Archive for May, 2018

‘Survivor’ Jurors Sebastian and Donathan on Dom’s Aggressive Play and Finding Love

May 24, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. Be sure to come back for exit interviews with all six of the finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Gordon Holmes: Last night when Dom outed your plan to vote him out at final six…it seemed like that was a turning point for him. He seemed to come off as a bully. Was that the impression you two got?
Sebastian Noel: Totally. They didn’t show much of it, but he was outright bullying Donathan. Right?
Donathan Hurley: Yeah, as Sebastian knows, I sat there in silence through most of it because I was like, “Wow…this sucks…”
Holmes: Some casts will reward big, aggressive gameplay. Whereas this cast seemed to hold Domenick accountable. Do you know if other jurors were impressed by it or were the majority turned off?
Noel: I don’t know if it was an impressive move for the jury. I think it backfired. Maybe a few people were on his side. But at final Tribal when we talked about that move, it seemed like he had nobody on his side.
Hurley: Maybe Chris or Michael liked it…they didn’t show it but, Kellyn didn’t like it at all. Chelsea didn’t. I could tell that Libby and Jenna didn’t like it. Des…I don’t know her position on it. It didn’t do Dom any favors because everybody knew that they had those idols. Everyone was kind of over them at that moment.

Holmes: Sebastian, did you know that Angela was the one who spilled the beans about your extra vote?
Noel: I had a pretty nice conversation, just me and Donathan about that second vote. We were locked and loaded. So when we brought in Angela, she sat there and agreed. I thought she was with us. But, we figured it almost immediately once Dom said he knew I had an extra vote.
Holmes: Tell me when you got to Ponderosa that there was a big bowl of candy waiting for you.
Noel: (Laughs) They had a bunch of bags of gummies.

Holmes: Donathan, before the game started you mentioned that you had hoped to make an African American friend out of all this. And you did!
Hurley: (Laughs)
Holmes: You and Laurel were very close. But in the end, you voted for Wendell. What was behind that decision?
Hurley: I was trying to make a move the whole time and she would never make a move. I wanted to vote for someone who was willing to play the game and she did play the game, but it didn’t really shine and those guys played great games. She was kind of their goat and I couldn’t vote for her.
Holmes: Do you think she thought she had a chance at final Tribal or was she settling for third place?
Hurley: I think she could have pitched that she was the final Malolo. But, it was hard to go against them because they ran the game. She didn’t have a chance at all.

Holmes: We don’t have a Sprint Player of the Season anymore, but we do have Sia. And that was you!
Hurley: (Laughs) It was awesome. It blew my mind. I’ve always been a huge fan of her and I love her music. It was the greatest thing ever.

Holmes: Wendell made it sound like everyone thought Dom had the advantage going into Tribal. He said that Dom thought he would win 8-2. Angela said she didn’t know which way she was going to vote. Did you know going in or did you make up your mind there?
Noel: I knew from the start that Dom was not getting my vote. He nudged me off the rock from day one. He was verbally commanding people around camp. He was that first-day guy that told people how to do things. He rubbed me the wrong way. But he continued to do that. He’d get under your skin and piss you off. He was a conniving little bastard. Wendell had my vote. He was a good friend out there. We were always doing things out there. We created this brothership that they didn’t really show.
Hurley: For me, I got voted out at 37, so I had 38 to really think about it. I’ve always been a superfan and I didn’t want to be remembered as a bitter juror. I wanted to really sit and evaluate both of their games. What I liked about Wendell is he was playing the game that I really wanted to play out there. I did want to be second in command and be at the end and say, “Hey, I let this person do this.” Wendell played a great social game. He was always taking care of the shelter life. It was so great the set-up he built. He let Dom run the show, but he was making his moves too. You can see in the edit they were making decisions together. And I worked with them, so I saw that more than most people. And Wendell was so much more reasonable. I always thought he was a great player.

Holmes: The fire-making challenge is a real game changer. You’ve got Laurel and Angela lobbying to get to the end and you have Wendell saying, “Let’s make fire.” Is being the person who is taken to the end being set up for failure?
Noel: I don’t know if it’s setting up for failure…but everyone gets to focus on the fire winner. Everyone knew Laurel was coat-tailing. So, it was just more proof that she needed a cushion.
Hurley: It is a negative. I think so. The person who wins fire gets a great moment. And the immunity challenge winner has that track record of winning too. It’s like what happened to Ryan, you’re going to look like some kind of dope.

Holmes: Sebastian, I don’t know if you read my pre-game interview with Jenna but she looooooves you.
Noel: (Laughs)
Holmes: And lookit you guys now.
Noel: (Laughs) We hit it off immediately. When you fly out, you’re not supposed to talk on the plane. I was in the very last seat of a big old jumbo jet. And this beautiful lady sits right down next to me. We hit it off right from the start. We talked the whole way. We were secret friends at pre-Ponderosa.

Holmes: Donathan, you found love in a very different way. Coming from an upbringing where people treated you differently due to your sexual orientation. And now the fans seem to have rallied behind you…as well as Sia. This had to have been an incredible experience.
Hurley: It’s been amazing. It’s something I never would have dreamed. Being able to be in the whole season and the love and the support. I have such a great following and I love them all.

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

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‘Survivor’ Runner-Up Domenick – “If I Could Do It over Again, I’d Just Throw the Final Four Immunity”

May 24, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. Be sure to come back for exit interviews with all six of the finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Domenick Abbate: How’s it going, handsome?
Gordon Holmes: Oh, stop. Last night’s episode went so long that it went past my bedtime. Did I miss anything interesting?
Abbate: (Laughs) I’m not even sure anymore. You tell me.
Holmes: Here’s the thing, after Wendell won the fire-making challenge, I said, “We’ve got a strong argument for the best second-place player ever no matter who wins. And the Internet was like, “What about Parvati, “Boston” Rob, Ozzy?” And you know what? They didn’t tie. They didn’t come a half a vote away from winning.
Abbate: (Laughs)
Holmes: Now, you’ve probably had this in your brain since last summer.
Abbate: Eight months.
Holmes: What’d you come up with? Where is your head now?
Abbate: My head is fine. If anything, I was really tired because we partied Tuesday night. I didn’t get much sleep. But mentally I’m fine because I’m one of the few players to play the game and know that I immediately lost. Most people have to wait for the finale. For me, I knew in that moment…back then I was in shambles. Last night for me, I knew it was coming. It was still emotional to me. To see it play out and see the fan reaction…even just in the hotel now. People are like, “Oh man, that was yours.” It means a lot to get that feedback. I never realized that. I thought I played a good game, but to see everyone’s reaction? I can’t have the million, but at least I have that consolation prize of people giving me recognition of playing a great game.

Holmes: You did play a great game. But that fire-making challenge decision is a (expletive deleted). I’m watching it last night and I’m thinking, “Does it make sense for Domenick to just take Wendell to the end?” He proves that he’s not afraid of him and Wendell doesn’t get that bad ass moment in front of the jury.
Abbate: We never saw the fire-making challenge play out on television. So, we didn’t anticipate the repercussions of how it could play out. It’s a huge moment in the game now. If they keep the twist in, and I think they will, I’m a huge supporter of it. It’s a great way to separate the great players from the poor players. And now that people have seen it air and how it affected my game, future players have to think about it. If I could do it over again, I’d just throw the final four immunity challenge. I’ll sit on my butt and let Wendell send me to fire. Look at the two things that happened by me winning; Wendell got a notch on his belt by winning at fire. But also, the jury had a bad taste in their mouth because it looked like I was sending Angela out to her death. It was almost like, “Really? You’re putting Angela out to die against Wendell? Another one bites the dust to Dom.” At the same time, Wendell got this heroic moment.

Holmes: In “Millennials vs. Gen-X” big, aggressive moves were appreciated where it seems like this jury had a real problem with what happened between you, Sebastian, and Donathan.
Abbate: I knew going into final Tribal that I was going to have to address that situation. I know after the Sebastian Tribal that people were thinking, “This guy is a piece of garbage.” The problem is, there were two things I was trying to sell. The first was; can I turn Sebastian’s mind around? Can I get him to go for the original plan of voting Donathan out? That was never going to happen, but that’s what he had been told. I needed to make sure that nobody was going to ask Jeff to validate the relic. The way I needed to make those two things happen was to really aggressively sell the story. I knew I had to come off assertively and say, “What you’re doing isn’t going to work because I’m covered so don’t even think about it.” The problem with that is Wendell started breaking out his jewelry and it screwed me up. And I think what he was thinking was that Dom’s trying to put on Tribal Council theater again and he wanted to get in on the action. But now it turns into Dom and Wendell are teaming up on the weaker players. So, at Final Tribal I knew I had to calmly articulate the story. I knew in the moment that they hated me. I think I did a good job, but Sebastian…I couldn’t get through. And Kellyn thought I was a really terrible person…in life.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Abbate: (Laughs) I just couldn’t get through to her. But I did my best, I really tried to articulate my point. I think it worked on some people, but not her or Sebastian.

Holmes: Wendell said you thought you were going to win by a vote of 8-2. Is that accurate?
Abbate: At final Tribal?
Holmes: Yeah.
Abbate: I don’t know if I ever said that. But more realistically I thought that Laurel would get Donathan’s vote and the other nine…I’d be happy with 6-3. 8-2 is pretty steep, but I don’t remember saying that.

Holmes: When Jeff starts reading the votes, I’m thinking, “Oh…Jeff forgot how this works.” And then quickly it was, “Oh crap, it’s a tie.” And then, “Laurel has to decide.” And finally, “Wendell’s going to win.”
Abbate: All that is exactly how it went for me. That’s a moment that I’ll remember forever. We’re happy it’s over. We’re exhausted. We’ve put our blood, sweat, and tears into this game. He’s going to get the votes and he’ll read them in the states. High five, let’s go grab a beer. And he goes, “I guess I’ll just read the votes.” (Laughs)
Holmes: (Laughs)
Abbate: Wendell and I are like, this is going down. It’s fun and it’s exciting because it culminates the story of us, but it was literally two or three seconds later that my head just dropped. For me it was this huge roller coaster of emotions in just a minute or two. It sucks because most people don’t know their fate in the moment besides Richard Hatch in season one. So, I had this moment where I was one of the few finalist to know my fate. It was overwhelming. I cried for like an hour.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with the Noble One, Chris Noble.
Abbate: Competitive.
Holmes: Morgan?
Abbate: Ray of sunshine.
Holmes: Wendell?
Abbate: Cool and collected.
Holmes: Jenna?
Abbate: Hysterical.
Holmes: Sebastian?
Abbate: Chill.
Holmes: Libby?
Abbate: Sweetheart.
Holmes: Desiree?
Abbate: Surprising.
Holmes: Kellyn?
Abbate: Passionate.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Abbate: Warrior.
Holmes: Bradley?
Abbate: Brilliant.
Holmes: Michael?
Abbate: Impressive.
Holmes: James?
Abbate: Articulate.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Laurel.
Abbate: Warm-hearted.

Holmes: One of my favorite moments of the season was the loved ones visit with your wife Kristin. She might be in my top five favorite personalities this season.
Abbate: My wife a huge ball of energy. She runs the ship at home. She makes sure the kids get on the bus. She’s super independent. She’ll let me know when I ‘m getting out of line. She really is the perfect balance for me.

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

‘Survivor’ Finalist Laurel and Juror Angela on Breaking Ties, Spilling Secrets, and Gorgeous Juries

May 24, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. Be sure to come back for exit interviews with all six of the finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Gordon Holmes: Angela, what kind of mean trick is that you jurors decide to make Laurel cast that tie-breaking vote?
Angela Perkins: (Laughs) I don’t think it was a mean trick. It was part of Ghost Island, everything is haunted, nothing is going to come easy. It’s for a million dollars.
Holmes: Sure. Now, I know you jurors chat at Ponderosa. Had you gone over the numbers and realized it was going to be a tie?
Perkins: No, at least not me. We all felt the way Donathan looked. He didn’t shut his mouth, his jaw dropped to the ground.

Holmes: Laurel, when Jeff started reading the votes, my first thought was…he’s messing with us. Then it clicked that there was a tie. How much time did you have to process not only the thought that you had lost, but that you were going to have to decide the winner?
Laurel Johnson: I think I blacked out for a while there, honestly. First it registers, “Oh my, God…I lost.” And then “Oh my, God…it’s a tie.” And then, “Oh my, God…I have to cast the deciding vote.” It was awful. I don’t know, Ang…I have no sense of time at that point. Wasn’t it a couple of minutes?
Perkins: Yeah, didn’t it seem like a lifetime though?
Johnson: Yes! I sat on the stump thinking, and then in the voting booth for four or five minutes.

Holmes: I spoke with Wendell and asked him what percentage he would put on you voting for him. He started at 100% and then came down to 99%. Was there a second where you were leaning toward Dom?
Johnson: No, I think you saw that they both played a great game, so it crushed me to vote against Dom. He would have been a deserving winner also. I thought Wendell played a slightly better game and putting our personal relationship aside, I had to give it to Wendell.

Holmes: Let’s go back in time and say that Dom decided to take Angela to the final three. Laurel, would you still have voted for Wendell as a juror?
Johnson: Yeah, I would have still voted for Wendell.
Holmes: So, if the rest of the votes stay the same, we still have a tie vote. Angela, who would you vote for in this situation knowing that Dom had taken you to the end?
Perkins: I’d like to say I would have voted for Dom, but I went in with one mindset and came out with something totally different. I thought I knew who my vote was going towards, but when Wendell was pleading his case, he brought up the family connections and that was extremely important to me. And, Laurel…did it seem like I was in the booth for a very long time?
Johnson: Yeah, you were in there for a long time.
Perkins: So, it was a huge mental battle. And at one point I said the only thing that’s going to sway me is if I look back at them and make eye contact and that will tell me who my vote needs to go towards. I looked back and Laurel looked so defeated and Dom was looking off and I made eye contact with Wendell. And it was a quick, intimate moment. And from there I knew my vote was going to Wendell. So, I don’t know how I would have voted if I was sitting next to them.

Holmes: When players like Wendell and Dom dominate, I feel like the jury wants to punish the people who helped them dominate. Did you ever have a plan to take them out?
Johnson: I think you saw me wrestle with it every week. You saw the Des vote, when she brought me that plan I thought, “Why am I going to jump to the bottom of an alliance?” It didn’t make sense. I tried to work with Kellyn, by blowing up the Des vote, I saved her. And then when she cast both of her votes for me, that burned that bridge. It seemed like every time I thought about jumping ship, there was something that told me I was dead if I went to that side if I flipped.

Holmes: The fire-making challenge is a new-ish twist. And it struck me last night that it is not a good look to try to avoid it. Is the person who is taken to the end being set up for failure?
Johnson: Yeah, watching Ryan on season 35, I watched the same thing happen to him. I thought, “Holy crap, the person that gets taken at four is screwed.” I could make fire, but the three people left in the game were the three people who were the best at making fire. I was dead. I’d love to say I could challenge him, but I would be dead if I did that.

Holmes: We all have gifts in this world. I’m pretty good at skee-ball. Ang, who knew you were so good at eating gross things?
Perkins: (Laughs) Nobody! I didn’t know going into the game that I was good at that.
Holmes: Another big moment for you was Jeff Probst breaking down during your family visit.
Perkins: Jeff said he’d never felt that way before. And as a viewer watching it, you’re thinking, “How can it be that bad? It’s only 39 days.” I’m used to being away from my family for 12 or 15 months. It can’t be that bad. I used to roll my eyes. You’re out there with these other castaways, but you’re out there alone. That is the first piece of love that you’re getting from someone who is on your side. I buckled at the knees. I was like jello. It was an amazing moment to share.

Holmes: Laurel, the challenge where Wendell forgot to call Jeff over to check his slide puzzle, what’s running through your mind at that point? I could see it being tough to argue the point with someone you’re aligned with.
Johnson: I celebrated like I had won. I didn’t know that Wendell thought he had finished first. When he said something, it took 15-20 minutes of them looking at the tape, but Wendell gave in pretty quickly. We both wanted it, but we weren’t going to fight over it.

Holmes: Angela, when you told Dom about Sebastian’s vote, he made it sound like you were giving up secrets all the time.
Perkins: (Laughs)
Holmes: Were you tossing out secrets left and right or was this a move to get into Dom’s good graces?
Perkins: I don’t think I was throwing secrets out there or was a loose cannon. But, for me moving forward with Dom and Wendell was a better choice. I don’t think the 19 other cast members would have won against Sebastian. He’s likable, he provided, he gave us blue lobster on the first day. It was hard to be a part of that plot. In the green room he was extremely emotional. He was so angry at me, and then we finally hugged it out. He started crying and then I started crying. It was just gameplay. It was wise for me to do that.
Holmes: Laurel, if Sebastian had gotten to the end, what do you think his chances would have been against you, Dom, or Wendell?
Johnson: Based on how the final Tribal went, I think Dom or Wendell would have beaten anyone. People love Sebastian, but I think the jury wanted big moves. We all love Sebastian, but he didn’t have that.

Holmes: Angela, we didn’t get to see much of you. Was there anything you did that you wish we had seen?
Perkins: No, I’m fine. There are some things they missed, but there’s a reason why this is the #1 show. Overall I’m pleased with it.

Holmes: Watching the final Tribal, Laurel, I felt like you were composed and making excellent points. But, it seems like the jurors just weren’t having it. Is that the sense you got?
Johnson: Thank you, I thought I was making a good case, but everything I said was batted down by someone else. Even if what they were saying was untrue. I think Michael at one point said, “Honestly, I’m voting for Dom and Wendell, so it doesn’t matter what you say.”
Holmes: That must be so hard to hear such rough words out of such a pretty face.
Johnson: (Laughs) Right?! All of those pretty faces over there!
Holmes: Not to be out of line, but Angela looked like a million bucks when she came out.
Johnson: Yeah!

Holmes: Laurel, you’re a big “Survivor” fan, so I’ll put this to you. Was that the sexiest jury ever?
Johnson and Perkins: (Laughs)
Holmes: You’ve got Michael and Angela and Chris and Chelsea…there are some lookers up there.
Johnson: Every time someone would show up after they were voted out of the game…they were stunning. To see them all cleaned up and looking gorgeous…that was a gorgeous group. Ang was killing it, I’m glad you noticed.
Perkins: Thank you, it’s funny you say that, because when we first got on that boat I was thinking, “Oh great, I’m on an island with the bold and the beautiful.”
Holmes: That’s not a bad twist for season 38.

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

‘Survivor’ Champion Wendell – “Dom Thought He Was Going to Beat Me 8-2”

May 24, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. Be sure to come back for exit interviews with all six of the finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Gordon Holmes: How are you doing?
Wendell Holland: I’m doing pretty well!
Holmes: I’d imagine you’re doing better than that.
Holland: I’m better than the last time we talked.
Holmes: You were doing pretty good back then.
Holland: I was feeling alright, but now I’ve secured the win so things are a lot better.

Holmes: I’m sitting here in my Philadelphia office and you’ve got me thinking…Eagles…Villanova…Wendell… is this good news for the Phillies?
Holland: It’s good news for the Phillies. I’ve got love for the Sixers. The last series wasn’t our series, but we’re looking a lot better. Philadelphia is the city of champions right now, Gordon.

Holmes: The most important question coming out of last night; what do you think of “TKO.”
Holland: (Laughs) I was just in shock up there. I was laughing at the things that Kevin Hart was saying. I think that show is going to be pretty hilarious. Dom and I said to each other, “That’d be hilarious if we were on that show.”
Holmes: Agreed.

Holmes: When the three of you were sitting there before the final Tribal, did the possibility of a tie ever come up?
Holland: No, Dom was very confident in his game. Dom thought he was going to beat me 8-2. And, I thought that it’d be a closer game and that Laurel would get some votes, at least a vote. We never thought it would be a tie, ever. I think the numbers were a little closer than 8-2 going in and I think I was able to push a couple of people over the edge at the end. So, we split it 50/50 which is just crazy.
Holmes: If votes were switched, what do you attribute that to? Because the story seemed to be that Dom may have been too aggressive with some of his moves. Do you think that turned the tide?
Holland: I think so. Domenick had been playing a very aggressive game which can win “Survivor” in many seasons depending on the jury. But, not our season. Our season wasn’t one of those seasons. There were a lot of strong players that respect that style of gameplay, but there were a lot of players who respected the personal game and the relationships, the things that I did. I was a fierce competitor in challenges, but I was strategic and I was very social. And, I relied a lot on the friendships I had made out there. You have to know the jury and six out of eleven people wanted to reward someone with a strong social game in our season. Not saying that happens every season. And Dom had a strong social game, but I was able to connect with certain people. I might have seemed a little more genuine.

Holmes: What percentage would you have put on Laurel’s vote being for you?
Holland: Oh…100%. It was really like…99%. I felt it in me.

Holmes: I’ve been thinking about that final four fire challenge a lot, because it seems like you’re giving a challenge competitor a chance to look like a bad ass in front of the jury. So, does it make sense for Dom to take you along and say, “I’m not afraid of Wendell.” Or, the mega move is him challenging you himself. It’s a lot to think about.
Holland: Wow…it’s very easy to say what I’d do if I was in his shoes now. Would I take off the immunity necklace and give it to Ang and battled it out? It’s easy to say that now. But I would never do that. That would be on “Ghost Island 2.” As “Survivor” evolves and the fire challenge stays, there will be an evolution of strategy. This is the second year with that challenge. We learned about it right when we got to Fiji, so it wasn’t sprung on us during the game. You run scenarios in your head. But, at the end of the day you have a family…and what if I eliminated him in the fire making challenge? That’d be the dumbest mistake for him ever. You’ve got to get to the end. And playing his game, that’s a winner’s game. I got very lucky and I was able to edge him out. If I was in his shoes I would have taught Laurel or Angela how to make fire all day and hope for the best. But, it did make me look a lot better in front of the jury.
Holmes: You were stone cold. Ice in your veins.
Holland: I was kind of sad because I liked Ang a lot and I felt like it was me being set up to knock it out of the park. My face was kind of sad because Ang wasn’t going to make fire, so it kind of hurt.

Holmes: Laurel’s story about wanting to go to the end with you and Dom and there being a split vote and Laurel picking up the rest…I don’t buy it. Going to the end with you two was a ticket to third place. How concerned were you with her making moves on you at the end?
Holland: Laurel and I had a very true bond out there. It started pretty early after the first swap when she came to Naviti. Yes, they blindsided us with the Morgan vote, but after that we picked up the pieces. And from then, Laurel, myself, and Dom were working very closely. And there’s a time and a place where you should cut people, to increase your odds of winning. But, deciding when to cut us? That would make her trip to the end tremendously more difficult. If she cut us at seven, eight, nine…her road to the end would be so hard. The Navitis would gun for her every single elimination. She’s a physical threat and a social threat. She’s great at everything. So, her dilemma was; do I make my road to the end difficult, almost impossible and cut Wendell and Dom? Or, do I make my road to the end easier and have a much more difficult final Tribal Council? That’s the dilemma! Dom rubbed some people the wrong way, some people didn’t like my game. I thought she could have picked up some votes, maybe not three or four or five votes.

Holmes: Alright word association time. Let’s start with Chris.
Holland: Well intentioned.
Holmes: Michael?
Holland: Fierce.
Holmes: Angela?
Holland: A warrior.
Holmes: Morgan?
Holland: Morgan could have won the game.
Holmes: James?
Holland: (Laughs) I want to say, “a robot,” but that’s my buddy. He’s a great friend.
Holmes: Domenick?
Holland: A scary competitor.
Holmes: Jenna?
Holland: The love of Sebastian’s life.
Holmes: Donathan?
Holland: Sweetheart.
Holmes: Sebastian?
Holland: One of the nicest people I know.
Holmes: Libby?
Holland: I only have nice things to say! We had too nice of a cast.
Holmes: That’s true.
Holland: We’re so close now. Libby is a tough competitor, she’s a tough cookie.
Holmes: Desiree?
Holland: She’s super cool.
Holmes: Was Des pro-Kanye or pro-Chance the Rapper?
Holland: (Laughs) Kanye. You can’t be pro-Kanye anymore!
Holmes: Kellyn?
Holland: Super woman.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Holland: She’s another scary competitor despite the edit.
Holmes: Bradley?
Holland: He’s a silent assassin.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Laurel.
Holmes: That’s my sister.

Holmes: Were you ever looking to get rid of Dom or were you locked in till the end?
Holland: I was prepared to take him to the end. If there was a glaring opportunity to take him out around five or six…without emerging as the one and only threat…I might have shot that shot. But I was prepared to work with him and Laurel till the end.

Holmes: You were my pick to win. You won challenges, you built furniture, you made moves, but you are responsible for the most disappointing thing this season; we never saw you make the cornhole set that you promised in pregame.
Holland: (Laughs) Oh man! You know what, Gordon? That’s my bad. I did build some game out there, but they weren’t shown.

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

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Finale Recap – Saving the Best for Last

May 23, 2018

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. Be sure to come back for exit interviews with all six of tonight’s finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: Wendell lost a challenge due to a lack of yellin’, Don was worried Dom had a secret he wasn’t tellin’, and the person voted out of the game was totally adorable.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Lavita Tribe (wearing black)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

Let’s do this!

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Wendell cracks a joke, telling Dom that if he’d known which way the vote was going to go, he could have sent Dom home. Yeah…that feels like one of those jokes that has a little too much truth in it.

Donathan is (rightfully) shocked to still be in the game. But, Laurel tries to talk him down.

In other news, Dom and Wendell (Domedell?) aren’t worried about Donathan, so they decide to target Sebastian next. And what bait do you use to catch a Sea Bass? Banana Laffy Taffy.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will run through the MOST AMAZING SKULL-SHAPED MAZE EVER in search of three bags of puzzle pieces. The first person to complete their puzzle will win immunity and a steak dinner.

Result: Wendell finished the puzzle first and made sure to tip Jeff Probst off to that fact. He was allowed to share his meal with two people and chose Sebastian and someone named Angela.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Laurel is really bummed that she didn’t get to go on the reward. She uses this as her 30th wierdo reason to not trust her alliance.

Sebastian realizes that he’s playing a game and that he’s in Dom and Wendell’s shadow. He approaches Donathan and Angela with a plan to use his secret extra vote. Angela is psyched to be a part of someone’s plan.

CUT TO: Angela telling Dom about Sebastian’s extra vote.

SERIOUSLY?! She just offered it up. Didn’t try to use the information as leverage to get further in the game. Ugh…tell me she wasn’t in charge of any military secrets.

Best ways to spread a secret on “Survivor”: Telephone, telegraph, tell-a-swing-vote.

Dom’s concern is that everyone knows he has two idols, but everyone suspects that one of those idols is fake.

Tribal Time

So, this one got weird quickly.

Donathan downplayed his chances in the game, but Domenick didn’t buy it. He immediately called out Sebastian and Donathan, spilling the beans about Sebastian’s extra vote.

Domenick then breaks out his two idols and provides a fun little backstory for each. He even goes so far as to hand the fake idol to Probst.

This…uh…this isn’t a great look for Domenick. He’s coming off as a bully. Chris even refers to him as “The Godfather.”

Then Wendell and Domenick have an awkward back-and-forth where Wendell claims that they wanted to work with him.

Voting Time: Sebastian votes for someone whose name starts with a “Do” and the rest of the votes are secret.

Probst tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and Dom confesses that the one he gave to Jeff didn’t have a chance to mature and is worthless.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Domenick, one vote for Donathan, two votes for Sebastian, and the fifteenth person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” and the eighth member of the jury is…Sea Bass.

Wow…he didn’t play the vote at all. OMG, so cursed, you guys.

Quick Analysis: That was it. That was the last chance to get Wendell or Dom out before final four. One of them will win this game no matter what.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will race through an obstacle course while retrieving bags of puzzle pieces. The first person to complete the pyramid-shaped puzzle will win immunity.

Result: Wendell takes another one. Who knew a carpenter would be so good at putting wooden pieces into place? Ooo…and now he’s free to gift that idol to somebody.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Laurel appreciates that she’s the biggest challenge threat left on the board. And Domenick knows that she’d take Donathan to the end if she was given a chance. She claims that she needs him on the jury. Yeah, Laurel would need six Donathans on the jury.

Wendell counters by mentioning that taking them out would be a big resume builder.

Laurel again pushes the idea that Domenick and Wendell would split the votes and she’d pick up the rest. Yes, she’d get all of the votes that don’t go to Wendell and Domenick. Unfortunately for her, that number would probably be zero.

Tribal Time

Ha! Sebastian is the only jury member who looks the same as he did in the game.

And that’s pretty much it excitement-wise. Everyone appreciates that Dom and Wendell have all the power and can do whatever they want.

Voting Time: Donathan votes for Laurel, Laurel votes for Donathan, 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…Dom does. Then, Wendell plays his idol for Laurel…while giving a big speech. Like…too big of a speech.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Laurel, two votes for Donathan, and the sixteenth person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” and the ninth member of the jury is…Donathan.

During the break, Jeff tells us that Sia is gifting $10,000 to Donathan. So, Sia is like the new Sprint?

Quick Aside: Both Donathan and Sebastian were awesome on their way out. Say what you want about this season, but this cast is full of class acts.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will stand on a wobbly board and stack balls and platforms. The first person to stack six balls will win immunity.

Result: Wendell almost had it, but Domenick pulled off the win. Also, the foursome will spend the day at Ghost Island where Domenick will be faced with another decision.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Wendell immediately accepts that Domenick won’t be taking him to the final three. So, it’s up to Dom to figure out who he thinks can beat Wendell in the fire-making challenge.

Laurel makes the case that she’s not very good at making fire. While Angela makes the case that the jury likes Laurel. So…Angela is pitching that Laurel is a threat? Maybe that’s why we don’t hear a lot from Angela…

In any case, Domenick doesn’t love the chances of Angela or Laurel getting the best of Wendell.

Quick Aside: Is it crazy for Dom to take Wendell to the end? That way you show you’re not afraid of him. And, you avoid the very real possibility of Wendell looking like a champ if he wins the fire challenge.

In other news, Domenick must choose which urn will be used for the final vote. He’s given the choice between “The Australian Outback,” “Cagayan,” and “Game Changers.” The thought is that these are urns where people took the wrong person to the finals.

He stands there pondering this nothing decision for way too long before going with Cagayan.

Heh…my favorite “Survivor” joke ever: What’s the sound of a million dollars flying out the window? Woo…

But then Dom comes up with the idea of giving his necklace to Angela and facing Wendell himself. Wait…what?!

Whoa… I literally got goosebumps. That’d be the biggest move ever or the worst.

Tribal Time

Laurel and Angela both lobby to be the one who Dom takes to the end. It actually makes both of them look really bad. Meanwhile, Wendell has accepted his fate and kind of looks like a bad ass in doing so.

When it’s all said and done, Domenick chooses Laurel to go to the end.

Fire-Making Challenge

Before things get underway, Wendell wants to use the purple table, but he’s been assigned the orange table. Angela doesn’t care, so Probst lets them swap.

The challenge isn’t even close. Wendell smokes Angela…no pun intended. So, the seventeenth person eliminated from “Survivor: Ghost Island” and the last member of the jury is…Angela.

Welp…safe to say this season is going to have one of the best second-place players ever.

Day-39 Brunch

Wendell considers himself to be a silent assassin who made strong personal bonds with people.

Laurel thinks she’s come a long way from day one where she was terrified. She knows her challenge will be letting the jury know the moves she’s been making.

And finally, Domenick believes that juries respect great gameplay and that he has had the best gameplay.

Tribal Time

Whoa…Angela cleans up very nicely.

Round One: Outwit

A big part of this round was trying to discover who was really driving their alliance. Wendell claimed that he was the mastermind, and Dom kind of laughed at that. Domenick said it was a team effort, but he wouldn’t let anyone tell him what to do.

In other news, some jury members gave Laurel heat for tagging along with Dom and Wendell, but Donathan came to her defense.

And the Round Goes To… I’m giving this to Domenick, there’s a weird urgency to Wendell’s speech that isn’t playing well. Laurel made good points, but it’s clear she isn’t in the running.

Round Two: Outplay

Laurel claims that she was good in challenges, but she didn’t feel like she ever needed to win a challenge to save her game. I’m actually a big believer in that.

Wendell says that it was part of his strategy to make camp life as comfortable as possible. He also points out that he found an idol and never had to use it. In fact, he used it to prove his loyalty to Laurel.

Domenick then calls out the move he made to get Sebastian to change his vote at final six. This seems to backfire as Sebastian and Kellyn feel like Domenick was too aggressive.

And the Round Goes To… Again, Laurel is doing great, but nobody seems to care. Between Dom and Wendell, I’m giving it to Wendell.

Round Three: Outlast

Laurel knows that the jury wanted the big move of her taking out Wendell or Dom, but she knows she would have been the next target.

Domenick tries to patch up the fact that he has hurt peoples’ feelings. He claims to be passionate, not malicious.

Finally, Wendell was proud of bringing his weirdness to the game. He believes he put his heart out there and that he played a clean game even though there are a few things that he isn’t particularly proud of.

And the Round Goes To… Wow… I just don’t know which way this is going to go. I expected Chris to be anti-Dom, but that wasn’t the case at all.

So…uh…Jenna and Angela didn’t say a word. Not shocking.

Voting Time: Michael votes for Dom, Sebastian votes for Wendell, Chris votes for Dom, Kellyn votes for Wendell, and the rest of the votes will have to wait.

Wow…I’m guessing that means no votes for Laurel.

Probst tallies and returns…and starts…reading…the votes… What are you doing, Probst?!

Everybody is freaking out…I’m freaking out. Wait…does this mean there’s a tie?

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Domenick, one vote for Wendell, one vote for Domenick, one vote for Wendell, one vote for Domenick, one vote for Wendell, one vote for Domenick, one vote for Wendell, one vote for Domenick, and the final vote is for…Wendell.

We’ve got a tie!

Ok, Laurel will have to cast the deciding vote. This is intense.

Seriously, she had a minute to make that decision? That’s terrible.

She casts her vote. Then Probst gathers it and bids them farewell.

Next up, we’re in beautiful Los Angeles, California. Probst cracks open the stylish Cagayan urn and announces that the winner of “Survivor: Ghost Island” is…Wendell!

Verdict: What an amazing ending to a middle-of-the-road season of “Survivor.”

So, what went wrong? I dunno…maybe tone down the pre-merge swaps. Maybe a few less advantages.

But in other news, my personal “Survivor” curse, the one where I’ve never picked a winner in my pre-season rankings…the one that started when I picked Michele Chase to win “Survivor: Gabon” has finally ended.

Power Rankings Results: Roark received six points, while I received eight points. The final score was Team Roark 138, Team Gordon 143. Big thanks to Roark for being awesome competition this season!

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

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Power Rankings Final Round – It’s In the Bag Edition

May 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.

The Rules: For the final round, each player will rank the remaining Survivors in the order in which they think they will finish. The first contestant is the winner, the second received the second most votes at Tribal, etc. Each correct placement is worth two points. At the end of the round, the person with the most overall points will be named the “Survivor: Ghost Island” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Ghost Island”

Last Week: Roark and Gordon both had Kellyn in spot seven. The current score is Team Roark 132, Team Gordon 135.

Roark’s Score: 132

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

Gordon’s Score: 135

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

1. Wendell: This may sound random, but I can’t forget that Sea Bass confessional from when he reunited with Wendell via a swap. Sea Bass is so enamored of Wendell because Wendell remembered to bring him a shell. What I’m saying is, I think Wendell is insanely likable. Likability is insanely pertinent. 1. Wendell: I’ve gone back and forth trying to figure out which way the jury will go in the inevitable Wendell/Dom battle. And, I think I’ve let Kellyn’s word association talk me into a Wendell win. She referred to Wendell as “intuitive” and Domenick as a “reckless dictator.” They both ran the show, but Wendell did it with a smoother touch.
2. Domenick: The other member of the dynamic duo. Domenick is the other obvious power player – but he is also more outspoken and brash. Wendell’s charm may give him the edge. 2. Domenick: I also think your feud with Chris could come back to bite you. But, I’ll probably change my mind five minutes from now. Either way, both guys are worthy champions.
3. Laurel: Laurel has played a quiet, loyal game that has upset many fans and will probably not impress the jury. I am a big Laurel fan and will defend her at all costs so come at me. 3. Laurel: When people are as dominant as Domenick and Wendell, the jury tends to want to punish the person who allowed them to become so dominant. Unfortunately, that’s you. I think your legacy for this season is that you waited too long to take your shot.
4. Angela: To be fair, I have no idea what these people’s fire skills are. I’m just going to make a leap and assume hers aren’t good. Congrats Angela. You did fine. 4. Donathan: Yeah…you caused a pretty big stir last week. But, I think they have bigger fish to fry. Better start working on those fire-making skills.
5. Sebastian: If Dom/Wen/Laurel stick together to the end, I could understand cutting Sea Bass here. Angela probably has a minimal chance to succeed in fire, win immunity that isn’t related to guzzling….you know, or get a single jury vote. 5. Angela: Can you imagine a situation where Angela wins? Maybe if she gets to the end with Sebastian and Donathan and they personally insult each of the jurors’ mothers?
6. Donathan: Donathan is starting to fray at the edges and it couldn’t be more obvious. Sea Bass is a solid vote, and Angela appears to also still be on the show, so I think Donathan will be the first finale sacrifice. 6. Sebastian: Can Sebastian still win “Survivor”? Absolutely. I think he can make it happen against any combination of Angela, Donathan, and Laurel. That’s why I think he’s the first to go. Wendell and Dom don’t want to give him a chance to compete in the fire-making challenge.

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

Let’s Play ‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Bingo!

May 21, 2018

ghostislandbingoOne minute you’ve got a bunch of tribe-banner-burning, dead-last-in-almost-every-immunity-challenge Malolos, getting stomped by a team of rhyme-dropping, better-beach-having Navitis and the next you’re down to a final six…

So, it’s time get all of the 30 advantages that are still remaining in the game ready…

It’s time to figure out how the heck you can get to the end without Wendell or Domenick…

And most importantly…

It’s time for BINGO!

Expletivedeleted

(more…)

‘Survivor’ Castaway Kellyn – “I Brought a Knife to a Gun Fight After the Merge”

May 17, 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: That Tribal last night! Plan A, Plan B…it was a mess.
Kellyn Bechtold: (Laughs)
Holmes: What information were you privy too before it started?
Bechtold: No plan had been relayed to me. That’s how much it was definitely me. I know it doesn’t make great TV, but Wendell had paid me my respects before we went to Tribal. Sebastian had paid me my respects. I knew it was me. But the fun thing was that Donathan started to get so frustrated that he was pigeon-holed and stuck. He’d drag me to the well, he said, “I saw Dom give Wendell an idol and I think they’re going to play it on you.” And I said, “No. No…that’s probably not going to happen.” But I realized that Donathan was emotional enough that maybe I could get him to vote for Dom. And so I was like, “OK, let’s let Dom know what it feels like to see his name come out of the urn.” He hadn’t had any votes at that point. And at Tribal they’re talking out loud and they’re explaining that the split is this and this. And I thought, if I don’t vote for Dom and I vote for Donathan I can make it a tie. It was a fun little moment. It was a little bit of sweet justice.

Holmes: Everybody is screaming at their TVs, “Laurel, what are you doing? You can’t beat Dom and Wendell in the end.” While you were in the game, did you get the feeling that she was waiting for the right time, or was she locked in with those guys?
Bechtold: My last three days I fought tooth and nail. I worked Dom and I worked Wendell trying to get them to go through the jury scenario that they couldn’t beat each other. I thought I had more of a chance with them because they were giving me more space than Laurel was. So, she was pretty locked in. It’s easy to sit at home and Monday morning quarterback that call, but they’re giving her a chance at final three. And if people were giving me a final three deal? It’s hard. I feel for Laurel, but she was the least likely to move out of the other six people out there…from my perspective.
Holmes: You’re very right that it is easy to play “Survivor” from my couch.
Bechtold: (Laughs) It is so fun, right?! That’s the best place to play.
Holmes: When I’m well fed and there are no bugs and I’ve got air conditioning, it’s a piece of cake.
Bechtold: Yes it is. Yes it is.

Holmes: There was one point after merge where they showed you and the rest of the Naviti women at the water well and I thought, “Oh wow…this is it. They’re going to let Chris and Dom battle it out, then they’re going to pick off the rest.”
Bechtold: I really thought we could keep the four girls working together. I thought it was in our best interest to get some of those guys out because once we got to the merge Dom and Wendell were so clearly wanting Chris out. The girls wanted Chris to stay and we gave in. After that, all four of us were like, “They’re telling us what to do. Let’s do this thing.” And one of my biggest mistakes was it took too long to believe that Des was turning on me. I played 25 straight days with her and I had just met Laurel. Des was telling me she didn’t do it. And the story was that Des and Chelsea were turning on me. And I’m reading Chelsea and there’s no (expletive deleted) way that Chelsea is lying to me! She’s just not. And Des was acting weird, so I really missed that. And once Des was gone, I thought maybe we could bring Laurel in as a powerful female. I just couldn’t get my feet under me. I brought a knife to a gun fight after the merge and that knife was covered in orange blood. It was an uphill battle after the merge when my ride-or-die Bradley was gone. But, I’m proud of myself for towing the line between, “Yeah, Dom and Wendell, I’m Naviti strong and I’m the mother bear of this purple family” and also, “Oh (expletive deleted), these Malolos are mad at me because I voted out all of their friends.” I was on that balance beam. I didn’t do it great, but I did my best.

Holmes: In back to back episodes you had Desiree’s betrayal and Michael’s make-believe idol. Did that throw off your confidence in being able to read situations?
Bechtold: On the Micheal vote, I asked him for 45 minutes about that idol. What season was it from? Kaoh Rong. What was it wrapped in? What did it look like? And he knew the whole story! He had helped find the idol. I’m a dumbass for not asking to see it. Totally a dumbass. I admit that. But he did have 99% of the story right. So, the moral of the story is that was probably my number one chance to turn the game on its head. I should have put my two votes on Wendell. I talked Michael into the whole story. I told him to vote for Wendell. So, it wasn’t so much that I was making mistakes and missing things, it was “Oh (expletive deleted), I just put myself on a raft and I have to start fighting uphill now.”

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Wendell.
Bechtold: Intuitive.
Holmes: Brendan?
Bechtold: True gentleman.
Holmes: James?
Bechtold: Calculated, yet kind.
Holmes: Libby?
Bechtold: Hard to get to know.
Holmes: Jenna?
Bechtold: Goes with the flow gorgeously.
Holmes: Chris?
Bechtold: Um…I’m not sure Chris and I have one thing in common.
Holmes: You’re not a rap star?
Bechtold: (Laughs) Maybe that’s what we have in common.
Holmes: Because I’ve seen you do mic drops.
Bechtold: (Laughs) What we have in common is we are both not rap stars.
Holmes: (Laughs)
Bechtold: You found the one thing! Go Gordon!
Holmes: (Laughs) Stop… OK…Desiree?
Bechtold: Don’t make me pick on him! Um…Desiree is (expletive deleted) fabulous.
Holmes: Morgan?
Bechtold: Feisty.
Holmes: Stephanie?
Bechtold: She is a passionate goddess.
Holmes: Chelsea?
Bechtold: My island BFF.
Holmes: Domenick?
Bechtold: In real life he’s an amazing family man. On “Survivor” he’s a reckless dictator.
Holmes: Angela?
Bechtold: Tough as nails.
Holmes: Michael?
Bechtold: Lethal and the little brother I never had.
Holmes: Sebastian?
Bechtold: Heart of gold.
Holmes: Donathan?
Bechtold: Unfiltered.
Holmes: Laurel?
Bechtold: Smart, but risk-averse.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Bradley.
Bechtold: Bradley is ridiculously entertaining and believe it or not, a great listener.
Holmes: Awww…that kid is bad news.
Bechtold: (Laughs) Yeah yeah yeah…

Holmes: I felt bad for you last night. You know who I felt worse for? Jeff Probst. The look on his face after the challenge was heart-breaking.
Bechtold: Gordon, I can’t believe they showed it on TV. I figured they’d just edit around it. There are zero times where you feel like the game breaks. Maybe when your loved one runs out, and you forget the game. But when Wendell said, “I had it” the air just went out of the room…or off the island. Jeff just took a minute and said, “I had no way of knowing you were done.” And I was exhausted, I could barely get up those damn steps. I felt for Wendell. He’s saying, “Wait, it’s a rule? You have to say, ‘Jeff, I’m done’?” I feel like Jeff handled it with grace and Wendell handled it with extreme grace as well. It just took everyone a minute and I think Wendell thought, “What am I going to do? Stomp my feet?” And Wendell said, “If those are the rules, those are the rules.”

Holmes: You started to get a little bit of a villain edit. Which to me was like rooting against Santa Claus.
Bechtold: (Laughs)
Holmes: What was your reaction when you noticed the edit was headed in that direction?
Bechtold: So many women on “Survivor” are edited as one note. You’re a dumb blonde or you’re the smart bitch. Or you’re like a sweet old lady. The fact that I believe that they showed a woman who was a complex character? Sometimes I was the sweet lady, trying to keep the family together. Other times I was figuring things out, working strategy, getting people on my side, making enemies. That’s “Survivor,” that’s the whole game. Did I expect the evil hag edit? No. Am I pretty OK with owning it? Hell yeah.
Holmes: I didn’t say “Hag.”
Bechtold: (Laughs)
Holmes: I don’t think that’s accurate.

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

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Episode 13 Recap: Remora No-More-a?

May 16, 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: The boys got a reward, but Wendell went and missed it, Kellyn tried to rally the girls, but Laurel resisted, and Chelsea was voted out, which is proof that she existed.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

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

The Lavita Tribe (wearing black)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
Kellyn, 31 – Career Counselor
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

Post Tribal Shenanigans

Kellyn knows she’s on the outs, but she isn’t going to let that get her down because she trusts her gut. Is that the gut that didn’t think Des would target her?

Or is that the gut that thought Michael had an idol?

Reward Challenge Time: The players will be split into three teams of two. Three captains will be named and they’ll pick their partner. They’ll work together to keep spools rolling on a cool spool-rolling contraption. The last duo with their spools in motion will win a trip to a local school to deliver supplies. While there, they’ll also enjoy a fried chicken dinner.

Quick Aside: Aww…I love the good-will mission rewards.

Another Quick Aside: Boo…one person won’t get to compete and won’t be eligible for Ghost Island.

Team Picking: Kellyn picked Sebastian, Wendell went with Domenick, and Donathan chose Laurel. So, Angela gets to sit there and wonder why she’s wasting her summer.

Result: Domenick and Wendell pick up the win in what was a super fun new challenge. They pick Laurel to come with them. They also decide to send Sea Bass to Ghost Island.

At Ghost Island

Sebastian is greeted by a three-in-four chance of winning an advantage. I see the logic in this. The later you get, the more valuable votes get. He plays and is rewarded with the extra vote that Kellyn just played on Laurel. Ooo…double cursed!

Jeez…that extra vote is reaching Ozzy levels of returning.

Sebastian claims that this extra vote is the best thing that could ever happen to him. The best thing? Better than fishing-based immunity challenges? Or a Domenick and Wendell double medical evacuation? Or a crate of banana Laffy Taffy washing up on shore?

He also uses a fisherman analogy to say that he’s worried that the others see him as a remora…a sucker fish…but he’s really a shark. Well played, Sea Bass.

School’s In Session

Domenick, Wendell, and Laurel have a blast with the adorable Fijian kids. Later on, Domenick claims that they’re the final three. However, Laurel lets us know that she isn’t so sure.

Laurel tells the guys that she wants Domenick and Wendell to split the votes and she’ll get the rest. Yeah, the rest will be zero.

In a cute moment, Laurel asks a Fijian woman who’s going to win. She keeps looking at Domenick. Wow…even she knows.

DTF…Donathan to Flip?

Donathan says he’s getting tired of waiting for Laurel to make a move and is prepared to strike out on his own. Apparently that means rubbing both Wendell and Domenick the wrong way.

He starts off by telling Wendell that he feels like he’s on the outs and that he’ll be voting for Domenick if he gets sent to the jury. Wendell realizes that Donathan is trying to play him and even says, “I don’t know what you’re doing right now.”

Dom joins the conversation and Wendell immediately rats Donathan out. Dom makes a great point, saying that if Donathan thinks he’s headed for the jury, what’s his incentive to keep working with them?

This is like a “Survivor” masterclass with Wendell and Domenick picking poor Donathan apart.

Oh…and Dom makes a reference to Donathan slitting someone’s throat with a credit card. Is that a real thing? I’m afraid to Google it.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will pull planks to a bridge, then use the planks to finish the bridge’s surface. They’ll run across and then build a ladder and climb a tower. The first person to complete the slide puzzle at the top of the tower will win immunity.

Result: This is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen on the show. Wendell actually did complete the puzzle first, but he didn’t call for Jeff to check it, he just stepped back. Laurel then finished the puzzle and called for Jeff. Jeff checked the puzzle and declared her the winner. When Wendell protested, Probst claimed that you have to call for a check. So, Laurel wins immunity. Wendell doesn’t take it too hard though, saying that Laurel is the rightful winner.

Quick Aside: Before every immunity challenge, Jeff walks the players through every step and they’re allowed to ask questions. Every time I’ve been out, he’s told the contestants they have to tell him when they’re done. So, I think Jeff is in the right here.

Weird situation though. Wendell must be zonked.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Laurel doesn’t feel right sending Wendell home after what happened at the immunity challenge. That means she’s targeting Kellyn. She says this is going with the “smart move” over the “big move.” Um…a move can be both.

Meanwhile, Domenick and Wendell are tempted to get rid of Donathan because he’s being shifty. When they’re all talking strategy, Donathan asks that they let him know if he’s going to be blindsided. Well, then it isn’t a blindside. Doy.

Wendell decides to use a fake idol he has been crafting, but he needs the paperwork from Dom’s idol. Donathan catches the exchange and gets freaked out. They tell him he can see what they’re handing off, but Donathan doesn’t want to look at it. It’s just awkward and weird.

This is enough to fully set Donathan off. He runs off to chat with Kellyn.

Tribal Time

Donathan is frustrated that the people on his team aren’t sharing all of their information with him. Domenick asks if he can say something and Donathan flatty responds “No.”

Ooo…

Then the whispering starts. First it’s Wendell and Sebastian, then Dom starts saying, “Stay with it.”

Donathan thinks the target has switched from Kellyn to himself. He tries to address Dom, but Dom points out that they’re done talking.

Burnnnnn…

Voting Time: Donathan votes for Dom, Kellyn votes for Donathan, and the rest of the votes are secret.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…nobody does. We’ve got one vote for Dom, one vote for Donathan, two votes for Kellyn, two votes for Donathan, and the final vote is for…Kellyn. A tie!

Voting Time Part Deux: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns yet again. We’ve got one vote for Donathan, two votes for Kellyn, and the fourteenth person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” and the seventh member of the jury is…Kellyn.

Kellyn congratulates everyone on the way out. Class act. Love to see it.

Verdict: This is probably my best Power Rankings season ever. Not because I’m a genius (and not that you needed that reminder) but because it’s just so predictable.

Seriously, can you imagine someone other than Domenick or Wendell winning?

  • Domenick – You handled Donathan perfectly. So well, in fact, that I think you could take Wendell in front of the jury.
  • Sebastian – I…have…actually…talked myself into a scenario where a well-liked Sea Bass could take a win over Angela, Donathan, or Laurel. It’s not likely, but it is plausible.
  • Wendell – That moment at the immunity challenge was not a good look on you. You’re fine, but you need to keep your head in the game.
  • Laurel – I think when a player dominates, the jury wants to punish the person who let them do it. If you don’t play your cards perfectly, that person is going to be you.
  • Donathan – I get trying to drive a wedge between Domenick and Wendell, but you did it in the worst possible way.
  • Angela – Seriously, how are you so invisible at final seven?

Power Rankings Results: Roark and I both had Kellyn in spot seven. The current score is Team Roark 132, Team Gordon 135.

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

‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Power Rankings Round 11 – Domen-ate and Windell Edition

May 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.

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 Angela is voted out this episode, Roark will receive five points and Gordon will receive six 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 Chelsea in spot eight. Gordon had her in spot seven. The current score is Team Roark 125, Team Gordon 128.

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: 125

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

Gordon’s Score: 128

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

1. Domenick: SOMEHOW THESE PEOPLE BOTH STILL HAVE IDOLS 1. Domenick: If Dom and Wendell turn on each other, and that’s a pretty big “If” it’ll probably be at final five. No need to rock the boat just yet.
2. Wendell: This is absolutely bonkers. See above. 2. Wendell: You had me sweating a bit last week, but you stuck to your guns and kept that idol in your pocket. I don’t want to put too much pressure on you, but you’re my winner pick. Nineteen seasons of failure. Reverse that curse.
3. Laurel: She may be catching a lot of flack, but so far, no one has proven to her that their path can give her better options than Dom and Wendell. I understand the choices, and why it frustrates viewers, but I’m not gonna rake her over the coals for doing what’s best for her. 3. Laurel: Anyone who thinks Laurel is just content to get no votes in third place doesn’t know her very well. She’s really smart. I think her plan is to bounce Dom at five and then hope someone can beat Wendell at fire-making. I think she can beat Donathan and Angela in front of  a jury. But, she’s walking a tightrope at this point.
4. Donathan: Donathan is stirring up drama, and that may be the perfect excuse to cut him at this point. The boys seem to have Sebs in their pocket still, and the dominant alliance has so many advantages. 4. Donathan: It seems like you’re going to cause some trouble, but I can’t imagine a situation where you’d get enough votes to do any major damage.
5. Angela: Greetings, person who is still on this show! 5. Sea Bass: Seriously? You took all of the guys on the family reward? Have you ever seen this show before?
6. Sea Bass: Sebs is tight with the bros, so until they view that extra vote as dispensable, he’s OK. 6. Angela: There’s no real reason to get rid of you at this point. In fact, I’d be trying to figure out a way to get you to the end. But, there’s always the chance that Kellyn wins immunity and the others aren’t ready to make their moves just yet.
7. Kellyn: If this group of 4 holds up, Kellyn is on the wrong side of a bad situation. 7. Kellyn: I’m not sure what your move is at this point. Domendell aren’t going anywhere this week. Donathan and Sea Bass are in the clique and Angela is harmless. Win that immunity, kid!

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


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