Archive for March, 2018

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Episode 3 Recap – The James Lim Redemption

March 7, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: 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: Kellyn showed a lot of spirit, Chris was spooked by the thought of Domenick having an idol, and Gonzalez and Jacob didn’t stand a ghost of a chance.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

The tribes as they currently stand…

The Naviti Tribe (wearing purple)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Bradley, 26 – Law Student
Chelsea, 24 – EMT/Professional Cheerleader
Chris, 27 – Male Model
Desiree, 21 – Student
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
Kellyn, 31 – Career Counselor
Morgan, 29 – Marine Animal Trainer
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

The Malolo Tribe (wearing orange)
Brendan, 41 – Physical Education Teacher
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
James, 24 – Business Analyst
Jenna, 23 – Advertising Account Executive
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Libby, 24 – Social Media Strategist
Michael, 18 – Real Estate Agent
Stephanie, 34 – Yoga Instructor

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Libby tries to make James feel better about the votes he received by telling him not to hate himself. Really? There are plenty of people he should be hating other than himself.

Costume Change

Next up, both tribes meet up with Probst. Naviti does not seem surprised that Jacob is gone.

Donathan returns from Ghost Island™ and he doesn’t seem particularly shocked to see how the vote turned out either.

Everyone seems pretty happy with their teams, Libby even doubles down on Jacob’s assertion that Malolo is the best tribe ever. So of course Probst decides to switch them up.

Someone named Angela is pretty freaked out because she really liked her tribe.

When the dust settles, we’re left with…

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
Morgan, 29 – Marine Animal Trainer
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

First Impressions: We’ve got a 5-4 split on both tribes. And boy…Malolo looks like a force to be reckoned with as they have Sebastian, Michael, and Brendan.

At New Naviti Beach

The former Malotians are very impressed with Naviti beach. Apparently, they have the better shelter and two fire pits. Ooo…what are the property taxes?

Chris and Angela immediately start trying to figure out a way to get rid of Domenick. It’s a very awkward conversation with Chris talking down to Angela in a weird way. Angela picks up on it immediately.

Later, Chris approaches the former Malolo players about going after Domenick. In the process, he manages to rub Libby the wrong way too. Two for two with the ladies today, Chris.

Fortunately for Libby, she finds a former Naviti person she likes much better in Morgan. The duo bonds over their Catholicism…apparently.

At New Malolo Beach

The former Navitians are not impressed with the Malolo camp. And Brendan does a TERRIBLE job of selling it to them. Immediately he’s like, “Yeah, it’s probably not great. We should change it.”

Kellyn compares it to a friend’s baby that you have to pretend is cute. I wonder what her friends are thinking as they watch this?

Bradley, in particular, doesn’t like the new beach. And…he’s not wrong. Naviti is way nicer. However, Stephanie and Brendan don’t appreciate the negativity.

Realizing that old Naviti isn’t going to split up, the former Malolans go on a mad hunt for the hidden immunity idol. Michael eventually finds one of the idols that James was holding when he was voted out of China.

Quick Aside: That idol is enormous! It’s like the size of a clipboard. How would you hide that thing? Maybe it just looked smaller in giant James’s hands.

Immunity Challenge Time: The two teams will race across an “American Ninja Warrior”-esque obstacle course. They’ll then lift up a teammate to retrieve a rope. The rope will be used to climb a (non-warped) wall. The first team to complete the puzzle at the top of the tower will win immunity and a tarp.

Result: It was pretty even up until the puzzle portion, but Kellyn and Bradley destroyed it. Malolo wins immunity.

Malolo has to decide who to send to Ghost Island, and the vote has to be unanimous. They can’t come to decision, so rocks are pulled. Chris gets the unlucky (lucky?) rock.

At Ghost Island

Chris doesn’t get the opportunity to play a game, but the time alone gives him a chance to reflect. He cries quite a bit, discussing his mother’s battle with MS. He hopes this will give him a chance to regroup and continue the game with a clear head.

Pre-Tribal Policking

Angela decides that she’s not ready to go with Chris’s plan and break from old Naviti. She tells Wendell how she feels and he doesn’t seem to buy it.

She also tells Wendell that she’s willing to go to rocks if there’s a tie. He’s not quite up for that, so he thinks targeting Angela is their best bet.

When discussing numbers, Morgan assures Wendell that Libby will vote with them. It seems like all of the former Malolans are in on this vote.

In an effort to earn more of their trust, Domenick shows the Maloloans the fake idol and confesses that it was made to throw Chris off of his scent. He even swears on his children that he’s with them.

It looks like Dom is coming on way too strong and they don’t buy it. James is worried that the fake idol is to cover for a real idol. Wow! Good call, James.

So, they decide to target Wendell or Morgan in case the idol is real. Libby doesn’t like the idea of sending her new bestie home.

Tribal Time

Everyone is acting like it’s going to be a straight up old Malolo vs. old Naviti vote. I’m sure all of this talk is for Angela’s benefit.

Libby is asked about lying, and she admits that it’s part of the game. Morgan laughs because she thinks Libby is adorable, but will probably have to lie at some point.

Voting Time: Angela voted for Libby, Morgan voted for Angela, and the rest of the votes are sooper secret.

Probst tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…nobody does. We’ve got one vote for Libby, three votes for Angela, three votes for Morgan, and the third person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” is…Morgan.

On her way out, Morgan says, “Don’t trust the cute blonde.” Should Angela take offense to that?

Morgan willed her legacy advantage to Domenick during her closing remarks.

Verdict: This episode is a good example of why I don’t love swaps. Can you point to anything Morgan did wrong her whole time out there? I can’t. She didn’t play too fast. She didn’t upset anyone. She didn’t tell anyone about her legacy advantage. She didn’t wash her feet in the cooking pot. And yet, she’s gone. Blah.


  • James – Heck of a move by James this week. With that vote he kept all of old Mololo safe and he will have perfect inroads to work with Angela and Chris next week. Bravo.
  • Michael – Great rebound with the idol find, my friend.
  • Kellyn – Another big puzzle win. But being super honest with old Malolo might have inspired their frantic idol hunt.
  • Libby – You’re still in good shape, but you clearly didn’t win the big Morgan/Wendell debate.
  • Domenick – Your plan did not go according…to plan. But, you’re obviously making good enough connections to get Morgan’s advantage.
  • Chris – What does it say about the Chris/Domenick feud that everyone from old Malolo was turned off by both of them?
  • Angela – I’m giving you a low grade for not sensing what was up. But you’re going to be in a good spot next week.
  • Bradley – You’ve got to be more careful with the vibes you’re putting out there.
  • Wendell – You almost paid the price this week. It could’ve easily been you.
  • Donathan, Brendan, Sebastian, Stephanie, Jenna, Chelsea, Desiree, Laurel – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Roark had Morgan in spot seven, I had her in spot twelve. The current score is Team Roark 7, Team Gordon 12.

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

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Power Rankings Round 1 – Buffs-Will-Be-Dropped Edition

March 6, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: 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 two points and Gordon will receive four 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”

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: 0

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

Gordon’s Score: 0

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

1. Domenick: I am patting myself on the back for this preseason ranking, and for now, I am not moving Dom anywhere. Unless he ends up giving Chris the fake idol, I am not sure what the point of telling him was, but A for effort, Dom, keep it up. 1. Domenick: A swap already?! What are you trying to do to me, Probst? How am I supposed to rank all the people that haven’t been shown saying or doing anything? Ugh…oh well…Domenick has an idol. He’s smart enough to know when he needs to use it.
2. Kellyn: Kellyn was prominently featured in the premiere, despite winning both challenges and not really being involved in the Dom – Chris alliance scuffle. This tells me she is sticking around for a bit. 2. Stephanie: And another thing, are we swapping to two tribes or three? That makes a big difference. You can hide in a tribe of nine. If you end up on a tribe of six with five members of the other tribe, it’s probably bad news. Grr…Steph was amazing last week. She should be able to wriggle out of any swap trouble.
3. Donathan: “Survivor Season 36: Donathan Island” 3. Wendell: And I have to make all new images! These take a long time to put together! Anywho, yay me for my winner pick making it to the third episode. Add to that the fact that everyone on his tribe seems to like him and be willing to work with him, and he should be fine during the swap.
4. Wendell: Wendell did not slide into my DMs, per our deal, so no first place ranking for him. Regardless, he remains high in the rankings as we heard from him several times despite avoiding Tribal twice. 4. James: Your diving issue last week might turn out to be a blessing in disguise. A million-dollar body is a lot less intimidating after you’ve seen a dude struggle to perform during a challenge.
5. Sebastian: He is fantastic comedic relief and I need him here for a long time giving us malaphors in every confessional. 5. Kellyn: They didn’t show a lot of Kellyn last episode, but from my vantage point when I was out there, her tribe was loving her. Her enthusiasm wasn’t coming off as hokey and she got most of the credit for completing the cube puzzle. She’s a sleeper pick to take this whole thing.
6. Laurel: Laurel was relatively quiet across the two episode premiere. That said, she is clearly trusted by her tribemates and built that trust across two Tribals. Granted, they seemed like easy votes, but she seems safe om this tribe of misfits. 6. Bradley: Lookit, Bradley…lurking out there…being buddies with everyone. He’s a perfect example of someone living by the credo; you can’t win it on day one, but you can certainly lose it there. Keep your eyes on him.
7. Morgan: Morgan’s bright and bubbly, just as expected. She also seems incredibly useful in challenges. Stephanie could spill the beans on her legacy advantage, but it seems early for that. 7. Laurel: Laurel didn’t pull the trigger on getting rid of Michael last week, but she probably didn’t have to. She appreciates that she was on the outs, but it’s early in the game and there’s no need to rock the boat just yet.
8. Stephanie: Stephanie impressed me. She’s shown herself to be socially competent and willing to not rock the boat or die on the sword of her own personal preferences. 8. Libby: There’s Libby, just kinda hanging out in the middle of the dominant alliance. Not a threat to anyone. Probably a good place to be early in the game.
9. Brendan: Brendan is *very* in the mix and is strong in his opinions. He let his thoughts on the vote be known and he would not be pushed around. That should work for a little while longer… 9. Chelsea: I spent an hour on Naviti Beach on day two. It looked like Chelsea and Desiree were working together with Chris thinking incorrectly that he had Desiree in his pocket. What does that mean for Chelsea’s game going forward? Who knows. But she’s doing stuff.
10. Michael: Despite losing the first two challenges, Michael has clearly been deemed indispensable. For the time being. 10. Angela: Hey, buddy! Having fun out there? Hope so. Drop us all a line when you get a chance.
11. Jenna: Jenna was also quiet throughout these two episodes. She seems affable and gets along with Stephanie. Probably safe. 11. Sebastian: Dropping names before you’ve even lost immunity? Rookie mistake, Sea Bass. Lucky for you Domenick probably holds Chris accountable. Just relax, kick back, and catch some of those giant lobsters that are out there.
12. Bradley: From here down, consider all these people ranked the same. Massive tie at twelfth place. Well, expect James. It should be no surprise that most of them come from Naviti, the tribe that got less screen-time. I apologize for seeming flippant, but as someone who was invisible on a winning tribe until a boot episode screen-time spike – I feel y’alls pain. Don’t hate me. 12. Morgan: So, it’s probably safe to assume that Stephanie is the only person who knows about Morgan’s legacy advantage. If they end up on the same tribe, that could bring them together. Or…it could be a reason for Stephanie to target Morgan.
13. Desiree: Crushed the basketball portion of the second immunity challenge. Besides that – unknown. 13. Michael: Jacob has me thinking that Michael isn’t very self-aware. He might want to stop and think about why people were targeting him.
14. Libby: Her tribe went to Tribal both hours and still very unsure about who she is. 14. Jenna: You seem to be close with the Brendan/Michael alliance, but why was your name being tossed around?
15. Chris: Dom seems like a train at full speed, and Chris is currently standing in its path. 15. Brendan: Gonzalez was not subtle in letting us know that Brendan was running the show. That could get in him in a bit of trouble after a swap.
16. Angela: Apparently a human woman on the Naviti tribe. 16. Desiree: You’re bad at slide puzzles, you’re good at buoy basketball. I still worry about you because of the whole, “Making up a baby back home” plan you were bouncing around.
17. Chelsea: Who? 17. Donathan: They played up that diving thing to be a big moment for Donathan, but watching it back…it didn’t look that good. His tribe was basically begging him to go back in. He could be a goner if a tribe gets serious about challenge strength.
18. James: Pretty sure he drowned. RIP. 18. Chris: If Domenick and Chris end up on the same tribe and they lose immunity, Chris is going home. He’ll see this as his chance to send Domenick packing, it’ll escalate, and there will be no turning back. Domenick is too savvy and Chris doesn’t have a great read on how people perceive him.

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

My Day at ‘Survivor’ School or (How Gordon Got His Groove Back)

March 2, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (XFINITY)

QUICK NOTE: 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.

WARNING: The following “Survivor” article has very little actual “Survivor” content in it.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

I know what you’re thinking, “Hey Gordon, where’s that once-a-year article you write about the press immunity challenge where it looks like you’re going to lose, but somehow pull off a victory and learn a valuable lesson?”

That article is not coming.

Oh, the press immunity challenge happened, it was the one from the premiere where they had to pull the block puzzle pieces on a sled. And the lesson I learned was, “Sometimes you get your (expletive deleted) kicked.” Trust me, it does not require 2,000 words. It was so bad that newly minted press member Andrea Boehlke was desperately trying to switch teams.

So, my challenge winning streak was snapped at nine straight. And while a career record of 9 and 2 is still impressive, it certainly isn’t 10 in a row.

Ten immunity wins would have been epic. Just…the perfect round number. I had even imagined posing for a photo with a giant “10” written in the sand.

It’s kind of stupid, but I’ll admit to being down in the dumps about it.

And as bummed out as I was it wasn’t nearly as bad as the thing that had happened a few days earlier.

The pre-game interviews had taken longer than expected, so we were granted an extension. While Hollywood Reporter’s Josh Wigler and I were finishing up, EW’s Dalton Ross, ET Canada’s Erin Cebula, and CBS’s Andrea Boehlke were going to get to run through the water/basketball challenge.

I wasn’t heartbroken to miss this because swimming isn’t my strongest skill and I wanted the best opportunity to retain the winning streak that nobody cares about except for me.

Here’s where it gets bad.

We were hoping to get to the water challenge in time to watch them perform, but we were told we probably weren’t going to make it. We were told wrong. For some reason, the challenge was delayed. And when multi-time Emmy award winner and everyone’s favorite blue, button-down shirt model Jeff Probst asked me to participate I told him I couldn’t because I didn’t have the proper swimming attire.

That was a lie.

I could have easily participated in the shorts I was wearing. I just didn’t want to risk my precious streak.

In hindsight that sounds really stupid. How many “Survivor” fans would kill for the opportunity I turned down?

I’ve made a career out of saying “Yes” when other people have said “Meh” and it has served me really well.

So, I sat…and I watched…and I hated myself for doing it.

Fast forward to the end of the press immunity challenge; I’m a sweaty mess, my hands are callused hunks of hamburger, and all I want is a nap.

Never one to shy away from making a bad situation worse, Probst pulled me aside to offer me a third challenge.

“You know how we’re giving them less food this season?” he asked.

“I do,” I responded.

“I want to send you out to one of the beaches with our fishing expert to show everyone how hard it is to catch a fish,” he explained.

“Oh…so go out there, catch a fish and then let everyone know how difficult it is for somebody who has little-to-no experience?”

“Oh no. I would say you’re not going to get a fish,” he assured me.


He continued, “Yeah, I asked if our fishing expert would be able to do it. And they said, no problem. Like 100%. But you, with no experience, probably like 1%.”

“Uh huh…”

He capped off his bright idea by saying, “And then he’ll show you how to start a fire and you can talk about how hard that is too.”

I shot back, “And what are the odds I’ll be able to do that?”

“Probably…maybe…who knows? Stranger things have happened.”

With that vote of confidence from a national icon bouncing around my head I had the whole evening to figure out how I wasn’t going to embarrass myself. There wasn’t much I could do to prepare for the fishing, but for years I’ve been the biggest proponent of contestants LEARNING HOW TO MAKE (EXPLETIVE DELETED) FIRE BEFORE GOING ON THE SHOW.

So, I did what any other person from my generation would do; I sat in my hotel room and watched fire-making YouTube videos.

The next thing I knew, I was on a boat with tanned, toned, Hawaiian fishing god Joaquin and his crew members as we jetted off to one of this season’s unused beaches.

When we arrived, I double-checked with Joaquin to make sure that I didn’t have to be concerned about sharks or anything. He assured me that there were occasionally sharks in the area, but we probably didn’t have to worry about anything.


FUN FACT: Joaquin and I are totally Facebook bros now. Like a week after this trip took place, he posted something about having to dive back into a boat to avoid a shark. Thanks, buddy.

First, Joaquin showed me the Hawaiian sling the contestants were using. It was old and rickety. He told me not to worry though, because he had a better one for me. I hated to do it, but I told him the story wouldn’t work if I was using better equipment than the contestants. He agreed, and went about showing me how to use it.

So basically, the Hawaiian sling is a long spear with four sharp prongs on one end and a large rubber band on the other. You take the rubber band into your hand then stretch it up the length of the pole. You point the spear at your target, then release it. The rubber band will launch the spear toward your prey, catching it easily, and turning you into your tribe’s hero.

Then, he showed me the crappy old flippers and goggles the contestants would receive, but he assured me he had better ones for me. Once again, I had to turn them down.

Equipped with the finest in 1950s fishing gear, I hit the water. And as if the moisture in the Fijian sea was too much for the ancient rubber to handle, the strap on my left flipper immediately disintegrated. I retrieved the now-useless flipper and tossed it back into the boat. I guess I’ll just swim in a circle.

Undeterred I readied my spear and set off to prove Jeff Probst wrong. Once I was underwater I was happy to discover dozens of potential entrees.

I slowly stalked my prey, aimed my weapon, and released it. And boy, if those fish didn’t have a sixth sense as to when a rubber band was about to be released. Those little suckers would immediately dart out of the way.

I’d readjust my spear, get close enough to lunch, release it, and they’d vanish. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And what was worse, sometimes I’d miss and be treated to the frustrating clang of the spear banging against the coral.




Finally, I got the drop on a good-sized specimen. I slowly approached it, released the spear, and hit him!

…And he promptly wriggled off the spikes and swam down into the reef. I hovered above the reef for a while hoping maybe he’d die from his injuries, or old age or something, and float back to the surface. But, it never happened.

Ugh…I’d never appreciated Ozzy Lusth so much in my life.

I continued for about an hour and all I had to show for it was a gash on my hand from where I had to remove a piece of coral from my prongs. It was bleeding quite a bit, but I wasn’t worried because there weren’t any sharks in the area. (Right, Joaquin?)

Finally, I spotted a school of fish that didn’t seem too alarmed that a sunburnt, bleeding journalist was milling around their area. I targeted one, released the spear, and nabbed him. I immediately pointed the spear straight up so he couldn’t get away.


In your face, Jeff Probst!

I surfaced and cheered like I had just won the World Series. Joaquin’s crew was greatly amused. I’m sure it’s the first time they’ve heard such a big fuss over such a small fish.

Joaquin heard the commotion and paddled over using flippers that were created in this century. He was clearly very proud of his pupil and told me to look under the water to see what he’d caught for lunch. I looked down and saw the biggest lobster I have ever seen attached to his belt.

Well, I’d happily share the world’s smallest fish with him if he was willing to share the world’s biggest lobster.

We hit the beach and Joaquin and I started our survival training. He showed me the proper way to open a coconut with a machete and various other techniques. But then it was time for the main event; fire making.

He retrieved a coconut shell and some kindling. From there he scraped off a small pile of magnesium and started striking the flint.




And while this probably didn’t bode well for my ability to start a fire, it was nice to see him having some trouble with it.

This went on for about twenty minutes with no success. Finally, Joaquin laughed and said, “I’m really more of a fishing guy.”

While this was going on, Joaquin’s crew had darted off in all directions. Immediately they had caught a ton more fish (and about four times the size of what I had procured). They also went into the forest and came back with other treats. They started a raging fire (using a lighter) and went about preparing a feast.

Realizing that all of this fire-attempting was going to get in the way of our lunch, Joaquin suggested I give it a go. I followed his instructions, remembered my YouTube training, and went to work.

I got my coconut shell, I got my kindling, I made a little pile of magnesium…




This went on for about fifteen minutes until…


The magnesium finally caught! I slowly blew on the ember, hoping it would catch the kindling…and it did! Actual fire!

Joaquin and I jumped up and down and hugged as if we had just won the lottery. His crew members laughed again…which…come on, guys. You had a lighter.

With my trip to “Survivor” School finally completed, it was time to eat. I was presented with the fish I had caught earlier and took a bite out of it. It tasted like victory.

I offered to share it with my new tribe, but honestly, it would have been like trying to share a Tic Tac. Fortunately, they had prepared a ton of fish, Joaquin’s giant lobster, and various other things they had found around the island. And believe me when I say, it was all delicious. If these dudes ever decide to open up a seafood restaurant in Philadelphia, I’ll be there every day.

They even made a spicy dipping sauce using sea water and spices they had located. The only thing we ate that wasn’t caught or scavenged on location was a lemon they had brought for the fish. Amazing.

In fact, we ate so much that I was too full to have dinner when we got back to base camp. Just goes to show what a motivated tribe is capable of…if they are all fishing and wilderness experts.

That night at Tribal I told Probst my tale. And every time I’d see him after that he’d exclaim, “I still can’t believe you caught a fish.”

Believe it, buddy. Jeff had given me a challenge and I’d accomplished it. Surely this must count as that tenth win I was looking for, right?


I asked Probst…he said, “No.”

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Jacob – ‘In My Efforts to Save Myself I Just Made the Target Bigger’

March 1, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: 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.

Gordon Holmes: How are you holding up?
Jacob Derwin: I’m doing alright.
Holmes: That was hard to watch, my friend.
Derwin: Yeah, you’re telling me. (Laughs)
Holmes: You love “Survivor.” Where are you with it now that you had to watch everything you missed while you were out there?
Derwin: I had a lot of trouble watching 35. I watched very little of it, to be frank. And I feel bad because many of those people have reached out and been kind and we’ve had lovely conversations. I had a very bitter taste in my mouth. I’m going to commit to watching “Ghost Island” because I’m lucky to have friends on the cast. I want to support them. I don’t know about the people who said I was “the least social person on the planet” or that I was “special.” But, there are a lot of people that I support.
Holmes: You’re special to me, Jacob.
Derwin: Aww…thanks!

Holmes: Sometimes I’ll start this off with a snarky joke. And…I wrote one. But, I feel horrible about it.
Derwin: (Laughs) Nothing you can say can pierce this armor at this point. I am a husk of a man. I can’t feel a thing. Hit me, man.
Holmes: When they do “Ghost Island 2,” which of your cursed items will be out there; the shoes that floated away, the dirty sock you filled with rice, or the fake idol that nobody bought?
Derwin: (Laughs)
Holmes: I’m not proud of that.
Derwin: It’s alright. I think the shoes are long gone. (Laughs) They actually had a shot of it in the show! I was surprised. I didn’t see them go. I have the fake idol here if they want it.

Holmes: I spoke with Gonzalez a couple of minutes ago and asked why you were on the outs so quickly and she said that you just didn’t seem to fit in. What was your take on why you were having trouble connecting?
Derwin: I think that’s about right. I was making friends, but I wasn’t making enough friends. Laurel and James are people I liked a lot. I talked to Stephanie a lot, not just once. (Laughs) Kill me. We talked a lot out there. But, there was always that looming Michael, Brendan, Libby, Jenna thing. I couldn’t get in with them. I tried with Libby for a bit. Michael and I had nothing to connect over. Brendan and I could talk about music. But, I could see through it. He has this face he puts on when he’s talking cool with you.
Holmes: I was out there on day two and you and I snuck out for a little idol hunt. Was it was really that bad that quickly that you didn’t care if everyone knew what you were up to?
Derwin: Yes. I know a lot of the portrayal is I went searching for no good reason and that’s why I went home. But for the first few days, nobody would talk to me, Gordon. I would literally walk around with people…it’s the modern game of “Survivor.” People make alliances on day one. You talk game, “I don’t like this person, I do like this person.” I’d talk to people and ask about their game and they’d say, “I don’t really know yet, I haven’t thought about it.” And I’d be sitting there and thinking, so that means it’s me. It was really frustrating that nobody wanted to play with me. So, fine…if I need to protect myself, I need to protect myself. And if that’s what it looks like, so be it.

Holmes: So, you act up after the immunity challenge and Naviti decides to send you to Ghost Island. When you trick somebody…don’t tell them that you’re tricking them.
Derwin: (Laughs) Gordon, my plan at that point was to make Naviti hate me.
Holmes: Mission accomplished!
Derwin: (Laughs) I was hoping they’d keep sending me back. And unfortunately it didn’t go as planned. It worked once.
Holmes: You weren’t the first person at Ghost Island, our friend Josh Wigler from the Hollywood Reporter got to break it in. Did he leave behind a noticeable smell?
Derwin: (Laughs) I got there and it looked like someone had tried to make a fire.
Holmes: I said you were the perfect person to go there first. You must’ve been like two friends in a candy store.
Derwin: I didn’t recognize everything, I’m not that crazy. I was having a good time walking around and seeing stuff. It almost makes it a little more embarrassing because it feels like this season was formulated for me, right? The entire twist is there’s an entire place based on previous seasons. You need to know the game.

Holmes: You’re using words like “embarrassed,” which is understandable. But, I think a good takeaway from this for you could be; you’re proof that “Survivor” is easy…to play on your couch.
Derwin: It’s hard to say this because I know it sounds dumb, but I believe I could have pulled something off. I believe that I can play this game. But, I also believe that I did a few things quickly wrong. And in my efforts to save myself I just made the target bigger. That’s how it goes sometimes. Great players can go home early and bad players can stay until the end.

Holmes: When Brendan called out the lack of an idol letter, did you know you were in trouble?
Derwin: I knew it was going to come up. He’s right, I know the game too well. There were a lot of different things I could have done. I was thinking of wrapping it in the parchment from the urn. But then I thought, if they saw what it said it’d be bad. I thought maybe it was glued inside of the bamboo and I couldn’t get it out. Honestly, the most believable one I could think of was, “Crap, where did it go?” (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs)
Derwin: It’s not great. But I thought the people who didn’t know the game well, the Libbys might believe it.
Holmes: I needed it for kindling.
Derwin: I could’ve said I needed fire, so I burnt my souvenir. I almost tried to sell Ghost Island as desolate. But when you get there it’s like a resort. Better shelter than the one on Malolo.

Holmes: Heading into Tribal, if you had to put a percentage on how much you trusted Stephanie, what would it be?
Derwin: Maybe 25%. It was there, I thought there was a chance. It was a crazy plan because we were pulling together people who didn’t want to work together. Laurel wasn’t a huge fan of Stephanie. I’m trying to pull people together who haven’t talked to each other much. I’m the common thread and I’m not a good common thread at this point. Stephanie did legitimately think about working with me which makes me feel better. She did talk to Jenna about it. And I talked to Laurel and James. If we all got together, maybe we could have pulled it off. But, when you’re the obvious boot and you’re trying to gather forces against everyone’s favorite golden boy? It’s a tough thing to pull off.
Holmes: When you voted for Michael, your comment about him needing to listen more seemed a little biting considering how little we had seen you two interact. What was behind that?
Derwin: Michael talks a lot. (Laughs) I did have trouble fitting in with the tribe because we’d sit around and talk. And they’d talk and talk about burritos from Chipotle and their orders and Instagram followers. And I’m sitting there, how do I talk to you? I have Michael’s Chipotle order committed to memory because I’ve heard it so many times. And I was only there for six days. And he played a better game, I can admit that. But, there’s a sea of dark anger toward him because of how frustrating I found him out there.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Brendan.
Derwin: Steady as a White Stripes rhythm section.
Holmes: Gonzalez?
Derwin: She deserves better. She deserves a lot better.
Holmes: Rainbow Stephanie?
Derwin: (Laughs) My mom is cooler than your mom.
Holmes: Libby?
Derwin: Princess.
Holmes: Laurel?
Derwin: Smarter than any of us will ever be.
Holmes: James?
Derwin: Also smarter than any of us will ever be. He also has the best posture I have ever seen in my life.
Holmes: Donathan?
Derwin: The War on Drugs.
Holmes: Jenna?
Derwin: Who?
Holmes: Jenna?
Derwin: Yeah…who?
Holmes: I see what you did there. Let’s finish with Michael.
Derwin: Burrito bowl with an extra tortilla on the side.

Holmes: Should I be worried about “The War on Drugs” for Donathan?
Derwin: It’s a band, he’s a big fan of the band. It’s the main thing we connected with out there.
Holmes: OK, good. I’m an old man, Jacob. I don’t know about your new-fangled bands.
Derwin: No, it’s dad rock. It’s good stuff.

Holmes: We need to talk about the rice sock.
Derwin: (Laughs) Oh no.
Holmes: How much grief have you gotten from people who had to eat rice that was seasoned with your foot?
Derwin: No one! Not a single person on the cast. And I told people out there. When I was trying to get with Libby I told her, but she was uninterested. And I told Stephanie Johnson about it, she came back and saw a few grains of rice on the floor and she said, “You’ve got to clean that up right now. You don’t want them to see that.” Look, I wanted to put it all back in the jar. And I’ll tell you what, I checked Twitter and a few former players have said, “No, that’s what you do. If you have a hunch, you go for it. They’re going to boil it later anyways.”

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Gonzalez – ‘(Brendan) Wanted to Target One of the Stronger Girls’

March 1, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: 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.

Gordon Holmes: How are you?
Stephanie Gonzalez: I am great! I’m sitting in a bubble bath.
Holmes: What? That is how you do exit press. Well done.
Gonzalez: That’s how you do it.

Holmes: Let’s talk about last night’s horrible fiasco. Immediately you have an easy target because Jacob is on the outs with your tribe. What was he doing that put him in that position?
Gonzalez: Jacob was on the outs because…I think it was a self-realization of how different he really was. He already knew he was going to be different because he’s a little more quirky, a little bit of a different personality, which I love by the way. I think he’s a cool guy. He got to camp and we realized he stood out. He realized it and thought he was in danger because he wasn’t a part of the conversations we were having. Everyone had some kind of fit…other than Donathan. But, he was a little more charismatic and in with the girls. It was easier for him. He’s gay and we love gay guys because they’re a part of us. We feel like we can talk to him. And Jacob didn’t have that flirty personality or leader, charismatic charm. He’s just this cute, goofy guy.
Holmes: And once he realized that, he started the idol hunting?
Gonzalez: Yeah, he was like, “Game on. I need to find an idol to stick around longer.”

Holmes: You were very vocal about the challenge puzzle. What happened there?
Gonzalez: It was a (expletive deleted) show. We all talked about different tasks we were going to be doing. The physical part, I don’t know that Jacob felt confident. So, he did the puzzle part. He said he’d been practicing puzzles. And he didn’t do so well. I think at one point we were uniformly instructing people what to do because they were having a meltdown.

Holmes: You lose the challenge, he goes to Ghost Island. And this wasn’t aired last night, but you said you went on a five-minute walk, and when you came back everything was different. Nobody would look you in the eye. What was the plan before the walk?
Gonzalez: The plan was to go with Donathan or Jenna. I spoke to Brendan about it. Me and Brendan were kind of working together on the low. Even me and Michael. What they didn’t show at Tribal was, when I was whispering I asked Brendan who he was voting for. Then I asked Michael because…there was no blindside…I knew what was going on. I spoke to Brendan and he told me one person and Michael told me another. And I knew he and Michael were the tightest next to Stephanie and Jenna. So, I spoke to Libby…who was a little more clueless about the game plan. I said, “Brendan said, ‘We’re not voting for me anymore,’ you’re going to vote for Donathan.” And she said, “It’s not you anymore? OK, Donathan.” So, that confirmed that they were voting for me.
Holmes: So, why you?
Gonzalez: Michael and I had a conversation before Tribal and I told him we have to keep the tribe strong. We already saw that the other tribe is strong. We need to level up. And Michael agreed. And I told him that I’m really good at puzzles and I was strong in the challenge. The more obvious person was Donathan. And Michael said, “You sound like you’re pleading your case. You’re sticking around. We need you.” At that point he hadn’t talked to everyone else. And when I wandered off they switched the vote. It was between Donathan and Jenna. But Donathan spoke to Brendan and me and Brendan fell for it. Donathan was tearing up and was emotional. He started bawling and Brendan said, “I don’t want to send the kid home.” So, he wanted to target one of the stronger girls. And guess who that was?
Holmes: Awww… When you were voted out you said, “One lion, seven sheep, sad.” My guess is that Brendan is the lion, right?
Gonzalez: Correct!

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Brendan.
Gonzalez: Chief.
Holmes: Stephanie?
Gonzalez: Rainbow.
Holmes: Laurel?
Gonzalez: Anonymous.
Holmes: Libby?
Gonzalez: Nair. (Laughs)
Holmes: Donathan?
Gonzalez: Exciting.
Holmes: Jacob?
Gonzalez: Soft.
Holmes: Michael?
Gonzalez: L.A.
Holmes: James?
Gonzalez: Calculating.
Holmes: Jenna?
Gonzalez: Hot dog.
Holmes: Hot dog?
Gonzalez: It’s her favorite food. I’ve never met anyone in my life who would choose a hot dog.
Holmes: A hot dog is good, but your favorite food?
Gonzalez: Right? What’s the best food?
Holmes: Garlic bread.
Gonzalez: (Laughs) Yeah.

Holmes: When you’re watching it last night and you’re seeing Jacob poor your rice supply into his dirty sock…what was your reaction?
Gonzalez: Honestly, everyone was freaking out because Jacob put rice in his sock. I had a viewing party and there were like 200 people there and everyone was like, “Oh my God! No way!” Women were cringing and covering their eyes. And I’m thinking, “Well, we have to boil water to cook rice.” I didn’t think it was a big deal.
Holmes: Blah…
Gonzalez: I knew he was looking for idols. I called him out on it. “Jacob, did you disappear for three hours?”

Holmes: Was there anything out there that we didn’t get to see that you wish we had?
Gonzalez: I wish they’d have shown more of the shelter building. Or, the talks with me, Brendan, and Michael. That was an instrumental part of my story. If they’d shown me helping them build the shelter…I was the dirtiest by a long shot. And it wasn’t because I was wearing a yellow dress, I was fil…thy.

Holmes: When you’re voted out first it’s probably because you’re a weirdo, you’re a jerk, or you’re a threat. Is it any solace that it was probably because you were a threat?
Gonzalez: Nothing will bring me inner peace, but if there is one way to be voted out first, it’s because you’re a threat. If I saw myself on TV and it was because people thought I was annoying? Or she’s dumb or a nuisance? I’d take it so personal.

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

%d bloggers like this: