Archive for August, 2016

‘Survivor’ Gen-Xer Bret: ‘I Get Lied to Every Day at Work. Not One Person Ever Tells Me the Truth’

August 31, 2016
Bret LaBelle (CBS)

Bret LaBelle (CBS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” needs. We’ll have interviews with all twenty of the new players to hold you over until the season starts. Then we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the players after they’ve been eliminated, and the return of the ever-popular “Survivor” Power Rankings. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Name (Age): Bret LaBelle (42)
Current Residence: Dedham, MA
Occupation: Police Sergeant
Hobbies: Going to the gym, golf, improve, and bicycling.
Pet Peeves: Couples who sit on the same side of the booth, people who talk politics and religion at Thanksgiving dinner, and bullies.
Three Words to Describe You: Gregarious, funny/hilarious and caring.

NOTE: Usually I get a good thirty minutes with each contestant before the game starts. However, this season I had to get through all 20 players in only two-and-a-half hours. So, these pieces will be short and hopefully sweet.

Gordon Holmes: We’re on a bit of a tight schedule here, so if you could keep your answers short, I would appreciate it.
Bret LaBelle: I’ve got a hamburger waiting, so I’m on a tight schedule too.
Holmes: I totally respect that.
LaBelle: (Laughs)

Holmes: You’re heading into a high-stress situation, but I’d imagine disarming a gunman would also be a high-stress situation. What happened there?
LaBelle: They were trying to subdue a guy. They were yelling that they couldn’t get his left hand. So, I immediately shot my hand under his left hand and he had a loaded Glock 40. The reason I knew it was a Glock right away even though it was under his clothing is because I carry a Glock. I know what it feels like. So, I just held onto it while they were trying to subdue the guy. I had a death grip on the gun and he’s trying to rip my fingers off of the gun so he can get to it. We eventually got it. There’s no easy way to do it. People will fight you like you’ve never been fought before. It took seven to eight guys to get this guy in handcuffs before it was all done.
Holmes: That is literally better than every story I have.
LaBelle: (Laughs)
Holmes: My friend Jim is a cop and he talks about helping people and arresting people and I’m like, “Looks like Colby isn’t going to get enough Hall of Fame votes this year.”
LaBelle: (Laughs) It’s embarrassing getting that award. And I didn’t want to get the award because I didn’t do anything that any other cop wouldn’t have done. For whatever reason, they gave it to me. Plenty of other cops would have done it. My friends told me, “There’s plenty of (expletive deleted) you’re going to do that you’re never going to get credit for, so take the award.”

Holmes: You also do improv comedy.
LaBelle: Yes, I took an acting course and the teacher said to me, “You really should go across the street to the improv and check that out.” So, I went to Boston Improv in Cambridge and I fell in love with it.
Holmes: What happens if you have some big plan and somebody negates?
LaBelle: Then I will work with that.
Holmes: They’re not saying, “Yes, and,” they’re saying, “No, but.”
LaBelle: (Laughs) We’ll work with that. But I think it will help me with thinking on my toes and talking. I find it helps me in my job. You’ve done a little improv yourself, right?
Holmes: A little in my day. But whenever they want a place, for some reason I always say, “A dentist’s office.”
LaBelle: I have my go-to too. I just start washing dishes. It’s just a comfortable place to be.
Holmes: Hopefully you guys will win some dishes in a reward so you’re be able to be more at ease.
LaBelle: Exactly.

Holmes: Are you comfortable lying in the game of “Survivor”?
LaBelle: Yes, and you just summed it up; it’s a game. I am comfortable lying in the game and I’m assuming I’m going to be lied to many times. And I think most of the time I’ll be able to tell when I’m being lied to because I get lied to everyday at work. Not one person ever tells me the truth.
Holmes: How well do you deal with being lied to?
LaBelle: You know, when you’re a new police officer you’re shocked when someone lies to you. Like in life, you take people at their word. You’d be mad about it. I’m so used to it now, I don’t even care. When people lie to you all the time…stuff that bothered you as a young cop doesn’t bother you. You don’t take things personally. You don’t treat people differently. The guy might be the biggest scumbag, but you’ve locked him up 20 times so it’s like, “Hey Joe, buddy! Get in the back of the car.”
Holmes: Some police officers have hidden their occupations while playing the game. Will you?
LaBelle: I absolutely am going to do that. I’ve been watching this show since the inception. I got hooked on the second season and I went back and watched the first. And 90% of the people who say they are cops do not make it very far. So, I’m going to be like Tony (Vlachos). I think it hurts you, but I don’t know why.
Holmes: What is your occupation going to be?
LaBelle: A funeral director.
Holmes: Who washes dishes.
LaBelle: (Laughs) Exactly.

Holmes: Are you OK flirting in the game?
LaBelle: Absolutely.
Holmes: Is that going to upset anybody back home?
LaBelle: (Laughs) No, I’m single.
Holmes: How about hunger, does that bother you?
LaBelle: I was 270 pounds the first time they called me for this two years ago, so I was all excited that I’d get on…and then Jeremy (Collins) the Cambridge firefighter got my spot.
Holmes: That turned out well for him.
LaBelle: Yes, it did. Keep rubbing that in.
Holmes: (Laughs)
LaBelle: I hear he’s a great guy, though. So, I’m happy for him.
Holmes: He is.
LaBelle: I went on a diet, I lost 55 pounds. I watch what I eat now. I’m used to having a limited diet over the last few years.
Holmes: How about paranoia?
LaBelle: I know what you’re talking about, and I’ve seen paranoid people out there like Brandon (Hantz) but I don’t get that paranoid. I’ve dealt with a lot of stressful situations and this is just a game.

Holmes: Any thoughts on the cast so far?
LaBelle: There’s a dude here who looks like an NFL player. I know you’ve already talked to him. He wears the nicest clothing. This guy is successful at something. And there are a couple of people who might be crazy. Everyone so far…you see each other, you smile. It seems like people I can work with.

Holmes: If there is twist this season, what do you think it could be?
LaBelle: I’ve seen eight or nine people so far. I think we’re going to be one tribe and there’s going to be another tribe and it’s going to be a “Fans vs. Favorites” kind of thing. I’m a fan, I’ve been trying out for a long time. I hope it’s more than that though.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
LaBelle: Great question…Earl (Cole)…wait Yau-Man (Chan). They were just really cool players and I liked them. I liked how they were loyal to each other and were from opposite ends of the world.

Holmes: Lightning round time. Cats or dogs?
LaBelle: Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
LaBelle: Wine.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
LaBelle: Superman, all the way.
Holmes: Meat or vegetable?
LaBelle: Meat.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
LaBelle: (Laughs) Independent.
Holmes: Books or TV?
LaBelle: TV.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
LaBelle: Swimming.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
LaBelle: Many casual friends.
Holmes: Nice car or nice home?
LaBelle: Nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
LaBelle: Funny.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
LaBelle: Boston Rob.
Holmes: Big vacation or big TV?
LaBelle: Big vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with a team?
LaBelle: Working with a team.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
LaBelle: Dragons.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
LaBelle: Careful planning.
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
LaBelle: Jeff Probst all the way.
Holmes: Alright, it’s hamburger time.
LaBelle: Great, nice talking to you.

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.

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‘Survivor’ Millennial Zeke: ‘I’m A Very Talented Liar, I Always Have Been’

August 30, 2016
Zeke Smith (CBS)

Zeke Smith (CBS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” needs. We’ll have interviews with all twenty of the new players to hold you over until the season starts. Then we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the players after they’ve been eliminated, and the return of the ever-popular “Survivor” Power Rankings. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Name (Age): Zeke Smith (28)
Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Asset Manager
Hobbies: Writing, improv, gym and cooking.
Pet Peeves: Sniffling. Chewing with one’s mouth open. Black shoes with brown belts. Children who don’t listen to their mothers.
Three Words to Describe You: Sharp, devilish, and unstoppable.

NOTE: Usually I get a good thirty minutes with each contestant before the game starts. However, this season I had to get through all 20 players in only two-and-a-half hours. So, these pieces will be short and hopefully sweet.

Zeke Smith: Do you know who’s doing Power Rankings for this season yet?
Gordon Holmes:
I don’t know what I’m having for lunch yet. I take it you’re a reader?
Smith: I read the Power Rankings every week.
Holmes: That’s what I like to hear. So win this thing, then come back and do the Power Rankings with me.
Smith: Oh, I’m counting on it. I’ve already made time in my schedule for the spring.

Holmes: You have debate experience. How is that going to help you in the next 39 days?
Smith: A lot of good debate techniques are psychological intimidation. A lot of times you aren’t going to have a good answer to an argument. But you want people to think you have an argument that they can’t anticipate. Also, a lot of it is just delivering with confidence, even if it’s the biggest (expletive deleted) you can imagine.
Holmes: Are you trying to psychologically intimidate me right now?
Smith: I can’t tell you that, Gordon.
Holmes: Darn it. It’s working.

Holmes: You also have a background in improv comedy.
Smith: Yes, I’ve done some improv.
Holmes: One of the keys to improv comedy is saying, “Yes, and…” to keep the flow going. What if you’re out there and somebody is negating your plans?
Smith: You still have to work with them. Gosh…I don’t know. This is a stupid question.
Holmes: (Laughs) You’re negating my question!
Smith: (Laughs) I’ll find a way to get to yes.
Holmes: Don’t think this is the only stupid question you’re getting today.
Smith: That’s fair.

Holmes: Here’s another one. Do you have a problem lying?
Smith: No problem. I’m a very talented liar, I always have been. When I was four I convinced my grandmother that I went to Sea World and rode Shamu the whale. And not only did I not ride Shamu the whale, I never (expletive deleted) went to Sea World.
Holmes: Why would you do such a terrible thing?
Smith: I didn’t have a moral compass at four. And I’ve only grown slightly more of a moral compass as I’ve gotten older.
Holmes: How do you feel about flirting?
Smith: I don’t have a problem flirting. I doubt anyone is going to want to flirt with me.
Holmes: Is there anyone back home who’d get annoyed if they saw you flirting?
Smith: Not in the least.

Holmes: I’m going to list some things you’re going to be experiencing soon. Let me know how you deal with them. Let’s start with people lying to you.
Smith: I deal with it well. For me, if I didn’t pick up on the fact that I was being lied to…I’d have to forgive myself for that. It would fuel my fire to destroy whoever lied to me.
Holmes: How well do you deal with hunger?
Smith: Pretty well, I do a lot of meditation and breathing exercises.
Holmes: Same thing for sleep deprivation?
Smith: Yeah.
Holmes: Extreme temperatures?
Smith: I think I should be fine. The temperatures I deal with in New York are freezing, but I did grow up in the southwest, so I’m used to being hot.
Holmes: Here’s one most people don’t appreciate until they’re out there; how well do you deal with paranoia?
Smith: A lot better since I stopped smoking weed. (Laughs) I think I handle paranoia fine because I can recognize that it’s paranoia. If I feel it creeping in I can check myself.
Holmes: So, I should drop Jeff Probst a line and make sure that marijuana isn’t one of the rewards?
Smith: Oh, most definitely.

Holmes: Have you seen any of the other players yet?
Smith: I’ve seen a couple of people floating around the hallway.
Holmes: Any thoughts?
Smith: I’m a small guy, and I was a little intimidated about the physical stuff and all of these huge, ripped dudes being on my tribe. Thus far I haven’t seen any big dudes. In fact, they don’t seem much bigger or athletic than myself. So, that’s a relief.
Holmes: Are you going to take their lunch money?
Smith: Oh yeah.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it will be?
Smith: There’s been a lot of tomfoolery with the idols lately. I think the idols are going to be hidden back at challenges. But, part of me wonders if we’re going to start with four tribes of five.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Smith: Oh, that’s a good question.
Holmes: I was due.
Smith: (Laughs) I think I would align with Jeremy (Collins). Our game styles are complementary. We like to make relationships with a lot of people. I could leverage my relationships to ultimately make the move that gets rid of him and puts me in a position to win in the end.

Holmes: Lightning round time. Cats or dogs?
Smith: Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Smith: Wine.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Smith: Batman.
Holmes: Meat or vegetables?
Smith: Meat.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Smith: Democrat.
Holmes: Books or TV?
Smith: Books.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Smith: Swimming.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Smith: One good friend.
Holmes: A nice car or a nice home?
Smith: A nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Smith: Funny.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Smith: Boston Rob.
Holmes: A big vacation or a big TV?
Smith: A big vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with a team?
Smith: Working alone.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Smith: Dragons.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Smith: Careful planning.
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Smith: Jeff Probst!

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.

‘Survivor’ Gen-Xer David: ‘People Tell Me I’m Likable, But I Never Believe Them’

August 26, 2016
David Wright (CBS)

David Wright (CBS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” needs. We’ll have interviews with all twenty of the new players to hold you over until the season starts. Then we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the players after they’ve been eliminated, and the return of the ever-popular “Survivor” Power Rankings. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Name (Age): David Wright (42)
Current Residence: Sherman Oaks, CA via Philadelphia, PA
Occupation: Television Writer
Hobbies: 3D printing puzzles.
Pet Peeves: Sudden, loud noises; people who don’t use a turn signal; people who believe in ghosts and psychics; people who are late for dinner; people who incorrectly use the word “nonplussed;” people.
Three Words to Describe You: OCD, nervous, and paranoid.

NOTE: Usually I get a good thirty minutes with each contestant before the game starts. However, this season I had to get through all 20 players in only two-and-a-half hours. So, these pieces will be short and hopefully sweet.

Gordon Holmes: Your bio here doesn’t say what happened when you played Magnus Carlsen in chess. You kicked his ass, right?
David Wright:
(Laughs) Unfortunately he beat mine. But, the guy’s a robot, so there was no way I was going to beat him.

Holmes: You’re a TV writer. Where have we seen your work?
Wright: The sexiest credit I have is “Family Guy.” But, right now I’m developing an animated series with Rhys Darby, he played Murray on “Flight of the Conchords.”
Holmes: It’s like you’re following in John Cochran’s footsteps…backwards.
Wright: Yeah, it’s a reverse Cochran. The show is folding in on itself.

Holmes: You mentioned that you have trouble fitting in, but based on the past 45 seconds, I feel like we’re already best friends.
Wright: (Laughs) Sure, I can fake it for a phone call.
Holmes: That hurts.
Wright: (Laughs) Sorry. I hope I can fake it for 39 days. I have a lot of anxiety. I’m a very nervous guy. Social situations aren’t my favorite, which is the stupidest thing you can say for someone who’s about to play the hardest social game in the world. But, I’m very good at solving puzzles, so I can contribute in that way. I’m good at using humor to endear myself to other people. People tell me I’m likable, but I never believe them.
Holmes: You’re doing well so far.
Wright: Well, thank you. (Laughs)

Holmes: Have you made any progress on this “living forever” thing?
Wright: I love that you have my file. Yeah, I haven’t died yet so I think I’m doing pretty well.
Holmes: That’s actually an excellent point.
Wright: It’s so stupid, but I think about death every day. And I know that’s dark to talk about, but I don’t ever want to die. I run, I exercise, I eat right.

Holmes: I’ve been doing this since Gabon.
Wright: Wow!
Holmes: I know…Earth’s Last Eden. And you have the longest list of pet peeves I have ever seen.
Wright: That’s my thing, man. I don’t like touching people, I don’t like hugging people.
Holmes: I think you’re in for a rough run, my friend.
Wright: (Laughs) I think I am too. But as long as I use the confessionals to vent and work through my anxieties and then reset and go back to my tribe, everything will be fine. Hopefully.

Holmes: You mention that having OCD is a factor. How are you going to adapt to one of the most chaotic environments imaginable?
Wright: I could not be more concerned. The aqua dumping is my biggest concern. You do your business and then you wait ten seconds and walk away. Why do I need to know that?! Germs are disgusting to me. I don’t know if they give you any hand sanitizer. Probably not.
Holmes: I’ve been to some tribe camps in my day and I’ve never seen bottles of hand sanitizer lying around.
Wright: That’s going to be a problem. I don’t like being touched to begin with and now I’m going to be touched by people with poop on their hands.
Holmes: (Laughs) Wait, why do you have to wait ten seconds?
Wright: I think you’re supposed to let it float away.
Holmes: Can’t you wave it away with the water?
Wright: I’m about to find out.
Holmes: I’ll interview you when this is all over, be sure to let me know.
Wright: (Laughs) I’ll give you all the tips.

Holmes: Do you have any issues lying?
Wright: Oh no. I wouldn’t want to play the game “Survivor” if I had an issue lying.
Holmes: How about flirting?
Wright: I don’t think I can flirt. I don’t have that muscle. I’m really good at solving puzzles, but the one puzzle I can’t solve is “How to get a girlfriend.” I’m 42 years old, like what the (expletive deleted).

Holmes: If you find out someone is lying to you, is that something you can compartmentalize or will you fly off the handle?
Wright: I hope I wouldn’t lose it. If someone I thought I could trust lies to me, that is going to be an issue. But confrontations are one of the biggest ways to get yourself voted out of the game. So, I’ll have to roll with it. I think it’s important to find one person to trust. That goes a long way.
Holmes: Does hunger bother you?
Wright: I don’t eat a lot of food as it is. But this past month I’ve eaten whatever I want, which is something I don’t usually do, and I’ve put on six pounds.
Holmes: How do you deal with paranoia?
Wright: I don’t. (Laughs) If you have any tips I want to hear them. I’m the most paranoid person in the world. When I play chess, there’s this phenomenon where you see ghosts on the board. You see things that aren’t happening.

Holmes: What are your thoughts on the other players so far?
Wright: I haven’t seen everyone yet, but I saw this one guy get off the elevator and he’s going to be the new Russell Hantz. This guy is a bruiser. And I think he’s going to be on my tribe so I’m already afraid of him.

Holmes: If there is a twist, any guesses as to what it could be?
Wright: I think the theme is young vs. old…which they’ve done before. Maybe Millennials vs. Generation X or something.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Wright: John Cochran. I think we could relate to each other, we could trust each other. Like a brain-trust. I’d lump in Stephen Fishbach and Bob Crowley too. I think Bob had a really good moral center. He lied, but he wasn’t a (expletive deleted) about it.
Holmes: This is the true Brains tribe you are describing.
Wright: It really is.

Holmes: Lightning round time. Cats or dogs?
Wright: Cats.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Wright: Beer.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Wright: Superman.
Holmes: Meat or vegetable?
Wright: Vegetable.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Wright: Democrat…actually, I’d say liberal.
Holmes: Books or TV?
Wright: TV.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Wright: Oh God, is there a third choice? Swimming.
Holmes: You’re going to have some fun out there.
Wright: (Laughs) I hate the sun.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Wright: One good friend.
Holmes: A nice car or a nice home?
Wright: A nice home.
Holmes: Smart of funny?
Wright: Smart.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Wright: Parvati.
Holmes: A big vacation or a big TV.
Wright: A big TV.
Holmes: Working alone or with a group.
Wright: Working alone, although I know that’s bad for this game.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Wright: Dragons.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Wright: Careful planning.
Holmes: And finally, Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Wright: Jeff Probst, c’mon!

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.

‘Survivor’ Gen-Xer Jessica Lewis: ‘I’ve Struggled My Entire Life to Get Where I Am’

August 25, 2016
Jessica Lewis (CBS)

Jessica Lewis (CBS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” needs. We’ll have interviews with all twenty of the new players to hold you over until the season starts. Then we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the players after they’ve been eliminated, and the return of the ever-popular “Survivor” Power Rankings. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Name (Age): Jessica Lewis (37)
Current Residence: Voorheesville, NY
Occupation: Assistant District Attorney
Hobbies: Painting, baking, and photography.
Pet Peeves: People who blame others for their own misery.
Three Words to Describe You: Unique, unconventional, and intriguing.

NOTE: Usually I get a good thirty minutes with each contestant before the game starts. However, this season I had to get through all 20 players in only two-and-a-half hours. So, these pieces will be short and hopefully sweet.

Gordon Holmes: What on Earth did you do to make a jury give you a standing ovation?
Jessica Lewis: Apparently I did a fantastic job with my trial. I had a case where a woman with dementia had her house stolen by three people and they tried to sell it to a mill across the street. She testified, and also her 94-year-old brother-in-law testified. And the jury was blown away with my advocacy and how I dealt with my elderly witnesses. And they were just really impressed.
Holmes: I’m picturing a pissed-off defense attorney throwing his paper work in the air after that.
Lewis: (Laughs) Almost.

Holmes: You refer to yourself as “unconventional.” Now, does that refer to how you go about your job or your everyday life?
Lewis: I think it’s all of me.  I don’t think I’ve traveled a path that many people have traveled. I was pregnant my first year in law school. And I managed to have two children, move multiple times, get married, and go to law school in six years. That’s something not that many people have accomplished. I’ve been like that my whole life. I grew up on a dairy farm, now I’m a lawyer. I’m 37 now and I’ve done so much in such short period of time. So, I’m very unconventional.
Holmes: And after all that you won “Survivor.”
Lewis: Yes! (Laughs) It’s one more thing that’s unconventional. I’ve struggled my entire life to get where I am and this will be a great opportunity to show what I’ve learned.

Holmes: Do you have any problems being deceitful?
Lewis: I don’t have problems lying. I’m very good at choosing what I should say and when I should say it. That really comes with my job. I have to know how to deal with defendants. I have to know how to deal with witnesses. I have to know how to deal with judges. So, you’re always having to choose how you speak to those individuals. I’ve learned how to deal with different personalities in different ways.
Holmes: Are you comfortable flirting to get ahead?
Lewis: I don’t necessarily want to flirt, but I’ve said, “If pretty gets me in the door, my brain will help me stay there.” If someone wants to give me five more minutes because they think I’m pretty or are interested in me because I’m a female? That’s fine. But I’m not going to use that as my sole way of getting there.

Holmes: How do you deal with being lied to?
Lewis: I don’t let them know that I’m on to them. Then I try to get more information from them in order to find out how to deal with them.
Holmes: How well do you deal with hunger?
Lewis: I’m actually really good with hunger.
Holmes: I’m not.
Lewis: (Laughs)
Holmes: I’m hungry right now.
Lewis: Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat. I think when I’m stressed I don’t tend to eat. When I’m on trial I usually lose ten pounds. I think stress helps me not think about food.
Holmes: I think some stress is headed your way.
Lewis: (Laughs) I think so.
Holmes: How about sleep deprivation?
Lewis: I haven’t slept an entire night since I had my first child.
Holmes: How about heat?
Lewis: I love the heat. I love being warm, I hate being cold.
Holmes: How about paranoia?
Lewis: I’ve actually dealt with it quite a bit in my profession. It’s something I’m always aware of. When you’re a prosecutor you constantly have to think ahead. You’re always having to be as paranoid about your case as possible so you can be prepared for it.

Holmes: Have you seen any of the other contestants yet?
Lewis: I’ve seen maybe two here. I don’t know if any of the people I saw before made it.
Holmes: Any early thoughts on them?
Lewis: One of them smiled at me in the elevator. That was nice.

Holmes: If there is a twist to this season, what do you think it could be?
Lewis: Gordon, there’s always a twist. I think it’s Exile Island again.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Lewis: I’d say Joe (Anglim). He was so good at getting food and he was likable. I think he’d take the pressure off of me because they’d be gunning for him. But, he’s also very trustworthy and would keep me fed.

Holmes: Lightning round time.
Lewis: (Laughs) I’m going to do so bad at this.
Holmes: Believe in yourself. Cats or dogs?
Lewis: Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Lewis: Wine.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Lewis: Superman.
Holmes: Meat or vegetables?
Lewis: Meat.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Lewis: Democrat.
Holmes: Books or TV?
Lewis: Books.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Lewis: Sunbathing.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Lewis: One good friend.
Holmes: A nice car or a nice home?
Lewis: A nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Lewis: Funny.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Lewis: Boston Rob.
Holmes: A big vacation or a big TV?
Lewis: A big vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with a team?
Lewis: Alone.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Lewis: Ooooo! Unicorns!
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Lewis: Fly by the seat of my pants.
Holmes: And finally, Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Lewis: Jeff Probst.
Holmes: See, you killed that!
Lewis: (Laughs) I hope so!

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.

‘Survivor’ Gen-Xer Paul: ‘I’m Going to Be the First Guy Out or I’m Going to Win’

August 24, 2016
Paul Wachter (CBS)

Paul Wachter (CBS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” needs. We’ll have interviews with all twenty of the new players to hold you over until the season starts. Then we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the players after they’ve been eliminated, and the return of the ever-popular “Survivor” Power Rankings. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Name (Age): Paul Wachter (52)
Current Residence: Sugarloaf Key, FL via Long Island, NY
Occupation: Boat Mechanic
Hobbies: Singing in a rock band, treasure hunting, and spear fishing.
Pet Peeves: Whiners and slackers.
Three Words to Describe You: Intimidating, methodical, confident

NOTE: Usually I get a good thirty minutes with each contestant before the game starts. However, this season I had to get through all 20 players in only two-and-a-half hours. So, these pieces will be short and hopefully sweet.

Gordon Holmes: Alright, let’s get into this…
Paul Wachter: Take your time man, they’ve got me locked in a (expletive deleted) cell.
Holmes: Your pet peeves are whiners, Republicans, and slackers. I’d wager you’re going to see at least two of those things when you’re out there.
Wachter: Roger that.
Holmes: Are you worried about ending up on a tribe with those kinds of people?
Wachter: Nah, Republicans tend to be a little God squad, so that freaks me out a little bit. But, in general I can work my way through. My big concern is that we don’t get a bunch of lay downs. I came out here to test myself. I’ve watched the show since it’s onset and I want to see if I’m as good as I think I am. I’m from New York and we don’t have a lot of stoners and surfboards. We don’t (expletive deleted) around. I want to go against people who want to play.
Holmes: Alliances move so fast these days. If you end up working with someone like that, will you be able to tolerate that or will they have to go?
Wachter: Tolerate…I tolerate it every day. It depends how close we get.  I’m going to be the first guy out or I’m going to win. Once I get rolling, the game is over. I’m going to win.

Holmes: You’re going to be away from your children for quite some time.
Wachter: When you’re as close to your kids as I am…we sold our companies and lived in a motor home for five years traveling the country. So, we’re very, very, very close. For me to do this it took all of us getting together. It’s not going to be easy, but they all understand.
Holmes: How do they feel about dad’s big adventure?
Wachter: (Laughs) They’re used to my big adventures. I’m a singer in a rock band. My kids are seventeen, they’re juniors and all their friends’ parents know me, I’m like David Lee Roth out there. I run around with a mic. I make fun of people, I’m picking on people. I’m an entertainer/singer. It’s what I do. My kids are used to it. They ask me a question, they get an honest answer. I don’t give them the (expletive deleted) birds and bees.

Holmes: I like to get a baseline for how people think they’re going to play out there. Do you have any issues lying?
Wachter: None. I’m here to play the game. Not a single issue. Win or go home.
Holmes: What about flirting?
Wachter: It might take some of that.
Holmes: Have you discussed this with the woman in your life?
Wachter: (Laughs) My old lady is cool with it. You’ve got to be very careful with it. When you’re 52 years old, flirting can come across as (expletive deleted) creepy. You don’t want to be creepy. But, I seem to be able to do it on stage with a wide variety of ages.
Holmes: What is your natural reaction to be lied to?
Wachter: Revenge. It’s to spin it against them.
Holmes: How do you deal with hunger?
Wachter: I’ve been practicing for six months on hunger. I think I’ll do very well.
Holmes: Lack of sleep?
Wachter: Again, it sucks but I’ve been working on it. I live in the Florida Keys. So, I have my own little islands I can practice on.
Holmes: So heat probably isn’t an issue?
Wachter: Oh yeah. LA sucks, it’s (expletive deleted) cold here.
Holmes: How about paranoia? Does that get to you?
Wachter: I don’t have any problem with it at all. I’m a well-rounded guy. I’ve gone through a lot, I’ve seen a lot. My maturity will keep my paranoia to a minimum. If anyone gets paranoid we want to kick them to the side. And see, I said, “We.” I’m already aligned with you.
Holmes: We’re going to tear this game up.
Wachter: Roger that.

Holmes: Have you seen any of the other players yet?
Wachter: Well, they keep us locked up in our little cells and they don’t let us meet anybody. I haven’t physically seen anybody. But, I am really hoping they don’t (expletive deleted) it up. I hope they pick the strongest people so we don’t get any kooks. And I’m not worried about a crazy kook, I’m worried about a lay down. People who want to go home and see their mom. I want to win against the best.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it could be?
Wachter: This season they lost that kid because he got really sick. They had to fly him out of there. I didn’t realize how much that affected the game. They went, “Oh (expletive deleted), we’ve got to put these people together.” Because they’ve got this all planned out way in advance. So, a twist…I’m a little paranoid…
Holmes: I thought you didn’t get paranoid.
Wachter: Not paranoid. (Laughs) But that they’ll have some goofy theme. I hope they don’t. But if they do, I have to go with it.

Holmes: If you could align with any past “Survivor” player, who would it be?
Wachter: It would be Andrew Savage. He’s the guy that I think can win the game. That’s a perfect example for a guy like me. They voted him out over stupid (expletive deleted). Just kids doing dumb stuff. You have to let a guy like that slide a little longer. He got smoked and it never should’ve happened. That’s the guy I’d align with. And, he’s an (expletive deleted) lawyer.

Holmes: Lightning round time. Cats or dogs?
Wachter: Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Wachter: Beer.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Wachter: Superman.
Holmes: Meat or vegetables?
Wachter: Meat.
Holmes: I think I know the answer to this one; Republican or Democrat?
Wachter: Yeah…Democrat.
Holmes: Books or TV?
Wachter: TV.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Wachter: Swimming.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Wachter: One good friend.
Holmes: A nice car or a nice home?
Wachter: Nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Wachter: Smart.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Wachter: Parvati.
Holmes: Big vacation or big TV?
Wachter: Big vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with team?
Wachter: Working with a team.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Wachter: Dragons.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Wachter: Seat of my pants.
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Wachter: Probst all day long.

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.

‘Survivor’ Gen-Xer Lucy: ‘I Could Be the Shy Girl, the Introvert…I Play Many Roles’

August 23, 2016
Lucy Huang (CBS)

Lucy Huang (CBS)

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” needs. We’ll have interviews with all twenty of the new players to hold you over until the season starts. Then we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the players after they’ve been eliminated, and the return of the ever-popular “Survivor” Power Rankings. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Name (Age): Lucy Huang (42)
Current Residence: Diamond Bar, CA
Occupation: Dietician
Hobbies: Lifting weights, cooking with my kids, and watching food shows to find new restaurants.
Pet Peeves: Lazy people, people with no common sense, and whiners.
Three Words to Describe You: Stubborn, hardworking, and controlling.

NOTE: Usually I get a good thirty minutes with each contestant before the game starts. However, this season I had to get through all 20 players in only two-and-a-half hours. So, these pieces will be short and hopefully sweet.

Gordon Holmes: Scanning over your bio here, you refer to yourself as “stubborn.” Is that an advantage or a disadvantage?
Lucy Huang: (Laughs) I guess it depends on how you use it.
Holmes: Fair enough. You also mention that your father was very angry. “Survivor” is a game where people are frequently angry. Is this a situation where you’ve learned to deal with people in tense situations?
Huang: Absolutely. I think at the end of the day you have to gain respect from it. If someone’s angry because something went wrong and you can be nurturing, that’s a positive as well.

Holmes: “Survivor” tends to have some deceit in it. Do you have any problems lying?
Huang: White lies? No.
Holmes: What about flirting? Is that a tool at your disposal?
Huang: Absolutely, that’s how I get things done sometimes.
Holmes: Did you and your husband have a talk beforehand about that?
Huang: Uh…(Laughs) no.
Holmes: (Laughs) Too late now.
Huang: (Laughs) He can get mad at me after.

Holmes: How well do you deal with being lied to?
Huang: If it’s a strategy I can respect…it wouldn’t be so bad. I know this is a game and I have to deal with it.
Holmes: How about hunger?
Huang: I’m pretty good at it, I’m a competitor. I’m an IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuidling and Fitness) pro. So, a lot of time I have to cut out food. I think that will be one of my strengths.
Holmes: Lack of sleep?
Huang: I manage a business, I have four kids, I have a husband, I really don’t get much sleep.
Holmes: Gordon, what is this “sleep” you’re talking about?
Huang: Yeah, exactly. (Laughs) I can function.

Holmes: Extreme temperatures?
Huang: I don’t like being cold. I’d rather be hot.
Holmes: How about paranoia?
Huang: I don’t know…I haven’t thought about that one.
Holmes: I’m told that’s a big one that most people don’t appreciate until they’re out there.
Huang: I think I’ll have to observe people and see what their personalities are like. And if they go out talking, I have to appreciate that they do the same thing with me.

Holmes: Have you seen any of the other players yet?
Huang: Only a few of them.
Holmes: Any early thoughts?
Huang: Right now they’re all being kind and smiling. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Holmes: Usually not long.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it could be?
Huang: That the weakest link will win.
Holmes: Do you consider yourself the weakest link?
Huang: It depends on how I play it. I could be the shy girl, the introvert…I play many roles in life.
Holmes: With your IBFF background, I can’t see you as the introvert.
Huang: I’ve been surrounded by different people my whole life. I managed a company that has over 200 employees with different personalities. I’m also a competitor so I’m around young girls and older girls and a lot of men. I also deal with my children and their teams as a soccer mom. So, my life really entails a lot of different personalities that I need to portray. I think that will be a benefit for me in the game.

Holmes: If you could align with any former player, who would it be?
Huang: I kind of like the way Cydney (Gillon) has been playing this season. She’s been quiet, low-key, but she’s getting respect from people. I think soon she’ll be able to play more of her cards.

Holmes: Lighting round time…cats or dogs?
Huang: Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Huang: Wine.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Huang: Superman.
Holmes: Meat or vegetables?
Huang: Meat.
Holmes: Republican or democrat?
Huang: Republican.
Holmes: Books or TV?
Huang: TV.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Huang: Swimming.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Huang: One good friend.
Holmes: A nice car or a nice home?
Huang: A nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Huang: Funny.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Huang: Boston Rob.
Holmes: Big vacation or big TV?
Huang: Vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with a team?
Huang: Alone.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Huang: Unicorns! For my daughter.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Huang: Fly by the seat of my pants.
Holmes: And finally, Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Huang: Oh, Jeff.

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.

‘Survivor’ Millennial Michaela: ‘If You Have No Value to Me, Then ‘Bye”

August 22, 2016
Michaela Bradshaw (CBS)

Michaela Bradshaw (CBS)

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” needs. We’ll have interviews with all twenty of the new players to hold you over until the season starts. Then we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the players after they’ve been eliminated, and the return of the ever-popular “Survivor” Power Rankings. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Name (Age): Michaela Bradshaw (25)
Current Residence: Fort Worth, TX
Occupation: Vacation Club Sales
Hobbies: Traveling, eating, and cuddling.
Pet Peeves: When incompetent people try to instruct me. When people do things inefficiently or wrong. When I lose. When other people make me lose.
Three Words to Describe You: Intelligent, fun, and competitive.

NOTE: Usually I get a good thirty minutes with each contestant before the game starts. However, this season I had to get through all 20 players in only two-and-a-half hours. So, these pieces will be short and hopefully sweet.

Gordon Holmes: Looking at your pet peeves here; “When incompetent people try to instruct me, when people do things inefficiently or wrong, when I lose, and when other people make me lose.” I’ve got some bad news.
Michaela Bradshaw: What’s that?
Holmes: I think you’re going to run into some of this stuff over the next 39 days.
Bradshaw: Oh yeah.
Holmes: Does this concern you?
Bradshaw: No, I’m gonna to handle it.
Holmes: Just like that?
Bradshaw: (Laughs) Yeah.
Holmes: I like that. You’re going to get a lot of questions from me, every answer should be “I’m gonna handle it.”
Bradshaw: (Laughs) I’m going to get it done! That’s what I do.

Holmes: “Survivor” can be a game of deception. Are you comfortable lying?
Bradshaw: Ooo…it’s not my strong suit. But, I can shut up when I have to.
Holmes: So lying by omission?
Bradshaw: To either shut up or ask a question. I’ll deflect with a question because most people like to talk.

Holmes: What’s your stance on flirting in the game?
Bradshaw: My man friend tells me I flirt without knowing it. But only to attractive people, so it depends how many attractive people are on the island.
Holmes: This man friend, is he someone who’s going to be upset if he sees you flirting?
Bradshaw: Heck yeah! (Laughs) But it won’t be a problem if I come back with the million.
Holmes: That’s true. I’d let my wife get away with a lot of flirting for a million bucks.
Bradshaw: (Laughs) Exactly! And I’m not a wife, so I’ve got some leeway.

Holmes: How well do you deal with people lying to you?
Bradshaw: Oh, if someone lies to me in the game I’ll keep it in the memory bank, get what I need to get from you, then be done with you. If you have no value to me, then “bye.”
Holmes: What about lack of food?
Bradshaw: I’m fine with that, but if I’m hungry and thirsty…my bonquisha comes out and I get a little agitated.
Holmes: Your what?
Bradshaw: My bonquisha. My little bit extra.

Holmes: How well do you do without sleep?
Bradshaw: I’ll always find a way to take a nap.
Holmes: Hot temperatures?
Bradshaw: I’m fine.
Holmes: Paranoia?
Bradshaw: I’m not a very paranoid person.
Holmes: So if you were aligned with someone and they ran off into the woods with someone you weren’t working with, you’d be OK with that?
Bradshaw: I’m very analytical. I have control over my emotions. I would analyze what was going on and think, “This is happening or this is happening.” But, it wouldn’t affect my emotions. It’d just be a multiple-choice question.

Holmes: Have you seen any of the other players yet?
Bradshaw: Yeah.
Holmes: What do you think?
Bradshaw: There’s one girl, she’s really country. She always wears tights. She looks like she’s barefooted. And she brought a guitar last time. She looks like she’s super sweet. I can’t wait to talk to her. There’s the Asian chick with the red hair. It’s pretty cool, she seems like a cool person. And there are a couple of weird people. I’m like, “Dang, I hope you’re not on my tribe.”

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it could be?
Bradshaw: They always come up with something crazy. But, I’ll handle it.
Holmes: That’s right.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be and why?
Bradshaw: I would love to have been the force that brought Kelley Wentworth and Jeremy (Collins) together.  I watched that season two more times over and I realized that Kelley was in the bottom because a vote went wrong. It wasn’t really anything that she did. It didn’t have to go that way. I thought her and Jeremy were really strong players. I think they would’ve done well together. I like how both of them played. Jeremy had a level head and Kelley kept finding ways to make things happen. Those are two characteristics you need. You need someone to figure out how to make a move, someone to think ahead, and then you have me in the middle…
Holmes: Handling it.
Bradshaw: (Laughs) That’s right!

Holmes: Alright, lightning round time. Cats or dogs?
Bradshaw: Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Bradshaw: Wine! What the heck?
Holmes: So passionate. Superman or Batman?
Bradshaw: Superman.
Holmes: Meat or vegetables?
Bradshaw: Meat, man!
Holmes: Republican or democrat?
Bradshaw: Hell, I wouldn’t want to be either one right now.
Holmes: Books or TV?
Bradshaw: Books.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Bradshaw: Swimming!
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Bradshaw: One good friend.
Holmes: Nice car or nice home?
Bradshaw: Nice home!
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Bradshaw: Shoot…smart.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Bradshaw: Parvati.
Holmes: Big vacation or big TV?
Bradshaw: Big vacation, bruh!
Holmes: Working alone or working with a group?
Bradshaw: Working alone if I’m trying to get it done.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Bradshaw: Unicorns!
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Bradshaw: Fly by the seat of my pants!
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Bradshaw: Jeff Probst, 100%!

Holmes: I like how you answered those like I should have known what you were going to say.
Bradshaw: (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs) Come back with that million.
Bradshaw: Yeah, let’s get it!

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.

‘Survivor’ Millennial Adam: ”Survivor’ Has Been My Dream Since I Was Nine’

August 19, 2016
Adam Klein (CBS)

Adam Klein (CBS)

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” needs. We’ll have interviews with all twenty of the new players to hold you over until the season starts. Then we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the players after they’ve been eliminated, and the return of the ever-popular “Survivor” Power Rankings. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Name (Age): Adam Klein (25)
Current Residence: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Homeless Shelter Manager
Hobbies: Board games, poker, browsing the “Survivor” subreddit and travel.
Pet Peeves: Bullies, long lines and smokers.
Three Words to Describe You: Intelligent, confident and personable.

NOTE: Usually I get a good thirty minutes with each contestant before the game starts. However, this season I had to get through all 20 players in only two-and-a-half hours. So, these pieces will be short and hopefully sweet.

Adam Klein: You’re not going to come out on location and win the first challenge?
Gordon Holmes: Nope, I get to do all this over the phone. And that challenge thing isn’t a big deal, it’s only like eight in a row. It’s not that impressive.
Klein: (Laughs) Aww…c’mon.
Holmes: You just got right on my good side and we’re only twenty seconds into this.
Klein: I read everything that you put out.
Holmes: You’re already my favorite. This speaks very well of your social game.

Holmes: The first thing that leapt out to me from your bio is your relationship with your mother who is battling cancer. 
Klein: The hardest part about this for me is leaving my family. Especially with all that’s going on with my mother’s cancer. We need something to look forward to. We need some goals that will give us something special down the road. When I first told my mom that I got on, she cried and she said, “You have to go on. You have to do this.” So, I’m not just doing this for myself. I’m doing it for my entire family. I want to be at the finale and get my million-dollar check and be able to hand it over to my mom in the audience. That’s the dream.
Holmes: It’s going to be awesome. Is this situation going to be something you keep to yourself when you’re out there?
Klein: I think that I have to. That’s going to be really hard for me to do because my family is the most important thing to me. And it’s definitely something that could be used against me. Jeremy (Collins) kept the fact that he was going to have a kid from his tribe. And this is a big sympathy point kind of thing where someone could theoretically say, “I don’t want to go to the end against a guy who has this kind of story.” It also could be something that I may need to share at some point. It’s going to be hard to bottle that up for 39 days. So, if I find someone who I feel I can really trust, it may bring us closer together. But initially I’m going to keep it to myself.
Holmes: It’s terrible to think about this, but in “Second Chances” there was a situation where someone left the game when they learned a family member was having a medical emergency. Have you planned for this?
Klein: “Survivor” has been my dream since I was nine years old. But, I love my family more. If there’s any chance that something terrible happens, I’m going home. Bottom line. They know that and they cast me in spite of that.
Holmes: Nine years old?
Klein: Yeah.
Holmes: I’m so old.
Klein: (Laughs) Sorry about that.

Holmes: You mentioned bullying as one of your pet peeves. We’ve seen a lot of that lately.
Klein: Yeah.
Holmes: Now, it’s one thing to bully or to be bullied, but it’s another thing to witness bullying. Usually the bully has power, if you stand up for the bullied person, it might cost you. What’s your instinct?
Klein: Like everything in “Survivor” it depends on the situation. I don’t want to get myself in a position where I’m going to be in trouble early because I did something that put me on the bad side of the majority of the tribe. But at the same time, when I was at summer camp in the 4th grade, I was bullied myself. You may find it hard to believe, but I was fat and obnoxious…well…I may still be a little bit…so I understand that. And the work that I do, I work with people who have been marginalized and gone through tough times. My heart goes out to anyone who’s facing difficulties. It’d be hard to bite my tongue if I see some real cruel things out there.

Holmes: As a super fan, I’m assuming you have no problem lying.
Klein: No problem at all.
Holmes: What about flirting?
Klein: (Laughs) I knew you were going to ask that! I was upset that you didn’t go to location last time so you could ask Joe Del Campo that question.
Holmes: (Laughs) It’s my job to get a baseline for how everyone thinks they’re going to play. I used to only ask the flirting question to the pretty young people, but that made me feel horrible. Everyone can flirt. I ask everyone now. Stop dodging the question, Adam!
Klein: (Laughs) I think I’m more likely to be the guy who is the flirtee rather than the flirter. If someone thinks they control me based on that, that’s going to be good for my game.
Holmes: How well do you deal with hunger, extreme temperatures, lack of sleep?
Klein: I actually am fine with hunger. I sometimes don’t eat until dinner. My mom’s not happy about it. Sleep deprivation will be tough. And extreme temperatures will be the worst. I get a little cranky and ornery when it’s hot. I’m going to have to put on my happy face.
Holmes: How about paranoia?
Klein: I think it’s going to be a little fun for me. This is what I signed on for. “Survivor” is a 24/7 game and I’m prepared for it.

Holmes: Have you seen any of the other players yet?
Klein: Very briefly I saw two other people. I haven’t seen the people I expected to see from finals. I’ve only seen quick glimpses of people.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it’ll be?
Klein: I’ve been racking my brain for months. At first I thought…they were asking a lot of questions at casting about my political history. Working for the Obama campaign…but then I found out I’m on the red tribe, so that doesn’t really make sense.  I think we’ll start at twenty, with two tribes. Then at eighteen go to three tribes. I know they liked how the tribe switch-ups worked during “Second Chances.”

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Klein: Probably Yau-Man (Chan). I love that guy. I feel like Denise (Stapley) is a strong ally that I could talk to and work through the game like she did with Malcolm (Freberg).

Holmes: We’re under a time crunch, so I’ve prepared a lightning round. Cats or dogs?
Klein: Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Klein: Beer.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Klein: Superman.
Holmes: Meat or vegetables?
Klein: Meat.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Klein: Look at my bio. (Laughs)
Holmes: Fair enough. Books or TV?
Klein: TV.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Klein: Sunbathing.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend.
Klein: Many casual friends.
Holmes: A nice car or a nice home?
Klein: A nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Klein: Smart.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Klein: Parvati.
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Klein: Jeff Probst…it’s not even close.
Holmes: A big vacation or a big TV?
Klein: Vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with a team?
Klein: A team. Definitely.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns.
Klein: Ooo…unicorns. Nice.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Klein: Careful planning.
Holmes: And finally, Gordon Holmes or Dalton Ross?
Klein: Hmm…Gordon Holmes. (Laughs)
Holmes: You almost broke my heart with that pause.
Klein: But when Dalton asks, I’m going to say him.
Holmes: You (Expletive Deleted).
Klein: (Laughs)

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.

‘Survivor’ Millennial Mari: ‘I Don’t Like Going by the Rules…Sorry’

August 18, 2016
Mari Takahashi (CBS)

Mari Takahashi (CBS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” needs. We’ll have interviews with all twenty of the new players to hold you over until the season starts. Then we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the players after they’ve been eliminated, and the return of the ever-popular “Survivor” Power Rankings. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news.

Name (Age):  Mari Takahashi (31)
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA via San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Professional Gamer
Hobbies: Video games, rock climbing, and traveling
Pet Peeves: Stagnation and laziness
Three Words to Describe You:  Courageous, adaptable, and calculating

NOTE: Usually I get a good thirty minutes with each contestant before the game starts. However, this season I had to get through all 20 players in only two-and-a-half hours. So, these pieces will be short and hopefully sweet.

Gordon Holmes: You are a YouTube gamer and I am an old man.
Mari Takahashi: (Laughs)
Holmes: So, explain to me what exactly that is.
Takahashi: I play video games at home. I yell at my screen, get angry, have fun. And apparently people like to watch that on the internet. It’s a strange new career that is available to millennials apparently.
Holmes: I like to play “Excitebike.” How do I get someone to pay me to do that?
Takahashi: There’s actually a lot of retro gamers out there.
Holmes: Sign me up!
Takahashi: (Laughs)

Holmes: You’re also proficient in ballet.
Takahashi: Yes!
Holmes: I know what that is.
Takahashi: (Laughs) I’d hope so.
Holmes: I imagine that would come in handy during all of those post-merge balancing challenges.
Takahashi: Yeah. I’ve trained for 27 years. It’s going to be one giant secret that I’ve done that. I’m just going to get really “lucky” in those challenges.

Holmes: “Survivor” has evolved into a game where deceit almost can’t be avoided. What is your approach?
Takahashi: I’ll approach this like I do any game, pretty much without emotions. My objective is winning, but I also want to have fun. You can call it manipulation, you can call it all of these things that have a negative connotation, but at the same time; is strategy something that has a negative connotation? They’re just words. It’s just playing the game. And I think I have a huge advantage because I don’t get too emotional over these things. We all know what we’re signing up for.
Holmes: But you do get emotional playing video games.
Takahashi: I hate losing. I’m not getting emotional because somebody took a headshot on me or beat me. I’m emotional because I didn’t win. I think there’s a difference in getting emotional when someone lies to you and taking it for what it is, a game.
Holmes: Do you get emotional when people lie to you?
Takahashi: No. Especially in this setting. It’s part of the game.

Holmes: How well do you deal with hunger?
Takahashi: Ballerina, 27 years. No problem. (Laughs)
Holmes: Good point. How about sleep deprivation.
Takahashi: Video games. I don’t sleep.
Holmes: Dude, you are perfect for this.
Takahashi: I know! I think I’ve been priming for this my entire life. And I had no idea until now.
Holmes: I know “Survivor” casting has been looking for a ballerina gamer for years.
Takahashi: (Laughs) They didn’t dig deep enough.
Holmes: How well do you do in the heat?
Takahashi: Very well. I’m actually like a chihuahua. I’m cold anywhere unless it’s 100 degrees.
Holmes: Does paranoia get to you? People running off into the woods, maybe talking about you?
Takahashi: I don’t know. We’ll see, man.
Holmes: What’s your stance on flirting?
Takahashi: I don’t know. I like to throw the little sister/big sister trope in more than spreading my legs.
Holmes: I think you and I have very different definitions of flirting.

Holmes: Have you seen any of the other players around?
Takahashi: Yeah, I’ve seen a few of them.
Holmes: What are your early thoughts on them?
Takahashi: I like to keep a notebook of notes. And I’ve seen some familiar faces and some new ones. I’ve seen an equal number of men and women. Nobody seems too giant and muscular. Judging a book by its cover, I’ve seen some people where I’m like, “That guy must work in tech.”

Holmes: If there is a twist, any guesses as to what it could be?
Takahashi: I think it could be Millennials vs. Generation X or Baby Boomers. But, I haven’t seen any old people. Or, maybe because I’m a gamer it will be tech people vs. traditional jobs vs. corporate. I think my profession and my age has something to do with this casting.
Holmes: I shouldn’t tell you this, but everyone there is a video game playing ballerina.
Takahashi: Damnit! I thought I was the only one.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be and why?
Takahashi: Boston Rob. He’s fun, he’s smart. And I like to watch villains play. Boston Rob walks the line and I like that. He’s very human.
Holmes: Could there be some villainous blood in you?
Takahashi: I don’t know. I’ll weigh the situation when I get there.

Holmes: OK, we’re short on time, so I’ve prepared a lighting round. Cats or dogs?
Takahashi: Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Takahashi: Neither, whisky.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Takahashi: Neither! Arrow.
Holmes:  Meat or vegetables?
Takahashi: Meat.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Takahashi: Gahhhh…somewhere in the middle.
Holmes: Books or TV?
Takahashi: Video games.
Holmes: You are bad at this.
Takahashi: (Laughs)
Holmes: One or the other, Mari!
Takahashi: I don’t like going by the rules. Sorry.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Takahashi: Swimming.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Takahashi: One good friend.
Holmes: A nice car or a nice home?
Takahashi: A nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Takahashi: Smart.
Holmes: I know this one; Parvati or Boston Rob?
Takahashi: Boston Rob.
Holmes: A big vacation or a big TV?
Takahashi: Big vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or working with a team?
Takahashi: Alone.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Takahashi: Dragon unicorns.
Holmes: Whoa. Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Takahashi: Gosh…let’s go with careful planning for right now.
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Takahashi: (Laughs) Jeff Probst.
Holmes: And a special bonus one just for you; Mario or Luigi?
Takahashi: (Laughs) Mario.

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.

Meet the Cast of ‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’

August 17, 2016
"Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X" (CBS)

“Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” (CBS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’ll be young people vs. slightly-less young people when the legendary reality competition “Survivor” returns for its 33rd (33rd?!) season this fall. The timely twist which pits people who grew up without the internet against people who inherited a rocky job market isn’t the first time the show has divided the tribes by age, but it is the first time the tribes will represent a specific generation.

I was able to chat with each of the 20 new contestants before they traveled to Fiji. So, follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) in the days leading up to the premiere for exclusive interviews.

Vanua
AdamK
Name (Age): Adam Klein (25)

Current Residence: San Francisco, CA

Occupation: Homeless Shelter Manager

Hobbies: Board games, poker, browsing the “Survivor” subreddit and travel.

Pet Peeves: Bullies, long lines and smokers.

Three Words to Describe You: Intelligent, confident and personable.

HannahS Name (Age): Hannah Shapiro (24)

Current Residence: West Hollywood, CA via Brookline, MA

Occupation: Barista

Hobbies: Skiing, scuba diving, eating. I can hula-hoop and walk at the same time.

Pet Peeves: A pet peeve of mine is someone who likes to kill people. Not sure why, that’s just such a pet peeve of mine! Also people who stick their gum on public benches or fart in small elevators.

Three Words to Describe You: Nerdy, competitive, and weird.

 

JessicaF

Name (Age): Jessica “Figgy” Figueroa (23)

Current Residence: Nashville, TN

Occupation: Bartender

Hobbies: Kayaking, videography, and watching football.

Pet Peeves: When people are lazy and expect things to just happen. That’s not what life is about. Get up and fight.

Three Words to Describe You: Adventurous, free spirit, and crowd pleaser.

JustinS Name (Age): Justin “Jay” Starrett (27)

Current Residence: Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Occupation: Real Estate Agent

Hobbies: Skimboarding, fishing, and pretty much any sport.

Pet Peeves: I don’t like when people make plans or say they are going to do something and they don’t deliver.

Three Words to Describe You: Determined, intelligent and funny.

 

MariT Name (Age):  Mari Takahashi (31)

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA via San Francisco

Occupation: Professional Gamer

Hobbies: Video games, rock climbing, and traveling

Pet Peeves: Stagnation and laziness

Three Words to Describe You:  Courageous, adaptable, and calculating

Michaela Name (Age): Michaela Bradshaw (25)

Current Residence: Fort Worth, TX

Occupation: Vacation Club Sales

Hobbies: Traveling, eating, and cuddling.

Pet Peeves: When incompetent people try to instruct me. When people do things inefficiently or wrong. When I lose. When other people make me lose.

Three Words to Describe You: Intelligent, fun, and competitive.

MichelleS Name (Age): Michelle Schubert (28)

Current Residence: Yakima, WA

Occupation: Missionary Recruiter

Hobbies: I love learning and reading and dancing. I seek beauty, adventure and adrenaline. I like nature, exploring, rock climbing, slacklining, and CATAN expansions. I also study dragons and the stars.

Pet Peeves: Windshield wipers on a dry window!

Three Words to Describe You: Hungry, hungry, hippo.

TaylorS Name (Age): Taylor Lee Stocker (24)

Current Residence: Postfalls, ID

Occupation: Ski Instructor

Hobbies: Playing music, brewing beer, and snowboarding.

Pet Peeves: Wobbly tables, people not cleaning up their dog’s poop, loud chewing, slow walkers, selfies, forms without enough space for answers.

Three Words to Describe You: Spontaneous, inventive, and thinker.

 

WillW Name (Age): Will Wahl (18)

Current Residence: Long Valley, NJ

Occupation: High School Student

Hobbies: Watching TV (mostly “Survivor”), camping/fishing, and reading news articles.

Pet Peeves: People who are fake and/or stuck-up.

Three Words to Describe You: Cunning, adaptable, and dynamic.

Zeke Name (Age): Zeke Smith (28)

Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY

Occupation: Asset Manager

Hobbies: Writing, improv, gym and cooking.

Pet Peeves: Sniffling. Chewing with one’s mouth open. Black shoes with brown belts. Children who don’t listen to their mothers.

Three Words to Describe You: Sharp, devilish, and unstoppable.


Takali

 

BretL Name (Age): Bret LaBelle (42)

Current Residence: Dedham, MA

Occupation: Police Sergeant

Hobbies: Going to the gym, golf, improve, and bicycling.

Pet Peeves: Couples who sit on the same side of the booth, people who talk politics and religion at Thanksgiving dinner, and bullies.

Three Words to Describe You: Gregarious, funny/hilarious and caring.

ChrisH Name (Age): Chris Hammons (38)

Current Residence: Moore, OK

Occupation: Trial Lawyer

Hobbies: Working out to relive stress, strategizing to be successful, and challenging myself to be the best.

Pet Peeves: Smacking gum. I hate it. I would do away with all gum on Earth if I could.

Three Words to Describe You: Super competitive! I don’t lose. Tenacious; I never give up. Fighter; I don’t lose fights.


CiandreT Name (Age): Ciandre “CeCe” Taylor (39)

Current Residence: Granada Hills, CA via Buffalo, NY

Occupation: Insurance Adjuster

Hobbies: Writing, hiking/working out, and watching reality shows.

Pet Peeves: People who can’t drive in traffic and people who cough and sneeze without covering their mouths.

Three Words to Describe You: Outgoing, strong minded, and goal setter.

DavidW
Name (Age): David Wright (42)

Current Residence: Sherman Oaks, CA via Philadelphia, PA

Occupation: Television Writer

Hobbies: 3D printing puzzles.

Pet Peeves: Sudden, loud noises; people who don’t use a turn signal; people who believe in ghosts and psychics; people who are late for dinner; people who incorrectly use the word “nonplussed;” people.

Three Words to Describe You: OCD, nervous, and paranoid.


JessicaL  

Name (Age): Jessica Lewis (37)

Current Residence: Voorheesville, NY

Occupation: Assistant District Attorney

Hobbies: Painting, baking, and photography.

Pet Peeves: People who blame others for their own misery.

Three Words to Describe You: Unique, unconventional, and intriguing.

 

KenM Name (Age): Ken McNickle (33)

Current Residence: Denver, CO via Hana, Maui

Occupation: Model

Hobbies: Anything outdoors (hiking, camping and fishing), music (playing and watching) and dancing.

Pet Peeves: Superficial connections and communication.

Three Words to Describe You: Driven, mindful, and perceptive.

LucyH Name (Age): Lucy Huang (42)

Current Residence: Diamond Bar, CA

Occupation: Dietician

Hobbies: Lifting weights, cooking with my kids, and watching food shows to find new restaurants.

Pet Peeves: Lazy people, people with no common sense, and whiners.

Three Words to Describe You: Stubborn, hardworking, and controlling.

PaulW Name (Age): Paul Wachter (52)

Current Residence: Sugarloaf Key, FL via Long Island, NY

Occupation: Boat Mechanic

Hobbies: Singing in a rock band, treasure hunting, and spear fishing.

Pet Peeves: Whiners and slackers.

Three Words to Describe You: Intimidating, methodical, confident

RachelA Name (Age): Rachel Ako (37)

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA  

Occupation: Recruiting Director

Hobbies: Dancing, traveling and high ropes/high adventure activities. 

Pet Peeves: I guess I would say bad manners.

Three Words to Describe You: Energetic, authentic, and fun!

SundayB Name (Age): Sunday Burquest (45)

Current Residence: Otsego, MN

Occupation: Youth Pastor

Hobbies: Repurposing and painting furniture. Interior design and thrift shopping (love the thrill of the hunt for a good deal).

Pet Peeves: Arrogant people: those who think they are God’s gift to the human race. Catty women: the ones that make the snide comments, back-handed compliments and make other girls in the room feel like they don’t measure up. People that are late drive me nuts.

Three Words to Describe You: Bossy, compassionate, and tenacious.

Don’t miss the season premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X,” Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8pm ET.


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