Archive for December, 2015

‘Survivor’ Castaways Keith and Kimmi Weren’t Fans of Spencer and Tasha

December 17, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

I’ll admit it, I didn’t think Kimmi or Keith had a chance of winning “Survivor: Second Chance.” And yet at final six, Kimmi was planning a huge move and Keith was a challenge force.

All it took was two idols and the craziest Tribal Council ever to thwart their plans.

I spoke to the duo the morning after the finale and got their thoughts on the final-six shocker, Jeremy’s baby bomb, and Spencer’s chances…

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

Gordon Holmes: At final six you made the move to flip on Jeremy, which is an amazing new-school move for an old-school Australian. Why that move at that moment?
Kimmi Kappenberg: That was when we would have had the numbers. Prior to that I don’t think it would have worked because I didn’t trust everybody. Abi was there beforehand, but Jeremy had been telling Abi that she was in the alliance. Apparently there were seven people in an alliance with seven people left. Jeremy was telling everybody they were good. With Keith and me and Wentworth I figured that was when we could do it. And if there was a tie we’d draw rocks. We didn’t think about two idols being played.
Holmes: Do you take any solace in the fact that you went home in the craziest Tribal Council of all time?
Kappenberg: Well, yes. (Laughs) I went out the way no other person has gone out. It was epic. It was bewildering.

Holmes: How many times did Jeff have to explain the rules before everyone knew what was going on? It took me a while.
Keith Nale: I don’t think I still have it to tell you the truth. It went along for so long that finally I said, “I’m done with this.” I thought they were back there making up the rules themselves. You’ve got to be kidding me. My name has never been wrote down and I’m fixing to go home?!
Holmes and Kappenberg: (Laughs)
Nale: I said, “I’m done with this. Kimmi you go and take this.”
Kappenberg: Neither one of us had our names written down prior to that Tribal. That was what was so infuriating. How did we become the ones on the chopping block?
Holmes: It must’ve been touching to have Keith offer to step down for you.
Kappenberg: It was very sweet and everything, but I knew that I had made that decision. As much as I wanted to be there, at that point I was not a challenge beast. If it wasn’t me going home that day, it would’ve been the next day. At least with Keith being there he had a chance to go and win. I made the decision. I have to live with the consequences.

Holmes: I think it’s fair to say that neither one of you were on anyone’s list to win at the beginning of the season. But here we are at final six and Kimmi’s plotting big moves and Keith is still a serious challenge threat. It must’ve been nice to still have a puncher’s chance at that point.
Nale: You look back and all the sudden it dawns on you, it’s really crunch time. But, you’re mentally and physically drained. It’s gratifying, but disappointing at the same time.
Kappenberg: When Keith forgot Tasha’s name, you could’ve asked me on day 36 at that Tribal Council, “What’s your phone number?” I would’ve been like, “Uhh…what is my phone number?” You’re that worn out with everything. I guess part of the thing where my old-school experience was kind of flawed in this is we didn’t have hidden immunity idols. And so, even though there had been other idols played, you’d think there might be one left, but not two of them. And it should have been clear as day that Jeremy had two.
Holmes: Why?
Kappenberg: Because I know how important this game is to Jeremy and how protective he is of his family. There’s no way in hell Jeremy would’ve played an idol for Fishbach if he only had one. I should’ve been more perceptive.

Holmes: If Jeremy had gotten rid of Spencer and kept Kelley, who would you have voted for?
Kappenberg: I would’ve voted for Wentworth.
Nale: I think the same here. Kelley played a heck of a game. I wouldn’t want to be sitting by either one.  I think our big mistake was when Abi was there. We could’ve made a big change at seven.

Holmes: If Spencer had won final four and taken Kelley instead of Jeremy, who would you have voted for?
Kappenberg: Wentworth.
Nale: Same here.
Kappenberg: As much as you have everybody playing out there, Spencer had a lot of lucky breaks that he doesn’t give people on the jury credit for. He thinks he’s this great mastermind, but he doesn’t remember that we had the opportunity to vote him out when we voted out Monica. And, he forgets that Kass, his nemesis, saved him. It wasn’t to do with his social game at all. There were just other things going on. And personal feelings come into play also. The arrogance of Spencer. He’s got to grow a little bit before he earns.
Holmes: What is an example of Spencer’s arrogance?
Kappenberg: The night I got voted out he was a bully. “You’re not going to go against us,” and “You’d better jump on board.” He was being a bully. He’d be like that and he doesn’t recognize it. When he was on the hammock with Jeremy he said, “You’re not listening to me, you’re not willing to bend!”

Holmes: I asked Jeremy to give me a question for you, Keith. He said that you didn’t want to work with him in “San Juan del Sur” because he was a challenge threat. Then you go to “Second Chance” and work with Joe who is the biggest challenge threat ever. So, he wants to know why you wouldn’t work with him.
Nale: Well, shoot. That’s a hard question. Me and Jeremy…we never clicked. We got together in the beginning of this one, and I said, “Let’s forget all that and go play our games.” Jeremy, he’s a good strategist, he’s a good speaker. I just wanted to do my own thing.

Holmes: When Jeremy dropped the baby bomb, I was wondering if anyone would think he was pulling some Jonny Fairplay-esque move.
Nale: To me he was pretty convincing. I don’t think you throw something out there to get sympathy votes. Looking at them, Jeremy was going to get my vote whether she was pregnant or not.
Kappenberg: Exactly. Tasha out there…she was another one. You could’ve put anyone next to Tasha and Spencer and they would’ve won. You could put Abi out there and it would’ve been a tough call.
Nale: Yeah.
Kappenberg: Abi had been mentally abused out there. Her feelings were hurt.
Nale: She was a time bomb.
Kappenberg: But she would’ve gotten my vote over Tasha and Spencer. That’s how anti-Tasha and Spencer I am. There were different things you didn’t see, like in the food challenge where she’s eating the balut and she’s pounding her chest and saying, “I’m doing this out of hate! I’m doing this out of hate!” It’s like, “Who the heck are you? What are you doing?” The audience didn’t get to see that. Why are Tasha and Spencer so protected? Even during the loved-one visit, they showed us for a little bit, but it still managed to be about Spencer. Ooo…he’s got a little girlfriend. Oooo…he said, “I love you.” And he didn’t even win the damn reward.
Holmes: Keith, who are you voting for in a Spencer, Abi, Tasha final three?
Nale: That’d be a close call right there. I don’t know…I might have to give it to Spencer. Just because Abi and Tasha…it’d be a close call. Close call. Not Tasha. I look at it like, “Did they really play this game?” Spencer won some challenges. He made it further than me.

Holmes: Kimmi, is it nice to have some bragging rights over Jeff Varner?
Kappenberg: Oh, heck yeah!
Nale: (Laughs)
Kappenberg: That was one of the things I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to make it farther than last time, I want to beat Varner, make the merge, be on the jury, make the family visit, maybe win the whole thing. It felt great.

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

‘Survivor’ Runner-Up Tasha and Castaway Kelley Discuss the Finale

December 17, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

Kelley and Tasha weren’t the most memorable people on their previous seasons. You could argue that they weren’t even the 5th or 6th most memorable people on their season.

That’s why when they were given a Second Chance by the “Survivor” fandom, they swung for the fences. Their shots might have been caught at the warning track, but they were impressive nonetheless.

I spoke to the second and fourth place finishers the morning after the explosive finale and asked them about Jeremy’s pregnancy, Spencer’s loyalty, and proper voice retention methods…

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

Gordon Holmes: Good morning.
Kelley Wentworth: Good morning. I kind of lost my voice, so I’m sorry.
Holmes: How dare you.
Wentworth: (Laughs) I know, I know, I sound like crap.
Holmes: Tasha, thank you for being a professional and managing to keep your voice.
Tasha Fox: (Laughs) I know. Especially after going to “The Price Is Right” on Monday where they made us scream the entire time.
Wentworth: This is crap, I sound like I smoked ten packs of cigarettes last night.
Holmes: Well, how many did you smoke?
Wentworth: I kept it to one. I’m totally joking, I don’t smoke. Please, I’m not a smoker, guys.
Holmes: Too late, it’s on record. You can’t trust those press people, they’re all scumbags.
Wentworth: (Laughs) I know all about it.

Holmes: Tasha, you get to final four and it’s been said that anyone who goes to the end with Jeremy is playing for second or third place. If Jeremy drops a ball, would you have booted him and tried your luck with Kelley?
Fox: I would’ve kept Jeremy. Kelley was a strong player and could have won the game as well. I would’ve kept Jeremy because he was my boy from day one and loyalty would have trumped everything in that situation. So, it’s the devil you know or the devil you don’t know.
Holmes: If they had voted for you instead and we ended up with a final three of Jeremy, Spencer, and Kelley, where would have your vote gone?
Fox: Definitely Jeremy. That’s a no-brainer. You can’t deny a man with a wife and a baby on the way.

Holmes: Kelley, you had an idol up until final six. Was there ever an opportunity to try to sway the numbers to your side beforehard using the idol as leverage?
Wentworth: When did I ever have the numbers in my favor, Gordon? C’mon. I was in danger, I was on the bottom for much of the game, I wasn’t going to play it until I had to.

Holmes: When I talked to Jeremy, he said that the big turning point was when you didn’t choose him, Tasha, or Spencer for the family reward. That seemed to cement that alliance.
Wentworth: That was a tough one. Looking back I should not have won that one. I knew leaving people back at camp was dangerous. And unfortunately I thought I was closer to Spencer than I was. So, when I got back I said, “I trusted you back here.” Clearly that was a mistake. But, watching it on television I saw exactly what went on and it doesn’t surprise me.
Fox: I talked to Spencer after the merge and we pretty much said depending on where the game goes from here, it’ll decide whether or not we can stick together. But after the merge Spencer was playing both sides. I think he had relationships with Kelley and her side and Jeremy and me. He was wavering back and forth since the merge. And it was the family visit that solidified that alliance. We were able to talk through the rest of the game.

Holmes: Kelley, I just spoke to Spencer. When we did the word association for you he said…
Wentworth:  Oh boy…
Holmes: He said, “betrayed.” I asked him to elaborate and he said that he felt bad for betraying you.
Wentworth: Oh.
Holmes: And that was one of his biggest regrets in the game. What exactly happened to cause such animosity?
Wentworth: It’s tough, as Tasha said he was playing both sides. From day one, even on Ta Keo, he was the one person that I felt close to. Obviously that vote with Shirin did a little damage to our relationship, but after the merge he was working both sides. We had a lot of personal conversations about family. I don’t want to get into too many details about what we were talking about, but I didn’t think he’d be the kind of person to go to the other side.

Holmes: Kelley hung in at the bottom for a while. She played two idols at the right time. Tasha, how scared were you guys that she would get to  the end?
Fox: We were definitely afraid of Wentworth. She was a formidable threat. Fortunately, there were expendable people whenever she had a necklace. She was a threat the entire game. The timing happened to work out. Spencer, Jeremy, and I were locked in, so if any one of us won, we knew what to do.

Holmes: Tasha, were you concerned that Kass was the first juror?
Fox: Yeah, I knew she was going to be a hater. And I know based on Ponderosa videos that Kass made me the topic of conversation every day, fifteen times a day. That’s what Savage said in Abi’s Ponderosa video.
Holmes: Kelley, what was your experience like on the jury? I’d imagine it was a quick turnaround.
Wentworth:  I was only at Ponderosa for a short time. I was in a cloud, I was trying to process everything. I’d go by myself and watch movies. I saw people talking to people and people asked me what happened in the last days. When Jeremy said that thing about his son, anybody who was on the edge, that put them over.
Holmes: When Jeremy told everyone about the baby, a little part of me wondered if people thought he was pulling a Jonny Fairplay “Grandma” move. Did anyone on the jury have that feeling?
Wentworth: I don’t think anyone believes that Jeremy would lie about something like that. He was too emotional. And I knew based on how he won that last challenge that there’s no way he’d lie about that.

Holmes: The big theme of this season was Second Chances. And I’d kind of lump you two together as people who had potential the first time out, but you weren’t able to overcome being dealt a bad hand. What does it mean to get to show the fans that voted you in that they made a good choice?
Fox: For me, I started out on the Brains tribe that was quite the experience. I had my back against the wall the entire time. My Second Chance was about building the necessary relationships so nobody flips. I had to change my direction in the game when Angkor happened. I had to claw my way from the bottom to the top. I put on ten pounds before the game started so I didn’t look like a challenge threat. I knew that wasn’t the game I wanted to play. Being the competitor I was, I had to let that go. And after a while, my challenge activities dwindled because I was trying to play a social game. I let the physical part go.
Wentworth: For me personally, I didn’t make the merge. It is what it is. People were like, “Oh God, who is this girl?” I wanted to come out and prove myself and make big moves. That’s exactly what I did. As far as the fans believing in us and the entire cast? It’s so amazing. I can’t put into words what it’s like when people want to see you more.

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

‘Survivor’ Runner-Up Spencer ‘Jeremy Got Me to Shoot Myself in the Foot’

December 17, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

There’s a “Survivor” theory that postulates that the first juror sets the tone for the rest of the jury.

When you’re Spencer Bledsoe and the first juror is the person many consider to be your mortal enemy, “Chaos” Kass McQuillen, that can’t be a good sign.

I spoke with “Survivor’s” “Young Lad” the morning after the “Second Chance” finale and asked him about Kass’s influence, Jeremy’s bombshell, and a mistake he made with Kelley…

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

Spencer Bledsoe: Did you enjoy the finale?
Gordon Holmes: Yeah, once I could do the math behind that Tribal and my head stopped spinning it was a blast.
Bledsoe: Jeff had your back with the lightboard.
Holmes: That telestrator needs some kind of branded name like the Probst Tron.
Bledsoe: We can figure something out.
Holmes: You’re the chess master. You’re thinking three moves ahead. Did you anticipate Jeremy making the clean sweep?
Bledsoe: That was my biggest fear and my biggest fear came to fruition. (Laughs) Every step of the way I thought Jeremy was playing a super strong game and could win. With seven people left I weighed it back and forth. It was a really tough decision for me. With five people left it was a tough decision. I considered going to Wentworth and Keith and saying, “Let’s vote Jeremy out.” But, I told myself I could do it at four. I obviously didn’t get that chance.
Holmes: What did you think your chances were against the jury?
Bledsoe: I thought I had a chance, but I was quite afraid of what ultimately happened. He crushed me.

Holmes: That final four Tribal really hurt you when you told Jeremy that you’d vote for Kelley to win and try to get other people to join you. What happened that got you worked up enough to make that claim?
Bledsoe: I think it was Jeremy playing the game well. I think he saw that I could only hurt  myself by talking. And, he made it seem like he was up in the air more than I thought he was previously. I got up in my own head and wondered if I was being voted out. I thought, I might be hurting myself, but I’d be kicking myself more for not saying those things in the moment and then being voted out. It was time number 9,471 that I zigged when I should have zagged.
Holmes: So, you’re crediting Jeremy with shaking you up. Kelley didn’t have a hand in that?
Bledsoe: Yeah, I would say so. I knew Kelley was voting for me, so my real worry was Jeremy. Jeremy was the one considering making it a tie. Kelley deserves a lot of credit for playing a great game, but in that instance Jeremy got me to shoot myself in the foot.

Holmes: In “Redemption Island,” Boston Rob had that no cross-alliance buddying up method. Whereas you guys have Kelley and Jeremy chilling out in a hammock. That would drive me insane.
Bledsoe: Oh yeah. We did talk about that. That was probably the only time Jeremy was off talking with someone, that and the awesome moment where he was trying to get Keith Nale’s attention. Those were the only times the he really talked to them. We did stick together, we didn’t want to make each other paranoid. We didn’t have BR rules in place, but kudos to Jeremy for getting those conversations in and getting Keith’s attention, which was awesome.
Holmes: It only took him half an hour, so it was worth it.
Bledsoe: (Laughs) That was the best moment in the green room. You’ve gotta love Keith Nale.

Holmes: There’s a lot of talk about the first juror setting the tone for the jury. In this case it was your buddy Kass. Did that worry you?
Bledsoe: At the time I wasn’t sure. Kass and I had a long, heartfelt talk on the beach when we first swapped. I apologized for a lot of what happened in Cagayan. We mended some fences. I really thought we’d moved past a lot of that stuff. I thought things would be fine. I don’t think Kass was necessarily that spiteful against me. I think she was very objective as far as who she decided to vote for. But, I do think it was a factor. Kass absolutely hated Tasha and was very venomous toward Tasha. And, there’s also the jury house. People have admitted that they were spreading rumors about me. Kass was spreading things about me that I think ultimately hurt me. I can’t fault her at the end of the day for thinking Jeremy played better. He did.
Holmes: What kind of rumors were being spread about you?
Bledsoe: Kass and Stephen were going around telling people that I was extremely rich. That my mom had won this huge lawsuit divorce settlement. That’s just completely untrue. I used the money from the first time I played “Survivor” to help my dad get out of credit card debt. This time I’m using the money to give a loan to my sister. I have a thousand dollars in my bank account now. So, I don’t know how that got started. But there was this perception that I was a spoiled, bratty, super rich kid which was unfortunate.

Holmes: I wrote in my notes, “The Man Who Can’t Be Killed.” You’re like a cockroach.
Bledsoe: I can’t give myself enough credit to say that’s a strategy. It’s a bunch of nerves and a bunch of luck. It just happened that Varner was more pissed at Shirin than at me. And then Kass had something against Woo and wanted him out. I’m at the right place at the right time. I’ve had awesome good luck and awesome bad luck. I’ve had these close calls.

Holmes: You were on a tribe with everyone at some point. So word association is going to take about 45 minutes. Let’s start with Monica.
Bledsoe: OK, I’m doing something really special. I didn’t do this in advance. This is off the cuff.
Holmes: It’s supposed to be. Don’t listen to Shirin. She’s a horrible influence.
Bledsoe: (Laughs) I think Monica…I feel bad for her. It’s tough. She was a player. My heart goes out to her.
Holmes: Vytas?
Bledsoe: Shifty.
Holmes: Shirin?
Bledsoe: Great friend.
Holmes: “Word association cheater” would also be accepted.
Bledsoe: Look, I can neither confirm nor deny that I helped with her cheating. I think she was pretty on point.
Holmes: I’ll give her that. Varner?
Bledsoe: Electric.
Holmes: Abi-Maria?
Bledsoe: A little more electric.
Holmes: Peih-Gee?
Bledsoe: Grounded, bad ass. She’s great in life.
Holmes: Terry Dietz?
Bledsoe: Awesome guy.
Holmes: Woo?
Bledsoe: My very gracious tae-kwon-do instructor.
Holmes: Kass?
Bledsoe: Like…two-sided.
Holmes: Savage?
Bledsoe: Emotional.
Holmes: Wiglesworth?
Bledsoe: I guess fifteen years ago. Literally every time Probst would talk to her he’d start, “Kelly, fifteen years ago you were blah blah blah.”
Holmes: Ciera?
Bledsoe: Amazing player. I think Ciera is the person I’m the most shocked at how good she was. She was the person who my vision of how good she was went up the most.
Holmes: Fishbach?
Bledsoe: Neurotic.
Holmes: Joe?
Bledsoe: Golden boy.
Holmes: Kimmi?
Bledsoe: Sharp. Sharper than people give her credit for.
Holmes: Keith?
Bledsoe: Love Keith. He’s the funnest guy to be around.
Holmes: Wentworth?
Bledsoe: Betrayed.
Holmes: Tasha?
Bledsoe: Fierce.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Jeremy.
Bledsoe: Earnest, deserving, happy for him.

Holmes: Let’s jump back in there with Wentworth. It seems like there was more animosity than we were shown. Why did you say, “betrayed”?
Bledsoe: I meant betrayed as in; I betrayed her and I felt really bad about it. What you missed is that we got really close. We talked about a lot of personal stuff. We related to each other, we connected. We had a trust and so that was the bond that I felt the worst about breaking. And I didn’t realize how upset she was. I’ve never had any bad feelings toward Kelley, but she probably has some toward me. I felt bad about that one.

Holmes: You’re sitting at final three and Jeremy drops the baby bomb.
Bledsoe: (Laughs) Baby bomb.
Holmes: It’s a thing.
Bledsoe: I’ll give him credit, I think he was going to beat me without the baby bomb. But, “I have a son” was probably the best speech in Tribal Council history. That was game over.

Holmes:  One of the things I wanted to ask about was the importance of picking a narrative. Yours was obviously that you’d grown as a person emotionally over the season. Is that something that gets brought up for the first time at Final Tribal or are you sprinkling bits of that as the season goes along?
Bledsoe: That was the entire time. There’s this idea that I got out there and then things started going poorly and I thought, “Oh dear, I’ve got to change.” But, it really wasn’t that. I think I’ve grown from my first season and I thought that was valid.  It’s on me for not proving that to the jury. But, what I was talking about was real to me. It was a special experience.

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

‘Survivor’ Champion Jeremy – ‘They Shouldn’t Have Taken Me to the End’

December 17, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

From the second he hit Bayon Beach, Jeremy the fireman was on fire, man. He quickly implemented the “meat shield” strategy he laid out for me in his pre-game interview and went to work.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

From there all it took was a key immunity win, two (count ’em!) perfect idol plays, and a last-second pregnancy reveal at the final Tribal, to earn all ten of the jury’s votes.

I spoke with Jeremy the morning after his big win and had a chance to ask him about the Collins on the way, why people kept him around, and Savage’s special gift…

Jeremy Collins: Gordon, how are you?
Gordon Holmes: Not as good as you.
Collins: (Laughs)

Holmes: So you’re a fireman, who’s married to a police officer, who has a beautiful family, and a son on the way. Who is worse to go to final three with than you?
Collins: (Laughs)
Holmes: Maybe a nun who’s playing for orphans?
Collins: Kass was saying early on, at the merge, “If you take Jeremy to the end, he’s going to win. I’d vote for him.” Ciera would say it. Abi would say it. It was hard, but they shouldn’t have taken me to the end.

Holmes: I thought you had it in the bag before you told everyone that Val was pregnant. But, part of me was wondering if some jury members might think you were trying to pull some Fairplay-level shenanigans.
Collins: No, they all know me and they know I’m not like that. They all trust me. I had a connection with every person out there at some point in time. They all know that I’m a stand-up guy. I’m not going to lie about my family. I wanted anyone on the fence, for this to push them over the edge.

Holmes: Looking back at your game, the only real mistake you seemed to make was trusting Kimmi. It almost cost you.
Collins: I started the game with Kimmi. We were together every single day. All of the tribe swaps, we never left each other’s side. I trusted Kimmi. When she turned her back on me, it did hurt my feelings. Gameplay aside, you don’t think like this out there. We talked about family out there. It was crazy to me that she went after me. It was a good play. I applaud her for taking her shot. Spencer and Tasha were telling me and I just didn’t see it.

Holmes: If you’d lost final four immunity, how confident were you that Spencer and Tasha would keep you around?
Collins: That’s tough. I think if Spencer wins final immunity…I don’t know if he takes me. Kelley has a lot of people on the jury. She’s an underdog story and she played a great game. I don’t know if he goes that route. I think when we said it was us to the final three, we had that bond from when Kelley gave us time alone at the family visit. I think that solidified us.
Holmes: Knowing that Kelley had a lot of people on the jury, did you ever seriously consider keeping her instead of Spencer?
Collins: No, I didn’t. You always try to think of every possible option. But, I’d made my decision. I felt like Kelley’s picks at the family visit, that was her mistake in the game. She played a great game, but that was her mistake. We were going to capitalize on that.

Holmes: It seemed like Stephen was your third earlier in the game. What was your plan for him before he was voted out?
Collins: I wanted to be his JT. He had his heart set on getting out Joe. And I knew if Joe was gone I’d be the JT. That’s why I wanted to keep Joe around. Stephen trusted me. He never lied to me. It would be tough for Stephen to vote me out after I saved him with the idol.
Holmes: When I interviewed Stephen, he said he’d have gotten rid of you before the end.
Collins: It’d be a good move. That’d mean Stephen is playing to win. It takes balls to do that, though. Could you do that? Someone saves you? The emotions out there, I don’t know if I can do it. If you saved me, I’d have to play for second place.

Holmes: You were like the Godfather out there. People were coming to you, you weren’t saying a lot. And your game is exactly what you told me in pre-game. Hanging back, letting bigger guys take the heat.
Collins: It was unbelievable. I wanted my meat shields and I had that. And Kimmi said I was like the Godfather. I wanted to be that, but I didn’t want everybody to see that, so I started pulling back and letting others take over. If I wanted someone gone, I’m not putting them out there. But, I’m with you, so who do you want gone? Maybe later on you guys will take out the people I want.

Holmes: Word association time. Let’s start with Monica.
Collins: A sweetheart.
Holmes: Abi?
Collins: Abi…she’s crazy…but she’s a good crazy. Out of the game she’s awesome.
Holmes: Isn’t that amazing?
Collins: It’s crazy. If her mom played “Survivor” with Abi, she could win the whole thing. She was so pleasant and awesome when her mother was there. And then a few days later, Abi went back to crazy Abi.
Holmes: I have a theory that there is something in the material that the buffs are made out of…
Collins: (Laughs)
Holmes: It seeps into her skin and sets her off.
Collins: We had Abi handlers! At one point I was an Abi handler, but then I couldn’t handle it and Spencer took over.
Holmes: Kass?
Collins: Kassanova. I met Chaos Kass one time. The rest was Kassanova.
Holmes: Savage?
Collins: A role model.
Holmes: Savage’s hat?
Collins: (Laughs) I like the beanie! He gave me one!
Holmes: (Laughs) A million dollars and a beanie!
Collins: (Laughs) Yeah!
Holmes: You really cleaned up, my friend. Wiglesworth.
Collins: Kelly is serene.
Holmes: Ciera?
Collins: I thought I was going to not want to work with Ciera, but I’m a huge fan of hers.
Holmes: Fishbach?
Collins: Fish is my dawg.
Holmes: Joey Amazing.
Collins: Amazing! Period. He can do it all. He’s the greatest “Survivor” challenger.
Holmes: Kimmi?
Collins: Kimmi is loyal, even though she came after me.
Holmes: Keith?
Collins: Keith is funny.
Holmes: Wentworth?
Collins: She’s a great Survivor.
Holmes: Tasha?
Collins: Day one. She’ll know what that means.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Spencer.
Collins: Spencer is my brother.

Holmes: I predicted you would win “San Juan del Sur” and you lost. So, I didn’t predict you this time because I care about you.
Collins: I appreciate that. (Laughs)
Holmes: So, since I predicted you to win about a year ago and you did win eventually…I think I need your endorsement to get credit for finally guessing something correctly.
Collins: Absolutely. I’d take that.

Holmes: I’m talking to Keith later. I love that guy. But what should I be asking him that we didn’t see on TV.
Collins: I have questions for Keith! He wanted to take me out last season because I was a challenge threat. And this season we connected and I said, “I’m not going down that route again. Let’s have a clean slate.” And then he goes with Joey Amazing. Joe is the best “Survivor” challenger ever. And Keith went with him! We’re firefighters, we’re parents. Just ask him why we didn’t connect out there.
Holmes: You’ve got it.

Holmes: Do we have a name yet for this boy that’s on his way?
Collins: We do. But Val is not releasing that information to anybody.
Holmes: How about Bayon?
Collins: (Laughs) If you talk to Stephen it’s “Young Fishbach.”
Holmes: (Laughs)
Collins: It’s Fishbach Chaos Savage Amazing Collins.
Holmes: That’s got a nice ring to it.

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

‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Finale Recap: A-Lad-Win?

December 16, 2015

"Survivor: Second Chance" (CBS)

Quick Note: Just because the season is over doesn’t mean the fun will be stopping. Starting Thursday we’ll have interviews with the final six players. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

Previously on “Survivor”: Vytas? Vamanos. Shirin? So Long. Peih-Gee? S.O.L. Varner? Sent Outback. Padilla? See ya. Dietz? Fortunately everything worked out OK. Woo? Gone too. Kass? Didn’t last. Savage? Outcast. Wiglesworth? The vultures took her and did whatever they wanted with her. Ciera? Sayonara. Stephen? Sent bach. Joe? Had to go. A-bi? Abye.

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

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

The Orkun Tribe (wearing orange)
Jeremy – San Juan del Sur
Keith – San Juan del Sur
Kelley W. – San Juan del Sur
Kimmi – The Australian Outback
Spencer – Cagayan
Tasha – Cagayan

Rejected Headlines: “Cash DiSpencer?” and “Jeremy CollWins?”

Note: Probst has promised something we’ve never seen before. My money is on a reward not worth playing for or someone digging too deep.

Let’s get this thing started!

We kick things off after Tribal, and Keith is shocked that they booted Abi because he thinks she couldn’t win at final three. Spencer points out that if everyone was trying to take Abi to the end, they wouldn’t want to take him. Oh…

Kimmi thinks all of this is her chance to swoop. She tells Kelley that she wants to get Jeremy, Tasha, and Spencer to split the votes so they can get out Jeremy. Lookit Kimmi playin’ “Survivor!”

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will collect puzzle steps, then put them in place to build a staircase. The first person to complete the slide puzzle at the top of the staircase will win immunity.

Probst says there are no more repeat challenges going forward.

Note: Well, this challenge is fresh to these players, less fresh for “Boston” Rob.

We start off and there isn’t much to describe except for sweatin’ and step placin’. Spencer is off to an early lead. Wentworth and Jeremy are behind him.

Spencer is the first to reach the slide puzzle. Wentworth and Jeremy eventually join him. Keith, Tasha, and Kimmi make it up too.

They battle it out for a bit, but Spencer’s lead was too much for the rest to overcome. He claims his fourth immunity.

Before we head for commercial, Kelley says they need to make a move now. Dude, you have an idol. You could flip it!

Back at camp, Keith and Kimmi go out for a chat. She pitches her vote-splitting plan and tells him that they’re targeting Jeremy. Kelley eventually joins them. Oof…too intricate a plan for Keith?

Meanwhile, Spencer and Tasha are totally wondering what the threesome is up to.

Later, Kimmi pitches the boys voting for Keith and the girls voting for Wentworth to Tasha, Spencer, and Keith.

As soon as Kimmi walks away, Tasha and Spencer tell Jeremy that she’s “a rat.” Jeremy isn’t sure if he believes it.

Jeremy confronts Kimmi, and she turns on the fake tears. Wow…go Kimmi.

Spencer and Jeremy chat about idols. Spencer is positive that Wentworth doesn’t have an idol. He also doesn’t think Jeremy has one. Heh… The producers must’ve been high-fiving when they got that footage.

That night at Tribal, Savage wears that hat again.

Jeremy admits that there are alliances.

Kelley thinks it’s her and Keith against Kimmi, Spencer, Jeremy, and Tasha.

Tasha isn’t so sure about that.

Keith is ready to lie, cheat, and steal. Lovin’ the Eddie Guerrero reference.

Spencer says there was a plan to split the votes, but they aren’t going to do that anymore. He says he’s voting with Tasha and Jeremy and they can draw rocks if they have to.

Keith points out that Spencer can say that because he’s safe.

Spencer whispers to Kelley, “You’re good.”

Kelley doesn’t trust him because they said she was safe last time.

Eventually it breaks down with both sides trying to convince Kimmi which way to vote.

Oh boy!

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

Oh man, I think Keith is totally tuk-ed.

Probst tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…Kelley does!

And then…Jeremy plays his idol!

Oh boy again!

We’ve got one vote for Kelley, one vote for Jeremy, one vote for Kelley, one vote for Jeremy, one vote for Kelley, and the last vote is for…Jeremy! No votes count!

OK, the rules state that they’re going to re-vote. Spencer, Kelley, and Jeremy are all immune.

Voting Time (Once Again): No votes are shown. (Once again.)

Probst tallies and returns. (Once again.) We’ve got one vote for Tasha, one vote for Kimmi, one vote for Tasha, one vote for Kimmi, one vote for Tasha, and the final vote is for…Kimmi. A tie!

The four people who weren’t voted for have to discuss who should go home. If they don’t come to a unanimous decision, they draw rocks. But, in this scenario, Tasha and Kimmi are safe and Keith would go home because he’s the only one who isn’t immune. Whoa.

They talk it over and Keith offers to give up his spot because Kimmi is a single mother. Wow.

Kelley wants Keith to stay, so she changes her vote to Kimmi. Keith does too. Kimmi is the fifteenth person eliminated from “Survivor: Second Chance” and the eighth member of the jury.

Ugh…they should’ve just pulled rocks from Savage’s hat.

Again, this all could’ve been avoided if Kelley had done something more constructive with her idol.

Back at camp, Spencer geeks out because this has never happened before. Whew…I hope it never happens again. I’m exhausted.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will race along a six-pronged obstacle course. They’ll gather six bags of puzzle pieces. The first person to return with all the pieces and complete the puzzle wins immunity.

Note: I saw a drawing of this challenge in Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer’s office. It looked awesome on a dry-erase board. Even better in real life.

Another Note: It’s very similar (or maybe even identical) to the final four challenge  in “South Pacific.”

We start off and it’s pretty even to start, but Jeremy has a slight lead. Kelley intentionally tries the hardest prong first. Will it pay off?

It totally does! Kelley is the first one with all of her pieces. She’s followed by Jeremy and Keith.

Tasha and Spencer eventually join them.

Wentworth is cruising on the puzzle. Keith almost catches up, but he’s too late and Kelley wins it.

Back at camp, Tasha, Spencer, and Jeremy want to target Keith, but they’re scared to death of immunity idols.

When they’re away from camp, Kelley makes a fake idol for Keith. I’d give it a solid eight on the Runaround Bob scale.

The ploy seems to be having an effect on Jeremy, because he’s getting a bad vibe from Keith and Kelley.

Jeremy hilariously tries to get Keith’s attention, snapping and waving in his direction. Keith finally realizes what’s going on. Jeremy alludes that they should vote for Spencer.

That night at Tribal, Wentworth says she knew her back was against the wall.

Keith thinks it could be him unless things change.

Spencer believes that a straight-forward vote would be a big move in this season of crazytown votes.

Kelley wants to vote because her vote doesn’t count and Keith is going home. Sneaky…sneaky…?

Keith admits that there are some tricks left to be played.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol…and nobody does.

We’ve got one vote for Spencer, one vote for Keith, one vote for Spencer, one vote for Keith, and the sixteenth person eliminated from “Survivor: Second Chance” and the ninth member of the jury is…Keith.

Whoa…no messing around. Check the clock cause it’s…

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will place a ball at the top of the track. It’ll spin around the track and drop out of the bottom. They’ll have to catch the ball and put it back in the top. They’ll add more balls as time goes. Drop a ball and you’re out. Last person standing wins a trip to the final four.

We start off and there isn’t much to describe except for ball spinnin’.

Kelley is the first one out when they get to four balls. She is not pleased.

Tasha’s out next. We’re down to Spencer and Jeremy for immunity.

They go to five balls and…it…is…intense! Spencer finally drops one, giving Jeremy immunity.

Jeremy breaks down, telling Jeff that it’s all about his family. He doesn’t mention the family member on the way.

Kelley tears up too because she knows she’s on the outside looking in.

Back at Orkun Beach, Jeremy realizes that he said he’d be loyal to his three, but now that he has the necklace he can switch it up.

Spencer asks Kelley who she’s targeting. She doesn’t say. He tells her he’s writing her name down because he thinks she can beat him.

Kelley tells Jeremy that she thinks people respect him, but people who appreciate sneaky gameplay will like Spencer. Jeremy considers the idea of making Spencer and Kelley do a fire-making challenge.

That night at Tribal, Jeremy says he couldn’t control his emotions after the challenge.

Spencer hopes he’s set himself up to stay in the game.

Kelley knows the trio is close, but they should be considering who they can beat at the end.

Jeremy is thinking about himself and his family’s future.

Kelley admits she’s voting for Spencer because he probably has his final Tribal speech planned. I hope it’s “I love you all!”

Spencer believes that Kelley will get a ton of votes if she gets to final three. He even says he’d try to get people to vote for Kelley. Hmm…if Spencer survives, I wonder how the jury will feel about that.

Voting Time: Spencer votes for Kelley, Kelley votes for Spencer (and says that it’ll be the last time she writes his name down), and the rest are secret.

Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Spencer, two votes for Kelley, and the seventeenth person eliminated from “Survivor: Second Chance” and the final member of the jury is…Kelley.

The next morning, the final three is greeted by a mirror and a scale. Best diet ever.

They then devour the Day 39 breakfast. Worst diet ever!

Spencer hopes getting in touch with his feelings is the story he needs to win it all.  Yeah, but do you have a mystery baby on the way like Jeremy?

Mystery Baby > New Feelings.

That night at Final Tribal, Savage starts us off by saying the answers have to be impactful. He tells Spencer that he’s arrogant, calling him out for threatening to bury Jeremy. Spencer says he was arrogant the first time, and it’s a mask for his insecurities. His mask slipped at last Tribal.

He then asks Jeremy why he verbally attacked Kimmi when she was voted out. Jeremy says he was hurt because Kimmi flipped.

Fishbach goes second. He asks Tasha why she did Jeremy’s dirty work. She says that she’s a strong, independent woman and nobody dictates anything to her.

Stephen then asks Spencer why he was willing to betray people. Spencer says he had to jump between blocs because he didn’t have the best relationships.

Ciera is next. She says that flippers rarely make it to the end, and the jury feels very betrayed. Jeremy thinks the season was different because of the caliber of the players. He then throws it back at her saying she encouraged everyone to make big plays.

Tasha claims it was because of all the swaps.

Spencer thinks there were so many different types of relationships and he had to take advantage of that to get rid of threats.

Wow, all three are doing pretty well.

Keith bats clean-up. He asks Jeremy why Spencer should win. Jeremy says he thinks Spencer made good moves and survived being on the bottom. Spencer gets the same question and says that Jeremy was in a powerful position through most of the game.

Abi wants to know about everyone’s subtle moves. Tasha admits she was closer with Spencer than Jeremy due to Cagayan. Spencer played Joe by pushing distrust on him. Jeremy says he was hunting for idols when people were at rewards.

Wait, Abi knows what the word “subtle” means?

Kimmi calls Spencer a bully for how he treated Jeremy at the previous Tribal. She then calls Jeremy out for replacing her in the pecking order with Spencer. Jeremy claims that he never replaced her with Spencer and that his feelings were hurt when she voted for him.

Joe is dreamy. He also says his vote is open. He doesn’t think Tasha was aware of what was going on. He wants to know when she was able to turn it around. She says when they voted him out, Jeremy and Spencer were confused and she stepped up and voted him out.

Kelly reminds everyone that she lost “Survivor: Borneo” by one vote. She asks everyone to pick a number between one and ten. Hilarious! Greg Buis represent!

Kass reminds Spencer of when he said she had 0% chance of winning. Spencer knows he’s said dumb things, but he wants her vote because he believes he’s changed. Kass congratulates him for trying to change.

Wentworth finishes it up, asking what their second chance stories are. Tasha says it was to build and maintain relationships. Spencer’s was teetering between who he was and what he’s become.

Finally, Jeremy admits that he’s here for Val and his two kids…and the mystery third kid!

Hmm…will people like that or think he’s Fairplaying them? He was already going to win without it.

Voting Time: No votes are shown…so all ten for Jeremy?

Probst snatches up the urn and the next thing you know we’re in Los Angeles.

Tallying Time: Five votes for Jeremy and the winner of “Survivor: Second Chance” is…Jeremy!

Whoa…and his wife Val is mega pregnant.

Verdict: What can you say about a season where most people brought their A-games, there were a billion surprises, and the right person won? I’ll have to let it settle before figuring out a final placement, but it’s got to be one of the greatest seasons of all time.

Power Rankings Results: (Note: Tasha and Spencer tied for second.) Jenn had Jeremy, Kimmi, and Keith in the right spots for six points. Max had Jeremy, Spencer, and Kelley in the right spots for six points. And, I had nobody in the right spot for zero points. The final score is Team Jenn: 136, Team Max: 130, and Team Gordon: 119. Congrats, Jenn on becoming the “Survivor: Second Chance” Power Rankings Champion!

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2015 Inductee – Rudy Boesch

December 16, 2015

2015 "Survivor" Hall of Fame Inductee Rudy Boesch (CBS)

Quick Note: XFINITY is the place to be for “Survivor: Second Chance” finale coverage. We have finale Power Rankings with “Worlds Apart” faves Jenn Brown and Max Dawson. Thursday we’ll have a recap of the finale, the full episode to watch, and exit interviews with all six of the remaining contestants. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for full details.

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consists of “Survivor” luminaries such as Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Co-Executive Producers Jesse Jensen and Matt Van Wagenen, the current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Guy Gordon Holmes. The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

The Class of 2010 included Parvati Shallow, Russell Hantz, Rob Mariano, Richard Hatch, and Sandra Diaz-Twine…

The Class of 2011 included Cirie Fields, Ozzy Lusth, and Tom Westman…

The Class of 2012 included Amanda Kimmel, Rob Cesternino, and Ethan Zohn…

The Class of 2013 included Kim Spradlin, John Cochran, and Jonny Fairplay…

Earlier this week, Jerri Manthey and Benjamin “Coach” Wade joined the Class of 2015…

And now, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to induct Rudy Boesch as the third and final member of the Class of 2015.

We had a chance to talk to Rudy and get his thoughts on this is honor…

Gordon Holmes: The fans, production, the press, your peers…everyone came together to honor you with this induction into the “Survivor” Hall of Fame. Congratulations on being recognized as one of the greatest of all time.
Rudy Boesch:
I don’t feel like one of the all-time best players but it is very nice to be remembered.

Holmes: You certainly are. Does it feel odd that this little adventure you went on fifteen years ago is still so fondly regarded?
I’m not surprised that “Survivor” is still on after fifteen years because it is still a really good show.

Holmes: Are you still watching?
I do still watch “Survivor” but I normally fall asleep before it is over!

Holmes: (Laughs) Yeah…me too on some seasons. It’s pretty cool to have your former tribemate Kelly Wiglesworth giving it a second go.
I always liked Kelly. Good for her to be able to try it a second time.

What the fans said about Rudy…

“Richard Hatch quit an immunity challenge because he knew he couldn’t beat Rudy in front of the jury.” – Donna

“A player who captivated everyone watching the first season, and ensured the popularity of “Survivor,” allowing many more seasons to come.” – Muntaqim

“I think people forget how big of a celebrity Rudy became after Borneo aired.’” – Colleen

What the Executive Voting Committee said about Rudy…

“If you need a reason to induct Rudy Boesch into the “Survivor” Hall of Fame you are not a true fan.  He’s a legend.” – Executive Producer and Host Jeff Probst

“When the tribe was scrambling to make a shelter to sleep above the flea-infested beach and find water to boil and drink in order to survive the elements, the oldest contestant ever, Rudy, dug a 6-foot trench in the beach, lined it with palm leaves, and slept in it. Then he proceeded to drink the unfiltered, un-boiled water from a tiny stream. ‘I used to drink water with dead bodies floating in it…this stuff is fine.’” – Ethan Zohn

“Rudy is as synonymous with Survivor’ as almost anyone, the franchise’s original fan-favorite, the elder statesman of the series. Respect where it’s due.” – Josh Wigler – Parade

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

Watch the ‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Finale this Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor’ Power Rankings Final Round – Wentwin? Jeremillionaire? Big Spender Spencer?

December 16, 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”

Finale Rules: For the finals, each player will rank the remaining Survivors in the order in which they think they will finish. The first contestant is the winner, the second received the second most votes at Tribal, etc. Each correct placement is worth two points.  The person with the most total points for the season will be named the “Survivor: Second Chance” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week:  Jenn had Abi in spot six, Max had her in spot three, and I had her in spot four. The current standings are Team Jenn 130, Team Max 124, and Team Gordon 119.

Jenn’s Score = 130

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

Max’s Score = 124

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

Gordon’s Score = 119

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

 1. Jeremy: I’m surprised they didn’t just give him the money at the start of the season.
  1. Jeremy: Congratulations, Jeremy! Not only have you managed to make it to the finale with a strong alliance, a hidden immunity idol, and jury goodwill; according to the edit, you haven’t so much as burped or farted for the last 36 days. Jeremy is a human being, and human beings aren’t perfect. Jeremy the “Survivor: Cambodia” castaway, on the other hand, has been nothing short of golden. When was the last time we saw someone get so positive an edit? I’m thinking Kim Spradlin.  1. Spencer: He’s been fighting an uphill battle since Varner Varner’d him on day six. He’s the most likely person to win these last few immunities. And, axing Jeremy is a move that many jurors will respect. He won’t sweep it, but if things go the way I’ve predicted (and they rarely do) he could be the next sole survivor.
  2. Kelley: I think one of these top two are the winners, whichever one makes it to the FTC. There’s no way someone would bring both of them, and there’s no way they would bring each other, so we shall see.
  2. Spencer: Spencer has won challenges, made Big Moves™, and demonstrated emotional growth. So why won’t he win? Because Jeremy.
 2. Kelley: Right now the belief seems to be if Kelley or Jeremy get to the end, one of them will win. I’m not totally sold on that. Stephen said he didn’t appreciate how good of a job she had been doing until he watched her on TV. That being said, I still think she’ll have some jury love from Kass, Ciera, and Abi…ooo…I don’t know…it’ll be close…
  3. Tasha: She’s basically the Dan or the will of Her season. You’d be stupid to not have her at Final Tribal Council, because I think there’s zero chance she could win.
  3. Tasha: Tasha has played a perfect game…if her desired outcome was the make it to the final three and not receive a single vote. Exit interviews aren’t canon, but few of the eliminated castaways have had kind words for Tasha. What has Tasha done to rub so many people the wrong way? I understand why Varner has an issue with her, but why are the rest of the Second Chancers so anti-Tasha? It probably didn’t help that her number one adversary was the mayor of Ponderosa…  3. Tasha: Tasha actually might have a vote or two against Kelley and Spencer. But, with a certain Chaotic Juror working against her, she’ll have an uphill battle.
  4. Spencer: Spencer is great, and has played a great game. However, I don’t think he has a chance up against Kelley or Jeremy.
  4. Kelley: It’s going to hurt when Kelley doesn’t make it into the final 3. Along with Jeremy, Kelley has dominated this season. But while Jeremy has never experienced true adversity, Kelley has had to scramble since the beach people disintegrated way back on day six. To me, that makes Kelley’s performance even more impressive than Jeremy’s. Spencer, Tasha, and Jeremy are savvy enough to recognize that she crushes Spencer or Tasha in a jury vote and makes things uncomfortably close for Jeremy. And so for no reason other than the fact that she would probably win Kelley will not be able to swing the numbers in her favor and will become the final member of the jury.
 4. Jeremy: No idols can save you at final four, Jeremy. And, everyone knows you’re the most dangerous person out there. Ciera said that going to final three with Jeremy was a guaranteed second-or-third place finish. Stephen knew this, and that point will not be lost on Spencer and Tasha. If he doesn’t win that final-four immunity, this will be where his impressive run ends.
 5. Keith: Keith is fantastic, I love him. He’s been my favorite all season and I can’t wait to see him and Big D in a couple days. But I cant see anyone letting him get to the Final Tribal Council not because Jeremy and Kelley wouldn’t beat him, I just don’t see it happening. He’s a little too good at challenges and a little too likable. I think if he loses a challenge he will be next to go.
   5. Kimmi: According to Jeff we’re about to see something that we’ve never seen before in 31 seasons of “Survivor.” Whatever happens I think it will have something to do with the remaining idols and is going to lead to Kimmi going home.  5. Kimmi: Probst said we’re going to see something we’ve never seen before during the finale. The theory that makes the most sense to me is Kelley and Jeremy both play their idols and cancel out all of the votes. So…then what? A revote with Jeremy, Kelley, and the challenge winner safe? Spells bad news for the fourth person in the four-person alliance.
 6. Kimmi: I don’t think there is any way her and Keith aren’t the first two out of the final episode. No way.
   6. Keith: Imagine Keith makes it to day 39 and then in a stunning speech to the jury reveals that his country bumpkin persona is nothing more than an act. “When I said ‘No logic whatsover’ at the final seven reward challenge,” Keith explains to the jury with perfect, erudite diction, “that was the cognitive equivalent of Tyson’s sling in ‘Blood vs. Water.’ I have something to confess – I’m not a firefighter. I’m actually a professor of Comparative Literature at LSU Shreveport.” Unfortunately that’s not going to happen. What is going to happen is that there is going to be an IC that involves a puzzle or memory. Keith will lose and be sent to the jury.  6. Keith: Oh Keith. I love ya, buddy. Must be frustrating to never vote for the person who is eliminated. Unfortunately, I don’t think the rules will allow you to vote for the first person who will go home on Wednesday either.

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2015 Inductee – Benjamin ‘Coach’ Wade

December 15, 2015

2015 "Survivor" Hall of Fame Inductee Benjamin "Coach Wade" (CBS)

Quick Note: XFINITY is the place to be for “Survivor: Second Chance” finale coverage. We’ll have finale Power Rankings with “Worlds Apart” faves Jenn Brown and Max Dawson, a recap of the finale and the full episode on Thursday, and exit interviews with all six of the remaining contestants. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for full details.

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consists of “Survivor” luminaries such as Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Co-Executive Producers Jesse Jensen and Matt Van Wagenen, the current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Guy Gordon Holmes. The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

The Class of 2010 included Parvati Shallow, Russell Hantz, Rob Mariano, Richard Hatch, and Sandra Diaz-Twine…

The Class of 2011 included Cirie Fields, Ozzy Lusth, and Tom Westman…

The Class of 2012 included Amanda Kimmel, Rob Cesternino, and Ethan Zohn…

The Class of 2013 included Kim Spradlin, John Cochran, and Jonny Fairplay…

Monday, Jerri Manthey joined the Class of 2015…

And now, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to induct Benjamin “Coach” Wade as the second member of the Class of 2015.

We had a chance to speak with the newly crowned Hall of Famer to get his thoughts on this honor…

Gordon Holmes: The fans, production, the press, your peers…everyone came together to honor you. How does it feel to be considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history?
Benjamin “Coach” Wade: Well I would say that I am not one of the greatest players in history…one of the biggest characters? Yes. One of the most controversial? Yes. But hey, three times and I still haven’t figured out how to win, just not in the cards.

Holmes: What’s this we hear about you not coaching anymore? What are we supposed to call you?
Wade: (Laughs) Well I am trying to retire from college coaching, for the sake of my family…however there is a professional team that is after me and I have already turned down other college jobs in the past few weeks. Coach will always be coach, and of course I will always be involved with coaching club soccer in my hometown of Susanville.

Holmes: Have you been watching “Survivor: Second Chance”? If so, what are you hoping to see in Wednesday’s finale?
Wade: Is that even a question?! Once a fan, always a fan. This has been a very unpredictable season, which now I see as I am finally learning about the game, is the most enjoyable for the fans. I thought Ciera was going to win, then I thought Joe was going to. I can’t imagine what’s going to happen and that’s the best part.

Holmes: What are your thoughts on Stephen’s time in the game?
Wade: The Wizard’s biggest challenge going into the game was being able to contribute in challenges, excel at the social game, and not be someone’s doormat. He exceeded in all of those things, so I am very proud of him. I wanted him to go all the way and win it. It’s always an honor to go out if you are a threat like Joe physically or strategically like Stephen, so I am all around chuffed that he did what he did.

Holmes: Finally, since they’re giving out Second Chances, any way you’d accept a fourth?
Wade: I’m retired. (Laughs) But, just like with soccer coaching #NeverSayNever.

What the fans said about Coach…

“I still think Coach could’ve won ‘South Pacific’ if he’d done a little better at the final Tribal.” – Annette

“I’ll talk to my parents who haven’t watched ‘Survivor’ in 10 years and they know who Coach is. My roommates, who get annoyed with my obsession with ‘Survivor,’ know who Coach is and they haven’t seen a single episode. He is one of the most iconic people to ever play the game of ‘Survivor’ and he needs to be inducted. ” – Zach

“The sensitive slayer is one of the greatest characters in the show’s history. Induct him!” – Kim

What the Executive Voting Committee said about Coach…

“In my eyes Coach had a great human development over his three seasons, a huge loving personality, and gave us a never ending supply of great entertainment.” – Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer

“You can’t have a  Hall without one of the most entertaining players in history! I learned a lot from the Dragon Slayer before I played season 19!” – Russell Hantz

“He rose to the occasion his third time around, becoming a father figure to his flock and securing a spot in the final three. Sadly, Coach missed out on winning the game, but he still wins at life.” – Parvati Shallow

Be sure to check back Wednesday to meet the third and final member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

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

Watch the ‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Finale this Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2015 Inductee – Jerri Manthey

December 14, 2015

2015 "Survivor" Hall of Fame Inductee Jerri Manthey (CBS)

Quick Note: XFINITY is the place to be for “Survivor: Second Chance” finale coverage. We’ll have finale Power Rankings with “Worlds Apart” faves Jenn Brown and Max Dawson, a recap of the finale and the full episode on Thursday, and exit interviews with all six of the remaining contestants. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for full details.

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consists of “Survivor” luminaries such as Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Co-Executive Producers Jesse Jensen and Matt Van Wagenen, the current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Guy Gordon Holmes. The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

The Class of 2010 included Parvati Shallow, Russell Hantz, Rob Mariano, Richard Hatch, and Sandra Diaz-Twine…

The Class of 2011 included Cirie Fields, Ozzy Lusth, and Tom Westman…

The Class of 2012 included Amanda Kimmel, Rob Cesternino, and Ethan Zohn…

The Class of 2013 included Kim Spradlin, John Cochran, and Jonny Fairplay…

And now, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to induct Jerri Manthey as the first member of the Class of 2015. Jerri received the most fan votes out of any nominee and had the highest percentage of total votes.

We had a chance to speak with the newly crowned Hall of Famer to get her thoughts on this honor…

Gordon Holmes: Induction into the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is a cumulative vote that includes fans, production, the press, your peers…everyone came together to honor you. How does it feel to receive recognition from such a wide variety of people?
Jerri Manthey: I am honored and proud to be a part of “Survivor” history. I feel extra fortunate to have been a part of the beginnings of it. Lots has changed since I played in Australia…Including ME as a human being. I’ve grown, I’ve overcome a lot of challenges in life that would normally break a person. I’ve become more patient with people, I’ve become more gracious and appreciative. “Survivor” has without a doubt changed my life for the better. It’s taught me that I can handle some incredibly difficult situations with ease and a very clear perspective of the “bubble” each of us lives in and the necessity to step outside of it often.

Holmes: Your relationship with the fans was a strained one before “Heroes vs. Villains.” What does it mean to you that you were by far the top vote getter in this year’s fan ballot?
Manthey: Strained?? Hmmm…I’m not sure that’s the correct term.  I like to think that my relationship with the fans has been evolving… very… slowly…

Manthey: When I played the first time, I was thirty years old. I was ambitious and aggressive and paid very little attention to the reaction of the people around me. Much like today’s “millennial” generation, I didn’t think about whose toes I was stepping on to get ahead. I saw a goal and went for it without much thought. I admit it’s no way to win a million dollars, but I did get ahead in my life…much to the detriment of the relationships of those I cared deeply for.

Manthey: But now…I’ve learned that as a woman, I am automatically grouped into the category of “weaker sex” and I am NOT okay with it. But, I am much more diplomatic at dealing with stereotypes. I feel I have less to prove to others and more to prove to myself. I hope to be an example to other women and young girls that as women we can accomplish just as much – if not more – than a man.

Manthey: I don’t rely on popularity contests to stroke my ego and make me feel validated.  I look in the mirror… And if I’m making choices that make me feel good, make others feel good… And make my parents proud… That’s all I care about. However, I’m BEYOND grateful for the love of the fans of “Survivor.” And I am constantly amazed people still remember me and care what I’m up to. And all I can really say is “thank you” for all the love!  It means a lot to me.

Holmes: Have you been watching “Survivor: Second Chance”? If so, what are you hoping to see in Wednesday’s finale?  
Manthey: To be honest, I am a few episodes behind and have to catch up this week. Somehow I have been able to avoid hearing anything that has happened on the last couple episodes. And I can’t wait to have a mini marathon with my friends right before the finale. Life has become my own game of “Survivor” as I battle through a very difficult divorce and am learning every day how important the choices you make in life are. Much like the game of “Survivor,” divorce does NOT bring out the best in people. And right now I am fighting to keep all that I have worked (and starved and suffered) so hard for from slipping into the hands of someone I once loved who now is trying to take it all away.
Holmes: I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through that.
Manthey: I keep praying every day that he will wake up and realize that the outcome is never worth the battle. That people fall out of love for many different reasons. But if handled well, a friendship is possible and in the long term, isn’t that all that really matters?  And while I answer your question, I realize once again how life and “Survivor” are so similar. Crazy…right?
Holmes: I always hope there can be friendship after a relationship ends. Sometimes it just takes time.

Holmes: What are your thoughts on Kimmi and Jeff Varner’s time out there?
Manthey: I campaigned like I’ve never done before to get Kimmi and Jeff on “Second Chances.” Jeff played a little too aggressively for his own good… But because I know him so well…and know how badly he wanted to get another shot…I understood why. Kimmi has played a very “under the radar” game… and I know she has gone through some rough life lessons herself and has struggled to put food on the table and support her children…and (without knowing what is happening on the show right now with her) I hope she kicks some ass and wins the million! I am so proud to have had them both represent the Australian season!  Still the most watched season EVER!!!

Holmes: Finally, since they’re giving out Second Chances, any way you’d accept a fourth?
Manthey: Absolutely. There aren’t many of us in the “four-time players” club. I’d be honored. Truly!

What the fans said about Jerri…

“She’s a ‘Survivo’ legend and is hands down the most iconic female villain in the show’s history.” – Ramsey

“In ‘Heroes vs. Villains,’ had she made the Final Tribal she could have been joining her Australian castaways Amber and Tina as a Sole Survivor.” – John

“I loved watching Jerri in ‘Heroes vs. Villains.’ She played her own game and was an immunity win away from taking the whole thing.” – Tricia

What the Executive Voting Committee said about Jerri…

“What makes Jerri truly special is her three-season arc.  Who else in ‘Survivor’ history has gone from literally being booed offstage to, in her last season, emerging as America’s sweetheart?  Nobody, that’s who!” – John Cochran

“While tame by modern standards, Jerri’s ‘treachery’ made her a transcendent figure in the medium and changed the way all reality shows are cast. ” – Rob Cesternino

“She was “Survivor’s” first – and best – villainess. From the moment she accused Kel of smuggling beef jerky, Jerri became the most hated woman in America, a role that she parlayed into 15 years of television appearances.” – Steve Helling – People Magazine

Be sure to check back Tuesday to meet the second member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

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

Watch the ‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Finale this Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2015 Ballot – XFINITY TV’s Gordon Holmes

December 14, 2015

XFINITY TV's Gordon Holmes (XFINITY)

NOTE: Voting for the 2015 “Survivor” Hall of Fame has ended. Be sure to check back Monday afternoon to meet the first new member of the Class of 2015.

ANOTHER NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: Second Chance” coverage. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Worlds Apart” faves Jenn Brown and Max Dawson, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

As the Senior Chairman of the Executive Voting Committee, Gordon Holmes has an awesome responsibility. His vote (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer and other “Survivor” luminaries) will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame. The other 50% came from “Survivor” fans like you.

Gordon Holmes is a Managing Producer at Comcast and the lead “Survivor” guy for XFINITY TV. He’s been hooked on “Survivor” from the moment he first saw Jeff Probst kick sixteen strangers off a boat and into the sea back in May of 2000. Gordon has visited the set of “Survivor” on seven separate occasions (“Gabon,” “Nicaragua,” “South Pacific,”  “Philippines,” “Blood vs. Water,” “Worlds Apart,” and “Second Chance”) and boasts an Ozzy-esque 8-1 immunity challenge record. He also ranks second behind Michael Skupin when it comes to injuries incurred in the Philippines.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Second Chance”

Gordon Holmes’s 2015 Hall of Fame Ballot

Rudy Boesch – (“Survivor: Borneo” and “Survivor: All-Stars”): I said it last year, and I’ll say it again; some people vote for personalities, some people vote for season domination, I vote for icons.

And Rudy Boesch is an icon.

If you’ve never seen “Survivor: Borneo,” give it a watch. For those of you who have, it’s weird right? It’s almost like a documentary. Jeff Probst is providing weird narration. “Alliance” is a dirty word. It was a different world.

But the truth is, if Rudy Boesch and Richard Hatch hadn’t put a twist on TV’s classic “Odd Couple” formula, the show might not have captured the nation’s imagination and it might not have become a cultural phenomenon. The world might have never ever heard of Parvati Shallow, “Boston” Rob Mariano, or Russell Hantz.

Rudy has my vote every year until he’s enshrined in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame.

Jerri Manthey – (“Survivor: The Australian Outback,” “Survivor: All-Stars,” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): Is it lazy to cut and paste my Jerri vote from last year? Totally. Am I OK with it because it’s one of my favorite “Survivor” pieces? Yes.

More so than any other long-time player, Jerri had the most satisfying character arc over her three-season run.

(OK, it’s weird to say a real person has had a character arc, but stick with me.)

From Marquesas to “Redemption Island,” Boston Rob matured and learned from his mistakes, but he’s pretty much the same guy. From Australia to “Heroes vs. Villains,” Colby seemed to become disillusioned with the game, but he’s pretty much the same guy.  Rupert’s the same, Ozzy’s the same, Hatch is the same.

Jerri’s not the same.

She was the most hated player on the show’s most watched season during “The Australian Outback.” This notoriety earned her appearances on countless television shows, the cover of Playboy magazine, and more.

Years later during “All-Stars” it was clear that the negative sentiment had finally gotten to her when she left the stage after being booed at the reunion show.

Then finally she emerged during “Heroes vs. Villains” as a woman who was comfortable in her own skin. If you didn’t like her, that was too damn bad. And the funny thing was, everyone liked her.

And I like her too.

So to recap, hated caterpillar in Australia, retreats into her cocoon in “All-Stars,” beautiful butterfly in “Heroes vs. Villains.” And in my book, a Hall of Famer.

Tina Wesson – (“Survivor: The Australian Outback,” “Survivor: All-Stars,” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”):  I was torn between three people for my final vote; Rupert Boneham, Colby Donaldson, and Tina Wesson. Rupert, because he for better or for worse is the face of “Survivor” for many people. Colby, because he’s the person most people think of when they remember the show’s most-watched season. And Tina, because of her win in Australia and her impressive run in “Blood vs. Water.”

So, I popped “The Australian Outback” in for some inspiration. And, a funny thing happened on the way to the voting booth…I realized that Tina was a lot better than I had been giving her credit for. For some reason I’d always been under the impression that it was Colby’s mistake that won it for her. But, I was very wrong. And then when you include how well she adapted to the modern game, you have a clear leader in the trio. Sure, I’ll vote for Colby and Rupert when I have more ballot space, but until then, I’m Team Wesson.

Visit the  “Survivor” Hall of Fame for executive ballots from Jeff Probst, Parvati Shallow, Rob Cesternino, and others.

Follow @SurvivorHall on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates.

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