Archive for September, 2016

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Episode 2 Recap: Doctors Rush in When Player Has Chest Problems

September 28, 2016
"Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X" (CBS)

“Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” (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 the Season Premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

Last Week: Taylor and Figgy started an alliance based on infatuation, the Gen-Xers got an idol for participation, and Rachel’s puzzle problems led to her elimination.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor Blog…

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

The Vanua Tribe – Millennials (wearing orange)

Adam – 25, Homeless Shelter Manager
Figgy – 23, Bartender
Hannah – 24, Barista
Jay – 27, Real Estate Agent
Mari – 31, Professional Gamer
Michaela – 25, Vacation Club Sales
Michelle – 28, Missionary Recruiter
Taylor – 24, Ski Instructor
Will – 18, High School Student
Zeke – 28, Asset Manager

The Takali Tribe – Generation-X (wearing purple)

Bret – 42, Police Sergeant
Chris – 38, Trial Lawyer
CeCe – 39, Insurance Adjuster
David – 42, Television Writer
Jessica – 37, Assistant District Attorney
Ken – 33, Model
Lucy – 42, Dietician
Paul – 52, Boat Mechanic
Sunday – 45, Youth Pastor

We kick things off the morning after Tribal Council. Paul lets us know that CeCe is still in trouble for working with Rachel, while David is still on the chopping block for…well…being David.

However, David proves that he’s not all freakouts and frantic early alliances by starting a fire. Way to be, David!

Wow, Alecia’s reign as the least-likely-fire starter was short.

THEN…David manages to find an idol! Shut the front door. That might be the best opening segment any “Survivor” player has ever had ever. Ever…

Meanwhile, Kenny Amazing is off fishing. He catches a giant octopus and dubs it “Octopus Prime.” Hilarious. I’d also accept Bumblebee Tuna, StarfishScream, and MegaTrout.

As Ken and David tend to the delicious Transformer, the duo strikes up an alliance. Looks like Tai and Caleb have competition for most unlikely pairing. Later on, Ken brings CeCe on board as well.

Over at Millennial Station, Figgy and Taylor are sittin’ in a tree. T-A-L-K-I-N-G. He thinks she’s “rad.” That’s big talk, buddy. I waited till our sixth-month anniversary to call my wife “rad.”

Later that night, Michaela catches Figgy and Taylor giving each other the ol’ figure four liplock. She finds this gross because…you know…they haven’t brushed their teeth in five days.

Michaela blows up Taylor and Figgy’s spot the next day. (I used that slang right, right?) Everyone has a laugh about it. Figgy thinks nobody will care because Millennials are all carefree with their smooching. However, everyone is concerned that they’ll become a rad power couple.

The third prong of the triforce, Jay, is not thrilled with this development. Why? Because sometimes you have to stay at home with your girlfriend when your bros want to go bowling. I’m sure this applies to “Survivor” in some fashion.

Then, Michaela and Figgy get into it. It’s hard to put my finger on what set them off. But they’ve got beef. (Can I get a second slang ruling, please?)

In a bit of a scary moment, Doctor Joe is called in to the Gen-X camp when it seems like Paul is having a heart attack. Fortunately, it turns out to just be heat exhaustion and a bit of dehydration. After Kaoh Rong, let’s try to have a season without any medical evacuations, kay?

Immunity Challenge Time: One player from each tribe will dive into the water, climb up a net, then jump and grab a key. Once five keys have been retrieved, they will be used to release a swimming mask. The team will then use the mask to dive down and recover five rings. The first tribe to toss all five of their rings onto floating posts will win immunity and a tarp. No word on if it’s the same tarp they borrowed last week.

Hannah will sit out for the Millennials.

Survivor are ready, and they go. The key gathering portion is pretty even until David’s turn…oh David. He takes a loooong time and gives the Millennials a lead.

The hoop acquiring also gets off to a bad start for Gen-X as CeCe goes out for a ring and comes back empty handed. Fortunately, they’re able to recover and even things up.

In the final stage, CeCe and Kenny Amazing prove to be hoop tossin’ champs. They sink their shots and manage to secure the come-from-behind win for Gen-X.

Politcking back at Millennial beach starts out with the numbers firmly in the break-up-the-power-couple camp. But, Jay and Michelle want to keep their numbers and set out to target Mari.

Jay tells Figgy and Michaela that Zeke wants to vote them both out. Apparently this is enough to get the feuding females to discuss working together.

Michelle approaches Will next, but Will is worried that Figgy can go a long way like Parvati and Cochran. Not the first two people I’d compare Figgy too, but whatevs.

That night at Tribal Council, fire still represents life. Maybe Jeff should just have a sign made for Tribal like those “Don’t Pee In Our Ool” signs people have by their pools.

Immediately, Adam is thrilled to be at Tribal because he’s a hardcore fan. It is awesome.

Mari thinks “Survivor” is different than a video game because you’re playing with real people.

Fun Fact: There have been a few “Survivor” video game. They are all terrible.

Michaela believes the game can bring out the worst in people.

Hannah points out that Taylor and Figgy like to cuddle, but it’s cool because they’re both pretty. Don’t let her catch ugly people cuddling.

Apparently this is referred to as “macking in the shack.” Gen-X calls it “Gimme Shelter.”

During this conversation, Michelle leans over to Hannah and whispers to her that she’s voting for Mari. Hannah literally looks like Michelle just whispered “your puppy just died.”

Hannah wants to know why she should vote for Mari but Michelle won’t tell her until later. Hannah checks with Jay to make sure he’s voting for Mari too.

Probst catches the whispering and tries to get to the bottom of it. However, they don’t give anything up. This is so weird. It’s like Jeff should give them detention.

Everyone wants to know what’s up, but Mari thinks it’s just “Hannah being Hannah.”

Voting Time: Zeke votes for Figgy, Figgy votes for Mari, and Hannah takes a month to write her vote. It’s hilarious. You can actually see Jeff leaning into the shot to make sure that she’s still there.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one for Figgy, one for Mari, one for Figgy, one for Mari, one for Figgy, three for Mari, and the second person voted out of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…Mari.

Verdict: So typical of Millennials, couldn’t wait for the drama…had to wrench it up now. Seriously, I’ve never seen a Tribal with a conversation like that. It was awesome. This season is off to a hot start.

Power Rankings Results: Michele Fitzgerald had Mari in spot five, while Shirin Oskooi had her in spot seven. So, the current score is Team Fitzgerald 5, Team Oskooi 7.

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

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‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Power Rankings Round 1: Who Is the Triforce’s Missing Link? Edition

September 28, 2016
"Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X" (CBS)

“Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” (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 the Season Premiere of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

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.  The person with the most points at the end of the season will be declared the “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” champion.

Quick Note: XFINITY “Survivor” loudmouth Gordon Holmes will be unable to participate in this season’s Power Rankings due to being more than a bit spoiled. Therefore, he has invited defending Power Rankings champion Shirin Oskooi to take his place.

Michele Fitzgerald and Shirin Oskooi’s Rankings

michele shirin

Michele’s Score = 0

Any questions for Michele? Drop her a line on Twitter: @meeshfitz

Shirin’s Score = 0

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

adam
 1. – Adam: Someone’s aware on the Millennial tribe? #unprecedented
 1. – Michaela: Drag them. #gagging
chris
 2. – Chris: Congrats Chris, you are doing well.
 2. – Will: Minor player.
zeke zeke
 3. – Zeke: First he builds the fire, then he builds the shelter, then he builds a case to win a million dollars.
 3. – Zeke: Day 1: 80 year old. Day 3: makes fire. Day 39: Probst wears a Hawaiian shirt to Tribal.
bret adam
 4. – Bret: Channeling Boston Rod’s 3 C’s: Cool, Calm & Collective.
 4. – Adam: Homeless shelter manager warns tribe of the dangers of homelessness.
mari
 5. – Mari: This gamers got game! She has displayed the smarts and the social finesse to pull off some major moves.
 5. – Chris: In the “Survivor” justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important alphas. Bret, who investigates the castaways. And Chris, who prosecutes the offenders. Gen-X is their story.
jay bret
 6. – Jay: In the tri-force, Jay was smart enough to choose the cloak of invisibility.
 6. – Bret: BONG BONG #Law&Order
jessica
 7. – Jessica: She may have an eye infection but she still sees whats happening around her.
 7. – Mari: LoL, Mari knows: don’t start a team fight with only four players. #freaksandgeeksOP
hannah
 8. – Hannah: We get it, you don’t think you’re cool, but Michelle and Mari do. Please, stop the crusade and start building something stronger.
 8. – Taylor: “I’ve done a lot. Beekeeper . I’ve brewed beer. Snowboard instructor. Gone to North Dakota . I’m definitely a Peter Pan type.”

Bro, those are all the same thing: unemployed.
michelle sunday
 9. – Michelle: I’ve heard that Michelles do well playing in the middle, so as long as no one is looking at you, stay where you are.
 9. – Sunday: I wish it was Sunday. That’s my fun day, my I don’t have to run day. #manicrachel
ken
 10. – Ken: He has two things that the rest of the Gen X’ers don’t: an amazing 6 pack and a positive attitude.
 10. – Paul: The only thing delivered by drone was Paul’s pep talk. #DroningOnAboutSpiltMilk
jessica
  11. – Michaela: Who needs confessionals when facial expressions tell the whole story?
 11. – Jessica: Get off Twitter, mom.
will jay
 12. – Will: He may be the youngest, but others are acting more immature than him.  12. – Jay: “I can tell he’s just a bro.” Same tbh.
taylor
 13. – Taylor: This Peter Pan needs to get his head out of the clouds and into the game.  13. – David: Anatidaephobia: the fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you. #thefarside
david
  14. – David: Scaredy pants is the new poopy pants.
 14. – Ken: Ken, you’re a doll. But you need to work on your #DadBod to fit in.
sunday hannah
 15. – Sunday: Where do you land in an alliance of 8? My bet is somewhere near the bottom.
 15. – Hannah: Three tall, extra hot Americanos to go, please.
paul michelle
 16. – Paul: Big guy, big opinions.
 16. – Michelle: If the freaks and geeks have their way, the missionary’s position is on the bottom.
lucy figgy
 17. – Lucy: Who here is playing “Survivor”? *full cast raises hand except Lucy*  17. – Figgy: Instead of keeping up with the Stanford and Harvard grads in a game for a million dollars, Figgy is aiming for her MRS degree. #GoingForBROke
figgy lucy
 18. – Figgy: Girl, people are looking at you!! I have a feeling Figgy likes to stand out, but in the first week of “Survivor,” the goal is to blend in.
 18. – Lucy: Started from the bottom, now we’re here.
cece cece
 19. – CeCe: Gen X likes to stick to the plan, and this time the plan is Cece.
 19. – CeCe: I don’t know why she was in peril. Maybe her car broke down. Maybe she was reading a book. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

‘Survivor’ Castaway Rachel: ‘I Could Have Really Screwed Jess Over Because She Was Desperate’

September 22, 2016
Rachel Ako (CBS)

Rachel Ako (CBS)

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 from “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” champ Michele Fitzgerald and Shirin Oskooi, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X”

Rachel Ako: Hi Gordon! You’re so famous, you interviewed us before and after.
Gordon Holmes: Yeah, I’m like the 14th most famous person that does this.
Ako: (Laughs)
Holmes: Any luck finding your twin flame out there?
Ako: No, you weren’t out there!
Holmes: My twin flameness has already been spoken for, I’m afraid.
Ako: I’m jealous. She must be a great lady.
Holmes: She is. Although, her taste in men is questionable.

Holmes: Last night’s evacuation was a “Survivor” first. What happened after you were loaded onto the boats?
Ako: They evacuated us pretty late. I was getting my butt handed to me by the wind because I’m little as it is. They put us in this boat that was pretty rocky. Then they put us in this room with concrete floors, no pillows, no anything. We were separated by tribes and we weren’t able to talk. The producers were monitoring us. It was pretty awful.
Holmes: That sounds worse than being in the jungle.
Ako: That’s what I thought at the time.

Holmes: Were you being targeted before the challenge?
Ako: I felt a little targeted before the challenge. However, nobody was really stepping up regarding the puzzle except for David because he had a lot of experience and did 3-D puzzles, and made “Survivor” puzzles at home. So, I stepped up. I take full responsibility for it. But, I wish I would have stepped back and let someone else do it.
Holmes: Why did you feel targeted before the challenge?
Ako: I could see cliques forming with Sunday, Bret, Chris, and Jessica. They were pairing off.

Holmes: You ended up working with CeCe. Why was she being targeted?
Ako: At the time, I think there were rumors that I had an idol and they wanted to split the vote.

Holmes: Were there any cracks in that alliance that you tried to exploit?
Ako: Good question. Jess came up to me right before we were going to Tribal Council and she said, “I feel like Sunday and the others are playing me.” And she already had those two bacterial infections in her eyes, so that may have heightened it. I did play the game with integrity, and I said, “They’re not playing you, Jessica. They’re not voting for you.” I could have really screwed Jess over because she was desperate and her eyes were making her paranoid. But, I didn’t take advantage of it.
Holmes: There’s the evening’s lesson; always lie.
Ako: I know! I know. But, I went into the game and I said I was going to attempt to go far into the game with integrity.

Holmes: Did anyone see Jessica pocket the Legacy envelope? Did anyone see her sneak off to read something?
Ako: No, we were running around frantically trying to beat the millennials. I’m pretty sure nobody saw her.

Holmes: You and Paul butted heads a little bit. What was that relationship like?
Ako: At the time, Paul was more like “Do this! Do this!” It was almost very womanizing or bossy. But of course, I was portrayed as the bossy one. So, I was trying to be more playful about it. He has his moments, but he’s a cool guy.
Holmes: You used the word “womanizing,” did he direct his bossiness toward the women specifically?
Ako: He wasn’t very gentleman-like, I’ll just say that. He’s a good person, but at the time…

Holmes: What was your impression of Ken?
Ako: Initially, I didn’t trust him at all. On the island he seemed pretty down to Earth. And we actually hung out a lot. And with CeCe, we were close.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with David.
Ako: Funny.
Holmes: Bret?
Ako: Also funny. Goofy.
Holmes: Jessica?
Ako: Smart.
Holmes: CeCe?
Ako: A character.
Holmes: Sunday?
Ako: Bitchy after watching last night.
Holmes: Ken?
Ako: So many layers with Ken…nice.
Holmes: Chris?
Ako: Mean.
Holmes: Paul?
Ako: A good guy.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Lucy.
Ako: Very serious.

Holmes: You seem like a young spirit to me. Do you think you would have fared better with the Millennials?
Ako:
Who knows? But, I do feel like more of a younger soul. I appreciate the Millennial philosophy and I think there are a lot of strong opinions on the Gen-X tribe about that philosophy. I blended in with both generations.

Holmes: Is it some solace that you were able to leave the game without bacterial infections in your eyes?
Ako:
No! The next day on TV the same things happened to me. It pretty much ran rampant in Fiji. It was one of the worst days ever.

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

‘Survivor: MvGX’ Episode 1 Recap: CBS Forced to Evacuate Game Due to Violent Cyclone

September 21, 2016
"Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X" (CBS)

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

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 from “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” champ Michele Fitzgerald and Shirin Oskooi, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

We kick things off with a pair of boats raging across the Fijian coast. Each boat is filled to the brim with people who either love participation trophies or hate them.

We meet the Millennials first. (Because you know they wouldn’t wait.)

Taylor tells us that he’s the “Peter Pan type” and he’ll never grow up. I had that attitude too, but I traded it in for a mortgage.

Next up is professional gamer Mari. She refers to “Survivor” as “the game of games.” I can respect that.

Then, Zeke tells us how much he hates Twitter. (Ahem…@zekerchief)

From there it’s time to meet Gen-X. They’ll probably be bragging about their 401Ks and dental plans.

Chris explains that Gen-Xers actually listen and get up after they’re knocked down. He also intends to keep any Nerf balls that end up on his lawn.

Sunday is blown away by youngsters who play video games and take seven years to go to school. Oh, c’,mon Sunday. I’m a Gen-Xer and I did all of that stuff.

David explains how long it took him to become a writer. He thinks Millennials wouldn’t take that long to accomplish their dream, they’d just find a new dream.

Finally a handsome guy in a baseball hat, puka shell necklace, and baseball hat says something about…

39 Days, 20 People, One “Survivor” Blog

The boats arrive at a beach and each player is given a package with a buff in it. Ironically, the orange buffs go to people who are wearing orange clothing and the purple buffs go to people wearing purple clothing. Amazing.

Let’s take a look at these tribes…

The Vanua Tribe – Millennials (wearing orange)

Adam – 25, Homeless Shelter Manager
Figgy – 23, Bartender
Hannah – 24, Barista
Jay – 27, Real Estate Agent
Mari – 31, Professional Gamer
Michaela – 25, Vacation Club Sales
Michelle – 28, Missionary Recruiter
Taylor – 24, Ski Instructor
Will – 18, High School Student
Zeke – 28, Asset Manager

The Takali Tribe – Generation-X (wearing purple)

Bret – 42, Police Sergeant
Chris – 38, Trial Lawyer
CeCe – 39, Insurance Adjuster
David – 42, Television Writer
Jessica – 37, Assistant District Attorney
Ken – 33, Model
Lucy – 42, Dietician
Paul – 52, Boat Mechanic
Rachel – 37, Recruiting Director
Sunday – 45, Youth Pastor

Once they’re divided, Probst spills the beans about the season’s theme. They all seem amused. He asks if anyone wants to fess up to being the Millennial born in 1997, and Will puts down his blankey and raises his hand.

Seriously?! 1997?! The shirt I’m wearing right now is older than him.

Then, Paul admits to being born in 1963 and I feel a little bit better.

Probst asks Paul what it’s like to now be a part of the older establishment. Paul says this his generation didn’t get participation trophies.

OK, who had six minutes in the Participation Trophy Reference Pool? Pick up your prize. (Ironically, the people who lose this pool don’t get anything.)

Quick Aside: I’m smack dab in the middle of Jeff Probst’s definition of Generation X, and everyone in my t-ball league got a trophy.

CeCe then does her best to immediately alienate half of the game by saying that Millennials don’t work for anything.

Adam disagrees with CeCe and says the immunity challenges will show how hard the Millennials are willing to work to get ahead.

Reward Challenge Time: The players will dash around an area picking up items for camp. Some of the items are an either/or situation, meaning they can’t take both. Whatever they get back to their mat is property of their tribe.

The Survivors are ready…and they go.

During the chaotic scramble, Jessica finds a mystery envelope and pockets it before anyone notices.

Gen-X chooses fishing gear over a cage of chickens. The Millennials made the opposite choice. Whataya wanna bet they name one of those chickens “Chicken McChickenface.”

Before Probst sends them back to camp, he encourages them to work on their shelter immediately because some bad weather is headed their way.

Over at Millennial Manor, the kids are hard at work putting together their shelter. Who’s lazy now?

It looks like Taylor and Jay are immediately hitting it off. I’d be OK with a Joaquin/Rodney-level bromance from those two. High comedy. They also seem to be bringing Figgy and Michelle into their group as part of a hot-person alliance. A four-person cool kid alliance worked out really well in Caramoan if I remember correctly. (Ahem…)

Later on, Figgy wants to name one of the chickens, but she doesn’t want to name it Tai because then she wouldn’t want to kill it. Oh, so name it Philip.

Once the important chicken naming process is over, Figgy, Jay, and Taylor name themselves “The Triforce.” Personally I think that nickname Hy-rules. (I’ll see myself out.)

Hannah notices the pretty people gravitating to each other and is rightfully concerned. She tries to make inroads with Michelle.

Meanwhile at the old folks home, Paul gives a pep talk about how the Gen-Xers were going to win because they’re thinkers and workers. Then, Ken rains on his parade by saying they shouldn’t underestimate the youngsters. Way to bring the mood down, Mr. Model.

When the tribe starts working on the shelter, Jessica sneaks out to read her clue. Apparently it’s a “Legacy Advantage” that will help her if she’s still around on Day 36. If she’s voted out, she must will it to another player.

Fascinating.

Later on, Rachel and Dave butt heads a bit while building a shelter. The main argument centers around how long six inches is. I’m going to leave that alone.

Then we finally get to spend some time with David. He is a treat. He holds his ears while bamboo is being chopped, he freaks out when Kenny Amazing brings him a bug, and then he leads everyone to think that someone has found an idol, when they clearly haven’t.

David tries to start an immediate alliance with Bret and Chris. They seem to like him, but they’re freaked out by how hard and fast he’s pushing.

Back at the Millennial camp, the weather is clearly starting to pick up. So much so that it blows over their tribe flag. That’s never happened before. Their shelter isn’t in much better shape. But, rather than fixing it, they decide to go swimming. Don’t worry, they can complain to their teachers and get to do some shelter extra credit.

Will thinks the shelter is the worst in “Survivor” history which leads me to believe that he’s never seen “Survivor: All-Stars.”

The storm hits and it is a doozy. Welcome to the show, kids.

We meet up with Gen-X the next day and it is still pouring. CeCe refers to it as “a night of hell.”

Treemail arrives with a tarp and a letter from Probst. The note says that the storm is going to last longer, so they can borrow the tarp for a little while as a “gesture of goodwill.” I like the idea that Jeff went into his garage to rustle up a couple of tarps. Send them a casserole too.

Actually, that storm must’ve been horrific, because when have the producers ever offered anyone a “gesture of goodwill.”

The Millennials receive a similar message and are hard at work when Jeff shows up in a boat. That’s never good. He informs them that the storm has been upgraded to a cyclone and they’ve made the call to evacuate both tribes.

Wow. I know some people will have a problem with the evacuation, but you can’t put peoples’ lives at risk.

CUT TO: Footage of the cyclone destroying both beaches. Yikes.

In fact, when the Gen-Xers return the next day, they learn that a large tree has crushed their shelter.

But, using their Gen-Xy attitudes, they get back to work building their shelter. Everyone except for David, that is, who goes on an idol hunt. And not a very stealthy idol hunt as everyone sees him doing it.

Bret, Chris, Dave, and Jessica talk about reigning him in, which to me sounds like they want to work with him.

Things have a different tone over at Millennial beach where Zeke takes over as the foreman of the shelter committee. Not only that, but he builds a fire. Atta boy! The Zeke shall inherit!

Elsewhere, other people are noticing that the Triforce is working together. Hannah and Mari have a chat about it and dub their alliance the “Freaks and Geeks.”

Honestly, naming alliances is the only good thing to come from “Big Brother.” I fully support this.

Immunity Challenge Time: The teams will race under a wooden maze and untie two clubs. From there, they’ll continue through an obstacle course. However, they can use the clubs to smash masks and open up shortcuts through the obstacles. Buuuuuut…if they use the shortcuts, they’ll have to complete a larger puzzle at the end. First tribe to complete their puzzle wins immunity and flint.

We start off and Gen-X jumps out to an early lead when Chris blocks the Millennials from getting their clubs. Gen-X takes both of the shortcuts, which is ironic considering how they’ve been describing the Millennials.

The Millennials struggle through the first obstacle, so they decide to take the second shortcut.

David and Rachel are the first to start on their puzzle, but their puzzle will be larger than the Millennial puzzle.

David and Rachel eventually tag out to Jessica and Sunday, but it doesn’t matter because Figgy and Michelle destroy the puzzle and win it for the Millennials. Which is a good thing, because if they lost their parents would’ve raised hell at the parent/teacher conferences.

As we head to commercial, Chris tells us that Rachel and David are “on the hatchet” because of their puzzle performance. So, do you put something on the hatchet and then hit it with the chopping block?

Politicking around camp does center around David or Rachel. It seems like Bret, Jessica, and Sunday want to get rid of Rachel. But, Bret is worried that David has the idol.

David is freaked out because nobody will talk to him. He approaches Jessica and tells her that he’ll vote anyway she wants him to. She wants to know if he has an idol and he swears he doesn’t. She says that’s too bad because she would have made a deal with him if he did. Aw…that’s mean.

Later CeCe and Rachel seem to form some kind of little alliance because CeCe is in trouble. Wait, she is? Why?

That night at Tribal Council, everyone dips their torch into the campfire because fire represents something something…

Also, something must be wrong with my TV because it looks like Probst’s blue shirt is white.

Apparently Jessica is in bad shape because she has a bacterial infection in both of her eyes. Could be worse, could have a bug in your ear.

David says the last few days have felt like a year, but he doesn’t want to go home.

CeCe hates that someone has to be the first to go.

Chris thinks everyone, including himself, is paranoid and thinks they are going home.

Rachel knows she’s in trouble because everyone is being unresponsive. She also worries that she’s been too upfront and may have hurt peoples’ feelings.

Jessica believes there are idols and the game and she thinks people have been looking for them…especially David.

David knows he looks guilty and he wants to prove that he can be loyal.

Voting Time: No votes are shown. Huh…

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for David, one vote for Rachel, one vote for Sunday, one vote for CeCe, one vote for Rachel, one vote for CeCe, one vote for Rachel, one vote for CeCe, one vote for Rachel, and the first person eliminated from “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…Rachel.

Huh…so why was CeCe on the outs? Or did they just need to split it and she was lowest on the totem pole? Interesting.

Verdict: You know why I’m excited for this season? Because there are several people to root for; Zeke is adorable, Taylor is a fun goof, David is a likable trainwreck, Hannah is a dork queen, Adam is a superfan who doesn’t feel the need to reference the show every two seconds, and Michaela is my secret “Survivor” crush. Can’t wait for more.

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

‘Survivor’ Champion Michele Fitzgerald Accepts the Power Rankings Challenge

September 21, 2016
'Survivor: Kaoh Rong' Champion Michele Fitzgerald

‘Survivor: Kaoh Rong’ Champion Michele Fitzgerald

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.

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

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.  The person with the most points at the end of the season will be declared the “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” champion.

Quick Note: XFINITY “Survivor” loudmouth Gordon Holmes will be unable to participate in this season’s Power Rankings due to being more than a bit spoiled. Therefore, he has invited defending Power Rankings champion Shirin Oskooi to take his place.

Yet Another Quick Note: No points will be awarded during the pre-season ranking portion. Scoring will begin next week.

Michele Fitzgerald and Shirin Oskooi’s Pre-Season Rankings

michele shirin

Michele’s Score = 0

Any questions for Michele? Drop her a line on Twitter: @meeshfitz

Shirin’s Score = 0

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

adam zeke
 1. – Adam: Dang, he says all the right things. Mix social, strategic, superfan with an endearing motivation to win… My vote goes to him.
 1. – Zeke: “I’m going to give you four reasons to watch Survivor: Millennials vs Gen-X … Number 2: Zeke.” – Jeff Probst
chris adam
 2. – Chris: He prides himself on being able to juggle peoples’ personalities so I have high hopes that he can handle all the balls that “Survivor” will throw at him.
 2. – Adam: Small, snowy, nonthreatening on the surface, like an iceberg, the bulk of Adam’s substance looms beneath.
figgy
 3. – Figgy: Nashville mirrors everything I like about Figgy: bright, fun and electric. She should be able to figure out when to stay in an alliance, and when to go, and be able to justify it without any hard feelings.
 3. – Chris: Gangster in a Oprah Louis CK suit.
michaela
 4. – Michaela: She definitely acts older than she is, and I appreciate that she doesn’t feel like the world owes her anything. “Survivor” doesn’t give any handouts, and I feel like she’s scrappy enough to fight for what she wants.
 4. – Figgy: Wasps fly into figs on a suicide mission to pollinate the fig and lay eggs. The fig rips off a wasp’s wings, antennae, legs, then digests the body, stinger and all. This is what it means to be “figgy.”
taylor
 5. – Taylor: I think this bro will get along with everyone. He seems casual, adaptable, and social. He should have no problem finding a comfortable spot on the Millennial tribe, and I foresee many open conversations with people about where he stands.
 5. – Ken: The motherhood penalty vs. the fatherhood bonus on the road to final Tribal Council. (see: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/upshot/a-child-helps-your-career-if-youre-a-man.html).
zeke
 6. – Zeke: Hello, you vibrant thing. I’m willing to overlook the New Jersey dig because you will probably soon be “Survivor” fan-favorite royalty.
 6. – Mari: She’s a self-made (YouTube subscriber) millionaire,

Thug livin’ on the island, pink dye in the hair.
#HitEmUp
michelle sunday
 7. – Michelle: “Studies dragons and the stars,” “inspiration is God” … I have no idea what to think here. She has definitely got her head in the clouds, but there was something endearing about her soft spoken meet-the-cast video. If she can stay grounded, she should connect with a lot of people on this cast.
 7. – Sunday: Sunday always comes too late. #thecure
rachel
 8. – Rachel: I thought this Playboy bunny was all soft and fuzzy until I realized she wrote a book and won 6 chess tournaments. If she can play up to the “beauty girl” stereotype, she may be able to slide deep and then surprise people.
 8. – Paul: Once that cyclone hits, Paul’s hair will be the star of a glamrock video. People will probably ignore the lyrics. #PourSomeSugarOnHim
cece bret
 9. – CeCe: As we saw with Cydney’s pregame, having multiple personalities isn’t always a bad thing, as long as you know when and how to use them. CeCe is like an onion, multi-layered and strong. I predict she should outlast most of the other Gen-Xers.
 9. – Bret: It’s always comforting to hear someone in law enforcement assert, “Not one person ever tells me the truth.” Here’s hoping Will doesn’t become Bret’s Brendan Dassey.
jay
 10. – Jay: He seems outgoing, fun, and positive. I’m thinking he will be the challenge beast of the season, only to be sent packing as soon as he loses. His eagerness and enthusiasm have blindside written all over it.
 10. – Will: High school. Low voice. Medium finish.
bret hannah
  11. – Boston Bret: Police officers must be able to read the room, assess possible threats, and distinguish truths from lies. He has all the tools to go deep in this game, but listing his biggest pet peeve as “people who talk religion at thanksgiving dinner” means I’m predicting tension at the merge feast.
 11. – Hannah: May all the religious peeps this season form a prayer circle to save the smart, funny girl.
ken
 12. – Ken: “I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.” I’m getting serious Zoolander vibes from this guy – handsome, but maybe a little shallow.  12. – Michaela: She’s got hot sauce in her bag. #swag
david
 13. – David: I like that he embraces that “Survivor” is out of his comfort zone. He seems like a good mix between millennial mindset and gen-X, I just don’t know if he can find a strong place to fit in long term.  13. – David: Cochrans don’t win the first time they play. But the bullies’ reality is a high and dry future while even the invisible find their way back to the island.
mari cece
  14. – Mari: Whoa, this girl is intense. On paper, Mari has the tools to dominate this game. But sometimes what seems like obvious winner qualities (competitive, focused, calculating) doesn’t always translate to “Survivor.”
 14. – CeCe: You may wonder why CeCe is so low.
paul jay
 15. – Paul: I am getting Debbie vibes. It’s hard to tell whether a big personality like this will be endearing or will struggle to connect with other castaways. No matter what, I have a feeling Paul will be in our face until he gets sent packing.
 15. – Jay: You may wonder why Jay is so high.
lucy
 16. – Lucy: I love Lucy but describing herself as “stubborn” and “controlling” gives me some red flags. If she doesn’t loosen up, she may have a hard time at a swap.
 16. – Taylor: Re: Josh Wigler’s interview with Taylor: Like if I see a bro, some people look at that as just a boring Ozzy or Drew. I look at that as a jungle gym, and it’s like, TV gods are going to climb that bro. They’re going to go do that.
will
 17. – Will: It is in our nature, as Survivors, to want to break records. I worry that Will’s record as youngest Survivor ever will be his main accomplishment on this season.  17. – Jessica: I plead the fifth.
hannah
 18. – Hannah: Her quirkiness seems a little forced to me. I can see the comparison to Cochran and even to fellow Bostonian Aubry, but I think she will lack the complexity and maturity to use that fish out of water-ness to her advantage.
 18. – Rachel: (TIE) “I think sexiness comes from within…It’s in here like a little tiger. I can pull it out. And I attempt not to pull it out because if I do, it’s a little much.” Yeah, pulling it out is risky.
sunday
 19. – Sunday: I immediately see her as the physically weak link. She strikes me as someone who will be sweet, but may fall into the ‘mom’ role and could end up a little naggy. 
 18. – Michelle: (TIE) Michelle, a dinosaur with wings is called a “pterodactyl.”
jessica
20. – Jessica: I liked Jessica until I found out she drinks her champagne with salt and vinegar chips. No amount of persuasion could convince me that this is a good pairing. I worry for her choice in alliance.
 18. – Lucy: (TIE)  Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it could be?

Huang: That the weakest link will win.

‘Survivor’ Millennial Jay: ‘I’m OK with Lying. I Could Be Lying Right Now’

September 21, 2016
Justin “Jay” Starrett (CBS)

Justin “Jay” Starrett (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): 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.

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.

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING “SURVIVOR” PRE-GAME INTERVIEW FEATURES “BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN” SPOILERS

Gordon Holmes: You’re going to backstab with a smile. What’s the trick to sending people to the jury without making them hate you?
Jay Starrett:
Honestly, I have to figure out the people first. (Laughs) The trick would be to keep the charm there and make sure you’re making strategic moves. You’ve got to do it when the time is right.
Holmes: So, if you’re in there with a gamer, they might respect a big move. While if you’re in there with someone who’s emotional, you have make them see your justification?
Starrett: Yeah. It depends on the type of person. If they’re a hardcore gamer, they’ll think, “Damn, he beat me. Respect.” If you’re working with a crybaby chick you have to say, “Aww…it’s OK. You’re still beautiful. Don’t worry.” (Laughs)

Holmes: So, it’s probably safe to assume that you don’t have any issues lying in the game.
Starrett: You want it short and sweet? Yeah, I’m OK with lying. I could be lying right now. (Laughs)
Holmes: Deep down you hate it. It tears you apart.
Starrett: I don’t even want to be here.
Holmes: You son of a…
Starrett: (Laughs)
Holmes: What about flirting?
Starrett: I’m comfortable. Being a bartender you have to flirt with everyone.
Holmes: Is anyone back home going to be upset if they see you flirting on CBS?
Starrett: A bunch of girls.
Holmes: Best answer ever. And, nobody will be upset when you bring home that million.
Starrett: Well, I’m not bringing it home for them. I’m bringing it home for mom.
Holmes: Your bio mentions that she’s been through some very tough times with her health. How does she feel about all of this?
Starrett: She is super supportive. She said, “If anything happens at home, nobody is calling you. You’re there to do this mission and you’re going to finish it.”

Holmes: How well do you deal with being lied to?
Starrett: If it’s a person I trust, which means nobody here, then it hurts. But this is “Survivor” and I’m prepared to be lied to.
Holmes: How about hunger?
Starrett: My friends tell me I need to eat after I work out for protein. But I’m fine without it. I can eat one time a day and be fine.
Holmes: Lack of sleep?
Starrett: I’ve never had that that bad. On “Survivor” you might have five days in a row where you don’t sleep because of the bugs or the weather. So, we’re going to see how I deal with it.
Holmes: How about extreme temperatures?
Starrett: No problem. I love board shorts.
Holmes: What about paranoia?
Starrett: I have thought about that. You’re out there and they might be talking (expletive deleted) behind my back. It might drive you insane, so you have to quiet down the volume.

Holmes: Any early thoughts on the cast?
Starrett: I’ve only seen a few of them, but some of the dudes are (expletive deleted) big, man. That one challenge where you have to pull a big guy off of the pole? That’s going to be difficult.

Holmes: If there is a twist, any guesses as to what it could be?
Starrett: Maybe no idols?

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Starrett: Probably Woo (Hwang) because I know he’s honest. And he’ll go with the flow. If I tell him something, he’ll probably go with it.

Holmes: Lightning round time. Cats or dogs?
Starrett: Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Starrett: Oh…I was going to say beer because I’m a man. But, wine is good too.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Starrett: Batman. By the way, Batman won.
Holmes: He did.
Starrett: (Laughs)
Holmes: He did! There’s no debate.
Starrett: If it wasn’t for that girl…
Holmes: If Lois Lane doesn’t step in, he’s a goner.
Starrett: Oh, and that stupid Martha twist.
Holmes: We’re way off topic. Meat or vegetable?
Starrett: Meat.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Starrett: Republican.
Holmes: Books or TV?
Starrett: Books.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Starrett: Swimming, all day.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Starrett: One good friend.
Holmes: Nice car or nice home?
Starrett: Nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Starrett: Funny.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Starrett: Parvati…she’s hot.
Holmes: We’re not debating that. Big TV or big vacation?
Starrett: Big vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with a team?
Starrett: Alone.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Starrett: Dragons.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Starrett: Careful planning.
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Starrett: (Laughs) You know the answer. Ryan Seacrest, of course.

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

‘Survivor’ Millennial Taylor: ‘If Someone Crosses Me, I’ll Rage Out on Them’

September 20, 2016
Taylor Stocker (CBS)

Taylor Stocker (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): 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.

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’re a man who’s going to make “Survivor” history; good or bad. You’ve got to elaborate on that.
Taylor Stocker: Good, crazy, doing some awesome stuff, climbing trees, having a good time.
Holmes: I’ve seen some “Survivor” in my day and climbing trees is not making history.
Stocker: Dude, falling out of trees!
Holmes: I’ve seen some of that too. Maybe if you set some kind of height record.
Stocker: (Laughs) I’ll find the biggest tree and climb it.
Holmes: Promise me you will stay in one piece. I can’t have this on my conscience.
Stocker: Just for you.

Holmes: You’re going to be hard to vote out because you’re likable. Likable people get voted out all the time. Sometimes because they are too likable.
Stocker: I need to get in with a good crowd, and after the merge is when the good, likable people get voted out. I’ll be able to last until the merge, like Joe (Anglim), then I’ll have a hard time because I’m extremely fit and good at challenges. That’s going to be my biggest struggle right there.

Holmes: Do you have any issues lying?
Stocker: No, I have no problems lying.
Holmes: How do you react to being lied to?
Stocker: Typically, I’m pretty good. There are always people who can put on that actor face and lie right to you. They’re hard to read. But, if those people don’t have a bad side to them that you know about, what can you do? You have to play as hard as you can, and if you get voted out, you have to say, “Hey, I (expletive deleted) up.”

Holmes: How well do you deal with hunger?
Stocker: I can get pretty hangry. If I’m sleep deprived, I can be an (expletive deleted) sometimes. My temper is pretty short. If someone crosses me, I’ll rage out on them.
Holmes: How about extreme temperatures?
Stocker: I’m fine in cold, heat is my enemy. I deal with the cold all the time. The good news is; we’re probably going to be in a rainy season.
Holmes: How do you deal with paranoia?
Stocker: I don’t read into things too much. I’m going to make as many friends as I can. Try to get in as much as I can. And I’m not going to think about it too much because that can mess with your game.

Holmes: Is flirting something you’d be willing to do to get ahead?
Stocker: Oh yeah!
Holmes: Is there anyone at home that’ll be upset if they see you flirting?
Stocker: I really don’t think so. I’m not going to make an idiot out of myself by doing anything too extreme. And I’m pretty likable, so I don’t think I’ll have to work at it too much.

Holmes: Any early thoughts on the cast?
Stocker: There’s some good-looking people. Some strong guys I would get along with.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it could be?
Stocker: Early merges, something new they haven’t done before. Crazy stuff, hidden idols at challenges. Something new with idols maybe.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Stocker: I’d say Joe or Woo (Hwang). We have a similar way of thinking. So, I would know how they are going to think.

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

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

‘Survivor’ Millennial Hannah: ‘I’m Definitely Going to Have to Keep My Neurotic Side in Check’

September 20, 2016
Hannah Shapiro (CBS)

Hannah Shapiro (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): 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.

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.

Hannah Shapiro: I can’t believe I’m talking to you! I keep doing these interviews, and everyone I talk to I say, “I know who you are!” I love your interviews!
Gordon Holmes:
Hannah, you’re only supposed to know me.
Shapiro: I was just kidding. I knew nobody else. I only read Gordon Holmes Power Rankings.
Holmes: There ya go.
Shapiro: I don’t even watch the show. I just read your articles.
Holmes: Like my mom.
Shapiro: Is that what she does?
Holmes: No, she actually watches. She gets furious whenever people can’t make fire.
Shapiro: (Laughs) I had to get my mom into “Survivor” so she would not just watch my season.

Holmes: We’re on a bit of a tight schedule, so if you can keep your answers short, I’d appreciate it.
Shapiro:
Feel free to cut me off, I’m such a millennial that I don’t even know how to have a phone conversation.
Holmes: You can talk into this thing? I thought it was for texting.
Shapiro: I’m good in person. I can talk to people. But on the phone I never know if I’m interrupting or not.

Holmes: You cry when an authority figure yells at you. Do you consider Jeff Probst to be an authority figure?
Shapiro:
(Laughs) I mean, in a way. It’s possible. I’m not afraid of authority figures. I worry that it gives the impression that I can’t lie. I can lie to an authority figure, it’s just my reaction. I remember I went to try to get out of a gym class in high school and the women yelled at me and I just burst into tears. But, I’m aware of it, so maybe I can use it to my advantage.

Holmes: You mentioned that you’ve seen men like you win the game. What did you mean by that? Because there’s always that societal thing where strong men are seen as heroes and strong women can be perceived as the b-word.
Shapiro:
Yeah! And here’s the thing; I’ve been talking to friends about how “Survivor” is a sexist game. And it’s not that I think “Survivor” is a sexist game, it’s that society is sexist and “Survivor” reflects it. I think that men in society…in work environments are able to speak up and interrupt and get away with it. And when women do that, they’re bitchy and bossy. And I think all the rules that apply in the real world are reflected in “Survivor.” Men can be called strategic, where women can be called manipulative. Parvati (Shallow) is one of the greatest winners ever and she’s this manipulative black widow. So, I think “Survivor” is sexist in a lot of ways. I think men get away with a lot more when it comes to making moves. I did an improv show and I had a guy come up to me after the show and say, “Hey, maybe you should let the guy get his idea out first.”
Holmes: Oh…yikes.
Shapiro: And he singled me out in an improv troupe with like nine people and there were only two women. And tons of the guys were doing it. I’m used to being told “Shh…” I was a little kid and I was called a “Bossy little kid.” I don’t think dudes are called bossy.

Holmes: Are you comfortable lying in the game?
Shapiro:
I am. I’m a writer, and while I feel like I might not have the best poker face, lying is sort of creative storytelling.
Holmes: What about flirting? Is that a tool in your tool belt?
Shapiro: Here’s the funny thing, no (expletive deleted)…that’ll be too long. I feel like a girl like Parvati or Anna (Khait) can talk to a guy and they’ll be like, “Was she flirting with me?” I actually think because I’m quirky and nerdy I get away with flirting a lot more. And I do flirt in my life. (Laughs).
Holmes: Is there someone back home who will be upset if they see you flirting?
Shapiro: No, I don’t have a boyfriend.

Holmes: How do you deal with being lied to?
Shapiro:
I’m enough of a fan of the show, since I was fourteen, to know that people are going to lie to me.
Holmes: How well do you deal with hunger?
Shapiro: I’ve never really been hungry in my life. So, I guess we’ll see.
Holmes: How about sleep deprivation?
Shapiro: I’ve never been a good sleeper. I’ve been dealing with that my whole life. When my mom brought my brother home when he was a baby and he slept through the night, she thought he was dead because he was so quiet compared to me.
Holmes: Extreme temperatures.
Shapiro: I lived in Chicago when it was negative 40 and now I’m in L.A. So, I should be fine.
Holmes: Paranoia?
Shapiro: I’m definitely going to have to keep my neurotic side in check constantly. I think that’s going to be hard for me. I’m an over-thinker.

Holmes: Any thoughts on the other players?
Shapiro:
I’ve only seen a few glimpses of them. But, I’m very aware of how I appear to them when I pass them. I’m aware that I seem nerdy and goofy. I’m going to play that up.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it could be?
Shapiro:
Based on my casting, I think it’s some kind of liberals vs. conservative thing. Every time I mention how much of a liberal I am, eyes would light up in the room. I feel like with the election coming up that it makes sense.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Shapiro:
The people I’d want to work with, I wouldn’t want to sit with at the end. I’m a big fan of (John) Cochran and Stephen (Fishbach). I think it’d be fun to play with superfans. Like (Jonathan) Penner just to hear him talk. Those are some of my favorites. But if I have to align with someone to take to the end, I’d want them to be pretty and stupid.

Holmes: Lightning round time. Cats or dogs?
Shapiro:
Dogs. I’m allergic to cats.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Shapiro: I like hard cider, so neither.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Shapiro: Spider-Man.
Holmes: You’re bad at this. Meat or vegetable?
Shapiro: Tuna…so meat.
Holmes: Here’s an easy one. Republican or Democrat?
Shapiro: I’m like even farther left than a Democrat.
Holmes: Books or TV?
Shapiro: I wanna write for TV, so TV.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Shapiro: Swimming.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Shapiro: One good friend.
Holmes: Nice car or nice home?
Shapiro: Nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Shapiro: It’s the combo that gets me. I’m going to go with funny.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Shapiro: Parvati.
Holmes: Big TV or big vacation?
Shapiro: Big vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with a team?
Shapiro: A team.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Shapiro: Dragons.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Shapiro: Fly by the seat of my pants.
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Shapiro: Jeff Probst, I’m not going to get in trouble.
Holmes: That last one was a test, and you passed.
Shapiro: Phew!

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

‘Survivor’ Gen-Xer Rachel: ‘I’m Willing to Take the Integrity Route, Even If It’s the Much Harder Route’

September 20, 2016
Rachel Ako (CBS)

Rachel Ako (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): 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!

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’re hoping to meet your “twin flame” on “Survivor”?
Rachel Ako:
I hope so! (Laughs) I’m so embarrassed.
Holmes: (Laughs) That’s why I’m here.
Ako: You know, my favorite season is when Rob (Mariano) and Amber (Brkich) met. I’d just love for it to happen to me. I have no idea who’s going to be on the island.
Holmes: When he said, (in a horrible “Boston” Rob impression) “Take care of her.” I melted.
Ako: (Laughs) I’m glad you watch, you’re awesome.

Holmes: You mentioned inspiring Asian-Americans to be confident and self-expressive. Is that a problem in the Asian-American community?
Ako: I’m not sure. I think sometimes we’re brought up to be conservative and maybe not speak out unless it’s really important. I would like to be myself, but in being myself maybe be bold and not passive. I should be assertive and it should be OK to speak my mind. And that’s against how some conservative Asian-American cultures are.
Holmes: Winning “Survivor” would be an excellent way to do that.
Ako: I’m in it to win it. I don’t expect to talk to you again for a long time.
Holmes: Let’s talk the day after the finale.
Ako: (Laughs) That’s right!

Holmes: Are you comfortable lying in the game?
Ako:
Yes, I am comfortable lying if need be. I would love to see how far in the game I could get with integrity. You know, being selective with the words I say so that I’m not committing 100% to something that I know I’m not going to follow through with. However, I’m willing to take the integrity route, even if it’s the much harder route.
Holmes: What about flirting?
Ako: Gordon, I will be using all of my tools. And that is definitely one of them. That comes pretty natural to me.
Holmes: Is there anyone who will get upset if they see you flirting?
Ako: No, I’m single and ready to meet people. Even my dad has given me his blessing to do what I need to do.
Holmes: So you are totally twin flameless at this point.
Ako: (Laughs) There are none. And thanks for pointing out my loneliness. But yes, I’m hoping there are other people who are twin flameless out there.

Holmes: How well do you deal with being lied to?
Ako:
In an ideal world, people should be authentic with each other. However, being lied to for a strategic reason, I understand. Lying for the sake of lying, that would lose my respect.
Holmes: How well do you deal with hunger?
Ako: The longest I went without food is a day and a half. Just water. It was hard. I had a breakdown. I didn’t think I was going to be able to get through it. But, once I got over that hump I had a spiritual experience after crying and breaking down.
Holmes: How about sleep deprivation?
Ako: Sleep is one of the most important things to me. So, that’s going to be tough. I’ll meditate if I can’t sleep because rain is on me. I’ll do what I have to do to get my zen…my own rest.
Holmes: Extreme temperatures?
Ako: Hot is fine. I lived in Las Vegas, it’s like an oven there. However, cold is a weakness for me.
Holmes: What about paranoia?
Ako: I don’t smoke weed because I don’t like the paranoia. I think it’s the worst. I rock myself like a baby and want myself to get down from the high. I don’t like paranoia.

Holmes: Any early thoughts on the other players?
Ako:
I’ve only walked by a few of them in the hallway, and they look young. Like early twenties. I’m like, I hope they’re going to be OK. I don’t even have kids and I’m feeling motherly. But, I think they do a really good job of selecting personalities that are quite different from each other.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it could be?
Ako:
A super idol. I’ve done some research and an idol that two different players could put together and possess and can be played after the votes are read. That could be powerful.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Ako:
I really liked Parvati (Shallow). She seems like she tells it straight up. And she’s into women power. If there are some women who could survive with each other and take care of each other, she would be a good co-ringleader in that.

Holmes: Lightning round time. Cats or dogs?
Ako:
Cats.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Ako: Wine.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Ako: Superman.
Holmes: Meat or vegetable?
Ako: Vegetable.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Ako: (Laughs) Neither!
Holmes: I’ll accept that. Books or TV?
Ako: Books.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Ako: Swimming.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Ako: Many casual.
Holmes: Nice car or nice home?
Ako: Nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Ako: Funny all the way.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Ako: Boston Rob.
Holmes: Big TV or big vacation?
Ako: Big vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with a team?
Ako: Working alone.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Ako: Unicorns.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Ako: Careful planning.
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Ako: (Laughs) I think they’re both heroes, but I’m going to go with Probst.

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

‘Survivor’ Millennial Will: ‘I’m Going to Backstab People Who Thought They Could Trust Me’

September 19, 2016
Will Wahl (CBS)

Will Wahl (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): 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.

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: At 18 years old, you’re one of the youngest people to ever play this game. And in your bio, you said that people don’t respect youth. How do you use that to your advantage?
Will Wahl:
When I go out there I know people are going to be thinking, “He’s a kid. He doesn’t know how to play this game. He’s going to be easy to manipulate.” I’m going to use that as my strategy, basically use that against them. Gain their trust, then use it to further my plans in the game.

Holmes: Ronald Reagan is your hero, I believe you weren’t even alive when he was in office. What is it about him that appeals to you?
Wahl:
That was more of a play on how I’m more Republican, conservative-leaning in politics. Republicans tend to say Ronald Reagan. Mostly because of what he did in the Cold War.

Holmes: You will screw with people’s heads.
Wahl:
(Laughs)
Holmes: What’s the plan for that?
Wahl: Like I said, I want to appear to be a trustworthy guy out there, but when I start playing the game, I’m going to backstab people who thought they could trust me. People who thought I was their friend.

Holmes: So, it’s safe to assume you’re a guy who has no problem lying.
Wahl:
That’s right.
Holmes: What about flirting to get ahead?
Wahl: I don’t see a lot of people flirting with an eighteen-year-old. But, I’d be willing to do it if it comes up. But I don’t see it coming up.
Holmes: Is there anyone back home who will be upset if they see you flirting?
Wahl: No.
Holmes: How well do you deal with being lied to?
Wahl: Usually I get pretty pissed off. But this is a game, so I expect it.

Holmes: How well do you deal with hunger?
Wahl:
Decently well. I’ve practiced a little bit. Taking a few days for fasting. I dealt pretty well with it.
Holmes: How about lack of sleep?
Wahl: That one’s a little more tricky. I need sleep a little bit more. But I’ll adapt.
Holmes: Extreme heat?
Wahl: I’m fine with that.
Holmes: Paranoia?
Wahl: I’m fine with that too.

Holmes: Any early thoughts on the rest of the cast?
Wahl:
A lot of them are young. I haven’t seen anyone who’s older yet. So, I’m thinking there might be an age twist this season.
Holmes: Any other thoughts on potential twists?
Wahl: Yeah, I heard there might be 20 players. So either four tribes of five or two tribes of ten. I don’t know.

Holmes: If you could align with any past player, who would it be?
Wahl:
I would probably align with somebody…who was very loyal. I’m blanking on the names. I’m thinking Dawn Meehan, someone who’s older like a mom figure. But, Dawn did backstab quite a few people. But if I could get in good with her, like (John) Cochran did, then I’d feel secure. I’d look for a mom-type figure to align with.

Holmes: Lightning round time. Cats or dogs?
Wahl:
Dogs.
Holmes: Beer or wine?
Wahl: Beer.
Holmes: Wait, how would you know? You’re too young.
Wahl: (Laughs)
Holmes: Juice or milk?
Wahl: (Laughs) Milk.
Holmes: Superman or Batman?
Wahl: Neither.
Holmes: Meat or vegetable?
Wahl: Meat.
Holmes: Republican or Democrat?
Wahl: Republican.
Holmes: I knew that one. Books or TV?
Wahl: TV.
Holmes: Swimming or sunbathing?
Wahl: Sunbathing.
Holmes: Many casual friends or one good friend?
Wahl: One good friend.
Holmes: Nice car or nice home?
Wahl: Nice home.
Holmes: Smart or funny?
Wahl: Smart.
Holmes: Parvati or Boston Rob?
Wahl: Parvati.
Holmes: Big TV or big vacation?
Wahl: Big vacation.
Holmes: Working alone or with a team?
Wahl: Alone.
Holmes: Dragons or unicorns?
Wahl: Dragons.
Holmes: Careful planning or fly by the seat of your pants?
Wahl: Careful planning.
Holmes: Jeff Probst or Ryan Seacrest?
Wahl: Jeff Probst.

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


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