Archive for March, 2016

XFINITY TV Binge-Watching Guide: 10 Shows Worth Your Free Time This Weekend

March 31, 2016

Alright, binge-watchers…we’ve got a big week of TV ahead of us. “The Walking Dead,” “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and “Shameless” are bringing their seasons to an end, “Empire” is finally back, and “Game of Thrones” is looming over the horizon. It’s a good time to have a free time.

Last week, I asked you to send me your most impressive binge-watching accomplishments on Twitter. So, before we jump into this week’s picks, let’s call out an Outstanding Achievement in Binge-Watching

Watched 5 seasons of The Wire in a month and a half. Currently making my way through Seinfeld for the first time.

— Mike Bloom (@AMikeBloomType) March 28, 2016

If you want to match Mike’s feat, we have every episode of “The Wire” on XFINITY On Demand. If you have your own Binge-Brag that’s worth mentioning, drop me a line on Twitter and be sure to tag your tweets #bingewatching and #XFINITYbinge.

 1. – “Shameless”: With the show’s sixth season coming to an end this Sunday, there’s a lot to catch up on. And with the way this show balances hilarity with heartwarming with heartbreaking, you’re going to want to savor every episode.
 2. – “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”: This mini-series has been so good that it doesn’t matter that we all know how it’s going to end. Courtney B. Vance and Sarah Paulson’s performances alone are reason enough to spend the day in court.
   3. – “The Walking Dead”: All the pieces are in place for what’s rumored to be a crazy-town finale. Take some time to remember Rick’s crew as they were before this Sunday’s train wreck.  4. – “Outlander”: Consider this an official challenge; this epic romance is kicking of its second season next Saturday. See if you can catch all of Season 1 between now and then.
  5. – “Real Housewives of New York City”: The eighth season of this scandalous hit premieres this Wednesday. Invite some friends over to binge Season 7…and hope nobody is in a wine-throwing mood.  6. – “The Magicians”: With eleven episodes available on XFINITY On Demand, “The Magicians” is a significant weekend commitment. But this thrilling fantasy show about an academy for magic is worth it.
 7. – “Southern Charm”: This outrageous look at wealthy South Carolinian singles is the perfect guilty pleasure. Best of all, since it’s so light and fun, you can feel free to get some multi-tasking done while you watch. Win/win.
 8. – “Hap and Leonard”: There are only six episodes of this gritty favorite, so this is perfect for binge-rs on a time budget.
 9. – “The Family”: Here’s another one for a quick binge. There are only five episodes, but there are more than enough jaw-dropping moments.
 10.“Game of Thrones”: Just a heads up; “Game of Thrones” is probably always going to be on this list. If I can turn one person onto what I consider to be the best show on television, then I’ll consider this whole thing to be a success.
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WWE Divas Champ Charlotte Talks WrestleMania, Dream Match with Stephanie McMahon

March 31, 2016

WWE Divas Champion Charlotte (WWE)

In the evolution of professional wrestling, certain performers are credited with ushering in new movements. Hulk Hogan brought us “Rock and Wrestling,” “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is considered the father of the “The Attitude Era,” and WWE Divas Champion Charlotte (along with her WrestleMania competition Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch) are at the forefront of “The Divas Revolution.”

This revolution will take an important step forward this Sunday when three of the division’s most talented performers will square off in a Triple Threat match in front of one of the largest crowds in WWE history.

I spoke with the reigning Divas champ in the days leading up to her WrestleMania title defense and asked her about the upcoming match, the Four Horsewomen, and the difficulties of transporting a championship belt through airport security…

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

(A WWE Representative introduces Charlotte as the “WWE Divas Champion”)
Gordon Holmes: Oh man, I wish whenever someone introduced me they had to say I was the champion of something.
Charlotte: (Laughs) It’s not too bad.
Holmes: Although, I understand it’s a hassle to carry the championship through airport security.
Charlotte: I’m not going to lie, sometimes I like showing it off. (Laughs)
Holmes: In that case, I’d wear it all the time.
Charlotte: I just lift it up and I’m like, “Hey, guys!”
Holmes: Just the Divas champion of the world. No big deal.
Charlotte: That’s it. No big deal.

Holmes: You are a member of the Four Horsewomen. Being a Flair, I’d assume you’re the Ric Flair of this group. Who is the Arn Anderson?
Charlotte: Hmm…Becky Lynch is the Arn, although she has the capability to talk like Ric Flair.
Holmes: Who’s the Tully Blanchard?
Charlotte: Oh…hmm…
Holmes: There are no wrong answers here, Charlotte.
Charlotte: (Laughs) I know, but it’s stressful because we all…I don’t know…
Holmes: I was thinking Sasha Banks is kind of flashy.
Charlotte: Yeah, I guess she’s Tully, Becky is Arn, I’m Ric, and you’ve got Bayley.
Holmes: She’s the Barry Windham? She’s the Ole Anderson?
Charlotte: Barry.
Holmes: I had no idea Barry Windham was a hugger.
Charlotte: (Laughs)

Holmes: WrestleMania is right around the corner. Do you have any kind of special entrance or attire planned?
Charlotte: I have special attire, but you’ll just have to wait and see.
Holmes: You can’t give us a hint?
Charlotte: Umm…WrestleMania 24.
Holmes: OK…I remember someone’s retirement happening there. Are you going to break out the rarely-seen figure-twelve leg lock?
Charlotte: I’ll start working on that in my free time.

Holmes: Your unofficial WrestleMania debut was at WrestleMania 30 as one of Triple H’s escorts during his entrance. How does that tiny taste of the main stage compare to going in as part of a featured match?
Charlotte: I was so fresh, I’m still pretty young to the business, but I was two years under contract and I hadn’t even won the NXT Women’s Championship yet. So, just to be a part of Hunter’s entrance and be there representing NXT, it was completely different. I couldn’t envision myself walking out on the ramp as a competitor for WrestleMania. Not even as a champion. And to think that today I can picture myself on that stage as the Divas Champion and defending my title. I can envision that, then I couldn’t.

Holmes: Is this your first time wrestling in a stadium?
Charlotte: Yes.
Holmes: Has your father given you any advice on how that might be different?
Charlotte:  When you wrestle in smaller venues, you can actually make eye contact or see the audience. When it’s that big it’s like a sea of people. It all blends together. And the noise, there’s a delayed response. So, you have to wait a little bit. So, if there’s a big move, say you go to chop someone and they “Woo.” It’s not instant. There’s a ringing effect, the tempo is different. He said it’s a lot different and to not let that intimidate us.

Holmes: This Triple Threat feels like it would be your dream match. You’re defending your title against two of the most talented Divas on the roster. Two women you’re very close with. This one aside, are there any other dream matches you’re looking forward to?
Charlotte: Stephanie McMahon. (Laughs) But yeah, this is my dream match. We started together, we debuted together, we’ve had a lot of firsts together. To think that we weren’t even on the card last year and now we’re going to go out there and steal the show. It’s pretty exciting.
Holmes: The end of the Divas Championship at WrestleMania…you’ve made either Becky Lynch or Sasha Banks tap out to the Figure 8. What goals remain after that?
Charlotte: I really want to main event a pay per view on the main roster. And I want to bring back or update a championship.
Holmes: Does that mean a Divas Tag Team Championship or bringing back the Women’s Title?
Charlotte: You know, whether it’s the Women’s Championship or a Tag Title it means more storylines. It means more opportunity, debuting more girls. It makes our division stronger, with more depth.

Holmes: Roman Reigns will be facing Triple H for the WWE Championship. What are your thoughts on that one?
Charlotte: Huge opportunity for Roman. No one better that Triple H. And I think they’re going to surprise a lot of people. I think it’s going to be a great match.
Holmes: It seems like the relationship between Triple H and the NXT talent is really special. What has your experience been like?
Charlotte: How could it not be? I’m just going to speak for the women in terms of his relationship with us. If it hadn’t been for him believing in us, we wouldn’t have gotten more time, more storylines, more opportunities. And look at where we are today. It’s because we continue to deliver. He saw what an impact and how well we were doing in NXT from the get-go. And, over the last two and a half years he has believed in the NXT women and he’s given us the platform to show the world what we can do.

Holmes:  Any thoughts on Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker?
Charlotte: I’m just glad Shane is back. Nobody knew that Monday that he was coming back. The talent is just as excited as the fans were.
Holmes: It took me a second to recognize his music, but as soon as I figured it out I became giddy. The audience reaction was amazing. What was going on behind the curtain?
Charlotte:  I just thought it was cool. But a lot of the talent were like kids again. They were like, “No way!” I think he’s a great addition and it’s going to add a lot to WrestleMania. And it’s been forever. Nobody expected it. He’s such a wild card. Usually you can expect what’s going to happen, like the big players coming back for Mania. But, it was great. And him with Undertaker is going to be awesome.

Holmes: They’re going to be in Hell in a Cell. We saw in Bayley and Sasha Banks in an Ironman Match in NXT. Are there any specialty matches that you’re hoping to participate in?
Charlotte: A submission match, maybe.
Holmes: That’s hardly fair, your finisher is a submission hold.
Charlotte: Yeah. (Laughs) A cage match would be awesome. Or even to bring back mixed tag.
Holmes: You want a cage match so you can do a moonsault off of the top?
Charlotte: Absolutely.
Holmes: You’re an insane person.
Charlotte: (Laughs) That’s the first thing I was thinking!
Holmes: That seems very dangerous, Charlotte.
Charlotte: Awww…it’ll be OK.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Neal: ‘I Really Think I Could Have Won That Thing’

March 31, 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’

Some players say, “I’m gonna win ‘Survivor!’” Others say, “My goal is to make it to the merge.” There are even those who say, “Whoa…I sure hope I’m not the first one out.”

Nobody says, “I hope the medical team is forced to pull me from the game.”

The worst.

I spoke to this season’s second medical evacuation the morning after his downer of an episode aired. We chatted about the heartbreaking moment he knew his game was over, the fate of his idol, and future ice cream opportunities…

Neal Gottlieb: If you could continue the tradition of your Power Rankings and ask every question with a cheesy ice cream pun, I’d really appreciate that.
Gordon Holmes: Oh man, give me a minute to think.
Gottlieb: (Laughs)
Holmes: Although, I am the kind of person that when life gives me lemons, I make lemon sorbet. I have a million-dollar idea. Neal’s Volcanic Eruption Ice Cream. You get some kind of gooey core in there. This is a winner.
Gottlieb: It’s just oozing caramel non-stop is what Dalton Ross recommended.
Holmes: Who?
Gottlieb: Is Mount St. Neal going to get a spot in the Power Rankings this week?
Holmes: Mount St. Neal is a formidable threat. It took out someone who has an idol.
Gottlieb: (Laughs) It blindsided me.

Holmes: How long did it take you to come to terms with one of the suckiest eliminations I’ve ever seen?
Gottlieb: You make it sound like it’s past tense. It was April 17th of last year and I still think about it every single day. How does that happen? How did my fate in the game come down to something that started as a little pimple. I’m at terms with it, but at the same time there’s always going to be that though that I thought I could have won that thing. I wasn’t going home that night, I had the idol, I was one of the strongest physical players, one of the strongest puzzlers they’ve ever had on the show. So, it wasn’t like, “Oh well, I would’ve gone home next week.”
Holmes: Normally an exit interview with someone who’s been evacuated is hearing about this harrowing experience of them being brought back to health. You walked off on your own power.
Gottlieb: I was in the hospital for two nights, then I was in a nice hotel for four or five more nights. The first morning at the hotel I went to the gym against the handler’s orders and ran four miles on a treadmill. I was fine. I needed to do something. I couldn’t go from running around the island, finding idols, getting firewood, being the clam king and then sit in a hotel room and watch cable TV.
Holmes: When did you know that this infection might be serious enough to take you out of the game?
Gottlieb: The infection popped up on the afternoon on day fifteen. I think after the reward challenge we lost. It was a little pimple, but it really hurt. I asked the doctor to come out. They did lance it and nothing really came out. It kept swelling and growing, going deeper and wider. Probably about day seventeen I had a pretty good idea that it was going to be my downfall. There is the precedent of giants of the game coming out of the game with a knee infection.

Holmes: You’ll get this a hundred times today, but what was the deal with the idol? Were you given the opportunity to hand if off?
Gottlieb: I was given the opportunity.  It was addressed with production of what I could do with the idol. I asked them that. They came when Aubry and I were having our lovely chat by the beach where I let her know that I had the idol. She was freaking out because the Brains were being targeted. But, she also made it clear that if she had to, she would slit my throat. In that moment, in my state of mind, that wasn’t very funny. That was a contributing factor. And also having a pretty good hunch that they were targeting her and that by me going out, that kept her alive in the game. There was the idea that I’m giving her life and I’m going to get a family heirloom. So, if I could go back, there’s a good chance I would handle it differently. I started to regret it about fifteen minutes after. But, it’s just like my fate in the game; it’s what happened and I can’t change it.

Holmes: It looked like the Beauties were going to side with the Brawn. Is that what it looked like to you as well?
Gottlieb: Yeah. It did seem the way. We talked with Nick and Michele, I wasn’t convinced that they were going to come along. Debbie was being very aggressive with them. You could tell by their body language, the words they chose. They said they were going to go along with us, but I wasn’t entirely convinced.

Holmes: Were you planning on using that idol at all that night?
Gottlieb: That was still up in the air. My understanding was that because of the idol they weren’t going to target me because with the four Brains sticking together they would’ve had a tie if they split the vote four and three. They thought they knew that I had an idol. It’s funny how my bulge was spoken about on national TV. And for the record, the bulge that Jason was jealous of, that was never the idol. The idol was never in that pocket. And Nick actually confronted me about the same bulge. I opened up my pocket and pulled everything out. You just gather things when you’re out there. I was probably not going to play the idol. I was probably going to roll the dice and see what happened. I suspected that I wasn’t going home. One of the reasons it’s still such a bummer is I really think I could have won that thing. It was going to be down to ten and I was a strong player in challenges, I had an idol, and those big alliance never work out.

Holmes: If you could’ve written your ending, who would you have taken to the finals?
Gottlieb: Aubry. We had a great relationship and I felt like I could beat her. On day two when she was having her freak out, she used words I was going to use against her at the final Tribal which were, “Neal, just tell me what to do.” There was a good story there. As far as the other one, that wasn’t decided. Debbie or Joe…in an alliance of four it’s rare that they all get to the end. But there were a lot of other people I would’ve felt comfortable against.

Holmes: Did you know that Tai and Jason had the other idols?
Gottlieb: The morning of day nineteen, I went and looked for an idol. I thought there might be a fourth idol to make the chances of the super idol more likely. And without a clue, I actually found the Beauty idol box. I knew that that idol was in play. Nick was playing like he thought that Caleb went out of the game with it. But, that seemed unlikely. I suspected Jason had one. I was about to look through Jason’s bag, which it ends up, that’s where he was keeping the idol, but he came back and I never got around to it.

Holmes: Word association time. Let’s start with Peter.
Gottlieb: He’s actually a good guy. He came off as doctor douche on the show. But he was good to me. He attended to my many wounds.
Holmes: Scot?
Gottlieb: One of the more intelligent players out there. Not much of a cheerleader.
Holmes: Julia?
Gottlieb: Young, impressionable, part of the herd. Very intelligent.
Holmes: Debbie?
Gottlieb: Insane, but strangely lovable.
Holmes: Cydney?
Gottlieb: Hard to break through. Builds walls.
Holmes: Nick?
Gottlieb: Beautiful, perfect, incredibly egotistic. And fun, really fun.
Holmes: Joe?
Gottlieb: Grumpy, smoky Joe.
Holmes: Tai?
Gottlieb: There’s the light side and the dark side to him. He plays them off of each other very well. The yin and the yang.
Holmes: Michele?
Gottlieb: Jersey girl, young, sweet.
Holmes: Elisabeth?
Gottlieb: Ridiculously intelligent, too ambitious.
Holmes: Jason?
Gottlieb: An assassin…a teddy bear. Confident to no end.
Holmes: Aubry?
Gottlieb: The manatee tamer. I know her so well. She’s quirky as (expletive deleted). In many ways she’s invincible. You look at her on day two then look at her on day three…it’s night and day. She’s incredible. She’s a force. And she’s a great human being.

Holmes: Tai has a dark side?! All I see is an adorable chicken defender.
Gottlieb: That’s the thing, you think he’s this lovely guy who cares about this chicken, whose name is Mark, by the way. That’s also the name of his boyfriend. People see it as he’s there petting a chicken, but he’s figuring things out. He’s ready to slit people’s throats. He’s playing. He’s not just on vacation.

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Episode 7 Recap – Medical Strikes Again

March 30, 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: Scot made the most of his free throw, Michele’s buoy trouble was a personal low, and a crossed-out vote meant Peter had to go…

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Chanloh Tribe (wearing blue)
Cydney – 23, Body Builder
Debbie – 49, Chemist
Jason  – 31, Bounty Hunter
Michele – 24, Bartender
Neal – 38, Ice Cream Entrepreneur
Nick – 30, Personal Trainer

The Gondol Tribe (wearing yellow)
Aubry – 29, Social Media Marketer
Joseph – 72, Former FBI Agent
Julia – 19, Student
Scot – 40, Former NBA Champion
Tai – 51, Gardener

Fun Fact: I had sushi for my merge feast. I accidentally dropped a piece into the soy sauce from high up…and now everything smells like soy sauce. Good times.

The evening’s festivities pick up back at Gondol camp and Joe is trying to make sense out of what happened at Tribal. Scot tells Joe that they were trying to bring him on board, but he didn’t pick up the signs. Because of their indecisiveness, Scot decides that it’s time to go Brain hunting..

Scot also isn’t pleased that Aubry originally voted for Julia before changing her mind. Ah…c’mon, Scot. She came around eventually.

The next morning, Tai’s chicken is trying to get at his food. They battle it out…which is adorable. They probably weigh the same. #Fairfight

At Chanloh, Cydney realizes that Neal is walking around with a bulge in his pants.

AN IDOL! AN IDOL IN HIS PANTS! Get your mind out of the gutter.

As they’re sitting there, a boat drops off word that the merge is finally upon us. They gather their belongings and head over to Gondol beach.

The Gondolians freak right out when they see them. Scot carries Jason to the shore like a baby. No, seriously.

During the merge feast, Debbie has a little too much wine and starts flirting with Nick. Although, with her size I’d imagine a thimble-full is too much wine.

After the feast, Nick and Neal discuss a Beauty and Brain alliance. Then Nick starts making moves toward the Brawns. Swing away!

As Nick and Scot are talking, Scot tells Nick that Tai has an idol. Whoa…loose lips, buddy.

Also, the merged tribe’s name is “Dara.”

Things keep moving along with Debbie aggressively trying to pick up Tai. It has all the subtlety of Lucy hitting on Schroeder. He seems intimidated, but tells her he’s in and they shake on it.

Later, Jason tells us how beauties always go for jocks and how they’re gonna start stuffing nerds into lockers.  Has he never heard the Ballad of Lambda Lambda Lambda?

Michele thinks he’s too cocky and is considering going with the Brains. Just like Betty Childs!

Oy…now Aubry and Neal are wary of Nick. Too much strategy. Someone make a beach bowling alley or a super fishing pole.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will stand on a beam while balancing a ball on a disc. As time goes on, they’ll add balls. Last person with their balls on their disc wins immunuity.

I swear, they only do these challenges for the innuendo.

Before the challenge there was a fun game of “Show Off Your Infections.” So gross. Grosser than soy sauce everywhere.

Joe’s out quickly. He’s followed by Debbie, then Jason.

After five minutes they add a second ball. Michele is out, then Neal, Scot, Cydney, and Aubry.

We’re down to Tai, Julia, and Nick.

They add a third ball and Julia is out quickly. Nick and Tai battle it out with Nick picking up the win and immunity.

Back at camp, Scot and Jason tell Nick that they’re going for Aubry.Then Neal and Joe approach Nick about working with them.

Meanwhile, Debbie and Aubry try to get Michele on board. They want to target Jason or Scot, but Michele is non-committal.

Nick and Michele discuss their options and finally agree to team with the Brawns.

Before we can head to Tribal, Jeff and a doctor arrive at camp to check out everyone’s infections. Tai’s are looking good. Well, healthy. They look gross.

Scot’s are OK. Aubry’s going to get antibiotics.

Neal’s infections are just foul. The one on his knee is bad. The one on his back is worse. The doctor says that an infection on a joint like your knee can get soooper bad in a just a few hours. He makes the call to pull Neal from the game.

Gah…heartbreaking.

However, Probst does tells him that he’ll be a member of the jury. He should have said they were having a reward challenge called “Worst Infection” and the winner gets a stay in a hospital.

Aubry is crushed that her biggest ally is out of the game. She’s also not pleased that he took his idol with him.

Verdict: That episode was like 90% strategy and it didn’t even have a Tribal Council pay-off? Ugh…

Add to that the fact that medical evacuations are such a downer and you have a bummer of an episode.

Who’s Going to Win? Cydney’s my girl. Team Cyd!

Power Rankings Results: Shirin and I both had Neal in spot six. The current score is Team Shirin 66, Team Gordon 64.

 

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Power Rankings: Feast-Mode Edition

March 29, 2016

'Survivor: Kaoh Rong' (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITYTV.com 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 Scot is voted out this episode, Shirin will receive nine points and Gordon will receive seven points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Shirin called it. She had Peter in spot twelve. Gordon had him in spot eleven. So, the current score is Team Shirin 60, Team Gordon 58.

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 = 60

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

Gordon’s Score = 58

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

 1. – Cydney: Dracarys, Jason! Dracarys dracarys! #khaleesi
 1. – Cydney: Yikes, ranking this merge has been as easy as making sense of last week’s Tribal. I’m thinking you’ve got the Brawns with Tai against the reunited Brains with Michele, Julia, and Nick in the middle. Either way, I’m saying Cyd is safe.
 2. – Tai: Tai will continue to be a target this week: the target of everyone’s affections.
 2. – Jason: The whole reason Scot told Tai not to play his idol was so it could be paired with Jason’s. Those two, if they’re working together, are gonna make it to next week.
 3. – Joe: Curmudgeonly Carl Frederickson will stubbornly live there forever while the surrounding neighborhood is torn down around him. When his time is finally Up, thousands of balloons (or a helicopter) will carry him away.
 3. – Tai: See Jason.
 4. – Michele: Flitting freely between Number 12 Grimmauld Place and Malfoy Manor. Disrespected by some. More talented than most. #always
 4. – Julia: Don’t sleep on Julia, everyone. She’s a sooper secret challenge beast. She’s going to have some room to maneuver at the merge and she’s already in good with Scot and Tai.
 5. – Julia: Oh I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite,
Well don’t let me out of your sight.
I’m just a girl… what’s my destiny?
 5. – Michele: Last week’s buoy trouble didn’t end up costing you. Now you and Julia can figure out which side makes the most sense.
 6. – Neal: It’s the zombie apocalypse, and they’re coming for brains. But Neal’s got a concealed carry, and he’s smart enough to only use it when his life’s actually in danger. #BLM
 6. – Neal: Things aren’t looking great for the Brains. It’ll be nice to have that idol for the Rocky Road ahead.
 7. – Aubry: Peter says you don’t win votes by being tofu. As he failed to grasp, you don’t want votes yet. #TakingOutFoesUnawares
 7. – Scot: Tai and Jason can use their wonder twin powers to save each other, but would they save the most powerful challenge threat in their alliance? Scot had better hope so.
 8. – Jason: He is playing the game like Jamie Lannister played his hand.
 8. – Joe: Look me in the eyes, Joe, and tell me if you’re going to be voted out this week! You’re not an obvious target, but they might throw votes at you if they’re afraid of an idol.
 9. – Scot: The tallest blade of grass will either sway with the wind or be cut by the lawnmower.
 9. – Nick: The Beauties are probably the swing votes, but Nick could always overplay his hand. And, challenge threats are never safe after a merge.
 10. – Nick: Debbie is the farthest he’ll get in this game.
 10. – Aubry: Joe’s probably annoyed with you, but he’ll get over it. The problem is that the other side knows you’re flighty after last week’s amazing cross-out vote. People fear those they can’t predict.
  11. – Debbie: Little Debbie wants it to be HoHos vs Twinkies, but they’re coming for this DingDong. #StickyFingers
 11. – Debbie: It’s no secret that Debbie is the leader. Her best hope now might be a physique that’s designed to win the next few “stand-in-one-place” immunity challenges.

XFINITY TV Weekend Binge-Watching Guide

March 25, 2016

A recent study conducted by the research firm Deloitte states that 70% of Americans now indulge in binge-watching sessions. As someone who fit a whole eight-episode season of “True Detective” into a single day, it’s nice to feel normal for once.

If you’re a binge-watcher like me, part of the trending 70%…rejoice! We’ve put together a list of ten awesome, binge-worthy options for your weekend. All you have to do is provide some snacks.

If you’re not part of the 30%…relax. It’s not too late for you. Join us…the couch is super comfy…

And if you have a binge experience that tops my “True Detective” fest, I want to hear about it. Drop me a note on Twitter. The most impressive feats may be used in our future “Great Moments in Binge-Watching” tribute.

 1. – “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”: This is my favorite show of the year. You’ll watch it and say, “Oh yeah…” to the stuff you remember and “What, the what?!” to the stuff you don’t. A perfectly acceptable use of your weekend time.
 2. – “Empire”: If the second half of season 2 is as crazy as the first, then we’re all in for a wild ride. Check out the entire first half before “Empire” returns this Wednesday.
  3. – “Shades of Blue”: C’mon…you knew J’Lo wasn’t going to return to TV for any old show right? This one has an insane amount of twists and turns. Now’s the perfect time to jump on board before this Thursday’s big finale.  4. – “Black Sails”: Why aren’t more people talking about “Black Sails?” This pirate epic is one of our faves. Do yourself a favor and get caught up before this Sunday’s finale.
  5. – “Hap and Leonard”: Here’s another under-the-radar find that is worth your time. Get caught up on season one right now.  6. – “Younger”: There is a moment in this week’s “Younger” that is one of the top shockers of the year. But, you need to know the context. So, dive into this hidden gem of a show.
 7. “Quantico”: This show started off with a bang (literally) and has not let up since. Sure, there are some minor holes in the plot, but they’re a small price to pay for the mind-bending twists.  8. “The Walking Dead”: If you’ve written off this hit as “just a zombie show” you are missing out. This season has been amazing with morality questions, surprise romance, and epic battles. And next Sunday’s finale looks like it’s going to be insane.
 9. “60 Days In”: I would never agree to spend 60 days in prison. But, I’m glad these innocent civilians have. This inside look at life behind bars is fascinating. Watch one and you’re hooked.  10. “Game of Thrones”: Truthfully, you shouldn’t need a reason to binge this show. It’s that good. But if you need one; we’re less than a month away from the Season 6 premiere and you don’t want to be the person at the water cooler who doesn’t fit in.

‘Survivor’ Castaway Peter – “I Had No Moves, Like Checkers”

March 24, 2016

Peter Baggenstos (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’

I get an email from my mother every Thursday morning. After she updates me on the status of her garden and makes some not-so-casual requests for grandchildren, she tells me which “Survivor” players are annoying her. I’ve noticed over the years that the people that drive her batty tend to be same people I enjoy in person.

I’m not sure if that says a lot about our relationship or the divide between someone’s real personality and what CBS chooses to show us. It’s probably a bit of both.

I spoke with the latest nice person that America thinks is arrogant the morning after his elimination and asked him about the cast’s perceptions, tribe dynamics, and last night’s crazy vote…

Gordon Holmes: What was the plan going into last night’s Tribal?
Peter Baggenstos: I think the context that I can provide is; first impressions can nail you and the first impression everyone had when we swapped was that I was arrogant. That’s the narrative that was provided to them by the other two Brains people. It’s hard to get over that. So, when Anna was voted out and we lost the challenge and we’re trying to make a plan, I talked to Julia, talked to Scot, talked to Tai, no one would work with me. Period. Nobody would say, “Let’s do it.” I’d give them perspective. I’d say, “Guys, I’m on the outs with the Brains.” At the end when Joe and I had that falling out, the truth was I trying to get Aubry out. I was throwing those two names out and nobody would take the bait. So by the time we got to Tribal, nobody would work with me.
Holmes: So, during the scramble that happened at Tribal, were they changing the plan from something you were already involved in?
Baggenstos: Well, during Tribal, Scot said to me, “Vote for Joe.” And I looked straight ahead. I told Joe right before we went on lockdown that we should stick with numbers and they should try to get me out later. So, I stuck with it. Scot gave me an out and I didn’t take it. Then he went with plan B or vote for Julia or something. I was like, I had no moves, like checkers. I was blocked. I was done.

Holmes: You said that people view you as arrogant, we’ve heard the same thing about Nick. Do you think that’s accurate or is it more of a situation where “Survivor” puts you under a microscope and people are looking for flaws?
Baggenstos: I think the nail that sticks out gets hammered down. A lot of the confessionals are conversations. My arrogance is not mean or derogatory.  It’s a joking…I can bench press this Chevy. I can run three marathons straight without getting tired. But people see through that and it’s fun-loving. Maybe I’m clueless. I’ve asked my friends, “Am I really like that?” But I don’t think I’m so clueless that I think I’m the best in the room. That’s something I’ve never felt. But it is under a microscope. I really like all those people. (Laughs) I didn’t realize they didn’t like me, so maybe I was out of it.
Holmes: How your cast feels about you after the season tends to be a good measuring stick for how a person is in real life.
Baggenstos: (Laughs) They like me now.

Holmes: You were subjected to Joe’s interrogation techniques…
Baggenstos: Right when he talked to me I was thinking, “Golly, I just told Tai that I wanted to get Joe out.” I went for a walk with Scot and when I got back Joe was on me. And I was wondering why would Tai just go to Joe and tell him? I’m giving him opportunities to save themselves and get someone else out. I was frustrated. I didn’t get it. Why?
Holmes: It was very intense.
Baggenstos: In the E.R. you get cussed out all the time. People challenge you and go straight at you. I have no poker face. It was so obvious to him that I was (expletive deleted) him. The truth was at the moment I was going for Aubry.

Holmes: Was there ever an opportunity to work with Anna or was taking care of the Beauty problem the priority?
Baggenstos: I would’ve loved to work with Anna. Right when we got to the beach, Anna and Joe were talking. She didn’t really talk to me once. If she had asked if I wanted to work together I would have said, “Yes, yes, yes.” I cannot stress…I was open to work with anyone.

Holmes: Tell me about Debbie.
Baggenstos: Debbie is great. She’s really funny. She lives in her own little world. She’s never rude. She never says things to the point where it hurts your core values. She’s got a memory like a goldfish. She’ll have a really serious statement, and then five minutes later she’ll have another. She’s fun-loving and goofy. She doesn’t really hold grudges against people. I really like her.
Holmes: Back when the Brains tribe went to Tribal, was that just a case of you and Elisabeth trusting the wrong people?
Baggenstos: I think I stayed with Liz too much. Liz just pissed Debbie off because Liz had a food allergy. She had a lot of restrictions around camp. You had to always clean the pot because of shellfish. That burden really got on Debbie and Joe despite Neal and Joe butting heads. They’d rather get Liz out than deal with all of her crap. And I was the barnacle that was attached to Liz. Once she was gone, I was next.

Holmes:  Word association time. Let’s start with Anna.
Baggenstos: Sweet, she thinks the best of people. She loves or she hates which is dangerous, there’s no grey zone. She’s clever.
Holmes: Debbie?
Baggenstos: Outlandish. From another planet, good-hearted.
Holmes: Liz?
Baggenstos: She’s clever, she’s witty, she had a good sense of humor.
Holmes: Joe?
Baggenstos: Sensitive. He’s thoughtful, rugged.
Holmes: Neal?
Baggenstos: Self-promoting. Genuine…and he does the right thing. He fights for people who can’t fight.
Holmes: Julia?
Baggenstos: Receptive, a good listener, good-hearted.
Holmes: Tai?
Baggenstos: Genuine, a hard-worker, looks for the positive in everything.
Holmes: Scot?
Baggenstos: He reminded me of my older brother. I do like Scot. He’s thoughtful, he’s introspective, and he’s got inner demons.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Aubry.
Baggenstos: She likes to weigh things with different perspectives. She’s thoughtful. And, I think she has good emotional awareness.
Holmes: Do you think she’s playing more strategically or more reactionary?
Baggenstos: Reactionary. I think there’s a scene where they took Aubry out and told her I was targeting her and that freaked her out. She and I were on good terms and when someone told her that she reacted to it.

Holmes: What did you mean when you said Scot has “inner demons”?
Baggenstos: Just in talking to him, he always has a need to prove himself. He was on a national championship team, but he didn’t play. So, he thinks that people question how good of a player he is. But, he’s a champion in my mind. If you go through his history with his father being a Mormon, or an ex-Mormon, he’s got a lot of things that he needs to get through on his own. I don’t know. I like him a lot. He deals with things with an introspective and silent way. Behind Scot there’s a lot of issues that he’s been through and dealt with.

Holmes: Did you know Neal had located the Brains idol?
Baggenstos: I saw him right before we went to the swap. I was looking for it everywhere. And I remember seeing him through the bushes, maybe 300 yards down, and the cameras were all around him. I didn’t want him to see me, so I went around, but he was gone. I saw him later and he had a smirk on his face.

Holmes: What’d you learn from your “Survivor” experience?
Baggenstos: It’s a fun experience. It’s difficult for me because I learned that the first opinion of me is that I’m untrustworthy. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs)
Baggenstos: And arrogant. I had to get over that hump. Whereas with medicine they want someone who is confident. If someone is diagnosed with cancer, they want me to say what I think it is. This is the plan, like it or not. We can’t mess around here. Maybe when I walk away the patients think I’m an (expletive deleted). But I learned that people really talk crap about people. When someone would walk away, I wouldn’t talk crap about people. But, they’d nitpick character flaws.
Holmes: And with the swap, you’ve got people spreading that first impression without you even being there.
Baggenstos: Well after the second challenge when Darnell was gone, Tai made fun of the Brawns for losing as we were leaving that challenge. And I called him out as we were lining up for the next challenge. And Jeff interviewed us and I said, “That guy over there, he made fun of the Brawn tribe for losing. That’s not the right thing to do. He’s being an individual in a team game.” So at that point the conversation was “We don’t like Tai,” but after the swap it became “Peter’s an ass for calling him out in public.”

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Episode 6 Recap – Undecided Voter

March 23, 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: Neal found an ace in the hole, Scot and Tai became two of a kind, and Anna’s game busted out.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Chanloh Tribe (wearing blue)
Cydney – 23, Body Builder
Debbie – 49, Chemist
Jason  – 31, Bounty Hunter
Michele – 24, Bartender
Neal – 38, Ice Cream Entrepreneur
Nick – 30, Personal Trainer

The Gondol Tribe (wearing yellow)
Aubry – 29, Social Media Marketer
Joseph – 72, Former FBI Agent
Julia – 19, Student
Peter – 34, ER Doctor
Scot – 40, Former NBA Champion
Tai – 51, Gardener

Note to Self: Chanloh is blue, Gondol is yellow, Chanloh is blue, Gondol is yellow, Chanloh is blue, Gondol is yellow, Chanloh is blue, Gondol is yellow…

Alright, the fun times kick off back at Gondol beach after Tribal. The Brains make sure to tell Tai that they saved him because he’s useful around camp and that he can kill the chicken. Oh good, keep him around so he can do his LEAST FAVORITE THING!

Later, Peter makes a move to form an alliance with Tai. The good doctor pitches sending Joe (and the most disgusting finger in Cambodia) home.

The next morning at Chanloh, Nick is trying to buddy up with everyone. Debbie, in particular, seems into it. Debbie tells us how handsome Nick is and she should know because of all the modeling she’s done.

Debbie modeling the tiger swimsuit > every model modeling anything ever.

Tree Mail arrives and apparently the next challenge involves basketball. Oh, that’s fair. They should have a challenge that involves giant tattoos so Jason can be as useful as Scot.

Reward Challenge Time: One member from each tribe will dive down and release buoys. Then three other tribe members will bring the buoys to shore. From there, two tribe members will have to shoot baskets with them. First team to hit all ten of their shots wins a picnic.

Before we begin, Julia shows up and takes Anna’s spot on Gondol.

We start off and Aubry and Michele are your divers. Aubry releases Gondol’s quickly while Michele is having some issues.

Joe and Scot are the first ones to start shooting. They’re eventually joined by Nick and Cydney.

Not surprisingly, Scot takes all the shots for his team.

Surprisingly, Nick takes the lead over an NBA champion. Somewhere Alecia is smiling.

Unfortunately, Scot eventually comes back and wins it. Somewhere Alecia is mispronouncing something.

Quick Aside: A free throw challenge?! With an NBA player? On a “Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty” season?! If I’m ever on “Survivor,” the challenge had better play to my strengths. Like making bad puns and eating ice cream.

Back at Gondol, Julia’s trying to learn the ways of her new tribe. Immediately Peter tries to bring her on board and throw Joe and Aubry under the bus.

Joe and Aubry see this discussion and come to the conclusion that it might be the doctor’s time to hit the golf course.

Over at Chanloh, Nick is annoyed that he didn’t defeat an NBA champion in a free throw challenge. The ladies at the bar would’ve been all over that story. However, he’s cool with it because Michele screwed up the buoy release.

But, Michele isn’t ready to go down without a fight. She asks Debbie who they should target. Debbie tells her that she wants a woman to win and she wants to target Jason.

Nick doesn’t buy it though, he assures Michele that she’s the target in the most condescending way possible. At least he didn’t pat her on the head.

The next day at Gondol, Peter pitches getting rid of Joe and Aubry to Scot. He refers to himself as a free agent. Speaking the athlete’s language, good call.

Joe aggressively confronts Peter and asks him if he’s targeting him. Peter stammers and claims that he hasn’t been. But, Joe’s FBI spidey-sense sees right through him.

Immunity Challenge Time: The teams will race through an obstacle course. Then, they’ll use poles to knock puzzle pieces out of a net. The first tribe to complete their giant stacking puzzle wins immunity.

We start off and Chanloh builds a small lead through the obstacle course. When we get to the puzzle releasing portion, Scot’s height comes in super handy. Gondol is the first to the puzzle.

Peter comes up with a strategy of building the pile from the bottom and it totally doesn’t work. A huge pile falls off and clunks Joe in the head. He’s bleeding. Poor Joe. This gives Chanloh the opportunity to pass them and win it.

Back at camp, Aubry wants to get rid of Peter, but doesn’t want to hand Scot, Tai, and Julia the numbers.

Joe listens to her pitch and decides to make peace with Peter. They agree to target Julia.

Later, Scot asks Peter if he still wants to target Joe. Peter admits that he’s changed his mind and wants to stick with the Brains.

Julia and Tai approach Aubry and tell her that Peter was targeting her. That can’t be a surprise.

Either way, Aubry doesn’t commit to anything. She tells Joe about the new info and he is very annoyed that she’s considering making the move.

That night at Tribal, Peter owns up to his failed block-stacking strategy.

Julia thinks that’s a reason to vote him out. Another reason is that he’s way shifty.

Quick Aside: Wow…Nick and Michele haven’t seen the Tribal Council set yet.

Julia admits that Peter was the first person to talk game to her.

Peter doesn’t own up to it, but says the game is complex.

Scot is frustrated because there are members of the tribe who don’t stick to their decisions.

Meanwhile, Tai and Scot are trying to talk to each other. It seems like they’re debating between Peter or the “Original Plan.”

Joe picks up on this and says he isn’t sure which way the game is going.

Scot tells Julia to go with the original plan.

What the actual what?!

Voting Time: Julia votes for Peter, Peter votes for Julia, Aubry votes for Julia, and no other votes are shown.

Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Peter, one vote for Julia, one vote for Peter, one vote for Julia, one vote for Peter, and the seventh person eliminated from “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng is…Peter!

AND THE LAST VOTE HAD JULIA’S NAME CROSSED OUT! AUBRY CHANGED HER MIND IN THE VOTING BOOTH!

Verdict: Remember when Tribal Council was pretty much a done deal. Everyone came in knowing which way they were voting and Probst’s questions were pretty much a formality? Those days are long gone. Awesome.

Although, there was plenty of parchment there. Aubry could’ve just used another one.

Who’s Going to Win? Cydney. She’s my pick. Although Tai has already won my heart.

Power Rankings Results: Shirin called it. She had Peter in spot twelve. I had him in spot eleven. So, the current score is Team Shirin 60, Team Gordon 58.
 

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

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Power Rankings: Only-the-Strong-Survive Edition

March 22, 2016

'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITYTV.com 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 Scot is voted out this episode, Shirin will receive three points 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.

Last Week: Shirin and Gordon both had Anna in spot nine. So, the current score is Team Shirin 48, Team Gordon 47.

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 = 48

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

Gordon’s Score = 47

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

 1. – Cydney: Khaleesi has found her third dragon to ride to victory.
 1. – Jason: With an idol in his pocket and both sides vying for his attention, Jason isn’t going anywhere.
 2. – Jason: Chillin like a villain. #GreenMushroom
 2. – Cydney: I’m not much of an edit reader, but what does it say that Cyndey got to discuss the Brains behind her Brawn when it didn’t play into episode’s outcome?
 3. – Scot: All this ring bearer ever seems to score is a front row seat to the main attraction.
 3. – Aubry: How do you solve a problem like Peter? You can’t trust him as far as you can doodle a crayon drawing of a manatee. I’d keep him for one more vote, then lose him before the merge.
 4. – Aubry: As the only brain with a heart, she’s well on her way to stealing the title. She’s already got that bandit look down.
 4. – Scot: Kudos to Scot for finding himself a cozy spot in his new tribe. Also, three of my top four are former Brawns. Sure lends credibility to the theory that losing tribes do well in three-tribe seasons.
 5. – Michele: Whenever Gilderoy Lockhart tries wielding a wand, it backfires onto himself, buying Michele three more days to work her charms. #StMungos  5. – Tai: So, you didn’t play the idol last week. To me, that says you’re in Scot’s pocket. Which isn’t a bad place to be because I’m assuming it’s roomy in there. Probably doesn’t hurt to have someone looking out for you in a post Beast-Mode world.
 6. – Neal: Everyone wants more exciting flavors, but at least VaNeala got a sprinkle of immunity on top last week.
 6. – Debbie: I think it’s officially time to stop taking Debbie so lightly. She killed the puzzle last week and she’s making connections with several people across the game. This tiger has fangs.
 7. – Julia: And the game goes by so very slow
Oh I hope that it won’t end though
Alone
#Heart
 7. – Neal: Will the Brawns stay on the Brains side now that the threat of Julia joining is gone? Probably, nobody is worried about Neal going on a challenge run post-merge. Not that that makes him a sherbet to win. (Sherbet…sure bet…not my best work. Let’s move on.)
 8. – Nick: You know at amusement parks when you get the fruit cup, and it has cantaloupe, honeydew, one red grape, and maybe a small triangle of pineapple? Nick is the transparent green melon bits floating around the bottom. #OneChildLeftBehind  8. – Julia: Now that the Beauty domination concern is over, you’ll be in a better spot than your poker pal. But, if they stick to previous alliance lines, they’re going to keep Tai over you nine times out of ten.
 9. – Tai: We all idolize Tai, but I fear his idol will lay idle at his last tribal. ;_;
 9. – Joe: Oh man, if you vote out Peter you might lose that finger. Oh well, you have nine more.
 10. – Debbie: She’s swinging for the fences but pulling up short. If they lose immunity, she may experience going all the way down.
 10. – Nick: So, Debbie thinks your hunky…but does she trust you? Seems like everyone I’ve interviewed thinks it’s easy to see through your game.
  11. – Joe: Medical: Pull Joe’s finger.
 11. – Peter: Nick and Peter are the same guy, right? Nice enough, a little conceited, nobody trusts them. Can we get them to face off in that challenge where they fight with pillows?
 12. – Peter: It’s tough coming back from exile.
 12. – Michele: It seems like the Brains and the Brawn are tight. And, Debbie has a bit of a crush on Nick…where does this leave you?

‘Survivor’ Castaway Anna: ‘That Twist Put a Huge Target on My Back. It Really Sucked’

March 17, 2016

'Survivor' (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’

Ah…tribe swaps. One minute your on top of a team of beauties and the next you’re sent packing by a bunch of brains.

It seems unfair, but if it happens in the fifth episode of every three-tribe season isn’t it just part of the game?

I spoke with the latest victim of the buff droppin’ the morning after her elimination and asked her this question. During this chat we also discussed the ladies’ alliance, lying tells, and more…

Gordon Holmes: Why?!
Anna Khait: (Laughs) I’m in tears crying!
Holmes: I don’t understand!
Khait: It’s such a bummer. I was out of the game sitting here thinking, “This is brutal!” Ugh…

Holmes: Once you realized that Julia was going to join the tribe that lost, did you realize that the Beauties were in trouble? Because it was the same story on both tribes.
Khait: Oh yeah. I knew right away. We had the twist where we drop our buffs and I realized that the girls were all separated and I don’t have the numbers anymore. Two Beauty, Three Brains, and One Brawn. And then there’s the twist of Julia replacing the person who gets eliminated. That twist put a huge target on my back. It really sucked. It made it really obvious.

Holmes: I’ve always felt that swaps are unfair. But lately the fifth episode of three-tribe seasons have been having swaps. Did you expect it?
Khait: The thing is, at that time there were thirteen people so it didn’t cross my mind. I knew that it was coming soon. I know that Jeff throws in tribe swaps pretty early in the game. And I knew that Brawn had three people so it was a good time to do it. But, the numbers didn’t make sense. It’s an odd number of people. Obviously Jeff had his awesome twist. Jeff and his twists…
Holmes: He’s the worst.

Holmes: Do you think the Brains threw the challenge?
Khait: I don’t think so. Honestly, I was watching everyone. Everyone was hustling and working. Peter and I got a hang of the puzzle, but it took a good minute. And it seemed like Neal and Debbie had done that puzzle before. They killed that puzzle, the completely blew us out of the water. I’d understand why they would throw it, but I don’t think they did. Neal and Debbie just really kicked our butts. Even Jeff said so.

Holmes: Aubry and Peter seem to be at odds. Were there any cracks there you could work with?
Khait: Yes, I tried to work it. Peter told me, “Joe doesn’t strategize, don’t worry about him.” And the first thing Joe says is, “Oh, Peter is on the bottom. He’s out.” And I thought this is a great place to start. I tried to throw Peter under the bus for a long time, but I knew the Brains were smart. I knew they didn’t want to lose their numbers. And what really solidified that they weren’t going to vote him out was when their body language told me they were not voting for him.
Holmes: Ah…the poker tells. What are some examples of that?
Khait: I was aware that Peter wrote Aubry’s name down at the Tribal where Liz got eliminated. So, I knew that Aubry did not like Peter. She was so frazzled about the fact that he wrote her name down. So, when her body language wasn’t as excited as I expected it to be and then Joe wasn’t looking me in the eyes I thought, “This isn’t good. Let’s try something else. Let’s try Tai.” I knew Peter was against me, so I wasn’t sure if I should go to him and try to get Aubry out. I was worried that he’d go back to them and I’d be really screwed. So, Tai is injured, he can’t perform in challenges that well. I thought I could try to get him out. I told people that he was sneaky and was looking for the idol. I genuinely adore Tai. In the game I didn’t trust him, but I liked him. I knew I could align with him, but he’d cut me at any minute. He knows what he’s doing. I think in retrospect it was the best plan, but I had a huge target on my back with Julia coming back in.

Holmes:  Alright, word association. Let’s start with Michele.
Khait: Super sweet. Funny, goofy, and really fun to hang out with. I’m sorry, I’m babbling.
Holmes: There are no rules here, Anna. You say what you wanna say. Let’s try Scot.
Khait: Super tall. I like his vibe out there. He was definitely paying attention to the game. I think he understood that he’d be a big threat after the merge. He’s aware of the fact that athletes get picked off post-merge. He was trying his hardest to make sure that he had loyal people around him. And my first impressions of watching the Brawn tribe crumble and pick on Alecia…we saw from the side. It was hard to watch. But my first impression was this guy is not very nice. He’s probably going to pick on me. But he was cool when I met him. I had no problem with him out there.
Holmes: Aubry?
Khait: A smart player. I told the camera that I think Aubry can go really far because she’s likable, she’s playing, and she’s unsuspecting…unsuspectful…crap…I know the word  I’m looking for. (Laughs)
Holmes:  (Laughs) I know the word you’re looking for, but it’s escaping me too.
Khait: (Laughs) I thought she was a big threat. She’d fly under the radar.
Holmes: Joe?
Khait: Super sweet. Reminded me of Rudy from earlier seasons. Lovable, loyal, he’s honest. And once he put his eyes down I knew that he was lying to me. It’s really easy to read him. I enjoyed my time with him.
Holmes: Caleb?
Khait: Beast mode! Monster, this guy gave it his all. Really fun person to play with. Super loyal. Takes a long time to get to his core. He really wasn’t giving off too much information about himself. That shows me that he’s loyal. He’s strong. And he’s a beast in challenges. It was crazy to watch. We wouldn’t have won that first challenge without him.
Holmes: Tai?
Khait: Adorable, animal lover, sweetheart, huge heart. I connected with him off the bat because of that. I’m a huge animal lover myself. I rescue dogs in my spare time. Seeing how much he respected nature. He ate everything he could in terms of on the fish…he’d eat the eyes, every little piece of chicken, all the yucky stuff. He doesn’t waste stuff. I fell in love with him out there, but in the game he is a threat.
Holmes: Nick?
Khait:  He seemed narcissistic out there. He kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t trust him. I felt like he was giving me a look that I’ve had many times of “Hey, are we good? Are we good?” I knew he was playing the game. I knew Nick would be coming after me the most. He was alert to the fact that I was playing the game and I was getting the girls together. He figured it out. He tried to come after me even after we won immunity. I was dead right on what I thought of him. He was a big target for me because he knew to come after me.
Holmes: Julia?
Khait: Sweetheart, loyal, amazing. My first instinct before we even spoke on that boat was, “I want to work with her.” I was really happy to know that she wanted to work with me too. Her age worked too because if she tried to lie to me I’d be able to see right through it. Such a sweetheart, completely loyal. She was the one person in the game who I did not lie to. It’s important to have that person that you consider loyal.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Peter.
Khait: I didn’t like him when I first met him. Also seemed narcissistic to me. I knew he was playing the game. To me he seemed pompous out there. I knew he was on the bottom, but he was still very cocky. I don’t really get along with cocky people too much.

Holmes: Longest word association ever. We’re out of time. You have to play again so we can talk again.
Khait: (Laughs) Sounds good!

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


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