Archive for December, 2016

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2016 Inductee – Tony Vlachos

December 12, 2016
'Survivor' Hall of Fame 2016 Inductee Tony Vlachos (CBS)

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2016 Inductee Tony Vlachos (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” finale coverage. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Kaoh Rong” champion Michele Fitzgerald and “Second Chance” favorite Shirin Oskooi, Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a full recap of the finale, and Thursday you’ll be able to watch the finale and read interviews with all six of the remaining players. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consists of “Survivor” luminaries such as “Survivor” crew members, the current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Guy Gordon Holmes. The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

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

The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to induct Tony Vlachos as the first member of the Class of 2016. Tony was tied for the most Executive Committee votes and had the highest percentage of total votes.

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

Gordon Holmes: Congratulations on being inducted into the Class of 2016. How does it feel to be honored by the “Survivor” crew, press and fans?

Tony Vlachos: This is huge!  I needed this! (laughs)

Vlachos: I’m genuinely honored and sincerely thank all of those who made this happen for me.  There are plenty of “Survivor” greats who have been patiently waiting for years to be inducted in this wonderful Hall of Fame.  For me to have been inducted in such a short period of time after my season, speaks volumes to how great of an honor this is for me, and not only do I recognize that, I whole heartedly appreciate it.

Vlachos: Playing as hard as I did and leaving it all out there on Cagayan Island, has proven itself, to have been worth it many times over.  Thank you all for the recognition.

Holmes: What’ve you been up to since Cagayan?

Vlachos: I been chasing those millions! (Laughs)

Vlachos: It’s been said a number of times by some of the wealthiest people, that your first million dollars is the hardest to earn, the rest of the millions, come easy.  I need to stop believing what I read on the internet, because as of yet, I’m not a believer of that theory. (Laughs)

Vlachos: I’ve been involved in real estate since I was 24 years old, so with the money I won on “Survivor,” it’s been much easier for me to make “BIG MOVES.”  It’s definitely a fresh breath of air to be at a point in life, where I can make my money work for me, rather than me, having to work for it!

Vlachos: Since Cagayan, I purchased and flipped a few investment properties.  Besides putting my “Survivor” winnings to work for me, it’s all about family time.  Life is really good.  I’m truly blessed. Thank you, “Survivor!”

Holmes: What are your thoughts on “Millennials vs. Gen-X” as we head into Wednesday’s finale?

Vlachos: As in most of the “Survivor” seasons, this season started off as stereotypically expected, which quickly resorted to the one common ground shared on “Survivor,” “Survival”.

Vlachos: In this season, I definitely see more than the usual amount of players, risking their torch being snuffed, in exchange for one million dollars!  It’s evident that these players know they will be an instant target after they make a big move by the next person wanting to make a big move to build his/her resume, but yet, they fearlessly follow through, and that’s “Survivor” at its best!  These players are consciously risking it all, in hopes of winning it all.  It’s a great season with a great cast, and I’m sure they’ll be plenty of room in this Hall of Fame for such big-move-making  players!

What the fans said about Tony…

“The guy was just insane. In an all around crazy season, he took the cake. He had a fantastic social game, and deserved to win his season.” – Logan

“Let’s get our skates on and get Team TV the respect he deserves.” – Dave

“Big game, big personality, big addition to the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame! (Llama call)” – Amanda

What the Executive Voting Committee said about Tony…

“Tony is a tough dominant player. He’s very aggressive and good at controlling other players. But, Tony has a soft side and he’s fun. I truly believe he is one of the best players to ever win.” – Sandra Diaz-Twine

“Tony was an absolute force of nature who attacked “Survivor” like nobody before him.  He played the entire game like a giant gorilla precariously balanced on a tight rope hovering above a pit of vipers…and actually won.” – Matt Van Wagenen – Co-Executive Producer of ‘Survivor’

“If you don’t think Tony deserves this honor, go back and watch Spencer’s final Tribal Council speech. If a self-proclaimed gamebot like Spencer can have that much esteem for Tony’s game, than so should we.” – Dalton Ross – Entertainment Weekly

Be sure to check back Tuesday to meet the second member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2016.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2016 Ballot – XFINITY TV’s Gordon Holmes

December 12, 2016
XFINITY TV's Gordon Holmes (XFINITY)

XFINITY TV’s Gordon Holmes (XFINITY)

VOTING FOR THIS YEAR’S EDITION OF THE “SURVIVOR” HALL OF FAME HAS ENDED. BE SURE TO CHECK BACK MONDAY, DECEMBER 12th FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE CLASS OF 2016.

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” finale coverage. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Kaoh Rong” champion Michele Fitzgerald and “Second Chance” favorite Shirin Oskooi, Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a full recap of the finale, and Thursday you’ll be able to watch the finale and read interviews with all six of the remaining players. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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

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

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

Gordon Holmes’s 2016 Hall of Fame Ballot

Tina Wesson – (“Survivor: The Australian Outback,” “Survivor: All-Stars,” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”): Being the winner of the show’s most-watched season counts for a lot. But, it doesn’t quite earn you a Hall of Fame nod from me. Arguments could be made that Colby Donaldson, Jerri Manthey, and even Michael Skupin were more memorable than Tina. What puts her over the top for me is her second return showing, 25 seasons later she managed to battle her way back from Redemption Island and almost get to the end of “Blood vs. Water.” Strong play in two very different eras of “Survivor” is super impressive in my book..

Colby Donaldson – (“Survivor: The Australian Outback,” “Survivor: All-Stars,” and “Survivor: Hereos vs. Villains”): Before Joey Amazing, before Ozzy, before “Boston” Rob, there was “The Colbster.” If you weren’t around in 2001, you probably can’t appreciate how big “Survivor: The Australian Outback” was. It was the highest-rated show in the United States (if Wikipedia is to be believed) and its biggest name was a tough Texan with a talent for challenges and a million-dollar smile. (Well, a $100,000 smile.) In fact, “Survivor” wouldn’t have a star that tapped into the national zeitgeist the way Colby did until…

Rupert Boneham – (“Survivor: Pearl Islands,” “Survivor: All Stars,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”): Rob Cesternino changed the way a stagnant game was played with his performance in “Survivor: The Amazon” and kick-started a new era for the show. A season later, Rupert Boneham became the face of that new era. Like it or not, the first thing that pops into a lot of people’s heads when they hear the word “Survivor” is the smiling, tie-dyed, questionable-shelter-building pirate.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2016 Ballot – The ‘Survivor’ Press Corps

December 12, 2016

article2016VOTING FOR THIS YEAR’S EDITION OF THE “SURVIVOR” HALL OF FAME HAS ENDED. BE SURE TO CHECK BACK MONDAY, DECEMBER 12th FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE CLASS OF 2016.

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” coverage. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Kaoh Rong” champion Michele Fitzgerald and “Second Chance” favorite Shirin Oskooi, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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

As members of the Executive Voting Committee, the “Survivor” press corps (along with Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst, and other “Survivor” luminaries) has an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2016 The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you.

Dalton Ross – Entertainment Weekly

Dalton Ross is the Executive Editor of Entertainment Weekly and host of EW Morning Live on SiriusXM, channel 105. He humbly submits the exact same ballot as last year.

Tony Vlachos – (“Survivor: Cagayan”): He was far from the perfect player in Cagayan,” but we had never seen someone play “Survivor” that aggressive before until Tony Vlachos came around. Changing up votes, repeatedly voting against his own alliance, and then somehow getting them to fall back into line after; the fact that someone could play the game so differently in season 28 (and win) is pretty remarkable. I still don’t quite understand how Tony did it, but I totally respect it. And he managed to do it all while hiding out in his spy shack and busting out llama impressions for good measure. If you don’t think Tony deserves this honor, go back and watch Spencer’s final Tribal Council speech. If a self-proclaimed gamebot like Spencer can have that much esteem for Tony’s game, than so should we.

J.T. Thomas – (“Survivor: Tocantins” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): Some people vote for “characters” or people they simply like on their Hall of Fame ballot, and that’s totally fine seeing as how everyone has a different definition of what constitutes a worthy entrant. For me, however, it’s people that came on and flat-out dominated — the Kim Spradlins and Tom Westmans of the world. They’re both in, so why isn’t J.T.? He was just as dominant in Tocantins,” getting people in the opposite majority alliance after the merge to fall head over heels in love with him. He was devastatingly effective in all three aspects of the game — strategic, social, physical. Don’t believe me? Just ask Fishbach, whom he skunked in the finals. Sure, J.T. made a terrible move in Heroes vs. Villains in giving a hidden immunity idol to someone on the opposite tribe, but it was a big swing-for-the-fences play. You have to respect that fact that he had the cojones to try it. Bottom line: He may not be flashy, but J.T. gave one of the best first season performances in “Survivor” history. Shouldn’t that be recognized?

Brian Heidik – (“Survivor: Thailand”): If there is some sort of soft porn hall of fame, then hopefully Heidik is already in it. But here is another HOF in which he deserves entry. Look, Heidik is a shady dude and his season was terrible. So naturally you want to dismiss him and instead vote in someone that has appeared on this show three or four times and is a hell of a lot more likable. I get that. But again, I am voting on gameplay, and the guy ran Thailand” from coast-to-coast. He orchestrated all the votes. He won all the important challenges. He was always in control.  Athletes are judged solely for their performance on the field in terms of Hall of Fame admission, and I use that same criteria for players in the game of Survivor.” Heidik dominated, so should be in. We may not like it, but sometimes you have to go with your head instead of your heart. (Especially when, like me, you have no heart.)

Tom Santilli – AXS.com

Tom Santilli is a film critic for AXS.com and covers Survivor for RealityTea.com. He was previously the “Survivor Examiner” for Examiner.com from 2009 until the site shut down in 2016. He appears weekly on the syndicated TV show “Movie Show Plus” and on FOX-2 in Detroit (follow him on Twitter, @tomsantilli). He claims to own his own “Medallion of Power” that gives him a slight advantage in writing “Survivor” recaps.

Stephenie LaGrossa – (“Survivor: Palau,” “Survivor: Guatemala,” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): Without a doubt one of the strongest female players ever to play the game…let me rephrase: One of the strongest players, period. Her name keeps popping up because she is in the class of “Survivor” contestant where everyone who saw her play remembers her. Sure, there is a tendency to want to vote in all of the “Survivor” Winners (like Tony Vlachos or Jeremy Collins), but for me, there are certain players that have left more of an impact on the game in losing than many have done in winning. Stephanie is definitely deserving and is the epitome of Survivor toughness.

Rupert Boneham – (“Survivor: Pearl Islands,” “Survivor: All-Stars,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”): There had to have been some sort of glitch, right, for Rupert to not already be in the Hall of Fame? How is he not? He was the face of the game for many years, and one of the most popular players ever. He’s played the game four times! The “Survivor” Hall is no Hall at all without everyone’s favorite pirate.

Brian Heidik – (“Survivor: Thailand”): Yes, verbatim, here it is from all of my previous ballots: It’s time for my annual push for Brian Heidik, who to me, is the sole remaining “first-ballot”-worthy contestant still deserving inclusion…an upper echelon player and the one guy who needs to be in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame. I voted for him the past few years and I will continue doing so until others take notice…Brian is unlike any other Sole Survivor for many important reasons. At the time that he won, nobody thought that a “bad guy” could ever win “Survivor” again after Richard Hatch. Brian to this day is the only true “villain,” playing a villainous game, to have won it all. Brian played masterfully, despite back-stabbing and lying his way to the prize. He was a thinker, but he also won several individual immunity challenges along the way. Others (like, say, Kim Spradlin) have made “Survivor” look easy, but he was the first. Like him or not, admit it or not, he was the blueprint for every strategic player since. The “Survivor” HOF will never be complete until it includes the likes of Brian Heidik.

Josh Wigler – Parade

Josh Wigler is a writer, editor and podcaster who has been published by MTV News, New York Magazine, Comic Book Resources, Digital Trends and more. He is the co-author of “The Evolution of Strategy: 30 Seasons of Survivor,” an audiobook chronicling the reality TV show’s transformation, and one of the hosts of “Post Show Recaps,” a podcast about film and television.

For the second year in a row, I cast my ballot in defiance of Dalton Ross. I’m not voting for the best players. I’m voting for the iconic ones. For my money, there are still three old-school “Survivor” titans who must join the esteemed Hall before I can even bring gameplay into consideration. (And no, I am not voting for Wanda. She might be my boo, but she’s not my Boo Bernis.)

Rupert Boneham – (“Survivor: Pearl Islands,” “Survivor: All-Stars,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”): He’s without question the most iconic Survivor in the show’s history, even if his gameplay leaves more than a little bit to be desired. (In his defense, the pocket rock was a cool move.) Put every single Survivor on one DVD cover, and Rupert will be right there in the center, or damn close to it. A hands-down Hall of Famer in my book, like him or not.

Tina Wesson – (“Survivor: The Australian Outback,” “Survivor: All-Stars,” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”): Voted for her last year, will vote for her every year until she seals the deal. First woman to win “Survivor,” first-boot of the first all-star season, battled her way back from Redemption Island and got voted out yet again to become the final member of the jury in a modern season… of all the castaways across the 30+ seasons, no one has had a fuller “Survivor” experience than Tina.

Colby Donaldson – (“Survivor: The Australian Outback,” “Survivor: All-Stars,” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): I only know one way how to vote in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, and that’s full tilt.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates.

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2016 Ballot – Co-Executive Producer Jesse Jensen

December 9, 2016
'Survivor' Producer Jesse Jensen (CBS)

‘Survivor’ Producer Jesse Jensen (CBS)

VOTING FOR THIS YEAR’S EDITION OF THE “SURVIVOR” HALL OF FAME HAS ENDED. BE SURE TO CHECK BACK MONDAY, DECEMBER 12th FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE CLASS OF 2016.

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” coverage. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Kaoh Rong” champion Michele Fitzgerald and “Second Chance” favorite Shirin Oskooi, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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

The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have Co-Executive Producer Jesse Jensen as a member of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Jesse (along with Host Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) has accepted an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2016. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you.

Jesse Jensen has been with “Survivor” since 2000 working his way up from Art Department to Art Director to Producer. His creativity allows for some of the most visually stunning Tribal Councils that set the stage for those great dramatic moments that we love so much.

Jesse Jensen’s 2016 Hall of Fame Ballot

Tai Trang- (“Survivor: Kaôh Rōng”): What can I say, he was such a unique player who was a huge fan favorite on “Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” due to his love for the environment, especially his stance on animal rights. He had such a zen outlook on life which really made him adored by the audience and other players. He was also the centre of one of the greatest “Survivor” Finale moments ever when the singer/songwriter Sia surprised everyone and came up on stage to give Tai a hundred thousand dollars to be split between him and his favorite charities.

Tyson Apostol – (“Survivor: Tocantins,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”): I will nominate Tyson again this year, he has always kept us laughing. I’d say for me he has been the most amusing player of all time, so many funny moments. He has such a great energy about him and as a three-time competitor and eventual winner of the show, I can’t see how he can’t make the Hall of Fame.

Stephenie LaGrossa – (“Survivor: Palau,” “Survivor: Guatemala,” and “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”): OK, I think I am going to keep nominating Stephenie every year until she gets a spot or I get asked not to submit my picks. She has played the game three times and in her first season in Palau she was extremely popular with the fans and was such a strong physical and mental player. She was so good that we brought her straight back the very next season to compete in Guatemala, where she finished in second place. In “Heroes vs. Villains” she played a tough game, but it just didn’t work out for her that time around. In my opinion she is one the most well rounded and popular players we have seen on the show.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2016 Ballot – Rob Cesternino

December 9, 2016
2012 'Survivor' Hall of Famer Rob Cesternino (CBS)

2012 ‘Survivor’ Hall of Famer Rob Cesternino (CBS)

VOTING FOR THIS YEAR’S EDITION OF THE “SURVIVOR” HALL OF FAME HAS ENDED. BE SURE TO CHECK BACK MONDAY, DECEMBER 12th FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE CLASS OF 2016.

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” coverage. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Kaoh Rong” champion Michele Fitzgerald and “Second Chance” favorite Shirin Oskooi, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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

The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have Class of 2012 member Rob Cesternino as a part of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Rob (along with Host Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) has accepted an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2016. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you.

Rob Cesternino’s 2016 Hall of Fame Ballot

Tony Vlachos – (“Survivor: Cagayan”): My criteria for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame for a player is if you can use a Survivor’s game as an adjective to describe a future player’s strategy… and they won… that’s a Hall of Famer.  Not only did Tony play one of the most aggressive games of all-time, it was also one of the most entertaining.  Tony never stopped hustling for a second on the island and we reaped the rewards as viewers.  His game was Huge and we needed it – #TeamTV For Life

Tyson Apostol – (“Survivor: Tocantins,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”): If you’re looking for a Survivor who has it all, Tyson is both a legendary “Survivor” personality and one of the game’s top winners.  A number of “Survivor” seasons end with an under-the-radar player winning the game but it’s a testament to Tyson’s social and strategic chops that such an outgoing personality dominated “Survivor: Blood vs. Water.”  If you don’t think Tyson is one of the most gifted social “Survivor” players, it’s only because you haven’t met him.

Rupert Boneham – (“Survivor: Pearl Islands,” “Survivor: All Stars,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”): How is it 2016 and Rupert isn’t in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame?  I’m not nominating him for his game-playing resume but he’s the most iconic player that’s not in the Hall and perhaps the most recognizable player to ever appear on the show.  Rupert was so popular during Pearl Islands and All-Stars, “Survivor” did a show just to give him $1,000,000.  And if that’s not enough, the man is the most iconic tweeter of a generation.  #Arrrrrghhhh

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Will: ‘Arrogance Will Take You Down and Take You Down Hard’

December 8, 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 Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

Gordon Holmes: This is a really odd season. Everybody is swinging for the fences. Did you feel that vibe when you were out there that the winner couldn’t get by on just charm, they needed to pad their resume?
Will Wahl: Yeah, it was a very hyper-competitive environment. As you said, everyone was swinging for the fences very early on. And it was apparent that there were a lot of superfans and they were all coming to play. It was kind of refreshing as a super fan to be on a season where everyone is playing so hard.

Holmes: Traditionally when you flip, you’re in danger of having some enraged jurors later on. How do you balance making the moves, but keeping the votes on your side.
Wahl: I don’t think I balanced the two very well. Which is why I think I was voted out. But I tried to come across as a the kid who’s playing hard, is willing to make new deals. But at the same time, I still want a ride-or-die. I want to have people’s backs so long as they have my back. I wanted to build a trust.

Holmes: What was the mood like before last night’s Tribal?
Wahl: There was a feeling in the pit of my stomach going into Tribal and then at Tribal that I was going to be in trouble. But, by then it was too late. I wasn’t going to be able to flip Bret or Sunday. I was really trying to see if there was anything I could do. Any idol plays, anyone willing to help me out, but anyone who was my ally at that point had really turned against me.

Holmes: As a superfan, you know that whenever someone is talking about being in the power seat, they’re probably in trouble. Did you laugh when you were watching it?
Wahl: (Laughs) Yeah, it’s all in good fun. It’s really interesting to watch the progression where I went from thinking I was the king and the next thing you know, I get voted out. That’s a classic “Survivor” blindside, someone being too arrogant. And I learned that arrogance will take you down and take you down hard.

Holmes: This is one of the most civil seasons we’ve had in a long time. It doesn’t seem like people are holding grudges. When Bret, David, and Zeke got heated a few weeks ago it was shut down quickly. Was that something you discussed back at camp?
Wahl: Oh yeah. Everybody was very good natured. Everyone was very comforting to each other. Even if you were on the other side of the vote…like Hannah and I rarely voted together, but we were really close out there. We had a brotherly/sisterly relationship. Everybody was each other’s support out there. To have people who are helping you out…it was kind of how we wanted this season to go with this cast. We wanted to be competitive, but at the same time, be supportive.

Holmes: If I’m playing this game and it’s not getting personal, people are respecting big moves, jurors don’t seem like they’re going to be bitter at final Tribal. This would seem to encourage more and more big moves. It’s like a perfect storm. You’ve got this crazy, flip-flop, no-two-people-are-in-trouble-in-consecutive-episodes season.
Wahl: With the flipping, I described it as a pendulum. It would swing back and forth between groups. And like you said; nobody was in trouble twice. After the Taylor vote, Jay and I thought we were next. But really, the pendulum swung the other way and we were safe for a little while. Somebody would do something to warrant their being voted out, then it’d be someone in some other trust cluster.
Holmes: And you’re OK with the use of the term “trust cluster?”
Wahl: More or less. It really was kind of a joke. People like Bret and I weren’t the biggest fans of that term. We moreso used “alliance” or “voting block.”

Holmes: You’re the youngest person to ever play “Survivor.” Do you think people underestimated you because of your age?
Wahl: Yes, especially at the beginning people were really underestimating me. It came back to bite me a little bit during the jury phase. I’d be looking at them for reactions and they were looking at me like I was a little kid. That’s not something you want a jury to be thinking. You want them to think you’re a strong competitive player. That’s why I went the way I did. I tried to make a big move and gain everyone’s respect.

Holmes: Given a second chance, what would you do differently?
Wahl: I would start off laying low. After that, I’d try to find that ride-or-die, one or two people I could trust and keep their trust. And I’d ride that to the end. A Jeremy/Tasha/Spencer kind of thing.
Holmes: Word association thing. Let’s start with Jay.
Wahl: Admirable.
Holmes: Adam?
Wahl: Intelligent.
Holmes: Sunday?
Wahl: Quiet.
Holmes: Mari?
Wahl: Gamer.
Holmes: Figgy?
Wahl: Loud.
Holmes: Michelle?
Wahl: Calculating.
Holmes: Taylor?
Wahl: Hungry.
Holmes: Chris?
Wahl: Leader.
Holmes: Zeke?
Wahl: Comical.
Holmes: Michaela?
Wahl: Intelligent.
Holmes: Jessica?
Wahl: Unlucky.
Holmes: Bret?
Wahl: Funny.
Holmes: Hannah?
Wahl: Trustworthy.
Holmes: Let’s finish with David.
Wahl: Wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Holmes: The Tribal where Adam played his idol as a safeguard in case you didn’t flip, do you feel like that may have stolen your thunder?
Wahl: The way I view it is I got Adam to waste his idol. He didn’t need to play that idol. It flushed it out of the game. I look at that as a win.

Holmes: Before the season we were trying to guess the theme. With you being a young Republican, we thought we might be looking at some kind of Liberals vs. Conservatives angle. Were you relieved that it was Millennials vs. Gen-X?
Wahl: Very relieved. Getting to play with people around my own age definitely helped me in the beginning.

Holmes: Did “Survivor” change you?
Wahl: I think I came into the game very arrogant, full of myself, thinking I’m going to win a million dollars. I’m coming out of it a lot more humble, a lot more empathetic of other people. And I feel like that’s something I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.

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

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2016 Ballot – Co-Executive Producer Matt Van Wagenen

December 8, 2016

article2016VOTING FOR THIS YEAR’S EDITION OF THE “SURVIVOR” HALL OF FAME HAS ENDED. BE SURE TO CHECK BACK MONDAY, DECEMBER 12th FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE CLASS OF 2016.

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” coverage. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Kaoh Rong” champion Michele Fitzgerald and “Second Chance” favorite Shirin Oskooi, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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

The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have Co-Executive Producer Matt Van Wagenen as a member of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Matt (along with Host Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) has accepted an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2016. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you.

Matt Van Wagenen’s 2016 Hall of Fame Ballot

Tony Vlachos – (“Survivor: Cagayan”): Tony was an absolute force of nature who attacked “Survivor” like nobody before him.  He played the entire game like a giant gorilla precariously balanced on a tight rope hovering above a pit of vipers…and actually won.  How he already isn’t already enshrined is beyond me because this beast from New Jersey is a no brainer for the Hall of Fame.

Tyson Apostol – (“Survivor: Tocantins,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water”): He’s gone down in flames in glorious fashion – twice.  But Tyson’s win on “Blood vs. Water” was just as magnificent.  He’s a cocky, sarcastic, ruthless competitor who wasn’t afraid to show his softer side on his third try.  Going into BVW most of us on the crew assumed he’d be relying on his physical attributes but after an early injury it was his cunning and charm that got him to the end. Plus he’s got awesome hair and a sweet wardrobe.

Jeremy Collins – (“Survivor: San Juan del Sur” and “Survivor: Second Chance”): I feel like “Second Chance” was perhaps the most competitive season in “Survivor” history.  No cast has wanted it more and no group has competed with such a high level of competition.  We saw glimpses of it in San Juan del Sur but it wasn’t until Jeremy’s second time that we really saw his HOF-worthy gameplay.  He had a balanced combination of charm, wit, and drive and ended up on top of this legendary season.  And doin’ it for Val and the kids?  Just icing on the cake.

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

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Episode 12 Recap: Sunday Mourning?

December 7, 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 Full Episodes of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” 

Last Week: Zeke was voted out. Sigh…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor Blog…

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

The Vinaka Tribe (wearing black)
Adam – 25, Homeless Shelter Manager
Bret – 42, Police Sergeant
David – 42, Television Writer
Hannah – 24, Barista
Jay – 27, Real Estate Agent
Ken – 33, Model
Sunday – 45, Youth Pastor
Will – 18, High School Student

We start off with Will telling us that he started this game as a kid and then left Tribal as the man. So, all of that awkward stuff last week was puberty? Makes sense.

He also lets us know that he has opened every door and should be able to flip and flop his way to the end. Yeah, jurors are totally there at the end. They even have special seats.

The next morning, Bret, Sunday, and Adam start discussing the biggest threats left in the game. They name Jay, David, and Will in particular. Is nobody afraid of Ken?

The trio agrees to work together, or at least Bret and Sunday agree to vote with Adam. It wasn’t clear.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will stack a group of discs on a pole and then carry them through an obstacle course. They’ll then stack the discs onto a different pole and carry them through a wire maze. If your discs drop, you have to start over. The first person to roll all of their discs through a target at the end of the course will win immunity.

The Survivors are ready…and they go. There isn’t much to describe except for some wobbly walkin’

David and Ken are the first ones through the first phase. They’re eventually joined by everyone except for Will.

Jay is the first one to the disc-rolling portion. David and Bret are behind him, but it’s too late as Jay tears up the final phase and wins it.

Politicking back at camp starts off with Will wanting to target David. The belief is that David has taken Zeke’s title as the guy that can’t be beaten at final Tribal.

Adam, however, doesn’t want to work with Will because Will thinks he has power and is going to make big moves to pad his resume. Bret and Sunday are on board with this plan, but it seems like Hannah is on the fence because Will saved her last week.

That night at Tribal, Zeke shows up wearing an AMAZING shirt.

David immediately admits that he thinks he’s in trouble.

Jay says David should relax if he trusts Will.

Hannah is fascinated at how often the alliances have changed.

Adam points out that when you make a big move to pad your resume, you show everyone that you’re a threat.

David believes it’s essential to make big moves, otherwise you’ll be a goat.

Jay isn’t sure who’s going to go home because everybody is a player.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

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

We’ve got two votes for David, four votes for Will, and the thirteenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor:Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…Will.

Verdict: Well, that was an uneventful episo…oh wait…there’s more.

Fun Fact: Will is the youngest person to ever lose “Survivor.”

Back at camp, Jay is not pleased that all of his alliance members keep getting blindsided. I can see how that would be disturbing.

Immunity Challenge Time Part Deux: The players will complete a block puzzle while keeping a ball rolling on a separate table. If the ball falls off the table, they’ll suffer a time penalty and have to a wait to continue with the puzzle. First person to finish their puzzle wins immunity.

I’m not sure if I did a great job describing this challenge, but it’s very creative. The players are constantly having to run back and forth between the two tables.

Ken builds a bit of a lead, and in an interesting moment, Adam starts telling Ken when he needs to go back and tend to the ball on the other table.

This allows Ken to win immunity. Jay is not pleased.

Back at camp, Jay calls Adam out for helping Ken win. Adam claims that he didn’t want David to win. Well, that’s half right.

Adam’s plan is to take out Jay if he doesn’t play the idol and David if he does. David’s plan is pretty much the same thing, but targeting Bret if Jay doesn’t play the idol.

Hannah, on the other hand, would rather see Sunday go over Bret because she’s an enticing goat.

Quick Aside: Calling dibs on “Enticing Goat” as a band name.

Later on, Adam tells Jay that he needs to play his idol. Jay, however, has been lied to before and isn’t sure if he trusts him.

Then, Adam tells Jay about his mother’s battle with cancer. Aaaand, “Survivor” has me crying again. ARGH!

Another Quick Aside: After last week’s “Survivor” cry fest, my wife and I caught up on “This Is Us.” Big mistake. My tear ducts were shooting out dust.

That night at Tribal, David tells Jeff that you have to lean on your friendships at this point.

Jay is bummed because his alliances are long gone. He then makes the argument that he’s less dangerous because he doesn’t have numbers.

David wonders if Jay is a free agent and he a lot of options.

Adam thinks juries would root for someone like David.

Hannah admits that everyone is thinking about their end game.

Sunday is there too.

Voting Time Part Deux: No votes were shown.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone would like to play an idol…and Jay does.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Jay, two votes for David, three votes for Sunday, and the fourteenth person eliminated from the game is…Sunday.

Verdict: So, we’re voting out potential goats instead of actual threats?! This season is so weird…ly awesome.

Power Rankings Results: Michele Fitzgerald had Will in spot eight and Sunday in spot six. Shirin had Will in spot eight and Sunday in spot two. The current score is Team Michele 108, Team Shirin 101.

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

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Power Rankings Round 10: Double-Tribal-Trouble Edition

December 7, 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 Full Episodes 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.

Last Week: Michele Fitzgerald had Zeke in spot 1, while Shirin Oskooi had Zeke in spot 5. So, the current score is Team Fitzgerald 94, Team Oskooi 91.

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

Team Michele’s Score = 94

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

Team Shirin’s Score = 91

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

adammerge
 1. – Adam: One check mark away from that million dollar check?  1. – Hannah: Between ties, rocks, idols, flippers, and bigger threats, this hide-and-seek champion may find herself at final Tribal Council unseen.

#RIPMichaela #RIPMari
davidmerge sundaymerge
 2. – David: Drawing a line in the sand and washing away your competition.  2. – Sunday: Duck.
hannahmerge
 3. – Hannah: You seem to get votes cast for you at every Tribal. Will this trend end on day 39?
 3. – Bret:  Duck.
kenmerge kenmerge
 4. – Ken:  How long of a conversation would it take for you to jump into bed with someone? Asking for a friend.

 4. – Ken: Goat.

P.S. I don’t want to regret not making this joke if Ken is voted out: Ken’s life may yet again be frustrated by a plastic doll with no penis: Jay’s idol.

jaymerge jaymerge
 5. – Jay: If you don’t act at the right moment, Mom and Mel could have two souvenirs from your trip to Fiji. 
 5. – Jay:  The idol chatter won’t become idle chatter; they’ll come for him soon.
davidmerge
 6. – Sunday: It’s 8pm on Sunday and after a relaxing afternoon, stress has finally crept in. You have a lot of work to do in the morning.
 6. – David: He’s got no parachute left, so hopefully some of these other warm bodies can break his fall.
bretmerge adammerge
 7. – Bret: I always find myself hoping you win reward so I can watch you get drunk. But this week, I’m hoping you win immunity.
 7. – Adam: Will people follow him into battle or present him as a sacrifice to the other side?
willmerge
 8. – Will: To land a job, networking gets your foot in the door. If you wanted to sit at final Tribal you should have focused on your relationships more than your resume.
 8. – Will:  Flipper Free Willy

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2016 Ballot – Ozzy Lusth

December 6, 2016
'Survivor' Hall of Fame 2011 Inductee Ozzy Lusth (CBS)

‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2011 Inductee Ozzy Lusth (CBS)

VOTING FOR THIS YEAR’S EDITION OF THE “SURVIVOR” HALL OF FAME HAS ENDED. BE SURE TO CHECK BACK MONDAY, DECEMBER 12th FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE CLASS OF 2016.

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” coverage. We’ll have Power Rankings with “Kaoh Rong” champion Michele Fitzgerald and “Second Chance” favorite Shirin Oskooi, every Wednesday evening we’ll bring you a recap of the most recent episode, and every Thursday you’ll be able to watch the previous night’s episode and read an interview with the eliminated contestant. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

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

The “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to have 2011 Inductee Ozzy Lusth as a member of the Executive Voting Committee. As a member of this exclusive committee, Ozzy (along with Host Jeff Probst and other “Survivor” luminaries) has accepted an awesome responsibility. The committee’s votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious Class of 2016. The other 50% will come from “Survivor” fans like you.

Ozzy Lusth’s 2016 Hall of Fame Ballot

Mike Halloway – (“Survivor: Worlds Apart”): He was a bad ass. He did what I have tried to do. He was a challenge dominator and because of that he was able to win the game.

Tai Trang – (“Survivor: Kaoh Rong”): He made it to the end. I think his ability to speak hindered him on the jury. But, I think he’s got a lot of what it means to be a Survivor inside the game and out.

Andrea Boehlke – (“Survivor: Redemption Island” and “Survivor: Caramoan”): I think she’s proven that she’s a strong strategic player. She’s made it far the few times she’s played. She hasn’t won it, but she’s done really well.

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


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