said it himself: he’s the JT to Stephen’s Stephen. By extension that makes the branch the avocado. I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see what kind of bone-headed move Jeremy makes when he returns for Heroes Vs. Villains 2 as a universally-beloved perfect-game winner.
“Rodney–This is a huge turning point in this game…”
 1. Jeremy: Jeremy entered the game wanting a big-guy alliance, but now that he has an idol he won’t have to rely solely on meat shields. Keeping a strategist like Spencer or Stephen around could be a smart move, but which one?
  2. Jeremy: He lost the reward for his tribe and that made me sad. But he still has an idol and an alliance I think. I’m not sure. I forgot. But whatever, he’s great.
 2. Spencer: Alpha males use each other as meat shields. Beta males use each other as nerd shields. Spencer can easily turn any argument for voting him out into an argument for voting out Fishbach. “Sure I’m a student of the game! But I don’t write a blog for People Magazine and co-host a podcast with Rob Cesternino!” “Sure I’m a smart guy! But I didn’t go to an Ivy League school!” “Sure I’m strategic! But I never engineered a cross-tribal Exile alliance and flipped a 6-4 split in my favor!”
 2. Kelley: Kelley’s got to be thinking, “Hmm…with this group they give you bracelets instead of accusing you of stealing them.” Could this be laying the groundwork for a “Sneaky Sneaky Chaos” alliance?
  3. Kelley: I also would’ve thought Kass was up to something sneaky. However, I never would have thought she would do it in plain sight. Double however, your tribe cannot lose and you also have an idol so you’re here and the end.
  3. Joe: Last Wednesday 9.07 million viewers simultaneously found themselves contemplating the same mystery: What happened to Joe’s armpit hair? Wonder no more. As revealed on “Survivor With All the Fixin’s,” my weekly recap podcast for the On The Block Network, Joe does in fact have armpit hair. It just wasn’t visible on camera. Another behind-the-scenes insight revealed on the podcast: according to “Worlds Apart” champ Mike Holloway, Joe sat out the Hero Challenge in order to remind his fellow competitors that Terry is still a challenge beast. This is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been waiting to see from J.A.: an indication that he’s working to shift the target from his back to someone else’s.
 3. Joe: No Joe? No show. Are you telling me that there wasn’t any Joe-ga going on at some point during those three days? Or Joe crafting a refrigerator out of a hollow log?  Or Joe cuddling a puppy? Nothing? Look for ratings to drop this Wednesday.
  4. Terry: Terry!
  4. Keith: Terry sired the final three. Keith sired the reigning Louisiana Chicken Nugget Eating Champion. I know which accomplishment I’m more impressed by.
 4. Tasha: Honestly, Tasha and Andrew should both be way higher on this list. There’s no way either one of them is going home this week…
 5. Tasha: Girl, you need to get rid of Abi-Maria. Come on. Take Woo and then just vote her out. For the sanity of the tribe. And me. And the country.
 5. Terry: Terry’s performance during the Hero Challenge proved he’s barely lost a step since Panama. While good for the middle-aged male ego, his heroics showed everyone that he’s still a massive threat in the individual game.
 5. Andrew: …well…unless…Woo finds the Angkor idol. But that couldn’t happen, right? …right?!
 6. Andrew: I’m just surprised at how tired he was after the challenge because he played college football. 30 years ago.
 6. Kelley: Kass made Kelley a friendship bracelet for her birthday. Awww! How sweet! But what if it wasn’t a friendship bracelet? What if it were some kind of voodoo amulet that caused its wearer to develop a Boston accent, a horse trainer fetish, and an irrational hatred of hairdressers? What if the only way to break its spell were to drink the blood of a llama? I don’t know man you try writing these things every week and see what you come up with.
 6. Keith: Keith’s Ta Keo alliance has the numbers and Keith isn’t one to ruffle (or rustle) feathers. He’s fine. And adorable.
 7. Kass: That was really nice of her to make a bracelet. She’s making friends. I like that she walked up and gave the gift then immediately walked away. I would do that.   7. Ciera: I wonder if Ciera is voting for Donald Trump? Or maybe Ben Carson? I wouldn’t put either past her. I mean, you do realize that she voted FOR HER MOM!?!?
 7. Ciera: Not much camera time for Ciera last week, but how can you possibly compete with “Kass’s Fun Time Arts and Crafts Minute”?
 8. Spencer: He’s trying to throw one of the unseens under the bus. That’s alright I guess.
  8. Stephen: The good news: Stephen has an ally who wants him to feel like he’s in the loop. The bad news: Stephen has an ally who makes him feel like he’s in the loop by sending him on a wild chicken chase for an idol that’s already been found.
 8. Kass: So, I watched quite a bit of “Survivor: Cagayan” this week and I liked Kass a lot more than I remembered. Did her new vibe seep into my brain? Has it seeped into everybody’s brain? Well, everybody except for Max…
  9. Monica: GUYS, SHE SPOKE AGAIN. And it was about nothing really. I didn’t even listen. I just stared at her pigtails.
  9. Kimmi: Last week’s preview gave us a glimpse of the Kimmi we’ve all been waiting 14 years to see again. Here’s to hoping that this week proves to us that while you can take the girl out of Long Island you can never take the Long Island out of the girl.
 9. Stephen: Another solid week for everyone’s favorite stick-sparing, chicken chaser. He’s gotta be wondering what his next step is going to be. He won’t be the first to go if Bayon goes to Tribal, but will he still be Jeremy’s buddy when there’s a merge?
  10. Joe: That was the least I’ve ever seen of Joe in an episode. 13-year-old girls around the country are sobbing and going over his Instagram to see if they can re-like and re-comment on his pics in hope Probst will see it and then dedicate the rest of the season to just b-roll of him doing stuff.
  10. Kelly: I wonder if Kelly still thinks that alliances are gross?
  10. Spencer: It looks like some business goes down this week at Bayon that involves Kimmi and a mysterious “She.” Let ’em fight, Spence. You should be over in the corner whistling and not making eye contact.
 11. Stephen: Eh. I don’t think he’s in a good spot. But he’s not in a bad one and he’s not on a losing tribe so whatever.
 11. Andrew: I played college football. #humblebrag
  11. Terry: Man, why would they make Terry and Andrew square off in a hero challenge? That couldn’t have been good for Probst’s heart.
 12. Ciera:
 12. Abi-Maria: Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection transmitted by cats to their human companions. Toxo alters the functioning of the human brain in ways that cause carriers to behave irrationally or even self-destructively. Scientists suggest it also might be responsible for the strong attractions cat fanciers feel for felines. Infected humans think they’re lavishing attention on their adorable kitties. In reality they’re helping to propagate a nefarious brain parasite that’s causing them to make disastrous decisions.
 12. Kimmi: So, this week’s preview features Kimmi saying that some woman is a “snake in the grass.” Well, there are only two other women on her tribe…
  13. Kelly: I’ll write something about her when she’s in an episode.   13. Woo: What Woo said to Angkor: “Keep me because I’m loyal.” What Angkor heard: “Keep me because I’m clueless.”
 13. Monica: …this woman has been with Kimmi since day one. She doesn’t trust Spencer, but why should anyone? He’s known for being smart and savvy.
  14. Kimmi: See above.
  14. Monica: At long last, Monica speaks! Rejoice, right? Not so fast. The subject of her long overdue confessional? She doesn’t trust Spencer. Monica! Never, ever say that you don’t trust Spencer on camera! It’s like saying “Beetlejuice” three times: One minute you’re doing a confessional. The next you’re going from two tribes to three. Or having an early merge. Or eating dinner at Ponderosa.
 14. Kelly: …and while this woman is new to Kimmi, she doesn’t seem like the “snake in the grass” type. Color me intrigued.
  15. Woo: Again. He’s still at the bottom. His tribe is still definitely losing.  Nice speech though. I’m surprised he cared that much.
  15. Tasha: There’s a meme circulating on social media right now that perfectly encapsulates Tasha’s predicament. “Live by the Abi…Die by the Abi.” (Credit: Reddit user Jack_Payback) Thus far every castaway who has attempted to ride the dragon has been burned by her fire. If history is any indication then Tasha should be next.
 15. Abi-Maria: Unpredictabi.
  16. Abi-Maria: I am hoping so hard that they vote her out this episode. She’s just a drama machine and I cannot stand it. Get over your (expletive deleted). Get over little things like “you talked to him and I wasn’t right there why would you do that I don’t trust you ever.” CHILL OUT.
(Disclaimer: this is just how I feel about her current portrayal on the show. She is just lovely in person, I really like her. I’ve never played “Survivor” with her. The feelings are separate.)
  16. Kass: Kass.
  16. Woo: Woo actually brought it last week at Tribal. I was shocked. Now his only hope is an immunity win or an idol find. There’s no way to break Tasavage up and they won’t want Woo running around winning challenges after a merge.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Jeff: ‘(Andrew) and Tasha Were the Rats’

October 15, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Yeah, I know. I picked Jeff Varner to win and I cursed him. Happens every season.

But this time, I’m not going to apologize and feel bad because there’s nothing to be sad about. Jeff Varner played a hell of a game in his short time out there.

I spoke to my latest curse victim the morning after his elimination and asked him about his shaky alliance with Abi, the post-challenge meltdown, and the conference call that started it all…

Gordon Holmes: I’m not apologizing today, Jeff.
Jeff Varner: (Laughs)
Holmes: This is not a sad occasion. You played the (expletive deleted) out of this game. I hope you are proud.
Varner: Oh, I’m very proud. I was relieved when it all happened. When I got out of that. But once I got back to Ponderosa I was thinking about the millions of people who voted for me. And did I let them down? I have lived with that for a while. But seeing the show and seeing what I did and how I did it? I’m very proud of myself. I think I delivered. I hope I gave them all a reason to vote for me again if I get the chance.
Holmes: I remember thinking; who’s really going to remember Jeff? He’s a funny guy and played well, but that was on a season 15 years ago that had a ton of big names. But you are “Survivor” royalty in my book now.
Varner: (Laughs) Well, thank you. I don’t feel that, but I am proud of my performance.

Holmes: In our pre-game interview, you talked about this mythical conference call. Now that it’s all said and done, please tell me exactly what went down there.
Varner: We just got together and chatted it up. I approached Shane. Shane had Terry prepared. But Shane didn’t know that Terry and I were already together. (Laughs) And then I brought Wigles in. And it was a good little foursome. This is what we’re going to do and we’re not going to talk anymore.  And here’s who we go for first, and here’s who we try to avoid. And each of you go and find somebody on the side. We’ll get them all together and we’ll have a nice little group. And then Shane didn’t get in and it all blew apart. The second we landed on that island, Terry and Kelly were not playing a game. It was flying by them and I had to make a choice.
Holmes: That choice was to side with Shirin and Spencer for that one vote. I remember talking to Probst afterwards and saying, “Why would you throw away this pre-game alliance so quickly? Is this a ploy to throw people off of their scent? Is Jeff Varner a super genius?”
Varner: I was very committed to Terry and Kelly through that entire experience. Even right down to the meltdown in episode three that got me into trouble. I was still giving information to Kelly. And when they weren’t playing, I had to come up with a way to shock them. And that’s what I did. Vytas had stepped into this whole alliance and was taking the place of Shane and I didn’t like it. I felt like he was hijacking my alliance. And he was throwing my name out there as someone to vote out. I was like, “You’re supposed to be with me. What’s going on here?” It was easy to vote for Vytas even though I love him. But that vote was to wake Kelly and Terry up, because I knew in episode two I was going to go back to them. The whole plan from the beginning was to get rid of Spencer. It was easier for me to convince Terry and Wigles to go for Spencer on morning four than it was in the beginning. Because Spencer was playing them. I had him gone. All day long I had the numbers and Spencer was gone. And then Shirin got wind of it and kicked into, “Let’s get rid of Jeff.” So, she left me with another choice.

Holmes: You were buddies with Kelley Wentworth before the game, but we never saw the two of you together. Could you have pulled her into that first vote to keep the numbers and boot Spencer?
Varner: She wasn’t having it. Terry’s social game was so bad those first three days. He pissed off all the women. Terry was in trouble. Shirin was targeting Terry first. Wentworth and I were talking a lot. We had everything together. Had she and I lasted longer we would have been really dangerous together. Kelley was that person on the side that we decided as a foursome to go get. She didn’t know about my foursome and I didn’t tell them about her. I was keeping it close to my vest.
Holmes: What was Terry doing to upset the women?
Varner: There was one time Abi was reading the first immunity challenge clue and her English is a little broken. So, she was struggling and jumping and Terry grabbed the paper and said, “Let somebody who speaks English read it.” And all of the sudden all of the eyes swing around to Terry. And Shirin is pissed and Wentworth is pissed. Then Terry goes to Peih-Gee and says, “You can be our number seven.” He offered her this really horrible deal. Things that you’d think a seasoned “Survivor” player wouldn’t do, Terry did.

Holmes: What was aligning with Abi like?
Varner: Odd. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs)
Varner: I was looking for a shield and she offered it up. She’s so entertaining. I’d catch myself sitting back and watching Abi play. It was like I was watching TV. She’s crazy. Just out of control. Very emotional. But sweet and loyal to some extent. Abi’s always going to do what’s best for Abi. She’ll stick with you as long as possible.  I love Abi. Others don’t, but I do.
Holmes: I think it’s interesting you use the word “loyal” when based on her time in both the Philippines and Cambodia, she’s seems to have turned against the majority of her alliances.
Varner: Well, that’s true. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. She’s hard to put into words. And at Angkor she had her choice of Andrew and Tasha who were promising her the world and a connection to the other side. And she had Woo and Peih-Gee who had voted against her and had fought with her. She did what she had to do. When I say loyal I mean she communicated with me throughout the whole thing. She told me what she was going to do. I’m going with Tasha and Andrew, you come along with me. I pretended to for a while, but it exploded.

Holmes: “Survivor” challenges are no joke, the Cambodian heat is no joke. Put me in your shoes during the post-challenge meltdown.
Varner: And don’t forget, no food at Angkor and no shelter. And Tasha being so nasty. I just want to say she’s coming across on TV so much nicer than that bitch is in person. I love her and my heart goes out to her in many ways. When we landed at Angkor we had the numbers.  When we chose our buffs in our little boxes, Kimmi dropped her box at my foot. And I dropped mine. We reached down to pick them up and she whispered, “ Don’t trust Andrew, he can’t keep his mouth shut.”
Holmes: Wow.
Varner: So, when we got to Angkor I went straight to Andrew and said, “What’s going on over there? Who’s working with who? Because I want to work with you guys.” And he spilled all the beans. He and Tasha were the rats, quite frankly. They let all of the secrets of Bayon out. I knew who was aligned with whom. Who was on the bottom. Who was the next to go. And, when we as a foursome were going to vote out Tasha next because she was so nasty out there. I don’t know why the editing is not showing that, but she was so nasty. The plan was to vote out Tasha, and for me to deliver this speech about everything going on at Bayon. I was going to lay it all out there. Who’s on the top, who’s on the bottom. Here’s how you can get rid of those people. And Abi flipped to Tasha. That changed everything. So, I’m going into that challenge, tired, hungry, worn out. This speech is brewing in the back of my head and I have to kiss Tasha and Andrew’s ass for a minute. And when I saw an opportunity to tell Wigles everything I knew, I did. I’m very loyal to her. I almost played a Blood vs. Water game with her. But that’s when Tasha pops up. “We’ve got a rat.” And that made me so mad. I looked at her and said, “Bitch, you want to see a rat? I’ll show you a rat.”
Holmes: (Laughs)
Varner: I rattled off everything I knew. It’s not in the show, I think because the show hasn’t revealed the Bayon alliances yet. But that’s what that moment was about. And when we went back to camp, they made it look like I went to sleep, I busted my butt. I got no votes with my work. I wish they’d shown that.

Holmes: “Nasty” is a pretty strong adjective. What was Tasha doing out there?
Varner: It started at Ponderosa before the game even started. I was a massive Tasha fan in Cagayan…
Holmes: Is this the hammock thing again?
Varner: (Laughs) It’s the hammock thing!
Holmes: (Laughs)
Varner: It’s the couch thing, it’s the attitude, the nose in the air, the dirty looks. She was going for the jugular. And when we get to Angkor she was so sweet to everybody. But she looked at me and she’s a bitch. She’s just hateful and closed off. The more I tried to be nice to her the harder she got. She’d wake up in the morning and say, “Good morning, everybody.” Then she’d look at me and be like, “Are you looking for an idol!” I got nothing from her. Everywhere I went she was right on my heels. But you know, Gordon…I love her. I love everybody. I’m not bitter at all. But, I have a problem with anybody who plays “Survivor” with God as a tool. To me, God does not like “Survivor.” Read the Bible and everything that “Survivor” is about, He’s not happy with that. To come in and use him as a tool. To go in the corner and pray and then come back to the beach and throw f-bombs everywhere? And then talk about how your church family said it’s OK, so you’re going to go do it? Own your own game. Have the balls to play your own game. Don’t say you’re going to be evil all day long because you can pray at night. Romans 6 in the Bible is very clear about abusing God’s grace. Because it’s not OK. To me it’s not OK. When I saw her playing that whole card, I had a major issue with it. And she said that God for whatever reason had decided that she’s going to be 40 and single and childless…and she just had to embrace that. I wanted to say to her, “You are 40 and single and childless because of you and your choices.” She’s just a very hard, stern, closed off person  and she’s created that life for herself. She shouldn’t blame that stuff on God. It’s her fault. I love God. I own my game, own yours.

Holmes: We do a word association here…
Varner: I know, and I hate that. I’m not prepared.
Holmes: You’re not supposed to be!
Varner: (Laughs)
Holmes: Don’t listen to Shirin! I’ll give you a name, give me the first couple of words you think of. We can start with Terry.
Varner: Captain America. Everybody’s dad. Love him.
Holmes: Peih-Gee?
Varner: Gangster. She smuggled flint and fishing wire. She’s awesome. She’s a drag-queen gangster.
Holmes: Woo?
Varner: Clueless. Beautiful human specimen. But does not get the game of “Survivor.”
Holmes: Savage?
Varner: Narcissist, arrogant, drinks his own Kool-Aid. Tries to make you think he’s Terry Deitz. Terry is everything Savage is not. And the editing is showing Andrew as some great man, but that’s not my memory.
Holmes: Shirin?
Varner: Sharp, quick, very smart. So much fun. Brilliant.
Holmes: Word association cheater.
Varner: (Laughs) I want you to know. On our trip to Vietnam, Shirin was working on her word association. That’s how much of an impact you had on her. She had a notebook and was thinking of “Game of Thrones” people. I’m so happy she made me the Queen of Thorns.
Holmes: Defeats the purpose! OK, Spencer?
Varner: Smart. Odd. He’s too smart for his own good. I thought for a while that he might be autistic. Like brilliantly autistic. He’s not in touch with his emotions. One of my proudest moments was when I voted out Shirin and made Spencer cry.
Holmes: Wentworth?
Varner: (Laughs) Sneaky, sneaky. I love her. She’s got a dirty sense of humor.
Holmes: Wiglesworth?
Varner: Motherly. Took care of everybody. Not really playing the game.
Holmes: Vytas?
Varner: Not creepy at all. I love Vytas. There’s a sexiness to Vytas that’s hard to explain.
Holmes: Tasha?
Varner: Misguided. Sad soul. Lots of growing to do. I hope her behavior in the game is so horrendous that God finds a way to tell her, “I don’t like that, change it.”
Holmes: And Abi?
Varner: She is the Tasmanian devil who cries and throws fits and hugs you and tells you she loves you. Abi is everything. She’s so paranoid and delusional and so much fun. I could sit and study Abi all day.

Holmes: You were amazing out there.
Varner: I appreciate that. And if there’s any point I want to hammer home it’s that millions of people voted me in there and I played my butt off for them. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity. I love my cast, I love the people who voted me in, and I love the show.

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

‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Episode 4 Recap: Savage Environment

October 14, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Last Week: Varner spilled his M.O., Abi got P.O.’d, and Peih-Gee was K.O.’d

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog…

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

The Angkor Tribe (wearing yellow)
Abi – Philippines
Andrew – Pearl Islands
Jeff – The Australian Outback
Tasha – Cagayan
Woo – Cagayan

The Bayon Tribe (wearing pink)
Jeremy – San Juan del Sur
Kelly W. – Borneo
Kimmi – The Australian Outback
Monica – Samoa
Spencer – Cagayan
Stephen – Tocantins

The Ta Keo Tribe (wearing teal)
Ciera – Blood vs. Water
Joe – Worlds Apart
Kass – Cagayan
Keith – San Juan del Sur
Kelley W. – San Juan del Sur
Terry – Panama

Tonight’s fun kicks off after Tribal and Jeff can’t believe he’s still there. You and me both, buddy.

He tells Savage and Tasha that he’s always been loyal to Abi. Yeah, some people are loyal to their cigarette brands, and it doesn’t work out for them in the long run either.

Later, Tasha tells Woo that it should have been Varner that went home due to his rat-like activities after the challenge. She tells Woo that he isn’t going anywhere…which Abi takes issue with.

Abi then calls  Tasha out in front of everyone, saying that she doesn’t like her partnering up with someone who just voted for her. Here we go…

You know, people say Abi is erratic, but she always does the same thing…which is make people regret aligning with her.

The next morning at Bayon, Jeremy shows us his idol and it looks like an actual idol. Not a stick or a crayon or Barbie doll with one closed eye and missing hair. When Stephen asks if he has the idol, Jeremy says he hasn’t found it yet.

Reward Challenge Time: One player from each tribe will race out into the water and retrieve a sand bag. They’ll then try to teeter-totter the bag into a net. First person to score three bags gets a cookout. The second person gets some kitchen implements.

Hey, I remember reward challenges!

We’re going to have Savage going for Angkor, Jeremy for Bayon, and Terry for Ta Keo.

Leaving Joe on the bench?! Blasphemy!

We start off and Terry jumps out to an early lead due to his awesome teeter-totter skills. Savage manages to catch up on the second round.

Quick Aside: The trips to get the bags must be grueling. These guys look beat.

It comes down to Deitz and Savage with Andrew managing to pull out the win. Deitz claims second shortly after.

Back at Casa de Angkor, Andrew is truly a real American hero. Forget, Snake Eyes and Shipwreck.

They chow down on their dinner and craft their own Angkor chant. The food and merriment keep Abi from killing anyone’s face to death.

At Ta Keo, Kass admits that she was probably on the top of most people’s elimination lists coming in. But, she’s turned over a new leaf and is using self-help methods. Good for her. Strategically she has always been sound, it was her social game that needed work.

Kelley catches Kass playing arts and crafts on the beach and Kass shoos her away. Kelley thinks Kass was making a fake idol, but really she was making Kelley a birthday gift. Wha-huh? Shiny new Kass! Charismatic Kass?

That was seriously like in “Mortal Kombat” where you expect Sub-Zero to pull your spine out and instead he gives you a little doll of himself as a “Friendship.”

…that joke wasn’t for everyone.

At Bayon, Spencer starts the process of throwing Kelly under the bus. He tells the classic Bayonians that she’s close with Terry and Woo.

Monica doesn’t buy it though. Which is interesting, because I had forgot she was on this season.

Immunity Challenge Time:  Blindfolded players will stumble across a field looking for heavy puzzle pieces. A caller from each tribe will try to send them in the right directions. Once they have all of their pieces they’ll try to build a giant cube. The first two tribes to complete the puzzle will win immunity.

Fun Fact: Those puzzle pieces have been cursed to hit people in their most vulnerable parts.

Monica and Ciera will sit for their respective tribes.

Our callers are Jeff for Angkor, Kimmi for Bayon, and Kass for Ta Keo.

We start off and it’s pretty even. But Kass seems to be having trouble communicating. She’s screaming at Keith, but he can’t quite hear her.

Then the injuries happen. Pieces in the face, in the leg, in the crotch…they should play “Wacky Sax” over the montage.

Angkor gets all of their pieces back first, but all three teams are pretty close.

Bayon manages to fly through the puzzle and win it. And Angkor…is…just…drained. It’s like they’re not even trying. Ta Keo takes second place.

That was weird.

When it’s over, Savage admits that he had nothing left and has never experienced anything like it before. He is zonked. They’re all zonked. I think it’s obvious at this point that the twist of having a tribe that has nothing is simply too much of a disadvantage.

At camp, Tasha is debating aligning with Abi because she’s…you know…Abi. She wants to target Jeff because he could win Abi back.

Woo takes Abi aside and tells her that he’s worried that they’re losing all the old Ta Keons. He wants to target Varner, but Abi is still stuck on that whole him-voting-for-her-twice thing.

She asks Woo to put himself in her shoes. Don’t do it, Woo. She’ll accuse you of stealing them.

Later, Jeff tells Abi that he misses their buddy/buddy time. This actually seems to sway Abi a bit.

Oh man.

That night at Tribal, some flying insect scares the crap out of everyone. I swear, production must have an animal wrangler there to mess with the players.

Woo knows it’s between him and Varner. Abi agrees, but she doesn’t know who she should vote for.

Savage doesn’t think Varner is good at challenges, but he doesn’t want to face Woo at the merge.

Woo argues that the merge isn’t for a while. Savage, always expecting a terrible twist, says that they don’t know that.

Varner points out that he was loyal at the last Tribal Council. He then tells Tasha that they haven’t been talking, but he’ll stay loyal. He then pledges total loyalty to Abi.

Woo parries by saying that Varner has relationships with all of the classic Ta Keons.

Voting Time: Woo votes for Jeff, Jeff votes for Woo, and the rest are secret.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Woo, two votes for Jeff, and the fourth person voted out of “Survivor: Second Chance” is…Jeff.

Aaaand…my curse is intact. Sorry, Varner.

Verdict: Jeff just played too hard and too fast and too high profile and too going to Tribal every stinking week. Man…I’m going to miss him.

That being said, making a new tribe start from scratch is just too much. I’ve never seen a tribe just stop during a challenge.

Who’s Going to Win? Gotta be Abi, right? Just kidding. Is there room on the Team Kelley bandwagon?

Power Rankings Results: Jenn and I called it this week. We both had Varner in spot seventeen. Max had him in fifteen. So, the current score is Team Jenn 48, Team Max 44, Team Gordon 36.

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

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Round 3: Did Varner Made Abi-g Mistake? Edition

October 14, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (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 Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. 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 Woo is voted out this week, Jenn and Max will each receive sixteen points and Gordon will receive fourteen points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Second Chance” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Jenn had Peih-Gee in spot fourteen, Max had her in spot sixteen, and Gordon had her in (yikes…) spot four. The current score is Team Jenn 31, Team Max 29, and Team Gordon 19.

Important Note: These rankings are not based on who is most likely to win the entire season. Players tend to rank the players based on their safety in the next episode.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

Jenn’s Score = 31

Any questions for Jenn? Drop her a line on Twitter: @jenncantdance

Max’s Score = 29

Any questions for Max? Drop him a line on Twitter: @fymaxwell

Gordon’s Score = 19

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

 1. Jeremy: Dude has an idol and is on a strong tribe. He’s making bonds with Spencer, he’s a likable guy. I think he’s gonna be around for a while. That idol grab was incredible. So sneaky. I like him.
  1. Jeremy: Jeremy marshalls the troops. Jeremy makes Joe his own personal meat shield. Jeremy bonds with his tribemates over Andrew’s meet cute story yet manages to conceal that the love of his life is pregnant with their third child. Jeremy forges ties with the lad who bested him for the title of Mr. Survivor. Jeremy looks like a boss while snagging nuBayon’s idol at the immunity challenge. You read Gordon Holmes. You’re a fan of this show. You do the math.
 1. Jeremy: Those San Juan del Surians are good at scooping up those immunity idols, aren’t they? So, he’s got the numbers on his sub-tribe.  And, his old Bayon buds are in power on their tribes. It’s looking more and more like the baby Val’s carrying is going to have his or her education paid for by CBS.
  2. Kelley: She also has an idol and is on a tribe that cannot lose. Her tribe is safe. The only reason she isn’t #1 is because I haven’t seen her really making strong alliances with people here.
 2. Kelley: Kelley Wentworth is proving that she is as good at playing “Survivor” as she is about retweeting every mention of her name. In addition, she gives amazing .GIF. Is anyone else getting excited about the prospect of her throwing Terry under the bus?
 2. Kelley: While Terry is banking on the new Ta Keo never losing a challenge, Kelley is taking a much more realistic approach. With her voting with the former Bayonians, they’ll have no problem splitting the vote to keep Terry from using his non-existent idol.
  3. Terry: I don’t see Terry going anywhere anytime soon.   3. SpencerWhen the new tribe divisions were revealed many superfans immediately assumed that Spencer and Stephen would gravitate toward one another, bro down, and possibly even fall in love. Please. “Survivor” fans hate gamebots. I can guarantee that Spencer and Stephen seethe when they think about how contrived each other’s confessionals must be. “He’s probably calling himself ‘a student of the game,'” Spencer complains to Kimmi while simultaneously rolling his eyes and making a side-to-side motion with his closed hand. “Tryhard,” groans Stephen as Spencer fastidiously folds and unfolds his cargo pants over and over again.
 3. Joe: Joe, Joe…Joe of the Jungle, strong as he can be. Joe, Joe, Joe of the jungle, watch out for that tree! That one over there that you just built a hammock on. And hollowed out and turned into a Keebler Elf bakery. And baked your tribe some delicious cookies. You’re the best, Joe. I’ll be sad when we talk the morning after you lose your first individual immunity challenge.
  4. KEITH NALE: I didn’t even see him this episode. Except for that amazing secret scene where he makes fun of Joe. Keith is also on a tribe that cannot lose. So he is safe and fine and hilarious and he’s great.
  4. Terry: These three guys must be…
 4. Tasha: I believe the measure of a good pro wrestler is if they can have good matches with bad wrestlers. It’s the same with “Survivor.” It’s always much more impressive when someone can make the most out of bad situations.
 5. Ciera:
 5. Keith: …having so, so much fun not…
 5. Andrew: People love to accuse “Survivor” of favoritism. But, if that’s the case, Andrew would’ve ended up on a tribe with five model/law students.
 6. Spencer: Spencer! You’re doing great making bonds and making friends and all the stuff you said you would do. It seems like nearly getting voted out was a great thing for you. Hopefully you keep this up, cause I’d like to see you go far. Also I really want to know what your girlfriend’s reaction was to that little segment.
 6. Joe: …playing “Survivor.”
 6. Ciera: Ciera is going to get to the merge. That’s bad news for people who aren’t Ciera.
 7. AndrewThis guy, along with Tasha, found his way from the bottom to the top with a very compelling argument and some luckily placed crazies. I think his tribe will lose and continue to lose, but I don’t think him or Tasha are going anywhere.   7. Ciera: There’s good invisible and there’s bad invisible. Ciera isn’t doing – or even saying – much. But at least she’s present. Attendance counts in “Survivor.”
 7. Keith: There’s got to be some kind of “Odd Couple”-esque sitcom with Joe and Keith in development at CBS, right?
 8. Stephen: This guy caught a lucky break. Made a new alliance, has a new tribe full of less testosterone-y men, he has Spencer. They can geek out on the show together. That’s great for him. I think he’s safe.
  8. Stephen: I’d like to have a word with Stephen’s crossfit instructor.
 8. Kass: Hey, what’re you doing this high up?
  9. Joe: I love Joe. And this is maybe the highest I’ll rank him unless he finds an idol. Because even though he is on an unbeatable tribe, I think he will be the first to go the second they get a chance. He’s too likable. He needs to stop smiling so much. He needs to cut off his manbun.
  9. Monica: Remember what I said about “good invisible” and “bad invisible”? I fear that Monica may have crossed over into “bad invisible” territory in the last episode, which is a shame. Monica generously forwent confessionals in Samoa so that Russell Hantz could have an opportunity to periodically explain his side of things to the audience. Let. Monica. Speak.
 9. Stephen: Everyone thinks the swap went in Stephen’s favor, but he’s still on the same beach as his biggest nemesis. Yes, this is a branch joke.
  10. Tasha: See Andrew Savage. The only reason she is this low is because I believe Savage to have a better social and physical game currently. He’s a talker more than she is, and that move at the challenge with Varner was a wildcard thing to do, which is a trait I could see coming back to bite her later in this game.
  10. Kimmi: I see what you did there, Varner. You dirty dog. After the challenge you conspicuously mouth “Kimmi and Monica” in Wigles’ direction so that nuBayon has a reason to be suspicious of them. That’s a very, very slick way of paying Kimmi back for the whole Australia tiebreaker thing.
  10. Monica: We don’t get to see much of you, which is a crime. I didn’t even have to re-do your graphic with a new tribe color.
 11. Monica: SHE HAD A CONFESSIONAL. Holy (expletive deleted). Even though it was monotone, mundane, and literally just stating two sentences of straight facts, she had a confessional. So, I guess she is on the show.
 11. Kelly: At this point nothing short of an outlandish disaster is sending nuBayon to Tribal Council any time soon. That said, if by some odd chance they should finish behind Angkor… LOL, who am I kidding. There’s no way. It’s just not happening.
  11. Kimmi: Wow…if I didn’t update these graphics I’d have almost all Bayon magenta in the top eleven.
 12. Kelly: It’s like they don’t want her or Kimmi to be on the show.
 12. Tasha: Make no mistake: Angkor is screwed. Not only are they subsisting on slop and sleeping in dentists’ chairs in the ice-cold Have-Nots room; they’re also contending with Peak Abi. If there’s anyone who can make it out of this disaster alive it’s Tasha, who knows something about surviving a disastrous tribe. Side note: the green pom-pom headband is so incongruous with Tasha’s no-nonsense demeanor and jacked quads. It’s like somebody put a five-year-old girl’s Easter headband on an inside linebacker.
 12. Abi-Maria: You know those wavy, inflatable arm guys you see at car dealerships and during NXT Women’s Champion Bayley’s entrance? You never know which way those wacky guys are going to go! The same thing with our buddy Abi. She says she’s loyal, but has yet to be loyal to her alliance. Ever.
  13. Kimmi: I still don’t know who this is or if she has had any impact on this game. My guess is no.   13. Andrew: For anyone who ever wondered what Jeff would be like if he were cast on a season of “Survivor” Andrew is your answer.
 13. Spencer: I’ve heard it said that the best way to get someone to like you isn’t to do them a favor, but to get them to do you a favor. That’s exactly what Spencer did with Jeremy. Well played, sir. Now, Spencer still has an uphill battle  because he’s surrounded by old Bayoners, but Jeremy might still be annoyed at Stephen over the whole idol hunting thing in episode two.
  14. Kass: She isn’t going anywhere.
  14. Abi-Maria: After the look Abi gave Woo last week following Peih-Gee’s ouster I’m afraid to even type Abi’s name on my computer, let alone critique her game.
 14. Woo: I’m sure you’ll be fine. Abi-Maria doesn’t seem like the type to hold a grudge.
  15. Abi-Maria: Guys, I have NO idea how Abi keeps sticking around. She is a loose cannon that has more emotional ups and downs than I do when I’m trying to get attention from my cat. And that is a (expletive deleted) ton of ups and downs. Trust me. My cat doesn’t like me most of the time. How she has made it this far blows my mind. Either people are going to carry her to the end because anyone can beat her, or someone is going to come to their senses and get tired of the seemingly ceaseless drama she creates and get rid of her.
  15. Jeff: “Survivor” breakdowns are typically the prerogative of forty-something female castaways. Hence Lisa Whelchel and Dawn filled their respective camps’ wells with their tears before and after every vote, while Monica Culpepper lost the ability to speak in anything other than the third person for 39 consecutive days. After the last immunity challenge, however, Varner’s mid-life manipause sent him into a Walter White-like fugue state during which he completely lost his grip on the game. A week ago I put Varner at number 1. This week I worry that he’s a hot flash away from playing himself out of his second chance. That said, Lisa, Dawn, and Monica all made it to the final 3, so…
 15. Kelly: Yeah, Angkor is in pretty bad shape with their lack of food, and shelter, and tribe harmony, and anything else. But, the next immunity challenge involves blindfolds, so it isn’t a slam dunk for any of the tribes. If new Bayon goes to Tribal, Kelly’s my bet for their boot.
  16. Woo: Woo, man…you are at the wrath of Abi-Maria. A girl who somehow cannot get voted out no matter how much (expletive deleted) she stirs up. It’s like she’s invincible. And now you’re on her list. You are in trouble. The only reason you aren’t last is because you contribute a great physical advantage for the tribe that Jeff doesn’t.
  16. Terry: Yeah, I know Angkor should lose every challenge from here to forever, but what if new Ta Keo throws one? What if Joe gets hit by lightning?
 17. Jeff: Varner. I love you, dude. You’re hilarious. But if your tribe goes to tribal next, I think you and Woo are on the chopping block. Your sneaking pissed off Tasha, one of the heads of your tribe’s alliance. You flipped your lid and let the other tribes know what was going on. Bad moves. You were on the top and now you’re on the bottom. I don’t want to see you go home but I think it’s happening, because I can’t see your tribe winning and I can’t see anyone keeping you around over Woo.
 17. Kass: Kass.
  17. Jeff: It hurts to have you this low, but you made your own bed last week with your post-challenge meltdown. Tandrew only needed you for one week and they seem like the type to value Woo’s challenge prowess over your vote.

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