Archive for February, 2016

‘Survivor’ Castaway Jennifer: ‘(Cydney’s Vote) Was a Little Bit of a Sting’

February 25, 2016

'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (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 Shirin Oskooi. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’

What does it say about somebody’s time on “Survivor” when a bug burrowing into their brain isn’t the worst thing to happen to them?

Jennifer made it through that horrible experience, but didn’t make it through one of the most disastrous Tribal Council performances I’ve ever seen.

I had a chance to chat with the bug’s victim the morning after her elimination and asked her about the performance that sent her packing, the split vote from the previous week, and the stowaway that wouldn’t go away…

Jennifer Lanzetti: You going to talk (expletive deleted) about someone, you should probably tag them so they can defend themselves.
Gordon Holmes: Was I talking (expletive deleted) about you?
Lanzetti: Yes, I see your Twitter.
Holmes: What did I say?
Lanzetti: I saw the word “bad” a lot. (Laughs)
Holmes: Did I say you had a bad Tribal Council performance?
Lanzetti: (Laughs) Yes.
Holmes: Well, now’s your chance to defend yourself. That’s why we do this.
Lanzetti: (Laughs) Right.
Holmes: You threw me off my vibe, I was going to start with a joke. Which was more annoying; the bug or Jason?
Lanzetti: (Laughs) The bug, for sure.

Holmes: Did Cydney or Alecia approach Jason and Scot before Tribal and tell him you were trying to set up an all-female alliance?
Lanzetti: That’s exactly what happened. If I go down as the person who wanted an all-female alliance from the very beginning, then so be it. What would be cooler than a three-girl, Brawn-tribe alliance? Never been done. It’s hard enough to have a female alliance as it is. I liked the edit how it made it look like it was my idea. Alecia came up to me and said, “What do you think?” And I thought, Jeff made it clear that we should play like it’s our second time. I take huge leaps all the time. It’s not a big deal for me. I said, “Cydney, are you on board?” “Absolutely.” “Alecia, are you on board?” “Absolutely.” If we keep going the other route, we’re all going home. That’s how we’ll stay in the game. I could tell about an hour later that they had both gone to Jason and Scot and I thought, “Wow. So much for that idea.” (Laughs) And we had found a poisonous plant. It looked like a potato, everyone thought it was a potato, we started eating it and our throats started closing up. It was scary as hell. And seeing the way Alecia reacted I thought, “This isn’t going to work.” And this is “Survivor,” people talk about alliances like they’re written in stone. I know they’d turn their alliance on me. They made it look like they’re so perfect and they were on my side from the beginning, but they weren’t. You do what’s best for you and your tribe, but the tribe doesn’t win. One person wins.
Holmes: So, based on what we saw, it looked like your “Everything is up in the air” comment had tipped them off, but you thought you were in trouble back at camp.
Lanzetti: Oh, I knew I was. That was them covering up the fact that they were sending me home no matter what. And if I go down in history as a hot Tribal mess, so be it. I wasn’t the first and I won’t be the last. But, I was honest. I told them what happened and I told them I considered a female alliance, it was a terrible idea. But, we have to keep our tribe strong if we’re going to win challenges. Bitch me out when we get back to camp, but don’t…keep…her.
Holmes: Alecia?
Lanzetti: Yes.
Holmes: Was that strictly from a challenge-strength standpoint or was she still rubbing people the wrong way?
Lanzetti: I didn’t mind Alecia. She reminds me of my students. She’s young, she has a lot of passion. We all took care of her. Me and Cydney took care of her every single day. She tried to help. She did get the fire going. I don’t have any bad things to say about Alecia as a person, but as somebody on our tribe, not a good fit. I don’t like babysitting people when I’m having a hard enough time taking care of myself. And everybody felt that way. I know they’re going to regret their decision. I guarantee next episode there’s going to be some regret.

Holmes: Why do you think Scot stuck by your side?
Lanzetti: Scot was my favorite one out there. We talked all the time, we went hunting, fishing, we made all the food. We were cuddle buddies at night because it was freezing cold. He’s just a good guy. I think he believed me and thought keeping me was the best option.
Holmes: Was there any kind of butting heads between Scot and Jason over the vote?
Lanzetti: No, I never saw anything. I was too busy shaking in my boots.

Holmes: One of the things that happened last week that people had questions about was the split vote. That was to flush a possible idol, correct?
Lanzetti: Right. We were just flushing the idol. And talk about a vote going exactly as it should. But I’ve gotten more tweets and e-mails and messages saying, “What the hell? Why did she stay?” And trust me, I’m kicking myself now. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) When I talked to Darnell, he was under the impression that he was voted out because he was too likable. Was that the case?
Lanzetti: No, that’s not why he was targeted. He’s very likable, but he was wavering back and forth. You could never get a straight answer out of him. Everything we heard, the story got changed too many times. People thought he was an uncertain risk. But, it is ironic that the two sweetest people in the game got voted out first. It is a reminder that “Survivor” is a viper pit. (Laughs)
Holmes: That’s true. But are you two really sweeter than Tai and Caleb?
Lanzetti: I know, right?! (Laughs) I really enjoyed last night’s episode. The last seven minutes were brutal, but I’m enjoying seeing everyone else out there. They didn’t show you all my injuries out there. My time wasn’t completely pleasant.
Holmes: I saw you had a pretty significant gash over your eye.
Lanzetti: I got bit on my face by a centipede eight times on day one. I had a parasite in my ear day two and three. Day four I’m building a fire and I got third-degree burns on my eyelids. And then on day six I ate a poisonous plant. The doctor said I had a chemical burn on my throat for three days. I think the universe voted me out first.
Holmes: Day thirty, fall off a cliff. You’re like Wile E. Coyote out there.
Lanzetti: (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) That vote probably saved your life.
Lanzetti: It just wasn’t my time to rule.
Holmes: (Laughs) Next time. When Probst tells you to play it like your third chance.
Lanzetti: Right! And I’m going to ignore everything he says.  Forever.
Holmes: That tends to be a smart strategy.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Scot.
Lanzetti: Big.
Holmes: Alecia?
Lanzetti: Ugh…
Holmes: Cydney?
Lanzetti: She’s a bad-ass.
Holmes: Darnell?
Lanzetti: Sweetheart.
Holmes: And we’ll finish with Jason.
Lanzetti: If I had to be rescued, I’d take him. I don’t know how you put that into one word.
Holmes: We’ve got time, use as many words as you’d like.
Lanzetti: Really? Start over!
Holmes: I like that initiative. Scot?
Lanzetti: Loyal and a friend for life.
Holmes: Alecia?
Lanzetti: She’s going to go far in this life. She just needs to learn tact.
Holmes: Cydney?
Lanzetti: She’s a good woman. She’s got a lot to learn still. She’s one of the strongest women I know.
Holmes: Darnell?
Lanzetti: He doesn’t have a bad bone in his body. The streets did not make him hard. They made him genuine.
Holmes: We’ll finish with Jason…again.
Lanzetti: Yeah, he’s the person I could count on to rescue me in a bad situation.

Holmes: We haven’t seen much from Cydney, but she seems to be playing a savvy game. It seems like the vote to get rid of you moved her from fourth in the tribe to at least third. Was that your impression of her game?
Lanzetti: I thought we were really close. We did yoga together, we got firewood together. She was a workhorse. And I’m just kidding about the yoga comment. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) I was wondering.
Lanzetti: We had a great time out there. So, I thought it was Scot that voted me out, but it was Cydney. That was a little bit of a sting. I thought she realized that I was the best thing for the tribe. Or, she would have come to me and said, “A girl alliance is a bad thing, what are you thinking? Stick with the plan.”

Holmes: This bug in your ear, did it ever get a name?
Lanzetti: (Laughs) Bastard. I think that was what I called it.
Holmes: And it wore a buff at one point?
Lanzetti: It was trying.
Holmes: That was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.
Lanzetti: The first night we had a downpour, I think they plan these things, I was laying on my side and water is pelting in. I woke up the morning of day two and thought there was water in my ear. I was jumping up and down all day, hitting my head against rocks. I kept telling the production crew that there was something wrong. That night I felt something warm come out of my ear and I thought, “Finally.” So, I touched it and tasted it because it was dark and it was blood. And I thought,  “Oh (expletive deleted), it’s going to be a long night.” And that’s when it started to really dig. I was trying to keep it together because I didn’t want to wake up the tribe. But in the morning I was in tears…it was tough.
Holmes: Alright, well I’m never going to sleep again.

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Episode 2 Recap: I May Only Have One Match, But I Can Make an Embryo-sion

February 24, 2016

'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (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 Shirin Oskooi. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’

Last Week: Darnell took an aqua dump in the wrong area, then he aqua dumped the diving mask, then he was just dumped.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Chanloh Tribe – Brains (wearing blue)
Aubry – 29, Social Media Marketer
Debbie – 49, Chemist
Elisabeth – 29, Quantitative strategist
Joseph – 72, Former FBI Agent
Neal – 38, Ice Cream Entrepreneur
Peter – 34, ER Doctor

The Gondol Tribe – Beauty (wearing yellow)
Anna – 26, Pro Poker Player
Caleb – 28, Army Veteran
Julia – 19, Student
Michele – 24, Bartender
Nick – 30, Personal Trainer
Tai – 51, Gardener

The Totang Tribe – Brawn (wearing orange)
Alecia – 24, Real Estate Agent
Cydney – 23, Body Builder
Jennifer – 38, Contractor
Kyle  – 31, Bounty Hunter
Scot – 40, Former NBA Champion

The evening’s festivities start off at Brawny Beach where Alecia is promising that she’s going to do better. However, she’s annoyed that Jennifer and Jason sounded like they were changing their minds.

She then adds to her “Mental Giant” resume by referring to an ember as an “embryo.” Sigh… #mentalgiant

Later, Jason and Scot agree that Alecia will be next if they go to Tribal again. In other news, water is wet.

Over at the Beauty Salon, Tai is feeling left out while the other beautiful people are enjoying the ocean.  However, he makes the most of the situation by finding a clue to an idol. And whoa…the key to this idol it is way up in a palm tree.

Yikes, I’m pretty sure most people can’t climb a tree like that. That’s a little unfair. Jason couldn’t climb that tree. Unfair!

Over at the Brain Trust, Debbie thinks it’s foolish to boil the water because she can tell if water is safe by looking at it. Uh…but it wouldn’t hurt.

Debbie seems to be rubbing many people the wrong way with her many jobs and frequent juggling, but Peter thinks it’s smart to keep her around, Phillip-Sheppard style. There’s a guy who’s thinking.

Later, Joe’s in some trouble because he used too much kerosene and the matches got wet, so now they don’t have a fire. He butts heads with Liz because she wants to boil water. Apparently she doesn’t trust Debbie’s eyes. Joe’s also sick of Liz’s fancy book learnin’.

At Beauty Beach, Tai and Caleb are becoming besties and it is totes adorbs. At one point, Tai gives Caleb a  little kiss. Too cute. Sign these two up for “The Amazing Race.”

Over at Totang, they’re all zonked because they don’t have fire. Alecia goes out on her own and tries to create some “embryos” and FIVE HOURS LATER figures it out! Fire for the Brawnies!

Also, she refers to Jason as a “hitman.” Does she think bounty hunters kill people?

Immunity Challenge Time: Teams will race down a river to retrieve a log. They’ll then carry it through a series of obstacles. Then, they’ll unspool balls that are tied to the logs. Those balls will be used to knock down two targets. The first two tribes to complete the challenge will win immunity. The first tribe to finish will get fishing gear, while the second tribe will receive a smaller fishing kit.

Debbie will sit for the Brains while Julia will sit for Beauty.

We start off and Caleb flies down the river. BEAST MODE!

Brawn and Beauty jump out to an early lead. It is possible that the Brains were distracted by Debbie literally cheerleading on the sidelines.

However, the Beauties have problems releasing their balls. The Brawns are the first to the slingshot, the Beauties are behind them.

The Beauties hit their first shot, followed by the Brains. Then the Brawns hit one to tie it all up.

Caleb hits the second shot, giving immunity to the Beauties.

Then, Peter scores for the Brains giving them immunity.

Jason is worried that they might become the worst tribe ever. You’ve got a ways to go for that record, buddy. #Ulong

Back at camp, Jason explains to us how stupid Alecia is. That can’t be fun to watch on national TV.

She sneaks out to go on an idol hunt, but doesn’t have any luck.

Meanwhile, Jennifer is getting annoyed with Jason. Things like throwing his sun-burnt skin into the pot doesn’t sit well with her…for some reason.

Alecia approaches Jennifer and Cyd with the idea of voting out one of the guys. And, it seems like they’re kind of into it.

That night at Tribal, Jennifer claims that things are up in the air. As you’d imagine, Jason and Scot are not happy about that statement.

Jason explains that he had heard ideas were discussed and now it’s been confirmed.

Scot says that Jennifer was on their side until just now.

Jennifer tries to play it cool by saying that things change. Jennifer is bad at this.

Alecia admits that Jennifer pitched a female alliance. Jennifer denies this vehemently.

Cydney thinks some people have been saying the wrong things at the wrong time to the wrong people. A triple negative!

Jason is amused because never in the history of the show has someone told their alliance that they were considering flipping.

Scot asks Jennifer to explain her “up in the air” comment. Jennifer says if she could take it back, she would. That…doesn’t…explain…it.

Jennifer asks for a second chance, then stands on her stool and begs for forgiveness. Buh…

Whoa…Jennifer is bad at Tribal. Like super bad. Remember how bad Crystal Cox was at challenges? Like that bad.

Voting Time: No votes are shown, but Alecia is shown removing the cap of the marker.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Jennifer, two votes for Alecia, one vote for Jennifer, and the second person voted out of “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” is…Jennifer.

Quick Aside: Cydney and Jason were the ones who teamed with Alecia to vote out Jennifer.

Verdict: Wow, I’m trying to remember the last time I saw such a terrible Tribal Council performance. Kudos to Alecia for staying alive, but she couldn’t have gotten there without a five-star meltdown from Jennifer.

That being said, I’m ready to see these other teams at Tribal.

Who’s Going to Win? Um…not a Brawn. Maybe Peter?

Power Rankings Results: Shirin had Jennifer in spot six while I had her in spot two. (Yikes…) The current score is Team Shirin 6, Team Gordon 2.

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Power Rankings: On-Fridays-We-Wear-Yellow Edition

February 23, 2016

'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng”

The Rules: Each week our two 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 players will earn.  For example, if Anna is voted out this episode, Shirin will receive one point and Gordon will receive four points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank the contestants based on who is the most likely to be voted out in the next episode.

Shirin’s Score = 0

Any questions for Shirin? Drop her a line on Twitter: @theshirin

Gordon’s Score = 0

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

 1. – Anna: Her Trump cards are her pocket queens, Julia and Michele.  Ah, the importance of being immune.
 1. – Peter: If we’re seeing a remake of Cambodia’s shelter people vs. strategy people, Peter is the Kelley playing smartly in the middle. Let Neal and Elisabeth battle Debbie and Joe for Aubry’s loyalty, while you hang back and partner with the victors. Sneaky, sneaky.
 2. – Julia: We’re seeing a little more Kelly and a little less Beyoncé, but this child is controlling her destiny
 2. – Jennifer: The bug and the blood? Just give her the million already. She’s earned it.
 3. – Michele: You know who else is a bartender with a magical aptitude for herding goats? Aberforth Dumbledore. #HogsHeadInn
 3. – Kyle: Jason, Kyle, Boom-Box Belly, whatever you call him, this dude came to play. He should be a little more careful about calling people out during Tribal though.
 4. – Kyle: That’s levitation, [Gordon] Holmes. How ’bout the power to kill a yak from 200 yards away…with mind bullets?! That’s telekinesis, Kyle [Jason]. How ’bout the power to move you?  …hog-tied in the back of his truck, or with a touching story about his autistic daughter.
 4. – Anna: It might not be the best play to make an alliance right off of the bat, but in a six-person tribe why take chances? Julia and Anna hooked up immediately and brought Michele on board. Are the guys even talking strategy? If so, we haven’t seen it. The ladies can take their pick of whoever they want to sit with them.
 5. – Scot: The only way Scot goes home this week is by medevac or a Tony-esque betrayal by Jason.
 5. – Julia: Kudos to Julie for recognizing the “Beast Mode Cowboy” so quickly. And double kudos for remembering that he was loyal to a fault in the “Big Brother” house.
 6. – Jennifer: Alecia exists.
 6. – Cydney: Cydney attacked Alecia, but she didn’t protect Darnell. That makes me wonder if the others knew how close the two of them were. Good move playing your cards close to your vest.
 7. – Cydney: No Storm in sight just yet.
 7. – Michele: Michele with the compliments. Complimenting Nick, complimenting Caleb…smart strategy to think that people on a “Beauty Tribe” would be fond of flattery.
 8. – Neal: Neal was shown playing nicely with everyone. At Debbie’s command, he rubbed two sticks together without a hole showing great stamina. It may not lead to the fire that represents life in this game, but it’s a safe and protected method.
 8. – Scot: I’m a smart-ass. (That probably isn’t news to my regular readers.) But, there’s one person in my life who can shut that down immediately. When he tells me to quit clowning, I quit clowning. I see a lot of that in Scot. When he tried to shut Alecia down, he meant business. The only time I’d cross him is if it was sending him out of the game.
 9. – Peter: Low-hanging fruit with geriatric tinge is a rotten way to go, but luckily for Peter, Liz is the low-hanging fruit of the youngins.
 9. – Neal: Ice cream pants? Good thing you’re not a sex therapist.
 10. – Joseph: Joe’s fierceness as an FBI agent has literally been written about and published for the world to know. It is known. There was a lot of footage of Joe connecting with Aubry last week. If they join forces, she just needs to point out the bad guy.
 10. – Aubry: I’ve heard that the best way to get someone to like you is to have them do you a favor. Maybe Aubry’s meltdown earned her some points with Debbie. Also, I love it when someone finds redemption on the challenge course. Well played, Awesome Aubry.
  11. – Caleb: Much like these pandas, Caleb is strong, harmless, and people seem to enjoy watching him in captivity.
 11. – Caleb: BEAST MOOOOOODE! Caleb is likable and good around camp. He should be safe for a while. And if he can pick up an HOH here or there, he should be golden.
 12. – Aubry: <camera zooms in to Aubry slapping Liz’s knee> “I wish you got to meet me.” Aubry has ordered the hit. Joe: you know what to do.
 12. – Nick: We didn’t really see you conspiring much during the episode, but you were close with everyone when they decided to turn against Tai. You’d better start making moves or the Gondol Gals are going to end your trip quickly. (Fun Fact: The tribes this season have actual names.)
 13. – Nick: The only thing saving Nick right now is Deforest Whitaker.
13. – Tai: Oh, Tai. What’re you doing out there? One second you’re protecting trees and the next you’re ripping them out of the ground. Those chickens had better watch their backs. Anywho, your idol hunt was ill-advised, but Stephen Fishbach survived his.
  14. – Tai: Deforestation: trees are uprooted, along with one’s life in the game, and cleared land is used as pasture for livestock, plantations of hidden immunity idols, and habitation. This upheaval can result in seasonal damage and (bio)diversity loss.
 14. – Joseph: Probably not a good sign when you’re referred to as “low-hanging fruit” by a group of people who are starving. But, if your side loses this week, Debbie will go before you do.
15. – Elisabeth: While Liz had her CPU cores devoted to a risk analysis of Aubry breaking down again, Aubry was beasting a season-long redemption arc in a single episode.
 15. – Elisabeth: When the Brains finally go to Tribal it’s either going to be Elisabeth or Debbie. Elisabeth because she seems to be the leader of the youth movement and Debbie because she’s…uh…unique.
16. – Debbie: I’m not used to hearing a woman talk so much about her conquests.
 16. – Alecia: “Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god…you say ‘YES!’” And when the people in charge of your tribe tell you to stop being shifty, don’t tell them you might or might not have an idol! Oh, if only the cap had been on the marker I was using to do my pre-game rankings when I decided to pick you first.
17. – Alecia: The pen is mightier than the sword, and the ink is mightier than the cap. The people with considerable (body) ink on Alecia’s tribe seem to be the ones wielding swords, pens, and caps. 17. – Debbie: Puzzles lie down for her like lovers, yet she doesn’t volunteer to do the puzzle. Fires burst into flames for her like she’s the Human Torch, yet Neal’s the one rubbing the sticks together. What’s the strategy here, Debbie?

‘Survivor’ Castaway Darnell – ‘I Think Jason’s a Great Player’

February 18, 2016

Darnell Hamilton (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 Shirin Oskooi. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng”

Yeah, Darnell dropped the goggles during the season’s first immunity challenge and cost his tribe precious time. And, he was caught taking a number two a little too close to the beach.

But at least he didn’t have a bug burrowing in his ear.

I spoke to the first castaway the morning after his elimination and asked him about his challenge misstep, the chemistry around camp, and Jennifer’s nightmare experience…

Gordon Holmes: There’s so much content to cram into the premiere episode between meeting the new players, the immunity challenge, Tribal Council, and all of that. And they still managed to find time to show you pooping in the ocean.
Darnell Hamilton: (Laughs) I knew that was going to make the cut. I was just waiting for it.

Holmes: People forgive a lot of things in “Survivor,” so I had a hard time believing that they wouldn’t forgive you for the goggle dropping during the challenge. Was there something else that we missed?
Hamilton: I didn’t really know until Jason posted a tweet this morning that said I was likable. I figured they were really worried about me. A lot of people liked me, especially the girls. There was talk of an all-girl alliance. It was more of, let’s get rid of Darnell because he’s holding this alliance together.
Holmes: Yourself, Alecia, Cydney, and Jennifer were an alliance?
Hamilton: Yes. And really, me and Cyd and Alecia were always together.
Holmes: So, the goggles incident was just an excuse?
Hamilton: I think people underestimate Jason. I think Jason’s a great player. He wanted me gone from a strategic standpoint. Scot, on the other hand, he was just mad. He wouldn’t talk to me. He was really upset about the situation. I think that was it for him.

Holmes: It seemed like Alecia was really rubbing people the wrong way. There were accusations that she wasn’t doing much around camp. Was there ever a chance for you to throw the heat on her?
Hamilton: As far as Alecia, she was rubbing everyone the wrong way. It was a unanimous thing. But me and Cyd were on the bottom. If we get rid of Alecia, who are we with? The original alliance was Jason, Scot, and Jennifer. Me and Cyd were on the outside looking in. You don’t want to be too mean to Alecia because you might need her.

Holmes: Jennifer and the bug…I didn’t sleep at all last night.
Hamilton: (Laughs)
Holmes: I slept with earbuds in. Was she ever close to quitting?
Hamilton: No, she is one of the strongest women I know. At one point, we were like, “Does she really have a bug in her ear?” She was still working hard! It wasn’t until that night, I was with her the whole time. And she was in so much pain. There was really something going on there.
Holmes:  I would’ve dunked my head in the ocean forever.
Hamilton: (Laughs) Seeing that bug come out was horrifying. Her ear was bleeding…it was crazy.

Holmes: Was there any talk of idols? Was anyone out looking?
Hamilton: Yeah, Alecia. (Laughs) Everyone was paranoid. They may have said it about me. You really don’t know what people are saying about you. I knew I’d be at camp and we’d be like, “Where’s Alecia?”

Holmes: A lot has been made about the harsh conditions out there. What was your experience?
Hamilton: It was the most intense heat I’ve ever felt in my life. They didn’t show it, but I had sunburn all over my back. I’ve never had sunburn a day in my life until I went to Cambodia. We didn’t have much shade. Our beach was tough. A lot of rocks, it was brutal. And we didn’t have that much water. We didn’t drink from the well at all. We had nothing but coconut juice. We were running on fumes.

Holmes: In the opening they just showed Jeff saying, “Alright, get off the boat.” When was the first time it was mentioned that it was a Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty season?
Hamilton: It was at the start when we were scrambling around.

Holmes: They found time to show your pooping, was there anything they didn’t show that you wish they had?
Hamilton: They just put my yoga up there. I’m anxious to see that. And we also had a loose chicken.
Holmes: Did you attach it to a leash like Tai did?
Hamilton: (Laughs) No, were we cleaning the area and Jason moved it and it ran. We were running all through the bushes chasing this chicken with a net.
Holmes: I don’t blame this chicken. I would have run away from you guys too.
Hamilton: (Laughs) We were hungry!

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Scot.
Hamilton: No clue.
Holmes: Jason?
Hamilton: Genius.
Holmes: Jennifer?
Hamilton: Toughest woman I know.
Holmes: Alecia?
Hamilton: (Laughs) I’ll just say…Alecia.
Holmes: Cydney?
Hamilton: Great friend.

Holmes: Why’s Jason a genius?
Hamilton: I’m a big fan of the show. And how he went out and played and was aggressive and got everyone on his side? He did a good job.

Holmes: What’s your takeaway from this experience?
Hamilton: It was a great experience despite me being first. It was devastating, you want results. But that was my first time ever being overseas. I was so grateful to be out there. I was very eager to go for that aquadump. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs)
Hamilton: I’ve never done that in my life. I tell people, “You don’t understand. It’s very refreshing!”

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Premiere Recap: Grossest Moment in ‘Survivor’ History?

February 17, 2016

'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (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 Shirin Oskooi. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Alright, things kick off with a big ol’ boat making its way through the ocean. Who’s on board you ask? Six physically fit people, six attractive people, and six intelligent people.

Note: Some of the smart people are strong and attractive, some of the attractive people are strong and smart, and some of the strong people are attractive and smart.

Also on this boat is former “Two and a Half Men” star Jeff Probst.

Mr. Probst lets us know that these eighteen folks are about to spend some time in the harsh Kaôh Rōng-ian wilderness. To illustrate this point, they show a close-up of an infected cut. Thanks, editors.

Quick Aside: I was in Cambodia after this season was filmed and was warned several times to have any cuts I received looked at by medical immediately. Those infections are no joke.

J-Pro informs us that with these conditions, it’ll be the most grueling “Survivor” ever. I dunno…”Redemption Island” was pretty grueling…to watch.

We hear from Peter first. He thinks it’ll be a challenge to hide how smart he is. Don’t worry, dude. I’m sure the guy in the “Survivor” baseball cap is going to let everyone know the theme of your tribe soon enough.

Debbie tells us that she’s going to own the challenges because “puzzles lay down for me like lovers.” Wow. That’s…something. She just said something right there.

Next up, Scot explains that he made a career of beating people up in the NBA. I’m more interested in the time he broke Shooter McGavin’s golf club.

After that, Kyle (who apparently goes by “Jason”) describes his job as breaking into people’s houses, hog-tying them, and throwing them in the back of his truck. Ummm…I’m going to be very careful with what I write about Jason this season if that’s OK with all of you. #GoJason

Anna shares her strategy of using her cleavage to gain an advantage while playing poker. There’s a “pair” or a “hold ‘em” joke in there somewhere, but I think it’s best if we move on.

Finally, Nick tells us how his good looks have made his life easier. Huh. #GoJason

A bell sounds and everyone is off to the races trying to gather as much equipment as they can. In the excitement a chicken flies off of the boat. Caleb, using Elisabeth’s head as a springboard, dives into the water after it.

If only he’d said, “Beast Mooooooode” on the way down.

The tribes continue to toss stuff overboard at a hectic pace. Seriously, it’s a miracle that nobody takes a cast iron pot to the face.

At one point, Tai tells us he’s trying to protect one of the chickens because he, “loves all living creatures.” Oh boy…chicken protectors have a tough time on this show.

As the time limit expires, everyone climbs aboard their respective rafts and paddles off.

It is then that Mr. Probst turns to the camera and says something about…

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Chanloh Tribe – Brains (wearing blue)
Aubry – 29, Social Media Marketer
Debbie – 49, Chemist
Elisabeth – 29, Quantitative strategist
Joseph – 72, Former FBI Agent
Neal – 38, Ice Cream Entrepreneur
Peter – 34, ER Doctor

The Gondol Tribe – Beauty (wearing yellow)
Anna – 26, Pro Poker Player
Caleb – 28, Army Veteran
Julia – 19, Student
Michele – 24, Bartender
Nick – 30, Personal Trainer
Tai – 51, Gardener

The Totang Tribe – Brawn (wearing orange)
Alecia – 24, Real Estate Agent
Cydney – 23, Body Builder
Darnell – 27, Postal Worker
Jennifer – 38, Contractor
Kyle  – 31, Bounty Hunter
Scot – 40, Former NBA Champion

We start of at Brawny Beach and Scot immediately owns up to his NBA past. Probably a smart move. He is like infinity feet tall.

He then shows that he has problems counting to six. Yikes, he might think this show only lasts 15 days.

At Lambda Lambda Lambda, Debbie points out that Peter looks like President Obama. Good thing Jeff Kent isn’t out there.

Debbie then describes her many jobs including Red Lobster server. I’ve been to the Reading Red Lobster! She may have served me cheesy biscuits.

At Casa de Beauty, Tai isn’t sure why he’s on the pretty tribe. Dude, you’re adorable. Own it.

Caleb doesn’t get it either. He says Tai is wearing Mr. Miyagi glasses. Mr. Miyagi didn’t wear glasses. And if you’re looking for a point of reference, they’re more like Harry Potter’s glasses.
The ladies wonder what Nick does for a living seeing as he shaves his arms and legs. They guess model, but I’m thinking razor salesman or speed swimmer.

Back at Brawnsylvania, Alecia is already annoying Jason and Scot because she isn’t doing anything around camp. They want to partner with Jennifer.

Meanwhile, Darnell and Cydney decide to work together. This grand moment is punctuated by footage of Darnell sneaking off to use the restroom and being caught by everyone. Welcome to national TV, Darnell.

At Beautiesburg, one of the chickens gets away. Tai comes up with the idea of putting the chickens on a leash so they’ll be happier. Are happy chickens tastier?

The women on the Beauty tribe find Tai’s chicken idea adorable and want to work with him. Ooo…bad news for Beast Mode?

Julie also recognizes Caleb from “Big Brother.” However, this works in his favor because they remember that he was very loyal to his alliance.

Later on, we see Caleb and Tai getting fire for their tribe. Good job, guys.

Over at Chanloh, it looks like Elisabeth, Peter, Aubry, and Neal are together. Liz thinks that Debbie is annoying and Joe is most likely to be medievac’d. Foreshadowing?!

At Beauty, Tai goes on a little idol hunt. He digs for a bit and doesn’t have any luck. Not only that, but his tribe catches him searching. Doh… Now Anna doesn’t trust him. Welp…might as well keep looking.

Back at Brainy Beach, Aubry is having a tough time with the heat. Yeah, the heat in Cambodia is no joke. Debbie does her best to take care of her and it seems like they bond over it.

However, now Elisabeth and Neal are worried about keeping Aubry around because they think she might be a liability.

That night, a bug flies into Jennifer’s ear. GAH! As you’d imagine, she’s not happy about it.

It’s still there the next morning. Alecia wonders if it might be water and Jennifer not so nicely lets her know that water would not make her ear bleed.

This is brutal. Jennifer is in terrible pain even during her testimonials.

They then show close-ups of the BUG CRAWLING OUT OF HER EAR!

I’m done. Thanks for reading my stuff all these years. It’s been fun.

Anywho, this understandably makes Jennifer feel much better.

Immunity Challenge Time: The tribes will swim out to a boat then dive down to get four paddles. From there they’ll row to shore and turn their boat into a cart. Finally, they’ll complete a puzzle or stack balls while standing on a beam. The first two tribes to finish will win immunity. The first tribe wins a fire-making kit, while the second-place tribe will win flint.

Before we start, Alecia is concerned because she isn’t good at puzzles. Foreshadowing?!

The Survivors are ready…and they go.

It’s pretty even to start until Darnell accidentally loses the Brawn tribe’s mask. Doh… This causes the Brawn tribe to fall way behind.

The Beauty tribe is the first to the beach, they’re followed by the Brains. However, the process of getting the boat into the cradle takes forever, giving the Brawns a chance to catch up.

The Brains tribe is the first to get their cart moving, Brawn is behind them. Beauty if having trouble.

Elisabeth and Aubry go to work on the puzzle for Brains.

Jennifer and Alecia will do the puzzle for Brawn.

Beauty finally catches up. Anna and Julie are puzzle-bound as well.

Alecia tags out and Scot goes in.

The Brains fly through the puzzle and claim the first immunity of the season.

Brawn and Beauty battle it out for second with Beauty taking the win.

Back at Brawn Camp, Darnell and Alecia both apologize for their missteps in the challenge.

Darnell knows he’s a candidate to go home and he’s worried because nobody is talking to him. Jason and Scot tell him not to worry because they’re voting for “Blondie.”

Later, Scot admits that he wants Darnell gone. He explains to Alecia that she’s safe and does some zen-master moves, telling her to trust him and just let it happen.

Scot begs her to stop scheming, but she won’t give them a straight answer when they ask her if she has an idol. Be cool, Alecia!

That night at Tribal, fire represents everyone’s life.

Jason is happy with his tribe, but not everyone can live up to his high standards. He has no problem saying it’s “Blondie” and Darnell. OK, I’m convinced they don’t know her name. That’s good, then they can’t write it down.

Alecia doesn’t think she’s the weakest link in the tribe.

Darnell admits that he’s the reason they lost. But he tried his best.

Scot is upset that he trusted Darnell when he said he could dive.

Alecia thinks they have to keep the tribe strong and she’s a “mental giant” and she isn’t going to quit.

Cydney thinks Alecia’s just saying it for show and she isn’t really strong. Dude, why else would she be on the Brawn tribe?

Darnell then breaks down a little because he let everyone down.

Jennifer whispers to her alliance that she doesn’t want to vote out Darnell.

Jason wonders if they’re making the wrong choice.

Voting Time: Alecia votes for Darnell, Cydney votes for Alecia, and the rest are secret.

Quick Aside: Alecia tried to write her vote without taking the cap off of the marker. #mentalgiant

Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Alecia, one vote for Darnell, one vote for Alecia, one vote for Darnell, one vote for Alecia, and the final vote is for Darnell. A tie.

Voting Time Part Deux: No votes are shown.

J-Pro tallies and returns yet again. We’ve got two votes for Darnell and the first person voted out of “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng is…Darnell.

Verdict: A BUG WAS IN HER EAR! IN HER EAR! DIGGGGGGGING IN HER EAR! That has to be the grossest thing on this show since the “South Pacific” crew had to tear apart that hunk of pork with their teeth.

Maybe I’ll come up with a better verdict after I wash my eyes out with soap.

Who’s Going to Win? I kinda like Scot. I don’t think someone his size can win balance-heavy individual immunities, but he’s got game.

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

My Patented Terrible ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Pre-Season Rankings

February 16, 2016

'Survivor' (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

“Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” will premiere on CBS Wednesday, February 17, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET with a special 90-minute episode.

OK, you all know the drill by now; I rank the players, the game starts, I am proved horribly wrong. The most famous cases being, of course, me picking Tony Vlachos last for “Survivor: Cagayan” and picking Michelle Chase to win “Survivor: Gabon.”


However, things changed a little bit with my “Second Chance” predictions. Sure, my winner pick was the fourth person sent home…BUT…the eventual winner, Jeremy Collins, was my pick to win “Survivor: San Juan del Sur.”

So, sometime after this season, get ready for Alecia to come back and win it all.

Quick Note: The pre-season rankings are for exhibition purposes only. No points will be awarded based on their content. Ideally, the players are being ranked based on their likelihood of being named Sole Survivor.

Gordon Holmes’s Pre-Season Rankings

  1. – Alecia: I can see this season taking a similar course as the original Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn. The Brawn tribe looks like it can clean house in challenges. So, they might not see any real danger until the inevitable swap in the fifth episode. (NOTE: I don’t know that there will be a swap, but it almost always happens in three-tribe seasons) That’ll put the Kyles and Scots in danger, but Alecia can blend in and coast. I think she’s a real threat to go all the way. That, and “Mental Giant” might be my new favorite nickname.  2. – Peter: Peter seems like a smart guy with a level head. He should cruise for a while. The one thing that did make me nervous was his logic in forgoing fire-making skills because they can win flint in a challenge. So…basically you’re prepared to go the first three days without fire. I think a doctor would know better.
 3. – Joseph: You know when you see someone like Joseph and you’re supposed to say, “I hope I look that good at his age.” Forget that. I wish I looked that good now. So, he’s the old guy on a tribe that I can see losing a few early immunities, but I doubt they’ll be able to use lack of challenge prowess as a reason to send him packing. Add to that his FBI background and you have someone who can probably spot a liar a mile away.
 4. – Anna: We all want to believe that poker players are super good at “Survivor,” but the evidence has yet to back it up. That aside, she intends to have a malleable personality, which is something the other poker-types weren’t known for.
 5. – Darnell: I like Darnell. He seems like a smart, personable guy. And on a tribe with two brawny guys like Kyle and Scot, he isn’t going to be anyone’s first target after the merge. If I were him, I’d buddy up with them quick and let them take all the bullets.
 6. – Nick: I always question someone whose bio reads like a bad-guy wrestler promo. “Your hometown sporting team sucks!” “I hate puppies and ice cream!” Spencer Bledsoe had a similar bio his first time and his in-game personality did not match his pre-game boasts. So, if Nick knows enough to turn up that part of his personality to get noticed by casting, hopefully he knows enough to turn it down (or off) in the game.
 7. – Elisabeth: “The Surgical Flirter!” Flirting with precision! Like a sexy scalpel! Nurse, get me 20 cc’s of fineness, stat! Sorry, I was watching her video and that cracked me up.  If she can survive through the swap, I could see her making some noise after the merge. And anyone who uses a “Game of Thrones” reference gets bonus points in my book.  8. – Kyle: Does Kyle have a boom box tattooed on his stomach?  That’s awesome. Also awesome is Kyle’s attitude of not taking a specific strategy into the game and adjusting based on what is thrown at him. I think he and Scot are going to make the merge easily, but then be BIG targets.
 9. – Michele: She wants to take a “Harry Potter” book with her, but doesn’t specify which one?! How am I supposed to work with that? A “Half-Blood Prince” pick is an obvious winner, while I’d question the sanity of someone who goes with “Order of the Phoenix.” Truthfully, I didn’t get much of a feel for her potential gameplay from any of the pre-season materials. So…middle-of-the-pack she goes.
 10. – Cydney: She’s smart and she’s strong, but it has to be depressing for someone who takes such pride in her hard-earned physique to watch it dwindle away under “Survivor’s” harsh conditions. It’ll be interesting to see how Cydney deals with that. Also, I get nervous around people who claim to have “alter egos.” “Survivor” is a game where you have to take ownership of your actions in order to sway a jury in the end and an alter ego seems like a way to pass the blame.
 11. – Aubry: I always wondered how a Manic Pixie Dream Girl would do on “Survivor.” Who is the most Zach Braff-esque person for her to align with? In all seriousness though, she’s got a good head on her shoulders, but does she have what it takes to cut throats?
 12. – Neal: Huh…looking at this Brains tribe you’ve got an FBI agent, a chemist, a quantitative strategist, and an E.R. doctor. How does an entrepreneur fit into that?  Neal seems nice enough and personable enough to do well in a larger-tribe situation, but I think the early going is going to be a brainy bloodbath.
 13. – Debbie: Reading, PA, represent! Surely she trained by eating pretzels, jogging up to the Pagoda, and attending Fightin’ Phils games. And…uh…juggling. She’s a juggler. She…juggles. Anywho…the Brains tribe is a tough one to figure. Do the under-40s ostracize Debbie and Joseph? Do they try to stay strong and keep them around? This will probably be the story of the first four episodes.
 14. – Julia: I remember what an idiot I was when I was her age. I would imagine someone with more world experience would have destroyed me on “Survivor.” But on the other hand she has “killed cows in Africa.”
 15. – Jennifer: When I was watching Jennifer’s interview, I was totally loving her up until the “Can’t deal with weather” portion. Weather is a problem? You’re familiar with the show you’ve signed up for, right?  16. – Caleb: The “Beast-Mode Cowboy” is on this season?! I watched his season of “Big Brother!” I Power Ranked it with Rachel Reilly. I stayed up until embarrassing hours watching it on TVGN (Now Pop!). The thing I remember most about Caleb? Him not realizing that Amber was totally not into him. That lack of self-awareness will get your torch snuffed quickly on “Survivor.”
 17. – Tai: How adorable is Tai? Seriously. I’m nervous about the make-up of his tribe, though. Caleb, judging by his time on “Big Brother,” has a weak spot for the ladies and Nick is more of a challenge threat. Could Tai be sent packing if the Beauties have immunity issues early on?
 18. – Scot: Yeah, Shirin is right that former athletes don’t have the best track record on “Survivor,” but look who’s on his tribe…Kyle. Is there any way those two don’t become best buddies and start their own food truck show when this is all over? As for the game, there are just too many balancing-type individual immunity challenges after the merge for someone like Scot to get too far.

‘Survivor’ White-Collar, Second Chancer Shirin Oskooi Accepts Power Rankings Challenge

February 15, 2016

Shirin Oskooi (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

“Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” will premiere on CBS Wednesday, February 17, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET with a special 90-minute episode.

The Rules: Each week our two 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 players will earn.  At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Quick Note: The pre-season rankings are for exhibition purposes only. No points will be awarded based on their content. Ideally, the players are being ranked based on their likelihood of being named Sole Survivor.

Shirin Oskooi’s Pre-Season Rankings

  1. – Nick: Who seeks life coaching from a tall, attractive white guy? You can’t coach privilege, but you can waltz your way to a million bucks with it.  2. – Neal: He has all the God-given attributes to win, concealed by ice cream pants and a bow tie. “A bow tie announces to the world you can no longer get an erection,” as David Sedaris once said, so no one will see him coming.
 3. – Tai: This is a kind, lovely human being. How in the world(s apart) did he get cast for “Survivor”?  4. – Joe: This retired GI Joe American hero has potential to be the season’s bad-ass grandpa.
 5. – Kyle: Holy cow, I didn’t realize the Incredible Hulk was based on a real dude. He is massive. Someone call Vince McMahon.  (RIGHT, GORDON??)  6. – Caleb: A 26-year-old 6-year old burning off a sugar (and social media) high. He should be fun to watch, and hey, Fabio won! ¯_(ツ)_/¯
 7. – Peter: The only doctors who do well on “Survivor” are the medical crew.  8. – Scot: Will his ball-handling ability still command the same pay? Why don’t we ask Gary Hogeboom, Grant Mattos, Steve Wright, Jeff Kent, Brad Culpepper, Cliff Robinson, John Rocker, Kenny Hoang…
 9. – Darnell: Will Darnell live up to the prestige of past “Survivor” postal workers? The good news is, he doesn’t have to “owtu’it” or “obltay” as Dan Foley attempted; he just needs to outlast.  10. – Aubry: To all the female contestants who said they were most like Parvati: Parvati was beaten in this game by a woman named Sandra. Season 32: meet Sandra.
 11. – Julia: Heed Queen Bey. “Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation. Slay trick, or you get eliminated.”  12. – Cydney: What’s not to like about a sassy, strong, Ivy League woman who hates bigots and cares for her eyebrows? 😉 Her body may scare people ala Alicia Calaway and land her an early jury seat, but at least she can bathe in branch chain amino acids at Ponderosa and reinflate.
 13. – Michele: Harry Potter fan!!! And I like that she compares herself to Parvati…Patil. She loves reading people and the future. #Divination  14. – Anna: For our second installment of Brains vs Brawn vs Beauty, Morgan goes to Vegas!
 15. – Jennifer: Zero-vote final Tribal Council potential is strong in this matriarch. Her 38 years of age is geriatric compared to all but one other woman on this cast. I don’t make “Survivor” history; I just cite it.  16. – Liz: The space shuttle Challenger was a marvel built by NASA geniuses meant to soar across the universe.  It also disintegrated 73 seconds into its flight.
 17. – Alecia: Adrenaline junkie, generic young woman who doesn’t know this game well. Here for the scenery…let’s hope she doesn’t blend into it.  18. – Debbie: She’ll have to leash her inner tiger to fit in. But her outer tiger says “Rawr.”

‘Survivor: Kaoh Rong’ Valentines!

February 11, 2016

The premiere of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” is this Wednesday! To celebrate the show’s return and the most romantic day of the year (and my half birthday), I’ve put together some “Survivor”-themed Valentine’s cards to get everyone in the mood…


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