Archive for March, 2018

‘Survivor’ Castaway James – “(Kellyn) Stonewalled My Move, and Yet I Can’t Bring Myself to Hate Her”

March 29, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.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 with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

Gordon Holmes: Heading in to last night’s Tribal, were you thinking you had Angela and Michael locked down?
James Lim: Yeah. That’s why I reacted to the blindside. I knew I was on the bottom of the tribe as far as numbers. But, the impression that I got over the course of the afternoon was that I had done a reasonably good job flipping Angela to our side. In the whole me and Michael vs. Kellyn and Desiree dynamic, Angela was going to come with us. They didn’t show much, but we had some really deep conversations. Both on Naviti 2.0 and Malolo 3.0. There was a time where we talked about loyalty and what that means to me. And I used that to pitch to her, that I realize I’m on the bottom. If you repay to me what we did for you, we can become tight allies and I’ll never write your name down. I thought she was moved by it, so I was a little shocked by the 4-1 result.

Holmes: It looked like Laurel and Donathan were going to start working with Wendell and Domenick before the second swap. Did you know that was going on?
Lim: Yeah, the backstory to all of that was; the Malolo four, we were a rock-solid bunch. Basically what was happening was me and Libby were working the Chris/Angela angle and Laurel and Donathan were working the Domenick/Wendell angle. Then we’d get together as a foursome and debrief. It was a way to see which pair would be a better pair to side with.
Holmes: So, a little divide and conquer action there.
Lim: Yes. One of my biggest regrets was not throwing one or both of the challenges. If we had an absolute upper-hand, we should have capitalized on it more.

Holmes: Morgan said you suck in challenges. However, you beat Kellyn in a puzzle, so you can’t be that bad. During that Morgan vote, was your goal to break up a potential Morgan/Libby alliance?
Lim: Partially, yes. Laurel did a good job pitching for Morgan over Wendell. But from my point of view, it was a good spot for us to sever the bond Libby was building with Morgan. It was only three days, but it was very impressive how tight those two got. I think day nine was the right time to draw Libby back into the Malolo circle. I’m glad that is the path she chose to take.
Holmes: How hard did Libby fight to keep Morgan?
Lim: Harder than what was shown. The conversation I had with her at the well was a lot longer and a lot more emotional than what was shown. It came down to us four sticking as a group and having the exact same target. And when she saw the three of us were locked in on Morgan, it came down to her. I’ll never forget the moment when the final vote came out and I really thought, “Is it going to be Angela? Is it going to be Morgan?” It was personally awesome to see that that entire strategic plan had come to fruition that night.
Holmes: Domenick is trying to put the target on Libby’s back now. He’s calling her a “devil in an angel’s body.” Is he overselling it or is there a more conniving side we’re not seeing of Libby?
Lim: Coming from his perspective, I wouldn’t blame him. From Naviti’s point of view, Libby is the cute blonde that slit Morgan’s throat. I think the impression Wendell and Domenick has was, “These four people kicked out asses, but Libby is the one who really did it.” And I was more that happy to let them have that impression. I wanted to call the shots from under the radar. But, Domenick has a great point. She’s a great player and someone to look out for.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with…Donathan.
Lim:
Heart of gold. One of the brightest people I’ve met. He was my day-one ride-or-die.
Holmes: Stephanie Johnson?
Lim: One of a kind. I’m blessed that I got to meet her. She’s a role model for women, all women watching “Survivor.” We’ll be family and friends for life.
Holmes: Kellyn?
Lim: She stonewalled my move, and yet I can’t bring myself to hate her. We really bonded deeply and shared some personal stories. I can’t say enough good things about her as a person.
Holmes: Desiree?
Lim: We come from such different backgrounds. It was tough to connect on the island. But, her story is so powerful and unique. I really respect her for that.
Holmes: Morgan?
Lim: (Laughs) She came at me in her exit press. But, we bonded well at Ponderosa. She’s positive, energetic, it was amazing to bond with her.
Holmes: Brendan?
Lim: One of the most quality people that I’ve ever met in my life.
Holmes: Laurel?
Lim: She is calm, she is genuine, she’s one of my best friends from the cast. It was nice to put together “Survivor’s” first Harvard/Yale alliance with her.
Holmes: Libby?
Lim: She’s a cute blonde and I trust her. She’s an amazing human being.
Holmes: Gonzalez?
Lim: Strong, persevering woman. She deserved better.
Holmes: Jacob?
Lim: We’ve hung out a lot post-game and he’s just so real. He’s a nice guy to be around.
Holmes: Jenna?
Lim: She’s real. If we were friends in college we would have had a great time together.
Holmes: Angela?
Lim: She has such a different background from the rest of us. It’s hard to read her as a person. But, she really opened up to me in the later stages. That bond, despite the fact that she backstabbed me, I truly respect her for her life’s journey and her service to the country.
Holmes: Domenick?
Lim: What you see is what you get. He’s loud, he’s passionate. He’s a schemer, he’s a hustler. And he’s a fun guy to be around. He’s an amazing friend to have.
Holmes: Wendell?
Lim: The most likable guy on this season. He’s one of the types that, he’s playing an under-the-radar game. He just makes you like him so much. He’s like your bro out there.
Holmes: Chris?
Lim: Over-the-top, huge personality. He’s a fun guy to hang out with. I loved every second with him. He’s such an entertainer.
Holmes: And let’s finish with Michael.
Lim: The savviest eighteen-year-old I’ve ever met. There was nobody like him in my high school senior class.

Holmes: Jacob knew you were a Harvard-educated track star before the season began. Did that ever come out while he was in the game?
Lim: Oh yes, we went on a walk one-on-one. And he said, “I want to play with you, but I think you’re lying about everything.” And I basically was like, what is this guy trying to get at? I think he had only told Stephanie Johnson that he really knew who I was.

Holmes: Your farewell last night was very classy and thoughtful. Was it important to you to tip your cap on your way out?
Lim: I think going in I wanted to portray the person I am in real life. And that meant I was going to play a game that had respect for other players. Honestly, when you hear your name come up at Tribal Council and you get voted out, you kind of blackout. And so, my turnaround farewell to the tribe, I think it was the right thing to say. It feels good to know that I left “Survivor” with a classy gesture to the rest of my cast and the entire “Survivor” community.

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

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‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Episode 6 Recap – Tonight, Is the Night…Where Two Become Three

March 28, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.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 with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: Chris threw a strike, Bradley talked to Mike, and Stephanie took a hike.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

The tribes as they currently stand…

The Naviti Tribe (wearing purple)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Chris, 27 – Male Model
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
James, 24 – Business Analyst
Libby, 24 – Social Media Strategist
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

The Malolo Tribe (wearing orange)
Bradley, 26 – Law Student
Chelsea, 24 – EMT/Professional Cheerleader
Desiree, 21 – Student
Jenna, 23 – Advertising Account Executive
Kellyn, 31 – Career Counselor
Michael, 18 – Real Estate Agent
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide

Whoa…we don’t waste any time with the fallout from last week’s Tribal. Actually, seeing as it was a unanimous vote, there might not have been any drama to show.

Swappin’ Time

So, the Malolo-low and the Navitians arrive for a challenge and are immediately instructed to drop their buffs.

When Probst asks if they’re ready to find out how it’s going to shake out, Donathan gets the line of the night by saying, “We have no choice.” Nope, you don’t.

The buffs are claimed…and curiously…five of them are green. Uh oh…three tribes. The new tribe will be known as Yanuya.

 

Alright, we’ve got…

The Naviti Tribe (wearing purple)
Bradley, 26 – Law Student
Chelsea, 24 – EMT/Professional Cheerleader
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
Libby, 24 – Social Media Strategist

The Malolo Tribe (wearing orange)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Desiree, 21 – Student
James, 24 – Business Analyst
Kellyn, 31 – Career Counselor
Michael, 18 – Real Estate Agent

The Yanuya Tribe (wearing green)
Chris, 27 – Male Model
Jenna, 23 – Advertising Account Executive
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

Initial Thoughts: Yanuya looks like a challenge juggernaut, but they’re going to have to create a new camp. On the other tribes, I’d imagine James, Michael, and Libby are in some serious trouble.

At Yanuya Beach

Everybody is in good spirits, despite having to start from scratch. Wendell also busts out the bro move of the season by bringing Sebastian a smelly shell he had left behind at Naviti.

Later on, Wendell and Chris agree to put the Domenick situation behind them. Wendell tells him it’s a “New Day” which makes the wrestling fan in me happy.

Wendell is psyched to have a challenge beast on his side, but he isn’t thrilled about having to listen to Chris boast about things.

CUT TO: Chris bragging about winning a volleyball tournament, modeling, his charisma, etc.

CUT TO: Chris saying he doesn’t tell people about being a model because people tend to think that models are self-absorbed. Also, people think that models are dumb and that might not be “beneficuary” to him.

So good.

At Malolo Beach

Desiree and Kellyn are hoping to put together an original Naviti alliance, but the story of how Wendell and Domenick tried to vote out Angela doesn’t fill them with a ton of hope.

Meanwhile, Michael and James decide to get some original Malolo action going.

At Naviti Beach

Bradley immediately gives us what we tuned in for by complaining about the “squalor” of Malolo Beach. I’d watch a show of him reviewing hotels.

It seems like classic Naviti has the power with Domenick warning everyone about how devious Libby is. Even referring to her as a devil in an angel’s body.

Really? Libby?

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will be blindfold and tethered to another member of their team. They will wander out in search of puzzle pieces with only a caller to guide them. Once they have all three bags of puzzle pieces, the caller will have to lead two blindfolded members through the puzzle. The first two tribes to complete the puzzle will win immunity.

The callers will be Wendell, Desiree, and Domenick.

Quick Aside: Blindfolded puzzle?! That’s cold.

Another Quick Aside: Leading two blindfolded people through a puzzle? No way. I’d have one player stand there with their hands in their pockets.

Yet Another Quick Aside: I like Desiree. I’m OK if I never hear her scream again.

Result: Malolo had a huge lead, but Desiree couldn’t get them through the puzzle. Yanuya and Naviti win immunity.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Desiree and Kellyn are hoping to bring Angela on board to get rid of James. But, Kellyn isn’t completely sold that Angela is in on the plan.

Michael and James decide to make a run for Angela’s vote hoping that the time James and Angela spent together can bridge the gap.

James and Angela chat and it seems like Angela could possibly be swayed.

Tribal Time

Probst immediately points out that Malolo might be one of the worst tribes ever when it comes to challenges.

WHAT?! But Jacob said…

In other news; Desiree takes full responsibility for the loss saying that she was hoping this would be her chance to shine. Angela responds by saying when you step up, your tribe is hoping you don’t strike out.

Also, James makes an interesting point that the original tribes were picked at random, so why stick with them?

Voting Time: Desiree votes for James, James votes for Desiree, and the rest of the votes are lost to the magic of editing.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…nobody does. We’ve got one vote for James, one vote for Desiree, one vote for James, and the sixth person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” is…James.

Verdict: Wow, I did not see a unanimous vote for James coming. If there was going to be any kind of surprise, I thought maybe Angela would end up going out because she wouldn’t commit to either side.

Oof…that’s four strong players in a row. (No offense, Jacob.)

  • Kellyn – This tribe is definitely going to lose again, but she’s firmly in the driver’s seat.
  • Michael – Hey, a guy has got to do what a guy has got to do. If he was working angles with Des and Kellyn before the swap, it makes sense to keep them.
  • Laurel – If someone wants to talk about themselves, let them talk. You’re killing this season. Bravo.
  • Wendell – A shell? Brilliant. Little things like that go a long way.
  • Domenick – Good job rallying the troops, but be careful that you’re not overselling things.
  • Desiree – I think a cooler head could have brought your tribe a win. But, the vote put you into a power position.
  • Chris – No self-awareness. Just…none.
  • Angela – Why were you making Kellyn nervous? Pick a side…quickly.
  • Libby – Whatever vibe you’re putting out there is turning Domenick off. Figure it out and course correct.
  • Chelsea, Donathan, Jenna, Sebastian, Bradley – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Roark had James in spot fourteen, I had him in spot twelve. The current score is Team Roark 53, Team Gordon 56.

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

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Power Rankings Round 4 – ‘Swap! In the Name of Love’ Edition

March 27, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.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 with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Kellyn is voted out this episode, Roark will receive four points and Gordon will receive three points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Ghost Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

Last Week: Roark had Stephanie in spot fifteen while Gordon had her in spot sixteen. The current score is Team Roark 39, Team Gordon 44.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank players based on how safe you think they are in the upcoming vote.

 

Roark’s Score: 39

Any questions for Roark? Drop her a line on Twitter: @roarkstweets

Gordon’s Score: 44

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

1. Laurel: Laurel’s game is the perfect get-me-to-the-merge game. She is making moves, but not ruffling feathers, and rather than talk she seems to be listening. I think she is very safe. 1. Domenick: Is this the part of the afternoon where Gordon complains because ranking swaps is frustrating and involves too many variables? Totally. Anywho…Domenick’s holding the only known idol. He should be good.
2. Domenick: If this swap shakes out not in Dom’s favor – which, honestly, I don’t even know what that looks like – he will just play his idol. He’s safe. 2. Laurel: I’m not sure if anyone is in a better position right now. She has her Domenick/Wendell options and her classic Malolo options.  She’s also a challenge threat. She just needs to keep an eye on Donathan.
3. Bradley: The problem is another swap changes everything. Without a swap, this group is squarely in the power position and it doesn’t seem to be shifting. Which lead to ~*RivEtiNg*~ television last Wednesday. 3. Kellyn: The Puzzle Whisperer was knocked down a peg last week, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The odds are she’ll end up surrounded by supportive treasure boxes.
4. Kellyn: We see way too much of her for her to be going anywhere any time soon. 4. Wendell: He’s a likable challenge champ who has probably only upset a handful of people (Chris and Chris’s buddy). It’d take a disastrous swap to hurt his momentum.
5. Wendell: Both Wendell and Dom have made cross-tribal bonds, which suggests that another tribe swap could produce some exciting results. I think this clearly spells safety for these two. 5. Bradley: It looks like Michael’s idol moment was the wake-up call Bradley needed. Fortunately, the two people he upset the most won’t be on the jury.
6. Donathan: Laurel handled him so much better than I would have. Oh, coffee reminds you of someone? Really? Seeing as 83% of adults consume coffee, it just doesn’t tug at my heartstrings. Donathan and Laurel are the only two original Malolos that strike me as very safe going into this swap. 6. Donathan: Becoming a swing vote in a little alliance that’s already kind of a swing vote? Too complicated for me. I’d stick with the plan and let Laurel lead the charge…for now.
7. Sebastian: See Jenna. He’s just more safe because Naviti. Hope it isn’t another throwing challenge though. He’s really bad at those. 7. Chelsea: Quietly contributing cheerleader. No need to send her packing anytime soon.
8. Chelsea: Still at a loss. 8. Desiree: Desiree seems to be playing a sneaky good game. I loved the moment where her and Bradley touched base after she checked Stephanie’s bag. I wish they’d show more of her.
9. Desiree: Des has actually been a central player in these boot conversations. She steers the dialogue nicely and seems well respected in her group. 9. Angela: Hey.
10. Jenna: I feel great about Laurel and Donathan. I feel good about Jenna. They are clearly gearing up for a Jenna / Sea-bass flirtation story line. And since we aren’t blind and have access to social media we know that they are very very together. This tells me that they both are safe. 10. Libby: As the least threatening classic Malolo member, I think Libby will be fine no matter how the swap shakes out.
11. Angela: Even though Naviti has the overall numbers Angela and Chris are undeniably on the bottom of that totem pole. 11. Sea Bass: Oh…Sea Bass. May you forever reign as this season’s quote machine. However, I am worried that this Jenna thing is going to put an early target on your back.
12. Chris: There are third party people on set so that the challenges can’t be rigged for any one contestant. But could that arbiter call in sick one day so Chris can be given a rap battle challenge? The audience deserves this. 12. James: I wonder how people view you, James. Do Domenick and Wendell know you were the main architect behind the Morgan vote? If so, that could be bad news after the swap.
13. Libby: *long grass emoji* *eyes emoji* *long grass emoji* (that’s me searching for this person) 13. Jenna: There’s a YouTube playlist everyone should check out before going on the show. It features starting fires, opening coconuts, and now braiding hair. Cozying up to the Bassy one may have bought her some time, but it will eventually come with a price.
14. James: James’ confessional about having the numbers because the Malolos are in with Chris shows that he doesn’t know what’s really going on – that Laurel has hooked up with Dom and Wendell. I’m not terribly worried about James because the swap is going to mess all this up anyway, but this did stick out to me. 14. Michael: Nobody needed this swap more than Michael. With the Sea Bass/Jenna romance on the horizon, he was about to become a marked man. And Malolo was getting stomped in the challenges. He’s not out of the woods yet, but this may buy him some time.
15. Michael: I still believe Michael is on really thin ice and could be the next casualty of a bad numbers situation. I see you trying things out there, buddy! 15. Chris: Wow! Chris went all Rick Vaughn on that challenge last week. Then he went all…maybe…Vanilla Ice on the mic. I’d hate to see him go, but that Dom feud is going to come to a head sooner or later.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Stephanie – ‘I Feel Like My Best Friend Backstabbed Me’

March 22, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.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 with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

Gordon Holmes: How are you holding up?
Stephanie Johnson: It’s been rough, but at least I got my own dedicated torch-snuffing music. That was pretty awesome.
Holmes: I know! I always get a little emotional during the snuffing, but I was like, “What are you guys doing! You know I’m sensitive!”
Johnson: (Laughs) I hope you cried as much as I did, because I sure cried.
Holmes: I’m not going to lie, it got a little dusty in the Holmes household. How did the youngsters take it?
Johnson: They’re six and eight so they did not know the outcome until last night. It was really rough. It was a little heartbreaking, they were devastated. We were all bawling our eyes out and my oldest son looked me in the eyes and gave me a big bear hug and said, “Mom, I’m so proud of you.” And then I lost it. Everything that I had said on the show, everything that I had worked so hard for, it made it all OK.
Holmes: I would imagine growing up with a mom who’s a tri-athlete, and an author, and a world traveler, they’d already know you’re pretty much a badass.
Johnson: (Laughs)

Holmes: Last night felt like an old-school episode of “Survivor.” We’ve got no idols, no advantages, we have an alliance that doesn’t seem to have any cracks. You’re just left to your own devices. Looking back, was there anything else you could have possibly done?
Johnson: The second that I got back to camp after Ghost Island, I realized it wasn’t the same tribe that I had left. Twenty four hours makes a huge difference. I brought Jenna and Michael to the side and I started plotting and scheming. And Jenna wouldn’t even look me in the eyes. It was at that point that I realized that they had made an arrangement and they were going to flip. Something was different, so I completely ditched them. I worked on the relationships I had with Naviti while looking for an idol. But, I worked Bradley, Kellyn, and Chelsea, trying to…like you said, “Old School.” If you do this for me, I’m in your corner. Use my vote. But I came up short.
Holmes: I understand braiding hair is huge on that tribe. That could have been an in.
Johnson: I was the hair braider!
Holmes: (Laughs)
Johnson: Jenna probably told him, “Look, if you vote her out instead of me, I’ve got your back, I can braid your hair.” Sea Bass and me bonded for hours over me braiding his hair. I did all sorts of braids.
Holmes: Emotional braid theft? That’s cold.
Johnson: I wouldn’t put it past either of them. I don’t doubt it. (Laughs)

Holmes: You were the only person left on classic Malolo-low that knows about the Legacy Advantage. Had you told anyone about it?
Johnson: I didn’t tell a soul. I really thought I could leverage it a little later on in the game. I had no idea who Morgan was close to. I tried to get that information from Naviti after Morgan was out. But, I didn’t tell anyone. And before I was voted out, I was thinking, “Screw that. I’m not giving you guys an advantage because I know I’m going home. I’m taking this to the Ghost Island grave.”

Holmes: I was on Instagram earlier and it seems like Kellyn is a huge Stephanie fan. Did you two became besties out there?
Johnson: We really did. They didn’t show Kellyn and I, but we had a lot of conversations. Our life storylines are very similar. We really bonded. We got really close out there. And I didn’t know that she was crying at my Tribal. I was in a complete daze. I didn’t know Jenna or her were crying.
Holmes: Last week Brendan said that he caught Kellyn tearing up when he was talking about going home before his birthday. It seems like she doesn’t have a poker face.
Johnson: She really doesn’t. She’s an amazing woman, but she has no poker face at all. You can read her like a book.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Brendan.
Johnson: Big brother that I never had. He’s one of the most strong and honorable men that I’ve ever met.
Holmes: Desiree?
Johnson: Misunderstood. I say that because in the game we didn’t connect, but outside of the game we are very similar.
Holmes: Laurel?
Johnson: She’s a beast, she’s a silent, powerful beast.
Holmes: Libby?
Johnson: Sunshine. (Laughs) She just makes you smile.
Holmes: Kellyn?
Johnson: My soul sister.
Holmes: Jacob?
Johnson: The most creative man I know. And actually, he is the one who pushed me to get my book published.
Holmes: Sea Bass?
Johnson: A big ball of love, passion, and silliness.
Holmes: James?
Johnson: Loyal, highly intelligent…and extremely easy to talk to.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Johnson: Very reserved, but in a good way. I don’t think she opens up to many people. But, she opened up to me out there and we became pretty close.
Holmes: Michael?
Johnson: Hot. (Laughs) He’s charming. He’s going to find great success in life.
Holmes: Gonzalez?
Johnson: The most kind-hearted soul ever. She’s a fighter.
Holmes: Jenna?
Johnson: Out there I thought of her as a little sister. After last night I want to pull a Morgan and say, “Don’t trust the cute blonde.”
Holmes: Donathan?
Johnson: Lovable, he’s got a rare innocence to him. But, he’s one of the strongest people I’ve met.
Holmes: And let’s finish with Bradley.
Johnson: He’s complicated. On one hand I feel like he’s a whiny bitch. On the other hand, he and I had some really deep, heartfelt conversations.

Holmes: Let’s stick with the Bradley thing for a bit. I feel the same way in that it seems like he goes too strongly in one direction, realizes the error of his way, and then quickly course corrects.
Johnson: Yes. And the one thing with Bradley is that he’s not malicious. He’s not mean-spirited, he just complains. He’s snarky. I think that’s who he is. But at the same time, we had a lot of great talks.

Holmes: It feels like you and Jenna were close out there. Aside from her not looking at you when you returned to Ghost Island, was there anything else she did that felt like a betrayal?
Johnson: No, Jenna was my day-one girl. We hit the beach running. We were always together. We plotted to poison Bradley. Ninety seven percent of the stuff we talked about…they couldn’t even air it because it was not appropriate. We had the same sense of humor, she was really like the little sister that I never had. But, when it came down to it being us three and I was gone, she has a relationship with Michael too. She had to do something to save herself. It sucks. But, I feel like my best friend backstabbed me. But, I don’t hold it against her because it was a good move. If I had been there, I would have thrown one of them under the bus too. She did what she had to do. I just think it sucks that she chose Michael instead of me. But, that’s because I’m kind of a feminist.
Holmes: Just to clarify; when you say you were going to poison Bradley, you meant figuratively poisoning the tribe against him, not literally poisoning him, correct?
Johnson: Oh no, we wanted to poison him. (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs)
Johnson: We were picking berries and leaves and we were thinking of all the ways we could get him med-evac’d and then we wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore.
Holmes: That’s terrible.
Johnson: You know, he came over and just (expletive deleted) all over our camp. He was arrogant, I did not like him those first days. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Holmes: OK, but he was figuratively (expletive deleted) all over camp. Unlike you literally wanting to poisoning him.
Johnson: Yes. He didn’t literally (expletive deleted) all over everything. But we did want to poison him.

Holmes: I’m a little afraid to ask this question; was there anything out there that we didn’t get to see that you wish we had?
Johnson: Umm…
Holmes: Other than planning a potential homicide?
Johnson: (Laughs) I’m really glad they showed my ambition to look for idols. There wasn’t a single day or moment where I was not digging through the most disgusting, bug-infested logs. I tore that camp apart every single day.
Holmes: The worst thing you can do is go out there and be a bump on log. I said this to Brendan last week, and I’ll say it to you too. If there’s ever another Second Chance vote, I’ve got you back.
Johnson: Aww…thank you! They knocked out some players. Every single one of us was there to play.

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

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Episode 5 Recap: Braiding Places?

March 21, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.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 with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: Michael played an idol that was owned by James Clement, most of his alliance stayed, but sadly Michael went.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

The tribes as they currently stand…

The Naviti Tribe (wearing purple)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Chris, 27 – Male Model
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
James, 24 – Business Analyst
Libby, 24 – Social Media Strategist
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

The Malolo Tribe (wearing orange)
Bradley, 26 – Law Student
Chelsea, 24 – EMT/Professional Cheerleader
Desiree, 21 – Student
Jenna, 23 – Advertising Account Executive
Kellyn, 31 – Career Counselor
Michael, 18 – Real Estate Agent
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide
Stephanie, 34 – Yoga Instructor

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Michael, Stephanie and Jenna immediately try to mend fences with the classic Naviti folk. That’s always a strong move in my book. A lot can happen in the three/six/nine days until they have to vote again.

However, Michael’s big move has alerted everyone to the fact that he’s not just a pretty face. And, his “double idol” lie shows that he can think outside of the box. He’s in trouble.

Reward Challenge Time: The teams will race over a series of hurdles and then uncover a lever that’s buried under a pile of sandbags. The level will release smaller sandbags that will be used to hit targets. The first tribe to hit all three targets and open their flags will receive coffee and pastries.

Result: The Noble One destroyed this challenge for Naviti. It wasn’t even close. Apparently being a pitcher in college has its benefits. His WAR is through the roof. However, the highlight was Donathan jumping up and down and screaming “Cinnamon rolls! Cinnamon rolls!” How wasn’t Cinnabon a sponsor for this?

The Malolo-lows pull rocks to decide who gets to visit Ghost Island and Stephanie is the odd woman out.

On the way out, Chris lets us know that he was “pretty hot” today. He follows that with “I’m a diamond in the rough, do you see me glow? This ain’t pay-per-view. It’s a free show.” Then he does a mimed mic drop.

No, seriously.

At Ghost Island

Stephanie is not given the opportunity to play a game…which should put to rest any questions of the game being fixed. If anything, you’d think the producers would want to see her come back with an advantage.

Instead, she eats some rice and tries to figure a way out of her predicament.

Pastries and Pleasantries

The coffee reward reminds Donathan of being back home which makes him a little emotional. He shares his story with Laurel, telling her that he feels a little guilty being on the show because he’s a caregiver for his grandmother. They hug and it’s adorable.

Later, Chris and Donathan discuss the similarities with their situations. Chris’s mother suffers from MS and he’s been taking care of her. The duo seems to bond over it.

And…that’s all we get before the immunity challenge. So, we’re not going to spend any time with Malolo-low? Does that telegraph a Naviti win?

Immunity Challenge Time: One member from each tribe will run out to a floating platform. They’ll untie a bag and ride a bodyboard back to the shore. Once they’ve retrieved all three bags, they’ll use the pieces in the bag to figure out a combination. The combination will release a slide puzzle. The first tribe to complete the puzzle wins immunity.

Result: Domenick and James get the best of the all-star puzzle team of Kellyn and Bradley to win it for Naviti.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Michael, Stephanie, and Jenna are all on the chopping block, and it doesn’t look like there are any cracks in classic Naviti alliance.

Jenna realizes that she is hard to get close to because she puts walls up. She tries to cozy up to Sea Bass. He seems into it, but not as into it as he seemed during last week’s preview.

Sea Bass Moment of the Week: Jenna offers to braid Sebastian’s hair, but he claims that she doesn’t know how. He hopes she can figure it out because he “needs braiders on this tribe.” Ah…never vote Sea Bass out.

Some people want Stephanie out because she’s clearly a threat, but they’re worried she might have gained an advantage at Ghost Island. Desiree digs into Stephanie’s bag and doesn’t find anything. You guys have seen people burying idols for years, right?

Bradley seems torn on Michael because he wants to win some challenges, but Michael clearly has some social and strategic chops.

Tribal Time

There isn’t much drama, but Kellyn admits that their voting plan has changed several times throughout the day.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Desiree, four votes for Stephanie, and the fifth person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” is…Stephanie.

Verdict: I don’t want anyone to think I’m calling this episode boring, but everything was pretty much by the book. The stronger tribe took both immunities, there were no twists or advantages, and the dominant alliance didn’t break ranks. It seems like a long time since we’ve had an episode like this.

And that being said, nobody made any terrible moves this week, so all the grades are pretty decent…

  • Chris – It’s fun to tease the guy, but what can I say? He killed the reward challenge and made inroads with Donathan.
  • Michael – He picked up the pieces and moved on. Now he has to cross his fingers and hope for a swap, merge, or idol.
  • Laurel – You were just what Donathan needed, right when he needed it.
  • Bradley – It seems like last week’s Tribal was the kick in the pants Bradley needed. He was much better around Stephanie and Michael this time around.
  • Desiree – Something about Desiree digging into Steph’s bag and then reporting back to Bradley made me feel like she was his right hand. Not a bad place to be.
  • Jenna – You survived this week because you were considered the least threatening, but you were making moves.
  • Sebastian – Please, please, please make all of your decisions based on how it effects your hair.
  • Donathan – You’re gonna need to pick a side here, buddy.
  • Chelsea, Kellyn, Libby, James, Domenick, Wendell, Angela – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Roark had Stephanie in spot fifteen, I had her in spot sixteen. The current score is Team Roark 39, Team Gordon 44.

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

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Power Rankings Round 3 – Eye Candy Edition

March 20, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.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 with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Kellyn is voted out this episode, Roark will receive one point and Gordon will receive two points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Ghost Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

Last Week: Roark had Brendan in spot seventeen while Gordon him her in spot sixteen. The current score is Team Roark 24, Team Gordon 28.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank players based on how safe you think they are in the upcoming vote.

Roark’s Score: 24

Any questions for Roark? Drop her a line on Twitter: @roarkstweets

Gordon’s Score: 28

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

1. Kellyn: The second she said it was her greatest “Survivor” fear, we all knew she was pulling the white rock. From a results oriented POV – she clearly made the right call at Ghost Island. Thus, she looks smart and savvy. She’s just not going anywhere anytime soon. 1. Domenick: If Naviti ever goes to Tribal again, and with Brendan gone that’s a big “if”, Domenick will finally get to send the Noble one home.
2. Laurel: Laurel does a great job assembling her crew and pulling in who she prefers to work with. You can tell her story is ramping up, not winding down. 2. Kellyn: Losing Brendan is a big blow to Malolo’s challenge prowess. If they’re hoping to avoid Tribal, Kellyn might have to pull another puzzle rabbit out of her hat. But win or lose, Kellyn will be fine with Bradley as her shield.
3. Donathan: Donathan is seamlessly included in Laurel’s plans to form a cross-tribe alliance with Dom and Wendell. This group should be safe for a bit here. 3. Laurel: Challenge goddess…alliance queen. Five stars, highest recommendation.
4. Domenick: Dom and Wendell’s nighttime talk made me want to quote “Casablanca.” I have much faith in these two. 4. Donathan: Laurel’s right-hand man? That’s a good spot to be right now.
5. Wendell: Wendell has very flat affect and dead eyes in his conversation with Dom, whereas Dom is animated and expressive. I hope we get Wendell plays straight man to Dom’s wacky and hyper personality for a long time. 5. Wendell: This is the best I’ve felt about a winner pick in a long time. He’s low-key, people want to work with him, and he’s a sneaky challenge threat. Do it for us, Wendell!
6. Sebastian: I am furious that I will not be receiving a superlative from Sebs in his exit press. Please make up one for me, Sebs! If Michael and Brendan are helpless penguins on a tropical island, what might I be? 6. Libby: I’d be worried about you if Domenick had to play his idol blindly, but Laurel and Donathan can lead him in the right direction.
7. James: This group of Naviti members (James through Angela) had a very quiet episode. Makes me think they safe, but not much screentime to go off of in terms of guessing their position in the game. 7. James: I don’t think James will be the first target, but his move two weeks ago was like the Avengers battling back Loki and the Chitauri. It lets the universe know he’s a force to be reckoned with.
8. Libby: Libby was a centerpiece of the Morgan vote, this episode, I don’t think we even heard from her. 8. Desiree: Desiree got to talk a little strategy and she killed it. Here’s hoping we get to see more of her.
9. Angela: She has reunited with her boi Chris, but beyond that her outlook is not very bright. 9. Chelsea: Dude! You said stuff and it was super smart! High fives! Buuuuut, did the fact that you were one of the two names called out raise some eyebrows?
10. Chris: Guys, Chris likes himself. And I like him, too! Not to be friends with him, but he is very welcome on my TV. His personality will make people snap one day, though. 10. Angela: Hey.
11. Bradley: Stonewalling the minority is not even close to what Kim Spradlin would do. Bradley is safe today, but he is absolutely pissing people off, which can definitely be a problem tomorrow. 11. Seabass: Fraternizing with the enemy? That’s like finding a Sour Patch Kid in the middle of a bag of Gummi Bears. It’s going to draw attention.
12. Chelsea: She got a confessional!! 12. Bradley: I’d imagine Bradley is the kind of guy whose dark humor is hilarious when he’s on your side and infuriating when you’re against him. He’d better get control of that considering potential jurors will be against him at some point.
13. Desiree: Des is technically the person to suggest Brenden as the boot. Still not convinced about her presence on this show. 13. Jenna: A few people on Twitter have floated the theory to me that the classic Naviti players on Malolo might have been freaked by Morgan getting the boot and started throwing challenges. I’m not sure that’s what we’re seeing, but it would make sense to me.
14. Jenna: Kind of obsessed with her strategy of just using five pieces of paper in the voting booth. Try it, girl! Change the game! 14. Michael: Michael swung for the fences last week and got picked off at the warning track. Maybe he can pull a Ben and find 100 consecutive immunity idols?
 
15. Stephanie: It is hard to rank these three, since they all objectively sit squarely on the bottom of this tribe. If this group loses again – it’s a toss up who goes home. They are in trouble. 15. Chris: I’ll say is again, I think Naviti is going to be tough to beat in challenges from here on. But, if they do drop one, Chris is a goner.
16. Michael: Original Navitis went with the approach of voting out a strong man to confuse the original Malolos. I doubt they’ll do it again, but if they do Michael is obviously screwed. Also idol-less. So that’s not ideal. 16. Stephanie: All of classic Malolo had to come out swinging last week if they were going to sway Seabass or Whats-her-name. It didn’t work. And now Stephanie is left with a big ol’ target on her back.

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Brendan – ‘It’s a Game Built on Conflict, So I Thought There Would Be More Jerks’

March 15, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.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 with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

Gordon Holmes: I know it was probably rough watching what happened last night, so I wanted to start this off with an inspirational quote that has gotten me through some tough times.
Brendan Shapiro: OK.
Holmes: Sometimes you’ve got to go with the flow because the Malolo can go no further low low than the Malolo low.
Shapiro: (Laughs) Wiser words have never been said.
Holmes: If it makes you feel any better, it’s a Brendan love fest on social media with all of the Malolo competitors.
Shapiro: Yeah, I felt like I was making pretty good relationships out there. It’s good in the game…and it’s good period. One of the things that surprised me was how much I really like everyone out there. It’s a game built on conflict, so I thought there would be more jerks. (Laughs) It’s a nice group.

Holmes: Your alliance decided that Sebastian and Chelsea were the most likely to flip. What gave you that impression?
Shapiro: What was clear was that Bradley and Kellyn were running things. After that, it was kind of like the other three were falling in line. We didn’t pick on Des as much because she was just so locked in. We didn’t feel like we had a good shot at her getting to flip. But it was definitely the Bradley and Kellyn show and they both had the attitude that they wanted to Kim Spradlin there way through the game by keeping everybody locked down and circling the wagons.
Holmes: Did you approach Sebastian and Chelsea before Tribal?
Shapiro: We kicked the idea around. But, we decided to spring it and cause confusion and chaos in the moment. Because, the reality is; we knew that if we gave them a chance to think about it, it wouldn’t make sense to go away from their five. So, we wanted to catch them in the moment and hope to panic them.

Holmes: I think you just answered my follow-up. Watching it from the safety of my couch I’m thinking, “Why would Sebastian or Chelsea flip if they’re going to be safe no matter what?” So, the thought was to scare the crap out of them and shake someone loose?
Shapiro: Yeah, and you saw in the edit that we were really picking on Sea Bass. We were hoping that he would do something foolish. But, we knew in reality that it wasn’t going to work. Our only hope was the idol, but why not give it a shot? So, we laid it on thick for a while, you only saw a quarter of the barrage against Bradley. We really lit him up. But it didn’t happen.
Holmes: Did you just call Sebastian “Sea Bass?”
Shapiro: Yeah.
Holmes: Is that name catching on?
Shapiro: Oh yeah, we all call him “Sea Bass.”
Holmes: (Laughs) I’m so glad that’s a thing.

Holmes: Bradley seemed to be rubbing the classic Malolo members the wrong way. We heard him complaining about Malolo beach…although, in his defense, Naviti beach is much nicer. Was there anything else that was getting under everyone’s skin?
Shapiro: Bradley…I think he was bent out of shape about having to change beaches, so he was complaining about everything. The reward challenge, he complained that the current was pulling toward Naviti’s pole. If there was something to complain about, he’d complain about it. And he’s got a great sense of humor. But out there, it was kind of a dark sense of humor. I will say this about him, outside of the game, we’re friends. But inside of the game I wanted to smash him, as did my fellow Malolos. He was killing us.

Holmes: Michael made the call to play the idol for Stephanie at Tribal. But what was the feeling back at camp?
Shapiro: I saw that train coming down the tracks. They’re congratulating themselves that we aren’t going to see it coming because they’re going to take a guy out. Well, I saw it coming. They were telegraphing the move. I told Michael that they were coming for one of the two of us. Then, Kellyn and I had a heart to heart about an hour or two before Tribal. And she’s such a sweet person. She wears her emotions on her sleeve. I told her the next day was my birthday, which it was, and I wanted to be playing on my birthday. And I saw a tear come to her eye. And she tried to turn away, but I still saw it. It was all the conformation I needed. So, I told Michael they were coming for me. But he had a hard time believing that they were going to come for a guy. It’s hard out there, he did the best he could. And it was hard to live it because I saw it coming.
Holmes: Did anything specific happen at Tribal to convince Michael that Stephanie was the target?
Shapiro: He just believed that it was going to be one of the two women. At Tribal they hinted that it was going to be Stephanie and he believed it. And when he did his bluff, he was gaging Bradley’s reaction. I was looking at Michael, so I don’t know how Bradley reacted. But, he must’ve seen something in Bradley that he didn’t like.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Kellyn.
Shapiro: Empathetic. She said that it’s her super power, it might also be her kryptonite.
Holmes: Libby?
Shapiro: Surprisingly tough and resourceful.
Holmes: Jenna?
Shapiro: We couldn’t be in more different stations of life, yet she was as kind to me as you can imagine.
Holmes: Stephanie?
Shapiro: She’s all heart. Super courageous. Tough as they come.
Holmes: Jacob?
Shapiro: Incredibly enthusiastic. Great guy, but his enthusiasm may have gotten the best of him.
Holmes: James?
Shapiro: Great guy. Genuine, kind, thoughtful.
Holmes: Laurel?
Shapiro: We had an instant connection. She’s poised and loyal.
Holmes: Desiree?
Shapiro: The coolest person out there in a New York, music-scene kind of way. I didn’t know until last night that she was the one who threw my name out, so good for her.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Shapiro: Very reserved. I couldn’t tell if she was just hanging around or if she’s a tiger lurking in the tall grass.
Holmes: Gonzalez?
Shapiro: Polished…and dangerous. Gone before she could show her full game.
Holmes: Donathan?
Shapiro: Magnetic personality.
Holmes: Michael?
Shapiro: He is a prodigy. “Survivor” prodigy.
Holmes: Sebastian?
Shapiro: Great guy, deeper than the edit would have you believe.
Holmes: Bradley?
Shapiro: (Laughs) He’s funny…often in a dark and depressing kind of way. I don’t want to blow his cover, but he’s a good guy.

Holmes: What was your reaction when you learned that Michael was really eighteen?
Shapiro: I was shocked. He could have told me that he was 28 and I would have believed it. That’s why I call him “The Prodigy.” He’s got all the tools; physical, social, strategic. And he’s a ten out ten in all of those things. He’s really good. And, he’s also a great guy. He feels terrible about what went down. He’s reached out to me to tell me how sorry he is. He’s just a stand-up guy.
Holmes: Do you hold it over his head?
Shapiro: No. I was never mad, not for a second. He didn’t play it selfishly.
Holmes: You’re a better man than me. I would’ve tried to get a dinner out of him.
Shapiro: (Laughs) Maybe when we’re out in LA.

Holmes: What were the Malolo tribe dynamics before the swap? Who would’ve gone home if you’d lost another immunity?
Shapiro: Before the swap, we had a situation where I was good with everybody. There was an alliance of Libby, Michael, Jenna, Stephanie, and me. But, I was also in with Laurel, James, and Donathan. Michael and I were considering knocking Stephanie or Jenna out. We felt like they were dangerous and they might come for us next. We wanted to get them before they got us, so that’s probably what would have happened next. Then after the swap, instead of being at odds, we were as tight as could be.

Holmes: This is kind of dumb, but…my first memory of you is when I was hanging out with a CBS representative on interview day and you asked if you could borrow my sunblock. You were super polite and you applied it to the tops of your feet. And I’m thinking, “Man, I’d never think to apply sunblock to the top of my feet. This guy is polite, he’s regimented, he’s got it so together.”
Shapiro: (Laughs)
Holmes: And I think they did a good job portraying that. Was there anything that happened out there that you wish we’d seen?
Shapiro: My perception was they may have undersold my strategic chops. That first vote where I got called “The lion.” That was my deal, right? What didn’t make the edit was it looked like it was going to be Donathan or Gonzalez. But really it was going to be Jenna or Gonzalez. I decided at the last minute that I didn’t want to come back from Tribal with Stephanie, who was Jenna’s best friend, to come back and go all scorched earth. I wanted everyone to come back on the same page and happy. So, I changed it at the last minute. And Gonzo figured it out, to her credit. That’s why she tried to stir things up. I wish that’d made the edit, but otherwise, I can’t complain. They did me right out there.

Holmes: I have a big presentation today. Any chance I can get a pep talk out of you?
Shapiro: (Laughs) Just try hard, you’ll kill it.
Holmes: (Laughs) Short and to the point. Just know if they ever do another “Second Chance,” that you have my full support.
Shapiro: Thank you, I appreciate that. I’d do it in a heartbeat.

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

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Episode 4 Recap – Not Resting on Her Laurels

March 14, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.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 with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: Both tribes became Naviti 5, Malolo 4, Ghost Island was visited by the Noble 1, and Morgan was 86’d.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

The tribes as they currently stand…

The Naviti Tribe (wearing purple)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Chris, 27 – Male Model
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
James, 24 – Business Analyst
Libby, 24 – Social Media Strategist
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

The Malolo Tribe (wearing orange)
Bradley, 26 – Law Student
Brendan, 41 – Physical Education Teacher
Chelsea, 24 – EMT/Professional Cheerleader
Desiree, 21 – Student
Jenna, 23 – Advertising Account Executive
Kellyn, 31 – Career Counselor
Michael, 18 – Real Estate Agent
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide
Stephanie, 34 – Yoga Instructor

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Domenick and Wendell play things cool after the blindside, but none of the Malolo originals seem interested in talking with them. And, as you’d imagine, Angela is not pleased.

The defeated duo goes for a walk where Domenick admits that he has a real idol. This rejuvenates Wendell and they plot to try to get someone from the dominant alliance to flip.

The next morning, Domenick is psyched to find the legacy advantage left behind by the mOrgan donor. (I’m not proud of that.)

Reward Challenge Time: Two members from each tribe will swim out to retrieve a ring. The first team to wrestle the ring to their post will win a point. The first tribe to three points wins milk and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Result: Naviti wins it 3 to 1 thanks, in part, to Laurel being a machine.

Ghost Island: Naviti doesn’t think they can come to a consensus, so they ask for Malolo draws rocks. Kellyn states that this is her biggest fear and then immediately is revealed as the person who pulled the white rock. Doh…

At Ghost Island

Kellyn tries to stay positive, saying that this is where the “’Survivor’ Gods” wanted her to be.

Kellyn is presented with the option to play a game for an advantage, however, to play she’ll have to wager her vote at the next Tribal. She eventually decides against it, knowing that the next Malolo vote will probably be 5-to-4.

I agree with this move. If the next vote gets screwed up, it could turn her entire alliance against her. Also, how do you know the advantage isn’t something dumb like a free screening of “Jack and Jill?”

At Naviti Beach

Chris correctly reads classic Naviti voting for Angela as a move against him. He then works with the classic Maloloans to devise a plan to split the votes between Wendell and Dom.

He punctuates this by saying, “I like you, I like you, I like you, I like you, and I like myself.”

Chris likes himself? Sorry, that joke is too easy.

Donathan and Laurel don’t love the idea of working with Chris. So, Laurel approaches Dom with the idea of teaming up. Dom understandably jumps at the chance, even admitting to having an idol. He tells Laurel, “Three is still a good number if you have tools to use them with…and I have a tool.”

Too easy!

Immunity Challenge Time: The tribes will swim out to a cage. They’ll climb over the cage and release a chest. They’ll drag the chest back to the beach and across a track. From there, they’ll have to lasso another section of the track to complete the course. Finally, the first team to toss five balls onto a beam will win immunity.

Result: Holy cow! That was the most tense challenge I’ve seen in years. Naviti was waaaaaaay behind, but Sebastian and Brendan couldn’t close the deal. Wendell and Chris were able to catch them and win. Amazing!

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Things are clearly broken down along old Tribal lines with the classic Naviti folk deciding to target Brendan because a stranger named Chelsea thinks the men will be the least likely targets and someone else named Desiree thinks nobody will suspect Brendan.

Bradley is happy to see Brendan go, because he considers him to be “a dad who gives terrible pep talks.” Burn.

Bradley also says the fact that he focuses on every possible detail will make him a fantastic lawyer. Fantastic lawyer? Clearly that’s an oxymoron.

Sea Bass chimes in saying he’s going to go with the flow “because the Malolo can go no further low low than the Malolo low.” Get this guy some Banana Laffy Taffy, he’s losing it.

Michael and Brendan realize that there are no cracks to exploit, so they decide to tell Stephanie and Jenna about the world’s biggest idol.

The plan is to show the idol, tell everyone that they’re all voting for Bradley, and hoping that either Sebastian or Chelsea flip.

Quick Aside: So…what is the motivation for Sebastian or Chelsea to flip if they know they’ll be safe no matter what?

Tribal Time

Classic Malolo immediately puts their plan into place; they start by pointing out that Bradley is in control and Chelsea and Sebastian are on the bottom.

Bradley does his best to defend himself, saying they’re an alliance of equal partners. But Stephanie chips away, congratulating him for making everyone believe that.

Then…Michael reveals his idol and claims that it’s for double immunity and will protect two people. Nobody questions him about this…which I find hard to believe.

Finally, Michael says that they’re all voting for Bradley and it’ll only take one extra vote to change the game.

Sebastian seems slightly swayed, but doesn’t commit either way.

Voting Time: Stephanie votes for Bradley and the rest of the votes are lost to the magic of editing.

During the vote, Michael tells Brendan that he thinks the vote is going toward Stephanie.

J-Pro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol…and Michael does. He starts by claiming that he’ll play it for himself and Brendan, but rethinks it and plays it for Stephanie.

Alright, we’ve got four votes for Bradley, four votes for Brendan, and the fourth person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” is…Brendan.

As Brendan is leaving, he hilariously gives his buddies a pep talk. Just as Bradley predicted!

Verdict: Wow! That was tense! Great challenge, great strategy, great Tribal. Amazing episode.

  • Kellyn – I think she made the right call at Ghost Island. An advantage would have been cool, but losing that vote would have been a trainwreck.
  • Laurel – You got some key information and you’re keeping your options open. Smart, smart, smart.
  • Domenic and Wendell – You both kept your cool after a rough Tribal and now you’re back in the game.
  • Michael – You made a move, and you had a 25% shot of it working. Keep your head up, you made some great points at Tribal.
  • Donathan – You’re basically Laurel this week without the challenge domination.
  • Chelsea and Sebastian – You both made the right call. You weren’t in any real danger and you’ve still got some fodder to pick off.
  • Bradley – Your actions around camp got you in trouble. I think the key is to not act like you’re on top when you’re on top.
  • Stephanie – I’m worried that your Tribal performance put a bigger target on your back.
  • Chris – This Angela/Chris/Classic Malolo alliance should be a slam dunk, but people don’t want to work with you. Some self-awareness would do you wonders.
  • Libby, Angela, James, Jenna, and Desiree – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Roark had Brendan in spot seventeen, I had him in spot sixteen. The current score is Team Roark 24, Team Gordon 28.

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

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Power Rankings Round 2 – Sky’s the Lim-it Edition

March 13, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.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 with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Kellyn is voted out this episode, Roark will receive one point and Gordon will receive five points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Ghost Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

Last Week: Roark had Morgan in spot seven while Gordon had her in spot twelve. The current score is Team Roark 7, Team Gordon 12.

Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank players based on how safe you think they are in the upcoming vote.

 

Roark’s Score: 7

Any questions for Roark? Drop her a line on Twitter: @roarkstweets

Gordon’s Score: 12

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

1. Kellyn: Kellyn had some funny confessionals and seemed instrumental in the puzzle again. She’s fine. 1. Domenick: Domenick is not going home with an idol in his pocket. If anything, receiving the legacy advantage will inspire him to do anything he can to stick around for as long as possible.
2. James: Good news! The lack of oxygen to his brain during the drowning did not effect his IQ as this was a truly great move by James. Angela doesn’t trust Dom and Wendell, and you got an original Naviti out. Snaps for James! 2. Donathan: After last week’s shocker, there’s no way an under-the-radar player like Donathan is going home if Malolo goes to Tribal. They’re going to be dropping bombs.
3. Laurel: Laurel did a great job of keeping the target on Morgan and off Wendell, so I assume there are some conversations we missed between Laurel and Wendell. 3. Libby: Libby’s been getting a lot of heat for not protecting Morgan, but it was probably for the best if people were aware of how close they were. Keeping her around wouldn’t have been worth the target it would put on Libby’s back.
4. Donathan: Donathan is way too big a character to be going anywhere. He wasn’t making the power moves, but he’s safely within a group and going with the flow. 4. Sebastian: A likable challenge asset who catches fish and isn’t a strategic threat? He should be safe.
5. Domenick: I see what he’s trying to do here, but I’m not sure it’s working. Time will tell. I do think both Dom and Wendell will rebound. 5. Kellyn: Vote out the Puzzle Whisperer? No way.
6. Wendell: Wendell and Dom were left out in the cold on this one. Or in the dark. Choose your metaphor. He must be in with Laurel, though, so he’ll probably be OK. 6. James: Last week’s MVP should be very proud of that move. You kept your people safe and you’ll easily get Angela and Chris to flip to your side. But, that moves signals the end of your under-the-radar days.
7. Libby: Libby could have totally screwed over her starting tribe allies. She didn’t. She’s safely in the mix, but that shouldn’t be confused with being in power. 7. Laurel: Laurel hasn’t felt comfortable during her first three cycles. And, she’s too savvy to feel that way much longer. The question is; if she works with Domenick and Wendell, who can she bring with her?
8. Michael: Objectively, he has an idol. Also objectively, not a terrible analog for James. So he’s not *that* safe. 8. Chelsea: It’s probably bad news that the only way we’re learning about what you’re up to is through my exit interviews.
9. Sebastian: He. Is. So. Great. Please just tell us more about your candy preferences. I have a feeling he has everyone at camp laughing, which is an incredibly valuable skill, even if it isn’t intentional. 9. Desiree: See Chelsea.
10. Chris: Chris’s dialogue with Libby was fantastic. “Dom possibly has an idol,” “You think?” “Yes, I know so” “oh.” He’s bossy, he can’t keep a secret, when something starts as possible it ends up certain, he cries – Chris is everything I want in a “Survivor” character. 10. Angela: You really should have seen last week coming. You knew a war was brewing between Chris and Domenick and you knew that Chris was safe (and sobbing) at Ghost Island. Hopefully that vote will serve as a wake-up call.
11. Bradley: I don’t think I’ve hated anything as much as Bradley hates Malolo beach. 11. Chris: “The Noble One” dodged a big bullet last week. But, another one could be coming his way if Domenick, Wendell, Laurel, and Domenick’s idol have anything to say about it.
12. Chelsea: *Crickets* 12. Michael: Seriously, how did it take so long to find James’s old idol? I know the wilderness is vast, but that thing is the size of a Trapper Keeper.
13. Desiree: *Shrug emoji* 13. Wendell: Could the Philadelphia connection help Wendell bond with Laurel? If not, he’s in big trouble. If it does, I’m all in. #TeamCheesesteak
14. Angela: It’s very difficult to get blindsided by the people who were blindsided. Big ep for Angela! Also, did you know she was in the military? That’s what I’ve learned. 14. Jenna: If the former Malolans get wind of Michael’s recent discovery, Jenna could be a smart vote to flush the idol.
15. Jenna: Jenna and Stephanie will be perceived as easy targets. Socially adept and unlikely to have an idol. Worried for them. 15. Stephanie: Writing “Hope” in the sand? Those are the actions of a woman whose tribe has lost immunity.
16. Stephanie: In the next episode she writes “hope” in the sand, which is a cry for help if I’ve ever seen one. She and Jenna are in a bad spot. 16. Brendan: The leader on the faction that is down in the numbers is never safe.
17. Brendan: Brendan is in trouble. Something is brewing there. He seems irritable and bossy. I don’t think he’s in a good spot. 17. Bradley: Bradley is annoying Brendan, Brendan’s alliance has an idol.  Bad news for Bradley?

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Morgan – ‘I Kind of Embarrassed James in Challenges’

March 8, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.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 with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

Gordon Holmes: Often times a vote will be portrayed as a blindside…that wasn’t really a blindside. That looked like a blindside to me.
Morgan Ricke: It was really a blindside. It would have been a blindside to any of us. I mean, Angela was so clueless. She was so out of the Tribal, she didn’t even count. I think it would have been a blindside for Domenick or Wendell.

Holmes: People talk about “I knew something was up because someone wouldn’t look me in the eye.” In hindsight, did you sense anything like that?
Ricke: Right before we went to Tribal, I was getting a weird feeling from Libby. One of the very last questions she asked as we were packing up to go for Tribal was, “Are you a fan of ‘Survivor.’” Well, this is a huge question. Obviously I assumed she was a recruit. So, I’m like…does she want to know from the superfan side of it? If I am a fan and I’ve wanted to be on the show for years is she going to be too sad to vote me out? Why is she asking?! So, I played up the fact that I come from a large family and this is how our Wednesday nights were spent since I was 13 years old. I played up the family side of it because she’s a good little Catholic school girl. There was so much to that question. And once we started going to Tribal, Libby stopped looking at me. She stopped smiling, she stopped winking. And I was thinking, “Oh, (expletive deleted).” That’s why at Tribal you see me reassuring her. “Libby is gorgeous, and I trust her.” I was getting this vibe. I wanted her to think, “We’ve got this. I’m not turning on you.” Because she knew Angela was going to vote for her. We told her not to worry about it, because Angela is clueless. So, Libby was probably getting a little paranoid.

Holmes: There was a point where old Malolo seemed concerned about Domenick’s idol, so they had to decide between you and Wendell. Why do you think they went with you? I’d imagine it’d make sense from a game standpoint for Libby to try to keep you around.
Ricke: Correct. Libby did not want to vote me out. The relationship we had was real. I’ve gotten to talk to everyone since the game and James said that he thought I was the glue that was holding Naviti together. He said everyone likes you and that made him terrified. And Libby and I were immediately friends. James said we didn’t even say anything to each other and we were already sisters. “You talked about Catholic school and reality TV and the Kardashians, and ‘The Bachelor.’” We had so much in common that it was terrifying. And Angela liked me, we were fine. He felt like Chris and I had a good relationship. We weren’t in an alliance, but we talked together. I think it was because I was well liked and he won’t say this…but I kind of embarrassed James in challenges. He’s not very good at challenges. He’s a Harvard grad, he’s supposed to be super smart but he never does puzzles. The swimming challenge was difficult for him, the “Ninja Warrior” steps, he failed at that and had to go back. I was a strong female that at the merge would have won some challenges. And guys don’t like it when girls are better at them at things.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Wendell.
Ricke: Behind-the-radar…but he forms good relationships with people. He really gets to know people for who they are.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Ricke: Ghost? Her edit is how she was. She’s going to hate me for saying this, but she didn’t do anything. Her and Desiree would be chilling in the bed. That’s what they did. I’m sure there’s some strategy somewhere, but I never saw it.
Holmes: Bradley?
Ricke: I love him. He’s one of my original alliance members. He talks so much (expletive deleted) and I think it’s hilarious. What you see is what you get.
Holmes: James?
Ricke: (Laughs) He voted me out! Solid move on James. Credit to him. Hopefully he can step it up in challenges. This guy has a super good IQ. I’d love to see him step up in puzzles.
Holmes: Laurel?
Ricke: Quiet…I hope she solves a puzzle at some point. She’s a strong female…she’s behind the radar.
Holmes: Domenick?
Ricke: My right-hand man. I love Domenick. My brother.
Holmes: Angela?
Ricke: I asked her questions and tried to get to know her, but she didn’t want to talk about her past. She got a divorce, she didn’t want to talk about it. She’s in the military, she didn’t want to talk about that.
Holmes: Sebastian?
Ricke: Laffy Taffy! I love Sebastian. We’re both water people, we’re both Florida people. He’s so passionate about what he does. He’s so happy. We see everything in rainbows.
Holmes: Donathan?
Ricke: He had this hero edit, which is good for Donathan. I don’t know. I saw him sit there, during the water challenge saying, “I’m not going to do it.” It took him a long time. It took Jeff Probst yelling at him for him to get in the water to become that hero. I see why fans like the guy. He’s playing low-key. He didn’t say much.
Holmes: Chris?
Ricke: Chris is…what you see is what you get. He has his one liners. I never had a problem with how he treated me. Some of them did. I get him. He’s funny, but people take it the wrong way.
Holmes: Desiree?
Ricke: Hopefully she starts playing. She’s good in challenges.
Holmes: Kellyn?
Ricke: Love her. She’s awesome, she’s hilarious, she’s quirky.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Libby.
Ricke: Your cute…southern girl. I still love her. I hope she goes far. I have nothing negative to say about her.

Holmes: We didn’t get to see much of the politics around Naviti outside of the Chris/Domenick feud. What would have happened if the original Naviti had gone to Tribal?
Ricke: It would’ve been a five-five split. We were hoping to pull Sebastian or Chelsea. But Chelsea didn’t…game. We were hoping to tell her she was going home and pull her. We also wanted Sebastian because everyone loves Sebastian.
Holmes: When you say five-five, was that yourself, Wendell, Domenick, Bradley, and Kellyn?
Ricke: Correct.

Holmes: Was there anything out there that you wish we’d seen?
Ricke: It was a good portrayal of me. I had a ton of fun out there. The sunset, the stars at night, I was enjoying everything. We were constantly staying up and keeping the fire going. You didn’t see how much I held back at the water challenge. (Laughs) I couldn’t have gone any slower if I wanted to. The challenges were pretty easy for me. I think the crazy thing is after nine days I felt good. I still had energy. I didn’t feel weak. I was proud of myself for that.

Holmes: Did you tell anybody about the legacy advantage?
Ricke: I did not tell anybody. I actually kept my mouth shut.
Holmes: Look at you!
Ricke: It’s shocking. (Laughs)

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


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